Big Big Train Open Wagon types and how to recognize them

posted in: Rolling Stock, Wagons | 0

The RV258 Open Wagon or Mineral Wagon comes in three colors: Red, Green and Blue but there are more differences that are less obvious. These differences can be interesting to any Big Big Train collector.

In this post I would like to show the different types of Open Wagons that were produced and how to recognize which is which. Of course I made several pictures to clarify the differences.

The main differences are in the way the couplings are attached, in the shape of the container and the way it is attached to the chassis, in the printed text on the bottom of the chassis and the type of wheels that are fitted.

Four different types can be distinguished by the combination of these characteristics. These four types can be placed in order of production period as well. I have to give credit to Pat Hammond for his excellent explanation of these four types in his book The Story of Rovex, volume 2.

Let’s look at a picture of four of these Open Wagons:

Open Wagon Types

 

I bet from this picture it will be hard to determine any differences, apart from one wagon being green 🙂

If you look closer you can spot extensions on the side of the two wagons on the right. Let’s have a closer look:

Open Wagon RV258 no lugsOpen Wagon RV258 lugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These extensions appeared later and made these containers also fit on the Change-a-Truck chassis.

As said one of the differences is in the type of wheels. Let’s take a closer look at these wheels:

Open Wagon RV258 wheel differences

There were two types of wheels fitted. Wheels with holes and wheels without them. This difference is not easily spotted when the wheels are fitted and the holes are not actually holes through-and-through but it is still a difference.

Older wagons have wheels with these little holes and newer versions have wheels without holes.

Now let’s have a look at these four wagons from another angle:

Open Wagon RV258 types 2

 

Apart from the fact that I had to clean some of these wagons a bit more some other differences are noticeable. Together with the four holes in the corners the two wagons on the left also have two center connections that clips on the container to the chassis. No glue was used to connect these together. The two wagons on the right only have the holes in the corners that fit the pins on the chassis. The container and chassis were glued together in these cases.

I can give away now that the wagons are placed in an order: on the left is the oldest version and on the right the newest but this can not be concluded from this picture only.

Let’s turn the oldest wagon upside-down and look at it in detail:

Open Wagon RV258 types first Tri-ang

The oldest wagons had the Tri-ang logo printed on the bottom of the chassis together with the text “MADE IN ENGLAND”. Also the couplings are fitted with a brass crew.

So the oldest type is easy to recognize by:

  • Tri-ang logo together with text “MADE IN ENGLAND”
  • screw fitted couplings
  • clip-on container
  • no extensions on the sides
  • wheels with holes

 

Let’s look at the second type of wagon that was produced:

Open Wagon RV258 types second 1

 

The only difference with the first type is the lack of the Tri-ang logo on the bottom of the chassis.

So the next type is easy to recognize by:

  • no Tri-ang logo
  • text “MADE IN ENGLAND”
  • screw fitted couplings
  • clip-on container
  • no extensions on the sides
  • wheels with holes

 

We continue with the third type that was produced:

Open Wagon RV258 type third

The difference with the second type is in the connection of the couplings, in the type of wheels fitted and in the connection of the container to the chassis.

The couplings on this version are fitted by brass eyelets and the container is glued to the chassis.

So the third type is recognized by:

  • no Tri-ang logo
  • text “MADE IN ENGLAND”
  • brass eyelet fitted couplings
  • container glued to the chassis
  • extensions on the sides
  • wheels without holes

 

 

Finally we look at the fourth type of Open Wagon in detail:

Open Wagon RV258 types fourth 1

There are obvious differences here: The text on the bottom of the chassis is changed in “MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN”. It is also placed in another angle and in another spot under one of the axles.

The next picture of this last type also shows a major difference in the shape of the chassis:

Open Wagon RV258 types fourth 2

On the right the recess or gap in the chassis is a very obvious difference to the earlier versions. This type of chassis is also found on the ZOO Wagon by the way.

So the fourth and last version that was produced is recognized by:

  • no Tri-ang logo
  • text “MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN” placed in the length of the wagon under one axle
  • brass eyelet fitted couplings
  • container glued to the chassis
  • large recess in the chassis
  • extensions on the side
  • wheels without holes

 

I hope this post has clarified the distinction between the four types of Open Wagons that were produced over time.

Time to check your collection and see if you have all four types 🙂

Leave a Reply