Useful box wagons from Dapol


The manufacturer has released another current day wagon design in 4mm, this being the MJA bogie box twins.

IT has been some 13 months since Dapol released the HIA hopper in ‘OO’ gauge, the Freightliner wagon proving to be something of a hit for the manufacturer, undoubtedly helped by a very competitive price. This has now been followed up by the MJA box wagons, which, somewhat unusually, operate as semi-permanently coupled twin-sets, a formation that Dapol has naturally re-created.

The MJAs were built in 2003-04 by Wagony Swidnica in Poland, the first sets arriving in the UK in September 2003. Numbered 502001-60, this allowed 30 twin-sets to be formed, all going on lease to Freightliner Heavy Haul for use carrying a range of commodities. Principally this was various types of aggregates, routes including Moreton-on-Lugg–Harlow Mill, Croft–Harwich and Mountsorrel–Luton. They were also noted in Virtual Quarry ballast traffic and even carrying coal. One other notable traffic was the movement of scrap rail from Crewe Basford Hall to Aldwarke, which for a time saw DB Schenker motive power hauling the MJAs.

By late 2014, the wagons had begun to be noted in GB Railfreight services, by when the paintwork was increasingly distressed and most, if not all, minus their Freightliner Heavy Haul brandings, leaving just plain green logo panels on the sides. Repaints into GBRf-branded dark blue started in 2015 with the company eventually taking the entire fleet on lease, much to Freightliner’s chagrin. Under their new operator, the MJAs have been noted in limestone and gypsum traffic.

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Two single vehicle MJAs also exist, Nos. 502199 and 502200 having conventional drawgear at both ends. Built as bogie development vehicles, they appeared in the mid 2000s but their non-standard nature meant they were initially little used. However, by the end of that decade, they were operating alongside the other MJAs and were still in traffic with Freightliner late last year, running with the newer MWA box wagons. In between, they had seen some use as brake force runners in Freightliner-operated EMU movements.

Read more in the May 2017 issue of RE – on sale now!

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