Backtrack Volume 32 (2018)
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Published by Pendragon, Easingwold, YO61 3YS
January (Number 321)
LNER Kl Class 2-6-0 No.62021 at Alnwick station with the branch train to Alnmouth on 10th May 1966. G.F. Bloxham. front cover
Backtrack through the looking glass. Michael Blakemore. 3
Editorial with a pinch of Lewis Carroll
TJE' at Birmingham New Street. John Edgington. 4-7
Black & white photofeature as memorial to the late John Edgington who was born in City and worked for LMS/London Midland Region thereat. Prince of Wales 4-6-0 No. 25752 on 12.20 to Stafford on 8 December 1948; Webb coal tank 0-6-2T No. 58900 acting as station pilot on 21 June 1951; rrebuilt Patriot No. 45522 Prestatyn in mixed traffic lined black livery with tender lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS on 3 April 1950; Class 3P 4-4-0 No. 40745 on pilot duties with Compound No. 1028 behind on `9 April 1949 (these first photographs demonstrate WW2 damage to station); Patriot No. 45539 E.C. Trench moving off Manchester to Bournemouth Pines Express on 25 May 1957 (rear of Queen's Hotel behind); Jubileee No. 45592 Indore waiting to take up British Industries Fair Express on 9 May 1955; B1 4-6-0 No. 61195 having ar4rived an 06.63 from Cleethorpes on 20 October 1956; Caprotti and double chimney class 5 4-6-0 No. 44687 on 17.08 to Napton & Stockton on 29 April 1955; 2P 4-4-0 No. 40659 and rebuilt Scot No. 46148 The Manchester Regiment on 11.05 to Glasgow Central on 28 October 1954; Jubilee No. 45733 Novelty on 17.50 Euston to Wolverhampton on 8 June 1953 (locomotive carrying a crown headboard to celebrate Coronation); 4P Compound No. 41193 on 13.45 to Yarmouth Beach on 8 October 1958; A1 4-6-2 No. 60114 W.P. Allen on 11.41 Birmingham to Newcastle on 8 August 1964.
John Jarvis. Change at Verney Junction. 8-15
In Buckinghamshire. The London & North Western Railway had a long branch line from Bletchley to Oxford which had a further branch line to Buckingham and Banbury. The Aylesbury & Buckingham Railway was conceived by local landowners Sir Harry Verney and the Mraquis of Chandos, later the Earl of Buckingham and who was also Chairman of the LNWR as a means of increasing their wealth. The growth and protracted shrinkage of the railways, including the WW2 Calvert Spur are outlined as well as a possible futture as part of a revived Oxford to Cambridge line. Illustrations: Derby light weight railcar at Verney Junction on an Oxford to Bletchley service (colour); map showing convoluted railway lines (many of which are closed) and their former ownership; Verney Junction station c1900 with Metropolitan Raiulway train and its passengers changing to another service via footbridge; Sulzer Peak class diesel elctric locomotive No. D16 on a Leeds to Wembley Cup Final special on 1 May 1965 passing through Verney Junction (colour); Verney Junction on 30 June 1963 (colour: Ron Fisher); Class 5 No. 45292 passes on freight in 1963; plans (station layouts in 1878 and 1896; Standard class 2 No. 84004 at Verney Junction on Bletchley to Buckingham push & pull (Roger Jones); plans (LNWR, Metropoltan Railway, BR (M); Metropoltan Railway K class 2-6-4T No. 115 on freight leaving Verney Junction for Quainton Road on 4 July 1936 (A.W.V. Mace); Metropoltan Railway signal box in mid-1950s; LNWR signal box in September 1967 (colour: author); Class 56 No. 56 046 on Hertfordshire Railtours Mothball rail tour on 29 May1993. See also letter from Gerald Goodall on page 189.
Eric Stokes. Auto suggestions. 16-25
Stream push & pull operation: outlines the terminology and the methodology: the Great Western used mechanical linkage to operate the regulator. Vacuum control gear was used by the LMS and LNER, but the Southern standardised on compressed air control. The LNWR and LSWR had used mechanical transmission via wires along the roofs of the train sets. [Kevin observed and sometimes travelled on the Delph Donkey and is far from certain of the origins of some of the rolling stock used see Frank page]. Illustrations: Webb 2-4-2T No. 46712 on Dudley "motor" at Dudley Port in 1949 (colour); ex-GCR F2 2-4-2T No. 5780 propelling 11.45 Alexandra Palace to Finsbury Park at Stroud Green on 11 August 1945 (H.C. Casserley); H class 0-4-4T No. 31177 at Dunton Green with push & pull for Westerham in July 1960 (colour: D.H. Beechcroft); GER F5 2-4-2T No. 67202 at Ongar with push & pull set for Epping on 7 June 1954 (T.J. Edgington); 14XX 0-4-2T No.1432 propelling 11.55 ex-Ellesmere to Wrexham at Marchwell on 25 February 1961 (Alan Tyson); Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T No. 41223 at Four Oaks with push & pull unit for Birmingham New Street in October 1955 (colour: E.S. Russell); M7 0-4-4T No. 40058 approaching Lymington Pier with paddle steamer alongside in October 1953 (colour); Lemon 2P 0-4-4T No. 6408 at Stanmore with Harrow & Wealdstone push & pull on 16 June 1934; C15 4-4-2T No. 67460 at Gerelochhead with Craigendoran to Arochar & Tarbet push 7amp; pull in May 1959 (Unusual in that corridor, but non-vestibuled coaches used with first class accommodation and lavatory used); (colour: D.H. Beechcroft); H ckass No. 31177 leaving Mainstone West on 15.08 for Tonbridge on 10 April 1961 (Alan Tyson); H class 0-4-4T No. 31530 at Rowfant on Three Bridges to East Grinstead service in July 1960; L&:YR 2-4-2T No. 50731 leaving Sunny Wood Halt with a Bury to Holcombe Brook push & pull on 3 February 1952 (N.R. Knight); Ivatt 2-6-2T No. 41276 on The Welsh Dragon at Deganwy with Rhyl to Llandudno summer service (colour); C15 No. 67474 at Shandon with Craigendoran to Arrochar service in 1960 (colour); 14XX 0-4-2T No.1432 propelling 11.55 ex-Ellesmere to Wrexham at Overton on 25 February 1961 (Alan Tyson); Lemon 0-4-4T No. 41900 at Upton-on-Severn with push & pull t/from Ashchurch on 19 July 1958 (T.J. Edgington); and cutting edge standard 2-6-2T No. 84007 at Uppingham with service for Seaton See also page 190 for letters from David Holt and from Andrew Kleissner on modern push & pull (but no mention is made of Sykes) and from J. Whiteing on p. 253.
Mike Fenton. Byway of the 'Barra' - Part One.
Haltwhistle to Alston branch: partly personal reminiscences of the branch line when it was under sentence of closure; and partly a history of a line which dated back to the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway and was promoted by the Earl of Carlisle to reach the lead mines at Nenthead and an Act was obtained for a branch line from Haltwhistle on 6 August 1846, but the route selected was too difficult and an easier route limited to reaching Alston was approved on 13 July 1849. Illustrations: Alston station on 29 March 1964 (colour: John M. Boyes); panorama of Alston station viewed from above c1903/4; Haltwhistle station with trains and turntable with Alston Arches over Tyne in background c190s; map; Lambley Viaduct and station on 26 March 1967 with Scottish Rambler crossing it; Slaggyford station c1900; G5 0-4-4T no. 67315 at Alston with passenger train in 1957; BTP 0-4-4BT No. 69 in South Tyne during recovery in 1920; camping coach with Jean Gratton on the steps see letter from Philip A. Millard on sole bar lettering; A8 4-6-2T No. 2146 mear Broom House with train for Alston (E.E. Smith). Part 2 see page 165.
L.A. Summers. The naming of engines: an afterword.
Evidence provided via Peter Rance, Chairman of the Great Western Trust on how the names selected for the initial broad gauge locomotives. The evidence comes from a printed tender document of 10 September 1840 issued at Paddington as a Specification of locomotive engines with seven feet driving wheels wherein "The Splashers covering the large wheels shall be neatly made in brass according to drawing (No. 2), and the Name of the Engine shall be put in brass letters upon each side of the framing...". Although parts of the document are reproduced drawing No. 2 is not and this document does not cotain the names to be affiuxed which Summers assumes to have been on a separate list.
Mr. Peppercorn's K1 Class. 32-4
Colour photo-feature: No. 62001 at Darlington; No. 62011 at Alnwick with passenger train for Alnmouth; No. 62052 near Glenfinnan with passenger trai for Mallaig on 21 June 1960; No. 62006 inside Alnmouth terminus in 1965 (David Lawrence); No. 62051 on express near Chelmsford in July 1959 (Alan Chandler); No. 62052 near Lochailort on 21 June 1960; No. 62031 at Fort William on passenger train which included an insulated container and a fish van (G. Pratt)
John White. Remembering the Porthcawl Branch. 35-7
Black & white photographs are all by author. The Porthcawl branch originated as a horse tramway to convet coal from Tywith to the harbour at Porthcawl. It was called the Duffryn Llynvi & Porthcawl Railway and had become part of the GWR by 1873 which constructed a new junction with the main line at Pyle. After WW1 Portcawl grew into a holiday resort, but railway trffic fell in the 1960s and the line closed on 9 September 1963, Illustrations: No. 6435 on 14.30 railmotor being propelled out of Porthcawl for Pyle; panorama of Porthcawl bleak station with its archaic gas lamps; No. 6435 at Pyle with 17.10 service from Porthcawl on 28 August 1963; No. 6434 at Tondu with 13.40 service to Porthcawl on 8 September 1961; No. 6435 arriving off Tondu branch at Pyle with 13.27 to Porthcawl on 28 August 1963; Nottage Halt with No. 6435 arriving on 26 June 1963; Porthcawl station on 7 September 1963 with No. 80133 on 18.40 to Swansea High Street, No, 6434 on 18.55 to Pyle and Cross Country dmu on 18.30 to Newport High Street
Brian Topping. Through Summit Tunnel. 38-41
Fireman's (steam locomotive not fire fighting sort) experience of working through the tunnel. Writer was a passed cleaner working at Bury and describes his initial experience of working through Summit Tunnel on a Crab 2-6-0 No. 42730 when he travelled out on tthe cushions to Sowerby shed where he bparded the locomotive and ran light to Mytholmroyd to take over a freight. 8F runs through Bury Knowsley Street (Ray Farrell); 8F No. 48295 on a coal train passing Class 4 2-6-4T No. 42484 on freight in Bury on 26 April 1965 (Ray Farrell); Sowerby Bridge shed on 10 September 1961; WD 2-8-0 No. 90181 exits western end of Summit Tunnel on 13 December 1963 (Ian G. Holt);; Jubilee No. 45717 Dauntless on Liverpool to Newcastle express heads towards Sunnit West Tunnel on 21 December 1960 (Ian G. Holt); Crab No. 2310 exits Wateerbutlee Tunnel (D. Ibbotson); 2P 4-4-0 No. 40684 leaving Bury for Bolton on ordinary passenger train on 8 April 1959;
Alistair F. Nisbet. The end of South Western steam. 42-8
From Waterloo and via Bsingstoke: broad survey with classes liable to be found on pssenger services. Illustrations (all by author and with two exceptions all in in colour: all Pacifics in rebuilt forms) West Country No. 34004 Yeovil on 17.30 to Bournemouth leaving Waterloo on 31 March 1967; down Bournemouth Belle hauled by Merchant Navy No. 35005 Canadian Pacific on 26 August 1964; Batttle of Britain No. 34089 602 Squadron having brought in empty stock into Waterloo on 1 June 1966 (black & white); No. 35008 Orient Line backing into Waterloo to power 08.30 to Weymouth; No. 80140 bringing empty stock into waterloo passing Vauxhall on 8 March 1964; No. 35030 Elder Dempster Lines, 80015 and 82029 in Waterloo engin dock on 5 April 1967 (b&w)
Philip Atkins. An Edwardian locomotive quadrille.
The links in locomotive design between the Midland Railway, the North Eastern Railway, the Great Central Railway and the North British Railway. The key person in this was Walter Mackersie Smith and his son, John William Smith. W.M. Smith was a pioneer in the use of piston valves and took out Patents. NER 2-4-0 No. 340, a two-cylinder compound was so-fitted in 1888. In 1894 an inside cylinder M1 4-4-0 No. 1639 was fitted with piston valves. Neverteless, the NER was slow to adopt piston valves: only the final two S class 4-6-0s were fitted and many of the T class 0-80s were built with slide valves. he Midland Railway was much quicker when John Smith moved to Derby at Johnson's behest and the 1892 series of 4-2-2 were equipped with piston valves, as were all new 4-4-0 designs, but freight locomotives were not equipped until 1911 with the prototype Claa 4. On the Highland Railway the trial by Jones on the Loch class was a failure and within four yeats had to be replaed by slide valves.On the Great Central Railway Pollitt fitted the 11B class 44-4-0 with piston valves and on the NBR Holmes adopted them on the 317 class. Illustrations: NBR Reid 4-4-2 No. 870 Bon-Accord on the 13.55 Edinburgh to Perth (and Inverness) at Waverley c1909; 3CC 4-4-0 No. 1619 (3-cylinder compound) at Scarborough; Johnson 3-cylinder compound No. 2631 with bogie tender at Derby Works; 4-2-2 No. 2601 Princess of Wales in grey workshop livery at Birmingham New Street in late 1899; Pollitt Great Centrl 4-2-2 No. 971 at Manchester Central; MR 4-4-0 No. 999 (colour); NER 4-4-0 R1 class No. 1238 (caption states that photograph reproduced appeared in Locomotive Mag., 1909, 15, page 73 (not quite so Backtrack image is straight elevation, whereas Locomotive Mag. is three-quarter profile!); Robinson Director class No. 430 Purdon Viccars at Gorton Works in 1913; NER V class 4-4-2 No. 532 in November 1903; GCR 4-4-2 No.1092; NER Class S 4-6-0 on freight train at Dalton Bridge on 19 April 1922; GCR 4-6-0 Class 8B No. 1069 at head of train of fish vans (posed photograph); Class 8A 0-8-0 as LNER No. 6139 on empty mineral train at Rugby in August 1925; proposed Johnson Midland Railway 0-8-0 (side elevation diagram); proposed Reid North British Railway 0-8-0 (side elevation diagram); GCR 0-8-4T as LNER No. 6173 on March engine shed; NER 4-8-0T as LNER No. 1353 on Darlington shed on 22 July 1934 (W. Rogerson); restored 4P compound No. 1000 at Nottingham Victoria on RCTS East Midlander on 11 September 1961; GNR (I) V class compound No. 85 Merlin leaving Bangor (Ireland) for Belfast on 15 May 1989 (colour: D.W. Mosley). See also letter from Mike Wheelwright on page 189
Still more men at work Paul Aitken. 58
Colour photo feature of permanenet way workers (platelayers to ancient Kevin; gangers in the captions) in their high visibility orange clothing at work: at Sheffield on 12 July 2000 shovelling ballast on modern concrete sleepered track to adjust the angle of elevation or cant; Dent station on 18 July 1993 members of gang pushing trolley along track; Crossmyloof on 4 July 1993 unloading ballast from hopper with clouds of dust (Kevin's eldest daughter loves trains but hates the dirt which sometimes comes home on her husband's clothing from being a civil engineer working on railway projects); Shawlands station on cold 27 January 1996 with ganger dropping salt on slippery station platform (West Runton station has more salt than on the beach); King's Cross station on 29 July 2003 with man on a light ladder cleaning the windows of an HST power car. More of these watching men at work (but long after the soft hats and cloggs days) pictures see Volume 30 page 562 and still more fron references thereat
Jeffrey Wells. Life, death and other matters - The Great
Western Railway in 1870 - Part Two. 59-61
Part 1 see previous Volume page 714. Illustrations: Pembroke Dock station; Neyland station in 1933; Birmingham Snow Hill station with Birminham Corporation trams in Colmoe Row; Slough station; Awre station; Gresford station c1907. John C. Hughes (letter p. 189) objects to phrase :90% of population lived in abject poverty even when Wells is clearlt peturbed at the absurd lengths which the railways made to cosset the Royal Family
Readers' Forum 62
Lesser London. Graham Smith
The upper photograph at Farringdon Station on p689 of the November issue of was almost certainly taken during the evening peak in June 1978 - despite the very few passengers visible! The seated passenger is reading the Evening Standard (or was it The New Standard by then?) for which the early edition did not appear on the streets until lunchtime.
The peak hour through passenger trains between the Midland line and Moorgate were restricted for many years to just three or four trains during each peak in the direction of the traffic flow, with appropriate ECS working in the opposite direction. Latterly, these were usually all stations workings between Luton or St. Albans and Moorgate. The former peak hour service to and from the Great Northern suburban stations was considerably more substantial, but that had ceased several years earlier when the service was diverted via the former Northern City Line.
Platform 4 at Farringdon station would then only be used by passengers for the three Midland Line slow trains during Monday to Friday evening peak - the platform would have been closed off at other times of the day. With regular Metropolitan/Circle Line trains from Platform 2 to King's Cross St. Pancras and more frequent, often semi-fast, trains from St. Pancras to St. Albans, Luton and Bedford, the use made of the three through slow trains to St. Albans/Luton, especially from King's Cross Met (Pentonville Road), Farringdon and Barbican stations was latterly not very substantial. The trains were perhaps more popular for passengers joining at Moorgate. The presence of a London Transport official is to ensure train doors were closed properly before departure and also collect tickets from any passenger who might have chosen to travel locally to Farringdon from Moorgate or Barbican by the BR train. When DMU operation was first introduced on the St. Pancras-Bedford suburban services from January 1959, it was found that the bodies on the Rolls-engined units (with epicyclic gearboxes) allocated were slightly wider than previous standard DMUs, and earlier non-corridor suburban coaches. This would have been a safety hazard if it were necessary to evacuate a Moorgate train on the steeply-graded curve on the section of the line between Kentish Town and King's Cross Met, which passes beneath St. Pancras station, as the tunnel wall clearance would not permit the train doors to be opened. As a result, the Midland Line trains to and from Moorgate remained worked by loco-hauled suburban stock until the early 1970s (retaining some steam haulage until 1962), then by Cravens-bodied DMUs made redundant by line closures elsewhere. Subsequently, a series of unexplained fire incidents resulted in the replacement of the Cravens units by a miscellany of DMU stock with narrower bodies, from elsewhere -; hence the 'Llandudno' destination display visible in the photograph.Stephen A. Abbott seeks to explain the "unexplained" fire incidents.
Eventually, electrification of the Bedford-St. Pancras suburban services in the early 1980s changed everything and Platforms 3 and 4 at Farringdon saw regular, all-day passenger train services.
Lesser London . Andrew
The picture of Bow station on p686 of Backtrack must have been taken before November 1939 when the trams in Bow Road were replaced by trolleybuses. According to http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/b/bow/ the train service was suspended in May 1944 because of bomb damage but the station remained open, served by a replacement bus service, until one month later when a V1 flying bomb severely damaged the station buildings, resulting in the demolition of the upper storeys of the central block. The apple advertisement is mentioned in the caption to the picture of Mildmay Park station. I think it dates the image to 1975/76 when there was an 'English Apples and Pears' promotion. There was a Routemaster bus that was painted in an overall advertising livery as part of that promotion. One of the routes it worked was the 171 which ran past the disused station.
Great Western eight-coupled tanks. Michael
Rer picture of No.5237 on p675 (November), I can confirm, that the said locomotive was spotted at Wolverhampton Works on 15 April. I believe that date of the photograph was 1 April 1962, as the same shot was published in another magazine giving this information. It was very unusual for this Class of locomotive to appear at Oxley, for the reason that the article stated - small coal bunker. How it got to Oxley is a mystery? It could have been towed to Oxley: it may have worked unaccompanied on an incoming freight, or it was assisting another locomotive on a similar freight, but I believe that it was towed to Oxley, as part of a freight. If it was towed to Oxley alone, why did it not go direct to the Works? Maybe someone has got more information on this issue and I shall be very interested to find out the full facts.
The West Coast Main Line electrification
. Stephen G, Abbott
To add to Alan Taylor's excellent review (November) the WCML scheme had its shortcomings. After resignalling Manchester-Styal-Crewe the next phases, the lines through Stockport, Liverpool-Crewe and Crewe-Nuneaton used numerous, mostly pre-existing, signal boxes as did the Potteries and Northampton loops. Presumably this was to trim costs in the face of threatened curtailment of the scheme, later sections resuming the practice of large power boxes. Islands of local control remain to this day on the Liverpool line and at Stockport -; the large LNWR boxes there stand testament to a missed opportunity.
With lack of foresight there was much waste: far too many sidings and yards were wired, a district electric depot built at Rugby soon became redundant as few trains started or terminated there, Castlethorpe station north of Wolverton was rebuilt then closed in September 1964 (the platforms survive) and the mail facilities at Tamworth were largely wasted as the West Coast TPO was diverted via Birmingham New Street in March 1967, interchanging traffic there instead. On 18 April 1966, en route back to college in the Wirral, I travelled into Rugby from Market Harborough on a line sadly axed a few weeks later, before enjoying a high-speed electric run to Crewe - which made one feel that there was a future for railways after all. See also letter from Robin Leleux on p. 190 on how he became a late user of Castlethhorpe statin when the locomotive hauling the train he was on shed its motion.
The West Coast Main Line electrification.
Re Alan Taylor's article in the November issue, as my late father was engaged in much of the signalling work connected with the electrification and the conversion to colour light signalling. Based in the London Midland Region signalling drawing office on Nelson Street in Derby, he produced plans for, and then went out on the ground to instal and test, many of the schemes. At various times he worked at Macclesfield, Stafford and Euston, putting in full weekends, especially over the notoriously hard winter of 1962-63. Taylor's article omits to mention that!
My father's experience also showed up the reality behind the four-year delay in obtaining Parliamentary approval for the northern extension of electrification from Weaver Junction to Glasgow. Although the engineering study started in 1966, as far as my father was concerned, no new work came his way for electrification; rather, he was asked one night in 1966 to put in an hour's overtime, to do a rush job on the proposal to close the Midland main line through the Peak from Matlock to Chinley and single the line from Ambergate to Matlock. "In an hour's overtime" he later said "I put fifty blokes out of work, and that was just the signalling staff." This upset him. His managers were unable to give him any reassurance about the likelihood of more work putting the modernised railway in, but suggested that there would be more work in taking old railway out. He accordingly could see no more future in railway work and left BR later that year to take his skills to the construction industry.,
The GWR in Wirral. Mike Lamport
My old chum Robin Leleux's response to the quest for information about this venerable cross-country train in the November edition prompts me to add the following. Between 1958 and 1960 while my father was station master at Selling in Kent we made regular family rail trips from there to visit his parents who lived in Godalming in Surrey. Normally, these trips to the see the grandparents were made via London but, on one particularly memorable occasion, Dad announced that this time we were going take 'the Continental' or 'Conti' as the local rail staff in Kent called it ( It did have that Dover portion after all) from Canterbury West. How exciting the prospect sounded to this ten-year-old fan with visions of one of Mr. Bullied's Pacific's sweeping us through the hop fields and into that uncharted territory beyond Tonbridge. The reality, as I stood on up platform at Canterbury West platform craning my neck to see our engine coming down the line from Margate, was something of an anti-climax. Instead of Pacific, the locomotive was a rather nondescript Maunsell UI Mogul. The train itself, however, made up for this by being formed of a number of smart carmine and cream coaches which, from someone brought up on a diet of Southern green, made it feel special after all. Years later, when Dad returned to his Surrey roots as assistant station master at Guildford, he still spoke of the 'Conti' while his staff there, as Roger correctly reported, called it 'the Birkenhead'.
The Birmingham West Suburban Railway.
It was a pleasure to read Geoffrey Skelsey's thoroughly-researched article on the Birmingham West Suburban Railway (November). The figures he quotes tell a sorry tale; but I am not sure that they altogether allay the disgust I felt (and still feel) at BR's treatment of the route.
At its lowest ebb, my local station of King's Norton was served by a mere five trains a day on Mondays to Fridays -; two from Redditch and one from Worcester and beyond into Birmingham in the morning and two to Redditch in the evening. This was against a background of the recent introduction of one-man buses on the parallel route which did not give change and which were delayed both by the need for the driver to sell tickets and the extra congestion caused by city-centre reconstruction. Passengers who might have been tempted to defect from the bus to the train were dissuaded by the closure of the entrance to the station from Cotteridge which otherwise would have been convenient for the local shops and bus stops (today, this is the principal entrance to the station). Such a situation, combined with the lack of any attempt to tap into potential traffic from Longbridge, Cadbury's, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the University and the preparatory schools in Edgbaston leads one to suspect that BR were not interested in keeping the local service alive -a suspicion strengthened by their proposal to close the Redditch branch and close the BWSR stations no sooner than Redditch had been nominated a new town. The transformation of the service in 1978 was a wonderful step, but the potential had been there long before.
Harry Pitts and the Aldersgate Explosion . Andrew
In the caption to the picture of the locomotive Edmund Burke on p697 of the November issue; the train is approaching Farringdon station on the outer rail, not Aldersgate. The location can be seen in the background of the picture on p695.
Harry Pitts and the Aldersgate Explosion.
Michael J. Smith,
The electric train in the photograph on p694 is of District rather than Metropolitan stock. At this time both companies shared the operation of the Inner Circle.
'Rather unprincipled persons'. Frank
Re A.J. Mullay's article on Ministers of Transport in the September/October issues made compelling reading. Barbara Castle did a long stint as MP for Blackburn. Scouts at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School were grateful to her when she overturned a British Rail refusal to stop an express at Preston so allowing the troop and equipment to journey to Scotland for an annual camp.
In her autobiography Fighting all the way (MacMillan 1993) Barbara described her appointment as Minister of Transport. "The task I faced was gargantuan. In pleading with me to accept the post Harold Wilson said to me 'Your job is to produce the integrated transport policy we promised in our manifesto', adding characteristically 'I could work something out myself, given half an hour'. This was an oversimplification de luxe." In the same paragraph she went on to explain that the department had no tradition for planning transport as a whole. Its work was compartmentalised under three deputy secretaries dealing with highways, urban olicy and a miscellany in which railways were ped with ports, shipping and nationalised roa rt. "It seemed a chaotic system to me."
The Beeching Report was waiting for her on arrival. Closures had begun and there was uproar among Labour's rank and file which had always been pro-rail. Barbara was determined not to allow market forces to destroy a railway system on which so many people were dependent, to say nothing of turning traffic on to overcrowded roads. Chapter 15 'Full Steam Ahead' should be made compulsory reading for all Ministers of Transport on the day of their appointment. ,
Winter wonderland. David Rodgers. rear cover
8F 2-8-0 No. 48191 in highly polished state hauls short Topley Pike to Buxton freight in light snow on 24 February 1968. See previous volume for letter from Alan Eatwell on how No. 48191 was kept in toy railway condition and further portraits of this beautiful locomotive
February (Number 322)
LMS Stanier Class 3 2-6-2T No.40125 takes it easy in the sunshine at Willesden locomotive depot in the mid-1950s. Trevor Owen. front cover
Looking back to September 1951. Jeffrey Wells. 67
Guest Editorial based on content of Trains Illustrated for that month. At least one of the items is in Steamindex (the initial ffull description of the BR Standatd Class 4 2-6-4T). His reference to the extinction of the Southern D1 class relates to the Stroudley 0-4-2T not the Wainwright 4-4-0. It is a good reminder of Trains Illustrated (a few copies of which are usually available at Weybourne Station).
Freight through Warrington. Tom Heavyside. 68-9
Colour photo-feature:Class 40 No. 40 020 hauling empty mineral wagons passing eastbound under Bank Quay station with huge Unilever soap and detergent factory dominating scene on 18 September 1980; Transrail Class 56 No. 56 127 passing Warrington Arpley with merry-go-round coal train from Yorkshire to Fiddlers Ferry on 25 June 1996; English Electric Class 20 Nos. 20135 and 20 065 passing Warrington Arpley with merry-go-round coal train on 27 February 1987; Class 40 No. 40 172 on mixed freight between Walton Old Junction and Warrington Arpley on 19 September 1980; Class 85 No. 85 106 on down Freightliner near Winwick Junction on 12 July 1990.
Bruce Laws. Les Beet:: extracts from a steam locomotive
driver's log book - Part Two. 70-5
Part 1 in previous Volume beginning page 753. Les was frugal in his use of log books and this led to him over-writing the earlier entries with later information which created difficulties in transcription, also during the period in which he was a passed fireman there is no certainty whethr he was firing or driving. The period includes WW2 when Nottingham suffered eleven major raids - targets being the Boots factory, the loacl power station, the LMS works and the ordnance factory at Ruddington. The route of the former Great Central is noted as it strode southwards (part bing incorporated into the preserved railway, but the route through Leicester was obliterated: the author records its loss to what might have been a more viable HS2. Illustrations: O4/7 No. 63675 2-8-0 arriving in Nottingham Victoria (first four and last all by Stuart Grimwade); former LMS 8F 2-8-0 within Notttingham Victoria; B1 4-6-0 No.61141 taking Grantham line at Weekday Cross Junction with a freight in 1966; Viaduct at Weekday Cross; exterior of Grantham station on 28 May 1950 (A.C. Roberts); O1 2-8-0 No. 63678 at Colwick Woods on long mineral train in July 1963; O2/2 2-8-0 No. 63943 on Grantham shed on 29 July 1963; and Class 5 4-6-0 No. 44835 takes road for Leicester at Weekday Cross in 1966. Letter from R. Lloyd Jones notes that Beeching excommunicated Rugby from Leicester (not as implied herein) and that Great Central Railway went over Midland Railway rather than over it at point show on map.
Jeffrey Wells. Private and public opposition to nineteenth century
Newcastle & Carlisle Railway: objection by Charles Bacon of Styford and his son, Charles Bacon Grey. Also problem of crossing Hadrian's Wall at Greenhead and Gilsland (where care was taken to protect the structure). The Newcastle Courant 17 January 1829 published a notice objecting to the railway. The Dalton & Barrow Railway was planned without consideration for the ruins of Furness Abbey, but prior to construction to avoid litigation the line was adjusted to avoid the ruins and these became a source of excursion traffic. The Manchester Times and Gazette 11 September 1846 reported that 500 people had visited the ruins. Dorchester was surrounded by ancient monuments and both the LSWR and the GWR had to take care not to cause too much damage: the latter was forced to tunnel under Poundbury Camp. The railway between Blackburn and Hellifield was forced to construct a tunnel to protect the vista from Gisburne Park owned by Lord Ribblesdale who had cut the first sod. The Blackburn Standard reported on progress on the line. Eton College was anxious to keep the Great western at a distance from its ppupils but changed its stance when they were invited to attend Queen Victoria's Coronation on 28 June 1837 and a special train was provided. Ancient sites transgressed included the castles at Berkhamstead, Castlethorpe, Berwick upon Tweed and Flint. The City wall at York was breeched and Cheltenham station was built over a tumulus. Illustrations: Gilsland station, Dorchester GWR station with steam railmotor (railcar) caption staes June 1895. but railmotors not introduced then (1905?); Furness Abbey station; southern portal of Gisburn Tunnel; western portal of Shugborough Tunnel; Windsor station Southern Railway frontage c1925 (Sir William Tite architect); Berkhamstead station with Grand Union Canal probably in Victorian period; Castlethorpe station viewed from road to Pottersbury; arch built into York's City wall on 5 October 1991 (T.J. Edgington); blue No. 46241 City of Ediburgh above former stone circle at Shap Wells with 10.40 Euston to Carlisle on 3 June 1950 (Eric Bruton)..
Edward Gibbins. The fate of the Stainmore Route - Part
Part 1 in previous Volume beginning page 739. The general thrust is that various marginal bodies, such as ramblers, protacted the closure process through their ill-considered interventions. The Transport Users' Consultative Committee held meetings in Leeds, Preston and Newcastle. James Boyden, the MP for Bishop Auckland was a forceful objector. Much was made of the extra mileage imposed on freight, but those directly involved made light of this (many already used motorways in preference shorter routes on ordinary roads, Illustrations: Class 3 2-6-0 No. 77003 and Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76049 cross Belah Viaduct on farewell special on 20 January 1962 (colour: Gavin Morrison); Class 3 2-6-0 No. 77002 and BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 cross Smardale Viaduct with eight coach Blackpool express in late 1950s (Cecil Ord); J21 0-6-0 No. 65033 on RCTS special at Ravenstonedale on 7 May 1960 (colour: Gavin Morrison); No. 76048 on coke empties leaving Smardale Viaduct on 31 August 1956 (J.F. Davies); BR Standard Class 2 2-6-0 Nos. 78017 and 78013 on short mineral train at Stainmore Summit on 18 August 1958 (Gavin Morrison); Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0 No. 46482 at Stainmore Summit on 25 July 1952 (T.G. Hepburn); J21 0-6-0 No. Nos. 65089 and 65047 at Stainmore Summit on 25 July 1952 (T.G. Hepburn); BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76049 and Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 near Stainmore Summit with a Blackpool train in late 1950s (Cecil Ord); No. 77003 and 760499 at Kirkby Stephen on last day special on 20 January 1962 (colour: Gavin Morrison).
Jeffrey Wells. The Ambergate Junction complex. 89-91
Former triangular junction but now reduced to a halt on the Matlock branch (all that remains of the former main line to BBuxton and Manchester. Newspaper accounts from Leeds Mercury and Derby Mercury relate to various openings from the original station on the North Midland Railway main line, through to the branch to Matlock, the extension to Buxton and the curve giving direct communication between the Buxton line and the route towards Chesterfield, The station buildings were designed by Francis Thompson, were of sufficient substance to justify their movement stone by stone to accommodate the Manchester branch and were then Cromwelled by British Railways (they were in the Jaacobean style rather than the cardbord box style favoured at that ime). Illustrations: original station (engraving); MR 4-4-0 No, 251 with five clerestory coaches on express heading for Derby; 4F No. 4420 with another 4F on empty minerals train from Matlock to Derby (date in caption clearly wildly incorrect as Midlamd running-in board and gas lamps still visible; junction of two main routes; D45 class on express from Manchester? on 22 October 1966.
90 Years of the Railway Correspondence & Travel
2018 marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, believed to be now the largest UK railway society and possibly only eclipsed in its membership numbers over the years by the Ian Allan Locospotters' Club, albeit that the latter was aimed at a vastly different audience. The text minus the excellent illustrations is reproduced on RCTS page
The shores of the Utmost West .Dick Riley. 96-9
Colour photo-feature: No. 6029 King Edward VIII at Teignmouth with express (leading vehicle of which was formed of a Centenary coach in carmine & cream livery on 1 July 1957; No. 5069 Isambard Kingdom Brunel on ordinary passenger train crossing Royal Albert Bridge approaching Saltash on 28 August 1961; Castle class No. 5055 Earl of Eldon departing Teignmmouth on up Devonian on 17 July 1958; No. 5059 Earl of Adwyn on up Torbay Express; Earl of Plymouth on down Royal Duchy on the steep climb to Dainton summit on 1 July 1957; No. 6965 Thirlestaine Hall on up stopping train on sea wall at Dawlish on 14 July 1958; No. 6010 King Charles I on up express formed mainly of carmine & cream stock on 14 July 1958; No. 1025 Western Guardsman with down Motorail service on sea wall near Dawlish on 6 September 1973: see also letter from Mark Evans on p. 253.
Looks can be deceptive [LMS Class 3 2-6-2T loocomotives; ;both Fowler
& Stanier]. 100-2.
Colour photo-feature: No. 40026 (with condensing gear) at St. Pancras on empty stock duty; No. 40024 (with condensing gear and ex-Works condition) at Moorgate in 1959 with Metropolian F stock (with oval motorman's windows) and brown livery T stock (J.G. Dewing); Stanier No. 40164 at Blackpool Central shed with rebuillt Patriot No. 45530 Sir Frank Ree and Class 5 No. 44737 alongside in October 1959; No. 40150 at Thurso on 12 July 1960 (C. Hogg) see Editorial corriegenda p. 189 both date should be 16 April 1960 (hence lack of leaves on trees and photographer was Patterson see also letter from John Macnab on p. 253; No. 40202 at Llandudno Junction with through coaches for resort in August 1962; No. 40138 at Coventry on station pilot duties see letter from Leonard Rogers on p. 254; No, 40004 at Cricklewod shed in May 1955 (Trvor Owen) [KPJ Wot no Delph Donkey?];
Western waysides: a selection of stations on Great Western lines..
Black & white photo-feature: 45XX on short branch freight from St. Ives passing Carbis Bay station on 23 August 1949 (Eric Bruton); 2-4-0T Metro tank? on local train calling at Fladbury in Edwardian times with young ladies travelling towards Pershore and perhaps Worcester; Bugle station on Newquay branch Not Bugle, but Roche see Editorial corriegenda p. 189; Chipping Norton Junction station (pre-1909 when renamed Kingham); Perranporth station with two? steam railmotors (railcars) c1912 (note advertisement featuring four-funnel liner); Llansantffraid station on Llanymynach-Llanfyllin branch with Class 2 2-6-0 No. 46510 arriving on passenger train on 22 May 1964 see Editorial corriegenda p. 189; Rollright Halt (image suffering from scanning defect); and St. Agnes station, possibly at same period as Perranporth image
Alistair F. Nisbet. Poor Postal services to Scotland. 106-11
Text and images out of sync. Text refers to the Postmaster General from the City and Royal Burgh of Perth in 1846 and 1847 and 1848 on delays to Her Majesty's Mail. The Kelso Chronicle of 28 October 1853 complained that letters for Kelso and Hawick only went to Melrose once per day. The Aberdeen Free Press reported on 1 July 1886 on an improved service for letters and newspapers to reach Inverness, Dingwall and Strome Ferry, and even Kirkwall in Orkney on the same day. On 17 February 1871 the Dundee Chamber of Commerce compllained to both the GPO and the Caledonian Railway about the late arrival of the Scotch Limited Mail. The Dundee Advertiser reported on 2 July 1885 that weekend mail for Dundee and Aberdeen would be improved by trains leaving Euston at 20.30 and with a corresponding up train leaving at 14.04: these were known as the Up and Down Specials. Both Aberdeen and Dundee sought faster mails: the latter argued that the East Coast Route was better suited for faster transport to many places in the East of England. William Monsell when Postmaster General met delegaions from the north of Scotland and studies were made to improve transits. Tne North British Railway had an especially acrimonious relationship with the Post Office with respect to costs, times, delays to other services and the employment of messengers to carry the mail (and the fares paid). Illustrations: St. Andrews station,; Cupar station long before it was selected in preference to Leuchars as a railhead for St. Andrews mail following the ill-judged closure of its railway; D34 No. 62485 Glen Murran at Dundee Tay Bridge; J37 No. 64620 at Dundee West in 1963; Perth c1912 with 17.45 up postal hauled by 139 class 4-4-0 No. 117; Aberdeen General; Wick station in HR period;
David Pearson. County Donegal Railways Joint Committee.
States that County Donegal Railway was the largest narrow gauge network in the "UK" (presumably the UK which ceased to exist upon the cession of Donegal to the Republic of Ireland). The article is mainly an examination of the sources of finance for a collection of railways which appeared to be short of finance and the involvement of the Midland Railway in manipulating the financial structure of other railways by purchasing shares in them in an attempt to channel traffic onto its trunk lines, Thus, the Midland & South Western Junction, Hull & Barnsley and even the West Cornwall Railways are all mentioned as part of the web centred on Derby. The captions to the photographs (all black & white) are an integral part of the presentation: 4-6-0T Foyle at Stranorlar and 2-6-4T No, 8 Foyle (formerly Staphoe) at Donegal Town on 29 June 1950 (caption implies influx of Midland capital enabled the big engine policy); 2-6-4T No. 2 Blanche with CDJR climbing through Barnesmore Gap on long mixed train including substantial bogie coaches in May 1956 (caption notes substantial nature of train) (photograph: E.S. Russell); coaches at Strabane on 13 June 1964 (T.J. Edgington) (coaches were intended for export to USA, but finance failed to arrive); 4-6-4T No. 11 Erne at Londonderry Victoria Road on 13.35 for Strabane on 24 April 1951 (T.J. Edgington) (caption eulogizes over superlative machines, but fails to note lightness of its train); Class 5 2-6-4T No. 4 Meenglas waits at Stranorlar on 17.52 freight for Donegal on 6 August 1959; Class 5A No. 3 Lydia at Killybegs c1935; substantial bridge across River Finn on Glenties branch on29 June 1950; diesel railcar No. 16 at Stranorlar on 07.40 Killybegs to Strabane working (T.J. Edgington). There is also a map of the system
The Black Pugs of Ayrshire. Photographs by David Idle; text by John Scholes.
Colour photo-feature of Andrew Barclay & Co. mainly 0-4-0ST saddle tank engines working at the collieries to serve the Damellington Iron Co.: 0-4-0ST (NCB No. 19;: WN 1614/1918 propelling Jubilee skips towards Leight tip on 26 April 1973; another 0-4-0ST No. 21 (WN 2284/1949 at Leight tip on 27 April 1973; No. 16 (WN 1116/1910) at Mauchline Colliery in 1974; No. 19 again en route to tip on 27 April 1973; and 0-6-0T No. 24 (WN 2335/1953) with Giesl ejector near Waterside washery on 27 April viewed from cab
Miles MacNair. Tackling the gradient: John Fell and
some locomoive/cable hybrids. Part Two. 120-4.
Part 1 in previous Volume beginning page 710. John Barraclough Fell developed his eponymous central rail system for the Mont Cenis Pass crossing of the Alps. Ganta-Gallo railway in used former Mont Cenis equipment to serve high altitude coffee plantations in Brazil. From 1883 these were replaced by Baldwin 0-6-0Ts which only used the centre rail for braking as on the Snaefell Mountain Railway. The Rimutaka Incline in New Zealand was the longest and most famous application of the Fell system. Tomasso Agudio rope-worked system for Sassi-Superga tramway. The Henry Handyside system for tackling very steep gradients involved a locomotive which could be clamped to the rails and haul its load up with a steam powered winch.Illustrations: Fell centre rail diagram; plan of Gouin Mont Cenis locomotive; Cail Mont Cenis locomotive (engraving); Manning Wardle works photograph of WN 377/1872 locomotive for Fell system on Ganta-Gallo railway in Brazil: Avonside Rimutaka locomotive after rebuilding (outside Stephenson valve gear employed); Neilson & Co. Rimutaka locomotive with external Joy valve gear; Agudio rope-worked locomotore for Sassi-Superga tramway; Handyside patent drawing from Engineer, 1874 September; Handyside rail gripper; Fox Walker WN 284/1875 as per Engineer; Fox Walker WN 316/1875 as per Cromford & High Peak trials; Fox Walker HPTE as supplied to Royal Engineers and Dick, Stevenson system as installed at Provenhall Colliery in Glasgow in 1875.
Readers' Forum 125
Secondary considerations. Leonard
The train seen in Trevor Owen's photo at Greenock on p.751 is bound for Wemyss Bay, not Gourock. The loco shed at Ladyburn is seen in the left centre of the picture, with wagons visible at the coaling stage, below the Wemyss Bay train. The Gourock line is beyond the far side of the shed yard, heading for Greenock Central station, the two lines having parted company to the west of Port Glasgow, off camera to the right.
Robberies on the Rails. Leonard
The date for the photo of 60052 at Thornton on p.731 will not be 1952, since its cab sides bear their "not south of Crewe" yellow stripes. These were applied in August 1964, in anticipation of the ban coming into effect the following month, and the loco was withdrawn from service at the end of December 1965.
Life, death and other matters - the
GWR in 1870. S. Tamblin
A small correction to your article in the December issue, p718 - the view of Banbury station is facing south, not north. The station buildings are on the west side of the line; the locomotive and two coaches are in the bay added for GC line services.
Bushey water troughs in LNWR days.
It was wonderful to see the Tice Budden photographs together with the commentary by Ted Talbot in the December issue of Backtrack. They will remind devotees of the LNWR, and introduce the uninitiated, to what an excellent main line led to the north from Euston. The LNWR appendix to the working timetable issued in January 1905 lists that 'DX' and tank engines were permitted to take 50 loaded minerals (including brake van) between Tring and Willesden or Camden and 60 empties. Interestingly, the number of loaded wagons that could be hauled between Stafford and Tring or between Camden and Stafford was 40. This was presumably in recognition of the gradients. May I take this opportunity to tell your readers that the LNWR Society has an archive of thousands of documents relating to the operation the company's services, plus drawings of rolling stock and the infrastructure and many photographs. New members are always welcome, and copies of many items can be provided from the archive and study centre in Kenilworth. anyone interested is invited to look at the Society's web site at Inwrs.org.uk
The Railway Mission. Dudley
Re article on the Railway Mission (RM) and its mission halls in the November issue; as Archivist and Historian of the Mission he was pleased when attention is drawn to the Mission. The mission was formed in 1881 when the committee of the Railway Boys Mission decided to broaden its work to include all railwaymen. At the time there were several other missions with similar objectives and many of these subsequently became part of the RM. The article confused the first meeting of the RM with the commencement of the Bishopsgate branch of the Mission which was started circa 1890. Temperance was not specifically a denominational issue; there were strong movements within most denominations and it was also supported by Socialists such as Keir Hardie.
The article quoted from the GER Magazine was written by Stratford Goods Agent W.F.C. Bullivant who had been a member of the Stratford branch of the RM from at least 1900 and particularly focuses on the involvement of GER employees with the Mission. What became the Stratford branch had been formed as the GER Servants' Christian Union in 1879. With reference to the dates given for the building of mission halls I would draw attention to Liverpool and Brighton. The 1896 date for Liverpool refers to the formation of the organisation; the Liverpool branch consisted of many sub-branches which generally met in the work place. There were eventually two mission halls, one near Edge Hill and the other at Walton on the Hill. The earliest reference I have for either hall is 1909. The Brighton branch was formed before the RM in 1876 and met on railway premises until a redundant Methodist church was purchased in 1894. This continues as a place of worship today.
None of the London Termini ever had an adjacent RM mission hall and the branch at the one major goods depot with a branch, Bishopsgate, met at their place of work until the depot was destroyed by fire in 1964. There was a mission hall at King's Cross, Culross Mission, which was built by the GNR. It was never part of the RM and the missionary was provided by the London City Mission.
The downward trend in membership accelerated between the World Wars and continued after WW2, but many branches left the RM to continue as independent churches.
Finally it is misleading to call St. Saviour's, Westhouses, a 'Railway Mission church' as it was always part of the Church of England. Furthermore St. Saviour's was not built on railway land; the site was provided by the Agent of the Duke of Devonshire at a nominal rent and the building was entirely financed by locally raised funds. Railway Mission is a registered charity in England and Wales (1128024) and in Scotland (SC045897)
Les Beet You have credited the picture on p757 (December) of Ipswich Docks Lower Yard to Geograph whereas its actually 'Stuart Grimwade/ Ipswich Maritime Trust Image Archive'. Bruce Laws,
Worcestershire's Railways. Nick Daunt
Re article by Steve Roberts on Worcestershire's Railways' (October) brought back happy memories, especially the illustrations. Sixty years ago Worcester was a favourite venue for the group of rail enthusiasts to which I belonged in my Birmingham school. A return ticket to Worcester was valid on both the GWR line via Kidderminster and the Midland line via Bromsgrove. In the outward direction we would always, for reasons which will become apparent, catch a Birmingham Snow Hill to Cardiff train, consisting of, I think, six corridor coaches hauled by a 'Hall' 4-6-0. This departed from the north end bay at Snow Hill, a fact which probably limited the length of the train. For us this was a 'real' express, although it has to be said that the coaches were usually ex- GWR stock which had seen better days and the progress of this 'express' was quite stately. We stopped at Stourbridge Junction, Kidderminster and Droitwich Spa. The Black Country, through which we passed, really was black in those days. There seemed to be a permanent pall of smoke hanging over places such as Old Hill and Cradley Heath. How things have changed. While I was waiting recently on Smethwick Galton Bridge for my Class 172 to whisk me to Kidderminster and the SVR, I actually saw a buzzard soaring overhead! At Old Hill we would look out for the line branching off to Halesowen, whence it continued as a joint GWR and MR line to Longbridge, making a connection with the Midland's main line to the South West.
Our train would stop at Worcester Foregate Street, by-passing Shrub Hill. It would then continue via Great Malvern, Ledbury, Hereford and Newport. Foregate Street was considered far less interesting than Shrub Hill, so, having alighted, we would catch the first available train for Shrub Hill. This journey only took about five minutes and, as far as I remember, we were usually hauled by a pannier tank.
Shrub Hill was a really fascinating station on which to spend two or three hours. There was always some locomotive movement to watch and we could enjoy an interesting mix of ex-GWR and LMS motive power. The highlights were always the Hereford-Worcester-Oxford- Paddington services, hauled by one of Worcester shed's 'Castle' Class 4-6-0s. In my experience an 85A 'Castle' was always kept in immaculate condition. Castle names such as Berkeley, Dartmouth, Nunney and Monmouth stick in my memory as well as No.7005 Lamphey Castle which I remember being renamed Sir Edward Elgar in 1957 to mark the centenary of the birth of Worcester's greatest son. There was also No.7007 which, because it was the last 'Castle' turned out of Swindon by the independent GWR, was named Great Western. These Worcester engines very rarely turned up in Birmingham. The most prestigious train of the day was the Cathedrals Express (serving the cathedral cities of Hereford, Worcester and Oxford), but I never saw that at Worcester since it departed quite early in the morning and returned after we had gone home. I did see it at both Reading and Paddington, however.
Worcester shed was always worth investigation. We regarded it as very much as a rail frontier, with the possibility of seeing rare Welsh locomotives which would never turn up in Birmingham (eg Churchward 2-8-0 tanks if you were very lucky). On one occasion we went round the shed officially, with the father of one of our group being the 'responsible adult', but I think we may have 'bunked' the shed on another occasion. There was really no need to do that because it was possible to get a superb panorama of the shed from a path which overlooked it. On one occasion, I remember, we saw No.45500 Patriot standing in the yard. Another attraction was the 'vinegar line', a branch which served the Vinegar works of Hill, Evans & Co. It crossed a street by means of an ungated level crossing, where road traffic was regulated by means of GWR lower quadrant signals. I hope the car drivers understood what they meant!
All too soon it would be time to come home, so we would catch a local from Shrub Hill to Birmingham New Street. This could be hauled by a 4F 0-6-0 as in the illustration on p619, but 'Crabs', Ivat! Class 4 Moguls, Fowler 2-6-4 tanks or 'Black Fives' might turn up. Organising the day this way meant that we had the wonderful experience of climbing the Lickey and, of course, we always made sure we were in the last carriage, preferably the last compartment, so that we could enjoy the pyrotechnics from the banking engine. Having arrived at the chaotic slum which was the old New Street, we caught our buses home in time for tea. A really good day out!
The Vale of Rheidol Railway. David
Re picture spread on the Vale of Rheidol Railway. The VoR was not the first 'privatisation' to take place. In 1967 agreement was reached by BR to sell for the first time a complete railway. In using this phrase, I mean as was the case with the VoR, a complete, entire statutory railway which had become part of the BR network. The railway to which I refer was the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1862 and absorbed by the Midland Railway in 1886, but as much a statutory railway, complete and entire, as was the VoR in 1989.
Shunting Dibles Wharf .John
You seem to have slipped into the same error that several railway-orientated web sites have also done. The photographs in the December issue of Backtrack were not taken at DIBBLES Wharf in Southampton, but at DIBLES Wharf. I cannot tell you the vernacular pronunciation of the DIBLES, but we in the corn trade always pronounced it with a hard "i". I traded corn into there many times in my working life, where it was loaded on to boats for exporting and even visited there on one of our lorries once to show support for our lorry drivers and to watch operations. Tipping corn on to railway lines covered in oil and coal dust did not strike me as the most appropriate way to handle feedstuffs! ,
Book Reviews, 126
George Carr Glyn - railwayman and banker. David
Hodgkins. Wolffe Press (Amersham) Softback, 487pp. MGF *****
This weighty tome is a scholarly biography comprising 19 chapters, 60 illustrations, seven maps, an exhaustive bibliography and a comprehensive index. It tells of the life of George Carr Glyn, 1st Baron Wolverton (1797-1873) and covers all aspects of his life: family, education, business affairs and his involvement as Member of Parliament for Kendal from 1847 to 1868. This is a very serious historical record written in an easy to read style.
Much of the book concentrates on his banking activities as a partner in the family firm of Glyn, Mills & Co., one of the largest private banks in London. However, his involvement as Treasurer to the dock company responsible for the construction of London's St. Katharine's Dock, which opened in May 1830, is also explained in great detail. More importantly, for readers of Backtrack is the extensive coverage given to Glyn's involvement with railways at home and abroad, especially with the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. We learn that in 1845 the bank had 110 railway companies banking with it, compared with 22 in 1843. This was, of course, during the period of the 'Railway Mania' and the author explains that some of the railways projected by the bank's clients may not have come to fruition.
Glyn not only provided banking facilities for railway companies but became actively involved with their management. For example from 1836 to 1841 he was chairman of the North Midland Railway and he was instrumental in founding the Railway Clearing House in 1842 but his greatest involvement was with the London & North Western Railway (LNWR). In 1837 he became the second chairman of the London & Birmingham Railway (LBR) and when that railway was amalgamated with the Grand Junction Railway (GJR) and the Manchester & Birmingham to form the LNWR in 1846 he became its first chairman. He held that key position until his resignation in September 1852; thereafter he remained as an active director for another decade and did not retire from the board until 1870.
The background to the amalgamation which established the LNWR is explained in great detail highlighting disagreements between Glyn and John Moss, Chairman of the GJR. Glyn's prime role in protecting the LBR's interests with regard to the proposed Trent Valley Railway, securing the Irish mail traffic and keeping the Great Western Railway at bay on the LBR's western flank makes for an interesting, if at times, a rather involved story. The maps are very helpful in this context.
Glyn was regarded as the leading financier of his time and the author suggests that this experience of the management of important monetary operations in his own bank enabled him to conduct those of the LNWR with so much ability and success. A whole chapter is devoted to the LNWR's management structure in which the working of the board and committee structures and the relationship with senior managers is comprehensively explained. Topics covered include passenger fares, freight tolls, capital and revenue accounts, audit and the broad gauge issue. Bearing in mind his banking activities, Glyn seemed to spend an inordinate amount of his time dealing with LNWR matters, even becoming involved with a strike of locomotive men at Camden over pay issues.
The LNWR's expansion by way of acquiring connecting railways is well covered as is the issue of competition versus regulation with Glyn spending a lot of time lobbying and advising Government on railway policy issues. The LNWR's Elder Statesman is the heading of a chapter dealing with Glyn's involvement after he resigned his chairmanship. His successor, George Anson, had been in office for just a year when he unexpectedly resigned in September 1853. Glyn seems to have acted as mentor to Arisen's successor, the Marquis of Chandos who was only 30 and had no previous railway experience. Chandos was followed by the dominant Richard Moon and Glyn's experience with these two very different chairmen is very much a feature of this chapter.
His involvement with the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada (GTR) was largely financial. Glyn's bank, together with Baring & Co., became the London agents for the Provincial Government of Canada. Both Glyn and Thomas Baring were somewhat reluctant promoters of the GTR, both men sitting on its London-based board; Baring was the chairman. The GTR suffered from inflated construction costs, overestimated revenues and inadequate capital. Throughout the GTR's financial difficulties, Glyn successfully maintained the moral high ground, actually meeting many claims from his own pocket.
To all interested in George Carr Glyn, this book is a compulsive read and will stand the test of time. Insofar as railway history is concerned the book adds much as to how the new business of running a rapidly expanding English railway evolved, contrasting markedly with railway pioneering in Canada. It is essential reading for students of the LNWR with much new information on its early challenges, management structure and growth. In summary the book is highly recommended to all railway historians, especially to those with a keen interest in the LNWR. My only criticism is that a book of this standing should also have been available between hard covers.
A History of the Southern Railway. Colin Maggs.
Amberley, hardback, 209pp plus bibliography, appendices and maps,. DAT
The Southern Railway has been extremely well covered in recent decades, with quite large volumes only dealing with individual branch lines, so one always pauses when a new book is published to ask whether new ground is covered, or new light thrown on the more fascinating aspects. This book inevitably does not cover significant new ground and is rather more of a useful overview of the history of the entire system rather than a definitive work.
It has to be admitted that your reviewer was perplexed at the title. One had expected a heavy focus upon the work of Sir Herbert Walker, Sir Eustace Missenden, Maunsell and Bulleid, and in particular the way that the SR management took three largely- steam railways and welded them into the modernised and enterprising network it became. But instead, the first 164 pages are devoted to very useful histories of the London & South Western, the London, Brighton & South Coast, the South Eastern and the London, Chatham & Dover railways, and the latter two's South Eastern & Chatham Railway offspring. This leaves a bare 35 pages for the history of the Southern Railway proper, which is a great shame as the company was in very many ways the most dynamic and forward-thinking of the' Big Four'. One only has to think of electrification, timetabling, publicity, station modernisation and the impact of the mercurial O.V.S. Bulleid to wonder how one could ever hope to do justice to these stories, amongst others, in such a short space.
Notwithstanding that significant reservation, this is still a good book, very readable and well-ordered, and the relatively- short chapters make it an ideal book to dip into. There are chapters on each of the four (eventually, three) main constituent railways, as well as very brief chapters on the Lynton & Barnstaple, the Isle of Wight, the London & Greenwich and the London & Croydon. Separate chapters cover accidents on the main constituents, and on locomotives, rolling stock and steamer services. At the rear of the book is a useful though far from comprehensive bibliography.
Perhaps the most useful section is the four appendices, dealing with dates of line openings, line closures, services converted to electric traction and the various chief officers of each railway. These have often been overlooked in previous publications, at least in the form of concise lists, and so the book makes a really first-rate contribution in this respect. There is also an eleven-page index, again very useful and often neglected in the past.
Overall, a very readable and useful summary. Perhaps the author could be persuaded to go on and produce an equivalent volume for just 1923-1948?
Working on the Victorian Railway - Life in the early days of steam.
Anthony Dawson: Amberley Publishing. 96 pp. paperback GSm ***
I must confess this book isn't quite what I expected from the promotional literature. The title suggests it to be a window into the lives of working railwaymen in the nineteenth century, which the information on the back cover qualifies to 'what it was like to drive Rocket and her contemporaries'. In fact, it's neither and both. A better title might have been 'Rules and regulations for front-line railwaymen in Manchester during the 19th century', as this is what the book really addresses. Most of the regulations included are self-evident safety warnings by the company of the order, 'Don't do this or you'll kill yourself. However, some make for more interesting reading. Who would have thought, for example, that 'Guards must prevent Passengers endangering themselves by imprudent exposure'? Or that on the Great Northern Railway 'every engineman and fireman must appear in clean clothes every Monday morning or on Sunday'. Unfortunately, the reader is mostly left to make his own interpretation of the various edicts.
The author concentrates on Manchester-based railways and the reader is left to extrapolate as to how management of employees was controlled nationwide. The city of Manchester figures strongly throughout, since much of the detail relates to the operation of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (L&MR). It has, unfortunately, become fashionable to cite the beginning of modern railways as the opening day of the L&MR, but it is worth noting that steam railways had been around for nearly two decades before that particular railway drew its first breath. The author's narrow view is nevertheless understandable, given that he is an employee of Manchester's 'Museum of Science and Industry' (MSI), nevertheless, it will be irksome to, for example, those currently promoting the bicentenary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, which was a steam-hauled public railway that had operated successfully for nearly five years before the L&MR ever opened up for business. In terms of the wider perspective the book might have presented, this is a wasted opportunity. By 1830 there was a wealth of working experience that could have been drawn on, including many first-hand accounts of daily life recorded by railwaymen. Dawson's book is therefore a Manchester-centric view of 'life in the early days of steam' taken from the viewpoint of railway company management. However, considered purely in this context it works fine.
So what might the reader expect from this book? Well, as the cover notes suggest, it includes lots of rules and regulations for front-line railwaymen, alongside the author's personal reminiscences from working on replica locomotives at the MS!. The railwaymen to which these rules mainly applied were those operating on the public- faced side of the industry, such as drivers and fireman (but excluding station staff), and issued by companies during the first years of public railways in Manchester. Paragraphs from staff regulations are linked by the author's comments. There are chapters on 'enginemen and firemen', and 'policeman and guards', although notably absent are the many other less obvious trades that kept the railways running. This is a pity because some had an interesting tale to tell. I would love to have known, for example, what it was like to be an incline brakesman in those dangerous pioneering years; perched precariously on the last truck, controlling the movement of a line of accelerating wagons down a steep hill using just a crude handbrake. Unfortunately, there are no first-hand accounts. No voice is given to those early railwayman, even though there are many personal stories to be had dating from the period covered. It would be nice to at least have a working man's take on the regulations quoted in the book. How much heed was paid to them remains a matter of speculation, something the author acknowledges in the penultimate paragraph, The printed material presented here for the perusal of enginemen and fireman was not the norm: training was carried out 'on the job' and by word of mouth, rather than through formal learning.
In my experience, certain employers would rely on rule books to cover their backs whenever things went wrong, the relevant workplace manual being hauled out from the back of a dusty cabinet drawer if an inspector called, usually after a workplace accident. How much easier would this approach have been in less regulated by-gone days. Certainly, the S&DR, for one, was known to turn the odd blind eye to bad practice purely in the interest of expediency. It would be nice, therefore, to know to what extent the regulations referred to in Dawson's book were ever enforced.
On the plus side the book is well illustrated throughout, even allowing that nearly half the pictures were taken within the confines of the MSI, with many featuring the author. A couple of minor niggles. Other than a list of sources at the end of the book, the regulations quoted are unreferenced, nor is there an index, which would have helped navigate around the book easier. Also, the retail price of £14.99 seems excessive for a book consisting of less than a hundred pages. However, if you are interested in finding out what rules were imposed by early railway companies on front-line staff, or would like to know how to fire up and operate an early engine then this is the book for you. If, however, you still wonder what it was like to actually work on Victorian railways, from the perspective of the railwayman involved, then you may have to look elsewhere.
What it was like at Kenilworth. David P. Williams. rear cover
Precursor 4-4-0 No. 25319 Bucephalus [coloured photograph in which there is lttle colour other than on LMS maroon coaches, fields and trees]
March (Number 323)
Class 37 No.37 109, in EWS red livery, at Hoo Junction with
the 08.55 freight from Temple Mills yard on 26 November 1996. Rodney
Lissenden. front cover
More of similar Class 37 in colour
"A little rebellion now and than is a good thing". Michael Blakemore. 131
Seen on shed. Geoff Rixon. 132-3.
Colour photo-feature: Nos 65267 and 65282 (Reid NBR 0-6-0s in late BR steam livery) on Bathgate shed in September; J94 0-6-0ST No. 68070 at Colwick on 25 August 1962; 61XX No. 6111 at Oxford coaling stage in May 1962; Vale of Rheidol sheds at Aberystwyth with No. 9 Prince of Wales barelly visible and No. 8 Llywelyn partially visible on 10 June 1963; Q7 0-8-0 No. 63466 at Tyne Dock in September 1962 .
Michael H.C. Baker. To the Kent Coast and across the Channel. 134-8
Written by Railways to the Coast author a mixture of personal experiences of travel to the Continent by train and ship prior to the opening of the Channel Tunnel plus a brief examination of the history of such journeys matched by interesting illustrations. In 1824 Thomas Telford was engaged to connstruct a railway from London to Dover along the course of Watling Street via Rochester and Canterbury, but this failed to materialise. Parliament sanctioned a line which branched off the railway to Brighton and then ran virtually straight to Ashford and on tp Folkestone, completed in June 1843 and Dover reached in February 1844 via a tunnel under Shakespeare Cliff. Charles Dickens tended to depict travel to The Continent in pre-railway days by stagecoach in Tale of Two Cities, but suffered severely by being involved in the Staplehurst accident. Illustrations: Light Pacific No. 34083 in malachite green livery with Golden Arrow regalia waiting departure from Victoria in April 1949 (colour: J.M. Jarvis); R Class "0-4-4T" (R1 Class 0-6-0T with reduced boiler mountings at Whitstable on train for Canterbury on 6 August 1927; Battle of Britain No. 34084 253 Squadron and Schools class No. 30918 Hurstpierpoint at Folkestone Junction (colour); West Country No. 34092 City of Wells passing Ashford with down boat train on 28 July 1959; King Arthur No. 766 Sir Geraint passing Herne Hill with boat train formed mainly of SECR Continental carriages; Dunkirk survivors eating bananas at Dover, VSOE Pullman car Phoenix at Victoria; preserved No. 70000 Britannia masquerading as 70014 Iron Duke with Golden Arrow regalia at Sadling on 6 May 1994 as part of Channel Tunnel opening celebrations; L1 piloting light Pacific on Night Ferry; electric locomotive No. 5000 at Victoria on Night Ferry in 1971.
Alistair C. Nisbet. Trains in the water. 139-43
Excludes Staplehurst (see above) and Tay Bridge disasters and describes lesser incidents and begins with accidents at Kirkcaldy where locomotives and wagons entered the harbour on 10 April 1901 and on 12 November 1954 (both incidents also covered in NBR Study Gp J. No. 113). The Kircaldy incident involved a G class 0-4-0-ST No. 40 and three wagons going off the end of a pier and being retrieved by crane with the assistance of a diver. The second involved J88 0-6-0T No. 68341 with an excessive load of 17 wagons which plunged into the dock. The locomotive was retrieved by crane but withdrawn. Another plunge took place at Granton on 3 January 1884 when Edinburgh, Perth & Dundee Railway locomotive No. 7 skidded on ice during a blizzard and slipped into the harbour. The Dundee Advertiser of 21 December 1920 recorded how five loaded wagons were hurled into Victoria Dock during shunting operations leading to the loss of potatoes and linoleum. The train ferries across the Tay and the Forth were the source of several accidents; in the case of the former one was fatal. On 14 December 1864 one of the derricks which supported the girder linking the railway to the ferry at Tayport collapsed precipitating wagons into the harbour; cutlery en route from Sheffield to Dundee was barely damaged according to the Fifeshire Journal. On 25 September 1871 a similar incident happened at Burtisland hen the Balbirnie was being loaded. At Kingstown in Ireland The Irish Times of18 June 1881 recorded an incident during fly-shunting which led to a freight train entering the harbourthe accident was sufficiently serious to involve Colonel Rich. Another incident at Tayport on 11 June 1920 led to the death of John Mackay of Smith, Hood & Co. who was thrown into the dock by wagons let loose by a broken coupling whhilst coal was being delivered to trawlers. The Dundee Advertiser of 10 December 1920 reported on an accident at Vise in East Belgium when a locomitive fell into the River Meuse leading to a boiler explosion and the deaths of the three crew. The South Eastern Railway suffered a bridge colllapse near Tonbridge on 20 January 1846 which led to the deaths of the footplate crew. Another early bridge collapse was that across the Dee Viaduct near Chester on 18 May 1847: this is covered in Peter Lewis Disaster on the Dee Another report in the Dundee Advertiser of 28 April 1884 refers to a bridge collapse at Ciudad Real in Spain, but this may have been due to sabotage. Reuters reported on a derailment on a bridge over the River Loire near Pont de Cé. On 8 July 1860 a light engine was travelling from Granton to Edinburgh when it fell off an embankment and into the sea killing the driver, his eight-year old son and two others. People on the shore were scalded. Captain Tyler attributed the accident to a broken rail. On 4 January 1861 on the Shrewsbury & Herford Railway the 12.40 from Shrewsbury was derailed by a locomotive wheel tyre fracture and two passengers lost their lives. The Birmingham Daily Post reportd an accident casused by a storm on the North Staffordshire Railwat involving the 18.47 Stoke to Derby which ran into a flood between Bromshall and Uttoxeter: the footplate crew ended up to their necks and passengers were bruised and shaken. Many other incidents are briefly described or tabulated, including locomotives lost in transit across the Atlantic in both WW1 and WW2. Illustrations: Y9 0-4-0ST No. 68114 (former G class No. 40) on Dundee Tay Bridge shed (George C. Bett); J88 being rretieved by crane from dock and Eastfield breakdown crane at Kirkcaldy (both Peter Westwater); wagons in harbour at Tayport having gone over top of coal chute in 1920; engraving of Burntisland to Granton train ferry terminal and photograph of gantry arrangements; photograph of Pont de Cé accident in 1907; aerial photograph of steam train on embankment crossing flooded fields; Stratford Works on Great Eastern Railway under water; Teignmouth staion under water and Derby lightweight paddling en route for Harrogate.
Chris Fox. The Paxman 'Warship'. 144-5.
The Davey Paxman YJ high speed diesel engine eventually became the Ventura and one was tested on a Warship class locomotive which had either been powered by Maybach or MAN engines. The locomotive was No. 830 Majestic which proved successful in service and led to it being used to replace the highly unsatifactory Type 2 North British Locomotive MAN engines employed on the Scottish Region and led to it being incorporated in the power units of the High Speed Trains. Illustrations ((both No. 830) at Crofton on up Plymouth express in extremely dark "green" livery with red backing to nameplate in September 1966 (P.M. Alexander) and in "short-lived" ultra dark blue with black backing to nameplate deprting Dawlish with northbound Devonian on 2 June 1962 (Norman J. Fox). See also letter from John Macnab on p. 253 on dire performance of North British Claa 21 and 29
Mike G. Fell and David J. Woolliscroft. The Knotty
and the First World War. 146-9
On 15 August 1922 Lord Anslow, Chairman of the North Staffordshire Railway unveiled the War Memorial which is a major feature on Stoke Station: a memorial arch with bronze plaques listing the War Dead. The Chairman had lost his son, Captain Nicholas Tonman, who had died from his battle injuries on 15 August 1915. The Authors of the article have also written a comprehensive account of WW1 on the NSR: Gone to War. Illustrations: Lord Anslow (portrait); Stoke station Platform 1 during WW1; War Memorial shortly after opening cermony on 15 August 1922; eventh hour of 11 November 2016 when NSR Study Group members Mark Smith drressed as WW1 soldier from the trenches and Nick Hill of Virgin Trains dressed as NSR staff member at Stoke Station (Mike G. Fell); grouph photograph of staff at Newcastle (under Lyme station with lady porter Mrs Lynch and station master William Holbrook and War Memorial plaques at Stoke Station with additional plaques with six additional names (colour).
Jeffrey Wells. Liverpool Street Station 1862-1935. 150 -7
Cites Robert Thorne's Liverpool Street Station. The original London terminus of the Eastern Counties Railway and other railways attempting to go east was at Bishopsgate which opened on 27 July 1846. A Bill was obtained in 1864 for the City Extension, but work failed to commence for a long time due to shortage of capital and financial mismanagement.The emergence of the East London Railway provided a significant spur and the appointment of a new Chairman, Lord Cranborne and Consulting Engineer, Edward Wilson assisted progress. the station fully opened in 1874. Cites The Engineer 11 June 1875. The station was located at considerable depth to enable a link with the Metropolitan Railway, but this never generated traffic commensurate with the difficulties presented by a 1 in 70 exit. There was a major extension on the eastern side in 1895. but prior to this the Great Eastern Hotel had opened. Following WW1 a marble War Memorial carved by Farmer & Brindley, stone masons was erected in the booking hall and was unveiled on 22 June 1922 by Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson and this was followed by a service conducted by the Bishop of Norwich. The event was followed by the grotesque assassination of the Field Marshall on his arrival home by Sinn Fein. Illustrations: frontage of Liverpool Street Station, Great Eastern Hotel and part of Broad Street station with horse-drawn cabs c1908; circulating area in front of west side suburban platforms; S69 4-6-0 No. 1504 with much gleaming metalwork on Continental Express boat train in 1912; view from footbridge on eastern side of 1895 extennsion; photographs of an express train to Cromer being prepared for departure: Liverpool Street is stilll a very grand terminus, but Cromer is no longer served by through trains yet still has a grandeur with its Royal Golf Course, Pier and magnificent Anglican Church.
Spencer Jackson. Whitmore Signal Box. 158 -9
Unofficial visits to the signal box from 1955. Signalman Jack Woodcock told him how a herd of cows had strayed onto the line too late for some of them not be hit, how the 17.50 from Stafford to Crewe would sometimes be signalled as a local passenger and sometimes (correctly as an express passenger). Problems were experienced when the Stableford was switched out and it sometimes became impossible to clear the signals at Whitmore for up trains. Communication with the drivers was difficult because of the several lines which needed to be crossed
Lincoln City at home. 160-4.
Colour photo-feature: NB almost the same colour photo-feature appeared in Volume 23 page 160 et seq minus unreadable captions and with a far better view of Lincoln Cathedral: Darlington-built J39 No. 64898 on local passenger train from Doncaster on 25 May 1957 (M. Longdon); B1 No. 61337 light engine on down through line; K3 class 2-6-0 on express heading towards Sleaford on Pelham Street level crossing in 1955; A1 No. 60148 Aboyeur on diverted express crossing River Witham on 1 September 1959; B16/2 No. 61437 on express with Gresley coach in carmine & cream on 2 August 1957; J69 No. 68501hunting in July 1960; O4/3 No. 68370 coming off Grimsby line onto Pelham Street crossing in October 1957 (M. Longdon); WD Austerity 2-8-0 No. 90384 on bridge over Witham wih Cathedral and grain warehouse behind in June 1960 (J.M. Bairstow); B17/6 No. 61645 The Suffolk Regiment having taken water prepares to go east (includes iconic Pelham Bridge under construction:(M. Longdon); O4/8 No. 63703 on eastbound coal train in October 1957 (M. Longdon); A4 No. 60022 Mallard on diverted down express in September 1957 (M. Longdon); K3 No. 61859 with southbound Joint Line express on 12 October 1958.
Mike Fenton. Byway of the 'Barra' . Part Two.
Previous Part see page 26. Alston branch includes period of rationalization prior to closure. Illustrations: Alston station interior on 29 March 1964 (colour: John Boyes); G5 0-4-4T No. 67241 leaving Lambley for Alson with passenger train with viaduct behind in 1952 (E.E. Ted Smith); Lambley station with snow and possible station master Henry Laing; Class 101 DMU at Featherstone Park; Alston station staf in 1906 with John Railton station master; permanent way gang at Lambley; BR Class 3 2-6-0 No. 77011 at Haltwhistle with Alson train on 14 November 1958 (Roy Denison); Alston station with German railbus inside in 1965 (W.S. Sellar); Coanwood station on 1 May 1976; Alston with six-car DMU on 11 May 1976. See also letters from John Shelley and from Brian George on page 254.
37 not out. Rodney Lissenden. 170-3
Colour photo-feature: Class 37 in a great variety of liveries: No. 37 038 in corporate Rail Blue with nine Mk 1 coaches in corporate British Rail livery on 09.23 Newcastle to Penzance leaving Taunton on 17 August 1985; No. 37 401 Mary Queen of Scots in Scotrail livery with West Highland logo passing Greenhill Junction with11.05 Glasgow Queen Street to Perth on 18 April 1986; No. 37 414 Cathays C&W Works 1846-1993 in Regional Railwwsays livery with matching Mk II coaches near Mostyn with 11.56 Holyhead to Crewe on 21 August 1995; Nos. 37 906 and 37 719 in Railfreight livery on Llanwern iron ore empties at Miskin near Llantrisant on 7 April 1989; Nos. 37 373 in nplain Railfreight grey livery with 37350 in "original" dark green livery at Miskin on 14.33 Micheldever to Waterston oil refinery on 7 April 1989; No. 37 407 Blackpool Tower in grey livery with Teansrail ownership hauling Regional Railways stock leaving Llandudno Junction with 11.31 Bangor to Crewe on 22 August 1995; Direct Rail Services No. 37 194 hailing Railtrack Stoneblower up Polhill bank en route from Ashford to Crewe on 31 August 2006; English, Welsh & Scottish red livery No. 37 114 City of Worcester at rear of weedkiller train at Batchworth on 5 May 2004 (NB gas lamps still in situ); Mainline blue livery No. 37 372 working a lunch special formed of Venice Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) Pullman cars near Otford Junction in Kent on 2 May 1997. Every couple of hours Norwich "train station" is treated (2018) to a seismic experience of two class 37 topping & tailing train consisting of just three coaches departing for Yarmoouth or Lowestoft but never Sheringham due to the tragic limitations of its Network Rail terminal.
John L. Flann. The Isle of Portland its stone and five railways.
High quality limestone: Portland stone is the key to a peninsula known as an island. In 1824 24000 tons of stone were being quarried and to assist this Portland Railway Company was established in 1825. The 4ft 6in gauge railway ran from Priory Corner down to quays at Castletown. There was a short level at the top followed by two self-acting inclines down to the shore. In 1865 the Weymouth & Portland Railway reached Portland and by 1874 work had started on the Admiralty Breakwater and Verne Fort. Portland Prison opened in 1848 and was notorious for its harsh conditions: the inmates worked as slaves in the quarries and on the breakwater and fort. Construction of the breakwater was assisted by a broad gauge railway initially worked by horse, but later by E.B. Wilson well tanks built in 1852. Charles Dickens described activities at Portland in Household words. : Illustrations: Burrell traction engine hauling blocks of stone on primitive trucks to railway at Priory Corner; Portland Railway upper plane with descending load; Melcombe Regis station not in "1900s" as locomotives (O2 Nos. 229 and 117) clearly in Southern livery thus post 1923; map; Melcombe Regis shortly after its opening in 1909 and girder bridge over the Backwater; Peckett WN 696 which had worked on the Admiralty Breakwater from 1898 until 1904 and from then saw service on the Fort Grosnez, Alderney, breakwater until falling off in 1911/12 and was salvaged; station staff at Portland on the post 1902 station; Easton station; East Weares with cliffs and warders hoses above and railway below; Rodwell station prior to 1907 enlargement; O2 No.189 with gated passenger stock in Southern Railway period at Melcombe Regis; Rodwell station with train c1908; O2 No. 213 drifting across East Meares with passenger train; No. 221 at Easton with gate stock.
Jeremy Clarke. Harry Wainwright's early South Eastern & Chatham Railway bogie carriages. 181-3
On the Tilbury Line. 184-7
Black & white photo-feature: cites R.J. Essery's London, Tilbury & Southend Railway and its locomotives (2001) 4-4-2T No. 8 Aveley with LT&SR square plate beneath chimney to indicate was bound for Fenchurch Street; 0-6-2T No. 69 Corringham with Gravesend destination board (a candidate for Nisbet article? more realistically destined for Tilbury Pier); Southend-on-Sea with No. 51 Tilbury Docks working bunker-fist to Fenchurch Street and No. 59 Holloway on St. Pancras train c1911; 0-6-0 No. 50 on freight passing Emerson Park & Great Nelmes on 8 April 1910; 4-4-2T No. 63 Mansion House arriving Upminster station with Southend train with permanent way men standing clear; ;
What not to do. Peter Hay. 188
Black & white photo-feature of enamel and cast iron notices: London, Brighton & South Coast trespass notice (enamel) at Goods Yard in Trafalgar Street, Brighton, photographed in 1952 (cast iron version shown in Volume 26 page 572, but at Newhaven; Cheshire Lines Committee trespass notice at Irlam station (cast iron) photographed in August 1953; Nortth Eastern Railway electrification notice (it is dangerous to touch the elevated rails at Monkseaton in August 1956 (cast iron); Shropshire Union Railway & Canal Co. cast iron notice on bridge over canal precluding transit by traction engine or other "extraordinary weight" extant in 1970s at Chirk see also recent Archive articles and South Eastern & Chatham Railway enamel notice warning drivers of steam or motor vehicles not to wander onto weighbridges unless they are of sufficient capacity; also prohibiting transits of turntables: notice exxtant in 1958.
Readers' Forum 189
Western waysides and Looks can be deceptive gremlinia.
The top photograph on p. 104 of the February issue is not Bugle but Roche, the next station on towards Newquay it says so on the sign! The LMS 2-6-0 on p. 105 will have been No.46510, not as stated. The bottom photograph on p, 101 of No.40150 at Thurso has the date and attribution of a similar but different photograph. The date should be 16h April 1960 and the photographer R. Patterson.
Lesser London. Stephen G. Abbott
The fire incidents on Cravens DMUs mentioned by Graham Smith (letter, January) were not entirely unexplained. Cravens built 50 two-car sets in 1959-60 in which each car was powered by the same 238hp Rolls- Royce engine as used in the St. Pancras-Bedford Derby-built four-car sets. This gave ample power to cope with the gradients in East Lancashire where they were first employed. The fuel tank was saddle-shaped forming a tunnel through which the card an shaft passed between the transmission and final drive. Shearing of a card an shaft led to a punctured fuel tank, fire and explosion on a unit in Sough Tunnel near Darwen in October 1967. The passengers escaped, with some needing hospital treatment for smoke inhalation, but the unit was destr
oyed. Members of the class went to Cricklewood from 1962. On 12 June 1968 the 07.40 Bedford-St. Pancras was formed of a four-car unit plus two two-car Cravens. At 5andridge, between Harpenden and St. Albans, while travelling at 6Smph the gearbox in the seventh vehicle seized owing to lack of lubrication and the cardan shaft broke free, allowing it to flail and puncture the fuel tank. There was again fire and explosion. Sadly, two passengers who jumped out before the train had come to a stand lost their lives and ten were injured.
In his report on the accident the Inspecting Officer Lt.-Col. McNaughton criticised the design of the fuel tank, seeing no reason why it could not be replaced by a simple tank near the non-driven bogie. The class was withdrawn from services to St. Pancras and Moorgate from August 1968, but a few continued to operate on the Kentish Town-Barking line. Units remaining in service received relocated fuel tanks, but the entire class was withdrawn by November 1969 after a life of no more thanten years. Incidentally, length as much as width prevented high-density DMUs from using the Hotel Curve under St. Pancras, until those replacing the Cravens were cleared subject to operating restrictions.
Change at Verney Junction. Gerald Goodall,
Until the 1930s not only could one go to Baker Street (and through to the City) on the 'Met', but one could make some use of the Met's Pullman cars. The Met trains would have gone to Edgware Road under an abortive Metropolitan Railway scheme of the 1920s for a new relief line in from Kilburn. An artefact of this that remained until fairly recently was a set of large train indicators on the platforms at Edgware Road It is said that these could display stations right out to Verney Junction, though in practice they had to confine themselves to less esoteric destinations such as Hammersmith. I wonder if anyone ever turned the whole indicator on, just for fun.
Worthy of note as an addition to the article's Postscript section is the operation of 'Christmas shopping' specials to Milton Keynes from Marylebone on several autumn Saturdays each year around the late 1980s. Sponsored by Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Corporations, the train left Marylebone at about 08.20, in some years as a special and in others as an extension of a regular suburban service, via High Wycombe, Aylesbury, the Calvert spur and the Bletchley flyover; return from Milton Keynes was at about 16.15. Diesel multiple units of Classes 115 and 108 were used. They did not stop at Verney Junction, but they did stop at long-closed Winslow (and at Quainton Road) where stewards carefully helped people on to the train. The stewards also served tea and coffee from large thermos flasks. I travelled on these trains on 12 November 1988 and 3 November 1990 (they also ran in some other years). There was a delightful 'party' atmosphere, with all sorts of family groups going for an unusual day out, as well of course as serious railway enthusiasts making the most of the opportunity. If the East & West proposals come to fruition and let us all earnestly hope that they do Winslow is likely to reopen and should also get a regular all-day Chiltern Railways service between Marylebone and Milton Keynes. But as Jarvis indicates, Verney Junction itself will surely remain a place where the ghosts rest. by email
Byway of the 'Barra'. Philip A.
Re photograph on p30, the cast iron letter 'A affixed to the coach sole bar stands for Automatic and indicates the position of the automatic vacuum brake release cord. The six-pointed star next to it indicates the location of the release cord for the Westinghouse brake this coach is therefore dual fitted as were many LNER vehicles at that time. On six-wheeled stock the two symbols were normally close together, as the space for the respective brake cylinders was restricted. On bogie stock the two symbols were normally further apart the release cords for the automatic vacuum brake cylinders were close to the bogies, while the single Westinghouse cylinder was in the centre of the coach. Another symbol often found on coach solebars is the letter 'S', which indicates the position of the steam heating water trap.
Les Beet - extracts from a steam locomotive
driver's life. Roger A. Smith
As a native of Nottingham who spent eighteen years of his career with BR in that city, he enjoyed the article by Bruce Laws on the life of Les Beet. However, there are errors in the text.
Firstly, he implies that all the intermediate stations between Grantham and Nottingham were built to an island configuration, but none of the original stations was built that away, all being to a side-platform layout. The only station with an island platform on the original route was Colwick which was not opened until 1878, was renamed Netherfield & Colwick in 1883, became plain Netherfield from 1974 and is still open. London Road High Level was built as an island platform station, but was not opened until 1899 when the GNR constructed its line to Weekday Cross Junction in order to gain access to Nottingham Victoria.
Secondly, after having secured access to the new Nottingham Victoria station, Laws refers to the GNR removing the connection to the Midland's station at Weekday Cross. There never was a connection between these two railways at this location, it being solely a GNR/GCR junction. After the GNR had constructed its own independent route into Nottingham and its London Road (later Low Level) station in 1857, the connection to the Midland was effected through exchange sidings that existed between the south side of the GNR's London Road Low Level Yard and the Midland's Nottingham-Lincoln Line.
Lastly, at Bottesford the line crossed by the Grantham-Nottingham line was not solely in LNWR ownership but was actually part of the GNR/ LNWR Joint Line. Barely a quarter mile north of the intersection bridge, at Bottesford North Junction, joint ownership came to an end and the GNR assumed full ownership of the line onwards to Newark on Trent.
Life, death and other matters. John C.
Surprised to read on p. 61 that in 1870 90% of the population of the United Kingdom "lived in abject poverty". Some modern historians may see the nineteenth century in these terms, but having spent a lot of time in the records of this period he is tolerably certain that few of the 90% would have seen themselves in this light. Underpaid and overworked possibly but that is a very different thing from abject poverty.
An Edwardian locomotive quadrille. Mike
Re the Midland engines that were mentioned. First the five Johnson Compounds did not carry three Ramsbottom valves, indeed I have some difficulty visualising how a centrally loaded beam could be applied to more than a pair, the GA drawing shows the usual Ramsbottom pair of 31/8in valves set to the working pressure of 195psi and in front of them a separate 2¾in lock-up valve set to 5psi higher, a kind of Derby 'belt & braces'. These engines were indeed Smith Compounds but although it was mentioned that a total of 250 engines was said to be ascribed to Waiter Smith, this was not a generally accepted view, being far too many. Although the compound 4-4-0s of the Midland and LMS numbered 240 only five were 'Smith Compounds' and they had short lives in that form, soon being converted to the Deeley system with his double action regulator. Deeley made this clear in a rather terse letter to the Railway Magazine around 1906 in which he sought to correct its well-known contributor Rous-Marten who had referred to the current MR locomotives as Smith Compounds. Deeley wrote "There are no 'Smith' compounds on the Midland Railway. They have all been altered. The Smith reducing valve arrangements frequently failed ... " He clearly regarded Smith's contribution to have been the 'Reinforcing Valve' on the right-hand side of the smokebox used for supplementing the receiver with boiler steam for starting and semi-compound working, presumably this was the subject of Smith's patent and by employing other means the Midland and its successor circumvented a £30 royalty on each of the later 235 engines. Conversely the four GCR 4-4-2 compounds ran as full Smith Compounds right through to the end of the LNER.
Finally I come to the valve gear used on the 999 Class 4-4-0s built for comparison with the Compounds. It was stated that Deeley's patent valve gear was employed and that it used an eccentric together with a drive from the opposite cross head. The advantage of such an arrangement is not easy to understand as normal Walshaerts gear uses this same combination of drives (but using the cross head on the same side). In 1906 Deeley was granted Patent No.l6372 for what was a Walschaerts type inside gear without an eccentric in which the expansion links were rocked from the opposite crossheads. Additionally the combination levers were located further back to connect with the die blocks, it seems to be an awkward arrangement and I do not believe that it was ever used in practice. The gear on the then new 999 Class is described in an article in The Engineer of 20 September 1907 being shown as a form of Sievert gear, similar to Walschaerts but using a drive from the opposite crosshead to rock the expansion links instead of an eccentric. The problem of interference between the cross links was simplified by placing the expansion links so as not to be alongside each other. Effectively each side of the engine has slightly different gear but with a very small full gear travel of only 43/16in it was acceptable. GWR No.40 had appeared shortly before and used a clever design of crossed levers (nicknamed 'scissors') with a normal layout of expansion links in line giving a massive 67/16in travel. Nevertheless it provoked Mr. D into writing another unfriendly letter, this time to the GWR and referring to his patent. Given the differences between the arrangements I think he was pushing his luck but Swindon did not extend the idea to any other engine, probably due to the complications of setting valves.
The curious Incident of Manning Wardle's
Class N. Darryl Grant,
Re October issue) details of the fates of the two Manning Wardle Class N locomotives. maker's numbers 481 of 1874 and 739 of1879, which were exported to New South Wales. Both went to the Waratah Coal Company's colliery near Newcastle, NSW, and both worked until about 1926. The fact that a second locomotive was ordered five years after the first suggests that the performance of the first locomotive must have been reasonably satisfactory.
Both locomotives were imported by the Sydney firm of Thomas Mort & Company, acting as agents for the coal company. The Wm. Mort referred to in Table 1 was probably Thomas Mort's brother William, who would have been acting as Thomas's representative in England.
Tackling the gradient. lan Smith
Adhesion was only part of the problem Blenkinsop faced. His main consideration was weight, not adhesion per se. He could have had a locomotive constructed large enough to haul his commercial load of wagons, but the early cast iron rails were too brittle to allow a relatively heavy locomotive to run without the rails breaking. This was the issue with Trevithick's Pen-y-Darren locomotive. The locomotive Catch me who can was a successful machine, but being lightweight, could not haul a commercially viable load. What Blenkinsop did was devise a means by which a lightweight locomotive could haul a commercial load, something which the Middleton locomotives managed to do for almost 30 years.
These engines were quite advanced for their day, being capable of modification between batches, Middleton, Kenton & Coxlodge and Orrell Colliery all being different gauges they would probably be described as a 'modular' design in today's world.
In Macnair's references, his note 1 says that "For some reason, Charles Lee believed there was only one cogged wheel". The reason for this belief was that there was only ever one cog wheel on the Blenkinsop locomotives.
The illustration in the article, although ascribed to Dendy Marshall, originated in The Engineer magazine (29 April 1910). It based it on an engraving which accompanied a report in the Bulletin de la Societé d'encouragemem pour i'industrie nationale published April 1815, written by M. Andrieux (a 'clever mechanic'). Andrieux described and illustrated a locomotive with two rack wheels and this is the only original reference to such an arrangement. He perhaps may have acquired and used an early 'concept drawing', which had changed when the first Middleton locomotive actually was built.
The Engineer article unfortunately repeated a number of The Bulletin's errors. Dendy Marshall. however, in his 1953 book, points out several inaccuracies in the Bulletin drawing and text, including the second rack wheel.
Blenkinsop's own letter and "handout illustration", published in The Monthly Magazine in June 1814, describe and show the locmotive with only one rack wheel and there were a great many other illustrations of it published during the nineteenth century, all showing a locomotive with only one rack wheel. In his 1814 letter, Blenkinsop specifically mentions "a cogged wheel, acting in teeth cast on one side of the rail-road itself, or a separate rack". Also, the famous 1825 watercolours by William Strickland clearly show the rack rails being on one side only of the track.
This leaves the infamous 'Blenkinsop wheels' display, currently in the National Railway Museum, which clearly have rack on both sides. As an article in the LNER Magazine of 1929 says these appear to have been cast by the Tyne Iron Works as display items. We can only speculate, but it would seem reasonable to assume that a single cog wheel standing on a rail would soon have fallen over, so the Iron Works prudently cast a pair of cog wheels linked by an axle, in order to keep their display stable. Certainly the working locomotives only ever had one cog wheel. It should not be too difficult to imagine what would happen the first time that a locomotive with a cog wheel on both sides encountered a bend in the track! Author: Vice President, Middleton Railway Trust Ltd.
Auto suggestions. David
Re Eric Stuart's thorough coverage of steam push-pull operations a service which wasn't mentioned was the one running between Manchester Oxford Road and Liverpool Lime Street via Lymm, Warrington Bank Quay (Low Level) and Widnes. This truly 'inter-City' pull and push service was operated in its latter days with Class 2 tank locomotives pushing three carriages from Manchester to Liverpool and pulling them back.
On one occasion I was looking into the driver's compartment at Oxford Road (always Platform 6 for that train) when the driver invited me to join him. I was only thirteen at the time and hadn't intended to ride on the train at all, but how could I resist? On the way I was allowed to operate the vacuum hooter (the windscreen wiper was no doubt vacuum-operated as well, as were many on cars at the time) and on the approach to Timperley the driver let me operate the vacuum brake to bring the train smoothly to a standstill at the station under his instruction. The fireman on the locomotive did everything else during the journey. Unfortunately I had to leave the train there and go back home. How wonderful it would have been to continue that cab ride through Dunham and Thelwall to Warrington or Liverpool but there were no mobile phones in those days, and we had no phone at home, so I couldn't possibly 'go missing', not even for a couple of hours.
Auto suggestions. Andrew Kleissner
Re modern' variants of push-pull? To a casual observer, a REP/TC combination on the Bournemouth line looked like any other EMU. However, there were insufficient 4-REPs to maintain the full service in the early days after electrification, so some trains were formed of 4-TC units, propelled in the down direction by a Class 74 electro-diesel. These were much more obviously 'push-pull'. Such workings presumably ceased after 1974 when extra 4-REPS were built still MkI coaches, nearly into the MkIII era! (Class 74s were also used on the Channel Islands boat trains, but these were formed of normal coaching stock and hauled in both directions.)
My other comment concerns the West Coast Main Line where, by the late 1980s, fixed-formation push-pull operation was the norm, with the locomotive at the north end of the train. This produced a curious sight in the case of southbound Motorail services as the car-carrying vehicles were attached behind the locomotive, leaving it 'stranded' in the middle!
The West Coast Main Line Electrification.
In his letter regarding the West Coast Main Line Electrification in the January issue Stephen Abbott refers to the rebuilding and rapid closure of Castlethorpe station. This prompts me to recall the incident when the down Irish Mail no less was obliged to call there on 14 September 1964, a week after closure. At the time I was still living at home in Northampton. With a friend we had gone out to Swindon shed and Works for the day via Bletchley, Oxford and Didcot (and incidentally got some excellent photographs). Our return DMU from Oxford was running quite late into Bletchley so we hared over the footbridge to catch our waiting Northampton connection and dived into the nearest compartment. By chance this was occupied by three railwaymen going home off shift. We were bowling along quite rapidly on the down slow after the Wolverton stop when suddenly there was a loud clunk and thump and we came to a rapid stop. "Has old Fred forgotten Castlethorpe has now closed silly b****r?" was the immediate comment from one driver. Howeve, on looking out of the window it was clear something was seriously amiss. It appeared that a substantial piece of valve gear had dropped off the locomotive, fortunately into the six-foot rather than under the wheels, which could have been nasty. We were stuck in the empty countryside.
In due course the following train fast containers if I remember correctly was brought carefully up behind us and proceeded to push us gingerly into Castlethorpe station. We were now required to abandon our train and cross over to the down fast platform to await 'a train'. Meanwhile the cavalcade of failed locomotive, five carriages and full length fast freight train lumbered slowly off into the gathering dusk, leaving us alone on a closed station; we subsequently passed it plodding along. In the fullness of time an express did appear the down Irish Mail and fortunately stopped to collect us (I think it may just have beenJim and myself by then). Equally fortunately it was diverted via the Northampton Loop and much to passengers' surprise stopped at Northampton to set us down. An interesting end, considerably later than intended, to an excellent day.
Book Reviews 190
Getting the train: The history of Scottish Railways. David Ross.
Stenlake. Softback, 116pp, 62 b&w photographs, 6 maps, NTS ****
This is an ambitious publication which aims to cover Scotland's railways from 1812 to the present day. Its author, David Ross, has written comprehensive histories of the five Scottish pre-grouping companies. In contrast, this is a slim volume which also continues the story of Scottish railways from 1923. Nevertheless, the book covers all the main developments during two centuries, as well as focusing on some of the key personalities involved
By writing about all the five Scottish companies (and the LMS and LNER after 1923) the author can point out the similarities and differences in their policies. This is particularly the case when he details their activities at locations in Scotland served by more than one railway, such as Glasgow. The book looks at the factors which influenced the history of Scotland's network. One of these, which is underlined in the book, is the role of Government, starting with the watering down of Gladstone's Railway Act in the 1840s. In contrast, David Ross writes of the grouping, nationalisation and privatisation as "upheavals, each followed by years of putting things together again". In the 21st century the Scottish government controls and finances the nation's railways and has adopted a more positive approach than its Westminster counterpart. This is shown by the reopening of lines closed in the 1950s and1960s and the programme of electrification. Particularly useful are the six maps showing the Scottish railway system from 1850 to 2016. These enhance an excellent summary of the history of the nation's railways which provides some new in sights on aspects of their development. The book can be recommended to anyone with even the slightest interest in the subject.
The Coniston Railway. Robert Western. Oakwood Press, Softback,
96pp. DJ ***
The Coniston Railway would rightly stand high in any league table of the most attractive branch lines ever constructed. Penetrating deep into the Lake District, its surroundings were magnificent. Conceived to serve the Coniston copper mines, it soon became dependent on tourist traffic with passengers arriving at a delightful terminus with overall roof and well-tended gardens. Unfortunately it was sited well above Coniston Water and remote from the West Coast Main Line. It was the first of the Lake District branches to close in 1958, although remarkably a twice-weekly through service from Blackpool for holidaymakers desperate for a change survived to the bitter end
This useful book is a revision correcting some of the errors that crept into the first edition of 2007. It covers the line chronologically from its inception as an independent company through its years as part of the Furness Railway to its gradual decline in British Railways days. Branch train services are well covered, as are the Coniston Water steamers - the famous Gondola and Lady of the Lake. Photographs include two rare views of the AEC railcars that had unsuccessful trials on the branch in 1954, although one of them was taken at Woodend and not Foxfield as stated. Reproductions of 25-inch Ordnance Survey maps of all stations on the line will be welcomed by modellers.
Nottinghamshire's lost railways. Neil Burgess. Stenlake Publishing
Ltd., 80pp, paperback, CPA ****
Prior to 1923 the county of Nottinghamshire was primarily served by three railway companies, the ubiquitous Midland, the Great Northern and the Great Central. For several miles north-north west of the city of Nottingham itself these three ran in parallel with each other, sometimes criss-crossing en route. The London & North Western Railway also gained access to the city via the Great Northern, while further north the Great Eastern also made a token incursion within the county's boundary via the joint line that it shared with the GNR.
The county was also traversed by the last two major British railway building projects of the late nineteenth century, south of Annesley by the Great Central London Extension, and east-west by the only (Chesterfield-Lincoln) central portion actually built of the grandiose Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway, which was also absorbed by the GCR in 1907 after only eleven years of independent operation. This book is very well illustrated and as with so many publications of this genre it brings home the dramatic changes to the railway network that took place during the mid-twentieth century. While some lines, such as the LDECR reached 'neither Lancashire nor East Coast' as the late George Dow so succinctly put it, there were also others that were overtaken by events. Thus the Nottingham Suburban Railway, worked by the GNR, soon fell victim to the new electric street tramways. Opening in December 1889, it closed all its intermediate stations initially as a wartime measure only 26 years later in July 1916, never to reopen them. The book contains numerous photographs of small rural stations, including that of Sedgebrook on the Nottingham-Grantham line, with all eight members of its staff smartly standing to attention. East Leake, with its central island platform on the GC line, still looked remarkably spic and span as late as 1960. At the other extreme are several photographs of the literally cavernous Nottingham Victoria station, where even as late as 1964, only three years before its closure and ensuing almost total demolition, it was still possible to see steam locomotives not only of the former LNER and LMS, but also even of the GWR! Highly recommended.
On the way home from Blackpool. M.H. Yardley. rear cover
Jubilee 4-6-0 No. 45627 Sierra Leone leaving Poulton-le-Fylde on 19.00 Blackpool North to Liverpool Exchange on 2 September 1966.
April (Number 323)
GWR '15XX' 0-6-0PT No.1503 has just brought a train of empty stock into Paddington station on 17th August 1963. '94XX' No.9477 has done the same, as has '61XX' 2-6-2 No.6123. Trevor Owen
Cross-match, group and save... Michael Blakemore. 195
The Grouping of 1923 is still capable of producing controversy. The Editotial is largely a plug for a new book by Sandy Mullay which KPJ would like to review or purchase, but in the meantime KPJ considers that the concept of merging two of the largest railways was absurd and that the only really successful company was the Southern which achieved much (and should have been the model for a post-nationalized world).. Scotland has faired better and should perhaps been left mainly alone in 1923 and the residual companies forced to forge alliances with the midland, north western and north eastern dominated combines. Recent developments show that the Great Central failed to be appreciated for its basis as the foundation for a British LGV and Essex remains absurdly short of alternative routes which largely remain on the Southern (altough even here there were absurd closures which limit access to the cities of Brighton and Southampton
The '15XX' pannier tanks. 196-8.
Colour photo-feature: No. 1500 inside Paddington station on 7 April 1963; No. 1507 in front of coaling stage at Old Oak Common on 12 April 1960 (R.C. Riley); No. 1505 with full mixed traffic lining at Old Oak Common on 27 August 1961 (Trevor Owen); No. 1503 passing under Bishop's Road Bridge with empty stock on 17 August 1963 (Trevor Owen); No. 1500 with chocolate & cream empty stock entering Paddington passing goods station; No. 1509 passing through Newport High Street station in August 1958 (A. Sainty); No. 1503 with empty stock approaching Westbourne Bridge on 20 June 1959 (R.C. Riley); No. 1509 painted red and in National Coal Board ownership at Coventry Colliery on 30 April 1963 (R.C. Riley).
Malcolm Timperley. The Wick & Lybster Light Railway 199-205.
Financed by the Duke of Portland and the Treasury and far from assisted by the Highland Railway the line was opened on 1 July 1903. William Roberts of the Highland was the Engineer. The contractor was William Kennedy Ltd. of Partick. The inaugural train was hauled by 0-4-4T No. 53 which had been renamed Lybster and the train, mainly formed of aged four-wheelers, included the vastly superior Highland Railway Directors' bogie saloon. Appears to be very thoroughly researched down to a very obscure incident in 1932 when a paasenger on a Land of the Never Night excursion to Wick risked taking the train to Lybster, but the locomotive failed en route and the passenger had to return to Wick by bus. Passengers were few in number and services ceased in 1944, but freight by road lasted until 1951. There was a fatal accident during the demolition process. The station building is now the golf club house. Illustrations: inaugural train at Lybster; map; 0-4-4T No. 53 Lybster outside its timber engine shed; Junction at Wick with train containing contractor's equipment including dismanted locomotive alongside; Wick station with extra platform for branch and 4-4-0 No. 124 Loch Laggan with train for Inverness;; track south of Ulbster; Lybster station looking north with mixed train awaiting departure; plan of Lybster terminus; Yankee 4-4-0|T with LMS bogie brake composite; Welsh's Crossing halt; Lybster staion; 0-4-4T No. 15053 alonside water tank at Lybster and engine shed showing signs of collapse.
Billl Taylor. Engine problems on the Lancashire, Derbyshire
& East Coast Railway. 206-11.
Harry Willmott was the energetic General Manager, but the motive power was a source of problems. Hard water, and the failure to treat it initially was the prime problem. The lack of sufficient maintenance facilities was a major factor, as was the high turnover of locomotive superintendents: Charles Thomas Broxup, T.B. Grierson, W. Greenhalgh, James Connor (KPJ may have been Conner), J.W. Dow and Robert Absolom Thom. A water softening plant and a strict boiler washing out regime was instigated and most of the problems were resolved. Illustrations: Class A 0-6-2T No. 24; Tuxford locomotive works in 1937 viewed from water tank; Class B 0-6-0T as LNER No. 6408 in Wrexham shad in 1935 (Cooling Turner), plan of The Plant (shows proximity to Doncaster!); Class C 0-4-4T No. 18 at Lincoln in c1905; Class D 0-6-4T No. 1150 under repair inside Tuxford Works; Class A 0-6-2T No. 7 aas rebuilt with Belpaire boiler at Tuxford; Tuxford Works in 1947 when being used as wagon repair shops; Class D (LNER Class M1) No. 6152 at Tuxford on 25 May 1931 and No. 6153 at Tuxford shed in August 1938 (colour).
Alistair Nisbet. Smoking on the Railway. 212-18
It now seems difficult to believe that tobacco smoking was permitted even on the deep level London Underground tubes, and the difference between the ceilings of the smoking cars (a dark orange) and the non-smoking cars should have been enough to convince stupid young men (like KPJ) to give up an expensive addiction immediately. Equally advertising tobacco products was a major feature of railway stations and even in some rollimg stock. In the early days of railways smoking was not tolerated anywhere, but gradually rules were changed and it became the norm for smoking to be permitted except where specifically precluded as in non-smoking compartments or vehicles. Staff were expected not to smoke whilst on duty, but it was common to see top link drivers with fags in their mouths. The text is based on newspaper reports of court cases involving smokers, and letters demanding more or less smoking accommodation. G.H. Baxter was an LNER shareholder and waas a too frequent complainant about train services from Hull, especially those provided by steam railcars: he would have loved Pacers. Many of the illustrrations are Victorian cartoons, but some are signage including etched glass and labels affixed to doors or windows.
Blink Bonny goes to London. David Idle. 219
Colour photo-feature: A3 No. 60051 Blink Bonny about to depart Leeds City and on arrival at King's Cross on Locomotive Club of Great Britain special on 6 June 1964.
Eric Bruton's 'Black Fives'. 220-3.
Black & white photo-feature: highly polished No. 45104 on excursion from Knottingley to London in Sundon cutting carrying Featherstone Rovers' supporters to the Rugby League Cup Final at Wembley on 19 April 1952; No. 45123 hauling freight off Far North line round Rose Street curve at Inverness on 20 June 1951; No. 45025 on tranfer freight of coal empties off Southern Region passing Kensington Olympia on 6 October 1951; No. 44829 entering Birmingham New Street wwith a Sunday excursion to Alton Towers from Wojverhampton on 13 September 1953; No. 4986 with self weighing tender at Napsbury with up Midland route express on 12 March 1948; No. 45483 leaving Fort William on express for Glasgow on 19 June 1951; No. 45172 on up West Coast Postal leaving Stirling on 23 June 1951; No. 45488 leaving The Mound Tunnel on Edinburgh to Perth express on 9 June 1951; No. 45332 working tender-first approaching Oxenholme with a single coach officers' special from Tebay on 4 June 1952.
A West Riding portfolio. David Rodgers. 224-7.
Colour photo-feature: Stanier Class 4 2-6-4T No. 42664 entering Huddersfield with 09.06 Bradford Exchange to Poole service on 20 August 1966; Fairbairn 2-6-4T No. 45073 on 1 in 50 climbt from Bradford Exchange with 09.06 to Poole on 8 July 1967; Jubilee No. 45593 Kolhapur with 20.01 Leeds to Heysham parcels train at Hurstwood, near Saltaire on 1 August 1967; Caprotti Class 5 No. 73141 leaving Bradford Exchange for Bridlington on 1 July 1967; Jubilee class Nos. 45562 Alberta and 45697 Achilles inside Holbeck roundhuses on 25 June 1967; Class 5 No. 44896 entering Standedge old sigle line tunnel with train for Blackpool on 30 May 1966 photographed from train; Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42283 on 1 iun 50 exit from Bradford with TC for King's Cross on 23 July 1967; WD No. 90605 passing Shipley with a freight towards Leeds on 31 August 1966; Jubilee No. 45581 Bihar and Orissa outside Farnley Junction shed on 9 JJuly 1966; B1 No. 61306 with empty stock from Low Moor carriage sidings descending in 50 on 8 July 1967;
Edward Gibbins. Railway Nationalisation. 228-33.
It is claimed that railway valuation for privatisation in the 1990s proves that the 1948 nationalisation terms were generous During privatisation debates, Opposition Members of Parliament claimed/ that privately owned railways were pleading after World War II for a state takeover, a claim which has been recently been reiterated. Railway companies and their 1.25 million stockholders vehemently opposed takeover.
Government registered a nationalisation marker with the Construction of Future Railways Act, 1844, empowering it to purchase any company at a cost of 25 years' profits based on an average of the preceding three years. The Act kept averages low by empowering the Treasury to revise tolls to limit profits to 10%. Unlike the French, German and Belgian governments, the British had no masterplan to determine routes, with route selection being left to companies. Objections to routes which might be beneficial increased legal and land costs, making UK railways costlier per mile than foreign systems.
In 1871 Government enacted powers to sequestrate railways during a war and did so in 1914, having not put one penny into railways, undertaking only to maintain profits at 1913 levels. Operations were left in professional hands. Government profited hugely and, after the war, left railways in a run-down state. Government froze railway charges during the war and had all war materials and personnel carried free. In contrast, industry, shipping and road transport were uncontrolled. Railway costs were increased by industrial inflation, leaving receipts well behind. In 1919, to resolve losses it had caused, Government set up an inquiry to decide fares and charges. It limited future railway profits to 1913 levels, regardless of inflation further limiting potential nationalisation costs. In 1919 Winston Churchill told the Dundee Chamber that the railways should provide free services to encourage industry. The owners of the antiquated private owners wagons were richly rewarded for their rubbish, probably because some were ownded by local authorities and the Co-op (always a socialist cash cow). The railways paid and asssited road traffic to capture traffic. Sir Cyril Hurcomb, a retired civil servant, was the chairman of the British Transport Commission, and was inherently anti-rail. See also letter by same Author. Illustrations: Jubilee class No. 5614 Leeward Islands departing on 23.50 from St. Pancras which would pass from LMS to British Railways; Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 No. M3005 with BRITISH RAILWAYS on the tender at Bletchley station; posed photograph of Black Five No, 5762 being painted in the highly attractive malachite green; A3 No. 60059 Tracery with tender lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS on turntable at King's Cross shed on 15 February 1949; Lord Nelson No. 854 Howard of Effingham with tender lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS passing Brookwood in October 1948; WD 2-8-0 No. 90659 near Marshmoor on East Coast main line on 15 April 950 (Eric Bruton); Sir Eustace Missenden (portrait); Lord Hurcomb (portrait); No. 1010 County of Carnarvon entrring Teignmouth station on 13.30 Penzance to Paddington (Eric Bruton).
Geoffrey Skelsey. 'New life for old lines': the conversion of railways
into tramways. 234-41.
Former main line railways into rapid transit systems, as in the Newcastle Metro and Docklands Light Railway and into extensions of street tramways as in Manchester, Nottingham and Croydon. Further from home the similar developments in Boston (USA), Adelaide (Australia) and Dublin are mentioned. KPJ is tempted to indulge in Trans-Pennine thoughts (Sheffield to Manchester using the Woodhead Tunnel, for instance: Shefffield Joint Omnibus Committee used to terminate outside Manchester Exchange Station). Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin get mentioned, but remain unillustrated. Edinburgh has tram/train interchange stations worthy of Amsterdam. Illustrations: Swansea & Mumbles railway trams working in multiple at Southend in 1960; PCC tram on Mattapan to Boston Red Line at Ashmont (colour); Adelaide to Glenelg trams working in multiple; Tyne & Wear Metro unit at Fawdion on Ponteland branch in 1981; Manchester Victoria with tram for Bury (Author: colour); 2-EPB built for Newcastle to South Shields serviices at Waddon Marsh crossing with a Croydon to Wimbledon service in March 1965 (G.S. Cocks: colour); Island Gardens (North Greenwich) station on Docklands Light Railway in 1987(Author: colour); Bury Bolton Street station with Bury electric 1200V dc unit built in 1916 (R.S. Greenhalgh: colour); Elmers End with Croydon tram in May 2000 (Author: colour); Midland Metro tram at Jewellery Quarter stop on former GWR route inn July 1999 (Author: colour); Wednesbury Central in 1964 (Robert Darlazston: b&w); former southern terminus of NET on Great Central viaduct (Author: b&w); map of Nottingham railways; Bulwell station with NET tram and Class 170 in Central Trains livery in 2005 (Author: colour).
David Thrower. Southern gone West: Plymouth and its branches. Part
Four. Plymouth in Wartime. 242-50
Plymouth was a major strategic targer for German bombing raids which started in 1940 and went on until 1944 and were most severe in 1941 when the civilian population made a nightly exodus to the surrounding countryside to some extent the local railways were involved with these fleeing families. On 27 November 1940 the Admiralty fuel storage tanks on Hooe Lake near Turnchapel wee set ablaze. Devonport King's Road was virtually destroyed. The Southern and Great Western shared each other's routes if one of them was blocked and measures were in place to ensure that train crews remained familiar with the two routes between Exeter and Plymouth a wise precaution in view of the tidal prone Dawlish route. Until the 1960s thewre was considerable freight traffic to and from Plymouith. Illustrations: photographs by H.C. Casserley unless stated otherwise: M7 0-4-4T No. 24 with 16.05 Plymouth Friary to Tavistock at Pymouth North Road in 1945; Devonport King's Road with work on replacement canopies partially complete; M7 No. 35 at Devonport King's Road with13.22 Friary to Tavistock; T9 4-4-0 No. 116 in original condition and LSWR livery on Friary engine shed on 15 August 1923; B4 0-4-0T No. 100 and T1 0-4-4T No. 75, both still in LSWR livery outside Friary engine shed on 13 June 1926; T9 No. 712 ion turntable at Friary on 16 July 1924; K14 0-4-0T No. 82 (but classification not used after 1912, but B4 instead) shunting at Friary on 14 June 1926; O2 No. 221 (still lettered LSWR) and ex-Plymouth Devonport & South Western Junction No. 757 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe both raised to drop wheelsets alongside Friary shed; O2 No. E198 at Friary c1925 (P.F. Cooke); B4 No. 103 with Highland Railway? four pllank open wagon on coaling stage at Friary on 2 June 1922; two T9 class (No. E717 leading) both with capuchon chimneys on heavy up corridor train including Maunsell vehicles near friary c1930 ((C.R. Gordon Stuart); ex-PD&SWJR 0-6-2T No. E758 Lord St. Leven, stilll lettered LSWR, underneath sheerlegs (Reginald S. Clark); and T9 No. E732 on a stopping service formed of LSWR stock c1930 near Lucas Terrace Halt (C.R. Gordon Stuart)
Bob Essery. Colliery lines at Swadlincote. 251
Three photographs taken by the Midland Railway photographer in 1906 of coal loading facilities and sidings at a pit owned by Halls Collieries Ltd.: the points and track are primitive
Halt here. Trevor Owen. 252
Colour photo-feature: Thorney and Kingsbury Halt (Southern Region sign) on soon (30 May 1964) to be closed Yeovil to Taunton line; Whitehall Halt on closed to passenger traffic Hemyock branch in summer of 1963
Readers' Forum 253
The Birmingham West Suburban Railway. Edward 'Ted'
Letter writer was born in King's Norton and lived there for about twenty years. In 1935 he started at King Edward's School which was then in New Street, Birmingham very close to the station so travelled daily on a season ticket from King's Norton station. The morning train was the 08.28. Because the school had no catering facilities we had a two-hour lunch break and went home for his midday meal. This involved four train journeys every day. The choice of which route he was on was determined by the timetable so that he could use the most convenient services between King's Norton and New Street. In the morning inwards and return on the Birmingham West Suburban Railway, via Selly Oak. In the afternoon on the old Birmingham and Gloucester line via Camp Hill.
All this railway travel started his general interest in railway matters, particularly locomotives. The suburban services were mainly hauled by Fowler and Stanier 2-6-4Ts. Many LMS types were to be seen passing through King's Norton station and many more at New Street.
The map with the article was helpful after all these years he can understand the layout of lines near the 'Lifford Curve' and the 'Canal Branch'. It was good to learn about the resuscitation of the services today. May the improvements continue.
Incidentally, in 1940 [3 December (online)] a German bomb missed Bournville station but landed nearby in the bed of the canal where it crosses Bournville Lane, causing a large hole. Most of the water in the fourteen-mile [possibly less (online)] ran out, causing a serious flood in Cadbury's factory.
Shores of the Utmost West. Mark
The picture of the sea wall at Dawlish evoked memories of holidays in the far west: lV34 hauled by No. 1025 Western Guardsman was the 07.45 Kensington Olympia- St. Austell Motorail, so its inter-Regional status referred only to the short section from Olympia (then on the LMR) to North Pole Junction, where it joined the WR main line. We travelled on this train several times heading for family holidays in Cornwall; with seven Mk1 coaches and eleven 'Carflats' the Class 52 had to work hard over the Devon banks. Shunting operations at St. Austell were always fascinating to watch as the train was readied for its return, which was at one time lM01.
Auto-suggestions. J. Whiteing,
Re. operation of push-pull trains on the former North Eastern lines around Kingston-upon-Hull: it is necessary to amplify and clarify some statements. It is evident that the description of this area as "a long way round however you go" in a BBC documentary of half a century ago still holds true when it comes to the consideration of its rail services both historically or, indeed, contemporaneously.
For many years the local services in and around Kingston-upon-Hull were provided by push-pull trains in 2+2 'sandwich' mode operating at frequent intervals to Beverley and Brough, with certain workings beyond as far as Goole. Push-pull operation was used also on certain trains on the lines to Hornsea and Withernsea and on the vestigial Hull & Barnsley line service as far as South Howden. This applied until either closure, in the case of the last mentioned, or the introduction of diesel operation in the late 1950s. The diesel units introduced in that area directly replaced former NER clerestory carriages dating from the Edwardian era no wonder they were welcomed so enthusiastically. These push-pull trains were operated in turn by NER 'BTP' Class (LNER G6) 0-4-4Ts, NER O Class (LNER G5) 0-4-4Ts and, finally (and, I suspect, in desperation) by ex-LMS Fowler 3P 2-6-2Ts. It is recorded in the RCTS 'Green books' (Vol. 7 p.102) that the fitting of push- pull equipment to the 'BTP' Class commenced in 1905. Whilst this may have been for experimental purposes, it calls into question the assertion made in the article regarding the first operation of such services in the British Isles, both by date and by location. In this context, it must also be remembered that the NER was at the forefront of suburban electrification and the use of petrol-electric railcars and, hence, would have had experience of 'reversible' operation.
It is interesting to note that correspondent's late father, who knew the operations well having commuted between Beverley and Hull during his days at Hymer's College (1915-23) continued to refer to the replacement diesel trains terminating at Beverley as 'the push-pull' for the remainder of his days. Such is folk memory.
Looks can be deceptive. John Macnab
The photo-feature in February on LMS Class 3 2-6-2s has Stanier No. 40150 at Thurso in 1960. Referring to my lan AIIan ABC Locoshed Book for 1955 I find that it and No. 40151 were allocated to Aviemore having thus moved from the 1953 issue showing them shredded at Hamilton. By 1958 No. 40150 had moved further north to Wick but No. 40151 had retreated in the opposite direction to Dumfries. No. 40150 was still there at Wick in the 1961 edition of the Locoshed Book but, as with the remainder of its kind, had gone by 1963. Doubtless records can reveal if No. 40150 was condemned from its northern haunts.
They had followed on, in a sense, to the previous five of this type mentioned as being allocated to the Highland Section of the LMS for banking duties to Druimuachdar Summit in the 1930s. They were, as far as writer was aware, Nos. 40185-9 shredded at Blair Atholl for this purpose, the consecutive numbers suggesting coming from Derby Works new. In 1938 it would appear that two the five had been sent to Aviemore to work local train services to Grantown and Forres. All five were thereafter found lacking on these banking duties and all moved subsequently to the Glasgow area to join others of their kind. Incidentally, it was from that locale that I recall whilst working at Bo'ness station around 1960 I witnessed (but did not 'spot' the number) one of them joining the dump of condemned stream locomotives held there. A first and last visit, I should imagine!
Looks can be deceptive. Leonard
No. 40138 (p102) looks as though it may well be employed on the parcels shuttle which existed at Coventry during the period of the station's rebuilding. There is evidence on the left of the picture of demolition of the old structure's having begun. According to Modern Railways, June 1962, p. 403, "reconstruction ... began [in August 1959] in earnest with the demolition of the luggage lifts and parcels bridge". Thereafter, according to p405 in the same issue, "With the parcels bridge gone, a shuttle service was operated between up and down sides of the station by a locomotive and parcels van until the new bridge was opened, shortly before the full commissioning of the station [May 1962]". If this is indeed what's illustrated, it is likely to be fairly early on during the period of the reconstruction because the original footbridge is still standing.
The Paxman 'Warship'. John
The penultimate paragraph in this article (March issue) makes mention of the ill-fated NBL Class 21 locomotives, certain of which were given Paxman Ventura engines to improve their reliability and performance. By and large, this was to no avail. It is wrong to state that the first so modified, No.D6123, came up to expectations on Glasgow-Aberdeen expresses. The three-hour timing services on this route from 1962 were undoubtedly to become the preserve of the twenty or so Class 29s (as they became) but their abject failure resulted in the drafting in of steam power in the form of A4s to undertake the haulage. The rest, as they say, is history in this respect. As for the expensively re-engined Class 29s, they faded away quickly into obscurity on menial duties such as pick-up goods with the occasional foray on secondary passenger services with swift withdrawal more or less by the end of the decade. It is as well for Paxman who did not score with their product on another diesel locomotive failure, the Class 17s, that the Ventura engine redeemed itself in service (and in sound!) on the successful HST units. ,
Les Beet - Extracts from a steam locomotive driver's
diary . R. Lloyd Jones
A point needs clarifying in Bruce Laws's article in the February issue. Page 72 refers to two routes connecting Nottingham with Leicester and Rugby, and to the former Midland line dating from 1840 which it is suggested "survives and thrives". That is true of the railway from Nottingham to Wigston (and on to London) via East Midlands Parkway and Leicester London Road but the railway from Wigston to Rugby via Ullesthorpe was closed in January 1962. Mr. Laws also states that "between Nottingham and Leicester the GCR lines crossed under the Midland Counties line from Leicester London Road to Derby". The GCR lines crossed over the Midland Railway at that point.
Rather unprincipled persons. Kevin
Whilst Jeffery Wells has been glancing through Trains Illustrated (February Guest Editorial) I was ploughing through The Locomotive Magazine & Railway Carriage & Wagon Review for 1938 and 1939. Dr. Leslie Burgin, a Minister of Transport merely listed by Sandy Mullay, featured more than once.
During 1938 the summer meeting of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers had taken place on 8-12 June to coincide with the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow. Guests included Dr. Dorpmuller, the German Minister of Transport, and fourteen officers of the German State Railway. Burgin, a highly competent linguist, was also present. Stanier was in attendance. The Institution's dinner was held in the evening of 9 June in the Grosvenor Restaurant, following a cruise to Inverary on the Duchess of Montrose. Both the Ministers of Transport spoke at the dinner. Dr. Burgin called for simpler controls on the locomotive and Dr. Dorpmuller noted that Britain relied for steam for her railways more than any other country. This was from a report in Locomotive Magazine. In a rather fuller account in Journal of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers it is noted Dr. Dorpmuller travelled to Scotland with Sir Nigel Gresley on the Coronation. Nevertheless relationship with theremained good. In July 1938 he opened the School of Transport in Derby and in the following spring travelled on the footplate of No.6226 Duchess of Norfolk, with the down Royal Scot as far as Blisworth. A special stop was made there for him to alight and return on a southbound train.
Burgin was a keen motorist and had been to Germany studying the autobahn and had proposed a motorway from Warrington to Carnforth, but the Treasury was unsympathetic.
Rather unprincipled persons. Edward A.
A reader's letter in the January 2018 issue states that the Labour Party is pro-rail. That is incorrect. The Labour Party is essentially pro-union and bowed to the biggest and most powerful, especially during the era of the 'block vote', when one union boss would cast one or two million votes. These were predominantly linked to motor manufacture and transport.
In nationalising railways, Labour created a unique Court of Law to decide the level of fares and freight charges that British Rail could apply. It was so dilatory it took up to three years to give some decisions. In that time the submitted fares and charges fell further behind inflation which industry was escalating every year. This Court existed for 21 years in which time its income became more and more inadequate to cover costs, despite continuing measures to reduce cost by using new labour-saving equipment and methods. When the Court was abolished, its last president admitted that its "decisions had cost BR money". Thereafter, Ministers routinely interfered in fares policy, to hold them below inflation. By 1995 BR had lost £11.6 billion as a result of these policies.
During the war, businesses were unable to spend all money allocated to maintenance. All except railways put their unused funds into banks. Railways were obliged to deposit it with the Treasury. After the war, the Labour government held on to these funds for years by preventing BR from modernising for ten years and only permitted it to spend where safety of track and bridges was at risk. From 1947 to 1951, Government published its Economic Surveys which specified what railways and road interests could do. Every year the motor industry produced more vehicles than Government limits and allowed UK users to buy what should have been exported, while every year, BR was restricted to the minimum necessary for safety. By 1950 hauliers had bought 0.5 million new vehicles; railways were prevented from replacing war- worn rolling stock to pre-war levels. (See Gibbins Britain's Rai/ways - the Reality, pp 55-56) and article in this Issue.
BR was eventually allowed to modernise from 1955, long after passenger and freight road transport. Contrary to popular myth, the funds did not come from Government as the Chancellor made clear. (See my book, p57). Over a few years, road was able to cream-off BR's profitable freight traffic without the ability to retaliate or prevent it due to the iniquitous basis of rail freight charges forced on it by Government. A Labour Government had the power to release railways from this strait-jacket but did nothing.
BR submitted in 1967 a plan to the Labour Government for the Channel Tunnel which envisaged inland Customs depots; road transport objected. This scheme would have been hugely beneficial to railways. The Government vetoed such depots which would lose road transport its big share of traffic.
When Harold Wilson introduced his Prices & Incomes plan to restrain inflation, he needed union support. The Transport & General Workers' Union said it would only support the plan if the Channel Tunnel scheme was cancelled, even though it was not to be state funded. Harold Wilson capitulated and ordered work to cease. The French were furious. British-made tunnelling machines were ordered to cease work which was just beginning. As a result, the Government had to pay compensation to British and French Channel Tunnel companies of £8.5 million each, and £3.7 million to the Channel Tunnel Study Group. Six months later, the Channel Tunnel Advisory Group, headed by Sir Alex Cairncross and set up by Wilson's government, reported in favour of a rail only tunnel, which it said would be beneficial to the UK. Two years later activity resumed. The cost of kow-towing to the powerful TGWU interests was horrendous. The plan was delayed unnecessarily.
Byway of the 'Barra'. John
Fenton incorrectly identified the diesel unit in Alston station and hence also, possibly, the date of the photograph. The unit in the photograph is not one of the German railbuses built by Waggon & Maschienenbau (W&M). Several points lead me to this conclusion, the main ones being:
1) The W&M units were not fitted head code panels.
2) The W&M units only had two windows in the front, as opposed to the three on the unit in the photograph.
3) The W&M units had four headlights, three between the windows and the bufferbeam and the fourth above the destination indicator in the roof.
Having determined what the unit is not, it was probably a Birmingham RC&W (BRCW) unit, later Class 104. Many of the BRCW units were allocated to the North Eastern Region and they have the peculiarity of having the narrow central stripe dip down as it goes from the front of the unit to the side, on most other units this stripe goes up rather than down. They were also fitted with two digit headcode panels below the middle of the three front windows and had a blue square coupling code indicator between the headlight and the bufferbeam.
Byway of the 'Barra'. Brian George
Correspondent travelled on the Alston branch line during the 1970s, in his case from London Euston on a BR Round Robin Merrymaker day trip ticket for £5.00 and going via Carlisle and then along the cross-country line to Newcastle via Haltwhistle. He did this about a year before the line to Alston closed. Fenton describes the scene well in his introduction, a run-down station that was almost non- existent by then and operated, probably as an unstaffed halt. Certainly he did not recall seeing any staff there. This was the era of BR's Pay Train's with conductor guards on board and very suitable for such lines. The platform at Alston, the only track being that going into it, all the rest having being taken up. The goods shed was still there. Alston was described as the highest town in England served by an existing branch line. The all-weather road alluded to in the article cost some £600,000k to build and was completely blocked by snow during its first winter after the railway line closed. Helicopters were used to drop winter feed to sheep and cattle in the surrounding fields. Of course we now have the very successful narrow gauge South Tyndale Railway line operating on the same route out of Alston and with an extension to Slaggyford in the offing, following a £4.2 million grant from the Heritage Lottery fund, plus other monies. Nearly all that work has been completed and facilities extended and improved. See website address: http:// www.south-tynedale-railway.org.uk/ An excellent place to visit if you are in the area.
Book Reviews. 254
The Wensleydale branch: a new history. Stanley
C. Jenkins. Catrine: Oakwood Press, 196pp. DJ ****
The long-established Oakwood Press, now based near Kilmarnock, has a deserved reputation for keeping its studies of lesser railways in print for many a year. With this book, the term 'A New History' has to be seen in context. It was new 24 years ago when it replaced an earlier and shorter history by another author that was much criticised for its many errors.
Last revised in 2002, this new edition brings the Wensleydale railway saga up to date with additional material by David Haxby. It paints a realistic picture warts and all of the problems in running the 22-mile stretch of line from Northallerton to Redmire. These are neatly summarised: "The railway has struggled to establish a clear identity is it a public transport service, a community railway, a tourist attraction, or a heritage railway?" Serious financial difficulties caused by the poor state of the trackbed, crippling costs of hiring steam power and the lack of direct access to Northallerton station are all highlighted. Nevertheless, the update concludes with an optimistic view that "in the long term this very long railway will become one of the most attractive heritage and tourist railways in the country".
The core text ably covers the complex history of a cross-country line that took four companies more than 30 years to complete. Over 100 photographs, OS map extracts and station elevations portray its operational variety and architectural contrasts. Preventing the achievement of five-star status is the fact that half-tone reproduction does not fully match the standards of the last edition and the hitherto helpful full-colour map is virtually illegible.
Eastleigh to Romsey and Salisbury. Nigel Bray, Kestrel Books.
114 pp, softback. JC ****
Scholarly but very readable book is another in a series by the author about the close-knit group of secondary routes designed principally to keep the Great Western out of the area south of the ex- LSWR main line between Andover and Yeovil. Having explored Salisbury's first railway connection and the arrival of the Great Western there the author goes on to show how the town developed as a rail centre and how it affected the trade and prosperity of Romsey in particular. Chapters are devoted to the route's development as a main artery between the South Coast and South Wales, especially by the Southern Railway, and then, from the late-1950s, the cutting back of the train service through Regionalisation and the closures of other local routes during the 1960s. These included the Romsey-Andover line up the Test valley, and the Salisbury & Dorset Junction Railway to West Moors on 'Castlernan's Corkscrew' as well as the whole of that line between Brockenhurst and Broadstone. Eastleigh-Romsey survived only because of its importance as a through route carrying heavy freight traffic. The concerted but unsuccessful fight by the local population and various Councils as well as several other organisations to retain Chandlers Ford's passenger service, lost in May 1969, is fully described. The station's reopening 34 years later and the general improvement to both local and 'through' services in conjunction with it is also well documented.
The line is naturally described in comprehensive detail. Most interesting from the reviewer's point of view are the signal box diagrams by the late-George Pryer provided throughout, though it should be pointed out the intricacies of the extremities of the line are not described in detail, justifiably perhaps if the route is otherwise not to be overwhelmed by them. Photographs are profuse and though trains predominate there are also some very interesting pictures of the line's infrastructure. That of the peculiar luggage turntable across the running line linking Eastleigh's roadside parcels office with Platform 1, an unusual piece of engineering, is of special interest. Captions are informative throughout.
Appendices add further interest in matters often ignored by historians, a staff census for example and the required marshalling of freight trains. Appendix E is particularly relevant as it shows the steady growth of passenger usage over the sixteen years since the great improvement of services after privatisation. The very comprehensive bibliography as well as sources noted at the end of each chapter show how much research has gone into producing this admirable work. Highly recommended.
Peppercorn's Pacifics. Peter Tuffrey. Great
Northern Books, 208 pp. DWM ***
The arrival of the new Pacific Tornado on to the main line and preserved railway scene has undoubtedly created a great deal of interest amongst not only the railway enthusiast fraternity but with the public at large. It has proved a veritable precursor for a rash of locomotive building, filling in notable gaps left by the cutter's torch down the years. This handsome volume follows the Tornado trail, outlining the development of the new locomotive and then paying tribute, largely pictorially, to the express locomotives of Arthur Henry Peppercorn.
The book falls comfortably into three sections. The Forward, by Mark Allatt of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, outlines the development of the Tornado project and the 'afterword', although not described as such, is a colour photo section featuring the new Al entitled 'Tornado out and about'. There is then a short historical introduction to the locomotives, Classes A1 and A2, and their designer but the bulk of the book is a pictorial tribute, both in black and white and colour, to the Pacifics about their lawful occasions on the East Coast Main Line and elsewhere.
Your reviewer has three comments about this pictorial section. Whereas the colour pictures are a treat the quality of some of the black and white images is such that they seem to be viewed through a glass darkly and a good few of the pictures are old friends revisited. Your reviewer felt that the captioning of the pictures was fairly bland, perhaps rather fewer pictures and a little more information would have made for a more balanced book? The A2s, at the end of the end of the pictorial section, seem to slip in almost unannounced; perhaps a definite introduction to the new locomotive class would have helped here?
That having been said, Peppercorn's Pacifics were handsome and purposeful locomotives and for devotees of the East Coast Main Line in the days of steam this is a book that they will not want to be without.
Great Western 'Saint' class locomotives. Laurence
Waters, Pen & Sword, 2017, hardback, 140pp, Reviewed by DMA****
A picture may be worth a thousand words but do you prefer to read the caption underneath? Eyes hungry for information that only text can satisfy. Perhaps, like me, you are not a lover of coffee table books, factless wordless books. So, I opened Great Western 'Saint' Class Locomotives uneasily, thinking perhaps to find no more than a collection of photographs, likely ones I was already familiar with. But thankfully, though the book does contain many pages of photographs (the majority new to my eyes), it is not without facts and data. One snippet that caught my attention was on the naming of the locomotives. As many people know, the majority of 'Saints' were not 'Saints', many more were 'Ladies' and 'Courts', some were named after the Waverley' novels of Sir WaIter Scott and a few were named after directors of the GWR and even a racehorse (Kirkland, the winner of the 1905 Grand National, owned by a director). The heavy repetitiveness that blighted the 'Halls' had not yet appeared. Waters tells how the names given to the '29XX' might have been yet even more exotic as the 1906 batch of locomotives (Nos.2901 to 2910) were were originally allocated the following resonant mighty line of names: Caesar, Caiiban, Caliph, Cicero, Hecuba, lxion, Leonidas, Minerva, Octavia and Olympus. Instead they became the 'Ladies', a disparate group of women ranging from the sinister (Lady Macbeth), through the devout (Lady Superior), the tragic (Lady of Shalott) and the revealing (Lady Godiva).
It is interesting to note that the earlier 1905 Waverley' batch had names which were already a Swindon tradition, from a broad gauge class of 1855. A few 'Saints' shared 'Waverley' names with contemporary North British 4-4-0s, which in turn were bestowed on Peppercorn Pacifics. For example, Red Gauntlet (too noble to be described with a number) ran from 1855 to 1876, while No.2983 was christened the same in 1905, becoming Redgauntlet in 1915 and surviving till 1946. North British No..897 Redgauntlet ran from 1909 to 1949, the next year the name was handed on to No. 60137 (built 1948) which was withdrawn in 1962. A century of locomotives with a name once familiar, now obscure.
The first twenty pages of the book deals with the history of the locomotives, the reasons behind their inception, the evolution of their design and their long working careers. The 'Saints' were for many years the Great Western's most useful engines, locomotives that responded well to rough handling when called on in an emergency to run the heaviest or fastest trains. In 1938 Clevedon Court, standing pilot at Reading, was coupled on to the down Bristolian, replacement for a failed locomotive. The 28-year-old 'Saint' proved its worth by running the 82 miles to Bristol Temple Meads in 72½ minutes.
The remainder of the book contains black and white photographs. Waters is the Honorary Photo Archivist of the Great Western Trust at Didcot and the illustrations come from its collection. The photographs are arranged in chronological order from the first years of the twentieth century to the demise of the final survivors in the early 1950s. Fifty years of immense social and technological change during which the steam locomotive was one of the few fixed points in the firmament.
The calm after the storm, David Rodgers. rear cover
Britannia No. 70045 Lord Rowallan hauling a light Stockport to Leeds parcels train past Heaton Lodge Junction against black sky following a storm on 22 Octiober 1967