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Auto-Car Services

GWR Route: Hatton to Bearley and Alcester Branch

Bearley Station (38) Bearley East, West and North Junctions (50)
GWR Service Time Table - Instructions General instructions for Auto-Car Services


to the

To come into operation on August 1st 1936

General instructions to be observed in connection with Auto-Car Services

Passengers alighting from and entering car. Fastening Doors and Gates.

Passengers not to ride on Car Platforms, etc.

Cars with Centre Vestibules.

Signal to start to be given on Bell.

1. Guards must use every care in getting passengers into and out of the cars quickly and safely. Special care and consideration must be shewn to children and the elderly or infirm passengers. Where it is necessary for passengers to enter cars at halts provided with raised platforms by the door at the engine end, the Fireman will assist by opening and closing the door. It will be arranged for passengers to enter and leave the cars by separate doors where traffic is heavy and circumstances admit of this being done. Where necessary the Fireman of the leading car must attend to the door at the Engine end. Passengers must not be allowed to travel on the platforms at the ends of the cars, or in the centre vestibule.

If necessary, passengers may be permitted to leave the Cars through the door leading to the driver’s compartment, provided that it is not opened until the car has come to a standstill at the platform.

In the case of cars with centre vestibules, the door leading to the driver’s compartment must be kept locked, except at starting stations when it is found necessary to load the cars quickly.

Doors giving access to the luggage compartment must be kept normally locked.

Guards must in all cases give the signal to the Driver to start by means of the electric bell communication provided for the purpose, and not by hand signal. In the case of failure of the bell communication, the Guard must use a green flag by day and green light by night, and must report to his Station Master that the bell communication has failed, the Station Master to immediately notify the Telegraph Lineman.

In the event of bell communication between Guard and Driver not being available from any cause the Guard must ride in the vestibule portion of the Auto-Car where the Driver’s application valve is fixed, in order to apply the brake in case of emergency. Before giving the Driver a signal to start the Guard must examine the brake application valve and satisfy himself that the cotter pins can easily be removed in case of necessity.

The Guard must also see that the cotter pins are in proper position before he vacates the vestibule end.

Trailer Coach.

2. When an ordinary coach is attached to a car, passengers without tickets joining at halts must not be allowed to travel in the coach, provided there is room for such passengers to ride in the car, the object being to enable the Guard to issue tickets en route.

Where Guards are to ride.

3. On Services worked by cars with centre vestibules, Guards must ride in the centre vestibule. Guards on Auto-Cars must not IN ANY CASE, ride in the same compartment as the Driver, and, unless other accommodation is provided, they must ride in the passenger compartment of the car.

Cars run light.

4. When cars are not being run as passenger trains, it will not be necessary to provide a Guard, but they will be treated as light engines. Except where there are instructions to the contrary, when a trailer or other vehicle is attached, it will be necessary to provide a Guard or other man to act as Guard, who must ride in the rear vehicle. It will not, however, be necessary to provide a Guard for an auto-engine and one trailer without passengers.


Examination of tickets by Guard.

Collected tickets.

5. Passengers without tickets joining the car at halts will be booked by the Guard after entering the car. Each ticket issued by the Guard must, before being handed to the passenger, be punched by a special punch opposite the name of the station (on the Up or Down side of the ticket, as the case may be) to which it is available. Special care must be exercised to punch the tickets correctly so that they may not be made use of beyond the proper station or halt. Ordinary card tickets (where in use) must be dated by the Guard before being handed to the passenger.

Tickets for stations must be collected from passengers by the ticket collecting staff at stations in the usual way (unless otherwise specified), but tickets issued for halts where there is no staff must be collected by each Guard when passengers leave the car.

Tickets collected by Guards must be cancelled and placed in a box provided on the car. Unless instructions are given to the contrary, this box must be cleared after each journey by men appointed for the purpose.

Stock tickets.

Ordering tickets.

6. Stock tickets for the use of Guards and men in charge of halts will be ordered and kept by Station Masters as required. Application must be made to the Station Master for a fresh supply in good time. Car tickets must be kept apart and recorded separately in the station stock ticket register. The Guard and men in charge of halts must keep a record of all tickets supplied to them. They must be careful to see that they have a sufficient number of tickets of each series ready for use, and will only issue tickets to places at which the car is booked to stop.

Fares and fare lists.

7. A list of fares must be exhibited in the cars wherever tickets are issued on the cars. At halts where staff is employed, fare lists must be exhibited.

Cash collected by Guards.

8. Cash collected by Guards must be paid in at the station as directed. Each Guard will hand in form M12 with the cash, the form to be initialled by the person to whom it is paid.

Announcing of stations and halts.

9. Guards must announce the names of stations and halts to the passengers in the cars in a CLEAR AND DISTINCT VOICE just before reaching the stations or halts.

Where no staff at halts.

10. When staff is not employed at halts, Guards will be held responsible for dealing with passengers at those places.

Lighting and extinguishing lamps at halts.

11. The lighting and extinguishing of lamps at halts must be carried out in accordance with instructions. 12. District Inspectors must see that the platforms at the halts are kept clean

Platforms at halts to be kept clean. Clearing halts of snow.

12. District Inspectors must see that the platforms at the halts are kept clean by the Permanent Way staff, who will also clear snow from halt platforms and approaches whenever necessary. Guards must report on their journals any omission in these respects.

Moveable steps at halts not provided with raised platforms. Manipulation of moveable steps.

13. The moveable steps on cars are only to be used at halts not provided with raised platforms. The steps at the engine end must not be used, neither must the doors at this end be used for the purpose of allowing passengers to enter or leave the cars. Care must be taken to see that these doors are kept locked. After the car has stopped at a halt not provided with a raised platform the step lever must be released, the steps put in position, and securely fastened by key pin or spring catch (whichever is provided) and the door then opened. The door must not be opened until this has been done. Before giving the signal to the Driver to start, the Guard must close the door and then withdraw the steps, and be careful to see they are securely fastened in running position.

Lighting of cars.

14. Guards must see that the cars are lighted as, and when, required. When there are long intervals between trips, the gas must, whenever possible be turned down low, and turned up again in reasonable time, and the Guard will be held responsible for this.


15. The Driver will be responsible for changing the lamp at the leading end of the car, and the Guard for the lamp at the rear, except when an Auto engine is at the rear, in which case the tail lamp will be fixed by the fireman.

Fireman to deal with train Staff, etc., on Single Lines.

16. On Single Lines the Driver must see the Electric token or staff in all cases before proceeding into the onward section, but the Fireman will be held responsible for picking up and setting down the electric token, staff or ticket, as the case may be, and in those instances where the Driver is travelling alone in the leading compartment the Fireman, each time he takes or gives up the electric token, staff or ticket, must sound the engine whistle so as to make the Driver aware that he has done so. If the Driver does not hear the whistle sounded he must give four rings on the electric bell, and immediately stop the car to ascertain what is wrong. Where electric bell communication is not available, the Driver must give four short whistles.

Destination or Route Boards.

17. Guards must see that the proper Destination or Route Boards are exhibited and placed in the proper position on the cars.

Cleaning cars and trailers.

18. The cars must be cleaned daily; this will be done by the Locomotive Department staff, but the Station Masters at terminal stations must arrange for the cars to be swept out as often as is necessary to keep them thoroughly clean during the time they are in service. The Guards to report on their journals when this is not done. Whenever possible the Ticket Inspectors must examine the tickets of the passengers in the cars.

Branches and Local Services worked by auto-engines.

19. Whenever it is necessary to attach additional vehicles on trips when the auto-car would be leading, the Auto-engine need not be uncoupled and placed in front, but may be allowed to propel not more than two vehicles provided that the regulator is coupled through from the engine to the leading end. It may at the same time also pull vehicles which, including those propelled, will make up a tonnage as shewn below: The maximum loads of Auto-Cars can be computed on a tonnage basis as under:

Gradient Auto Engines
  2-4-0T and 0-4-2T 0-6-0T

1 in 40
1 in 50
1 in 60
1 in 80
1 in 100

The vehicles attached to Auto Engines should be calculated for maximum load purposes at their tare weight, plus the usual allowances when conveying milk, fish, parcels, etc.

An Auto-Engine may be uncoupled for shunting purposes when necessary.

When the wheels behind the auto-engine exceed the number shown in the Table a brake vehicle must be placed at the rear with a Guard in it:

Ruling Gradient. Number of wheels of vehicles of all descriptions. Number of wheels of vehicles containing passengers.

Rising not steeper than 1 in 100 or falling or level.
Rising steeper than 1 in 100, but not steeper than 1 in 40.
Rising steeper than 1 in 40.






1 vehicle

Auto-engines taking water at platform water cranes.

20. It often becomes necessary for auto-engines with auto-cars attached to take water when the auto-car is being propelled, and sometimes when the auto-engine is drawn up opposite the water column the auto-car is standing in advance of a stop signal and fouling other lines or crossings. In such cases it is to be distinctly understood that the auto-car must not be propelled past the stop signal at danger except upon the authority of the Signalman, or the lowering of the proper signal; and immediately after water has been obtained the Driver must, on receipt of a hand signal from the Guard, or other authorised person, set back with all vehicles clear of the stop signal, and, when he has done so, whistle three times as an intimation to the Signalman that the vehicles are all inside the signal unless he receives instructions to proceed on his journey and the signals are right for him to do so. When a signal is lowered for this purpose it must not be replaced at ‘Danger’ until the Driver has whistled to signify all vehicles have been set back clear. Signalmen must be careful not to accept trains on lines which are liable to become fouled by shunting operations of this nature until they have satisfied themselves the vehicles have been drawn to the rear of the stop signal, or have proceeded on their journey.

Driver’s position.

21. When auto-engines with vehicles attached are working as passenger trains, the Driver must always work the regulator at the leading end. When any other movement is required to be made, and there are no passengers in the cars, it will not be necessary for the Driver to be in the leading end, but the Guard or Shunter must be in the leading end of the leading vehicle, keeping a good look-out and prepared to hand signal to the Driver. At places where the shunting operation involves several reversing movements and difficulty or delay would result if the Guard or Shunter had to change his position for each movement, or at places where a Guard or Shunter is not available, special instructions will be issued.

General instructions to be observed by Drivers and Firemen in working Auto Trains when the Driver is driving from the Vestibule end and the Fireman remains on the Footplate.

It is essential that there be a proper understanding between the Driver and Fireman as to the working of the engine.

The Driver should satisfy himself that the Fireman properly understands the working of the reversing gear, vacuum brake, lubricator and sanding gear, and the management of the fire and boiler.

On receipt of a signal to start from the Guard, the Driver must sound the whistle which the Fireman must acknowledge, and the Driver must not start until the Fireman has acknowledged his signal. Before acknowledging the Driver’s signal the Fireman must satisfy himself that the brake is off and that the reversing lever is in the correct position.

When approaching signals or terminal stations, the Fireman must be on the look-out and be prepared to act in case of emergency from any cause.

If a Fireman discovers any fault in the working of the engine he must inform the Driver at the first stopping place, but if the fault is such that it is necessary to stop before reaching the stopping place the Fireman must call attention of the Driver by applying the vacuum brake.

The Fireman must not leave the footplate or the engine-room without the consent of the Driver.

The following is the code of electric bell signals between the Driver and Fireman and Guard:
      1 ring   … … To start.
      2 rings … … Fireman to blow brake off.
      3 rings … … To stop.

Working of Auto Trains on Branch Lines, without a Guard.

On certain Branch Lines, where specially authorised, a Guard will not be employed on auto trains provided the number of coaches on the train does not exceed three vacuum-fitted vehicles, two of which must be fully vacuum brake fitted, and one vehicle may be piped only.
When auto trains are being worked without a Guard the following General rules and Regulations are modified as shewn below:
Rules 120 and 129. – The Station Master, or other authorised person, must see that the tail lamp is in position (and burning properly when necessary) before the train leaves the starting point.
Rule 141 (b). – The signal for starting will be given by the Station Master or other authorised person.
Rule 141 (e). – In the event of the train being stopped by accident, or other exceptional caus, the Driver must satisfy himself that all is in order before again proceeding with the train.
Rule 179 (i). – In the event of an accident, or failure, the train must be considered as coming within the category of a light engine.

Regulations for Working the Vacuum Brake.

Clause 3. General Appendix, page 98.
The duty of ascertaining whether the brake is properly coupled up and in working order throughout the train, and between the vehicles and engine or rail motor, and of tested the brake must be performed by the Station Master, or other authorised person.

Regulations for Working Chain Communication between Passengers and Guard and Driver by means of the Vacuum Brake.

The duties devolving on the Guard as shown in the instructions under the above heading on page 101 of the General Appendix must be carried out by the Fireman.

Conveyance of Mails, etc.

Mails, parcels and miscellaneous traffic must be locked in the luggage compartment.

Robert Ferris