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European Railroad Discussion > Mr. Brown Visits the GWR This Week


Date: 02/23/21 20:36
Mr. Brown Visits the GWR This Week
Author: gbmott

A Great Western sampler for this week.  I wish I had an approach shot of the train at Aldermaston Track Pans but unfortunately I don't.

1.  BR 1000 County of Middlesex - Old Oak Common 5-23-56
2.  BR 1472 - Glouster Central 6-64
3.  BR 60xx King ? = Aldermaston Track Pans 5-19-56

Everyone stay safe,
Gordon








Date: 02/24/21 00:44
Re: Mr. Brown Visits the GWR This Week
Author: 86235

In 1964 that Autotrain in the second picture would have been on a Gloucester to Chalford service, which IIRC was one of the last, if not the last, steam push-pull service. It wasn't operating a branchline, just a local service through the Frome Valley along the mainline to Swindon via Kemble. Today there's no station at Chalford anymore, although Stonehouse and Stroud, two of the intermediate stations, still see regular trains.

The train in the third shot is the Cornish Riviera Express, judging by the roofboard. Leading car is a GWR "sunshine" coach of the late 1930s, the second a post war Hawksworth, you can just see the domed roof profile which characterised the Hawksworth designs.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/21 02:51 by 86235.



Date: 02/24/21 05:18
Re: Mr. Brown Visits the GWR This Week
Author: gbmott

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In 1964 that Autotrain in the second picture would
> have been on a Gloucester to Chalford service,
> which IIRC was one of the last, if not the last,
> steam push-pull 

For a long time I have wondered about operation in push mode.  I assume the fireman remained on the locomotive and the driver was at a control station at the front of the coach.  But how, mechanically, was the regulator (throttle) controlled?  I think I have seen that one is now operational in preservation.  Is that correct?

Gordon



Date: 02/24/21 08:20
Re: Mr. Brown Visits the GWR This Week
Author: 86235

gbmott Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For a long time I have wondered about operation in
> push mode.  I assume the fireman remained on the
> locomotive and the driver was at a control station
> at the front of the coach.  But how,
> mechanically, was the regulator (throttle)
> controlled?  I think I have seen that one is now
> operational in preservation.  Is that correct?
>
> Gordon

Yes, that's right the fireman stayed on the loco, the driver communicated using bell codes. IIRC GW autotrains relied on a mechanical linkage between loco and the autotrailer (which is what the GWR called them) to allow the driver to control regulator, brake and whistle. Any changes to valve gear settings, or putting the train into reverse, would be down to the fireman. The one in the picture is of GW design but I think it was built in the early BR era, so not that old in 1964. Far be it for me to disparage the GWR but their mechanical system for autotrains was pretty primitive, the Southern used compressed air which was much more sophisticated and allowed push pull services with multiple carriages. 

The South Devon Railway have two GW design autotrailers which are operational and a third one requiring restoration. There's at least one at Didcot and others at a number of other heritage lines, although I'm not sure whether they are in working order. And don't forget the Great Western Society's restored 1908 railmotor, which was the precursor to the push pull autotrain. The GWR in the first decade of the 20th century and the LNER during the 1920s pursued the steam railmotor / railcar concept to a much greater degree than their rivals, but the integral steam locomotive portion was usually of insufficient power, or was maintenance heavy, for them to be adopted more widely. Many of the GWR's autocoaches were originally the carriage portion of railmotors.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/21 08:21 by 86235.



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