|VA, VX, and VU Class eyesight testing van|
The eyesight of Railway workers is very important. Good eyesight is absolutely essential for footplatemen as they need to be able to see signals in any sort of weather or lighting conditions.
In 1912 Midland Workshops built a van designed to tour the system so that eyesight tests could be carried out. It was initially numbered VA9700. In 1936 it was reclassified VX9700 and then in 1967 VU9700. Finally in 1970 it was downgraded to a workmen's van and reclassified VW9700.