GWR 30903 Ballast Wagon

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GWRGreat Western Railway 30903 Ballast Wagon
GWR 30903 Ballast Wagon.jpg
GWRGreat Western Railway 30903 Ballast Wagon
Built By GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon
Status Operational
Number 30903
Other Numbers DW 30903
Built circa 1941
Diagram P18
Lot 1384
Type 4-wheel steel open ballast wagon
Capacity 10 tons
Telegraphic code BRBritish Rail or British Railways: Starfish
Brakes Morton (as fitted)
1973 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway
1986 Overhauled
2007 Overhauled

Goods Wagons

GWRGreat Western Railway 30903 is a 10-ton steel ballast wagon, one of a batch of 201 built at Swindon between 1939 and 1941 as Lot 1384 to Diagram P18 (the SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book gives the actual construction date as 1941). The 'new generation' ballast wagons of this type began in 1935 with Diagram P15, which had an increased length over earlier designs of 16ft 6in over the headstocksThe underframe member across each end of a wagon carrying the buffers and coupling. Known as the Bufferbeam on a locomotive. while retaining a 9ft wheelbase. The internal height of 1ft 10in gave a nominal 8 cubic yard capacity. Diagram P18 retained these dimensions but was modified to include Morton brakes and steps at the ends.[1]

The GWRGreat Western Railway did not allocate telegraphic codes to DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. wagons of this type, although it was later classified as a STARFISH by BRBritish Rail or British Railways.


30903 saw DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. service with the GWRGreat Western Railway and BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W), ending its working life at Swindon[2].


30903 was one of a number of such wagons purchased from Swindon in 1973 for P-Way Department use, arriving at Bewdley on 24 November 1973.[2][3] It saw regular service with that Department before receiving an overhaul in September 1986. This included the complete renewal of the platework and repairs to the drawgear. Following this overhaul, it was repainted in the GWRGreat Western Railway Engineers’ Department black livery.[4]

After a further 23 years of service with the P-Way Department, 30903 began a further overhaul in 2007. The floor and ends required replacement and by an unfortunate coincidence, these were removed on the morning of the freak storm which caused significant damage to the SVR, rendering the wagon unservicable just at a time it would be most needed. During this overhaul the thickness of the new welded floor was increased to 8mm. The repairs were completed in September 2007 with 30903 being repainted in GWRGreat Western Railway post-war engineers' livery.[5]

30903 is owned by The GWR 813 Preservation Fund.

See also

List of goods wagons


  1. Atkins, Beard & Tourret (2013) pp. 319-320
  2. 2.0 2.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 30
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 82
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 163