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Railway Bylines
January 2000 - Volume 5  Issue 2
Wemyss Private Railway Letter by AW Brochie


railway bylines jan 2000 WPR letter x400

By the By
Letter page Railway Bylines

Page 96
Wagons of Wemyss ByLines 4:11
from Mr. Alan Brotchie of Aberdour

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The letter:

Your intriguing photographs on paged 528 and 529 sent me rushing to my notes and photographs!

Of all the remaining areas of uncertainty re-garding the Wemyss Private Railway, the brake vans are perhaps the most problematic. The existing records are sparse and conflicting, but in all my researches I found no reference (or photograph) to No. 5 as an ex-Midland Railway type - as your photo clearly shows.

The report by Mr Johnston in 1953 clearly states that there were three (plus one ‘kept for local purposes’). I photographed ex-MR number 4 in 1958 and certainly saw no number 5 then!

A real mystery and an eye-opener for me. The WPR did not normally indulge in renumbering, but it is possible that when the fourth ex-LNER 20-ton van was obtained in 1966, the original number 4 became number 5 for a short time. The final photographs of the venerable vehicle show it to have its number (whichever it was) painted out. NCB loco number 10 (page 529) is not ex-Wemyss but was transferred to the area by the NCB, having been built by Barclay (W/ No. 1245 of 1911) for the Bannockburn Colliery of the Carron Company - their number 14.

railway bylines jan 2000 letter page x400

One puzzle is still unanswered. While from contemporary records it is known that over three thousand wagons were owned by the Wemyss Coal Company were painted brown oxide, there are several old notes referring to ‘blue’ wagons. Nobody has suggested a reason for this differentiation - none of the former employees remember blue wagons at all. Can any reader help?

Mr. Brotchie is, of course, the author of The Wemyss Private Railway (Oakwood Press 1998). This excellent book was reviewed in ByLines 3:6 - Ed
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