Covering a timespan of 142 years from the GWR’s inception to closure of the diesel hydraulic era, Western Times embraces a vast and varied canvass with many aspects of the ‘Old Company’ yet to be acknowledged let alone explored. In this issue, extending the boundaries geographically continues with two essays on South Wales – to describe the complex history of Penrhos, a busy meeting place for several constituent railways, and to illustrate some Welsh pre-Grouping coaches that survived to join the BR fleet. There is an account of the experiences of an apprentice fitter/ turner who started at Reading depot in 1953 and a review of the locomotive fleet on the Midland & South Western Junction Railway at the Grouping and later. Continuing inclusion of post-steam motive power this time covers diesel multiple units, and there is a study of the Marlow Branch, home of the ‘Donkey’. The usual ‘regular’ features appear:- the latest Bulletin from the Great Western Trust, signalling matters, a further trawl of Dick Riley’s archives, and readers’ feedback in Guard’s Compartment.
The boundaries are stretched back in time to two events that helped make the GWR so different and so special. Consideration of Broad Gauge matters commences with an account of some events at almost the very beginning.Caerphilly Castle On the ‘narrow’ gauge, there is a taster for a special publication in preparation to celebrate what unquestionably was the most important locomotive event of 1923 when No. 4073 set standards for express locomotive performance that other railways could only envy.