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Ballast wagons at Antrim

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Hello all,


Now that I'm commuting to Coleraine nearly everyday, you very easily spot movements on the network, such as the Sandite, new PW thing movin about and even some new wagons, which is what this thread is about.


On Tuesday I noticed a flat bed bogie wagon off the traverser at York Road. It is nearly identical to those stored in Ballymena but they look brand new, with glossy black paint and the springs/axle boxes picked out in blue and yellow. What I want to know is what are they used for? Whilst passing Antrim today, there were 4 yellow boxes on top filled with ballast. The capacity looked very low compared to the ballast wagons currently at Blfast Central.


I remember reading on this forum that the construction of them isn't as good as others, so it makes me wonder why new ones are being obtained, that is if they are new of course.


I'd be interested to read if anyone has any knowledge or understanding about these wagons.


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I'm guessing they are a version of the spoil wagons that IE have. Primarily used to take old ballast away but sometimes used to bring fresh ballast to site. The IE ones are based on 20' container ISO design so that they can be removed fron the bogie wagon if necessary. The low capacity you mention relates to the low sides of the boxes. I think this is to allow on track plant (rail mounted excavators for example) easy access. Hope this helps. Any pics?

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I commented on those before, they are certainly "contractor designed" and with the thin walls and meagre cross sections on the drop sides, I cannot see them lasting a season. The IE ones had to go through 3 iterations of bolt-ons before the operators were *reasonably content with them - linkages centrally, spill trays at the ends to avoid fouling the coupling/brake lines of the wagon, and the rounded tops on the sides for the bucket to slide off.


Chieftain are a Tyrone outfit, well used to robust farm machinery, low loaders, and the likes. I'd be surprised if they weren't back in their factory for "upgrading" as they gain more rail experience.





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I agree with Richie here, those boxes look like they are made of plasticard and won't last too long. Again, great to see a local company getting the business, but they will need heavy reinforcement if they are to last any length of time.


Link to new Translink MPV as mentioned above:


Edited by dave182
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