The SECR used its standard 9ft 6in wheelbase steel underframe for a two-plank ballast wagon that was introduced in 1919. Some 120 were built over the next four years, the last being completed by the Southern.
These wagons were often seen in long rakes as they took ballast to wherever trackwork required attention. They were so useful that BR didn’t finally get rid of the last ones until 1971, which made them some of the last pre-Grouping vehicles in operation in the Southern Region CCE’s mainland fleet.
Sadly, no Dia. 1744 ballast wagons survived into preservation.
However, because they used the standard SECR underframe (as modelled on our five- and seven-plank open wagons), the Bluebell Railway has re-created one, No. 567, using the chassis from a seven-plank open and original works drawings.
The Rapido Trains UK SECR Dia. 1744 ballast wagons boast an impressive spec:
• Two types of floor planking
• Split-spoked wheels running in metal bearings
• NEM coupling pockets
• UK designed
• Fine detailed plastic bodies/chassis with metal parts