·  LMS  ·  GWR  ·  LNER  ·  Misc  ·  Stations  ·  What's New  ·  Video  ·  Guestbook  ·  About

GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Olton Station: gwro1578

Four Great Western Railway 4-6-0 'Kings' carry out bridge tests on the newly quadrupelled track between Olton and Lapworth

Four Great Western Railway 4-6-0 60xx class 'Kings', No 6017 King Edward IV leading No 6005 King George II and No 6001 King Edward VII leading No 6014 King Henry VII, carry out bridge tests on the newly quadrupelled track between Olton and Lapworth by travelling neck and neck at 62mph along the route. These locomotives were the heaviest owned by the company, each locomotive weighting approximately 136 tons (with a loaded tender} and having a maximum axle weight of 22 tons 10cwt. When the government introduced the Development (Loan Guarantees and Grant Act of 1929s to releive unemployment during the drepression, the Great Western Railway embarked on a comprehensive programme of infrastructure works including the completion of the quadrupelling of the main line south of Birmingham.

Previous work had provided five miles of quadrupelled track from Moor Street as far Olton. The new work would extend this four track section a further seven miles to just south of Lapworth station. The work started in 1930 and would take three years to complete. It involved the construction of 33 bridges, the rebuilding of two stations (Olton and Solihull) and the extensive remodelling of a further three stations. Existing track was relayed and realigned to ensure maximum speed (with no curves having a radius smaller than one mile, except one curve on the relief line at Knowle and another at Olton where the radius was 4000 foot). High speed junctions with switched diamond crossings were laid at Lapworth, Knowle and Solihull. The permanent way was 95lb/yd bull-head rail in 60 foot lengths resting on 46lb cast iron chairs fixed to creosoted Oregon pine sleepers. Track-circuit indication was provided throughout and new signal boxes were built at Olton and Solihull. The main contractor was Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co Ltd.

Robert Ferris