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Railway Coal Wagons

Volume 437: debated on Monday 12 May 1947

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69 and 70.

asked the Minister of Transport (1) what are the types of the 50,000 16-ton steel railway wagons which have recently been ordered by his Depatment;(2) whether, in all future orders of railway wagons for the transportation of coal, he will abandon the old-fashioned hand-unloading flat-bottomed wagons and replace them with bottom discharge self-trimming hopper-shaped wagons as used in the U.S.A. so as to minimise labour costs and speed delivery.

The 50,000 wagons ordered by my Department are of the open mineral type, rectangular and flat-bottomed, with one end, two side, and two bottom doors. The specification admits of welded or of riveted construction, or a combination of both, to suit the capacity of individual manufacturers. It is not practicable to provide for all coal-carrying wagons to be of the hopper type. Much coal in this country is unloaded in station yards by private merchants direct to road vehicles, and so long as this continues it will be necessary to retain the present standard type of wagon.