GSWR Plough Van 8452

At a glance:

Builder:Great Southern & Western Railway (Inchicore Works)
Build date:1906
Original company:Great Southern & Western Railway
Withdrawal date:1979
Final company:Córas Iompair Éireann
Arrived at DCDR:1990
Current status:Operational
Current owner:DCDR

8452 is one of several ballast plough vans built by the Great Southern & Western Railway in 1906. Plough vans were essentially normal brake vans, but with a large plough beneath the underframe. They were an essential part of ballast trains, where they would travel at the rear behind the hoppers and evenly spread the stones they were dropping on the tracks.

Though some of its sister plough vans would continue in service until as late as 2012, 8452 was withdrawn in 1979 and placed in storage at Mullingar. It was later preserved by Westrail, who moved the wagon to their base at Tuam in 1986 and restored it, before selling it to us in 1990 when it was moved to Downpatrick.

8452 played an important role in the construction of the Inch Abbey extension, offering both a brake van and covered crew accommodation for our works trains. Today it is used mainly around Halloween time, when it and a covered van containing a generator are stabled out at Magnus Grave to power the ghostly display there.