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The ser­vice

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.

The trains

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 mod­els

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.

Best at­mos­phere

My per­sonal favourite is the sin­gle plat­form sta­tion at Wyre For­est, now a pri­vate dwelling.

Present sta­tus

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.

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