Class Y explosives vans (Class HB before 1900)

Above: Oldbury Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. builders photo.

Unlike the four wheeled O class powder vans the bogie powder vans are much more straightforward. Two batches were built. The first group came from Oldbury Carriage and Wagon Co in 1898 and were numbered 2872 - 2875 as class HB. One van, 2872, was classed P before 1900 alongside three  4 wheel gunpowder vans (H later O) and twelve GB/V class vans.  After a gap of eight years a second batch of 5 vans (6796-6800) were built at Midland Workshops in 1906. The Midland batch appear to have different strapping on the ends and roof and different door locking arrangements.

Four of these vans passed in workmen's service during the depression years, 6800 in 1929, 6797 in 1933 and 2872/3 in 1934. However, three of these returned to class Y 2872 in 1935, 6797 in 1936 and 2873 in 1937.

A grounded body from one of the Midland built batch.

The remaining vans were written off as follows:

1964 2874 written off
1965 6799 to JETTY 300. Demolished 12/71
1966 6797 written off
1967 6796 written off
1968 2872 written off
1969 2873 written off
1970 6798 to VW
1971 2875 written off

The WAGR outline diagram is shown below.

The other group of vans in this classification were a pair of W class cold storage vans (4504/9) used for explosive traffic from 1906 to 1929 and 1926 respectively when they reverted to class W.

Other Powder vans

Other explosive vans used by the W.A.G.R. were to be found in classes DE, and EBE and O (all four wheel) and VE bogie.

It is not clear why the O and Y codes were not used more extensively. If these codes had been used to cover all "powders" they would have been a ready home for the cement wagons that WAGR never found a way of grouping together.

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