Until the 1960s, railways were legally bound to accept any freight on offer, and handled everything from small consignments to train load freight. General goods were transported in open wagons, which could be covered by a tarpaulin to keep out the weather, or in covered vans.
Small consignments by freight train were picked up at local goods yards, and trans-shipped to other vehicles as necessary until they arrived at their destination. Similarly, individual wagons could be shunted on to several trains before reaching their destination. The tarpaulins or "wagon sheets" were individually numbered and - like the wagons themselves - had to be tracked and returned to their owning company at the earliest opportunity.
|51026||8 ton 4-plank Open, Great Northern Railway||c.1880|
|40||10 ton 7-plank Open (ex van), MOD, Rosyth Dockyard||c.1910|
|93177||12 ton 5-plank Open, Midland Railway||1920|
|4-plank bogie Open (short wheelbase)||1939|
|416133||5-plank High Goods, London Midland & Scottish Railway||1943|
|E315913||13 ton steel sided High Goods, British Railways||1949|
|B458977||13 ton steel sided Medium Goods Wagon, British Railways||1951|
|B722106||12 ton Shock 5-plank High Goods, British Railways||1952|