Up until the 1970s coal was the predominant fuel of the UK and the demand was met by a multitude of coal mines spread all over the country. Rail was the principal means of distributing the coal and the 1923 RCH standard design of 12 ton 7 plank wagons with opening end doors were used widely for this purpose until superseded by the larger steel bodied hoppers in the late 1940s. Many 7 plank wagons were privately owned, either by the mines themselves (the larger mines may have owned hundreds), the coal agents who acted as middlemen between the mines and the merchants and the individual coal merchants themselves. There was therefore a vast collection of liveries either specifically manufactured for larger fleets, or wagons were overprinted as was seen for many of the smaller merchants. Such was the volumes of coal moved in this period that rakes of 150 wagons or more were commonly seen leaving collieries destined for marshalling yards where the coal was organised for regional delivery.
The Dapol model of the 1923 RCH 7 plank wagon features:
• Finely moulded body
• Profiled wheels
• Accurately applied livery
• Complete with coal load