The 75 year period of the L&Y saw the development of the Company’s wagons from simple 4‑wheel wooden open wagons (unbraked in some cases) through to sophisticated bogie well wagons capable of carrying over 50 tons. During its time the L&Y built or possessed around 67,500 vehicles, the vast majority of which were open wagons for carrying general merchandise (over 80%). The number of wagons in use rose gradually across time thus: 1850 – 3,737; 1879 – 18,536; 1895 – 24,423; 1920 – 37,585.

The percentages of wagons built to specific styles in 1895 were opens (1,2 & 3 plank) 65%, half box (4 plank with centre drop door) 14% and covered goods just 8%. Company mineral wagons were 6%, cattle wagons 2½% and brake vans (known on the L&Y as break vans) 2½%. By 1920 the percentages for the same types were respectively 35%, 36% and 19%; minerals 4½%, cattle 2% and breaks 2½%, as before.

However, vast quantities of coal were also being moved, generally in the wagons of colliery owners or private merchants, and this affected the appearance of trains. A typical train of 20 wagons in 1895 would comprise six or seven single plank opens (Diagram 1 and mostly sheeted over), four or five two or three plank wagons (again most sheeted over), two half box wagons, two covered goods, four private owner coal wagons and a break van (10T Diagram 21).

The vast majority of the wagon fleet was built in the LYR’s carriage and wagon works at Newton Heath in Manchester.

Our Purpose
The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society is devoted to the dissemination of information about the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway throughout its 75 years of existence and beyond.

The Society has established an ongoing permanent record of its findings through its publications, which are widely available from the website, exhibition stands and specialist booksellers.

It works closely with the National Railway Museum, Manchester Archives and other relevant bodies to ensure that original artifacts, records and other materials are professionally preserved and made available to all.

Charitable Status
The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society became Registered Charity
No. 1098492 in 2003.

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