If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Didcot: GWS Railcar/Rail Motor Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Breva, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    1,820
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I have a picture of a GWR railcar with a carriage in tow at Long Marston, heading south. The caption says 1951 and Leamington-Honeybourne.

    Can anyone tell me more? What service was this? Was it common for this railcar type to tow a carriage?
     
  2. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,802
    Likes Received:
    2,460
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Deep South
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    https://warwickshirerailways.com/gwr/gwrls2139.htm

    They also ran on the N.Warks line (Cardiff - Moor Street) in the early 1950's with a carriage (with buffet I believe) between two of the railcars.
    They were usually that prompt you could set you clock by the service.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    240P15 likes this.
  3. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    1,820
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thanks for that. Anyone with more info?

    The picture shows the same combo that is on my photograph. However the description does not mention a route through Honeybourne.

    Later on there was a more modern DMU service from Leamington to Cardiff I believe. I have a picture of that passing near Broadway.

    I do not know of any GWR railcar pictures on the Honeybourne line though. Just the one at Long Marston.
     
  4. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,802
    Likes Received:
    2,460
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Deep South
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Maybe it was an RCTS special they ran one or two in that area I remember.
     
  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6,256
    Likes Received:
    6,790
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There's a couple of pictures of ones on shed at Malvern Road somewhere on the internet, will try and find them in a bit.
     
  6. toplight

    toplight Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    705
    Location:
    Swindon, England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There is quite a few pictures around of the Steam Railmotor cars on the line soon after it was opened. Would be nice to see the restored Didcot one run along the GWSR some day.

    The more modern 1930s GWR diesel railcars, there were some built in the same style but with only one streamlined end, intended to operate as a pair. Sometimes a normal GWR coach sandwiched between them to increase it to a 3 car unit. Whether these ever operated on the Honeybourne line, not sure.

    You can see some pictures and info on them here http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29714.0
     
  7. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    1,820
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thanks for that. One thing I learned from that forum link is that there is a book, which I have just ordered, second hand.

    But all the chat is about double rail cars in nearby areas. I have a picture of a single with coach at Long Marston dated 1951, and in fact another at Mickleton on the Worcester-Oxford line, hauling what looks like a Syphon or BG of some sort. What were they doing? By all accounts, neither was a regular route.

    I have seen several pictures of Steam Railmotors on the Honeybourne line, in fact at just about every station in the early days, but none at Broadway. Or indeed any early train at Broadway, except for the one in the background on the famous 1904 picture.

    BTW, does anyone have a reasonably high resolution scan of the 1904 picture? My best one is 700kb, still quite small. There must be an original about somewhere? Note that the 1904 picture was taken twice; the people in them have moved a few steps between the first and the second.
     
  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6,256
    Likes Received:
    6,790
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Found it, along with a description of the service, right at the bottom of this page.
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6,256
    Likes Received:
    6,790
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The Railmotor surely ought to be top of a list for a visitor, it's just so appropriate for the line. I guess it's the usual caveats, is it available at the time, someone for support crew, plus the added difficulty of getting stuff in and out of Didcot.
     
  10. Adam Tandy

    Adam Tandy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2018
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Evesham, Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Speaking of Didcot, what would the chances be of getting Pendennis Castle or Lady of Legend in to a GWSR event at some point once they're in steam?
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6,256
    Likes Received:
    6,790
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    See above!
     
    35B and Kinghambranch like this.
  12. Robin

    Robin Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Stourbridge
    Not sure if it the same book, but Colin Judge's "The History of the Great Western A.E.C. Diesel Railcars" is well worth a read. It includes a list of scheduled railcar services in September 1950, with two Leamington-based railcars working services between Stratford, Leamington and Honeybourne on weekdays. One railcar was also based at Cheltenham to work Cheltenham - Gloucester - Ledbury services. Nothing was scheduled to work through Broadway, which is not to say they may not have made an unscheduled appearance from time to time!

    There is a 1952 picture of W26 "towing an auto coach for additional passenger seating" on one of the Leamington services, which may be the same combination as your picture.
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6,256
    Likes Received:
    6,790
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham, or Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    This quote from my link above would disagree!

    "The daily railcar duty in the summer of 1954 was as follows:
    Off shed 5.48am empty to St James' arr. 5.50am. Depart 6.12am to Gloucester Central, arr. 6.28am. 6.42am to Ledbury, arr. 7.32am. Depart Ledbury 7.55am, arr. Gloucester Central 8.42am.
    Depart Gloucester Central 9.56am for Birmingham Snow Hill, stopping at Cheltenham Malvern Road 10.7am, Broadway 10.33am, Stratford–upon-Avon 10.51am, arr. Snow Hill 11.31am. Depart Snow Hill 12.27pm, arr. Stratford 1.8pm, Broadway 1.32pm, Cheltenham Malvern Road 1.58pm.Empty at 2.5pm to St James' arr.2.7pm. The workings to and from Snow Hill were class 'A' express trains.
    3.20pm St James' to Gloucester Central, arr. 3.36pm. 4.5pm Central to Ledbury arr.4.57pm; return 5.22pm, arr. Central 6.10pm. 6.25pm Central to Ledbury arr.7.19pm; return 8.22pm, arr.Central 9.15pm.10pm Central to St James' arr.10.16pm. Empty at 10.25pm to Malvern Road shed, arr. 10.27pm."
     
  14. rolage2

    rolage2 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    32
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    What was the route of the Cardiff service? Wouldn't this have passed through Broadway or did it go through Worcester?
     
  15. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    1,820
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    That sounds like it!

    The book I bought is not the same, I didn't realise there were two (only 1 listed on Amazon)
    I bought this one:
    An Illustrated History of Great Western Diesel Railcars
    Russell, J. H.

    It has a flying banana on the cover.
     
    240P15 likes this.
  16. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,118
    Likes Received:
    1,848
    If you have a railcar towing another coach, does it have to run round at the end of the journey?
     
  17. Robin

    Robin Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Stourbridge
    Presumably a timetable change between 1950 and 1954. The 1950 timetable was 6.15am St James to Gl, 6.42 Gl to Le, 7.55 Le to Gl, 9.20 Gl to Le, 10.42 Le to Gl, 12.02 Gl to Le, 1.30 Le to Gl., 2.30 Gl to St James, 3.25 St James to Gl, 4.05 Gl to LE, 5.22 Le to Gl, 6.25 Gl to Le, 8.25 Le to Gl and 10.00 Gl to St James.
     
    flying scotsman123 likes this.
  18. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,802
    Likes Received:
    2,460
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Deep South
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The first and earlier railcars of the 1930's were single units without draw gear. Later ones had regular buffing gear and drawhooks allowing a one car tail load. 35 and 36 had driving cabs at one end only and were designed to enable a standard coach to be placed between the two. These are the cars that, as far as I know, ran from Cardiff to Birmingham. Toilets (35) and buffet (36) were included in them. I remember them being replaced by a steam train with a B or D set, thus was due to the popularity of the service which only stopped at a few places. After this I gather they ran on Bristol - Weymouth and Reading - Newbury lines.
    Details from Jim Russell's Great Western Coaches PtII.
     
  19. toplight

    toplight Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    705
    Location:
    Swindon, England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    If you look through copies of the Great Westerns own magazine you might find some info. There is a big article in one of them about the building of the Honeybourne line written at the time it opened. In Swindon library they have all the Great western magazines in original bound copies from when it started in about 1890 right through to 1947.(There is a bound copy of the magazines for each year). Some interesting info/pictures in them written at the time although a lot of material is about GWR employees being promoted etc. They are reference only so you can't take them away from the library.
     
  20. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    1,586
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Train Maintainer for GTR at Hornsey
    Location:
    Letchworth
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I don't think the coaches between the pairs of railcars were entirely standard - they were through wired at least. They were painted in lined green as well to match the railcars. Not sure how the heating worked though. I'm guessing not steam heating.
     

Share This Page