Skip to main content
sales@mediastorehouse.com
Tel: (678) 701-8254
Home > The Railway at War

The Railway at War Gallery

The GWR during the First and Second World Wars

Choose from 227 pictures in our The Railway at War collection for your Wall Art or Photo Gift. All professionally made for Quick Shipping.


USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 coupled to an ambulance train, 1942 Featured The Railway at War Image

USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 coupled to an ambulance train, 1942

Once the USA joined the war following the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941 the GWR became involved in the provision of rolling stock for use by the American Army. As preparations for D Day progressed, the US requested that 10 ambulance trains be provided for the conveyance of American casualties. This image shows the official handing over of the first of these trains in a ceremony held at Swindon Works on the 24th March 1943. The 14 coach train was aptly hauled by USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 and comprised of six ward cars, kitchen cars, a pharmacy and operating theatre, and carriages for staff. The handover was performed by GWR Chief Mechanical Engineer F.W Hawksworth, stood to the right of the group of uniformed American Officers, and the occasion was considered noteworthy enough for the attendance of a newsreel camera which can just be seen to the far right of this photograph

Carriage No. 4329 from US General Dwight D. Eisenhowers Alive train in 1942 Featured The Railway at War Image

Carriage No. 4329 from US General Dwight D. Eisenhowers Alive train in 1942

One of the most important areas in which the GWR was asked to support both the war effort and the US army was in the provision of what was codenamed the Alive train which was to be used by the US General Dwight D. Eisenhower whilst in Britain making preparations for the invasion of Europe. Much secrecy surrounded both the make up and the operation of this train, although some details have emerged during the years following the war, and we know that carriage No. 4329, featured in this image, was one of the sleeping coaches from the Alive train. It is understood that the order for the train was issued in June 1942 and that many additions and improvements were subsequently made over the following years, so making the train a fully equipped and self-contained vehicle from which General Eisenhower and his team could operate. During the latter years of the war the Alive train travelled extensively around Britain, and in December 1944, fully equipped with bullet proof glass, the train was shipped overseas where it operated throughout France and on many occasions travelled close to the enemy line

0-6-0 Dean Goods locomotives No's. 2479, 2576, 2425 and 2399 in the process of being scrapped, c.1949 Featured The Railway at War Image

0-6-0 Dean Goods locomotives No's. 2479, 2576, 2425 and 2399 in the process of being scrapped, c.1949

The sorry sight of four The sorry sight of four 0-6-0 Dean Goods locomotives, photographed in the late 1940's, in the process of being scrapped. Identified as engine No's. 2479, 2576, 2425 and 2399, and all built during the 1890's, these locomotives would have seen service in both World Wars. With many Dean Goods having been rescued from the scrap heap in 1930/1940 due to them being needed for war service, it was inevitable that once locomotive building resumed in earnest after the war, many of these older engines were destined for the scrap heap once again. . Identified as engine No's. 2479, 2576, 2425 and 2399, and all built during the 1890's, these locomotives would have seen service in both World Wars. With many Dean Goods having been rescued from the scrap heap in 1930/1940 due to them being needed for war service, it was inevitable that once locomotive building resumed in earnest after the war, many of these older engines were destined for the scrap heap once again