P and ZP Class four-wheeled Brake vans (Class D before 1900)

Before 1900 the four and six wheeled brake vans were divided into two groups. The passenger brake vans were in class C along with all of the bogie brake vans (later class Z) and the six wheelers. The goods brake vans were in class D.

The D class vans are less easy to follow than the C's. There were a total of at least thirteen goods type four wheelers in class D belonging to two diagrams. It is likely that two of these vans were 1879 vehicles from the Northern Railway whilst another three were purchased from the M.R.W.A. in October 1893. These three were M.R.W.A. F class vans C, F and H (they were lettered not numbered on the M.R.W.A.). These may well have been D11-13 as only two of this type show up in the 1903 diagrams and D11 had gone by then.

There was also a single ballast brake van of class DB later VV dating from 1885.

In 1900 the WAGR took over two unnumbered P vans from Baxter & Prince.  These may have been ex WAGR vans but both were sold again without being given numbers.  In addition to this another unnumbered van became P4999.  Any of these unnumbered vans could have been D2, D8 or D11.  

From 1936 the remaining four-wheeled brake vans were reclassified ZP.

A Goods type P van at the head of a Kalgoorlie area suburban train. (Photo reproduced from "Travels in Western Australia", May Vivienne,Heinemann 1901)

Old Number Believed Built New wagon stock number Date renumbered Fate
D1 1881 P 4992 20/9/00 Destroyed by fire 3/2/1905 Midland Junction
D2 1884 - - Would have been 4993 but written off 1898-9
D3 9/1885 P 4994 22/9/00 Gone before 1913 when D 4994 built
D4 8/1886 P 4995 30/10/00 Gone before 1913 when D 4995 built
D5 1886 P 4996 6/10/00 Written off 1904-5?
D6 8/1886 P 4997 1/9/00 Noted as class EE in 1900. Gone before 1913 when D 4997 built.
D7 6/1892 P 4998 22/9/00? Sold Feb 1909 (probably to the G.W.S. Mundaring Weir Line)
D8   - - Would have been 4999 but written off about 1900

P 4999


An unnumbered van became P 4999. Gone by 1908 when VY 4999 built.
D9 6/1892 P 5000 29/9/00 Reclassified ZP June 1936. Written off March 1943 and sold at Hopetoun.
D10   P 5001 28/11/00 Written off before 1904
D11   - - Would have been 5002 but written off about 1900
D12 6/1892 P 5003 29/10/00 Sold to P.W.D. October 1915
D13 6/1892 P 5004 22/9/00 Sold to P.W.D. October 1915
VV1 1885? P 5094 22/10/00 Written off before 1904 when GA5904 was built.

The image above shows the sole survivor of the original W.A.G.R. D class vans. For many years after being sold from W.A.G.R. service it was used on the Onslow tramway and has since been preserved there. Following cyclone damage it has been moved to Midland for restoration and in seen above in the workshops (2004). Changes from original 1890's condition include the sliding doors and the steel ducket but the running gear (including the axleboxes) and most of the body looks original. The steel ducket suggests that it was one of the later survivors in W.A.G.R. service (possibly D9 later P5000)

The WAGR outline diagram for the Metropolitan RCWCo vans built for WAGR is shown below and this is the original condition of the Onslow van.

The WAGR outline diagram for the ex MRWA vans is shown below.

In addition there were two ex-Bunbury railway tramcar type brake vans which were not deemed fit for mainline use. They were 17'-0" long over headstocks with a clerestory roof , double doors in the sides, no windows and platform ends. One of these two vans had gone by 1899.

The photo at left is believed to show one of the two Bunbury brake vans (with the clerestory roof).(Photo courtesy J Austin)

P201 was another van with two platform ends. In later years at least it had a simple arc roof and its origins are unclear but it could have been a converted Bunbury tram car. It was 20' long over headstocks and is labelled on its outline diagram as a "Brakevan for explosives traffic". From 30/6/01 it was used as an accident van although for how long it retained the P classification is not known. In 1927 it was replaced by a D class van with the same number. The WAGR outline diagram is below.

Other brake vans

The W.A.G.R.'s other brake vans can be found under Class Z. After 1936 the remaining four-wheeled vans were class ZP. In 1953 two experimental four-wheeled vans were built which were class ZF.

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