Great Western Railway Coaches

This website aims to bring togther information on Great Western Railway coaches built by the company between 1870 and 1948. Michael Harris published the first book about GWR coaches in 1966 and Jim Russell published his first book in 1972 with 3 others following over the next 12 years. John Lewis has written several very detailed books about steam railmotors, autotrailers and coach drawings. He has also written several very good articles, mainly in the GWR Journal. Since then access to the original coach registers kept at York has become easier and the aim of this website is to supplement these books and bring it all together in one place. The objective is not to replace these books, but to provide a list of all the coaches grouped into the different styles as they were built. Both Dean and Collett were good at building coaches to multiple different styles at the same time. In Dean's case he was building coaches to the LE4MW, LE7N, CEE7N & CEE7W Lewis styles all outshopped in 1898. Collett produced stock with three different profiles in 1930. Churchward's Toplights are a minefield for all but the most observant with body style and chassis types being mixed up almost like pick and mix sweets.

This website stems from my real interest which is Great Western 4 and 6 wheel coaches. Over the years I first came to realise that there were big gaps in the published information about short coaches. I secondly found out that there are mistakes in what has been written so I then started researching short coaches. Over time I've slowly expanded my interests to all Dean coaches and then to all GWR coaches. Before you delve too deep into Dean coaches please read the Lewis Classification of Dean Style; which not only explains all of the codes but shows how the styling developed with time.

At the moment I have about half of GWR coaches listed. I've tried to focus on completing Collett's coaches, rather than doing a little bit here and there. That means that the pages about Churchward coaches for instance only skim the surface at the moment, but I hope they at least give a flavour of them.

If you would like to expand the information here you can either contribute information or quality photographs or drawings; please contact me through the Carriage Shed.

I've spent many an enjoyable day at the National Railway Museum Search Engine looking through the records and drawings of short coaches. Presented here is a summary of some of my research. I reckon that it takes about 2 days work to research a batch of 50 coaches at the NRM and then present the information with a drawing or photo on my web pages. So you can appreciate how much effort has been put into what you see here today. I doubt that I am even half way through completing the project. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

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© 2018 - Richard Spratt - all rights reserved
GWR Coaches -- -- Richard Spratt 2018 -