LMS Route: Evesham to Birmingham
Alcester Station: mra467
The Great Western Branch Auto train comprising GWR
517 class 0-4-2T No.1157 with auto trailer No.76 waiting to depart
from the platform at Alcester for Bearley on 19th September 1935. By this time
the 517 class tank engines were being displaced by the new Collett 48xx class
0-4-2T engines and No.1157, which was built at Wolverhampton in December 1875
was withdrawn just two months after this photograph was taken and after almost
60 years service.
A single auto trailer fulfilled the normal passenger
accommodation requirements from the reopening of the Branch in 1923, until
final closure. Auto trailer No.76 was a 70 Diagram T trailer built in
1911 (Lot 1190). It was designed to accommodate 70 seated 3rd class passengers
in two open compartments (smoking and non smoking) and had a luggage
compartment adjacent to the engine.
The end windows of this luggage compartment were prone to
damage during coaling and in the early 1930s a narrow horizontal white line was
painted across them to remind the loco crew. Then in 1935 instructions were
issued to paint the top section of these windows black to eliminate reflections
and finally it was decided to plate them over. This photograph shows the
trailer window in the original condition. Notice the retractable steps below
the trailer entrance designed to give passenger access from rail level.