Class N (Classes L and M before 1900)
|The early wagons, which in 1900 became part of Class N, broke down into three groups. The first group was those wagons, which had formed part of the original stock. These were 18'-0" long with two bolsters. Most had gone by 1905 but three survived until 1929. The second and third groups used the New Zealand design chassis. Fifty of these had two bolsters and single planked sides. Most of these were converted to M class coal box wagons in 1919. Another twenty-six on the same chassis had no sides but also had two bolsters. The bolsters seem to have been removed from any survivors after the Second World War and they were probably used as shunter's floats or runner wagons. From 1952 further N class wagons were converted from wagons on the standard 15'-0" New Zealand Chassis. These were flat wagons with no bolsters. The last was written off in 1977.
In 1912 some 12'-0" I class wagons were converted into flat wagons and reclassified N. In later years these were all used as shunters floats. In 1934 some 14'-0" long G.S.R. vans were converted to N class wagons these were later supplemented by some conversions from G wagons. All N class wagons were listed as shunter's floats from 1943 even though not all would have been necessarily fully converted at this time. Further shunter's floats were converted from I class single bolster wagons from 1941. It is also possible that some 1950's conversions ran on 1901 type steel chassis. Finally during the war some Jetty wagons were reinstated as class N - it is difficult to be certain what type of chassis they had. In 1956 all of the shunter's floats in class N were reclassified NS. As they were derived from several different sources they exhibited the same variety of specifications as the N class wagons. The few remaining N's were listed from this point onwards as "Main Line Tailers" presumably used as spacer wagons for over length loads.
The NF class was the standard post war flat wagon built on the 18'-0" underframe. A total of 35 were built new from 1953 with conversions increasing the total to 56 by 1966. In 1956 a group of 9 NF class wagons were converted to carry cement containers and reclassified NFC. In 1961 they were all converted back to NF standard. The final conversion was 22880 which in 1974 became a bolster wagon coded NFB. It was unique and was finally written off in 1986.
In 1959 a batch of 15 18'-0" flat top wagons with the wheelbase reduced from 10-0" to 9'-6" was created as class NFA. They were all written off by 1988.
In 1962 three CXB class sheep wagons were converted to flats and reclassified NC. In 1965 these three wagons were converted to class NF. The class NC was used again in 1971 for a group of seventy-five flat top wagons converted from GH and GHD class wagons. This class was largely withdrawn en masse in 1990 when most four wheeled wagons were phased out.
A total of fifty wagons from classes BE, FD and HC were converted in 1967 into flat wagons to carry nickel ore containers. These NO class wagons lasted until the late 1970's when they were gain converted to GHB and GHE class high-sided wagons. Further shunters' float conversions started to appear about this time. These wagons were converted from old CXA class cattle trucks.
Class NW was created in 1968-1971 by the conversion of thirty-eight HC, FD, GH and GHD class wagons to flat wagons for iron ore containers. They were written off in 1985-1987.
The penultimate class to appear in this group was class NV . This was a group of three wagons for the C.M.E. department converted from DC class vans in 1974/5 to carry wheels. They were withdrawn in 1987.
The final class in the N group to appear comprised the twenty NA class sleeper wagons created between 1980 and 1983 by the conversion of low-sided wagons from classes HC and HCP.