A remarkable collection of interesting vehicles in the Didcot Railway Centre. In the foreground the traverser for moving vehicles into the carriage shed, moved by a small purple/cream vehicle with a diesel engine. This traverser has no Great Western Railway pedigree, but comes from Derby. In the background in the car hall on the right there is the operational diesel railcar # 22 of the GWR. The GWR built 38 Railcars between 1933 and 1942. The earliest batch of railcars proved very popular with passengers, and so later batches were fitted with standard buffers and drawgear. This allowed the railcars to tow a coach behind them at peak periods, and also allowed them to act as the local pick-up goods train during off-peak periods - these railcars could often be seen with one or more goods vans in tow on the branch lines. The final four GWR railcars were built as single ended versions with a pair operating back to back, or as a three car unit with a coach sandwiched in the middle - these were the ancestors of the Diesel Multiple Units you can see passing our picnic area on the mainline today. # 22 was built in 1940. Accommodation is provided for passengers in two open saloons with a total of 48 seats, and there are driving cabs at each end. It is powered by two AEC 9.6 litre, direct injection 6 cylinder engines through a Wilson epicyclic gearbox. The engines are of very similar specification to those used in London Transport buses for over 50 years. Externally it has been almost completely repanelled and last underwent a complete repaint in 1992/93.
On the left in the car shed is Collet auto trailer # 190 of the GWR built in 1933. It came to Didcot in 1970 and was completely restored til 1996.