Rapido Trains UK has unleashed the iconic V6 'Iron Mink' design from the Great Western Railway's Swindon wagon drawing office - and it is here to stay! This eye-catching railway car stands out amongst its peers, and now with Rapido Train’s help you can own a piece of history.
What set these wagons apart from the rest was that instead of crafting them with traditional wooden materials, manufacturers chose to use metal instead.
Lack of timber left the GWR no choice but to explore using metal for their vans, and in 1888 finally saw the birth of what became known as the 'standard Iron Mink'.
This boasted a 16ft 6in underframe and a capacity of 8 tons. Over 4,000 were built up to 1901 when the GWR reverted to wood bodies.
The 'Iron Minks' were incredibly resilient, evident by the fact that some of them remained active in both revenue and Departmental service even up until British Railways.
These marvellous wagons roamed throughout the United Kingdom's rail system, extending as far north as Inverness.
‘Iron Mink’ withdrawals started in the 1930s and continued through to the mid-1960s.
Despite being withdrawn from service, many of the vans found alternate uses such as sawdust and sand vans in depots, lamp rooms and tool stores.
It is fortunate that four fully preserved Iron Minks, as well as several van bodies, have been kept in excellent condition at the Severn Valley Railway, Didcot Railway Centre, Swindon and Cricklade and South Devon Railway.