West Coast Joint Stock
Express trains between England and Scotland were always
the most prestigious services. After the last connection was made in February 1848, through
trains could at last travel from London to Carlisle (300 miles) over the LNWR, the next
hundred miles to Edinburgh or Glasgow, being over the Caledonian Railway . But there
was an accounting problem each and every coach that travelled over the lines of another
company had to be paid for, mile by mile.
To avoid this tedious cross-charging, in 1862 the LNW and the Caledonian agreed to provide stock jointly between them. These were lettered WCJS (West Coast Joint Stock), and included passenger brake vans (luggage vans), fish vans, and Travelling Post Offices as well as passenger coaches. The WCJS insignia were similar to the LNWR but with green and brown shading. In fact, WCJS stock was always built by the LNW at Wolverton and followed conventional LNW design practice. There were small differences — more lavatory/luggage accommodation, larger compartments and there were never any cove roof designs — but the main difference the public would notice was in the lettering — ‘WCJS’ was painted on the sides in green, shaded black. The livery was otherwise that of the LNW. The Caledonian livery was not so very different, being cream above the waist, and chocolate brown below.
WCJS coaches were renewed regularly, every 10-20 years, for old and worn carriages could not be countenanced on such prestigious services. But after this short service life the stock was far from worn out, so it was distributed between the two owning companies and lived out many more fruitful years on less demanding secondary services.