GWR Coaching Stock and Wagon Diagrams

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GWRGreat Western Railway Wagon Diagram AA15, 20 Ton 'ToadGWR telegraphic code signifying a goods brake van, which became the standard design's nickname' brake van, August 1918

GWRGreat Western Railway Diagram codes were introduced by George Jackson ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922 to allow easy reference to different types of coaching stock. The Diagram Code for each type consisted of one or two letters which represented the general category, and a number which denoted particular design of that type, such as A28 or DD3.[1]. The Diagram Index for wagons was first prepared circa 1905, followed by a similar index for carriages around 1910.[2]

The numbering schemes used for coaching stock and wagons ran in parallel, so the same codes appeared in both. Thus on the SVRSevern Valley Railway, Siphon G 1257 was built to Coaching Stock diagram O11 while 5-plank Open Wagon 13154 was built to Wagon diagram O11. The GWRGreat Western Railway Diagram Book which listed the diagrams typically allocated a page for each diagram which showed its major dimensions and characteristics.

Coaches and Wagons (and also locomotives and tenders) were generally built in batches known as Lots, with each lot number being allocated in sequence when ordered. The four groups of Lot numbers also ran in parallel. Some designs which pre-dated the introduction of Diagram Codes were never allocated Diagram codes even if construction continued after that time and were identified by their 'old series' Lot number. SVRSevern Valley Railway examples include GWR 41277 of 1890.

Other railway companies used broadly similar systems of Diagrams and Lots, although using different combinations of letters and numbers.

Coaching stock diagrams

The table below shows the letters allocated to each category and the examples currently resident on the SVRSevern Valley Railway.

Diagram Description SVRSevern Valley Railway Examples Notes
A Bogie first class 178, 238
B Bogie second class
C Bogie third class 829, 1086, 1087, 1116, 1146, 2119, 2426, 3930, 4786
D Bogie brake third 650, 2233, 2242 5804, 5883
E Bogie composite and Brake composite 6045, 6562, 6913, 7284
F Slip coach
G Saloon 9055, 9103, 9369
H Catering vehicle 9581, 9615, 9627, 9653, 9654
J Sleeping car 9084, 9085
K Passenger brake van 98, 261, 1145
L Mail van
M Bogie parcels van (and similar)
N Horse box
O Milk van / tank 1257, 1399, 2926
P Carriage truck
Q Inspection saloon 80969, 80972
R 4-wheeled first class
S 4-wheeled third class
T 4-wheeled brake third
U 4-wheeled composite / brake composite
V 4-wheeled brake van
W Parcels and Miscellaneous van

Wagon diagrams

The table below shows the letters allocated to each category and the examples currently resident on the SVRSevern Valley Railway.

Diagram Description SVRSevern Valley Railway Examples Notes
A Girder Wagons Articulated wagons for boilers, guns, bridge girders etc.
B Armour plate and roll wagons
C Boiler trucks and trolleys
D Plate glass wagons
E Wheel and propeller wagons
F Steam roller trucks
G Road vehicles 41990, 42138, 42272, 42343, 65801 Flat and well wagons to carry large road vehicles, covered trucks for motor cars etc.
H Flat wagons 39860
J Rail and timber wagons 60841, 107291
K Crane testing wagons
L Match trucks Where built for that purpose. Often adapted from other Diagrams, such as 2501
M Shunters trucks 41736
N Coal and mineral wagons 83831
O Open merchandise wagons 2504, 13154, 25190, 94059, 97398, 98480, 99965, 102691, 108085, 2501* *Now used as a match truck
P Ballast and sand wagons 30903, 40841, 60562, 60906, 80225, 80603, 80684
Q Provender wagons
R Manure wagons
S Fish wagons
T Permanent way wagons 14428, 40554
U Stone wagons
V Covered goods vans 58725, 65620, 82554, 93016, 93045, 95353, 101961, 103592, 104621, 112889
W Cattle trucks
X Meat vans 105873
Y Fruit vans 2303, 2424, 2815, 3429, 3467, 134290 92080 and 92090 were built in 1958 to BRBritish Rail or British Railways Diagram 805
Z Gunpowder vans 'Improvised' gunpowder vans are under Diagram V
AA Brake vans 17410, 40362, 68501
BB Stores vans
CC Tool and workshop vans 14984, 80982
DD Tank wagons 43989, 80990
EEEnglish Electric Flat wagons for tanks
FF Trestle plate wagons

See also


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Atkins, Beard & Tourret (2013) pp. 490-494.