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GWR Route: Bearley to Alcester

Alcester Station - GWR Views: gwr-mra466

GWR Brake Van No. 35860 (diagram AA3)  seen on the Alcester Branch for use on the mixed trains

The Great Western allocated a brake van (TOAD) to the Alcester Branch for use on the mixed trains. Brake Van No. 35860 (diagram AA3) was one of forty eight 16ton brake vans built in Lot 432 between 1889 and 1901. It was branded 'Bearley' and would be stabled there when not in use (see gwrb772a). This photograph shows this Brake Van adjacent to the MR goods shed at Alcester. Circa 1936–38. The Great Western used telegraphic Code Names to describe different wagons when transmitting telegraph messages and these distinctive code names soon entered everyday usage. The code name ‘TOAD’ was used to describe a goods brake van. The guard’s hand brake was located in the centre of the veranda, while adjacent sand boxes allowed sand to be discharged via pipes on to the rail ahead of the wheels to improve adhesion.

Robert Ferris