New ‘shorty’ HRA enters traffic

Now freshly repainted in DB red, the cut-down former coal hopper has gained a new 12-digit number and is currently being trialled in service for a possible follow-on fleet.

FORMER HTA bogie coal hopper No. 310711 – which has been reduced to around 80% of its original length by the removal of one hopper bay – has been released from Axiom Rail,
Stoke-on-Trent, following brake tests and a repaint.

Already looking slightly stained from carrying chunks of Derbyshire to other parts of the country, newly converted HRA No. 41 70 6723 001-7 (ex-HTA No. 310711) is sandwiched by former HTA coal hoppers pressed into aggregates service at Peak Forest on June 19. If the HRA prototype is successful, and a full conversion programme authorised, then the significant length saving per wagon will enable a huge boost in train capacity. Trevor Mann

The bright red HRA aggregates hopper has received the new 12-digit UIC/ERA number No. 41 70 6723 001-7 GB-DBSUK (not DBCUK) and the UIC designation Fabnooss. Its painted capacity is 76.9-tonnes with a tare of 24.7-tonnes, which means it is slightly heavier than its original specification (see June issue). There is a question mark over the exchange code 41 when recent renumbers of DB wagons have received 82.

The prototype departed Stoke-on-Trent on June 2 for Warrington Arpley behind No. 66102. It had made its way to Peak Forest by June 5 and was still on its own in the sidings by the signalbox six days later. However, just a few days later it had been inserted in a set of HTAs and was being assessed in normal service.

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