Great Western Railway Churchward Coaches

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Early Toplight coaches are wooden panelled, similar to the last Dean coaches, but with elliptical roofs and wider bodies. Their distinguishing feature which also gives them their name is the small glass lights or windows above the main windows. Over the years, as repairs became necessary, these toplights got plated over. Also the panels got plated over and slowly a toplight coach start with time to look like a later steel body coach. This is best illustrated by the photo of camping coach 9930 below which has been partially plated over.
The identifying feature of Bars 1 design is that at the end of the sides the eaves panel continues above the window level panels. On later Bars 2 coaches the there is no eaves panel above the window level panels; instead these panels continue up to the gutter. As coaches aged and panels started to be repaired with steel over-panels it can be difficult to distinguish between the two designs.

Bars 1 coaches were built between 1907 and 1911. Initially they were built with gas lighting, but by 1911 electric light was fitted from new and the earlier coaches were converted to electric.

It gets even more complicated as many Toplights were sold to the War Department for ambulance trains in the Great War. After the war they were purchased back and put into service; some required little work whilst others required almost completely new bodies. These returned coaches are listed separately on the WD Rebuilds page.

Below are just a few of the Bars 1 Toplights diagrams.

Dimensions
Width over cornices 8' 11¼
Width over body at waist 9'
Width over handles 9' 5
Height to gutters 10' 7¼
Height to top of roof 12' 6¼
Height over ventillators

Diagram Dimensions
Length x Width
Wheelbase

Numbers
Conversions
A10

8 compartment first
with 2 lavatories

70' x 9'

9' bogies

63'6 wheelbase

16 built in 19108181 to 8196
A11 leading with A10 behind © Railway Photographs, Liverpool
8182, 8188 & 8193 were painted brown in 1942

8191 fitted with moderised body in 1943 with 4 doors on corridor side

8193 'Gangways and Adapters for Buckeye couplers and Pullman Vestibules' fitted in 1953

A11

6 compartment brake first
with 1 lavatory

70' x 9'

9' bogies

63'6 wheelbase

3 built in 19108178 to 8180 8178 to 8180 'Gangways and Adapters for Buckeye couplers and Pullman Vestibules' fitted in 1953

Condemned in 1961

C30

8 compartment third
with 2 lavatories

56' x 9'

8' American bogies

48' wheelbase

14 built in 1909 2422 to 2435
R Spratt collection, 9930 ex 2430

Compartments:
lav, 8x 3rd, lav

2422, 2424 to 2427, 2429, 2430, 2432, 2433, 2435 to camping coaches in 1952/3

2431 was rebuilt in 1943 with a modernised body with only 4 doors on corridor side, on a frame that was 6" longer (ie a new coach!)

2434 converted to DW150038 in 1955

remainders condemned 1952 to 1956, except 2431 in 1960

C31

8 compartment third
with 2 lavatories

57' x 9'

9' bogies

50' wheelbase

46 built in 1909
in 2 lots

There were further coaches to diagram C31 built as Bars 2 coaches and many ex ambulance train conversions

2436 to 2455

2466 to 2491


R Spratt collection, 9927 ex 2476


R Spratt collection, 9923 ex 2462

2448 & 2454 to camping coaches in 1955

2445 was rebuilt in 1942 with a modernised body, on a frame that was 6" longer (ie a new coach!)

Condemned 1953 to 1956, except 2445 in 1960

D44

3 compartment brake third
with 1 lavatory

57' x 9'

9' American bogies

50' 6 wheelbase

15 built in 1908 3503 to 3517
D44 © L&GRP 2636
All sold to War Department in 1916.   All except 3514, 3516 & 3517 repurchased and rebuilt as D47, D56, D68 or D80
D45

4 compartment brake third
with 1 lavatory

57' x 9'

8' American bogies

50' 6 wheelbase

28 built in 1908/9 in 3 lots 3518 to 3533

3534 & 3535

3536 to 3545


D45 No.3544 © Real K1802
3518 to 3533 sold to War Department in 1916.   Only 3526 repurchased and rebuilt as D68

3543 branded "Engineering Dept. for temporary use only" in 1956, condemned 1962

All others were condemned between 1954 & 1960.

D46

4 compartment brake third
with 1 lavatory

56' x 9'

48' wheelbase

4 built in 1910

9 built in 1911

2342 to 2345

2356 to 2364


H18, No.2365 © HL Salmon 1566
The giveaway is the extra water tank in the middle of the roof.
2365 converted to H18 Brake Third Buffet Car circa. 1910. This involved converting the 2 compartments adjacent to the guards compartment into a pantry and counter. Converted back to 4 compartment brake third in 1936.

All were condemned between 1954 & 1962.

D47

4 compartment brake third
with 1 lavatory

57' x 9'

50' wheelbase

13 built in 1911 in 2 lots

There were also some built to Bars 2 and ex WD Rebuilds

2346 to 2354

2370 to 2372

2355 converted to H17 Brake Third Buffet Car circa. 1910. This involved converting the 2 compartments adjacent to the guards compartment into a pantry and counter. Converted back to 4 compartment brake third in 1936.

All were condemned between 1954 & 1962.

E83

6 compartment tri-composite

57' x 9'

50'6 wheelbase

15 built in 1907 7533 to 7547
E83 No.7545 © Swindon & Cricklade Railway, 2018


E83 No.7545 © Swindon & Cricklade Railway, 2018

Condemned 1953 to 1962
E85

7 compartment composite

56' x 9'

49'6 wheelbase

18 built in 1907
in 2 lots
7712 to 7727

7728 and 7729


© TC Cole, DW150101
Condemned 1953 to 1956, except 7721 in 1948
E88

7 compartment composite

4x 1st class and
3x 3rd class compartments

57' x 9'

9' Fishbelly bogies

50' wheelbase

10 built in 1911

There were also some built to Bars 2

7738 to 7747 7738, 7739, 7741 & 7745 received 8' American bogies in 1918

All condemned between 1954 and 1957

F15

6 compartment composite double slip with 2 lavatories

57' x 9'

8' bogies

49' wheelbase

4 built in 1909 7105 to 7108
F16 R Spratt collection
Slip gear removed from most in 1954

Condemned 1954 to 1958

F16

6 compartment composite double slip with 1 lavatory

10 built in 1909 7103, 7104, 7109, 7994 to 8000

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