Carriage Conundrums

GWR/BR Mink D / Fruit D ENPARTS Vans mystery

   ENPARTS VAN ADW198 at Swindpon Works on 19th May 1979. This had been converted from GWR Mink D 28919.   Keith Gunner
   ENPARTS Van TDW206 at Cardiff Canton on 26th June 1973. This has clearly been converted from a BR/GWR Fruit D but what was its former identity?   Rail On line

The GWR had quite a number of what are now referred to as departmental or service stock numbering series each starting at 1. The numbers were often re-used if a vehicle was scrapped or replaced. This happened in 1947 when nine ENPARTS Vans numbered 198-206 that had been converted in 1944 from Open Siphons were replaced with nine Mink D's. These Mink D conversions continued to be used until the 1970s. In 1955 a further Mink D was converted to an ENPARTS Van. By then BR practice was to add a 'D' prefix to the number of any wagon taken into service stock rather than re-number it. Details of these ten are given below:-

ENPARTS NumberMink D NumberComments
DW19828919Condemned p12/78 - Seen Swindon Works 19/5/79.
DW19928890Condemned p10/76
DW20028843Condemned p2/80 (See below)
DW20128871Condemned p2/80 (See below)
DW20228933Condemned p10/78
DW20328866Condemned p11/78
DW20428833Condemned p10/76 - Seen Swindon Works 19/5/79. Subsequently preserved at Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway, then to Llangollen Railway, then to Cambrian Railway Trust, Llynclys, then to Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway.
DW20528911Condemned p2/80 (See below)
DW20628874Condemned p2/80 (See below)
DW2879728797Condemned p10/78 - Seen Swindon Works 19/5/79, 1/3/80. Believed disposed of to Woodham, Barry 6/80 (tbc)
In later years an 'A' (CM&EE) or 'T' (Traffic) prefix was added to the service stock number of the survivors.

In the late 1960's and early 1970's a a number of GWR design Fruit C's and Fruit D's were added to the ENPARTS Van fleet. All were renumbered into the appropriate number series applicable at the time for coaching stock transferred to service stock (e.g, - 2893 became DW150423, 3466 became DB975164).

However, this does not explain TDW206, pictured above, at Cardiif Canton in 1973. This is clearly converted from a Fruit D not a Mink D! In addition the bodies of two Fruit D's have turned up on South Wales farms numbered ADW200 & ADW201, identified on examination to have originally been 92106 & 92068 withdrawn in 1971 & 1974 respectively! The mystery deepens when the book 'BR General Parcels Rolling Stock - A Pictorial Survey' is consulted as this contains a picture of DW201 taken at Swindon in 1969. The van pictured though is clearly a Mink D!

A possible explanation is that for a period in the 1970's the GWR practice of re-using numbers of condemned service stock for their replacements was revived. Consequently several of the Enparts Vans converted from Mink D were replaced with recently condemned Fruit D's.

It does appear that three, if not four, ENPARTS Vans condemned in p2/80 were by then Fruit D conversions rather than Mink D conversions. These four, along with ADB975164 (converted from Fruit D 3466) were apparently despatched to Woodhams, Barry for scrap in 6/80. Clearly Woodhams then sold on the bodies of some, if not all of these. Those of ADW200 (ex 92106) and ADB975164 (ex 3466) are located behind Fairview, Peterstone Wentlooge, Newport (ST256796) and that of ADW201 (ex 92068) is located in a field at Fair View, Peterstone Wentlooge, Newport (ST302838) along with two other Fruit D bodies, one of these being identified as 92075. Could 92075 and the other unidentified one have once been DW205 and TDW206?

Research currently under way into Fruit D disposals being undertaken by John Hall has highlighted four possible contenders for conversion to ENPARTS Vans. These are 92043, 92068, 92075 and 92106 all of which were last known to be located at Swindon Works from where they were disposed but no further trace can be found. It is known that 92068 became DW201 and 92106 became DW200 is it possible then that 92043 and 92075 became DW205 and DW206?

Any help or comments which might help resolve this mystery would be very much welcomed.

Photographs and other information will be welcomed by Peter Hall

last updated: 13/10/15