D Class NZR type vans (class G before 1900)

This class consisted of 75 wagons built in 1894-1895 to a design which originated in New Zealand. They arrived in two batches. Bristol Carriage and wagon Co built numbers 558-582 in 1894 and these were followed by 1178-1201 and 1329-1354 from Gloucester RCWCo in 1895.

In 1896 six of these vans (574, 577, 581, 1178, 1188, 1348) were altered to E class  cold storage vans.

Numbers 560, 568 and 570 had all disappeared by 1900 and must either have been sold or destroyed in accidents.

 

A very battered old van (1343) at Woodman's point which had served as a DE class explosives van since 1957.

In 1901 numbers 572, 1181, 1184, 1186, 1199, 1340, 1341 and 1351 were noted as to be used on express trains only.   An image of D1351 from an old postcard of Meckering station (right) shows that the roof had been modified at an early date to over hang rather more than the standard van and this change could also apply to the other vans in this little group.

In 1903 numbers 1180, 1183, 1345, 1353 were noted as being for use on mail trains.

The record cards note that between 1909 and 1913 some of these vans were rebuilt (in what way is unknown). The vans involved were:

1909

565, 1196 rebuilt

1910

562 rebuilt

1912

559 rebuilt

1913

1200 rebuilt

In 1914 number 575 became a DW class workmen's van but returned to class D in 1937 when 1335 was written off. In the same year 1341 was transferred to the WAGR saw-mill stock. In 1939 D558, which was on the Port Hedland railway, was converted into an H class lowsided wagon.  D564 was the van used on the Hopetoun line and was written off when that line closed in 1943. There was then a steady decline in numbers as vans were written off:

 

1914

575 to DW

1937

DW575 to D

1341 to WAGR saw mill

1335 to JETTY 504

1939

558 to H at Port Hedland

579 written off

1940

1331 written off

1943

564 written off at Hopetoun

1948

1196 written off

1949

565 written off

1950

567, 1194 written off

1951

1330 written off

However this decline was to some extent when a number of A class horseboxes on the NZR type underframe were converted to D class vans. These were 5116, 5119, 5120, 5121, 5126, 5128, 5129, 5130, 5132 in 1943 and 5115, 5117, 5136 in 1951. They differed slightly from the standard vans in having a higher roof.

In 1953 there was a more drastic change when 563, 573, 575, 1187, 1195, 1201, 1332, 1339, 1342, 1345, 1350, 1352, 5120 and 5132 all passed into workmen's stock as class DW vans.

The photo shows 5120 as a DW.

Other vans also went into workmen's stock over the years:

1953

563, 573, 575, 1187, 1195, 1201, 1332, 1339, 1342, 1345, 1350, 1352, 5120, 5132 to DW

1954

572, 5116 to DW

1957

1197 to DW

1960

1193 to DW

1961

1190 to DW

However, another group of vans were re-bodied in the same year and given a new lease of life. These were 559, 566, 1181, 1184, 1185, 1189, 1191, 1198, 1334, 1336, 1340, 1344 and 1351 and 5119. Some if not all of these were new 16'-0" vans.  The following year write-offs started again:

1954

562, 582, 1182, 1329, 1333, 1346, 1349, 1353, 1354 written off

1955

561, 569, 1199, 1200, 1338, 5128 written off

1956

5129, 5136 written off

1957

578, 1180, 1186, 1192, 1347, 5121 written off

1958

571, 5119 written off

1960

1179 written off

1961

580 written off

1962

576, 1337 written off

1966

5115  written off

1968

1344 written off

1969 

559, 1185, 1198, 1336 written off

1970

1351 written off

1972

1181, 1184, 1189 written off

1977

1340 written off

The other fate for these vans was use as DE class explosives vans. Reclassifications to DE were as follows:

1954

1183 to DE

1957

1343, 5130 to DE

1959

5117, 5126 to DE

1961

580 to DE

1964

1191 to DE

1971

566, 1334 to DE

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