Courtaulds C32

At a glance:

Builder:Ulster Transport Authority (Duncrue Street Works)
Build date:1951
Original company:Courtaulds
Withdrawal date:1975
Final company:Northern Ireland Railways
Arrived at DCDR:1985
Current status:Stored
Current owner:DCDR

In 1951, the UTA built a fleet of four-plank open wagons for textile giant Courtaulds, who opened their Carrickfergus factory the same year. The factory was rail-connected, meeting the Larne line at Mount halt. It had a small internal railway system managed by two steam locomotives. Though owned by Courtaulds, the wagons spent most of their time being hauled by UTA locomotives between Mount and Larne Harbour where they were filled with coal to supply the factory with.

When Courtaulds closed its private sidings in 1967, the wagons naturally passed into the UTA’s hands, though the UTA quickly gave way to NIR the following year. With internal goods traffic having ceased in Northern Ireland in 1965, the wagons were employed in permanent way use throughout the 70s and 80s.

Our own C32 was last used around 1975, when it was left inside the goods shed at Lisburn station and forgot about for a decade! Though it wasn’t the first vehicle DCDR purchased, this unassuming little wagon was the first to arrive on our site, in 1985. Throughout the years at DCDR it has seen use in the Permanent Way team and in demonstration goods trains, though for now it is in storage in need of a complete overhaul.