The O class were in service from the 1860's and were used to transport coal from the ships at Port Melbourne/Williamstown/Geelong to Melbourne. Presumed coal use was for steam enngines.
A coal strike in NSW in the 1900's accelerated local coal production to serve the railways. The 'State Mine' at Wonthaggi opened in 1910 and the transhipment of coal stopped apart from 'Lithgow' coal for some passenger engines. The oldest O wagons were scrapped and the fleet reduced in size by 25%.
The 1908 electrification plan for Melbourne included construction of a power station. Suitable coal was obtainable at Yallourn, 140km east. For traffic, the railways built one hundred and eighty three 'O' wagons between 1915 and 1923. Of interest, the German equipment for the brown coal open cut was obtained as reparation payment from 'The Great War'.
From 1936 to 1960 the older 10t small hopper wagons were scrapped, as unsuitable in capacity or autocoupler conversion.
From the late 1950's, O wagons were required for different traffic. Some were converted to ballast traffic and became _ON_. These wagons were reclassed back to O wagons some 18 months later for coal traffic Geelong to Ballarat. Most of these wagons were later converted to _OC_.
In later 1960's, some wagons were used for dedicated limestone traffic in Gippsland.
The number group was 1 - 388
1 - 40: Built New 1870/71, 10ton capacity 1 - 5: (2nd) NN to O conversions 1920 41 - 60: Built 1881-1883. These were wooden trucks, not hopper vehicles 61 - 104: (1st) Taken over from HBUR Co. All scrapped by 1889 61 - 104: (2nd) Built 1889 105 - 154: Built 1886/87. 155 - 209: Built 1889 - 1890. O 23 rebuilt 210: Ex duplicate O 153 211 - 212: Built 1915, 16 ton capacity 213 - 260: Built 1916 261 - 310: Built 1919 311 - 335: Built 1920 334 - 388: Built 1923. Nos 334 - 338, 345 built for pulverised coal tests
O 1 - 5
These wagons were the start of a program to convert all the bogie _NN__ ballast wagons to O four wheel hoppers for power station coal traffic. The O numbers 1 to 5 were re-used
O 211 - 388
'Standard' 15ton hopper with 'pin' latched drop doors.
Vehicle history list
Photos for 'O '
FileID Description................................................AA908 O - ex NN hopper, 1926, [sMDN]AA198 O - Hobsons Bay type, [sFXK]AD600 O - on coal stage, North Melbourne, [oPTC]AN569 O 2, [sPJV]BD410 O 2, Maryvale, c1976, [oPJV]AN570 O 2 - 1, [sPJV]CN154 O 3 - s2e1, Off Reg, Rangelea, 1970s, [oBAU]CN153 O 3 - s2e1, Off Reg, Rangelea, 1970s, [oBAU]AA063 O 5, 1920s, [oMDN]AN584 O 5, [sPJV]AW697 O 5 - ex NN hopper, [sMDN]AW698 O 100, [sMDN]AA911 O 100, 1926, [oMDN]AA060 O 100, [oMDN]AB635 O 155, [sFXK]AA061 O 166, [oMDN]AD337 O 205, 1905, [sFXK]BH384 O 227 - 4 on underframe only, 1974, [oPJV]BH363 O 227 - s2p, [oPJV]AA062 O 229, [oMDN]AA909 O 229, 1926, [oMDN]AW700 O 229, [sMDN]CP895 O 234 - mt, Koala Siding, 1990s, [oPHD]DE978 O 234 - s2, ldd, Nowa Nowa, 1980s, [oPHD]AV524 O 249 - body in Shire culvert works, Avoca, 1/11/1999, [oPJV]BA105 O 259 - s2p, pin doors, ldd briquettes, Morwell, 9/10/1976, [oRXO]AN574 O 269, [sPJV]CP896 O 269 - s1p, 1980s, [oPHD]DE979 O 269 - s1p, Maryvale Siding, 1980s, [oPHD]BG782 O 282 - (r) coupled to ON 290, part views, Traralgon, 17/11/1975, [oPJV]BG781 O 282 - s2e1, ldd limestone, Traralgon, 17/11/1975, [oPJV]DB162 O 284 - restored lettering: L4, PV 3.01 N, Daylesford, 9/1/2003, [oPJV]CI921 O 284 - s1, ON discharge, OR, Tottenham Yard, 18/3/1979, [oPJV]DB161 O 284 - s1e2c, L4 lettering, Daylesford, 9/1/2003, [oPJV]CN155 O 285 - s2, Traralgon, 1970s, [oBAU]CN156 O 286 - s1, Traralgon, 1970s, [oBAU]AH474 O 294, [sPJV]AF011 O 295*- body, cement plant, Huntly, 1994, [oGXA]AF010 O 299*- body, Cement plant, Huntly, 1994, [oGXA]CU375 O 304 - OR/s2p/ON doors, Tottenham Yard, 18/3/1979, [oPJV]CU374 O 304 - OR/s2q/ON doors, Tottenham Yard, 18/3/1979, [oPJV]BA118 O 304 - s1p, pin doors, ldd briquettes, Maryvale-Nowa Nowa, Maryvale, 9/10/1976, [oRXO]CT715 O 308 - s1, chalk tare 126.96.36.199, Bairnsdale, 25/12/1978, [oPJV]BD376 O 321 - s2e1, pin doors, Newport Workshops, 14/7/1981, [oPJV]BC101 O 321 - s2e1, pin doors, Newport Workshops, 14/6/1981, [oPJV]AN581 O 329, [sPJV]BI163 O 367, Rosedale, 14/11/1981, [oPJV]BI164 O 367 - Maryvale-Nowa Nowa lettering, Rosedale, 14/11/1981, [oPJV]BA128 O 388 - s1p, pin doors, Morwell, 9/10/1976, [oRXO]
Diagrams for 'O '
FileID Description................................................BF720 O - 1-40 (X d), [sPJV]BF721 O - 10t, [sPJV]AB619 O - 10t / Dia Book 10t, [oFXK]B5222 O - 10t pencil drawing, [sPJV]BF546 O - 7t, 1904, [oD04]AK351 O - Early style Hobsons Bay wagon, [sFXK]CP833 O - ex NN GA 2816, 6/9/1919, [oPTC]CP832 O - GA 2807, 1914, [oPTC]BF546 O - std 10t, 1904, [oD04]
File c007m, compiled by Peter J. Vincent, updated 16/1/2007