|THE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY RECORD||
© DECEMBER 1963
NARROW GAUGE WAGONS
(1) HESTON AIRPORT GRAVEL PITS
by C. G. DOWN
When, in 1942, the Feltham Sand & Gravel Co. Ltd. opened their pits at Heston Airport, standard Hudson skips were employed on a short 2' 0" gauge line. In 1949, however, the line was considerably extended and new wagons were deemed necessary. Accordingly, about 25 of the Hudson skip frames and wheels were sent to the Molsey Engineering Co., who had agreed to construct new bodies for them. These are 5' 4" square at the top, of all-metal construction, and have a capacity of about 36 cu. ft. Apart from the fixing of the bodies to the frames (by bolts) welding was used throughout in their construction. Operating gear is provided at each end for the side discharge doors.
The frames are 5" deep, fitted with metal facing at each end. This was unnecessary as rigid metal bars were used for coupling the wagons which were thus kept from touching each other. The wheels are 14" diameter and 4" wide. The wheelbase is 24", and full coil springing is fitted to each axle. The axles themselves are 3" thick and have outside roller bearings.
The majority of the 24 wagons still in existence are in good shape when one considers that they have been dumped in the mud, surrounded by old trackwork, ever since their system was removed about 1960.