Collett 'Bow Ended' Standard 57' Corridor Stock
When Charles Collett became Chief Mechanical Officer of the Great Western Railway in 1922, one of his priorities was to modernise the GWR’s fleet of ageing, yet distinctive ‘Toplight’ coaching stock. His resulting ‘bow-ended’ design went on to become the basic GWR design for almost 30 years and from 1925, until the late summer of 1929, the steel panelled, oak framed bow-ended coach, with inset windows, high waist and clean exterior, was applied to 57’ coach bodies on newly developed 7’ single bolster bogies.
On entering traffic in 1925, six coach sets were formed from Lot Nos. 1351-53, comprising Corridor Thirds from diagram C54, left and right handed 4 compartment Corridor Brake Thirds from diagram D95 and left and right handed Corridor Composites from diagram E127. Over the following four years, further Lot numbers of these diagrams were produced, along with an additional eight different diagrams and the design became the first choice for the important Express Trains, including the Cheltenham Spa Express and Bristolian, until the late 1930s. Many of these coaches survived in general service until 1961, being withdrawn completely by early 1963, with several managing to escape scrapping when they were converted for departmental use during the early 1960s.