Class VC Accident Vans (Unclassified before 1936)

Four accident vans were built by Stableford and Co in 1898 for the W.A.G.R. They were based on the Type 1 brake van design but had a platform at both ends. They were numbered 2068-2071. By 1900 they were treated as C class passenger brake vans (type 2) and were all reclassified Z in 1900. In 1905/6 2070 became a breakdown van once again but finally reverted to class Z in 1935. The WAGR outline diagram is shown below.

There was also a four wheeled accident van numbered 201. 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 is listed in 1900 as class S and was reclassified P at that time. 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. It was eventually replaced by a new D van in 1927.

The photo at right is a very cruel enlargement of State Library of WA 5323B/1060 taken at Fremantle in around about 1900. It is the only photo that I know of of this vehicle.

The WAGR outline diagram is shown below.

Two further bogie accident vans are listed in annual reports from 1905. They were built on chassis intended for AE class coaches with 5104 first listed in 1905 and 52 first listed in 1906. It is known however there was an accident van renumbered from 70 in the carriage list to 5104 in 1900 and it is my belief that these two vans were in fact built in 1898/9.

They were long lived vehicles with VC52 lasting until 1975 and VC5104 until 1983.

The WAGR outline diagram is shown below.



At right is an enlargement of a Fretwell collection image showing one of the pair of accident vans rebuilt from an AE in the breakdown train at Kookynie in 1929.

VC5104, at least, was altered in later years and lost the sliding doors on at least one side as shown in Jeff Austin's photo below.

A number of V class vans (1877, 3271, 3354, 3372, 3427) are listed as accident vans from 1905/6. This formed the start of a large group of vehicles whose careers are listed in the table below.

1913 3267 from V
1931 3354 to V
1932 3394 from VA
1936 3427 to V
1937 3434 from VW

3434 to VW

1938 3267, 3271 to V

2853, 3312, 3430 from V

1844, 2225 from VW

1955 3338, 3390 from V

1877 to VW

1877 from VW

1956 2853 written off 
1959 3284 from V
1961 3312 to JETTY 78
1962 3337 from V
1963 3337 written off

3258 from VA

1964 1844 written off
1966 1877 to VW
1970 3372 written off 
1972 3284 written off

3394 written off

1976 2225, 3338, 3430 written off
1977 3258 written off
1978 3390 written off
1981 1885 ex written off V
1987 1885 written off

A total of four W class vans saw service as accident vans. 4513 was reclassified VC in 1937 from VW W4507, 4509 and 4512 were reclassified VC in 1938. These vans remained as accident vans until 1947 when 4513 reverted to class W followed by 4509 in 1948. The 4512 was written off in 1953 and 4507 became JETTY 899 in 1954.

Former carriage AG14 (above) latterly brake van ZG14 was converted to accident van VC1441 in 1947. Its long career finally came to an end in 1972 and it is now preserved.

In 1954 two of the 33'-0" VA class vans (10206 and 10228) were reclassified VC. In 1964 VC10206 was written off and replaced by VA10139. VC10139 reverted to class VA in 1970 and VC10228 was written off in 1972. In 1979 VA10219 was reclassified VC but this seems never to have been painted on the wagon which remained lettered as a VA. This van was written off in 1985.

In 1955 coach ACW330 was converted to VC2143. This conversion was quite extensive and involved sleeping accommodation, a kitchen and dining area, WC and a shower. It was written off in 1987. The WAGR outline diagram for VC2143 is shown below.

VC2100 Photo J. Austin (RHWA collection)

In 1965 the former ministerial car AF261 was fitted out in a similar fashion to VC2143 and became VC2100. This carriage only lasted in service until 1974. It is now preserved.

VC5088 was converted from one of the later type ZA class vans (ZA191) in 1965. It acquired a second set of sliding doors where one of the passenger compartments had been and was also later equipped with "Deutschland" re-railing equipment. It spent its later years at Claisebrook depot and was written off in 1985.

Conversion of the early type ZA Class vans to class VC started in 1966 with ZA176 becoming VC5105. VC5089 and 5090 (ZA161? And 183) followed in 1969. In 1976 VC5105 was reclassified VW and VC5156 was converted from ZA159. In 1980 VC5090 (by now in use on the vintage train) reverted to ZA183. ZA5156 was written off in 1991.

Former MRWA sleeping car AZS445 was converted to accident van VC5103 in 1974. It was written off in 1991.

Two type 15b Z vans (225 and 227) became VC5106 and 5107 respectively in 1975. Another member of this small group of Z vans (226) became VC5155 in 1976. However VC5155 was reclassified ZD and regained its old number 226 almost straight away in 1976. In 1991 the two other vans were written off.

Also in 1976 Z23 became VC5154 but this too was reclassified ZD and regained its old number the same year.

Another van used to carry "Deutschland" re-railing equipment was VC40721 reclassified from VA40721 in 1976 and originally built by the MRWA as their class LC. It was written off in 1991.

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