Diagram 90 Traffic Coal Wagon 18ft to carry 10 tons
By 1905 changes were afoot at Earlestown. The long serving Wagon Superintendent, Mr J W Emmett, had
retired in 1903 and had been replaced by Mr H.D. Earl. Larger wagons were in vogue so that those 15ft Traffic Coal Wagons that
were scrapped in this era were replaced by a new 18ft long design known as Diagram 90. In many respects this design was similar
to the standard 18ft long 4—plank merchandise wagon, colloquially Diagram 84, except that the coal version had centrally located
bottom doors measuring 4ft 6in by 1ft 10¾in to facilitate unloading at coal staithes.
Despite its strong traditions and extremely characteristic house style the rolling stock of the LNW underwent progressive change during the company's 75-year history, but rarely did it adopt a scrap and build policy. Consequently by 1919, when an official ‘Table of Wagon Stock’ was prepared, all three types described here were to be found in the Company stock. Unfortunately this table does not distinguish the quantities of each type.
According to the Wagon Stock Age Book 1919-24 there were 1450 wagons, built before 1890 and still in stock at the end of 1919, which must have been the original 15ft long 8ton D53 type. The 2700 wagons built between 1890 and 1894 were likely to have been 15ft 6in long and were probably a mixture of 8ton D53 and conversions of these into the 5-plank 10ton D54 types. Finally, the approximately 2500 wagons built after 1905 were most likely to have been of the new standard 18ft long D90 type.
Recently I have found records of the 18ft long D90 types that survived into BR days in a ‘BR Wagon Withdrawal Register 1958—67’. The following numbers have been positively identified.
Register numbers carried by D90 Traffic Coal Wagons are listed in the table above. Notice that many of the numbers are in the same range as those carried by the D53 and D54 wagons, which is not surprising since the D90s were built largely on revenue account in replacement of the earlier smaller wagons that had been broken up.
This general arrangement drawing, Earlestown No.99 [HMRS 1075] dated 25.1.05, shows an identical wagon to that illustrated in the photograph below apart from the rounded ends shown in the drawing which were limited to the first six wagons of this type built. The side and end planks were 9in wide by 3in thick and the side doors were 4ft 9½in wide. Although not visible in this drawing, the longitudinal planking of the bottom doors would be visible on the floor of an empty wagon and their operating mechanism is adjacent to the left-hand brake hanger.
Above is a Diagram 90 Traffic Coal Wagon in new condition in July 1917. In many respects this design was similar to the standard 18ft long 4-plank merchandise wagon, Diagram 84, except that the coal version had bottom doors to facilitate unloading at raised coal staithes. The 4-bolt square base buffer casting with 2 strengthening ribs and the bulbous oil filled axle-boxes are both features of the final LNW designs and commensurate with a 1917 paint date. The handbrake consists of a single block on each of the four wheels. Note the absence of the diamond markings in this post 1914 livery.