Sunday, 2 July 2017

S Wagon


“S” Wagons.

Various railways around the world have/had platform/flat top wagons fitted with bolsters which used stanchions/pegs to keep the load on the wagon. Chains are generally used to secure the load during transit.    

The plans for these wagons on Queensland Railways called the wagons, timber wagons. At first QR had 3 types, “Q” class wagon – 4 wheeled, “R” class wagon – 6 wheeled, and “S” class wagon – 8 wheeled. All having a 5 ton axle load. By the early 60’s only “S” wagon remained on the network. These wagon were all timber construction with bar frame bogies. Steel plates were added to the top of the bolster to assist with ware. Stanchions were steel and could be removed from the bolster, but not from the wagon. A short length of chain attached the stanchion to the bolster. All bolsters also had chain with a screw turn buckle to secure the load.    
 

The table below gives an overview of the “S” class wagon.

Class
Wheels
Size
# Bolsters
Tare
Carry
Bogies
QR Plan
SG
4
20’ x 8’
3
5T 17c
10T 3c
Grover
192
S
8
19’ x6’ 4”
2
7T 9c
12T 11c
4’ BF
 
S
8
19’7” x 7’6”
3
6T 3c
13T 17c
4’ BF
 
S
8
26’ x 6’ 4”
3
6T
13T
4” BF
191
S
8
26’ x 7’6”
3
7T
13T
4’ BF
 
S
8
30’ x 7’6”
4
7T 15c
12T 5c
4’ BF
190/188
S
8
30’ x 6’ 4”
3
6T 15c
13T 5c
4’ BF
 
S
8
30’ x 7’ 6”
4
7T
13T
4’ BF
 
S
8
30’ x 6’ 6”
3
6T 17c
13T 3c
4’ BF
 
S
8
30’ x 6’6”
3
7T 2c
12T 18c
4’ BF
 
S
8
32’ x 8’
4
8T 15c
11T 5c
4’ BF
·         189
S
8
32’ x 7’6”
3
7T 8c
12T 12c
4’ BF
 
SJ
8
27’ x 7’6”
3
7T 9c
24T 11c
5’ BF (a)
 
SJ
8
32’ x 7’ 9”
4
10.5T
21.5 T
5’ BF (b)
193
SR
8
42’ x 7’ 9”
4
11.5 T
20.5T
5’ BF (a)
194

·         Plan 189 shows Class S. 1924 Standard.

5’Bar Frame (BF) bogies had 8’ x 4” journals (8 ton axle load), some were fitted with 2’ 2” wheels (a), and others had 2’ 9½” wheels (b).  

“Q” class 4 wheeled timber wagon were 14’ x 6’6” and carried about 6T 14cwt

“R” class mainly 6 wheeled timber wagons some 30’ x 6’ 6” with 2 bolsters, others were 20’ x 7’ 6‘ fitted with 3 bolsters. The wagons carried between 8½ -10 T with a gross of 15 T. 

Loads:- As the title suggests the wagons carried timber. Most wagons I observed carried logs to sawmills, generally the logs were free of bark. The wagons were also used to carry departmental materials for bridges, piles, girders, braces etc.  Other long items were also carried on the wagons, poles, steel beams etc. The Goods and Livestock Rates Book allowed a 1½ ton over load on these wagons. There was also a minimum charge for timber/logs subject to length of the product. Most wagons carrying timber/logs were weight on wagon weight bridges in transit so charges could be added to invoices.  If the wagons could not be weighted, the logs were measured and an estimated weight was worked out using Hoppus measurements.  SR wagons were mainly used to convey 40’ lengths of rail.

Conversions:-

“S” wagons were modified to carry water “SW” class, pineapples “SP” class, sleepers “SS” class, motor vehicles, cars, caravans, trailers etc, “SM”, “SMC”,“SMS”, “SML”, later around 1978 these wagons were changed to “M” class. Some “S” wagons had tanks fitted for molasses and kept their “S” classification. The tanks varied in size and shape with capacity between 1850 and 2000 gallons.   

Some “SJ” wagons carried 5T cement bins and were classed “SBC” wagons.
 
A couple had tanks fitted to convey water, class “SJW”.  Most SJ modifications were for molasses keeping their “SJ” classification. Tanks of various size and shape were fixed to the wagon, capacity of the tanks were between 1920 and 3279 gallons. Many had the timber floors removed to allow more product to be carried.

Some of these wagons worked around the Brisbane area conveying molasses to Beenleigh and Normanby distilleries. The Beenleigh distillery was a couple miles south of the station, loaded wagons were placed in the morning and the empty were picked up early evening. On the evening shunt it was quite common for the crew to sample the overproof product. From stories I heard sitting in the Gabba boardroom at night, not all drivers came home on the footplate. These wagons are marked “Beenleigh Rum – that’s the spirit”.
 
The Normanby distillery was at Strathpine on the western banks of the South Pine River behind the current site of the Westfield Shopping centre. A small branch line left Strathpine station, crossed over Gympie Road and ran along the side of Mecklem Street. That is just out the front of where Railway Modellers of Queensland Club hold their exhibitions. Before the line was strengthened in 1942 to take locomotives, horses, bullocks, and later tractors would pull the wagons across Gympie Road. Both distillery’s ceased using rail in the mid to late 60’s. S and SJ wagons were also used to carry molasses from sugar mills in the Townsville area, it was difficult to find any two wagons the same. HJ wagons minus sides/floors fitted with tanks were used in the Mackay area, these tanks were much more uniform than the Townsville bunch.     

Models:- All up I have five “S” wagons on the layout, 2 by 26’ long, 2 by 30’ long and one at 32’ long. The wagons are all scratch build using styrene and run on “Caintode Flats” CFB 2 bogies. An article on building timber framed wagons for the 2008 Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention is on the MRQC website www.qldrailheritage.com/mrqc. It contains various photos of S wagons and an underframe plan. Of late I don’t have a lot of detail under a wagon, I’m only added detail that you can see when the wagon is on the track, not when it is upside down. I like to add a bit of plumber’s lead sheet between the sole bars on platform wagons. Thus brake cylinder is glued into the lead sheeting. Given I shunt a lot which involves pushing and pulling strings of wagons, I like my 8 wheeled wagons to be about 50 grams. 

Two wagons are loaded with logs. The logs were from branches cut from a tree overhanging the back fence. The bark was removed before being cut to size.
 
S 10097


S 18528
 
 
A 26’ wagon is loaded with timber. The timber load was made from 1 mm thick balsa cut into strips and loaded onto the wagon. A breeze free area is recommended for this exercise, don’t sneeze or you will start over again??.
 
The other 26’ wagon is loaded with four 18’ bridge girders made from 5mm dowel.
 
 
The final wagon is conveying a bondwood hut. These hut were made to be transported from site to site and consisted of 2 side, 2 ends, 2 floor sections, and 2 roof/ceiling sections. The hut parts were made from styrene.      

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