A Chance Survivor

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Few wagons survive from the early pioneering days of quarrying in the east midlands so the Museum was intrigued to hear that a steel hopper wagon based at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway might be a unique survivor.

Preserved from the Rowntrees factory in York for use as a service vehicle on the famous tourist railway, the wagon became surplus to requirements and was offered for sale to the heritage railway sector.

Our research suggest that the wagon was built by the Nottinghamshire wagon builders W Rigley in the early 1900’s to one of their standard designs offered for private owner mineral traffic. Examples were purchased by the Great Western Railway for internal use on coke and loco coal traffic in 1907 but these wagons were also used for iron ore traffic particularly some of the South Wales iron & steel manufacturers.

The wagon joined the collection in March and will be rebuilt and restored with its lower height side sheets and will join our operational hopper fleet as a now unique 15-ton capacity vehicle to bring additional and authentic variation to the range of wagons in service.

The Museum thanks the York Area Group of the NYMR for their help and assistance in the project.