NIR Flat Wagons 713 and C505

At a glance:

Builder:Ulster Transport Authority (Duncrue Street Works)
Build date:1951
Original company:Ulster Transport Authority
Withdrawal date:1991
Final company:Northern Ireland Railways
Arrived at DCDR:1991
Current status:Operational
Current owner:DCDR

DCDR has two of these flat wagons – 713 and C505. They are used by our Permanent Way Department to transport the loads that are just too big for the Dumper and its trailer. Both flat wagons started out life as carriages under the Ulster Transport Authority, though NIR would remove the body from one in the early 1980s, leaving the underframe as C505. It was then used by NIR on Permanent Way trains until the late 1990s, when it was acquired by us in anticipation of the Inch Abbey extension.

Our other flat wagon, 713, arrived at Downpatrick as a complete carriage but its body was unfortunately destroyed in an arson attack. It was one of three coaches built in Derby by the LMS for the NCC in 1926, and was originally numbered 66. It became UTA 278 in 1959, and was converted to a 70 class driving trailer in 1968; it gained open seating in 1977. Following withdrawn in 1984, it was partially converted to an ‘exhibition coach’ by NIR before arriving at Downpatrick in 1991. We used it for several years as our ‘Santa’s Grotto’ for our Christmas trains. On Boxing Day of 2002, would-be thieves set fire to our station building and 713, having been stabled outside it, became caught up in the inferno. With the body wrecked beyond saving, we reluctantly removed the charred remains and have used 713 as a flat wagon ever since.