January 2012


Some 1600 ten ton open merchandise wagons to Diagram 03 were built by the Great Western Railway in four batches during the years 1904-5 and 1912. These wagons were a development of the Diagram 04 introduced three years earlier and incorporated a 4⅛” wider top plank bringing the internal height to 3’3″ which remained the basic standard for GW 10 & 12/13T opens in all future builds. At the same time the width was made wider by 6″ bringing the inside and outside dimensions to 7’7″ and 8′ respectively. Many, perhaps most, of the 03s were fitted with the Williams patent sheet supporter to aid the wagons sheets protect the merchandise when in transit.

I recently completed a commission for an 03, built from a WEP kit and this was given a light weathering as if recently built. The running number suggests that it is one of the final batch, and as the wagon will fit into a c1912 scenario, I think the degree of weathering is appropriate.

As these wagons were introduced in 1904 it would be reasonable to incorporate a small number in amongst the larger proportion of 4-plank wagons running on the Metropolitan Line between Acton, and Smithfields through Basilica Fields on the Extended Circle around to the GW depot at St Katherine Docks. Of course they will have S7 wheels whereas this has standard 0 Fine wheels.

I’m not too happy with the photo as the light was fading so I used some artificial daylight to help but it mucked the colours up and I couldn’t fix it to my satisfaction on the computer. If I get some decent mid-morning light before the wagon gets delivered I’ll upload some better photos and hopefully show the folded wagon sheet inside too.

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Happy New Year to all of the readers of this journal. Many thanks to all of you who have commented on the posts, and who have responded with much useful information both on here and privately. I’m also very pleased that the content has helped so many of you in your own researches. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys have prepared a 2011 annual report and I thought this might be an interesting diversion for about 30 seconds or so…

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 23,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.