LMSR/BR "Hyfit" M411245 13 Ton open merchandise wagon, Richard Salmon
This wagon is one of 12,200 12 Ton Open Merchandise wagons built to LMSR diagram D1892 between 1934 and 1939. There were detail variations between lots; four different drawings being issued. Many of the vehicles to this diagram were built in the workshops of independent contractors, rather than those of the LMSR. Diagram D1892 included both wagons built with automatic vacuum brake and those with handbrake only.
411245 was one of a batch numbered 410525 - 411249, which were built under lot No. 1031 by the LMS at Wolverton Works in 1937/'38 with handbrake only.
We know the running number of this particular wagon as it was fitted with a replacement numberplate which survived its service with the Port of Bristol Authority. It would have been first turned out in LMSR bauxite livery, which was applied to both unfitted and fitted vehicles from May 1936.
Richard Salmon, February 2001
During WW2, the capacity of 12 Ton open wagons was increased to 13 Tons. In the 1950's, many handbrake-only vehicles were fitted with vacuum braking by BR. M411245 was so fitted and had its spindle buffers removed and replaced by those of a BR heavy-duty self-contained design. At the same time it would probably have been rebranded as a "Hyfit" (High open merchandise wagon fitted with vacuum braking). The wagon continued in main line service until it was sold to the Port of Bristol Authority in 1966.
The vacuum brake cylinder and pipework were removed and it was renumbered PBA 66015. Its new tare (empty) weight without vacuum brake was 6 Tons 16 cwt. Although built with a five plank body, six smaller planks were used to repair the wagon at Bristol. During its BR or PBA service it also acquired a set of LNER open-fronted axleboxes. The wagon was purchased from Bristol by the late George Nickson and arrived on the Bluebell Railway in 1981.
Vacuum braking was restored and the wagon was first repainted in BR departmental black livery to run as an equipment wagon with the 45 Ton steam crane. It was fitted with a fixed tarpaulin bar for this duty. Following the withdrawal from service of the steam crane, the wagon has been repainted in LMS bauxite livery.
"An Illustrated History of LMS Wagons - Volume 1", by R.J.Essery (OPC 1981). ISBN 86093 127 7.
"An Illustrated History of LMS Wagons - Volume 2", by R.J.Essery (OPC 1983). ISBN 86093 255 9.
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