Hopper Wagon, No E270919, 20T steel mineral hopper wagon, London & North Eastern Railway, built by Hurst Nelson & Co. Ltd, Motherwell, 1946. Built to diagram number 100.
The Diagram 100 steel 20-ton coal hopper wagon was introduced by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) in the mid-1930s to replace the wooden designs it had built and also inherited from its North Eastern Railway constituent in 1923. The result was a metal hopper wagon that was easy to construct and maintain. A ‘hopper’ wagon has tapered sides with doors in the floor to allow the contents to discharge completely by gravity.
The LNER’s design included two doors in the floor and was fitted with handbrakes only. To prevent damp coal sticking to the sides of the hopper in icy weather, ‘rapping’ plates were attached to the sides to allow yard employees to loosen the ice with a hammer.
A lack of construction capacity at its own works meant that the LNER supplied the basic design specification for the hoppers to several private manufacturers, resulting in detail differences in construction methods between firms. During the Second World War, welding was introduced in the construction of some examples while the hopper capacity was uprated to 21 tons.
The first examples entered service in 1936 and although construction was briefly interrupted by the war, 13,645 hoppers were built in total. The type would see operation well into the British Railways (BR) era, and orders for further batches were placed following nationalisation in 1948, again with private manufacturers. No 270919 (BR No E270919) was one of a batch of 400 ordered by the LNER in 1945 from Hurst Nelson & Co. Ltd. of Motherwell. It entered service in 1946.