The Wickham trolley was a railway engineering personnel carrier, used on British Railways as the type No.27 Gang and Inspection trolley. It was introduced in 1948 and over 600 were built between then and 1990, of which 25 went to the Ministry of Supply / MoD between 1954 and 1960. One was featured in 1966 film The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery, filmed in part on the Longmoor Military Railway.
Some versions did away with the rear passenger carrying area and used this section for tools and even a diesel generator or air compressor. It was capable of pulling a trailer wagon with tools, but was then restricted to a two-man crew.
In New Zealand, two 4 man trolleys were built primarily as track inspection trolleys, one dedicated to each island.
On later models a standard four-cylinder motor car engine, e.g. the Ford Anglia car 100E engine, provided power through a standard three-speed gearbox to a final chain drive transfer gearbox which included the forward and reverse selection.
Other products and services
Early products and services provided by D Wickham & Co included castings (e.g. manhole covers), brewery equipment and car repairs. Wickham built their first railcar, for the 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge Taltal Railway in Chile, in April 1922.
Their last was outsourced in 1991. Including a few railcars built by their successors in the 1990s, nearly 12,000 vehicles of many varieties were produced to their designs.
Railcars built for British Rail included:-
Isle of Man
There are two extant railcars based on the Isle of Man Railway, one of which is in operational condition and based at Douglas Station, used for annual transport galas; the other vehicle is stored out of use at Castletown Station. These two examples are both 3 ft (914 mm) gauge. Further examples were used on the Snaefell Mountain Railway by the Civil Aviation Authority to access masts at the summit (of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge) and one version with toastrack seating from the Queen's Pier Tramway in Ramsey which was to 3 ft (914 mm) gauge. This particular vehicle had open sides and was used in addition to a Planet petrol locomotive which remains extant at the Manx Transport Museum in Jurby whilst the railcar was relocated to the Isle of Man Railway in 1975 to provide transport when the lines to Peel and Ramsey were lifted. It was later scrapped by the railway in 1978.
The company operated as D Wickham & Co. Ltd of Ware & Stevenage (Hertfordshire, UK), Wickham Rail Ltd of Suckley & Bishop's Frome (Worcestershire, UK) and Wickham Rail Cars of Goodyear (Arizona, USA).
- The Wickham Works List (published in 2004 ), Keith Gunner , Dennis Duck Publications ISBN 0-9549199-2-0
- Wickham Trolley, PPS Models Accessed May 2010
- Wickham Motor Trolley,South Devon Railway, Accessed May 2010
- Wickham Trolley, Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust, Accessed May 2010
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