A) GWR Route Availability Map (From Worcester Shed).

I would think that everybody who has some knowledge of GWR locomotives knows the company used a system of colours to designate which locomotives were allowed on which routes. However, I imagine very few people have seen a map showing this in the past 50 years or so, and this one from Worcester shed (it has 'WORCESTER LOCO' written on the reverse of the map) is the only one I have ever seen anywhere in my life.

It was given to my father by Worcester shed foreman Harry Collins when the shed closed for steam (it still has chalked on the back of the wooden frame it is mounted in 'H. Collins'). Their friendship came about because of Worcester City Football Club - my father was a director in the late 1950s/early 1960s and I seem to recall Harry Collins was a keen supporter and possibly also a director.

Although the map has the dates on it that it was updated, I suspect that this was perhaps only done for the Worcester area. For instance, the Cambrian main line is still shown as a 'yellow' route (up to 16 tons axle load), yet the heavier 'blue' rated Manor Class (at over 17 tons axle load) were operating on this route by the 1940s.

It is a physically big map (approx 34ins x 30ins) and this created lots of problems.

If you click on the link at the top rhs of this page you will be able to download the 300dpi version, the map below is at 40dpi, (the 300dpi map when opened is over 250MB). Also included in the downloads is a 1963 route availability document.

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