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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Moor Street Station: gwrms2537

Ex-LMS 2-6-2T 3P No 40002 passes by the approaches to Moor Street station whilst on a down local service to Snow Hill station

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 the railcars.

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 568,457 miles.

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'

Robert Ferris