H.A. Vallance. The railway enthusiast's bedside book.
London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1966. 264pp. + plates
Elmer T. Rudd. Thoughts on the Bull. 13-21.
O.V.S. Bulleid as observed on demonstration run of a Merchant Navy class Pacific:
Later, we were given a run to Exeter, in an immense train of rather shabby coaches which could be briefly spared from the Southern Railway's contribution to the British War Effort. Apart from Sir Eustace Missenden and his Southern Railway staff, there were several journalists and suchlike aboard the train. W.A. Willox, then of The Railway Gazette, and in one's experience never a man to gush unduly, went almost starry-eyed over the train's acceleration out of Waterloo. We got away from Waterloo, he said, like the wind. In his entourage was John Skelron, who suddenly stopped talking about South America, giving his eye to his stopwatch and evidently loving her like a mother. Even Hamilton Ellis had a stopwatch, saying with a smirk of half-shame that it was borrowed, and that he never used such a thing unless, as now, he was being paid to do it. The truth was that all these people wanted to see what happened when you had a Pacific locomotive, with a big firebox apparently full of thermic siphons and things, and a working pressure of 280 lb. per sq. in., on a train of unprecedented length, pointed towards Exeter by the London & South Western line.
We were not disappointed. Willox had been quite right about "getting away like the wind", and then, somewhere around Winchfield, a person best left nameless came out with his "I told you so!" For clouds of smoke, and an abominable odour, were coming from the front of the train, and someone else said he was sure that both came from that box with the works in it. When we pulled up in the environs of Basingstoke, it seemed that the only Southern Railway face neither red nor elongated was Bulleid's. He was down on the ballast, as on a long-ago occasion in Lincolnshire or somewhere, apparently fascinated by the fault and its possible causes, and wearing that mild grin which, like his feline handshake, many men will remember for a long time.
Two old engines, one South Western and the other more or less South Eastern & Chatham, took us on to Salisbury, where there was another of Bulleid's new babies waiting to take us to Exeter.
Robert M. Hogg. Scotland's mountain barriers. 22-32.
G.E. Williams. Timetable science. 33-9
"Hooghly". Locomotives on the Ganges. 44-9
Construction of the East Indian Railway
G.O. Holt. Unusual mishaps. 50-61
Alan A. Jackson. Ghosts Underground. 62-70.
A peripatetic watch. 71
A remarkable story a wrist-watch, which travelled many miles on a locomotive after it had been dropped by its owner, was reported in the Great Eastern Line Edition of the Eastern Region News. Early one morning, a railwayman at March lost his watch in the locomotive department, and after a thorough search, gave it up as lost. Four hours later, the watch was found at Lincoln, 60 miles away; it had travelled all the way on the 4 in.-wide step of a tender. When the watch was returned to its owner, it was none the worse for its hazardous journey, and still indicated the correct time. The tender must have ridden with remarkable steadiness for the watch to have remained for so long in such a precarious position.
A.W.C. Mace. Exposure! 71-80
The steam locomotive produces some of the most satisfying sights, sounds and even smells, associated with any form of machinery. The smell of hot oil, the hiss of steam, and the feathery plume from a safety-valve, seen against the background of blue sky: each of these is strongly evocative, and helps to explain the regard, the affection even, in which the steam engine is held. It is surprising that artists have not often attempted to record the railway scene, when this has so much to offer to the eye. Railway subjects are rare on the canvases of professional painters. One of the earliest and best known is Turner's Rain, Steam and Speed, with its sub-title The Great Western Railway, which was shown at the Royal Academy in 1844. It portrays a train approaching along a viaduct in stormy weather, and conveys the atmosphere of the scene, without much attention to detail. At the opposite extreme is W. P. Frith's picture of Paddington, entitled The Railway Station, and painted in 1862. Here the pre-Raphaelite tradition is evident, and while the artist's chief interest is in the passengers and other figures portrayed, the background detail is precise enough to give a good impression of a broad-gauge train of those days.
Claud Monet, working in France and in England some ten or more years later, is the most notable artist to have been attracted by railway subjects, and his imagination certainly was captured by the sight of steam and smoke. La Gare St. Lazare (1877) is perhaps his best-known railway picture: it shows the Normandy express about to depart from the Paris station.
C.L. Mowat. By train to Bantry. 81-5
The final journey by the boat train from Harcourt Street to Rosslare showed me the old Dublin & South Eastern main line, with its combination of superb coastal and mountain scenery. Its signals still remind one of its separate identity; they are on lattice posts, and suggest the North British Railway; the old Great Southern & Western signals are more suggestive of the Great Central. The signal box at several D.S.E.R. crossing stations is a curious corrugated iron building, high up on one end of the station foot- bridge (the supplier, according to a plate on the box at Gorey, was the old firm of McKenzie & Holland). This journey was memorable for its crowded station scenes. Whole families had come down to speed the parting son or sister on the way to England, and to give the fond farewells which have long been all too familiar for Irish people. At Wexford, where the train proceeds slowly along the quay, beside the street, there were shouts and cheers from large crowds throughout our progress.
But what of Bantry? For my objective was this terminus of the old 5 ft. 3 in.-gauge Cork, Bandon & South Coast Railway. The line starts at Albert Quay station in Cork, across the river from the main line, but connected with the latter by a siding which crosses the river on one of the road lift-bridges. There is only one down train in the day, the 5.30 p.m. It was a substantial train of five bogie carriages, headed by a 4-6-0 tank, No. 468. I was in a semi-open carriage of former first-class stock, which was most comfortable. As befitted its importance, the train was very well filled, and its arrival at each station was clearly the event of the day. Albert Quay Station has two platforms, a short all-over roof, plain but attractive stone buildings at the platform end, and a large goods yard and crowded engine shed. On starting the train plunges under a large iron signal box which straddles the main track and into a deep rock cutting. A long climb follows, with views northwards over the placid valley of the Lee, to Waterfall, the first stop and a crossing station. The line is worked by electric staff; and nearly every station is a crossing place, manned, ap- parently, by one man who serves as signalman, porter and clerk. At first, the country is hilly and well fanned, reminiscent of Devon.
Rock cuttings and a tunnel lead to Ballinhassig Station, and a wide, shallow valley in which is Crossbarry Station, formerly Kinsale Junction; the Kinsale branch, served by the outer face of the down platform, has had its rails taken up, though its grass-grown course is visible. The country continues to be high and open, but becomes more hilly and closed-in beyond Upton; rock cuttings, a viaduct, a view of a ruined castle down a wooded valley, romantic in a golden evening light, intervene before the line sweeps down to the valley of the Bandon, and reaches the town and station of that name. This, the largest station on the line, has an island platform, and was a scene of much activity. We crossed an up goods and cattle train, so long that its tail was standing on the loop points.
Another long run brought us to Clonakilty Junction, where the one-coach branch train and small tank engine were waiting on the other side of the down island platform; the layout here, as at other country junctions, is generous and complete. As we continued farther west, the country grew wilder, with rough pasture, hillsides covered with gorse and bracken or outcroppings of rock, and stacks of peat beside the fields. In the distance were the large, bare outlines of the Kerry mountains. At Drimoleague, where the 2-4-2 tank for our rear coaches, bound for Baltimore, was waiting just beyond the junction points, the train was divided, and we proceeded forward with three coaches only. Only when we neared Bantry did we see the sea- the broad expanse of Bantry Bay, 23 miles long between the mountains.
The railway comes out high up above the bay and the town, but does not stop there; it makes a broad horseshoe sweep, round the town ,and round a hill, descending as it curves until it brought us down to the tiny station at the water's edge, with its yard and stone-built engine shed and, in former days, a line extending to a short pier. The sun was still warm and high, at 8.8 p.m.; and, indeed, it was still above the mountains at ten o'clock, when I returned to the station. The gate was locked: the coaches were parked at the platform, the engine standing silent outside the shed, and awaiting the return journey at eight next morning.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: These impressions of railways in the Republic of Ireland were written in July 1952. Dieselizaiion was then still far from complete, and the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) was an independent company. Some of the lines visited have since been closed. These include the whole of the Cork, Bandon & South Coast Railway, the Kenmare branch, Harcourt Street Station, Dublin, and the Hill of Howth tramway. The suburban services between Dublin (Westland Row) and Bray have been severely reduced .
"The L.M.S. is running 33 special trains from Scotland. The first of these
football expresses will bring to London over 11,500 Scottish supporters."
The train must have been at least double-headed, and the carriages fitted
with seats on the roof!
From the Evening News, April 1932
J. Horsley Denton. Private stations. 86-93
Robert Savage. Railways of the Cordillera. 94-102
R.K. Kirkland. Three faces of independence. 103-17.
L.C. Johnsonn. "Ther's a lot of old stuff!". 118-26
Hamilton Ellis. The great locomotive row. 127-36
Legal action taken against the London & North Western Railway for supplying new locomotives to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Railway. The action took place in the Chancery Division, before the Master of the Rolls. Counsel for the Plaintiffs were the Attorney-General and Mr. Macnaghten, instructed by Messrs. Hargrove, Fowler & Blunt, of 3, Victoria Street, acting for Ephraim Hutchings, Secretary of the Locomotive Manufacturers' Association. Mr. Southgate, Q.C., and Mr. Speed appeared as Counsel for the Defendants, instructed by Mr. Roberts, Solicitor of the London & North Western Railway Company. The Attorney-General said that he was instructed to move on the Answer to the Information filed in this case, for an Injunction "to restrain the Defendants from manufacturing locomotive engines or other rolling stock, for sale or hire, and from manufacturing or repairing any locomotive engines or other rolling stock not required for the purposes of the undertaking of the London & North Western Railway Company". That the Defendants- "may be restrained by the Order and Injunction of this Honourable Court from employing any of the funds of the company in the manufacture of locomotive engines-" and so on; the Motion was somewhat repetitive. The Attorney-General, having quoted Act, Order and Paragraph, concluded: "Now, my Lord, the Information is very short, and it simply alleges that the London & North Western Railway Company have been manu- facturing engines for sale." His Lordship: "I am afraid I am a stockholder in the London & North Western Railway Company. Who appears for them?" Mr. Southgate rose. The Judge asked him if he objected. He said no; it was rather for the Attorney-General to object. He did not. There were exchanges on technicalities, then his Lordship said: "What I suppose you want would be to restrain them from manufacturing or repairing engines, except with the view to their being hereafter used on their railway. That is what you mean?" The Attorney-General: "That would satisfy us, I think. I do not know that I can have it more general than that. But I must finish this clause: 'and I now add that they will not manufacture locomotive engines or rolling stock, for the purpose of letting them out on hire; these provisions are not to apply to any of their engines or carriages in stock.' " It thus applied to new construction only, not to what had been done already. The Attorney-General then said that the L.N.W.R. had made a contract with the L.Y.R. for the manufacture by the former of ten engines for the latter. Since the Information was fIled, they had not gone on with those engines, and did not intend to do so if the Court restrained them, and granted the Injunction.
In the late 1870s Ephrain Hutchings was again in court acting for the LMS aginst the Great Eastern Railway for supplying locomotives to the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway. The Great Eastern was in particularly troubled waters as it had offended the LMA by purchasing locomotives from Begium and France.
John R. Day. Modern monorails. 137-46
M.D. Greville. Backward look. 147-55
Scotland, apart from its natural attractions, was, from a railway point of view, very fascinating, and having started, I visited it regularly up to the First World War, and have continued to do so frequently ever since. Very early, I explored the scenically beautiful Highland Railway, in many ways a slightly comic but rather lovable concern, faced with the almost impossible task of conveying-in the summer-a heavy traffic over long stretches of single line with the severe handicap offrequent late connections at Perth. One feature which sticks in my memory was the ten-minute stop at Bonar Bridge for refreshments, where the wild rush to get and consume something in the time was reminiscent of what one reads of Swindon in early days. It was needed, as the journey between Inverness and Wick took six or seven hours, as compared with four or five now, with refreshment cars.
Perhaps the highlight of Scottish railways, in pre-1914 days, was the Clyde steamer services. The beautiful and graceful steamers, the ultra-smart working, and the excitement of the extreme (and probably very wasteful) competition made travelling on the Clyde an unforgettable experience, apart from its scenic attraction. Looking back nostalgically to my trips 50 to 60 years ago, it seems to me that the weather was always fme, and the band always playing' 'Nights of Gladness", thought neither can be actually correct. The races for the piers were frequently really exciting. We all had our pet fleets-mine was the Glasgow & South Western (after the Great North my favourite Scottish line) and here again I liked the Caledonian the least. But I must admit that I think it showed up better here than elsewhere; the train services to the "Coast" were good and fast, with better stock than the average, and their two coast stations, Gourock and Wemyss Bay, quite seemly and well kept. Certainly the working of the boats was a revelation. It was quite usual at Gourock, in business hours (and there was a heavy residential traffic) for three well-filled boats to be got away in less than five minutes after the arrival of the train.
In 1904, I joined the Railway Club (then five years old, and still going strong) to which I owe so much. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity of meeting and knowing most of the leading early railway enthusiasts, whose names will be familiar to those who have read the earlier volumes of The Railway Magazine. Among others, G.W.J. Potter, a very sound and well-informed man, who became a great friend, and whose history of the Whitby & Pickering Railway, published in 1906, was one of the earliest histories of small lines (now so numerous) and, in view of the restricted sources then available, most admirable and informative. H.L. Hopwood, who contributed so much in his way to the early study of railway history; and the Rev. W.J. Scott, whom it was an education to have known, and a real "character" who combined extensive knowledge with a keen sense of humour. I could name many others, such as Rous-Marten, G.A. Sekon, Clement E. Stretton and R.E. Charlewood.
With Charlewood, I served for a time as joint secretary of the Railway Club. He was a man of immense energy. When he accepted the position, he was living at Carnforth, and stipulated that he should not be expected to be in London more than once a week. In actual practice, very few weeks passed when he did not come to the club at least three times, travelling backwards and forwards. I owe the inestimable benefit of a large number of friends with similar interests, to the Railway Club, and to the Railway & Canal Historical Society, of which I am a little proud to have been one of the founders ten years ago.
Among my liveliest recollections is the London Underground, both before and after electrification. In the steam days a journey on this was an interesting almost eerieexperience, what with the gloom and smoke-filled atmosphere, the grim and spartan carriages and the archaic-looking locomotives (which appeared really older than they were). And then the atmosphere! This was pretty thick all round the Circle, but to get the best effects one had to be on the Metropolitan. I can still recall the smokecould almost say the tasteat what I still find it difficult not to call Gower Street and Portland Road stations. How often have I waited at these stations, and one often had to wait quite a time (or did it only seem long ?), coughing and gasping. There were those who claimed that it was healthyperhaps it was, but I doubt it. Then came the electrification which transformed things, but only after prolonged teething troubles, especially on the District Line. In the early days of electric working, travel on the District was a most interesting and amusing experience, always supposing that you did not want to get somewhere in reasonable time. For those who would know what it was like I would recom- mend a poem in Punch, by Owen Seaman, sometime about 1906, describing a journey from Putney to Charing Cross. This, though perhaps somewhat exaggerated, did give an idea of what travel on the District was like then. The irregular service, frequent breakdowns, ramshackle rolling stockwith automatic doors which, as often as not, refused to workwhich made an appalling noise coming into the stations (Seaman described it as "a crash like skittle-balls on sheered lead"), and frequent doubts as to the destination of the train, were all really fascinating, unless, as I said, you wanted to get some- where.
The doubts as to destinations were partly caused by a traffic controller at Earls Court, who apparently arbitrarily altered them at a moment's notice. I once heard, as a result of this, an official call out the destination of a train as follows"West Kensington, Hammersmith,Oh! Damn, No !Walham Green and Putney Bridge."
William J. Skillern. By any other name. 156-61
Railway company names: Grand Junction Railway... Golden Valley Railway... Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock & Ayr, etc
E.H. Fowkes, Early letters of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. 162-70.
J.N. Faulkner. Southern occasions. 171-82.
John Roberts. The trail of '69. 183-92
The meeting of the Central Pacific Railway with the Union Pacific Railway in 1869 at Promontory Point, 50 miles ffrom Ogden in Utah.
Charles E. Lee. Railway Circles round London. 193-203.
The Metropolitsan Railway, the Metropolitan District Railway and orbital routes outwith thereof.
H.G. Hughes. Middle East interlude. 204-16.
World War 2 experiences in Egypt, Palestine and Iran and Iraq.
Lammermoor, pseudonym. The Waverley Route. 217-19.
R.C.H. Ives. Railway rarebits. 220-30
Hugh Straven. Sunday afternoon in Norway. 231-7.
R. Lyle and V.S. Haram. Springbok country.
South African Railways
A.J.F. Wrottesley. Railways in law. 244-54.
H.A. Vallance. From London to Inverness by day. 255-64.
By Flying Scotsman and via Glenfarg