N - Ballast Wagon

The N wagons were utilised for construction and maintenance of rail lines from the 1860's to the 1900's.

They were replaced by the _QN_ and _NN_ bogie ballast wagons.

In the late 1890's and the early 1900's as branch line construction was ending, the railways purchased ballast wagons from the contractors who built the lines. These wagons had mixed heritage; some came from South Australia.

By 1928 there were only 5 wagons in service, from a fleet of about 400 wagons.

With the start of railway rehabilitation in the 1950's, two underframes from scrapped wagons were utilised to build ballast ploughs. These ballast ploughs were towed by ballast trains to evenly spread the dropped ballast. They were used until the early 1970's until replaced by self propelled ballast ploughs; the start of mobile, mechanised gangs.

Research uncovered one interesting vehicle: N 0 ( N zero ). This was a pencilled entry only, the vehicle became replacement "N 3".

Some N wagons were passed onto line contractors as replacement vehicles. This occurred when contractors wagons were running on government lines and were destroyed in derailments or collisions.

In the late 1890's during a wagon shortage it was reported that N ballast wagons were being used to transport bagged wheat from the Mallee to Melbourne.

A set of N wagons were sold to the Horsham Council about 1915 for operation on their horse tramway.

Some wagons were coded _NB_ and were a subgroup of the N numbers.

Another mystery was solved in researching this class. At the Bridgewater flour mill, there were two _I__ wagons and an an unknown four wheel underframe. The _I__ wagons were placed there in 1928. The underframe had wheels and chassis only and no heritage evident. From records, it appears to be the remains of N 162, sold to the Bridgewater mill in 1907. By 1991, the smashed remains were off rails and were over the end of the embankment.

The last three N wagons were 1, 2 and 134. All these vehicles were fitted with ballast ploughs.

N 1 was scrapped late 1976.

N 2 has been preserved at Daylesford.

N 134 was fitted with a plough during 1926. It vanished about 1962 after the standard gauge was built.

Vehicle history list

   Photos   for  'N  '

FileID Description................................................

   AA449 N - body (162 or 167), Bridgewater, 1976, [oPJV]
   AD311 N - ballast wagons, [sFXK]
   AD314 N - early iron type, [sFXK]
   AW584 N - wagons on contractors ballast train, Ringwood, [sMDN]
   AD841 N - wagons, part view, Melbourne Goods, [oPTC]
   AN196 N 1, [sPJV]
   AN200 N 2, [sPJV]
   AS373 N 2, Geelong, [oPJV]
   AS374 N 2, Geelong, [oPJV]
   CN145 N 2 - e1p, plough view, North Geelong Yard, 1970s, [oBAU]
   CN144 N 2 - e2p. plough view, North Geelong Yard, 1970s, [oBAU]
   AS375 N 2 - end view, Geelong, [oPJV]
   AS377 N 2 - plough angle/side detail, [oPJV]
   AS376 N 2 - plough/side detail, [oPJV]
   CN143 N 2 - s1e2c, North Geelong Yard, 1970s, [oBAU]
   AT596 N 2 - s2, North Geelong, c1978, [oPHD]
   AA057 N 80, [oMDN]
   AA906 N 80, 1926, [oMDN]
   Diagrams   for  'N  '

FileID Description................................................

   BF545 N - (2 dia), 1904, [oD04]
   BF546 N - (2 dia), 1904, [oD04]
   BF720 N - 2 dia, [sPJV]
   AN173 N - fixed wheel ballast hopper, 1953, [sPJV]

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File c074m compiled by Peter J. Vincent, updated 18/4/2007