GB Railfreight FEA-S
FEA-S 640642 at Doncaster - Photo by Dan Adkins
In addition to maritime traffic, GB Railfreight’s FEA-S flats have seen considerable use on British Gypsum flows in recent years. Carrying the distinctive blue-painted 20ft boxes, the workings have included Mountfield-Southampton Western Docks and Drax Power Station-Newbiggin. Seen at Doncaster on 17th July 2013, 640642 looks to have received works attention recently given its clean state, while the next wagon coming into shot on the left is one of the yellow-painted former Metronet examples, illustrating how the two batches are now mixed together.
FEA-S 640665 at Whittlesea - Photo by Gareth Bayer
A still relatively new 640665 is seen at Whittlesea on 10th April 2006 clearly illustrating the infrastructure role that GBRf intended for some of its FEA-S wagons. Fitted with three 20ft flat modules, the resulting wagon was termed a ‘Super Salmon’ and could carry either new or recovered track panels. Such a combination can still be seen in traffic today, although they tend to be found operating in the southern half of the country.
FEA-S 640674 at Ely - Photo by Alex Hall
Illustrating the other infrastructure variant of GBRf’s FEA-S fleet is 640674 at Ely on 21st June 2008, this being a ‘Super Tench’. In this instance, three 20ft modules with dropside doors are fitted as are extension pieces over the headstocks. Used as general materials carriers, loads typically include 60ft or so lengths of rail and loose sleepers. Less numerous than the ‘Super Salmons’, their operating sphere is much the same though with both types typically found in small groups or even singly mixed in with other infrastructure wagons. In both cases, the modules can be removed and swapped to other FEAs, this particular example having been noted in container traffic in recent years.