Background

The building of 21T hoppers by British Railways for carrying coal continued on from LNER designs. After building 2 diagrams (1/141 and 1/143) covering just under 4,000 vehicles that were barely distinguishable from LNER built wagons in 1949 and 1950, none were included in the 1951 building program. In 1952 new construction resumed, this time to the new diagram, 1/146. There were minor differences in the dimensions of the body compared to the previous diagrams, but the most noticeable change was much heavier duty side bracing to the body.

At the same time the chassis received some updates. Heavier duty W-irons were provided to hold the plain bearing axle boxes, the brakes were of the Morton type with a single brake shoe applying to each wheel and the hand brake was of the standard BR type length. These wagons became the ‘standard’ BR design with just under 17,000 examples built between 1952 and 1959, with 11 contractors and Shildon Works contributing 26 different lots.

Over the building period, there were naturally some changes. The 1955 Modernisation Plan also had an effect, with some of the later lots fitted with roller bearing axle boxes and the fitting of vacuum brake equipment. There was a change to a lighter style of end bracing in some of the later builds to provide better placement of the vacuum cylinder, though sometimes not all elements of the automatic brake were in place at the time of building.

The wagons in this pack represent the bulk of this diagram in original unfitted condition with plain bearing axle boxes and the earlier type of end bracing.

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