Equivalent W.A.G.R. and N.Z.R. wagon classes.

In 1891 a total of 100 low sided open wagons were obtained from New Zealand Railways by the W.A.G.R.  These wagons were important in that they introduced the Norwegian chopper coupler to Western Australia and formed the standard for the large number of wagons introduced into service during the Gold Rush years. They were all N.Z.R. M class wagons (later W.A.G.R. class H).  The influence of T. F. Rotherham, who was Locomotive Superintendent of the N.Z.R. and then Chief Mechanical Engineer of the W.A.G.R., is behind the design commonality as he is believed to have acted as a consultant to the W.A.G.R. before taking the job there. 

The four wheeled wagons were built on a 15'-0" long chassis with a distinctive arrangement of leaf springs within the channel of the solebar, whilst the bogie wagons were all 30'-0" long. Originally all of these types on both railways had hand brakes only but in later years the N.Z.R wagons acquired air brakes whilst many of the surviving W.A.G.R. examples acquired vacuum brakes. During the Second World War a number of the W.A.G.R. wagons were sold to the Commonwealth Railways. The C.R. classes are listed for completeness where appropriate. The equivalent classes so far as I know at present are listed in the table below:

Ex NZR M class wagon H3075 photographed at Midland Workshops in the very early 1900s.  Note the non standard axleboxes. (Photo ARHS(WA) collection)

Type

W.A.G.R. 1900 Class

W.A.G.R. Pre 1900 class

N.Z.R. class

C.R. class

Horse Box

A

E

G

-

Covered goods van

D

G

K

-

5 Plank open

G

IW

L-1

NGSC

Low-sided wagon

H 

JW

M

-

Single bolster

I

M

N-1

NRS

Twin bolster

N

L

?

-

Powder Van

O

H

?

-

Bogie Bolster

Q

LB

?

-

Bogie Open

R

IB

R

NGB

Bogie Sheep

S

NB

?

-

Bogie Cattle

T

OB

T

-

Bogie flat

U

KB

U

NRB

Bogie Van

V

GB

V

NVA

Bogie Powder van

Y

HB

?

-

Brake Van

Z

C

F (1889 BP 543)

NY

 

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