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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 16 - June 1973
GL&C Co. No. TW92
The Beckton Wagon - John Horne
Many railway enthusiasts have heard of Beckton Gasworks, mostly because examples of its once large fleet of steam locomotives can be seen at Penrhyn and at Bressingham. A modest addition to Quainton stock arrived on 7th April in the form of Wagon "TW 92", and this forms another link with this well-remembered but now extinct industrial system.
Beckton gasworks, for many years the world's largest, was started in the eighteen-sixties on what was then open marshland beside the Thames, several miles east of London. Coal arrived by sea but all movement within the works was by rail on a complex multi-level network which grew to over 45 track miles with 5 signal boxes and 53 steam locomotives, two of them built within the works. Immediately west of Beckton was a very large by-product plant belonging to the same company, the Gas Light and Coke Company, and usually referred to as the "Tar Works". It was here that TW 92 served.
Like most of the 1050 strong wagon fleet TW 92 was built at Beckton Gas works. The fleet was very varied and included high-capacity steel block-trains with hopper doors worked by compressed air, but TW 92 represents the other extreme. Its wooden frames bear two sets of solid dumb buffers and a low two plank body, while the old style axle boxes are lettered "GLCC". It is difficult to say exactly how old the wagon is, but it seems to be in fair condition.
Beckton no longer has any use for railways, now that everything comes and goes by pipeline, but TW 92 may still perform a humble duty in its new home.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 21 October 2017