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NCB Snowdown, Kent
 
Internal Use Wagon S4

Rail Album for railway and other photographs


NCB Snowdown was one of the last NCB collieries in the Kent coalfield.  Wagon S4 was originally built to help the railways of France recover from the devastation of World War Two.  A wagon design from the Chemin de Fer du Nord was chosen and slightly modified.  These wagons were built in Britain for the Ministry of War Transport (MWT).

 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
NCB Snowdown 16-ton wagon S4 at Shepherdswell, East Kent Railway 28th November 1993.

As the French were suffering an extreme coal shortage these wagons were sent by the manufacturers to collieries for partial loading with coal before working to Southampton, where they were loaded into ships for the journey to France.  The reason for only partially loading the wagons with coal was because a full load would have exceeded the dockside crane loading capacity.  

Rail Album for railway and other photographs
German Axlebox Cover - NCB Snowdown Wagon S4

While on loan to France they were painted in SNCF livery and classified as type "T".  It is likely that it was while they were in France that they acquired old German axleboxes.
 
 

NCB Snowdown 16-ton wagon S4 at Shepherdswell, East Kent Railway 28th November 1993.

 
 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
German Axlebox Cover - NCB Snowdown Wagon S4

In the mid-1950s these wagons were returned to Britain and were repainted into BR colours.  However, they were soon withdrawn following damage to adjacent trains caused by the cupboard type doors being left unsecured when the wagons were empty.  Many were purchased by industrial railways for further use - including this example.

 Rail Album for railway and other photographs
German Axlebox Cover - NCB Snowdown Wagon S4
 
     
 

Another example of this wagon design is preserved at the National Railway Museum in York.

 
     
 
 
NCB Snowdown 16-ton wagon S4 at Shepherdswell, East Kent Railway 28th June 1991.
 
 Rail Album for railway and other photographs
German Axlebox Cover - NCB Snowdown Wagon S4
  
     
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