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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Hockley Station: gwrhd2618

A Great Western Railway wagon label for the ‘Station truck’ No 723, starting at Birmingham (Hockley Goods Yard)

A Great Western Railway wagon label for the ‘Station truck’ No 723, starting at Birmingham (Hockley Goods Yard) and working through to Weymouth on 30th May 1916. These large wagon labels would be attached to the relevant station truck wagon(s) and were designed to be distinctive, so that the wagon could be quickly recognised by station staff at each intermediate stations where individual items needed to be unloaded or loaded. Details of all the trains in which the station truck was to be transported on its journey were listed on the wagon label to help the shunters, when trains were being re-marshalled.

Station trucks travelled over predetermined routes picking up and discharging small consignments at intermediate stations. Over 600 station trucks operated across the company's system, mostly over-night, providing early morning deliveries to the small towns along their route. In most cases the latest time of acceptance of a consignment for this service was 5pm. Each Station truck would be scheduled to carry these consignments to between fifteen to twenty stations along their route. The Hockley to Weymouth service was a slightly more complex journey than most. The station truck was added to the 11:45pm Oxley Sidings to Swindon class B Goods train (Lamp Headcode F), which stopped at Hockley, Small Heath, Stratford-upon-Avon, Toddington and Gloucester. At Swindon the station truck was transferred to another goods train for the second half of its journey to the South Coast. The truck was timed to arrive at Weymouth harbour in the evening of the following day, which allowed a connection with the Great Western Railway's Steamer service to the Channel Islands. The steamer departed from Weymouth harbour at 2.15am during the Winter months (September to June).

Robert Ferris