X Class Bogie Hoppers (Class UB before 1900)

In 1898 the W.A.G.R. obtained a bogie hopper wagon which it listed as class UB. In 1900 it became class X. This wagon did not last long in this form and by 1905 had become an RX class open wagon. Whilst the original design was not entirely satisfactory it did lead to the construction of fifty XA class hoppers in 1902/3 by the American company Dutilh-Smith, McMillan & Co. A further fifty of these were built at Midland Workshops in 1929 and the XA class lasted until 1983. Between 1969 and 1974 twenty-two of the XA's ran as XL class ballast hoppers but most returned to class XA. From 1975 thirty of them were altered to become class XAC but these did not last any longer than the XA's.

In 1932 a single all steel open wagon became the next class X. It was not repeated but lasted until 1979. It is unclear why this wagon was not given a G or K code. It is just possible that the X classification was a result of mistaking a K for an X.

The start of bauxite production in Western Australia in 1963 saw the introduction of the XB class bauxite hoppers and the A class diesel-electrics to haul them. These wagons were modified and classed XBC from 1969. The XC class bauxite hoppers followed from 1968. Both of these classes used welded aluminium hoppers as did many later hoppers.

Two bogie cement hoppers of class XR were built in 1968. These were really tankers rather than hoppers but were presumably grouped in class X because the cargo was a solid rather than a liquid which would have put them in the J class group. They have not been repeated and were written off in 1996.

In 1970 a total of fifteen WSH class standard gauge ballast hoppers became the XM class. Ten bogie ballast hoppers were built at Midland workshops in 1983 as class XH whilst in 1985 four XK class hoppers were converted from the standard gauge WSK class.

Between 1969 and 1971 a total of forty XNG class hoppers were built for Norseman Gold mines. In 1974 some became class XN whilst others were placed on standard gauge bogies and became class WL. In 1982-4 the WL were reconverted to narrow gauge as class XNA and the XN's were also reclassified to XNA. In the early nineties some were used for wheat traffic classed XNW.

The XF class Alumina hoppers first appeared in 1971 with construction continuing over a twenty-year period. A variant on this design appeared as class XFL in 1974 but these were all converted to XF standard in 1976. A batch of wagons built in 1982/3 was for Worsley Alumina rather than Westrail (as the W.A.G.R. was now known).

In 1976 the XE class Ilmenite hoppers were introduced. Fourteen of these were fitted with vacuum by pass pipes and classed XEB in 1983. Further small batches of XE class wagons batches were built in 1987 and 1991.

Production of the XG class coal hoppers started in 1977. Many of these were built for the State Energy Commission rather than Westrail and a number were also built for Worsley Alumina. In 1984 all of the Westrail owned wagons were converted to standard gauge and reclassified WXG. From 1985 a bewildering series of reclassifications started which resulted in the creation of classes XGA, XGAB, XGB, XGBB and finally XGT. Some wagons going through the same class more than once.

A total of forty-four wood-chip hoppers of class XO were built by Commonwealth Engineering in 1976-80.

Thirteen XP lime hoppers were built for Worsley Alumina in 1982/3. Like the XRs these wagons were really a tanker rather than a hopper type.

Production of the XW class wheat hoppers started in 1972 and continued until 1981 by which time 205 had been built. Some saw service on the standard gauge as class WXW but most were later reclassified as braking arrangements were altered to classes XWA, XWAB and XWC. New production from 1983 also produced the XWB and XWBB variants. In the late eighties and into the nineties a series of reclassifications took the wagons in this group from one class to another with most ending up as XWB. An improved grain hopper (class XV) made its appearance in 1986. However, these all-steel wagons were quickly superseded by the aluminium XU class wagons that appeared in 1987-8. The XY class hoppers built in 1990/1 superseded the XU's by making better use of the loading gauge. The latest class of grain hopper (XT) was ordered before the privatisation of Westrail but the wagons were only delivered after the ARG takeover. These were the last wagons delivered with WAGR style class and numbers.

Other hopper wagons

The W.A.G.R.'s other hopper wagons were the four-wheelers to be found in classesL, LA(early), LA and LW.

There are also the Western Mining Corporation wagons in class WMC introduced in 1965. Some wagons were written off but the remainder were reclassified WMD in 1975 for wheat traffic and then some were also reclassified to WME in 1987.

 

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