GWR RAILCAR Nos. W19-32 TO TENBURYENBURY WELLS
Once they had been displaced from the London area by Gloucester and Pressed Steel cars, the GWR railcars of the so-called ‘razor edge’ design ended up at Worcester. Vehicles featuring a mix of carmine and cream and light green with whiskers ran on the Severn Valley line and services radiated from Kidderminster and Bewdley to Cleobury Mortimer, Tenbury Wells, Leominster, Bromyard, Evesham and Hereford. Every station on the picturesque and very rural line through Cleobury Mortimer to Tenbury Wells offers great modelling opportunities, if you like lightly used country branch lines.
Arguably the most successful and useful of the GWR diesel railcars, these 14 railcars paved the way for DMUS. Indeed, four more cars to a similar design were built as two-car units and are beyond the scope of this article. They were developed from No. 18, but with an angular, Swindon-built body, and construction commenced in 1940. In the 1950s, shortage of steam crews led to their use on the London area branch lines to Staines, Uxbridge, Windsor and Henley, and they also served in the Bristol area on the lines to Avonmouth and Severn Beach and the Cheddar Valley line.
The very good (but outdated) Lima ‘OO’ model of the GWR railcars Nos. 19-32 is now part of the Hornby range. Graham Farish produces an excellent ‘N’ gauge model. Tower Brass produced an ‘O’ gauge model, and there have been various kits in this scale.
My personal favourite is the single platform station at Wyre Forest, now a private dwelling.
Little is left of these branch lines or their stations, though one or two buildings have been converted into homes.
A wonderfully atmospheric view of Cleobury Mortimer, with No. W27 awaiting departure and a lone figure on the platform. The branch to the Royal Navy Armaments Depot at Ditton Priors diverged behind the left-hand platform.
The Lima GWR railcar, now produced by Hornby, is still a pretty good model despite the age of the tooling. No. W32W carries the lined light green which was the final livery applied to a few members of the class.