London Transport ‘Herring’ Ballast Hopper Wagons

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London Transport ‘Herring’ Ballast Hopper Wagons
LT Ballast Hoppers 20150426.jpg
Three Herring ballast hoppers in an engineers train
Built By See table
Status In service
Number See table
Built See table
Diagram P6 / P20
Type 4-wheel steel ballast hopper
Capacity 20 tons
Telegraphic code HERRING
1984 Arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway
1985 GW 150 main line appearance

Goods Wagons

The SVRSevern Valley Railway is home to three ex-London Underground 20 ton steel Ballast Hopper Wagons. The design of these originated with the 1902 GWRGreat Western Railway Diagram P6 20 ton Ballast Hopper[1] and later 1945 GWRGreat Western Railway/BRBritish Rail or British Railways Diagram P22 Ballast Hopper. These were not given a telegraphic code by the GWRGreat Western Railway, but were given the type name 'Herring' by BRBritish Rail or British Railways. The London Underground examples include 'foldback' buffers to allow use with L.T. electric loco stock.

The SVRSevern Valley Railway’s wagons are numbered as follows:

Number Built Built by Wagon Survey Notes
HW 410 1938 GRCWGloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Link
HW 411 1938 GRCWGloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Link
HW 436 1965 BRBritish Rail or British Railways Shildon Link


The two early examples were originally ordered by the London Passenger Transport Board in 1936 for use on planned extension works on London Underground such as the extension of the Northern Line to Potters Bar. These works were cancelled in 1938 due to the impending war. The third example was not built until the mid-1960s.[2]


The three ballast hoppers were acquired by SVR(H) in early 1984 and were initially intended for use in completing the extension to Kidderminster. Delays in receiving the LROLight Railway Order meant they were marooned in a goods yard at Shirebrook in Derbyshire, only arriving on the morning of 23 July 1984, the Monday of the final week before opening. They were immediately brought into use, greatly speeding up the final ballasting, lifting packing and slueing which was required at Kidderminster.[2][3]

In 1985, 410 and 436 appeared on the main line when they were used used in the GW 150 demonstration freight train which ran to Newport behind GWR freight loco 2857.[4]

The wagons saw regular use on Permanent Way duties on the railway until superseded by other larger ballast hoppers, including a 24 ton BR 'Dogfish' Ballast Hopper Wagon and six 40 ton BR 'Seacow' 40t Ballast Hoppers. On 8 May 2021 they were moved to the Stourport Triangle.


See also


  1. Paul Bartlett
  2. 2.0 2.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 73
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 78