BR 'Dogfish' Ballast Hopper Wagons

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways 'Dogfish' Ballast Hopper Wagons
BR 983115 20180603.jpg
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Dogfish DB983115 at Eardington, June 2018
Built By Chas Roberts (Wakefield)
Status Operational
Number DB983115
Built 1957
Diagram 1/587
Lot 2939
Type 4-wheel ballast hopper
Capacity 24 tons
Telegraphic code DOGFISH
Brakes Vacuum fitted, air through pipe (2022)
1996 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway

Goods Wagons

From around 1955, BRBritish Rail or British Railways adopted the 19 ton CATFISH and 24 ton DOGFISH as their standard vacuum-fitted small Steel Ballast Hopper wagons. The SVRSevern Valley Railway has been home to three of the latter type. The DOGFISH was fitted with centre and side doors, allowing ballast to be dropped between the rails or to either side. A total of 1,249 of this type were built under Diagram 1/587, some by Metro-Cammell and others including the three SVRSevern Valley Railway examples by Chas Roberts of Wakefield.[1] BRBritish Rail or British Railways Civil Engineers' wagons were commonly given ‘fish’ telegraph codes, with Dogfish being a general name describing various small sharks.[2].

Service and Preservation

Details of the 3 Hopper Wagons are as follows:

Number Built Built by Wagon Survey Notes
983115 1957 Chas Roberts Link
983194 1957 Chas Roberts Link Left 2018
993126 1956 Chas Roberts Link Left 2018

DB983115 was initially allocated to Llynclys Junction (Llandu Quarries).[2] Following the closure of the Burton Wagon Repair Department, DB 983115 arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway by road on 2 December 1996 having been purchased by Bridgnorth C&WCarriage & Wagon member John Briscoe.[3] It was immediately put into use on Engineers' P-Way trains.[4] Two further DOGFISH were later acquired for the same purpose, and the first three photographs below show all three wagons in a ballast train at Bewdley in April 2015.

In January 2018 it was reported that two of the three had been sold/transferred to the Swanage Railway. The remaining wagon, 983115, was photographed at Eardington in June 2018. In December 2022 it was fitted with a through pipe for air braking at Kidderminster Carriage Repair Works.


See also

List of goods wagons
Wagons formerly resident on the SVR


  1. LTSV Wagons
  2. 2.0 2.1 Larkin Vol 1 (2011), p.36.
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 122
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition


LTSV Wagons: ZEV 'Catfish'/ZFV 'Dogfish' Ballast Hoppers