GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton
GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line
Moor Street Station: gwrms2537
Ex-Great Western Railway Streamlined Diesel Railcar No 7 on
the traverser at the end of Platform 3 at Birmingham Moor Street Station on
Saturday 23rd September 1950. The unusual rotating disc signal in the
foreground indicated the position of the traverser.
Three diesel railcars Nos 5, 6 and 7 were ordered in April
1935 from Associated Equipment Company Ltd (AEC) under lot 1522. The railcar
bodies were built for AEC by the Gloucester Carriage & Wagon Company. The
total cost of each of these diesel railcars was £5,031. These three
railcars were allocated diagram W and differed from the initial lots of diesel
railcars as they were designed for local and suburban passenger traffic. The
seating capacity was increased to 68 by using the area allocated in the
previous railcars to the buffet and lavatory.
The Great Western Railway diesel railcars were frequently
photographed with the detachable side panels removed, exposing their bogies.
Excluding the prototype No 1 (which only had one motor), all the diesel
railcars prior to No 7 were provided with two 130 bhp motors, but only a single
four speed gearbox. To save money, the second motor was provided with a direct
drive transmission system to the other bogie, but to ensure that all the axles
operated at compatible speeds, had a device which restricted its throttle
depending on the applied gear. No 7 and all subsequent railcars dispensed with
this arrangement and had a gearbox associated with each motor. In all cases a
Cardan drive shaft connected the two axles on the bogie driven by the geared
transmission to increase the traction when starting, but maintenance issues in
later years resulted in many of these drive shafts being removed. The
photograph shows an exposed bogie without a Cardan drive shaft and none of the
required worm gearing attachment on the front axle.
No lamp bracket was originally provided, but following
problems with the railcar's electric tail lamp which became dim at low speeds,
all the diesel railcars were fitted with these brackets for attaching
conventional oil lamps. Notice both the low level twin air horns and the two
cab side air horns. These horns were operated by compressed air and were
supposed to be audible for three miles. The cab side air horns were a later
addition following complaints from Permanent Way staff about the quietness of
All three railcars of lot 1522 were allocated to Worcester
Shed (WOS) and No 7 went into service on 22nd July 1935. The three railcars
provided services between; Hereford and Oxford, and Malvern and Birmingham.
Post nationalisation No 7 was given a prefix and became W 7, but remained
allocated to Worcester shed (85A). In November 1957, W 7 was transferred to
Stourbridge Junction shed (84F) and on 3rd January 1959 was condemned. Up to
the end of 1950 mileage details were recorded and this railcar had travelled
This photograph is displayed courtesy of the HMRS
(Historical Model Railway Society) and copies can be ordered directly from them
using the link HERE, quoting 'AES117'