·  LMS  ·  GWR  ·  LNER  ·  Misc  ·  Stations  ·  What's New  ·  Video  ·  Guestbook  ·  About

GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Queens Head Yard: gwrqhy2642a

Close up showing the mechanised tractor with its trailer being loaded with steel joists

Close up of image 'gwrqhy2642' showing the mechanical tractor No 2304 and a trailer being loaded with steel joists in February 1933. This is a Fordson Model F or Model N tractor modified from the standard agricultural model by the provision of pneumatic tyres, mudguards, electric lights and a cab (entry was from the rear). These tractor units had an inline four cylinder side valve petrol engine which produced 20hp (15kW) at 1,000 rpm. It had a three speed constant mesh transmission with one reverse gear. Note the crank starting handle below the radiator at the front.

The Great Western Railway had trialled a Fordson Tractor adapted for towing trailers and supplied by A&S Andrews Ltd of Ealing Common in 1922. Following this further Fordson tractors were purchased through A&S Andrews Ltd from the Fordson Dearborn plant in Michigan, USA until this plant shut. The Fordson tractor production was moved in 1928 to a plant in Cork, Southern Ireland but was subsequently relocated in 1933 to Dagenham, Essex. Contracts for Eagle patent trailers for use with these tractors were also placed with A&S Andrews Ltd. Records show the following quantities of tractors were in service in the second half of the 1920’s:

Year Fordson Knox Harvester Rushton
1925 16 1 - -
1926 25 1 1 -
1927 42 1 1 -
1928 42 1 1 -
1929 45 1 3 -
1930 65 1 3 2

The early Fordson tractors had solid rubber tyres and no cab, but two of those purchased in 1927 were given special sprung wheels by Muir-Hill Service Equipment Ltd of Trafford Park, Manchester (see gwrw2025). Later road legislation restricted the speed of vehicles with solid tyres due to the damage the wheels caused to the roads and pneumatic tyres became standard. In 1930, the Great Western Railway authorised the purchase of a further 22 tractors (including twenty Fordson tractors) and more were ordered in 1932. Tractor No 2304 has registration number plate GX 6188 making it likely that this was part of this 1932 order, as the prefix letters indicates a London allocation between March and June 1932.

Robert Ferris