GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton
Hockley Station: gwrhd3096
The Great Western Railway Magazine published in November
1933 included the following brief article, accompanied by two pictures of
transformers at Hockley Goods Yard being carried as an exceptional load from
Hayes to Hay Mills Substation in Birmingham ('gwrhd2617' and 'gwrhd2620'). A second edition of the booklet was
published in 1936, with a different cover:
The Conveyance of Exceptional Loads
An informative booklet has just been issues by the Great
Western Railway Company to bring to the notice of manufacturers the facilities
and special vehicles which exist for the conveyance of exceptional
loads by goods train.
The plan adopted in the book is to devote a page or more to
each of the many specially-constructed vehicles, giving a diagram showing the
dimensions, load capacity, etc., and one or more pictorial illustrations of
their respective practical uses.
For loads of exceptional dimensions and abnormal weight, or
for various kinds or merchandise requirements special transit conditions, a
comprehensive range of special vehicles is provided by the Company. Huge
trolley wagons having a carrying capacity of 120 tons, and an over-all length
of 89 feet, 6 inches, have been constructed for conveying heavy pieces of
machinery. Such wagons, which are known as Crocodiles L are
available both in well and side-girder types. The
latter have been used extensively for the conveyance of electric transformers
in connection with the national grid system. Bogie wagons both of
flat and well types, are also available in various
sizes, their designs having been planned for specific types of traffic e.g.
girders, excavators, steam rollers, large trees, etc.
Among noteworthy special wagons are those that are
insulated and steam-heated for the conveyance of bananas and those fitted with
hooks, ventilators and ice-boxes for transport of meat, while wagons have also
been specifically designed for conveyance of motor car bodies as well as
The booklet is well calculated to convey swiftly and
clearly to the minds of traders the various means by which their special
transport problems can be solved by the Great Western Railway Company.
A word should be said concerning the striking and
distinctive coloured cover adopted for the booklet. This depicts an
exceptional load referred to in Greek literature the
historic human haulage of the wooden horse of Troy. Only the cover of the
booklet has to do with the primitive in transport, however; the contents
represent the most modern and scientific methods of overcoming all kinds of
problems presented by the exceptional load.