Jetty wagons

The image above is blown up from State Library of WA collection 006697PD and dates to about 1905. It shows a former N class wagon built by Metropolitan RCWCo in use in Jetty Service near Fremantle Lighthouse. Unfortunately the number is not visible.

Many wagons owned by the W.A.G.R had a second life after they were written off. Some, of course, were sold but others were retained for local use within a closely defined area. The first use for old wagons was on the Jetties at West Australian ports and the list of these old written off wagons became known as the Jetty wagon list. It included wagons used at loco depots for locomotive ash (but there were also ash wagons in the normal stock list) and in Midland Junction Workshops for moving parts around. The workshops was the last stronghold of jetty wagons in the 1980s.

As these wagons had already been written off the WAGR was not too bothered about them so there are many discrepancies in the surviving documentation. To make matters more difficult for the historian most of the numbers were reused several times. In steam days the bulk of the Jetty wagon fleet was made up of former G and H class wagons

There were at least 267 Jetty wagons by 1902 when Jetty 266/7 were sent to Bunbury and there is photographic confirmation of Jetty 314 before the First World War at Fremantle. The numbers below 300 must have been reused many times.

My best shot at the list, so far, is here. It has many gaps in it and may never be complete at least in part because the official documentation was so shaky.

Pictures of Jetty wagons are not common but the following should give a flavour of what could once be seen if you knew where to look. There are some others scattered through these pages.

Jetty 247. Former A class horsebox at Perth yard. This should (according to an official list) be an ex GSR horsebox but clearly isn't. It is one of the standard NZR type.

The last Jetty 49 was formerly QRB11281. It was one of the Midland Workshops Jetty wagon fleet.

Jetty 246. Fairly early on in its career as the mobile first aid post in Albany in this RWA collection photo. This former D van became Jetty 246 in the 1960s and was still at Albany in the 1980s. Again this would have been the last Jetty 246.

The last Jetty 42 (above in front of the written off Freezer van) was formerly R9. Another of the Midland workshops fleet this too lasted until the 1980s.

The Midland fleet also included other oddities which may or may not have had official jetty stock numbers. Some were ex carriage underframes such as Jetty 888 below. Whilst this one did have a Jetty number there were others which showed no trace of one.

Occasionally Jetty wagons achieved official photographic immortality. Here below Jetty 203 is used to show off brand new container 5015 at Midland workshops. The interesting thing about Jetty 203 in this photo is what it was converted from. If it is the wagon converted from Z119 (and it appears to be) it has acquired different bogies.


Frank Stamford's photo above shows Jetty 958 at Midland Workshops in February 1966. This was formerly GA5439. Written off 1957 and sold to Esperance Harbour & lights Dept, it became WAGR jetty stock in September 1962 and was demolished in 1969.

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