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Cattle Wagon Colours

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Hi Guys,

Please can you tell me ::confused:


Toward the end of cattle traffic (early 1970's) were all cattle wagons in Brown or were there still some grey ones running around ?

I'd presume that any grey ones would still have the 'flying snail' totems.


Was Ireland the same as the UK with wagon colours ~ grey denoted unfitted, brown denoting fitted ?


Did the same rules apply as in the UK ? Trains with unfitted wagons in them HAD to have a brakevan




Frank S.

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Frank - about half, maybe just over half, were brown. Yes, the fitted / unfitted idea was the same here, though beware: from memory (open to correction),wagons started being fitted before the brown started, so it was possible (I am nearly sure) to get fitted grey ones. Those wagons left in grey by the early to mid 70s generally had CIE roundels, but there were more than a few faded "snails" about. Not so much on cattle trucks, though - more on standard covered "H" vans.


Beware also the modellers (and preservationists!) frequent error of picking chassis and body ironwork out in black! This was standard on most British companies, but you will see from photos it was almost unknown in Ireland at any time, right up to the end. If you ever saw a newly painted grey, or brown, CIE wagon - just like today wheels, bogies, buffers and couplings - everything - is "sheep dipped" in the body colour, roof and all. Chassis would of course get discoloured a brownish colour by brake dust, while roofs turned darker due to wear and tear and loco exhausts. Roofs should almost always, and certainly always in later years, be the same as the body colour

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Not a cattle wagon or great quality but they say a picture is worth a 1000 words.


Tralee 1978 unfitted on the left red oxide fitted on the right grey oxide!


CIE seems to have started painting its wagons red oxide at some stage in the 60s, but a lot remained grey to the end some even had the snail logo.


Traditionally like the UK both braked and loose coupled goods trains had to have a guards van, from the late 60s modern wagons like bulk cement and flat wagons carring ISO Containers, kegs and fertiliser often ran in the consist of loose coupled trains.


For a long time the "Derry Vaccum" was Ireland's only fast freight carrying traffic for County Donegal under customs seal through Northern Ireland. This was started by the GNR and continued in one form or other until the withdrawl of general freight traffic from Derry in the 1980s



H Vans Tralee 1978.jpg

H Vans Tralee 1978.jpg

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