XA, XAC and XL Class hoppers

In 1902 the first high capacity hopper wagons appeared on the W.A.G.R. They were built in the U.S.A. by Dutilh-Smith, McMillan &Co.

The fifty wagons (5894-5943) entered service in 1902 apart from the last (5943) which was issued to traffic the following year. They had a unique type of 5'-0" wheelbase bar-frame bogie and a handrail high up along the side.

In 1909 numbers 5902, 5912/9, 5921/7, 5935/7 and 5940 were transferred to the isolated Hopetoun-Ravensthorpe Railway. They were joined by 5897, 5915, 5922/3/5/9 the following year. All of these wagons returned to the main system in 1921 and had their bodies replaced.

 

Another fifty wagons (but this time with 5'-6" wheelbase RB type bogies) were built in 1929 (11129-11162) and 1930 (11163-11178) at Midland Workshops. There were detailed differences between this batch and the original American built wagons. The outermost angle iron at either end of the wagon was extended and the handrail along the side deleted from these later wagons.

 

The withdrawal of the XA class hoppers started after the Second World War but only affected the older American built wagons at first:

XA11173 at Bassendean. Note the welded patches where corrosion has taken place along the lower sides.

 

1947

5904 to JETTY 561

1953

5915, 5936/9, 5941 written off

1954

5894/5/7, 5911/3, 5929, 5935, 5940 written off

1955

5898, 5906-8, 5914, 5922/6-8, 5933/4/7/8, 5942 written off

1956

5899, 5919, 5920/1, 5943 written off

1957

5901/5, 5918, 5923, 5932 written off

1964

5903 written off

1965

5928, 5930 written off

1966

5896 written off

1967

5910 written off

1972

5902 written off

1973

5916 written off

1976

5900, 5912, 5924 converted to XAC

1978

5909 written off

1983

5917, 5931 written off

XAC 5900, 5912, 5924 written off

 

The conversion to class XAC involved changes to the slope decks and mesh for a tarpaulin. Most of the wagons converted to this standard were from the Midland built batch.

Twenty-two of the Midland built wagons were reclassified XL and used as ballast hoppers. The demise of the Midland built wagons was as follows:

1965

11148 written off

1967

11156 written off

1969

11130 to XL

1970

11131/4/8, 11142/4/7, 11150/1/3-5/7, 11161-4/6/7, 11170/2/7 to XL

1972

11173/5 written off

1974

11131/8, 11142/4/7, 11150/1/3-5/7, 11161-4/6/7, 11177 from XL

1975

11131/7-9, 11140/2/3, 11151/4/9, 11163/6/7, 11177 to XAC

1976

11132/3, 11145/6, 11155/8, 11160/5, 11174 to XAC

1977

11153 to XAC

1978

XL11134/4, 11170/2 written off

1979

XAC11153 written off

1980

11147 to XAC

1981

11157 written off, 11150 to XAC

1983

11129, 11135/6, 11141/4/9, 11152, 11161/2/4/8, 11171/6/8 written off

XAC11131-3/7-9, 11140/2/3/5-7, 11150/1/4, 11155/8/9, 11160/3/5-7/9, 11174/7 written off

Hidden away at Midland workshops some surprising things could be found which never saw the light of day on the main system.  One of these was a wagon built out of TWO XAs welded together.

 Return to class X

 

 

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