British Railways ordered over 200,000 16 ton mineral wagons, the vast majority being to diagram 1/108 or a near-identical variant, with a welded steel body. Side and end doors were fitted, along with a top flap door over the side doors, allowing a lower side panel for unloading by hand and shovel. Making up almost half of the new wagons built in the 20 years following nationalisation the 16 ton mineral is the signature wagon of the British Railways era, with examples still in coal service until the miners strike of 1984.
As is well known steel rusts and, after many years and many loads of corrosive coal, the extent of body repairs suggested the fitting of an entire new body would be easier! The new body design had a few differences to the original, particularly the top flap doors being eliminated. The new continuous top rail made the body much stronger and a programme of rebuilding was initiated in the 1970s. Vacuum fitted wagons were obviously prime candidates for re-bodying as these wagons were in demand and likely to be required for many more years, while BR was trying to phase-out unfitted 'hand brakes only' wagons.
Originally British Railways painted 'unfitted' wagons in grey and vacuum braked wagons in bauxite, latterly BR painted all wagons in a brown livery, a less-red shade than the previous bauxite, as wagon brake types were identified by the TOPS wagon code.
This model was first produced by Lionheart Trains and is now combined into the Dapol range.
- Finely moulded body
- Diecast chassis with compensating beam
- Removable coke rails (Where applicable)
- Finely applied livery and printed details
- Profiled wheels and axles with brass bearings
- Metal sprung buffers
- 3 link metal coupling chain with sprung coupling hook