North British Railway Study
Group Journal Number 140-159
Key to all Issue Numbers
NBR No. 1, an 0-6-0 originally
|No. 140 (August 2020)|
Obituary Alasdair Alexander (Sandy) Maclean. 3
Born in Edinburgh, Sandy lived in Morningside Road in a flat overlooking the Edinburgh Suburban line. After an education at George Heriots School he joined the railway as a Junior Clerk at Newington. He served his two years National Service in the RAF before returning to Morningside Road as a booking clerk. He was successful in being selected for Management Training and one notable job was head of the Coaching Plant section in the Operations department of ScotRail HQ in Glasgow where he made a particular impact on revolutionising carriage cleaning with the introduction of more scientific methods. Living in Greenock, Sandy seldom strayed from his home in his latter years. "Sandy was, in railway terms, without a doubt in my mind one of the most informative and intelligent people I have ever met. Always ready to help he was a true gentleman". Includes a portrtait.
Euan Cameron. Thomas Wheatleys
untypical freight 0-6-0s. 4-16
First batches built in 1870-1, before a larger,more homogeneous series appeared in 1873 [already discussed and illustrated in Journal issue No. 138, pp. 9-13]. These "very plain little engines shared the characteristic robustness and solidity of all Wheatleys locomotive chassis, and after rebuilding most ran until the First World War. A few survived beyond the end of hostilities."
Wheatley rebuilds of R. & W. Hawthorn 0-6-0s of the 64 series, J110 in the Group List, 1921 diagram book 70
When Wheatley succeeded the disgraced William Hurst as Locomotive Superintendent of the NBR in 1867 he faced an urgent need to improve or replace, that part of the surviving stock of locomotives which had been built before the middle 1850s, derived both from the N.B. itself and from absorbed constituent companies. In the case of the North British itself, 70 of the first 71 locomotives had been built by R. & W. Hawthorn of Newcastle upon Tyne. The Hawthorns had a fatal design flaw which went back to their origins in the Stephenson Patentee design, the consequences of which became worse as the engines grew larger [see Journal No. 128, pp. 3-4 for a fuller discussion, also D.K. Clarks Railway Machinery, vol 1 p. 233]. The key document prepared at Cowlairs from 1867 onwards, known to devotees as the Cowlairs 1867 List was essentially a record of the necessary replacement, one for one, of the vast majority of this early stock.
Some of the very last NBR Hawthorn 0-6-0s were reconstructed in such a way that their successors counted as rebuilds rather than replacements. They are described here as fully as possible, and it is up to the reader to decide whether rebuilding is an apt description or not. The general arrangement of the original Hawthorn 0-6-0s Nos. 64-71 of 1850-1 has not survived, but it is believed that photograph of Edinburgh Waverley East End by the early photographer Thomas Begbie shows one taking water. The engine has heavy outside sandwich frames and judging by the presence of angled supports from the outside frame to the boiler appears to have had the slender and ineffective inner framing which stretched from the cylinder block back to the firebox. The firebox was larger in diameter than the boiler barrel, which was domeless. According to the description in the Cowlairs list, these original engines had 17-ft by 24-in cylinders, lined up to 16-in diameter in some cases, and 4-ft 9-in diameter wheels spaced 7-ft 4-in + 6-ft 8-in apart. Some accounts claim that the engines began their existence with 18-in bore cylinders but had to be reduced almost immediately. Sandwich-framed six-wheel tenders were supplied. The rebuilding of these locomotives occurred between 1868 and 1872. In association with their rebuilding but slightly after a most peculiar renumbering took place, by which (apparently) 64/5/6 were renumbered 9-11, and 70 was renumbered 14. Surely Nos. 67-8 should have become 12 and 13, but that change never happened. No. 67 was rebuilt at St Margarets in 1868 with similar wheels and cylinders to the original, with the coupled wheelbase adjusted to 7-ft 4-in+ 7-ft 6-in. A domeless boiler was fitted, similar to the original but with a flush rather than raised firebox. The remainder, 64/9, 65/10, 66/11, 68 and 70/14 were all rebuilt at Cowlairs. The rebuilding list gives them 4-ft 6-in wheels, except that 14 received 5-ft 0-in wheels (an anomaly confirmed by photographs). In all cases the Cowlairs rebuilds had their axles spaced 7-ft 3-in + 7-ft 9-in The outside frames were dismantled and rebuilt with the large plates carrying the axlebox horns reassembled on to a new longitudinal frame. But with No. 14 it is likely that the hornplates were completely new, as those on the rebuilt engine were trapezoidal shaped with straight sides, rather than the concave curves seen on the others.
All these rebuilds received new inside mainframes, running the length of the engine from buffer- to drag-beam, with additional bearings for the driving axle. The massive structure created by the four full-length frames secured back and front will have done a much better job of keeping the cylinders and axleboxes in correct alignment. The cylinders of all except No. 67 were 16-in bore x 24-in stroke, a standard size for Wheatley goods locomotives and used on nearly all the engines discussed in this article.
The boilers of the rebuilds were quite different from the originals, as the latter will have had a firebox too wide to fit between the inside frames. It is likely that the Hawthorn rebuilds received something like a Cowlairs standard boiler of the 1865-1870 period, with an approximately 4-ft 0-in diameter barrel 10-ft 2-in long and a flush round-topped firebox 5' 0" long. A large proportion of Wheatleys engines received a version of this boiler. In the pre-1871 period such boilers were typically domeless with a safety-valve trumpet over the centre of the firebox crown, with the trumpet part located on a square base with a flat top. As first built, they possibly had Salter safety valves, but Wheatley replaced these in the early 1870s with direct-loaded sprung valves entirely enclosed in the trumpet. Some engines (10 and 68 as far as we know) received open-topped dome covers over their safety valves in place of the Cowlairs trumpets, probably purloined from other engines; but these did not enclose a steam dome.
Weatherboards were fitted, sometimes with bent-over tops, and 68 was given a facsimile of an enclosed Wheatley upper section to its cab, probably in the 1880s. The 1870s recreations of the Hawthorns carried reconstructed outside frames to different dimensions from the originals, and all new wheels, inside frames, boilers, and platework. Does this count as a rebuild or a new construction? One reason to describe them as rebuilds may have been financial: renewing an engine with the same number as a predecessor allowed the cost to be written down to repairs rather than new building.
Given the (theoretical) age and chequered history of these rebuilds, it might surprise that Matthew Holmes gave four of them a fresh lease of life by rebuilding them yet again: yet he did. The rebuilding in this case involved a reboilering, with the addition of locomotive steam brakes, updated boiler fittings, and a Holmes round cab. No. 11 was rebuilt in 1884, 10 in 1886 and 9 in 1896. 68 was rebuilt at some point around 1900, the precise date not certain. Nos. 67 and 14 were not rebuilt. The boilers were of what is presumed to have been the same size as the 1870s versions, but with all Holmess characteristic fittings. The barrels were 10' 2" long and the fireboxes 5' 0" long. There were 171 tubes x 1¾-in diameter, tube heating surface of 817 ft2., firebox heating surface 83.5 ft2., total 900.5 ft2. Boilers with these identical dimensions were also fitted to the Longbacks and the No. 1 series 0-6-0s (as below) when rebuilt. The tenders attached to the rebuilds were generally borrowed from other 0-6-0 locomotives and varied greatly. It must be presumed that as the engines left Cowlairs they were simply allocated whatever tender happened to be available. Some of the tenders from R. & W. Hawthorn locomotives long outlived their original locomotives, coupled to other engines altogether; yet curiously very few Hawthorns actually kept their own tenders.
Wheatley No. 59 series of reconstructed 0-6-0s, sometimes known as Longbacks, J124 in the Group List, 1921 diagram book 71
Between 1868 and 1869 Wheatley also constructed eight double-framed 0-6-0s at Cowlairs, in many respects very similar to the rebuilt Hawthorns. These engines were assigned random numbers of dismantled locomotives and have therefore been regarded as replacements rather than rebuildings. The most striking difference between these engines, known unofficially as Longbacks and the rebuilt Hawthorns is that most of the engines built new (with the exception of 154/5) received substantial, deep, slotted frames of continuous metal plate outside the wheels as well as inside. The resulting mainframes will have been exceptionally robust, and the locomotives worked for many years. 154 and 155 had composite outside frames with hornplates riveted to a longitudinal iron beam, more in the manner of the Hawthorns but with a different profile to the hornplates. Photographs of 135, 154 and 155 survive in their original condition.
Miscellaneous locomotives rebuilt with double frames and outside cranks in the 1860s-1870s
Besides the more or less identifiable classes of outside-framed 0-6-0s, there was also a handful of individual locomotives, mostly reconstructed from Hawthorn material, but associated with different original company owners and often with rather unclear histories.
Double-framed 0-6-0 No. 17 appeared from St Margarets works in 1869. Theoretically it was a rebuild of one of the original Hawthorn 0-4-2s supplied to the N.B. before it opened, but in this case little or nothing of the original engine can have been incorporated in the rebuild. No unambiguously identifiable image of the locomotive in its 1869 condition survives; but one may assume that the boiler and fittings were similar to those of No. 67. The outside frames, however, were of the same deeply slotted continuous plate as on most of the Longbacks, which were of course Cowlairs engines. 17 had 4-ft 7" wheels spaced 7-ft 6-in+ 7-ft 6-in. Holmes rebuilt 17 in either 1896 or 1898 (sources differ) and it was attached to a tender purloined from a Neilson 90 Class 2-4-0 of 1861 (all but one of which had by that time been scrapped). It was long associated with Thornton shed, where it seems to have been used on service trains.
No. 50 was an exceptional survival from an earlier series of Hawthorn 0-6-0s, Nos. 47-54. It was comprehensively rebuilt in early 1869 in the same way as 67, retaining its distinctive curved outside frames. As rebuilt it had 4' 2" wheels with conventional spokes, spaced 7-ft 6" + 7' 6". It was rebuilt in 1882 (probably by Holmes although it retained some Drummond aspects to the boiler fittings) and lasted as No. 1030 to late 1910. It was attached to one of Wheatleys scrap 4-wheel tenders with a chassis constructed of very thick wooden baulks at the sides and ends, to which strengthening plates were riveted. It served as the Carlisle Canal trip pilot for some time.
Two others of the same series, 47 and 52, were rebuilt at Cowlairs in 1874 and St Margarets in 1868 respectively. Neither received a second rebuilding and they appear to have escaped the attention of photographers. Nos. 137-9
137-9 were three 0-6-0s supplied by Hawthorns to the Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway in 1851. 137 and 138 were rebuilt at Cowlairs in July and May 1868 respectively. They had 5-ft 0" wheels and typical Hawthorn outside frames, probably spaced 7-ft 2-in + 6' 6-in. Neither received a second rebuilding. 137 retained a massive six-wheeled Hawthorn tender, and was based at Dundee.
Two Neilson 0-4-2s were supplied to the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway in 1851. According to the Cowlairs 1867 List, they were replaced by two engines of the same numbers built at Cowlairs in December and October 1867 respectively: but the list describes them as 0-4-2s with 5-ft 0-in wheels spaced 7-ft 9-in + 7-ft 1-in. 250, at least, was definitely a 0-6-0 incorporating Hawthorn material, though the reported wheelbase may well be correct. In the early 1890s it was photographed at Cowlairs with a domeless boiler with lock-up safety valves over the firebox crown, and a box lower section to the cab surmounted by a partial upper section of vaguely Drummond appearance. In 1896 it was rebuilt by Holmes with his usual fixtures and fittings.
250/873/1073 had a Stephenson 4-wheel tender before its second rebuilding and a Wheatley 6-wheel 1,800 gallon tender when photographed at Ladybank in the 1900s.
280 was somewhat unusual although resembling those discussed above in general layout. It was reportedly built at Cowlairs in 1865 as a 0-6-0 with 4-ft 9-in wheels spaced 7-ft 7-in + 7-ft 6-in. It had the usual Cowlairs boiler of the period, but the flat weatherboard had an arched top, and bulged outwards around the spectacle plates before narrowing down to join the lower section of the cab. This style of weatherboard appears also to have been used on 2-4-0s 235/6/9 built around the same time. It received a 6-wheel tender similar to that attached to 68. 280 lasted long enough to receive its 800 series number after 1895, though it was not rebuilt by Holmes. The No. 1 and 2 series inside-framed 0-6-0s built with 4-ft 2-in wheels and 7-ft 3-in + 7-ft 9-in wheelbase, 1921 diagram book 41
The final classes to be reviewed here were two batches of goods 0-6-0s of great simplicity and solidity, built for slow mineral traffic around 1870-1871. Unfortunately some inaccurate information in print makes it at times difficult to distinguish between the two series, which differed in wheelbase from their first building onwards.
Twelve 0-6-0s were built, mostly in 1870-1, with solid slotted inside frames similar to those on 0-6-0ST No. 220 [see issue No. 138 pp. 6-7] with which they shared wheel sizes and wheelbase, 4-ft 2-in wheels spaced 7-ft 3-in + 7-ft 9-in. As one of the class was given the number 1 released by the scrapping of the original Hawthorn 0-4-2, they became known as the 1 class. The Wheatley 0-6-0 so numbered retained that distinction until it became 1150 and its capital number was taken over by a Reid 4-4-2T.
According to some records, including official ones, the first of the class, No. 251, was built as early as 1867, but its design similarity to the other engines makes this rather unlikely. The 15-ft 0-in wheelbase engines had inside frames only, no brakes on the locomotive, very simple domeless boilers with safetyvalves over the firebox crown, and simple weatherboards above the cab side-boxes. The cylinders of all these engines were 16-in x 24-in. They received Wheatleys 1,800 gallon tenders. Matthew Holmes rebuilt all twelve locomotives between 1894 and 1900, slightly increasing the wheel diameter to 4-ft 3-in with thicker tyres and raising the running plate height accordingly. The rebuilds received the same boilers as the rebuilt Hawthorns and Longbacks, and were fitted with locomotive brakes for the first time. The tenders were not altered.
Between October and December 1871 Wheatley added 6 more locomotives but these from first construction differed from the original 12. The latter six engines (known as the 2 class) had wheelbases 6-in shorter than the previous twelve, at 6-ft 9-in + 7-ft 9-in. While photographs of this class in original state are extremely rare, a picture of 223 shows it to have had a boiler with a dome on the centre of the barrel. By inference from the data from the rebuilding, it may be supposed that these boilers had a barrel 9-ft 7-in 9-ft 10-in long and a firebox 5-ft 0-in long. The 2 class later formed the basis for the much more numerous and better recorded 430 class, which they resembled in wheelbase and cylinder sizes.
Matthew Holmes rebuilt all six between 1887 and 1901. They received the shorter boilers already designed for the rebuilt Beyer, Peacock locomotives formerly of the E. & G.R., with 9-ft 7-in boiler barrels and all Holmess usual fittings. Most if not all of these locomotives appear to have been attached to Wheatley 1,800 gallon six-wheel tenders throughout their existence.
Most of the 1 and 2 class lasted until withdrawal between 1913 and 1915, by which point they were over 40 years old. Some lasted in traffic until 1920, and 1196 ex 252, with possibly others, survived long enough to carry its duplicate number in large control numerals on the tender. By that stage most of these early locomotives were in use as yard pilots or for very short trip workings. As an example, when No. 2 was a pilot at Portobello it was also regularly assigned to a trip goods to Dalkeith. There are oral traditions concerning the allocations of many of these locomotives, but as the traditions often contradict each other, they are omitted here as unreliable. It is remarkable that well into the 20th century North British Railway yards would have seen locomotives shunting and running short trip goods, which had their origins dating back to the 1860s or even the 1850s. The N.B. was a very cautious and parsimonious railway (by and large) and Matthew Holmes in particular seems to have been determined to make good use of any serviceable material that could be found. The only critique that one might make of keeping such venerable antiques in traffic was that when so many 1860s locomotives had to be withdrawn within a few years after 1910, the N.B. was left with a shortage of locomotives, which plagued it until after grouping even despite the proliferation of more modern engines. Meanwhile these quaint old engines kept the cadre of N.B. engine photographers well occupied
|Thomas Begbie photograph of NBR Hawthorn engine of the 64-71 series, at Waverley East c.1860.||
|No. 10, previously No. 65, at work, marshalling goods train. Note dome cover probably taken from another engine, and Dübs tender. 1880s?||
|No. 1016, previously No. 66, at Ladybank. This shows the locomotive as rebuilt by Holmes.||
|Wheatley Longback 0-6-0 No. 135 before rebuilding, with Dubs tender: dark olive livery applied in Drummond period (Euan Cameron coloured drawing).||
|Wheatley Longback 0-6-0 No. 135 after rebuilding by Holmes in 1894: fully-lined out Holmes livery as depicted in multiple photographs from period. Locomotive brakes (not shown here) added some time after engine rebuilt. (Euan Cameron coloured drawing).||
|NBR No. 68 at Kilsyth Old Station. View shows wealth of other detail including brake van and wagons and semaphore signals||
|Wheatley Longback 0-6-0 No. 135 as running before rebuilding. This is the condition of locomotive seen in photograph taken at Anstruther in 1887. Note short sloped cab roof wrapped around curve of weatherboard.||
|Longback 0-6-0 No. 135 after rebuilding in 1898. Note details of construction of mainframes, perpetuated from original condition but very different from 135, and Wheatley short-wheelbase tender.||
|On left No. 135 after rebuilding with New NBR engine alongside is Atlantic No. 878 Hazeldean||
|No. 135 in unrebuilt condition, photographed at Perth.||
|No. 155 as rebuilt by Wheatley, at Anstruther in January 1887||10|
|No. 1018, previously No. 17, with breakdown train at Thornton, some time between 1901 and 1914. Leftmost figure on ground possibly Christopher Cumming||10|
|No. 50, a St. Margarets rebuild of 1869. Note the distinctive St Margarets works plate on the frame.||11|
|No. 1 of 1870 in original condition. It was later rebuilt, in 1898. Note steam pipe leading down from firebox crown towards to the injector has been removed, as has the whistle, so the engine was probably under repair. Dome cover was later addition.||11|
|0-6-0 No. 1 as running in the Drummond and Holmes period before rebuilding. While a photograph taken of this engine in the early 1890s shows a dome cover over the safety valves, the form of safety valve cover shown here was the original, and appears in multiple other photographs of the class.||12|
|No. 1196, previously No. 252, with control number on tender. Possibly at Armadale in 1916, driver Thomas Marshall. (Hennigan collection)||13|
|No. 2 at St. Leonards after rebuilding. Note young visitor on running plate. (Hennigan collection)||13|
|No. 2 as running soon after rebuilding in 1888, in the livery of the period||14|
|No. 17 as renumbered 818 in full Holmes livery. Note low-pitched boiler, steam brake for locomotive, and tender from Neilson 2-4-0.||14|
|Train of four-wheel carriages hauled by 4-4-0T No. 1465 (later LNER Class D51), at Abbeyhill, heading for Edinburgh Waverley. (NBR Photo Archive 20568|
|6-wheel non-vestibuled 6-compartment third class carriage at Meadows Yard, carrying LNER No. 31433. (Hennigan Collection)|
|NBR bogie non-vestibuled lavatory semi-open third class non-gangwayed carriage No. 31246 (former NBR No. 1246), NBR 1908 diagram 6,NBR 1920 diagram 6, LNER diagram 6B, built for West Highland Railway. Vehicles originally had large picture windows in the centre saloon which lacked ventilation, and altered to form shown. (Real Photographs)|
Donald Cattanach. General Pasley and the inspections
of the NBR in 1846 and 1847. 18-27
Adds much to our understanding of General Pasley and the development of early railway inspections for the Board of Trade, especially under Dalhousie. It also summarises the effects of the British climate upon a "difficult" section of the East Coast Main Line which is prone to flooding and severe coastal erosion; both factors being exacerbated by Global Warming. Includes a reproduction of the letter sent by Pasley to Dalhousie on 18 May 1846 recording his (first) inspection of the line. This is also intersting in that it also records his inspection of the tubes being manufactured in Manchester for the Menai crossing. Pasley was accompanied on the inspection by Charles Jopp, Resident Engineer, and his assistant, and by James Bell, also then in the employment of the Engineer of the line, John Miller, but who would be appointed the NBRs Resident Engineer on the opening of the line (and, later, its first Engineer-in-Chief).
Pasley's inspection took place within a day and he found some of the structures extremely sound, but others were very poor including two bridges which were required to be rebuilt. Some included rubble stone. The line was not sanctioned to be opened. Pasley returned on 17 June 1846 to inapect the formerly unsound structures and did permit the opening on 22 July. On 31 July subsidence at Markle caused the 04.30 southbound mail to derail. Both the drivver and locomotive superintendent Robert Thornton who was also on the footplate escaped with severe bruising. Thornton also drove Pasley around by locomotive. On 28 September the area experienced torrential rainfall and the line was severed in several places, notably at the crossings of the Eye Water and the Tower Burn south of Cockburnspath.
Includes the Penmanshiel Tunnel tragedy on Saturday 17 March 1979, when workmen lowering the base of the tunnel were entombed in a major rockfall wwhich led to the railway being diverted onto a new alignment.
|General Pasley portrait (colour)||11|
|The North British Railway and other lines in 1847.||21|
|Part of Berwickshire, showing locations mentioned in the text||21|
|Lamberton Holdings: part of railway wall in foreground, indicating original track alignment, swept away by landslip above farm at Lamberton Holdings*||22|
|Megs Dub on 20. June 2020: name possibly relates to arrival in Scotland on 1 August 1503 of 13-year-old Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England, for her marriage to James IV of Scotland..||23|
|Another view of Megs Dub.||24|
|Caravans occupying original track alignment at Marshall Meadows. Satellite image (Google Earth)||25|
* The present alignment is much closer to the cliff face, which is covered with netting to stabilise the bank. The A1 road runs at the top of the cliff. On Saturday 20 June 2020, the 1E11 from Edinburgh to St Neots is traversing the 90mph section, nearing the Scottish Border.
Alan Simpson. West Fife pits and the NBR: Part 6 the Cowdenbeath
Coal Co. era. 28-37
Area comprises parishes of Ballingry and Beath and town of Cowdenbeath and village of Lumphinnan. Kelty descibed in Journal 136 and Lochgelly in Journal 139.
Predecessors to the North British Railway: The public railway system came to the area in the late 1840s with the opening on 4 September 1848 by the Edinburgh & Northern Railway (E&NR) of the line from Thornton to Crossgates. This line, which ran to the east of the present day town of Cowdenbeath, had stations locally at Cowdenbeath and at Crossgates. The E&NR changed its name to the Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway (EP&DR) from 1 August 1849. The line was later extended to Dunfermline on 13 December 1849 where it made an end-on junction at a joint station with the Stirling & Dunfermline Railway later called Dunfermline Upper station [following the closure of what was the eastern part of the Stirling and Dunfermline the local Sheriff Court and a retail park are on its site].
The next local public railway development (lying between Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly) was the opening to traffic in June 1860, of a junction, called Lumphinnans Junction, between the EP&DR and a new local railway company called the Kinross-shire Railway. This later line headed southwards from Kinross, where it had made an end-on junction (and had a joint station) with yet another local line called the Fife & Kinross Railway which The EP&DR itself in turn was vested in the NBR on 1 August 1862 and this brought the NBR to Fife. Much later, the public railway layout of the area was transformed by the building of new lines which were part of the overall Forth Bridge approach railways which opened in the early 1890s. Their construction was undertaken by the NBR as part of the creation of a continuous double-tracked trunk route from the Forth Bridge to Perth (in part by upgrading existing lines but in others by building entirely new stretches of line). In Fife and Kinross-shire these lines were:
An entirely new line from the northern landfall of the Bridge to Inverkeithing;
An entirely new line from Inverkeithing eastwards to Burntisland where it joined the former EP&DR;
Upgrading to main line standard the northern section of the former Dunfermline and Queensferry Railway (from Inverkeithing to Townhill Junction on the Thornton to Dunfermline line);
An entirely new line from Cowdenbeath Junction to Kelty;
Upgrading to main line standard of the line from Kelty to Kinross, Milnathort and Mawcarse on the former Fife & Kinross Railway section;
An entirely new line from Mawcarse and through Glenfarg to Bridge of Earn.
The Kelty Loop (Cowdenbeath Junction to Kelty). From 2 June 1890, a completely new main line opened which left the existing NB Dunfermline to Thornton line at a point named Cowdenbeath Junction (later renamed Cowdenbeath South Junction) on the western margin of Cowdenbeath and headed north to join the existing Lumphinnans Junction to Kelty route at what was now called Kelty South Junction. Included with this new line was a railway station named Cowdenbeath (New), located just off the High Street and almost in the centre of Cowdenbeath itself . The NBR renamed this original station Cowdenbeath (Old) as from 1 June 1890 and it remained open for passenger traffic until 31 March 1919 and from then on until 1 January 1968 for goods traffic only. These dates are per the late D.M.Lindsays NBR Chronology. Cowdenbeath (Old) survived in use for miners work trains for a period after its closure in 1919 to ordinary passenger traffic. These miners trains appear in the Working Timetables and typically ran from Dunfermline Upper station to Kelty via Lumphinnans Junction in the early morning (around 6 am) with a return working in the mid afternoon after the end of the day shift at the various pits. Quick mentions that an engine based at Kelty worked miners trains which called here long after public closure and refers to Locomotives of the LNER: Part 8B and on page 66 of that work it is noted that Dunfermline shed also numbered a dual-fitted J83 amongst its stock, No. 9831 [it became BR No. 68478] which in addition to the normal shunting and trip duties undertaken by the class at Kelty was also able to work short-distance passenger trains (provided for miners) calling at Cowdenbeath (Old) Station long after its closure to normal traffic...
Early 20th century railway developments in the area
Lumphinnans East and North Junctions
New loops were installed in April 1901 at both Lumphinnans East and Lumphinnans North Junctions on the line from Kelty South Junction. This line was in fact the original Kinross-shire Railway and until the recent construction of the Kelty Loop had been the only route northwards from west Fife (excluding the NBs freight-only former West of Fife Mineral Railway which ran to the north-west of Dunfermline) to Kelty, Kinross and Milnathort.
Cowdenbeath Loop (see Map 1)
The original NB main line westwards from Lumphinnans Junction to Cowdenbeath (Old) and Cowdenbeath South Junction had, by the late 1890s, a number of separate colliery sidings, such as those serving the Donibristle colliery and the Raith pits of the Lochgelly Iron & Coal Co. (see Part 5 of this series in Journal No. 139) connected to it. In addition to these there was the Cowdenbeath gasworks siding and finally, the NBs Kirkcaldy and District Railway opened in March 1896 and ran from Invertiel Junction near Kirkcaldy to Foulford Junction near Cowdenbeath.made a junction with the original main line at Foulford Junction. As a result of the growth of traffic to and from the various pits a diversionary route was built to allow through traffic to by-pass this congested section of the original route. The new line (named the Cowdenbeath Loop on large scale OS maps) ran eastwards from Cowdenbeath North Junction (which lay north of Cowdenbeath (New) station) to Lumphinnans Central Junction, where it joined the original main line from Thornton and Lochgelly. Today, the Cowdenbeath Loop remains open for traffic on the Fife Circle trains. The opening date for this new line was January 1900 and this is given on page 106 of Thornton railway days; edited Lillian King (Windfall Books: 2000). Several other writers state that the Loop was opened to traffic in March 1919 but:
The Cowdenbeath Loop is first shown on Sheet 40 (Kinross) of the 1 inch to 1 mile OS map revised in 1903/04 and published in 1906;
It is also shown on the Sheet XXXIVNE of the 6 inch to 1 mile OS map revised in 1913 and published in 1920.
I suggest that the date of March 1919 was that from which all passenger traffic in the area heading either east to Thornton Junction or west to Dunfermline was re-routed via the Cowdenbeath Loop and Cowdenbeath (New) station. The Cowdenbeath (Old) station had closed to passenger traffic as from 31 March 1919 and what had been the original main line (between Lumphinnans Central Junction and Cowdenbeath South Junction) was now used mainly for freight traffic but
|Cowdenbeath Coal Co. wagon, No. 856 (4-plank: 8 ton capacity? Lettered Lumphinnan Collieries, Fife C C C Ld||28|
|Map: NBR (later LNER) lines and private mineral lines in different colours extracted from Ordnance Survey One-inch Popular edition, Scotland, 1921-1930, Sheet 68 - Firth of Forth. 1928||29|
|Map: Christie & Cos Iron Works. Edinburgh Perth & Dundee Railway main line and private mineral lines in different colours extracted from Ordnance Survey 6-inch First Edition, Fife and Kinross Sheet 31 1856. Survey date: 1854.||31|
|Map: Lumphinnan Iron Works and No. 1 and No. 7 Pits. NBR main line and private mineral lines in different colours extracted from Ordnance Survey 25-inch Second Edition, Fife and Kinross Sheet XXXIV.NE Publication date: 1896. Re-surveyed: 1894.||33|
|Cowdenbeath Coal Co. Ltd. 8 ton wagon No. 950, built RY Pickering, with spring buffers and steel underframe||34|
|Map: Cowdenbeath area. NBR lines and private mineral lines in different colours extracted from Ordnance Survey 6-inch Second Edition, Fife and Kinross Sheet XXXIV.SE shows the NBRs two main routes in the area, the old line with Cowdenbeath Old Station and the new line with Cowdenbeath New station. Extracted from Ordnance Survey 6-inch Second Edition, Fife and Kinross Sheet XXXIV.SE 1896. Re-surveyed: 1894.||35|
|NBR coal waybill from Cowdenbeath colliery (document from Lindsay Horne Collection, donated to NBRSG Archive)||37|
|NBR coal waybill from Hill of Beath Coal and Fire-Clay Works (document from Lindsay Horne Collection, donated to NBRSG Archive)||37|
|NBR coal waybill from Donibristle colliery (document from Lindsay Horne Collection, donated to NBRSG Archive)||37|
John McGregor. The lost Esplanade. 38-43
The first serious attempt to reach Fort William, by the the Fort William Railway (1862) would have diverged from the Inverness & Perth Junction at Etteridge (Glen Truim) or Newtonmore, running by Loch Laggan and Glen Spean. Thomas Bouch made a preliminary survey; but he could not persuade the landowners who had commissioned him that they must seek outside capital to supplement their own slender resources. The Glasgow & North Western Railway, a bill for which was lodged in 1882-3 was a highly ambitious and blatantly speculative failed becuse the landowners were not prepared to allow railway construction on their land. The engineer for this line was Thomas Walrond-Smith. The West Highland Railway was more fortunate in that the Napier Commission Report in 1884 had prepared the way for a railway to Fort William and onward to an Atlantic port at Roshven with the prospect of Treasury assistance. The route from Craigendoran to Fort William was engineered by Charles Forman, was approved in 1889 and opened in 1894. It is treated here very much as a fait accompli. The promoters carefully disciplined their parliamentary presentation; before their Bill came to Parliament, they obtained the North British Companys promise of a guarantee and working agreement; and they secured declarations of support, or at worst neutrality, from every major proprietor along the route. Moreover, both public and parliamentary opinion was broadly sympathetic. A 30-mile extension to Loch Ailort (which the North British did not include in their guarantee), together with a new harbour at Roshven, was added to the West Highland Bill and by so doing the promoters staked a claim for subsidy. Though the West Highlands Roshven arm was rejected in the House of Lords, the Commons Committee concluded that the proposed line to Fort William was justified, both on its own merits and as a step towards a third railhead on the west coast, supplementing Oban and Strome Ferry. The Highland Company, and the Caledonian too, miscalculated their opposition they had expected the West Highland Bill to fail comprehensively on the vexed question of government aid, and were slow to realise how far the North British were already committed.
This article's main thrust is on the Fort William terminus and a possible link to the pier by a tramway, thus creating an esplanade.
There is some suggestion that the North British sought primarily to intersect the Callander & Oban, at the same time pre-empting any independently promoted cut-off to Crianlarich which might pass into Caledonian hands. A railway onwards from Crianlarich and across Rannoch Moor into Lochaber was in itself a dubious proposition. But running powers to Oban might not be granted, and Fort William offered a tempting bridgehead at which to wait and see, pending further advance whether to Inverness by the Great Glen, as most commentators expected, or to the west coast, if government support were first assured. To forestall the former became the Highland Companys priority. Judging the battle lost when the West Highland Bill, shorn of Roshven, passed the House of Lords, they negotiated the Great Glen Agreement, or Ten Years Truce and ceased their opposition in the Commons (where the Caledonian fought on to defend Oban). By this Great Glen treaty, any extension of the West Highland towards Inverness was postponed for a decade after the commencement of traffic to Fort William. One more point must be made. The Callander & Oban Company, worked at cost by the Caledonian, enjoyed a meaningful measure of autonomy; but the West Highland became, almost from the outset, the North British by another name, and the promoters early pledges to their supporters, all along the route, lay at the discretion of their paymaster-patron.
As authorised in 1889, the West Highland would have entered Fort William through crofting land along the River Lochy, crossing the River Nevis on a causeway to reach the old fort, the prospective site of the passenger station. A new seawall along Loch Linnhe was to carry a connecting tramway to the town pier; and, on the understanding that this would remain a tramway, the burgh commissioners framed an enthusiastic petition-in-favour. They expected to obtain an open promenade-cum-carriage drive behind the seawall, with tramway traffic limited to an unobtrusive shuttle, linking station and steamers. Edinburgh solicitors MacRae, Flett & Rennie, the principal agents for the promoters and subsequently for the West Highland Company, made no commitment in so many words but they gave every assurance that the interests of Fort William would be kept in view. The fort was acquired by Campbell of Monzie, whose wife, Christina Cameron, had inherited the Lochaber estate of Callart and was feudal superior of the burgh and later she made over the fort site to the West Highland Company. Forman acknowledged that, in taking the West Highland across Rannoch Moor and down Loch Treig into the Spean valley, he had copied the drove-road proposed by Thomas Telford at the beginning of the 19th century.
During the interval, when it seemed that the Callander & Oban might halt permanently at Tyndrum, narrow-gauge feeder lines had been suggested, both from Oban and from Lochaber. One such was the Fort William, Ballachulish & Tyndrum Railway (1874), running by Glen Coe. This probably speculative scheme had progressed to a notice of intent only to fade away when standard-gauge construction onwards to Oban was resumed. It would have terminated at Fort William pierhead, half-a-mile from the fort, entailing only the demolition of decayed property in the towns west end.
The railway was almost complete and ready for inspection, but the terminus problem remained unresolved and the Board of Trade inpector was r equested to intervene. This was Major Marindin and his methods marked a great advance since those of Pasley mentioned elsewhere in this Issue. With nothing resolved, Forman departed to accompany Marindin on his end-to-end, week-long (and prospectively final) examination of the West Highland line. MacPhee was sent in pursuit with amended proposals but returned empty-handed. Though he had found engineer and inspector at Tyndrum, they were preoccupied by an accident in which the fireman of a ballast train had been fatally injured. On the evening of Monday, 9 July the inspection party reached Fort William and that very afternoon the President of the Board of Trade, facing questions in the House of Commons, had promised mediation. In consequence, a telegram awaited Marindin at the Alexandra Hotel he must use his best endeavours to bring town and railway company to a new accord. Provost Young and town clerk Fraser, with MacPhee in attendance, presented themselves that night at half past ten oclock, to request that Forman resume negotiations there and then. Not unreasonably, the engineer declined.
During Tuesday Marindin examined the entire layout at Fort William. He also revisited the line along Glen Spean, where the stations at Inverlair, Roy Bridge and Spean Bridge had received only brief attention the previous day. On Wednesday he heard both the commissioners submission and Formans counter-argument. The inspectors verdict, announced on his return to London, showed careful balance (or skilful fence-sitting?). Without condemning the pierhead station, he judged the old fort the better site. Acknowledging that Fort William had been deceived, he proposed to interpret the towns protection clause generously, in respect of public passage across and alongside the seawall line. But he also pronounced that a tramway as first intended could not have been made compatible with the open promenade-cum-carriage drive which the commissioners still cherished. He would have prescribed thorough fencing, or imposed restrictions severely limiting public access.
In his own mind, Marindin had resolved not to pass the barely finished West Highland for traffic before his task was two-thirds done his interim memorandum to this effect was written at Tyndrum. However, he hinted that he would be indulgent in everything not absolutely required for safety on his re-inspection a few weeks later. Though it proved a very near thing, on Friday, 3 August he declared the line ready. With Fort William and Lochaber determined to celebrate, the foreshore quarrel was for the moment set aside. Opening day saw a double celebration in that the West Highland Mallaig Extension had just secured Parliaments approval though the Treasurys input had yet to be confirmed. Thus the foreshore dispute would be resumed in a new context, which also included the collapse and precarious reinstatement (1894-5) of the Great Glen Agreement. And the terms eventually accepted by the Fort William commissioners in 1896 would be bound up with the West Highland Ballachulish Extension, authorised that same year but never to be begun. These are matters for another article.
|Map: Glasgow & North Western Railway, 1882-3. Note connecting spur across Strathfillan to the Callander & Oban at Tyndrum and the crossing of Loch Leven at the Dog Narrows, not Ballachulish Ferry. Based on J & W Emslie Official Railway Map of Scotland. 1927.||38|
|Fort, Fort William in late 19th century: old barracks building converted to houses: retained by NBR but demolished by LNER.||39|
|Lucas & Aird pug at the half-demolished fort||40|
|Modern view showing how the railway squeezed past the Nevis Distillery, where a gable had to be rebuilt. The site has since been redeveloped||40|
|Fort William area, showing authorised line and Roshven extension and deviation and Banavie branch extracted from Ordnance Survey 6-inch Second Edition, Inverness-shire - Mainland Sheet CL 1904. Date revised: 1899||41|
|Seawall and railway c.1900. NBRs Tweeddale Place tenements in centre of view; passageway through wall can be seen to right (coloured image)||42|
Grant Cullen. The North British Railway and
the Great War: organisation, efforts, difficulties and cchievements.
When, shortly after the outbreak of the war in August 1914 and the successful despatch of the first Divisions of the British Expeditionary Force to France, it became obvious that railways were to play a part of primary importance in the development of the conflict, that the war, in fact, was to be a "Railway War". More than four years later British railways had accomplished, as a result of their activities which had taxed their energies and resources to the utmost extent, and had exercised a considerable influence on the movements and achievements of the British forces, if not on the actual course and outcome of the war itself.
The construction of railways, in time of peace, to serve the purposes of war, offensive or defensive, was first advocated in Germany in the 1830s, becoming that countrys policy, although the need for organisation, directed to the provision for the building, repair, destruction and working of railways and for the regulation of military traffic in general under war-time conditions was not fully realised in Europe until after the American Civil War of 1861-1865. In 1866 Prussia established a Field Railway Section (Feldeisenbahnabteilung) which was eventually to develop into a comprehensive scheme of preparation for war by organising every possible phase of military rail-transport and leaving nothing to chance that could be foreseen and provided for in advance.
With the eastern part of its system stretching along the shores of the North Sea from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Aberdeen; with its trunk lines radiating from Edinburgh to Carlisle, Perth, Stirling, Glasgow, Fort William and Mallaig and with its direct connection with the further north of Scotland and the railways of England, through its association with the Highland Railway at Perth, its partnership with the Great Northern and the North Eastern in the East Coast Route between London (Kings Cross) and Scotland, its cooperation with the Midland in respect of the Waverley Route, via Carlisle, Galashiels and Edinburgh, the North British Railway came into immediate prominence as one of the vital means of communications in Great Britain for the purposes of The Great War.
There were, however, various special reasons that arose, which tended still more to accentuate that fact. It was considered then that it was quite within the range of possibilities that an invasion of the country by the enemy might be attempted on the East Coast of Scotland. Hence the NBR was called upon in the earliest of days to convey to their appointed destinations the troops to be amassed for defensive purposes along the coast. Many military training centres were, also, set up within convenient distances of NBR lines, their location being, no doubt, inspired to a certain extent by the idea of having more men available in case the enemy should attempt a landing. Much of this fear of invasion, particularly amongst the general populace, had been driven in the early 1900s by a series of spy novels, the best known of which was The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers (Childers subsequently lost his life in the Irish Civil War in November 1922). As described in its authors own words, Riddle of the Sands was written as ... a story with a purpose written from a patriots natural sense of duty, which predicted war with Germany and called for British preparedness. The whole genre of invasion novels raised the publics awareness of the potential threat of Imperial Germany. Although a belief has grown that the book was responsible for the development of the naval base at Rosyth, the novel was published in May 1903, two months after the purchase of the land for the Rosyth naval base was announced in Parliament (5 March 1903) and some time after secret negotiations for the purchase. The first Railway Executive Committee was constituted as follows. Sir Frank Ree (LNWR); (later Sir) Herbert Walker, London & South Western; Sir Guy Granet (Midland); Mr. F. Potter (Great Western); (later Sir) A. Kaye Butterworth (North Eastern); (later Sir) J A F Aspinall (Lancashire and Yorkshire); Sir Sam Fay (Great Central); Oliver R. H. Bury (Great Northern) and Donald A. Matheson (Caledonian). Matheson was in fact representing the North British Railway, the Highland Railway and the Great North of Scotland Railway, in addition to the Caledonian. The North British Railway remained as the Railway Secretary Company for Scotland. Matheson had held the rank of Major in the Engineer and Railway Volunteer Staff Corps from July 1900. That the NBR acquiesced in this appointment was testament to improved relations between the NBR and The Caley during the early years of the 20th century. The first Secretary of the Executive Committee, under Sir Frank Ree, was L W Horne, later Superintendent of the Line of the LNWR. Sir Frank Ree died suddenly on February 13th 1914 with Herbert Walker being appointed in his place. The Committee adopted for their headquarters the Westminster offices of the LNWR on Parliament Street, London and here, prior to July 1914, they had had six meetings.
The peace-time preparations of the Executive Committee further included the provision of means by which it could rely, in time of war, upon being in direct communications with the leading centres of railway communications. At first a system of wireless telegraphy was projected, but this was abandoned in favour of telephone installation. Under the direction of the Government, the Post Office authorities supplemented their ordinary London and trunk line services by providing a system of telephone wires between the Executive Committees offices in Westminster and all the railway termini in London, together with the general offices of the Midland Railway in Derby, the North Eastern at York and the Lancashire and Yorkshire at Manchester. Inasmuch as each centre of railway administration itself controlled a telephonic system . This comprehensive system of telephones, which was to play an extremely important part indeed in the working of the organisation was completed only the very week before the declaration of war
Official History of the Great War (Francis Edmonds) Vol. 1, 1923, originally published by Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. Reprinted by Naval and Military Press 2013. KPJ: note not Edmunds as per article: checked with York University OPAC
British Railways and the Great War (Pratt) Vol 1, originally published by Selwyn and Blount, Ltd. Available in the Classic Reprint Series of Forgotten Books. Also available to view online at https://archive.org/ details/cu31924092566128/page/ n6/mode/2up
An unappreciated field of endeavour: logistics and the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front 1914-1918 (Clem Maginnis). Helion: 2018. Illustrations:
Donald A. Matheson, General Manager of the Caledonian Railway
Sir Frank Ree of the LNWR, as portrayed in Vanity Fair
Part 2 will be War! State Control Applied Mobilisation covering the full extent of their own lines, the facilities afforded to the Executive Committee for communications with every part of the country were exceptionally great.
[J37 0-6-0 No. 64582 with train of 20 bulks (Leith General
Warehousing grain wagons) near Morningside Road]. Stuart Sellar.
Photograph: Caption suggests train may have been en route from Thomas Bernard's maltings at South Leith to T. & J. Bernard's Brewery next to Gorgie East station in 1950s. See Issue 141 page 3
Allan Rodgers. The Scotsman vans of the NBR
a follow-up. 49-52
Following publication of previous article on the Scotsman newspaper vans, which appeared in Journal 139, Study Group member Jim Hay got in touch. It turns out Jim has a 7mm model of one of these vans, in NBR livery, originally built many years ago by Sir Eric Hutchison, who, it will be recalled, wrote the article on the Scotsman vans which appeared in the November 1945 issue of Model Railway News. Much of the information I had included on the 1890s six wheeled vans was based on the information contained in Sir Erics article; so, the existence of a model built by him was clearly a source of new information about the livery of these vans as running in NBR days. So much so, that I decided a follow-up article was required to include amended illustrations of the 1890s vans showing the NBR livery I now believe they carried, based on scrutiny of Sir Erics model.
Illustrations (all except on from Model Railway News in colour).
|Photograph of Sir Erics model side and end view. Note vermillion ends and black solebar and ironwork: ends steps are also black, with upper surface in vermillion.||49|
|Photograph of Sir Erics model part elevation. Note missing handle on the single door to the left of the ducket clearly this is a dummy door.||50|
|Photograph of Sir Erics model close-up of Scotsman scroll.||50|
|Elevation drawing of van number 257 as used in Model Railway News article of 1945.||50|
|Drawing: of Scotsman van number 251 in NBR livery. Allan Rodgers||50|
|Revised drawing of Scotsman van number 257 in NBR livery. Allan Rodgers||51|
|Drawing: of Scotsman van number 251 in LNER livery, as LNER No. 3251. Allan Rodgers||52|
Stewart Noble Where was Helensburghs first
railway station? 53-8
The short answer is that Helensburgh is where it was first located in 1858, that is adjacent to the corner of Sinclair Street and East Princes Street. References to a station in George Street probably relate to a ticket platform where returning commuters left the train and joined their horse-draewn transport. A report by Major Marindin in 1892 is used to justify the permanence of the original terminus station, rather than assertions made by the author elsewhere.
|Helensburgh, showing station and surrounding area in early 1860s map extracted from Ordnance Survey 25-inch First Edition, Dumbartonshire Sheet XVII.5. Publication date: 1862. Survey date: 1860||54|
|As above but further east, Ordnance Survey 25-inch First Edition, Dumbartonshire Sheet XVII.6.||54|
|Original station, viewed from corner of Sinclair Street and East Princes Street, with the municipal buildings in foreground.||55|
|Warehouse at 19 George Street||57|
Operating the Caledonian
Railway Andrew Boyd reviews a recent two-volume work by Jim
At first sight the review of a two-volume work about the Caledonian Railway must surely have no place in a Journal devoted to the NBR, so why has the Editor been prevailed upon to allow its inclusion? The answer is that they provide an excellent insight into how a major railway of that era functioned and was managed and operated. Every railway was different and each had its own management structures and methods of conducting business. However they all faced similar challenges and were all subject to the same statutory and regulatory requirements. They had to co-operate with other, often competing, companies. They exchanged traffic, complied with Railway Clearing House accounting and other obligations, managed joint lines and stations, exercised running powers over the lines of other companies and had to accommodate the running powers exercised by other companies. Students of the North British Railway will therefore find here much to interest and inform them, not least in comparing CR practice with that of other companies. Such comparisons were not always unfavourable to the NBR. Although written in an engaging style, the author has applied a professional perspective to his subject. He is well qualified to do so as in his working life he was a career railwayman who occupied senior positions within BR management. Apart from his current role as vice-chairman of the Caledonian Railway Association and as a railway modeller of some standing, he is also a member of our Group, well known to many of us. The contents encompass most aspects of managing and operating the railway. These range from the structure of top management and the duties of various grades of staff to the classification and loading of trains, operation of marshalling yards and hazards of shunting; and from the timetabling and operation of the Royal Train to the running of suburban and workmans trains and the handling of mail, parcels, goods, mineral and livestock traffic. Amongst the aspects covered are what the author nicely describes as getting on with the neighbours; arguments with traders about demurrage charges; operation of slip carriages; timetable preparation; and the operation of a selection of principal stations including the joint station at Perth. He also covers the investigations made into the feasibility of electrifying the Glasgow Central Low Level lines in the early years of the last century and Donald Mathesons examination of US practice in relation to coal wagons and shipment. The latter issue was one of considerable financial relevance to railways such as the CR (and NBR) that were major coal carriers.
As with his previously published book on signalling the present volumes are copiously illustrated.
The comparisons with other companies are particularly useful. In a chapter on organisation, the author explores the role of Superintendent and his duties. In 1916 the CR was, as the author puts it, tinkering and beginning to use the term Superintendent of the Line, while around the same time the NBR was also considering its own organisation but more fundamentally. Two posts emerged on the NBR in 1917, namely an Operating Superintendent (Major Charles H Stemp), and a Commercial Superintendent, evidencing the NBRs decision to formalise the split between commercial matters and the running of trains.
No doubt with the eye of a professional railwayman the author discusses the compilation and layout of the General and Sectional Appendix to the Working Timetables. The Appendix had become a crucial document for those operating the railway yet the CRs final issue in 1915 was in his words a weighty, inconvenient hotchpotch whereas the NBRs approach was more progressive, not allowing the imminent grouping deflect it from issuing in 1922 a modern edition of its Appendix. He commends the innovations introduced by the NB and speculates what the CR might have adopted had it remained independent. As it was the CR contented itself with issuing in 1921 an unenterprising traditional Supplement to its hefty Appendix of 1915.
In his chapter on Control the author notes that despite the challenges faced by the CR in operating its congested main line over Beattock and in handling the intense mineral traffic in Lanarkshire, it was the NBR which at Portobello in 1913 pioneered in Scotland the notion of a control office. Reference to these instances is not of course to suggest that the author fails to commend the CR when appropriate nor that he fails to compare the CR favourably with the practice of other companies when justified but these do illustrate the objective approach adopted by the author. Amongst the examples of the working relationships which necessarily arose between the CR and the NBR two instances may be mentioned. An edited version of an article by David Stirling first published in the SRPS magazine Blastpipe describes the conflict between the two companies over the rebuilding by the NBR of the swing bridge carrying its Stirlingshire Midland Junction railway over the Forth & Clyde Canal. The CR had to resort to litigation to force the NBRs hand over this issue but eventually an agreement was reached to enable work to proceed. While the line was closed for work to be done, extensive diversion of trains operated by both companies had to take place, often entailing reversals at Greenhill, Polmont and Grangemouth Junction.
A few years later an unplanned line closure resulted from a vessel colliding with the CRs Forth Bridge at Alloa in October 1904. The line, used by the trains of both companies (as the NBR exercised running powers over it) was closed until June 1905. Co-operation resulted in the institution of a service of three CR passenger trains each way over the NBR route between Alloa and Stirling and the conveyance of CR passengers and traffic on two evening NBR trains each way on the same route. These two volumes are thoroughly recommended to all those who wish to learn more about how railways were managed and operated in the days when companies like the NBR and the CR were in business.
Macmerry Station. 60 (rear cover)
Macmerry had quite a simple layout, but did include a run-round loop and two sidings (one with a crane), together with a passenger platform long enough for an engine and a few coaches. The branch on the eastern side of the station, diverging to the south of the map extract and heading roughly north-east on the lower right hand part of the extract, was a mineral railway serving Merryfield, Bald, Dander and Engine Pits to the north of what is now the A1 road. Extracted from Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map of Haddingtonshire IX.11. Publication date 1894, revised 1892.
View, taken at Craigentinny, is almost certainly
|No. 141 (December 2020)|
From our Archives. 3.
Photograph of employees at St. Margarets pose in front of 4-4-2T locomotive No. 450 (later LNER Class C16). The only name that is recorded is that of William Dowie, the fitter on the right. He was the son of a driver, Sam Dowie. The photograph, from the Hennigan collection,is credited to W Dowie. Included in the photograph with the relatively youthful employees are various items including a buffer, a brake block, and on the trestles to the right what is possibly one of the valve rods with its pistons. In the right foreground, the barrels probably contain supplies of lubricating oil.
An apology from the Editor.
Shortly after Journal 140 was published, with the photograph on the left on page 48, Stuart Sellar contacted us. He had immediately recognised the picture of the J37 and train, which was taken by him on 13 June 1955 approaching Morningside Road. The train from South Leith was heading for either Gorgie or Cameron Bridge. He tells us that it is credited to the Hennigan Collection because he sent Willie anything of North British interest that he had taken, or older prints that had emerged from retired railwaymen. He expressed surprise that Willie had not acknowledged the source. This was not an omission by the late Mr Hennigan it was an error on the part of your editor, for which he apologises. The Groups photo archive shows Stuart Sellar to be the photographer and we are happy to set the record straight
Euan Cameron. The Reid Scott class 4-4-0s.
Became LNER classes D29 and D30. At the end of 1908 the NBR Locomotive Committee received designs for new locomotives, including a new bogie passenger design. It was agreed that six would be ordered initially from outside contractors. On 28 January 1909 a contract was made with North British Locomotive Company to supply six four-coupled passenger engines at a cost of £3,290 each. In the summer of 1910, the Board discussed ordering more of the engines, and eventually agreed that ten more engines would be built at Cowlairs. Numbers for these, taken from engines assigned to the duplicate list, were agreed on 15 June 1911. The same price was stipulated for the in-house engines as for the contractor-built ones. The engines thus ordered entered service between September and December of 1911.
Meanwhile, during 1910-11 the Board had already been discussing the possibility of building engines with superheated boilers. In February 1911 it was resolved that two Scott class locomotives would be built with superheated boilers. These were numbers 400 and 363, approved in early 1912, but not built until the autumn of that year, at a cost of £5,980 (presumably for the pair). In 1914 approval was given for 15 more superheated Scotts to be built at a total cost of £45,47. A further five were authorized and built in 1915, and a final five in 1920. The N.B.R. paid royalties on the use of the Robinson superheater apparatus on condition that no other types were used on new construction.
The planning and construction of new 4-4-0 locomotives was under discussion from 1909 to 1920: the 6-ft 6-in wheeled Scotts or the Intermediates and Glens with 6-ft 0-in wheels. Large numbers of older locomotives were being withdrawn, and the need for more powerful passenger engines to work trains with heavier bogie carriages was pressing.
The 1909 Scotts as first built (the 895 Class)
The first saturated Scott engines were, in effect, versions of the 317 4.4.0s of 1903, later L. N. E. R. class D26 namely 4-4-0s with 3-ft 6-in bogie wheels and 6-ft 6-in driving wheels and 19-in x 26-in cylinders set on a plane inclined upwards from the driving axles to the smokebox. The cylinders were regulated by outside admission 8-in diameter piston valves on a plane inclined downwards from the driving axles towards the front, driven directly by Stephensons Link valve gear which was reversed by a steam reverser just inboard of the mainframes on the drivers side. All these features were essentially shared between the 317 and 895 (later D29) classes. The General Arrangement for the 895 class was Cowlairs drawing 3090: with annotation stating it was copied from NBL drawing 1 of Order L344 (though various notes mentioned minute differences between the NBL and Cowlairs examples). This drawing is 12748 in the NRMs series of Oxford Publishing Co. drawings.
The steam reverser was an interesting piece of equipment, though it seems that the engine crews never settled to it as did enginemen on other railways where it was more common, such as the Glasgow and South Western or the South Eastern and Chatham Railways. It comprised a vertically aligned steam cylinder mounted with a shared piston rod above a cylinder of hydraulic fluid: actuating the reversing lever opened a bypass valve for the lower chamber, allowing a piston inside it to move freely, while it also admitted steam to either the top or the bottom of the steam cylinder, moving an arm aligned with the bottom of the lifting links of the valve gear down or up. Attached to that lifting arm was a bearing, with a slender vertical rod attached, which acted on a bell-crank to transmit the position of the valve gear to an indicator visible to the crew in the cab. Both the control and indicator rods were of quite light material.
The most obvious difference from the 317s was the much larger boiler, with a 5-ft 0-in diameter barrel made up of two butt-jointed plates, pitched 8-ft 2½-in above rail level. This larger boiler also necessitated a wider cab than had been common before that point, of 6-ft 10-in outside width and with sidesheets 7-ft 5-in high. The boiler and cab were fundamentally the same as those on the second series of Intermediates or 331 class (LNER class D33) which were being built around the same time, except obviously for the larger splashers on the Scotts
Superheated Scott design of 1912
Nos. 400 and 363, the first Scotts to be built superheated, represented a departure in front-end design for the NBR. The 20-in x 26-in cylinders were aligned horizontally with the plane of the axles. Iinside admission 8-in piston valves were set in parallel to the cylinders but 1-ft 8¼-in above the centre line. The piston valves were (steam being admitted in the mid-space between the two ends of the valve, rather than at the outer ends of the valve chamber) and consequently the action of the Stephensons valve gear was reversed through rocking shafts attached to the front of the motion plate. The valve gear used shorter eccentric rods than those on the saturated engines (4-ft 6-in centres rather than 4-ft 10-in). Unlike all other members of the class, Nos. 400 and 363 were fitted with the same design of steam reverser as on the saturated Scotts. Moreover, for some reason these engines retained their steam reversing gear much longer than the rest. No. 9400 was photographed still equipped in 1935, and No. 9363 in 1938.
Fitting piston valves above the cylinders required the boiler to be 3½" higher than on the saturated engines. The superheated locomotives required more lubrication and had large Wakefield mechanical lubricators fitted on a pedestal on the right-hand side of the running plate, which derived motion from a complex set of adjustable levers from the valve gear. No. 400 was also fitted with a superheater damper on the right-hand side of the smokebox, but this was soon removed. Both engines had snifting valves in the smokebox waist: which protruded directly out from the smokebox, whereas on later examples they were attached to an elbow joint and pointed downwards. The boilers on 400 and 363 differed in detail from those on later versions of the class. As built the first two had Schmidt Superheaters with long return elements, as opposed to the Robinson short loop superheaters used on the examples built from 1914. The first two boilers also had the smaller design of Reid dome, as fitted to the 895 class. These and other differences caused the first two locomotives to be classified D30/1 by the LNER at first, though subsequent exchanges of boilers between different members of the class made the part numbers redundant, and they were later abandoned. The official boiler pressure of the engines built superheated was 165 psi, though it is not clear whether the lower pressure was retained consistently.
The cabs were slightly wider than those on the 1909 Scotts, at 6-ft 11-in wide, and the sidesheets were ½-in shorter in height, differences which would be perpetuated on the very similar Glen class. Notwithstanding these adjustments, there was insufficient space for the traditional circular spectacle windows on the front of the cab, so a rectangular window, with part of the rectangle cut in to accommodate the boiler, was fitted instead.
Production Scotts of 1914-1920
The 25 engines of the main sequence of superheated Scotts were built in three batches of fifteen, five, and five over a seven-year period, but as built the locomotives were very similar. Cowlairs General Arrangement drawing 4289B described them (12765 in the NRMs series of Oxford Publishing Co. drawings). The basic layout of the locomotives was identical to the first two, but the production versions had 10-in diameter piston valves, and the steam reverser was replaced by horizontal screw reversing gear in the cab, acting on a vertical arm attached to a weighshaft just ahead of the splashers near the top of the frames. The boilers all had Robinson short-loop superheaters with 24 flues, and the anti-vacuum valves were of the pepper-pot type attached to an elbow joint just above the frames on the smokebox. Reids larger diameter dome was fitted. One divergence from the first two locomotives was that the main series of Scotts, possibly up to and including No. 498, were initially fitted with pyrometers, fitted to the right-hand side of the smokebox just below and to the rear of the chimney, and manifested as a prominent short pipe protruding upwards, connected to a long narrow tube leading back to the cab, but were soon removed'
All these locomotives were fitted with both Westinghouse and Vacuum brake from new. Overall, the Scotts shared in the very robust, solid construction typical of Reids designs at this period, where nearly every structural component was made just a little larger and heavier than had been the case in Holmess time.
Changes to the D29s in service
Older NB locomotives typically underwent rebuilding at 20-25 years old, but did not happen to the engines built new by W.P. Reid. However, multiple important alterations were made to the classes under the LNER. Charting the sequence of these changes is not straightforward: they were not carried out at the same time, although in the case of the D29 Class they were generally done in a consistent order. Sometimes two changes were done at the same visit to the works, though never all three at once. The dates of the following changes are supplied in the data list at the end of this article.
1. Replacement of the steam reverser with a screw reverse
The steam reversers were marked for removal relatively early on, between 1925 and 1931. A new weighshaft was fitted in more or less the same position as on the D30 Class, and it was actuated by a reach rod which, unusually, ran outside the boiler for all its length until it entered a fairing just in front of the cab, where it was worked by a circular handle on a large screw thread. When the weighshaft was moved to the top of the frames, the downward extension of the mainframes which had housed the former weighshaft bearing was cut away. This reversing arrangement was the same as that used to modify the D32 and D33 Intermediates, though the larger wheels of the D29 required the reach rod to be cranked slightly near the front and the reverser itself to be set approximately 5-in highe
2. Fitting of superheated boilers
This alteration probably made the most dramatic difference to the performance, as well as the appearance, of the D29s. All were superheated between 1925 and 1936. A new General Arrangement was prepared, Cowlairs No. 5385B, 12810 in the NRM series of Oxford Publishing Co. drawings. The drawing is however a trap for the unwary, in that it shows the superheated engines still with steam reversers, a condition in which none of the D29s ever ran. The new boilers were effectively the same as those on the D30s, and indeed boilers were regularly interchanged, not only between the two classes of Scotts, but also with the superheated Intermediates and Glens. New smokeboxes were fitted, which extended the smokebox interior lengthwise by 7-in. The chimneys were moved forward by 5-in to accommodate the superheater headers at the rear of the smokebox. Generally, the D29s continued to be rated for 190 psi boiler pressure after superheating (as was also the case with the Intermediates) making them theoretically more powerf ul than their more modern D30 counterparts even though the latter had an extra inch on the cylinder diameter. It would seem that, having had a somewhat doubtful reputation as saturated engines, the D29/2s were regarded as good engines once superheated.
3. Replacement of the Westinghouse Brake with Steam/Vacuum brake
The removal of Westinghouse brake equipment was the last change to be made, generally in the mid-1930s in keeping with LNER policy for all but those engines already deemed obsolete (such as the D31 4-4-0s, which went to the scrap lines with their Westinghouse compressors still in place). When the air brakes were removed from the Reid 4-4-0s the clasp brakes, which had been actuated by the compressed air cylinders between the front and rear drivers, were abolished and a cylinder under the cab acted on brake shoes in front of the wheels only. The locomotives then had vacuum brake for the train, permanently linked to a steam brake cylinder for the locomotive only.
Two experimental pieces of apparatus were fitted to saturated Scotts in NBR days. Some time after March 1911, No. 897 was fitted with the Phoenix Superheater equipment. This device was essentially a steam dryer, which exposed the steam from the boiler to additional heat in the extended smokebox. It had been illustrated in the Engineering press in 1910 and aroused enough interest for the L.B. & S.C.R. also to fit it to B4 4-4-0 No. 59 in 1912. It was not a success, and late in 1912 the NBR Board resolved not to continue with it. A sectional model of the equipment may be seen online at the Science and Society Picture Library, image No. 10247245. With less fanfare, No. 359 was fitted with a Weir feedwater heater and feed pump on the left-hand side of the footplate. This appears to have been done in early 1914; the company decided later in the year to continue to use it, but not to buy any more examples. It was removed from No. 359 before Grouping.
The saturated Scotts lost their smokebox wingplates fairly promptly as the fashion for removing these took hold on the NBR. The following engines are believed to have lost their wingplates before 1923: 899, 244, 338, 360, 362. All the remainder had them removed between 1923 and 1925. No. 897 was exceptional in that it retained its wingplates for a spell while repainted in LNER. green. These numerous locomotives, regularly changing boilers, accumulated a huge number of minor detail variations over the years. Space precludes listing them all, and those intending to model a particular example should always check with photographs.
Some superheated D29s had multi-feed hydrostatic lubricators in the cab, feeding the valves and other lubrication points through an array of small pipes down the right-hand side of the boiler.
|No. 898 Sir Walter Scott, in photographic grey, probably at Hyde Park Works of the North British Locomotive Company in 1909||
|No. 898 (actually No. 896 see Issue 50 page 50) Dandie Dinmont in NBR livery, with garter crest on tender, between letters N and B: official photograph taken by railway at Eastfield.||
|No. 900 The Fair Maid at Eastfield showing Westinghouse pump and pipework, & clasp brakes with four brake shoes per side & cylinder between driving wheels||
|No. 895 Rob Roy at Perth shed. Driver Sandy Dalglish & fireman Bob Taylor c.1910. Tender carries initials NBR. (S.A. Forbes)||
|No. 339 Ivanhoe as built at Cowlairs Works in 1911 with saturated boiler, steam reverser & dual brakes. As per works photo of 898. Cowlairs followed pattern used on 317 class. (Euan Cameron coloured drawing).||
|No. 400 The Dougal Cratur: superheater damper on right hand side of smokebox, but apparatus soon removed. (N.B.R. official photograph)||
|LNER No. 9898 Sir Walter Scott at Craigentinny Carriage Sidings, with superheated boiler & screw reverser. Driver Adam Scott and fireman Wattie Crone||
|No. 415 Claverhouse as built with superheated boiler, piston valves driven by rocking shafts, screw reverse & dual brakes. (Euan Cameron coloured drawing).||
|LNER No. 9899 Jeanie Deans (still saturated but with wingplates removed) with D11/2 No. 6395 Ellen Douglas on up fish train leaving Aberdeen.||
|No. 897 Redgauntlet with extended smokebox and Phoenix superheater (L. Tomsett)||
|D29/2 No. 9898 Sir Walter Scott as superheated in 1925, when fitted with screw reverse, but dual brakes retained & fitted with Detroit hydrostatic lubricator (apple green & shading on lettering different from NBR) (Euan Cameron coloured drawing).||10|
|No. 359 Dirk Hatteraick detail shot showing feedwater heater. (A.G. Ellis Collection)||11|
|No. 897B Redgauntlet at Eastfield in early LNER green, with suffixed number on the tender: unique in retaining smokebox wingplates while in LNER green & unusual rendering of company initials with periods. (Peter Mullen)||11|
|No. 9415 Claverhouse after removal of Westinghouse pump and alteration to brake gear at Stirling shed on 21 September 1935 with driver Jimmy Wright. (W.A. Camwell)||12|
|No. 62437 Adam Woodcock in BR lined black, vacuum brake standpipe in front of bufferbeam & steam heating hose hanging from front||12|
|No. 62411 Lady of Avenel in LNER green but with BR number on cab and with smokebox numberplate, at Thornton in 1952: extended smokebox & L N.E.R. Group Standard buffers||13|
|No. 9421 Jingling Geordie in LNER green at Dalmeny with Glasgow train, name on splasher shaded sans serif style: exhaust from Westinghouse pump re-routed to base of smokebox.||13|
|No. 9498 Father Ambrose splasher at Eastfield on 17 April 1938, name in shaded block characters: black livery: letters yellow, shaded red and brown. (Hennigan collection)||14|
|No. 62436 Lord Glenvarloch, previously No. 9427: detail of nearside splasher: painted name in approximation of Gill Sans, and lining; also LNER works plate. (M.J. Robertson)||14|
Stephen Woodhouse. Steaming ahead the NBR's contribution to
freight traffic in 1921. 18-21
In 1969 the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers published a paper by B.J. Turton, then an economic geographer at the University of Keele, analysing British railway traffic in 1921. This article extracts the data provided for the NBR and compares it to the other Scottish railway companies and the main constituents of the LNER. Turtons figures give us a picture of the importance of the NBR and subsequently the LNER in railway freight at the time.
Turtons information source was the Railway Traffic Returns made by each railway company to the Board of Trade. These enabled him to provide a representative pattern of freight movements to be established in the immediate aftermath of WW1, when the British railway network was at its maximum extent both in terms of the services operated and when the railways carried the higher proportion of both passenger and freight traffic. The motor car and motor lorry had yet to achieve dominance. Tables show how NBR compared with other Scottish Railways and with other British railways in terms of freight conveyed. Coal dominated NBR activity, but haulage tended to be very short-haul. The NBR was clearly the largest and busiest of the Scottish companies in 1921 with just over one third of the route length and nearly half the freight tonnage; it was also a significant component of the LNER with 22% of the route length but only 17% of the traffic; its significance is underlined by the NBR providing its Chairman. Statistics include traffic densities
|NBR 4-4-0 locomotive No. 739 (later LNER Class D31) at Stonehaven on the Caledonian Railway with a train of loco coal for GNSR. ( Photo: H.L Salmon||19|
|HR 4-6-0 locomotive No. 104, Big Goods class, (Jones Goods) on goods train at Inverness.||21|
Steve Chambers. On a plate. 22-4
Locomtuve works plates. While worksplates are a useful way to identify individual engines, there are pitfalls, especially when we study a company whose numbering system for new engines swayed between the capital and revenue accounts according to the accounting convenience of the moment. Who would have thought there might be different engines with the same number (photo captioners of N15s and Y9s beware). In the past I can remember visiting industrial or colliery sites to find the remains of some rusting steam locos. The received wisdom was always check the worksplates, if theyre still on the engine. Thatll tell you what it is. Well, maybe
|Cowlairs cast 9 x 5 plate from J35 64472. Note date has been omitted. Below is the renumber strip from J35 64468 (colour)||22|
|Engraved left worksplate from No 4468 Mallard at NRM. Considering amount of polishing this plate must have had it seems unlikely this is the original. (colour)||22|
|Plate 3 Cowlairs plate from N15 69185. Someone in the casting shop put the 3 of 13 upside down. Photo: Authors collection (colour)||23|
|Cowlairs N15 plate from 69219. Note that the build date means this NBR design emerged after the grouping (colour)||23|
|N15 No. 9219 photographed at St Margarets on 19 May 1946, showing its number on the tank sides and the rear of the bunker. Photo: AG Ellis collection)||23|
|Cast iron plate from Y9 68097 with its renumber strip. The plate is stamped 146 just above the W of works. Photo: Authors collection (colour)||24|
|Y9 No. 10098 at Craigentinny, on 2 July 1945. (Photo: J.L Stevenson collection)||24|
|Y9s at St. Margarets. No. 8097 (centre) with Nos. 8122 and 8096. (Photo: E.V. Fry, from Hennigan collection)||24|
Grant Cullen, The North British Railway and the Great
War: organisation, efforts, difficulties and achievements. Part 2: War! State
control applied mobilisation. 25-9
Mechanisms had to be eastbished for conveying large numbers of troops and their horses and equipment to the ports of embarkation which coúld be as far away as Southampton and involve several railways. This required liaison with the army and with the government and the Railway Executive Committee was a key component. The composition of Railway Executive Committee was:
D.A. Matheson Caledonian Railway
Sir Sam Fay Great Central Railway
C,H. Dent Great Northern Railway
F. Potter Great Western Railway
Sir Robert Turnbull London & North Western Railway
J.A.F. Aspinall Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
H,A. Walker London & South Western Railway
Sir Guy Granet Midland Railway
Sir A.K. Butterworth North Eastern Railway
F.H. Dent South Eastern & Chatham Railway
The Railway Secretary to the Committee was Gilbert S. Szlumper
One departure amongst the hundreds from Waverley station during the war of men bound for the conflict has been touched on in two books Jack Alexander's 16th Battalion of the Royal Scots McCraes Battalion (Mainstream Publishing; 2004) and Tom Purdie's Hearts at War 1914-1919 (Amberley Publishing, 2014). Sir George McCrae was a self-made Edinburgh businessman, who made his mark in the drapery trade. He became a member of Edinburgh Council in 1889. He was the City Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee from 1891-1899 and also served as a Justice of the Peace. From 1899 he was MP for Edinburgh East, but in 1909 he resigned from the House of Commons to take up a senior position in Scottish government service as Vice-President of the Local Government Board. He mounted a vociferous campaign began against the continuance of professional football during a time of national crisis and, in particular, the fact that the players themselves were not leading the campaign by volunteering to serve. In November 1914 he was permitted to form the 16th Battalion of the Royal Scots and encouraged players and supporters of Hearts to join.
On 1 July 1916, the 15th and 16th Battalions of the Royal Scots attacked near the village of Contalmaison in the Somme Valley. Three Hearts players would die that day, seven would be killed in total during the war, and many more would be wounded. In 2004 just south of Contalmaison village a Memorial was erected to commemorate McCraes Battalion, the 16th Battalion of the Royal Scots. It has since become a place of pilgrimage for football supporters and Edinburgh schoolchildren.
Against this background it is not surprising that many railway sought to enlist and the General Manager Fulton attempted to intervene, but many released enlisted again.
The NBR supplied an ambulance train, but its system of suspended cots did not meet with approval, but when the United States entered the War it was found useful to convey casualties from Fort Edgar to Wemyss Bay to hand them over to the US Navy. Illustrations:
|Contalmaison memorial (colour)||26|
|The interior of a ward car, showing the suspended cots||28|
|The interior of a ward car, in the standard configuration||28|
|William Fulton Jackson, General Manager of the NBR from 1899 to 1918.||29|
Alan Simpson. West Fife pits and the NBR: Part 7 Some smaller
coalowners in the Cowdenbeath Area. 30-4.
The collective name Donibristle Colliery was used to describe a small group of coal pits lying south of the NB Thornton to Dunfermline line and south-west of the peat bog called Moss Morran and in Aberdour parish. The Donibristle pits were served by a private mineral line which was connected to the NB east of Cowdenbeath South Junction and ran southwards. (The name Donibristle was the name of the landed estate on which the pits were situated and which covered the area from just south of Cowdenbeath to the Firth of Forth at Donibristle Bay. It is also the name of a village which lies just south of the present day Crossgates to Auchtertool highway.) Hill of Beath Colliery was the collective name for a small group of pits (see Map 3) to the west and north of Hill of Beath village
|Map 1, NBR and private mineral lines from Ordnance Survey One-inch Popular edition, Scotland, 1921-1930, Sheet 68. Firth of Forth. 1928||30|
|Map 2, NBR and private mineral lines from Ordnance Survey Six-inch 2nd and later edition, Sheet XXIV.SE (includes Aberdour; Auchtertool; Beath; Dunfermline). 1920, (revised 1913).||31|
|Donibristle Colliery Co. Ltd. 12 ton wagon number 361, painted red oxide colour with white lettering shaded black, & black ironwork (HMRS)||32|
|Map 3, showing Hill of Beath pit in LNER period, from Ordnance Survey Six-inch Sheet XXIV.SE (includes Beath). date revised 1913.||33|
Stirling Everard. Cowlairs Commentary. 35-9
Reprinted from Locomotive Mag. of 15 April 1943. Cowlairs came into production in 1869 as the sole locomotive works for the Company. From that year until the end of Wheatley's time additional standard 17in. goods engines were turned out annually. The later machines had domed boilers. In all sixty-two were built by the company in addition to the twenty-six contract-built engines already mentioned. The final batch was completed after Wheatley had resigned. The numbers of the Cowlairs built engines were 12, 16, 23, 26, 31, 47, 48, 53, 54, 61, 64, 65, 69, 70, 71, 102, 114-122, 124, 126, 127, 129, 133, 142, 219, 243-246, 257, 266, 267, 275, 276, 283, 285, 291, 298, 307, 309, 407-417 and 450-453.
For mineral traffic he introduced a smaller variant of the design having 4ft. 0in. wheels and 16in. x 24in. cylinders, of which thirty-seven were built at Cowlairs. These were Nos. 1-6, 15, 25, 41, 43, 86, 152, 251-254, 265 and 430-449. Many engines of both types had cast-iron wheels with T-section spokes which he particularly favoured for goods service. Such engines were never permitted to work on passenger trains.
In 1870 two 0-6-0 saddle tank designs were introduced, the one with 5ft. 0in. wheels for branch and suburban passenger duties, the other, with 4ft. 3in. wheels for shunting and local goods. The standard cylinder dimensions of these engines were 16in. x 24in., though in three of the passenger type the stroke was 22in. In these tank designs Wheatley gave up domeless boilers in favour of boilers with small domes over the firebox. These domes were topped by the safety valves, and on the tank engines had bell-mouthed casings. Eighteen passenger engines were built between 1870 and 1873 and ten of the goods type. The numbers were 39, 51, 62, 113, 136, 149, 221, 222, 226, 228, 229, 230, 255, 256, 261, 263, 405 and 406 for the passenger machines and 8, 13, 44, 66, 130, 132, 220, 223, 258 and 260 for the goods. Cowlairs turned out two pug shunters in 1872, having 3ft. 0in. wheels and 11in. x 18in. cylinders. These engines, Nos. 18 and 311, were the only Wheatley machines to have outside cylinders. He completed his complement of shunting engines by building at Cowlairs six inside cylindered 0-6-0 saddle tanks in 1874. These had 3ft. 6in. wheels and 13in. x 18in. cylinders. They were numbered 32, 42, 144, 146, 308 and 310.
Main line passenger traffic was, until 1869, left to the existing machines. As the train service had never been outstanding for its speed or convenience, except possibly on the Edinburgh and Glasgow section where there were some notably good engines already, this was no further imposition on the travelling public; and when, in 1869, Wheatley put in hand his first express design, it was considered that two examples of the new type were quite sufficient. These locomotives, Nos. 141 and 164, were inside-framed throughout, and of the 2-4-0 type. 6ft. 6in. coupled wheels were used, together with domeless boilers and 16in. x 24in. cylinders, but shortly after they were put into service the cylinder diameter was increased to 17in.
In 1871 two further express engines were required, and here Wheatley decided to break new ground. The winding nature of certain sections of the North British main line suggested a more flexible wheelbase than that of the 2-4-0s, though from the power point of view these machines were, at the time, most suitable. He accordingly designed a 4-4-0 of somewhat similar dimensions. Inside frames were used throughout, with 17in. x 24in. cylinders and 6ft. 6in. coupled wheels. The bogie wheels were only 2ft. 9in. in diameter, and were of solid construction without spokes. In these engines, boilers with small domes over the firebox were used. They were the first examples in Britain of the 4-4-0 with inside bearings throughout and with inside cylinders, although there had been several examples of the 4-4-0 otherwise arranged. Wheatley's engines were numbered 224 and 264. No. 224 later achieved prominence by being involved in the Tay Bridge disaster of December, 1879 when it went into the river. It was, however, afterwards recovered and placed in service again and continued in traffic as No. 1192 until 1919.
In 1873 four more 4-4-0 express engines were built, but in these the earlier design was modified and improved. The diameter of the bogie wheels was increased to 3ft. 4in., though the solid type was still used. These wheels were of German manufacture, and this may have applied also to those of the earlier engines. The most important change, however, was in the provision of Wheatleys final and improved type of boiler, which had a 1arge dome midway along the barrel. This type of boiler was used on all the later new and rebuilt machines. This series of 4-4-0 engines was numbered 420-423.
For secondary passenger services Wheatley designed a 2-4-0 type with 16in. x 24in. cylinders and 6ft. 0in. coupled wheels. These engines were also built in 1873, there being eight in all, numbered 418, 419 and 124-429. They were very satisfactory in every way, and all except Nos. 419 and 427 lasted until L.N.E.R. days, the amalgamated Companys numbers being 10239, 10245-9 respectively. This completes the description of new engines of Wheatleys design. He built, also, eight engines from recovered material. Six of these were 0-6-0 goods engines with 17in. x 24in. cylinders and 5ft. 0in. wheels, which owed their origin to and took their numbers from a series of inside-framed Hawthorn 0-6-0s built in 1861-2. The Wheatley engines, numbered 80-85, varied from his standard goods type in having an unequally divided wheelbase with a slightly greater distance between the leading and driving wheels than between the driving and trailing. They had the latest type of boiler, and were given new six-wheeled tenders, but the latter they did not long retain, as they were soon displaced from main line service and became shunters and station pilots.
The two other engines built from old material were 2-4-0 secondary duty passenger machines with inside frames and 16in. x 22in. cylinders. No. 40 had 5ft. 0in. coupled wheels, No. 63 4ft. l0in. coupled wheels. Both probably had a strong Hawthorn background. They seem to have been rather inconspicuous locomotives, and pottered about in the South of Scotland until the late eighties NBR outside cylindered 2-4-0 locomotive No. 1035 (ex-F&CJR) at Cowlairs. Photo: I Watson collection or early nineties. In 1871 the North British agreed to work the Forth and Clyde Junction Railway and took over from that concern four Allan-type 2-4-0 engines with 5ft. 0in. coupled wheels and 16in. x 22in. cylinders. They had been built in 1859 at the Canada Works, Birkenhead. The Canada Works had been started by the firm of Peto, Brassey & Betts in 1853, after Brassey had obtained the contract for the building of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. After building locomotives, rolling stock and plant for the Grand Trunk, a few Allan-type machines were built for British railways to the makers' specification, among them those in question. They had raised fireboxes with domes above, one spring-balance safety valve on the dome, and one on a column on the boiler. The Forth and Clyde engines were numbered 401-404 by the North British.
It remains to mention Wheatleys final rebuilds, put in hand during his last two or three years of office. In all of these he used the domed boiler, and it was obviously his intention to rebuild certain complete classes rather than to perpetuate individual engines now that the necessity for improvisation had passed. The·90 class of mixed-framed passenger 2-4-0, built in 1860 by Messrs. Neilson for** One of the 2-4-0 locomotives after rebuilding, including the provision of a side-window cab, as LNER No. 10249 (LNER Class E7) at Burntisland shed. Photograph: WH Whitworth, from the Hennigan collection NBR 2-4-0 locomotive No. 418 (LNER Class E7) at Haymarket shed. Included in the photograph are driver Jock Walker and blacksmith Jock Lawrie, one of the founders of St Cuthbert's Co-operative Society. Photo: Hennigan collection** the North British, were all rebuilt with Wheatley boilers, as were several of the numerous North British 15½ in. 0-6-0 goods engines, though Wheatley retired before the majority of the latter had been taken in hand. One of the Canada Works 2-4-0s was reboilered, but he had no time to deal with the remainder of the class, which were broken up by his successor in their original state, leaving No. 404 as the sole representative of the Allan conception on the North British for many years.
Of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Beyer, Peacock engines the singles 213 and 216 were reboilered by Wheatley, losing much of their beauty of line in the process. No. 216 had the driving wheels reduced to 6ft. 0in. at the same time. The 0-4-2 engines Nos. 317, 318 and 346 were also rebuilt about this time. Experimentally Wheatley reduced the coupled wheels of two of the 382 class of domeless 2-4-0s from 6ft. 0in. to 5ft. 0in. and the wheels of one of the later 0-6-0s from 5ft. 0in. to 4ft. 0in. The engines concerned were Nos. 384, 388 and 201. The results obtained apparently did not justify any further conversions.
During his time cabs were introduced to the North British. Previously a weatherboard had been considered sufficient protection for the engine crew, in the later designs with a backward extension to provide a rudimentary roof. Wheatleys cabs were, in effect, weatherboards with narrow side sheets added, the roof sloping slightly upwards towards the rear, and they did not greatly add to the comfort of the men.
In assessing Wheatleys importance in North British locomotive history due allowance must be made. for the extremely difficult circumstances under which his term of office began. When he left the company at the end of 1874 the output. of new locomotives from Cowlairs had increased from six to forty a year, while the works also carried out the heavy repairs and all the necessary rebuilding for a stock of over four hundred and fifty engines. The reliability of the companys locomotives had greatly NBR 2-2-2 locomotimproved, and standardisation had been carried as far as circumstances would permit. Moreover the financial position of the railway, necessarily dependent upon his success in handling the locomotive stock, had materially improved. (To be continued)
Editors note: the line drawings included in this article formed part of the article as published in 1943, but the photographs and captions have been added, from the Groups Photo Archive
|Wheatley standard 0-6-0 goods, 1874||35|
|NBR 0-6-0 locomotive No. 409, one of the Cowlairs-built 17" goods engimnes, and brake van. ( Photo: A Greig collection)||35|
|NBR 0-4-0ST locomotive No. 18, one of the pug shunters referred to. ( Photo: A.G. Ellis collection)||36|
|Wheatley 4-4-0 express locomotive No. 224, 1871 (Everard drawing)||36|
|NBR 4-4-0 locomotive No. 224, the Tay Bridge Disaster locomotive, before rebuilding (Photo: J.F. Mallon collection)||36|
|NBR outside cylinder 2-4-0 locomotive No. 1035 (ex-F&CJR) at Cowlairs. (Photo: I. Watson)||37|
|Wheatley 6ft. 2-4-0, 1873 (Everard drawing)||37|
|Wheatley 0-6-0 built from recovered material, 1874 (Everard drawing)||37|
|NBR 2-4-0 locomotive No. 418 (LNER Class E7) at Haymarket shed: included in photograph driver Jock Walker and blacksmith Jock Lawrie, one of founders of St Cuthbert's Co-operative Society.||38|
|2-4-0 locomotive after rebuilding, including provision of a side-window cab, as LNER No. 10249 (LNER Class E7) at Burntisland shed. (Photo. W.H. Whitworth)||38|
|NBR 2-4-0 locomotive No. 418, freshly painted in Drummond livery. ( Photo: A Greig collection)||39|
|NBR 2-2-2 locomotive No. 213, originally E & GR No. 82 then NBR No. 6, as rebuilt by Wheatley in 1875; named Polmont in1880. (Photo: A'W. Miller collection)||39|
Alistair Nisbet. The Bishops Bridge Murder on the E & G R. 40-3.
John Green, a ganger on the construction of the Edinburgh & Glasgow at what is now known as Bishopbriggs on 10 December 1840. Three Irish labourers Doolan, Reddan and Hickie were brought to trial at the High Court in Glasgow on 23 April 1841 where Lord Moncrieff, the judge who called the accused "strangers in our country, they differ from us in religion" and a rigged jury sentenced them to be hanged at the site of the crime. Hickey was spared and sentenced to transportation. The others accompanied by cavalry and infantry with fixed bayonets were taken to the site of the crime on 14 May accompanied by Bishop Murdoch and another priest and hung in front of a large crowd..Illustration: Reid Atlantic No.9906 Teribus on express at Cadder on 6 March 1931.
John Yellowlees. The Riddings anomaly. 44-5
Borderline (Kinord Books, 2020) a thriller by Edinburgh-based author Jim Forbes has a plot that turns on the discovery that the old course of a stream places a property in Scotland and thus unexpectedly entitling the deceaseds children to claim rights in her estate. The author acknowledges that the inspiration came from the so-called Riddings Anomaly. From Kershopefoot to its confluence with the River Esk south of Riddings, the medium filum of the Liddel Water generally forms the Border between Scotland and England. However the building of the Border Union Railway from Hawick to Carlisle led to the digging in 1861 of a short section of new channel to the west of the rivers natural course. Engineers had found a number of natural obstacles in their way, including a section of the Liddel Water that ran against a cliff face which rose almost 30 metres above the waterline. The choice was between diverting the line of the railway or moving the course of the river and the latter would appear to have been the easier and cheaper option. An area of almost two acres was built up, with heavy sandstone blocks being used to move the course of the river northwards and leave an area on which the track could be laid. The result was a piece of land enclosed by the original border and the new course of the river. It seems that little mention was made of this change, perhaps to avoid the complication that would doubtless have arisen if the two countries had been alerted by the making of formal applications to the relevant authorities The practical result was that a small patch of Scotland in the vicinity of Riddings Farm became stranded on the English side of the river, as the Border itself continued to follow the old course of the Liddel rather than the new artificial channe.
Eight miles nearer to Carlisle the railway encountered a short crossing and re-crossing of the Border as a result of the latters zig-zag route at Liddel Motte was never (so far as is known) publicised by the NBR, LNER or BR. The existence of this other Border crossing seems to have been first mentioned in print by another A.J. Mullay, in Rails Across the Border. Further. the Riddings Anomaly is not the only cross-Border curiosity to be found in the neighbourhood. The Riddings Viaduct (illustrated) formerly carried the NBR Langholm branch across the Liddel Water and the structure is listed both in Scotland (grade A) and in England (grade II*)
C.J,B. Sanderson. Locomotive head lamp codes.
Reprinted from Newsletters Numbers 8 and 10 in considerably greater style and legibility. Illustration: Drummond 4-4-0T No. 73 (later No. 1402) at North Leith station, showing the two lamps (presumably both white) over the right hand buffer which formed the code for North Leith Passenger Trains. The photograph is noted as showing fireman Jock McIntosh, driver Jimmy Kay and porter Flanagan. (L.R. Tomsett)
John Roake. The Queensferry Junction Accident of 3 February [actually
January] 1917. 50-3
John Balfour of the Poor Law Agency and Removal Office for Scotland, writing on 22 May 1917 to possibly a more senior inspector starts by apologizing for his long silence, explaining that the reason for the silence was mentioned in the February issue of the Poor Law Magazine. He goes on to say that he was one of the unfortunate passengers in the ill-fated express which left Edinburgh for Glasgow at 4.18p.m. on 3rd February [sic]. The smash took place at Ratho Junction at 4.35p.m. and it was 7.20p.m. before he was rescued in a semi-conscious condition from the carriage wreckage and conveyed per motor ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He was kept in hospital for 6 or 7 weeks, during which time he was examined 3 times under X-Rays. After being sent home John was constantly under doctors care until the beginning of May.
John then goes on to tell his correspondent that it was a terrible smash. We were travelling at 50 m.p.h. when we ran into an engine which had been allowed to get on to our line of rail. There were 14 killed outright (other sources recorded 12 deaths) and over 70 injured. John reckoned that he had an extremely lucky escape as he was in the first carriage. The X-Ray examinations revealed that he had escaped internal injuries but he was very badly bruised and crushed in both legs from his hips right down to his ankles, with the right hand bone much bruised. He also suffered greatly from shock and sleeplessness, want of purpose, circulation etc. But at the time of writing the letter he was much better but stiff and lame. The Doctor had allowed John to work no more than 3 days per week and only on alternate days; any long business journeys were forbidden. John continues his letter by thanking the recipient for past support and that he hopes he has a continuance of said recipients confidence. No protection of employment in those days!
On 3 January 1917 at about 16.36 at Queensferry Junction on the Edinburgh and Glasgow main line, where the single-track branch to South Queensferry joined the main line. Ratho Station was nearby, as shown on the accompanying maps, the platforms on the South Queensferry branch being referred to as Ratho Lower. Balfours train was hauled by Atlantic, No. 874 Dunedin, and consisted of ten bogie coaches, nine of them electrically-lit NBR vehicles and the tenth a North Eastern railway gas-lit vehicle. The collision also involved No. 421 Jingling Geordie, a Scott class 4-4-0. It might seem surprising that quite a new 4-4-0 was working a branch passenger service on a minor line, but the days work for engine and crew was recorded as being to operate the 8.45 a.m. from Thornton to Glasgow Queen Street, the 11.56 a.m. from Glasgow Queen Street to Dalmeny (with the coaches perhaps being attached to an Edinburgh to Aberdeen train), the 4.19 p.m. from Dalmeny to Ratho Lower, the 5.42 p.m. from Ratho Lower to Dalmeny and then to return to Thornton light engine. The engine was run tender first from Dalmeny to Ratho Lower.
Colonel Pringle investigated for the Board of Trade and took the opportunity to look at the situation more broadly, and questioned the suitability of the layout at Queensferry Junction, the appointment of spare signalmen as traffic inspectors in districts where they had worked and the dangers involved in dealing with light engines. On this point he recommended a periodic review to identify and rectify irregular methods of working and lack of suitable protection by signals and trap points
|Extract from Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map of Edinburghshire II.10 (Kirkliston; Ratho) showing the location of the lines in the area. single line running off the map extract to the north west is South Queensferry Branch||50|
|No. 874 Dunedin, seen here with a train in Princes Street Gardens. (Photo: A Greig collection)||51|
|Extract from Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map of Edinburghshire continuation mapping to east, towards Edinburgh.||51|
|Enlarged extract from Ordnance Survey map of the area: visible on map are the two crossovers on the main line and the position of the signal box||52|
|No. 421 Jingling Geordie, seen here on 29 May 1926 as LNER No. 9421 at west end of Edinburgh Waverley.||53|
A visit to Leith Central. 54 + rear cover
Opened in 1903; closed in 1972. Leith Central signal box: drawing in Newsletter No. 9
|Vehicle entrance from Leith Walk on 13 April 1971. (D. King)||Photo 1|
|Entrance at Leith Walk/ Duke Street corner nearly 20 years after closure on 13 April 1971. (D. King)||Photo 2:|
|Station viewed from Easter Road, across a demolition site at Gordon Street; on 13 April 1971 (D. King)||Photo 3:|
|Railway entrance to station and signal box viewed from bridge over Easter Road;||Photo 4:|
|Interior in its early days as diesel depot, with Swindon units in view. J.F, McEwan collection, September 1957.||Photo 5:|
|NBR Class R 4-4-0T locomotive No. 10428 (LNER Class D51), with Edinburgh headboard (R.D. Stephen);||Photo 6:|
|NBR 4-4-0T locomotive No. 33 (later LNER Class D51) with Leith Central headboard. Fireman Jock McIntosh, driver Jimmy Kay. (L. Tomsett)||Photo 7:|
|NBR 0-4-4T locomotive No. 91 (later LNER Class G7) with driver Geordie Durie, showing smokebox star, and fall plate decoration.||Photo 8:|
|Leith Central in early 1930s: Extract from Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map of Edinburghshire III.4 (Edinburgh), Publication date: 1933.Revised: 1931.||rear cov|
No. 142. locomotive is at
|No. 142 (March 2021)|
Our cover photograph. 3
Cover shows locomotive No. 142 at Thornton shed. Included in the view are driver Bob Forbes, fireman Jimmy Wyness, clerk Charles Moodie and clerk David Lee. The locomotive was built at Cowlairs in 1875 and formed part of a class of eighty-eight. This particular locomotive was withdrawn in 1919, but others survived Grouping to become LNER class J31, the last (by then No. 10206) being withdrawn in 1937. Photo: from Hennigan collection, courtesy Bill Lynn
Leith Walk. 3
See article in Journal 138, of November 2019, about Leith Walk Station, in which it was noted that there were two parallel double-track bridges carrying Leith Walk over the railway, although only one appeared ever to have been used. As a follow-up, the attached photograph, taken on 8 December 2020, shows the tops of the two arches following removal of the road surface and fill material in connection with the current tramway extenson. At the very right of the image is a cast iron trough cut into the arches, possibly to carry the blind cable (i.e. not used to propel the tramcars) from Shrubhill Power Station to serve the route on London Road. Photo: D King
Euan Cameron. The Holmes 795 class 0-6-0 Tanks.
On the NBR most yard shunting was performed by elderly tender locomotives displaced from main line work, although small four-wheel saddle tanks derived from a standard Neilson design (later class Y9) were gradually increased over the years. Matthew Holmes gained some important and useful shunting locomotives by converting the 20 Wheatley 0-6-0s of the 430-449 series [see Journal No. 138] into saddle tanks; several of these conversions had proved to be useful as pilots at Edinburgh Waverley East End, even while some of the larger-wheeled Wheatley saddle tanks shunted at the West End.
It was therefore both quite understandable, but a significant reversal of past policy, when forty substantial side tanks were ordered from outside contractors, without any previous trial of the design. In October 1899 the Board authorized purchases of 20 tanks from Sharp, Stewart & Co., and 20 from Neilson, Reid &;Co. at prices between £2,430 and £2,530 each. It was specified that after initial tooling-up periods, they were to be delivered at the rate of eight per month from Sharps and four per month from Neilsons. The two batches of engines were almost entirely (though not quite) identical, and it is evident that the design was specified down to the finest detail at Cowlairs. In the event they were all delivered between 1900 and 1901. All were given consecutive numbers from 795 to 834, charged to capital and adding to the railway's capital stock. The resulting tank engines of the 795 series, later to become the LNER J83 class, had a very distinct NBR. appearance and incorporated many Drummond conventions which Holmes had absorbed, and also used many standard components.
Two well-proven major components formed the backbone of the design: the standard 17-in x 26-in inside cylinders, spaced 2-ft 3-in apart with vertical slide valves between the bores, and the boiler (later known as diagram 84) with a 4-ft 5-in diameter barrel 10-ft 1-in long and a firebox 5-ft 5-in long. This boiler was used on Holmes's 17-in 0-6-0s of the J33 Class and his 0-4-4Ts, The spacing of the wheels of the new tank engines was the same as on all of Holmes's goods 0-6-0s. The mainframes used standard hornblocks and stays. So far, one could consider the 795 locomotives as a tank engine variant of the 566 or J33 Class: indeed, in the power class system of the 1910s these two designs shared power class D. However, the new 0-6-0Ts diverged from previous practice in multiple ways. They had 4-ft 6-in wheels, which were identical neither to those on the small Drummond 0-6-0Ts of the 165 Class, nor to those on the later Reid 0-6-2Ts, even though all those were of the same diameter. The wheels ran on springs which were shorter than usual ) and with fewer leaves than normal. The inside Stephensonfs link valve gear was of the type normally fitted to the 18-in goods locomotives and 4-4-0s, with eccentric rods at 4-ft 7-in centres, rather than the 5' 6" rods normally used on 17" cylinder locomotives.
There were important visible differences outside and above the frames as well. The side tanks of the 795 Class were of the same width as those on the 586 Class (later G7) 0-4-4Ts at 7' 5" wide outside, but in this instance the cab was made flush with the side tanks through to the rear bunker, rather than narrowing to 6' 0." wide at the cab front, as on the Drummond and earlier Holmes locomotives. Not only was the cab much
Between April 1924 and March 1925, the class was thoroughly rebuilt, although the principal dimensions and working specification remained the same. The locomotives were given new boilers of the same basic size as before, but with a lower, fatter Reid-pattern dome without safety valves, and separate Ross pop safety valves in a decorative housing on the firebox crown. The dates of this change are supplied in the table, and it will be noted that in every case the rebuilding coincided with the application of LNER. livery and new number in the 9000 series. Apart from the reboilering, the most conspicuous change was that the front sandbox was raised in height by 5-in, to increase sand capacity. The pull-rods for the sanding were not however altered at the other end, resulting in the rodding sloping inelegantly downwards towards the rear. Less visible changes were that the springs were replaced, with coil springs replacing plate springs on the rear axle. The ashpan, which had been of a curious profile at the front later used on the 0-6-2Ts, reverted to a more normal shape. Backing plates were fitted behind the coal rails. The locomotives were lengthened overall by 3-in, with the addition of 1½-in pads behind the buffers at each end, giving an overall length of 30-ft 2½-in versus 29-ft 11½-in in the original drawings
When the steam-brake only locomotives were rebuilt, the brakes were adjusted such that the brake pull rods, instead of passing outside the wheels at the bottom of the hangers, were run down the centre of the locomotive chassis and attached to equalizing beams. For reasons presumably connected with the way that the Westinghouse brake gear worked, the Westinghouse-fitted locomotives retained their outside pull rods to the brakes until the air brake system was finally removed.
One curious aspect to the rebuilding is that the General Arrangement drawings for the rebuild, which survive, show a range of other modifications, especially to the cab and bunker, which were not carried out. The cab sides were supposed to have been renewed with slightly narrower doorways, and with the handrails moved to the side of the cab platework in the same manner as on the 0-6-2Ts. The rear of the bunker was intended to have been fitted with a footstep and pillared horizontal handrail. A third coal rail was supposed to have been added to the two already on the bunker. None of these changes were actually applied to the engines, though that has not stopped some otherwise excellent models from incorporating a few of these entirely theoretical modifications.
Several J83s were assigned to bank trains out of Queen Street up Cowlairs incline. These locomotives were equipped, as were the 0-6-2Ts of class N14, with slip couplings which could be detached from the train in motion at the top of the incline. The slipping equipment consisted of a cable run from the firemans side of the cab to a pulley on the smokebox front, and thence down to the coupling. This apparatus was fitted to 9828, 9829, 9832, 9833 and 9834, but not all at the same time. It may be seen on the photo of 9834. A few locomotives acquired vacuum brakes in the 1950s which had not previously carried them: these changes are noted in the table below.
Possibly the strangest modification was that a relatively new boiler of the same working dimensions was removed from a rebuilt Wheatley J31 goods, No. 10166 ex 1166 ex 119, which had been reboilered in 1917 and was withdrawn in March 1932. This boiler was then included with the working stock of J83 boilers and applied to a sequence of locomotives from 1933 onwards while the more standard boilers were being overhauled. The ex-J31 boiler was distinctive in having lockup safety valves on the firebox as against the Ross pop valves normally used on the J83s, and also by its dome, which was of the much smaller 2-ft 0-in diameter Reid type, used on some of Reids earlier locomotives and on rebuilds of older engines. Photographs exist of this boiler fitted to 8471 and 68451. A batch of ten boilers, controversially built at St Rollox around 1950, had Ross pop safety valves enclosed in a rectangular casing with curved corners: according to the part drawing for the cover, these valves were spaced at 10¼-in apart rather than the more normal 8¼-in. Several J83s were temporarily disfigured with some remarkably ugly parallel-sided stovepipe chimneys; one was reportedly carried by 9817 for a period in 1935, and then by 9832/8479, the Glasgow Queen Street pilot, between October 1945 and probably mid-1947, by 8445 from May 1948 to mid-1949, and by 8448 in July 1948. The first three of these chimneys could, potentially, have been the same fitting moved from engine to engine; the one fitted to 8448 had a different base and was slightly tapered. After a year or so at most these chimneys were replaced with the standard type. While most of the J83s retained their unfluted fish-bellied coupling rods throughout their existence, some engines were fitted with the much heavier fluted rods associated with the Reid 0-6-2Ts. These rods were fitted at various times to Nos. 9801/5/7/11/12/13/17/20/31/34. In most cases the dates were not recorded.
Drop grates, which one associates with rather larger locomotives, were fitted to J83s 9800/21/23/29/32/33/34, all around the 1936-7 period. The actuating gear for the grates passed through the tanks and slightly reduced the water capacity, though that change was not recorded officially.
As originally built, all 40 locomotives were painted in contemporary Holmes livery with N. B. and garter heraldry in between the letters, the first time that this particular style had been applied to a tank locomotive. The only unusual feature was the works plates of the contract builders, fitted on the sides of the front sandboxes. In the Reid era, some examples were repainted with N. B. R. on the tanks, though only 814 has so far been positively identified in this style. After 1915 some but not all were painted in black with yellow lining, with the N. B. lettering and the large control numbers between the initials in the centre of the tanks. Known examples include 802, 808 and 810. Other locomotives, including 816 and 826, appear to have had their control numbers applied to the worn and dirty remains of their full-colour passenger livery. Exceptionally, 821 was painted in unlined black shortly before Grouping, as part of an austerity measure which saw some goods engines left without lining. The LNER painted the locomotives overall black; some locomotives at least were given red lining out on the tanks and splashers, which is visible on 9816 and 9834. It was probably more widely used than the photographic evidence suggests, but one cannot be sure, because most photographic emulsions of the period did not register red tones at all well often representing them as near black. Over the course of time, it is probable that most were painted plain black. After the 1946 renumbering, the numbers were updated almost invariably in the old shaded Gresley-era transfers; in some cases, these transfers were even used initially for the British Railways numbers in the 60000 series. However, a handful of J83s came in for special treatment. In 1947 six of the regular Waverley Pilots (8472/3/4/7/8/81) were painted L N.E.R. Apple Green with white and black edging: they were the largest batch of ex-NBR. locomotives to be given the green livery at this period. (The others were D29 2411 and J36s 5211 and 5330.) The tank sides were not panelled in double white lining over black as on the Newcastle J72 Pilots, but simply given an edging line of white and a black border around the main areas of platework. Unusually, the black edging stopped short of the top of the tanks, leaving the tank tops green like the boiler. The upper rear part of the cab where it faced the bunker was left black. In an NBR. tradition long continued by the LNER. on its tank engines, the running numbers of the locomotives were painted more or less centrally on the upright platework of the bunker, rather than on the rear bufferbeam. Two of the locomotives, 68472 and 68481, had their green livery perpetuated under British Railways, with the Gill Sans lettering placed high up on the tank sides and the number at the same level on the bunker side behind the cab, above the numberplate. These two locomotives stayed in this livery until 1951. 68478 simply had its number altered while carrying LNER. initials, and bore this livery until 1950. 68463, 68472, 68474, 68477, 68480 and 68481 were given fully lined out BR black livery in the early 1950s. While the other Waverley pilots (such as 68470 and 68478) were painted unlined black, for as long as possible these engines were kept sparklingly clean, to a degree truly remarkable in such hard-working locomotives. Some of the pilots also had their front numberplates and shedplates picked out with red backgrounds, even those which were otherwise in unlined black.
The J83 tanks served as shunters and short trip locomotives, chiefly for goods but occasionally in passenger service as well, over nearly the entire N. B. system. The allocations for most of the class are recorded, and the startling fact is just how consistently these locomotives worked from the same sheds for over 50 years in many cases. The steam-braked examples tended to concentrate in sites like Kipps, Thornton Junction and Dundee; the engines with automatic brakes tended to be based at St Margarets (for Waverley East End) Haymarket (for Waverley West End) or Eastfield (for Queen Street), though there were exceptions. The versatility of the J83s for slow-speed work was astonishing. They could shunt a passenger train of express length, or freight trains in a yard. Some worked branch line services on the Musselburgh branch, or the Eyemouth branch (828). One of the Dunfermline engines, 9831, worked miners passenger trains in the Fife coalfield in the 1920s. After being moved to Haymarket in 1927, the same locomotive was later used on the Corstorphine branch passenger trains, which could be extremely heavy. Given the slow speeds at which locomotives with 4' 6" wheels inevitably worked, the mileages of some of these locomotives were equally impressive. While the record was held by 830/9830/8477 with over 2,000,000 miles to its credit, mileages of 1,500,000 and more were common, and only three locomotives, 795/6/7, ran less than a million miles in service. Clearly these rugged and straightforward but also remarkably elegant locomotives were exceptionally reliable.
Only one locomotive, 8462, failed to reach British Railways ownership, withdrawn in 1947. Otherwise the class mostly survived until the late 1950s and early 1960s, as the table below makes clear. The last J83 in regular service was 68477, withdrawn in December 1962. However, this locomotive lasted even longer. It was photographed at St Margarets on 26 March 1963 serving, substantially intact, as a stationary boiler, surrounded by the diesel shunters which had, finally, replaced these stalwart shunting locomotives after some sixty years service
|No. 817 at Leith Walk Yard in NBR. days, with driver Jimmy Taylor, driver Adam Allison, shunter Pat Bannon and fireman Geordie Robertson. Sharp, Stewart locomotive in original condition with steam brake and no tallow cups. This locomotive worked as Leith Walk No. 3 (Trip) Pilot from St. Margarets shed for all its existence||
|No. 808 as built, shown in its original NBR livery with initials N and B each side of the company roundel, before the introduction of the large control numbers. Evident in the drawing are the safety valves on the dome, the coal rails on the bunker without backing plates, the brake pull rods outside the wheels, front and rear sand pipes close to the wheels and routed to avoid brake gear, the blower control rod taken along the side of the boiler to the smokebox and, visible through the spokes of the wheels, leaf springs to all three axles. A 5-in diameter brass pipe connects the lower parts of each side tank, connected by a flange on the front of each tank and passing below the boiler, to balance the water levels. Allan Rodgers assisted in preparing the graphic representation of the Neilson, Reid works plate.. Euan Cameron coloured side elevation||
|No. 821 in NBR unlined black livery, photographed at Cowlairs in February 1922. Tallow cups and inward-hinging cab spectacle windows have been added. The control numbers are in gold, but the initials are in yellow, a not uncommon mingling of styles.||
|No. 826 in NBR livery at Edinburgh Waverley in 1919, a dual-braked locomotive allocated to Haymarket for work at Waverley West End. Here the control numbers have been applied to the original livery. The Masonic emblem on the smokebox door was presumably applied by driver Jimmy Paterson. (JL Stevenson Jnr)||
|No. 816, still in NBR livery, at Craigentinny on 13 September 1924. This was a St Margarets locomotive, dual-braked and still unrebuilt several months after Grouping. (R McCulloch)||
|No. 9828 atwest end of Waverley in 1926, with fireman Tommy Tranter fillin the tank. Note star and thistles decorating smokebox door. and Westinghouse compressor pump on ront of the right-hand tank. This locomotive remained at Haymarket until reallocated to Eastfield in 1944. (PR Wallis)||
|No. 9826 passing St. Margarets with a train of empty carriages from Craigentinny to Waverley on 16 June 1935. The carriage behind 9826 appears to be a Gresley sleeping carriage, though more information would be appreciated. (A.G. Ellis.||
|No. 9834, fitted with a pulley for the slip coupling, at Cowlairs Works on 11 April 1938. This photograph is unusual for the period in showing the red lining-out and the vermilion buffer beam quite clearly. The locomotive was still dual braked, though the Westinghouse hose appears to have been removed from the front buffer beam. (JT Rutherford, f||
|No. 8472, former No. 825, in lined-out LN.E.R. green with Gill Sans lettering and numbers. The rear of the bunker also carried the number in Gill Sans figures. The green livery was applied to this engine in July 1947. The locomotive still carries its NBR Power Class plate on the side of the bunker, showing it to be in class D. The engine carries a more modern boiler than the type fitted when new, with the safety valves above the firebox rather than on the dome, and coil springs have been fitted to the rear axle in place of the original leaf springs. The bunker coal rails have been fitted with backing plates. The brake pull rods are now inside the wheels. The engine has been fitted with shunters steps below the bunker and a handrail on the side of the bunker and the L. N. E. R. number plate has been updated to show the number 8472, allocated in 1946.||
|No. 8472 (L. N. E. R. Class J83) at St. Margarets in August 1947, in L. N. E. R. lined green. The livery was only a month old at this point. The engine appears to have a scheduled boiler washout date chalked on the cab. Photo: M Smith Jnr||10|
|Numbers 8472 and 8477, both in L. N. E. R. lined green, in Edinburgh Waverley. Both have the number on the rear of the bunker, in line with N. B. R. tradition. The date of the photograph is not recorded but is almost certainly between 1947 (when the green livery was applied) and approximately 1949, by which time the words British Railways had replaced LNER. No. 8477 is the former No. 830, noted as having run over 2,000,000 miles during its working||10|
|BR No. 68474, no longer in L. N. E. R. green, but now in B. R. lined black, at the east end of Edinburgh Waverley. The smokebox door hinges have been picked out in white and the numberplate and shed plate given a red background. The photograph was taken in August 1955. Note the extensive patching to the tanks at the bottom, revealed by the double row of rivets. Photo: Courtesy of Colour Rail.com, ref SC436||11|
Grahame Hood. A Virtual Outing to West Lothian 13
The sub-title is a "fictional account" of a visit to the shale oil distrtict of West Lothian. One assumes that what was "seen" was real, but that the visitors and thier convyances were fictitious. These were students at Edinburgh University in a railway society and they were conveyed by what seemed to be rather too cooperate railway companies. Much is based on Harry Knox's The Scottish shale oil industry & mineral railway lines. Grahame Hood has written previouslly about railways in the shale oil district: see the Camps branch
|Line into Pumpherston Oil Works looking south, on 31 July 1976: Clapperton bing; the brick pier carried the tramway to tip the shale. It is also shown in the frontispiece of Knox book. The line to the left is the original line to Camps; it ended in a rail-built buffer stop a little further on. The right hand line led into the works. Photo: Peter Russell||13|
|Extract from Ordnance Survey One-Inch Third Edition, revised 1901, published 1904, printed 1923.||14|
|An LNER siding diagram showing the ownership of lines serving Uphall Oil Works and Middleton, and then on to Hopetoun. Note the line of the original Uphall Goods branch, shown as still being railway property, and also two sidings at Castlehill.||15|
|NBR 0-6-0 locomotive No. 550 (LNER Class J34), of the same class as No. 538, at Kinneil. The date is not recorded but the engine is still in NBR livery.||16|
|View from Clapperton bing on 8 February 1976, looking west over the Oil Works site. The south bing was already being removed. The two brick piers carried the tramway to tip the shale they are still there. This view also shows the weighbridge building. At the top right is the SOL brick works which made bricks from waste shale from 1930s onwards. The large building in the distance is Cameron Iron Works in Livingston. Photo: Peter Russel||17|
|Uphall on 31 July 1975, with Pumpherston branch heading south. The bing is at Roman Camp. Photo: Peter Russell||17|
|LNER siding diagram showing Broxburn Junction to Greendykes Road and up to Hopetoun. This diagram shows Albion, rather than Albyn. Map courtesy late AA Maclean||18|
|An LNER siding diagram showing ownership of the lines from Drumshoreland to Greendykes Road. The diagram states that the line crosses Main Road by Holygate on a level crossing. In later years this crossing was by a bridge, but that may have replaced an earlier level crossing. Map courtesy late AA Maclean||19|
|Uphall Station on the Edinburgh Bathgate line, from the west: station buildings and footbridge with signal box in background.||20|
Stirling Everard . Cowlairs Commentary 22
Reproduced from Locomotive Mag., 1943, 49, 92-3., At the beginning of 1875 Dugald Drummond arrived at Cowlairs from Brighton to take the place that Wheatley had vacated. The boy who had spent his early years beside the Caledonian and Dumbartonshire line, the youth who had served Stroudley at Cowlairs, had returned to Cowlairs to take charge. He returned as a very forceful young man who knew exactly how he intended to run the locomotive department; which can be summarised by saying that, in his opinion, if a man followed Stroudleys example he could make few mistakes. He took one look at Cowlairs and decided that things were not precisely as he wished them. He surveyed the locomotive stock and found much which did not please him. Traffic was growing fast, and would continue to grow, and, despite Wheatley's past programme of replacements, there were still not enough modern engines to handle it.
Viewed dispassionately it would seem that in some ways Drummond reaped where Wheatley had sown, for when Drummond took over the most difficult years were past, and there was more money to spend than there had been eight years before. In consequence he was able to obtain sanction for the construction of so many new locomotives that, once again, outside contractors had to be called in to supplement the output of Cowlairs. Once again, however Cowlairs was reorganised, so that in the latter part of Drummonds time there was no need for the company to look elsewhere for new construction.
Drummonds work at Cowlairs can be said to have been extremely sound without being outstandingly original. He was determined that the company should have the benefit of the most modern and reliable locomotives that could be built, but equally determined that no untried idea should be introduced that might increase maintenance costs. The North British could not afford expensive failures. On the relatively poor Scottish railways there was no room for brilliant ideas that did not quite come off. Nevertheless, despite the cautious approach, he managed to revolutionise the locomotive practice of half Scotland before once again he travelled South, and he started a tradition that was only extinguished by the Railways Act of 1920. The secret of the success of his engines was the combination of simplicity of design with plenty of reserve power. When Drummond arrived at Cowlairs the North British, despite the amount of branch and suburban traffic which it was called upon to handle, owned remarkably few passenger tank engines. The fourteen 0-4-2 well tanks built by Hurst were lamentably small and underpowered. Wheatleys contribution of eighteen six-coupled saddle tanks was more useful, but quite inadequate to handle more than a small proportion of the duties. Besides these there seem to have been few, if any, other tank engines at all suitable for passenger work.
It would seem that Drummond asked himself what, under the circumstances, Stroudley would do, and he did not have to look far for the answer. Stroudley, faced by similar conditions on the Brighton, had designed his Terrier tanks. The Brighton Terriers were small 0-6-0 machines with inside frames, 13in. x 20in. inside cylinders and 4ft. 0in. wheels. The domes were on the rear ring of the boiler, the spring balance safety valves on the dome. Stroudleys own particular design of cab was fitted giving a degree of protection by no means always provided at that date. The tool box was placed behind the bunker, and the sandboxes were combined with the leading splashers. Drummonds Terrier design was slightly larger in all cases where he borrowed a Brighton design he increased the size to greater or less degree having 4ft. 6in. wheels and 15in. x 22in. cylinders, but the general layout of the engine was strictly according to Brighton. Drummond allowed himself variations in detail; for example Ramsbottom safety valves on the dome, and a modification of the Stroudley cab roof which made it cheaper to construct. It was moreover, not in Drummond's character to allow time to be wasted on such unprofitable pursuits as polishing copper chimney caps. The Drummond chimney was a neat design with a painted cap. There were twenty-five Drummond Terriers, each of which, in common with all Drummond passenger engines, was named after a place on its normal route: This on occasion led to some confusion. All were built between 1875 and 1878 at Cowlairs·. Their numbers were 20, 22, 29, 49, 96, 97, 106-108, 123, 151, 158, 161, 162, 165, 166, 240, 241, 259, 274, 284, 295, 297, 313 and 485.
The year 1876 saw the production of Drummonds first main line locomotives. For goods and mineral traffic he introduced a class of 18in. 0-6-0 machines with 5ft. 0in. wheels of which twenty, Nos. 454-473, were built on contract by Messrs. Neilson. Twelve of the same type were built at Cowlairs. These were Nos. 100, 139, 153, 242, 270, 278, 281, 287, 292, 304, 305 and 315. Deliveries from each source began in 1876 and were completed in 1877. These engines were derived from Stroudleys 0-6-0·engines for the Brighton company, but were slightly larger. In Stroudleys machines the cylinders were 17½in. x 26in. and in Drummonds 18in. x 26in. The North British variety included all the usual Drummond modifications such as the Ramsbottom safety valves and Drummonds cab and chimney. The tenders were of the Brighton outside-framed type with underslung springs, which subsequently proved to be a decided nuisance, since no engine equipped with one of them was able to cross the Forth Bridge. Such tenders were used by Drummond throughout his career with the North British, though never subsequently.
The Edinburgh and Glasgow expresses were still mainly handled by Patons Beyer, Peacock singles, a design twenty years old, and a more modern machine w:as required. Now just before Drummond had left Brighton Stroudley had prepared plans for a new express inside-framed 2-2-2 with 17in x 24in. inside cylinders and 6ft. 9in. driving wheels: his Grosvenor. Such a machine, Drummond considered, would be ideal for the Edinburgh-Glasgow services. This, of course, was not a very surprising conclusion, since Grosvenor in any case owed something to the Paton singles if the question of parentage were looked into. Drummond placed an order with Messrs. Neilson for two machines very similar to Grosvenor, but having 7ft. 0in. driving wheels. The usual Drummond modifications were adopted. The numbers of these engines were 474 and 475 and they were named Glasgow and Berwick respectively.
A further problem presented itself, for the North British had a few years before, and after some early and fruitless attempts, reached Carlisle from Edinburgh. Now the Midland Railway was on the point of completing its line to Carlisle from the south. This would convert the sometime Hawick branch and the Border Union extension into a very important and very exacting main line. Furthermore the North British would before long reach Aberdeen by way of the Tay Bridge, requiring powerful locomotives to handle the main line traffic between Burntisland ferry and Aberdeen.
Neither of these roads was comparable in any way to the Brighton main line, and it was, therefore, impossible to adapt any of the existing Stroudley designs for the new services. Wheatley, however, had met the problems of the more difficult of the North British routes by introducing the leading bogie to Cowlairs practice. Drummond followed Wheatleys lead, although to Stroudleys way of thinking the bogie was an invention of the devil. Drummonds 4-4-0s were magnificent machines with 6ft. 6in. coupled wheels and 18in. by 24in. cylinders. They completely eclipsed Wheatleys engines and were the inspiration of the whole Drummond tradition. The first four were built by Messrs. Neilson in 1876, and were numbered 476-479. Four further Neilson-built examples came out in 1878, Nos. 486-489, while Nos. 490-493 were built at Cowlairs in the same year. All carried names in Drummonds day.
With one unfortunate exception Drummond did not borrow any further from Stroudley. The exception was in the case of the Helensburgh route, on which the coastal express traffic was developing quickly. In order to cope with this Drummond in 1877 built at Cowlairs six 0-4-2 tank engines which were directly inspired by Stroudleys D class on the Brighton line, but as usual the Cowlairs engines were considerably larger than their Brighton prototypes. Although the latter had 5ft. 6in. coupled wheels and 17in. by 24in. cylinders as compared with 5ft. 9in. coupled wheels and cylinders of the Brighton dimensions for Drummonds machines, the Cowlairs engines were considerably heavier, and the North British permanent way was not first class. The result was that within three years it had been found necessary to rebuild the Drummond tanks with trailing bogies on account of excessive axle load. These engines, which were numbered 88, 89, 157, 167, 314, and 480, were transferred to the East Coast for main line passenger duties between Dundee and Burntisland when the first Tay Bridge was opened. At the same time two of the new 4-4-0s, Nos. 486 and 487, went to Dundee for the Aberdeen workings. Illustrations (line drawings): Drummond 0-6-0T No. 108 St. Andrews and Drummond 4-4-0 express No. 487 Montrose
Alan Simpson. West Fife Pits and the NBR The Fife Coal Company
in the Cowdenbeath Area. 24
One unusual feature of the Fife Coal Company's internal railway system is that it intersected the Great North Road in the centre of Cowdenbeath and its activities w hich had begun without any form of protection eventually led to questions in Parliament (the extent of this forms an appendix to this article, Illustrations & maps (all photographs P Westwater.
|Map 1, NBR (later LNER) lines and private mineral lines extracted from Ordnance Survey Six-inch 2nd and later edition, Fife & Kinross Sheet XXXIV.NE (includes: Auchterderran; Ballingry; Beath). 1920, date revised 1913. scale 1:10,560,||25|
|Fife Coal Co, Ltd. (Mossbeath) 10-ton 5 plank end door wagon No. 1790, with dumb buffers and disc covered wheels||27|
|Map 2, NBR (later LNER) lines , and private mineral lines extracted from Ordnance Survey Six-inch 2nd and later edition, Fife and Kinross Sheet XXXIV.SE (includes: Auchterderran; Ballingry; Beath). 1920, date revised 1913. scale 1:10,560||28-9|
|Pugs outside Cowdenbeath Workshops photograph:||29|
|Map 3, showing the odd looking junction on the FCC line referred to in the text. Extracted from Ordnance Survey 25-inch 2nd and later edition, Fifeshire XXXIV.11 (Beath). Publication date: 1915, revised 1913, levelled 1911. Original scale 1:2500,||30|
|Map 4, Central Workshops extracted from Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map, Plan NT1691 & Plan NT1791. 1962, revised 1949-1961. scale 1:2500,||31|
|The branch alongside NCB Central Workshops. photograph:||32|
|Looking along the railway towards Cowdenbeath High Street. photograph:||33|
|Pair of Class 20 locomotives haul a merry-goround coal train in the Cowdenbeath area.photograph:||34|
Appendix 5: Questions Raised In The House Of Commons Regarding The Level Crossing Over Cowdenbeath High Street
Paul Tetlaw. On the map ...the West Highland Railway. 37
Reproduction of coloured poster map showing newly opened West Highland Line to Fort William, but not extension to Mallaig. There is no legend to explain the meaning of the broken lines, but perhaps they indicate the routes of coaches in connection with the trains. Although there is no use of different colours for the railways, it seems that the thicker red lines are the NBR and West Highland, with the thinner lines being railways that connected with them the Caledonian Railway, the Highland Railway, and the Callander & Oban for example! The East Coast Main Line has been considerably distorted to fit the sheet.
Allan Rodgers. Early Carriages of the Edinburgh and
Glasgow Railway: Fourth Class Vehicles Built c.1847-1858. 38
Early fourth class passenger carriages built for the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway in the period 1847-58: follows on from article which examined companys early third class carriages (see Journal No. 135, November 2018). The E&GR were one of the few companies in the early days of Scottish railways to build and operate vehicles specifically designed for fourth class (standing) passengers and, as we shall see, it is surprising to note they were continuing to order such vehicles into the late 1850s. Use of thirds to provide fourth class service: the E&GR initially built two types of open (to the elements) third class carriages to start in 1842, one type provided seats; the other did not for use of standing passengers only. The company appears to have made mention of the use of these stand-up thirds for a fourth class service in 1844, a few months before the Railway Regulation Act came into force which stipulated minimum standards of service for what became known as parliamentary trains. The description fourth class was used somewhat inconsistently by the E&GR around this time as they juggled the use of their third class stock to accommodate both the new statutory service requirements and their desire to provide a lower cost stand-up service. It was not until 1846 that they finally ordered custom built fourth class vehicles, as described below.
The North British Railway, by contrast, never built carriages specifically for fourth class passengers. They did, however, list fourth class in their timetables, and it is presumed these services made use of their older third class carriages which had fewer doors and an open internal layout similar to an omnibus, instead of conventional compartments. As such, they were designed to accommodate both seated and standing passengers, particularly at busy times. There is mention of Fourth Class Carriages in the minutes of the NBRs Traffic Committee meeting on 28 February 1867 when James McLaren (Superintendent of the Line) advised the committee of a scarcity of Fourth Class Carriages for the Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh railway traffic . They were still using fourth class descriptions in their 1876 timetables and this included the Helensburgh and Balloch lines where all services were listed as carrying first/ second and fourth class no mention of third class! All these fourth class services would have used carriages designated as thirds in the companys stock list and it is not known precisely when this practice of offering fourth class in their timetables ceased.
|Coloured side & end elevations of E&GR 1847 batch of stand-up fourth class carriages possible appearance as first built: no photographs or drawings of these vehicles in original condition exist, details shown in derived from surviving photograph of a rebuilt carriage shown below (Diagram A4340) (Author)||38|
|Unique photograph: E&GR railway carriage in full elevation with carriage body and underframe clearly detailed, probably taken at Cowlairs Works around 1851, to show one of companys fourth class vehicles rebuilt as third class, newly re-numbered 59, and complete with new glass windows and droplights. The provision of seating means that a dog box, typical of this period, can be incorporated in the lower middle of the bodywork. The tail light shown at the right end of the vehicle is interesting feature seldom discernable in early images with such clarity. (Diagram A4335)||39|
|Rare photograph shows one of the rebuilt E&GR ex-fourth class carriages with full glass windows and droplights in service at east end of Waverley c1866-69:. appears to be in similar livery to carriage No. 59 shown above. (Diagram A4335)||41|
|Coloured side & end elevations of 1847 E&GR ex-fourth class carriage, rebuilt as third class number 59, based on details shown p.39. It is shown in light oak livery. (Diagram ref: A4335) (Author)||42|
|E&GR third at west end of Waverley c1860: carriage originally built for fourth class standing passengers in 1847 and subsequently converted to third class between 1851 and 1856. In conversion, no glass side windows fitted, just glass in the upper door panels, as shown note one of windows appears to be opened. (Diagram A4336 extract from a Thomas Begbie photograph)||43|
|E&GR third at the west end of Waverley c1860. converted from fourth class carriage, this vehicles rebuilding appears to be identical to that shown in above. Interestingly, all the windows in the doors appear to be open; so the photograph may have been taken on a warm day. The fact that all the window openings are entirely unobstructed suggests these windows were not sliding droplights but may have been opened by means of a drop down hinged mechanism. Note the early type of lamp bracket visible on the left hand end of the carriage in a similar position to those shown page 39. (extract from Thomas Begbie photograph)||43|
|1847 E&GR ex-fourth class carriage, rebuilt as third class with glass windows in doors only, as shown page 43 upper & lower. claret colour and carriage number shown is speculative, based on likely fleet numbering. (Diagram A4336) (Author)||44|
|Third method of conversion used by the E&GR when it rebuilt all its 1847 built fourth class stand-up carriage stock to third class vehicles in the 1850s. The rebuilding is similar to that shown above, but with the addition of guards box at one end which would have required an extended underframe to accommodate it. image taken c1860 at west end of Waverley. (Diagram ref: A4337) (extract from Thomas Begbie photograph)||44|
|Carriage fitted with guards box at one end, although in this case, as the roof is fitted with three lamps, it appears to be a different, and so far unidentified, carriage diagram nevertheless the guards box appears to be of similar construction to that fitted to the rebuilt fourths. The vehicle is facing the opposite way from that shown page 44 upper, which is quite fortunate as it allows us to view the other side of the guards box. It is interesting to see that the guard would have been protected from the elements by means of a canvas curtain and there appears to be an open half veranda extending from the enclosed box across the remaining width of the carriage. Image taken c1860 at west end of Waverley by Thomas Begbie. (Diagram A4337)||45|
|1847 E&GR ex-fourth class carriage, rebuilt as third class with glass in the doors only and fitted with a guards box at one end, as shown page 44. It is illustrated in a claret colour and the carriage number shown is speculative, based on likely fleet numbering. It is assumed the vehicle would also have been fitted with brakes and the arrangement shown is speculative, based on the braking arrangement typically fitted to the E&GRs passenger brake/ luggage vans. (Diagram ref: A4336)||46|
|Drawing was published in The Locomotive magazine on 15 March 1910 to illustrate an article on the early carriages of the NBR and depicts the six wheel fourth class carriages used by the E&GR on the Helensburgh line from 1858. (Diagram ref: A4540||48|
|E&GRs short-lived six wheeled fourth class stand-up carriages built for the Helensburgh line in 1858. No photographs of these vehicles are known to have survived; so the illustration is based on the line drawing which appeared in The Locomotive magazine of 15 March, 1910 (see above). It is shown in a light oak livery for illustration purposes only no accurate description of the livery has survived. (Diagram ref: A4540) (Illustration produced by author)||49|
The Reid Scott class an apology from
the editor. 50
Pat Mason has been kind enough to mention an error in Euan Camerons article on the Scott class in Journal 141. The photograph of Dandie Dinmont on page 4 incorrectly identified the locomotive as No. 898, whereas its number was actually 896. The editor apologises for the error which was his, not the authors. The photograph which was wrongly captioned is shown on the right. Please do not hesitate to contact the editor if you notice a mistake or can add useful information to what has been published,as this is helpful to other readers.
Stephen Woodhouse. The Scotch Goods and friends. 51
The Scotch Goods express freight left Kings Cross Goods at around 15.00-15.30 in the afternoon for Niddrie Yard. This explores the development of fast Anglo-Scottish freights on the East Coast Main Line (ECML), except for fish trains, which deserve separate examination. Traditional freight trains in the days of steam were generally slow, with the majority being unfitted with brakes that could be controlled from the locomotive. Coal trains in particular might average less than 25 mph on a journey due to the need to be put into loops to allow faster trains to pass a particular problem on the ECML where passenger train speeds were increasing. Whilst this might not matter for traffics such as coal which were not time-sensitive, it became an increasing problem for the railways for time-sensitive traffic (frequently termed merchandise traffic), especially with the development of the motor vehicle which increasingly provided an alternative means of transport for many traders. This problem became more acute after the First World War, with the ready availability of ex War Department lorries but, the railways had started the process of speeding up merchandise traffic in the 1900s. The first express freight traffic was perishable goods such as fish, milk, etc., for which vans capable of running at passenger train speeds were built. The railways, in particular the Great Northern Railway, started running faster goods trains for non-perishable traffic. These became popular with traders as freight rates were charged rather than the higher passenger rates. In fact, we can see a predecessor of the Scotch Goods departing Kings Cross Goods at 15.40 and a 19.00 hrs Glasgow Sighthill to Kings Cross in the years before the First World War. Merchandise traffic was a significant source of traffic and revenue. Around 75% of the vehicles in the train had to be fitted and the headlamp code was one headlamp above the centre of the buffer beam and one on the left of the buffer beam, if looking at the locomotive from the front. This, with a slight variation in the definition, became British Rails (BR) Class C freight.
By 1939, there were some 75 fully or partially fitted freight trains running regularly on all or part of the ECML. V2s were introduced especially for these services but prior to their introduction K3s and B1s (later to be re-classified B18s) were diagrammed for them. Through Anglo-Scottish services ran from Kings Cross Goods and from York to Niddrie, with further services from Heaton Yard (Newcastle) to Aberdeen, Thornton, Glasgow High St, Glasgow Sighthill, Cadder Yard, Niddrie and Leith Walk. A service also ran from Glasgow to Marylebone.
The Second World War obviously caused some disruption to train services but the LNER managed to maintain some semblance of its fast freight services and recovery after the War was fairly fast, with the network being expanded. British Rails Eastern and North Eastern Regions inherited the LNERs approach of running fast freights and expanded the network further. The 1955 Working Timetable showed the following through Anglo-Scottish Class C in table.
Although not the only train from Kings Cross Goods to Niddrie, the Scotch Goods became somewhat the premier freight on the ECML, with its progress being monitored especially by Control. Initially hauled by V2s to York and an A2 from there to Edinburgh,,, it later became A4 hauled, with the locomotive changing at Newcastle. In 1939 it departed Kings Cross at 15.35 (and was then train number 527, being renumbered 266 later). It became 4S04 when BR introduced four character train descriptions), and arrived at Niddrie West at 02.40. Its first stop was at Hitchin (for water); this was subsequently amended to be non-stop to Retford and then to York Skelton. By 1957 it was doing the journey from Edinburgh in eight hours, which was very creditable when compared to the journey times of trains such as The Talisman, which took six hours 40 minutes for the journey from London to Edinburgh.
Beeching originally envisaged that there would be a network of container terminals across the country and Edinburgh saw one opened at Portobello, with Freightliner services to and from Stratford, Willesden (London) and Cardiff. The Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co service referred to above transferred to Freightliner, running to and from what was, in effect, a private terminal in Dundee, staffed by the shipping line. There was still a service from Kings Cross to Dundee in 1982, running as train 4S85 from Kings Cross and train 4E60, 16.55 from Dundee, arriving in Kings Cross at 04.25. Initially the service had started from and terminated at Aberdeen, calling at Dundee en route.
Speedlink attempted to preserve wadon-load traffic, but there are now no city-centre terminals and most freight is handled from locations at ports or from nodal points on the motorway or trunk road system. There is a bibliography.
The Rose Lane pilot. 53
Black Hawthorn of Gateshead 0-4-0ST built for the Leven & East of Fife Railway in 1870-4 with Driver Will Wright in about 1910: locomotive had dumb buffers
Rose Lane Goods Station. 54-5; rear cover
Property redevelopment and changes in street names will probably utterly erradicate the site of Rose Lane Goods Station which was just off London Road in the Abbeyhill area of Edinburgh. The approaches to the station: Rose Lane and Comely Green Place as well as a malthouse turned aerated water works have gone. It was impossible to repr0duce thre 1 in 500 Ordnance Survey maps from the 1890s, but buth earlier (surveyed 1852) and later (surveyed 1945 rear cover) are reproduced
|Reproduction of painting by Dugald
Cameron of No. 510 The Lord Provost
at Glasgow Queen Street. Dugald's article,
An Atlantic Centenary, includes
reproductions of some of his other
paintings and starts on page 24.
|Number 143 (July 2021)|
Editorial Editorial, etc Journal Team 3
Andrew Hajducki obituary. Alan Simpson. 4-5. portrait
Andrew Michael Hajducki, MA (Cantab.), QC; (November 1952 April 2021)
Andrew was a good friend of mine and long-standing NBRSG member who passed away in late April after finally succumbing to a long illness he had been fighting for many years. By profession a lawyer, he was a distinguished member of the Faculty of Advocates and a Queens Counsel. He was also a highly accomplished railway historian and author who greatly advanced our knowledge of former NBR lines in East Lothian, the Scottish Borders and the East Neuk of Fife through the eight railway histories he wrote describing these areas (four of these works co-authored with fellow Study Group members Michael Jodeluk and Alan Simpson and one with Alan) and which were all published by Oakwood Press over the period from 1991 to 2020. A list of these books and articles is given on the next page. In addition to these he also produced seven articles for the NBRSG Journal and an impressive book describing the railway history of an area of south London (where he grew up) entitled The Railways of Beckenham, published in 2011 by Ardgour Press in association with Noodle Books.
His first book on an NBR line was The North Berwick and Gullane Branch Lines, which appeared in 1992, and I remember on reading it being greatly impressed by his scholarship and research displayed in it. Back then, I did not know Andrew personally but when I heard that he was then working on what would eventually become his next book, The Haddington, Macmerry and Gifford Branch Lines, I somewhat presumptuously contacted him to offer my help by listing references to these lines (in the catalogues of what was then called the Scottish Record Office), for him personally to follow up more closely at a later date. I later accompanied him on railway walks along abandoned branch lines in east Lothian and can recall us heading across fields on a winters afternoon to view the Humbie viaduct on the former Gifford &Garvald line; unknown to us back then, this structure had sadly already been demolished!
The next venture, commenced in 1992/93 (on what later turned out to be a lengthy railway research project), comprised the collaboration of Andrew, Michael Jodeluk and me and would eventually lead to the publication of four books covering each of the formerly local independent lines running from Leuchars Junction in north east Fife to St Andrews, Crail, Anstruther, Leven, the Lochty branch and on to Thornton Junction. These were all later absorbed by the NBR. Over the years, Andrew also gave many illustrated railway talks to organisations such as the RCTS Edinburgh Branch, NBRSG Annual General Meeting, Angus Railway Group and the Levenmouth Rail Action Group. These talks were always enjoyable, informative and entertaining.
In addition to the NBR and the Scottish railway network in general, his interest in railways (both past and present) was wide and ranged from London and the south east to the Home Counties, north Wales, Merseyside, the Isle of Man and Ireland. For a while, he even had a miniature railway in the back garden of his house. He was a bibliophile, a polymath, a clever and deeply cultured man and a good host.
As well as being a published railway author, in his professional life he wrote several highly respected Scots law legal textbooks on civil jury trials and on licensing law.
One of Andrews legal cases should be mentioned here as it has a clear railway interest: this was where, as their legal counsel, he represented Highland Regional Council in an action against British Railways Board in 1994 (this was prior to the subsequent privatisation of the railways). The Board wanted, in short, to withdraw the West Highland Sleeper service (Fort William to Euston) by closing to passenger traffic a short section of connecting line in the Glasgow area but Highland Regional Council opposed this proposed move. Andrew won his case and the Sleeper service was retained.
Andrews father was a member of the Polish armed forces and was evacuated, along with the remains of the Polish army, to the UK on the defeat of Poland in 1939 by Nazi Germany. He then served with the Polish forces in exile. After 1945 he settled in the UK and married a lady from Glasgow who would later become Andrews mother.
Born in south London, Andrew was educated at Dulwich College and read law at Cambridge University (Downing College). He was called to the English and Welsh Bar at Grays Inn, London in 1972. Later, he moved to Scotland and was called to the Scottish Bar, being admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1979 and became a leading practitioner in the law of personal injury. He took silk in 1994. Andrew retired from legal practice in 2018.
Andrew leaves his wife, Kate, his son David and two stepchildren, Kenny and Catherine through his previous marriage. Andrew also has a brother, Stephen Hajducki, who is a current NBRSG member and who is also a published railway author (on Irish railways).
A list of Andrews books and articles on NBR subjects is shown on the next
List of Andrew Hajducki books on NBR lines
|The North Berwick & Gullane Branch Lines (1st edition)||1992|
|The Haddington, Macmerry and Gifford branch lines||1994|
|The Lauder Light Railway||1996|
|The St Andrews Railway||2008|
|The Anstruther & St. Andrews Railway||2009|
|The Leven & East of Fife Railway||2013|
|The East Fife Central Railway the Lochty Line||2015|
|The North Berwick and Gullane branch lines (revised 2nd edition)||2019|
Andrew Hajducki Articles published in the NBRSG Journal
|Dandy Car to North Berwick||42|
|From Smeaton to Hardengreen||51|
|The Victoria Viaduct Revisited Smeaton Branch||54|
|Elliott Junction: A Centenary Commemoration||100|
|The Suffragette Attack at Leuchars Junction||120|
|Seton Mains Halt||122|
No. 9287 Glen Gyle (LNER Class D34) and train at North Berwick, with driver Geordie Mackenzie (Ivan the Terrible) and fireman Alan Crozier. The date is recorded as 18 June 1936. (W.A. Camwell, from Hennigan Collection, courtesy W. Lynn). 5
The staff at St. Andrews station posing on the down platform around 1910, with the station platform buildings on the right and the rear of a passenger brake van behind them. What is perhaps most striking from our perspective is that there were apparently seventeen staff for a relatively small station. (Photographer not known. From NBRSG Photo Archive ref 20048). 5
Grant Cullen. The North British and the Great War
Part 3, 6-
Previous Part. A War Office armoured train for defence against invasion was based at Craigentinny, but moved to St. Margarets for servicing prior to runs over coastal lines in East Scotland, as well as on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. In December 1914, GNR Class N1 0-6-2 tank engine (No. 1587) was purchased and two 30 ton boiler-trolleys were acquired from the Caledonian Railway, along with two 40 ton coal wagons from the GWR. These were sent to the LNWR works at Crewe to be made into the armoured train. The boiler-trolleys were fitted with a 12 pound, pedestal mounted, quick firing gun with a shield. This had to be fitted between the bogie wheels so that its weight and the force of recoil when fired, could be evenly distributed on both axles. A cabin was constructed behind the gun to house an ammunition compartment, a Maxim gun compartment and a small office for the Officer Commanding the train. The whole vehicle was clad in ½" armour plate into which loopholes for rifle engagement, protected by small sliding doors, were cut. There is anecdotal evidence that the train which operated on NBR metals was given an unofficial name of Norna, possibly from a Fishery Protection Vessel of the same name. Use of that name would have certainly incurred the displeasure of the motive power authorities with the entry into service in July 1915 of J class 4-4-0 (later designated D30) number 426 which carried the name Norna. The coal wagons were converted into infantry vans. Each was fitted with the ½" armour plate, again with suitable loopholes. One van was open throughout, and was fitted with folding tables, ammunition lockers, rifle racks, drinking water tanks and a coal fired cooking stove. The other, although similarly fitted, was partitioned to create separate quarters for the officers. One of the vans (probably the soldiers) was also fitted with two coal bunkers, each containing one ton of coal for the use of the locomotive should it be required. Beneath its frames were four 200 gallon water tanks also for use by the locomotive. Rather unusually, the locomotive did not need to be operated from the footplate as driving was undertaken from either end of the train. This was done by means of an intermediate regulator valve fixed on the side of the smokebox, and controlled through a link and lever actuated by a vacuum cylinder on the engine footplate. The driver and fireman would communicate via a dedicated telephone. The reason for the unusual driving position was to allow the driver a clear view of signals and oncoming traffic.
T.W. Bennet Clark, Machine Gun Officer of the 9th Royal Scots in Edinburgh, wrote in his diary: An Armoured Train Detachment is provided in Decr  out of the Regular and Reserve Sections to man the two machine guns on the first armoured train to be run in Great Britain. I am given one trip on this train to Dirleton. This Section returns to the Bn (Battalion) in February 1916 [he means 1915] when orders for Foreign Service are received. Mobilised on 4 August 1914 as part of the Lothian Coast Defence Brigade.
The train formation was fairly standard and based upon previous experience from running armoured trains in India and South Africa. A gun truck was placed at the front followed by an infantry van, then the locomotive, the second infantry van and the second gun truck brought up the rear. To allow personnel to move between the vehicles, platforms were placed between them and a walkway was fitted to the side of the locomotive. A second N1 loco was acquired in 1915 and a further train assembled, again at Crewe Works, being allocated for the duration of the war to Norfolk on the metals of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway. It was based at that companys Melton Constable works. Although the armoured trains were never called upon to fulfil their primary role they did provide a morale boost to coastal communities that feared the German Navy, particularly after the raids by the German High Seas Fleet on Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough. In 1919 both trains were stabled at Catterick before being transferred to Longmoor Military Railway for breaking up. In 1923 LNER bought back the locomotives. The wagons were used as rail carriers and general goods vehicles at Longmoor. In the 1930s the wagons were used as part of an experimental end-on track-laying machine, until scrapped at Doncaster in 1956.
The gun truck from one of these trains used to be on display (illustration) at the Museum of Army Transport at Beverley, but since that closed in 2003 and its collection dispersed, its current whereabouts are unknown and it is currently not to be found on public display. Any information about is current location would be appreciated
The NBR and Air Raids
From the beginning of the war it was regarded as an assured certainty that enemy air raids on Britain as distinct from air reconnaissance would be attempted, and the strength of the nations defensive air forces demanded immediate attention. The Railway Executive, after extensive consultation with government and the military, instituted a system to warn of the passage of Zeppelin airships across the country by using railway facilities particularly the telephone system. Staff in local railway stations or facilities such as signal boxes who could hear enemy craft crossing the coast, but not observe them (unless it was a clear moonlit night), would call the offices of the Railway Executive to advise them of the location and time of the crafts passage. As the ponderous airships made their way inland, their passage could be tracked and flagged up by calls to the Railway Executive. The Railway Executive in turn would pass this information on to the Admiralty who, being in command of the Royal Naval Air Service, were charged with home air defence.
Initially the Railway Executive made these arrangements with the English railway companies, particularly in the South East, as that area was generally on the route taken by the raiders but. as these raids became more widespread, a suggestion was made to the General Manager of the NBR (the Secretary Company for Scotland) that he should arrange a meeting between Scottish Command and of the Scottish Railway Companies in order that the necessary instructions could be formulated and arrangements for keeping those companies and Scottish Command fully advised as to the movement of hostile aircraft over Scotland. The Control Office of the NBR Operating Superintendent, already in direct telephonic communication with the Headquarters, Scottish Coast Defences, became responsible for the issue in Scotland of air raid warnings, including dissemination of information and reports from the systems of the other Scottish railway companies. Reinhard Scheer had been appointed commander in chief of the German fleet at the end of February 1916 and from then, anxious to provoke the Royal Navy, he attacked the British mainland, using surface ships, submarines and airships in a series of combined operations. Subsequently German Zeppelin airships ranged far and wide, including Scotland, dropping bombs indiscriminately causing deaths and destruction.
On the night of 2-3 April 1916 two German airships L14 and the L22 embarked on a raid. The L14 dropped 23 bombs on Leith and the City of Edinburgh. Warning of the impending air raid was received at 7pm on Sunday 2 April 1916 using the NBRs railway telephone system as described, and the Police in Leith and the City of Edinburgh instituted air raid precautions: the Electric Light Department lowered all lights, traffic was stopped and lights on vehicles were extinguished. The Central Fire Station and the Red Cross were notified and all policemen, regular and specials, were called up. The first reports of bombs exploding were received by the Police just before midnight. The L14, having crossed over the coast at St Abbs Head in Berwickshire on route for Rosyth and the Forth Railway Bridge, was unable to see its targets and dropped its bombs over Leith and the centre of Edinburgh.
The Chief Constable of Leith noted in his report to the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland that those in charge of the Zeppelin were following the course of the Water of Leith from Leith Docks to Edinburgh, as all the bombs dropped were not more than 100 yards from said Water of Leith at any point.
During the raid, thirteen people died and 24 were injured. One of the injured was the result of a bomb falling on the NBR owned County Hotel, 21 Lothian Road, Edinburgh. Ironically, the County Hotel became the site of the Caley Cinema in 1923.
A paving stone in Edinburgh`s Grassmarket, outside the citys oldest surviving public house, the White Hart Inn, commemorates this bombing.
The other raider, the L22, crossed over the mainland at Newcastle and dropped its bombs over the south of the city. The Zeppelin airships were replaced by Gotha twin-engine long-range bombers (which did not have the range to make raids over Scotland) but like their airship predecessors they became increasingly vulnerable to the fighters of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service who had become tactically aware as to how to deal with these raiders. The last raid by Gotha bombers in significant numbers was over London in March 1918 and Kent the following June.
In Case of Invasion
Another wide range of questions arose for consideration in respect to measures to be taken by the railways in the event of bombardment, invasion, or attempted landings by the enemy. Such eventualities may have appeared remote, but they were considered serious enough right at the beginning of the war for the Government and its military advisors to hold back a full division of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) rather than send it to France in August 1914. The railway companies considered that they ought to know what instructions they should issue to their staffs on lines facing the North Sea and the English Channel if such an emergency did arise.
This was considered by the Railway Executive Committee, but not until October 1915, by which time the German advance in Belgium and Northern France had been stalled and the trench system of what became known as the Western Front had stabilised. A sub-committee of four General Managers (none from the Scottish companies) was appointed to consider the various points which had been raised and report as to what actions it might be desirable for the railway companies to take. Subsequently this subcommittee was strengthened to include representatives of those companies including the North British operating coastal lines between Southampton and Thurso. The arrangements made were that within areas concerned locomotives or rolling stock should be removed, rendering useless those locomotives which could not be moved, the "stabling in the interior of the country of rolling stock withdrawn from the zone of possible operations, withdrawal of horses and road transport vehicles; disablement of machinery on railway premises, blocking of railway owned harbours; destruction of permanent way in docks and goods yards; priority of traffic and working of such traffic as might still be carried on under emergency conditions. Advice was sought from Belgian railway representatives, whose efforts in destroying railway infrastructure, whilst ultimately futile, had appreciably slowed down the logistical support of the German army, and hence the rate of advance, of the invaders into their country. This was the scorched earth policy by the Belgians which had enabled the BEF to be able to take up defensive positions on the Mons-Conde canal ahead of the Germans reaching that barrier and where the first significant clashes between the BEF and the Germany army took place on 23 August 1914.
There was the question of making such arrangements as would render it impossible for the invader to utilise telegraph or telephone wires on such UK territory as might temporarily pass under his control. So as with regards to public wires, the military took responsibility in conjunction with the Post Office authorities. The railway companies were concerned in respect only to railway telegraph or telephone wires. In this connection an early intimation was given that the East Coast railway companies would have to be prepared to destroy their wires, whenever, in the event of an invasion, it became necessary for defending forces to retire, before any advance it might be possible for the enemy to make.
Railway Operating Division The NBR Steaming to the Front
The story of how the British Expeditionary Forces (BEF) logisticians supplied and maintained what became the largest army Britain has ever produced through four years of intense conflict on the Western Front remains a neglected facet of the historiography of that terrible war, although historians like Rob Thompson and Clem Maginnis are doing much to redress the balance. The easiest part, at least for the first 18 months, was finding enthusiastic manpower, there being one million volunteers by December of that year. To equip the army and produce the munitions commensurate with hugely revised consumption rates, industry had to be mobilised under an expanded government bureaucracy. The munitions crisis of 1915 was the catalyst to establish the Ministry of Munitions under David Lloyd George. This put the economy on a war footing. In 1914 Britain produced 300 machine guns, in 1918 it was 120,000. The knock-on effect of an impressive increase in output was that by 1916, the armys biggest logistical processes in France were struggling to cope and at risk of seizing up completely.
Initially, the BEF was reliant upon the French railway system and operators to move their men and materials but the French had lost manpower, locomotives and rolling stock in the first year of the war, and this led to massive backlogs at the channel ports with all sorts of supplies including perishables awaiting rail transport to the huge dumps behind the front line. To improve the situation the Railway Operating Division (ROD), a division of the Royal Engineers, was formed in 1915 to operate railways in the many theatres of the First World War. It was largely composed of railway employees combed out from existing battalions and operated both standard gauge and narrow gauge railways. The ROD operated their first line on a section of the Hazebrouck-Ypres line. The work was carried out by former employees of the London and North Western Railway. The ROD requisitioned many diverse locomotives from Britains railway companies and leased several Belgian locomotives sent to France in 1914, but as the war dragged on, adopted the Great Central Railways Robinson Class 8K 2-8-0 as its standard freight locomotive to become the ROD 2-8-0. Some locomotives were also purchased from Baldwin in the United States. They also operated narrow-gauge engines (metre gauge or 600 millimetres (2 ft) gauge trains).
In the summer of 1888, NBR Locomotive Superintendent, Matthew Holmes, saw the first of his Standard Goods 0-6-0s emerge from Cowlairs Works and enter traffic in the Scottish coalfields. Such was their success that another 167 of that class of locomotive NBR C class (later LNER/BR J36) followed and the majority of these benefitted from a life extending re-build under WP Reid who had replaced Holmes upon the formers retirement.
On 31 August 1917, WF Jackson, the NBR General Manager, read a letter from the War Department to his Board from which he understood the government intended to purchase 25 of the rebuilt 18½ inch goods engines (C class) for service in France. Within a week the locomotive committee met to discuss this apparent windfall and decided that the proceeds of the sale plus grants available from the government to finance the purchase of new stock needed for wartime traffic would provide enough cash for 34 of WP Reids S class 0-6-0s (later LNER//BR J37). Jackson was soon closeted with Hugh Reid of the North British Locomotive Company making arrangements for construction of these engines. Reid thought that he could complete the order by the end of 1918 provided that Jackson could obtain a No. 2 Priority a government document which enabled companies to get access to scarce materials having justified their need as beneficial to the war effort. At that time there was an acute shortage of copper the only significant global source at that time was in Chile and priority was given to its use as the driving band in shell production.
In an artillery shell, the driving band or rotating band is a band of soft metal near the shells bottom, generally made of copper. When the shell is fired, the pressure of the propellant swages the metal into the rifling of the barrel and forms a seal; this seal prevents the gases from blowing past the shell, and engages the barrels rifling to spin-stabilize the shell.
Reid of the NBL undertook to provide as many copper fireboxes as he could, the metal to be sourced from scrapped locomotives, and make the remainder from steel or Yorkshire Iron (wrought iron) from the Yorkshire Steel and Iron Company of Penistone.
In what ultimately proved an embarrassment for Jackson, the bonus of acquiring 34 S class locomotives for 25 ageing 18½ inch C class goods engines proved to be too good to be true as the government was in fact requisitioning the engines not offering cash for them. In the event the NBR got its S class engines but not through the free gift scheme which Jackson and the board had envisaged.
All of the C class engines returned to the NBR during 1919 and 1920 and the NBR was the only British railway company to pay the compliment of naming its war engines, twelve being named after Field Marshals and Generals of Britain and France, twelve being given the names of locations in Belgium and France where the engines had seen service and one, No. 661 Ole Bill, after the cartoon character created by Bruce Bairnsfather. Brief details are given about the locomotives that went to France and a description of whom or where they were subsequently named: these are all from secondary sources and not listed.
Chairman in The Dock
All Firth of Forth steamer excursions were stopped upon the outbreak of war and the Forth restricted to military shipping. Burntisland port, which was owned and operated by the NBR, was taken over as an Admiralty Port. In February 1916 the NBR Chairman and Commissioner of the Burntisland Harbour Commission, William Whitelaw (who was also Member of Parliament for Perth) and NBR General Manager, William Fulton Jackson appeared before the Sheriff at Cupar on a charge of hindering the national war effort by detaining the steam lighter Briton on 26 October 1915, when it was urgently required for transporting ammunition to the fleet. Whitelaw and Jackson entered pleas of Not guilty and the case was referred to the Court of Session in Edinburgh where further details of the case against the NBR officers emerged. Although the Admiralty had control of the port, it was still owned by the NBR and port dues for its use were still payable and the Admiralty were in arrears. Unpaid dues for the Briton amounted to the princely sum of 19s 2d and Jackson, in particular, was unwilling to let it go until all arrears were cleared, as there was other sums due to the NBR from the Admiralty outstanding. In this he was backed by his Chairman.
Naval officers were despatched to the NBR offices in Edinburgh and acceded to Whitelaws and Jacksons request to show a technical display of force, in other words a display of their power, influence or capability meant to act as a warning to others, in taking the boat. This to clarify that the NBR was not conceding its claim for the monies. Despite this the Admiral in command had insisted upon the prosecution. The jury took only five minutes deliberation to deliver a Not Guilty verdict, thus vindicating Whitelaws and Fulton"s stance. The case was widely reported in the press and resulted in considerable public indignation that the Admiralty had pursued what appeared to be vexatious litigation.
Whitelaw had a less successful brush with the military authorities when he procured for his chauffeur, who was not an NBR employee, a railwaymans badge of exemption from military service. At the subsequent court case the sheriff sent the man as he had wanted to the army.
William Whitelaw, who became first Chairman of the London and North Eastern Railway upon the Grouping in 1923 a post he held until 1938 personally experienced the tragic effect of the war, losing his 27 year old son, William Alexander Whitelaw, a lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who died as a result of his wartime service on 14 February 1919. He is buried at Edinburgh (Liberton) Cemetery. William Fulton Jackson announced his intention to retire from his post as General Manager in December 1917, on the grounds of declining health. He was the longest serving employee to have held that post, having been appointed in 1899. His assistant, James Calder, born in 1869 at Blackhall Station where his father was agent, took Jacksons place in May 1918. Cites British Railways and the Great War (Pratt) Vols 1 & 2; The North British Railway Vol 2 ( John Thomas). The North British Railway A History (David Ross). Yeadons Register of LNER Locomotives Volume 26, Class J31 to J37 The NBR 0-6-0s. Book Law Publications, 2003; The North British Railway 2nd edition (C Hamilton Ellis). Ian Allan Ltd, 1959.
Illustrations: One of the armoured trains (Engineer, 1919); An armoured N1 locomotive (Railway Magazine, 1919); infantry van (Great Western Railway Magazine, 1919); armoured train gun truck at the Museum of Army Transport (colour: permission of Richard Crockett); memorial stone to Zeppelin bombing in Grassmarket, Edinburgh; Old Bill, by Bruce Bairnsfather; General Maude (Great War Magazine 1914-1918 (1920)); No, 65243 at the SRPS depot at Falkirk after its purchase in 1966, with NBR lettering still visible on tender (Robert McLuckie); William Fulton Jackson. NBR General Manager 1899 - 1918 portrait (David Spaven); William Whitelaw. NBR Chairman, 1912 - 1922 portrait (David Spaven); No. 673 Maude at Glasgow Works on Saturday 27 June 1981
Alan Simpson. West Fife Pits and the NBR Part 9, Blairhall Colliery 14
Illustrations: Blairhall Colliery, showing the sidings. Wagons seen in this view include those of J. & A. Davidson Ltd of Aberdeen and the Coltness Iron Co. Ltd. Photo: Courtesy A Brotchie
A visit to the Border Counties line. 21
In May 2021 a group examined electronic images of photographs: the railway in the landscape at Reedsmouth Station; Barrasford Station; and Keilder Station,.
The Control System on the North British Railway. 22.
In Journal 128 an article from the Railway Magazine of January 1914 was reproduced about the introduction of the train control system.
Donald Cattanach has made copies of documents available to us, which are reproduced here, informing staff of the introduction of the system and its subsequent extension.
Donald notes that the NBR introduced a Goods and Mineral Train Control for the Lothian District, the first such control system in Scotland, with effect from 17 August 1913. This was mainly to regulate mineral traffic on the newly opened Lothian Lines.
Dugald Cameron. An Atlantic Centenary 24
Centenary of Atlantic 4-4-2 locomotive NBR Class H, LNER C11 No. 510 later 9510 The Lord Provost.
The handsome NBR Atlantics must be among those, the first being introduced in 1906 with the last two in 1921. They were designed under the locomotive superintendent of the North British Railway, William Paton Reid, and chief draughtsman, Walter Chalmers, who would succeed him in 1918. Board member Dr John Inglis was influential in persuading his colleagues of the need for bigger engines.
Reid came from a family of railway engineers but was badly treated by his management. The Atlantics were controversial for their riding when introduced; however it would seem to have been the track that was the real problem. When that was attended to the Atlantics proved their worth without doubt. There is good reason to detect the influence of the Great Central Railways Robinson Atlantics which had been built by NBL prior those of the NB.
All were withdrawn during the 1930s but C11 9875 Midlothian was preserved but had to be rebuilt at Cowlairs as she was in the process of being scrapped in 1937 and restored to traffic in 1938. Sadly, just after the outbreak of WW2 and having been withdrawn in 1939 she was scrapped. She was the one of those great locomotives like Ben Alder which got away.
Her tender like a few others survived for Departmental use as did two boilers at Cowlairs and frames elsewhere, in the LNER.
Their fine names celebrated the great cities of Scotland and the lands through which they travelled along with a few great historical figures. Might there be someone who would like to finance the building of a new one? I have the drawings but I will be very happy with Robin McHughs magnificent Scale Seven model, the main subject of this article.
It has also been a great pleasure to have Euan Cameron, no relation, in sorting out the many questions which arose. His lovely computer assisted drawings accompanying his historical articles add so much to the scholarship of the North British Railway. Number 510 takes its name from the title of the councillor who is chosen to hold the roles of convenor of the local authority, civic head and lord-lieutenant of one of the principal cities of Scotland Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
As John Thomas writes, to be an Atlantic driver was to be someone and your wife would share that pride. Fortunately a tender underframe has survived as recounted in Journal 104 it was from 9879 Abbotsford and is at the SRPS, Boness.
No. 510 The Lord Provost and train at Glenfarg. Reproduced from a painting by Dugald Cameron. 25 (upper)
No. 510 The Lord Provost and train at Perth. Photograph in E Cameron collection. 25 (lower)
No. 9875 Midlothian & train at Leuchars: overhead Fleet Air Arm Fairey 111F, c.1935. from painting by Dugald Cameron. 26 (upper)
Below: No. 9510 The Lord Provost at Glasgow Queen Street heading an Edinburgh train, on 24 April 1935. Photograph: Montgomery Smith collection. 26 (lower)
Model of No. 9510: Stuart A Sellar operating the locomotive belonging to his father, W. Stuart Sellar, on Edinburgh Society of Model Engineers tracks in grounds of Newliston House, Kirkliston, on 5 June 1999. Photograph; W.S. Sellar. 27 (upper)
C15 4-4-2T No. 7454 at Charing Cross c.1947-48, on Milngavie train. from painting by Dugald Cameron. 27 (lower)
Euan Cameron The Last Two NBR Atlantic Locomotives, 509 and 510 28-32
The most important changes concerned the cylinders and valve gear. The cylinders were 21" bore x 28" stroke, with the casings flattened slightly at the outside edges to keep within the loading gauge. The 10" piston valves followed the pattern of the 1915 rebuildings. The dumbbells of the piston valves were moved slightly further apart from each other, to allow for inside admission (where live steam enters the middle of the valve chamber between the piston valves) rather than outside admission. To keep the valve events correct without requiring a rocking shaft (as used on the Scotts and Glens) the eccentric sheaves on the driving axles were moved 180 degrees from their usual position. That meant that at the rear dead-centre position, the eccentric rods were crossed, with the forward eccentric rod linked to the lower eccentric sheaf rather than the upper one.
This alteration matters because of a peculiar trait about Stephensons link valve gear. When designed with open rods, as on nearly every other N. B. class, the effect of notching up towards mid-gear is to shorten the cut-off but slightly to increase the lead. This feature of variable lead in Stephensons valve motion was famously exploited by Churchward of the Great Western in his express locomotives. However, when the eccentric rods are crossed, the opposite happens, and when notched up the lead can reduce to zero or even become negative, with deleterious effects on performance. It is likely that this design feature made the Atlantics perform particularly poorly on some tests in the early Grouping era, when inspecting staff insisted on the locomotives being driven in a Swindon fashion, for which they were simply not designed (and to which some of the crews objected vocally). In 1921 there were no other N. B. Atlantics exactly like Nos. 509-10. The superheated Nos. 868-81 retained their original long outside rear frame extensions; the 1911 engines Nos. 901-6, with short frame extensions, still carried saturated boilers until rebuilt between 1923 and 1925.
In one other interesting respect 509-10 were unique. All other Atlantics had slide valve regulators in the dome, a traditional design where the pressure of the steam held the valve against the face of the regulator body, and the driver used a system of levers to slide it up and down. 509/10 were fitted from new with Lockyer double-beat regulators, where the regulator valve consists of a concave cylindrical bobbin which, when closed, is sealed against circular seats at the top and bottom. The theoretical effect is that it becomes much easier to open and adjust the regulator, as the pressure on the two parts of the valve is almost balanced. One famous application of this type of regulator was on the Gresley Pacifics, though it was more widely used in the L.N.E.R.
The regulator on the N.B. engines was operated by turning a control rod on its longitudinal axis, just as on every other regulator; but 509-10 had a different handle from usual, with nearly horizontal rods, inclined slightly downwards on each side, projecting to left and right. This would have allowed the driver (on the left) to pull down on the regulator handle to start, a much easier action than on the traditional regulator lever.
The superheated engines as built had anti-vacuum or snifting valves of the inverted pepper-pot type on a L-shaped bracket, but unusually these were fitted not to the smokebox side as on the 4-4-0s, but to the exterior of the piston valve chambers between the frames, facing towards the centre line of the locomotive. They were therefore quite invisible from a normal viewpoint (Cowlairs part drawing 4476 illustrates these fixtures).
The tenders The tenders originally designed for the Atlantics followed the overall pattern of other Reid locomotives with some obvious differences. The tank sides extended nearly to the front drawbar, and the running plates were set 2" higher than normal. The main distinctiveness about the tenders on 509-10 was that they had the additional coal rails and backing plates, which on every other engine were fitted after construction, applied when built new. Moreover, the 1921 engines also had the large semicircular framework known as the cage, designed to prevent coal from sliding down on to the footplate, from new. The door in the cage was made somewhat more capacious than in the earlier versions.
Alterations in service Nos. 509-10 lasted only some 15-16 years in service, and were not substantially rebuilt in that time. Their withdrawal had more to do with the L.N.E.R. decision to eliminate the class as a whole than with anything seriously amiss in their mechanical condition.
That notwithstanding, some interesting modifications were made to the locomotives in traffic. Both engines were fitted with pyrometers when new, which took measurements of the temperature of the superheated steam from the right-hand side of the header. This apparatus was discarded within the first few years. Another visible alteration was the removal of the tail rods from the front of the cylinders and the replacement of the dished cylinder front covers with flat ones. This change was generally made around the time that L. N. E. R. livery was applied. During the 1920s both locomotives were fitted with the Chalmers-style bogie with two coil springs either side of each axlebox. The part drawing for this bogie, Cowlairs drawing 4982B (National Records of Scotland RHP68291), contains annotations to the effect that the versions fitted to the Atlantics had larger, more robust springs than usual. The most important change to occur in service, which happened to all the Reid period passenger locomotives, was the abolition of the Westinghouse brake and its replacement with vacuum brake for the train and steam brakes for the locomotive brake cylinders. This change occurred to 509-10 in 1930-1. A minor collateral consequence of this change affected the sanding. Routinely, NBR locomotives used compressed air from the Westinghouse system (not steam) to drive the power sanding equipment. When air brakes were removed, sanding was by gravity only. The change was not particularly obvious on the Atlantics, but will have affected the handling somewhat.
Late in the LNER period, around the early 1930s, the inconveniently located anti-vacuum valves on the piston valves were eplaced with the more usual NB arrangement of two small snifting valves behind the chimney.
No. 510 acquired a Smith Speedometer by 1933. The device was operated from a belt run off a cylindrical wheel on the centre of the trailing axle of the locomotive.
Each locomotive carried five different boilers during its working existence, some built by NBL and some by Robert Stephenson. As these were effectively identical, the dates of the changes, which took place every two to four years approximately, are not recorded here.
Some minor variations were observed between the various batches of Atlantics in, for instance, the lining out of footsteps. However, in the main all the representatives of the class were painted in the standard company style adopted by Reid from the last years of Holmes superintendency and perpetuated by Chalmers. Photographs show a clearly discernible darker edging colour on the splasher and cab sides, and on the tender tanks, outside the yellow-black-red lining. On the 1921 Atlantics the darker olive colour was applied to the entire tops of the driving and coupled wheel splashers. There has been some speculation that the 1921 Atlantics had a significantly darker body colour than other NB locomotives: the body colour of engines built c.1920 is sometimes represented in modern illustrations and models almost as a dark bottle green. In the absence of reliable colour images from the period it is hard to be sure. However, there is suggestive evidence that the body colour became slightly greener and less brown around 1920. Contemporary coloured postcards and prints of the earlier Atlantics showed them as a definite dark brown. The illustration of 509 printed in The Popular magazine for 1922 showed the body colour as a somewhat olive mid-green. However, there was clearly enough difference between the body colour and the dark olive edging for the latter to show quite clearly in photographs of the locomotives in service.
One other notable point is that whereas the outside trailing frames of the 1906 engines had been painted lined brown, photographs show that those of the 1911 and 1921 engines were black.
Allocations, work and withdrawal
When first delivered, 509 was assigned to the Aberdeen expresses, while 510 ran from Edinburgh to Perth. Latterly both engines were used on East Coast trains. In 1922 No. 510 was involved in two impressive test runs between Edinburgh and Newcastle. On 23 October, with its regular driver Sam Bruce driving and Sandy Dickson firing, the locomotive hauled a train of 401 tons 3 cwt tare from Edinburgh to Newcastle and returned the same day with the same load. The train consisted of the NER dynamometer car, eleven East Coast Joint stock carriages and the NER saloon. The maximum speeds reached were 67 m.p.h. southbound and 71 m.p.h. northbound. Maximum drawbar horse power ranged between c.1000 and 1200. Coal consumption was, predictably, quite heavy given the size of the train. On 30 November No. 510, again with Sam Bruce, worked a naval special to Newcastle (the starting point was not recorded but may have been Rosyth) with 387 tons tare behind the tender. Only one stop was made, at Berwick to replenish the water tank.
Though impressive, these train weights were not out of the ordinary for the Atlantics at their best. In an article for the Meccano Magazine in the early 1930s, O.S. Nock described in detail his cab ride on a run from Dundee to Aberdeen with 9509, unassisted on a train of 359 tons tare and estimated 380 tons full. The locomotive ran freely and very fast, and despite leaving Dundee a minute late and losing more time in intermediate stops, reached Aberdeen on schedule. Nock remarked on the smooth riding of the locomotive as it passed through reverse curves near Stonehaven at 70 m.p.h. Clearly the superheated Atlantics were superb engines, and the last two of the class combined all the best features of a design which had been steadily improved over the years. They were withdrawn far sooner than their age or condition required, in the wake of a decision by the LNER to avoid the expense of ordering fresh boilers of a unique design. Evidently the Gresley designs used on the East Coast in the 1930s were also excellent; but it is difficult not to feel that the NB Atlantics suffered rather unfairly by their premature withdrawal.
Illustratiion: Euan Cameron coloured side elevation of No. 510 The Lord Provost and tender pages 28/29
Robin McHugh. Lockdown Loco Modelling NBR Reid Atlantic No.510
The Lord Provost. 31-9
A few days after Model Rail 2020 took place at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow, I had a telephone conversation with our chairman Robin Boog. We usually see one another at the Groups stand during the weekend but it turned out we were there on different days this time. Robin called me to say that one of our members had inquired at the stand about building a 7mm scale model of a Reid Atlantic. Robin passed on the details of the group member, Dugald Cameron, and suggested that I should make contact. I knew of Dugald through his paintings of Scottish railway subjects and from the photographic album on Scottish steam he co-produced with another Group member, Bill Brown. A day or two later I telephoned Dugald. At that point, I could never have guessed what would transpire. Robin Boog had mentioned that Dugald had mentioned that the model would be made to ScaleSeven standards as opposed to the more usual O gauge finescale. For the uninitiated that basically means being built to run on an exact scale track gauge of 33mm rather than O gauge at 32mm. I had intended to point Dugald in the direction of a couple of modellers who specialise in ScaleSeven since I really belong more with the O gauge finescale fraternity. Some of you will be aware that until recently I had spent a number of years editing the Gauge O Guilds Gazette, the great majority of which comprised articles about 7mm finescale modelling. During the course of our varied and interesting telephone conversation I had a feeling that I was being encouraged to contemplate building the model myself!
So thats how I came to be building a ScaleSeven model of 510. The loco is being made the old-fashioned way. No etching and 3D printing for me, Im happier with piercing saw, files, drills and of course my lathe. These tools had taken a bit of a back seat during the last few years and it has been a great opportunity to get to know them again. I like to work with nickel silver sheet and bar although brass has been used for the firebox as its a bit more malleable. The chimney and dome are brass turnings that Peter Westwater had made for Dugald some years ago. One of the satisfying things about not using etch technology is being able to choose a variety of metal thicknesses, for example the bufferbeams and dragbeams are much thicker than would be the case in an etched kit. The loco frames are also very close to a scaled down thickness of the real thing. Dugald had requested that there should be some representation of the internal motion, preferably working, and thats been achieved and hes keen that all visible details are incorporated if at all possible. This has led to seeking help from Euan Cameron when drawing and photographic evidence is unclear. At the turn of the year, all three of us were much involved in deciding how to represent the front coal rails (cage) on the tender. Were now happy with this but at the time of writing, Easter week, a new puzzle in the form of the actuation of the cylinder drain cocks is occupying our collective grey cells. In due course, Ill write more fully about the building of 510 if our esteemed Editor is agreeable. For now, my target is to get the model finished sometime this coming summer, one hundred years after the real thing entered service.
Because of the Covid restrictions, Dugald and I have been unable to meet during the course of my building the model. Weve been in touch regularly by email, several times each week when I send a picture or two of the latest bit or piece, and by telephone when a discussion has become necessary about a particular aspect. It has been a great way of getting to know one another and a source of mutual support during the periods of lockdown. Weve also discovered we have some things in common. Apart from an obvious interest in the NBR, we both spent time in the same new town in the west of Scotland, both of us attended school in Glasgow, followed by time at Glasgow School of Art, Dugald never actually leaving the place for forty years until he retired as Director (Principal), and myself as an evening student bashing metal in the silversmithing department during the time Dugald was head of design and craft. Dugald tells me that hes sure a bit of GSA has rubbed off onto the model.
It therefore seems quite appropriate that this pair of Glasgow boys (albeit aided and abetted by an itinerant Fifer) are on a quest to create a miniature version of a handsome piece of Glasgow engineering. The remaining pages are given to colour photographs taken by Robin McHugh of the model under construction.
John McGregor. West Highland Poster 40
Prominent at the bottom right-hand corner is the name of W.F. Jackson, who became North British General Manager in 1899 the beneficiary of bitter board room divisions. John Conacher, in command since 1891, had found his position impossible after the overthrow of company chairman Lord Tweeddale, with whom he had worked closely, not least in the long pursuit of government subsidy for the West Highland Mallaig Extension. (Too closely said their critics, who claimed that North British shareholders had been denied a sufficient voice.) Former secretary George Wieland, Jacksons patron, would succeed to the chairmanship in 1901 after an interregnum under Sir William Laird. Conachers was the larger reputation, built on his earlier management of the Cambrian Company. He had been recommended to the North British by their East Coast allies, and he might have succeeded Sir James Thompson as General Manager of the Caledonian 1. But Jackson, who had served the North British since the 1870s, proved a conscientious if plodding and authoritarian supremo. He would remain in office until 1918 2.
Tentatively, the poster can be dated to 1900, when the West Highland could scarcely be described as newly opened. Traffic to Fort William had begun in 1894, to Banavie in 1895. Was it adapted from an earlier version? The heavy dots represent the Mallaig line, under construction from 1897 and completed in 1901; the West Highland Ballachulish Extension, approved in 1896 but never to be commenced; and (presumably) the independent Invergarry & Fort Augustus Railway, likewise authorised in 1896. Building between Spean Bridge and Fort Augustus had continued, after the Great Glen parliamentary contest of 1896-7 ended inconclusively. The Highland Company, the Invergarry & Fort Augustus and the North British 3 had all been denied powers whereby to close the gap between Fort Augustus & Inverness 4, and it remained to be seen what would happen next, when the little railway was ready.
The Highland admitted that their scheme had been a block line and the West Highlands Fort William-North Ballachulish project was a blocking device too. They would twice obtain additional time for completion, while the North British repeatedly protested their intention to see the line made; but the real purpose was to retain powers-in-hand, as the readiest means of confining the Caledonian Company to the districts south of Loch Leven. This Extension was to remain unbuilt. The Callander & Oban Ballachulish branch, (conspicuously absent from the poster) and the complementary (on-theface- of-things) West Highland scheme had been promoted together in 1895-6 as an uneasy compromise, brokered under the Peace Agreement of 1891 and calculated to establish a Caledonian: North British frontier at Ballachulish Ferry 5. Construction between Connel Ferry and Ballachulish would be completed in 1903. During 1898-9 Conacher had moved cautiously towards a North British working agreement with the Invergarry & Fort Augustus, in the hope of acquiescence on the part of the Highland Company, who were certain to demand every assurance that the little line would remain simply a West Highland feeder. Tweeddale may well have been ready to forswear all North British designs on Inverness, and there was at least the possibility of a happier outcome than the ensuing battles of 1901-3 over operation of a basic Spean Bridge- Fort Augustus service, where the Highland secured a dubious victory. Instead, these negotiations played a part in the downfall of Conacher and his chairman. Their enemies affected to deplore North British entanglement in the western Highlands and alleged that they had been about to conclude another bad bargain 6.
To interpret the poster too politically is surely a mistake, though it clearly proclaims that Lochaber belonged to the North British, who had no choice but to make all they could of their costly West Highland subsidiary. Of some interest too is the coach route (lighter dots) between Bridge of Orchy and Ballachulish, by the then main road through Inveroran and Kingshouse (now largely incorporated into the West Highland Way), with the option of a side excursion to Glen Etive and connection with the Callander & Oban at Taynuilt. From 1894 the North British had made sure to integrate the West Highland line into the companys programme of summer tours, and a link from Glen Orchy, via Glen Coe, with the MacBrayne steamers calling at Ballachulish was an obvious selling point 7. Planning during 1893-4 had generated a considerable correspondence between Conacher and Lord Breadalbane, whose hotel tenants at Bridge of Orchy and Inveroran aspired to undertake summer coaching. Breadalbanes own scheme was for a temperance refreshment room on Bridge of Orchy station which Conacher had tactfully discouraged. By then Crianlarich had already been designated the West Highlands half-way refreshment stop. The heavy dots further south represent the Loch Fyne Light Railway, from West Highland Arrochar & Tarbet to St Catherines opposite Inveraray. Endorsed by the North British Company, this prospectively expensive line over Rest-and-be-Thankful was approved by the Light Railway Commissioners in 1898 but would make no more progress. It had been brought forward under the new Light Railways Act (1896) to pre-empt the possibility of an independently promoted Ardlui-Inveraray branch, and the Callander & Oban had responded with their Dalmally-Inveraray branch, defeated in Parliament in 1897 altogether another story, too involved to tell here
1. Though head-hunted, Conacher looked elsewhere. Recruited as an adviser by the Liberal Government of 1905-15, he ultimately returned to the Cambrian Railway as chairman, 1909-11.
2. Off-duty, he travelled widely and left a valuable collection of photographs, now held by Glasgow University.
3. The North British Company and the West Highland lodged a joint bill.
4. The Highland prevailed in the House of Commons but met with defeat in the House of Lords, having conceded that they regarded the line as at best a necessary evil.
5. Struck from the West Highland Ballachulish Bill, a connecting swing bridge across the Loch Leven Narrows would have carried the public road and a tramway to Ballachulish slate quarries, which the Callander & Oban might have shared. There was no provision for a railway viaduct and through traffic.
6. George Wieland gained most from the 1899 board room coup. But in 1888-9, as North British secretary, he had been intimately associated with Conachers predecessor, John Walker, in their dealings with the West Highland promoters; and it was Conacher who had tackled the expensive consequences of a hard to justify North British guarantee.
7. The Oban-Fort William/Corpach summer timetable was generous and accommodated several intermediate piers; and MacBrayne vessels gave connection both south to Crinan and north (from Banavie) to Inverness by the Caledonian Canal.
Roderick Craig Low and R.W. (Bill) Lynn. One Night in August
Donald Cattanach. Rose Lane Goods Station 44
Brian Macdonald. Sleeping Car from Craigentinny 45
Stirling Everard. Cowlairs commentary.46-7
Reproduced from Locomotive Mag., 1943, 49, 125 The next class to be produced by Drummond was his 17in. goods, a general service 0-6-0 based upon his 18in. class, but for use upon lighter duties. These machines were in due course to be found all over the system, and were in their time used on passenger work as well as main and branch line goods services and for shunting. One hundred and five were built to Drummonds orders, that is to say between 1879 and 1883. Five of these were built by Dübs, the remainder coming from Cowlairs. The Dubs engines were numbered 497-501, and the Cowlairs machines 18, 27, 28, 30, 34, 35, 46, 84, 87, 112, 125, 128, 138, 143, 150, 163, 171, 175, 178, 184, 271-273, 277, 279, 286, 288-290, 300-303, 306, 311, 401-403, 481, 482, 484, 506-545 and 548-565. Drummond by the way, always allotted previously unused numbers in series to contract-built engines, the numbers vacated by locomotives which were replaced being taken exclusively by Cowlairs machines. As the locomotive stock increased it was, of course, necessary for many Cowlairs engines to take series numbers, but no blanks were ever left vacant for long, and the last used number at any time indicated the total locomotive stock of the company as far as concerned the capital list.
The defection of the 0-4-2 tanks soon made it necessary to provide an alternative class for the Helensburgh expresses. In consequence three new engines were built by Neilson, in 1879, which were Drummond throughout. Satisfied by the exemplary performance of the 4-4-0 tender engines, he had decided upon the 4-4-0 layout for the tank engines, which were given 6ft. 0in. coupled wheels and 17in. x 24in. cylinders. They were some of the most notable tanks in service in Britain at the time they were built. Their numbers were 494-496, and they were named Craigendoran, Roseneath and Helensburgh.
The success of the large 4-4-0 tanks encouraged Drummond in 1880 to build a lighter type of 4-4-0 tank for branch lines, these having 5ft. 0in. coupled wheels and 16in. x 22in. cylinders. The bogie wheels, which were 3ft. 0in. in diameter, were solid, as in the Wheatley bogie engines. With the introduction of this class the construction of the Terrier tanks ceased. Drummond built twenty-four of the small bogie tanks before he left the North British, these being Nos. 19, 33, 52, 60, 67, 72-75, 98, 99, 101, 103-105, 109-111, 147, 174, 225, 268, 294 and 299. All came from Cowlairs and all were named.
During his term of office amalgamations brought several additional locomotives into the fold. From the Leven and East of Fife Railway came in 1877, five small outside-cylindered four-wheeled machines, three built by Hawthorns of Leith in 1857, and two by Black, Hawthorn in 1874. The latter were shunting pugs. These engines took numbers 481, 483, 485, 482 and 484 in the North British lists. In 1879 four two-year old 0-6-0 tank engines with 18in. x 24in. inside cylinders and 4ft. 6in. wheels were received from the Glasgow, Bothwell, Hamilton and Coatbridge Railway. These powerful modern machines had been designed by the builders, Dübs,, and were numbered 502-505 by the North British. They remained in service until after the last war [WW1], one, in fact, being allocated a LNER number.
Two Neilson pug shunters were received in 1882. These had 3ft. 8in. wheels and 14in. by 20in. cylinders. Ever since the purchase by the Edinburgh and Glasgow company of its f irst example of this class of machine the Neilson pug had been very popular with the authorities at Cowlairs, and, modernised, Cowlairs-built machines based on the Neilson type remain standard to this day for dock-shunting and the like in the sometime North British territory.
In 1879 the Westinghouse brake was adopted by the North British for passenger locomotives and carriages, and was fitted to all as they passed through the shops.
At the end of that year the Tay Bridge disaster took place, and the locomotive involved, Wheatleys 4-4-0 No. 224, remained in the river until the spring of 1880. Then it was dragged out and towed to Cowlairs for renovation. It is, perhaps, worth remarking that the protection afforded to the enginemen by the Wheatley cab was extremely scant, and it is a matter of wonder in present times that an engine crew should have been expected to brave a gale of such force blowing at right angles to the train with such inadequate cover. This applies even to No. 224, which had a cab slightly more generous than those of the majority of Wheatley machines.
A Drummond 17 inch goods. NBR 0-6-0 locomotive No. 1365 (LNER Class J34) at Ladybank shed, with driver Tam Speed, fireman Eb Reid and foreman R P Critchley.
Photo: from the Hennigan Collection, courtesy of Bill Lynn. Centre:
A large 4-4-0 tank. Ex-NBR 4-4-0T locomotive No. 10390 (LNER Class D50), with Balloch headboard, at Stirling shed in 1926. Driver T Johnston in cab, A Bremner on footstep. Photo: P R Wallis, from the Hennigan Collection, courtesy of Bill Lynn
Bottom: A small 4-4-0 tank. Ex-NBR 4-4-0T locomotive No. 10406 (LNER Class D51) as Station Pilot at Perth. Photo: W H Whitworth, from the Hennigan Collection, courtesy of Bill Lynn
For further details and colour drawings of the locomotives illustrated above, readers are referred to the following articles by Euan Cameron in previous editions of the Journal: Drummond and Holmes 17" Goods (the J34 Class) Journal 108, March 2010; Dugald Drummonds large 4-4-0T locomotives Journal 136, March 2019; Drummond Passenger Tank Part 1, 0-6-0s Journal 109, June 2010.
Book reviews. 48-50
Glasgow Queen Street A Railway Station Renaissance, by Ann Glen Reviewed by John Yellowlees 48
The Jedburgh Branch, by Roger Jermy Reviewed by John Yellowlees 49
Book Review Building the Mallaig Railway, by Hege Hernæs Reviewed by Graham Dick 50
The NBR shed and other facilities at Perth. 51-5; rear cover
Cites All Aboard Exhibiition in Perth before briefly outlining the former joint activity at Perth General passenger station which has become somewhat too large and badly designed for its current operations with the loss of two of its major routes: the NBR Glenfarg route to Edinburgh and the Caledonian route to Forfar and Aberdeen. The original partners were the Scottish Central Railway, which became part of the Caledonian, the Highland and the Edinburgh, Perth & Dundee. The NBR latterly had four routes into Perth: Glenfarg, via Ladybank (the current meander); via the Devon Valley line and the North Fife line: thus the need for its own locomotive depot. The NBR also had its own goods station controlled by its own St.. Leonard''s Junction signal box. At the end of the LNER existence 17 locomotives were allocated to Perth of which 11 were NBR designs.
Perth running shed in the mid 1930s with St. Leonards Bridge in the distance on the right and the roof of the station beyond. (Photo: Photographer unkown, from the NBRSG Photo Archive ref 33711)
J36 No. 5297 at Perth Shed on 12 June 1948. Note the former CR signal box at St. Leonards Bridge in the right background. (Photo: J L Stevenson Collection, courtesy of Hamish Stevenson)
Perth Power Box in 1971, with the former engine shed and St. Leonards Bridge beyond. Note the goods avoiding lines in front of the box. Photo: Bill Jamieson
The site of Perth shed and remains of goods lines viewed from St. Leonards Bridge on 10 June 2021, with Perth Power Box in the distance. (Photo: D King)
Perth Power Box in 1971, with the former engine shed and St. Leonards Bridge beyond. Note the goods avoiding lines in front of the box. Photo: Bill Jamieson
The site of Perth shed and remains of goods lines viewed from St. Leonards Bridge on 10 June 2021, with Perth Power Box in the distance. Photo: D King
Perth in 1900, showing N. B. R. infrastructure
A view of Perth General Station from St. Leonards Bridge on 10 June 2021.
The southern portion of the station roof was cut back in the late 1960s. The site of the N. B. R. goods depot was in the distance on the left of the picture. Photo: D King
Ex-N. B. R. Scott class locomotive No. 9900 The Fair Maid (LNER Class D29) with a Perth to Edinburgh stopping train passing the ticket platform to the south of the station. At that time, Perth was an open station without barriers. Note also the N. B. R. engine shed in the far left background. (Photo: H G Tidey, from the Hennigan Collection courtesy of Bill Lynn
St. Leonards Junction Signal Box in 1955. Through one of the arches of St. Leonards Bridge, behind the box, part of the N. B. R. shed can just be seen at the very left of the photograph. Photo: Ed Nicoll, courtesy of Jim Summers
Ex-N. B. R. No. 2456 (L. N. E. R. Class D33) at Perth shed, on 9 June 1946. In the background is the coaling stage, and on the right is part of the engine shed. No. 2456 seems to have been a Perth engine for many years. It was withdrawn by the L. N. E. R. in the course of December 1947.
Photo: A B Crompton, from the
Hennigan Collection, courtesy of
The south end of the Perth General Station area in 1860. Extracted from Ordnance Survey Perth and Clackmannanshire
Sheet XCVIII.5 (Tibbermore). Survey date 1860, publication date: 1861, original scale 1 : 2500 (25·344 inches to the foot).
Re-sized for publication in the Journal.