Gif of LNWR Emblem
London & North Western Railway Society
Coal Wagons of the LNWR

Diagram 54 Traffic Coal Wagon - conversion from 8 to 10 tons capacity

A major modification to the design was introduced in the early 1900’s with the start of a conversion programme to upgrade existing wagons from 8 tons to 10 tons capacity. This was achieved by adding a fifth plank to the sides and ends. Over the side door, in order to allow free access, the extra plank was hinged to the top plank on the right hand side rather than attached to the falling door. To carry the additional weight the axle journals were increased in size from 6 x 3½ inch to 8 x 3¾inch. The photograph shows a wagon converted in this way. This altered design was assigned to page 54 of the Wagon Diagram Book A 1904 Minute Book reference ordered that 1000 off D53’s were to be converted at the rate of 50 per half year. In 1905 the rate was increased to 100 per half year. The records do not show how many were converted in total, but the best estimate from the evidence available is that between 1904 and 1910 about 1000 D53’s were converted to D54’s and between 1906 and 1919 another 2500 D53’s were withdrawn and replaced in renewal by the new standard 18ft long D90 wagons. That left about 3300 D53’s still in existence in their original form in 1919. The livery of the first D54 wagons would have been much the same as that of the D53 wagons as described above, but those converted after early 1908 would have been repainted with the addition of the letters LNWR, 16 inches high, on each side as shown in the photograph. The 1903 Wagon Diagram Book records the following as converted from D53 to D54 wagons: 56869, 54455, 55604, 57061, 56562, 57134, 57418, 59092, 57106, 57157, and others. Since all the D54s were conversions of D53s, any of their numbers listed above could justifiably be applied to a D54 wagon from the early years of the 20th century onwards.

Shows sample photo of class, file name Diag54 dwg.jpg


This side elevation drawing shows a wagon converted from a 4-plank Diagram 53 to a 5-plank Diagram 54 as in the photograph. Note that the top plank is hinged above the side door to provide unrestricted access for unloading. Note also that the top plank and the next one below are both secured to the corner plates with four rivets. The brake gear has been updated to a ‘Vee brake’ with a curved lever operating cast iron block on both wheels on one side only.

Shows sample photo of class, file name Diag54.jpg


This side elevation drawing shows a wagon converted from a 4-plank Diagram 53 to a 5-plank Diagram 54 as in the above photograph. Note that the top plank is hinged above the side door to provide unrestricted access for unloading. Note also that the top plank and the next one below are both secured to the corner plates with four rivets. The brake gear has been updated to a ‘Vee brake’ with a curved lever operating cast iron block on both wheels on one side only.