Containers in Highfits

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Lord Colnago
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Containers in Highfits

Postby Lord Colnago » Mon May 16, 2016 5:54 pm

Somewhere in my book collection is a drawing showing how containers were secured in highfit wagons, using enough rope to clumb a cliff, but can I find it? Anyway, trawling through several books, all I could find were a number of photos showing no apparent means of securing the container load. Were containers just placed in the wagons or were they secured by some means or other?

I'm not really interested in what the rule book may or may not say but in what actually happened in practice. All comments gratefully received.
The second best priest

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Noel
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Noel » Mon May 16, 2016 8:09 pm

Apart from those obviously posed purely for photographic purposes, most photographs I have found show containers in highfits in a goods yard, so that it is possible that they were secured in transit, but the ropes have been removed. As with tarpaulins, the railways were sensitive about the risks of ropes being lost, stolen or otherwise caused to stray. I have found one photograph of a 1956 container train where the second vehicle is a steel highfit with a B container roped in, and the third is an unfitted wooden u/frame open with two A containers roped in. Otherwise all I have found are containers on ex-SR Carfit/Conflat wagons, or Medfits, which lacked securing chains, so containers had to be roped [See MRJ 43]. The frontispiece of "Oil on the Rails" shows a number of D/DX containers in highs at Worcester; all are apparently unsecured, but had probably been withdrawn.

The BR 1950 Rule book reprint which came into force 1/1/1962, rule 158(d), requires, inter alia, that full or empty containers must be securely chained or roped to flat wagons. When any other type of truck is used, containers must be roped, except that one large or two small containers in a high sided wagon need not be roped. The notice issuing the amended Rule Book states that rule 158(d) has been modified regarding the roping of containers in high sided wagons, implying, I presume, that it was a requirement previously.
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Noel

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Lord Colnago
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Lord Colnago » Tue May 17, 2016 10:41 am

Hi Noel,

Thanks for that. I have found several photos of moving trains which clearly show containers in highfits without any apparent means of securing. I suspect wooden wedges or blocks may be in use to prevent movement. I do wonder though, if the amendment to the rule book came about as a result of what had become common practice! A case of "if you can't beat them".

Anyway, it looks like I can save myself a roping job.
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Terry Bendall
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed May 18, 2016 7:29 am

Lord Colnago wrote:Anyway, it looks like I can save myself a roping job.


Chicken! :D :D

Charlie Trace, who at one time was a member of the Mid Sussex group did at one time work as a lorry driver and produce some very nice loaded wagons with roped loads and I am fortunate to own a few of his wagons. Nothing looks worse than unsecured loads on a wagon, or wagons with loads that would have been too heavy for the wagon. Wagons with traction engine loads seem to be the worst offender.

Terry Bendall

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Lord Colnago
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Lord Colnago » Thu May 19, 2016 4:32 pm

Gee thanks Terry!!

One of the other things I've noticed from photographs is that the containers seem to be rarely placed in the centre of the wagon, most frequently being seen towards one end. It doesn't seem to effect the way the wagon sits and, I suppose, putting wooden wedges in one end to secure the container is a lot easier than trying to do both ends.
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Terry Bendall
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Terry Bendall » Sat May 21, 2016 7:05 am

I think I have seen somewhere, probably in a magazine, official instructions as to how waggons should be loaded and the loads secured and I would have thought that BR would have had such a thing. Perhaps someone on here can provide the information.

Lord Colnago wrote:One of the other things I've noticed from photographs is that the containers seem to be rarely placed in the centre of the wagon


No substitute of course for pictures of the real thing. My attempts at tarpaulins and roping can be seen at
http://www.scalefour.org/shows/S4North2 ... roft-1.jpg although you cannot see much of the details. All four of the wagons were based on pictures, including the loads and securing of them

Terry Bendall

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LesGros
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby LesGros » Sat May 21, 2016 7:49 am

John,
I think you will find what you are looking for in BR20427
BR20427 British Railways – 4 Instructions for The Loading and Securing of Containers on Rail Vehicles


You will find it, and a rich source for other interesting docs, at http://www.barrowmoremrg.co.uk/Prototype.html
Scroll down to the relevant doc near the bottom of the page.
LesG

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Lord Colnago
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Lord Colnago » Sat May 21, 2016 10:16 am

Thanks Les,

That is very useful stuff. The photos I've been looking at of late show the odd rule contravention! Unfortunately, I now find myself with some extra work. I have built an FM container, which cannot be carried in a Highfit, or anything other than a Conflat. So, I now have a wagon that needs a load and a load that needs a wagon! Deep joy. Still, a Conflat S and a furniture container should fit the bill. I'm sure I'll get back to that WD some day.
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Noel
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Noel » Sat May 21, 2016 5:40 pm

The LMS built a number of skeleton chassis, some specifically for FM containers and some specifically for BM containers, which lasted into well into BR days, which would be different... David Larkin's Pre-Nationalisation Freight Wagons on British Railways shows a BR BM container on one such chassis.

I'm not sure why you say that FM containers cannot travel in highfits as they seem to fall within the exceptions shown in Rule 158(d) I mentioned earlier? Certainly there are problems loading or unloading any container in a highfit unless it is taken out of the wagon, but that is only a problem if it is serving a facility with direct rail access, and is not specific to FMs.
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Noel

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat May 21, 2016 7:12 pm

I'm not sure why you say that FM containers cannot travel in highfits

Page 11 in the BR instruction referred to above, http://www.barrowmoremrg.co.uk/BRBDocuments/Booklet_BR20427_Issue.pdf, probably not always obeyed but a good guide anyway.
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Noel
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Noel » Sun May 22, 2016 10:31 am

Thanks, Keith, I'd missed that one. At least I got the reason right.
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Noel

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Lord Colnago
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Re: Containers in Highfits

Postby Lord Colnago » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:22 pm

Having believed that my original query had been satisfactorily resolved, especially relating to insulated containers, I recently found a photograph in The Book of the Great Northern, on page 129, upper plate, clearly showing insulated containers loaded in highfit wagons! The wagons are LNER steel highfits with roping rings inside, so the containers may be secured with rope, but I can't determine that from the photo.Just proves that the operating staff didn't mind bending the rules every now and again.
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