Class A Horseboxes (Class E before 1900 Numbered E1-38)

The W.A.G.R. had a total of thirty-eight A class horseboxes of three different types. They were originally numbered in a separate series distinct from both the carriage and wagon number sequences.  They were not brought into the main wagon list until the 1900 reclassification.  Unfortunately it is not possible to be certain from the renumbering list which types were which, it depends on where the GSR examples were slotted into the list.

The first group (which I think became A5105 - 5114 in 1900) were built by the Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. in three batches of two, two and six in 1882, 1891 and 1893 respectively.

The enlargement at left taken from an old photo of Fremantle in the State Library of WA collection (BA1341/28) shows two horseboxes, one either side of an AI class carriage. Both are clearly painted grey with the right hand one definitely having its ironwork picked out in black. This horsebox is one of the MRCWCo type.

The left hand horsebox may be cleaner or (because the vehicles are on a curve) at a sufficiently different angle to the sun so that the louvres in the upper body side don't show so clearly. It belongs to the second group described next.

The WAGR outline diagram of these early horse boxes is shown below.

The second group were the N.Z.R. design which appeared on the W.A.G.R. in 1896 when a batch of twelve (probably later A5115 - 5124) were received from Bristol Wagon and Carriage Co.

A second batch of twelve (probably later A5125 - 5138) came from the Lancaster Carriage and Wagon Co. in 1897.

They were gradually modified over the years losing some of their similarity to their NZR cousins in the process.

My drawing below and the builders photo at the top of the page show the original condition whilst the photo at right shows A5120 near the end of its days with replacement lower horse compartment door and modifications to the roof.

The WAGR outline diagram is shown below.

Ex G.S.R. Horseboxes

The third group in class A were the four ex G.S.R. horseboxes (probably later A5139 - 5142) which unlike the other two types were only 14' long. The G.S.R. type was also used by the M.R.W.A. as their class H and later HM but the G.S.R. classification is not known. These four horseboxes came into W.A.G.R. stock in 1896 so it is possible that their numbers fall between the 1896 and 1897 batches of the NZR type horseboxes above (that would make them A5125-5128).

The blurry enlargement at right shows a G.S.R. horsebox about 1896 still in G.S.R. grey livery. It is just possible to discern that it has white "Great Southern Railway" lettering on the upper doors of the horse compartment. The GSR horseboxes were noticeably shorter than the other types and had a roof that overhung the sides.

The enlargement below, from State Library of WA BA1271/226, shows three horseboxes at Perth in 1923. The centre and right hand ones are BB class. The left hand one is, I think, an ex GSR example but if it is the roof has been altered since its early days. By 1923 it would have been about 30 years old so re-roofing is not a surprise. Unfortunately the number if not readable.

The WAGR outline diagram of the GSR horseboxes is shown below.

Disposal of the A class horseboxes is listed below. Mostly this was by conversion to either BS class cattle wagons or D class vans with only six actually being written off as horseboxes.

1936 5142 rebuilt as cattle wagon, initially classified B and then BS in 1937
1937 5105, 5108, 5109, 5110, 5112, 5114, 5122, 5123, 5124, 5127, 5131, 5133, 5134, 5138 rebuilt as BS class cattle wagons
1943 5107, 5111, 5113, 5116, 5119, 5120, 5121, 5126, 5128, 5129, 5130, 5132, 5139, 5141) rebuilt as D Class vans
1951 5115, 5117 and 5136 rebuilt as D vans
1954 5135 written off
1955 5106, 5125, 5137 written off
1958 5118, 5140 written off
1962 written off 5118, 5140 to JETTY 246, 247

The remains of 5118 and 5140 became jetty wagons 246 and 247 in 1962. They were used for "Goods receival" at Fremantle. Eventually Jetty 247 was used for storage purposes off the rails at the Weedex Siding in Perth Goods yard. Apart from 5118 and 5140 all other W.A.G.R. horseboxes were written off by the end of 1955 and it is possible that this pair had been in use as jetty wagons for some time.

Closer inspection of the photo of Jetty 247 shows that this was NOT a GSR type horsebox and is likely to have been one of those written off in 1954 or 1955 (either that or my assumption about how they were numbered is wrong).

Jetty 247 at Perth. Definitely not a GSR type horsebox. More likely to have been 5125, 5135, or 5137 written off in 1954 or 1955.

Other Horseboxes

All of the other two-letter "A" codes were used by carriages and so when new horseboxes were constructed there was a bit of a classification problem. This was resolved by putting all of the later horseboxes into the "B" group. The W.A.G.R.'s later horseboxes were the six BA class bogie horseboxes of 1903 and the eleven BB class large 4 wheel horseboxes built from 1907.

Return to wagon page Return to MRWA  wagons GSR wagons Return to alphabetical list