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Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) and Singer Motors: misc_bsa&singer178

Aerial view of the BRC & WC works  showing the Great Western Railway cutting through the middle of the site

This photograph appeared in the Great Western Railway Magazine of June 1933 with the following caption ‘A special train load of Singer motor cars despatched by Great Western Railway from the firm’s Birmingham factory to Victoria and Albert, and Poplar Docks for export.’ It shows the private siding on the embankment by the river Cole beside the Singer Car Factory on the Waverley Road site.

The locomotive is a saddle tank, so is likely to be the 0-4-0ST built by Hudswell Clarke & Co Ltd in July 1918 (Works No 1339) for Daimler Co Ltd and delivered new to the BSA works at Small Heath. This locomotive was hired to Singer Cars Ltd after they had acquired part of the Waverley Road site in 1927.

The covered carriage trucks (telegraphic code PYTHON) seen here were specifically designed for transporting motor cars in passenger trains. These were classified as non-passenger coaching stock vehicles, which on the Great Western Railway were termed ‘Brown’ vehicles, as their livery was normally all over brown with yellow or gold lettering. Brown vehicles had oil axleboxes, vacuum brakes and a wheelbase suitable for running in passenger trains or in special trains under passenger headcodes at passenger train speeds. For more details of the covered carriage trucks seen above see 'misc_bsa&singer181'.

Robert Ferris