GY Open/bulk Grain Wagons

ABOVE: GY 3 at Ararat, 1979.

GYs are perhaps the best known wagon class on the VR because of their sheer number (totalling 6,320). The numbering group was 1 - 17030, with a huge gap reserved for I/IA wagon numbers. They were constructed between 1939 and 1958 by 5 different builders. A detailed list of GY numbers, builders, and build locations is at GY Roster.

A very common sight on the VR were long rakes of GYs hauling the wheat harvest. When not hauling wheat they could often be seen carrying all sorts of loads, including superphosphate, briquettes, containers, farm equipment, etc. 

As built, GYs were painted in the normal VR wagon red. From 1948 a diagonal yellow stripe was applied to differentiate them from identical looking, but non grainproofed HY's. From 1970 GY's were progressively painted "Hansa Yellow". The shade/colour of this yellow varied from workshop to workshop, and also depended on how long since it had been painted, as the yellow often faded dramatically. For accurate modeling of a rake of yellow GYs it is vital that there be many different shades of yellow, as that's how they were in real life. 

Some GYs in VR wagon red with the diagonal stripe remained in that colour scheme until the late 1970s. 810 GYs were converted to GH hoppers between 1979 and 1982 and the rest were gradually scrapped.

General arrangement 1945

General arrangement 1965

Underframe diagram

Wheel/axle assembly


Steam Era Models make an excellent HO model.

AUST-N-RAIL builds an excellent N scale model.

Veteran Models make an etched brass and whitemetal O scale kit.

ABOVE & BELOW:  GY 405 was built at Newport, Dec 1941 which is when these photos were taken. The yellow stripe did not appear until 1948.


ABOVE: With over 6,000 GYs, it was a badge of honour to see and/or photograph GY 1. I only saw and photographed it once, and strangely the film has gone missing. Luckily Rob O'Regan and Geoff Winkler have provided their copies from the late 70s for all to enjoy.   (photo courtesy Rob O'Regan)

BELOW: GY 1 at North Geelong, June 20 1978. (photo courtesy Geoff Winkler)

ABOVE: GY 79 photographed in 1979.

ABOVE: When loaded with wheat, the tarps on GY's were quite consistant, but with other loads the tarping could get a little creative like we see here on GY 428. Note the handbrake in the applied position. 1978. (photo courtesy Peter J Vincent)

ABOVE: GY 783 at Benalla, Jan 1980.

ABOVE: GY 910 at Benalla, Jan 1980.

Outside Sill group 911 - 1160 (excluding 1080)

ABOVE & BELOW, GY 911 at West Footscray 1979.

ABOVE: GY 911 photographed in 1978. GY's 911 - 1160 (except 1080) were converted from IZ class wagons, their outside sill made them the only major variation within the GY class. All GY's in this number group had wheel handbrakes.

ABOVE: GY 960 circa 1978 (photo courtesy Peter J Vincent)

ABOVE & BELOW: GY 960 in 1978. In about the mid 1970's VR went to this style of tarp instead on the traditional canvas type, it was some sort of heavy plastic. In the photo below, (to show the handbrake and stencils) it looks like the brake block needs a bit of adjustment.

ABOVE: GY 988 at Graham 1978

ABOVE: GY 1000 at Dandenong. Aug. 5 1978.

ABOVE: GY 1033 at Nth Geelong, Feb 7 1978 ( photo courtesy Geoff Winkler)

ABOVE: GY 1080 at Glenroy, Oct. 1976 Converted from a GZ, GY 1080 was the only inside sill GY to have a wheel handbrake (photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent)

ABOVE: GY 1114 at Williamstown Pier, 1978.

ABOVE: GY 1152 at Nth Geelong Sept. 2 1978 In the off wheat season, GY's were busy carrying superphosphate which resulted in white powder underneath the doors as seen here. (photo courtesy Geoff Winkler)

ABOVE: GY 1158 at Benalla, Jan 1980

ABOVE: GY 2059 loaded with a weed sprayer, Spotswood circa 1940's. (PROV photo) 

ABOVE: GY 2168 at Geelong, 1978 (photo courtesy Geoff Winkler)

ABOVE: GY 2687 circa 1955, it looks like the buffers have just been removed and new shunters step installed, Interestingly the shunters safety chain has not been removed. (PROV photo)

ABOVE:GY 2789, part of a group of 50 GY's built at Ballarat from 1946 - 1947. photo 1978.Photo courtesy Peter J Vincent

ABOVE: Builders photo from Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co Ltd. (photo from State Library of Victoria collection)


The article ABOVE is from the August 1950 VR Newsletter. GY 3380 was the first of a batch of 250 GY's built in England. The Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company went on to build a total of 750 GY's with another English builder, Metro Cammel, also building 750 GY's


ABOVE: GY 3570 loaded with oil drums, 1978. (photo courtesy Peter J Vincent)

ABOVE: GY 3586 stencilled for timber traffic, photo, 1979

ABOVE: GY 4124 circa 1952. (PROV photo)


ABOVE: GY 4236 at Donald 1977.


ABOVE: GY 4567 at Ararat, Dec. 1979. In addition to the superphospahate under the doors it appears that 4567 has had some repairs done to its wheat proofing as seen with the feshly painted horizontal strips at the bottom of the door.

ABOVE: GY 4752 circa 1957. (PROV photo)


ABOVE: GY 4868 at Nth Geelong, Dec. 22 1978 (photo courtesy Geoff Winkler)

ABOVE: GY 6130 was one of a group of 20 wagons purchased by the VR from Australia Paper Mills in 1956. APM had them built by A. E. Goodwin to the standard VR design. (VR also had GY's built by A. E. Goodwin) photo taken in 1979 by Peter J. Vincent. 

ABOVE: GY 16074, late 1970's. (photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent)

ABOVE: GY 16204 (ex HY 16204) at Bendigo, 1978. Still in red, 8 years after the program to paint GY's yellow began. This wagon has a spoked and a disc wheel which was quite common.

ABOVE: GY 16230 just after receiving its coat of Hansa yellow, Nov. 25 1970. The circular directing that GY's be painted yellow is dated Sept. 23 1970. This is a VR photo so it may have been the first GY painted in the new scheme. (Official VR photo PRC 1754)

BELOW: Prior to the introduction of the all over Hansa Yellow paint scheme, GY 3871 was painted in this test scheme in 1970. It is not known if it ran in revenue service with this paint scheme. GY 5978 was possibly painted in this scheme too.

ABOVE: Although GY's were mainly a wheat carrying wagon, in the off season they were often loaded with all sorts of things. GY 16338 loaded with 2 cabs from scrapped W class locos, Tottenham yard 1980


ABOVE: GY 16582, photographed in 1978, showing the yellow stripe they carried from 1948 until painted all over yellow starting in 1970


ABOVE: GY 17006 at Williamstown Pier 1978

ABOVE: GY 17013 at Arden St. April 21 1978

ABOVE: GY 17014 at Westall. May 20 1978.

ABOVE: The classender, GY 17030 at Ararat, the highest numbered GY, 1979


BELOW: Handbrake side view of the highest numbered GY, 17030.  circe 1979.  Photo courtesy Rob O'Regan 

Non Grainproofed
This photo shows the bottom part of the door without grainproofing This photo shows the "lip" under the door as well as the gussett next to the hinge, also note the different style of hinges.

The photo below shows grainproofing on an outside sill wagon.

ABOVE: The underside of a GY after a derailment at Armstrong 1981

BELOW: The undignified ending for almost all GY's was a trip to Simsmetal at Brooklyn
where they were cut up for scrap metal. Brooklyn 1980.


ABOVE: Very rare shot of an APM "GY". In 1956 VR purchased APM's 1 to 20 and renumbered them GY 6130 to 6149
It is believed that the APM's were built in the early 1950's

The article below is from the Jan. 1954 VR newsletter


ABOVE: GY 4284 is "lifted" at Ballarat workshops in Dec. 1972. The lifting process was a periodic overhaul, every 5 years for most goods stock.

ABOVE: HY 16102 circa 1950, it was wheatproofed and recoded to GY in the early 1960's
Official VR photo


ABOVE: The number in the circle indicated when the wagon was last grainproofed (March 1978)
PV 3-78 NB showed the date that the Triple Valve was last overhauled NB = North Ballarat
NBL indicated North Ballarat Lift, DW = Due Workshops (3.83)


BELOW: Diagram showing a GY's converted for carrying water
it is unknown if this was ever actually carried out.