XW, XWA, XWAB, XWB, XWBB, XWC and WXW Class Wheat Hoppers

This class of large steel wheat hoppers brought standard gauge wagon design to the 3-6" gauge. The first batch of ninety (XW21301-21390) were built a Midland workshops in 1972. A further five (21281-21285 were built in 1976 followed by 21286-21300 in 1977. Production continued in 1978 with 21801-21820 followed by 21821-21850 in 1979 and 21851-21880 in 9180. The very last batch were 21881-21895 built in 1981.

In 1975 several of these wagons were converted temporarily to standard gauge by changing the bogies. They were then reclassified WXW. They were all reconverted back to 3'-6" gauge XW class wagons in 1976. The wagons involved were: 21309, 21314, 21317, 21319, 21320, 21332, 21343, 21348, 21354, 21355, 21358, 21359, 21361, 21362, 21365, 21373, 21377, 21378, 21388, and 21390. Following this a smaller group of wagons (21331, 21342, 21354, 21359, 21362, 21372, 21377) were reclassified XWC in 1976. They all reverted to class XW in 1977.

In 1983 a modified version of the design (class XWA) was introduced when XWA24701-24715 were built. Subsequently a large number of the original XW class wagons were converted to XWA standard.

The wagons converted to XWA standard in 1984 were:

21282, 21284-21305/7/9, 21313/4/8/9, 21321-4/6-9, 21330/2-8, 21340/1/3 21346-21353, 21355/6/8, 21360/1/3, 21366-21370, 21372-4/6/8/9, 21801/3-9, 21810, 21812-21833, 21837-21840, 21842-4/6-9, 21851/2, 21854-21863, 21865-21884, 21886/8, 21890-3/5

Before the conversions to XWA began a total of forty class XW wagons were converted to XWAB standard with air brake bypass pipes. These wagons could be distinguished by the Blue painted brake cylinder. The forty wagons involved were 21281/3, 21306, 21310-2/5-7, 21320/5, 21331, 21342/4/5, 21354/7/9, 21362/4/5, 21371/5/7, 21802, 21811, 21834/6, 21841, 21864, 21885,/7/9, 21894.

 

With these conversions and those to class XWA the original XW class ceased to exist. The next batch of new hoppers was built in 1984 and coded XWBB. They were numbered 24716-24730. They were followed by class XWB wagons 24731-24760. Through the late 1980s into the 1990s a bewildering series of reclassifications followed as the brake specifications of individual wagons was changed. As far as I have managed to follow it the changes were as follows:

1987

XWA 21285, 24712 to XWAB

XWA 21384, 21389, 21344, 21867 to XWB

1988

XWA 21299, 21303, 21352, 21857, 24707, 21891 to XWB

XWBB 24716, 24723 to XWB

1989

XWA 21289, 21298, 21305, 21321, 21382, 21812, 21821, 21855, 21863, 21866, 21872, 21895 to XWB

1992

XWA 24702 to XWAB

XWB 21281, 21283, 21306, 21308, 21311, 21312, 21316, 21317, 21320, 21325, 21331, 21339, 21342, 21345, 21354, 21357, 21359, 21362, 21364, 21365, 21371, 21372, 21375, 21377, 21802, 21811, 21815, 21834, 21835, 21836, 21837, 21841, 21844, 21845, 21850, 21853, 21864, 21885, 21887, 21889, 21894 to XWAB

XWA 21287, 21290, 21293, 21296, 21297, 21302, 21307, 21310, 21313, 21319, 21322, 21324, 21326, 21332, 21335, 21336, 21337, 21338, 21348, 21350, 21355, 21360, 21366, 21368, 21376, 21381, 21383, 21387, 21388, 21389, 21804, 21807, 21809, 21810, 21813, 21817, 21818, 21819, 21823, 21824, 21826, 21827, 21828, 21829, 21831, 21832, 21833, 21838, 21846, 21849, 21854, 21860, 21868, 21869, 21870, 21873, 21875, 21880, 21883, 21884, 21888, 21892, 24105, 24703, 24704, 24706, 24709, 24710, 24711, 24713, 24715 to XWB

1993

XWA 21282, 21288, 21292, 21301, 21314, 21327, 21329, 21340, 21341, 21363, 21367, 21373, 21803, 21805, 21814, 21822, 21825, 21840, 21874, 21890, 21893 to XWB

1994

XWB24706 written off

1997

XWB21353 to XWBB

 Return to class X

 

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