Great Western Short Coaches

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Between 1872 and 1903 the Great Western built several thousand 4 and 6 wheeled coaches. Little has been written about GWR 4 & 6 wheel coaches and unfortunately there are a few errors in what has been written. There are approaching 200 individual designs, and it is my aim to use these pages to catalogue them so that modellers can make better models.

I have been researching GWR coaches since the early 1990s. Most of what is contained in these pages comes from my original research that I have carried out at the National Railway Museum Library in York and at the Public Record Office in Kew. Where I have used other sources I will quote them and where there are other sources which differ with what I have discovered I will also state the other view.

One reference I must make is to an article by John Lewis in Model Railway Constructor annual 1981 “GWR Dean Period Coaches”. This article enables the historian distinguish between the different phases of Dean’s coaches and gives a logical name to each design. I have written a summary of the article here: The Lewis Classification of Dean Coaches.

If you have a photograph of a GWR short coach and you wish to identify it's design, use the Coach Identification where you answer a couple of simple questions about the coach and it will return either photographs or drawings of possible designs. If you cannot idenitify your coach, email me a copy and I'll try to help you.

If you are able to fill in any of the many gaps please do contact me.