GWR 601 1Ton 10cwt Hand Crane

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GWRGreat Western Railway 601 1Ton 10cwt Hand Crane
GWR 601 20191027.jpg
GWRGreat Western Railway 601 1Ton 10cwt Hand Crane (2019)
Built By Cornish Railway (rebuilt by GWRGreat Western Railway)
Status Static display
Number GWRGreat Western Railway 601
Other Numbers 6685, 14959?
Built Unknown (rebuilt 1892)
Type 4-wheel hand crane
Capacity 1 ton 10 cwt
Brakes Unfitted

Goods Wagons

Another view of GWRGreat Western Railway 601

GWRGreat Western Railway 601 1Ton 10cwt Hand Crane is on static display at Kidderminster Railway Museum.


According to the GWRGreat Western Railway registers held at the National Railway Museum, this crane was one of several originally built at an unknown date as broad gauge cranes for the Cornwall Railway and numbered in the 668n series.[1] The Cornwall Railway opened in stages from 1859 and ran from Plymouth to Falmouth. It was eventually acquired by the GWRGreat Western Railway in 1889,[2] with the cranes being handed over to the GWRGreat Western Railway at Saltash in June of that year.

Following the acquisition by the GWRGreat Western Railway, the cranes were rebuilt to standard gauge in 1892 and re-numbered in the 149nn series. In 1895 they were further re-numbered in the 60n series. They continued in DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. use with the GWRGreat Western Railway and later with BRBritish Rail or British Railways until the 1980s. Their broad gauge origins make them probably some of the oldest GWRGreat Western Railway vehicles in preservation[1][3].


The GWR 813 Preservation Fund acquired two of these cranes from BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) in 1982. An article in the Fund’s summer 1997 newsletter suggested that the one at the SVRSevern Valley Railway was No 602 (ex-6687 / 14960) and the other, then stored at the Plym Valley Railway, was No 603 (ex-6688 / 14961). The article also noted the existence of a third such crane at the South Devon Railway, not owned by the Fund, which was thought to be No 601 (ex-6685 / 14959). However a postscript in the same newsletter noted that an "identity crisis" had emerged over the SVRSevern Valley Railway-based crane, with the number 6685 having been found stamped on the solebarsThe outer member of a vehicle's underframe, running from end to end below the body in at least four locations.[1]

A subsequent article in the summer 2000 newsletter noted that the identity of the crane at the South Devon Railway had been established as 610 rather than 601. As the GWRGreat Western Railway registers confirmed the history of No 6685 becoming No 601, the Fund therefore concluded that the crane at the SVRSevern Valley Railway was No 601, with the true identity having become confused at some stage during BRBritish Rail or British Railways ownership. However the Fund’s website and the Railway Heritage Register Wagon Survey both give the first GWRGreat Western Railway number as 14960, although the original article suggests it was 14959.[3]

The crane is on display on a short section of track adjacent to Kidderminster Railway Museum. As of April 2022 it had been dismantled for overhaul.

See also

List of cranes etc. on the SVR


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 GWR813 Fund newsletter, Summer 1997
  2. Cornwall Railway on Wikipedia
  3. 3.0 3.1 GWR813 Fund newsletter, Summer 2000