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GWR Toad A Goods Brake Van No. 17410

Page updated on: 02/07/18


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The Charitable Trust has received (at July 7th 2017) £7,275 in donations for its appeal to restore the Toad to an authentic running condition. The LNER Carriage Group is carrying out the work on behalf of the Trust, which owns the van.

Further donations and offers to sponsor some of the many essential component parts are very welcome. 

Both types of donation will attract Gift Aid, which the Trust can claim on your behalf, if you are a taxpayer. This will boost your original donation by a further 25%, at no extra cost to you.

Please download a Toad donation form to add your support to this very worthwhile project. If you would like to sponsor one of the components, choose an item from the list of parts and add its name to your form before you return it to the Trust.  

Click on the gallery for uncropped images of the work. More images are on the Carriage Fund's website page.


July 2nd 2018 - Operational

Thanks to all involved in the restoration; craftsmen, sponsors, donors and general dogsbodies, 17410 entered traffic at the Goods Gala as south end brakevan of the unfitted goods train hauled by 2857 where it seems to have performed as expected. On 13th June it worked Bewdley to Kidderminster and return with under restoration GWR carriage 5043, which required turning on the turntable. A few days later, in company with a few other wagons it moved to Highley for use in connection with "1940's Weekend". Hopefully it'll emerge unscathed from beneath the camouflage netting and resume its duties within the SVR fleet, as a fitted brakevan.

Guards may be intrigued to see, opposite their luxuriously uholstered seat and in pink lettering, the vehicle number "17410" and  "CARDIFF". This is an accurate copy, expertly done by Emma Harrison, of lettering found there during restoration. Was this its first allocation?

May 16th 2018

A considerable amount of mechanical work was found necessary, and 17410 was lifted off its wheels. The spring hanger links and bolts were found very badly worn, and in need of replacement. An urgent need for funding produced an instant response and all were sponsored. After reassembly the complete vehicle visited the wheel lathe at Bristol HST Depot, where the tyres were turned to remove the large number of flats and the restore the correct profile. The vacuum brake cylinder was re-fitted, and the brakes made to work correctly. "Finishing Touches" included lettering, replacing the footboards and adding fittings such as guard's seat and coat hooks. 17410 is expected in traffic shortly.

March 17th 2018

The LNER Carriage Fund & LNER Carriage Group Newsletter no. 68 asks for your help please

January 6th 2018 

Toad 17410 left Bewdley Down yard this morning on its way to mechanical workshops for repairs that hopefully, because the brake linkage has already been "bushed and pinned", will just consist of tyre turning to remove flats, fitting of the refurbished vacuum brake cylinder on its new trunnions, new brake blocks and final adjustment. The first stage of its journey was short, it went as far as Platform 3, where it joined an impressive lineup of brakevans stored for the winter. 
As part of the move, GWR bow ended Third 5043, the forthcoming Wheelchair/Buffet was moved to a more convenient position, in the yard, for restoration. Mike Cranmore's photos illustrate the move.

Richard Gunning

November 22nd 2017 

On November 7th a shunt took place at Bewdley down yard, during which 17410 was moved into a new position visible from the car park. LNER Group volunteer Dave Chown took the attached photo just before the move. One of the outstanding jobs was the overhaul of the sliding band vacuum brake cylinder. Mike Cranmore has recently been dismantling, cleaning and painting it. The casing is primed & waiting the grey coat, the cylinder bore has been cleaned & just needs the final smoothing with fine scotchbrite. With luck Thursday should see this part of the job finished. Mike sent three photos (added). The cylinder will then be reassembled with new seals, tested and when proved to be operating satisfactorily, certificated for use.
Richard Gunning

October 28th 2017  

By 2016 when the LNER Group volunteers began work on 17410, most of the original fabric of the stove was, thanks to heavy use and the lack of a refractory lining, cracked, distorted and corroded to the point of being fit only for scrap. Thanks to a generous donation from a regular supporter, we were able to accept a quotation from a local engineering firm to refurbish it, with a new body and grate, whilst the damper, top, base and chimney connection were refurbished. New ashpan, chimney and roof protecting ring were also required. To prevent the new stove becoming scrap as soon as a fire was lit, a refractory concrete lining to the original pattern was cast around the fire space and this had to be "cured", a process which involved gradual heating to working temperature over several hours to drive out excess water without cracking the concrete. After a week at ambient, gentle heat was applied for 3 days using a 100Watt lightbulb. The first fire was lit on October 26th, taking 4 hrs to bring it up to working temperature, after which it was left to cool. Inspection the next morning shewed no cracking; success!

Mike Cranmore and Richard Hill have sent the pictures showing the wonderful scumbling by Dave Massey, the new and now working stove, the operating handbrake and work proceeding to install the vacuum brake ‘setter’.

Richard Gunning and Richard Hill

October 11th 2017 

Richard Hill has kindly made the attached selection of pictures available. They show Toad 17410 as on October 9th. With the roof now complete and thanks to some recent very generous sponsorship of the stove, desk and guard's seat (safely stored elsewhere) the vehicle is now largely complete, with just a locker lid to fit and four sandbox covers to make and fit. Once done it just needs painting inside and out before a visit to a wheel lathe to profile the tyres and remove flats. The routine overhaul and return of the vacuum cylinder, brake linkage adjustment and the still to be sourced new footboards should complete the job.

Richard Gunning

October 1st 2017 (edited)

17410 is progressing nicely, the last set of her brake gear is ready to go back on the wagon, that leaves just a couple of bits for us to do to the brakes then it'll be time for the wagon group to crack on with something else.

The LNERCG, who are working on this wagon, have been making an ashpan for the stove in their Toad. Image added.

SVR Wagons Facebook and National Preservation forum

September 4th 2017

After a month of intensive activity we can report that all the major structural work is finished. All the cabin sidewalls and the roof have been rebuilt with new Douglas Fir planks, or in a few places by reusing good original planks-occasionally in their original locations. In accordance with the traditional practice standard to the SVR, a waterproof canvass has been fited over the roof planks, well bedded in with a proprietary compound consisting of chalk dust, linseed oil and some kind of binding agent. 
17410 remains to be fitted out internally, painted inside and out, the brakegear overhaul completed and the tyres turned to remove flats. 

Richard Gunning

August 6th 2017

The third set of brake gear is back under 17410 (much to the relief of the lads) although, probably to their annoyance, it has been replaced by the fourth and final set which has been dropped off, dismantled for assessment, and the bushes hammered out of the drop links. Once more, these will get new bushes pushed in, cleaned and a coat of red oxide and then that part of the project will be finished.

National Preservation forum

July 31st 2017

Progress on 17410 has, this week, centred mainly around the North end walls. From the balcony they appear complete as the outer set of planks are now all shaped and bolted in position, and a start has been made on the inner set. Only the bottom four outer planks are new as there was some original material reclaimed from the sides that, between the bolt holes was in good condition. It was cut down for re-use here in short lengths. The original window frames needed only paint removal and cleaning before re-fitting with new bolts. Once the walls are finished the door will be refurbished. At the South end two steel strengthening strips have been cut and drilled prior to fitting to the planking beside the opening windows.
Dave Massey has provided three historical images of 17410 taken "about 1971" which record its first repaint at Bewdley from BR Bauxite to GWR grey. Also featured is "S&T 8718" which has now returned to its authentic guise as the "Cadbury's Van"
Richard Gunning

17410's third set of brake gear is ready and, hopefully, will go back on this Saturday (August 6th) with the final set dropped off.

National Preservation forum

July 22nd 2017
There's now some more visible progress on Toad 17410. With both sides fully boarded it became possible to rebuild the ends. This work was in progress on the 'Peep Behind the Scenes' day, but the south (outside) end is now substantially complete, being fully boarded and with the previously constructed replacement windows and refurbish hatch now installed and working freely. Only the fitting of some trim, followed by stopping and painting is still to be done at this end.
Assembly of the north end has not yet started. Its been partially dismantled for the fitting of replacement lower planks. Its hoped to retain at least some of the original upper planks. The fixed window frames at that end need very little work, beyond new bolts, screws and replacement safety glass. A GWR 'Toad' mortise lock is required, the original having disappeared many years ago.

Richard Gunning

July 9th 2017

A July 2017 update has been loaded on the SVR Wagons website.

July 7th 2017

The amount raised so far through the appeal in the name of the Charitable Trust, including Gift Aid, is £7,275.

July 6th 2017

An update from Richard Gunning. At Bewdley the LNER Group's 'chippies' have finished planking the Toad's cabin sides and started the end.

There's an article on work on this van in the LNERCF & LNERCG newsletter no. 61

June 11th 2017

An update from Richard Gunning on the SVR Wiki.

The GWR drawing of the missing sanding gear has been located. It may prove possible to join with other Toad owners in a scheme to construct a batch of replacements. However evidence from other preserved Toads of this wartime series suggests that they may have been built without sanding gear.

In May 2017 the new floor was installed, made from 3" thick Douglas Fir tongue and groove boards. The planking for the side and roof repairs arrived later that month, and the first of several new side planks fitted on June 10th.

March 19th 2017

The Wagon Department now has a web site and a Facebook page which is visible to anyone. 

This page will continue to be updated, but with more references to updates on the webpage rather than repeating the information here.

March 14th 2017

17410 has now had another set of brake gear removed for cleaning and repair, and the worn out old bushes hammered out. We've had to remove the brake safety straps for this one, but this has allowed us access to repair a gash in one strap which looks suspiciously like a gas axe mark, possibly where it has been clumsily removed from either this wagon or another during an overhaul (possibly its last one for BR).

National Preservation forum.

March 10th 2017

The progress webpage of the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund and LNER Carriage Group has been updated with news and images of the Toad.   

Also, their Newsletter 59 is available to download.

Mike Cranmore

February 23rd 2017

The introduction has been updated above to show that at the current date, the Charitable Trust has received almost £4,000 in donations for its appeal.  to restore the Toad to an authentic running condition. Thank you for your support, and please download a Toad donation form to add further support to this very worthwhile project.

February 3rd 2017

The 'Overhauls' webpage of the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund and LNER Carriage Group has been updated with news and images of 17410. Also, their Newsletter 58 is available to download with further images of this van.

Mike Cranmore

January 22nd 2017

The second piece of 17410's brake gear has been getting some attention, by cleaning the drop links (Sometimes referred to as "Bones" owing to their shape) heating the large ends and hammering out the old bushes. These were not as badly worn as the first set, but they were also not as willing to come out either, much cursing, swearing and a lot of hammering later they were out. The plan with these is to do the bushes at the same time as doing some odd jobs on 55577's brakes in the machine shop, slotting all the odd jobs in in one or maybe two days, and handing over a pile of bits all ready to use in one go.

National Preservation

January 17th 2017

At the weekend an opportunity presented it's self to push the  brake gear forward a good step. Her first set of brake gear is now back in position, repaired and primed, and the second lot is in the van ready for us to work on.

National Preservation

December 19th 2016

Work on 17410 is progressing well, the weight boxes are going back together having being repaired and the steelwork of the body is receiving some electric glue in certain places. Underneath the wagon, work is progressing on the brakes, the repaired drop links are now primed and hanging up in 80982 drying off, as are the brake carriers, which having had a good clean up, were found to be in good order. Hopefully attention will turn to cleaning and painting the bow girder, which needs a good look at as there are a couple of interesting bends in it. These may well be deliberate as a crude form of adjustment (slightly shortening the straight parts by getting them hot and bending them) or as a result of wear and tear, which will of course dictate not only the method of repair but also if we bother to repair it at all (If it is an adjustment bend, we may be better leaving it alone). There is a provisional date for this loco going to Kidderminster to have her wheels taken out and the tyres sent off for a skim in summer 2017.

National Preservation

December 4th, 2016

Bewdley Wagon Group removed the first bow-girder and its associated brake blocks and drop links. The old bushes on the drop links were in a poor state but seemed determined to cling to life. They heated the offending ends in the stove and swift action with a "biffing stick" soon removed the old bushes. The holes on the damaged ends of the first pair have been trued up and the first drop link has its new bushes in place. The gallery has an image showing the drop link and the remains of the old bushes. The Group will now repair the second link of the pair. In addition, they have made the last of the new brake pins.

National Preservation forum

(Corrected December 5th)

November 19th and 25th, 2016

Richard Gunning added new images and descriptions to the SVR Wiki page.

Fortunately the steelwork at the van end seems to be mostly restorable, and after emptying many broken drawhooks and worn out brake blocks from the sandboxes and ballast bin (under the windows and hatch), the rust and life expired end section of kerb rail were removed. The floor plate (and hence the end of the body) had been lifted about half an inch by rust scale, and after its removal the said plate was seam welded to the headstock to prevent a repetition.

New underfloor steel plates have been made which strengthen the end whilst supporting the sanding gear, vacuum cylinder and the handbrake pillar. New side panels have been straightened, and received further attention from our volunteer welders to seal the joint with the kerb rail against water ingress. The new side doors have been made to close correctly.

October 31st, 2016

Work has continued on 17410, the collection of new parts for the brake gear is coming together nicely, hopefully in the next month or so we can start removing the worn out bits from the van herself (Ian Hollis). 

The LNER (SVR) Coach Fund and LNER Carriage Group Newsletter 56 is available to download.

October 20th, 2016

The LNER Carriage Group website has been updated with further images and news of the work. The rotten floor has been removed, allowing the ballast bins to be emptied, cleaned, strengthened and refilled. The veranda was found to be life expired and has been dismantled prior to rebuilding with new steel side, end and underfloor support plates, kerb rails and corner posts, with the rest of the framework refurbished. Restoration of the roof and cabin, which will require much new woodwork, will commence once the veranda is substantially complete.

There is a Funding Appeal and List of Items Available for Sponsorship as of October 2016.

(Mike Cranmore).

New veranda side and end plates,underfloor support plates, kerb rails and corner posts were made and fitted by Mawley Engineering Ltd between 18-20th October 2016 to replace the thoroughly rotten originals. However the very prominent waist level angle irons, the two vertical "T" sections at the end, and the two side door slam posts were in good condition and have been refurbished and re-used. The new structure was seal welded to prolong its life expectancy, but volunteers have commenced the time consuming job of drilling the new steelwork for snap head rivets which will maintain the authentic look.

(Richard Gunning, SVR Wiki)

October 15th, 2016 - New corner angle posts have been pressed from flat plate by Mawley Engineering, Kidderminster. Centre T posts have been repaired (Graham Phillips).

October 8th, 2016 - More repairs to uprights on 17410. Old welds and slag inclusions ground out. Rewelded, extra holes filled and all ground down flat again (Graham Phillips).


October 6th, 2016 - A heavy job completed in early October was the emptying, cleaning, strengthening, painting and re-filling of all eight underfloor ballast bins.

New veranda side and end plates, underfloor support plates, kerb rails and corner posts are due to be made and fitted by a contractor in October 2016 to replace the thoroughly rotten originals. However the very prominent waist level angle irons, the two vertical "T" sections at the end, and the two side door slam posts are in good condition and are being refurbished for re-use (Richard Gunning, SVR Wiki).

September 26th, 2016

The LNER Carriage Group website has been updated with further images and news of the work.

September 24th, 2016

Both cast coupling hook guides are cracked. One has been removed and will be used as a pattern to fabricate new ones in steel.

(Update from Graham Phillips, SVR Unofficial Facebook page)

September 13th, 2016

The LNER Carriage Group website has been updated with images of the work.

Work continues with the ballast boxes, de-rusting and replacement badly corroded steel, making of replacement doors and windows and painting the buffer beam and buffers. Replacement veranda doors and cabin windows have been made and fitted. Five of the eight ballast bins have now been emptied, cleaned, de-rusted and painted, the ballast then cleaned and returned. The bases of the cabin doorposts were found to be badly corroded and new sections have been fabricated and fitted. Buffers and buffer beam on the veranda end have been cleaned and painted

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