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Birmingham Railway and Carriage Co Ltd: misc_brc&wc218

View of a 1924 GWR twenty ton steel open wagon built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Works Co

In 1924 Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Works Co (BRCWC) built 250 twenty ton steel open wagons for the Great Western Railway (Lot 937). The wagons had top hinged tipping doors at either end and a single door on each side (diagram N23). The wagons were painted grey and given GWR running numbers 110001 to 110250. At that time most private owner mineral wagons were either ten or twelve ton wooden bodied wagons and the Great Western Railway saw significant advantages in the use of larger capacity wagons, which for the same load took up less siding space and had a lower tare weight. Initially in September 1923, an inducement was introduced involving a rebate of 5% off the rates in respect of coal class traffic conveyed wholly in fully loaded twenty ton wagons. Then in the following year £285,000 was spent on building a total of 950 twenty ton steel wagons for long time hire to specific companies. As a result of these initiatives the wagons were called after the Great Western Railway's General Manager ‘Felix Pole’.

All of the 250 twenty ton wagons built by the BRCWC were allocated to North's Navigation Collieries in South Wales, who had signed two agreements with the Great Western Railway under which the wagons were built and assigned for North's sole use with North's name and working instructions painted on the wagons. North's had several collieries in the Maesteg area from where they exported coal via Port Talbot harbour, which also being owned by the Great Western Railway had adapted its coal discharge tips to be capable of handling these larger wagons.

This photograph is displayed courtesy of the HMRS (Historical Model Railway Society) and copies can be ordered directly from them using the link HERE, quoting reference AAA408.

Robert Ferris