British Railways Wagons - The First Half Million
Few regular passengers on British Rail can have failed to notice how the goods yards at one station after another have been closed; once busy as coal was unloaded by hand straight into merchants' bags. or with packets and crates placed piece by piece into vans, they are now given over to car parking. scrap metal or willow herb. Most of the large marshalling yards. some built as recently as the 1960s, have been drastically run down or even closed altogether as operating practices changed with trains running as block loads rather than with individual wagons running from and to hundreds of different stations. It is not many years since BR earned more from carrying goods than passengers but today freight is to a large extent the junior partner and is mostly conveyed in high capacity air-braked wagons.
Thus the traditional small four-wheeled British Railways wagon is rapidly disappearing from the scene even though many were still being built until the 1960s with little fundamental change from the designs of a century ago. This book records the history of these traditional wagons built by British Railways and covering about half a million units since 1948. Some are still in service but they will not last much longer.Yet this book is not only about the wagons themselves: it is about an era when BR still bustled with goods trains, when the sound of a steam locomotive struggling to get a long rake of loose-coupled coal wagons under way, and the crash of buffers and snatch of three-link couplings were all part of the railway scene.
The publication covers most of the British Railway (BR) wagons (from 1948), with chapter titles such as; 'Mineral Wagons', 'Hopper Wagons', 'Brake Vans' and an interesting chapter on non-revenue 'Service Vehicles'. The last chapter deals with matters such as air-braked rolling stock.
All chapters come with black & white photos and comprehensive text, scale drawings are also included - all very clear and and very helpful - especially for the modeller.
Additional appendices on;- 16T Mineral Wagon Running Numbers (ex MOT) and LOT Nos. Diagram Nos. Running Nos. etc. for the other BR wagons - useful for those who wish to model (and number) specific vehicles.
Hardback with dust jacket, 192 pages, black & white photographs, plans
Condition: Good/Very Good
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Updated: 1 June 2020