I/IA open wagons
|By the late 70's this was the only style of I/IA in service, earlier I/IA's included all wood, steel and wood and all steel high sides (Tommy Bent's) construction.There was no physical difference between an I and an IA,they were all built as I and the recodings to IA took place in the early 1930's, the code difference was for billing reasons.
In their very early days many photos exist of I/IA's loaded with bagged wheat, of course firewood was a mainstay traffic for this class, after the introduction of dedicated bulk grain wagons they saw service hauling virtually any commodity on all VR lines. Common traffic late in their lives was coal
As time went by they provided underframes and/or bodies for many subsequent classes including: B's, DW's, KB, KCC's, KF's, KL's, KM, KR's, KW, HD's, HR's, IC's, IT's, IK's, HR's, WX (WA), The IY class were built as I's and recoded to IY in the early 1930's to designate their higher load carrying capacity underframes.
I 10097 most likely photographed to show the newly installed auto couplers, March 1929.
Official VR photo, Frank Kelly collection
This is a "Tommy Bent" I/IA, although none were in service by the late 70's they are referenced a lot in VR wagon history. IA 6843 started life as I 6843 in Dec. 1902, it was autocoupled and recoded to IA in 1935. By the time this photo was taken (at Newport in 1978) it may well have been the last "Tommy Bent" to survive in original condition.
Note that the wagon number appears on the underframe, this was done so that the number could still be read when the doors were open. The practice ceased in the early to mid 70's
A"Tommy Bent" in "as new" condition, note the lack of vertical stiffener.
I 14941 at Westall, April 25 1978.
ABOVE: IA13711 circa 1950
photo courtest State Library Victoria
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