Rapido Trains 915003 BR 100054 OAA Long Wheelbase Open Wagon Freight Brown with Yellow ABN Spot OO
Detailed scale model of the first design of open wagons built for the new 'Air Brake Network' express freight services. 100 of these modern 45-tonne glw wagons were built by Ashford works in 1971, coded Open AB, later revised to TOPS code OAA.
Model finished as wagon number 100054 in the initial BR freight brown livery with the yellow ABN (Air Brake Network) spot.
Seeking to create a new range of wagons suitable for sustained running at 60mph in order to provide high speed freight service BR engineers designed a 20ft 9in wheelbase underframe with train air brakes. This became the standard underframe for new wagon construction from the late 1960s and the first open wagons were constructed in 1971. Diagram 1/191 was issued for 100 wagons built at Ashford, numbered 100000 to 100099 and with operator code OPEN AB, for Open Air Brake. The wagons featured three six-plank drop doors wide enough for easy loading of palletised loads and with removable stanchions allowing the entire wagon bed to be accessed if needed.
Initial livery was the then standard freight brown with boxed lettering and an additional round yellow spot bearing the letters ABN for Air Brake Network, the planned high-speed freight service network. When the TOPS computer system was implemented these wagons were coded OAA. Many later received Railfreight lettering and some were repainted into the grey and flame red livery from the mid-1980s, though the later revised open wagons designs predominated by then.
Most of the OAA fleet was later transferred to the engineering departments around 1990, finally displacing BRs last 'unfitted' wagons and many older vacuum braked general materials carrier wagons. Most OAAs had been withdrawn by the mid-2000s, finally being replaced by the fleet of modern bogie wagons ordered by RailTrack / Network Rail.