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GWR Routes: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Routes: North Warwickshire Line

Moor Street Station: gwrms758a

A mixture of Great Western Railway open and van wagons on the siding roads at Moor Street Station in May 1915

A mixture of Great Western Railway open and van wagons on the siding roads at Moor Street Station in May 1915. Note that at this time, most wagons only had brakes on one side. In 1911 the Board of Trade eventually issued an Order under the Railway Employment (prevention of Accidents) Act 1900 for all railway wagons (not exempted) to be fitted with brake levers on both sides. This applied to all new wagons and originally required existing wagons to be modified in fifteen years, but this was later deferred to end of 1938. The Great Western Railway identified that they still had 18,784 single brake wagons in January 1927. The nearest wagon is a 4 plank, 10 ton, Open A wagon. No 54548 was one of a batch of 200 open wagons built circa 1900 to Lot No 12. Originally it would have had grease axle boxes and no sheet supporter bar, but it has been subsequently modified with oil axle boxes and a sheet supporter. The bar of the sheet supporter in its upright position held up the tarpaulin sheet, which prevented water from puddling and leaking on to the load. The sheet supporter was attached to the two ends of the wagon and could be pivoted to the side so as not to interfere with unloading operations. The use of wicker baskets for transporting goods was common at the time and they would be returned to the supplier for reuse.

The adjacent unidentifiable 4 plank wagon is a similar design, but has its original grease axle boxes and the sheet is covering a load within the wagon, so it probably is not fitted with a sheet supporter. The Great Western Railway used the telegraphic code ‘Mink’ to describe a covered goods wagon or van. In an attempt to construct more durable wagons they built 4783 covered wagons with metal bodies to the same basic design between 1887 and 1901, which lead to the term ‘Iron Mink’. No 69663 was one of a batch of 100 Iron Minks built to Lot L255. The bonnet ventilator on the end of this particular wagon is of the extended type introduced in April 1899 and the last wagon in the lot batch was built in August 1899. Originally these Iron Minks were built to carry a maximum load of 9 tons, but their carrying capacity was subsequently increased to 10 tons circa 1904. The last wagon in the line is 28 foot, 6 inch long, ten ton, Ventilated Mink D No 28754, which was part of Lot L510. Fifty of these long covered wagons were built on this lot number to diagram V9 in 1906. They had a twenty foot wheelbase, vacuum brake, instanter screw couplings and two doors on each side. The Mink D’s from this batch also had two shuttered louvers in each end panel for controlling the ventilation of the wagon.

Robert Ferris