The Moseley Railway Trust’s mission statement includes the words “preserve, conserve and interpret locomotives, vehicles and other artefacts pertaining to the industrial narrow gauge railway”. We take all aspects of this very seriously, and this week we’ll have a look at the unsung heros of the railway world – the humble wagon.
On any railway, the stars of the show tend to be the locomotives (with steam at the top of the pile), then perhaps a few nice Victorian coaches. Wagons tend to be relegated to being useful services vehicles. A few railways are now seeing wagons as interesting vehicles in their own right – the Tanfield Railway and the Great Central’s Windcutter set of 16 ton mineral wagons are examples which stand out.
The narrow gauge used very diverse wagons; the railways tend to be specialised by industry, and each industry became very adept at designing vehicles which were the most efficient means of acheiving the specific transport objective. Aesthetics were never a huge consideration – which explains a fair bit!
At the MRT, we have amassed a goodly collection of wagons, and hopefully we will be able to represent at least a selection from each of the main industries which used industrial narrow gauge railways. This weeks photos show a few of the wagon fleet. Above is a large ex-MOD bogie flat wagon, manufactured by Hudson of Leeds, and which is used to transport rail panels; then, below, last Saturday’s Heavy Freight with Motor Rail No.20 hauling a train of wagons which needed to be shifted from the bottom yard. There’s at least two types of skip, the remains of an RAF Fauld bomb wagon, and an open ex MOD Eastriggs. Hiding at the back are a flat from a quarry at Bakewell.