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GWR Routes: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Routes: North Warwickshire Line

Moor Street Station: gwrms1701

On a wet June day in 1911 a Steam Railcar waits at the island platform at Moor Street Station

On a wet June day in 1911 a Steam Railcar waits at the island platform at Moor Street Station. The platform lights are electric powered from the overhead low voltage cable. The Steam Railcar is a 70 foot wood panelled car (diagram R) built at Swindon Works in 1907 as part of either lot 1140 or lot 1142. Of the twenty three steam railcars built to this diagram, five were allocated to Tyseley shed (TYS) in 1909, from where they operated a variety of passenger services over the North Warwickshire Line and its associated branches. A similar sixth steam railcar was based at Stratford-upon-Avon sub-shed. These steam railcars had a vertical boiler unit powering the front coupled bogie. In this driving compartment was a coal bunker which could hold 30 cwts of coal and a water tank with a 450 gallon capacity. Behind this compartment was a luggage compartment and two open single class passenger saloons, either side of a central access vestibule.

The smaller forward smoking saloon had four pairs of walk-over double seats, seating sixteen passengers. The rear non-smoking saloon had an area with longitudinal bench seating, followed by five pairs of walk-over double seats, seating a total of thirty six passengers. A further nine basic seats could be made available in the luggage compartment if required, which resulted in a full seating capacity of sixty one. At the rear was a driver's vestibule, which allowed the steam railcar to be driven in reverse and this avoided the need to turn the steam railcar around. As passenger traffic increased on the North Warwickshire Line the capacity of the steam railcar became a limiting factor and by 1914 they had been replaced with auto-trains and conventional trains. The steam railcars were transferred to other locations, but were gradually withdrawn in the late 1920s / early 1930s with most being converted into auto-trailers (diagram A26).

Robert Ferris