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<< Profile 1 >> BBA Bogie Steel Wagons
Build Details: BR Shildon / Ashford 1973-1981
Numbering: 910000-910120 / 910161-910365 / 910367-910591
Bogies / Suspension: BR FBT6A (2000mm WB)
Dimensions: LOH: 15240mm. Bogie ctrs: 11126mm
Published Drawings: AIHOBWV1
Areas of operation: Related to steel production areas. Principally South Wales, Midlands, North East, WCML and Glasgow.
Main liveries: Bauxite, Railfreight black/red, Railfreight black, EWS red
Summary: The BBA and similar but shorter BAA have been the mainstay of the heavy steel carrying fleet since their introduction in the mid-1970s. The basic design was able to carry ingots, slabs and coils, but many were later modified to suit a particular traffic.

History: NB: This is a brief profile. It will eventually be upgraded to the standard of later profiles, with more detailed information.

A prototype of this design was built at BR Shildon in 1973 and was 10ft longer than the earlier BAA type, with deeper solebars. It was followed by 4 production batches built at BR Ashford over the next 8 years and the type became the principal steel carrying wagon. Published sources differ over the exact number built but it would appear that the numbers 910121-910160 and 910366 were not used.

Early batches were delivered in BR bauxite brown livery with black bogies, while the final batch (910492-910591) came in the then new Railfreight black livery with red ends and side labels. Most of the other wagons were eventually repainted in this livery. Detail differences between the initial builds were minimal, just that the last 50 or so had prominent lifting lugs on the solebars. Unlike the BAAs, the design of the end panels was the same throughout.

In service the type was usually used in block formations, often intermixed with BAA wagons. Operations were on trunk routes between steel production and finishing locations and industrial users. The West Coast Main Line saw many services which were usually double-headed by class 86 or 87 electrics. Some of the services were lengthy, such as Lackenby (Teesside) to Corby and later South Wales.

Modifications to the type have been numerous, primarily to allow the easier loading and unloading of strip coils. Variations have included the removal of the ends and the fitting of 5 transverse coil cradles, removal of the ends and floor and the fitting of coil boxes (BLA) and the fitting of telescopic sliding covers (BWA). Other TOPS codes applied have been BEA, BIA, BRA, BUA and BXA although the changes with these are not known.

An all-black livery was carried for a while before the adoption of EWS red as standard, while some black wagons carry the EWS logo on a red panel.

Queries:

References:

Links: Photos of BBA wagons and variants on Paul Bartlett's website

Photos of BBA wagons on Martyn Read's website

Photos of BLA wagons on Martyn Read's website

Photos of BIA wagons on Martyn Read's website

Photos of BWA wagons on Martyn Read's website

Photos of BXA wagons on Martyn Read's website

Photos of BBA wagons on Andy Jupe's website

Photos of BIA wagons on Andy Jupe's website

Photos of BLA wagons on Andy Jupe's website

Photos of BSA wagons on Andy Jupe's website

Photos of BWA wagons on Andy Jupe's website

Photos of BXA wagons on Andy Jupe's website

Updates: 15/03/2013: Photo links (finally) updated.
Photos
For more pictures see the Links section at the bottom

BBA 910202 in original livery and condition at Margham, 27th April 1986.
Paul Bartlett


BBA 910570 in Railfreight livery, showing the lifting lifting lugs fitted to the final wagons. Ebbw Junction, 9th September 1980.
Paul Bartlett


BBA 910044 in original condition but fitted with NACO swing-link bogies. Newport, 20th August 2005.
Martyn Read


BBA 910543 with ends removed. York, 13th April 2007.
Martyn Read


BLA 910536 at Newport, 25th August 2005.
Martyn Read


BIA 910357 at Doncaster, 14th July 2006.
Martyn Read


BWA 910440 at Doncaster, 14th July 2006.
Martyn Read


BXA 910425 at Doncaster, 14th July 2006.
Martyn Read


Page added: 01/10/2007 Spotted an error? Got some additional info?
Please e-mail me at tom (at) ltsv.com
Last edited: 03/10/2007