GWR 97398 5 plank Open Goods Wagon

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GWRGreat Western Railway 97398 5 plank Open Goods Wagon
GWR 97398 20160514.jpg
GWRGreat Western Railway 97398 5 plank Open Goods Wagon
Built By R.D.C. Woolwich Arsenal
Status Operational
Number 97398
Other Numbers C 127
Built 1921
Diagram O18
Lot 857
Type 4-w 5-plank Open
Telegraphic code OPEN A
1974 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway
1982 Restored
1985 Mainline service

Goods Wagons

GWRGreat Western Railway 97398 is a 5-plank open goods wagon of type 'OPEN A', signifying a 10-ton capacity open merchandise wagon with a sheet support (which it no longer has) but not equipped with vacuum brakes[1].


The GWRGreat Western Railway built many thousands of open wagons at Swindon, but 97398 was part of Lot 857, a batch of 500 built in 1921 to Diagram O18 at the Woolwich Arsenal, under measures which were taken to provide continuity of employment after the end of the First World War.[2]

After serving with the GWRGreat Western Railway and BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W), 97398 ended its working life with the Port of London Authority where it was numbered C 127[1].


97398 arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway from the London Docks on 13 August 1974, having been acquired by The GWR 813 Preservation Fund.[3] It was cosmetically repainted, but not finally restored until 1981-2. The restoration required the complete replacement of the woodwork, the poor condition of which was highlighted when one person put their foot through the floor. A badly twisted headstockThe underframe member across each end of a wagon carrying the buffers and coupling. Known as the Bufferbeam on a locomotive. was replaced using steel of similar section from a scrapped LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway coach and a new curb rail was also made and fitted. The woodwork was replaced using a supply of reasonable quality second hand timber, which the 813 Fund succeeded in obtaining from the Port of Bristol Authority who were in the process of scrapping their fleet of internal wagons. To complete the restoration, 97398 was repainted in 1921 livery.[4]

Once restored, 97398 appeared on the main line in 1985 as part of the GW 150 demonstration freight train which ran to Newport behind GWR freight loco 2857.[5]

97398 was used for storing coal at Arley during Christmas services for a number of years, resulting in a second complete re-timbering being required in 1991.[6] Another overhaul was carried out in 2007, with a number of side, end, door and planks being replaced after damage had been caused by an unsuccessful attempt to set fire to the wagon. After repainting, the wagon returned to service in May 2007. In 2010 it was included in the Spring Steam Gala Demonstration Goods Train[7]

97398 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. Atkins, Beard & Tourret (2013) pp. 28, 279.
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 66
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 78
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 102
  7. SVR-Online Forum, Traffic News 4 March 2010