BC ClassAgricultural Bank Managers vans (Class AE before 1900)

The Agricultural Bank was set up to provide farmers in Western Australia access to finance more easily that might otherwise have been the case. This was particularly important in remote areas and so the provision of a suitable railway vehicle to allow the bank to do its business was important. The BC class vehicles provided a passenger compartment for the bank official, together with accommodation for two horses and space for a horse drawn road vehicle.

AL37 and a BC at Collie (See also Battye Library BA375/14-86 for a better quality shot of BC185)

The exact time that the first BC was built is a bit of a mystery. It seems that the first one (1926) was converted from an R class bogie open wagon in about 1898 and classed AE. This vehicle was 30'-0" long. In 1907 two more were built (BC185 and 186). These were 33'-4" long and used 5'-6" wheelbase bogies. It was only at this point that the BC classification came into use. Unlike the first BC they had full-length bodywork. The advent of motor vehicles seems to have removed the need for these vans. In 1921-2 BC185 was converted into a survey van and some of the bodywork was removed. In 1927 BC185 was converted to Z185 (later Z20) and BC1926 was converted to a ZB class brake van in the same year. The last in service was BC186, which became Z186 (later Z21) in 1934.

 

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