NS Class Shunters' floats

From 1943 N class wagons were officially listed as "Shunter's floats" although it seems likely that many of these wagons were being used in this way well before this. Presumably by this time the vast majority of the timber traffic was being handled by Q and QA class wagons.

However class N actually contained wagons that were still being used on the main lines and so in 1956 the wagons in class N that were being used as Shunter's floats were all reclassified NS. This reclassification involved several of the sub-groups of class N described on that page.

NS746 was one of the I class conversions. It was never classified as an N but went straight from I to NS in 1963.

The types reclassified from N to NS included several of the various sub-groups in class N:

1 . Batch of 50 wagons originally N1541-1590. Most of these were converted to class M coal box wagons in 1919 but two ended up as NS in 1956.

2 . Batch of 25 wagons 2037-2062 probably converted from class H to N circa 1900. 16 of these survived to become class NS in 1956.

3. One 1902 built wagon numbered N5945. This was the only N built with vacuum brakes and was presumably on the 1901/2 all steel chassis rather than the NZR type. Became an NS in 1956.

4. Four wagons (at least nominally) converted from old GSR 14'-0" chassis to N and then NS. By the 1980s NS 4151 was definitely on a NZR type chassis and the others may have been as well.

5. Six wagons (at least nominally) converted from old GSR 12'-0" chassis class I to N and then NS. Photos of NS4341 suggest that it retained the original G.S.R. original chassis.

6. Four wagons, followed by others, converted from old 11'-0" NZR class I to N and then NS.

7 . Two wagons reinstated during the second world war where original numbers and chassis details unknown.

However, some of these wagons, particularly the ones in groups 4 and 5 may well have been on one or other of the standard chassis by 1956.

After 1956 conversions to NS and write offs are continued. These are tabulated below.

NS1261 was the Bassendean shunters' school float in the 1980s. NZR type chassis with standard handrail and footboard on one side only. Hand brake on the other side.

Above: Busselton shunters float NS4341 on original GSR chassis. NS 4341 was later a CXA chassis.

1956

289, 399, 492, 590, 767, 1555, 1586 , 1973, 2038, 2039, 2040, 2042, 2045, 2046, 2049, 2051, 2052, 2053, 2054, 2055, 2057, 2059, 2060, 2062, 2268, 2565, 2781,4151, 4155, 4201, 4285, 4334, 4341, 4345, 4347, 4348, 4349, 4350 , 5945 reclassified from class N.

1957

309, 913 converted from class H

2040 reclassified as N

1959

2278, 3050 converted from class H

1960

227, 339, 564 converted from class I

2758 converted from class H

4345 written off

1961

338 converted from class I

941, 2394, 2786, 3035 converted from class H

4347, 4348 written off

1962

291,1036, 2397, 3995 converted from class H

742 converted from class I

399 written off

1963

522, 746 converted from class I

3137 converted from class J

3970, 4107 converted from class M

4285 written off

1964

274, 458, 693 converted from class I

1966

862, 893, 1022, 1109, 1138, 1467, 2036, 2544, 2575, 2611, 2628, 2632, 2714, 3072, 3809, 4058 converted from class GW.

1906 converted from class J

GW conversion NS2575 at Midland Workshops. NZR type chassis.
 
 

A new group of conversions started to appear from 1968. These were wagons converted from CXA class sheep wagons. Most of these retained the number of the CXA that they were converted from. Some of the later conversions had spent some time as other classes (J and HE) before their final conversion to NS. However, there are some examples where the new CXA based wagon took the number of one of the existing NS wagons. This is obviously confusing. NS 4341 is believed to be an example of this. There were probably others.

 

 

NS769 photographed at Leighton yard. This wagon is one of the CXA conversions. Footboard on one side only.

1967

1262, 1492, 2376, 3058, 4030 converted from class H

816, 1461, 1488, 2545, converted from class GW

12143, 40402 converted from class CXA

227, 289, 2049, 2051, 2786, 3137, 4155, written off

1968

819, 1092, 2462, 2599, 2682 converted from class GW

231, 11310, 11334, 11353, 40426 converted from class CXA

274, 492, 1555, 2039, 2045, 2052, 2565, 4107, 4349, written off

1969

2349, 3093, 3901, 3915, 3924, 3953, 3981 converted from class H

2397 written off

2632 to class N

1970

1261 converted from class H

11333, 11383, 11384, 11387, 11409, 11423, 11438, 11450 converted from class CXA

231,338, 893, 941, 2042, 2046, 2057, 3035, 3093, 3995, written off

1971

367, 4524, 6771, 11398, 12141, 40415 converted from class CXA

291,458, 564, 693, 742, 1109, 1461, 2060, 3058, 3809, 3901, 3915, 11334, 11383, written off

1972

11422, 11437, 11447 converted from class CXA

590, 1036, 1467, 2376, 2758, 3953, 4030, 4058, 11333, 40426 written off

1973

3740, 3854 converted from class GW

733, 11368, 11395, 12115 converted from class CXA

1586, 1906, 1973, 2038, 2053, 2278, 2349, 2544, 2575, 2611, 2628, 2781,4201, 11353 written off

1974

2426 converted from class H

816, 1022, 1261, 2054, 2462, 2545, 2714, 3072, 4334, 5945, 11423 written off

1975

1168 converted from class GW

339, 746, 1092, 2062, 2426, 2599, 3740, 3970, 3981, 4350, written off

1976

767, 2268 written off

1977

2036, 3854, 4341 written off

1978

642 converted from CXA 1140

1979

769 converted from CXA 12079

1261 converted from written off N1138. This was the second NS to have this number.

2059, 2394 written off

1980

7118 converted from class HE

309 written off

1981

11330 converted from class HE

1982

772 converted from written off J758 

40406 converted from class HE

642, 862 written off

1983

522, 913, 2055 written off

NS11310 fitted with frame from HE721. (There can't have been much of the old 11310 left after this process!)

1985

1261, 1262, 6771 written off

1986

367, 819, 1168, 11447, 12141, written off

1987

11409 written off

1990

3050 written off

1991

733, 12115 written off

1992

11330, 11368, 11422 written off

1993

11387 written off

 

Unaccounted for

769, 772 , 1138, 1488, 1492, 2682, 3058, 3924, 4151, 4524, 7118, 11384, 11395, 11398, 11437, 11450, 12143, 40402, 40406, 40415

11310 preserved Merredin

11438 extant at Pemberton.

The NS class shunter's floats were allocated to particular yards and the name of the yard was usually stencilled on the wagon. I don't know how long each wagon remained allocated to the same place but presumably they did change from time to time.

Examples for which I have photographic evidence are listed below:

NS4151 was one of a few NS wagons to acquire some lengths of old rail on the deck to act as extra ballast. Footboard on one side only. Two vertical handrails rather than the later horizontal type. The number originally belonged to an ex GSR wagon but by the time this photo was taken it was definitely on an NZR type chassis.

Bassendean Shunters' school 1261, 6771
Bunbury 893, 2055
Busselton 4341
Collie 819, 1168 (not marked), 4541
Forrestfield 1262, 11438
Fremantle 2052?, 4524
N. Fremantle 769, 772
Katanning 11368
Leighton 941, 4524(not marked), 11387
Manjimup 2055 (photographed at Bunbury!), 4151
Midland 367 (No allocation stencilled on wagon) , 2575
W. Merredin 11408
Narrogin 4341, 11450
Kwinana 3050 - photographed at Albany!
Wagin 2059 photographed in Midland salvage yard.
Workshop Yard 11384, 11395

As usual there were some further oddities within the class. Apart from additional weight on the deck there were also variations in the handrails, footboards and toolboxes. Some examples of these variations are shown right.

I suspect that these wagons were quite well photographed. If you can add any allocations to the list above, please let me know.

NS11450 had a half length footboard on the hand brake side as did NS11438. Many did not. CXA type chassis.

NS3050 had unusual handrails. NZR type chassis.

NS11384 had a very large toolbox and full length footboards on both sides. No hand brake. CXA type chassis. NS11395 was similar.

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