GWR 42272 'Loriot L' Machinery Truck

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GWRGreat Western Railway 42272 'LoriotGWR telegraphic code signifying a machine truck L' Machinery Truck
GWR 42272 20160806.jpg
GWRGreat Western Railway 42272 'LoriotGWR telegraphic code signifying a machine truck L' Machinery Truck
Built By GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon
Status Operational
Number 42272
Other Numbers DW 42272
Built 1934
Diagram G13
Lot 1142
Type 4-wheel machinery flat
Capacity 15 tons
Telegraphic code LORIOT L
1982 Arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway
1985 GWRGreat Western Railway 150 main line appearance

Goods Wagons

GWRGreat Western Railway 42272 is a LORIOT L machine truck. The GWRGreat Western Railway telegraphic code LORIOT[note 1] was first introduced in the nineteenth century. Some of the earliest LORIOTs appeared flat in profile with ramps hidden behind the side walls, but by the time the Wagon index was drawn up around 1905 the term was used to denote a wagon with a pronounced well and sloping ramps on the ends to assist with loading and unloading the vehicle. The wagons, typically with a 10-ton to 20-ton capacity, were normally described using terms such as 'machine trucks', intended for transporting large road vehicles such as traction engines, or 'agricultural implement wagons' intended for moving other large vehicles such as agricultural machinery and similar.[1]

A number of different designs of LORIOT were built, with the SVRSevern Valley Railway being home to four examples:

  • LORIOT D 42138 (15-ton capacity, Diagram G18 of 1907-9)
  • GWRGreat Western Railway 42272 'LoriotGWR telegraphic code signifying a machine truck L' Machinery Truck (15-ton capacity, Diagram G13 of 1934)
  • LORIOT Y 41990 (25-ton capacity, Diagram G39 of 1939)
  • LORIOT N 42343 (20-ton capacity, Diagram G40 of 1944)

Within the GWRGreat Western Railway Wagon Diagram series, the G index originally included only wagons for moving large road vehicles and agricultural machinery. As well as the LORIOTs, it also included HYDRAs and SERPENTs, with wagons for moving motor cars such as the MOGO being added at a later date.


A total of seven LORIOT Ls were built at Swindon between 1926 and 1934 to Diagram G13, with 42272 being one of four in Lot 1142 of 1934. The G13 design was rated at the same 15-ton capacity as the earlier Diagram G18 of 1907-09[note 2] and had the same 15ft well length. However the overall length had increased by 9ft to 35ft 3in over the headstocksThe underframe member across each end of a wagon carrying the buffers and coupling. Known as the Bufferbeam on a locomotive., while the ramp side-frames now blended into the well in a continuous curve.[1]


The type LORIOT L's useful features such as its outside frames and deep well resulted in their surviving well into the BRBritish Rail or British Railways era.[2] 42272 ended its working life in DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. use at Reading. It was acquired for preservation in 1981[3] and was delivered by rail in February 1982, being finish painted on arrival at the Stourport line siding before being completing the move to Bewdley,[4] then the SVRSevern Valley Railway's southern terminus.

In 1985, 42272 appeared on the main line when it was one of the 25 SVRSevern Valley Railway wagons used in the GW 150 demonstration freight train which ran to Newport behind GWR freight loco 2857.[5]

After several years in use as one of the SVRSevern Valley Railway's 'engineering vehicles', 42272 was moved to Bewdley in 1988 for the wagons' floor to be replaced.[6] The job was planned to be completed in a single week at Whitsun, but the strip down revealed major rust damage to the steel plates supporting the floor at each end and also to some of the structural steelwork within the well. The frames had welded patches inserted where necessary, while the steel plates at each end were replaced. New Keruing(Trade name) A type of medium hardwood timber obtained from trees of the genus Dipterocarpus floor planks were then fitted, with the new floor being raised slightly within the well so that the P.WayPermanent Way Dept. would not need to line the well with old rotten sleepers, which in turn reduced the life expectancy of the floor. Completion of the work coincided with a period of bad weather during December which threated to delay the final painting and lettering and consequently the return of the wagon to the P.WayPermanent Way department in time for the winter relaying. Fortunately Gary Walker agreed to make the Kidderminster Goods Shed available for the repainting and also had it raised on jacks there to speed the process.[7] With the overhaul completed, 42272 returned to P.WayPermanent Way duty.

In November 2005 the opportunity finally arose to get 42272 over a pit and resolve a long-standing problem which had existed ever since the wagon's arrival. The LORIOT L has 'DeanWilliam Dean, Chief Locomotive Engineer of the Great Western Railway 1877-1902-ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922' ratchet type handbrakes which work independently on each axle, being recognisable by the short brake handle with a looped end and a circular disc behind it. In theory the handbrake can be fully applied by hand without the use of a brake stick.[note 3] However the Kidderminster end brake would frequently run off the bottom of the ratchet, possibly due to the use of excessive force, resulting in no brakes. Adjustment of the brakes on a LORIOT is difficult without access to a pit and the condition had persisted despite the best attempts of the [[[Bewdley Carriage & Wagon Department | Carriage and Wagon department]]|Wagon Group]] to fix them. Following repair, the Wagon Department noted that 42272 "... now has a good brake effective a third of the way down the ratchet, and if the fault occurs again, it can only be due to extreme force being applied at the handle. Shunters and P-Way men beware, we will be watching you!"[8]

42272 is operational and is owned by The GWR 813 Preservation Fund.

See also

List of goods wagons


  1. LoriotGWR telegraphic code signifying a machine truck is an alternative name of French origin for the golden oriole, a type of bird. It is not clear why the GWRGreat Western Railway chose it to describe a type of wagon.
  2. Some low numbers in the G index were reused after grouping, hence Diagram G13 (LORIOT L of 1934) came after G18 (LORIOT D of 1907-9)
  3. The general appendix makes specific reference to brake sticks and the like not being used with these brakes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Atkins, Beard & Tourret (2013) pp. 18-19, 148-160.
  2. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book 9th edition
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 66
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 78
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 88
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 90, 92
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 152