Vehicle Profile #1 – Air Braked Steel High

While we aren’t able to get on site to take part in any work to give you any updates, I’d like to continue with some different content to keep people interested and give people something to interact with while we are socially distancing. These might take the form of a profile of a vehicle in the collection, describing its history; or sharing some British Transport Films that are favourites of the team. Please let us know if there is anything you’d like us to explore.
Tonight, I’ll start with E280364, our Air Braked LNER Steel High.
All-Steel Highfit wagon E280364
Type OHB
Diagram No. 194
Capacity 13 Tons
Wheelbase 10ft
Built 1947 in Darlington
During 1970 a total of 40 wagons of five types were modified by BR Western Region, for a trial of air-braked wagon operations with increased operating speeds between Oxford and Worcester.
The modifications that allowed the maximum operating speed to be increased from 45 to 60 mile/h included:-
Uprating the suspension leaf springs from 5-plate to 9-plate,
Converting from shoe type to BR long suspension links,
Installation of two-pipe auto-air brake equipment.
The wagons that were modified for the trial comprised:-
Twelve, 13T All-Steel Highfits (OHB)
Twelve, 12T Vanfits (VVB)
Seven, 12T Palvanfits (VPB)
Four, 22T TubeVB (STB)
Five, PlateVB (SPB)
The trials ran until 1972, following which all 40 wagons continued in service as part of the then growing fleet of air-brakes wagons.
The All-Steel Highfit wagons of which E280364 was one, continued in network service until the late 1970s. They were then transferred into departmental use for carrying spare parts between depots, the last being withdrawn in 1992.
E280364 which was built in Darlington in 1947, was rescued for preservation by Nick Tinsley in late October 1990 from Peterborough Wagon Shops, and is currently undergoing restoration by us. When we left site E280364 was sat in its bauxite gloss top coat, with the underframe having been sprayed. It awaits signwriting before this vehicle can be released to traffic.


Author: Ross Loades

Wagon Basher and Systems Engineer in the Rail Industry

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