Flat wagons

Amongst the very first wagons purpose built for the W.A.G.R. standard gauge at Midland Workshops were the WF class. They also occupied the lowest numbers in the standard gauge 3XXXX series. The first four entered service at the end of 1964 and the rest followed in 1965-1966.

Conversions started very soon after the class was in service with the last wagon transferring to service stock as class WSA in 1967 and eleven others converted for Motor car traffic (WMA) in 1968 but returned to WF in 1975. In 1969 eleven wagons were converted for Iron ore containers and reclassified WFW. Eight others were also converted to WFW up to 1979. By 1981 the need for this had ended and they were reclassified WFDY along with the rest of the WF class. Two wagons were reclassified WFL in 1971 for the transport of locomotives to the isolated 3'-6" gauge lines. They reverted to WF when this was no longer necessary in 1975. Nine wagons ran as class WFP between 1973 and 1976. Four wagons were converted for Nickel ore containers and reclassified WFM for a short period (1973-1976).

From 1979 until 1982 WF class wagons were slowly reclassified as WFDY. This process also included bringing the class WFWs back into the fold as they went directly to WFDY in 1981. WF 30091 was the only wagon written off as class WF.

Having brought the class pretty much back together by 1982 (only 30119 and 30091 missing) reclassification and conversion for other roles started again in 1983 with five wagons reclassified as WFSY sleeper wagons for the Koolyanobbing to Kalgoorlie re-sleepering. Two WFDY were comprehensively rebuilt into WGLA class Nickel Matte wagons as was the WSA. Most WFDY wagons were reclassified WFDF in 1988-1990. In 1989 one WFDY joined the service fleet as WSN. Twelve wagons were converted to WFBY in 1990 but they were a short lived group. In 1997 most of the class were reclassified WQH for sulphuric traffic.

In 1981 the WAGR built a new class of flat top wagon intended for container traffic. They were class WFA numbered 31001-31053. Seven were converted to WFAP for motor vehicles in 1987. The same year reclassification of WFA to WQCY started and it was completed in 1989. The only wagon not reclassified was written off in 1990.

WFCX 30121-30126 were issued new in 1970. They were reclassified as WQBX in 1979 and 1980.

The WAGR moved on from the WF flat top to the WFX quickly. In late 1969 the first of the new class appeared. They were long enough at 63' to take three 20' ISO containers whereas the WF at 54' long could not. They were also lighter but could not take as great a load. In 1970 twenty-one of these new wagons were put on narrow gauge bogies and reclassified QWF. The were reconverted to standard gauge in 1972-3. In December 1973 construction of another batch started. They were completed in 1974 to bring the class total to 206. In 1979 reclassification to WQCX started. WQC was a temporary classification applied to 18 wagons in 1980-2

After a relatively uncomplicated life up to this point, the 1990s saw a number of conversions and reclassifications for the WQCX's which I have probably not fully discovered the full extent of. At the end of it at least 76 of the class were now class WQTY. The classes involved were WQCW, WFCS, WQA, and WQO.

Unlike the narrow gauge where the only privately owned wagons were fuel tankers on the standard gauge other types were to be seen as well. The WFN class nickel wagons built in 1975/6 were privately owned. They were all rebuilt as WGL class wagons over a period of years between 1979 and 1984

Two WGX class wagons were converted to WQX in 1969 by fitting an adjustable bulkhead at one end and a fixed bulkhead at the other for the carriage of "Pyneboard". They were reclassified WFEX in 1979/81. At some point (after 1981?) the movable bulkheads were fixed.

In 1988/9 fourteen WBAX class vans were converted to WQDF class container wagons. In 1989 two more vans were converted to WQEF container wagons one of which later became a WQDF in 1993. At some point 30719 may have become class WQD

The last new flat wagons classes built for WAGR were the WQK and WQN classes, new in 1998.

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