The Furness Railway Trust is delighted to have secured the purchase of the only known surviving Furness Railway goods wagon.
FR bogie bolster wagon - believed to be FR Number 5999 built in 1918 - was designed to transport heavy loads such as rails made at the Barrow steelworks for export through Barrow docks.
Little is known about the vehicle's history after the Furness Railway was amalgamated into the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. It is known that by 1961, or possibly earlier, the vehicle had been sold into industrial use with International Combustion of Derby where it was used to transport large steel fabrications. This work came to an end in 1987 and it was donated to the Midland Railway Trust at Butterley for preservation.
The MRT had contacted the FRT when the wagon became surplus to its requirements and a sale was quickly agreed. The vehicle has since been moved to the Ribble Steam Railway, Preston.
The bogie bolster retains original features including its "FR" Number 9 pattern stamped axle-box covers. This was the standard axlebox used by the FR from about 1900 onwards for both passenger carriages and wagons. It is thought that the current timber decking, the 3 hole disc wheels and rather stubby buffers are unlikely to be original, and of course during its life it has also lost its bolsters.
It needs some minor remedial attention and will receive a repaint in due course. There are no known photographs of these vehicles in FR use, but photographic evidence of a similar well wagon had it painted in FR grey with black bogies and axleboxes, and with the letters "FR" in white on the solebars.
The FRT views this vehicle as not only a key part of the surviving FR heritage, but a useful asset; indeed the wagon has already been put into action carrying the cab top and saddletank of the Trust's Austerity 0-60-ST "Cumbria".
FRT Chairman Tim Owen says "we had been aware of this wagon for quite some time, and even enquired about buying it many years ago, so we are extremely pleased to have added this vehicle to our collection".
İFurness Railway Trust