Accurascale announces exclusive models of the ICI Soda Ash wagons

14 December 2023
Making up the final two packs from Accurascale’s first production run of 16-ton minerals, these OO wagons will have the same specification and will also be delivered in the Autumn of 2024.

Priced at £74.95 per triple pack, with 10% off when you buy two packs or more, they will come with Accurascale’s usual presentation packaging and are available to pre-order now from the Accurascale website direct only. Demand is expected to be high so make sure you get your pre-order in via the link below! 

History of ICI Mond Division’s Wagons for Soda Ash Traffic

When the Imperial Chemical Company (ICI) won a contract to export Soda Ash from the Northwich Wallerscote site in the mid-1960s, they encountered a significant barrier to operations when it was found that the vessels allocated to the shipping could not navigate the River Weaver. Instead, it would be necessary to load the Soda Ash at Partington Wharf on the Manchester Ship Canal via the existing wagon tippler, previously employed for coal traffic, however, this necessitated the use of unfitted rail wagons, no bigger than the existing 16T Mineral stock.

To accommodate this new traffic, between December 1969 and December 1970 ICI’s Mond Division undertook a programme to convert 120 16T wagons at the Avenue Workshops in Northwich, covering vehicle numbers in the 652 to 801 range. These conversions were straightforward, merely adding a sheet bar and sealing the interior across the three-door sides of the wagon and while the majority of these vehicles were scrapped by the mid-1970s, a number were re-liveried from their original ICI Green-Blue into the more familiar Grey-Blue, surviving into the early-1980s.

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Pack P covers these Batch One conversions in their later life, with Nos. 751, 737 and 690 all being fitted with the stepped shank buffer housings and fabricated (but redundant) end doors, as well as Morton Double 2-shoe independent brakes. Axle journals are a mix of standard and square types, with both solid and pressed steel handbrakes being featured.

A further batch of 100 wagons were converted by C.C Crump, Connah’s Quay, between November 1971 and March 1972 and while they retained the sheet bar, the sides were reinforced with horizontal side braces, and the removal of (in most cases) the side door, which was replaced by a welded panel. These wagons were numbered in the ICI 900-999 range, (C.C Crump 5500-5599), although at least one wagon from this batch, CLWD 5540, is known to have carried the TOPS code of POO (Private Owner Open).

Pack Q covers these Batch Two conversions, showing the wagons in a later revised ICI Grey-Blue livery and covers Nos. CCC5534 and CCC5579 in this condition and CLWD 5540 with its POO TOPS Panel (the decorated sample incorrectly shows this wagon as CCC5558 and is being revised). All wagons are fitted with stepped shank buffer housings, fabricated end doors, standard axle journals, solid handbrake handles and Morton 2-shoe brakes.

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