F Class louvre vans (class S before 1900)

The W.A.G.R's oldest louvre vans appear to have been conversions of their oldest D vans. They are a bit of a mystery. I have never seen either a diagram or a photo of these vans but they are listed in the 1900 renumbering. The vans involved were numbers 254, 268, 270 and 271.

All of these numbers were re-used for new GCs in 1908 so they must have gone before then.

The above blow up from an image in ARHS(WA) archives shows from left to right the end of a carriage, an F class van, N.Z.R. type D van, another two F class vans one of which is rather taller than the other,a GSR type D vanand the tender of an Ec class locomotive. The tall F class is likely to be one of the two conversions from old AI class carriages - it also has a tie bar between the axleboxes which would also match this type. The other two appear to be the same and purely on the basis of numbers are likely to be the type on the NZR chassis.

There were a total of twenty-five other vans in class F and all but the last group of six were rebuilds. This class consisted of four distinct groups of vehicles.

The first group consisted of twelve vehicles on the N.Z.R type 15'-0" composite underframe. It is likely that the second and fourth vehicles from the left in the above image are of this type. The first batch (2018-2023) was converted in 1896 from H class lowside wagons whilst the second batch were converted in 1898 from G class wagons 3893-3898. In 1901 F3983/4/6-8 were designated as being for Express train use only. From 1909 they were either converted to or replaced by FA class vans as follows:

1909 2023 to FA
1913 2020, 2021 to FA
1915 3893 to FA
1916 2018 to FA
1917 2019 to FA
1918 2022 to FA
1920 3898 to FA
1921 3894, 3896 to FA
1930 3895 to FA
1935 3897 to FA

The second group consisted of only two vehicles (F4555 & 4556) converted from AI class composite carriages 21 and 23. F4555 and 4556 were 16'-0" long over headstocks and slightly higher than the first and third groups of F class wagons (but were otherwise visually similar).  The second vehicle in the photo at the top of the page may be one of these two.

They were replaced by new FA class wagons in 1909 and 1934 respectively.

F4555 in a light coloured livery.  Photo by Norman Drake

The third group consisted of five vehicles on the 14'-0" GSR type underframe. Of these, F4276 is believed to have been converted from a G.S.R. G type wagon whilst 4317, 4318, 4328 and 4339 are believed to be conversions of G.S.R. H type wagons. It is difficult to know whether 4317 was rebuilt or not when it was reclassified to FA. I suspect that it was not altered. Disposal of these wagons was as follows:

The blurry picture above is believed to be one of the F class vans built on a G.S.R. chassis in the wreckage of a derailment in 1942.  It is definitely not on a N.Z.R. type chassis as the springs are below the solebars..

1914 4317 to FA
1937 4317 from FA
1948 4317 written off
1954 4318 written off
1955 4339 written off
1956 4276, 4328 written off

The fourth group (of six wagons) was built in 1904. These vans were 15'-0" long on a GB type chassis. Unlike the earlier F class wagons they had a higher more curved roof. They were all reclassified FA in 1906/7.

Other louvred vans

Other 4 wheel louvred vans in this group can be found in classes F , FA(17'-0"), FA(15'-0"), FB, FC, FD, FDF, FDM, FDPMRWA BL, MRWA BLA whilst their bogies counterparts are in classes VA(exV), VA(long), VB(Composite frame), VB(Steel frame), VD, VDA, VDB, VDL, VDR, VF, VFA, VFL, VG, VGA, VH


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