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GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

GWR Route: Hatton to Stratford on Avon

Wilmcote Station: gwrwil2625

BR built 4-6-0 Modified Hall No 7918 'Rhose Wood Hall' reaches the top of Wilmcote Bank unaided with a six coach express in June 1957

British Railways 4-6-0 Modified Hall (6959) class No 7918 'Rhose Wood Hall' reaches the top of Wilmcote Bank unaided with a six coach Cardiff to Birmingham express in June 1957 and passes Wilmcote's Up Home semaphore signal (lever 26) set at ‘clear’. Wilmcote's Up Distant signal (lever 27) is 1,018 yards further back down the slope on the other side of the bridge in the distance. The Up refuge siding in the foreground could hold 56 wagons with the locomotive and brake van. The refuge siding has a catch point to prevent runaway wagons from the siding obstructing the main line. This was controlled by lever 19, which also operated the trailing switch which gave access to the Refuge Siding. Adjacent to the catch point is a ground disc (lever 20) which informed the driver of a train stored in the refuge siding when it was safe to proceed.

Following the appointment of Mr Hawksworth as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway in 1941, the traditional locomotive designs which had served the company for over forty years were radically overhauled to take advantage of the changes in manufacturing technology that had been introduced during the Second World War. Designs were generally simplified, with full length plate frames, and more parts were now fabricated instead of cast. This particularly effected the smokebox saddle and bogie construction. In addition, issues such as coal quality and locomotive maintenance were addressed, resulting in; outside steam pipes, larger superheaters, higher boiler temperature and mechanical lubrication. Although these alterations slightly increased the modified Hall locomotive's maximum axle weight to 19 tons, 5 cwt, this did not affect the route classification (Route Colour – Blue). See Engine Map.

Seventy of these modified Hall class locomotives were built at Swindon Works between 1944 and 1950, with No 7918 built in April 1950 as part of lot 368. No 7918 was initially allocated to Tyseley shed (2A) and was withdrawn from there in January 1965, after less than fifteen year's service, to be scrapped during May 1965 by G Cohen of Morriston.

Robert Ferris