Coley Park and Beyond

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Driver Edward Price spent his last months of an extensive railway career as driver on the Coley Branch.


Driver Edward Price

By Colleen Thatcher

My father Edward (or Eddie as his was known) spent his last 18 months with the the GWR (then British Railways, Western Region) as a driver on the regular run from Reading to the Central Goods Depot via the Coley Branch, which diverged off the main line at Southcote Junction just south of Reading General Station. Prior to working the 'Coley Goods' my father was mostly on the main line runs from Paddington to Bristol and Devon.

He refused to drive what the footplate men of the time called the 'new fangled cars on rails' (referring to diesel locomotives). They classed them NOT proper engines and most wanted nothing to do with them, thinking things will never be the same. How right they were!


Driver Eddie Price in 1936
©Colleen Thatcher

During the mid 1930's, Eddie spent some time on another small GWR branch - the Newbury and Lambourn Railway. The line ran from a bay platform at Newbury with a connection into the main London-bound platform, and ran parallel to the double track main line west of the station for half a mile (800 m) before veering to the north. It was single-track throughout with passing loops at several of the intermediate stations, terminating at Lambourn.

Driver Edward G Price retired in 1960.


Driver Eddie Price (top centre) - Newbury to Lambourn Railway c1935
GWR Locomotive 1334 (Dübs 2-4-0)
©Colleen Thatcher


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