Cowwarr's GY Wagon

GY2300R

This railway goods wagon, No. GY2300R, is a typical example of a standard 4-wheeled open wagon used by the Victorian Railways on the Traralgon-Stratford line. This vehicle was built at Bendigo Workshops and issued to Victorian Railways traffic department during August 1945 as GY 2300 (G=Grain, Y=ton underframe). It was built for the purposes of carrying bulk grain from country areas to wherever needed; silos for export via shipping or to milling or flour mills around the state. To transport bulk grain, the doors needed to be tight and grain proof to prevent leakage and pipes needed ends filled to prevent weevil infestation. When not in grain traffic the wagon was used to carry whetever was required from timber, hay and loose wood, to vehicles, machinery and basically anything that could fit the interior. By covering the interior with canvas tarpaulins the vehicle could even carry water (not saying this one did thought). By the early 1980's (circa 1981) many wagons for general class traffic were being scrapped, so the railways de-rated many grain wagons to general class by reclassifying them to G and retaining the same number. The grain proofing maintenance was stopped. From 1984, the railways began to apply computer check lettering to the number, hence the 'R' at the end of the code and number G2300.

As issued the vehicle was painted all red only (GY2300). To avoid mixups with non-grain vehicles issued in 1948 that looked the same, a yellow stripe was appllied in diagonal corners to denote "Grain Proof" from 1948. From 1969 grain proof wagons were painted all yellow (Hansa yellow) to improve visability of trains at level crossings. With the change to 'G' and non-bulkproofing/grain proofing a red stripe was applied in the diagonal corners. When serviced (a 5 year cycle) these vehilces with red stripes were re-issued painted all red. GY2300 is painted all red and underneath the paintwork you may find these changes. The white square painted at one side and on the same side at both ends is to assist rail staff with location where the handbreak is.

With the introductoin of larger capacity wagons, shipping containers and the closure of many rural railway lines, these wagons were all withdrawn from service by 1990 and only a few remain with heritage tourist railways. Wagon GY2300R has been placed at Cowwarr in remembrance of the former railway line that crossed the Gippsland Plains over 104 years. It was sourced and restored as a joint effort between the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee, Public Transport Victoria and the people of Cowwarr and district in 2014.

Text supplied by Wellington Shire - Tourism Development.

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