BRITISH RAILWAYS 1920 - 1970
WAGONS: LIVERIES AND DESIGN
In general, most non-specialised and non-'Private owner' wagon bodies were painted in shades of grey. Exceptions to the rule included M.R. ballast wagons and ballast brake vans which were red oxide and some stock of the following pregrouping companies which were in various shades of red or reddish brown: Barry R., C.R., G.N., H.R., L.S.W.R., N.S., R.R., and T.V.R. The H. & B.R. stock was dark blue. The S.R. followed L.S.W.R. practice and used brown, and fitted L.N.E.R. vans (following G.N. practice) were red oxide. Some G.W.R. loco coal wagons were painted black as were some gas tank wagons. In 1937, the L.M.S. adopted bauxite (brown) for its fitted stock and after Nationalisation it became general practice to use bauxite for fitted wagons and pale grey for unfitted stock; the letters 'XP' were applied to the former.
Some vans, including horseboxes, which were commonly coupled to passenger trains were classified and liveried as 'passenger stock', for example the so-called 'brown stock' of the G.W.R.
At Nationalisation, wagon numbers were prefixed according to their origin as follows: E (E.R.), M (L.M.S.), P (Private owner), S (S.Region), W (G.W.R.). Wagons of the Ministry of War Supply became the first to be prefixed with the letter 'B', which designated all subsequent British Railways stock.
Steel-bodied mineral wagons were introduced by the L.M.S. (of welded design) and the L.N.E.R. (of rivetted design) before the war. The G.W.R. had also used steel for its loco coal wagons.
At Nationalisation there were some 480 wagon types in production and the intention was to reduce this number to about 150. Notably, few L.N.E.R. designs persisted and one writer suggested that the reticence of that company to discard wooden underframes may have been a contributory factor!
COPYRIGHT © R.D.LAKE 2009