Great Western railcar progresses at KESR

GWR diesel railcar No. W20W is receiving a thorough overhaul at Tenterden on the Kent & East Sussex Railway (KESR).

No. 20 was built at Swindon in 1940, withdrawn in 1962, and after four years of storage was bought by the KESR. 

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It arrived by rail as an ‘out-of-gauge load’ in April 1966. Years of restoration followed, before entering service by Christmas 1972. It had the duty of hauling the KESR’s first revenue-earning train in February 1974. 

Ex-GWR diesel railcar No. 20 (BR No. W20W) is seen in an advanced stage of restoration in Tenterden carriage shed, Kent & East Sussex Railway, on June 16. Two other GWR railcars survive: No. 22 (Swindon 1940) at Didcot Railway Centre and No. 4 (Park Royal 1934) at NRM, York. Although in the South East, there is a strong GWR bias at the KESR, which is home to four GWR/BR(W) steam locos. PHIL BARNES

It was withdrawn after six years of regular use because of severe body panel corrosion and general rot. Some restoration took place during the 1980s and ’90s, but No. W20W really needed major surgery. 

Read more in the August 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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