Volume 24 (1963)
No. 272 (January)
Toram Beg [N. McKillop]. The highlights that stick:
Enginemen's lobby. 2-3.
Sudden braking, due to a signal being turned to danger immediately in front of his Gresley Pacific, led to severe priming and a volley of black water descending upon passengers waiting at station. See also letter from Keith Grubb p. 117.
Midland. One foggy night. 3-4+
Jubilee No. 45618 New Hebrides in very run-down condition working 21.25 sleeper from St. Pancras: problems of steam leakage from front end, lack of fogmen, very poor steaming and in the final stages of the run towards Leeds priming. McKillop commented on dangers of priming at low boiler pressure and its effect upon braking.
M.L.J. Harris. A history of G.W.R. coaches 1923-1947.
Part 2: Standard stock and others 1923-1929. 6-8.
Includes toplight stock converted from vehicles built for ambulance trains; the standard design of suspended gangways introduced from 1926 in place of the scissors type and the introduction of slam locks. Considerable amount of tabulated data
J. Spencer Gilks. This month's centenaries. 8.
1 January 1863: Knutsford to Northwich
3 January 1863: Moat Lane to Machynlleth
10 January 1863: Bishop's Roaf (Paddington) to Farringdon Street
12 January 1863: Stockport to Woodley
R.C. Riley. Luxembourg journey. Part 2. 9-14.
22 September 1952 footplate journey on metre gauge locomotive (Swiss-built 2-6-0T No. 353) on Echternach train which started outside the main line station and ran through the streets. An 0-4-4-0T was also seen and photographed at Junglinster. Short footplate journeys were also made on the standard gauge. See also letters from Youell and Bayliss on pp. 116-17.
A.G. Dunbar. The McIntosh eight-coupled engines and Moguls
of the Caledonian Railway. 16-18+
Two locomotives were built in July 1901 and each cost £3000. Will Craig, formerly of Oban, was sent to Kingmoor to test them on a wide range of routes. In 1909 they were tested with hauling 30 ton bogie wagons loaded with coal between Ross and Perth which included the ascent of Dunblane bank. A total of eight locomotives were constructed; most eventually worked coal traffic in Lanarkshire. They had 4ft 6in coupled wheels; 21 x 26in cylinders; 2108 ft2. total heating surface; 25ft2 grate area and 175 psi boiler pressure. They had spiral raer springs which were difficult to maintain. The heavy slide valves were also difficult to maintain and the locomotives tended to go off beat very quickly. They could haul 60 loaded wagons and were introduced together with 30 ton high capacity bogie wagons fitted with Westinghouse brakes. The 0-8-0Ts were constructed for heavy shunting and banking duties and fitted with Westinghouse brakes for working with 30 ton bogie mineral wagons. Six locomotives which worked at Hamilton, Motherwell and Dundee. Each cost £2250. Dunbar criticised the smallness of the boiler. They had 19 x 26in cyclinders, 4ft 6in coupled wheels; 1189 ft2 total heating surface; 19.3 ft2 grate are and 175 psi working pressure. They had flangeless centre coupled wheels. The 2-6-0 was clearly an 0-6-0 with an added axle to bear the weight of the piston valves and superheater. The five locomotives had 5ft coupled wheels and 19½ x 26in cylinders. The leading axle resembled a radial truck but without the curved guides, but with lateral springing. See also letter from F. Graham Glover on p. 116.
The vanishing Western branches. 19-24.
Cecil J. Allen. Half-a-century of train travelNo. 11. Pre-electrification days om the Brighton Line. 25-9
A.R. Williams. Cumberland revival: the first two years of preservation at Ravenglass. 30-1 illus.
W.J.K. Davies. Light railway notes. The end of an experiment... closure of the C.F.D. du Tarn. 32-3. illus..
Letters. 34; 37-8
The Fairford branch. J.M. Tolson.
Addenda to article by Tolson: on re-reading my article entitled "Farewell to the Fairford Branch" in the October, 1962 issue, I feel that the following points are a little ambiguous and need clarification. In the first paragraph, I say that the 12.44 p.m. train from Oxford was the first advertised train over the branch. As readers will no doubt realise from the latter part of my article, this was the first advertised train over the branch from the Oxford end.
The East Gloucestershire Railway Act of 1864 referred to in the second paragraph on page 338 is the second of these Acts. The first received the Royal Assent on August 7, 1862, but came to nothing due to disagreements with the G.W.R. who had sponsored it, and the company then turned for help to the Midland Railway.
Since this article was written, two interesting items of information have come to light regarding the M.S.W.J.R. schemes mentioned in the third paragraph on page 338. The Swindon & Cheltenham Extension Act of 18 July 1881, gave permission for a nominally independent company to build a line from Rushey Platt Junction (near Swindon) to Cheltenham and also a branch line from Cirencester to Fairford. The eastward swing of the first mile of track from Cirencester to Andoversford is indicative of the intention to construct a branch to Fairford, but work on this ceased during the financial crisis of 1884 and was formally abandoned under the M.S.W. Act of 1889. In this, the company agreed not to oppose the East Gloucestershire Railway or any other interested parties (i.e. the G.W.R., as the E.G.R. was not absorbed until the following year) if they should wish to construct a line which would link Fairford with Cirencester. Nothing came of this, however, and a purely local attempt to raise a Fairford & Cirencester Railway in 1901 also failed.
The easing of restrictions on powered vehicles on the roads as a result of the Locomotives on Highways Act of 1896 gave rise to a curious phenomenon between Cirencester and Fairford. This was a steam-powered van which was introduced as a private venture in 1897 to serve as a link between the M.S.W.J.R. at Cirencester and the G.W.R. at Fairford. With an oil-fired boiler of 225 lb/sq. in. pressure and a double tandem compound engine with gear transmission to the driving wheels, it was capable of carrying 2½-3 tons of goods or luggage and towing a trailer which could accommodate up to 20 passengers. This "road train" was designed to run at a maximum speed of 8 m.p.h. but was in fact limited to 6 m.p.h. Despite its ingenuity and the obvious need for public transport between these two towns, it proved nonetheless to be a very short-lived venture.
The Madeley Chord. J.R. Holllck
Mr. Keys states that the Newcastle-Silverdale Railway, built by Ralph Sneyd, was sold to the N.S.R.; this is not correct as the line was leased by the N.S.R. in 1859. It would be interesting to have further information about the Madeley Tramway Company which had so much apparent authority. I always understood that the line connecting the Madeley and other pits at Leycett with the L.N.W.R. main line at Madeley was purely a colliery line. Did Ralph Sneyd, as owner of pits at Leycett, intend to link Leycett with his pits at Talk near Harecastle by a colliery railway over his own lands, and what effect would such a railway have had on the Madeley L.N.W./N.S. link? I can quite see that such a connection to the L.N.W. up line at Madeley would interfere with the sidings connections of the colliery line with the L.N.W.R., so that the spur was laid to the down line, to the advantage of British Railways 90 odd years later. As the spur was a Parliamentary necessity its exact siting was of relative unimportance.
The Malton drawbridge. Grahame Boyes
Cecil J. Allen implies on p. 345 (October Railway World) that the famous drawbridge between the up and down platforms at Malton is a thing of the past. It is, in fact, still in use. See also p. 118 letter from D.S.M Barrie: trolley bridge was official name.
Directorate of the North London Railway. H.V. Borley
With reference to the letter from Dr. Course on page 357 of the October, 1962 issue, the maximum number of directors stipulated in the Act of Incorporation was 18 and it was agreed by the promotor that not more than ten should be representatives of the L.N.W.R. and three of the East & West India Docks Company, leaving five to be appointed by the other shareholders. Actually the total number never exceeded 14 but at least half of these wen: also directors of the L.N.W.R.
The Midland drive for London. H.V. Borley 37
The Richmond service ran for the last time on 31 January 1876 and the shuttle service to Harrow Road started on 1 not 2 February. In 1888 the local service ran for the last time on 30 June; it was revived in 1893, but entirely withdrawn in 1902 from 30 September. Finchley Road station closed from 11 July 1927.
The Midland drive for London. J.P. Bardsley.
WW1 locomotive combinations on Toton to Brent freight trains: 4-2-2 plus 4-6-4T types; also use of new SDJR 2-8-0 locomotives (photograph of No. 83 at Elstree)
Book reviews. 38-9
British Pacific locomotives. Cecil J. Allen. London: Ian Allan Ltd. 240 pp. Reviewed by H. Holcroft.
This book portrays, factually and impartially. the most glorious period of the steam locomotive in this country. All that can be said about the Pacific type in Britain is set down- its history, development, operation in traffic, are all dealt with. Some designs had but a brief life, others went from strength to strength; their good and weak points are all brought to notice and scrutinised. Likewise, the men who created these designs come within the author's purview: their Idiosyncrasies, prejudices or animosities are ruthlessly exposed insofar as they affected locomotive design or policy. The reader will find numerous records of locomotive performance observed by the author and other adepts with the stop watch, and a large collection of photographic reproductions of the Pacifies at rest or in motion on the track. What was the mystery behind the conception and purpose of the first Pacific to be built in Britain, Churchward's development for the Great Western Railway of his 4-6-0 "Star" class into a 4-6-2, The Great Bear, in 1908? It is now known that a veil was discreetly drawn to hide the bitter clash between the General Manager at that time. Sir James Inglis, the former Chief Civil Engineer, and other officers, including Churchward. As Inglis also held the post of Consulting Engineer to the Board it was not to be expected that any concessions would be made in service to take advantage of the locomotive's power. Having traced the development of the Pacific type through Gresley, Raven, Thompson, Stanier and Bulleid to the British Railways standard designs, the author ends his account of fulfilled designs with another mystery, the emergence of only one of Class 8, Duke of Gloucester, in 1954. In size it was a small advance on Class 7 and the author is hard put to it to find a sound reason for its appearance. On pages 197 and 198 he quotes the assert ions made by E.S. Cox in favouring two-cylinder in preference to three-cylinder propulsion in the "Britannia"; could it be that Class 8 was built to confirm the truth of these assertions? The book is rounded off with a chapter on all those designs of Pacifies which got no further than the drawing board. And so the story is completeor is it? There remains a passenger-carrying line in this country operated by miniature Pacifies, those fascinating reproductions, one-third of full size, of Greslev's A3s, on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway!-
The Midland compounds. D.F. Tee, RCTS.
36pp. Reviewed by J.T.
Well received, but minor quibbles on chimney heights and grate areas
No. 274 (March 1963)
Cecil J. Allen. Half-a-century of train travelNo.
13. North British mountain climbing. 84-8
Work behind a Holmes 4-4-0 No. 766 in 1906 is compared with a Reid Atlantic No. 878 Hazeldean in the following year on the non-stop Carlisle to Edinburgh run.
R.S.B. Hamilton. Browsiing among the world's railway tickets. 88-9.
In Malaya tickets accommodated Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Lists exotic destinations:Hell and Fairyland, for instance. Lists occupations of specific travelers: corpse escort, banana attendants, golfers, stormtroopers and nuns. Includes printer's errors.
In memory of the "Lord Nelsons". 90-5.
Black & white photo-feature
M.L.J. Harris. A history of G.W.R. coaches 1923-1947.
Part 3. Articulated stock of 1925. 96-8. illus., diagram (side
Six eaight-coach sets were built. The later units featured buckeye couplers at the ends and suspended gangways. The article states that they used the Gresley form of articulation. The vehicles were converted into non-articulated vehicles in the 1930s.
Neil Fraser. The Delph branch. 100-1+
Opened on 1 September 1851: had been authorised as part of the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway and Canal on 21 July 1845 which had been taken over by the LNWR in 1847. Early services were horse-drawn, hence Delph Donkey. Ammon Wrigley's Saddleworth Tales are cited for early reference to the line. The opening of the Greenfield to Oldham branch on 4 July 1856 led to the two branches being operated as one service. Motor trains were introduced from 1 January 1912 when halts at Moorgate and Dobcross opened. A further halt at Measurements, with a limited service opened on 18 March 1932 to serve a factory. Two 2-4-0Ts Nos. 83 and 84 were specially built for the Oldham branch but were displaced by Webb 2-4-2Ts, and later by Coal Tanks. In 1912 steam rail-motor (railcar) No. 8 was tried, but was not a success. Fowler 3P 2-6-2Ts took over in 1939, being displaced by Class 2 (Ivatt and Standard) 2-6-2Ts. Push & pull working was employed.
G.H. Robins. The history of Glasgow CentralII. 102-8.
Britain's first route-setting sinalling is replaced. 102
Photograph of interior of former Newport High Street signal box where route setting signalling had been introduced by Insell and Ferriera.
Tuplin, W.A. Was there any progress in steam locomotive
Author's answer: there was not any. John F. Clay challenges some of data used in letter p. 39 of Volume 25..
Toram Beg [N. McKillop]. Driving the "Directors":
Enginemen's lobby. 110-13.
Difficult to learn to fire; problems of right-hand drive, especially when stopping at stations; difficulty of reaching the brake valve; substitution of mechanical for hydrostatic lubricators and single anti-vacuum valve for previous pair impaired their performance.
J. Spencer Gilks. This month's centenaries. 113-14.
2 March 1863: Bungay to Beccles; Addison Road (Olympia) to Clapham Junction
17 March 1863: Kells to Oldcastle
West London Linepast and present. 114-15.
The McIntosh 0-8-0s. F. Graham Glover.
It may be doubted if there is any "mystery" about the wheel-spacing of the McIntosh 0-8-0s, to which A.G. Dunbar refers. The greater distance between the first and second coupled axles, compared with the other inside cylinder 0-8-0s of the period, allowed more room for the machinery, in particular an adequate length of connecting rod; and the distance between the third and fourth axles enabled the firebox to be placed between them, with the consequent avoidance of an unduly shallow grate or a contorted ashpan. The wide spacing of the axles involved, of course, the bringing of the second and third as close together as possible to obviate (not altogether successfully) an unduly long wheelbase.
At the time of their appearance the total heating surface of these locomotives was given, in the Locomotive Magazine of October 1901 (p. 163), as 2,500 ft2 (considerably more than Mr. Dunbar's 2,108), and this figure is repeated in C. S. Lake's World's Locomotives.
Mr. Dunbar's familiarity with these engines lends particular weight to his verdict that they were "brutes".
The Brighton 'Scotsmen'. J.P. Bardsley
Comment on omission of all details of Devonshire from the Engine Summary on page 405 (December issue). Writer hada very clear recollection of seeing this locomotive in the old steam shed at New Cross Gate in November, 1924, when attached to the Rolling Stock Working section of the Operating Department at Waterloo and was in that shed on business. She was then a B4X painted a dirty grey colour and with the name on one side only possibly the reason for it sticking in his mind.
The railways of Luxembourg. R.F.
R.C. Riley has given us an excellent picture of Luxembourg Railways, which have not attracted the attention they deserve; an interesting system remains despite the loss of so many light railway systems. Luxembourg City station surpasses the electrification mix-up of Manchester Piccadilly, as it has not only two voltages, a.c. and d.c., but a mixture of right-hand running by C.F.L. and S.N.C.F. (Alsace-Lorraine section) trains and S.N.C.B. left-hand running into the same station. Not only are the voltages "side by side" but on Arlon-Luxembourg-Thionville through trains one can see a.c. and d.c. locomotives on the same train at opposite ends. There are also few capital city stations from which a high proportion of trains make their first stop in another country. The changeover of the Noerdange- Martelange line to road transport still has a few of the problems mentioned by R.C. Riley concerning 'bus operation on narrow country roads. I noticed at Redange, for example, that street lights came on at 4 a.m. to assist the early morning 'buses running to connect with trains at Noerdange, but were turned off after their departure even two hours before daybreak! Old buildings of the railway are still in good condition 10 years after the changeover, a few relics are still visible, and the defunct line is still spoken of with affection. It was surprising, on asking the road to Arlon, to be told; "take the road to the railway station and then keep going for 10 kilometres ". As an international route from Brussels to Metz, the Liege-Trois Vierges-Ettelbruck route deserves patronage, both from the railway and scenic points of view, even compared with the excellent Mamur-Libramont-Kleinbettingen route. When the small but efficient S.N.C.B. diesel comes off at Goury after climbing to 1,500 ft, an enormous and brightly painted C.F.L. diesel takes over, giving the impression that small size of a railway does not mean reduced quality.
On only one point of R. C. Riley's highly readable article must I be at odds with himwhen he uses the terms "seldom friendly" and "stiff correctness" in connection with the S.N.C.B. Their staff (station and otherwise) are as friendly as those of C.F. L.; in fact, my first introduction to C.F.L. was a detailed account by the S.N.C.B. train officer en route from Liege to Luxembourg, interrupted only by an out-of-course stop due to a cow on the line at (appropriately) Coo.
The railways of Luxembourg. D.A.
For the record, Mr. Riley omitted to mention one or two of the Luxembourg narrow-gauge lines. It may seem pedantic to try to list them all, but one of those he omitted seems to have been quite interesting. This ran from Grundhof, on the Ettelbruck-Echternach line, to the village of Beaufort, famous for its castle and its liqueurs. There is quite a difference in height between the two places and the line was one of the very few in Europe which climbed by zigzagging, having three reversing sta- tions. One of these was extended to provide a branch into Dillingen quarries. The station buildings at Beaufort are used as a bus station, while the village still has a Hotel de la Gare (as does Vianden).
There was also a branch from Mondorf, on the Luxembourg-Remich line, to Fixheim and Thionville in France; and I have seen one map with a marking which I interpreted as a railway from Clemency, between Petange and Hagen on the former Prince Henri line, to Garnich and Dippach. However, I have been unable to confirm that there actually was a railway there. Luxembourg also has a chair-lift, at Vianden; and it has, or had in 1958, a 60cm industrial line which crossed the Tramways de la Ville de Luxembourg on the level, north of Eich.
Grand European Expresses. George Behrend
Your reviewer ignores the book's subtitle "The story of the Wagons- Lits " and fails to understand that the art of travelling comfortably is to make the best use of the company's facilities. Suggestions for improvement are in fact madefor instance a HarwichFishguard car sleeper. Qui s'excuse, s'accuse. In a book said to be already "too full of factual statements" the absence of yet further detail of non-Wagons-Lits railway matters is surely understandable. The annual interference with the European (Through) Carriage Plan (mentioned in the text) at the Timetable Conference usually results in a loss of comfort at the expense of economic improvements.
Grand European Expresses. J.H. Price
Your reviewer's theory on the kind of information most in demand about the Wagons-Lits Company is not borne out by our own past experience. As the agents for the Wagons-Lits Company, we receive many enquiries about its activities, but these scarcely ever concern train working or the timetable conference. What people usually ask us for is the history and present descrip- tion of a famous express, with details of the sleeping-cars and the meals and whether there are any books which describe the atmosphere and know-how of Wagons-Lits travel. Mr. Behrend's recent book, by collating this information and presenting it in English, does in fact answer the questions which we find are those most often asked. Publicity Dept. Thos. Cook & Son Ltd.
George Stephenson. Keith A. Grubb
Alas, however could such an expert as "Toram " fail to see such a glaring mistake? For "Midland" actually states that George Stephenson was born at Chesterfield! Stephens on was of course born at Wylarn in Northumber- land and although he spent the last three years of his life at Tapton House near Chesterfield (the event of which " Midland" was no doubt thinking as he recollected his arduous journey through Derbyshire), George Stephenson could never be said to be anything but a true Geordie
The Malton drawbridge. D.S.M.
Trolley bridge was official name.
Railways of Southern Africa. J.R. Day. London: Arthur Barker
Ltd. 143 pp. Reviewed by H.S.
The variety of railways in Africa from the Congo southwards to the Cape is so great that, railway-wise, the title of this informative book means little. The highly-developed system of the Republic of South Africa equals or excels those of Europe and North America in nearly every sphere of activity, including density of traffic over some sections but excluding speed though speeds are high for the 3ft 6in gauge. In the design and performance of motive power (steam, diesel and electric), roiling stock and signalling the S.A.R. rivals the best in the world. Its neighbours, however undeveloped the territories which they serve, also illustrate applications of up-to-date equipment. The Rhodesia Railways, for instance, can boast of an extensive C.T.C. installation, besides remarkable performances of Beyer-Garratt steam and of diesel locomotives; the Nyasaland Railways operate a particularly efficient service of lake steamers, besides using diesel railcars; the Benguela Railway is notable particularly for its Beyer-Garratts, its fine passenger and freight vehicles, and for the comprehensiveness of its staff welfare arrangements; the Bas Congo-Katanga includes the only stretch (over 300 miles) of line in Africa electrified on a.c. one that is being closely watched by managements of other undertakings in the tropics desirous of increasing line capacity; and so on. The railways described by Mr. Day can show magnificent examples of civil engineering, notably bridges, of which the Rhodesia Railways' world-famous Victoria Falls and the Central Africa Railway's Lower Zambesi are the best known. All these matters the author refers to in an agreeable and easy style. There is little space for historical narrative, more of which would have been welcome in the case of the S.A.R . which with its components is now of respectable antiquity; it would have been interesting to hear more of the exploits of railways in the South African War, when they impinged on the life and fortunes of Winston Churchill, and one might have hoped for more about lions and other hazards of railway building and operation in tropical Africa. But a great deal is contained within a small space, and the illustrations and maps are well chosen .
A further selection of locomotives i have known.
J.N. Maskelyne. London: Percival Marshall. 71 pp. Price 30s. Reviewed
Like its predecessor Locomotives I Have Known, published in 1960, this large and handsomely produced album would be remarkable for the exquisite line drawings alonea labour of love by the late author; but the typography and layout add to the attractiveness of the production, which is inexplicably marred by a commonplace cover design and by an unworthy coloured frontispiece, a reproduction of a painting of the L.N.W.R. Charles Dickens being piloted by Cornwall, In this volume Maskelyne's choice is largely G.W. engines, ranging from Arrnstrong's Metro 2-4-0Ts of 1869 to The Great Bear. But he could not resist the Southern lines. Several L.B.S.C. designs are featured, notably a D3 0-4-4T (one of which, as he relates, destroyed a German aircraft in 1942). With an unerring eye for the distinguished, he chose two fine S.E.C. specimens: a Kirtley M3 of the Chatham & Dover and an S.E. Stirling Q class 0-4-4T (one worked the Bexhill branch for many years, in the charge of a Driver Loker). Among his L.S.W. favourites is a Drummond D 15 4-4-0, as the drawing shows, as comely in its way as a T9. Looking further north, he chose inter alia a Sacre 437 class 4-4-0 of the M.S.L., a Midland compound, and-a superbly handsome machineone of McIntosh's "Dunalastair IIs". About everyone of the designs Maskelyne has some comment both opposite and useful. Railway lovers and model enthusiasts who knew the man from his writings, drawings and modelling activities, will welcome the brief appreciations by his brother Noel and by Joseph Martin.
Fifty years of railway signalling. O.S. Nock,
London: Institution of Railway Signal Engineers. (Trade distribution
by lan Allan Ltd.) 222 pp. Reviewed by R.R.
Books on railway signalling that are cornprehensive and at the same time readable are all too few and far between. On the face of it a book on such a subject by O.S. Nock, who is not only a signal engineer of some standing but also a most readable railway writer, would appear to give promise of fulfilment of a long felt want. In fact this book is the official history of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers published on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee at the end of 1962. The story of fifty years of railway signalling, therefore, is only incidental to the main theme and is told in the form of extracts from papers given to the lnstitution. That the names of personalities involved take up more than half the index gives some idea of the general content of the book.
The Institution was founded to bring together all those actively engaged in railway signalling work, using the expression in its widest sense. It was an immediate success and membership grew rapidly. From the outset it was supported by the leading signal engineers of the many railway companies then existing in Britain, but it has never been insular in its outlook and there have been many papers on signalling practice overseas and particularly concerning those countries in Western Europe which have been the venues of I.R.S.E. summer conventions. It is interesting to note that the germ of the idea for the I.R.S.E. came from the District Railway and Mr. Nock describes the signalling revolution that took place on that line after electrification, including the use of automatic signals and the first illuminated signal box diagram in the world. So far as signalling is concerned the story continues with comments on some of the papers and extracts from them, often tantalising in their briefness. Many of the features of modern railway signalling that are taken for granted to-day were undreamed of 50 years ago and through the medium of these papers one can follow some of the developments as they took place. Indeed, many of the early members were very far-seeing in their ideas, but radical changes are often looked upon with suspicion and in- evitably a considerable amount of controversial discussion followed papers of this nature. Mr. Nock suggests that historically British signalling practice can be divided into four phases. The first phase ended with the turn of the century and consisted of purely mechanical operation based on expediency as the railways developed. Then came a period of 30 years or so largely influenced by power signalling develop- ments in America, after which, with the development of relay interlocking, Britain again led the world until the Second World War intervened. The fourth phase is that of the extensive modernisation programme following a period of national austerity, which coupled with the entire renewal of much of the signalling in some European countries after wartime devastation took the initiative across to the Continent. The three latter phases can be well traced in this book and an excellent selection of illustrations helps to portray some of the changes that have taken place. Since so much of present-day practice follows that of the Continent the two chapters on European practice before and since the war are of particular interest. Indeed those interested in signalling will find much in the book to appeal to them and their patience in wading through a great deal of material of little significance to non-members of the Institution is likely to be rewarded. The appendices include lists of the papers read to the Institution over the years and of the technical booklets it has published.
The Highland Railway (New edition, revised and
extended). H.A. Valiance. Dawlish: David & Charles Ltd. and London:
Madconald & Co. Ltd. 182 pp. Reviewed by H.S.
Recent changes on the Highland linesand notably dieselisationhave made railways north of Perth almost unrecognisable to those who read the first edition of this informative book when it appeared 25 years ago. The centenary of the completion of the Inverness to Perth main line is the occasion of this revised edition. Mr. Valiance, who is both well acquainted and obviously intrigued with the unique collection of lines forming the Highland Railway from 1865, is at his best and most enthusiastic when dealing with the middle and later periods. i.e. from the 1865 amalgamation to Grouping in 1923. He descri bes in some detail not only the legal and other complications attending the genesis of the earlier component undertakings, but also the motive power, rolling stock and civil engineering structures. These are well illustrated with a variety of photographs, all apposite, though several are familiar to readers of railway books and magazines published during the past half-century. His descriptions of train services up to 1922 and even to 1939 are clear and succinct. As the receiving end of what passenger traffic (including horseboxes) was despatched by the West and East Coast and Waverley routes during the summer season, the Highland at the end of the last century handled an extraordinary hotchpotch of foreign vehicles on its lines, overloaded in the grouse and tourist season. Such an agglomeration of rolling stock in the late 1880s is amusingly detailed by Foxwell in his classic Express Trains English and Foreign (now almost unobtainable). Mr. Valiance presents a vivid and accurate account of operatuig problems of the pre-Grouping era, with an admirable description of the Highland's feat in moving fantastically inflated traffics to and from Thurso, the mainland port for Scapa Flow, during the First World War. The events since Grouping, and more particularly during and since the war of 1939-45, are not so happily relatedlargely, no doubt, because of lack of space. Changes moreover are taking place fast; there has been a motive power revolution on the old Highland lines-but this book does not do justice to it, and what references there are are out of date. In view of the high standard of the chapters devoted to the earlier years, one could have wished that the author had confined himself to these, for he has inevitably left much unsaid. evertheless, with the many photographs and line drawings, this is a most readable book, in which every informed reader will find much of interest. One can only hope that Mr. Valiance will write a longer book or series of essays on aspects of the Highland in the rugged yet colourful years before it lost somebut by no means allof its individuality on Grouping. The later years of this period are evoked by the coloured frontispiece: a painting by C. Hamilton Ellis of the southbound morning express from Inverness in the summer of 1901, conveying through day coaches for London, E.C.J.S. for Kings Cross and W.C.J.S. or L.N.W. for Eustonsuch was the wasteful competition in those spacious days.
Great Central Volume II. Dominion of Watkin,
1864-1899. George Dow. London: lan Allan Ltd. Reviewed by
The reasons for the Great Central's London Extension line being the first of Britain's former trunk railways to closeits demise within the next few years is almost certainare the same as for its being the last to be built. It parallels other main lines and traverses miles of country not worth exploiting by a railway. Its impending disappearance adds poignant interest to Mr. Dow's masterly account of the building of our last trunk line (as opposed to cut-offs); there are many alive today who remember this last great scarification, long since healed, of the countryside before opencast mining and construction of motorways. Not that the history of the middle years of the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire before the push to the South is not of absorbing interest. The author's meticulous scholarship in historical and legal matters exceeds that of MacDermot in his rather pon- derous treatise on the Great Western; yet Mr. Dow is certainly more lucid; what is more, he writes in this, as in his first volume, with a vivacity of style, quiet humour and vividness of description on virtually every topic, technical and otherwise, that can be associated with a railway undertaking, for the M.S.L. had a finger in a wide variety of pies. All these activities and the many personalities of the period are dealt with in full. Sir Edward Watkin, whose manifold activities and ambitions suffice for a full-length biography, dominates these years of the M.S.L., whose Chairman he was for three decades. Just how his chairmanship interacted with his others, notably of the South Eastern, the Metropolitan and the East London, and with his other railway directorships, and into what ventures they led him and the railways with which he was associated, Mr. Dow explains both precisely and entertainingly. He describes, with a clarity seldom achieved by railway historians, the complex relations of "The Sheffield" with its allies and rivals. Incidentally, few people in the South know that "The Sheffield" was the usual abbreviation of the company's name, and explanations of this and the lesser-known nickname "Poggy" and of "Saras" and "Sheffs" and interpretations of M.S. L. and G.C. are some of the many sidelights in over 400 pages. Though never prosperous (it never paid more than 3½ per cent on its ordinary shares from 1846, the year of its incorporation, until 1899, 18 months after becoming the G.c.) the M.S·L.I G.C. was commercially and technically a progressive undertaking. There are admirable descriptions and illustrations of Sacre, Parker and (Harry) Pollitt engines; and the rolling stock, including the comfortable and serviceable vehicles for the London Extension services, built at Gorton and ordered in bulka godsend even in those daysfrom the industry, are depicted in scale line drawings in an appendix. Glassware and margarine vans were along the wagons, in development of which and other special types the company was something of a pioneer. To pay for the London Extension motive power and rolling stock it was necessary to set up the Railway Rolling Stock Trust Ltd., whose ownership plates, even years after their removal from units .paid for, mystified innocent railway enthusiasts unacquainted with the then unfamiliar science of h.p. Apart from its well-known buffet cars, the first of their kind in Britain, the company was active in developing catering vehicles.
Progressive in vehicle design, braking, signalling (it installed a box in the up Woodhead tunnel to increase line capacity) and other spheres, the M.S.L., especially when, on its drive southwards, it strove to create what is now called a favourable "image" of a modern railway was far from heeding the dernier cri in matters of architecture and decor. Stations and rolling stock, if not stuffily traditional, were not aesthetically striking, though many purely utilitarian features could be excellent: if the south front of Marylebone passenger terminus is ignoble, the roofing over circulating area and platforms is graceful; with the hanging baskets of flowers and air of Gemutlichkett (distasteful no doubt to Sam Fay) one was reminded in early days of one of the smaller Vienna termini. Much of the lineside equipment was pleasing, as the illustrations show. On aesthetic matters Mr. Dow, as one would expect, has much of interest to say and he has supplied a host of admirable illustrations, not omitting white Spode (with blue G.C. emblems) vases de nuit for the company's hotels.
The newly-named Great Central was a progressive late Victorian railway. Despite its vigour and enterprise, exemplified in the magnificent freight installations at Marylebone and elsewhere, it was on the traditional pattern. As the first through train from Manchester pulled into Marylebone on November 7, 1898, little did its only passengers, the General Manager and other officers, realise the implications of the internal combuston engine for road transport or appreciate the futility of the neat wayside stations (commodious with their island platforms) in the economically sterile country between Leicester and Aylesbury. How the G.C.R. faced the problems of the new century is for the third volume of the best book ever produced about an individual railway.
No. 275 (April 1963)
A.F. Wallis. Through trains between the Northern and the South Eastern
Counties. Part 1. 125-9.
Period between 1905 and 1914: maps show routes followed, mainly via Kensington, but some via the Widened Lines and Ludgate Hill to Margate and Ramsgate and Brighton and the Sussex Coast and as far West as Weymouth.
W.J.K. Davies. A short guide to the French narrow gauge. 130-2.
Photographic survey of riches: railways to glaxier above Chamonix above Lyons funicular.
W.J.K. Davies. ... and a light railway postscript from North Eastern France. 133-4.
J. Spencer Gilks. This month's centenaries. 135.
1 April 1863: Streamstown to Clara
6 April 1863: Grimsby to Cleethorpes; Blackpool to Lytham; Gosport to Stokes Bay
21 April 1863: Glasgow to Milngavie Jcn
Cecil J. Allen. Half-a-century of train travelNo.
14. The "Georges" and "Princes" of the London & North Western.
Records of both fast running and heavy haulage during WW1.
D. Bertram. The CraigellachieBoat of Garten branch
of the Scottish Region. 140-5.
Descriptive rather than historical.
Norman Harvey. Journeying home from Wales: Locomotive causerie.
Performance by 2251 and Manor classes on Cambrian lines; 57XX on Brecon to Hereford line and behind Castle from Worcester to Paddington
W.J.K. Davies. Light railway notes. 149.
R.C. Riley. The Great Western "Dukedogs".150-6.
Opening photograph Nos. 3214 and 3213 climbing Talerdigg bank on 9 April 1939 (J.G. Dewing). Text notes which locomotives were fitted with new or reconditioned boilers when "new". Not photo-journalism, but excellent resume of class with interesting photographs
No. 277 (June 1963)
A.F. Wallis. Through trains between the Northern lines and the South
Eastern counties. Part 2. 202-8.
Through services between Liverpool, Birkenhead, Manchester and Birmingham to Margate, Ramsgate, Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings mainly during the 1920s and 1930s.
J.G. Bruce. The end of the London Transport F stock.
Ordered by the District Railway in 1919 from Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon & Finance Co. Ltd. They were of all-steel construction and 1840, later series 2400 hp was available for an eight-car set. Hand notching was employed. The third class cars had entirely longitudinal seating except for the end seats which made them useful for clearing football match crowds. They were fitted with powered sliding doors from 1938. In the Post War period they were switched to Metropolitan Line services to Uxbridge and the East London Line where the stock had to be modified to run in four-car formations. See also author's corriegenda on p. 316 and letter from J.M. Firth suggesting that design may have originated as repdiated export order and nicknames.
J. Spencer Gilks. This month's centenaries. 212
1 June 1863: Botley to Bishop's Waltham; Dunkeld to Pitlochry; Hassop to Buxton.
3 June 1863: Cambus to Alva
15 June 1863: Whaley Bridge to Buxton
16 June 1863: Kinsale Junction to Kinsale
17 June 1863: Llandudno Junction to Llanwrst
30 June 1863: Hereford to Eardisley
Cecil J. Allen. Half-a-century of train travelNo. 16. The incomparable Great Eastern "1500s". 213-18.
G.C. Holyhead, The "big green yins". 218-19.
The A4 class ended service on light, high-speed trains between Glasgow and Aberdeen. The enginemen's impressions of this design are recorded in this article, hence the Glaswegian expression "big green yins". See also letter from M.L. Harris on p. 317.
T.J. Hunt. The men who built the "Long Drag" over Ais Gill. 225-7.
Living conditions in the shanty towns built to house the navvies and their families.
E.J.S. Gadsden. The Haltwhistle-Alston branch of the
North Eastern Region. 227-9.
See also letter from S.C. Dea on p. 317 which relates to last steam motive power
W.J.K. Davies. After Beechingthe problem of maintaining rural communication. 230.
Metropolitan tanks on the Cambrian. 231,
Cambrian Railways acquired six redundant Metropolitan Railway 4-4-0Ts, but found them of limited utility and rebuilt two with tenders in 1915/16.
W.J.K. Davies. Light railway notes. 232-4.
Sentinel articulateds for narrow gauge.
3ft gauge Sentinel WN 6412/1926 ordered by Kettering Iron & Coal Co. Another, incorporating modifications (WN 7238/1927) was supplied to W.A. Smith's sugar plantations in South Africa and was more successful and in 1928 WN 6412 was returned to Sentinel for modification, after which it worked on the Thorpe Malsor branch until it closed.
One that got away.
Longueville to Provins branch operated by the Cie des Chemins de Fer Secondaires: photograph shows SNFC Class 131TB 2-6-2T at Provins.
The Bicton Woodland Railway.
Our home railways: Vol. II. W.J. Gordon.
London: lan Allan Ltd., with permission of Frederick Warne & Co., London
and New York. 255 pp. reviewed by H.S.
Memories of British railways of half-a-century ago are fast fading away. W. J. Gordon's vivid and racy descriptions, written in 1910, when nearly every company was at the height of its technical and commercial vigour, preserve much that has gone forever. Not that the Edwardian age was golden for railway shareholders (except perhaps, at the outset, for those of the Furness, which does not figure in this book), as the average ordinary dividend seems, according to Gordon, to have been 3½ per centand industrial troubles had already begun. The internal combustion engine, moreover, applied to road vehicles, was already disquieting railway managements and it hadsometimes in conjunction with the electric tramstarted the short-lived auto-passenger train traffic; but steam cars did not survive the First World War except on the GWR., where they probably lost money (see letter from J.P. Bardsley on p. 317). Now that Dr. Beeching proposes to change our railways out of recognition, this reprint of the original publication is most timely. The second volume, which maintains the standard of the first, deals with the remaining "first eleven" English (L.W.W., G.N., N.E., L.Y., G.C.) and the five Scottish railways, with a short chapter on the London Underground. What are so welcome are not only the brief historical reviews of undertakings and the accounts of current activities, but also the sidelights in the form of notes on practices then common to all, or most, railways, and the copious illustrations, all contemporary or very nearly so. Some features of railways in 1910 might well be revived today: the excellent G.S.W. parcels service, for instance (whether it ever paid, we shall probably never know), and the platform "tea wagon" at Euston and tea room at Kings Cross, both seemingly promising refreshment services in conditions not designed for yahoos. May such things feature in B.R.'s "new image"! The technical and commercial activity of the age is exemplified in electro-pneurnatic signalling, the first bogie wagons, air-conditioning (for Royal saloons) and electrification on Tyneside (N.E.) and in Lancashire (L.Y.); the Liverpool-Southport line, states Gordon, " proved unexpectedly profitable", and electrification "has proved to be a plunge that paid"; so much for de-electrification on Tyneside 50 years later, and the as yet unknown fate of the Southport electric service! The chapter on the G.C. shows that line at the height of its (not very golden) glory under the management of Sam Fay, whose sense of publicity may have influenced the choice of material supplied to the author. By and large, 1910 was not very exciting from the locomotive aspect, compared with the years immediately following, though justice is done to the more remarkable newer types, especially of the Scottish lines. As to passenger stock, one is struck by the high proportion of first class accommodation in the newer composite coaches: has the wheel come full circle with some of the non-Pullman business expresses of 1963? Allusions to the popularity of the Clyde and other steamer services (less frequented in this age of road motor transport), to "moving pictures for the bioscope" (taken on the West Highland) and to teeming cattle traffic on the G.N.R. remind one that the book is, after all, a period piece.
British railway bridges. By David Walters. London: Ian Allan
Ltd. 7in by 4tin. 72 pp. H.S.
The history and methods of railway bridging in Britain, with detailed notes on 25 of the more remarkable structures and lists of some major bridges in three different orders of size (greatest span, overall length, and height), with many photographic illustrations, are clearly and attractively presented. The style makes for easy and pleasant reading; yet Waiters succeeds in putting across a large assortment of facts so well set forth that even professional engineers will learn something. The pamphlet format and use of 1-in Ordnance Survey map references make the booklet an invaluable companion for those who strike across country in search of bridges to explore or photograph, or both. The two dozen bridges described range in time from 1825 Gaunless, on the Stockton & Darlington, and the first iron railway bndgeto 1906, which saw the opening of another N.E.R. structure the King Edward VII Bridge, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It may be surprising to read that the Connel Ferry rail-and-road bridge, taking the Caledonian's Ballachulish branch over Loch Etive, dates only from 1898-1903 and that this and the Forth Bridge are the only two important cantilever bridges in Britain. Like Meldon Viaduct, which takes the ex-L.S.W. Plymouth main line over a combe on the edge of Dartmoorand is an ideal objective for an excursion on footConnel Ferry is apparently doomed, as a railway bridge, by the Beeching closure proposals. Some bridges mentioned by the author have outlasted their economic requirement: Belah Viaduct, for instance, on the N.E.R. Kirkby Stephen line, now closed. But the Victorian engineers built for posterity. The strength of the Britannia Tubular Bridge, which continues to carry with ease over the Menai Straits trains of weights undreamt of by Robert Stephenson in 1845, is common knowledge. An even more remarkable structure that has withstood time, and with unobtrusive perfection of design adds to the beauty' of the Thames which it spans, is Brunel's flat brick arch masterpiece at Maidenhead just why it is a masterpiece Waiters shows clearly and briefly. The many illustrations, including some excellent studies by the author and by Eric Treacy, bring out many features noted in the text, as do the captions.
The railway encyclopaedia. Ernest F. Carter. London: Harold
Starke. 365pp. H.S.
An encyclopaedia in which it is hard or impossible to find the information one seeks is, at best, annoying; but one which is inaccurate is far worse. This farrago-the outcome, one Imagines, of not too many hours with scissors and paste-offends in both ways. Here as an example is a list of entries on p. 30: Blucher (correct, as to Stephenson's first locomotive); Bluebell Railway (said to have been "opened" in 1960 by the present exploiters); Bluecoaster Limited (a reference to a "beaver tail" in the R.H.D. train, but without explanation); Blyth and Tyne Railway; Blyth Harbour; Board ("railwayese in some parts of the country for a signal arm ");"Bob Tails" (L.C.D. Class "R" engines); Bobby ("general railwayese for a signalman", followed by inaccurate statement on railway "policemen "); Bo-Bo (no reference to articulation or otherwise); Bodmer Engine; Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway Coach (reference to one vehicle, presumably one of those preserved at York); Bodmin, Wadebridge and Delabole Railway; Bodorgon Tunnels; Bogie (no date when first fitted to locomotive Earl of Airlie); Bogie Coach, First G.W.R. (no mention of first bogie coach in Britain, which is mentioned, however, under Bogie Passenger Coach). The reasons for omissions and inclusions have defied my imagination. Did the compiler start with any clear idea of the kind of information which "railway enthusiasts" (for whom the work is avowedly published) seek? And did he, as one, in the words of his publishers, "of the best- known living authorities on railways" trust too much to his memory for facts?.
Number 279 (August 1963)
C.P. Boocock and A. Trickett. The railways of Portugal
Tables list both broad and narrow gauge locomotives extant in 1960 and 1961 respectively. Photographs illustrate both remarkably ancient and huge modern locomotives.
W.J.K. Davies. Light railway notes. 289-90.
The last years of the Snailbeach Railway. 290.
Baldwin 4-6-0s lasted until about 1946, after which road tractor used to propel wagons
E.C.B. Thornton. Memories of railways in the Cheltenham and Gloucester
area II. 291-8.
The unsatisfactory nature of thw two stations: Central and Eastgate; the slow and lengthy journeys to Cheltenham, and the lack of a strategy to exploit the route via Kingham and Oxford. Similarly the Midland terminated many southbound services at Ashchurch
Norman Harvey. Two contrasting Southern steam services: Locomotive
Logs of performance by rebuilt Merchant Navy class No. 35026 on up Atlantic Coast Express on 4 May 1963 when Sidmouth Junction to Salisbury was run in 70.19 minutes. Also snippets of running: Salisbury to Cosham via Southamton Central behind Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76005; and Salisbury to Southampton Central behind U calss 2-6-0 No. 31792, and Southampton to Fareham behind No. 34057 Biggin Hill..
Cecil J. Allen. Half-a-century of train travelNo. 18. From
Manchester to London via Stoke. 307-10.
Performance of North Staffordshire Railway tank engines, including 4-4-2T and 0-6-4T types, and later behind Patriot class.
R.E.G. Read. The English station frontage 1830-1914. 311-15.
Gobowen, Maldon, Bath Green Park, Huddersfield, Canterbury West, Bingley, Wansford, Chester General, Scarborough Central, Slough, Norwich Thorpe, Lewes (Old), Kidderminster and Stowmarket illustrated.
J,S. Gilks. This month's centenaries. 315
1 August 1863: Bishop Auckland to Barnard Castle; Clifton to Clifton Junction (North Eastern Railway); Swansea (Wind Street) to Neath (LL)
3 August 1863: Forres to Aviemore; Hardham Junction to Ford (LBSCR)
19 August 1863: Drighlington to Upper Batley
31 August 1863: Templecombe to Blandford
The District Railway 'F' stock. J.G.
Corrections: includes table of trailer vehicle numbers
The District Railway 'F' stock. J.M.
Repudiated export order: support for this: (1) completely different from all other District Railway stock; (2) difference in drawgear height; (3) inability to find work for them; (4) internal layout followed American practice including uprights (monkey poles) for standing passengers. Nicknamed "The Barns"
The "Big Green Yins". M.L.
Drivers noted that A4s could be opened-out without fire-throwing or excessive fuel consumption. The eex-LMS drivers were just as enthusiastic and the A3 class was also commended.
The Alston branch. S.C. Dea
G5 No. 67315 worked passenger trains until 1955; then J39 Nos. 64814 and 64851 worked all traffic until 64814 was replaced by Class 3 2-6-0 No. 77011; until DMUs arrived
Steam railcars. J.P.
Objected to reviewer's statement that steam railcars did not survive WW1: LNWR car loaned to Garstang & Knott End Railway and was in use in 1921.
Centenaries. H.V. Borley. 318
See July Issue:
No. 281 (October 1963)
The Travelling Post Office: Editorial. 361+
See letter on p. 477 from A.G. Lee
M.C. Reed. The Shrewsbury & Chester Railway. 363-72.
The North Wales Mineral Railway obtained powers to build a railway from Wrexham to Saltney in 1844
Norman Harvey. Western "Castles" & "Manors": Locomotive causerie.
Performance logs of Castle class No. 5073 Blenheim on Shrewsbury to Pontypool Road run with 325/340 tons: Shrewsbury to Hereford 51 miles in 57.54 min and onward 33.4 miles in 39.43 min (12.05 Manchester to Plymouth); No. 7036 Taunton Castle on 11.15 Paddington to Hereford when 36 miles to Reading accomplished in 35.26 min. with 332/355 tons. In both cases maximum speed recorded 78 mile/h. No. 5031 Totnes Castle with the Shrewsbury portion of 210 tons achieved 82 mile/h at foot of Gosford bank regaining several minutes between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury. Another log timed No. 7824 Guildford Manor on Birmingham to Hastings through train between Guilldford and Redhill (20.3 miles) in 32.41 min.
Alan G. Dunbar. The Lambie 4-4-0 tanks of the Caledonian
Introduced in 1893 and fitted with condensing apparatus for working the Glasgow Central Low Level lines which included 7 miles in tunnel. The locomotives had 17 x 24in cylinders, 5ft coupled wheels, 1095 ft2 total heating surface and 17 ft2 grate area and operated at 160 or 150 psi. They tended to be painted black, although some were later out-shopped from Perth in blue livery. Dunbar could not suggest a reason for the 4-4-0T configuration KPJ: could it have reflected Metropolitan Railway practice? There were problems with steaming and with keeping injectors working and with the crosshesad-driven pumps latrer replaced by duplex-type with similarities to Westinhouse type. Initially, the majority were based at Polmadie, but moved to Dawsholme once it opened. Two were stationed at Airdrie. The footplate crews did not like the class and disliked working in condensing mode as tanks had to be refilled to keep the water temperature down and they were disciplined if they failed to condense. The LMS numbered them 15010-31: No. 15023 (non-condensing) illustrated
Cecil J. Allen. Half-a-century of rail travelNo. 20. The North Eastern Atlantics. 384-7.
C.P. Walker. The G.N. & L.N.W. Joint Line through Leicestershire II. 388-92.
J,S. Gilks. This month's centenaries. 392.
1 October 1864: Princes Risborough to Aylesbury
5 October 1864: Herne Bay to Ramsgate
20 October 1864: Nantwich to Market Drayton
24 October 1864: Aberdovey to Llwyngwril
29 October 1864: Chippenham to Calne
J. Howard Turner. Locomotive headcodes of the L.B.S.C.R. 393-6.
Steam railcars. F.S. Walmsley.
J. P. Bardsley was quite correct when he referred (August issue) to the use of a steam railcar on the Knott End Railway. There is a photograph of the railcar (L.M.S. No. 10698) in The Railway Magazine for December, 1924; this was taken at Knott End by E. Ashworth in September, 1921. When the General Manager, G. E. Worthington, returned to the Knott End Railway after demobilisation in August, 1919 the line was very busy, with four steam locomotives (Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0STs Jubilee Queen and New Century; Manning Wardle 0-6-0T Knoft End and 2-6-0T Blackpool), handling both passengers and a heavy coal and salt traffic for the Preesall salt mine. The railcar, capable of carrying 48 third class passengers, was hired from the L.N.W.R. in 1920. In that year the Knott End Railway conveyed a record number of passengers, 112,000. "Puff and Dart", the name bestowed on the railcar by the local people, outlived the Knott End steam locomotives and worked the last passenger train out of Knott End on 29 March 1930. I believe a similar railcar was used on the neighbouring Glasson Dock branch, but I cannot offer any precise details. It may be of interest to note that the line between Garstang Town and Pilling was closed to all traffic on Wednesday, 31 July 1963. On that date the last "Pilling Pig", the daily freight train, was hauled by Class 5 4-6-0 No. 45390.
North Staffordshire details. Robert Keys.
W. Read mentions Trentham station but does not make it entirely clear that the designer was Burry and not one of his disciples. As for the mention of steam railcars surviving (or not) in the first world war, raised in Mr. Bardsley's letter on page 317, one could include the N.S.R., whose three rail-motors, inaugurated in 1905, continued to run up to and after amalgamation. Their final trips were made on the last day of the winter 1924/5 service.
Centenaries. A.L. Barnett
Gilks is not quite correct in his August Centenaries. The line from Bishop Auckland to Barnard Castle was built and opened in five separate sections. The line from Bishop Auckland to Fielden Bridge Junction was opened by the North Eastern Railway on 1 August 1863, and was built under a Stockton & Darlington Railway Act of 1858. From Fielden Bridge Junction to West Auckland station was part of the "Tunnel Branch" of the S. & D.R., opened on 13 September 1856, under an Act of 1854; this branch allowed Brusselton incline to be closed. The short section through St. Helen's stationnow West Aucklandwas part of the original main line of the Stockton & Darlington Railway of 1825, from Phoenix Pit to Darlington and Stockton. A passenger service from this station commenced in 1833. From St. Helen's to Spring Gardens Junction was part of the Haggerleases or Butterknowle branchone of the earliest branches of the S. & D.R.opened 1 May 1830. Finally, from Spring Gardens Junction to Barnard Castle, the line was authorised by the South Durham & Lancashire Union Railway Act of 1857, and was opened by the N.E.R. on 1 August 1863. The S.D. & L.U.R. was absorbed into the S. & D.R. in 1862, and the latter was amalgamated with the N.E.R. on 13 July 1863.
Centenaries. G.R. Mahon
Correction for two dates of openings of railways in Ireland given by J. Spencer Gilks in recent issues. The Cork & Kinsale Junction Railway (June issue) was opened to public traffic (Kinsale Junction-Kinsale) on 27 June 1863 and not on 16 June. There is an illustration of the "opening" of the line in the Illustrated London News of 30 May 1863 but this represents, in fact, the scene on 16 May when an excursion trip was made from Cork to Kinsale. The opening of the Avoca-Enniscorthy extension of the Dublin Wicklow & Wexford Railway (July issue) took place on 16 November 1863 and not on 18 July. The opening which took place on the latter date was of the short 6¾mile section from the temporary Rathdrum station at Kilcommon (about a mile on the Wicklow side of Rathdrum) to Ovoca (now Avoca).
Bath Green Park . G.A. Newman
R.E.G. Read's article (August issue) on station architecture appears to imply that Green Park was owned by the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway, but this was not so. It was the Bath terminus of the Midland Railway originally, and was owned by that company; afterwards the ownership passed to the L.M.S.R.
Locomotive Preservation. T.R. Gomm
In 1960 you were kind enough to mention in your columns details of our appeal for funds for the preservation of G.W.R. "Dukedog" No. 9017. The response from your readers enabled the locomotive to be saved and for the last two seasons it has been steamed at intervals and used on Bluebell Railway trains. Although the general mechanical condition remains sound, it is now necessary to replace the fire bars and it is planned to exchange the tender, as the tank on the one in current use is badly corroded and leaking. It is also felt that the locomotive will be much more of an attraction if restored to G.W.R. livery and its original 3217 numberplates have been reserved for purchase when they become available. In addition, thanks to the valuable co-operation of two enthusiasts, who had originally ordered them, we have been able to purchase the nameplates Earl of Berkeley, which were originally allocated to the engine. Provided we supply the paint, the Bluebell Railway has agreed to carry out all the necessary work, and those who have seen their restored locomotives will agree that their workmanship, like their maintenance of No. 9017, is of a high standard. However, the materials cost moneyan estimated £250, in factand I would like to invite your readers to subscribe towards this figure and so ensure that one of the last working 4-4-0s in Europe, and probably the last double-framed locomotive in the world in regular use, is restored to pristine condition and continues in useful service. Should any balance remain after the work has been carried out it will be retained against future replacements or repairs that may be required.
Book reviews. 397-9
The railway-lover's companion. Edited by Bryan
Morgan. London: Eyre & Spottiswood. 553 pp. Reviewed by -H.S.
As a miscellany of the bedside or week-end type, this is really excellent value for money, with something for everybody. I am puzzled, however, by Mr. Morgan's avowal that the purpose of the miscellanyfor that is what it is, and none the worse for thatis an attempt at "something more monumental, a Doric Arch of the Railway Age which should commemorate the drama and achievement. ... It is admittedly an arch built only from paper; but at least it is secure from vandalism". In fact, like other books of its class, it is a peepshow. What the editor seems to have in mind is his inclusion of more essay-like or textbook material than is usual; it is welcome, and is all entertainingly written, but does not make a monument.
The book's ten parts are arbitrarily constituted. Their titles, such as "Men and Machines" and "Fact and Fiction", give little clue to their contents, except for "Safety, Danger and Disaster", "Foreign Parts" and the verse extracts. The more purely informative items include illuminating passages from Cecil J. Allen's Switzerland's Amazing Railways; as with other such material, it makes hungry where most it satisfies, which is one drawback of a miscellany. The notable railway and other writers are legion. Like everyone who reads such a book, I am indignant at omissions. Why omit Kipling, whose superbly competent (at their worst) prose treatments of railway matters are no more subservient to other issues, pace Mr. Morgan, than any other authors'? The field covered might well have been confined to Britain. The wealth of suitable material about railways overseas makes any choice seem invidious. The rationale of selection here baffles me. It was not necessary to reproduce from the editor's dated (1955) and rather precious The End of the Line, extracts about French, German and Italian railways. Other extracts savour of Blackwood's Magazine. As to disasters, why not supplement the excellent accounts by L.T.C. Rolt and others with contemporary materialon Armagh, for instance?
Everyone will disagree about the verse chosen. If I must accept the omissionon the quite unconvincing grounds of their being "pedestrian"of Wordsworth and Tennyson, I concede that there is no important poem in our language which features the railway, although Edward Thomas' exquisite Adlestrop is high poetry. R.L.S.' "Faster than fairies, faster than witches" is rightly here, as is one of the more poetical passages from John Betjeman's Summoned by Bells. The editor is altogether wrong about French railway verse. Research would probably reveal more of the real poetryof extraordinary freshness, to judge by translationsin some Indian vernaculars that has been inspired quite recently by "primitive" peoples' first contacts with the railway. But however critical as regards particulars, I applaud Mr. Morgan's wide general choice. One cannot judge harshly a miscellany in which appear illuminating, if otherwise widely differing, passages by Roger Lloyd, Hamilton Ellis, William Acworth, Jack Simmons, Roger Fulford, E. Foxwell and T. Farrer, Samuel Smiles, O. S. Nock, G. Freeman Alien, Charles Dickens, Michael Robbins, Christian Barman, R. C. Robertson-Glasgow, Paul Jennings, Lewis Carroll, Conan Doyle, John Buchan and Hilaire Belloc, not to mention the poets. The production generally is good and the many contemporary illustrations of 19th-century subjects are well reproduced. No railway lover can fail to be intrigued by Jack Hill's striking book jacket depicting Brighton Central in the glory of 1907 L.B.S.C. liveries.
The locomotives of the South Eastern Railway.
By D.L. Bradley. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. 124 pp. Reviewed
This book completes Mr. Bradley's trilogy of the history of the Eastern Section locomotives of the Southern Railway. As were its forerunners, it is meticulous in its detailed description of the dimensions and life story, not only of every class of locomotive but even of individual members of the various classes involved in modi- fications or rebuildings when these occurred: one cannot but marvel at the research which must have been entailed by such an achievement. After a few brief chapters to set the scene, the early part of the book covers the opening period of the embryo South Eastern and the complex relationships between the London & Dover (South Eastern), London & Croydon, London & Brighton and London & Greenwich Railways, and the short-lived Joint Locomotive Committee of the three first-named companies. Once clear of the very early "absorbed" locomotives, we progress through the Cudworth era and the brief Watkin-Mansell period to the final Stirling regime.
Each locomotive class has its own chapter, at the conclusion of which is a summary setting forth the engine numbers, building and with- drawal dates. Readers who are devotees either of early locomotive history and/or the South Eastern affairs will find all this quite fascinating, but it would be doing less than justice to the book to convey the impression that it is merely a catalogue of historic locomotives. Far from it, indeed! Interwoven amongst all this minutiae of numbers, dates and dimensions are the most diverting flashes of insight into the goings on of those early days, of the workings on which the engines were employed and their dispersal, to say nothing of the occasional misfortunes which befell various members of the class immediately under notice: your reviewer is not one of the historically-minded locomotive fiends, but he can safely say that once he had faced up to the rigours of coping with the numerical and mecha- nical details, he found precious few pages which did not yield some incident or other to enliven the proceedings.
Here and there one comes across an occasional item which appears to be a slip of the pen: it is difficult, for instance, to believe that an engine rostered for the Charing Cross/Cannon St.- Hayes service should be stabled at Purley, but these items are very few. However, our old friends the Hastings and Folkestone "Car Trains" come into the picture and yet again seem to have come adrift: the statement that the Folkestone cars were similar to the Hastings ones is just not true, for the Folkestone cars were longer, a different shape and quite different internally (your reviewer rode in both on many occasions). Nor can the statement that the six-car Folkestone train slipped two of its cars at Ashford be accepted: it was a six-car rake with distinctive car" brakes at each end, with clerestory roof over the "car" section and a diminutive birdcage over the guard's compart- ment, and the slip portion was formed of a couple of ordinary coaches. One would join issue with other statements concerning the cars. The book contains a map as a frontispiece, 56 illustrations and 16 line drawings, the latter not in numerical order with the illustrations, which makes reference to them somewhat difficult: the map shows only the lines and their opening dates and in the case of the Bexhill branch, it is questionable whether it should appear: true, the S.E.R. tabled the Bill for its construction but it was not opened until some three years after the fusion of the S.E. and L.C.D. interests. See also letter from S. Lucas on p. 477.
No. 282 (November 1963)
R.C. Riley. The Leicester West Bridge branch. 402-9.
The Leicester & Swannington Railway opened on 17 July 1832. George Stephenson drove the Comet on the first train: unfortunately it fractured its chimney in Glenfield Tunnel. The railway led to lower coal prices in Leicester. The Midland Railway built special six-wheel carriages for the line in 1888. A gate at the entrance to Glenfield Tunnel prevented unauthorised entry. The last passenger services ran on 22 September 1928. The author enjoyed a footplate trip on No. 58143 in 1963.
R.S. Greenwood. B.R. mismanagement of Lancashire town holiday traffic.
Due to a gap in communications British Railways remained unaware that Rochdale had changed the date for its Wakes Week (fortnight) and compounded this mistake by assuming that the first week would be that for the main holiday when shops closed. but it was the second. Thus the trains which ran were restricted to the first week and ran empty, whilst the second week lacked trains
Cecil J. Allen. Half-a-century of train travelNo.
21. The London & North Western "Claughton" 4-6-0s. 410-14,
See also letter from F. Graham Glover in next Volume p. 37 who states that Allen gave incorrect grate area for Prince of Wales class.
W.A. Tuplin. Sketches for an expanded "Claughton".
A 4-8-0 based on the Claughton four-cylinder layout, but with larger boiler, smaller coupled wheels and longer stroke cylinders. Letters from R.H. Mann (V. 25 p. 36). C.T. Taylor worked in Drawing Office at Crewe and was told that a larger boiler had originally been envisaged for Claughton class, but was rejected on grounds of tooling cost. The class was a "joy to work" as one could stand up underneath to deal with inside motion.
W.J.K. Davies. Beeching and the Watford-St. Albans Abbey branch.
The proposals involved two diesel railcar sets and a light diesel locomotive and some de-staffing of stations.
E.G. Barnes. Crisis on the Metropolitan Railway 1863:
a sidelight on the Underground centenary. 425-7.
The year began badly with a head-on collision at Farringdon Street due to brake failure on 27 February. On 10 August the Great Western withdraw its services from the line due to a financial squabble with the Metropolitan Railway, but Archibald Sturrock modified Great Northern Railway locomotives to enable them to work the services. The Great Western subsequently reinstated some of its services. The broad gauge was removed from the Metropolitan in 1873. Colonel Yolland was highly critical of the link between the Great Northern and Metropolitan at King's Cross: the curvature, gradients and signalling were all condemned, but had been sanctioned.
M.L.J. Harris. A history of G.W.R. coaches 1923 1947.
VII. Standard stock 1936 1941. 428-31.
Clean-lined exteriors; spartan interiors. Usual side elevation diagrams and official photographs
W.J.K. Davies. Light railway notees. 433-4.
Final visit by Birmingham Locomotive Club to inspect remains of metre gauge ironstone railway at Scaldwell in Northamptonshire and see Peckett Scaldwell in steam and Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST Handyman
J.S. Gilkes. This month's centenaries. 434; 435.
2 November 1863: Oldham (Mumps) to Rochdale: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
16 November 1863: Avoca to Enniscorthy: Dublin Wicklow & Wexford Railway
Duns to Earlston (Reston station; Leaderfoot Viaduact and other remains extant in 1963)
N. Caplan. Great Northern publicity for London's Northern Heights
Where to live: illustrated guide to some of London's Choicest Suburbs (booklet) promoted healthy Finchley away from the fog to which the railway contributed!
Progress in steam locomotive design. D.H. Landau
Although Peter G. Gledhill does not say so, I strongly suspect that the power outputs he quotes for French locomotives were of a transitory nature, whereas the 2,511 e.d.b.h.p. for the "Duchess" quoted showed no signs of "beating the boiler". This renders the comparison largely invalid. Assuming, however, that they were not transitory outputs a comparison with the best efforts of British locomotives in relation to grate area would look as follows:
|4-8-2 compound||4000||71||Rly Wld, 1963 (Sep)|
|Rebuilt Scot||1782||57||1948 Exchanges|
|West Country||2010||52.5||1948 Exchanges|
* Estimates using B.R. Resistance Figures.
The disparity of the Rebuilt Scot and Jubilee figures, for engines of almost identical grate area, lends support to Mr. Gledhill's argument that grate area alone is no criterion of power. His advocacy of compounding because it is "most efficient", however, is dubious. The potential efficiency of compound and simple engines is identical given equal admission and exhaust pressures. It is only because of the deficiency of valve gears in the past that simple engines have been less efficient in practice. With such gears as British Caprotti as fitted on No. 71000 this is largely obviated, and having simpler steam passages than a compound might well be more efficient. For instance, if such a locomotive as the G.W. King, with a proven steam rate of 33,600Ib/hr, were rebuilt with such valve gear, up to 2,260 d.b.h.p. would be available, or 66 d.b.h.p./sq ft grate areamuch the same as the best French practice, or even better if, as suspected, the figures given relate to transitory efforts.
Progress in steam locomotive design. W.A. Tuplin
As specific discussion under this heading was on the possible attainment, in a British 4-8-0, of Chapelon 4-8-0 standards of speed and power (grate area), the locomotives listed by Mr. A.E. Durrant are too tall and too languid to be relevant. An engineer, of any nationality, can see that the lower the designed maximum power of a locomotive, the lighter it may be made.
Book reviews. 439
Locomotives of the L.N.E.R.-Part 1: Preliminary
survey. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. reviewed by
Originally intehded to be merely a revision of the Society's publication, Locomotives of the L.N.E.R. 1923-]'937, this R.C.T.S. chronicle of L.N.E.R. locomotives will now follow the same general format of the series on G.W.R. locomotives. The first of its ten parts is now with us. The production 'of the series has been entrusted to a team of writers with special knowledge in various spheres and permission was granted to examine previously unavailable railway records. What a tragedy it would be to the student of railway history if details of a locomotive (or any other piece of railway equipment, for that matter) followed the particular item to the scrap heap! Some apparent contradictions have, of course, come to light as a result of this scrutiny of official documents, and where this has happened it has been pointed out. This attitude is to be welcomed, for if there may be some doubt as to any fact in a railway history, it is far better for the author to say so rather than to give his own, or the commonly accepted, versionhis reputation should not suffer but be enhanced by the admission. As the bulk of research work has been completed, rapid publication of the series is promised and, if the wealth of facts incorporated in the preliminary survey is any guide, the series should form a very comprehensive account indeed of the ten thousand or so locomotives which were owned by the L.N.E.R.
Part I includes 64 pages of half-tones depicting points referred to in the text; about 170 locomotives are illustrated and most are in L.N.E.R. condition, as will be the rule throughout the series. A coloured frontispiece of No. 4476 and a large map of the L.N.E.R. system are included. Chapters on the company's early history and its constituents' locomotive engineers provide a fitting opening to the work and are followed by an interesting chapter on locomotive policy and construction. As the series is to be based on the L.N.E.R. classification by wheel arrangement, Parts 2-6 describing tender engines and Parts 7-9 tank engines, the renumbering schemes have been comprehensively described in order to be understood as a whole by the reader. Part 10, dealing with miscellaneous engines, railcars and statistics, will include a numerical index to the series. Locomotive naming is also fully described in Part 1 and is supported by a complete list of L.N.E.R. named locomotives. Every classification used by the L.N.E.R. is tabled at the back of the book with brief notes and dates of introduction and disposal.
With the stock of locomotive types formerly owned by the L.N.E.R. rapidly dwindlingfrom over 40 classes eighteen months ago to 20 at the present timethis is an opportune moment to begin publication of the series. Part I alone would be a worthy addition to the library of the admirer of L.N.E.R. locomotive design, whether he be fortunate enough to remember the company in its heyday, or the observer of its products and their performance under later ownership, and is an exciting introduction to the series.
The Severn & Wye Railway. H.W. Paar. Dawlish: David & Charles (Publishers) Ltd., and London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd. 173 pp.
Number 283 (December 1963)
Grantham O2s valette. 442.
Steam working ceased at Grantham with winter timetable. Photographs of No. 63932 on branch from Highdyke to Stainby on iron ore empties on 7 September 1963.
The principles of block signallingI. 443-7.
Regulations; including Rule 55. Bell codes. Junctions. Home signals. Distant signals. Manual operation
D. Trevor Rowe. Hungarian holiday. 448-51.
J.H. Price. Transylvanian journey. 448-9.
Two photographs of Roumanian State Railways narrow gauge railway (79cm gauge) near Turda: line going to Abrud in Carpathian Mountains. 0-8-0T built in Hungary
The "Western Belle": a 21st anniversary Ian Allan railtour. CJA. 451
On 19 Octobwe 1963 No. 4474 Flying Scotsman hauling Pullman train from Paddington to Taunton via Devizes and Bristol; thence behind Western Region Moguls to Barnstaple to Ilfracombe and on to Exeter Central where Flying Scotsman took over for return to Waterloo. Problems with rolling stock caused considerable delay.
Cecil J. Allen. Half-a-century of train travelNo. 22. On the
mainland of Europe. 456-9.
Holiday in Switzerland in 1909 included steam journey on Gotthard Railway which included the double loop at Wassen. Then further annual holidays in Switzerland until he took his wife there in 1913 travelling on free passes. Many Continental holidays in the Inter-War period
Robinson 2-8-0 in Australian exile. 459
NBL WN 22042/1918; ROD No. 1984 as Richmond Vale Railway No. 20 photographed 3 May 1963.
E.J.S. Gadsden. The Wotton Tramway. 465-9.
The Brill branch which eventually, but briefly became part of London Transport
Norman Harvey. The L.N.W.R. route from Manchester to Leeds: Locomotive
Based mainly on notes provided by Herbert Gelder over a relatively long period. Motive power included the Hughes four-cylinder 4-6-0s; LNWR Prince of Wales (in 1930 No. 5796 averaged 40.7 mile/h from Saddleworth to Diggle hauling 316 tons and touched 67/8 mile/h between Slaithwaite and Golcar). Several runs featured the 09.45 Newcastle to Liverpool, noramally double-headed bewteen Leeds and Manchester (in 1930 a Prince of Wales No. 5732 assisting unrebuilt Calughter No. 6006 averaged 45 mile/h with 420 tons between Golcar and Slaithwaite). The light Stockport to Halifax workings hauled by L&YR 2-4-2Ts No. 10943 achieved high uphill speeds: Stalybridge to Diggle average speed of 49.1 mile/h hauling 82 tons.
W.J.K. Davies. Light railway notes. 473-4
Castellon to Onda narrow gauge in Spain had closed
Toram Beg. The antics of the North British Atlantics.
Friend Jock Todd, latterly a motive power inspector, fired for Driver Tom Henderson who was involved in the dynamometer trials with Hazeldean. McKillop considered the NBR Atlantics rough riding in comparison with the "beautifully balaanced" Z class and at "speed seemed to hug the road like a greyhound at full stretch, while the N.B. Atlantic carried on like a terrier worrying a rat.". Also noted that the great fault of the Shire class was rough riding.
The Travelling Post Office. A.G. Lee.
It is stated that the sorting coach adapted from a horsebox featured "the first mail exchange apparatus". In fact, this is just not so. The use of a T.P.O. was first suggested by Frederick Karstadt (who was the son of a G.P.O. surveyor), and it was on 6 January 1838 that the first sorting carriage (the one converted from a horsebox) was run on the Grand Junction Railway from Birmingham to Liverpool. This trip was so successful that it was decided on 19 June to make the T.P.O. permanent. The Grand Junction Railway then commissioned Nathaniel Worsdell (superindent of the coach-making department of the Grand Juntion) to build the first T.P.O. (with mail exchange apparatus). This carriage was the 16ft by 7ft 6in vehicle and not the converted horsebox. Further, the apparatus for mail exchange was not, as stated, first devised by John Duker, but by Nathaniel Worsdell. It appears from an article in the Railway Magazine for June 1940 (New Light on Mail Exchange Apparatus by W. H. Chaloner) that in the course of 1837 Worsdell made experiments with a mail exchange apparatus, which he patented in January 1838 (7528 see Nathaniel Worsdell). Also in January, the Secretary to the Post Office wrote to Worsdell asking the price of the apparatus, but the Post Office was not prepared to pay what was asked for the sale of the apparatus (the price was reduced from £3,000 to £1,500 but to no avail). Instead, John Ramsay re-invented the apparatus (name not listed in Woodcroft), apparently with the consent of the Post Office, and this was adopted by the P.O., and first tried at Boxmoor on the London & Birmingham Rly. on 30 May 1848. As well as the above article suggested that everyone interested should refer to the book English T.P.O.s by C.W. Ward (Ottley 5533).
S.E.R. engines at Purley. S.
Tn his review of The Locomotives of the South Eastern Railway your critic J.T. suggests that Mr. Bradley is mistaken in stating that an engine stabled at Purley was rostered for duties between Charing Cross, Cannon Street and Hayes. Nevertheless this is true. The point of interest here is that to reach Hayes the engine had to reverse no fewer than three timesat South Croydon, at Selsdon Road (as then named) and again at Elmers End. No doubt this is what J.T. found difficult to believe, but many years later the Class C 0-6-0 engaged in pick up freight duties along the Mid-Kent line still came from Purley (not Bricklayers Arms) and reached the terminus at Hayes, where its task began, in precisely the same way.
Computations of train speed. D.M. Ellis
I would be very gratified if, in an early issue of Railway World, either Cecil J. AlIen or Norman Harvey could explain the details of their method of determining train speeds. As a pro- fessional statistician, I find their accuracy fantastic. For instance, in the Railway World for August, Mr. Harvey states " .... time can be kept without exceeding this (85 m.p.h.) limit more than momentarily. On the runs that I instance in Tables I and II the limit was virtually kept and it is quite likely that the speedometer on the engine showed no more than 85." Yet in Table II I find no speed higher than 88 m.p.h. and in Table I no speed higher than 86! Now, to travel a mile at 86 m.p.h. takes ½ a second less than to travel a mile at 85 m.p.h. Presumably, since maximum speed is mentioned, timing was done over less than a mile. For a quarter-mile the difference is about one tenth of a second, in which time the train has travelled 12ft. Even with a stopwatch reading to one tenth of a second, this allows nothing for errors in the length being timed, or in the time taken to react to seeing or hearing the end of this length. Although the example I cite comes from Mr. Harvey, Mr. Allen, too, reveals this magnificent accuracy. A case which comes to mind, over the same section, concerned his first trip on the early Southern diesels (see Trains Illustrated May, 1952) when 86½ m.p.h. was attained, again because of a faulty speedometer. I boggle at that ½. So, please, may we be told how such accuracy has been made possible since the days when experienced timers could not distinguish between 97 and 102 m.p.h.?
Sole Street bank. G.C. Wright
May I make a comment on Mr. Harvey's excellent " Locomotive Causerie" (October issue)? He states that he has known" West Country" pacifies to pass through Sole Street station at speeds lower than 20 m.p.h. While I am in agreement with this statement, I would like to point out that Sole Street bank and Honeybourne bank cannot be compared as similar inclines. As Mr. Harvey may well know, Sole Street bank is approached by a sharp left-hand curve, on which there is imposed a speed restriction of 30 m.p.h. This in itself does away with any chance of rushing the bank, which incidentally is 1½ miles longer than Honeybourne. Might I also add, that having worked up Sole Street many times, it was sometimes considered not far short of a miracle to breast the summit (with a heavy boat train of "twelve and a swinger ") at something over 10 m.p.h., and this usually on inferior coal.