|Class F (Class S before 1900)|
Most of the early louvred vans started out as conversions of other vehicles. In 1900 these vehicles were all grouped together as class F. These early vehicles all had wooden louvres but in 1902 a new type appeared as class FA. These 52 new vans were 17'-0" long with an all-steel construction. In 1904 six new F class vans were built on the 15'-0" GB type underframe but in 1907 these were also reclassified FA. Further conversions from class F vans to class FA followed and it is uncertain whether these were new vans or merely new bodies on existing frames. Class FB appeared in 1910 although the structural differences between the FA and FB classes are not clear and may merely have been internal. They did however have different uses by this time as the FA class were now described as meat vans whilst the FB class were listed as Fruit vans.
In 1936 class FC was created when some 17'-0" FA class vans were reclassified. However, the bodywork on these vans was all wood rather than steel. At some point a re-bodying exercise for the FA class vans was carried out (presumably in the twenties or thirties). The total number of louvre vans on the W.A.G.R. remained small until 1953 when the first of one thousand FD class vans was delivered by Commonwealth Engineering. These vans used the standard post-war 18'-0" chassis. Originally the sides were fully louvred but wear and tear resulted in the replacement of the lower sides on most vans with plywood panels. There were also some experiments with completely new bodies. Twenty FD class vans were dedicated to meat traffic in the mid-1950's and reclassified FDM. These vans had a white stripe painted around centre of the body. Another 40 FD class vans were converted to FDP class poison vans in the seventies. This conversion involved completely boarded sides. Unlike other classes of wagons the FDPs retained the Indian red livery until written off. Finally another conversion to fully boarded sides resulted in class FDF . There were very few of these vans as the conversion programme was halted by the end of general goods traffic on Westrail. However, a confusing factor is that some FDs were rebuilt to FDF standard but not reclassified as FDF.