The Civil Engineering department’s humble ballast train is often overlooked by modellers. However, without the track being maintained in tip-top condition, there’d be nowhere for those more glamorous trains to run.

Rapido Trains UK rectifed this situation with this, an all-new ‘OO’ gauge model of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway’s two-plank ballast wagon. Our model is vital to the backbone of any railway operation. The SECR introduced the first in 1919 and 120 were built over the next four years, the last being completed by the newly formed Southern Railway (which allocated them the diagram number 1744).

These wagons were often seen in long rakes as they took ballast to wherever trackwork required attention. They were so useful that BR didn’t finally get rid of the last ones until 1971, which made them some of the last pre-Grouping vehicles in operation in the Southern Region CCE’s mainland fleet.


During their long lives, they carried a wide range of liveries including SECR grey, SR Engineer’s red (with two different lettering styles) and BR Engineer’s black.

Sadly, no Dia. 1744 ballast wagons survived into preservation. However, because they used the standard SECR underframe (as modelled on our five- and seven-plank open wagons), the Bluebell Railway has re-created one, No. 567, using the chassis from a seven-plank open and original works drawings.

These items have now sold out direct from Rapido Trains UK.

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