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GWR Route: Moreton-in-Marsh to Shipston-on-Stour

Moreton-in-Marsh Station: gwrmm1001

GWR Appendix to the March 1950 STT detailing the local instructions as to the occupation of the Shipston-on-Stour Branch

Great Western Railway Appendix to the Service Time Tables (dated March 1950) detailing the local instructions as to the occupation of the Shipston-on-Stour Branch by Permanent Way Department and also an extract from the Great Western Railway General Appendix to the Rule Book (dated August 1936) detailing the instructions in connection with Economic Motor Trolley System of Maintenance on Single Lines worked by Wooden Train Staff (one engine in steam or two or more engines coupled together). For more information about the Great Western Railway’s Economic (and Motor Economic) System of Maintenance see 'misc_equip237'.

The Economic System of Maintenance commenced operation on the Shipston-on-Stour Branch Line on 1st May 1905 and involved twelve telephones located at intervals along the nine mile, 60 chain route. The provision of a telephone line also benefited the traffic staff at the stations on the route. The changes allowed the branch line to be maintained by nine men in two gangs compared with twelve men in three gangs previously. The authorised cost was £288, 8 shillings and 3 pence which was estimated to provide an annual saving of £143. The costs included one Velocipede inspection car and two mechanical trolleys. A second Velocipede inspection car was added in October 1906. There were no occupational key instruments, with the Moreton-in-Marsh Signalman being required to log the occupation and not issue the train staff until he was informed that the occupation had finished. Unfortunately complacency with these rules appears to have led to a fatal accident occurring in February 1930 (see gwrlr3018). In September 1931, the Economic Motor System of Maintenance was introduced allowing the branch line to be maintained by a single permanent way gang. The number of telephones also appears to have been reduced to ten locations along the line as detailed in the appendix document.

One of the original lineside telephone boxes can be seen in 'gwrss_bl972'. Permanent Way Hut No 2 with adjacent boarded decking over the branch line and leading at right angles to a location, cut in to the bank for storing either the Velocipede car or mechanical trolley, which would have been man-handled on and off the track at this point 'gwrss_bl966'. One of the Shipston-on Stour Permanent Way Gang's mechanical trolleys 'gwrsf964'. Other Permanent Way Huts can be seen at Stretton on Fosse station in 'gwrsf544' and 'gwrsf542a' and at Shipston-on-Stour station in 'gwrss571'.

Robert Ferris