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Private owners wagons during BR period


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Coal wagons had been effectively in national ownership since the beginning of the war and most had not been painted since. However some were excluded from this (mainly for specific traffics, for example salt wagons), and labelled 'non pool'.

Edited by Il Grifone
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To be a little more specific.

 

'The' UK private owner wagon massively represented in OO model production is the mineral wagon for coal traffic. These were roughly 50% of the pre WWII UK wagon fleet. All such wagons in general coal traffic were effectively nationalised at the outbreak of war as already mentioned, and would remain so until withdrawn. Some survived until the 1960s, the later grey paint sometimes peeling enough to reveal a trace of what had been a PO livery if examined closely. However the all too common sight on a layout of a steam loco in BR late crest livery with brightly painted coal PO's in the train behind is a total fiction.

 

There were PO's still in service throughout the BR period: these were wagons for specialised traffics. Oil tankers are one example - clearly liveried for their owners in some of the style that had formerly been seen on the PO coal wagons - and less spectacularly iron ore wagons. These latter must have been the largest PO fleet on BR, but in general appearance they looked like mineral wagons owned by BR. But they were not, they were the property of the steel making concerns eventually nationalised as British Steel Corporation. Look at these wagons and they are numbered for their ownership completely differently from BR's stock, carry 'non-pool' and the two'C's (commuted charge) marks. These are PO's, but of a rather utilitarian aspect...

Edited by 34theletterbetweenB&D
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Stewarts and Lloyds had some slope-sided 16T(?) Mineral or Tippler wagons, certainly in the late 60s. Several of them came to grief at the back of Loughborough station in March or April 1966 when I spent my few weeks in Derby's breakdown gang.

The S&L, later BSCO, tipplers were still around when I went to Toton on an official visit at Easter time in 1972; there were two sorts of slope-sided ones, IIRC. Coal was carried in 16t ones, whilst others were rated at 26 or 27t, and were used for ironstone traffic.

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Frankly, my main reason for wanting to know this is that I have several private owners' wagons on my two 00 layouts. I usually run my layout in late-BR "mode" so I was wondering if it was correct to still run my private owners' wagons with BR stock! It seems that this is correct, although I realize that many of these would be very worn & weathered by the 1960s. Thanks again for this feedback. Rob

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Frankly, my main reason for wanting to know this is that I have several private owners' wagons on my two 00 layouts. I usually run my layout in late-BR "mode" so I was wondering if it was correct to still run my private owners' wagons with BR stock! It seems that this is correct, although I realize that many of these would be very worn & weathered by the 1960s. Thanks again for this feedback. Rob

 

Late BR mode would be in the 1990s, and I don't think that is what you mean. Unfortunately, the commonly modelled RCH standard Private Trader wagons were nationalised.As others have said, repainting of the enormous fleet of ex Private Trader wagons was not usually carried out, so the lettering faded away - although c1958 BTC was so depressed with the appearance of these wagons they asked for them to be painted.

There were tens of thousands of more specialist privately owned wagons which were not nationalised. The coal carrying fleet of slope sided tipplers have been modelled by Bachmann - there is a new pre-TOPS set available from Modelzone.

 

Paul Bartlett

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With a massive back log of work to undertake after 1945, I doubt if the common and garden coal wagon got much attention apart from the replacement of damaged planks with unpainted planks to keep them in traffic. So to summarise, private owner coal wagons in the early 1950s carried thier old liveries with parts of the previous owners names missing because of repairs. Brand new wooden mineral wagons were left unpainted too incidently. Once BR standard grey was applied (probably post 1953 by which time BR was tackling the odds and sods), the ex PO wagons were identified with a 'P' before the running number.

 

I should add I am only going off what I saw at the time in the yards around Oldham and Duckinfield.

Edited by coachmann
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It can also depend on how much research you want to do; there's (I think) quite a well known example in the 'Vauxhall' colliery wagons which Slaters (and possibly Cambrian) did. Vauxhall Colliery apparently closed down in the 1920s so these would be an anachronism even on a 1930s layout, let alone post war. Wagon condition varied enormously - the best collection of photos I can think of, even if you don't look at his (fantastic) modelling tips, is in John Hayes' The 4mm Coal Wagon. Highly recommended if you're at all interested in coal wagons.

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This photo was taken by Dad around 1949.

 

From other photos he took of goods trains these ex private owners look to be in typical condition.

 

post-5613-0-61554100-1350491091_thumb.jpg

Ex private owners wagons circa 1949

 

David

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That's a cracking shot, Dave, as it illustrates something very rarely modelled. When the wagons were pooled in 1939, the intention was to return them after the war. If the owner's identity became unclear due to replacement planking, etc, it was painted on in a black area on the lower left. That's what the second wagon illustrates. The leading wagon looks to have already been shopped and had a P number allocated and painted on.

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That's a cracking shot, Dave, as it illustrates something very rarely modelled. When the wagons were pooled in 1939, the intention was to return them after the war. If the owner's identity became unclear due to replacement planking, etc, it was painted on in a black area on the lower left. That's what the second wagon illustrates. The leading wagon looks to have already been shopped and had a P number allocated and painted on.

 

Many thanks for that. I think there are more photos with wagons but I'm still sorting out Dad's prints, checking locations and indexing them before I scan them. Then more will appear here and on flickr - but it all takes ages!!

 

David

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Late BR mode would be in the 1990s, and I don't think that is what you mean. Unfortunately, the commonly modelled RCH standard Private Trader wagons were nationalised.As others have said, repainting of the enormous fleet of ex Private Trader wagons was not usually carried out, so the lettering faded away - although c1958 BTC was so depressed with the appearance of these wagons they asked for them to be painted.

There were tens of thousands of more specialist privately owned wagons which were not nationalised. The coal carrying fleet of slope sided tipplers have been modelled by Bachmann - there is a new pre-TOPS set available from Modelzone.

 

Paul Bartlett

 

Sorry, I meant late-BR steam era! Basically, the 1950s to about 1966. Thanks for catching this. Rob

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Hi,

Another thing worth remembering is that from the mid 50s on there was a purge of wooden underframe wagons. Some of our local disused lines and sidings were used for wagon storage and filled with (mostly PO ) wagons in the sort of condition of the ones in the photograph. (another thing I wish I had photographed) I presume they were being displaced by the then new 16T minerals. This means I think that by the late 50s any wooden bodied mineral wagons still in mainline use would be steel underframed. I tended to look at/photograph the loco and ignore the train so my memories are merely of long trains of minerals without really distinguishing the types.

 

best wishes,

 

Ian

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Ooohhh, dangerous ground there, Ian... I suspect you may be right because steel underframed wagons would last longer (were there many steel underframed PO coal wagons?) but I thought the only specific move to eliminate any part of the fleet was targeted on the grease axlebox examples. Others can comment more knowledgeably, but I believe that the older designs would disappear first (OTTOMH only about 50% of the fleet in 1948 was to the RCH 1923 design) and the newer/more standard designs would last longer until they were, as you say, displaced by the tidal wave of 16 tonners.

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I once had sight of the immediately pre-war and 'on-nationalisation' estimates for the 'coal wagon' fleet in the UK. What was very striking was that the 10T and smaller loading minerals numbers were very significantly reduced in this period. The explanation offered was that during the war, if repairs were required the smaller wagons were typically stripped of recylable parts and scrapped. It was better for the war effort to build a sixteen tonner replacement which would raise the capacity per wagon movement. This led to a diificulty in 'return to owner' and may well in part explain why this did not happen. The robust approach of 'this wagon would have been scrapped anyway, war or no war' was probably too ungentlemanly for the times. But it must have had a germ of truth, every year wagons would have been broken up as beyond economic repair.

 

The final slaughter of these 10T and smaller capacity wagons was 52/53 I believe.

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Another variation in livery I've noticed on photos from the early 50s, is ex PO wagons with a mixture of well-weathered original livery and replacement planking, but with all the ironwork painted grey. This was often done very roughly, as some photos show brush marks or overspray on the planking.

Pete

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These were done a few years ago by repainting a few planks, adding the end and bottom door stripes, BR black patches and blowing them over with matt black invarying degrees. The left hand LMS wagon was presumed to have been done in late 1939 with the replacement planks painted in LMS bauxite.

 

post-6680-0-80309600-1350573421.jpg

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Here's one of the slope sided Stewarts & Lloyds tipplers;

 

http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/bscotippler/h39C0AA7B#h39c0aa7b

 

The Lancashire Steel Corporation had a fleet of 26t tipplers, grey with the words LANCASHIRE STEEL in white across the upper half. Many works were serviced by BR owned hoppers and tipplers.

 

The slope side ones lasted until 1980 in regular use, when Corby closed. Their main use was on circuits from the Notts And S.Yorks pits to Corby via Toton laden with coking coal. The 26t ore wagons were used in latter years on inbound trains from around the country, the Lancs steel branded ones from the East Mids pits to Irlam principally. Latterly they were restricted to local ore trips, Twywell and Glendon East eventually being the only ones, to Lloyds Sidings, as well as the internal system at Corby. not strictly correct to call them internal user although the never ventured far after about 1974 .

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