Station Name: AUDLEY END
(Saffron Walden Branch Platform)




This view at Audley End might be of interest to modellers. Click here for a larger version. The driving trailer is one of two on the branch at this time; E63423E and E63426E with that seen above being the latter. Some authors quote these carriages without their 'E' suffix, leading to confusion regarding if suffixes were actually carried but clearly they were. These prefix and suffix letters were introduced by BR for pre-nationalisation stock and post-nationalisation stock built to pre-nationalisation designs. The prefix letter indicated the region the vehicle was allocated to and the suffix the equivalent of the pre-nationalisation company, thus the 'E' suffix indicated LNER or one of its pre-grouping  constituents. Elsewhere in the pages covering the Saffron Walden branch one of these driving trailers having 'Audley End Saffron Walden Bartlow' on a cast metal plate with 'P&P' painted onto the bodywork was mentioned while the other had all these details painted onto the bodywork. As is clear above, E63426E was the vehicle which had all details painted onto the bodywork. The driving position was behind the second window from the left and E63426E was clearly fitted with a windscreen wiper. Photographic evidence suggests the other driving trailer did not have a wiper but it should be remembered both could have been so fitted at a later date, the date of the above image being unknown. However, just visible above is the BR totem above the waiting shelter so the image will date from towards the end of the life of the G5s and these push-and-pull sets so probably late 1956. On the bufferbeam, towards the left, the vehicle's worksplate can be seen. Most companies placed this device on the solebar. The door to the driving cab is lettered 'DRIVER' and the white painted grabrail should be noted. This was to aid staff when climbing up from track level during the hours of darkness. The compartment midway along the carriage with no external door was a lavatory compartment, both vehicles being built originally for the Cromer expresses with E63426E originating as GER No.523 in 1897. It appears the lavatories were removed when the vehicles were converted for push-and-pull working but details are unclear.The open door further along was the luggage compartment. This compartment was accessed via a pair of outward opening doors and the second door, above and nearer the camera, is closed. Less obvious on the above view but more so on the larger version is the general condition of the rolling stock, it had become quite shabby and especially along the bodysides. As always, ample luggage trolleys are available on the platform. No doubt these were welcome when luggage and parcels needed to be conveyed to and from the mainline part of the station.
Photo from David Hey collection

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