Monday 18 March 2024

BLC Wagons

200 “BLC” wagons (30942 – 31141) were built by A.E. Goodwin Ltd, in N.S.W. between March 1956 and March 1958. The new wagon was conveyed to Queensland on the NSWR standard gauge network. 

The wagons were all steel construction except the 1⅛” hardwood floor. Body was riveted to the underframe, roof was fully welded to the bodysides and ends. Steel use in construction, Pillars & Carlines - 10 G, Side & End (Louvres) – 18 G, Roof lap joined 16 G. In the roof there was 2 layers of 1” thick “Tropal” insulation held into place with 3/16” bondwood ceiling.  Overall the wagons were 40 ft 6 in long, tare weight of the wagon was 15 tons 10 cwt and they carried 24 tons 10 cwt. Two compartments marked “A” and “B” over the door were 19ft 9½ in long by 8ft 5in (7ft 6in between door shields) wide. Battens separating the compartments were 3¾’ x ½’ hardwood. Bogies fitted to the wagon were QR 2 ride control cast steel type fitted with forged wheelsets with 9” x 4¼” journals. They had 2’ 9½” spoked wheels with separated wheel centre and tyre. Drawhooks (D3) with B.K Waughmat rubber cushion draftgear was fitted to the wagons. New to QR was a screw 15” wheel operated hand brake. This arrangement was not popular with shunting staff, they were default to apply, I’m sure it caused many incidents and derailments in yards. The wagons were painted Dark Admiralty grey.  There is a reference in John Armstrong book “Iron and Steel Wagons of the Queensland Railways Steam Era” that at first they were painted red oxide with black underframe for a short time.

Over time, the wagons were modified and altered. Let’s look at class leader BLC 30942.




In service.


Damaged at Roma Street.


Back to Ipswich Workshops. Headstock repairs, Label holder moved to headstock. Jacking pads fitted.

Jul 56

Derailed Nundah

Nov 57

Derailed CD

Oct 58

Hand brake modifications.

Aug 59

“B” group springs fitted, side bearers moved to 3’ 1” centres. Stencilled “M” below Red Diamond – Redbank.

Dec 67

Packed Roller Bearing fitted

Jul 69

Fitted with auto couplings classed BLCT.

Aug 78

Partition modified, 2 Batton removed top & bottom.

Dec 78

15” hand brake wheel replaced with a 17” wheel.


Most wagons had door modification


Most were overhauled and painted ever 2 years.

Nov 86

Written off.

                                                                 QR 2 Bogie 

By the late 1970’s, smarter loading methods were being developed. Freight was be packed onto pallets and loaded by forklift’s, often freight in BLC wagons was covered with traps due to water entering the wagon at the doors during wet weather, this made QLX wagons a much better choice. Then, with freight being loaded into containers, the life of the wagons was in balance. This resulted in any of the class being converted to other use. Mainly the louvered body was removed.

With the withdrawal of wooden rollingstock in the mid 1980’s some were allocated to tool/material wagons attached to camp wagons, others were allocated to breakdown trains.

BLC 30979 written off Oct 88, Donated to Mt Isa Miniature Train Club.

BLC 309832 Heritage.

BLC 30984. Redband Shunting school.

BLC 31041 Wacol Yard store wagon. (Oct 84)

BLC 31043 became OB 43939 (Shell Tanker) 

Breakdown Wagon.

PCL Wagons.

The first modification was to single slot container wagons, PCL class. The first wagon was modified in January 1979 and was classified PCE, a month later that was altered to PCL. CLC and CMIS wagons (shorter in length, 32 ft) were being similarly treated and were classified PCE class. Most PCL wagons were written off in the early 1990’s. Some were allocated to Workshops for use as slaves and were classed DUMP. A few other did find another use.  All up, 61 wagon were converted to the class.  Wagon 30947 was numbered PCE 41322. Due to their length (40ft) carrying a 20ft load with a low carrying capacity of just 25 tons, the wagon was mainly used on port transfer duties and lighter class lines. With a floor height of 1035 mm above rail, this also restricted the height of containers they could carry. Wagons had fixed spigots and could carry one 20 ft. (6100) or one 25 ft. QRRC or SRC fridge container. 

PB Wagons.

30 were converted to carry particle board. These wagons had headboards and the load secured with web straps and covered with a one-piece tarp, they entered service from June 1983. 




31122, 30956, 31004, 31131, 31120, 31063, 31067, 31085, 30977, 30968


31031, 31032, 31119, 31033, 30989, 31110


30955, 36304, 36305, 36306, 36307, 45362, 45363, 45365, 45366


45364, 45368, 45369, 45370, 45371.




PM Wagons.

Eight (8) were fitted with ANPA Tanks for molasses traffic, in service from June 1983. 30995 was classified PTM.

HBC Wagons..

Three (3) wagons were converted to carry bag cement in 1983. The wagons had head boards and side gates, the load was covered with a one piece trap (137000 X 51800 mm). The wagons carried 20 pallets.  Numbers - 31102, 36322, 36323

The gates also had supports like WH/WHE grain wagons.

PST Wagons.

History cards show two wagons were fitted up to carry locomotive sand to regional deports. (30990 4/84, 30998 3/86). Photos suggest there were others. Some similar sand wagons were made from CMIS and WHE wagons. Plans and data sheets show the following,

PST 30998 was built for the Toowoomba depot, 44998 Callemondah depot, 44999 for the Jilalan depot in 1986. 30990 was built for the Pring depot in 1984.

Two additional wagons were built in 1990 from BLC underframes, Numbers 45788 and 45789.

BSW Wagons.

Five (5) wagons were modified to carry wheels sets between 1980 and 1994. All up 8 were converted.

31117, 31097, 311124 was converted from a PCL wagons.  Plan P 449 show in 1987 three wagons were built to carry 18 x 915 mm dia. wheelset, Nos 36293, 36299, 36300. Plan P 373 shows 31035 and 31105 were built to carry 19 x 850 mm dia. wheelset.  31124 was withdrawn from service in 2008 and 31097, 36299, 36300 in 2013. BSW 31103 was still in service in 2013. 

PR Runner.

Seven (7) wagons were made into runner for long overlength loads. Most were converted 1984 and were written off in 1993. Wagon 30944 was converted to PRB 44997 in Nov 1985. 

TRFA Runners.

1996/7, two (2) wagons were modified to transfer out of gauge coal hoppers from Ipswich to Central Queensland. The coal hoppers were raised on their bogies to give clearance in category 1 area (North Coast Line). The TRFA wagons had a coupler at the standard height on one end, and on the other end a raised coupling for attaching to the raised coal hopper. 31082 was converted from a PCL wagon.  A few years later, a number of BAOY/BAUY wagons were sent to Redbank Workshop for a later contract of coal hoppers being manufactured by the workshops for a similar modification. This didn’t come off, road transporting the wagons was said to be cheaper.???

ORL Tank Wagon.

31130 was fitted with the tank off OB 12 in October 1984 to convey locomotive oil to the Pring deport. Later the wagon was classed ORL/T. The centre part of the tank has a 1850 mm I.D with the ends being 1830 mm I.D. Tank capacity is 22 730 litres.


WSE Water Wagons

Ten water wagons (45352 – 45361) entered service in 1986 using BLC underframes. Additional 10 more wagons were built using WHE underframes.


I think the first kit of a BLC wagon was produced by “Northern Models”, a Railco project. The kit was a one piece body with an underframe.

 With a bit of work, as it was in those years with resin kits, a realisable model could be made. Bogies, couplings, detailing parts, paint, decals was up to you to find.

The bogies were Steam Era “HO” narrowed down for 12 mm track and 12 mm axles fitted.

Caintode Flats Products currently produce a BLC kit. A one piece body with detailing parts, bogies and decals.

A “HBC” wagon was scratched build using styrene sheet.

Mark out underframe, locations of pivot bean, centre line, supports etc. before stating on body. 

Caintode Flats bogies, buffers and brake cylinder was used in the construction of the model. 

The tarp was made for a JB Hi-Fi plastic shopping bag. The plastic on its own you can see through, a tea bag was painted yellow and used to cover the wagon first before applying the plastic sheet. I wanted a ploy trap look. Some guess work in the tarp markings, now I have found a photo for a fully tarped wagon, well that’s the brakes. Photos has been included above.  

Building one wagon, why not build two, the second BLC cut down is a PCL container wagon.

Not a lot of detail was added, I even forgot to add coupler release levers. Bugger, must be growing old???  The container was screwed to the wagon to keep the floor straight.


The container is a SDS Models QRC container. The website shows all are sold out, could be lucky checking local hobby shops who stock SDS Models. 

The latest issue of the Australian Model Railway Magazine is out in the paper shops. I have two articles published, modelling QR Guards van and a review on SDS/CGL Models 1460/1502 class locomotives. Plus a couple of announcements for QR modellers. 

Trust you found the information helpful for your modelling endeavours, until next time have fun and enjoy the hobby.

 Arthur H.  


Australian Model Railway Association Queensland Library.

QR Plans.

Aurizon Datasheets.

Iron and Steel Wagons of the Queensland Railways Steam Era” by John Armstrong.

Historians, John Armstrong, Keith McDonald,

Queensland State Archives

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