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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Tyseley Shed: gwrt3012

Great Western Railway 0-6-0PT 8750 class pannier tank No 9635 with the carriage sidings shunter’s truck

Great Western Railway 0-6-0PT 8750 class pannier tank No 9635 and the carriage sidings shunter's truck form the backdrop for a group of carriage sidings staff and the locomotive crew as they pose for this photograph taken in May 1948.

Pannier tank No 9635 was built in January 1946 at Swindon Works as part of lot 355. Designed for shunting and light freight duties, the 8750 class was a development of the 57xx class with an improved cab, rectangular spectacles (front windows), plus sliding side shutters and hinged doors to prevent draughts. All were fitted with Automatic Train Control (ATC). The group 20, class PJ boiler operated at 200 lb and produced a tractive effort at 85% of 22,515 lb - Power Group C. The maximum axle weight was 17 tons which restricted the class to Main Lines and some Branch Lines – Route Colour Blue, but in 1950 this restriction was relaxed due to their negligible hammer blow and the class was allowed to operate over Yellow Routes (Note the marking on the cab side and for more information on the Great Western Railway classification system see 'Engine Map'). The pannier tanks had a capacity of 1,200 gallons and the bunker could hold 3 tons, 6 cwt of coal. No 9635 was initially allocated to Tyseley Shed (TYS) where it operated for roughly sixteen years before moving to the South-west. In March 1962 No 9635 was known to be allocated to Exeter Shed (83C) and in June 1964 the locomotive was withdrawn from Taunton Shed (83B) to be scrapped.

Shunter's trucks were specially constructed to enable Shunters to quickly and safely travel within marshalling yards. They had a full length running-board and hand rail on each side to allow men to ride on them. A large tool box was provided to store spare equipment. They were usually permanently allocated to a specific location and this was painted on the side of the tool box. Those allocated to carriage sidings would have vacuum brakes to assist the locomotive in braking. The shunter's truck in the photograph has angled back handrails and appears to have self-contained buffers with large (one foot, six inch diameter) round heads, which indicates it was constructed to diagram M5. A total of 45 diagram shunter's trucks were built to this diagram at Swindon works between 1940 and nationalisation at the end of 1948. They were fourteen feet long over the headstocks and had a relatively short, seven foot wheelbase.

In the background some female carriage cleaners are leaning out of the door drop-lights of a Collett main-line corridor coach. This is the corridor side of what appears (from the window length) to be third class apartments.

Robert Ferris