Private owner wagons


Private owner wagons

Postby adigill » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:51 am

Good afternoon all, I was wondering how far private owner wagons moved away from their base/quarry/mill etc. My slowly developing layout is set in the Peak District and my rolling stock is predominantly Midland railway. I would like to run private owner wagons but don't want a wagon from say Scotland if this sort of thing didn't happen in real life.
Many thanks.

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Re: Private owner wagons

Postby garethashenden » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:38 pm

There are different types of private owner wagons. Colliery owned wagons, coal factor owned wagons, and coal merchant owned wagons.

It is possible that a Scottish coal merchant would use buy coal from a Midland served colliery, so it would be seen there. Coal factors tended to be similar, but often bought coal in larger quantities. Colliery wagons went wherever the coal was needed, but the further it goes the more it costs to transport it...

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Re: Private owner wagons

Postby hughesp87 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:22 pm

If you're modelling the Peak District, you also need to factor in the use of private owner wagons for the carriage of stone from the quarries.

Can I suggest that a quick trawl through Bill Hudson's book on the Midland line through the Peak, plus the excellent Foxline series, will help you to identify some suitable candidates? Some of the photos are pre-group, but even those from the LMS period will be a good indicator of what applied in the Midland period.

I have all these books, so happy to help if you can't get hold of them. Send me a PM if you need any help.


Geraint Hughes
Cromford & High Peak in P4
Danish Railways in P87

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jon price
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Re: Private owner wagons

Postby jon price » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:48 pm

You might see the occasional South Wales anthracite wagon (not just a coal mine, must be anthracite) Otherwise you coal is likely to be comparitively local, or derived from collieries along the lines that serve your area. Try digging out some photos from your area at the time you model and see what is visible.
Connah's Quay Workshop threads: viewforum.php?f=125

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Private owner wagons

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:16 pm

Some areas, even coal-mining districts, brought in coal from far away, when the local mines did not produce the right kind. The Welsh anthracite was preferred for food-related industries like malting and hop drying (it has a lower concentration of metallic toxins). Gas coal is another variety that might need to be imported. West Cumberland had mines but very little coking coal, so the fuel for the ironworks came from County Durham.


Re: Private owner wagons

Postby adigill » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:25 pm

Thank you for your answers, it appears that the wagons traveled further than I thought. I've got Bill Hudsons book so I'll take a look. I think a bit more research is required.

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Re: Private owner wagons

Postby andrewnummelin » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:23 am

To find out a bit about the travels of PO wagons you may like to have a look at:

Coal Trade Wagons
Author: L. Tavender, (Leonard), 1935-
Subjects: Coal Rail transport History ; Great Britain ;
Dewey: 662.6240941
Publication Details: L. Tavender, c1991.
Language: English
Identifier: ISBN 0951098713 (pbk) : No price; BNB GB9137412; System number 008820131
Physical Description: 96p.
Shelfmark(s): General Reference Collection YK.1991.b.8720

I don't think this is readily available on the secondhand market: the details above are from the British Library catalogue so should help your local library trace a copy.

It could worthwhile digging in (local) archives for related topics - I have found unexpected details of PO wagon use in court documents on a trade dispute.

Andrew Nummelin


Re: Private owner wagons

Postby mikeg » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:00 am

Just to further confuse the issue you have to be mindful of dates. My research into coal supplies to the south coast area for the war dept (WW1) has shown that some collieries were either not open yet or had shut!

An example is Trafalgar which had shut by 1926 - There are some websites on coal mines, in my case Wales, giving this sort of info but you tend to have to search on the colliery name. My current system is to use the Powsides listing and then see from the web if it fits the era.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Private owner wagons

Postby Guy Rixon » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:58 pm

It's also worth bearing in mind that costal shipping - and canal shipping, inland - became cheaper than rail transport once the distance is above a couple of hundred miles. Lots of coal moved down the East coast to Essex and London and Kent. It's even conceivable that some Scottish coal was sent to Kent, but unlikely that it went there in Scottish wagons. It would be sent to, e.g., Whitstable by ship and then moved inland in local wagons.

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