(Please note that Northern Fine Scale Gauge 1 Coke Rail Wagon kits may be suppled with your choice of any of our Private Owner or Big Four liveries.)
Coke was a by-product of municipal gasworks throughout Britain. The production of coal gas produced not only quantities of coal tar but also an abundance of coke — a valuable commodity in industry and for heating purposes. Light in weight, it could be transported in wagons modified with extension rails designed to increase their capacity. Adding coke rails to our 7-plank wagon kit produces a vehicle typical of those in service.
J.C. Abbott of Birmingham was a large company of coal factors who
supplied quantities of coal to industrial users. Deliveries ranged from
one wagon to whole trainloads.
They bought coal from the South Wales collieries as well as those in the Midlands and North, and had many contracts supplying gasworks and electricity generating stations.
Wagons both with and without coke rails would be seen throughout the country. Wagons would deliver coal to a customer and then return filled with coke.
Birley Colliery was owned by the Sheffield Coal Company, and
straddled the Yorkshire — Derbyshire border from whence came some of the
finest gas coal in the country.
The product was in great demand and Birley wagons were seen all over the country reaching as far south as London in the east, and Cardiff in the west. Coke rails were used to convert the wagons for carrying coke.
Wagons were generally painted black although some were finished in grey. The corners of Birley wagons were always painted white giving a striking effect.
The City of Birmingham Gas Department was, in 1939, the single
largest utility in the country, owning five gasworks and over 2,100
Their annual coal demand was over a million tons. Most of the coal came from the coalfields of Nottingham, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire.
Coke produced in the municipal gasworks was delivered throughout the country in wagons fitted with removable coke rails.
Coalite produced their smokeless fuel at Darton in the middle of the Yorkshire coalfields and delivered it throughout the United Kingdom in their distinctively liveried coke wagons.
Coal factors Thomas Moy of Colchester had depots in London, Norfolk and Suffolk as well as Essex. Their wagons would have been seen all over the eastern side of the country as far north as Yorkshire from where they obtained some of their coal. They operated their wagons with removable coke rails.
Arthur Stabler was a coal distributor with a fleet of several hundred
wagons that supplied coal and coke to major companies in the Industrial
Coke was obtained mostly from Staveley's coke ovens in Derbyshire. Seven plank wagons would have been seen both with and without coke rails until Stabler's ceased trading around 1933.
T. W. Ward Ltd of Sheffield had private sidings at different
locations as far south as Essex as well as throughout the Midlands and
They were dealers in coal, coke and also scrap metal. Their large fleet of wagons would have been seen over a large part of the country both with and without coke rails.