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Hi Billy,

Their usage depended very much on the train. This is rather any in-depth topic but there are some simple rules (well kind of).

When looking at a wagon in isolation some had brakes, and some didn't. Those with brakes had either manual or automatic. By the 1920's all wagons had break lines, this was identified by the single white square on each corner. So if a wagon had brakes that were automatic it could still have had the brakemans hut but would have had two white boxes instead of the one.

Has to how many "braked" wagons in a train was dependant on the route, anywhere from 1 in 10 on the flat and 1 in five in steeper sections. But they could be interspersed throughout the train. So it wasn't a case of 1 braked, 4 un-braked.

One interesting fact was that when it was formed, the DRG was the single largest employer in the world at that time. Labour was cheap, and there are instances of brakemen freezing to death in the winter in the cabins, there was no insulation. Given that a train was limited to 128 axels, there is a possibility that up to 25 brakemen could have been on one train.

Trust this is of assistance.

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