kesrwagons012

This brake van entered service on the South Eastern Railway in July 1898. When built it was thought to be a great advance over the earlier 10 ton vans. The unfitted goods trains working over the sharply graded routes of the South Eastern required either two 10-ton brake vans or one 20-ton whenever the load exceed half that authorised for the route. The brake van is 17 ft 6ins long, built to diagram 1558 and has six wheels. It became Southern Railway Nº. 55371 until sold in 1946 to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. When the RAE's branch railway was closed in 1965 the van was purchased for use on the K&ESR. It was restored in the late 1970's, overhauled in 1986 and again fully refurbished during 1996/97. It is presently finished in SECR grey livery and fitted with through vacuum piping to allow it to work with mixed trains. Evidence uncovered during the 1996/97 overhaul indicated that Nº. 103 was originally single ended, the ‘Headcorn end' balcony probably having been added in the early years of the 20th century.