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Coal for Stonebridge Park

This is a project I've been working up with Keith Bristow, who ran a modelling article in Model Rail in the Feb 2013 issue. The aim here is to present some more detail about the bogie 40T wagons and their workings 1929-67 from some collieries in the Midlands to Stonebridge Park power station in north-west London, and hopefully locate more operational and photographic material for a more in-depth account.

If anybody can help, please get in touch!

LMS coal for Stonebridge Park

A wonderful panorama near Hatch End in 1937 with a complete train of 40T wagons being returned to the colliery for reloading. The working has been used to return a string of normal PO coal trucks on the rear, hence the double heading by an ex-LNWR G2 and a Stanier 8F. The date is unknown but would have been between 1932-38. Note the tube train passing in the opposite direction.

48018 with coal for Stonebridge Park

A BR picture believed to be from the '60s at a location now identified as close to Hemel Hempstead with 8F No 48018 in charge of northbound empties. These trains ran until closure of the power station in 1967.

Below is a striking, futuristic poster in which the LMS presented the scale and grandeur of the new design.

LMS poster
LMS 40T official

An official view of No 189301 as-built, the first wagon of thirty.


This semi-official view taken soon after construction in 1929 shows the side-discharge well. Wagon No 189307 was photographed during a demonstration on the unloading ramp at the power station, hence the single wagon in view and staff posing for the camera.


Taken a few years later, wagon No 189xxx displays improvement of the brakes - with a full set of clasp brakes and replacement of the handbrake lever with a white-painted wheel. This may be described as the second version. The wooden coal/mineral wagon alongside demonstrates the scale of the quantum leap of 1929.


The third version appeared at an as-yet unknown date after 1937 by the addition of extra hinges and securing latches. M189306 is seen in BR days.


Taken from Bob Essery's book on LMS Wagons, M189327 is seen at Coalville in 1964. This is the fourth and final version with addition of a double-bolted horizontal strip along the waist of the doors in late BR days, reason as yet unknown. The BRCW builder's plates that show in LMS and earlier BR-period pictures seem to have been removed.

It should be noted that these wagons generally operated in sets of ten and these pictures of isolated examples would have been taken after failure in service or after repair prior to return to traffic (which could give modellers an excuse to run a single vehicle).

LMS coal trucks

And finally, a view of three of the models built by Keith Bristow. Seven built so far, another three to go!

LMS coal model

A closer view of one of the models shows the fittings as per the 3rd version, with clasp brakes all round, distinctive manual brake wheel and additional door hinges and clasps. Needs the builder's and owner's plates (BRCW in the middle and LMS to the left) - any ideas, please? And some weathering, of course!

Oerlikon train Watford

Lest we forget the purpose of the coal traffic to the power station to power the 630v DC trains operating between Euston-Watford (and the Bakerloo line extension to Watford) here is an Oerlikon set from LNWR days still operating in the 1950s. Photo: Keith Bristow.

Other LMS train formations and related topics are here:

Lakes Express

LMS through portions

LMS Milk

LMS horse and race traffic is included here

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