Mystery Photographs


Tool Van photographed at Dumfries 03/03/1966

contributed by: Douglas A McNaught on 24 November 2018

I wonder if anyone can help identify this photograph of a 6-wheeled Tool Van which I took at Dumfries shed on 3 March 1966? My notes show that it was built in 1885, but foolishly I did not record at which works. I am very interested in discovering its company of origin, which type of vehicle it was built as and when it might have been converted to Tool Van use. The footboarding suggests to me that it might have started life as a Brake Third, and my guess is that the conversion is most likely to have taken place during LMS days. Something which sticks strongly in my mind is that it was a Works from south of the border either Derby or Crewe. If I were to be pushed into passing an opinion, I would suggest that it was of Midland origin, but I am no expert on pre-Grouping coaching stock. Of course, my very strong memory that it was English could be a figment of my imagination. On the original print the number of the van is readable as DM354986.


contributed by: Jim Smellie on 25 November 2018

I would suggest that the footboarding is a red-herring. Footboards would have been added or altered to suit during and/or subsequent to conversion based on need. There are definite Drummond overtones to the vehicle and given the panel width between windows I would suggest that at least the second compartment from each end was originally a 1st class one. While I don't have knowledge of G&SWR stock, the only vehicles I can see as being suitable candidates in the ex-Caledonian fleet are a batch of 4 lavatory composites to D13A (big book). The floor plan of these coaches shows it is not too much of a stretch to believe the connection. Unfortunately I don't know of any photos of these vehicles. To my mind panelling style rules out the LNWR (which in any case would have the works given as Wolverton, not Crewe) and also the Highland and L&Y. While it could be of Midland origin I can't see anything suitable in either David Jenkinson's books or in Lacy & Dow. Caledonian

Caledonian Railway D13A floorplan

contributed by: Peter Tatlow on 27 November 2018

If you have access to G Dow/R Lacey's Midland Rly Carriages, Vol 2, p435, I think you will find a matching photo. This shows MSJS No. 49, a 6-wh 31 ft luggage composite at Kilmarnock Works, while Vol 1, p108 has a diagram of the MR equivalent. Note the unequal width to the luggage doors! No. DM354986 will be in the LMS departmental series. MSJS

MSJS No. 49


MR D516 Outline diagram and floorplan

What can you add?

If you can add any information to the above or if you have a photograph or drawing you would like help in identifying please send it on to me either by email or to the address below. Please respect the copyright of anything you contribute.

Bob Essery