Watercress Line

Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update

Our priority during the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak, and the railway's closure, is on meeting our running costs. We need around £75,000 per month. Without this income, within a relatively short period we will exhaust our reserves which are so important us for our long term plans.

Although these are difficult times for all of us, we are asking you to consider providing financial support to the railway. With your support, ideally through a monthly standing order, the railway can be in a safe and good position to move forward rapidly when circumstances allow.

The amount is up to you as everyone’s circumstances are different, but please give as generously as you can. One-off donations would also be welcomed.

Thank you.

Visit our donation page to make a monthly gift or donate a single amount.

You can also text WATERCRESS to 70085 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message.

Home » Rolling Stock » Wagons

W2960 Milk Tank

Status Operational


The milk tank is numbered W 2960 was was built in 1943 by the Great Western Railway at Swindon. So it is exactly 70 years old.

The tank holds 3,00 gallons of milk and these were sent up each day (either as a block train of milk tanks or attached to passenger trains) from the west Country to depots in the London area. With no refrigeration equipment the milk needed to be moved quickly before it went off. Before they were next loaded the tanks had to be thoroughly cleaned out and sterilised.

All milk traffic on BR ceased by about 1980 as the traffic had dwindled due to competitive road distribution and refrigeration.

Following this most milk tanks were scrapped, but some were kept for internal use at BR depots, and in this case W 2960 ended up at Immingham loco depot and used for storing waste oil.

Our tank arrived on the railway earlier this year and is currently under restoration. It is planned to use it for water storage at Ropley, but it will also be available to be attached to passenger trains from time to time.


Built at
Great Western Railway, Swindon
Build year
Transportation of milk.
From the West Country to London
By 1980


3,000 gallons of milk