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King William Railway

Prince William Railway

(Birmingham, UK)

This train is from the grandly-named "King William Railway". There are only 4 items - an 0-6-0 loco, Tender, Truck and Tanker (the Tender is just the Truck without a front). The Loco alone is a "King William" item (stated to be part of a series, but I have doubts): the other 3 are "Prince William" items. They're very roughly to Gauge 0 scale.

These are unpowered construction toys in very heavy metal with unflanged wheels, presumably intended to be pull-along floor trains. The manufacturer is shown on the instruction sheets (one for each item) as either :

Johnson & Powell Ltd, 16 Upper Highgate St, Birmingham 12

or

William Johnson & Co, Shirley, Birmingham.

The "William" presumably comes from the firm's name, so they may the earlier of the two. The paperwork shows no date, but the general appearance is of the immediate post-war period.

The parts are tightly wrapped in brown paper, and packed in a brown cardboard box with wraparound paper label. If they've been anywhere damp, the brown paper sucks up moisture and the (unused) components start to rust, so the sketchy coat of red or green paint quickly peels off. (I'm certain they were all painted originally - every unused kit I've seen has been like this).

They are not uncommon, but hard to identify if not boxed, as there are no markings on the components.

Acknowledgements

My thanks to the Train Collectors Society and, particularly, Peter Gurd of Arkwright Models, who provided the above information, and to e-bay trader 'Castleburn' who provided some of the images below.


King William locomotive, with box

King William set, paint removed from tender and wagons
Note tender at rear of train rather than behind loco

King William set, paint removed from tender and wagons

King William set, paint removed from tender and wagons

King William set, paint removed from tender and wagons

King William set, paint removed from tender and wagons

King William set, paint removed from tender and wagons

A further King William set, showing the wagons in glorious full colour

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