Tarpaulins for Open Wagons

Supporting an authentic 1940s military train

New Tarpaulins for two restored open wagons

At the beginning of 2018 a group of WSR volunteers were working to restore two open wagons for use in an authentic WWII goods train. The wagons required tarpaulins to preserve them and secure their loads.  The volunteers approached the WSRA for help with funding and a crowd funding campaign was launched to pay for two new canvas tarpaulins.  The money was raised within 48 hours.

The tarpaulins were supplied in dark olive 16 oz Cotton Duck, the authentic material for covered wagons and have the dual purpose of sheeting down the load and also keeping the wagons aired and dried, preserving the restored finish.   The restoration provided two typical open wagons to make up an authentic  military freight train which was introduced at the Spring Steam Gala 2018. The Train was hauled by S160 USTC 2-8-0 locomotive, funded by the WSR plc.

WWII is on the curriculums of both junior and senior schools. The WSR owns a typical military brake van and several authentic wagons as well as several ‘replicas’ (newer wagons but of the same appearance). With the arrival of the S160 which is an authentic locomotive of the war period (several examples of these locomotives were shedded at Plymouth during the war and photographic evidence exists of S160s pulling freight trains through Taunton) a representative train could be recreated to demonstrate the logistics of moving military equipment.

The Wagon Restoration team of volunteers completed the restoration work and the tarpaulins were purchased to preserve the restoration and safeguard the loads they carry on the railway, demonstrating how equipment was moved around the country.

It is hoped to re-create the military goods train for use during the West Somerset Railway's first 1940s weekend on 15 and 16 September 2018.

wagon prep 005 (crop)

One of the wagons before restoration


Volunteers working to restore the wagons

Tarps on wagons

The two restored open wagons with their new tarpaulins

Supporting the Heritage of The West Somerset Railway