Class V bogie covered vans (Class GB before 1900)

Between 1896 and 1898 a total of 325 bogie vans were built to a single design as class GB. This used the standard 30-0" long bogie chassis with 4'-6" bogies. It is believed that these vans were originally varnished rather than painted when delivered. Before long this caused problems and it was decided to repaint the vans grey when the varnish needed renewing. In 1900 these vans became class V. In these early years these bogie vans were far more common on the W.A.G.R. than four wheelers. They did, however, form the basis of conversions. In 1901/2 two vans were fitted with louvres in the sides and reclassified WO. Several others became VW class workmen's sleeping vans in 1904-6 whilst in 1905-6 a further five became accident vans. In 1936 all of the accident vans were classified VC. Both of these classes were added to over the years but just about every VC and VW was different from the next. In later years they included conversions of coaches and brake vans as well as goods vans. During the war twenty-five V class vans were temporarily fitted with seats for transporting troops and reclassified VP. From 1954 four V class vans were used for explosive traffic and reclassified VE (it is not certain why they did not get a code in the Y group). However this class only lasted until 1964 when the remaining three vans reverted to class V. The final V class vans in traffic were eliminated in 1972 after many of the last survivors had been converted to class QBB bolster wagons.

The next major variant was the VA class. A total of 54 of these were rebuilt from V class vans starting in 1914. Initially these conversions had a body identical to the WO class but from about 1924 the conversions had completely new and larger bodies after criticism by a Royal Commission. These vans lasted a similar length of time to the V's and were gone by 1973. One hundred new VA class vans were built in 1922 to a longer design. Eleven of these were fitted with 5'-6" bogies in 1929 and in 1934/5 they were given crate floors. In 1936 these vans along with seven other VA's which retained the 4'-6" bogies but also had crate floors were reclassified VB. The last of these VB's was written off in 1976. Between 1938 and 1947 a further 32 VBs with a new design of steel underframe and RB type bogies was built. Eighteen of these were converted to class QBC in 1973 by which time the rest had been written off. The final batch of thirty VB's was fitted with RC type bogies when they were built in 1950/1. Some of these were converted to QBC and QV class flat wagons. The remainder had gone by 1974 including the two reclassified VE in 1971.

Class VI was used for a single instruction converted from an AF class coach in 1946. It was written off in 1971 but another VI was created from and ADF class power car in 1964. This lasted until 1980.

Class VS was used for an assortment of vehicles that functioned as scale adjusters vans from 1950. The last of these was disposed of in 1991.

Further new construction was on the new standard 36'-0" bogie chassis. In 1952/3 a total of 180 new VD class vans arrived from Societe Metalurgique D'Engien. Unlike earlier bogie vans the VD class had fully louvred sides (like the FD class four wheelers) when built. The first variants on this design were the VDR and WVD refrigerator van conversions of 1956/7. By 1967 the louvres were becoming a problem and three VDA class vans were created which had planked lower sides and steel louvres in the upper sides. ClassVDB was created by conversion of some VDR and WVD class vans in 1970. In the same year nine VDs were fitted with load dividing equipment and reclassified VDL. These lasted until 1987. Most remaining VD's underwent the same sort of modifications as their smaller FD class cousins before being written off or used as the basis for class RCJ open wagons.

The next development in bogie vans used the VD chassis but only the top half was of the body was louvred. This produced the 156 vans in class VF, between 1961 and 1963. Ten of these were fitted with load dividing equipment and reclassified VFL in 1970. Thirty-nine VF's had their louvres sealed and roof hatches fitted for grain traffic from 1984/5 to produce class VFA. Most of the remaining vans were converted in RCJ class open wagons by the early 1990's.

In 1964 two M.R.W.A. LC class vans were taken over, and although of very different design, were included in class VA. The last of this pair survived as a VC class accident van until 1991. The KB class crew vans were included in class VW.

Class VG introduced in 1969 used the general layout of the VF with the steel upper body louvres of the VDA. Only forty were built and most were eventually converted to class VGA. The final design of narrow gauge van was the seventy VH class vans built in 1971/4. This finally broke the mould and used a layout similar to the American inspired standard gauge vans. One of this class was experimentally rebuilt with a new body with full length doors but it never entered traffic in this condition and was written off in 1991.

The track recorder car converted from AF93 was originally classed as a wagon (class VT) in 1951 but was quickly reclassified ALT as a coach. This code was then unused until an assortment of old vans were classed VT for the transport of diesel engine filters from 1978.

When they were first built in 1967 fifty of the new WVX standard gauge vans ran as VWV class vans on narrow gauge bogies until 1969.

In 1912 a single eyesight testing van was built as class VA. In 1936 it was reclassified VX and finally VU in 1967 before it became a VW in 1970.

A single bullion van was built in 1898 and ran as class VY until 1948 when it became a VW. The safe was transferred to a converted ZJ class brake van, which also became class VY until it too was converted to a VW in 1968.

The final class in this group is class VZ, which consisted of old brake vans, used for breakdown train work from 1974 until 1983.

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