Railway World Volume 32
Number 377 (October)
London electrification goes ahead. 430-1
Initial announcement of Great Northern electrification to Royston, via main line and Hertford Loop, including dual voltage link to Moorgate via Drayton Park. Also mentions possible new high level terminal at King's Cross to accommodate airport traffic from Foulness: anyone for Boris?
Trevor Bailey. The oddest things strike me.
Undergraduate days in lazy, late 1930s Cambridge where the author (presumably the man better known as a cricketer), Alan Pegler and Jo Lever enjoyed themselves travelling by train for the joy of it.Article reproduced below (minus excellent photographs: listed at end: (times & format as per original)
The oddest things strike me at times; and on this particular occasion I was thinking what an indignity the North Country Continental has had to suffer by having the inevitable cup-and-saucer symbol at the head of its column in the timetable.
I do not know if the name stiII applies to what remains of this trainindeed, officially it probably never didbut it was a fine train during my undergraduate days, even though it did take its time wandering from Parkeston Quay to Liverpool. The point was it had a magnificent dining car and it served superb breakfasts. We sometimes got up to catch the 7.30 from Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds for the sole purpose of breakfasting in the diner of the Continental between there and March (it needed more than the cup-and-saucer symbol to get us up that early) and we would feast ourselves on porridge, kippers, bacon and eggs and the rest, whilst lounging back in our luxurious first class seats listening to the music of the gleaming B17 trundling us across the Fens.
My companions on these journeys were Alan Pegler and a mutual friend, Jo Lever, all of us students at the time, but inclined more to the pleasureable pursuits of train-watching in all its forms than to the rigours of the lecture-hall. Cambridge in those distant days immediately preceding the outbreak of war was one of the finest centres in the country for the railway enthusiast. It had been served in pre-grouping days by the GE the GN, the Midland and the LNW; and many examples of locomotives and rolling stock from all those companies were to be seen regularly in addition to modern LNE and LMS equipmentPrecursors and Prince of Wales from the Sandy direction and even KirtIey and Johnson antiques from the Midland.
During this period an interesting new visitor was the LMS 3-car dmu painted bright red and cream, which ran between Cambridge and Oxford to the unprecedented timing of 105 minutes for the 78 miles, calling, as far as I recall, only at Sandy, Bedford and Bletchley. We travelled on it once or twice, as a novelty, though without much enthusiasm but the real fun used to occur on the frequent occasions when it failed, the substitute equipment normally being a Stanier 2-6-4 tank and two modern low-waisted corridors. I forget the details of the schedule, but I remember that it was quite usual to record speeds of 82-84 mph between Cambridge and Sandy, and even then there wasn't much slack in the timing. We rarely went beyond Sandy (except for an occasional visit to Bletchley to satisfy Jo, who was an LMS fanatic); we used the service mostly to get to the GN main line, which was the main object of our attention. This was the period when the streamliners were at the zenith of their fame, and there was no limit to the number of times one could watch and photograph them without getting bored. Their time-keeping was really precise, and their appearance striking in the extreme, so brightly did they shine. We found many good vantage points during those days, but favourites were Arlesey, Sandy, Offord curves, or Abbot's Ripton.
We always went to our viewing points by train, and therefore were a bit restricted as even then there were not many "parties", and one was liable to be marooned at isolated stations for considerable periods. And we preferred a station where there was a reasonable pub close at handat least one where they could cut a good sandwich. We used to go out at all times of the year, and in all weathers; and in fact some of the best photographs I ever took were during the winter, muffled up in the crisp winter sunshine. I suppose it did rain sometimes, but, as on all pre-war holidays, in retrospect the sun was always shining; and I think that some of my pleasantest train-watching memories are of the hours spent on balmy summer days sitting in the meadows between the Ouse and the main line. I rely too much on my memory to be able to give details of exact times of the trains therebut the northbound procession used to start with the Queen of Scots followed by the 1.20 Scotsman, 1.30 Leeds and 1.40 Harrogate, in rapid succession.
In the up direction, the Jubilee and the West Riding would come by about 1.15 and 1.30, and there seemed to be plenty of other activity; details are but vague memories, except that I do recall there being a 10.59 from Doncaster, which always struck me as a very odd departure time. I'm sure it must have come from somewhere else. We were not often in position early enough to see the 10 o'clock Scotsman go down, nor late enough for the 4 o'clock Coronation; but there was no shortage of motive power variety, on freights as well as passengers. One particularly interesting train which stays firmly rooted in my memory was the 3.4 from Peterborough due into Kings Cross at 4.20the only train at that time, as far as I know, to do the up journey in under even time. It came, I believe, from Cleethorpes, was invariably hauled by an Ivatt large Atlantic and always seemed to be going well; though it hadn't a very arduous task, as it rarely had more than six on. The overbridge north of Abbots Ripton station was a good place to see and hear this one in action.
At this time, the LNER operated a cheap half-day return fare from Cambridge to London on Thursdays and Sundays for the princely sum of 4s 2d, and this led to one of the most interesting locomotive workings of that period. The famous Garden Cities & Cambridge Buffet Expresses (known to the non-railway minded undergraduates as "Beer Trains", and to railwaymen as either "Buffies" or "Buffetts", depending) had been running for a number of years, and were generally very well patronized, certain ones more so than others. Mostly they were operated through the nineteen-thirties by Ivatt Atlantics, and some of the timings were pretty sharp. The 12.30 pm up, for example was allowed only 72 min to Kings Cross, though its normal load was very modest. It was, however, booked to pass Royston (13 miles) in 15 minutes and with a 45 mph slack at Shepreth Branch Junction and a 60 mph limit on the branch, this timing was impossible. Brisk running at something over the 60 mark would nevertheless see them right time by Letchworth. As a result of the cheap facilities to London on a Thursday, the 12.30 (the first train on which the cheap tickets could be used) began to grow, and might have 8, 9, 10 or 11 bogies on .. Clearly, the Atlantics were unable to cope, and first B17s, then AI and A3 Pacifies were tried, until ultimately it became a regular A4 working operated by the Leeds link from Kings Cross, including such redoubtable characters as Raiment, Kitchener and Charlie Waite. The loco worked the morning "Buffet" from Kings Cross, and returned on the 12.30, and we had many a run to London just for the fireworks. (On one occasion we managed a footplate trip via the corridor tender on 4493).
The 12.30 stopped at Letchworth, Hitchin and Welwyn Garden City, and there were thrills all the way with the right crew. We once timed 4902 Seagull from Welwyn Garden City to Kings Cross in 20 min 47 sec start-to-stop (20.2 miles), including an 87 through New Southgate. And we had many a spirited climb from Hitchin to Stevenage since the 11.7 miles from Hitchin to Welwyn Garden City had to be covered in 14 min start-to-stop. There can rarely have been a better four-and-twopence-worth. We used to get the 2.10 Buffet back, and eat on it; the excitement on the up journey was too intense to allow for eating on that one.
Our journeys on the GE section were less frequent, and generally less lively, except for one hectic run to Liverpool St on the 65 min non-stop one Thursday, with a "Claud" and a light load. But after our end-of-term exams in June, we invested in a weekly area rover ticket for 15s 9d first class which enabled us to travel from Cambridge as far as Hunstanton, March, Huntingdon via St Ives, Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds and Thetford. It had no southward availability.
We used this ticket on a variety of journeys, but on one day set out to see how many miles we could cover in the day, wholly within the area. Our final mileage was 364, and calculating the cost of the ticket at 2s 3d per day, this worked out at almost exactly 13½ miles to the penny, first class, which must be an all-time record. The details of the journey are too far behind me to recaJl, but I know that we started on the 7.30 to Bury St Edmunds, thence by the Continental (with breakfast!) to March, then to Wisbech, Kings Lynn, Ely, Cambridge and off again. Our final taJly was brought up by an evening return to MildenhaJl and back, with an E4.
During this particular week we had what we came to refer to as our "lucky escape". We had planned to travel on the day in question from Kings Lynn to Cambridge by the 11.2 ex-Hunstanton; but at the last minute Alan Pegler, who wielded an oar as stroke of the Jesus Fourth boat, had to go rowing, so Jo and I changed out itinerary and went to March instead.
On arriving at Ely in the early afternoon, having suffered some fearful checks and running very late, we were told by a porter at Ely that there was an engine off the road at Hilgay. We reached Cambridge, after a side trip to Thetford, on the up Norwich at 3.51, and were joined by Alan; simultaneously we were greeted by newspaper placards proclaiming "London Express Disaster". We bought a paper and learned that our 11.2 from Hunstanton had hit a lorry on an occupation crossing at Hilgay, derailed the loco and all five coaches, and killed five passengers. We leapt on to the 4.5 to Kings Lynn, made slow progress beyond Ely, and finaJly arrived at Hilgay to see the results of the encounter. The loco involved was one of the Royal "Clauds", No 8783, and it had heeled over to the left and struck some wagons parked in a siding. The coaches had done likewise, and had their near sides badly ripped and shattered. The walls of the compo, in whose first class we should have been, were demolished.
The breakdown train moved into position shortly after our arrival, and we watched the loco and tender re-railed, after which we hitched a lift back to Cambridge by car and only just got back to the coJlege in time to avoid a gate-fine. Ron Garraway was DMPS at Cambridge at the time. The two Royal engines were his pride and joy, and one can imagine how he felt seeing 8783 so knocked about and forlorn. I have seen his photographs of the wreck in recent times, and there's no doubt that it was a shambles which we were well out of.
We went down at the end of the May term, eagerly looking forward to the next one. We had many things planned, including a flight in a Gipsy Moth alongside the Coronation, since Alan had a private pilot's licence. But it was not to be. By the time the term started, there were no streamliners, no high speeds, no photography, and for me no term-at least for another six years, by which time work was a serious matter, and the railways had to go by the board. But it was great while it lasted
Illustrations (all by Author):
B17 No. 2827 Aske Hall piloted by D16/3 No. 8810 leaving Cambridge with long train fom Hunstanton for Liverpool Street
C1 Atlantic No. 3301 on beer train for King's Cross next to D16/3 at head of Liverpool Street slow and LMS train for Bletchley
E4 2-4-0 No. 7477 on train for Mildenhall
A3 No. 2752 Spion Kop on 10.59 from Doncaster passing Arlesey
A4 No. 2512 Silver Fox on up Siver Jubilee formed of spare Coronation set at Offord
LMS 3-car red and cream dmu at Sandy while operating an experimental 1 05min service between Cambridge and Oxford in the late 1930s.
S.C. Townroe. More light on the Leader class. 436-8.
Mention of the Leader class locomotive, the last to be built under Southern Railway auspices just before nationalisation, arouses among steam locomotive enthusiasts visions of a revolutionary machine which could have kept the diesel locomotive at bay for many years. That such hopes were a long way from fulfilment has not been made clear, from the limited information so far published; instead there has grown up a belief in some quarters that the project was prematurely scrapped by a nationalised body without any attempt to persevere with the problems of a radically new design.
In fact, as will be explained in this article, there arose in the course of the trials of the one and only Leader class to be constructed and tested, No 36001, an impasse over excessive weight, which proved impossible to resolve. In passing, other examples come to mind of original steam locomotives (for example, the Paget and Ljüngstrom machines) which were brilliantly conceived but which ended in disappointment for one reason or another.
The story began in 1946. The Southern Railway had reviewed its post-war motive power requirements and the operating authorities put forward a request for tank locomotives for working passenger traffic on secondary routes and branch lines. The intention was to replace a variety of small tank locomotives, almost all of which were of Victorian or Edwardian vintage, by such types as the BR classes 3 and 4 tanks which were later to be produced under nationalisation The SR Chief Mechanical Engineer at that time, O.V.S. Bulleid, decided that the proposition could be taken a good deal further, by having a type of large tank locomotive which would be capable of working both main line and lesser trains through to destinations on secondary routes. To this end, the locomotive would be double-ended, to avoid the need for turntables. It would be mounted on two six-wheeled power bogiesan 0-6-6-0 or C-C in today's parlanceall wheels driven and braked, giving adhesion for working unbraked freight trains as well as passenger trains. The power bogie was to have all its parts working enclosed in oil baths and would be like an electric motor-coach, interchangeable, and requiring no attention outside main workshops.
A single underframe 65ft long carried the boiler, smoke-box, bunker for four tons of coal, tank for 4,000 gallons of water, a driving cab at each end and a fireman's cab in the space between the boiler and the bunker. A corridor was provided on one side. The boiler was of locomotive pattern except that the side and back water spaces of the conventional firebox were replaced by plain sheet steel lined with refractory material; four thermic syphons joined the crown of the firebox to the underside of the barrel. The object was to avoid the maintenance associated with stayed firebox water spaces, but the experiment was to prove a real hot-spot in more ways than one. Boiler pressure was 280 psi.
Each bogie carried three cylinders 12-!in diameter by 15in stroke. Valve gear, a smaller version of the Bulleid- Walschaerts gear as fitted to his Pacifies, operated sleeve valves with separate admission and exhaust ports. The wheels were 5ft lin in diameter. The centre axle was a three-throw crank and carried a chain sprocket at each end, outside the wheels. The outer and inner axles were plain, each with a sprocket at opposite ends, so that chains re- placed conventional coupling rods, one on each side of the bogie. This unsymmetrical drive must have added to the stresses in the three-throw crank, supported in two end bearings, whereby failures occured after running a low mileage.
The maximum permitted axle load on secondary lines was 19t tons, to which the West Country class conformed; if the Leader was to have the required route availability, the total weight in working order would have to be kept down to 112-!- tons (or 90 tons without coal or water). A con- ventional tank locomotive of equivalent power and weight could be taken as a 4-6-4 but by comparison the Leader design carried a superstructure with three cabs, six cylinders and six sets of valve gear, brake equipment for twelve wheels and 4,000 gallons (nearly 18 tons) of water-an exceptional quantity for a tank locomotive.
The calculated tractive effort was 26,350Ib, which would have placed it within the BR power classification 5 and thus hardly capable of main-line loads and schedules. The West Country class was rated as 7. With a fleet of 150 Pacifies (MN, WC and BB classes) the Southern did not need more main-line passenger locomotives. Hence, unless the Leader class could be made light enough to work on secondary routes and some branch lines, there was really no urgent need for it. To its courageous designer, however, the combination of so many new features, most of them potentially successful in theory, was evidently so alluring that the locomotive simply had to be built to prove itself. No calculated or actual weight figures were officially pub- lished.
The use of sleeve valves enabled the designer to have three cylinders en bloc between the bogie frames. Sleeve valves had proved satisfactory on stationary steam engines but they required special attention to lubrication; they were liable to distort at high temperatures, and to keep them steam- tight in the cylinder between the ports each valve on the Leader had 36 rings. To tryout the sleeve valves former LBSC Class HI Atlantic No 32039 Hart/and Point was fitted with them and during 1948 worked stock trains bet- ween Eastleigh and Lancing Works. Each sleeve valve had an extension through the front cover attached to a canted die-block which gave the sleeve a slight axial rotation at each stroke; this mechanism suffered breakages. No 32039's 3,500 gallon tender was insufficient for the 50 mile trips, thus indicating very high water consumption, and there was considerable steam leakage caused by broken rings.
Whether rings broke in service or were broken in the difficult process of assembly, with so many, was not established, but it was clear that much more development was needed to make this type of valve, new to locomotive use, a workable proposition for this particular application. Nevertheless, no time was available for prolonged experiments for No 36001 was already under construction at Brighton Works. No doubt Bulleid felt that the trouble with the sleeves was a matter of workmanship, or materials, which would be solved. The first trial runs took place in the Brighton area during 1949, but by June 1950 No 36001 had proved far from serviceable and was transferred to Eastleigh Works where, it was hoped, the staff would have more success with it. At the same time the ex-North Eastern dynamometer car and testing crew were sent from York to Eastleigh mpd to observe trial running on the main line between Eastleigh and Woking. The intention was to test No 36001 on an empty train, during the first fortnight of July 1950 and to take similar records, for comparison, with Maunsell U class 2-6-0 No 31618 during the second fortnight.
No one was anxious to drive or fire No 36001, which had earned the nickname of "The Chinese Laundry" from the heat and humidity inside it. The heat, radiated from the boiler and smokebox, and from internal steam pipes, made the interior only bearable by running with plenty of ventila- tion; even so, the temperature in the fireman's compartment was recorded as 120 deg F. The fireman had a window on one side only; he could not see, or be seen, by the driver. If a gauge-glass burst or a steam joint failed, the consequencies for the fireman might have been more serious than on a normal footplate.
The Locomen's staff representatives were not at all happy about the conditions under which No 36001 would have to be operated, and made it clear that, while they would not prevent one volunteer crew from working the trials, they would call for drastic alterations before the locomotive entered service. It has since been suggested that oil firing would have made things more congenial for the fireman; certainly, he would have been freed from the exertion of firing but he would still have had to operate the boiler controls in solitary confinement.
On trials, No 36001 did not maintain steam pressure with 10 coaches on the 1 in 250 gradient from Eastleigh to Basingstoke. Shortage of steam was aggravated by portions of the firebox lining becoming detached, allowing the steel firebox sides to become red hot. The refractory lining had to be increased in thickness and by so doing the grate area was reduced, with further detriment to steaming. The dynamometer car staff were unable to obtain any useful records because at no time did the locomotive run consis- tently over a distance. The trials were interrupted also by breakage of the 9in diameter crank axles; they were replaced by axles made for No 36002 but the latter broke after about the same mileage as the first set.
While No 36001 was in workshops for crank axle attention and for other lesser defects, the opportunity was taken to place it on the weighbridge. This revealed a disparity in wheel weights between one side and the other, and to effect a balance the corridor (the lighter) side had to be ballasted with cast iron weights. When the locomotive was weighed in this condition, it was obviously far in excess of the heaviest permitted axle-load, and further development, which held no prospect of weight reduction but rather the reverse, was pointless. In November 1950 the project was terminated, and in due course No 36001 and the other four Leaders in various stages of completion were cut up for scrap.
Even assuming that in due course all the purely mechanical teething troubles could have been overcome, and the total weight reduced, the principle of enslosing a large boiler within a superstructure was unsound; it made the living quarters for the enginemen intolerable; it involved within these quarters all the dirty operations of boiler washouts, smokebox cleaning, tube cleaning, repairs and examinations. The latter could not have been carried out properly without dismantling large parts of the superstructure. It may be some consolation to reflect that the steam locomotive was dying anyway, not for lack of progressive improvement but because it was replaced by forms of traction affording superior performance accompanied by more congenial conditions for the human element. No official announcement was made about the choice of eminent persons whose names were to be conferred on the Leaders. It was understood that the first would be Winston Churchill, with name plates to be removed from Battle of Britain class, No 34051, already bearing his name, and the second would be Field Marshal Montgomery. As always, the workshop wags had plenty of suggestions, including Fred Karno, W. Heath Robinsan, Roland Emmett (with due respect to the latter two gentlemen there was nothing personal in this, merely that the Leader locomotives seemed to share certain features of their designs), and other less worthy titles! Illustrations:photograph from author's collection shows members of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers grouped in front of No 36001 during their visit to Eastleigh in 1950; Leader class No 36001 passes Eastleigh South box with empty stock in August, 1950. Assistant Works Manager Clifford at the open cab window is getting as far away as he can from the torrid interior of the locomotive. first (and only) Leader runs trials with a dynamometer car in September 1950. In this view it is on the up main line at Allbrook. Eastleigh.
bell has tolled, and No 36001 is being dismantled in Eastleigh Works. This rare view is taken from the smoke box end, showing the boiler, side corridor with ballast and firebox. The fireman's compartment with its single side window is beyond, between the bunker and water tank.(all S.C. Townroe)
L.G. Marshall. Journey to the Himalayas1. 448-53.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
M. Dunnett. Three Durham wagonways. 454-6.
South Hetton wagonway; Bowes Railway and the Pelaw Main wagonway.
Number 378 (November 1971)
L.G. Marshall. Journey tto the Himalayas2. 480-4
S.W. Smith. Midland revival. 485-7.
Historioc Derbyshire locomotives. 487
Coal by gravity. 488-9
New books. 505
Preserved steam locomotives of Western Europe.
P. Ransome-Wallis. lan Allan Two volumes. 335pp and 283pp. Reviewed
by Basil K. Cooper
Volume 1 covers Austria to West Germany, and Volume 2 Italy to Switzerland. Locomotives are grouped under countries by wheel arrangement, and illustrated with accompanying historical and technical details. Sometimes the locomotive shown is not the actual one to be preserved which may not have been in a fit condition for photography at the right moment, but is of the same class and identical appearance. The text states the site where it is intended to preserve each locomotive, but this site may be a museum still only in the planning stage. Therefore there is an index of present locations according to information available at December 1970.
Many will find these volumes an irresistible inducement to go abroad and see for themselves. Those who cannot do so have the pleasure of studying a portrait with unique appeal to the romantic in the railway enthusiast, for many of these locomotives hauled the famous international expresses in their day, or were to be seen from the carriage windows as these elegant trains coursed across Europe under skies where an aeroplane was still a novelty. The specialist will attach equal importance to the records compiled by the author of preserved narrow-gauge locomotives, and to the particulars of little-known systems and tourist lines which appear with them.
The Cambrian Railways Vol. 1:1852-1888. Rex
Christiansen and R. W. Miller. David & Charles. 178 pp. Reviewed
Early plans for a railway through Central Wales were aimed at traffic to and from Ireland and America. After manoeuvres typical of the period all that emerged at first was a 12-mile line between Llandidloes and Newtown, opened in 1859. Eventually four companies were involved in extending this isolated line in each direction until there was a continuous railway from Whitchurch to the shores of Cardigan Bay. These four companies combined to form The Cambrian Railways in 1864.
In their first volume of this new edition the authors take the story up to 1888, when the Cambrian took over the working of the Mid Wales Railway from L1andidloes to Talyllyn, It is often a record of ambitions only partly realised, and the chapter headings reflect the alternations of optimism and disillusion"The Prize beyond Reach", "A Rich Vision", "The Weak Reality". But the railways never lost heart. They stirred up Euston to promote traffic to Barmouth and Aberystwyth by means of the'LNW connections with the Cambrian at Whitchurch and over the Shrewsbury and Welshpool Joint; and they advertised the attractions of summer tours in South Wales as far afield as Scotland.
Details of working the line and of its locomotives and rolling stock follow the historical chapters. Many of the photographs are hitherto unpublished. Other illustrations include gradient profiles and reproductions or a working timetable.
Derby Works and Midland locomotives. J.B.
Radford. lan AIIan. 239pp.
The author takes the story of Derby Works from the opening of the North Midland workshops and offices in 1839 to the end of steam in 1963, tracing en route the evolution of Midland locomotive design and its influence on the LMSR after Grouping. The accounts of locomotives are detailed and the achievements of the "big names" of Derby and their personalities come to life again. Many others who contributed to the fame of Derby, but whose names are less well known, receive due recognition, including two chief locomotive draughtsmen. This is a works as well as a locomotive history, covering the development of equipment and methods. Some rare views are reproduced among the 48 pages of illustrations. Included in the six appendices are details of Kirtley 0-6-0 well and saddle tank locomotives, the development of MR and LMS boilers, and a summary of diesel locomotive construction at Derby between 1953 and 1967.
Industrial archaeology of the Peak District. Helen
Harris. David & Charles. Reviewed by Basil K. Cooper
542 square miles of the Peak Distric"where the Midlands end and the Pennines begin"comprise the Peak District National Park. Those who visit it for relaxation will find added pleasure and interest in a knowledge of its industrial history. Lead was certainly mined in the area by the Romans if not before and other minerals have been tapped on a smaller scale. A history of paper making goes back three hundred years and the textile industryfirst in the homes and then in the millscan be traced to the Fourteenth Century. Roads and packways existed early in the area, not only for access to its minerals but also because the district had to be traversed on many journeys from East to West.
On the archaeological scale the railway era is short indeed, beginning with the Cromford & High Peak Line linking the Cromford and Peak Forest Canals in 1830/31. Eight years later the first Woodhead Tunnel was being built by the Sheffield, Ashton under Lyne & Manchester Railway, and the Midland and LNW soon penetrated the area. Part I of the book ends with the railways. Part 2 comprises a gazetter, references and bibliography. The railway enthusiast will find industrial archaeology an extension of his interests rather than a rival for them
Steam in the landscape Kenneth Westcott
Jones. Blandford Press. 187pp. Reviewed by Basil K. Cooper
The heart of this book is a collection of 187 colour illustrations showing steam locomotives at work in many British and some Continental settings. In introductory essays the author recalls how permanent a feature the steam locomotive once seemed not only of the landscape but of a way of life ... "This was one changeless thing in a changing world". He hints that had there not been some manoeuvres to damp enthusiasm for the Giesl injector, which appeared at an inconvenient moment when British Railways was already committed to a diesel policy, Corydon might still be sporting with Phyllis against an Arcadian backcloth dotted with the white plumes of steam locomotives in action. The pictures are prefaced by four logs of notable steam performances. They are followed by a commentary on each illustration in which the author draws widely on his railway knowledge, reminiscences and impressions. His comments are some- times controversial, not only when on his favourite theme of the modern railway iconoclast. Unfortunately the theme of the book is not backed up as well as it might be by the standard of colour reproduction.
Steam into Wessex. Mike Esau. lan AIIan.
Reviewed by K.H.S. 506
Today's main line to Weymouth is an efficient conveyor belt but it is doubtful if it stirs emotions in the minds of observing artists such as those which moved Mike Esau when he created these pages of pictures. Every photograph is a composition with a purpose, and he tells us in his intro- duction that he has used " light and setting to maximum effect to convey texture, dimension or mood." For some he will bring the past to life more effectively than the most dedicated band of preservationists labouring with treasures salved from the Barry scrapyard. The only reader who may be disappointed is he with a magnifying glass trying to identify every locomotive by number. Silhouette effects, shadows and escaping steam often veil these minutiae. A picture of a train "slipping by almost unnoticed across the mist-shrouded Down land north of Winchester" is typical of an approach to train photography which is both flexible and individual.
The railway traveller's
handy book; edited by Jack Simmons. Bath: Adams & Dart. Reviewed
by Basil K. Cooper. 506
The author of this highly practical guide for the railway traveller of the 1860s is unknown. In his introduction the editor tells us it was published in 1862 for eighteenpence and entered areas covered only incidentally by some of the better-known guides, which were mainly topographical or even frankly commercial. The Handy Book, on the other hand gets down to what the traveller needs to know before, during and at the end of his journey. How should he attire himself? How much money should he have with him, and in what form? If accompanied by wife and children, how should he safeguard them during " the noise, bustle and confusion inseparably attendant on the arrival of the train"? Advice on all this and much more is to be found in these unfailingly entertaining pages. Often the author illustrates his precepts with anecdotes. His advice on the treatment of unpleasant travelling companions is enlivened by the story of " a big hulking fellow with bully written all over his face" who was thrown out of the carriage window into a horse pond. Those were robust days, for which railwaymen today must sometimes sigh when viewing rolling stock on the morning after vandals have been at work..
Lancashire & Yorkshire album. Noel Coates and Martin Waters.
lan AIIan. Reviewed by Basil K. Cooper. 506
The sober livery and often sombre surroundings of the "Lanky" earned it fewer friends outside its immediate area than other railways, but there is much curiosity about what it looked like. The answer is here in a comprehensive collection of photographs of locomotives, rolling stock, buildings, and so on. The record begins in the days of Bury engines and ends before Grouping. A foreword by M.W. Northampton and N.G.C. Burnley recalls some of the railway's technical innovations. Appendices list shed codes, locomotive classes with their nicknames, and brief data covering all the locomotives illustrated.
No 12, BR Britannias, No 15, The Crewe Type
Profile Publications. 24pp.
With the appearance of Britannia on January 2, 1951, steam seemed set for a distinguished future on the recently nationalised railways of Britain. Brian Haresnape tells how the design was developed and how it performed in practice, not omitting the "teething troubles" of which so much was soon to be heard in other connections. D.H. Stuart and Brian Reed collaborate in the history of the Crewe Type, bringing a famous epoch to life in their narrative and the illustrations. A reproduction of David Joys original sketch of Hecla shows that the back-of-envelope scribble in which today's electronic engineer outlines a new circuit has a long ancestry.
Stock book of the Dart Valley Railway Dart Valley Railway Association.
IIllustrated record of motive power and rolling stock on the DVR gives potted histories of the various items in their previous working life as well as the usual dimensional details. Shed allocations of the locomotives are listed.
Steaming on! Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
Second edition of the Bluebell Railway's guide brings the history of the line up to the present time and describes its equipment with numerous illustrations. It is an im- pressive record of the preservation society's achievements and a look into the future which offers much interest and activity for those who take an active part in supporting the railway.
GN Single and Jones Goods Available from D. Burge, 6B Redcliffe Square, London, SW10
In the days when the specialist railway press was con- cerned mainly with finance and management, the most detailed technical articles on locomotives appeared in general engineering papers. Those in The Engineer in the late 19th century were illustrated by handsome and accurate engravings of the completed locomotives as well as by engineering drawings. Two of the original engravings came to light recently on an antique stall and have been reproduced as prints. They show a Stirling single of the GNR and a Jones Goods 4-6-0 of the Highland Railway. For convenience in reproduction the size has been reduced slightly to an image width of 22½in. Smaller photographic reproductions on document paper, 13in by 5in, are also available