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A more economical service for quiet country branch lines
where traffic was light could be given by the Railmotor .
Introduced around 1905, they were designed with a small
steam engine unit fitted into one end of a specially
designed carriage. The engine was at one end, totally
enclosed, the chimney exhausting through the coach roof.
They were originally used between Oxford and Bicester;
Bletchley and Bedford; and in North Wales.
Although generally successful, railmotors suffered from
a lack of flexibility: They could just cope with one
extra coach, but when service needs demanded it, there
was too little power for anything more. Ventilation was
also a problem: A steam locomotive produces a lot of
heat, which is far from ideal when enclosed within the
glass windows of a carriage. Being introduced relatively
late they had a modern appearance with large glass windows,
elliptical roofline , and open seating plan. Doors in the
end could be opened to remove the power unit for repairs.
Steps were provided at the central vestibule entrance so
that passengers could enter and leave at places where
there was no platform; swinging the steps out
automatically applied the brake.