Oldbury built RA class open wagons

The RA class was built in two groups. Two hundred and fifty wagons were built by Oldbury Carriage and Wagon Co in the Britain whilst 60 wagons were built by Duluth Smith McMillan & Co in America. In 1902 Oldbury Carriage and Wagon Co in the UK delivered wagons 5593 -5812 to the W.A.G.R. Unlike the American built wagons they used "Fox" type pressed steel bogies. The remainder of the batch (5813-5842) entered service in 1903.

The earliest casualties were 5837 written off in 1929, 5808 written off in 1931 and 5615and 5682 written off in 1942. However, there was also a spate of conversions in 1942 as forty-one wagons had their bodies removed to form class RAA. They were reconverted later in the war. The conversions were as follows:

1942

5613/7, 5623/9, 5632/4, 5641/4, 5651/2/4, 5665/8, 5673/4, 5680, 5706, 5710/1/8/9, 5733, 5741, 5750/2, 5777, 5780/7/8, 5790/2/3/6, 5800 , 5811/5, 5826/8/9, 5839 and 5841 to RAA

1944

5613/7, 5629, 5632, 5644, 5651/2/4, 5668, 5674, 5680, 5706, 5710/9, 5733, 5741, 5777, 5780/8, 5790/2/6, 5800, 5815 and 5829 from RAA to RA

1945

5623, 5634, 5641, 5665, 5711/8, 5750/2, 5777, 5787, 5793, 5811 and 5826/8, 5839, 5841 from RAA to RA

1946

5673 from RAA to RA

 

Withdrawals started again after the war but were never made at a great rate. This was largely because a re-bodying programme was started in the 1950's and by 1957 120 of the class had been re-bodied. The new bodies were only 4 planks rather than five planks high so the rebuilt wagons are easily distinguished in photographs.  Writing off of this class occurred as follows:

1946

5719 written off

1947

5598 written off

5700 to JETTY 275 

1949

5735 to JETTY 684

1950

5696, 5734, 5795 written off

5751 to JETTY 786

1951

5648 written off

1953

5699, 5828 written off

5617, 5687, 5701, 5721, 5725, 5727, 5821 to JETTY 883, 880, 885, 886, 884, 881, 882

1954

5672, 5805 written off

1957

5695, 5769, 5776, 5783 written off

5608, 5618, 5624, 5641, 5658, 5693, 5724, 5778 to JETTY 175, 153, 207, 188, 182, 189, 185, 224

1958

5602, 5635, 5653, 5665, 5674/8, 5686, 5692/8, 5703/8, 5758, 5764, 5770/9, 5782, 5791/6/8, 5803, 5820/2, 5834 written off

1959

5606, 5621, 5633, 5659, 5728, 5730/7, 5743, 5760, 5786, 5824 written off

5642, 5679, 5716 to JETTY 249, 250, 251

w/o 5834 to JETTY 235

1960

5599, 5640, 5662/7, 5768, 5785, 5813, 5830 written off

1961

5720 written off. 

1962

5612, 5688, 5726 written off 

w/o 5720, 5813 to JETTY 170, 119

1963

5800 written off

w/o 5783 to JETTY 199

1964

5609, 5650, 5676/7, 5704/5/7, 5714, 5767, 5774, 5811/4/5 written off

5739 to JETTY 212

1967

5710 written off

1968

5694 written off

w/o 5710,  5733 to JETTY 353, 354

1970

5596, 5663, 5689, 5741, 5806, 5817 written off

1971

5613, 5753, 5801 written off

1972

5616, 5772, 5833  to JETTY 39, 40, 37

1973

5593, 5652 written off

1974

5610, 5668, 5670, 5680, 5775 written off

1976

5842 written off

1977

5594, 5646, 5797 written off

1978

5819 written off

1979

5604, 5794, 5838 written off

1980

5595/7, 5611/9, 5626, 5631, 5645, 5657, 5666, 5675, 5685, 5709, 5715, 5736, 5756/7, 5771, 5780/8, 5810/2, 5823/6, 5831, 5840 written off

1981

5654, 5781 written off

5611/9, 5685, 5757, 5788, 5812, 5823 written back

1983

5600/1/3/5/7, 5611/4/9, 5620/2/3/5/7-9, 5630/2/4/6-9, 5643/4/7/9, 5651/5/6, 5660/1/4/9, 5671/3, 5681/3-5, 5690/1/2/7, 5702/8, 5711-3/7/8, 5722/3/9, 5731/2/8, 5740/2/4-9, 5750/2/4/5/7/9, 5761-3/5/6, 5773/7, 5784/7-9, 5790/2/3/9,5802/4/7/9, 5812/8, 5823/5/7/9, 5832/5/6/9, 5841

In addition there were some conversions during this period. In 1953 numbers 5608, 5621, 5657/8, 5664/9, 5697, 5706/9, 5723/4/8/9, 5733, 5743/5, 5750/5, 5778, 5780, 5810, 5824 ran as flat tops although they weren't this time reclassified RAA.

In 1954 5816 was converted into an equipment wagon for the 60 ton breakdown crane. This wagon was written off in 1985 and replaced by a written off RA numbered 5829. This wagon was itself finally written off in 1991.

A final conversion was the RAC class wagon, which was written off in 1983 although when 5684 was converted to class RAC is uncertain

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