Wooden-bodied parcel van. Wooden-bodied parcel van. Wooden-bodied parcel van.
Wooden-bodied parcel van.

NB023 Southern Railway CCT.
Wooden-bodied parcel van.
Malachite green with yellow lettering
and grey roof.


The Southern Railway came into being on January 1st 1923, as a result of the 'Grouping' by which the government of the day forcibly amalgamated all the existing independent railway companies into four semi-nationalised regions. ( The other three were the London Midland & Scottish, the London & North Eastern, and the largely unchanged Great Western. ) The Southern, which was the smallest of the four, took over pretty much all of the lines south of London other than those in the West Country run by the GWR. In the process it inherited a fleet of antiquated passenger and goods vehicles in desperate need of replacement, which led to the introduction of a new generation of rolling stock for a new era. The long-wheelbase Covered Carriage Truck, or CCT, was a modern parcels van designed to run at high speed in express passenger trains, and was painted up in the appropriate coaching stock livery so as to look the part. It was equally at home clanking along in traditional van trains, where it could find itself coupled up to rather scruffier vehicles. CCTs would often run in through trains to destinations beyond the Southern's boundaries, so they were a familiar sight in GWR territory and even further afield. The Southern was absorbed into the new British Railways twenty-five years to the day after its creation, but the CCTs were still going strong three decades later, testament to the robustness of the design and the quality of the construction.

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