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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Warwick Station: gwrw2665

GWR 2-6-2T large prairie No 3163 with two ganged brake composite corridor coaches on an up local passenger train

Great Western Railway 2-6-2T 3150 class large prairie No 3163 with two ganged brake composite corridor coaches on an up local passenger train at Warwick Station in 1938. The posters on the station wall include an advertisement to ‘Come to Exmouth in sunny South Devon for your holidays’ a location which was served by the Southern Railway. The 3150 class was an early development of the 31xx (later 51xx) class 2-6-2T large prairie locomotives, being virtually identical, but fitted with the larger standard No4 boiler to produce a more powerful locomotive suitable for banking duties. Forty of these locomotives were built between 1906 and 1908 being initially allocated to the South West, South Wales and the Severn Tunnel. Originally the 3150 class locomotives weighted 78tons, 16cwt, with a maximum axle weight of 18tons, 16cwt, but in the early 1920’s their bunkers were extended to increase the coal carrying capacity from 3tons to 3.5tons and this resulted in an increase in their maximum axle weight to 19tons, 5cwt, which limited the locomotives to main lines and a few branch lines (route colour – Red). The design boiler pressure was 200 lbs producing a tractive effort at 85% of 25,670 lb (Power group - D). For more details of the Great Western Railway locomotive classification scheme see Engine Map.

Locomotive No 3163 was built in June 1907 at Swindon Works as part of lot 169 and had a superheated boiler fitted in February 1911. Other modifications included Automatic Train Control (ATC) between Feb 1930 and June 1931 and about the same time; fitting of sliding cab shutters and the recessing of the bunker fender to accommodate the upper lamp iron. Later in December 1944, No 3163 had outside steam pipes and curved front ends fitted. Locomotive No 3163 was initially allocated to Barry Shed (BRY) and in January 1921 was known to be allocated to Croes Newydd shed (CNYD) at Wrexham. No 3163 was moved to the Midlands, initially at Stafford Road shed (SRD) in Wolverhampton and subsequently known to be allocated to Leamington Shed (LMTN) in 1934 and 1938. Just prior to nationalisation No 3163 was allocated to Severn Tunnel Junction (STJ). No 3163 remained in service until June 1957 when it was withdrawn from Gloucester shed (85B).

The coaches appear to be either diagram E152 or E153 ganged brake composite corridor coaches, which were both sixty-one foot long, flat ended stock with six compartments (two first class and four third class), a lavatory, plus a guard’s and luggage compartment. The only difference between the two diagrams was a 1.25 inch difference in width over the handles. Both types had large windows with sliding ventilation at the top on the compartment side, as can be seen in this photograph. Details of the forty coaches built to these two diagrams is provided below:

Lot Diag No Date Quantity Running Numbers
1557 E152 June 1936 20 6859, 6860, 6861, 6862, 6925, 6932, 6940, 6965, 6967, 6971, 6973, 6981, 6982, 6985, 6988, 6991, 6992, 6993, 6994 & 6997
1572 E153 November 1936 20 6378, 6379, 6384, 6385, 6397, 6400, 6406, 6407, 6466, 6467, 6472, 6473, 6474, 6484, 6486, 6489, 6490, 6496, 6499 & 6529

Robert Ferris