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LMS Route: Rugby to Leamington Spa (Avenue)
LMS Route: Nuneaton to Leamington
LMS Route: Leamington to Weedon

Leamington (Avenue) Station - Locomotives: lnwrlave1349

Coventry Railcar No 2 stands at the Coventry end of the bay platform ready to return on a Leamington to Nuneaton service

Coventry Railcar No 2 stands at the Coventry end of the bay platform ready to return on a Leamington to Nuneaton service. David Churchill writes, 'The two main running lines are between the platform and the 'carriage landing' and end loading bay seen in the foreground. I well remember large numbers of racing pigeons sometimes being released from this area in the late 1950s / early 60s (also seen in 'lnwrlave1351' and 'lnwrlave1353'). NB Platform 2 was extended quite substantially in the Coventry direction from that shown in the early diagram leamington layout b'. The thirties saw railways looking at alternatives to locomotive hauled trains on branch line services. Germany was a pioneer in this respect and had for a time established the world rail speed record with their Hamburg Flyer, a design that clearly influenced the above railcar. The concept had limited appeal on the LMS as the design was not taken forward. Some observers thought that without the interruption of the outbreak of the Second World War then things might have been different. A number of photographs of the Coventry Pneumatice Railcar can be seen in images 'lnwrk161', 'lnwrns1732', 'lnwrlave1349a' and 'lnwrlave1362', with 'gwrwm421' showing trials of the original Michelin prototype being tested on the Great Western Railway at Widney Manor.

James, of Yahoo Group Britains_Lost_Railways wrote, "These were built in 1935 at Armstrong-Siddeley's Parkside factory which was North East of Coventry City Centre. They had sixteen wheels on 2-eight-wheeled bogies of which only one was powered. Each car (only 2 were ever built) was 54 ft long and weight 11 tons, which increased to a load of 16 tons with a full load of 56 passengers and 15 cwt of luggage. Livery wise, they were red and cream, but what was unique was the "conning tower" appearance of the driving cab at one end, despite being a bidirectional vehicle. It is unclear as to why they never had a cab at each end such as the GWR railcars of 1934. Coventry Railcar No 1 emerged in June 1936, while the press run took part between Rugby and Wansford which is now part of the preserved Nene Valley Railway. (The line between these two points via Market Harborough closed in 1966 under the Beeching closure programme). Despite proving popular by passengers and crews and although both the LMS and and other companies was interested in this venture, no orders happened and the railcars were withdrawn in 1937."