Coal Wagons

Locomotives, coaches, and wagons

Coal Wagons

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:35 pm

I'm hoping there's someone out there who can help with this query. Railway companies had there own wagons as did collieries. Was there any rhyme or reason as to when one was used rather than another?
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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby Noel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:35 pm

Coal factors, coal merchants and wagon hire companies also had coal wagons [some of the latter would be in the livery of the current customer, or even a previous customer]. This is one of those very simple questions, with answers which are definitely not simple! Can you narrow the question down a bit with some background, please?
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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:03 pm

Many thanks for getting back to me, Noel.

My question is inspired by a photograph of Pontypridd Viaduct on the Barry Railway, which I obtained from the National Library, showing a rake of coal wagons all with the name of the colliery 'Maritime' emblazoned on their sides. This particular colliery was connected to the Taff Vale which got me wondering when would this colliery have used its own wagons and when would it have used Taff Vale wagons (if it all)?
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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby glynrhedynog » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:36 pm

A picture in the recently published "Gazetteer of the Coal Mines of South Wales and Monmouthshire" (R.A.Cooke) may provide a partial answer, at least as far as the Taff Vale is concerned. The illustration shows the sidings of Ferndale 2 and 4 collieries with a loaded Taff Vale wagon clearly marked Loco. I have also seen photographs of TVR wagons marked Loco at another colliery, the location of which escapes my memory for the moment.
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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby glynrhedynog » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:36 pm

A picture in the recently published "Gazetteer of the Coal Mines of South Wales and Monmouthshire" (R.A.Cooke) may provide a partial answer, at least as far as the Taff Vale is concerned. The illustration shows the sidings of Ferndale 2 and 4 collieries with a loaded Taff Vale wagon clearly marked Loco. I have also seen photographs of TVR wagons marked Loco at another colliery, the location of which escapes my memory for the moment.
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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby andrewnummelin » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:21 am

As far as I understand, the norm would have been:
1. large scale deliveries (eg exports via the docks) - mainly colliery company wagons
2. “bulk” deliveries (eg inland) - coal factors or colliery wagons
3. smaller scale deliveries, wagons of customer or factor with colliery wagons being less likely (except anthracite?)
4. railway company wagons only used for their own consumption (loco coal)
And all, of course, liable to variations depending on the commercial considerations at the time.

The question got me thinking, I believe the southern companies bought loco coal from south Wales but I can’t remember seeing photos of their wagons carrying coal in our area. Have I missed something?
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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:28 am

Thanks Andrew, that's very helpful.
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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby RichardHC » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:23 am

This website gives a broad discussion about the use of PO wagons and why collieries might use their own rather than relying on ones provided by the railway companies.

http://www.igg.org.uk/rail/7-fops/poops1.htm

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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby Newport_rod » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:11 am

andrewnummelin wrote:The question got me thinking, I believe the southern companies bought loco coal from south Wales but I can’t remember seeing photos of their wagons carrying coal in our area. Have I missed something?

Could this be because Stephenson Clarke Ltd supplied the LBSCR and SECR, and later the SR, with loco coal? Do we see many of their wagons?
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Re: Coal Wagons

Postby Noel » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:33 am

To add to Andrew's listing, some railways had works for domestic gas production, and later for electricity generation. The GW was one, and built special hopper wagons for the consequent coal traffic. Some large industries also had such facilities and their own specialist hopper wagons to serve them. The GW ones were iron, later steel, but PO ones were often wooden and looked like RCH 13T wagons, apart from the complete lack of side and end doors.

Wagon hirer's wagons on long term hire would normally be in the livery of the hiring company, but if a colliery, customer or coal factor was temporarily short of wagons, then extras might be sourced from wagon hire companies, and might still be in the livery of a previous hirer; wagons in photographs may not always be what they seem.
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