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These wagons were ordered by EWS during late 1998 from Thrall Europa at York to fulfil the need for large capacity box wagons capable of conveying stone, coal and scrap loads - effectively a larger MEA but carrying just over two and half times more than one MEA. All of these photos were taken at Ashburys during May 1999, when four of the wagons had been parked there in the Redland (La Farge) Aggregates sidings.

Above : Brand new MBA 500004 basks in the sun at Ashburys awaiting use. This shows to good effect the length of these wagons.

Above : From the other side we see 004 and 008.

Above : The end of wagon 002 showing the end ladders and oblong buffers. Note also the mechanism that seems to allow the end of the wagon to open outwards. Coupling hook and air pipe . The white lettering reads; " Ensure coupler is locked in position before use".

Above : The sticker as applied to the side of the wagon about the brake system and Above the standard wagon data panel.

Above : The National Swing Motion bogie as fitted to the wagon. There are some letters cast on the bogie - 72 IN = 72 inches or a 6 foot bogie; 2 99 = date the bogie was cast ?; 52962A = bogie part number ??.

Above : The WABCO (Westinghouse Air Brake COmpany) TMX Brake Assembley instruction plate as fitted onto the solebar of the wagons. It gives details of the cylinders and the slack adjustment.

Above : Corner view of wagon 002 showing the length and height of these wagons. The pile of stone to the left is some of that brought down from Dowlow quarry for the M60 motorway extension scheme.

Above : The centre of the wagon showing the HSE style warning flash and EWS gold lettering. Minimun curve is lettered as 55m and the Bogie Centres as 13834mm (or 45.3 foot ). To the right of the lettering is an access hatch out of which debris can be swept. Access to the interior of the wagon is via the side and end ladders.

Above : The buffers as fitted to the first one hundred of these wagons. The remaining two hundred wagons only have the buck-eye coupling fitted. Approximate length of the buffer is 27 inches and is a rectangular shaped head. All of the buffer is painted maroon when new.

Above : End 3A and 4A of wagon 008 - from noting the details of the other three wagons down this should really read 2A and 1A as some have had the wheels labelled incorrectly. From the left we have the hand-brake wheel, the WABCO Piston Travel Indicator sticker; the Thrall Europa Job No. 6006; wheelset data sticker and access/inspection ladder. On the next wagon you can see the paper recepticle and below that the stainless steel WABCO TMX plate.

Above : The white handbrake wheel and brake position indicator at the right hand end of the wagon.

For the record the wagons were 500001, 002, 004 and 008. They were moved a month or so after these photos were taken and then placed into regular duties on the Dowlow to Ashburys turn for a short while before the trains reverted to MEAs. MBAs can be seen on the Tunstead to East Anglia sugarstone flow when operational.