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GWR Route: Bearley to Alcester

Alcester Station - GWR Views: gwr-mra467

GWR 517 class 0-4-2T No.1157 with auto trailer No.76 waiting to depart from the platform at Alcester for Bearley

The Great Western Branch Auto train comprising GWR ‘517’ class 0-4-2T No.1157 with auto trailer No.76 waiting to depart from the platform at Alcester for Bearley on 19th September 1935. By this time the 517 class tank engines were being displaced by the new Collett 48xx class 0-4-2T engines and No.1157, which was built at Wolverhampton in December 1875 was withdrawn just two months after this photograph was taken and after almost 60 years service. A single auto trailer fulfilled the normal passenger accommodation requirements from the reopening of the Branch in 1923, until final closure. Auto trailer No.76 was a 70’ Diagram T trailer built in 1911 (Lot 1190). It was designed to accommodate 70 seated 3rd class passengers in two open compartments (smoking and non smoking) and had a luggage compartment adjacent to the engine. The end windows of this luggage compartment were prone to damage during coaling and in the early 1930s a narrow horizontal white line was painted across them to remind the loco crew. Then in 1935 instructions were issued to paint the top section of these windows black to eliminate reflections and finally it was decided to plate them over. This photograph shows the trailer window in the original condition. Notice the retractable steps below the trailer entrance designed to give passenger access from rail level.

Robert Ferris

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