Class L (Classes U and VP
All of the W.A.G.R.'s ballast
hoppers were reclassified from U to L in
1900. They were a mixed group that included at least four
diagrams initially. Wagons with both wooden and iron hoppers were
present in the group.
In 1914 a batch of ten new hoppers
was built at Midland with GC type underframes. In 1918 fourteen
Hoppers were transferred to the W.A.G.R. from the Public Works
Department (P.W.D.). These probably had GC type underframes. In
1931 the stock of the Railway Construction branch of the P.W.D.
was absorbed by the W.A.G.R. This included some hoppers which
were reclassified L. Sixty-two of them seem to have had GC type
underframes. The last of these wagons was written off in 1972.
Eleven of the wagons acquired in
1931 these had South Australian Frames. These must have come to
the P.W.D. from the S.A.R. via contractors. The last examples
were written off in 1972. The final five ex P.W.D. wagons were
described as being on W.A. iron frames and must have been ex W.A.G.R.
The last of these was written off in 1967.
One rather larger hopper built in
1913 was introduced as class LA.
However, this wagon was reclassified L in 1931 when a group of
ten ex P.W.D. hoppers became class LA.
The last of this group went in 1983. From 1955 a new standard
ballast hopper was also given the class LA
code. These were built up until 1960 by which time 155 of the new
wagons were in service. All were fitted with wooden extension
boards in the early sixties. Although some wagons were written
off in the seventies the LA class survived to be the last four
wheelers in everyday use in the 1990's.
Class LB was the designation given
to the surviving tipper wagons absorbed from the P.W.D. in 1931. They were
not fit to run on main lines and had all gone by 1937.
In 1945 twenty L class wagons were
adapted for wheat traffic and reclassified LW . With the exception of one wagon written
off in this period these were returned to class L in 1950.
The Midland Railway of Western
Australia also owned sixty-four ballast hoppers built for them by the W.A.G.R. in 1934-1939.
When these wagons were taken over in 1964 there was some
confusion as to what their classification should be (some being
LA the rest L) but most ended up as class L. They were all
written off between by 1972.
The story of the W.A.G.R. ballast ploughs is a complicated one. The first six-wheeled
ballast plough was VP1 built for the W.A.G.R. in 1892. Two more
were acquired in 1895/6 with possibly a fourth built for the P.W.D.
Photographic evidence shows that one of these ploughs was
numbered 1440. Much of the railway construction equipment was
transferred to the P.W.D. in the early years of the century
leaving the W.A.G.R. with two ballast ploughs. In 1931 the P.W.D.
rolling stock was taken over by the W.A.G.R. and five ballast
ploughs were included in the transfer. Three were 4 wheelers and
two of these were included in class H. The last LX class ploughs
lasted until the 1970's.