This vehicle was built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Ltd. in 1930 as a Southern Railway cattle wagon. The railway lost most animal traffic to road haulage during the 1950s, and so the wagon became available for conversion.
The change from steam traction to diesels in the early 1960s meant changes to the method of carriage warming, which had universally been achieved using steam piped from the locomotive. In fact, many of the first generation of diesel locomotives were fitted with a steam boiler, but the long term solution was to convert carriages from steam to electric heating. Inevitably, there was an extended change-over period.
While steam heated carriages remained, these had to be preheated before going into service, and diesel locomotives and crews could not be spared for extended stationary heating duties, in the way that steam locomotives had been used. Hence a number of boiler vans were built, by conversion of older stock, fitted with steam boilers fired by diesel oil.
Boiler Vans were located at strategic locations throughout Scotland. This van was formerly used at Craigentinny Carriage Sidings, Edinburgh.