Historical information

Cordite Wagon - 18½-inch (460mm) gauge wagons came from the Commonwealth Explosives factory at Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Both have gun-metal wheels, as avoiding sparks was understandably a priority in an explosives factory. Both wagons also have water tanks to drip water on the wheels as an added precaution. Cordite, an explosive used in artillery, was manufactured and pressed into thin sheets, which still contained a quantity of acetone solvent from the manufacturing process. The sheets of cordite were laid in racks of perforated trays in the cordite wagons, which were hand-pushed to the cordite drying-house where the trucks were coupled together in rakes and warm air was blown through them. The acetone, being very volatile, was evaporated out of the cordite and recovered to be re-used in the manufacturing process.


Historic - Industrial Narrow Gauge Railway - Commonwealth Explosives factory, Maribyrnong, Victoria, Australia

Physical description

Cordite Wagon - Rectangular yellow wagon made of wood and brass with aluminium trays

Inscriptions & markings

The number 77 is on the ends