GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton
GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line
Tyseley Shed: gwrt345
GWR Railcar No 6, a member of the second production batch,
stands in front of Tyseley shed next to an unknown GWR 0-6-0PT Pannier tank in
June 1937. The underframes for the first three members of this series were
built at the same time as those for numbers 2 to 4, but as the Great Western
were undecided as to the type of body numbers 5 to 7 should carry, they were
not completed immediately.
However, the contract for constructing the bodies went to
the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. Ltd. who instigated several
improvements to the original design. Sliding doors replaced the previous
opening doors to increase accessibility in busy periods and deeper windows were
installed to improve the view for passengers and increase the sliding
ventilator window size. The front and rear of the railcar incorporated
ventilation slots above the drivers windows together with subtle changes to the
curves at the drivers compartment that slightly cleaned up the design.
In addition to the changes to the bodywork, the underframes
were modified in light of experience from the previous railcars and the areas
around the bogie pivots and headstocks were strengthened. While numbers 5 and 6
retained the part geared / part direct drive of the previous three models,
number 7 was provided a gearbox to each of its AEC engines and so gave a
greater starting tractive effort. Delivered in July and August 1935, these
first three railcars were assigned duties in the Oxford and Worcester services
working between London, Hereford and Birmingham.
In addition, these first cars were also used for Sunday
evening mystery tours around the Worcester area. Known as 'half-crown' tours
these workings travelled down to Gloucester, for example, via the Vale of
Evesham and returning via Great Malvern, and proved very popular when first
introduced. Courtesy of 'The Great Western Archive'.