TOAD A 17410
Readers may be surprised to find that the LNER Carriage Group has taken on the restoration of a GWR goods brake van, particularly when the LNER carriages still need maintenance work to keep them in traffic. Well; the maintenance work is led by the professional team based at Kidderminster who look after a fleet of around 70 carriages. LNER carriages take their turn in the maintenance programme, whilst running repairs are done “as required”. So, unless we are called upon for advice with specialist matters we are now free to undertake the kind of “other useful work” that we do best;-the restoration of life expired vehicles for further use.
GWR TOAD A 17410 was built at Swindon in 1940 as part of a batch of 100 to WD order, but immediately taken into Great Western Railway stock, presumably to help with the huge increase in goods traffic caused by the war. Upon Nationalisation it passed to British Railways. As goods traffic contracted it became surplus to requirements and was withdrawn around 1970. It was purchased by a group of SVR members (the “17410 Fund”) who used it at Bridgnorth as sleeping accommodation. When this ceased, presumably when more luxurious accommodation became available it was used as the P.Way Dept’s mobile mess and tool van, a rigorous job that kept it busy for many years. However by 2015 it was out of use at Bewdley, thoroughly worn out and in great need of a group to raise funds and restore it. Accordingly, in early 2016 the surviving 17410 Fund members or their heirs donated 17410 to SVR Charitable Trust to assure its future. The LNER Group took on the job of restoring it to good order.
Needless to say the restoration proved challenging. A fundraising campaign was launched under the auspices of the Charitable Trust, who wholeheartedly supported this project, and very many generous charitable donations enabled the project to go ahead. The work included repair and replacement of steel and woodwork, a replacement roof canvass and major refurbishment and renewal of brakes and running gear. Volunteers, full time staff and contractors were all heavily involved, but by June 2018 17410 returned to traffic as part of that year’s celebration of the centenary of locomotive 2857.
As a Toad A with fully operational vacuum brakes, 17410 has proved its worth as an essential aid to the test running of newly overhauled carriages, stock transfers and occasional specials such as the “Rag Train” where a team of volunteers distributed a huge quantity of donated rags to users along the length of the SVR.
For additional updates please see the
SVR Live Toad 17410 page.
GWR Toad 17410
Before; - a thoroughly worn out 17410 lying at Bewdley prior to the start of restoration.
A fully restored 17410 with young volunteers at the rear of the Rag Train. Photo by Rob Green
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