VCA Van is welcomed into the NWPG

In February, we were contacted by a rail employee, enthusiast and wagon owner. He offered us the permanent loan of his wagon, in exchange for our assistance with its restoration.

The wagon was moved just days before the UK's lockdown came in to force in April and the wagon has seen some progress in its repairs and restoration, subject to strict observation of the rules of social distancing, which means that the majority of the restoration work has been carried out by two Chasewater volunteers and our very own Owen (NWPG), Alex (Chasewater) and Chris (Chasewater). Props to you gents, you absolute legends.

History of this wagon:

VCA Van 200406, latterly ZRA 024988 internal user at Derby RTC

This wagon was one of 1400, built between 1969 and 1978 and were BR's first general-purpose air-braked vans., Their main use being on the new Air-Braked Network (later Speedlink) services.

With general merchandise traffic in short supply, transfers to departmental use commenced in the early 1980s. Most affected was the VCA fleet, with 63 examples becoming ZRAs with ADC prefixes, leaving only 48 VCAs exempt from these conversions.

We would like to say a special thanks to the team at Chasewater Railway who have allowed the vehicle to find it's forever home. In return the wagon will be used by Chasewater as part of photo charters and demonstration freights.

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