GWR 2303 Fruit Van

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GWRGreat Western Railway 2303 Fruit Van
GWR 2303 Fruit Van.jpg
GWRGreat Western Railway 2303 Fruit Van
Built By GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon
Status Operational
Number 2303
Other Numbers 47833, DW 150063
Built 1898
Diagram Y2
Lot 230
Type 4-w ventilated van
Capacity 6 tons
Telegraphic code FRUIT
Brakes Vacuum-braked
1973 Entered preservation on the SVRSevern Valley Railway
1988 Restoration completed
2019 Overhauled

Goods Wagons

The brown livery of 6 ton Fruit Van 2303 denotes it as "Non Passenger Carrying Coaching Stock", meaning that as it was fitted with vacuum brakes, it was allowed to run as part of an express passenger train.[1]


The GWRGreat Western Railway began the construction of ventilated vans specifically for carrying fruit in 1890, and these were categorised under Diagram Y. 2303 was built at Swindon in 1898 to Diagram Y2 as part of Lot 230 and was originally numbered 47833 in the Goods series. It had a 6-ton capacity with a 10ft wheelbase. The ventilation on Y2 vans included gaps between the floor planks open to the track, as well as single louvres between the planks and central end vents. The majority of the Y2 vans including 2303 were built as vacuum braked only and given the telegraphic code FRUIT, although the last 22 included dual brakes and were coded FRUIT A.[2][3]

47833 was later renumbered 2303 in 'Brown Vehicle' series from 1916 until withdrawal in 1958. It was then converted to a Packing Van and numbered DW 150063 in DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. use. It was withdrawn for scrapping from BRBritish Rail or British Railways Tyseley in 1973.[4]


2303 was acquired by The GWR 813 Preservation Fund, being delivered to Bewdley on 24 November 1973.[1][5] It spent a period in use as a stores van for the GresleySir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London & North Eastern Railway 1923-1941 Coach Fund.[6] Some restoration work began in Autumn 1983;[7] by spring 1984 all the roof timbers had been replaced and the body was being cleaned down and repainted.[8] Further work was then postponed awaiting heavier repairs, which began when the van became the Wagon Department’s project for Winter 1987.[9] The work carried out included overhauling the van’s mechanics and replacing corroded steel T-sections and rotten tongue and groove boards. New doors were built, the roof re-canvassed and the van repainted in GWRGreat Western Railway ‘Brown’ livery. 2303 returned to service in mid-1988, although a planned appearance in the 1988 June Freight Weekend parcels train was ended by a 'hot box' due to a broken spring in the bearing lubricating pad.[6]

2303 received a further repaint in 1993.[10] From Summer 2018 it underwent overhaul and a repaint at Bewdley Goods Shed by the Wagon Department, completed in February 2019.[11]

It is owned by the GWRGreat Western Railway 813 Preservation Fund.

See also

List of goods wagons


  1. 1.0 1.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition
  2. Railway Heritage Register Wagon Survey
  3. Atkins et al (1976) Vol 2 p. 104.
  4. GWRGreat Western Railway 813 Preservation Fund
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 30
  6. 6.0 6.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 88
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 69
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 71
  9. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 86
  10. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 107
  11. VR Wagons Facebook, 16 February 2019