Early D Class vans (Class G before 1900)

The early W.A.G.R. vans were all built by Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. for use on the Eastern Railway.  There were no vans on the Northern railway line.

They were 14'-0" over headstocks with sliding doors and diagonal planking. In appearance they were similar to the later G.S.R. type vans. Both types were similar in style and size to British built vans which could be found on other narrow gauge railways such as the Isle of Man railway.

The two early van types compared. The W.A.G.R. type with the sliding doors is to the right and the G.S.R. van to the left.

They appear to have been built as follows:

1881 52, 53
1884 84, 85
1885 92-5
1891 250-6, 263-9, 270, 271

In 1894 number 94 was converted to a cold storage van and reclassified reclassified E in 1900. Numbers 95, 252, 256, 266 seem to have been early casualties and were written off before 1900. In contrast 254, 268, 270 and 271 had been converted at some time in the 1890s to louvre vans and were reclassified F in 1900.

Numbers 265-268 spent some time as workmen's vans in the 1890's with 267, 268 being returned to normal stock in 1898. Number 269 became a workmen's van in 1898 as did 263 in the early 1900's. Number 52 was reclassified D in 1900 but by 1906 the number was being used for a VC class accident van so it had gone by then. In 1905 269 was listed as a Scale Adjusters van in need of a rebuild. Number 93 was replaced by a 17'-0" D van in 1904. Numbers 53 and 85 were replaced by new 15'-0" D vans in 1905.  This leaves numbers 84, 250, 251, 253, 255, 264 and 267.

These remaining vans were "rebuilt" but it is not clear what this involved (known dates are 1912 for 267 and 1914 for 251). It seems very likely that in fact these vans were replaced by new 16'-0" D vans on the GC type chassis before the first world war as they were not written off until the 1950's and 251 was involved in the 1950's re-bodying programme. These last few vans were disposed of as follows:

1953

250 reclassified as DW

251 re-bodied!!!

1954

84, 255, 264 written off

1956 267 written off
1957 253 written off
1964 251 converted to DE (finally written off 1970)

 

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