GWR 178 Autotrailer Third
|GWRGreat Western Railway 178 Autotrailer Third|
Autocoach 178 behind GWRGreat Western Railway 1450
|Built By||GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon|
|Other numbers||W178, W178W|
|Designed By||CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941|
|1969||Preserved on SVRSevern Valley Railway|
|1979||Left SVRSevern Valley Railway|
|2014||Returned to SVRSevern Valley Railway|
The GWRGreat Western Railway Autocoach, sometimes called an autotrailer, was used by the Great Western Railway for push-pull trains powered by a steam locomotive. The autocoach has a driving cab at one end, allowing the driver to control the train without needing to be on the footplate of the locomotive. This eliminates the need for the engine to run round to the other end of the coach at the end of each journey. The combination of locomotive and autocoach(es) is known as an auto-train or, historically, a railmotor train, and they were mainly used on small branch lines.
Steam locomotives provided with the equipment to be used as an auto-train are said to be auto-fitted. The driver operates the regulator, brakes and whistle from the autocoach; the fireman remains on the locomotive and in addition to firing, also controls the valve gear settings. The driver, guard and fireman can communicate with each other by an electric bell system.
Many Autocoaches were rebuilt from steam railmotors, although both examples on the SVRSevern Valley Railway were built as autocoaches from new.
178 first arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 1 January 1969, owned by D.R.G. Gwynne-Jones. In Autumn 1975 the SVRSevern Valley Railway announced that 178 and GWR 6562 Brake Composite were to be acquired from D.R.G. Gwynne-Jones by The Great Western (SVR) Association. However 178 left the SVRSevern Valley Railway in 1979, moving to the DeanWilliam Dean, Chief Locomotive Engineer of the Great Western Railway 1977-1902 Forest railway.
Interior views of 178
- Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey
- SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Fourth Edition
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 37
- Felstead, K., 'Track Record', The Railway Magazine, January 2021