Quick links: [ Home ] / [ Current stocklist ] /
Private Owner 12 ton coal wagons to RCH 1907 design, numbers NCB 116, NCB 151, and NCB 161
Above: RCH 1907 mineral wagon ex Wolstanton NCB 151, Foxfield Wood sidings May 2004
Although designs were issued for wagons in 1903/4, the first major influence of the RCH to standardise the design of privately owned wagons came in 1907, with the distribution of a comprehensive set of drawings to all builders and registering railway companies. Dimensions of the body were constant, at 16'0" length, 7' 6" width and 9' 0" wheelbase. The body was usually constructed of seven planks each just under 7" wide, but considerable variation in body height and number of planks was allowed, on the same standardised underframe. Capacity could be 10 or 12 tons, and as well as doors in the sides they could be provided at one end or in the floor. Grease lubricated axleboxes were still permitted, though most 1907 design wagons were built with oil boxes, but to many different designs. There were also different forms of door fastenings, brakegear and many other features. As there were over 150 firms building wagons in Britain at the time, the number of permutations is almost endless, and the RCH was still very far from forcing the adoption of a standard wagon! However, about 200,000 wagons were built to conform to this basic design, up to 1923, and they are very similar to the fleet of wagons operated by the Foxfield Colliery in the period 1893 until WW2.
Above: Foxfield Colliery wagons built by Ashbury Co to a design similar to RCH 1907, at the old colliery screens
Despite the number constructed, survivors of private owner wagons from this period are very rare indeed, and Foxfield is fortunate to have three that demonstrate a couple of the variations seen on the 1907 design.
One is a six plank wagon with side, end and bottom doors, whose build date and original operator is so far unknown, but carries the number 311891. It has "OK" type oil axleboxes, as most commonly used by the GWR, but it is not known if these are an original feature. After sale by BR from main line service, probably in the early 1950s, it became a dirt wagon at Wolstanton Colliery, renumbered as NCB 151. When no longer needed for internal use there it was sold to the Foxfield Railway and moved by road with seven other wagons in spring 1973.
Above: One of the RCH 1907 mineral wagons from NCB Wolstanton awaiting restoration in 1995
The other two are seven plank wagons, again with previous operators unknown, and which also ended up at NCB Wolstanton Colliery as numbers NCB 116 and NCB 161. The former carries the number 38735, and the latter 230211, and through these their earlier histories may be traceable. NCB 161 may have carried the number P191403 under BR, before sale to the NCB in the early 1950s, but further research is needed.
Of the three survivors at Foxfield, NCB 151 is the most complete, stored intact at Foxfield Wood sidings, though it shows evidence of some "make do" repairs at Wolstanton Colliery. The other two are derelict, one in very poor condition at the end of the Bank Top Branch siding at Dilhorne Park station and the other reasonably intact at Blythe Bridge exchange sidings. All require extensive timber replacement but the metal components are generally in usable condition.
This set of three 1907 wagons are now almost unique in the UK and it is hoped that at least one or two of them can be restored eventually, to carry authentic "Foxfield Colly" or other local private owner wagon liveries.
Below: an earlier view of RCH 1907 mineral wagon NCB 151 stored at Foxfield Wood sidings
|For more information on the Foxfield Steam Railway, its passenger services and special events please see the official website at http://www.foxfieldrailway.co.uk.|