M.R.W.A. Wagons

The Midland Railway of Western Australia was a privately owned railway that connected with the W.A.G.R. system at either end. It was financed on the land grant system and was a British Company running a railway in Australia. It interchanged wagons with the W.A.G.R. and had a different livery and classification system and so M.R.W.A. wagons were instantly recognisable on the railways of Western Australia. In 1964 the M.R.W.A., after finally selling all of its land, was taken over by the W.A.G.R.

Unlike the W.A.G.R. classification systems the same system was retained throughout the history of the M.R.W.A. although the wagons were renumbered in about 1910-12 and again in 1932. This can make it a bit difficult to track down exactly what happened. There was also, unlike the W.A.G.R., no separation between bogie and 4 wheeled wagons in the classification system. This did at least mean that the M.R.W.A. never ran out of letters for new types. In the early days the letter classification came after the wagon number rather than before.

Photo of BL272 and CA215 taken sometime between 1914 and 1921 by H.F.L.Wehsack. Courtesy Scott Gould.

The original wagons were identical to those built for the Great Southern Railway and absorbed by the W.A.G.R. in 1896. They were all four -wheelers 14'-0" long over headstocks except for the bolster wagons which were only 12'-0" long. Initially each class of wagon had a separate number series starting at one apart from the brake vans, which used letters (a similar system was used in Tasmania). However at some point between 1902 and 1912 a single number series was introduced for all of the rolling stock (including the coaches). The complete M.R.W.A. class list is believed to have been as follows:

A - Highside trucks A (including ex W.A.G.R. GA), AB, AC and A ex AC, AE
B - Covered goods vans B, BL, BLA, BM
C - Cattle trucks C, CA, bogie C and CM CB
D - Sheep trucks D and DA, bogie D and DX, DXA, DXB
E - Single bolster (later garbage) trucks E
F - Brake vans F , FA
G - Water Tanks G and GR
H - Ballast truck, later Horseboxes H (Ballast), H and HM
I - Lowside trucks and Ballast wagons I, IA (Ballast)
J - Coaches J, JA, JB, JK, JV
K - Coaches but later also crew vans K, KA, KB, KB(crew van)
L - Bogie highside and later also bogie vans L(bogie highside), LC(bogie vans)
M - Motor vehicles wagons M
N - Timber trucks (later flats) N, NB, NC
O - Ballast hoppers O
P - Steel opens P (later PA), PA (later P), PB
S - Spray van S

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