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Hawksworth Coaches


In September 1961 an ex-GWR Swindon built (Hawksworth design) CK W7804 was converted by the Western Region to be used as a DMU strengthening vehicle. It was fitted with through control wiring and blue square jumpers, and finished in Loco Green with DMU lining. It retained its existing interior, but was classified as a TCL. Initially it was used in GRC&W sets on a diagram that started with an up Frome - Paddington working, the 1.18pm to Oxford and 3.45pm return, and ending on the 6.05pm Paddington - Westbury. The darker Brunswick green contrasted with the lighter Multiple Unit (Malachite) green that the Cross-Country sets still carried. The conversion was successful, and a further two vehicles of the same type - W7254W and W7813W - were similarly treated.

Sightings included:

W7254W   1965   in Class 117 with 51367
W7804W   9/61   in a Cross Country set with 51064 / 59423 / 51092, on 1.18pm Paddington - Oxford & 3.45pm return
    8/8/63   formed 51078 / 7804 / 59436 / 51106
    7/66   in RDG 316
W7813W   6/65   in RDG 333
End details of a Hawksworth conversion

Left: One end of W7804W after conversion, showing the jumpers / sockets, blue square coupling code, and additional vacuum pipe. It is branded a 'TCL'.

Below: A vehicle inserted into a GRCW Cross-Country set (with a Swindon Cross-Country at the rear). The train is the 3.45pm Oxford - Paddington seen at Didcot on the 22nd September 1961. Michael Mensing

DMU set with Hawksworth coach

W7804W was transferred to 81D in August 1964. In early 1967 the transfer of Class 101 TCLs 59528/38/43 (first two from the NER and the third from the ScR) to the WR allowed the withdrawal of the ageing Hawksworth coaches - and officially all were withdrawn from 81D in March 1967.

W7804W was noted at Reading West on the 18th March 1967 with a condemned sign, it had been in traffic earlier in the year. On 29th July 1967 all noted marked condemned, W7254W at Hanwell and W7804/13W at Marsh Jct, Bristol.

Using loco-hauled coaches in this manner was not unusual for this Region, it was a tradition started with the GWR railcars, and done again with the Class 116 Railair set.

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