British Railways had around a quarter of a million steel mineral wagons
British Railways had around a quarter of a million steel mineral wagons. These took over the work of the ageing private owner 7-plank wagons, dominating coal, stone and iron ore transportation in the '50s and '60s. Before the war, 14 and 15 ton all-steel mineral wagons had been built by Charles Roberts and the Butterly Company as replacements for wooden coal wagons. Some were bought by private owners but, along with the rest, they were requisitioned by the government on the outbreak of war. The Ministry of Transport (MoT) started ordering 16T steel wagons for use in France and for replacements at home. They had a 9' wheelbase and those built by Charles Roberts & Co. had sloping sides, like our sample here.
Some 60,000 MoT wagons were taken into BR stock and the MoT number on each was given a 'B' prefix. In 1951, British Railways acquired a large number of steel mineral wagons from SNCF in France including many of the MoT ones sent over there during the war. In the late 1940s, both the LNER and LMS had received batches of wagons and those of the latter, on passing into BR ownership, were given an 'M' number prefix. Examples have been modelled by Bachmann.
With so many contractors building the MoT wagons, there are many design variations. Some were welded, while others were riveted. Some had fabricated doors while, on others, the doors were of pressed steel, as on our review sample. This is a 16T mineral wagon in brown and numbered MoT23763 (37-426C).