Backtrack Volume 33 (2019)

Home page

January

February

March

April

May

June



Previous volume

July

August

September October

November

December Next Volume

Published by Pendragon, Easingwold, YO61 3YS

January (Number 333)

BR Class AL2 (later Class 82) No.E3046, in the new 'electric blue' livery', awaits departure from Manchester Piccadilly station on 18 September 1960. front cover

Madding crowds — how to be far from them? Michael Blakemore. 3.
Editorial moan: Overcrowding on Northern Powerhouse three-car Trans-Pennine services: standing under Standedge: at one time one had to leg it by narrow boat.

Snow on the line. Keith Dungate. 4-5
Colour photo-feature: Nos. 37 2226 and 37 098 on Manchester Collyhurst Street to Tunstead limstone empties passing closed Peak Forest station on 18 March 1987; No. 37 011 at Crianlarich on 10.20 Corpach to Mossend freight on 25 February 1986; No. 37 404 Ben Cruachan leaving Glasgow Queen Street on 12.20 to Oban with No. 47 702 St. Cuthbert waiting to leave on 13.25 push & pull service for Aberdeen on 22 February 1986; No. 37 405 at Tyndrum Lower on 12.20 ex-Glasgow Queen Street for Oban; reversed image of DMU at Leeds City departing for Neville Hill with snow-covered windscreen on 12 January 1987.

Doug Landau. 1948 — the missing contenders. 6-10
It is suggested that if the Peppercorn A1 and A2 class  Pacifics had been included in the 1948 Locomotive Exchanges they would have out-performed the other classes. In part this assertion is based on data obtained from  tests on the A1 and A2 classes soon after construction, by their routine performance, and by experience with No. 60163 Tornado. Illustrations: A1 No. 60114 W.P. Allen on Doncaster shed in September 1958 (colour); A2 No. 60539 Bronzino at Darlington on up express in snow in February 1958 (colour); A1 No. 60114 in LNER green livery but with BRITISH RAILWAYS on the tender leaving Newark with Harrogate to King's Cross express (note concrete signal post to Marriott design); A2 No. 60539 Bronzino with rimless double chimney and in LNER green livery with BRITISH RAILWAYS on the tender near Grantham in 1949; A4 No. 60033 Seagull with ex-GWR dynamometer car leaving Waterlloo on Atlantic Coast Express on 10 June 1948; Duchess class No. 46236 City of Bradford with ex-LNER dynamometer car near Finsbury Park on 13.10 to Leens on 6 May 1948;; A1 No, 60163 Tornado on The Border Raider near Shap Summit on 24 June 2010.

Spencer Jackson. Starting work at Brent — November 1961. 11-15
Training and practice of clerk in yard master's office who rostered guards for duties mainly on freight trains, but also included some passenger duties, notably the boat trains for Tilbury. Included workings onto  and off the Southern Region where freight movements were not tolerated during the peak periods. The railway environment was dangerous and the death of a West Indian guard who was eager for regular work is told when his brake van was struck by adjacent coal wagons and he was buried in coal. Smog still caused chaos and heavy snow disrupted the progress of The Condor: the new Anglo-Scottish freight service between  Hendon and Gushetfaulds. Illustrations: 9F 2-10-0 at South Sidings alongside Brent Junction No. 2 signal box; Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 No. 43121 moving towards Cricklewood shed; 8F 2-8-0 No. 48617 with coal train; Jubilee No. 45628 Somaliland passing Brent Junction No. 1 signal box; Jubilee No. 45566 Queensland on up express; 8F heads off on 10.20 Brent to Hither Green coal train

Alan Taylor. Anglo-Scottish Monday to Friday West Coast Main Line services — 1966. 16-23.
Electric traction had radically reduced the time taken to travel from Euston to Crewe, but beyond there the ponderous English Electric Type 4 were woefully inadequate for the gradients of Shap and Beattock and the heavy trains allotted to them. The Brush versions were only slighly better, but the ascents brought speeds down to freight train levels. Even the downhill running was hardly inspiring. The basic service pattern followed that of the steam services with the 10.00 (or thereabouts) Royal Scot filling most of the day for their journeys; an equally slow trains at around 14.00. There were also the Caledonian services at about 08.00 and 16.00: these were still faster than the norm, even with diesel "power". Birmingham sill had a through Anglo-Scottish train in each direction. There were the complex Liverpool/Manchester to Edinburgh/Glasgow caravans wherein its clients spent long periods pondering Preston and Carstairs. Perth was as far as one could expect in day-time. Inverness was served by overnight services. The Thames Clyde Express offered an even longer journey time than the Royal Scot and linked many East Midlands and Sheffield and Leeds with Scotland. There were corresponding night services with sleeping cars and protracted journey times for seated passengers. Northern Irish services had been diverted via Kilmarnock to Stranraer and required massive motive power combinations for the section beyond Girvan (Royal Scots plus Britannia Pacifics for intance), but Stranraer Harbour was still available. llustrations: Class AL5 No. E3074 in electric blue livery at Manchester Piccadilly in September 1963 (C.J. Gordon Stuart: colour); AL6 No. E3143 waits to leave Euston with 17.00 down express on 7 May 1966 (Brian Stephenson); AL6 No. E3116 arrives at Euston with up express on 7 May 1966 (Brian Stephenson); English Electric Type 4 No. D268 on down express near Leyland on 4 June 1966 (Brian Stephenson); Brush Type 4 No. D1958 struggling to Shap Summit with down Royal Scot on 7 May 1967 (Brian Stephenson); Class AL3 No. E3027 passing Carpenders Park with express for Liverpool in 1966 (C.R.L. Coles); A4 No. 60024 Kingfisher leaves Perth with express for Glasgow Buchanan Street on 8 July 1966; AL1 No. E3008 at Liverpool Lime Street with express from Euston on 25 June 1964 (C.R.L. Coles); Class 47 No. 47 523 calls at Dumfries with 10.35 Stranraer to Euston on 9 June 1983 (Gavin Morrison: colour); Britannia Pacific No. 70024 Vulcan near Milnthorpe with 13.15 Euston to Glasgow on 20 August 1966 (M.J. Fox); Brush Type 4 No. D1851 passing Tebay on 1 April 1967 with up express (Patrick Russell). See also letters from Stephen G. Abbott and Chris  Mills

Alastair Nisbet. Overcrowding —the same old story. 24-31.
The Department of Transport has set maxima for Passengers in excess of Capacity although these only apply to the pampered London Underground and South of the Thames services and not to the Northern Powerhouse let alone the Dutch-owned Bittern line where it is normal to send out a single car to cope with Carnival days traffic. In the past railway companies were expected to treeat their passenger cargo with greater respect. The Ipswich Journal on 24 December 1953 reported that a station master and guard employed by the Caledonian Railway had been fined for taking two passengers into custody two passengers who had protested when carriages were filled beyond their capacity. The Perth Courier of 31 December 1857 noted that a York County Court judge was liable for overcrowding carriages. The Pall Mall Gazette of 29 July 1869.  Quite a lot of space is devoted to the needs of those living on or not far beyond the southern limit of the underground system, namely Morden. A proposal by a grpou pf local authorities proposed a tuble line from Tooting Broadway to Mitcham and Carshalton, but did not appreciate that this woud still further impede progress towards Centrl London. Strangely, the current issue of Modern Railways has suggestions, including light rail for improving access to Sutton from Wimbledon. Illustrations are not of sardine conditions in a Pacer or a quad-art but mainly of sleepy rural locations where packed trains may have passed: Mablethorpe station looking north with small crowd dimly visible at exit on 24 April 1965 (L.R. Freeman); Helensburgh Central with V3 2-6-2T No. 67607 on 12.33 to Bridgeton Central on 13 February 1960 with snow on the platform and not a soul in sight (W.A.C. Smith); J11 No. 64303 with 15.30 Skegness and Mablethorpe lumbering its way across the Fens near Coningsby on its way to Manchester on 28 August 1948 (Peter Prescon); Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 No. 43134 and V1 or V3 2-6-2Ts Nos. 67648, 67625 and 67618 at Singer on 28 August 1956 (W.A.C. Smith); ex-LBSCR D1 0-4-2T No. B612 at Epsom Downs with train for Sutton on 18 December 1926 (H.C. Casserley); 4-SUB multiple unit arriving at Sutton from Epsom on 5 August 1951 (Derek Clayton); Morden South station; St. Helier estate, Morden; Rosehill flats; Banstead station (John Scrace); Bulleid double deck train; RT 3986 red double deck bus at Sutton station on 164A to Tattenham Corner station in 1976 (colour: John Parkin); Tooting Broadway station in July 2017; Clapham North station in July 2017 (still with very narrow island platform); Morden station with tube train (colour). See also letters from Stephen G. Abbott and Chris  Mills 

The A5 Pacific tanks. 32-4.
Colour photo-feature: No. 69808 at Boston in June 1958; No. 69814 at Grantham in August 1959; No. 69820 at Derby Midland in July 1959; No. 69821 at Southwell on 8 June 1959: Class A5/2: No. 69835 on Scarborough shed in June 1957 (W. Oliver); No. 69805 leaving Hayfield for New Mills Central; No. 69808 at Southwell on Southwell Paddy for Rolleston Junction. 

Looking West. 35-7
Black & white photo-feature: No. 3302 Charles Mortimer (with domeless parallel Belpaire boiler) passing electrified Hammersmith & City Line at Westbourne Park see correction to caption from Michael J. Smith; Brymbo station  looking towards Minera; Radford and Timsbury Halt with corrugated iron pagoda shelter in Edwardian period; exterior of Swindon Works in Edwardian period; Corsham station with steamroller and large amount of stone traffic with only a very inadequate crane to load it; Clifton Bridge station with auto train; Dunball station platforms; Chipping Campden station and level crossing; staem railmotor No. 74 in crimson livery at Hungerford   

Edward Gibbins. Britain's railways in World War 1: sequestration & consequencies. Part Two. 38-44
To a great extent this article overlaps with a recent book by Mullay on the 1923 Grouping. The extremely parsimonious treatment of railway companies by the government following WW1. Labour costs had risen by 268% since 1913 and the effect was aggravated by the goverment colluding with the trade unions to accept an eight hour working day which greatly increased the cost of rural railways. Coastal shipping had been traffic had been diverted to the railways and then was redirected back to shipping. Demobilisation was a further cost to the railways which were even expected to collect greatcoats and refund the bearers with £1 for each returned coat. The railways were even expected to convey surplus road vehicles free from charge whicxh would be used to erode railway freight carryings. Perhaps the most destructive government act was the establishment of the Colwyn Committee which was formed of five MPs, one Treasury official and the President of the Federation of British Industries. The railways were required to forego documentary rights. Gibbins states that "no industry, including those of which Lord Colwyn was a director — coal, cotton or rubber or the Manchester Ship Canal — was treated in this way. [KPJ it is notable that many of those involved in the Grouping moved onto the rubber or automotive industries]. The report attempted to demand that recompense should be kept at the 1913 level. Illustrations: Lancashire Infantry at Warrington Bank Quay in 1914; Wick station on 6 August 1914 with part of the 5th (Sutherland & Caithness) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders;  Eric Geddes' personal train (NER 2-4-2T No. 206 plus seven six-wheel vehicles and one bogie coach presumably for the great hero); tea trolley at Paddington; Jellicoe special coal train on Shap hauled by Webb compound and banked in rear; interior of L&YR ambulance train; NER T1 0-8-0 as ROD No. 5660; D1 0-4-2T No. 2221 at Tumbridge Wells West

Over the Hills and Far Away. George Watson. 45
Colour photo-feature of the Settle & Carlisle Line: Blea Moor on 20 September 1966 with 9F 2-10-0 No. 92015 entering northbound loop with train of anhydrite empties, No. 92093 taking water wnd Class 2  struggling up the incline; Class 5 4-6-0 No. 44853 and 9F No. 92096 on anhydrite train from Long Meg to Widnes on same day as previous; Blea Moor signal box with 8F No. 48756 on anhydrite empties on 30 May 1964; Jubilee 4-6-0 No. 45640 Frobisher  with a special express climbing past Mallerstang on 22 July 1961; rebuilt Scot No. 46152 The King's Dragoon Guardsman leaves Ribblehead Viaduct with 15.40 Bradford Forster Square to Carlisle all stations on 3 April 1965; Britannia Pacific No. 70014 Iron Duke on short down freight at Settle on 29 April 1967; Class 4 2-6-0 No. 43028 on up freight looped at Blea Moor behind looped freight in first illustration; and Class 5 No. 44668 on 16,37 Carlisle to Bradford Forster Square at Kirkby Stephen West in snow on 14 April 1966.   

Malcolm Timperley. Taking the Cure  — the railway to Strathpeffer. Part One. 48-51
Dr Thomas Morrison suffered from arthritis found that the putrid, suphururous waters at Strathpeffer eased his condition and he encouraged the development of a spa from 1819. The Dingwall & Skye Railway promoted in 1864 hoped to serve the spa, but Sir William MacKenzie of Coul was determined that no railway would cross his land. This led to the Skye line having a difficult route and the eventual construction of a branch line to Strathpeffer where potential passengers were forced to change at Dingwall. This opened in 1885 and for a time enjoyed through sleeping cars from London and a Strathpeffer Spa Express which used the Rose Street curve to avoid calling at Inverness. Illustrations: Bellafrum class 2-2-2T (original Strathpeffer and nicknamed The Puffy Dunter or wheezinng whale); 0-4-4ST No. 13 Strathpeffer; 0-4-4T No. 25 Strathpeffer at Dingwall; 0-4-4T No. 25 Strathpeffer at Dingwall with 4-4-0 No. 7 Ben Attow arriving from Inverness for Far North; No. 25 Strathpeffer at Strathpeffer; 4-4-0 No. 129 Loch Maree on Strathpeffer Spa Express (publicity photograph); pump room (coloured postcard); Highland Hotel just prior to opening. Part 2.  .

Mike Fenton. Kemble Station — The branches and the railbus years. Part One. 52-7
Brunel's broad gauge railway reached Kemble and Cirencester on 31 May 1841. Difficulties with the Sapperton Tunnels through the Cotswolds delayed the opening to Gloucester until 1845. The Author has personal ties with the area. Illustrations: Kemble station looking north post 1872 but pre 1882; Ken Jones and Don Pritchard; Professor Mowat's view in same orientation as first illustration but taken on 8 August 1934; Jeremiah Greenaway, Station Inspector 1869-1900, map; up pllatform in 1980s; 10.35 mixed train departing for Cirencester behind 8750 class No. 8779 on 6 May 1952 (H.C. Casserley); 58XX No. 5805 in Tenbury platform at Kemble in mid-1950s (David Lawrence); view looking north in early 1920s with cordon gas tank wagon; water tank on 8 August 1934 (C.L. Mowat). Part 2.

Mike G. Fell. Midland Railway 0-6-0s for Italy. 58-9
In 1906 the Midland Railway sold 50 Kirtley double frame 0-6-0s to the Italian State Railways and they were transported via Goole then by Bennett Steamship Co. ships to Boulogne; thence via the Mont  Cenis line to Italy. The article was first published in the Stephenson Locomotive Society Journal (2001, Volume 77 (808)), Illustrations: No. 981 at Goole prior to shipment with group of Italian State Railway officials; SS Africa being loaded with one of the locomotives via the Armstrong Mitchell hydraulic crane with Alfred Banning watching; Armstrong Mitchell crane lifting coal wagon to tip its contents into hold of Bennett vessel; SS Mapsa outward bound for Boulogne with deck cargo of four locomotives

Leicestershire shed visits .60
Colour photo-feature: Coalville with 8F No. 48644 in April 1965 (Trevor Owen); Market Harborough with WD 2-8-0 No. 90161 in September 1959 (P.J. Hughes)

Readers' Forum.. 61-2

Cumberland coal. Chris Mills 
The picture of colliery waste being tipped into the sea at Whitehaven also records that classic coalfield activity of coal picking. The sacks being loaded in the foreground will join those already on the cycle propped up against the corrugated sheeting, ready for wheeling home. Quite how that Lambretta is going to cope with a load of sacks is anybodies guess! Note also the adventurous guy right up the slope under the wagons, getting the best of the lumps.

Streaking through time and space. David Andrews 
While I challenge the accuracy of Mallard's maximum speed I do not regard it as bogus (letter from Bob Walker in the November issue). Land speed record cars do not tow caravans and air speed record planes do not tow gliders. Rail speed record attempts, however, usually involve a locomotive hauling a train. If records should be set on level track then what trailing load should be used? Should it be a fixed load or should it vary with the size or power of the locomotive? I suggest it is impossible to find a fair way around this and the simple rule of highest speed attained regardless of load, gradient and wind direction is best.

Streaking through time and space. David E. Slee 
David Andrews has done a lot of very fine work to show how the published information on the record run of Mallard down Stoke bank contains errors which throw doubt on the claimed maximum speeds achieved. He did this by examining the actual dynamometer car chart recordings.
At the beginning of his article he includes a letter (to whom? KPJ see reference) from J.S. Dines commenting upon an aspect of the charts produced during record runs by Flying Scotsman and Papyrus. His basic point was that mathematically the accelerations over quite short distances at about MP 91 were unbelievable and needed some explanation. This point was then largely ignored by Andrews who then expounded on possible causes of error within the recording system. He did find two causes which generated sufficient error to cause the seen discrepancies and when these were used to correct the Dynamometer Car measurements he got the smooth curve shown in Fig.3 as '2017 analysis' with a maximum speed of only 124mph.
The slope of the speed curve indicates the rate of acceleration (both positive and negative) and the greater the inclination of that slope the greater the acceleration rate. As Mr. Dines observed, the accelerations involved were as great as for trains accelerating from a start to 60mph and this would be impossible in practice. Further, although Dines didn't mention it, the subsequent deceleration is also just as unbelievable, being equivalent to a light brake application when none was made! If all the track dimensions (grade, MP placements etc.) were accurate then such blips on the charts cannot represent the actual speeds attained by these trains, but rather imponderable errors within the whole recording system and its interpretation.
The 125mph case in Fig.4. is more believable than the 126mph one; however, they both deny reality on account of the very improbable accelerations involved. Andrews hints at a future article looking at the power capabilities both Mallard and the DRB 05.002. I would suggest this is the only way to get to the bottom of the matter. I have used that approach myself in simulation runs and I have concluded that about 124mph was achieved at MP 91, with a small fall in speed (about 0.3mph over the next level section to MP 90.6, and that this was followed by an increase in speed to a little less than 124.5mph before steam was shut off at MP 89¼. I believe there can be no doubt that both claims for a 125mph or a 126mph speed record are not justified by the events on 3 July 1938.

Passengers and pigeons. Allen Ferguson 
Re Glen Kilday's article on special traffic notices writer was living in Bridlington in 1962, but never fully appreciated the planning required for these additional trains or the implications for already stretched staffing and rolling stock.  He recorded locomotives and trains through Bridlington from 1955 through to 1967 and can add to Glen's notes on the Blackburn and Preston Wakes Week extras on Saturday 21 July 1962:  1X10 Preston to Filey Holiday Camp — hauled by 8F No.48608 of Mirfield shed. 1X09 Cherry Tree to Bridlington and Scarborough — hauled by 'Crab' No.42713 of Farnley Junction shed I have spoken to retired Mirfield engine driver Geoff Oliver, who believes the trains were normally hauled by one locomotive throughout with a possible driver change at Wakefield Kirkgate. Water could be collected from the troughs along the Calder Valley. The 1X12 Scarborough to Blackburn that day was hauled by Bl No.61385 of Wakefield shed. As a matter of interest, the returning Wakes Week trains the following Saturday (Bridlington departure times) were:
08.43? to Preston — V2 No.60954 of York shed (plus No. D6738 to Bridlington)
10.22  1X86 to Preston — B16 No. 61448 of York shed
14.25 1X09 to Cherry Tree — K3 No.61980 of Ardsley shed
I have been unable to ascertain how far these locomotives worked.

Passengers and pigeons. L Holland
Re Glen Kilday's article on STNs: on Saturday 21 July 1962 writer was at Brighouse station on the LYR Calder Valley main line. At 11.03 No.45559 British Columbia (24E Blackpool) came through on the 1X10 Preston-Filey Holiday Camp. Then at 11.50 No.42713 (55C Farnley Jn.] appeared on 1X09 Cherry Tree-Scarborough. Later at 16.56 No. 45559 came back with 1X12 Scarborough Central-Blackburn. I cannot say where the 'Jubilee' changed engines.

Great Western branch lines. R. Clark 
Re Jeffery Wells article on GW branch lines: it brought back many memories as writer went to school and then worked on the Fairford branch until its closure beyond Witney in 1962. I also knew and travelled on the Faringdon branch a number of times as a young boy in 1947-51.
Regarding the top picture on p692 the pagoda-like hut was not a waiting room; this was in the station building. The lower picture is at Witney with an Oxford-bound train running wrong line. The vans on the other lane sat there all day to facilitate loading of parcels from a nearby mail order company. The first Witney station was not temporary, although it was unfinished when opened, but the line could not be extended from there so a junction was formed further back and the new station was at right angles to the old one and several hundred yards away. With regard to Faringdon, the nearest station prior to the branch opening was Challow, then called Faringdon Road. Uffington opened with the branch. Although in relatively close proximity to each other, the two branches were of very different character. This is shown by the observation about no underbridges on the Fairford line whilst the Faringdon line crossed only one public road and this was by an underbridge.

Peebles and NBR J88 tanks. Rae Montgomery
Re account of NBR J88 tanks caption on p543 states that "none ... ever received the BR crest or lined paintwork". Writer immediately questioned this, recollecting that a number of these locomotives still around during his early career with British Railways bore the early crest. The nearest source of confirmation was the lan Allan ABCs of 1958 and 1962/3. Both clearly indicate that Nos.68322 and 68345, the very stovepipe locomotive to which the writer refers, both carried the crest
The former Caledonian station at Peebles was not closed for goods traffic until 1959, not in 1955 as implied on p551. The Peebles Hotel Hydro was built in 1905-7 following the total destruction of the 1881 building in a fire in 1905. The comment that closure of the former NBR/LNER loop via Peebles was "one of Scotland's most puzzling closures" was itself puzzling. The operating cost of maintaining the eighteen manned level crossings between Hardengreen Junction and Peebles alone, not to mention the maintenance of substantial bridging structures between Hardengreen and Galashiels, would never have been remotely covered by the revenue accruing to the passenger service.

The Chatham line to Dover. Stephen G. Abbott 
Patterns of electric services on the Chat ham route are not quite as described in Jeremy Clarkes's excellent article (November). In 19S9 there was only one Sittingbourne to Sheerness local service, connecting with the fast train from Victoria as described. The Sheerness connection out of the Charing Cross-Ramsgate train was provided by the Dover-Sheerness train. Thus, with the through train from and to Victoria, the Sheerness branch saw three, not four, hourly trains each way.
The present-day 'Javelin' service from St. Pancras to Ramsgate is only hourly, trains on the alternate half hours terminate at Faversham. However, a third hourly train from Victoria at 40 minutes past the hour runs to Ramsgate. Thus principal stations between Faversham and Ramsgate have trains from both Victoria and St. Pancras, but stations between Faversham and Dover are served only from Victoria. However, Canterbury West and Dover have fast trains from St. Pancras via Ashford. A complex, but comprehensive, service in true Southern tradition! Finally, since Sheerness steelworks closed in 2012 there has been no freight on the Chatham line east of Swanley.

Diesel transition in Scotland. Mike Christensen
The caption to the lower photograph on p581 of the October Issue states "Note the token exchanger at the platform end though the units were not fitted to make use of them". Not so. The token is about to be exchanged using the Manson ground apparatus, which is in the extended position, and an exchange pouch can be seen hanging in the exchanger jaws. The unit is fitted with exchanger apparatus, but not beside the driver's position. The Manson exchange apparatus was installed in the guard's van and operated by the guard. In addition to the usual bell codes between the driver and the guard, which were
1. Stop
2. Start
3. Set back
3-3. Guard required by driver
4. Slow down (when propelling)
5. Guard or driver leaving the train in accordance with rules
the units working between Aberdeen and Inverness used the additional codes
2-2. Correct token received (guard to driver)
2-2-2. Approaching token exchange point (driver to guard)

Economics, religion and politics. Sam Somerville 
May I offer a few observations to the comprehensive article on the GNR (I) by Stephen G. Abbott (Backtrack November 2018). The post-war years in Northern Ireland were dominated by an economy in growing need of external investment being managed by a Government protective of its traditional industries. Social investment based on the GB model tended to serve ends rather than be redistributed to meeting actual need. An internal NI boundary centred on the River Bann separated the western counties from those to the east and marked the political divide. Management of the economy was poor and regional planning non-existent. Publication in 1955 of a highly critical Northern Ireland economic report was delayed for two years such were its contents whilst regional planning based on the GB 1947 Town and Country Planning Act was non-existent until 1962. It was against this background that the GNR Board was formed.
The impact of the border had been a prime factor in changing GNR traffic patterns. like Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland had its various fault lines. However, fresh economic foresight in Dublin represented by talented government officials such as T.K. Whitaker and the acknowledgement that rail had a key role in connecting Dublin with the rural regions were important. This contributed to Dublin's 'reasoned argument' against the GNR cross-border closures. These 1957 closures left no measureable impact on the Northern Ireland border counties, but simmering social and economic discontent in those counties stemming from other factors was present. It might be fair to say railway closures did nothing to improve matters.
Unlike the GNR routes closed in 1957, the Derry Road between Portadown and Londonderry was a major secondary route and the key west of the Bann transport corridor. It linked the western counties and the administrative, industrial and commercial centres in Belfast and Dublin. Strabane on the Irish border was the main freight railhead for 'free to free' traffic between Co. Donegal and the rest of the Republic of Ireland. Acknowledgment by the Government of 'the greater interest' in maintaining societal stability by assuaging discontent west of the Bann was still absent by the early 1960s.
The internal UTA Committee in 1961, alluded to by Mr. Abbott, recommended modernisation of the railways including the Derry Road. Sir Robert Matthew, commissioned in 1962 to produce the first regional plan for Northern Ireland, argued the current railway system was at an appropriate scale to serve Northern Ireland's future needs. In 1964 Sheelagh Murnaghan, MP for Queen's University, made prescient comments about the proposed closure that she added would eventually lead to regret by Government. The Government's head remained in the sand throughout and the prescriptive terms of reference given to Henry Benson dismissed the wider interest. The Derry Road closed as intended and the huge land mass on the island of Ireland without rail became fact.
By 1966 as the Derry Road was being ripped up, the lack of interest from Government continued to be reflected in the failure to commence building work on west of the Bann road schemes promised before closure. This led to growing unease from Unionist as well as Nationalist opinion. Unionist backbench MP for South Tyrone John Taylor was critical of the decision to defer road schemes. He linked the requirement for good transport links to Tyrone and societal stability by referring to the disaster about to hit the western part of Northern Ireland. Nationalist backbench MP for East Tyrone Austin Currie made similar points, arguing dissatisfaction had been building up ever since the decision to sever the rail link with Co. Tyrone.
In the early 1990s I met William Craig. Mr. Craig was the infamous Stormont minister who pushed through the Derry Road closure. Asked if he had any regret at the closure decision, he paused and simply replied "With hindsight, I may have gone about things differently."

Book Reviews. 62

The Eyemouth Branch. Roger Jermy. Oakwood Press, Reviewed by GK. *****
Knowing a little of the geography of the Borders Region I wondered, when unpacking my copy of Roger's book, how it might be possible to say so much about an uncelebrated branch line a mere two and a half miles long. Dipping into the book's 190 pages the answer soon becomes clear. Roger was meticulous, widely read and thorough in the research, preparation and execution of his writing, taking the reader through every stage of building and operating this interesting little byway.
Sensibly he avoids a trap often fallen into by railway writers. He begins his story not by launching straight into railways and trains but by setting the scene by way of short and interesting visits to the county of Berwickshire, Eyemouth itself and the various settlements in its vicinity. Thus the reader, who may know nothing of this little corner of Scotland, gains some understanding of the geography, people and trades of the district.
Like so many mid-Victorian enterprises, building this little branch was a long-fought and oft frustrating battle for its proponents. Roger, through careful examination of local written reports of meetings, alongside some useful anecdotal evidence, takes us through a blow-by-by blow account of the ups and downs of the process. He includes touches of irony and little sparks of humour as he spells out a series of optimistic meetings that were followed by periods of complete inaction. The same thorough approach continues in his description of contractual matters prior to and including construction itself. It is here that Roger makes, from the viewpoint of the reader, a small presentational mistake. He has written three separate sections each entitled 'Fulfilling the contract...', one describing the permanent way, one the major viaduct over the Eye-Water and finally the stations and other facilities. In itself it is through but, unfortunately, it leads to a degree of repetition that proves particularly apparent in the railway's dealings with one Major Marindin RE, who was the Board of Trade's appointed inspector. Marandin made two visits to the line before declaring it safe to open to the public. The author's description of Marandin's task and reports are spread over all three sections and repeated, albeit with differing emphasis. A single chapter about Marindin's work might have been more satisfying.
Burnmouth, the junction for Eyemouth with the East Coast Main lline, lies just a couple of miles north of the border with England, itself but a short distance from Berwick-upon-Tweed. Rightly then, it is at Berwick that Roger begins his description of the branch, for its operation was, from the start, completely linked to that town's engine sheds and other railway facilities. With no engine shed at Burnmouth or Eyemouth, everything was worked from Berwick. Roger gives us great detail about Burnmouth and Eyemouth stations and how they were operated and managed coupled with assiduous information about gradients, bridges, the permanent way including construction of the great viaduct over the Eye-Water.
His story of the line is divided up, first North British times, then LNER days and finally its fortunes under British Railways (BR) management. Here the reader must get used to an approach that, at first, is disconcerting. Roger comes at the story by way of a series of meticulously researched anecdotes, taken variously from a vast array of sources. Thus we have a little tale of a station master's doings juxtaposed with pieces about crime and punishment on the railway, and so on with other topics. Once familiar with the style it becomes fascinating, never quite knowing what snippet will come next! Inevitably the BR section ends with the line's closure in 1962, fought over, of course, but lost in the face of a road-obsessed Transport Minister.
That's not the end of Roger's work because he goes on to study timetables over the years and follows up with stories of several tragic accidents in and around the branch. He discusses the town's all-important fishing industry. Then he looks at the tragic floods of 1948 that, surprisingly, did not lead to the line's premature closure. There follows a penultimate short chapter with a couple of slightly tongue-in-cheek article lifted from newspapers in 1909 and 1916. He rounds off his tale with a look at the remains of what can be seen of the little branch line today.
Roger's work is an interesting and altogether readable account that certainly adds value to the vast library of publications in the Oakwood Press series. The wealth of illustrations are nicely placed and very well reproduced. The little and sometimes personal tales of its workers and the local population will be an invaluable tool for those pursuing local studies and even family histories.

Scottish Railways 1923-2016: a history. David Ross. Stenlake Publishing. 256pp, 143 illustrations. Reviewed by NTS *****
This book follows the histories of the five Scottish pre-grouping companies by David Ross and continues the story of the nation's railways from 1923 up to the present time. It is wide-ranging, looking at how Scotland's railways were organised over nine decades, the traffic they carried, the personalities involved, industrial relations and the political climate which resulted in major changes of policy for the country's railways.
The Grouping of 1923 divided the five Scottish companies between the LMS, with its concentration on centralisation, and the LNER, which had a more devolved approach to management. Twenty-five years later the LMS and LNER lines were merged to form the Scottish Region, with savings from integration of freight and other services.
The influence of the significant general managers of the Scottish Region is assessed in the book. James Ness is probably the best-known of these to railway enthusiasts, because of his restoration to working order of four pre-grouping locomotives. Here he is remembered by a member of his staff as being "a complete autocrat but a man of constant drive and ability".
While Ness and several other general managers spent most of their career in Scotland, two of the most influential were Englishmen who returned south as their careers prospered. W.G. Thorpe introduced the two-tier management system to BR while in Scotland. Chris Green re-invented the Scottish Region as ScotRail with "a marketing approach which focussed on customer needs".
Scots were, of course, involved in the wider British railway scene in significant roles. The LNER's chairman between 1923 and 1938 was William Whitelaw, previously chairman of the Highland and then the North British. Other Scots included transport ministers, such as Malcolm Rifkind and John McGregor, the two politicians most involved with the privatisation of the British railway network.
Privatisation was one of three Government-led "great upheavals" — Grouping and Nationalisation being the others. The critical examination of these applies to the whole British system and make the book of wider than just Scottish interest. Since Devolution that there has been a divergence in policy, which has been to Scotland's advantage. This is reflected in the maps of the Scottish system in 1984 and 2016 which show lines that have not only been re-opened, but also electrified.
The text includes tables showing traffic at various dates and there are several appendices which include a timeline and lists of station closed and opened or reopened. The book is well-illustrated with several useful maps. There is a full index
With this book David Ross completes his volumes which provide a comprehensive history of Scotland's railways over two centuries. This latest work is particularly valuable as it is the first detailed analysis of Scottish railways since 1923 and is highly recommended.

Lost lines — railway treasures. Nigel Welbourn. Published by Crecy Publishing Ltd. 224pp. Reviewed by CH ***
Prior to this, his latest work, Nigel Welbourn had visited and revisited over 400 of Britain's closed railway lines in a series of fifteen 'Lost Lines' books. Each volume covering different regions provides a history of its closed railways and is illustrated with primarily black and white photographs.
Lost Lines — Railway Treasures
adds a sixteenth volume to the series but is a different beast from earlier books. As Mr. Welbourn explains in his introduction he has abandoned his very successful formulae, preferring to take an overview of Britain from a different perspective. In this book he has selected a number of his best loved lines and combined them with closed railway remains, locomotives, rolling stock and ephemera, all illustrated in full colour. The book is divided into 25 chapters covering most aspects of the country's railways including early waggon and tramways, the main lines, industrial railways, ports, docks and piers and London Transport.
Chapter 1 chronicles 'Early Closures' and features amongst other subjects the 'Innocent Railway', the London & Birmingham Railway's Curzon Street station, Merthyr Tramroad and the Stockton & Darlington Railway. The following chapters continue to meander through line closures linked to the history of Britain's railways until Chapter 19 is reached. At this point we pause for a while and venture across the water for an Irish Interlude where amongst many Dublin railway relics he describes the miles miles of narrow gauge track which linked the Guinness Brewery at St. James's Gate to the main line and quay on the River Liffey. Finally in Chapter 25 'Time Travellers' he turns full circle and reflects on the closed standard and narrow gauge railways that have reopened and returned to main line use or developed as heritage railways.
The book is a massive undertaking by Welbourn and each page is full of never-ending facts as he endeavours to include as many closed railways and their accompanying remains as possible. On occasion, though, it appears that he has resorted to using easily available illustrations without much thought for the subject or reader. For example a whole page devoted to the Whitby-Scarborough line would have benefited by sourcing a picture of the magnificent Larpool Viaduct (an icon of the railway) rather than resorting to a couple of images of tickets, a timetable and a rather inaccurate LNER poster, especially as the structure is mentioned on two separate occasions within the book. Further disappointment is in the quality of reproduction of many of the photographs, which compared with other books selling at a RRP of £25 is poor. Illustrations are either muddy, bleached or of dubious focus. This could be blamed to some extent on inferior originals but it is no excuse. A further small gripe concerns the number of the photographs of buildings and structures that are not recent. A note with each, qualifying their continued existence, would have prevented numerous referrals to Google Earth!
So has the new perspective of 'Railway Treasures' proved successful? There is no doubting Nigel Welbourn's enthusiasm and dedication to his subject and his 'Lost Lines' series has been a welcome addition to the railway library. However, I feel this book has lost its way. From the very first page there is an information overload as the author rapidly moves from one location and subject to another. This may be appreciated by the 'railway an cion ado' but for the more general reader at which this book is aimed, will probably prove to be terribly confusing.

February (Number 334)

Great Western Railway '43XX' 2-6-0 No.6377, fresh from the paintshop, gleams at Newton Abbot station in July 1957. P.W.  Gray/. front cover

Toast and honey. Philip Crow. 67
Guest Editorial: Pullman cars on the Brighton Belle to tube-like travel from Brighton to Cambridge (suppose it could be the Oxford tube by dirty old bus)

Piccadilly — with diesel power. Tom Heavyside. 68-9
Colour photo-feature (Manchester Piccadilly): No, 47 411 on 12.45 to Cardiff General on 12 March 1986; No, 33 099 on 13.45 to Cardiff via Shrewsbury on 20 Februarty 1986; No. 31 414 on 12.45 Liverpool Lime Street to Sheffield on 14 April 1987; Class 08 shunter No. 08 721 Starlet in Red Star Parcels livery on 14 April 1987; No. 33 012 on 13.45 to Cardiff on 28 February 1986. See also letter from Eddie Johnson 

Peter Tatlow. Crane laying of prefabricated track. Part one. Relaying plain line. 70-3.
A large labour force of  about 26 was required to lift even 60-foot lengths of rail and to relay half a mile of single track a gang of seventy would be required. There was a risk of injury. The Southern Railway in 1937 fitted three 64-foot bgie wagons with German Robel cranes to enable 180-ft long welden rails to be off-loaded. On the Midland & Great Western Railway in Ireland the Chief Engineer Arthur White Bretland was faced with renewing extensive lengths of singe track main line and invented a track-laying machine, The crane and plant manufacturer Herbert Morris Ltd manfactured and developed machine. Illustrations: trainload of chaired sleepers at Mold Junction in March 1939 (A.M.V. Mace); hand-operated Robel cranes unloading 180-foot bullhead rails on Brighton main line (D. Brough); gang of men using  tongs to move flat-bottom rail at South Forth Junction in Fife in 1948 (G.L. Wilson); Bretland track-layer at work on former M&GWR section; diagram of Morris track-layer; Morris track-layer at work on LNER; Morris track-layer near Stansted on 31 March 1930 (A. Askew); Morris track-layer  at work with 15-ton Cowans Sheldon crane on North Eastern Region

Mark Tittley. 'The Marples Report' — the nemesis of Britain's railways or their saviour? Part one. 74-8
Author is a life long steam enthusiast and a local government politician and thus aware of acceptable behaviour of politicians in this case Ernest Marples, a self-made man  from a working class background, who became MP for Wallasey. He was also a director of Kirk & Kirk, a construction company. Through his company connections he met Reginald Ridgway and in 1948 formed Marples Ridgway & Partners which built power stations, dams in Scotland, a port in Jamaica and the Hammersmith Flyover:. not then the usual sort of Tory party rogue from a privileged background.  In Churchill's Government of 1951 Marples was Parliamentary Secretary to Harold Macmillan Minister of Housing and Local Governmnet and between them they managed to build 300,000 houses per year to meet the desperate shortage caused by World War II. Following the Suez Crisis Macmillan became Prime Minister and Marples became Postmaster General and was responsible for Premium Bonds and a new Atlantic Cable. Subsequently he became Minister of Transport and responsible for the motorway programme and the railway closures wrought following the establishment of a Special Advisory Group formed to examine railway finances and which brought Beeching to notice and who replaced General Sir Brian Robertson. Illustrations: Maples caught on camera; Harold Macmillan in command; Woodford Junction with staff not doing very much; West Pennard station; General Sir Brian Robertson; Chellaston station; 4P compound on express passing through Chapel-en-le-Frith station (long before all being discussed was thought of). Part 2 see page 14.,See also letter from James Hargrave on Macmillan

David Milburn. Beamish before the Museum. 79-81
The North of England Open Air Museum opened in the 1970s and includes part of a railway line but appears to be devoid of steel rail public transport access although incorporating an up-market (based on ticket price) internal electric tramway system. Part of the amusement park even includes a "railway" conveying pretend freight, but all of this used to be a working railway carrying passengers until 1955 and freight on a grand scale untill Consett Steel Works closed in 1980. Before then it was the haunt of the oft-described Tyne Dock to Consett iron ore trains which culminated in the 9F 2-10-0 pounding up 1 in 50 gradients and presumably making a significant contrtibution to global warming. An ill-judged decision even replaced these with inadequate diesel traction and the transfer of the port of entry for the ore to Teesside. The local coal reserves also became exhausted at this time. Illustratiions: K1 2-6-0 on coal train to Consett near Beamish (now access road to museum) (colour); National Coal Board 0-6-0T  No. 5 Major at Beamish on 29 May 1965 (when industry still existed); Q6 0-8-0 No. 63455 at Beamish with train of wagons probably going to Consett for scrap; 9F No. 92097 paused at Birtley waiting for banker Class 40 No. D250 to come on at rear of loaded iron ore train on 22 August 1965 (David Idle: colour); Q6 No. 63387 drifts through Beamish with coal empties on 17 May 1967 (colour). See also lette from Chris Mills

A look at Lincolnshire. A.J. Clarke. 82-3.
Colour photo-feature: V2 2-6-2 No. 60841sing Grantham with an up freight on 21 December 1962; A3 Pacific No. 60056 Centenary about to leave with a King's Cross to Leeds express: B1 4-6-0 No. 61009 Hartebeeste crossing Witham bridge with Lincoln Cathedral above on 8 July 1958; B1 No. 61157 on short freight train crossing branch from Sleaford on ECML on 22 October 1963; A3 No. 60049 Galtee More leaving Grantham with up express from Newcastle in December 1962.

Alistair F. Nisbet. Kirkcaldy Harbour — town versus railway. 84-9.
Kirkcaldy has a harbour which pre-existed railways and passenger services operated out of it to newcastle and London as well as to Leith and Glasgow, presumably via the Forth & Cllyde Canal. The Edinburgh & Northern Railway Act of 1845 included a branch line to Kirkcaldy Harbour with a gradient no steeper than 1 in 80 but was trumped to find that it began at 1 in 21 and this affected all subsequent railway operations. The Town Council was eager to exploit its harbour for the export of coal, but was thwarted by the North British Railway which owned its own ports at Leven and Methil and stated that the branch and harbour at Kirkcaldy were unsuitable. The harbour is still open but railway access ceased in the early 1980s. Kirkcaldy Town Council hired an 0-4-0ST from A. Bird & Son of Hamilton and subsequently purchased a reconditioned Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST (Industrial Railway Record, 2001, 15 (167)). The branch has received very extensive attention by members of the North British Railway Study Group: suitable entry point. Runaways, including locomotives falling into the harbour were a problem. Illustrations: D49 No. 62712 Morayshire on stopping passenger train passing entrance to Harbour Branch (Bill Oswald); J88 0-6-0T No. 68335 with tool van from breakdown train at harbour to retrieve another J88 from it in November 1954; Kirkcaldy Town Council 0-4-0ST out of use; NBR notice still in situ in BR period noting working of wagons on incline; three class J88 propelling breakdown crane up incline in November 1954 (Peter Westwater); Class 06 diesel shunter No. D2438 with grain wagons for Hutchison's fluor mill (Peter Westwater); NBR signal controlling swing bridge on 13 June 1965;; No. D2442 at work on incline; railway tracks out of use at harbour.

Let's go to Blackpool.. 90
Black & white photo-feature: exterior of Talbot Road station c1910; view from Blackpool Tower of Central station c1905; Jubilee 4-6-0 No. 45652 Hawke with express from Manchester Victoria at Dobbs Brow Junction on 16 June 1962 (Alan Tyson); Stanier Class 4 2-6-4T No.  42657 at Blackpool Central with Tower behind on 15 May 1961 (Alan Tyson); Jubilee 4-6-0 No. 45584 North West Frontier with express from Manchester passing WD 2-8-0 No. 90271 at Moorside on 23 December 1961 (Alan Tyson); interior of Talbot Road station in 1910 on an August Saturday with vast piles of passengers' luggage; street outside Blackpool Central excursion platforms on 21 June 1921 when Lancashire and Cheshire Miners' Federation held a rally involving 130 special trains; Barton Wright 0-4-4T modified to act as a train heating boiler at Blackpool North on 6 March 1960 (Alan Tyson);A4 No. 60022 Mallard viewed from corridor tender end at coaling stage at Blackpool North after arrival on Alan Pegler's Northern Rubber Company special from Retford on 30 September 1961 (Alan Tyson); Aspinall High Flyer 4-4-2 on 16.55 Blackpool Club Train passing Manchester Exchange long before its state of decay in the 1940s: see also Editorial caption correction    

Alistair F. Nisbet. One thousand miles in 24 hours. 94-5.
The Halifax Evening Chronicle 23 July 1910 told how Halifax resident J. Ingham Learoyd aged 64 set out to travel 1000 miles in 24 hours using the then reliable Midland Railway setting out from St. Pancras just afteer midnight on Monday 18 July for Leeds; arriving there at 04.03 and departing at 04.10 for London reached at 08.15. He then caught the 09.30 to Carlisle, returning on the 15.58 thus achieving 1008½ in 21 hours. He played Patience to relieve the tediousness of travel. Illustrations: Halifax joint L&YR & GNR station forecourt c1910; 4-4-0 Nos. 484 and 700 in Deeley period leaving St. Pancras with an express; Leeds Wellington interior with clerestory coach and Carlisle with John Menzies bookstall advertising Russian battleship disaster

The '43XX 'Class — useful Great Western locomotives. 96-9.
Colour photo-feature: No. 5330 in fully-lined green outside Swindon Works in 1957; No. 6316 in what caption states to be green livery at Carmarthen on Freight train in 1960; No. 6373 in black livery with express headcode on corridor stock in both carmine & cream and maroon liveries at Lydney Junction on 15 August 1959 (Trevor Owen); No. 7330 with side windoww cab and lined green livery on Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society's AGM special on 24 September 1960; No. 7319 in filthy condition leaving Hereford on stopping passenger train in 1964; No. 7341 at Penmaenpool on Llangollen to Barmouth Junction passenger train; No. 5306 in unlined green with single Hawksworth brake composite corridor coach near Wolf's Casrle Halt between Fishguard and Clarbeston Road in Juune 1962; No. 7307 with a mineral train enters Neath Riverside in October 1962 (P. Esgate);  No. 7337 with side window cab and unlined green livery descends into Brimscombe from Sapperon Summit qith a freight train in April 1962 (J.L. Champion). Note no locomotive had a copper-capped chimney and only No. 7330 had a polished safety valve cover.

Malcolm Timperley. Taking the Cure —the railway to Strathpeffer. Part two. 100-3.
Part 1. The First World War (WW1) "changed everything and Strathpeffer started its long decline" The Northern Highlands became a military restricted area and the spa was given over to tending injured military and once the USA entered the War Strathpeffer the Strathpeffer Hotel was requisitioned by the United States Navy and trains from Southampton were run through to Strathpeffer. In 1924 Dr Wilfrid Edgecombe in his Presidential Address to the Royal Society of Medicine queried the efficacy of spa treatment. The railway survived during the 1930s but WW2 killed it due to the military restricted area. Motive power is considered and included a Sentinel steam railcar (illustrated elsewhere); the HR Yankee 4-4-0Ts, a LNWR Coal Tank and a Strioudley Brighton D1 0-4-2T No. 2358. Also considers other locomotives named Strathpeffer. Various proposals have suggested restoring rail access, but require mega-baubees). Illustrations: Strathpeffer station (coloured postcard c1900); LMS 0-4-4T No. 15051 (former HR No. 25 Strathpeffer) at Dingwall; No. 16118 at Dingwall; in July 1926; Yankee 4-4-0T in magnifiscent Strathpeffer station on mixed train; outhern Brighton D1 0-4-2T No. 2358 at Dingwall in July 1941;; CR 294 class 0-6-0 No. 17260 arriving at Strathpeffer in on daily freight June 1947

James Graham. All in the County of Surrey. 104-8.
Croydon was the location for the Surrey Iron Railway of 1801. The Wandle Valley was industrialised with water mills providing the power. An initial proposal in 1791 by William Jessop to build a canal was firmly thwarted by the mill-owners and in 1801 an Act of Parliament was obtained for a railway.. The line was laid on stone blocks and had a gauge of 4ft 2in (not established until 1967 when  a group of archaeologists found a section of the original track). The rails were in the form of "L" shaped plates designed to accommodate flangeless wagon or waggon wheels drawn by horses: steam was not considered. The railway ceased to operate with another Act of Parliament obtained in 1846. The Croydon Canal had opened in 1811. Illustrations: facsimile of the Act of Parliament—George III—21 May 1801; original plan; share certificate; poster dated 1804; Ampere Way tram stop on alignment of ancient railway; facsimile of the Act of Parliament—Victoria—3 August 1846 closing the railway; electric tram near Ampere Way.

A Premier Line pair. David P. Williams. 109 .
Computer generated colour images based on photographs: LNWR locomotives in LMS liveries: Prince of Wales No. 25673 Lusitania in lined black at Bletchley in 1938; large boiler Claughton No. 5946 Duke of Connaught in crimson livery at Crewe in April 1934.

Paul Joyce. A close escape. 110-15.
Recollections of Bob Judge, a former locomotive inspector of an accident on 29 January 1975 on the approach to Oxford station when a train hauled by No. 1023 Western Fusilier derailed due to broken axle on the leading bogie. The train fitted with Buckeye couplers remained upright and was only partly derailed.Driver F.G. Harris was in charge and had two further drivers (learning the road) with him, one  of whom was in the rear cab. Illustrations: No. D1001 Western Pathfinder awaiting departure from Paddington; track plan of derailment; No. D1028 Western Hussar departing Swindon on up service in August 1959; No. D1005 Western Venturer near Westbury on mineral wagons from Merehead Quarry; diagram of axle; crane alongside Western Fusilier; bogie showing how gearbox protruded above; three diesel hydraulics on 08.30 Plymouth to Paddington at Exeeter in September 1968 (Class 43 D860 Victorious; class 42 D823 Hermes and D819 Goliath); No. 1023 Western Fusilier at Hereford on enthusiat special on 2 October 1978 

Last Call for Hayling Island. David Idle. 116-17
Colour photo-feature: Stroudley A1X Terrier 0-6-0T Nos. 32650, 32670 and 323636 on Hayling Island branch in first week of November 1963 just prior to closure: at Havant; approaching swing span (photographed from Hayling Farewell special; at Havant; on causeway and on Hayling Island.

Jeffrey Wells. Railway involvement in the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition —1857/8. 118-21
Manchester achieved City status in 1853 and to mark this it held the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition which was an exhibited a huge collection of art works (still possibly the largest ever) which included a work by Michelangelo painting of the Virgin and Child which has become to be known as the Mancester Madonna — Wikipedia). The Exhibition was opened by Prince Albert on 9 May 1857 and Queen Victoria made a private visit in June. The Exhibition was located at Old Trafford and the site later became that of the Manchester Botanical Gardens which subsequently moved elsewhere. The usual contemporary press reports describe some of the special trains put on to convey visitors to the exhibition:  including The Bradford Observer, Manchester Courier, Liverpool Mercury and Leeds Mercury. Illustrations (none contemporary): LNWR Old Trafford station c1890; renewed Precedent 2-4-0 as LMS No. 5005 Peel at Manchester London Road c1929 (MSJA platforms) See also letter from Eddie Johnson See also letter from Eddie Johnson ; Oxford Road station with MSJA electric multiple unit; staff at Cheadle Hulme station c1920; MR Saltaire station c1920?.

Geoffrey Skelsey. Not the Big Four' — tickets from some Independent Railways .122-3
Not quite entirely Edmondson prre-printed tickets because there is a cinema-type Automaticket ticket from the Glasgow Subway Copland Road costing  pre-decimel four pennies. The other illustrations (all colour) show the interior of Oakworth booking office on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway with an Edmondon storge case and dating press and NCR 21 register; Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway return from Belcoo to Enniskillen; Manx Northern Railway Kirk Michael to Peel Road first class single purchased from Kirkmichael ticket office in Seprtember 1960 (Peel Road had closed in 1951); Corporation of Birkenhead Liverpool (Landing Stage) to Birkenhead (Woodside) (By Woodside Ferry) Railway passengers ferry ticket; Liverpool Overhead Railway monthly return from Southport (LMS) to James Street; Derwent Valley Light Railway second class market return York Layerthorpe (abbreviated to L'thorpe) to Skipwith; Welsh Highland Railway Beddgelert to Ynysfor return ticket acquired in 1959; Easingwold Railway second class return Easingwold to Alne; Harton Coal Co. lTd. South Shields, Marsden and Whitburn Colliery Railway child first class return Shields to Marsden; Festiniog Railway through workmens ticket return Talsaurnau to Tanygrisiau and Automaticket ticket from the Glasgow Subway (unless specified otherwise all are third class).

Signalling Spotlight: Great Eastern signal boxes. Richard Foster. 124
Colour photo-feature: Chippenham Junction (near Newmarket) see also letter from Geoffrey Skelsey: Norwich Trowse Swing Bridge with two class 31 hauling an express in 1984; South Tottenham (Station Junction) on 28 December 2006.,

Tony Robinson. Derby Staff Training College. 125
Designed by William H. Hamlyn in 1928. Illustrations: facade; group photograph taken in March 1955 {probably from motive power depots e.g. Ferryhill, Tysley and New England). See also letter from John Glover on p. 189..

Readers' Forum. 126

Reviving the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Tim Edmonds 
In the article on his initiatives to promote the Vale of Rheidol Railway (December issue), Edward Gibbins is critical of the Vale of Rheidol Railway Supporters' Association (VORRsA). As a former member of VORRsA I would like to make a couple of observations on his comments. In spite of his work from 1970 to 1977 as Divisional Operating Officer and Divisional Operating Superintendent at Stoke-on- Trent, Mr. Gibbins notes that he had not been aware of the existence of VORRsA before his first visit to Aberystwyth as Divisional Manager in 1982. However, VORRsA was set up under BR auspices in 1970 and was an initiative by Ron Owen, a predecessor of Mr. Gibbins as Divisional Manager at Stoke-on-Trent. Until at least 1977 it was run by Ron from the Stoke Divisional Office. In an advertisement launching VORRsA in the March 1970 edition of Railway Magazine, its stated object was "to promote and popularise this unique narrow gauge line". This belies Mr. Gibbins's statement that "Supporters' associations are invariably established to raise funds". Fund-raising initiatives came from the membership at a later date, including the contribution (of 50%, I think) to the repaint of No.9 in 1982 about which he is so scathing.

The failings of the Hadleigh branch. Andrew Kleissner  
The map accompanying your interesting article on the Hadleigh branch shows an east-to-north chord between the East Suffolk line and the Great Eastern main line. However, this is inaccurate for the period 1847-1965 as the line is of recent construction and opened in March 2014. It was built to obviate the need for freight trains travelling from Felixstowe to the Midlands to reverse in Ipswich Yard and is named the 'Bacon Factory Curve' because it crosses an area formerly occupied by the Harris Bacon Factory. On 11 November 2017 a steam charter from Norwich and headed by Flying Scotsman used the new line to reverse. Incidentally both Hadleigh and Reydon stations still exist and are linked by the attractive 'Hadleigh Railway Walk'.

Placating the Civils. Kevin Jones
What riches to end the year! Sadly Miles Macnair has slightly erred. His reference to 'George' Howe as the inventor of three-cylinder locomotives should be William Howe with George Stephenson and the patent number is 11086/1846. This is listed in Bennett Woodcroft's Alphabetical list. Woodcroft was a key early figure in locomotive preservation.

Economics, religion and politics. James Hargrave 
What Mr. Abbott should have written (p.660), is that the Great Northern Railway (I) paid no dividend on its ordinary or preference shares in respect of 1932-40, and for 1938 and 1939 could not pay a dividend on its (cumulative) guaranteed stock. The arrears were cleared during 1940 and 1941 and dividends resumed on all stocks for the year 1941. If the debenture interest had not been paid, then the company would have been pretty well at the end of its financial resources at that point, not in 1950. And of course the ill-conceived NIRTB was "very much a road-orientated body". What else could be expected of a Road Transport Board? It was one of those many bright ideas, supported by the right sort of people, that any fool knows would be a 'stuff-up'. The Irish Free State managed things better — a surprise, really, since its economic policies in the 1930s were generally retarded and retarding.

An Introduction to Great Western Locomotive Development. Alan Wild,
Re Les Summers's review of Jirn Champ's recent book An introduction to Great Western locomotive development in the November issue. which states that A.C. (Tony) Sterndale produced two volumes of Great Western Locomotive Diagrams. There were in fact six volumes, which were unusual in having plywood covers to better protect the contents. They contained copies of every known locomotive diagram drawn at Swindon together with a fair number created by Tony from information gleaned by him and, to a certain extent, by 'Dusty' Durrant also. Durrant asked Mrs. Sterndale to lend them to him for a short-term research project. Against my better judgement I agreed that a limited period loan could be arranged provided that it was clearly understood that the books were the property of Mrs. S.J. Sterndale and as soon as possible they should be returned to Britain. Their ultimate destination would be the Library of STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon. In correspondence Durrant agreed the terms and promised to amend his Will to ensure their safe return to Britain. Sadly 'Dusty' fell ill shortly after receiving the books and before his Will could be amended. After his untimely death his widow Christine also fell ill and during one of her periods in hospital the bungalow was broken in to and most of the 'white goods' and many books and photographs disappeared. If any of your readers can throw any light on the possible whereabouts of the Diagram Books I shall be pleased to hear from them. Chairman, The Friends of Swindon Railway Museum

The Dyserth branch. Tony Robinson
Small caption error crept in: Dyserth goods shed not Meliden shown on p750.

The Dyserth branch. Robert Bracegirdle 
Re Dyserth branch: witer last saw it on the 1969 DMU tour mentioned at the end of the article. Somewhere in the mass of my collection is the tour leaflet and I certainly have photographs of the DMU at the terminus (those were the days when they let us on and off a train at our own risk). There must be many other participants who have pictures there too. The tour was quite full!

Book Reviews 126

The acquired wagons of British Railways. Volume 1: Fleet composition & brake vans. David Larkin. Published by Crecy. 152pp. Reviewed by Peter Tatlow ****
Upon the creation of British Railways at the beginning of 1948, the entire stock of wagons at its disposal until new designs could be implemented, had been inherited either from the four grouping companies, indeed a small proportion had in turn been acquired from the pre-grouping railways in 1923; a further almost equal number had been requisitioned from private owners in 1939, or acquired from other bodies. This intended series of fully illustrated books by recognised wagon expert David Larkin sets out to specify a wide range of the fleet of wagons available to BR upon its formation.
Volume 1 begins by informing readers of the various origins of the fleet, which as well as the more obvious of BR and PO wagons, included the Ministry of (War) Transport. The system under which these were renumbered, the liveries subsequently applied, upgrading and conversions carried out are described. The bulk of the book then goes on to give details of the usage of goods brake vans and all the main types of van contributed to BR's stock, in this case entirely from the four main line companies. Numerous examples of brake vans, plus a selection of PO wagons, are illustrated by mono-chrome photographs usually taken in BR days. Captions are provided and extended where appropriate and detailed information is available.
For those interested in the immediate post-nationalisation period, particularly railway modellers, this book and its subsequent volumes will clearly prove a welcome addition to the literature and is accordingly recommended.

Southern style after Nationalisation. John Harvey, Historical Model Railway Society, Softback (stiff card covers) A4 format, 160pp plus colour swatch. Reviewed by DT *****
This remakable publication comes on the heels of two earlier similar volumes on the London & South Western Railway (which your reviewer had already purchased) and on the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. It covers the era from nationalisation until the mid-1960s when the very successful British Rail corporate identity was adopted, and recalls a time when, although the rail network was supposedly unified in its identity, a great deal of 'Southern' individuality lived on.
Perhaps surprisingly, in retrospect, a small but dedicated group of contemporary observers kept meticulous notes during the period following nationalisation, covering not only the progressive switch-over from the old Southern Railway liveries to the new BR order, but also a number of experimental applications of liveries, including lining-out and totems.
The publishers' claim that this book is likely to be the definitive work on the subject seems very likely to go unchallenged. This is indeed a magnum opus and its publication is a tribute to all those who took notes at the time, as well as the author. Indeed, the book is so detailed that every change in livery for not only every type of vehicle but every actual vehicle seems to be set out. The application of the new BR colours might seem to the outside onlooker to be expected to be a relatively straightforward process, but this was very clearly not so, and this book explains why. Some of the book's information was recorded by 'insiders' within the SR's Works.
The colour rendition for the colour illustrations seems remarkably good, given the variability of the colour film of those times. The origins of the colours in the swatch folder are of great interest, being based upon fragments of paint and liquid samples obtained from workshops.
The amount of detail recorded is sometimes astonishing. For example, there is a paragraph on the activities of Ryde Works just for November 1948, detailing the lining layout applied to one solitary locomotive, No. W14 Fishbourne.
As well as locomotives and coaches, the publication covers passenger stock and lineside structures such as stations, signals and even fencing and gates. Freight stock, however, is not covered, as there apparently were no house colours for freight that were peculiar to the Southern Region.
The book includes 42 colour and 124 black and white illustrations, plus 30 line-drawings. The supplementary card folder incorporates thirteen paint swatches featuring the principal colours in use by the Southern Region during the BR steam era.
This is a truly fascinating book, invaluable to the Southern Region modeller but of a much wider appeal as it spells out just how difficult it was to create a standardised visual image on the then-new 8ritish Railways.

Bradford railways in colour Volume 2: The Lancashire & Yorkshire and Great Northern lines. Alan Whitaker and Jan Rapacz. Willowherb Publishing. A5 landscape, hardback, 128pp. Reviewed by Michael Blakemore. *****
The first volume, dealing with the Midland lines, was reviewed here last year. This survey begins at Bradford Exchange, a now vanished and replaced terminus, depicted extensively and atmospherically, with Jubilees, 2-6-4Ts, diesels, mail van and a wonderful Palethorpe's sausages van. Most remarkable, though, is the extent of locations of which the authors have managed to track down colour photographs; the Idle branch, Drighlington, Birkenshaw, Laisterdyke, Low Moor... I could go on but you get the idea. 'Little known' is a location description which can be applied widely! — and the book is the better for it. The photographs are used one to a page, giving the best possible detail, the captions are knowedgeably compiled and the printing by Amadeus is again to a high standard. There are lots of photographic books about, of variable production quality, but when they are done well they can be excellent. This is one of the latter: done well and excellent.

Working to the end: WD Austerity No. 90427 on freight passing Wakefield Kirkgate station in June 1967. rear cover

Southern Region 0415 class 4-4-2T No.30582 at
Axminster station ready to work the Lyme Regis
branch in 1953.

;March (Number 335)

The very model of a model railway goods yard. Michael Blakemore. 131
Editorial

Jeremy Clarke. The trials and triumphs of the Midland & South Western Junction Railway. 132-40.
Makes extensive use of T.B. Sands The Midland & South Western Junction Railway. The Swindon, Marlborouugh & Andover Railway was first proposed in 1872 and eventually received Parliamentary approval on 21 July 1873, but construction was slow and hostility by the Great Western was severe as the railway was forced to use that company's Marlborough branch between there and Savernake and make do with a terminus in  Swindon Old Town. The relationship with the larger company was worsened by the Swindon & Cheltenham Extension Railway which not only provided accesss to the main line at Swindon, but also required running powers over the Great Western from Andoversford into Cheltenham to access the Midland Railway. The London & South Western Railway was approached for financial assistance, but this was declined, but did propose that Sam Fay should become its General Manager. One of Fay's initial actions was to secure the M&SWJR running powers into Southampton. Fay also with thes connivance of the Marquess of Ailesbury who owned Savernake Forest and was a major shareholder of the railway an independent route from Marlborough to south of Savernake thus avoiding Great Western interference. Loans from the Midland Railway enabled extra loops to be provided on the northern section. Surprisingly the M&SWJR became part of the GWR at the Grouping. Traffic was very heavy in both WW1 due the camps at Tidworth and Ludgershall. This was repeated in WW2 when Savernake Forest became a major storage area for munitions.. Illustrations: Cl;ass 4 4-6-0 No. 75029 at Swindon Town with two coaches from Cheltenham on 21 August 1960 (colour: R. Denison); U class 2-6-0 Nos. 31793 and 31795 with passenger trains passing at Marlborough Low Level (colour: P. Esgate); former MSJWR 4-4-0 No. 5 as rebuilt with GWR taper boiler and numbered 1123 at Cheltenham St. James with a train for Andover (Ian C. Allen); map; U class 2-6-0 No. 31639 arriving with 10.40 Southamton Terminus to Cheltenham and Q class No. 30549 with stovepipe chimney at Andover Junction on 21 August 1957 (L.R. Freeman); Chedworth station on 19 September 1959 (L.R. Freeman); MSJWR 2-4-0 No.12 as GWR No. 1336 at Cirencester Watermoor in May 1953 (colour); U class No. 31618 at Marlborough on 19 September 1959 (L.R. Freeman); 43XX 2-6-0 No. 5396 joins MSWJ at Rushey Platt Junction with10.30 for Andover on Sunday 18 September 1955 (R.C. Riley: colour); 16.03 from Marlborough at Savernake Low Level on 19 September 1959 (L.R. Freeman); Savernake Low Level  looking west with 17.33 to Marlborough on 19 September 1959 (L.R. Freeman); Ogbourne station looking towards Andover on 14 May 1955 (R.C. Riley); 43XX 2-6-0 No. 6343 shunts freight at Lugershall on 14 May 1955 (R.C. Riley); U class No. 31620 at Redpost Junction on 13.56 Cheltenham to Southampton on 14 May 1955 (R.C. Riley); Chiseldon station on 21 August 1957 (L.R. Freeman); Andoversford Junction showing divergence of MSWJ line on 19 September 1959 (L.R. Freeman).

Mark Tittley. 'The Marples Report' — the nemesis of Britain's railways or their saviour? Part two. 141-5
Part 1
.
The legacy of Marples concludes Tittley is that most major politically-led initiatives probably deliver no more than at very best 70%-80% of their planned objectives, because a politician's real working horizon is typically no more than to the next election — usually four or five years away at most — also personalities in high political office change very regularly and hence so do priorities. So were Macmillan and Marples successful in terms of removing mileage and hence the financial burden placed upon the country by the railways? The simple answer to the first question is 'Yes' and to the second one 'No'. Was the Macmillan/Marples-initiated programme of mass closure a total failure? I would love to say 'Yes', but looking at the question with a legitimate level of political pragmatism, I would have said it was necessary. The public wanted cars and good uncongested roads on which to run them; road hauliers also wanted a modern, fit-for-purpose, fast road system, whilst everyone (or almost everyone) wanted their local line retained. However, by 1959/60 no taxpayer wanted the railways to continue to accrue ever-increasing and seemingly uncontrolled massive annual debts.
Was the Beeching closure plan well co-ordinated and enacted? A 'mixed bag' would be my answer. Firstly, because the traffic loading data manually collected by observation to determine a line's future were too often hurriedly based upon only one week's-worth of traffic figures. The collected data were then processed by hand in the pre-computer age, so refined data modelling as we know and apply it today wasn't possible. No real consideration was given, until I think at least the early 1970s, to any social or economic hardship issues which a closure would cause. Nor in the 1960s were the medium to long-term local, regional or indeed national transport needs associated with proposed major route closures ever really considered. That said, however, the 1959 route mileage, with all its much-loved but mainly under-used branch lines, along with certain longer secondary lines, couldn't be sustained even in the short to medium term.
Therefore for me the Marples legacy, whether he intended it or not, is in no small part the modern railway network we have today — and, of course, our motorway system!
When Ernest Marples stood down as an MP at the General Election of February 1974, he was made a life peer. Due to shall we say — to use Harold Macmillan's phrase — 'little local difficulties' between Marples and Her Majesty's Inland Revenue regarding the former's personal tax issues, Marples apparently very hurriedly left the UK's shores in 1975 (by the Night Ferry|) to live in France and died in 1978. So was it really the 'Marples Report?'  Author's answer: "Of course it was!"
Ernest Marples was, I think it can be fairly said, certainly a 'bit of a lad'! He was a self-made lad, though, with significant interests in commerce and business which, in the case of his construction company interests, would by modern political standards have seen him very conflicted as a serving Minister of Transport: a flamboyant character who, whilst not to everyone's taste as we've seen in this article, by strength of personality got things done. This he did in buckets with both housing and transport. To many people Marples will always be the Nemesis of the Railways. I also very much doubt that Ernest Marples would have ever seen himself as the Saviour of the Railways; I know as enthusiasts we wouldn't! However, the hard and unpalatable fact remains that in 1959 something had to change with the railways and Marples was the man who made it happen.
However, he needed a senior level analytically driven manager to give him the basis to achieve his goal of pruning and remodelling the railways; Beeching was that man. Personality-wise I think both men were poles apart, but they seemingly worked as one when it came to the railways.
Finally the reader, is left to chew the cud as to which lines Marples and Beeching really got wrong! The Author's own list starts with the Great Central's London Extension, followed by the Peak line, followed by the Waverley Route and a minor route near Derby where he lives! One could add the lack of any reasonable rail service from Peterborough to Northampton and... which motorways should be closed.

Miles Macnair. Placating the Civils — a balancing act. Part Three: Some conclusions and thinking outside the box. 146-9
Cambrian system, Werry system and Cox paper on balancing. Illustrations: Thompson rebuilt D49 No. 62763 The Morpeth, B1 No. 1000 Springbok in apple green livery; Class 5 No. 45020 (caption nottes Stanier's bolten on balance plates on coupled wheels; John Jones's patented Cambrian system locomotive Albion (drawing); Nord 2-8-2T with Cossart rotary  cam valve gear and Saumon balancing lever (Gresley was very interested in these tank engines and their Cossart valve gear); Webb South Australian Railways Class 600 4-6-2 (Locomotive Mag., 1925, 31.70); Werry variant of previous devised by Armstrong Whitworth in 1925 (see Locomotive Mag., 1936, 42, 208)

Jeffrey Wells. A perfect specimen: the rise of the Maryport and Carlisle Railway 1836-1890. 150-7
The Maryport & Carlisle Railway was surveyed by George Stephenson and aimed to serve the West Cumberland coalfield through which it ran with the aim of exporting its output through Maryport. It also aimed to link up with the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway to provide a route to Ireland. The Act for the railway was passed without opposition on 12 July 1837. Wells cites Jack Simmons' history The Maryport & Carlisle Railway as well as his usual notes on what both the local, and not so local, had to report. George Hudson leased the M&CR to the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway and the Maryport was stripped of its capital, but recovered and was able to enter Carlisle Citadel station for its passenger services. Illustrations: M&CR 2-4-0 with passenger train at Maryport; map; Aspatria station with building work in progress; Brayton station; 2-4-0 No. 13 at Carlisle Citadel with officials c1908; Brigham station; Dalston station; M&CR engine shed at Carlisle with 2-4-0 No. 8 and 0-4-2 No. 4 (both built at Maryport)

Glasgow St. Enoch Station. 158-9
Black & white photo-feature: Manson Class 8 4-4-0 No. 14176 in early LMS period on an Ardrossan express (with a connection for Arran steamer?); St. Enoch Hotel and Glasgow Subway station c1900; Whitelegg 4-6-4T No. 543 in main departure platform, Peter Drummond 4-4-0 in LMS crimson livery as No. 14521 in main departure platform with express headlamps; Hughes Horwich 2-6-0 No. 2834 with express headlamps and CR indicator showing Stranraer and dour train crew; rebuilt Scot No. 46107 Argyll and Sutherland Highlander and well stacked tender with corridor train and passengers in summer clothes heading off for the Coast? See also personal note  

Dorset delight [Axminster to Lyme Regis branch]. 160-3
Colour photo-feature: 0415 Adams 4-4-2T had been found to be uniquely suitable for working this sharply curved and weight limited branch: all photographs are by R.C. Riley unless specified otherwise: No. 30583 leaves engine shed at Lyme Regis on  14 July 1960; No. 30583 moves a van from goods sshed at Lyme Regis on same day as previous; No. 30582 leaving Axminster with train which included a LSWR non-corridor coach painted red on 22 June 1958 (Trevor Owen); No. 30584 with two Maunsell corridor coaches at Combpyne on 19 June 1962 (R. Patterson); No. 30584 with through coaches for Waterloo passing Combpyne in May 1960 (M.D. Marston); rebuilt Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35019 on down West of England express and No. 30584 on branch train leving Axminster on 11 July 1959; Nos. 30582 and 30583 om  through coaches for Waterloo on 10 September 1960; No. 30583 with single coach near  Combpyne 0n 24 July 1960; No. 30583  in bay platform at Axminster on 14 July 1960;  No. 30584 leaves Combpyne for Lyme Regis on  9 July 1959.      

L.A. Summers. A revisionist view of Edward Thompson. Part One. 164-9.
KPJ had the good fortune to see P2 Cock o' the North in Dundee Tay Bridge station prior to its carve up and it still remains the yardstick for what a poweful locomotive should look like. Thus any positive assessment of Thompson is predoomed to failure. Illustrations: preserved A3 No. 4472 Flying Scotsman bringing style into Paddington on 9 May 1965 when working a train to Shrewsbury and Gobowen on 9 May 1965 (David Idle: colour); Edward Thompson (portrait); No. 4479 Robert the Devil climbs towards Finsbury Park with a heavy down express c1924; Sir Nigel Gresley (portrait); A2 Raven Pacific No. 2401 City of Kingston upon Hull in North Eastern Area; E.E. Lucy Class D57 4-8-2 for New South Wales Government Railways showing conjugation levers ahead of cylinders; No. 4470 Great Northern in original Thompson rebuilt misform without smoke deflectors; No. 60113 Great Northern leaking steam from front end leaving Retford with DMU seemingly very close on crossing (Derek Penney: colour); Sir Vincent Raven (portrait); B17 No. 2814 Castle Hedingham on Brentwood bank; preserved B12/3 still in mourning livery on North Norfolk Railway on climb to Weybourne

When roads and rails meet. Paul Aitken. 170-1
Colour photo-feature:road lorry crossing railway at Apsley Guise station with crossing keeper holding gates open on 4 September 1997; Class 37 No. 37 094 propelling transporter wagon loaded with cars for Northern Ireland at Stranraer statio on 7 August 1984; stretch limo on level crossing at Healing on Cleethorpes branch on 28 May 2006; Ely with level crossing and low bridge and Class 101 DMU in BR corporate blue & grey livery on 13 April 1990 (now there is a road by-pass for HGV south of Ely station); Achnasheen station with Royal Mail  Post Bus in September 1978; Class 66 No. 66 089 in EWS livery on level crossing at Lidlington station.  

Mike Fenton. Kemble Station — the branches and the railbus years. Part Two.
Part 1. Possibly due to its proximity to Swindon the Tetbury and Cirencester branches were selected for a trial rejuvenation with four-wheel railbuses built by A.C. Cars of Thames Ditton. Extra low cost halts were provided in the hope that they might generate traffic. Illustrations: publicity folder for railbus services; railbus at Tetbury in May 1962 (colour); railbus at Kemble having arrived from Cirencester with Castle-hauled express also arriving (John Parker); railbus at Kemble having arrived from Tetbury on 1 February 1964 (Roy Denison: colour); track plan of Kemble station; railbus at Kemble in Cirencester platform on 1 February 1964 (Roy Denison: colour); Cirencester Town with railbas in plafrorm (E.K. Lockstone: colour);

Jeffrey Wells. Timber structures of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. 178-9
Denby Dale timber viaduct built in 1847 and suffering from partial collapse during construction and subsequent damage by fire was replaced by a masonry viaduct in 1880 was susequently dismanted (photograph shows this last in progress); Wakefield Goole Junction signal box with frame outside the box to suypport pulleys to carry signal wires over the railway lines; Middleton Junction station (mainly timber structure); Newton Heath station timber footbridge; Lostock Hall station (mainly timber structures); timber signal post at Bolton Trinity Street; Orrell Park station — men at work on timber buildings.

Rick Ashton. The Ashton Valve Company .180-1.
Henry Ashton was born in Norfolk in 1846 and emigrated to Boston USA with his wife Emma and son, Albert. He joined the Hinkley Locomotive Company where he invented the lock-up pop safety valve,

Bob Essery. Railway goods stations — modelling the reality. 182-8.
Sorry, but the reality is Plasticard thick and the turds small of glue.

Readers' Forum 189

Let's go to Blackpool. Editor
The LYR 'High Flyer' heading the 'Blackpool Club Train' on p93 a 4-4-2, not as stated!

Overcrowding. Stephen G. Abbott
Overcrowding of regional services stems in part from Government insistence in the late 1980s that Pacer and Sprinter trains replace the existing diesel multiple unit fleet on the basis of two new for every three old vehicles. Seating was maximised by the elimination of remaining first class provision, and replacing guard/brake compartments with 'flexible space'. These trains were thought — wrongly, as it turned out —to be serving a declining market. This view culminated in the last built Class 158 cars immediately being converted in 1992-93 into Class 159 for the Waterloo-Exeter line to replace loco-hauled stock. To make up the regional fleet 35 two-car Class 155 trains, then only four years old, were converted into 70 single car Class 153 units.
Incidentally, people pushers in Japan have been used to cram passengers into Tokyo metro and subway trains, not the Shinkansen (New Trunk Line) 'bullet' trains.

Overcrowding. Chris Mills.
Attempts to introduce staggered business hours in London: this was a high publicity campaign; certainly as a schoolboy  writer was well aware of it and over a couple of years it did seem to have a noticeable effect. Waterloo services suffered less than most, as that station had a secondary exit from the platforms to the underground, situated about halfway along the platforms. Thus the passengers tended to be spread more evenly through the trains, rather than concentrated at the front. The London smogs were not mentioned: on the Waterloo lines their effect was for the semi-fast suburban services to be cancelled on those days, leaving services in the hands of the all-stations trains. Thus the remaining trains became grossly overcrowded. As a schoolboy travelling up to Wimbledon he, and others, developed a technique for train entrance — wait until the guard blew his whistle, whip open a compartment door, dodge the passengers caught unawares who fell out, leap in and shut the door as the train pulled away. Eventually the practice was terminated by the guards deciding that schoolboys could travel in the guards van — a haven of comfort compared with the packed compartments.

Looking west  Michael J. Smith
The caption to the upper photograph on p35 is misleading. The Hammersmith & City line on the right is not "emerging from its underground course". What we see here is the Westbourne Park end of the underpass taking the H&C beneath the main line formation, replacing a much earlier flat junction. Having taken the underpass, westbound H&C trains serve Royal Oak and Paddington (Suburban) stations, both on the surface. Only then do they enter the predominantly tunnel section through to the City which could be described as their "underground course".

The Marples Report. James Hargrave
Harold Macmillan was twice a Great Western director and it is not an appointment that rebounds to the GWR's credit (a bit like Beatrice Webb's father [GWR chairman], about whom Sir Daniel Gooch expressed himself in terms that would fit Marples). A sometime junior minister at Transport, Cuthbert Headlam, a vivid and pithy diarist, represented a north eastern seat for the Conservatives when Macmillan was MP for Stockton: shared long railway journeys north left him with an impression of Macmillan as a bore and a bit of a crank. Lennox-Boyd, Minister of Transport in the early 1950s and later one of Macmillan's cabinet, referred to him as the 'old actor manager' (a ham). But better still is the view from Sir Roy Welensky, ex-engine driver, former Minister ofTransport in Central Africa, later Prime Minister, who had many dealings with Macmillan and who bore few grudges. He said to me, 30 years on: "I hope he burns twice in hell".

Anglo-Scottish West Coast route services. Chris Mills
Re Anglo-Scottish services in 1966, mention is made of the well patronised feeder service into the Stranraer boat train, which left Newcastle at 00.30. During the period up to the end of steam a significant proportion of the passengers on a Friday night consisted of railway enthusiasts. Having spent the latter part of the evening in the refreshment room on Newcastle's Platforms 9 and 10 the contingent then decamped to the 00.30, which made a suitable connection at Carlisle into a southbound train stopping at Penrith and Carnforth. As I recall that train conveyed a couple of sleeping cars at the rear. There was adequate time at Carlisle for an early breakfast in the staff canteen before heading south for a day's photography on either the main line or the southern lakes.

Anglo-Scottish West Coast route services. Stephen G. Abbott
Re Anglo-Scottish services in 1966, this brought back happy memories of summer evenings watching trains at Rugby and waiting to see the Stranraer sleeper. This train was not routed via Kilmarnock until May 1975. From closure of the Port Road in June 1965 it took the branch off the Glasgow & South Western main line at Mauchline via Annbank to Ayr, a journey fourteen miles shorter.

Great Eastern signal boxes. Geoffrey Skelsey
Re GE signal box feature: in relation to Chippenham Junction the caption isn't quite correct, though the full story is too complicated to set down here. Briefly, the line through Newmarket Tunnel was always single, with token working between Newmarket Yard Junction and Warren Hill Junction, ie the boxes at either end. This was later extended to the complete section between Newmarket Station box and Chippenham Junction: token less block came later.

Beamish before the museum . Chris Mills
"Coal is just coal, isn't it?" In his article on Beamish traffic, David Milburn comments that "Substantial movements of coal went in either direction ... ". Without a short further explanation this may leave some readers confused. Coal isn't just coal; there are many variations in the chemical composition. Some are suitable for coking, some for raising steam, some for chemical production. The Durham and Northumberland coalfields contained distinct areas where the seams were suitable for one purpose or another. Thus the coalfield was unusual in the traffic flows of loaded coal could be seen passing in opposite directions in many places. In theory, there would be some occasions when wagons could take a load in one direction and bring back a different coal type. However, because of the different permitted loads on the hilly routes trains tended to remain in a semi-block formation. There was no point in loading 30 wagons which had previously worked a Tyneside delivery up to Consett, since the train would have to be split at South Pelaw into nine wagon units for climbing the bank, leaving three orphans. Sorting this lot out, especially in the snowy months, was a highly skilled job for the Mineral Controllers — it made modern computer games look simple!

Manchester Piccadilly and the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition. Eddie Johnson 
In photo feature on Manchester Piccadilly it is stated that electrification first came to the station in 1954 with the Woodhead 1,500V dc scheme. This is incorrect: London Road (as it was then) first saw electric traction in May 1931 when the MSJ&A (Altrincham to Manchester) scheme went live.
In the article on the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition, the caption describes ex-LNWR No..5005 Peel standing in the MSJ&A platform as having brought in a train from Altrincham. This is unlikely: almost all MSJ&A trains were hauled, years about, by either ex-LNWR or ex-GCR tank engines. Peel is more likely to have brought in a stopping train from either Liverpool Lime Street or Warrington Bank Quay Low Level. An incredibly slow service, in 1912 the Liverpool trains, travelling by the Lymm line, took just over two hours for the 37- mile journey, a trip involving 22 or more stops! As matter of interest this splendid picture was taken by P.F. Cooke, the Huddersfield photographer who captured many superb shots in London Road's precincts.

Derby Staff Training College. John Glover 
Tony Robertson's brief article on the Derby Staff Training College omits to mention its role for BR's Traffic Management Trainees. Here, for a week at a time, groups of around twenty were instructed in the intricacies of the Rule Book and how the railway worked. These were busy days; after dinner, they continued in the classrooms until 21.00. There was no slipping out to the pub, as there were none in the area. The Principal was Leslie James, whose monumental work The Law of the Railway stood the writer in good stead for many years.
The afternoon sessions finished by 13.30, so that all students could make a dash to the lounge and watch Magic Roundabout on the novelty (in 1970) of a colour television! Derby is central to the railway system and the weekly sessions ran from Monday lunchtime to Friday lunchtime. That gave attendees time to travel from the far-flung outposts of Plymouth or Glasgow. For some, it provided opportunity. The writer, based in Leeds, had time to travel by train from Derby to New Holland Pier (three alternative routes), thence by the Humber ferry to Hull Corporation Pier, and home via Selby and its swing bridge. ,

Reviving the Vale of Rheidol. Chris Magner
In the late 1960s and through the 1970s the Wirral Railway Circle did a great deal of business with the Stoke Division. During a visit by members to the Vale of Rheidol on 20 September 1969, the train crew of locomotive No.9 Prince of Wales let the WRC members know in no uncertain terms that so called 'enthusiasts' did not care for them, the guards and other railway staff and their livelihoods and were not doing anything to prevent the closure of the line and its sale to private enterprise with the consequent loss of their jobs. On hearing of the men's concerns for their jobs in an area of high unemployment, the WRC members felt a strong desire to do something to show their concern for the railway staff and more importantly prevent their redundancy. So it was decided to write to Ron Owen, Public Relations Officer at BR Stoke Division, suggesting that a Supporters' Group' be set up to help promote the Vale of Rheidol line to keep it in BR ownership and prevent the Aberystwyth staff from losing their jobs.
On 16 January 1970 Ron Owen replied to the WRC as follows: "It has been decided by this Division to promote a Supporters' Association, the original idea for which arose in correspondence with you. Press advertisements are to be placed in the March and April railway press. Membership will be ten shillings for the first year and we shall probably offer a brochure on the historical side, a reduced rate voucher for travel on the line, a special badge for the Association finished in red and gold, news bulletins and reasonable access to both the rolling stock and engines at Aberystwyth, by arrangement. Members will receive a discount on Vale of Rheidol mementos and souvenirs. If we only get 500 members we should cover our expenses for the exercise. The value we are giving, however, should ensure this number will be greatly exceeded." An ad-hoc committee was formed including Ron Owen, Divisional PRO, the BR Area Manager, Norman Greenwood, BR Staff representative and the author. Commenting on the formation of VORRSA, Norman Greenwood said "It was unique for a voluntary organisation to endeavour to create a strong relationship with a nationalised concern. It would not have come about but for some useful spadework by certain founder members. VORRSA successfully allayed the fears of BR staff who worked on the VoR that there was a link with any individual or company awaiting the opportunity to bid for the purchase of the line should it be put on the market. Rumours of this were so rife on the 1960s."
One of VORRSA's main achievements in its early days was persuading BR to introduce black and white lining on the Rheidol locomotives and rolling stock. Without doubt this enhanced their appearance and eventually led to the restoration of their former liveries in the 1980s. Members distributed VoR and BR publicity material and tourist literature on special trains and stewarded summer Saturday trains from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth. A spokesperson for BR Stoke Division said "Another feature which helped the general publicity on the line was the formation of VORRSA in the early months of the year, and from a rather modest beginning, the Association now boasts 600 members." It had been a good start for VORRSA. It is interesting to reflect that from the time of VORRSA's formation in 1970, there was a huge increase in passengers using the Rheidol line. Numbers went up from 95,0000 passenger journeys to 179,000 in five years. The Association also organised several splendid tours, the best known being The Wild Wales' circular tour of 1981 in memory of travel writer George Borrow. For a fare of £9, including travel from selected BR stations, participants travelled from Shrewsbury (connections from all parts) to Aberystwyth, then on the VoR to Devil's Bridge, road coach to Llandrindod Wells and then by Heart of Wales Line train to Shrewsbury. The tour was repeated several times and then taken up by BR in its 'Merrymaker' programme.

Book Reviews 190

The Avonmouth Line: history and working. P.D.Rendall. Crowood Press. 240pp. Reviewed by MF ***
This history of the Avonmouth line focuses on the history of three different routes to Bristol's port at Avonmouth, via Pilning, Henbury and the surviving passenger route via Clifton.The author makes it plain that this volume deals with the history and working of the lines from the grouping of 1923 to the present. Readers expecting many archive photographs will be disappointed with this aspect of the book, as in fact there are very few illustrations that pre-date WW2. A 1980s atmosphere pervades throughout with a large colour content, but with a pronounced lack of pictures contemporary with the earlier chapters —.there is an awkward sense of chronology present — readers used to a Wild Swan or Lightmoor approach will find it strange to be reading a chapter about the beginnings of the local railways with the only photographs present being 1960s colour views. A chapter on WW1 is accompanied by just one 1948 photograph. A fantastic staff group photograph of 1904 at Avonmouth Docks with the largest GWR nameboard you've ever seen has its impact somewhat diluted by a 1960s view on the same page.
The book's main strength is the author's ability to draw upon his own work experiences as engineer and signalman, hence the chapters on staff, signal boxes (nearly 50 pages), goods yards and sidings, goods traffic and level crossings are well-written with a lot of detail relating to old work colleagues, all benefiting from his considerable local knowledge. He was a Mechanical Engineering apprentice at Swindon Works at the age of sixteen and as signalman became supervisor of the Bristol Panel Signal Box, and this background is put to good use in an authoritative text with excellent back-up from signalling diagrams and railway paperwork. A full index is included — something many great railway tomes often forget.
Reviewer found this volume helpful in giving a better awareness of the railway configuration in the Bristol area, but a major omission is the non-inclusion of a route map anywhere in the book, which he solved by keeping OS map 172 handy. Chapters 16 and 17 deal with the years between Beeching and the present day, detailing the attempts to close the line between Temple Meads and Severn Beach and the more recent work to promote and develop it. With this in mind, anyone wanting to explore the lines between the northern suburbs and the docks in the Bristol area would find Rendall's book a handy companion. Enthusiasts for the diesel era will feel well-served by the modern .

Blood on the tracks; edited by Martin Edwards. British Library. Reviewed by NM "
This attractive-looking paperback is subtitled Railway Mysteries and this sums up what the book's author and publisher are trying to do. This is a collection of fifteen short stories, or excerpts from novels, intended 'to celebrate the classic railway mystery'. Train travel, according to the editor can create an atmosphere of enclosed, tension, bringing together suspects and detective in a situation with ever-changing scenery as background, or even better, when immovably stuck in an isolated location. A sleeping berth compartment can even provide the locus for a classic 'locked room' scenario. That's the theory, but it must be said that if Blood on the Tracks represents the best of the genre, the revirewer would not like to read the worst. The two most modern stories in this book — from no more recently than the 1950s — contain little of railway interest, little of any interest at all in fact. The first story in this collection, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is so long-winded and devoid of tension that to the second one (which isn't much better). All this is surprising. Martin Edwards is the leading expert on the history of detective writing, and his The Golden Age of Murder (Collins, 2016) is a definitive work for readers interested in 'whodunits'. Railway mysteries are well within his ambit and not surprisingly his introduction to Blood on the Tracks is an important part of this book, indeed probably the best part. Mr. Edwards points out that railways have attracted the attention of some of the most famous authors — from Dickens to Agatha Christie — although their works are not reproduced here. Somehow, the classic railway stories, if there be any, have not found their way into this anthology. This reviewer is a little taken aback to find that the publisher is a library, the British Library in fact. This is the second selection of themed short stories published by the BL and read by this reviewer and neither exactly 'hits the spot'. But reviewing a book is not just about the author's work and it seems unethical somehow to criticise a library. An author can always answer back, defending an unfair or undeserved critical review, but... a library? But this celebration of railway mysteries is an idea over-stretched somewhat. If you want to read about railways, there are plenty of non-fiction volumes available. To read a crime mystery set in or around railways is no way to unearth interesting railway facts, or even enjoy the atmosphere evoked by rail transport. You might as well watch Coronation Street to brush up on Mancunian history and topography. To summarise, this British Library book is all about railway fiction for people not interested in railways!

An illustrated history of the Port of Hull and its railways. Mike G Fell. Irwell Press. 168pp. softback.
The front-cover illustrations of this book are misleading. They show the seal of the pioneer Hull & Selby Railway, the elaborate programme for the Hull & Barnsley's sod-cutting ceremony and, as the main picture, a WD 2-8-0 on a a local trip working. Admittedly this last is not especially inspiring, but collectively they suggest that here is a reasonably comprehensive new study of a group of railways that have received scant attention in recent years.
Such a work is certainly needed as past books have had their defects. Back in 1879 there was G.G. MacTurk's History of the Hull Railways, perhaps now best remembered for its nine-line chapter on the Hull & Hornsea stating in print that finding the time to write it had proved impossible! A century later there was the two-volume history of the Hull & Barnsley, which had all the problems of being written by a panel rather than a single author. It may have been an ominous sign that the panel had thirteen members.
So there are high hopes with the new work but some readers may find that the content does not meet expectations raised by its cover. The order of words in the title is crucial as this is primarily an illustrated history of port of Hull. Its railways take second rather equal place.
With this caveat, it is a worthwhile and most informative book — and especially so for students of maritime history. It could scarcely have a better-qualified author as Mike Fell was in charge of the Port of Hull for sixteen years from 1987 to 2003. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
Just as many railway historians concentrate on their core subject before adding background about such items as steamer services, so it is here the other way round. There is a workmanlike account of how railways came to Hull, but later chapters on the Hull & Barnsley and North Eastern very much concentrate on their role in creating the docks. There is little on such themes as railway operation, locomotives or buildings. Similarly the final chapters covering the period since nationalisation make only the briefest reference to railways in the form of a few paragraphs on closures and traffic.
Yet those of railway persuasion willing to broaden the mind will find much of interest — and especially with the well-reproduced photographs. The overwhelming majority are of the port, but among them are views of the once infamous level crossings that became such a source of frustration for road users. Social historians will pore over one pre-1945 scene that shows a waiting stream of buses, a lorry full of milk churns and distant tramcars together with scores of women — all wearing headscarves and no doubt impatient to pedal across on their bikes.
There are also photographs of the outstanding signal gantries at Hull Paragon in their prime and some illustrations combine both port and railway interest. A prime example shows laden wagons discharging coal through end doors on to conveyor belts and into a ship at Victoria Dock. There is a splendidly detailed two-page map showing the railways and docks in LNER days.
Royalties from sales are being donated to a new charitable trust established by Hull City Council to create awareness of the city's rich nautical history and conserve the port's maritime heritage. The star rating has railway historians in mind but for those with a broader interest this is certainly a five-star publication.

The 'Princess Royal' Pacifics. Tim Hillier-Graves. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, hardback, 222 pp. Reviewed by Philip Atkins
Not for want of trying, to keep up with its more impecunious rival, the LNER, the LMS at last built its first Pacifics in 1933. As the very apex of the considerable LMS locomotive pile the Stanier 4-6-2s in general have already received considerable coverage and there are only a finite number of photographs of them in service. What more can be said and shown? Here the author has concentrated more on the human than the detailed technical side, ie on the sometimes conflicting personalities involved, with more new light thrown on Stanier the man, together with many excellent and previously unpublished illustrations that the author has happily inherited from a close relative. There is quite a bit about Stanier when he was still with the GWR at Swindon; who would have guessed that he once had fire hoses turned on strikers in 1926? There is also a photograph of him looking on distinctly underwhelmed while his wife was presenting prizes shortly before his departure for the LMS in 1932. Once there he wasted no time in initiating a 4-6-2, in both three- and four-cylinder form, whose initial diagrams were drafted in April by E.S. Cox at Euston, both showing a total (estimated) engine weight of 104½ tons, with an axle load of 22½, tons. The author explains that during construction there were concerns that the estimated weight might be exceeded, but not that the true weight of the 'Princesses', as they became known, was ever officially acknowledged. The actual weights of No.6200 as built are contained in one of the notebooks, now at York of Eric Langridge, recording total weight as 111 tons and maximum axleload 24 tons! Shortly before his death in 1986 Ken Cameron explained to the reviewer that back in 1933 he had had charge of erecting No..6201 at Crewe with instructions to cut back on its weight, mainly by time-honoured method of making apertures in the main frames. He'd had the temerity to complain to Stanier, during the course of a Sunday morning visit to Crewe, that this was proving difficult, only to draw the blunt response from the great man 'that's what your'e b- paid for'! This also explains why, uncharacteristically for Crewe, the second LMS 4-6-2 emerged five months after the first. Ever since 1932 the intended weights for these engines have always been quoted.
The book contains some very fine illustrations of the 'Princesses' at work, but rather surprisingly on p196 is a photograph of No.6201 said to represent how the first two had appeared in 1933, except that it shows the enigmatic double stovepipe chimney which is mentioned only briefly earlier in the text, and for which the only tangible evidence is three official photographs dated October 1934. There are no known photographs of the engine in traffic while so fitted and strangely the experiment was not inscribed on No.6201's record card.
Ten production 4-6-2s plus the 'Turbomotive', which is again dealt with both here and by the author in a previous book devoted entirely to it, followed in 1935. Their primacy was short lived, however, following the emergence of the streamlined 'Coronations' in May 1937, a great deal happened during only four years! By the early 1950s the 'Princesses' were suffering from similar problems with their front end frames as their GWR forbears the 'Kings', which also had a very similar outside cylinder arrangement, on what was now the Western Region. A little more comparison of these two classes would have been of some interest, together with more allocation details for the 'Princesses'. The book is produced to a very high standard and is well recommended.

Chesterfield to Lincoln including the Mansfield Railway. Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith, Middleton Press, hardback, 96 pp. Reviewed by DWM ***
Delivered in the usual style and to the customary high production values this book is a further addition to the 'Country Railway Routes' series of the Middleton Press. Interest in the Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway seems to have revived of late with a two volume pictorial history appearing in the last year, so this book appears as a timely addition. The book is laid out as a journey from Chesterfield eastwards to Lincoln with reference to the Mansfield Railway which was built to give the Great Central, after its acquisition of the LD&EC, access to the coalfields east of Mansfield and to provide the area with direct passenger services to Nottingham and beyond. Devotees of the publications of the Middleton Press will need no reminding of the format of this book. A catholic selection of pictures, ancient and modern, is supported by informative and detailed captions and the extensive use of the Ordnance Survey map extracts is very impressive. Your reviewer felt that a slightly more organised and detailed introduction would have enhanced the whole offering but if your interests are stirred by the thought of a virtual journey to the far east through Arkwright Town, Tuxford Central and Pyewipe Junction then this is may well be the book for you.

The next train from Halifax. Geoge Watson. rear cover
Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42109 on 15.50 to Stockport via Huddersfield on 11 October 1961.