Backtrack Volume 34 (2020)
Published by Pendragon, Easingwold, YO61 3YS
|SR Merchant Navy Pacific No.35003 Royal Mail
departs from Bournemouth Central with the
Bournemouth Belle for Waterloo on 9August 1965.
|January (Number 345)
Getting around London. Michael Blakemore. 3
Editorial about the aptly named Cross Rail (Crossrail)
Up and down Snowdon Mountain. David Idle. 4-5
Colour photo-feature based on photographs taken of Abt system railway with Swiss Locomotive Co. locomotives on 9/10 September 1971 in near perfect weather : No. 4 Snowdon on 11,30 from Llanberis to the Summit near Halfway staion; No. 6 Padarn shunting rolling stock at Llanberis; No. 3 Wydffa above Clogwyn with 14.05 from Llanberis; No. 4 Snowdon on works train descending from Summit Hotel crossing Upper Viaduact at Llanberis; No. 6 Padarn leaving Clogwyn with 13.25 from Llanberis approaching 1½ gradient
Andrew James. The G5 tanks: an appreciation of
Perfornance in the Allen/Nock sense but limited to light loads on all-stations services. The sole exception is a downhill dash from Knaresborough to York with five coaches in 1938 (perhaps emulating the streamliners). Comparisons are made with a D49 class 4-4-0 on the climb from Horsforth towards Bramhope and with diesel railcars. Recorders included Semmens and cooment by Landau. Illustrations: No. 67343 at Sleights on Whitby to Malton local train in March 1954 (colour: J.M. Jarvis); No. 2085 outside Whitby locomotive shed on 1 June 1936 (T.E. Rounthwaite); No. 468 (in lined green livery) entering Croft Spa station with a Darlington to Richmond train on 17 July 1920 (W. Rogerson); No. 67253 at Pateley Bridge with train for Harrogate on 24 Match 1951 (Geoff Horsman); No. 67320 at Bishop Auckland on 09.22 from Durham with Driver Lee on footplate on 20 June 1957 (J.F. Mallon); No. 67253 at Ripley Junction with train for Pateley Bridge c1950 (J.W. Hague); No. 67253 arriving Dacre on Pateley Bridge branch (J.W. Hague); No. 67339 arrives at Monkseaton with 13.40 from Blyth on 9 June 1956 (T.J. Edgington) see letter from Gerald Knox locomotive working in push & pull mode and had pushed train from Blyth; No. 67253 at Pateley Bridge on a wet day c1950 (J.W. Hague); No. 67266 at Durham station in June 1957 (colour)
A.J. Mullay. Leith Britain's first diesel depot?
Author wrote a briefer account of depot aspects of Leith Central in Volume 7. Purists will argue that it was not purpose-built, but was a conversion from an extravagant passenger terminal constructed during a period of ludicrous competition between the Caledonian, North British and other Scottish railways and the failure to note the emergence of the electric tramcar. The Caledonian had envisaged building a circular railway to serve Leith and return under Calton Hill and beneath Princes Street. This not meet with approval by the City Council, nor with the North British, but to appease Leith's councillors the North British promised to construct a terminal there. The NBR was slow to implement its promise and Leith Central did not open until 1 July 1903. The train shed was built by Sir William Arrol of Forth Bridge fame. Surprisingly the NBR Study Group has only published a short article on the venue. In the prelude to nationalisation the LNER had contemplated using diesel electric locomotives on the East Coast Main Line and using Leith Central as one of its depots for them. The Inter-City multiple units were built at Swindon and were stabled and maintained at Leith Central. Mullay considers that they were under-designed, but they did have buffets and some proper corridor coaches, but lacked real speed, air conditioning and a livery comparable with the Irish Enterprise units. Unfortunately, Mullay does not pursue the origin of the Inter-City name which later dominated British Rail as Intercity and was widely used around the world. Illustrations: Metro-Cammell DMU with whiskers inside depot c1959; oil storage tanks; Birmingham RCW diesel electric locomotive; female cleaners adorning Gloucester RC&W DMU; male cleaners with machine working on nether regions of Intere-City DMU; female and one male cleaners posed at Cragientinny; mess room for staff with cat at Leith Central; two footplate staff in Leith Central; preserved GNoS 4-4-0 No. 49 Gordon Highlander on Scottish Rambler railtour at Leith Central on 19 April 1965 (David Idle colour). See also letter from Joh Macnab on the convoluted Inter-City diesel multiple units annd their Ayrshire brethren
Geoffrey Skelsey. Crossing London: the City Widened Lines
and the Thameslink saga. Part One. 18-23
Begins with a quotation from Alan Jackson, "doyen of London railway historians" where he notes how he descended illicitly from Holborn Viaduct station down into the soot encrusted Snow Hill platforms. The Metropolitan Railway linked Bishop's Road (Paddington) with Farringdon Street from January 1863. It also linked with the Great Northern Railway at King's Cross and later with the Midland Railway. The London, Chatham & Dover Railway constructed a City line which crossed the Thames at Blackfriars and connected with the Metropolitan at Farringdon and with the Widened Lines from King's Cross to Farringdon and on to Ald ersgate Street (later Barbican) and Moorgate Street. These extra lines enabled through traffic from the Great Northern and Midland to cross London and each Moorgate without disrupting the main Metropolitan services. Illustrations: map of City Widened Lines with northern connections and link to Walworth Road to south as in 1914; Doré engraving of Ludgate Hill with dirty steam train on bridge obscuring St. Paul's Cathedral; Ray Street Gridiron' Aldersgate & Barbican station with Metropolitan Railway lozenge logo on centre platforms; Farringdon & High Holborn station street facade in late 1950s? (colour); Holborn Viaduct Hotel and station in SECR period; station platforms at same period as previous (John Alsop Collection); station platforms with office block behind in 1964; Aldersgate & Barbican station with flared-side London Transport train in red livery in April 1961 (colour); Moorgate station in 1959 with Class 3 2-6-2T No. 40024 and Metropolitan Line T Class stock in brown livery and ex-District Railway F Class (oval driver's windows) in red livery in 1959 (colour); Class 31 exiting Ray Street Dip and enetering Farringdon station with A class train behind in 1976 (colour); 1943 London Plan for underground (main line) dimension tobe system. See also letter from Andy Sharples who made a slightly more licit entry inot the underworld at Holborn Viaduct (KPJ also explored this area courtesy of the Rubber Growers' Association which had a cellar full of books and documents in that area in the 1960s. Part 2 see page 178.
Jeffrey Wells. Goole's railways: 1836-1910. 24-31.
Mike Fell's The illustrated history of the Port of Goole and its railways. (Irwell Press) is rightly called seminal. Goole and its port was essentially the product of the Aire & Calder Navigation and was involved in the exchange of cargo between river craft and ocean going vessels and was near to the former Yorkshire Coalfield and the textile and iron based industries which grew up on it. As usual with this author much is based upon newspaper reports (some from some weird sourcess), but a return is made to Fell at intervals to ensure veracity. The Leeds Intelligencer reported on the sod cutting ceremony by Rober Pemberton Milnes of Fryston Hall. Illustrations: 0-4-0ST No. 51222 at Goole in March 1962 (colour); map; lattice girder over Dutch River; continuation of previous over Aire & Calder Canal; Q6 0-8-0 No. 2246 with long freight of mainly open wagons passing Goole station en route to Hull; Goole Bridge (swing bridge) at Skelton; L&YR steamship Rother with refrigeration used on Goole to Copenhagen service with No. 2 Compartment Boat hoist alongside (see latter from Mike Fell on page 189); 0-4-0ST No. 51241 crossing road holding up traffic; Goole station with DMU on 26 August 1956; SS Equity drawing alongside Tannett Walker hydraulic hoist; Goole station with shoppers awaiting train for Hull
Southern holidays. David Rodgers. 32-5
Colour photo-feature: rebuilt West Country No. 34013 Okehampton on Eastleigh shed on 10 August 1965; Merchant Navy No, 35007 Aberdeen Commónwealth at Southampton Central with an up express on 8 August 1965; unrebuilt West Country No. 34019 Bideford on up fitted freight passing Winchester City on 12 August 1965; BR Class 4 4-6-0 No. 75035 on freight from Eastleigh to Southampton with Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76033 and Hampshire diesel electric multiple unit in background; rebuilt Battle of Britain class Pacific No. 34090 Sir Eustace Missenden, Southern Railway backs through Southampton Central having brought down a Union Castle Line special on 8 August 1965; unrebuilt West Country No. 34015 Exmouth moves out of east bay platform at Bournemouth Central to take over an express for Waterloo on 8 August 1965; rebuilt West Country No. 34026 Yes Tor on turntable at Bournemouth shed on 9 August 1965 reader Philip Shelton objects to caption's claim that Yes Tor is highest point on Dartmoor; rebuilt No. No. 34001 derailed and being hauled back onto track at Bournemouth Central in June 1967; RMS Queen Mary steams down Southampton Water on 12 August 1965
Peter Butler. The stations at Wellingborough.
First railway to arrive was the Peterborough branch of the London & Birmingham Railway, authorised in 1843 and opened throughout in June 1845 which began at Blisworth ran through Nortampton and Wellingborough to Peterborough where it made an end-on junction with the Eastern Counties Railway to provide a route for agricultural produce to London. Stations on the line were designed by J.W. Livock. At the prompting of a Bedfordshire landowner, William Whitbread, the Leicester & Hitchin Railway was authorised in 1853 and opened in 1857 and this enabled coal from the Midlands to reach London. John Ellis and John William Everard were also involved in the southward development of the Midland Railway. This line ran via Wellingborough and Bedford and gave Wellingborough a further outlet, but congestion on the Great Northern forced the Midland Railway to construct its own route into London from Bedford which opened in 1868. Wellingborough and the surrounding settlements of Rushden and Higham Ferrers were locations for boot and shoe manufacture. During the construction of the new railways iron ore was discovered in the area and furnaces were opened in Wellingborough using coal from the Midlands, Naturally, the East Coast formed an obvious place for the residents of Northampton and Wellingborough to go on holiday and eventually to retire, but the railway closers like Beeching failed to perceive that links with this area should be retained and although there are some not too slow bus links these fail to connect with residual railway services. The main station at Wellingborough is located on a sharp bend which needs to be bypassed for fast services and modified for eleectric traction should it arrive before the Great Flood. Illustrations: Wellingborough Midland Road with down push & pull service leaving on 29 July 1961 powered by BR Class 2 2-6-2T No. 84006 (Ken Fairey); Wellingborough London Road on 30 April 1960 (R.M. Casserley); MR 1P 0-4-4T No. 1246 with Higham Ferrers branch train at Midland station on 3 July 1937 (H.C. Casserley); Beyer Garratt 2-6-6-2 No. 47969 on spur from Wellingborough London Road to Midland main line crossing River Nene on 26 June 1957 (Ken Fairey); Wellingborough Station signal box in July 1987; level crossing at London Road station in June 1967 (Ian Wright); air raid precautions signal box at Wellingborough Junction on 2 October 1983; entrance to Midland station on 3 February 1979; Class 45 No. 45 101 leaves Wellingborough with 16.35 from St. Pancras on 5 May 1986. Very informative letter from Robin Leleux on page 189
Coal hauling. Keith Dungate. 40-2
Colour photo-feature: MGR hopper wagons (merry-go-round trains) from collieries or coal import terminals to electricity generating stations used to be a key feature: two Southern Region Class 73 electro-diesels Nos, 73119 and 118 Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway on third rail system at Barming with 13.25 Betteshanger to Hither Green on 4 June 1987; Class 58 No. 58 045 passing Banbury under lower quadrant GWR signals with 16.05 Didcot Power Station to Toton MGR empties on 14 September 1987; Class 33 Nos. 33 035 and 013 near Borough Green with 13.25 Betteshanger to Hither Green on 19 July 1988; English, Welsh & Scottish EWS Class 37 No. 37 716 (in rich red livery) double-heading with another Type 37 leaving Tyne Yard for Healey Mills on 4 September 1998; EWS Class 66 No. 66 061 on 07.16 Chalmerston Colliery to Cottam Power Station at Forge Locks, Kirkstall alongside Leeds & Liverpool Canal on 10 September 1999; EWS Class 66 No. 66 045 on 07.25 MGR train from Hunterston coal import terminal to High Marnham Power Station approaching Kirkstall Loop on 9 September 1999; EWS Class 60 No. 60 053 passing through unloading house at Drax Power Station on 29 May 1997; Class 58 No. 58 026 passing through Crewe Station with empty MGR wagons passing Class 81 No. 81 011 in Corporate blue livery
Shades of Old Euston. 43
Black & white photo-feature: aerial photograph without date but showing damage by bombing to some domestic buidings (early WW2?) caption suggests post-WW2; Euston departure Platforms Nos. 11 and 12 with trains loading in summer 1947 with mmany female passengers, three fully clothed nuns and some young children; publicity photograph from September 1949 showing gloomy entrance to Northern Line, poster advertising Sunday excursion trains and another for Swan Pens; Platform 14 with business passengers (maale and female) awaiting arrival of carriages in smoky, but sunny atmoshere (one smoking a pipe! standing facing mayoress of some northern borough); Eversholt Street showing roof over arrival side platforms; roof over arrival side platforms observed from above (building within station compllex) and cab road adjacent platforms 2 and 3 in 1947
Paul Joyce. The LSWR Turnchapel branch 1897-1961.
Previously described in Backtrack in 2017, 31, 676. The branch opened on 1 July 1897 with passenger services running to Plymouth Friary station. During WW2 Plymouth was very severely bombed: so severely that Winston Churchill contemplated imposing marshall law on the civilian population who were fleeing to the country. Plymouth's suffering has featured in other Backtrack articles: notably by Helm. Illustrations (all by H.C. Casserley unless noted otherwise) and most trains formed of Gate Stock with push & pull trailer: T1 0-4-4T No. 17 leaving Friary station with train for Tavistock on 11 July 1924; O2 class No. 177 in LSWR livery passing Friary shed with service for Turnchapel on 18 July 1924; O2 class No. 200 departs from Lucas Terrace Halt for Plymstock on 5 August 1928; map from Plymouth steam by Ian H. Lane; O2 No. 218 (in LSWR livery) crossing swing bridge over entrance to Hooe Lake with 12.12 service from Friary (also shows Bayly's Wharf);; O2 No. 207 waiting for departure from Turnchapel; )2 No. 233 with stovepipe chimney on swing bridge; GWR 43XX No. 5321 on Friary shed turntable on 30 August 1945 (L. Crozier); O2 No. 218 propelling 11.24 from Friary over swing bridge; fire in oil storage tangs behind Turnchapel station on 28 November 1940; O2 No. 30182 (not visible) propelling Gate Stock into Plymstock on 2 May 1959 on RCTS railtour to celebrate Royal Albert Beridge centenary (R.M. Casserley); Cattewater Junction after closure of Cattewate branch; Oreston station..
Miles Macnair. From road unto rail exercises in technology
transfer: the later transfers. Part two. 53-6.
Previous Part: Cites Fletcher. Considers Timothy Burstall's steam carriage of 1824 which incorporated a form of four-wheel drive, the genesis of a flash-type boiler and a flexible steam pipe. Burstall's locomotive Perserverance which was damaged being unloaded for the Rainhill Trials is next considered.. William Church took out several patents for road locomotives according to Macnair, attempted to operate a steam coach between Birmingham and Coventry and developed an 0-2-2 well tank with 11¼-inch cylinders and an unusual boiler. It was known as Victoria on the Grand Junction Railway where it was alleged to have achieved 60 mile/h and was then renamed Surprise to work on the Biirmingham & Gloucester Railway on the Lickey Incline as a banking engine. It exploded at Bromsgove, killing the enginemen who have a memorial in Bromsgrove churchyard. The locomotive was renamed Eclipse and worked as an 0-6-0T with a conventional boiler on the Swansea Vale Railway. William Henry James is considered as designer of road tugs or tractors with water tube boilers for which he obtaines patents. Macnair is the author of a key study of William Henry James and his father. Illustrations: Timothy Burstall's steam carriage of 1824 (diagram: Fletcher); Timothy Burstall's locomotive Perserverance; Church's London & Birminham Carriage Co. steam carriage (colour illustration from Popular Science Monthly, 1900 August); side view of previous (black & white engraving); Church's locomotive Surprise in original condition (colour: Robin Barnes painting); tombstones for Thomas Scaife and Joseph Rutherford (photograph by D, Webb: caption notes erroneous depiction Norris style locomotives); William Henry James's steam carriage with water-tube boiler and four cylinders trialled in Epping Forest (engraving: Fletcher); William Henry James's steam tug with water-tube boiler and condenser (Mechanics Magazine); imagined scene at Rainhill Trials of James's steam tug adapted for railway traction (colour: Robin Barnes painting)
Signalling spotlight: signalling at Hammerton. Richard Foster (text) and
Roger Backhouse (colour photographs). 57
Instruments at Hammerton station controlling level crossing and single line thence to Poppleton on York to Harrogate branch: levers in enclosed ground frame; block instrument controlling double line section to Cattal (BR standard plastic type) with Welwyn emergency release; Tyers key token instrument.
Alistair F. Nisbet. Tickets for bathers and curlers.
Sea bathing at Broughty Ferry was encouraged for early travellers from Dundee East station by the issue of early morning return tickets. Carnoustie was promoted as a bathing resort for Forfar with reduced rate season tickets provided by the Caledonian Railway. There is a shaggy dog story concerning Thomas Nelson, the publisher, being billed by the North British Railway for dog travel whilst he was away: the dog continued to take the bathers' train from Edinburgh down to Granton for his swim in the Forth. This was related in the children's column of the Cardiff Times in December 1887. The Great Western offered bathers tickets from Bridport to West Bsy during the sunner of 1885. Ireland had its fair share of sea bathers:: the Cork Constitutional advertised excursions to Youghal and The Freeman;s Journal noted a Sunday Bathers' train to Blackrock from Westland Row. Derry was served by the Londonderry & Lough Swilly with evening excursions to Buncrana and these even ran in the early part of WW2 (presumably before the chilling accounts of German planes flying over neutral Ireland to bomb Glasgow). Curling prior to indoor ice rinks was highly dependent upon intense cold and outdoor venues tended to be situated in frost hollows. Bonspiels had to be arranged at short notice. The Glasgow Herald of 11 January 1850 notified its readers that the Royal Caledonian Curling Club had organised two special trains to be run by the Glasgow & Ayr Railway to Lochwinnocha somewhat mucky stretch of water alongside the railway. Carsebeck between Stirling and Perth was chosen as a "permanent" venue which could be flooded and was near the Scottins Central Railway. Other venues included Lindores Loch and Aboyne. Illustrations: Granton station; Broughty Ferry station with Cakledonian train; cartoon of sexes rather too close whilst bathing; West Ferry station with C16 4-4-2T No. 67501 on train of former LMS stock (W.A.C. Smith); Carnoustie station in pregrouping period; Greenwich station frontage in SECR period; West Bay with GWR saddle tank on passenger train with no sign of a bather; lady curlers on a frozen pond (colour); Lochwinnoch station with GSWR 2-4-0? on a freight. See also letter from Andrew Kleissner.
Readers' Forum. 62
The railways of Rutland and Stamford
. Stephen G. Abbott
Harringworth viaduct was built in red brick, but as this has weathered it has been replaced progressively by blue engineering brick, leading to the piebald appearance visible in the illustration on p684 of David Brandon's article (November). As well as the passenger services mentioned, the route over the viaduct sees use by heavy freight. Trains of steel for tube-making run from Margam in South Wales to Corby and several stone and cement trains per day are routed between Syston and Kettering via Manton. They thus avoid the busy three/two-track section of the Midland Main Line via Leicester and Market Harborough and the climbs to Kibworth and Desborough summits. Through its tunnels, heavy earthworks and viaducts the Manton-Kettering route is more easily graded.
Mugby Junction and Tutbury. Michael Pearson
It would have been fun to accompany Nicholas Daunt to Mugby Junction in the mid-fifties, especially his favoured perch alongside the girder bridge carrying the Great Central over the Premier Line. I share his sneaking preference for the A3s over the A4s, mostly I suspect, because of their evocative racehorse-inspired names. Apart from Carlisle, was there anywhere else, I wonder, where Stanier and Gresley Pacifies rubbed shoulders on a daily basis? Manchester London Road couldn't be relied upon because, as you point out in the photo-spread in the same issue, Longsight's turntable wasn't lengthy enough. Mr. Daunt implicitly attributes the Great Central's transfer from the Eastern Region to the London Midland to the line's subsequent decline. Which begs the question: did any Regional transfer ever benefit a route? Patently not the Southern's West Country lines once the Western Region had got its hands on them, nor indeed the Western's own Birkenhead main line when it became part of the London Midland.
Mike Fell's two-patter on Tutbury came close to home. On occasions in the mid-sixties I'd undertake a ten-mile return bicycle ride there as an alternative to my lineside vigils by the allotments opposite 17B. Alas too late to see the Uttoxeter milk trundle through in the form of a solitary BG behind an Ll but in time to witness Clayton Type 1s emerge in garish pink undercoat from their maker's Hatton workshops. I still can't smell coffee without shuddering at the thought of them. And one halcyon day, by written arrangement, my long lost friend Robert Lathbury and I enjoyed a footplate ride out from the mill on to the trestle bridge spanning the Dove aboard the very Peckett pictured on p616. Heady times.
Electrifying Merseyside. David
As one who grew up on Merseyside in the 1950s, he enjoyed Michael Baker's informative article. In case, however, any reader is researching the price of day return tickets form Liverpool to London in 1957, the caption to the lower photograph on p691 cannot be correct. The photograph shows Liverpool tram 958 on Lime Street whilst the caption reads that this was taken in 1957. Tram route 14, on which the tram is operating, however, was converted to motor buses in November 1955. The following bus in the background appears to be one of the Leyland Titan PD2/12 batches of buses (from the opening toplights in the upstairs front windows and the indicator layout) which were introduced from 1952, so a date between 1952 and 1955 seems likelier for this photograph.
Odd 'Princess' out. Allan C.
The caption in the illustrations in the November issue makes the often repeated mistake of associating the casings above the footplate level and alongside the boiler as covering the actual turbines. In fact both turbines, forward and reverse, are located in the casings below the footplating. The housings above contain the steam control valves for their respective turbines and the reason for the longer one on the left- hand side is because it houses the control rods between the cab and the valves. The control rod for the right-hand, reverse turbine passes underneath the boiler at its mid-point and can be clearly seen in the two illustrations on p667, where it emerges on the right-hand side of the locomotive. During my apprenticeship in the Motive Power Department at Crewe, one of the fitters I worked with, Tiggy Brearton, was one of those trained to travel with the engine, as a fitter always did. While he was not a regular on this job, as Camden and Edge Hill men were, he was one of a few trained on the line-of-route the engine regularly worked, in case of any irregular working. However, he did on occasion have longer spells, covering for holidays and sickness. He main recollection of his travels was how much oil the forward turbine and drive mechanism consumed, a supply being kept on the engine and the level checked at the end of each run. Incidentally, I never heard any railwaymen refer to the engine as the Turbomotive', usually just as The Turbine'.
Metropolitan & Great Central line
stopping trains. David Hibbert
Centre photograph on p671 shows a view of Wendover station looking towards Aylesbury. The red enamel sign only applies to the platform end 'Do not cross the track etc' but the station name signs are not enamel but paper posters. Great Missenden and Stoke Mandeville also had similar LT paper name signs.
The signal at the platform end is not a Great Central Railway pattern but an early Metropolitan Railway pattern. This is the starter for trains going on the branch towards RAF Halton Camp. This signal arm is preserved by myself. Details of this signal are described in the publication The Metropolitan Railway by C. Baker. It is described in this book on p63 - "The blade extended beyond the spectacles and, by partially balancing the signal, minimised the effect of snow building up on the arm and tending to lower it to the 'off' position." However, this extension is missing from the Wendover signal but the stumps of three screws that held the extension are still in situ.
Book reviews. 62
GWR goods cartage. Volume 2: Garages, liveries, cartage
and containers Tony Atkins. Crecy Publishing, 2019, hardback, 208
pp. Reviewed by GAB. *****
This and its companion Volume 1 have been published posthumously, following Tony Atkins's death in September 2018. Together they provide an exhaustive study of the goods cartage department of the GWR from the early days of the company to 1947. Having covered the horse-drawn era and the vehicles of the mechanised era in Volume 1, Volume 2 completes this part of the story with chapters on the management and maintenance of the motor vehicles, their liveries and numbering, and a l6-page fleet list.
It then goes on to study what, for the reviewer, is the more interesting aspect of the department its business history. Beginning with a chapter on Cartage Agents, outside firms that entered into an agreement with the GWR to provide a collection and delivery (C&D) service from a particular station. Some had been carriers before the arrival of the railway. Over the years the GWR slowly took them over, particularly in the twentieth century when the horse-drawn fleets were superseded by motor vehicles, but the last, Thomas Bantock & Co., survived until after nationalisation. This then leads into a chapter on the GWR's C&D concentration schemes Country Lorry Services, Railhead Distribution, Special Contract Railhead Distribution and Zonal Collection and Delivery all designed to provide door-to-door services to compete effectively with road hauliers.
The livestock business is covered in a chapter on Cattle Markets, Horse Fairs and Agricultural Shows, followed by one on Special Cartage Activities; the extent to which the GWR would go to provide a 'go anywhere' heavy-haulage service for exceptional loads, using special tractor and trailer equipment, is astonishing, including haulage beyond the road network across a l0ft deep bog and up a mountain side. Lift-vans and containers in great variety are dealt with comprehensively, before a final chapter on the Economics and Costs of Cartage, focusing mainly on the inter-war years. It includes much statistical data on the comparative costs of horse- drawn v. motor-driven cartage, GWR v. agents' cartage, and on the wage rates and earnings of each of the many grades of staff employed.
The text is throughout supported by a large selection of well-reproduced photographs and drawings. Also notable are the facsimile reproductions from the company's instruction books and other documents that show how the business was managed.
GWR devotees will recognise that these are the final volumes of a series of nine, which together provide a comprehensive history of goods transport on the GWR in all its complexity without parallel in the field of railway history. Tony Atkins worked on it for over 40 years, first as a joint author, but from the fourth volume the sole author, with the vision and devotion to see the series through to completion. He has left us with the nearest we are ever likely to see to a definitive account of goods transport on Britain's railways as a whole in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries.
Ambergate to Buxton including Peak Rail. Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith.
Middleton Press, hardback, 96 pp. Reviewed by DWM **
As a dyed-in-the-wool Derbyshireman your reviewer approached this book with some relish but oh, what a disappointment! The book, one of the Country Railway Routes series, conforms to the usual Middleton Press formula. There is a brief written introduction, both geographical and historical and including a gradient profile and a selection of historic timetables, followed by a pictorial journey along line with an impressive selection of large-scale maps to illustrate locations. As in previous comments on books of this series your reviewer was impressed with the use made of the large scale maps. On the other hand the photographs are a pretty work-a-day selection with many of the historical ones being old friends and the contemporary ones often seeming to be no more than a personal record of a day out in the area. An honourable exception is the picture of the Garratt trundling through Matlock en route for Rowsley in the summer of 1951. The captions are a mixed bunch, lack of detailed local information about the Matlock area might be excused but a '4F 4-4-0' ... ! And of the major railway installation on the route, the marshalling yard and motive power depot at Rowsley, there is but a very sparse coverage. The last few pages of the book form a serviceable summary of the local preserved railway, Peak Rail. The caption to picture 117 is a fascinating record as to how the operations at Matlock might have developed. Unless the Backtrack reader is intent on obtaining a complete set of the 'Ultimate Rail Encyclopedia' then this book cannot really be commended.
A winter's dale. George Watson. rear cpver
Class 5 No. 45346 leaves Skipton in snow on 2 February 1960 with Morecambe to Leeds train
|LNER B1 4-6-0 No.61211 departs
from Retford, taking the Lincoln
line, in 1958. (Derek Penney)
|February (Number 346)
George Stephenson's last home at risk Philip
Guest Editorial on threat to Tapton House in Chesterfield, the home of George Stephenson and at ns worthy as a crooked spire for preservation as part of British heritage. Written by a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham and major historian of County of Derbyshire
More mixed freight. David Idle. 68-9.
Colour photo-feature: 9F 2-10-0 No. 92039 on train of cement wagons near Stevenage with semaphore signals and telegraph poles on 8 May 1962 see letter from David Monk-Steel; O1 2-8-0 No. 63760 on coal train (in hopper wagons) at Deerness Valley Junction near Durham on 29 October 1962; Class 5 4-6-0 No. 45181 on up fitted freight passing under bridge on Furness & Midland Joint on approach to Carnforth on 30 July 1965 (train of banana vans see same letter from David Monk-Steel); Stanier Class 4 2-6-4T No. 42439 passing abandoned engine shed at Oxenholme with train of ballast wagoms on 30 July 1965; WD Austerity 2-8-0 No. 90721 working tender-first with westbound? mineral wagons at Wakefield Kirkgate on 1 November 1965; BRCW Type 3 No. D6528 in original livery passing Woking on down freight and Q1 0-6-0 on adjacent track with construction spoil on 28 December 1965.
Jeremy Clarke. In praise of the moguls. Part one.
Brief menttion of the type's development in North America; the first British manifestation in Massey Bromley's 527 class for the Great Eastern Railway which in turn reflected Bromley's visit to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The Midland, Great Northern and Great Central Railways bought Americal locomotives manufactured by Baldwin and Schenectady which received an equivocal response by British footplate crews and the railway press. The Midland & South West Junction acquired a Beyer Peacock locomotive which had been intended for South America and was so pleased with it that another was purchased. When the line was taken over by the Great Western this latter received a standard No, 9 Swindon boiler. It is not clear when it receievd the nickname Galloping Alice. Some 2-6-0s were elongated 0-6-0s: the Caledonian and Glasgow & South Western had designs of this type and the GWR Aberdares were broadly similar (Irish designs are not mentioned). The Churchward 43XX was an almost modern design in having outside cylinders, taper boiler, Belpaire firebox and superheater, but inside valve gear. Collett distrusted pony trucks and sought to rebuild the type as 4-6-0s of the Grange and Manor classes: the earlier Churchward/Dean Aberdare class is omitted!. Gresley brought outside valve gear, but retained the cheaper round-top boiler and gradually enlarged boiler size and in the K3 type introduced his three-cylinder type with derived motion. These were very powerful, but very rough at high speed. Having drafted some of the smaller 2-6-0s to the West Highland line (and fittel shorter chimneys and boiler mountings and side-window cabs) and some of them names of lochs he eventually designed what was in effect a K3 chassis fitted with a K2 boiler producing a powerful locomotive. Thomson rebuilt a solitary K3 class as a two-cylinder locomotive and one of the K4 in a similar way. Peppercorn used the latter as the basis for the standard K1 class which was almost a 2-6-0 variant of the B1 4-6-0 type. Illustrations: Midland Railway Schenectady 2-6-0 No. 2526 on passenger train at Cudworth; 43XX No. 7321 passing Patchway on an express in 1930s; CR 34 class 2-6-0 No. 37 in blue livery; GSWR 16 class as LMS No. 17822 near Floriston on a freight train; K2/2 Nos 61789 Loch Laidon and 61790 Loch Lomond on 13.05 Mallaig to Fort William train on 12 June 1951 (Eric Bruton); K3 No. 186 on cattle train at Grantham inJuly 1933; K4 No. 61995 Cameron of Locheil (in apple green) on 10.25 Fort William to Mallaig on 11 June 1951 (Eric Bruton); K1 No. 62008 on up parcels train at York on 24 August 1963 (T.J. Edgington). Part 2
Allan Trotter. The Postal: ssorting the mail on a summer evening at
A few observations on the Mark 1 (Mk1) Royal Mail vans and their gangways which unlike their predecesors were central and Pullman-type, but some early Mk1 vehicles had offset gangways to connect with earlier vehicles, such as the LMS vehicles. There were brake stowage or tender vans, stowage or tender vans and sorting vans. The last had racks for sorting mail; some had posting boxes and a few had apparatus for pickiing up and dropping off mail at traductors. This operation ceased in 1971. The evening described and photographed was in June 1977. The security at Carstairs was not conspicuous (false drops UGH). Illustrations: Up West Coast Postal hauled by Class 86 passing under Crosshill Street, Motherwell on 17 May 1977; Class 26 No.26 029 on Aberdeen portion at Carstairstrack layout at Carstairs in 1977 (diagram); M80329 sorting vehicle with post box and signs of former mail exchange equipment; interior of M80582 preserved sorting van on the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway; M80456 brake stowage van and Class 81 No. 81 012 ready to depart for London.
Jeffrey Wells. Railways and the turf the formative years.
Traffic generated by horse racing: railways greatly assisted with te movement of horses from their stables to racecourses. Attendance at race meetings was encouraged by the provision of special trains in some cases to special stations. Vamplew's The turf: a social and economic history of horse racing is cited together with another contibution by Vamplew and Tolson which is presumably a periodical article in an issue dated November 1998. Both the Liverpool & Manchester and Bolton & Leigh Railways ran special trains to a race meeting at Newton in June 1831 (reported in the Liverpool Mercury)
Saddle tanks on the Great Western Railway. 82-3.
Black & white photo-feature: No. 2194 Kidwelly (Avonside 1903 0-6-0ST acquired from Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley Railway and fitted with a bell for working on Weymouth Quay at Taunton prior to withdrawal); No. 96 (Sharp Stewart 1856 0-4-0ST for Birkenhead Railway, reboilered at Wolverhampton in 1888); No. 1337 Hook Norton (Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST acquitred from liquidators of the Hook Norton Ironstone Partnership in 1804; 0-6-0ST No. 1385 John Owen with outside cylinders and valve gear and as rebuilt by GWR in 1894 (originally acquired from the Whitland & Cardigan Railway in 1886: Owen was the quarry owner at Glogue; locomotive built by Fox, Walker & Co. in 1872: sold in 1912 and worked at Cornsey Quarry & Brickworks in Co. Durham until 1052); 1661 class outside-frame 0-6-0ST No. 1670; 0-4-0ST No. 45 built at Wolverhampton Works in 1880, photographed on 20 April 1937 probably inside Croes Newydd shed.
L.A. Summers. The splendour that was the single-wheeler.
Part one. 84-90
A justifiable eulogy for a remarkable locomotive type: somewhere in KPJ's muddle there is a blue ticket that proves that he travelled from Glasgow Central to Muirkirk via Lanark on an excursion hauled by No. 123 illustrated herein by a coloured photograph the amazing fact is that iit could manage the climb to Craigenhill (haunt of Duchesses, Type 50 diesel electric locomotives, Inter-City 125s electrics. Pendolinos and those bat out of hell Cross Country mutiple units). Except in very early days singles were designed for speed. They were exceptionally beautiful, especially the 4-2-2 type. Summers obviously favours the Great Western type: KPJ greatly admiired the brief blue manifestion of the Kings! If Part 2 and subsequent parts? follow the standard achieved in Part 1 is indicative that this is major study of a significant stage in express locomotve development. Illustrations: broad gauge 4-2-2 (rebuilt from Bristol & Exeter Railway 4-2-4T No. 2002 (colour: from painting by Pat Reed); 4-2-2 No. 3070 Earl of Warwick on down fast formed of clerestory roofed carriages c1907; Achilles class 4-2-2 No.3047 Lorna Doone (colour: from painting in GWT Collection); No. 3056 Wilkinson at Widney Manor c1914; Caledonian Railway 4-2-2 No. 123 as built; hand-tinted photograph of No. 123 in blue livery: Nock Scottish railways states from a Dufaycolor photograph by Kenneth H. Leach); No. 123 as LMS No. 14010 at Pertth with Dundee train (H.C. Casserley); Stirling 4-2-2 No. 1007 (hand-tinted colour postcard); Stirling 4-2-2 No. 34 with Ivatt domed boiler at York; No. 1 inside old Railway Museum at York; Great Northern Railway Ireland No. 88 Victoria (inside cylinder 4-2-2) further informatiion; Johnson Midland Railway 4-2-2 No. 116 (hand-tinted coloured photograph); No. 644 (built as N0. 97) at Derby on 27 December 1921 (H.C. Casserley).
J. Crosse, 1966 reflections on a spotter's travels. 91-5
KPJ like Larkin on sex considers that the end of steam came at the wrong time for him: he was too busy with learning about life's real problems (like parenthood) to have been able to participate in the Great Wake for steam. Thus Crosse's reflections are rather a blight on this oasis of thoughts on greater things like singles or the overwhelming need to burn less carbon: would that the beautiful Sadler articulated units had battery packs rather than diesel engines. Crosse lived in Bristol in 1966 where steam activity had been mandated tto end on 1 January and he mispent the year on trains and in coaches seeking it out in odd places in the United Kingdom. He used Rover t ickets and borrowed his father's car to extend his observations which included such rara avis as Q6 0-8-0s at Normanton. He even noted the other forms of traction such as the diesel hydraulics (soon to join the steam dinsaurs) evident in resorts like Westbury. Brush type 4s are always associated with hair or teeth and lack of oomph: these were noted almost everywhere. Illustrations: inside Bath Green Park shed on 6 March 1966 with assorted condemned (colour! Trevor Owen); rebuilt West Country No. 34001 being serviced at Banbury on 28 July 1966 before returning south with train from York; Ivatt 2-6-2T No. 41249 on closure day for Somerset & Dorset line RCTS special at Templecombe ( 6 March 1966); rebuilt West Country No. 34017 Ilfracombe at Brighton with 09.17 for Southammpton and...; Fairburn 2-6-4Ts Nos. 42052 and 42093 inside Manningham shed on 17 July 1966; NBR J37 No.64547 at Dundee on 1 April 1966; Britannia No. 70004 at Westbury on 14 August 1966; Class 5 No. 45247 at Chester General coupled to failed DMU on 20 August 1966; Britannia No. 70027 in Calder Valley in April 1966 (colour: M. Chapman)
B1s the LNER's Class 5 4-6-0s. Derek Penney. 96-9
Colour photo-feature: No. 61074 fresh from Works at Grantham motive power depot; No. 61262 leaving Tay Bridge with coal empties from Dundee in August 1966; No. 61118 approaching Perth from the south with a freight train in 1965; No. 61190 leaves Retford with a stopping train for Grimsby c1958; No. 61203 leaving March for Ely on an express leaving a large carbon footprint in January 1959; No. 61033 Dibateg crossing viaduct (with slogan FIGHT TORY RENT INCREASES ACT NOW daubed on it) on excursion between Wadsley Bridge and Sheffield in 1958; No. 61258 with self-weighing tender in sidings at Sheffield Victoria; No. 61251 Oliver Bury (see removal of "Sir" courtesy Sir Editor) with two-coach express (diesel railcar replacement?) alongside diesel railcar at Grantham c1962; No. 61221 SirAlexander Erskine-Hill on freight heading south from Perth in 1965.
Eric Stuart. Freight on the Underground. 100-5.
Author actually worked for London Transport. The largest freight activity was on the former Metropolitan Raillway and over the Widened Lines and East London Railway.There was also freight on the former LNER lines which formed the surface extensions of the Northern and Central Lines: this sometimes requires special timetabling to enable it to mesh into the normal regular interval pattern. Freight wagons needed to be double coupled and there was a need for catch points on steep gradients. Steam locomotives needed condensing apparatus and trip cocks were required for all motive power. Headcodes to indicate routes were also required. Illustrations: Electric locomotive No. 7 Edmund Burke with Chiltern Court freight for Chiltern Court, Baker Street; Western Region meat train hauled by 57XX (97XX series) at Farringdon near fial desistination at Smithfield depot; K class 2-6-4T No. 113 at Verney Junction on a freight train in 1930s; 633 class 0-6-0T Np. 643 with condensing apparatus at Old Oak Common in early 1930s; BTH Type 1 Bo-Bo on northbound freight at East Finchley in early 1960s (Ben Brooksbank); former Metropolitan District Railway 0-6-0T No. L30 at Kensington Olympia in 1959; N2 No. 69498 (69848 on incorrect caption) shunting at Finchley Central in mid-1950s; LMS Jinty 0-6-0T shunting coal wagons at High Street Kensington (this was covered in Backtrack, 2016, 30, 70); mural at Wapping station showing freight entering Thames Tunnel and F stock emerging
David Mosley. Irish diisesel traction. 106-8
Colour photo-feature with introductory notes an extended captions: Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co. A1A+A1A diesel electric No. B112 with Sulzer 960hp engine; Meetro-Vick-Crossley A class 1200 hp Co-Co diesel electric No. A38 in lime green livery on an Irish Railway Record Society at an unrecorded locatiom; C class with 550 hp engine No. C215 at Mallow; power car AEC Park Royal No. 612 with two trailer cars and orange & blacl livery power car at other end entering Amiens Street, Dublin; power car AEC Park Royal No. 600 with another power car hauling two vans into Macmine Junction forming a train from Dublin to Wexford and Rosslare; AEC railbus at Inchicore in June 1961 (presumably had Howden Meredith wheels)
Phil Mathison. Sunk without trace: the railway and deep water Humber
terminal that never was. 109-11
In the 1900s there was great distrust between the North Eastern Railway and the city of Hull in spite of the Hull & Barnsley Railway providing competition. In 1904 the North Eastern Railway proposed the Sunk Island Railway which would have statrted at a junction on the Withernsea branch and would have terminated on a pier nearly a mile out into the Humber. Ultimately the North Eastern abandoned the Sunk Island scheme in favour of the Riverside Quay opened in 1907 within the Albert Dock and sited within the City. Illustrations: Ordnance Survey map used by NER to show pier; Hawkins Point; NER map showing proposed branch; Ottringham Baulk crossing on A1033.
Roger Griffiths and John Hooper. Scarborough engine shed and
its locomotives. Part One. 112-19
George Hudson's York & North Midland Railway opened from York to Scarborough on 7 July 1845; a year later a line from Bridlington joined this line at Seamer Junction, A two- road engine shed and six staff cottages served the lines and is illustrated as later converted into a goods shed which was abolished in 1906 to make space for the Londesborough Road excursion station. Two further routes reached Scarborogh: the Forge Valley line which linked Pickering to Seamer Junction opened in 1882 and the Scarborough and Whitby Railway opened in 1885.
Scarborough grew in popularity as a resort, assisted by rail traffic. The original engine shed had closed in 1882 and been replaced to the south by a brick-built, rectangular turntable shed (roundhouse), which had an access track from either end and eleven internal stabling roads off a 44ft 8in turntable made by Ianson, Son & Co. of Darlington. One of the stabling roads was spanned by a wooden, hand-operated shear legs. There was also an elevated coaling platform, and 38,000-gallon water tank. Cites Ken Hoole's North Eastern locomotive sheds for costs. The depot was sited alongside the Seamer Road and lack of space led to an asymmetric design and soon became too small. In 1890 an eight-road, dead-end straight shed was opened on a site south of the semi-roundhouse and was erected on ground that had to be built up to provide a level area. It was constructed in brick. A 50ft turntable was installed in the yard just south of the roundhouse, opposite the coaling platform; but in 1924 was replaced by an outrigger type of 60ft diameter which was in turn replaced about 1953.
Illustrations: Ordnance Survey map of 1852 showing original engine shed; photograph of original serving as goods shed; LNER plan of 1932 showing engine sheds and loco. yard; exterior of main shed in 1900s with W class 0-6-0 No. 1805 and class O 0-4-4T No. 540 aand unidentified passenger tender engines behind; W class 4-6-2T No. 693 with brakes on bogie (thus post-1917) outside main depot (H. Gordon Tidey); A8 class locomotives Nos. 69867, 69877 and 69885 stored in old roundhouse in June 1959; J94 No. 68061 in storage in September 1961 (N.W. Skinner); in storage two A8 class (No. 69885) and two D20 (one of two with rebuilt tenders) in storage in winter 1952 (K.H. Cockerill); A8 No. 69886 on coal train; A2 No. 60516 Hycilla, No. 60522 Straight Deal (without nameplate) and 60515 Sun Stream in storage in straight road shed in early 1960s (N.W. Skinner); WD 2-8-0 No. 90030 heading freight for tunnel to Gallows Close goods station; Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 No. 43124 emerging from tunnel from Gallows Close goods station (both Ron Hodge); D49 No. 62739 The Badsworth on empty stock in 1950s (Ron Hodge); Hughes 2-6-0 No. 62763 arrives with excursion from LMR (Ron Hodge)
Tony Robinson. Forgotten branches of North East Wales. Part three
The Holywell branch. 120-4
Crockford's Tramway was a narrow gauge tramway using horse drawn tubs which ran from a wharf at Greenfield up to Parry's Mine annd a spelter works. In 1891 the LNWR purchased the track bed and considered installing an electric tramway, but on 1 July 1912 Sir Gilbert Claughton reopened the branch: the LNWR having obtained legislation and relaid the line. Special arrangements had to be made due to the sttep 1 in 27 gradient, but there was no form of signalling on the branch. At the terminus there was a lift to raise and lower parcels: this was powered by vacuum off the locomotive. Illustrations: 0-6-2T No. 2518? on opening day with two coach train and crowd on zig zag path at Holywell Town; Holywell Juncttion with locomotive No. 2518 and same train as previous; Milnes-Daimler LNWR bus on Holywell to Station service in 1905; map; St. Winefride's Halt c1920; Ivatt 2-6-2T No. 41276 with auto (push & pull) coach at Holywell Town c1953 (N.R. Knight); 2-6-2T No. 41270 with brake van in goods yard at Holywell in 1951 (H.B. Priestley); No. 41276 with push & pull coach at Holywell Junctionc1953; site of Holywell Town station in 2019.
Readers' Forum. 125
The Midland Compounds. Jim
Re excellent photograph of Perth station in December issue:.it is mainly of Platforms 8 and 9 at the north end of the station and not Platforms 5 and 6 at the south end as implied by the caption. Therefore the train at Platform 8, headed by engine No.40921, is heading north. If the year is 1954, it is probably the 05.50 to Struan. The train on the right, at Platform 7, is probably the 05.15am sleeper to Inverness. It is from Euston and probably running late. The restaurant car for the service is in the process of being attached to the rear of the train for early breakfasts while passengers enjoy the Highland Line scenery. Also, the train at the far end of Platform 5, which is a southbound platform, is not a Dundee train. The time of year is probably arount 21 June.
The Midland Compounds. Nick
Re Williams statement that the pioneer locomotive, No. 1000, was stored at Derby from 1951 for "almost two years". Presumably, it was then that the engine was moved to Crewe as writer saw it in the paintshop, still in 8R lined black livery and bearing the number 41000, on 13 April 1956, when visiting the Works on an lan Allan Locospotters' excursion and was surprised to see it since it did not feature in the table of preserved locomotives in his ABC ('Historic Locomotives Preserved in Store') KPJ: it is not clear where this table was published. This included such celebrities as Cornwall and Hardwicke, but not No. 1000, possibly as the decision to preserve it had not yet been taken. In his Winter 1958/59 ABC it is noted as being at Crewe, but it must have moved back to Derby soon after that, since it was there that the restoration work took place.
On the subject of liveries, in the October 1959 edition of Train Illustrated there is a photo-feature entitled 'Sacrilege and Sanctification', which has two pictures, one of No.1000 looking resplendent in its restored Midland livery and the other of No.41101 at Newton Heath shed, painted bright yellow, with red splashers and cab side-sheets, and with 'Daily Mirror Andy Capp Blackpool Special' painted in large letters on its tender. Apparently, the special ran from Manchester to Blackpool on the August Bank Holiday Monday. The caption also notes that No.41101 borrowed the chime whistle from a 'Clan' 4-6-2 which was awaiting works! There are some Colour-Rail images of this outlandish apparition. See Steam World
Weiter saw and photographed No.1000 at Birmingham New Street on what was possibly its first outing in preservation, a run to York on 30 August 1959. I saw it again at the same location about a month later, an occasion which came very close to disaster. Just as the locomotive was about to set out from New Street's Platform 7 on the Midland side of the station, the safety valves lifted and a great jet of steam shot skywards. As it did so, it dislodged some of the glass in the very rickety overall roof which, unlike that on the LNWR side, had not been demolished after the Second World War. Large shards of thick glass, together with the accumulated soot and pigeon droppings of more than a century, came showering down on to the assembled group of admirers (including me), at the platform end. Miraculously, no-one was hurt although No.1000 sustained some dents to her lovely paintwork.
The Iron Horse. John C.
It is unfortunate that he only spotted the name of the illustrator of this book a week before the December Backtrack appeared. It appears on two (at least) of the drawings: 'Caught in the Act' and' Looking Out Ahead'. In both case it is near the bottom Whympermany readers will connect this name to Edward Whymper, the celebrated mountaineer who led the first successful attempt on the Matterhorn in 1865. It turns out that the climber's day job was the production of book illustrations, evidently including those for The Iron Horse.
The Iron Horse. Linda
In case anyone wants to read the original text of Ballantyne's The Iron Horse it's another one that is available free on Project Gutenberg at http://www. gutenberg.org/ebooks/21740
Marylebone collisions. Chris
The unrecorded location of No.6091 heading west with its lightweight train of one tank and a full brake is to be found about 200 yards west of Northwick Park & Kenton station. The end of the platform ramp can just be seen behind the train, on the very edge of the photograph. The signal controls the up Metropolitan fast line and the houses in the background are Nos.28/30 and 32/34 Northwick Avenuue.
Marylebone collisions. Doug
The incident at Marylebone in 1913 prompted the author to comment on the carry-on attitude of the times. It reminded me of an incident from my schooldays nearly 40 years later in either 1951 or '52 at Rickmansworth on the Metropolitan-Great Central joint section. I was returning from a fishing trip, sitting comfortably with my back to the engine in the second coach, when I was thrown forward off my seat accompanied my a loud bang. The Met-Vic electric had coupled-up for the engine change a little too briskly. The leading coach, a wooden Meropolitan brake, was probably a write-off, about 6ft from the front the coach body woodwork had cracked vertically and across the roof, some letter racks had become detached and were strewn about the luggage compartment floor. There were no injuries. The damaged coach was soon removed and parked in the bay, the remaining stock deemed fit for travel, the Met-Vic coupled-up more gently and we were under way, elapsed time about half an hour. These days might such an incident have been deemed a crime scene, shutting the network down for a few hours?
The Met-Vic locos always looked very business like; the carry-on spirit was evidently still alive and well in the 1950s. Before signing off, does anyone have details of the fatal accident involving driver Simpson of Neasden shed c1946-47. He lived close by in Wembley and his son Michael was a school friend. Response from Den Sullivan on p, 189
The Southern in Devon through the 1970s
. Roger Merry-Price
Re John Jarvis article in the November issue states that "BR(S) had not made any significant closures in Devon before publication of the Beeching Report" and then goes on to say that the Turnchapel line and Plymouth Friary station were two exceptions. I would disagree as these were not closures by the Southern Region but those of the Western.
In 1950 all the Southern lines west of Cowley Bridge Junction were transferred to the WR for administrative and commercial purposes. Operating and motive power arrangements, however, stayed with the SR. As a result a number of former Southern Railway buildings started to receive WR brown/cream painting schemes and WR signage. Such a building was the signal box at Crediton illustrated in Mr. larvis's article. The locomotive sheds, however, still being within the Southern Operating Area (as it was known), retained their 72' series shed numbers.
In 1958 all the former SR lines were transferred back to the Southern Region with the exception of those in the Plymouth area where the WR took over complete control including operating arrangements. As a result Plymouth Friary shed was transferred from the WR to the SR.
I am not suggesting that the SR was not consulted about the Turnchapelline closures (passenger in 1951, freight in 1961) or Plymouth Friary station (closed to passengers in 1958) but the Western Region made the actual decisions.
The Taft Vale Railway in the news.
Further to the article on the Taff Vale Railway (TVR) in theOctober 2019 issue, the fallout from the Taff Vale case of 1900 came, indirectly, to affect the Barry Railway some years later when Henry Frederick Golding (always referred to as H. F. Golding) was appointed Locomotive Superintendent in 1905. Golding, a now virtually forgotten figure, had begun his railway career on the London & South Western Railway as a pupil of William Adams. In 189, he joined the TVR as a draughtsman where his career prospered. Contemporary evidence at the time of the Taff Vale dispute indicates that he was very much on the side of the management and opposed to the strikers. In 1904 Golding was appointed TVR Assistant Locomotive Superintendent based at Penarth Dock. However, next year he took up the vacant post of Locomotive Superintendent on the Barry Railway.
Golding's management style on the Barry seems to have been notably strict even by standards of the age and he clearly had little or no time for trades unions. His time in post was marked by a series of disputes after his appointment in July 1905. These began with a list of grievances presented by footplatemen as early as November 1905. In 190 a Board of Trade investigation into the state of the Barry Railway locomotive stock was launched as a result of complaints voiced, in particular by those employed in the Locomotive Department. Whilst there are often two sides to an argument, and not all of the 1907 allegations were proven, Golding seems to have had an abrasive manner, although he was always described as being polite, and he certainly believed in hierarchy and discipline in the work place. It is significant that the men always stressed that they had no dispute with the company, they saw their issues as being with H. F. Golding. Inevitably, strike action resulted in 1908. It is also significant that both the strikers and the press, perhaps inevitably, made comparisons with the Taff Vale case. It is possible that Golding's uncompromising views on trades unions were hardened during that dispute although evidently, like many railway senior officers, he seems to have been opposed to trades unions having a role per se. The Barry's General Manager Edward Lake, for example at the time of these events, seems to have had a similar attitude.
Golding resigned suddenly in November 1909 for reasons that remain unclear. Invariably, when a senior Barry officer resigned or retired, a function was organised by his colleagues and duly reported in the local press. To date, no report of a farewell function for H. F. Golding has been found. His appointment was a rare misjudgement by the Barry's board which was generally well served by its senior officers. Nor, following Golding's resignation, had the Barry Railway seen the last of him. In 1910 he caused some disruption at a shareholders' half-yearly meeting when he protested that maintenance was being sacrificed for profit. Given that the company's shareholders' meetings were usually quite polite and non-controversial, this was a notable event. In contrast, his successor John Auld seems to have been a genial and approachable figure. Interestingly, none of the above events will be found in the official history of the Barry Railway published in 1923 to mark its effective absorption, officially amalgamation, into the Great Western Railway. A single sentence therein notes the dates of Golding's appointment and resignation and nothing else.
Double-heading Bruce Coleman
As a subscriber from day 1 I do not recall an article specifically about double heading and I wonder whether one of your knowledgeable contributors would like to tackle this subject. How did the two locomotivess communicate with each other, was there a rule as to which was the train engine, how did they know whether they were 'pulling their weight' etc. Was it carried out anywhere else in steam days, other than in the UK?
Bob Farmer's Index
for Volume 33 is available from him at Bob.Rosemary.Farmer@gmail.com
Book reviews. 126
The North Berwick and Gullane branch lines.
Andrew M. Hajducki. Oakwood Press, soft back. 240pp. Reviewed
by NM (=Sandy Mullay) *****
In 1935 a man was seen sitting alone at Drem railway station with an ornamental claret jug on his lap. Any golf enthusiast would know the significance of this trophy, awarded to the winner of the British Open. The traveller was Alf Perry, waiting for one of the London expresses which still stopped at this wayside station some twenty miles from Edinburgh. Drem was and still is the junction for the branch from the ECML to North Berwick, but Perry had just made sporting history at Muirfield, located at Gullane a few miles to the west. This anecdote came to mind when reading this new edition of a book recording the history of both the Gullane and North Berwick branch lines, although there is good reason for it not being included in this new Oakwood production, which comprises a second edition of Andrew Hajducki's excellent history of the two lines. Perry probably took a taxi to Drem since Gullane station had closed three years earlier and its junction, Longniddry, was not a recognised stop for long-distance services.
The author Andrew Hajducki produced his first edition of this book in 1992 in a hardback encompassing 192 pages. This new edition has 240 pages, with a colour cover and plates, and has been transformed from a hardback to a chunky paperback. It includes most of the first edition's monochrome photographs, the scale drawings of buildings, copies of relevant timetables and OS maps, and many new pictures bringing the story up to date. Though the Gullane branch may be consigned to history, the North Berwick line is thankfully still with us and electrified into the bargain.
It was intended at one time to build a loop off the ECML from Longniddry through Gullane, to North Berwick and then back to the main line at Drem, but this never materialised. Curiously, although both resorts were rail served, a connecting line was never completed between them, and that was despite local communities requesting such completion as late as 1915. It had to be pointed out to them that there was a war on at the time. SMT bus services were soon established in the area, making further rail development unlikely. Unfortunately, the author repeats the usual myth that the LMSR and LNER bought a '50% shareholding' in the bus company, something not bourne out by an examination of the archives of a bungled transaction. (See this reviewer's London's Scottish Railways, Tempus, 2005, pp 61- 64).
But even during the dismal 1960s, North Berwick survived the latest pogrom against nearly all of Scotland's remaining branch railways, and Mr. Hajducki's first edition covered this well. Having a vigorous and intelligent local community prepared to fight for their railway saw success which was denied to Gullane in the 1930s but also to St. Andrews, Scotland's and indeed the world's leading golfing resort, the latter particularly badly served by its local council where transport matters were concerned in 1968.
While we should of course be grateful for the North Berwick branch's survival, its present state is a sad comedown from when this reviewer first saw it in 1958. A compact two-platformed terminus, with a John Menzies bookstall at the buffer stops, it was distinguished by an impressive array of hanging baskets, in addition to the flower beds which were a seemingly essential part of a well-kept railway station [KPJ a party from North Berwick should be sent to West Runton where volunteers maintain a prize winning garden within walking distance of the Links Hotel]. At least, North Berwick still has a railway terminus (almost uniquely on the east coast of Scotland) and its history could hardly be better chronicled than in this authoritative work by Mr. Hajducki. Backed by the publishing expertise of Richard Stenlake, we have been given an excellent addition to Scottish railway literature.
The Southwold Railway 1879-1929: the tale of a Suffolk
byway. David Lee, Alan Taylor and Rob Shorland-Ball. Pen &
Sword Books. 248pp. Reviewed by Geoffrey Skelsey. ****
It is odd that, after waiting 90 years for a comprehensive history of the three-foot- gauge Southwold Railway in Suffolk, two arrive almost together. Inevitably this well-presented new title invites comparison with Peter Paye's history, reviewed in these pages recently (BT, April 2019, p253). There is naturally some overlap, for instance in the route descriptions, rolling stock details and the line's troubled history, but the newer title usefully complements the earlier one and the treatment is different. It relies substantially on the research and discoveries over many years of David Lee and Alan Taylor, which Rob Shorland-Ball has ably woven together into a fluent and engaging story.
The authors were able to do what many of us wish we had done, which was to locate in time people who knew the railway in operation and who worked on it. Notably B. E. Girling, the last Southwold station master, was the source of valuable particulars of daily operations on the line, including welcome details of train formations and locomotive working. Working timetables are illustrated and discussed, and there is a full account of the archaic signalling arrangements. Over 200 illustrations include a number which have not been published before and other original documents and diagrams have been unearthed to support the story. The unsuccessful Southwold Harbour branch, built as late as 1914 as a light railway (which the 'main line' wasn't), is described in full, including its improbable use in repatriating Dutch nationals in the Great War, prior to their embarking on steamers moored offshore. A poignant chapter describes the sad decline of the railway in the face of bus competition and the strangely lethargic response of the directors, who arguably threw in the towel too soon: the suggestion is that the summary closure, with barely any notice to traders, was an (unsuccessful) effort to bounce the local authorities into offering support. The protracted delay of over ten years in realising the company's assets, leaving the entire line and its equipment in limbo, is fully illustrated. Even then the company itself survived in a shadowy state and it is interesting to read full details of successive attempts to revive the line, beginning in 1930, with examples of original records.
As we have come to expect from this publisher, the book is (with one exception) a delight to read, beautifully laid out, and with first rate reproduction of photographs in generous sizes. The only reservation lies in the standard of some of the maps which deserved better treatment. The book ends on an encouraging note with an account of further efforts in more recent years to reopen the line (much of its trackbed survives intact), or at least to recreate a working replica.
Your reviewer bought both these titles and has no regrets: together they are a worthy commemoration of a unique and characterful line.
Operating the Caledonian Railway, Volume 1. Jim
Summers, Lightmoor Press & the Caledonian Railway Association,
2019, 168pp, Reviewed by PT (Peter Tatlow?) *****
The history, construction, description of the lines, locomotives carriages and wagons, even signalling in some cases have been more than adequately written about for most railways; but how was all this put to use by running the traffic over the system and hopefully earning a dividend to recompense those who had invested their money in the first place? The means by which the railway actually operated is a topic long overdue for more thorough consideration and who better to undertake the task than Jirn Summers, a retired professional railwayman of 50 years standing?
The organisation of the Caledonian company, the working life and conditions of work for various grades of railwaymen are looked into, along with the running of marshalling yards, shunting of passenger trains and assisting or banking trains. Consideration is then given to the arrangements for handling additional trains and excursion traffic out-with the printed timetable. The pages are all copiously illustrated with photographs and extracts from relevant documents, together with some line diagrams, and the book is provided with appendices, bibliography and index.
Just because he has written about the Caledonian Railway's methods does not mean that this should not be of interest to a wider audience. There was a lot of common ground with other companies and the author is not past drawing attention to some differences over the years and by other Scottish and foreign companies.
This book is thoroughly recommended and I look forward to Volume 2, which promises to cover: train and resource planning, brakes, line capacity, control and plant, goods and passenger traffic working, electrification; performance, infrastructure, safety, accidents and recovery, impact of war, weather, crime, dealing with neighbours.
Shedding light on Standedge. Gavin Morrison. rear cover
Trans-Pennine Class 124 diesel multiple unit approaching Standedge Tunnel at Diggle which had been rationalized (canal in background, then closed to navigation has reopened: one may question Britain's transport priorities: canals for a handful of rich leisure seekers or trains for the masses?)
|London Midland & Scottish Railway
5MT 2-6-0 No.42939 and its crew take
a break at Rugby on 9th August 1961.
|March (Number 347)
Precis writing delayed
Four wheels on my wagon. Michael Blakemore. 131
The Pacer four-wheeled multiple units. Michael Portillo was viewed in several and they all lived north of the Red Wall and were never seen even in East Anglia let alone south of the Thames except in the Far West.
To the Channel and beyond . Rodney Lissenden. 132-3
Colour photo-feature: work on the high-speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link during 2002: EWS No. 66 016 stands on western end of new Medway Briadge near Cuxton with train of track panels alongside new M2 motorway bridge on 18 April 2002; Class 66 Nos. 66 076 and 66 097 outside east end of North Down Tunnel; Freightlinrt Class 66 Nos. 66 552 and 66 529 on empty ballast wagons on former Gravesend West branch and yet to be Ebbsfleet route from St. Pancras on 14 June 2002; Freightlinrt Class 66 Nos. 66 531 and 66 529 at either end of ballast train at Beach Brook Farm; and Class 20 No. D8188 alias 20 188 on wiiring train at Tutt Hill on 5 August 2002.
Bruce Laws. Colwick: where coal was king. Part One. 134-40.
Colwick or Netherfield was the key to the Great Northern Railway's own access to the Nottingham Coalfield which hitherto had been the fiefdom of the Midland Railway. The Great Northern Railway opened its own Derbyshire and Staffordshire extension line from Eggington Junction (on the North Staffordshire Railway's line from Stafford) to its own Derby Friar Gate station. The new GNR line, referred to colloquially as 'the back line', swept round the east and north of Nottingham via Basford and Daybrook. Its summit was reached at Arno Vale from where it passed through huge cuttings on either side of Mapperley Plains Tunnel and the descent to Gedling and Colwick. The London & North Western arrived in Colwick from Melton Mowbray and built its own engine shed and staff housing. The relationship with the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire was complex, but led to the joint Victoria station. Illustrations: Colwick engine shed and coal sidings in 1907 (F.E. Mackay); map of Notttingham colliery lines; Stanier 8F 2-8-0 No. 48370 at Market Harborough on 2 April 1960; O1 2-8-0 No. 63777 at either Annesley or Colwick; O4/8 No. 63644 passing Nottingham Victoria with mineral wagons on 11 August 1964 (R.K. Blencowe); J11 9-6-0 No. 64397 at Colwick shed on 16 March 1958; J6 0-6-0 No. 64273 in Nottingham Victoria (R.K. Blencowe); A5 4-6-2T on local pssenger train in Nottingham Victoria; WD aust erity No. 90000 at Colwick shed in September 1955 (G.W. Sharpe); Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 No. 43065 at Colwick shed in 1963.
Stephen Roberts. Oxfordshire's railways. 141-9.
This is mainly about the Great Western, but the London & North Eastern was legitimately able to name one its Shire class Oxfordshire as a few miles of the Great Central traversed the County (on what basis could the GWR appropriate the name Brocket Hall?). The Southern Railway worked train to Oxford and evn to Banbury and the LMS courtesy of the LNWR had a tatty terminus in Oxford, Branch lines included that to Fairford which during WW2 became important because of its links with aerodromes at Brize Norton (station formerly named Bampton) and at Carterton. Brize Norton signal cabin had a link to the airfield's control tower as the taxiways were very close to the railway. Illustrations: lined green No. 7921 Edstone Hall at Oxford on 12 December 1961 with train of Southhern Regiion green stock (colour); Great Western map (red colour); Oxford station with sauiidal employee running into path of locomotive c1910 (postcard in John Alsop Collection); Rebuilt Scot No. 46118 Royal Welch Regiment on local train in Banbury station on26 May 1962 (K.C.H. Fairey: colour); No. 6969 Wraysbury Hall painted black approaching Wolvercote Junction om down freight (A.E. Doyle: colour);; spotless LSWR T9 class 4-4-0 No. 118 on train of LSWR stock at Oxford forming a Machester to Bournemouth express in 1911 (John Alsop Collection); Castle class No.7005 Sir Edward Elgar picking up water from Charlbury wateer troughs with a London express on 1 June 1963 (G. Parry: colour); soldier and sailor join Wallingford auto train powered by 0-4-2T No. 1444 at Cholsey & Moulsford on 26 March 1959 (Ben Brooksbank); Atbara or Bulldog 4-4-0 calling at Steventon staation with an up express in 1900s; G2a 0-8-0 next to King class 4-6-0 on Oxford shed on 1 April 1961 (colour); Class 5 4-6-0 No. 45493 passung under Aynho flyover with through train to Bournemouth formed of Southern Region stock in 1966; single unit diesel railcar in Abingdon station in 1960s (Lamberhurst); Thame station (Lamberhurst)); 0-4-2T No. 1444 at Wallingford on 26 March 1959 (Ben Brooksbank); No. 6029 King Edward VIII on up Cambrian Coast Express at Banbury with diesel multiple unit alongside on 17 March 1962 (colour); 0-6-0PT No. 7412 at Witney with train for Fairford on 24 Frebruary 1962 (Ben Brooksbank); Oxfiord Rewley Road station with London Midland & Scottish Railway on frontage; Littlemore station in 1900s; Horspath Halt in snow on 5 January 1963 (Lamberhurst)
Jeffrey Wells. Aspects of a Lancashire railway town: 1830-1910.
Newton-in-Makerfield, also known as Newton-le-Willows was roughly the mid-point of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. It was not far from the Sankey Viaduct which had to provide headroom for the Mersey flats which were sailing barges. A junction was provided for the Grand Junction Railway which linked Birmingham with Manchester and Liverpool via Warrington. This connectivity prompted the creation of a locomotive works which was to become yje Vulcan Foundry and the Earlestown wagon works. Illustrations: Sankey Viaduct (LNWR postcard based on engraving); map; Parkside station west of Newton; (sketch); Newton Bridge station Newton-le-Willows after 1888; Earlestown Junction station; Sankey Viaduct (colour image by Author); Webb 2-4-2T No. 2260 on push & pull train in Warrington platform at Earlestown Junction (caption notes architectural features of station building); G2a 0-8-0 No. 49249 passing through Earlestown via Haydock Flat Crossing on 24 July 1953; interior of Vulcan Foundry erecting shop; Precedent class 2-4-0 with long excursion train passing Stone's Crossing signal box; William Huskisson Memorial; Sankey Viaduct (colour: Author shows massive nature of piers and their bases)
Riichard Clarke. Peak Forest, Buxton and Great Rocks. 156-9
Memories of a relief signalman in Derbyshire. His main source of transport was by bicycle with a near two hour ride to Grindleford from his home in Chapel-en-le-Frith. Illustrations: Great Rocks Junction in 1976; Chinley North Junction signal diagram; Horwich 2-6-0 No, 42796 approaching Chapel-en-le-Frith South with a freight from Buxton on 10 February 1982 (Alan Tyson); 8F No. 48190 shunting at Spencer's Sidings, Hindlow in 1962 (Colin Betts); track diagram in Chinley Station North Junction signal box in 1976; Richard Clarke at Chinley Station North Junction signal box in 1976; guard operating ground frame at Spencer's Sidings; Richard Clarke at Peak Forest South signal box in 1976.
Horwich's finest [Hughes 2-6-0]. 160-3.
Colour photo-feature: mixed traffic design, known as Crabs by enthusiasts due to their inclined outside cylinders and heavy Walschaerts valve gear: No. 42841 ex-Horwich works on Bolton shed on 11 September 1955 (Trevor Owen); No. 42899 on up express freight at Appleby West in 1961; No. 42800 on coal mempties leaving Patna in snow; No. 43853 on 16.30 from Chester to Mold via Denbigh at Bodfari on 19 Auguat 1961 (R. Patterson); No. 42904 near Chapel-en-le-Frith with freight on 28 May 1957; No. 42896 in Birmingham New Street on an ordinary passenger train in 1957; No. 42904 at Beauchief on passenger train from Sheffield (P.J. Hughes); No. 42912 at Brownhill Junction with frreight mainly of coal on 24 August 1963 (D. Kerrigan); No. 42829 with Reidinger rotary cam valve gear at Dudley on 17 May 1959; No. 42936 with express head lamps at Birkenhead Woodside with through coaches for Paddington which it would work as far as Chester on 28 March 1962,
Miles Macnair. From road unto rail: exercises in technology
transfer - Part three: traction engines, railcars and the Sentinel story.
Previous part. Due to the Red Flag Act road locomotives became largely limited to agriculture and were produced mainly by firms who specialised in agricultural implements, like ploughs: some of these ventured into the railway locomotives notably Aveling & Porter of Strood in Kent with their Invicta range. Others mentioned included: Robey, Fowler, Burrell and McLaren. Refers to William Fletcher again and "our foolish and meddlesome laws prohibited sensible speeds" [for steam highway vehicles] Leon Serpollet is also mentioned. Macnair is dismissive of most of the pre-1923 designs to produce steam railcars by 23 of the companies: only those produced by the Great Western, London & North Western and Lancashire & Yorkshire led to practical, lasting vehicles. In 1904 the Peebles Steam Car Company imported an advanced steam railcar from Ganz of Hungary which was assembled at the Falcon Works in Loughborough which had been manufacturing steam tramway locomotives. Another geared steam railcar was built by R.Y. Pickering & Co. and was purchased by Colonel Stephens for the Kent & East Sussex Railway. It seems extraordinary thatt Macnair does not cite Jenkinson and Lane's excellent book on railcars which includes both; although KPJ has failed to give Barry Lane his due as an author. The section on Sentinel is well pressented but adds nothing new. Illustrations: Avelling & Porter locomotive with chain drive based upon standard traction engine (The Engineer engraving); Aveling & Porter compound 0-4-0WT locomotive loaned to Great North of Scotland Railway shunting in Aberdeen docks; Clayton & Shuttleworth modified traction engine (WN 7776/1867) owned by Hall & Co. of Croydon; Marshall & Sons of Gainsborough WN 6402/1878 wiith underslung cylinders with additions by Pepper & Sons (H.C. Casserley); Foden WN 8360 steamer converted as crude locomotive at Aycliffe Lime and Limestone Ltd (W.A. Briggs) see also Foden's in Lowe; Kitson & Co, Great Northern Railway railcar No. 6 see also Ivatt locomotives; Ganz railcar see also Rutherford; Alley's standard water tube boiler; LMS No. 7192 with flash boiler and twin Doble engine; Southern Railway Doble engined rail bus on Dyke branch in 1936 with third rail? in 1934 (H.C. Casserley) (Jenkinson and Lane give it extended coverage); Foden solitary locomotive
Jeremy Clarke. In praise of the moguls. Part Two.
Part 1. The text describes the four LMS designs: the Hughes/Fowler design with steeply inclined cyliners, long travel piston valves and robust Walschaerts valve gear based on Pennsylvania Railroad practice. Fowler's contribution added sundry Derby details including an ill-fitting standard tender. Five were fitted with Lentz rotary cam poppet valve gear in 1931 and this was replaced by the Reidinger version in 1953. Forty more were on order when Stanier arrived and he substituted his own version with taper boiler and horizontal cylinders and a higher boiler pressure and narrower cylinders. The ill-fitting tenders remained and the designn was not multiplied. Ivatt was determined to displace the 0-6-0 and he did this with the Class 2 2-6-0 and the Class 4 2-6-0: the first was a neat design and ha d a matching 2-6-2T companion. The latter was ugly especially with the massive double chimney. The tender cab was more appropriate for the tundra. Lawson Billinton's K class shared tthe Stephenson motion with the Brighton Atlantics,the driving wheel size with the E5 tanl engine, but had a Belpaire boiler.The Maunsell 2-6-0 design was the N class introduced in 1917, but schemed from 1914 with input from Pearson and Holcroft recruited from Swindon and Clayton from Derby (but nothing like the Crabs). In the period following WW1 the Government sought to stem unemployment at Woolwich Arsenal by building locomotives thereat and the N class was selected: some ended up on the Southern, but others went elsewhere see article by Alan Jackson, The design spawned a 2-6-4T variant, the notorious River class which derailed at Sevenoaks, and a three-cyliner version, the U1 class. Illustrations: see also front cover and colour photo-feature on the extraordinary Crabs (behind one of which KPJ was given a thrilling descent from Standedge to Huddersfield on Boxing Day 1954): Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0 No. 46511 at Three Cocks Junction on Hereford to Brecon on 11 September 1962 (Gavin Morrison: colour); Hughes No. 2822 with Lentz rotary cam poppet valve gear at Manchester Victoria in May 1936; ex-LBSCR K class No. 32353 on LCGB Sussex Coast Limited Rail Tour on turntable at Bognor Regis on 24 June 1962 (David Idle: colour); Stanier Class 5 No. 2948 leaving Conway Tubular Bridge on 14.35 Bangor to Llandudno Junction (T.J. Edgington); Stanier Class 5 No. 42983 on 07.40 Crewe to Carlislle freight at Shap Wells on 26 May 1952 (T.J. Edgington); N class No. 31811 on 14.00 Woking to Eastleigh freight passing Winchfield on 25 July 1964 (David Idle: colour); Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0 No. 46495 aat Kettering on Cambridge train in March 1959 (T.J. Edgington); Ivatt Class 4 No. 3001 in LMS livery leaving Bletchley in 1948 (first vehicle is interesting); U class No. 31635 on 12.35 Reading to Redhill leaving Dorkimg Town on 21 December 1962 (David Idle: colour); Ivatt Class 4 No. 43092 at Peterborough North with train for Midland & Great Northern in May 1957; ex-LBSCR K class No. 2245 working Sunny South Express at Addison Road Kensington in 1932; N class No. 31405 at Ashford shed on 31 March 1957 (T.J. Edgington); U1 class No. 1908 without smoke deflectors and painted sage green.
Monton Green west of Salford. Alan Tyson. 176-7.
When at school at the top of Weaste Lane we used to run down to the railway bridge to see "what is on the Barrow": Black & white photo-feature: Jubilee Noo. 45563 Australia on 13.40 Mannchester Exchange to Wiagn North Western stopping at Monton Green on 2 April 1960; 8F 2-8-0 tender first on local freight passing in Eccles direction; Monton Green station master with his assistant; Stanier Class 4 2-6-4T No. 42439 passing Monton Green on 18.37 Wigan NW to Mancester Exchange on 2 August 1961; Coronation class No. 46232 Duchess of Montrose approaching Monton Green on diverted Birmingham to Glasgow on 5 November 1961; Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T No. 41283 on 12.05 Manchester Exchange to Kenyon Junction via Tyldesley and Leigh 0n 31 December 1960.
Geoffrey Skelsey. Crossing London: the City Widened
Lines and the Thameslink saga. Part Two. 178-83
Part 1. The belated electrification of the Great Northern services to Hertford North and Welwyn Garden City completed on 8 November 1976 left the Wid ened Lines with a residual service from Midland stations to Moorgate operated by diesel multiple units. A Report was instigated in 1972 by tthe Greater London Council, the Department of the Environment and the London Transport Executive under the Chairmanship of Sir David Barran, a senior executive in Shell. This reported in 1974, an iinopportune time due to industrial unrest. The report contained some modest proposals: the extension of the North London Line to Woolwich; rrestoration of the Gospel Oak to Barking service and electrification of the St. Pancras suburban services. It also proposed two west to east crossrail type underground route to channel British Rail services. A line from Paddington to Liverpool Street via Leicester Square and Holborn; and one from Victoria to London Bridge via Green Park, Leicester Square, Blackfriars and Cannon Street. The Midland suburban had been proposed for electrification in the 1930s, was omitted from the 1955 Modernisation Plan, but was aproved in November 1976.following completion of the Great Northern works. The Barran Committee had been lukewar about a suggestion to restore the Snow Hill link but in 1983/84 a BR/GLC study recommended its restoration with the third rail extennded to Farringdon and services via Elephant & Castle and via London Bridge.Illustrations: Thameslink map May 1991; Class 31 with train of to be National Lottery wasted money empty compartment stock about to join London Transport controlled railways at York Road on 10 September 1976; electric multiple unit for Holborn Viaduct at Blackfriars in March 1980 (dome of St. Paul's just peeping above roof of station; Ludgate Hill with Thameslink train crossing bridge and work on replacement tunnel visible amidst organised chaos on 25 Aprill 1990 (colour); Ludgate Hill station frontage briefly visible before destruction on 25 Aprill 1990; King's Cross Midland City station entrance (colour); Thameslink services brochure cover (colour); Farringdon station (colour: competition find the train amidst dazzle camouflage); 700 class arriving Faarrigdon from south in May 2018 (colour); Blackfriars south of the Thames with 7000 class unit about to depart (colour)
Rory Wilson. The Southampton Dock diesels 184-5
Following experiments with existing diesel locomotives including one with hydraulic transmission the Southern Region opted for a Ruston & Hornsby based on Ruston's LSSE type to replace the USA class 0-6-0Ts. Illustrations: No. D2992 at Southampton Royal Pier on 5 January 1961; D2997 at Southampton Ocean Terminal with RMS Queen Mary alongside on 6 December 1964 with small boys everywhere (M.J. Fox)
Rob Langham. Trains across the Gill: Hownes Gill Viaduct 1858-1968.
The gill (gorge) on the Stanhope & Tyne Railway was crossed by a pair of engine-worked incline planes with the wagons carried on cradles. This was a laborious and slow way of taking limestone down from the quarries near Waskerley to the iron nworks at Consett. Thomas Bouch of the Stockton & Darlington Railway designed a viaduct to cross the gill which is still in situ allthough it has not been used for railway traffic since the 1960s. The engines on the displaced incline were supplied by Robert Stephenson & Co. The viaduct and much iof the former railway is now part of the Sustrans cycle network. Ilustrations: (from Beamish Museum) Derwent Iron Works in Consett in 1857 (engraving?); Hownes Gill Viaduct with train on it viewed from valley; Stockton & Darlington Railway 0-6-0 Leader; Hownes Gill Viaduct with train on it hauled by Fletcher 901 claass 2-4-0 viewed from valley; top view of viaduct with track in place; 0-6-0 diesel shunter No, D3875 at Waskerley passing former station buildings; K1 No. 62027 running tender first on excursion from Waskerley near Rowley in 1863
Readers' Forum 189
B1 Class. Editor
The caption to No.61251, pictured on p99 of the February issue, gives the LNER director Oliver Bury more enoblement than he was entitled to; he was just plain 'Mr.'
The GS tanks . Gerald Knox
Regarding the caption on p. 10 No.67339 has not arrived bunker first, it was working in the push-pull mode and had pushed from Blyth,
Southern holidays . Philip
Re caption to top picture on page 35 is not correct. Yes Tor is not the highest point on Dartmoor. It has been officially confirmed that the neighbouring peak of High WiIlhays is two metres higher [but Yes Tor is a slightly better name for a locomotive].
Leith Central. John Macnab,
An enhancement to the above article (January) is the inclusion in the photographs of staff members at both Leith Central, Craigentinny and Edinburgh Waverley. Long in being given recognition far less in photographic image, it was such as they in their respective roles who made the railways run and those who have followed in their footsteps continue to do so in the present time. Not forgetting the depot/station/yard cats that kept the rodent population in check!
On stock matters dealt with at Leith Central, the 1956 Swindon-built Inter-City DMUs for the Edinburgh and Glasgow services eventually totalled 64 vehicles which included those that had been initially allocated to the WR. They did not become Class 126 as is often recorded, being withdrawn from service as the TOPS classification era dawned. It was the somewhat similar 1959 build from Swindon for Glasgow-Ayrshire services that became Class 126. A caveat perhaps in that four individual E&G coaches were reprieved to work with the 'Ayrshires' becoming, in effect, surrogate 126s
The Gloucester Class 100s given mention, as their duties dwindled in Scotland had upwards of seven units sent to the North Eastern Region in the summer of 1967 to assist in the dieselisation of the North Tyneside electrified services.
Thoughts from inside and outside the box.
Stephen G, Abbott
On page 743 (December) the photograph of EMU No.304 014 leaving Kidsgrove must have been taken long before 2008. The unit is in British Rail livery, moreover it was withdrawn in 1994!
Tickets for bathers and curlers. Andrew Kleissner
John Thomas, in Forgotten Railways: Scotland (D&C 1976) states that Loch Leven station on the erstwhile Kinross-shire Railway came into its own when the neighbouring loch was used for bonspiels. He states that the carriages which made up the special trains were mostly composed of first class carriages, with low-sided fish wagons carrying the curling stones (each bearing the name of its owner) trailing behind. The train would stop in section at the closest point to the loch so that the heavy stones could be unloaded, the players then being taken to Loch Leven station to alight. Extra staff were deployed to take down the lineside fencing and each train carried three guards to assist with the handling of the stones.
As far as skinny-dipping is concerned, I was a volunteer 'deviationist' on the Festiniog Railway for a fortnight in 1969. At that time the passenger services terminated at Dduallt and paused for perhaps 30 minutes while the locomotive ran round. Rhoslyn Lake is adjacent to the station and its dark waters were very tempting to two of us on a hot day. Unfortunately a train arrived not long after we had started our dip and so we had to hide ourselves at the edge of the lake, clinging to bushes, until it departed! Shall I say that the warm sunshine was very welcome after our extended sojourn!
Crossing London Andy
Re article on Holborn Viaduct station which brought old memories back to me. The frontage was modern for those days but the old station was within. I served as a Catering Manager for British Transport Hotels from 1962 until 1969. As part of my training I was at Holborn Viaduct for a short while and was a griddle chef in the day and a barman at night. I used to have time off between these shifts and we used the old refreshment room used for storage. The other chef and I were in there when we noticed a wooden board fixed to the wall in the kitchen. We pulled it away and there was an metal ladder leading down. We went down and found rooms and an old canteen with tables and forms and a serving area covered in dust undisturbed for years. I don't know its purpose maybe wartime. We continued down the ladder and eventually found the old station on the goods line under Holborn which was still in use (not the station).and a flight of stairs leading up into the roof, sealed off but obviously the old exit on to the concourse. Further investigation found a lot of old prison cells which we assumed must have been connected to the Old Bailey at some stage.
The stations at Wellingborough. Robin
May I add a small architectural snippet to the interesting article (January 2020) by my long-standing friend Peter Butler who, incidentally, introduced me to the importance of the Midland Railway when I came to live in Wellingborough in 1971! In September 1898 an unattended parcels trolley on Wellingborough's down platform rolled across and tipped on to the track. Frantic efforts to move it into the six foot before the Manchester express roared through were in vain. The locomotive hit it at speed, derailing the leading bogie, then the whole train came to grief on pointwork at the north end of the station. Five passengers and the locomotive crew died. In his subsequent report Lt.- Col. Yorke, the Board of Trade Inspector, recommended that in future station platforms should at least be level or preferably slope away from the track, to deter errant trolleys from tipping over the edge. The backwards slope on Wellingborough's down platform is still most marked.
Electrifying Merseyside. Trefor
Re photograph at bottom of p692 (November 2019 issue) it is not Seaforth Sands station, but Seaforth and Litherland, approximately one mile east,the northern terminus and connecting station for the Liverpool-Southport line. The Overhead train is on the up relief line with Seaforth South home signal cleared for its return journey. The line to Seaforth Sands curves off to the right behind the terraced houses and the next signal box was Rimrose Road junction. This signal box only opened for the Grand National Race meeting each year and allowed Overhead trains access to Aintree via North Mersey Branch junction at Linacre Road.
Seaforth and Litherland was my local station up to getting married in 1966 and I started my railway career at the next station, Marsh Lane and Strand Road, now renamed Bootle New Strand. The photograph brings back happy memories, as a boy, of trips with my father into Liverpool on the Overhead viewing ships in the docks.
Goole's railways 1836-1910 . Mike G.
Re article by Jeffrey Wells in the January issue: this was of great interest and I am most grateful for the generous mentions of my modest contributions. The caption to the photograph at the bottom of page 28 is not quite right. The vessel shown is certainly the steamship Rother but at the time the photograph was taken she clearly did not have a white hull! The mud in the foreground is the north bank of the Dutch River at low water and the ship is in No. 2 Drydock, off South Dock. The view looks north west and to the extreme left of the photograph in the distance can be seen the unmistakable outline of the 'pepper pot' water tower but its companion the 'salt pot' water tower, completed in 1927, is not apparent. Behind the ship is No.5 compartment boat hoist and its accumulator tower. This hoist was moved from West Dock in 1924 and in the image it is not complete, so the picture must date between 1924 and 1927. It was customary for ships on the Copenhagen trade, carrying bacon and butter, to have white painted hulls but Rother was probably not employed on the Danish route at the time of the photograph. Other photographs do exist of the ship sporting a white hull.
From road unto rail. Bob
Re Part 1 of Miles MacNair article 'From Road Unto Rail Exercises in Technology Transfer'. In the introduction mention is made that "Popular history states that Trevithick then went on to build his first steam 'railway' locomotive for the Penydarren tramroad in 1804." I thought that I may be able to add some information in this regard.
I have in my possession a first edition copy, 1889, of The Working and Management of an English Railway by George Findlay, Lieut-Col. Engineer and Railway Volunteer, Staff Corps; Assoe. Inst. Civil Engineers; General Manager of the London & North Western Railway. In the frontispiece to the book there is a handwritten note by one Chas. Russell James of Merthyr Tydfil, who apparently gifted the book to a George Schultz on 7 October 1901. The note reads:
"The lst locomotive engine that ever ran on rails was Trevithick's & it ran on the tram road line at the back of Professional Row, Church St., Merthyr Tydfil where I was born. It had a brick built chimney and at one point of the line there was a tunnel. I have heard my father relate the story that his uncle Christopher James (father of the late Lord justice james) made a bet of a dozen of wine (he was a wine merchant) that the engine would not go beyond a certain point (that point being the entrance to the tunnel). The bet was made and was won by my Great Uncle Christopher who, shrewd man that he was, felt convinced, as it actually turned out, that the brick chimney was too high to pass under the roof of the tunnel."
This note has a postscript which reads: "see plate facing p. 123. I remember open 3rd class carriages on the Taff Vale Ry line when I was a child. the 2nd class carriages then on that line had no cushions to them. The train at Navigation was attached to a rope & let down a steep incline by a stationary engine & so drawn up until a bad accident happened & the incline was done away with by going round a curve lessing the steepness of the descent CRJ"
Marylebone collisions. Den
Re enquiry by Doug Landau about Driver Simpson's fatal accident (Readers' Forum. February), I was a fireman at Neasden from April 1953 to May 1958. On 7 August 1955 Driver Simpson was driving a V2 locomotive on the return trip to Marylebone from Leicester. There was single line working at Barby sidings with a speed restriction. The train was reported to have entered the crossover at about 50mph and overturned, killing Simpson and injuring his fireman and a number of passengers. As a very young fireman, I worked for a week with Charlie Simpson on the Marylebone pilot and he was a very patient and kind driver, especially with young inexperienced firemen. A full report of the accident can be found on Google, Great Central Accidents, Barby sidings.
More mixed freight . David
I was pleased to see more of David Idle's fine pictures in the February Backtrack. I believe I can add a little more commentary to them. The picture of 9F 2-10-0 No.92039 on a train of tank wagons is particularly interesting because it shows not oil tanks but a block load of the unusual APCM cement 'Cemflo' wagons which were introduced between 1961 and 1966 initially for cement traffic from Cliffe cement works in Kent and Uddingston near Glasgow. The train will probably be the 02.05 Uddingston to Cliffe return empties which has a brake van at either end so that it can reverse at Canonbury in either direction. The outward loaded train also had a brake van at both ends. In later years the train conveyed privately owned pallet vans of bagged cement as well. What is even more interesting in this picture is the use of a steam locomotive, because this working was usually rostered a pair of SR BRCW Type 3 diesel locomotives to York from where a Eastern Region Type 4 diesel locomotive would take it forward to Scotland. The SR locomotives would then return with the empties, as seen here. The 'Cernflo' type was notorious for rough riding and it was these wagons which derailed at Thirsk where they were run in to by DP2 hauling an express passenger train.
In the lower picture of the 'Black 5' near Carnforth the leading van is certainly a banana van, an early BR design with vertical matchboard planked sides which, judging by the similarity of advertising labels on the other leading vans behind it, may also be banana vans of a later design.
Book Reviews .. 190
Sunderland's Railways Neil T. Sinclair.
Oakwood Press, 124pp. 185 illustrations. Reviewed by MGF (Mike Fell)
This book forms part of the Oakwood Library of Railway History (No .. 163) and benefits greatly from the new larger format adopted following the acquisition of the Oakwood Press by Stenlake Publishing. The Preface establishes that Sunderland's Railways is a successor to the author's Railways of Sunderland first published by the Tyne and Wear Museum Service in 1985, with a second edition appearing the following year. The author tells us that his new book includes the significant changes that have taken place since 1986, including the end of coal traffic from Wearside and the extension of the Tyne and Wear Metro to the City of Sunderland. The sections on wagonways and early railways also incorporate recent research, especially that undertaken by Colin E. Mountford whose books are listed under Further Reading.
About 20% of the illustrations feature scenes post-1986. The images portray an eclectic mix of main line and industrial railways and well demonstrate the author's passion for his subject. In addition there are eight very useful maps and plans. Many of the images were captured by Sunderland railway photographer lan S. Carr who died in 2015. I visited the area in July 1967 and spent a week photographing the last remaining BR steam operations and steam locomotives at many of the industrial locations and so, for me, many of the images provided a reminder of that very enjoyable and now nostalgic occasion. I am certain that will also be the case for many others who made similar pilgrimages.
The book is a very readable and concise summary of the history of the industrial and mainline railways within the present day boundary of the City of Sunderland, including short sections of line that leave the city boundaries and then re-enter them. The sections dealing with wagonways and early railways are particularly strong. The Railway King George Hudson (1800-1871) was Member of Parliament for Sunderland from 1845 until 1859.
The author, quite rightly, emphasises that Hudson made a major contribution to railway and dock development at Sunderland and remained popular with the local electorate well after his dramatic demise from the national railway scene. He was chairman of the Sunderland Dock Company and Hudson Dock opened in 1850 is still so named today, under the control of the Port of Sunderland Authority.
The book has two main parts - a general history and a summary of the railways covered on a line by line basis. The two parts are interspersed with a section covering railway staff in which I was pleased to see mention of Denny Harrison (now Denny Harrison Lincoln) one-time signal women at Monkwearmouth, who ended her railway signaling days at Brough East on the Hull to Selby line. I recorded her fascinating career in the Stephenson Locomotive Society Journal for January/ February 2014 (VoI.90, No.885).
A minor criticism for me, perhaps because I have a maritime background, is that I would have liked to have seen more about the operational interface between the railways and shipping, although to be fair, the North and South Docks, the Wearmouth Staiths and the Lambton and Hetton Staiths all get a brief mention. The book is not a definitive history of Sunderland's railways but it is a must for everyone with an interest in those railways whether they are of an industrial or main line persuasion, or both. For those unfamiliar with the area seeking to learn more about it, the book forms an excellent introduction and points to where more detailed information can be found.
The LNWR 42ft Carriages of Richard Bore. Richard
Ball and Peter Chatham. LNWR Society. Soft cover, spiral bound A4
landscape. 50pp. Reviewed by BCL [Barry Lane ****
Richard Bore was the Carriage Superintent of the LNWR for 25 years from 1860 when he established the new carriage works at Wolverton in 1865. The style of body work that culminated in the familiar style of the company was set from thence on with six-wheeled stock entering service in the late 1860s followed by radial eight-wheelers in the 1880s. The book deals with the 42ft radial carriages built by Bore between 1882 and 1885 and is most comprehensive in detail with numerous scale drawings and illustrations. The main drawings are to 6mm to foot scale which is as large as the format would allow but most diagrams and plans are 4mm scale with just a few 3mm. The book is a boon for modellers despite the odd scale of the highly detailed main drawings.
This reviewer has modelled examples of these vehicles and can only wish that all the information published here had been available when he approached the subject. Only 180 of the 42ft carriages (which included Sleeping Saloons and 'Irish Mail') were built in Bore's final final years before Charles Park replaced him but much of the stock remained in service through to the grouping, albeit on bogies by then. This book complements previous volumes on LNWR carriage stock from members of the Society and is an invaluable assett to the subject. I only wish that it had been properley bound and larger rather than spiral bound. This excellent presentation will be an assett to anyone with half an interest in the subject. Highly recommended.
The remarkable Jim Crebbin and his experimental
locomotives Roger Backhouse. Society of Model and Experimental
Engineers. 82pp. 47 Illustrations. Revieweed by RHG *****
'Uncle Jim' Crebbin was a well known early twentieth century model engineer (1875-1950) experimenting with locomotives to develop ideas about miniature engine design. His locomotive Cosmo Bonsor features in an exhibition currently at the National Railway Museum, York, from September 2019, moving to the Science Museum London in Spring 2020,called 'Brass, Steam and Fire'.
The author is right to describe Jim Crebbin as remarkable! He worked as a clerk in the Bank of England and produced a series of competent miniature steam locomotives which became well known and well loved. However, for me as a life-long model engineer with a passion for steam locomotives, I became amazed as I read the book as to how influential this man was in and around the full-size railway as well as being a key player in the early days of the Society of Model and Experimental Engineers.
The book is a proper piece of scholarly research with extensive referencing at the end of each of the three chapters, and of course many of those references are sourced from within the pages of the magazine Model Engineer which is the journal founded in the early days of the Society of Model and Experimental Engineers. I commend the author's thoroughness in getting so much information together into what I found to be an enjoyable and informative read but I still found I had lots of questions about Jim Crebbin that needed answers. He counted H.N.Gresley, William Stanier G.J. Churchward, Sir Felix Pole and Harry Ricardo amongst his friends and seemed to have their ear with his opinions about compounding and other relevant steam locomotive topics even though he was not formally educated in engineering matters. His closeness to the great early twentieth century railway engineers puzzles both the author and the reader and we are left to speculate how Jim Crebbin was so obviously highly regarded and trusted amongst those great men. (It is tempting to wonder if his letters written on Bank of England notepaper had a bearing on his influence!)
In all the photographs Jim Crebbin always is dressed immaculately and in one image he is working in his workshop with the locomotive on the bench on its side and the owner is wearing a smart shirt, waistcoat and tie, but at least we can see that his hands were slightly grubby! At first I was sceptical at the possibility that Jim Crebbin was actually adopting a truly experimental approach to his work or whether he was just dabbling in his hobby, It would be beneficial to the reader if more of his experiments had been written up scientifically rather than just the bland statements we get from Jim Crebbin's summarisations. However, there is a photograph towards the end of the book which shows one of his locomotive models at speed being tested on the miniature test plant that he created to emulate the Swindon Locomotive Test Plant. The reader is left in no doubt studying that photograph that this steam locomotive testing was serious business and perhaps it was no wonder that Churchward paid so much attention to him and his views on compounding.
One minor niggle: on page 60 the author shows an image of a "lifting injector on Jim Crebbin's locomotive Conversion". The injector shown is a conventional non- lifting injector which is fed by water from the tender and does not need to lift water from a tank below the injector. Also I would like to add an an observation. Crebbin was interested in the sure-footedness of GWR locomotives compared with Southern types. He might have been fascinated to learn that one of the reasons why Churchward's locomotives were so sure-footed was that the tender drawbar was always positioned higher at the front than the rear so that the resultant force when pulling away with a heavy train added extra adhesive weight to the rear of the locomotive thus improving the adhesion. I wonder if Churchward shared that with 'Uncle Jim'? A great book for model engineers and railway enthusiasts to enjoy and learn from.
The Yorkshire Lines of the LNWR. Neil
Fraser, Oakwood Press, softback, 208 pp.. Reviewed by DJ. ***
This book has had protracted origins. Its author Neil Fraser died in 2001 having seen Oakwood Press publish his first work Hillhouse immortals the story of a London & North Western Railway engine shed. It reflected his lifelong interest in Huddersfield, which was at the centre of a second manuscript that was incomplete at the time of his death. His daughter Rowena Kidger worked with the late Dr. Graham Hardy to finalise The Yorkshire Lines of the LNWR and it was duly dispatched to Oakwood in 2002. In her own words, it then lay dormant and she 'lost hope of it ever being published'. Only when Oakwood was sold to Stenlake in 2016 has it finally appeared in print. So has it been worth the long wait? There is clear definition of the Yorkshire Lines, which essentially were formed in 1847 when two companies were absorbed by the LNWR. These were the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway and a concern blessed with the more long-winded title of the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway & Canal Company. Becoming part of the LNWR North Eastern Division in 1857, this important cross-country artery forms the prime content along with the tangled saga of the quarter share in Leeds Central station. Also included is the Leeds New Line, not finally opened until 1900 and forming a much needed relief route as well as serving Spen Valley textile towns.
Coverage is wholly and perhaps excessively chronological. Chapters look at successive decades through the high noon of the Victorian age and year-by-year from 1876 to 1913 before taking a broader overview of the periods post World War I, the era of the 'Big Four' and nationalisation. Within this framework, the text concentrates by date on specific happenings such as Acts of Parliament, openings, changes in services and numerous accidents. Many readers will miss a broader overview of the unquestionable magnificence of Huddersfield station, or the challenges in building Standedge Tunnel destined at 3 miles 66 yards to remain the longest in Britain for almost 40 years until finally eclipsed by the Severn. A list of references or further reading would have helped those wishing to know more.
The photographs are a mixed bunch but there are some excellent maps. In order to be reproduced at a sensible size, a series of six pairs depict developments north and south of the main line from 1835 through to post-grouping and the loss of local passenger services. A general map conveys how the short branch from Batley to Birstall formed part of a LNWR bid to reach Bradford, and similarly shows that the Kirkburton branch had Barnsley in mind as the ultimate goal. Although the text stops at 2000, a map of the network in 2019 has been added.
All clear through Bincombe Tunnel. David Idle. rear cover
BR Standard class 4 2-6-0 No. 76026 and BR Standard class 5 4-6-0 head Dorset Coast Express en route for Bournemouth into tunnel on 7 May 1967