- There was a previous Van 3 that was dismantled in 1955, more details can be found here.
Harbour Station, first day of service 11th Oct 2014.
|Type||4-wheel Brake ‘Sentry box’|
|Status||In service, Heritage Fleet|
|Built||2013-4 (1863 design)|
The current Van 3 is a replica of the first type of passenger brake van, the four-wheeled 'Sentry-box' type, so-called because of the small shelter for the guard on the otherwise-open platform at the downhill end. In the early days the passenger trains would gravitate down the line under control of the Guard on the front platform.
It may be seen that there is a door between the platform and the body of the van. This is almost invisible when closed and is not believed to be a feature of the vans as originally built - it has been included in the replica as an operational convenience. The fact that the Guard can only board at one side must have been awkward at some stations, but the original Birmingham carriages with their longitudinal knifeboard seats also required access from both sides.
The original carriages were not vacuum fitted. The replica is for operational reasons. It has batteries fitted for lighting. The vacuum setter is from the Vale of Rheidol from where the FR acquired many brake fittings when they converted from vacuum to air.