The ‘merry-go-round’ train revolutionised the way Britain was powered in the 1960s by making the delivery of coal more efficient.
First conceived by Gerard Fiennes (1906-85), the Chief Operating Officer of British Railways, a prototype wagon weighing 32.5 tons was built at Darlington Works in 1964. It was designed for use with block trains that took coal to power stations, and had the ability to load and off-load without stopping. This maximised efficiency, and allowed power stations to be built away from coalfields.
Merry-go-round trains played a vital role in ensuring Britain’s lights stayed on as demand for electricity continued to grow. Systems very similar to this are still in use today.
National Railway Museum
- North East
- Darlington, County Durham
- Key Individuals
- British Railways,