LMS Route: Stratford Midland Junction - The Shakespeare
E&WJR and SMJ - Locomotives and Rolling Stock:
A Midland Railway Banana Van, of the type used on the
Avonmouth to St Pancras trains routed over the SMJ Broom Junction to Ravenstone
Wood line. This example is No 109858 built to Diagram D387 and constructed as
part of lot 724 in 1909. Bananas were unloaded from ships is an unripe 'green'
condition and shipped in specially built vans which were both insulated and
fitted with steam heating coils. The heating was applied as the train made its
way to St Pancras and began, or accelerated, the ripening process. In 1905 the
Midland Railway company ordered a 225 8 ton Banana vans. These wagons were
built by the Midland Railway, in Derby. They were similar to the standard
Midland design but they had twin cupboard doors rather than the sliding one of
the Midland. In addition the vans had two vents in each end.