7-plank end-door open wagon. 7-plank end-door open wagon. 7-plank end-door open wagon.
7-plank end-door open wagon.

NB025 Hartnell & Son .
7-plank end-door open wagon.
Black with white lettering shaded red.
Includes removable 'coal' load.


In the pre-war pre-nationalisation era, the largest and most significant commodity transported by Britain's railways was coal. Every home was heated by it, every factory machine was powered by it, every train and every ship was fuelled by it. And a very significant quantity of it was carried from the mine to the customer in wooden-bodied open wagons owned not by the railway company but by the coal merchant, and with the merchant's name painted large on the wagon side to prove it. Hartnell & Son were a typical small to medium sized firm of coal traders, running a modest fleet of wagons from their base in the GWR's West Country heartland to fetch coal from the colliery for onward sale to domestic customers and local small businesses. They bought most of their coal from pits in Lydney, and the wagons would have made countless journeys empty up to the Forest of Dean and then loaded back to Taunton and Bishops Lydeard. It's a classic scene from a vanished age. Happily the GWR's Minehead branch line has been preserved as the splendid West Somerset Railway, so Hartnell & Son's old stamping ground lives on in real life as well as in N gauge.

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