Does anyone know of a good source of information on wagons produced for the
WW2 War Department.
I have seen few pictures, probably due in no small part to the 'hush hush'
nature of wartime.
I'm particularly interested in vans, open and tank wagons both design and
Sachsenmodel produces most of them in HO.
Eisenbahn Magazin did scale drawings of them a couple of decades back, along
with several reasonably detailed articles.(in German) I will have the articles
somewhere in my 20 year stack if you can't get info closer to home.
From memory Sachsenmodell does the HSO, LSO, flat, Van and Guards van.
There are a few photos on Paul Bartlett's excellent site- one of one of the
few surviving open wagons (these were supplied in kit form from the US and
assembled in France or the UK), and some of the 'Warflat' bogie flats. It's
worth bookmarking this site, as Paul's continually updating it. Slightly
off-topic, at Expometrique this year, I was looking at a book on French
railways during the 1944-5 period. One shot was of a couple of tracked
tractors (possibly bulldozers) towing a WD Drewry shunter up one of the
beaches during the very early stages of the landings- make a nice diorama
for the 'prototype for anything' boys. There's a book published by Oxford
Publishing, called something like 'Freight Wagons and their Loads of the
Great Western Railway and the Western Region' which has some shots of
trainloads of tanks and possibly other vehicles. Tourret Publishing has done
some stuff on WD stock, but mainly locos.
In France, it is still possible to find WW1 stock, originally supplied by
the US Army Transportation Corps, in use as service vehicles- these were
taken over by the French Government and became known as TP stock. Curiously,
the WW1 stock was mounted on diamond-frame bogies, whilst the bulk of the
WW2 stuff was 4 wheel.
Paul Bartlett's fotopic site
No- apart from the various locomotives supplied by the USA, large numbers of
wagons were shipped as CKD 'kits' (imagine IKEA with 'flat-packed' wagons..)
The American-supplied vans looked pretty much like the pre-war '8 chevaux/40
hommes' types, except for the material - plywood- which was novel in France
at the time. There are still a few of these around in France in the service
fleet- an SNCF friend pointed out one in use as a store at one of the
intermodal yards in the Paris region.
They are nice models, aren't they ? I saw one of the low-sided ones at
Frethun a few weeks ago in an engineer's train- it had received roller
bearings, but was otherwise unchanged.
Other surviving ex WD/USATC stock that I've seen over recent times in France
and Italy includes centre-cab GE '44t' at various CFTA sites, along with a
jackshaft-drive ex WD 0-6-0 (BR used similar locos until the late 1960s) and
Whitcomb bogie centre-cab shunters in the Arezzo region of Italy.
The World War Two Raiway Study Group of which I am Secretary
can provide the information you are looking for, contact me direct.
Our web site at
has an article on Warflats used to carry tanks.
Apart from the various tank carrying wagons, and the American kit
built ones, mots of the specifical WWII wagons were adaption of
exixting designs. For example holes cut in the floors of open wagons
and then cradles fitted for 3 blades aeroplane propellers.