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MINERAL WAGONS

 

THE UBIQUITOUS 16 TON MINERAL WAGON  


A ray of autumn sunshine lights up B175854, a standard Dia 1/108 mineral of welded construction. It has been modelled with typical 1960s markings, and the side door open as if unloading is in progress.


B115822 is a welded mineral to BR diagram 1/108. This was the standard design for the type, and was built in vast numbers by a host of workshops. This model is from the old Airfix kit, with weathering based on a photo from the late 70s, when there was more rust than paint on this particular example.


B39649 is a riveted 16 ton mineral wagon to diagram 1/105. The independent brake gear on each side shows that this type originally had bottom doors allowing unloading into coal drops – with the aid of a shovel. Later in their lives these doors were often fixed shut, and the small chevron marks on the side doors deleted as a result. I well remember the rarity value of five-figure numbered minerals by the time I was noting wagon types in the late 70s.


B579316 is a well rusted Coal 16VB typical of the fleet in the late 1970s when the elimination of non-vacuum braked examples was well underway. The model again makes use of the Airfix kit with transfers from an old MTK sheet.


B276453 is a re-bodied standard 16 ton mineral wagon such as produced in large numbers by the Horwich wagon works, and elsewhere, during the 1970s. The model is based on the Airfix kit with a bit of tweaking to remove the upper doors and adjust the framing pattern accordingly.


The last of the quartet is B9774 a slope sided mineral to Dia 1/100 also based on a 1963 photograph. The four-digit ‘B’ numbers used by BR tended to be on wagon types eliminated by the mid-1970s and I never caught up with one in traffic.


This Dia 1/103 mineral of riveted construction was finished as B26248 to a photograph dating from 1965.


Dia 1/108 B84198, one of the most common design of 16 tonner, modelled as it appeared in the early sixties.


E290529 is the ex-LNER wagon, in a livery based on a photograph from 1963 when a panel replacement had been finished in grey paint of a slightly darker shade.


B192574 Canada Road.


Later in life some wagons were converted for steel carrying traffic as seen here at Shenston Road.


During the '70s and 80s it was common for 16 ton wagons to be used for traffic other than minerals.


16 ton mineral wagon being unloaded at Hartburn.

OLDER WOODEN BODIED WAGONS  


E224320 ex-LNER wood-sided coal wagon from 1938, typical of many which BR inherited in 1948, and then set about replacing with the all-steel 16 ton mineral wagon during the 1950s. This wagon, in very dirty bare wood, was modelled to a photograph from 1964 when it was probably awaiting scrapping.


P38290 ex-private owner wood sided coal wagon, some of the inherited wooden bodied wagons did receive re-paints into standard BR grey, as modelled here. These were the exception rather than the rule however, as the imminent replacement by new steel wagons caused maintenance to be minimised.


P99335 is perhaps more typical of how the ex-private owner wagons were looking by 1960. Most were hastily re-marked by BR, with the number, load, and tare weight presented in the standard BR manner on roughly applied black patches. The original bold colour schemes of the previous owners were normally retained, but not maintained, so gradually became very scruffy, most had been withdrawn and scrapped by 1965.


P75748 is an ex-Vauxhall wood-sided coal wagon. The once striking red, white, and black markings are a dull shadow of their former self. Wagons of this appearance were common fare during the later BR steam years, but it is still surprising how rarely they appear on layouts of that period. More often the continued use of colourful well kept private owner fleets is portrayed within the nationalised railway, not truly authentic, but maybe more eye-catching than the reality!


.... and a selection from Morfa Bank Sidings - These examples having been adapted in later life, for internal use in the steel industry.


Morfa Bank Sidings.


Morfa Bank Sidings.


Morfa Bank Sidings.

21 TON VARIANTS  


MDV wagons at Shenston Road.


Built from Chivers MDV kits, these examples are seen here being marshalled at BSC Shenston exchange sidings.


Painted and weathered by Greg Brookes.


Shenston Road.


Shenston Road.


Shenston Road.


The coal load is black foam rubber from the Heljan loco box packaging, and is squashed in to fit with realistic effect (and easy enough to pull out if you want an empty train).


Shenston Road.


Shenston Road.


Shenston Road.


Shenston Road.


Dia 1/120 Coal 21VB from the Canada Road fleet. The patch painting on the centre panel was a common feature of the type, as instructions relating to a dedicated route circuit were removed in the late 60s, presumably after replacement by merry-go-round hoppers on bulk coal traffic flows.


B201623 is a Coal 21 wagon. As this example is from the original build of the 1950s the rusting and general condition are worse than B315077. Study of photographs show a mix of rusty line scratches caused by shunting scrapes, and irregular shaped rust patches caused by coal lump impacts within the wagon during loading. The weathering finish applied attempts to copy these two effects.


B315077. The grime is applied as a tinted matt varnish, using a mix of Humbrol matt 29 and 33, and then lightly dabbed off the flat panels with a clean piece of kitchen paper to leave the most colour in the corners and angles where dirt would collect.


B201317 is one of the Coal 21 kit-conversions shown here in finished condition, weathered to a typical 1970s appearance.


Hebble Vale Goods - This Chivers Finelines 21T mineral was more simply weathered by a dark wash applied over and then wiped away with cotton buds. Altogether quicker to do than the hoppers, but subtly effective nonetheless.

24.5 TON VARIANTS  


Two for the price of one! Based on a photograph from 1973, the Dia 2/748 Weltrol MX has been finished as B901021, with a de-railment recovery as a load. The wagon is a conversion of the GWR ‘Crocodile H’ OO gauge model, while the 24,5T mineral body is from the Parkside kit. Damaged wagon bodies are often pictured as loads on Lowmacs and bogie well wagons in the BR era, but mostly loaded the right way up!


A block rake of 24.5 ton wagons are seen at Wibdenshaw. These wagons were sometimes referred to as 'bombers' (Parkside kits).


The yellow triangular makings were an easy identification for the 24.5 ton variant, as they were very similar to the 21 ton wagons from a distance (Parkside kits).


Wibdenshaw 24.5t mineral (Parkside kits).


Wibdenshaw 24.5t mineral (Parkside kits).


Wibdenshaw 24.5t mineral (Parkside kits).


Shenston Road 24.5t mineral wagon (Parkside kit).


Shenston Road 24.5t mineral wagon (Parkside kit).


Shenston Road 24.5t mineral wagon (Parkside kit).


Shenston Road 24.5t mineral wagon (Parkside kit).


Shenston Road 24.5t mineral wagon (Parkside kit).


Shenston Road 24.5t mineral wagon (Parkside kit).


Shenston Road 24.5t mineral wagon (Parkside kit).

TIPPLER WAGONS  


Iron Ore Tippler B383305 to BR diagram 1/181 is a scratchbuilt body on a heavily adapted Airfix mineral wagon chassis and was put together 25 years ago when kits for the type were not available. This basic wagon type evolved over the BR period into 10' wheelbase versions with vacuum brake, before being made obsolete by air-braked bogie wagons of far greater capacity during the early-seventies.


One from the Wibdenshaw fleet with a scratchbuilt body built and painted by Harvey Faulkner-Aston, shown in later guise as a departmental wagon TOPS code ZKO.


A rake of tippler wagons put together by Greg Brookes head south through Shenston Road, and are branded for dedicated stone traffic.


Later in life some wagons were converted for steel carrying traffic as seen here at Shenston Road.