Class LX (Class VP before 1900)

 

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 Public Works Department.

Photographic evidence shows that one of these ploughs was numbered 1440 at some point. This number was blank in 1900.

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 numbered 5178 and 5179 by 1909.

These two numbers were immediately after the end of the 1900 renumbering list and so must have been allocated in late 1900 or early 1901.

In 1931 the P.W.D. rolling stock was taken over by the W.A.G.R. and the three ballast ploughs included in the transfer were given the numbers 4531-4533. Number 4532 was a four wheeler but was given an LX classification unlike the other four wheel ploughs which formed part of class H.   It had only one plough and odd headstocks (one iron, one wood) 

There is also a cryptic note which says "No. 7 included in stock until March 1932" -presumably another ex PWD plough (possibly 4533).

At least one of the six wheelers (5179) lost its centre pair of wheels late in life. After all this confusion the LX class ploughs were written off as follows:

 

1947 5178 written off. To JETTY 68 (in 1945!)
1952

4532( 4 wheeler) written off

4533 written off

1973 4531 written off
1979 5179 written off

The image below shows one of these ploughs in action.

 

H class Ballast ploughs

In 1931 two of the three absorbed P.W.D. ballast ploughs were placed in class H. These were 4209 and 4518. Number 4518 had trapdoors in the floor and in 1934 had its ploughs removed. Number 4209 had a South Australian underframe and was written off in 1953.

At some time in the 1950s a further eight H class wagons were also fitted with ballast ploughs. These were 17,1212, 2499, 3142 3153, 3980, 4295 and 4578. It is believed that 4295 (also ex PWD) may have had a GC type frame. There is a  photo of one of these in use in the Weston Langford collection here.

H2259 also became a ballast plough probably again in the 1950s (photo below).

These wagons were written off as follows:

1961

4295

1962

3153

1971

3980

1972

4518

1973

17, 3142

1975

1212

1979

2499

1981

2499 written back

198?

2499

An interesting photo showing ballast plough H2259. Interesting because I had this wagon as "missing" in the H class list. Clearly it became a ballast plough!. I don't know when it was written off.

 

In 1965 two ex MRWA I class ballast ploughs (355 and 364) became H class 40526 and 40535 respectively. They were shorter than the W.A.G.R. standard H class at only 14'-0" long and had 3 plank sides. They were written off in 1973 and 1976 respectively.

The final class of W.A.G.R. ballast plough was the single class QRT wagon number 680 converted from an RB class bogie open in 1967. It was written off in 1988.

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