Diagram 17A 4-wheel 20ton Goods Brake Van
As shown in the photograph and drawing below, this design with its external planking marks a
major change from previous designs. This change is in line with the changes to covered van designs, for example, D87 which
marks the retirement of Mr J.W. Emmett in 1903 and the arrival of Mr H.D. Earl at Earlestown as Wagon Superintendent. The
drawing, Earlestown GA 848 dated 26.10.10. shows the 4-wheel van with a body 18ft long by 7ft 8½in wide on a 10ft wheelbase.
It is externally planked with 6½ by 1in planks.
The livery would have been the post-1908 style with both diamonds and the 16in high letters LNWR on both sides. For vans repainted after about 1914 the diamonds would have been omitted, but of course the progress of these changes would be slow rather than immediate.
The dates of introduction of the D17A design are not recorded in the surviving data. However, from remaining evidence it is reasonable to assert that the D17A design would have been the only design in production from 1910 until the end of 1916. Consequently, according to the building and withdrawal data, 468 of the D17A type Brake Vans were built during this same period. Since 406 D16s were scrapped during this time, about 400 of the D17A type vans would have been renewals and therefore would have taken the earlier numbers of the vehicles they replaced. The extra 60 vehicles of the D17A type would have taken new numbers from the top of the list which by 1916 had reached about 1800. The numbers on record for D17A types are 10, 94, 102, 211, 297, 302, 354, 392, 394, 529, 720, 723, 1156, 1214, 1781, 1800 all of which seem to fit into the scenario outlined above.
Rail Archive Neg. no. N2394
The illustration of the D17A type described above is a photograph in LMS livery dating from 1933. These vans were introduced during Mr H.D. Earl's reign as Wagon Superintendent at Earlestown and the similarity with the covered van designs, D87 & 88, which he had also introduced, is clearly visible. The framing was now externally planked and the six wheels had been discarded in favour of four with clasp brakes on each which in turn simplified the brake rigging. The small windows and end construction remained similar to before, but oil filled axle-boxes with 9in by 4½in axle journals were fitted from new. The full length foot-boards were retained and the buffer casting were strengthened by the addition of a single rib on the outside. These vans would have been commonplace on the company system from about 1910 until the grouping. All were transfered to the LMS and probably ran in revenue service until the 1940s. They would never have carried the earlier 'diamonds only' livery, but could have been seen in either of the two later liveries: the diamonds plus large LNWR or, after 1916, in similar style but minus the diamonds. The LMS changed the cast iron numberplate to their own sideways 'D' style and in some cases repeated the 28xxxx number in a box at the top of the central panel à la Midland, as shown in the photograph.
K.A. Werrett Model Railway News page 400, 1960
Note the great difference between the style of this D17A van, introduced in 1910, compared with the two previous designs. The external planking is in keeping with the Covered Vans introduced just previously by Mr H.D. Earl who had succeeded Mr J.W. Emmett as Wagon Superintendent in 1903. The clasp breaks on all four wheels are hand operated from a hand wheel on the veranda. The livery shown would be the preferred version for these vans.