North British Railway Study Group Journal Issues
Key to all Issue Numbers.
Issue 20 (July 1984)
West Highland bogie No. 232 at Fort William. front cover
John Smith. St George's Day at Crianlarich. 3-5.
23 April 1984 with Class 37 on both Fort William and Oban trains: photographs by Ray Kitching of trains (including Mossend to Fort William freight), buildings (including signal box) and signals.
Bill Lynn. The West Highland bogies. 6-9.
NBR Class N, numbers (including duplicate numbers), allocations and when withdrawn. Photographs of No. 695 in photographic grey; No. 696 in standard NBR livery and No. 341 at Hawick in 1905. Includes accidents, mainly collisions
Book review. 9
East Fife railway album. R.A. Batchelor. Perth: Melven Press.
Wormit to Thornton
A.A. Maclean. The Falahill accident, 21st October 1899. 10-11.
The 18.00 E dinburgh to Carlisle passenger train was banked in the rear from Eskbank to the summit att Falahill, but attached to the train by a slip couplinng which failed to disengage properly and through inadequate communication hit the rear of the train injuring the guard. Lieut. Col. [Von] Donop reported and stated that the driver of the banker, Robert Wilson, was at fault. He recommended that assistance should be provided at the front of the train and that pushing from the rear should cease. Writer noted that continued at both Shap and Beattock [and other places].
Willie Munro. Penicuik. 12
Station plan based on 1907 Ordnance Survey map.
Jim Binnie. N.B.R. goods brake van. 13
Diagram: side and both end elevations & plan
Niall R. Ferguson. Pre-grouping traffic on the East Fife Central Railway.
Authorised 1893; opened for freight traffic on 21 August 1889. Passengers were carried briefly in 1910 following Board of Trade inspection on 17 July 1910. Closed 1 August 1964 except for portion used as Lochty Private Railway
Oxton. no page number (16?)
Signallling diagram for intermediate facility between Foutainhall Junction and Lauder.
Ray Kitching. Helensburgh Upper station. 15
Introduction to facsimile reprodution of Glasgow Herald article (15 June 1984): Neglect of a scenic station by Allan R. Cameron
Allan R. Cameron. Helensburgh Upper station: a report. 17-19
Vandalism of unstaffed chalet style building and fear of station closure
Willie Munro. The Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway. 20-30.
Act 26 May 1826. Duke of Buccleuch
Issue 21 (October 1984)
Class M 4-4-0 No. 477. front cover
John M. Hammond. Carlisle Canal locomotive shed. 3-6.
Border Union Railway opened a roundhouse in 1861 with a 42 foot turntable. The Reid Atlantics could not be accomodated and had to be turned at the GSWR Currock shed accessed via the Maryport & Carlisle Railway. Possibly the Rome Street Junction - Forks Junction - Bog Junction triangle was used to turn them. During the 1906-1910 a larger turntable was installed. Arrangements for the transfer from a coaling stage to a coaling elevator were not known to the author.
Ray Kitching. New looks for an old friend.. 7
Scottie dog (West Highland terrier) logo on West Highland Line Class 37 locomotives No. 37 081 illustrated
Allan Cameron. Helensburgh Upper the last days. 8
Chalet style station in final state of decay.
A.A. Maclean. The Port Carlisle dandy carriages. 9-11
The NBR had hoped to replace the first vehicle with a former street horse-drawn tramcar, but these had ceased to be available and Reid waas requested to draw up plans for a new vehicle. A toastrack car was unsuitable for the Solway marshes in winter a nd eventually locomotive haulage took over
P.A.T. Collar. Newcastle N.B.R. locomotive facilities. 12-13.
Originally the NBR used the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway Forth station and it is probable that the locomotive facilities remained there after the enlargement of Central station.
G.W.M. Sewell. Reedsmouth. 14-20
Very extensive account of locomotive facilities at Reedsmouth including plan and elevations of engine shed and locomoitves allocated
Norrie Monro. The Bangour Light Railway. 23-5.
Built under District Lunacy Act of 30 July 1900; to link Bangour Hospital to the NBR Bathgate line: inspected by Von Donop on 18 May 1905. Worked by NBR.
Jim Binnie. Goods brake van drawing. 26
Niall R. Ferguson. Train control on the N.B.R. 27-31
Initiated at Portobello ror New Lothian Lines in August 1913: incldes map and diagram of locomotive headcodes in use.
J.A. Smith Further West Highland adventures. 32
Had been planned to park at Crianlarich and take sleeper to Rannoch, but it had failed at Garelochhead and thus party went on through Glencoe to Fort William.
Issue 22 (January 1985)
T. Dagg, Some notes on N.B.R. coaching stock. 8
Jedburgh brach train composition>
External livery; interior trim (upholstery, flooring, etc) for NBR coaches; also locks for doors; and varieties of soap and towels.
J.F. MacEwan. The Weir Feedwater Heater.
The first engine to be fitted with the Weir Feedwater Heater is beleived to have been the 4-4-0 No. 865 according to information given by a driver friend very many years ago. The idea for feed heating came from Dr. John Inglis (a shipbuilder and engineer) who was a member of the N.B.R. board and who thought that the successful use of feed heating on board a ship might be applied to locomotives and make for economy in fuel costs as gone were the days of cheap coal. The matter was put to G.& J. Weir who were the suppliers of the marine heaters. by Dr. Inglis. and it was agreed that a suitable unit would be devised. The designer who got the work was. by chance. Fred Inglis (no relation of Dr. Inglis) and he spent some time in the Cowlairs drawing office getting all the necessary details. and then evolved the first heater. This was a unit which sat across the smokebox as illustrated in newsletter No. 17. After tests it was agreed that the capacity of this was not sufficiently large to be of use in an economical manner. and that a larger one would be required. If all the stories are to be believed, Dr. Inglis visited St. Rollox and had a conversation with McIntosh on the subject. and McIntosh is said to have shown interest and to have discussed it with the Plant and Stores committee of the C.R. board. Nothing appears to have been done by the C.R. at the time. but board members (or perhaps just one member) must have mentioned the scheme to someone on the G.& S.W.R. board for James Manson's name now comes into the matter. yet throughout this period there is nothing to suggest that McInotsh or Manson took any part in the redesigning of the feed heater.
The new type of feed heater was set on the running plate. with steam feed from the smokebox by a pipe connected to the blast pipe. and in 1911 was fitted to Scott class engine No. 359 Dirk Hatteraick and remained on it 'til about 1920. There do not appear to have been any alterations made to the method of feed throughout the period it was fitted to the N.B.R. engine.
In 1913 the Caledonian fitted a similar unit to their 140 class 4-4-0 No. 136, but unlike the N.B.R. who fed the heated water at the dome. the C.R. first fed it into the underside of the boiler. then at the centre line of the boiler barrel at the first ring. and finally to the N.B.R. pattern of feed at the dome. (H.J.C. Cornwell in 40 Years of Caledonian Locomotives" records that this pump was removed in 1915. but that the experiment was resumed in 1920. when a new heat exchanger and feed pump. both of modified design. were fitted in conjunction with top feed Ed.).
In 1915. an improved type of feed heater. similar in outline to the 1913 pattern was fitted to the N.B.R. engine.
Manson of the G.& S.W.R. in 1911 fitted an enlarged version of the original N.B.R. one. but placed atop the boiler barrel. to his new 4-6-0 No. 129 (later LMS No. 14674). This sat between the chimney and the dome. It was removed in 1916 and fitted to 4-4-0 No. 27 (later LMS No. 14368).
Other lines at home and abroad fitted engines with the 'improved' heater" Unfortunately most of the relative records were sent for salvage during the last war when additional working space was required for an enlarged staff. See also correspondence in Issue 25 p. 50-1.
Article illustrations. 21
No. 359 Dirk Hatteraick at Galashiels see Issue 25 page 50
Aberfoyle 22/9/51 No. 62480 Glen Fruin
Drinking fountain at Drem
Issue 23 (April 1985)
A.A. Maclean. The Aberdeen block trains of the North British Railway. 3-7
Ambulance trains. 7
On 6 August 19!4 Scottish Command placed an order for an ambulance train which differed from the other ambulance trains in bthat the red crosses used the body colour of the vehicles surrounded by white to indicate red crosses. Unlike the Caledonian train which went to the Continent, the NBR was resricted to use in Scotland
David Blevins. The North British Railway locomotive
Based on a rather thin item in Number 18 page 26. Argues that each new locomotive superintendent would modify the livery for his initial design. Lists the lining styles adopted by Hurst and his successors.
Prior to 1870
Engine boilers, cabs and rear splasher panel-plates were dark green, lined out with black edged with vermillion. Domes were painted black, as were chimneys. Underfrarres were Indian red and so were the leading splashers. Wheels were dark green, with vermillion lines round the rims. Buffers and buffer beams were vermillion. Number plates were brass, with raised and polished letters and figures on a black background. Coupling rods were polished steel. Some domes were polished brass, with copper capped chimneys.
Wheatley 4-4-0 express engine No. 224 was described as being painted an olive-khaki shade, lined with a black line flanked with red with rounded Corners. Wheels were olive-khaki and the solid bogie wheels were lined red around the rims. Underfrarres, splashers and coupling-rod splashers were Indian red. Feed pipes, whistles and number plates were brass. Sandboxes and footsteps were also Indian red.
Prior to 1876
Engines were described as bright green or pea green during Wheatley's term of office
Locomotives described as "dark yellow" with crimson lake (dark red) frames, valances, footsteps and buffer beam - similar to LBSCR locomotives Drummond's livery. Goods engines described as olive green in Drummond's time. A.E. Lockyear in the Railway World for May 1894 described the NBR loccmotive livery as follows:- "All engines built and rebuilt in Mr. Drummond's time were painted as follows:- The Passenger engines, light olive green (almost yellow) the "style" colour slightly darker, picked out with black and lined with white, the frames being crimson lake, picked out and lined the same as the cab, and the Goods engines as dark bronze green, "style" colour also darker and picked out with black and lined with vermillion".
Holmes darkened the "yellow" body colour and added a vermillion line, red (outside) black and white (inside). Curved destination boards with white block letters are now in use, placed on top of the smokebox in front of the chimney
Passenger and goods loccrootives are now described as olive green with a straw coloured line on the inside. Lining is now red-black-yellow.
Passenger loccrootives described as dark brown with red and yellow lining, panel striping had a red line on the outer edge and a yellow on the inner. Wheels and framing were the same (brown) but the latter had a narrow black border with red lines. Front Buffer beams had a vermillion panel upon which the number was painted in gold figures, shaded red and black. Some locomotives had vermillion coup1ing rods, and somne outside framed 1ocomotives had vermillion cranks. On tender locomotives, the complete crest was on the driving wheel sp1ashers, and the latters "N B R" on the tender sides in gold with red and black shading. The number plates were brass ovals with black figures and letters. Buffers and buffer beams were dark brown with a vermil1ion panel at the front on1y, no vermni1lion panel being on the rear buffer beam. Goods locomotives described as being bronze green with red and yellow lining as described above.
Locomotives were a dark yellow once again for passenger locomotives really just a lighter shade. All names removed from the sides of the Drumnond "Terrier" type 0-6-0T locomotives and "N.B.R." substituted.
Passenger engines were a distinctly yellow-brown (ochre) shade, called dark gamboge.
The lettering "N.B.R." was altered to read "N.*B." with the company crest between the letters on tank locomotives.
The "N.* B." appeared on tender locomotives for the first time with the crest between the letters.
Prior to 1911
Both goods and passenger locomotives were a bronze green or brownish olive (official NBR descriptions) in the Reid livery. A mixture of quaker green, black and blue was used for the locomotive colour, which produced more of a greenish-khaki with a slightly blueish tinge. Vermillion panel to front buffer beam only.
Goods locomotives had the letters "N.B.R." in 9 inch high letters but without the crest.
Locomotives were not brown, but a brcwnisb+olive, made up by a mixture of burnt umber and brunswick blue - really an olive green. 1913
Locomotives became an even darker shade by the addition of more brunswick blue - still called brownish olive. Vermil1ion panels were added to the rear buffer beams. Many goods tank and tender locomotives had their number painted in large figures, in yellow between the initials "N.B."
Reid 0-6-ZI locomotives had large figures between the N.B. letters on the tanks and were painted brownish olive. Reid 0-6-0 locomotive No. 8 was the first to appear in the new livery of black with yellow lines at the end of 1914.
1915Standard goods livery is now black with two yellow lines. 1918
Passenger engines had their numbers painted in large figures in gi1t between the initials "N.B." 1920
Locomotive 1011 an 0-4-0 tender engine was painted black with straw coloured lining on boiler bands, splashers, cab sides and tender side sheeting in a double line. A single straw coloured line is on the footplate edging, footsteps and tender framing. The company's initials with no full stops were placed on either side of large numerals on the tender sides, these being in gold with vennillion shading below and to the left, and a white highlight on the vertical left side dividing the gold and vennillion shading. The front buffer beam was painted vermillion, unlined, with "No." and "1011" on either side of the drawhook in gold with black shading. The coupling rods were painted vennillion. The tender carried a small cast iron oval number plate on its back panel, raised figures and numbers being straw coloured. Tender buffer beam is black.
Locomotives Nos. 509 and 510 - 4-4-2s - were painted bronze green wi th 4 inch dark green "style" band.red-black-yellow 1 ining. Boiler bands were yellow line, dark green band, red line, dark green band and yellow line. Wheels are bronze green with red lined tyres, vermillion buffer beam but black buffers on both locomotive and tender. Black chimney and smokebox, cab roof and footplate. Interior of cab stone colour for roof and top half of sides, black for bottan half of sides. Lettering is gold shaded red and black. From 1921
Passenger locomotives on the duplicate list were bronze green but without any lining. Goods locomotives on the duplicate list were black and again without lining.
Well there we are, an N.B.R. livery register covering the life of the North British Railway Company from 1865 to 1923. See also letter from W.E. Boyd in Issue 24
Miller, A.W. Some observations on paint and other matters. 27-31
Issue 24 (July 1985)
Alastair Nisbet. Some notes on the Dundee Harbour lines. 3-6.
Includes working of Camperdown Junction
New North British locomotives. 7
From Railway News 23 January 1915: Scott 4-4-0 and 0-6-0 No. 8 [Conternts lists this as "Liveries Archie Miller]
Ray Kitching. Symbol for Haymarket Depot. 8-9
David Stirling. Tablet working on tthe North British.
Patent granted to Edward Tyer in 1878. The first major installation between Dalmally and Oban. By 1891 the Tyer No. 2 instrunent was in use in almost all single lines, but the NBR had equipped only 33 sections. It was known when it was first used on the NBR. The strange and complicated story of signalling at Banavie where there was a junction and a swing bridge over the Caledonian Canal is mentioned
Francis G. Voisey. Gates of public level crossings exceptions
to Rule 118. 15-16.
From NBR General Appendix No. 27 1n March 1898.
John Thomas on the N.B.R. Some notes by Dr. R.A.
Students of the North British may have noted one or two errors in the N.B.R. books of the late John Thomas, but perhaps these should be noted for the sake of younger members. I knew John Thomas quite well and admired the amount of record research he put into his books, but he did not seem to take much notice of locomotive numbering etc.
On page 52 of The North British Atlantics and on later pages, he refers to St. Mungo. When I took this up with him. he said that the letter to the N.B.Loco Co. giving the list of names to be put on spelt the mane that way, but as far as I know the 873 always carried the name Saint Mungo.
On page 164 The Lord Provost is given as shedded at St. Margarets, whereas it spent most of its life at Haymarket. The author on page 59 rather scorns the idea of a G.C. influence on the design of the Atlantic. but later on in Volume two of The North British Railway page 157. he admits the G.C. influence in the proposed 0-8-0. Anyone knowledgeable about the Atlantics would have noted that the photo opposite page 53 of the Atlantic book showed the new strengthened frames where the plates were about six inches higher than the old ones.
Volume two of The North British Railway has one or two mistakes which may be printer's errors. The photo opposite page 53 shows 555. not 55, and on page 165. Hal O' The Wynd should be 363, and Redgauntlet should be 897.
I hope that these remarks do not detract from the appreciation of these excellent books.
A.G. Dunbar. North British Railway: the slide valve
superheaters: what went wrong. 20-2
B class 0-6-0: LNER J35. Between 1906 and 1913, the company built a total of 76 enzinesa of what they termed Class B which became LNER. class J35 of these, 18 built by the NBL had outside admission piston valves underneath the cylinders, which had their own troubles but more of that later. The balance of the engines were built between the NBL. and Cowlairs works anrl were fitted wi th slide valves in the usual position between the cylinders. All were built as saturated engines until, between 1923 and 1942, all were fitted with 22 element snperheaters with the usual mechanical lubrication fitted.
Dealing with the trouble wi th the piston valve engines was simple in a way - there was great difficulty at first keeping the front and rear valve spindles steam tight, andl , since t.hey were outside admission types, it wa s hoiler steam that. escaped since the type of spindle packing utiIised was an adaption of a propietory system that the fitters found they could rernedy hy fitting in one or two rings of either Lion or Beldam packing - that was frowned on by the higher ups, but the fitter s argumerrt was simple - what. they did not see would not annoy them, and so the practice went on and: made one wonder whv inside admission valves were not fitted, but the o rigi.nals were in service until the end. But the trouhles with the slide valve engines hecame more apparent after the start of the war,and gradually grew worse as time went on. The L.N.E.R. Company standard examination of componerrts can be seen from the attached illustration and were what were commonly termed "periodical" examinations, these heing carried out under the class of mileage figures shown. All of these cards were filed by the Workshop Office Man and were constantly reanily available for reference. I cannot determine which shed first discovered the excessive wear taking place with the slide valves, which was the first trouble - at first laid at the door of poor lubrication but, even after mod ification to that, the tronble simply refused tu go away. It was perfectly simple as the sketch shows - the left valve, especially, wore diagonally leaving; the valve a probable cause of danger if involverl in breakag e , Under the Periodical Examination procedure, all piston and "D" valves were scheduled for examination every 20,000 miles and, under that procedure they were withdrawn for full examination and repair if necessary.
The discovery of the excessive wear on the slide valves altered the whole procedure - the slide valve examination was altered to 10,000 miles when after rernoval of the steam chest cover the fitter had to feel the valves and , if showing signs of wear had to withdraw them for more detailed examination and renewal if required. The thickness of the valve laps was 1¾ and the diagonal wear was reducing this to close on the scrapping size which was approximately ½ inch, but this excessive wear raised a problem that entailerl fuller and more frequent valve examination. Two badly worn valves were sent to the Research Department at Derhy for full metallurgical and chemical analysis and the report came ba ck that the metal was O.K. but, chemically, some unknown material had got into the brass while heing cast. Someone there, and I think it was D.W. Sanford, suggested that the valve cover;. be removed every 5,000 miles to see if wear was taking place and a directive to that end was sent out. ·At the same time, it was f'ound that excessive carbonisation of the lubricant used was taking; place, although no-one, at any time, suggested that as a probable cause , so the matter was left there, only it was then decid ed to fit anti-carbonisers, which up to then were absent.
When I was Shift Charge Hnd Fitter we had engines of the type and , for one of them, an expe rimental pair of bronze valves were made and wwere in due course fitted to eengine 4521, but the wear took place as usual, but not to the same extent as with hra s , Several engines we r e fitted with these bronze valves hut they were rather expensive to make so several types of valve were made with special hardening material used in manufacture , and to be dated at the back when fitted There was some s light improvement but as the engines were nearing the end of their effective life, and, due to modernisation process were now being withdrawn the difficulties were thuss solved by the disappearance of the engines - not without some feelings of relief ffrom the staff concerned. I have outlined this in f'ulI to impress upon what I have termed "platform end" experts who glihly spoke and wrote at times ahout poor stanuards of maintenance - a suhject on which their ignorance was only exceeded by their verhosity ,but there was more to maintanance as this example proves - it could throw up problems that werre never accountable by anyone.
As a follow up to the foregoing - it was suggesterl earlier on that there might be differences in the oil: chemical examination was carried out by a well known Glasgow firm but the standard of cylinder oil was found to be fully maintained and, unless drivers mixed other oil with it, nothing was found to support. tbe theory of oil difference. Added comment see Number 26 p, 39.
Robert R.F. Kinghorn. N.B.R. - Craven dining cars: more information
or more puzzles. 23-5
Three illustrations and side elevation: three types: composite, third class and semi-open first
N.B.R. Class R (4-4-0T) locomotives. (LNER Class D51).
No. 98 top
No. 1401 middle: see also letter in Issue 81 page 29: (date was 24 September 1924 at Haymarket)
No. 1456 lower
See also letter from W.E. Boyd in Issue 25
Letters to the Editor. 33
John H. Hamrnond
I was pleased to note that the appearance of the Canal Shed Article resulted in some correspondence in the April 1985 issue of the Journal. Perhaps a few words of explanation are called for in connection with the Article, which was originally written in 1980, and reproduced with my blessing.
The article was in fact formulated as a response to requests for further information as a result of an earlier article which covered the overall history of Canal shed, Since 1980, as happens all too often, further information has come to light which gives a few more details of the alterations to the shed. Tile details were noted whilst researching an entirely different topic; viz,
September, 1935.Modernisation of the depot in hand as follows:
1. Coaling Plant of 200 tons capacity under construction.
2. Latest pattern of sand drier being installed
3. Wheel-drop pit being provided, to accelerate locomotive repairs.
4. New engine pit being installed, 135 feet in length.
5. Yard track layout to be considerably revised.
6. New mess rooms to be provided for engine drivers, firemen and cleaners.
I trust the foregoing explains the background to the Canal article and amplifies the comments of Meacher. I am not sure whether the original article was reproduced in an earlier issue of the Journal; your Editor will no doubt be able to clarify the situation.
(N.B. To the best of my knowledge, the original article that Hammond refers to has not been published by the Group. - Ed.)
Alan G. Dunhar
Re article by David Blevins; it is purely assumptive in so far as he only quotes one item documented, and that from an article by Lockyer. While aIl his material is presumably based on examination of photographs, that alone cannot in any way determine what he set out to do. One point both he and Miller, the writer of the other item on this matter, omit entirely is the fact that during the whole period covered ALL PAINT was oil hased, also utilising proprietory thinners, and this is the central point in any examination of pre-1922 liveries that must be kept in mind. Some years ago I got a chemist friend of mine to look into the paint alleged to be used by the G.N.S.R. at one time, quoted by them as MID BRUNSWICK GREEN; after carrying out the full enquiry it was found that pre-1911i at least five firms made seven different shades of the allegcd green, and depending on the ground colour used, a change in the shade would show up. And who knows if the same did not apply to the NBR, at odd intervals.
Jas. F. McEwan
Re the Ambulance 'l'rain mentioned in issue 23, it is doubtful if this went to Wemyss Bay unless the author has definite recorrls. It is more likely that the train workcd to Gourock where the pier/station was used by the navy for the handling of casualties on board ships returning from their tour of duty. Also it was commonplace for ratings being given shore leave while their ship was being recommissioned to he entrained at Gourock and taken through to Rosyth. The CR worlced the train to Alloa where the NBR took over. I have not seen any data relating to how the returning crews were dealt with and this pre-supposes that personnel returned to their ship by their own means, to wherever it was lying.
The NBR train for the Americans was probably a straight cancellation like that which the CR were to build. Hostilities had ceased hy the time the plans were finally approved ,
The photograph of the SINGER van shows the style adopted by the L.N.E.R. in 1924. Prior to the amalgamation, the SINGER vans hore the legend SINGER where N.B. would have been placed, andl in full size lettering:. Thomas, in his Regional History page 208, states that the Singer Co. relinquished their rights to have vans allocated solely to their traffic, hut this must have been cancelled at some unknown date. l5y 1920, the goods train which brought up the Singer traffic carried vans lettered SINGER in place of the N.B. legend. These went into Maryhill goods sidings for remarshalling into trains bound for other destinations. It was said that the original vans used were purchased by the Singer Co. either in total or in part for use on their internal railway and some were in existence when the factory closed. By then they were generally minus any brake gear, but when. this was removed cannot be recalled as such items did not interest me in the· youthful years.
I must thank you most warmly for your generosity in sending me the NBR. Study Group's Journal. It is an extraordinarily full and interesting survey of all aspects of the old Company for which I and my many friends had a great affection.
I feel I must write you on the subject of livery, which naturally for model makers is of supreme importance. Blevins' article seems to me too much drawing attention to changes of colour, fifteen being given and precisely dated between 1871 and 1920. I also find the colour description difficult: Olive-khaki, Dark yellow, Olive green, Light olive green, Bronze green, Dark brown, Yellow brown, Brownish olive and Dark olive. I do not understand how the author worked out these precise shades. To me there were only two short- lived departures from olive: Drummond introduced a grass green with white black white lining and Stroudly influenced him to experiment with "yellow", not Colman's mustard yellow, hut a sort of umber similar to Stroudley's L.B.S.C. colour. The last engine to he so painted, St. Margaret's men told me, was the "Cab Engine" which as the director's saloon, retained it long ufter all the others had been repainted,
The stanuard olive first appeared on the E. &. G.R. I have a superb official photograph of E. & G..R. 2-2-2 No.3, later N.B.R. 212 Corstorphine, newly built by Beyer, Peacock, and standing outsiele that Company's works at Manchester in 1859. Its livery is obviously olive, with red, black and yellow lining. The fact that "olive" changed its hue over the years, and repeatedly changed back again to the original tint did not mean an official change. In 1920, 266 Glen Falloch came out of the paint shop brown, but, with the standard lining, The same year one or two Intermediates were re-painted pea-green. Tbe Class M 4-4-0s of the 729 class when rebuilt were slightly lighter in hue. The same feature took place on the Caley when 4-6-0 No. 940 appeared from St. Rollox in deep blue, and 904 in a much lighter shade; and the Pickersgill 4-4-0s of 1920-22 were paler than those built by Armstrong;-Whitworth.
Finally, in A.W. Miller's scholarly article, he mentions unlined black introrluced as early as 1919. Certainly this was so in the case of 794, but it was not until 1921 that the practice he came noticeable, 753, however, paint date 28.12.23, emerged with the usual yellow lines from Cowlairs. Many painted in 1921 were lined (e.g. 757-22.12.21). The idea was to economise until instructions were drawn up for the new, LNER. group. Miller mentions on p.28, the painting of coupling: rods. This was fortuitous, There was no rule, but in the days when double-framed old drivers told me that they were given red rods. Apparently, at speed they looked impressive.
On the pairrting of NBR carriages, I can only say I never saw them with hlack ends, nor was "the whole body painted crimson". The N.B. was quite distintive in that carriag:e ends were painted scarlet! I well remember standing on Jacob's Ladder looking down at Waverley and seeing carriages in many platforms with bright reil ends. Tlie idea was to help provent accident by showing; the "danger" sign.
Issue 25 (October 1985)
No. 256 Glen Douglas (Cecil Sanderson colour photograph). front
As repainted in NBR livery, but running on British Railways (to celebrate Issue No. 25)
Jim Binnie. The goods brake vans of the North British Railway. 3-7.
Detailed elevation (side and ends and plan) diagram of X type; also sketch of all types (side elevations only)
J.F. McEwan. The Ferry pilots. 8
Wheatley inside-cylinder 0-6-0STs built in 1874
Illustration No. 146A scapped in 1907: see also Journal No. 81 page 29
J. M. Bemnett. When country stations were the heart of the railways
(No. 2). 11-12
From Dundee Courier
John M. Hammond. In retrospect: Carlisle Canal locomotive shed.
Highly convoluted history: originally part of Maryport & Carlisle Railway route to where the Canal terminated, but the canal sited up and was replaced by a railway which became part of the North British Railway which had a protracted legal battle to enter Carlisle Citadel station where eventually it made contact with the Midland Railway and enabled through services from Hawick to be established (which have yet to be restored).
Marshall Shaw. North British Railway catering vehicles. 22-5.
Sketch diagrams of Craven built cars, and secondhand Great Northern and North Eastern Railway vehicles
John A. Smith. The Craven dining cars some notes on relevant
Drawings held by Glasgow Transport Museum
A.W. Miller. Follow through. 27-30
1905 Cowlairs carriage painting specification: notes on pigments and on use of linseed oil
NBR Class D loco. LNER Class J34. 31
No. 557 in green livery at Jedburgh. top
No. 303 in Drummond livery (middle), but see letter in Issue 81 page 29 which states that later livery
No. 1423 in black livery at Craigentinny bottom
Paul A. Smith. Modelling the N.B.R.: Drummond 0-6-0 Class 34, Power
class D, LNER Class J34. 33-7.
Considerable detail about prototypes in addition to modelling technique
A.A. Maclean. The histology of the Campsie branch,
Blane Valley Railway and the Strathendrick and Aberfoyle Railway. The Lennoxtown
Branch, Part One. 38-43
See also from David Stirling in next issue
Jim Binnie. LNER ballast brake drawing. 44
Ray White. Midland Raiulway 6-wheeled clerestory passenger full brake, 4mm scale: Slater's Plastkard. 45
Letters to the Editor 47
N.B.R.o Locomotive Classification, 1913. Marshall Shaw
In Issue No. 12 of the Newsletter (December, 1981) was published a comprehensive and interesting article by C.J.B. Sanderson on the classification of their locomotive stock by the North British Railwayo From September, 1913 all locomotive then, and subsequently, owned by the Company received a letter code classification, A - G for Goods Engines and H - R for Passenger Engines, although this was later amended as later classes came into being or engines were modified and re-classed.
In an undated issue of the former NBR Group Newsletter which came into my hands, there is an article by A.G. Dunbar which gives details of all the locomotives in stock at 1 September, 1913 and quoting their then running numbers, and which corroborates the class listing Sanderson quotes.
For ssometime now I have been compiling a comprehensive nunerical listing of all the locomotives known to have been owned and operated by the NBR, incorporating all known details available to me, and have been reliant on the S.L.S. publication of Locomotives of the NBR 1846-1882 and the R.C.T.S. series Locomotives of the L.N.E.R. for subsequent types in building up this listing, together with information from other sources and individuals.
Having inserted all the given "letter Code" classes into my lists, in accordance with Messrs. Sanderson and Dunbar's information and basing on the withdrawal dates shown in the S.L.S. book, I find that there are some twenty- two locomotives extant at the end of 1913 for which I am not able to allocate a "letter" (assuming that one was indeed. allocated to them), and woud be grateful to any member or reader who could enlighten me any further on this pointo The locomotive numbers, as at 1913, are listed below together with former nunbers, details and listed withdrawal dateso
Hurst 0-6-0 Tender engines No.1054 (Ex: 198) w/dn. 1914
Hurst 0-6-0 Tender engines No.1074 (Ex: 202) w/dn ?
Hurst 0-6-0 Tender engines No.1080 (Ex 207) w/dn 1914
Hurst 0-6-0 Tender engines No.1104 (Ex 364) w/dn 1914
Hurst 0-6-0 Tender engines No.1109 (Ex 369) w/dn 1914
Hurst 0-6-0 Tender engines No.1110 (Ex 370) w/dn ?
Hurst 2-4-0 Tender engine No.1117 (Ex 389) w/dn 1914
Ex E&GR Tender engines 2-4-0 No.1023 (Ex 234) w/dn 1914
Ex E&GR Tender engines 2-4-0 No.1024 (Ex 235) w/dn 1914
Ex E&GR Tender engines 0-4-2 No.1033 (Ex 332) w/dn 1914
Ex E&GR Tender engines 0-4-2 No.1058 (Ex 317) w/dn 1915
Ex Monkland Ry. 0-4-0 engines No.1020 Ex: 268/820) w/dn 1921
Ex Monkland Ry. 0-4-0 engines No.1021 Ex: 269/821) w/dn 1921
Wbeatley 0-4-0 Tender engines No.1010 Ex 357/810) w/dn 1921
Wbeatley 0-4-0 Tender engines No.1011 Ex: 358/811) w/dn 1925 (Y10)
Wheatley 0-6-0 Tender engine No.1155 (Ex 131) w/dn 1914
Wheatley 0-6-0 Tender engine No.1156 (Ex 134) w/dn 1914
Wheatley 0-6-0 Tender engine No.1159 (Ex 155) w/dn 1914
Wheatley 0-6-0 Tender engine No.1018 (Ex 17/818) w/dn 1914
Wheatley 0-6-0 Tender engine No.1075 (Ex 251) w/dn 1915
Wbeatley 0-6-0ST Tank engine No.1076 (Ex 282) w/dn 1921
Ex Finlayson 0-4-0 Tank No.1250 Bought 1915 w/dn ?
. Sanderson and Dunbar's listings account for some 1048 loco's as being "lettered" (926 in Capital stock and 122 on Duplicate List) and it would be interesting to compare this total with that shown on the stock Returnfor end of 1913, usually co~tained in the Directors Report published.
Wear on the slide valves of the B class locomotives J.A. Smith
Re article by A.G. Dunbar on the unusual wear that took place on the slide valves of the 'B' class locomotives. In marine practice, very much akin to Locomotive practice, on newly fitted Triple Expansion Engines and Superheated Boilers it was the practice to have a 'Mixing valve' fitted to the main steam line to the engine. This valve connected steam from the boiler before the superheater and fed it into the steam main after the superheater. It was the practice there when the engine was new to have the percentage of wet steam in the mixture very high, and over a period gradually reduce this until finally the valve was kept fully shut. Any renewals of piston and or slide valves (Marine engines would have a mix of these in the expansions), and the mixing valve would be brought into play once more. It was well known in the old days that wet steam and cast iron did not really need any lubrication and a highly polished surface could be obtained. However to have the wear in mostly in one valve, and to be of a diagonal nature would seem to be more of a mechanical problem initially and probably originated somewhere else in the engine, and may have been made worse by the carbonisation of the cylinder oil. Possibly a design failure either in the crankshaft, or in the frames and/or springing of the wheels.
NBR liveries A.W. Miller. 48-9
The published description of the lrBR liveries which David Blevins so painstakingly collated shows how difficult a task faces those member-s who have undertaken to compile a North British Livery Register. From a detailed study of David's article it seems th'at some of the dates given must relate to the date of original publication rather than that of a change in livery. If they are the actual dates of observation, it could be that the locomotive or rolling stock seen. about that date were painted some time before the actual date and were still wearing an obsolete livery. I doubt if the.NBR changed the livery with the frequency that appears from the published dates. I suggest that many of these apparent changes were due to different observers description of the same colour aided and abbeted by the variations between different batches of paint and the fact that locomotives were painted at different depots, to say nothing of the variations in ageing resulting fro~ impurities in the pigments varying from batch to batch, By bringing these published descriptions together David has made it easier for the compilers of the livery Register to try to resolve the discrepancies, even if the initial reaction is one of confusion. To add to the confusion, the following is a reference to NBR livery in the series of articles "Cowlairs commentary by Stirling Everard published in The Iocomotive between 1942 and 1945, to which David probably did not have access. Dealing with Holmes replacing Drummond in 1883, he writes:
Holmes disliked the naming of locomotives. Not only were none of his engines were so blessed, but he quickly removed all the names :which Drummond had bestowed, substituting on the splashers or the tank sides the company's crest, which appeared not unlike a wreath in memory of departed glory. Before going, moreover, he gave up the Stroudley yellow in favour of dark brown uniform with an elaborate lining of green, yellow, orange and red.
This more or less accords with other published information, except
for the orange lining, which I have seen referred to nowhere else. However,
can anyone now prove that orange lining was never used either in place of
or as well as the other colours in an experimental livery? Personally, I
think that the compilers of the Livery Register should preserve a discreet
silence on the subject of orange lining. Even if it may have been tried,
I doubt if ever it became part of the standard NBR livery
The only "official" record of NBR livery I have seen is the drawing prepared for repainting the tenders of the 317 class when the N (number) B replaced the NBR. The main body is labelled "green" and the edging "dark green". This does not help in determining the exact shades of green used, but no doubt it was sufficient for the paint shopo It does, however, show that however observers may have described the colour, the people in Cowlairs regarded it as green.
NBR liveries. David Blevins. 49-50
In reply to A.G. Dunbar and W.E. Boyd regarding NBR locomotive liveries in Issue No. 23 April, 1985, I would first like to state that if one takes one's time in reading this article, and my original article in Journal No. 18 December, 1983 rather than rushing to put pen to paper to criticise, it would have been appreciated that it is not based on examination of photographs nor precisely dated, and neither are they my precise shades of colour.
May I Quote:-
Issue No, 18 l
My own notes have been compiled and collated from numerous books and publications, many now out of date, and fron Historical publications ... from the late 19th century. The dates given are from personal observations and memories of the times by the writers ... "
Issue No. 23
The dates quoted for the following liveries cannot be taken too literally ... also prior to 1900 the dates are nearly all of observations ..."
The original authors have 6iven their personal views of the colours as they saw them, whether they could describe them accurately is another thing, considering that the NBR locomotive colour is almost indescribable. ~ven the NBR described its locos. over the years as Dark Gamboge, Bronze Green and Brownish Olive.
Perhaps I am at fault - in not restating what was published in Issue. No , 18, but I did not want to repeat myself and so bring about a boring article. A number of the colours described I would agree with W.E. Boyd are probably only a variation of shade, perhaps caused by weathering, time of year affecting the light making locos. darker in wlinter and lighter in summer, or as A.G. Dunbar states, a variation in shade due to mixing of paints, but are listed as what the author thought he observed. After my article in December, 1983, I received considerable correspondence and confirmation in some cases, correction in others and new information from our fellow members and so came about the re-written article for Issue No. 23.
Postcard of NBR steamer PS. Redgauntlet. T.V.R. Barbour. 50
Browsing around in the July sale of postcards held in London last Sunday, I cams across the enclosed colour postcard of NBR steamer PS. Redgauntlet. I thought that this would be of interest to some of the members so t bought it for presentation to the Group , I wonder what other ship, engine and train scenes were the subjects in the rest of the 'North British Railway Series".
The card is in the safe keeping of the Group's Archivist, Marshall Shaw, and any member interested can get in touch .Ed
Weir feedwater heaters and pumps. "The Ile
Can McEwan substantiate, from contemporary documerrtary evidence or photogaphs, the information given in his article on the above subject in the January, 1985 Issue of the Group Journal?
Is there any record anywhere of No. 865 having been equipped with a Weir feedwater heater? If so, when was this fitted, and when was it removed? Is there any reliable evidence to support the contention that the idea for feedwater heating came from Dr Inglis, or that the idea was put to A. J. Weir by the NBR or Dr. Inglis? According to the Locomotive Magazine for September 1912, Weir supplied one of their. standard :mariine pumps to the Indian State Railways to overcome difficulties with injectors in hot cliimates. The article then went on to say that large orders were then placed for the pumps by other lines in India, Egypt and South Africa.
Wfuat evidence is there to substantiate the statement that the first installation on an NBR engine had the heater placed across the smokebox?
The drawing which showed this arrangement did not appear in the Locomotive Magazine until June, 1921, and this depicted a Superheated Scott class loconotive, none of which was ever fitted wlith a 'Weir pump. This same drawing also appeared in the Weir brochure as late as August, 1929.
What proof is there that 359 was fitted with a Weir installation in 1911? This engine did not enter traffic until 9 December, of that year, and there is no mention in the contemporary railway press of such a fitting, The Locomotive Magazine for September 1912, article on Weir pumps does not refer to any NBR engine at all, but lists "a Midland 4-4-0, LNWlR Perseus, S.E. & C.R.·746, two G. & S.W.R. engines, 129 and 389 and L.B. &: S.C.R 82" .
The first mention of a Weir. feedwater heater in the NBR Board Minutes was on 27 November, 1913 when the matter was "considlered and corrtinued ", The matter was again raised at the meeting of 13 December, 1913 and "continued". On 12 February,1914 the General Manager reported on the subject and was authorised to accept Weir's offer for fitting one engine.
At "the :meeting of 9 July, 1914 there was a report from the Locomotive Superintendent dated 6 July 1914, regarding the feedwater heater installed on one engine; it was agreed to keep the heater but not to extend its use.
The Railway Magazine published the well-known NBR official photograph of 359 on the Lothian Coast Express set of coaches in its July 1912 issue, but the engine shows no heater or punp ,
In May 1915 both the Locomotive Magazine and the Railway Magazine reported the fitting of the Weir pump to 359.
The NBR. Study Group Journal of December, 1983 showed another photograph of the Lothian Coast Express set, very obviously new (and therefore taken in. 1912) with 359, and no heater or pump visible.
The photograph of the heater on 359 on page 21 of the January, 1985 Study Group Journal was taken at Galashiels during the 1914-18 war (believed to have been 1917).
W.E. Boyd. 51-2
The photographs of the Class R. 4-4-0T engines reproduced in Journal No. 24 were taken by:-
Noo 98 Lockyer in the 1893-7 period was unofficial (?) photographer at Cowlairs W'orks
No.1401 J T. Rutherf'ord , Neg. No. 96, on Haymarket turntable, en route from Rothbury to Cowlairs to be withdrawn and scrapped. Taken 12.9.24.
No.1456 Also by J.T. Rutherf'ord , Neg , No. 189, shunting in the yard. of Messrs. Drybrough's Brewery at Duddingston on 5.8..24. (His own shadow proves it was taken in the evening).
Both these Rutherford photos were snapped with a little No. 2 Box Brownie canera, which had no lens, just a hole.
The account on page 7 fron the Railway News of 23.1.15, while reasonably accurate, gives heating surf'ace , grate area and tube statistics which were put out officially at the tine, but recalculated later. These can be found in later publications such as the R.C.T.S. History of L.N.E.R. Locomotives. The engines with 8" piston valves had a T.E.S. of 1573.0 sq. f t , and those with 10" piston valves 1346.06 ft2
One last point, the Railway News paragraph on superheater goods No. 8 states 'the large diameter of the boiler nay be noted, also the use of "pop" safety valves ".
You have only to look at the photo below to see that they were standard so-called "lock ups". Only two NB engines bad pops before 1923. No. 149 Glenfinnan had Crosby pops, and Class C No, 614 got, in 1920, standard Ross pops, 2" dia:neter and slender. The first to get standard 2½" Ross pops were the LNER N15 tanks, 19B class in 1924.
Issue 26 (January 1986)
Francis Voisey. An accident at Hilton Junction. 3-7
Collision between two NBR trains on Caledonian Railway during evening of 30 August 1902 when 18.45 Edinburgh to Perth ran into the rear of train loaded with funfair roundabouts. Major Pringle reported to the Board of Trade on 2 October 1902 and concluded that Driver Allison of the express drove with insufficient caution on his approach to the junction.
J. M. Bemnett. When country stations were the heart of the railways
(No. 3). 8-9
Extracts from the Dundee Courier in the 1930s
The Ile Inspector. Goods working at Lochend. 10
John M. Hammond. The Port Carlisle branch: steamcar
operation. 13-14; 12
Photographs of Sentinel railcars on page 12: Flower of Yarrow in Carlisle station; Nettle on Canal shed and Protector at Langholm
J. F. McEwan. Recent track changes in the Craigendoran area. 14
Changes at junction with West Highland line and oon approach to Helensburgh; also closure of Balloch Pier
A.A. Maclean. The histology of the Campsie branch, Blane Valley Railway and the Strathendrick and Aberfoyle Railway. The Lennoxtown Branch, Part Two. 15-22
Ray White. Kit review (concluded).Slater's Midland full brake. Part
Two. 23-4; 11
Assembled Ratio kit shown on page 11
Jim Page. Another look at the former Dundee Dock lines. 25-7
Niall R. Ferguson. The Gifford and Garvald Light Railway. Part One.
Original plan to build line from East Linton, up the Tyne Valley through Haddington to Ormiston, but like many railway mania lines it failed to materialise. The first meeting of the directors of the Gifford and Garvald Railway took place on 6 August 1891. The Marquess of Tweeddale and John Fletcher (both large landownners) were present and in December 1891 George Bradley Wieland, Secretary of the NBR was appointed Secretary and Treasurer of the railway. Initially an approach was made to Pauling and Elliot to build the line, but this was before the route had been finalised (mainly to remain outwith Fletcher's land. Joseph Phillips was the eventual contractor and work started on 8 April 1899. Major Pringle inspected the line on 4 October 1901which opened on 14 October 1901..
Paul A. Smith. Modelling the N.B.R. 'Rulley A'. 35-6; 11
Bogie well wagon c1921: article solely about Plastcard imitation
A.W. Miller. Drummond era livery. 37-8
How yellow was the light olive green?
Letters to the editor. 39-40
Campsie branck. David
Permissive tablet instruments and their use between Middlemuir Junction and Woodley's Junction. The Tyer's No. 5 tablet instrunent. This was used bby the Brecon & Merthyr and Lancashire & Yorkshire Railways and also by the Army. The Patent date is cited as 1891 (No. 1904). Permissive tablet instrunents were designed for the export market. Permissive single line working vin Britain was a rarity. The Great Northern used it once and the LNER adopted it in the 1930s for East Anglia. The most extensive adoption of permissive single line instrumeents in the British Isles was on former Midland Great Western lines singled in the 1930s and by the LNER near Grimsby.
Refers to "present issue" and "interesting comment by Mr. Smith" on A.G. Dunbar's recent article on the wear of the slide valve superheater valves. A scheme was started to replace the laminated springs under the drivin axle with spiral springs in an attempt to solve the problem. The job was never completed due to the life expiryof the engines, so whether it was a success is unknown.
I [AGD] noted a remark by Mr. Boyd [KPJ was this spoken?] about ground colour being pink: he must be referring to the red oxide coating put on boilers that were stored.
[Liveries & paints]. Jas. F. McEwan.
Re the various articles on the painting of N.B.R. locomotives etc.: those who look for data from photographs, particularly where older locomotives are concerned in the days of plate negatives,there were at least three makers Illingworth,Barnet and Imperial there were others and the developers varied and one had to use that which was available at the time of purchase. The most common was Johnson's which was generally available in most shops with Wellcome's a close second, but the action of either on the developing of the plates varied according to the brand used. Presumably the plate makers had different formulae in the emulsion,and the developing time varied,all affecting the final result.
After the turn of the century there was a change in the making up of the colour,Kaiser William had a glorious row with his aunt Queen Victoria and placed sanctions on the supplying of certain items to Britain, and dye colourings was one. They were got by round-about means, but at a price,so it became ordinary practice to lessen the colour by the inclusion of more white base. Railways always being ecomomy conscious no doubt joined the doctoring club until Brunner,Mond opened a dye making factory somewhere near Darlington after which colours returned to near normality, now based on synthetic prime colours.
In reading all the comments, my mind went back to 4-4-2T No. 102 which, around 1919/1920,sported a most strange colour, Alan Dunbar described it as a sort of khaki, while I thought it a greenish sienna. We saw the same freak colour but neither could agree on its actual definition. Boyd mentioned that boilers were painted pink which statement appears to have raised some eyebrows, but did not Boyd refer to the boiler SHELL, and not the clothing. It was common practice to paint all boiler shells with either red oxide or lead before lagging and fixing the clothing sheets, it prevented a certain amount of rusting for no clothing was waterproof.
Issue 27 (January 1987)
David Blevins. The Glasgow City & District Railway. 3-11
A.A. Maclean. London Road Junction - A Postscript. 12
A.A. Maclean. The histology of the Campsie Branch, Blane Valley Railway, and the Strathendrick & Aberfoyle Railway. Part Three: The Blane Valley Railway. 15-18.
J.M. Bennett. When country stations were the heart of railnay life ( no. 4) 19
Kenneth G. Williamson. A fatal accident at Steele Road Railway Station.
12 May 1907: Walter Deas, aged nine from Edinburgh, was visiting his grandfather who was station master at Steele Road and was struck by a pilot engine. The accident was brought before the Sheriff, but he did not find the railway guilty of negligence
Jim Binnie. N.B.R. mineral wagon drawings. 21-2
Diagrams (side and end elevations and plans) of 16 ton and 18 ton end-door wagons with oak frames.
Niall R. Ferguson. The Gifford and Garvald Light Railway. Part Two: The running of the Gifford & Garvald. 23-5.
Alan G. Dunbar. The epistles of Peggy. 26-7
Dunbar received a copy of this North British Railway publication prior to its emergence on the Internet with the title Epistles of Peggy, Tales of Travel with a cover depicting a charming young Edwardian lady and her wee dog and huge trunk. From the inside Dunbar noted that she golfed, played tennis, climbed Ben Nevis and was charmed by Glasgow. Her father is accompanying her on their travels. Copy in National Library of Scotland [KPJ]
Marshall Shaw. Modelling The North British Railway. 29
Alastair Nisbet. Further notes about working the Kirkcaldy Harbour
Sectional Appendix for October 1960. Instructions for descending incline and for propelling trains. The guard or shunter was required to wear a red hat or wrap a red flag around his arm
35 North British Railway Study Group Circuit Working. A. A. Maclean and John A. Smith.
J.F. McEwan. Braking on West Highland bogies. 37.
The original Holmes' 4-4-0s had very small air reservoirs and pumps and on llong descents the fireman had to scew down the tender brakes and this led to severe wear of the brake blocks and special measures had to be taken to replace the blocks at Cowlairs of Fort William based locomotives in time to work their return trains.
37 letters to the editor.
3- 9 GROUP NOTES.
Issue 29 (January 1987)
Unrebuilt C class 0-6-0 No. 747 climbs to Forth Bridge from
Jamestown Viaduct with unfitted freight. R.D. Stephen. front cover
See also A.G. Dunbar. The 'Puffer pipes'
Ray Kitching. North British Railwayu goods locomotive livery 1914-1923.
Extensive photographic section:
Photo. 13: Class C No. 783 in plain black at Mallaig on 1 September 1923
Photo 14:: Class F 0-6-0T No. 233 in plain black; yellow numerals; 7½ initials; wooden dumb buffers. See letter In Journal Number 81 page 29
Photo. 15: Class C No. 749 with 18-inch cabside numerals
Issue 30 (January 1987)
A.J. Mullay. The railway race to Edinburgh, 1901 the N.B.R.
In association with the Midland Railway: Carlisle to Edinburgh time cut to 126 minutes on 1 July 1901.
A.A. Maclean. The mystery of 462. 7-10
Dining car No. 462 may have been an ex-GNR vehicle. GNR No. 2970 was sold to the NBR in 1914 for £3682, but required to be modified by the removal of the Pullman gangway and Buckeye couplinng. It was used on the Glasgow to Leeds service. GNR No. 2996 was sent north in December 1923 and was initially used on the Aberdeen to King's Cross sleeping car seervice. Asks what dining car was used with the Lossiemouth sleeping car.
A.W. Miller. Drummond and the "Abbotsfords".
476 class: Drummond inside-cylinder 4-4-0 developed for handling heavy Midland trains over the Waverley route from Carlisle to Edinburgh. See also letter from author in Issue 31 page 31.
A.A. Maclean. Wagon number plates. 21
F.G. Voisey. A mishap at Wark. 21-3
16 October 1889: collision between 06.15 passenger train from Newcastle to Riccarton and a locomotive of a freight from Glasgow performing shunting. Major General C.S. Hutchinson reported on 11 November 1889 and attibuted the cause to lax working. See also letter from Ernie Brack in Issu3 31 page 31
G.A. Davidson. The Sentinel railcars and the green
and cream livery. 24
Refers to Rex Stedman of the Leeds Model Company who produced lithographs of the Sentinel railcars and appears to have the colour accurately. The model is short of one bay of windows and has the North Eastern Area No. 233; but worked in Scotland as No. 35 Nettle. Worked on Stirling Alloa; Alva services.
A.G. Dunbar. The 'puffer pipes'.
The photograph on the cover of the last issue of the Group Journal is extremely interesting from one point of view - the small escape of steam from the front of the cylinders. Now please do not dash off a letter to the Editor pointing out that I am wrong that could usually be the caae , as in this instance it will be correct. Most of the Holmes engines were fitted with what were called by the staff, 'Puffer pipes' fitted to each end of the cylinders, the sole purpose being, as far as one could gather, to allow trapped water to escape when the engine was standing. Of course cylinder relief cocks were fitted, operated by the footplate staff, but the pipes referred to served the purpose of allowing a puff of steam to escape while working, and the photograph in question shows this up very well. Latterly they were standard fittings, even on 0-6-2Ts built as late as 1922, but none were fitted to Reid engines such as J35 and J37 etc. which managed to get along quite well without them.
Most fitters when engaged on piston and valve ex~ination, would remove these pipes and, since they were made of steel, would have them burned out by placing them on the smithy fire. They quite often were stopped up with carbonised oil, and fire was the best method for removal. There was, perhaps, a mistaken idea that carbonisation due to oil might be a superheater steam problem, which of course it was toa great degree, but it was also present in saturated engines though not to the same extent. I often wonder how many man hours were spent removing carbon from pistons, valves, etc. during the periodical time of examination. This cleaning, added to the fitting of new piston and valve rings plus new slide valves, consumed a great deal of time and energy by the staff concerned.
I can honestly say that in my experience the puffer pipes did little to reduce the effects of carbonisation, and, in fact, I formed the idea that they were a foible of Holmes, much. like Edward Fletcher's exhaust cocks on the North Eastern Railway, so aptly described by Ahrons, that more or less did the same job. At no time, to my knowledge, did anyone from the holy of holies, the drawing office, condescend to explain how or why these pipes were fitted, and of course, as was customary with those people, probably considered that the members of the, to them, hoi poloi had no business to know. As indicated above saturated steam engines suffered less from the effects of carbonisation than those of the superheated variety, where it was a perpetual nuisance, not that the problem did not receive attention. One method adopted, which was of questionable value, was fitting what was termed anti-carbonisers. These were fittings where the oil feed pipes to both valves and pistons passed through what was termed the 'anti-carboniser' , this being usually fitted on the side of the smokebox, and consisted of a box type affair where the oil pipes from the lubricator entered one side and left the other after the oil was emulsified by means of a steam jet taken from the saturated side of the superheater header, thus utilising boiler wet steam instead of the superheated variety. At Balornock shed, C.R. 4-4-0s Nos. 82 and 83 were so fitted, but whether they deposited less carbon than took place on engines Nos. 76/7,93/4/5 is open to question since by outward appearance they were all more or less alike.
My own ideas on the subject were simple. Since the oil feed pipes passed through the ash that landed on the smokebox bottom, it was possible that this affected the emulsified oil, but it was only a guess and not proven in any way. Reverting to the subject of whether the 'puffer pipes' fulfilled the function they were intended and alleged to do, then this must likewise remain a subject for guesswork.
A.A. Maclean. Rolling stock arrangements for the Volunteer Review
which took place on Thursday 25th August, 1881. 26
Working circular fior event in Holyrood Park: carriages borrowed from other railways, notably North Eastern Railway and instructions for examination at either Carlisle or Berwick.
John A. Smith. Farewell to Copelawhill. 27
Scottish Railway Museum
James F. McEwan
Re Journal 26: date of closure of branch to Balloch Pier: postponed until 29 September 1986.
Re Journal 23: Arrol-Johnston experimental vehicles of 1904 fitted with three-cylinder engines and charabanc bodies for North British Railway. After working on route between Aberlady and North Berwick were used on service fron Fort William to North Ballachulish. They were temperamental to operate.
A.W. Miller, 28-9
See Journal 29: the term "coach" was never used by the NBR: "carriage" always used. Carriage No. 57 had etched coat of arms on lavatory windows. "SMOKING" was also etched on the glass of appropriate compartments. Blue labels were also used to indicate smoking comoartments.
Issue 31 (June 1987)
Chairman's notes & Editorial.
Alan G. Dunbar. The North British tests a Midland compound.
W.F. Jackson and Guy Granet cooed up the idea and told Reid and Deeley to get on with it, but Jackson was horrified at the cost involved and negotiated it downwards. The tests took place on the Waverley route in August 1908 and were notable for the speeds attained which were greatly in excess of those specified. Some lurching took place. The coal andv oil consumption by the comound was high and difficulty was experienced on the climbs
George Robin. The tablet catcher. 10
As a child in 1940 writer travelled on the afternoon train from Queen Street (Low Level) to Kilsyth via Torrans. On the single track section from Maryhill to Summerston the signalman inadvertently threw the tablet into the compartment in which wee George was sitting and he was able to show the footplate crew that he was holding it!
John M. Hammond. The trials, travels and travails
of wartime service: Longtown signalbox in World War II. 13-18
Minor incidents: engine failures, flooding, trains dividing, hot boxes; the most serious on a wagon conveying explosives: wagon placed in siding with military guard.
John A. Smith. The naming of the N.B.R. K class locomotives... the:
Named after characters in Sir Walter Scott's novels: also includes those bestowed by LNER on Directors sent to Scotland and steamers operating from Craigendoran
John McGregor. Petition of the Commissioners of the Burgh of Fort
William to the Lords of Committee of Privy Council for Trade and Plantations
against the operations of the West Highland Railway Co. at Fort William,
Petition to Board of Trade concerning continued access to the shore.
W. Marshall Shaw. The first Cowlairs bankers.
Early rope haulage suffered from insufficient engine power and failure of the hemp rope. William Paton designed two 0-6-0Ts known as Incline No. 1 and Incline No. 2. Damage to the tunnel lining and vibation caused by slipping led to locomotive banking being abandoned in favour of greater engine power at Cowlairs stationary engine and a continuous steel rope. The locomotives were then converted to tender engines and given the names Hercules and Samson.
Euan Carneron. The Valentine's Photographic Archive at St. Andrews.
St. Andrews University Library under curator R.N. Smart. Three collections: 1879-1934; 1934-54 and 1955-67. Collection contains many photographs associated with the Tay Bridge Disaster; the replacement bridge and the Forth Bridge. Subdivison within the files is by topography. No, 1266 shows a very small side tank within the girders of the original bridge, One unexpected feature are photographs of the LNER A4 Pacifics with Commonwealth names which appear the be LNER official images. 4-4-0T No. 98 Aberfoyle feature in one image and other NBR locomotives are identifiable
Letters to the editor. 29
[Sentinel railcars]. G.W.M. Sewell
Although not strictly a North British matter, perhaps I may comment on, the use of Sentinel railcars as raised by Mr. Hammond and Mr. Davidson. I researched these vehicles some years ago with a view to making a 7mm. model - of Nettle as it happens. It turned out quite well, but I no longer have it or the notes. I realize that the L.M.C. has its devotees (I am not among them) but would point out that their products were made and sold as toys rather than scale models and, as such, could scarcely be relied on as a source of authentic detail. I fear that Steadman's Nettle is far from authentic. Nearly 300 of these cars were built between 1924 and 1953 when the last two went to Nigeria. The ·two prototypes had 3' I" diameter wheels but were rather underpowered and the production run of articulated vehicles were on 2' 6" wheels. The first shaft drive car was Intgegrity, Works No. 7214 (1927), LNER 2135 and this had the only example of a 2 cylinder horizontal engine. The second was Nettle Works No. 7275 (1928), LNER No. 2133, later 35 on transfer to the North British section. This car had the first 6 cylinder engine and non-standard body layout. The third car, Works No. 7362, was on 2' 6" wheels and went to the LMS. The fourth vehicle was Flower of Yarrow, Works No. 7379 ( 1928) and went to the Scottish area ex works as No. 31. LNER numbers were not in chronological order and Nettle never carried 233, as this belonged to a J26 from 1923-1946. Flower of Yarrow was the first standard 6 cylinder shaft drive car and all were on 3' 1" wheels and had two speed gearboxes giving 30 and 38 mph at 500rpm.
All the'British cars had the 4 bay passenger space but export models could have more or less according to requirement. The seating bore no relationship to the windows so the curtains were not for individual use. Capacity was 59 in the articulated cars and up to 65 in others - I forget how many Nettle could seat. Incidentally, LMS cars seated only 44; in a vehicle of identical size. The original livery was simulated teak with elaborate primrose lining but this soon gave way to red and cream which, in turn, had given way to green and cream by the time the 6 cylinder cars had appeared. Colour is very much as the individual sees it, but the green was engine green and my recollection of the cream is that it was nearer to "off-white" than GWR cream.
14 cars were allocated to the N.B. area, including the North Briton from 1931-33. In that period it carried the number 31070 and reverted to 2276 on its return to the North Eastern region. At least one of these cars worked the Selkirk to Galashiels branch in 1942, and I rode in that but have forgotten the number. The ride could be "exhilarating" and I know of a set of single track crossing gates which had to be widened to accommodate the sway on these vehicles. As a matter of interest, the sole LMS 6 cylinder car was withdrawn in 1939 - also in Scotland where it worked the Moffat - Beattock branch. .
[Mishap to 0-6-2T No. 69199]. Jas. F. McEwan.
The mishap to 0-6-2T No. 69199 happened on Wednesday 22 August 1951. There are conflicting stories about the incident and sifting the probabilities from all the rumours at the time it appears that the train was moving too fast down the loop and the whole incident was witnessed, unfortunately for all concerned, by the chief man in the P.W. Shops adjacent. The most likely story is that the driver forgot he was in the loop until too late and braked so hard that he skidded the wheels. The eye witness stated that he saw the driver attending to something on the cab rear sheet and being thus engaged, did not observe that he had been entering the loop. Speed was estimated as about 15mph. which was average for any goods train passing down towards Parkhead. The brakesman, who should have also been looking out for signals was admiring the view behind from the brake van, and so did not take any action. The driver stayed on the footplate until the engine stopped in the street, but the fireman jumped off just before the buffer stops were hit and rolled down the embankment and lay just clear of falling debris.
Index. J.A. Smith.
When compiling an index of all Journals, Newsletters and News Bulletins, several points come to mind and I would like to make comment on them. The Journal has been very well endowed with photographs of locomotives and private owner wagons, as well as quite a few of country stations. Readers will appreciate that the quality has been very high and that this is due to the high standard of work carried out by Ray Kitching. However, without prejudicing the supply of further photographs of the aforementioned subjects, I would make the point that throughout the history of the Journal, there have only been three photographs of N.B.R. Coaching Stock, none of signals and signal details, and none of the bigger stations, and engine sheds are a bit thin on the ground. Could I make a plea for more photos and drawings of Coaching Stock, Signals, Signalling Diagrams, Sheds, Platform Furniture, Signal Boxes, Goods Sheds and Warehouses and so on.
A second point is that a very high percentage of our articles in the Journal, advice and information comes from three gentlemen who are not members of the Group. I know because I have dealt with them. I also know that they get a complimentary copy of our Journal. May I suggest, since it would not involve any expense to the Group, that we make these three gentlemen Honorary Members of the Group. It would only repay in some way their willingness and kindness to share their extensive knowledge with us.
We are lucky in that, with our Journal, we have one of the best, not only North of the Border, but in the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Support your Journal with articles, photographs, drawings, letters and so on. They are badly needed.
Editor's note-:John's comments on photos are relevant, as unless photos are supplied with articles, the photo pages are made up by rifling the collections of the Tyneside membership, and Bill Lynn in particular. The choice of photos to accompany articles or simply as 'separate photo features' is mine, and will inevitably reflect my personal tastes in subject matter and composition. Unless photos are provided to accompany articles, then this situation will not change. It is significant that articles on Signalling, Architecture, Engine Sheds, etc. are not common and hence the relative scarcity of accompanying photos and drawings. In the future, the situation with Coaching Stock and Buildings shows signs of improving, and accompanying photos should start to appear. Meanwhile the membership will have tp put up with a diet of country stations and goods trains!)
Duddingston. Ernie Brack.
With regard to F. G. Voisey's query as to the whereabouts of Dunningstown (A Mishap at Wark, Jan 1987 Journal), this is a mis-translation of Duddingston on the Edinburgh Suburban line.
In October 1906, some 17 years later, both goods and passenger trains were still scheduled, the goods now timed to leave Sighthill at 9.30pm running via Waverley rather than the Suburban line, and timed to reach Newcastle at 7. l0am. By 1923, the goods was actually scheduled to commence at Duddingston at 12. l0am, arriving at Newcastle Forth at 6.55am. The 6. 15am Newcastle-Riccarton passenger likewise had a long innings, departures varying from - 6. 15(Arr. 8.50) in 1906, to 6. 10(Arr 8.46) in 1910 and 1923. By 1950 the journey time had lengthened to a 5.52am departure and 8.50am arrival; so much for progress!
[Mishap to 0-6-2T No. 69199]. Alan Dunbar.
The photographs of 69199 lying on the Gartocher Road interested me, since being involved as shift charge hand fitter at Parkhead Shed, we were ordered to go with the tool van to the scene to rerail derailed wagons. I have mislaid the date, but it was in early 1950, and was the second time that this type of accident had taken place, for about two years before 9142 went through the buffer end and landed on the road. Happily on both occasions there were no pedestrians on the road at the time.
Our job was to shift the wreckage and' prepare the way for the Eastfield crane to lift the engine back up the bank. The train was coal from Bothwell yard and was put into what was called the down loop at Shettleston, where, due to brake misjudgement, it overran the stop with the results shown. The local representative from the M.O.T. held an enquiry that placed tha blame on the driver, and made some rules for future working. Damage to the engine was: bunker dented, footsteps torn off and radial truck badly broken.
Abbotsfords. A.W. Miller.
Re two errors in my article on the 'Abbotsfords' in Journal No. 30. The reference to 16" cylinders in line 21 of page 14 is an obvious typographical error and should-read' 18" cylinder'. However, I cannot account for the mental aberration which caused me to include marine big ends among the Drummond features discarded by his successors. It was, in fact, used on all inside cylindered engines built for the N.B.R. from Drummond's time onward. The only inside cylindered locomotives which the N.B.R. had in its later days which, so far as I am aware, did not have marine big ends were the rebuilds of Wheatley's engines. These retained their strap and cotter big ends as originally built.
Sentinel coaches. Jas. F. McEwan.
In connection with the Sentinel coaches mentioned in the Journal recently and especially the numbering, a now deceased friend mentioned that Nettle, at that time without a name, ran its trial trips between Shrewsbury and Ruabon carrying the number 233. Whether or not this was a vacant number in the North Eastern locomotive list, I do not know, but when displayed at Waverley station soon afterwards, it bore the number 2133 and carried the name Nettle. It was said at that time that it was to operate in the Carlisle area. In September 1929, just over a year later, it was noted at Carlisle station bearing the number 35 with the indicator showing Longtown. To the rear stood Flower of Yarrow with the indicator showing Port Carlisle. Both were standing in the short bays at the northern end of the station. Nettle was working on the Forth and Clyde Junction in 1932 (Autumn), and was seen at both Balloch and Stirling.
Mr. Miller's letter concerning the use of both glass and blue labels to denote smoking compartments raises the point as to the date when labels became more widespread in use and I suggest that the change took place during the first war period when the etching of the word onto glass would be difficult with diluted labour, and blue labels would be more easily come by. They were already available for station lamps and easily applied to glass permanently, although they became brittle as time passed. I have no idea of the material from which they were made, but it was not uncommon. In houses etc., it was used to screen low.windows from 'nosey-parkers', and was patterned, ferns and flowers being the more common.
As for the Drummond Abbotsford 4-4-0, the official diagram used was that of the Cowlairs built lot. Neilson's had variations but so far the said recylindering has evaded discovery in SOURCE form. In the past, too many writers have copied earlier writings when producing books etc., without checking on the true facts. It is easier to extract from another's writings than research and much of this has been done over the past twenty years or more as can be read in many so-called definitive productions.
I have a hazy memory of the N.B. Loco. Class S 0-6-0 of 1921 having the double lining out, while I cannot be positive, the faint memory is there. Livery was not a strong point with me, checking date plates was.
Langholm to Riddings Junction. Bruce McCartney.
For the past year, I have been doing a fair amount of research into the branch line which ran from Langholm to Riddings Junction. My time at the records office in Edinburgh is limited, and I will be spending more time there in the future. However, I wonder if any member could help me over some queries that I have not been able to find an answer to yet?
1) When did the line open? Local papers say 11th April 1864, other sources on the 18th. (The inspector travelled over the line on Monday 4th April 1864.)
2) When was signalling introduced? I assume from an early WTT. that initially it was one engine in steam.
3) In a photograph of Canonbie station around 1900(then Canobie station), there is a four lever frame on the platform(two of the levers are pulled for a Carlisle bound train), why was there a framw when the signal box was about 100 yards away? The signal box closed in 1921 about the time that the coal mine at Rowanburn closed. Has anyone a photo of the box?
4) I have a photograph showing a signal cabin at Glentarras siding (pre 1893) - was it a block post or just an elevated frame?
5) When was Gilnockie station opened? The local paper does not mention it until after the restoration of train services following the repair of the (recently demolished) Byreburn viaduct.
6) When was the engine shed at Langholm closed? It was shortened to 38ft. from 50ft. in 1893. The local paper in 1908 mentions 'a new locomotive has been supplied for the Langholm branch. (What would it be?) It is fitted with the latest improvements, and jokes regarding the slowness or other defects of its venerable predecessor (N.B.R. No. 22 ?) will now be out of date' A register house plan dated J893 has drawn on it crosses deleting the rails to the shed and the turntable - but the crosses look a later addition. (A large crowd turned out to see the turntable being delivered on 29th March, 1864.) 7) Has anyone any information or photographs of the signal box at Langholm (closed 1926)?
8) Can anyone help locate photographs of the branch in the period 1910 - 1950?
9) Where do I go to find out about the locomotive working of the line? I think that while the questions above are directly related to the Langholm branch, the answers to some of these questions would be applicable to someone starting research from scratch on another line and would be of use to a researcher whose time at West Register House is limited.,
It is my intention to produce a booklet on the line once I have completed the necessary research. I have found the whole process quite an eyeopener. I thought I knew a little about the N.B. before I started, the past year has shown me just how little I know!
I enclose one of the four photographs of Canonbie station which have come to light, perhaps there may be room for inclusion in a 'Journal'. (I hope to include a photo feature on the Langholm branch in a future edition, and this photo will be one of those featured, probably six in all - Ed.) The locomotive is probably N.B.R. No. 22. (One of the others, hand tinted in colour shows N.B.R. No. 49, Gretna.)
The collection of some eighty photographs of the line I have gathered, will be donated to the Thomas Telford Library in Langholm once the format of my booklet is finalised. May I thank in advance any member who takes the trouble to write to me, and assurs members that any material or photographs sent will be treated respectfully and not copied or reproduced without permission.
Index. Arnold Tortorella. 33-4
Source of N.B.R. Company History. May I be allowed to draw your attention, and that of other members of the N.B.R. Study Group, to a useful source, in my opinion, of N.B.R. Company material? The minute books of the Scottish 'Court of Session', held on Floor 2, Social Science, Mitchell Library, Glasgow, and, in specific cases, within West Register House, Edinburgh, contain a multitude of interesting legal disputes and wrangles. Sadly, to date, very few of these issues seem to have been transcribed by railway historians.
John Thomas, in West Highland Railway (David & Charles, 1976), noted some of the fissures involved with that line, and the Mallaig Extension. He also recorded the attempted closure of the ill-fated 'Invergarry & Fort Augustus' offshoot, but seemed to precis the material very heavily. However, from our point of view I shall now outline some of the more interesting legal 'battles' that involved the North British -: loss of goods to Leeds in 1874; demolition of the first Tay Bridge in 1883-85; ferrying rights at Queensferry in 1889; a lost dog and its bite at Waverley in 1891; N.B.R. running powers to Aberdeen Joint in 1889-94; freight rates on grain wagons in 1896; damage to a vessel in Silloth harbour in 1897; stolen salmon in transit from Peebles in 1901; and various other wrangles, rows and sundry squabbles.
An index, listing all recorded material held in the Mitchell Library, has just been created, and all text held in the Scottish Records Office, Edinburgh, shall likewise be recorded. Work has already commenced in researching and recording some of the more juicier battles that the N.B.R. Company had to enjoy. Material and text shall be submitted to the Journal. Perhaps other members may care to open up this useful avenue of railway research? As was once written, but in another context, 'It is all there, if only you look for it.' .
Crianlarich: D34 Nos. 9256 Glen Douglas andv No. 9258 Glen Roy on
express for Fort William c1937. rear cover upper
D 37/4 No. 37 423 heading south with morning freight from Mallaig Junction to Mossend in April 1986. rear cover lower
Journal No. 34 (March 1988)
Note: cover states "May 1988"
F. G. Voisey. The St. Margarets accident during the 1926 General Strike.
On 10 May 1926 the 13.05 Berwick to Edinburgh collided with a freight train in St. Margarets tunnel. Three passengers were killed and eight were injured. Gas escaped from the carriage lighting system, but did not ignite. Colonel Pringle in his Ministry of Transport report of 27 May 1926 was virulent in his criticism of the watching, but inactive strikers in the breakdown crew. The signalling was in the hands of volunteer signalmen,
J.F. McEwan. A signalman's memories. Part One. 8-12
Person concerned was born in 1869 or 1870 at Dalmuir where an uncle was signalman and narrator sought to work on railway and following work as a porter he became a porter signalman at Jamestown on the Forth & Clyde Junction Railway. Once established he worked on the West Highland line in signalboxes as far north as Glenfinnan, nbut mainly further south at Arrochar where trains from the north werre liable to be very late due to steamers being late from the islands. Snow caused serious problems in winter.;
Steve Sykes. A snippet from the past. 12.
Extract from Railway Magazine July 1897: What the railways are doing: NBR: bridges and West Highand line
Further views of J36 locomotives of Canal shed. 13
Dave Watson. Peebles by train. 15-18
Early ptoposal to cconnect Newcastle with Edinburgh via a tunnel under Carter Bar, Jedburgh and Peebles, but less ambitious scheme for Peebles Railway with Act of 8 July 1852
A.A. Maclean. North British Railway coaching stock history Part I.
Diagram book: index entries and actual diagrams: six-wheel prison van (only one with five cells) date 1890; non-vestibuled corridor third; non-vestibuled corridor lavatory third; six-wheeledluggage composite and as previous with lavatory.
P.A.T. Collar. The First North British locomotives.
Locomtives (0-4-2 and 2-2-2) ordered from R. & W. Hawthorn. Cites Stephenson Locomotive Society Locomotives of the North British Railway, 1846-1882; E. Craven Early North Britsh locomotves (typed notes) and G. Dow First railway across the Border which quote different dimensions of trailing wheels. See also letters from James F. McEwan in Issue 35.
A.A. Maclean. Kit review: "Mail Coach kit M001 Gresley 61' 6" open
The kit is less interesting than the notes on the prototype which has nothing to do witth the conveyance of mail, but was the Tourist Trains fitted with bucket seats to emulate luxury road coach travel, but according to Frank Jones was agony for overnight journeys. The Ian Kirk kit lacked documentation and any form of seating. Some of the vehicles were used in the Scottish Region's Televsion Train
Letters to the editor. 34-5
Alan G. Dunbar
Jim McEwan's interesting letter of his father's raised a memory in my mind of a visit I paid to Springburn when I was working in Parkhead Loco Shed. I had dropped in to visit our boilersmith who was getting over an accident, and met his father, who had been a sort of under foreman in the Cowlairs paintshop, mainly in the Holmes period. Casually asking him what colour did they paint the engines, he looked at me as if I had horns and barked "broon you damned idiot". After that we got on to other topics!
Journal No. 35 (June 1988)
J.F. McEwan. A signalman's memories. Part Two. 3-6
G.W.M. Sewell. Traffic facilities and movements on the Border Counties line. 9-11
R.W. Lyon. Border Counties signalling diagrams. 12-13
At Saughtree station, Kielder, Plashetts, Falstone, Wark and Humshaugh station.
A.A. Maclean. North British Railway coaching stock history. 14-16
1908 and 1921 eight wheel passenger stock lists and diagram histories for first class bogie saloons (West Highland); third class bogie saloons (West Highland); and bogie third corridor lavatory.
The epistles of Peggy. 18-19.
North British Railway publication: see Issue 27 page 26 for beginning of saga. This part covers north oof Montrose, through Stonehaven to Aberdeen.
J. Bruce Murray. Warehouse and coal drops at Cupar station, 20-2
Six photographs of structures of 1847: coal drops were unusual on NBR
A.G. Dunbar. Open bars. 23
The title refers to a slightly idiotic performance undertaken with a few engines of classes J36 and N15 during the early 1940s. Who the idiot who thought it up was has more or less, quite correctly, remained unknown, but briefly his idea was to cut time spent in repacking piston and spindle glands on the two classes mentioned. All the engines quoted had Drummond type channel slide bars, and these were dispensed with in the experiment, and were replaced by a single upper and lower bar. The original crosshead slipper blocks were of cast iron, with white metal inserts that could take a good deal of wear, but after removing the original slide bars, the new set up produced slipper blocks as before, with the white metal added as a layer on the top and bottom of the slipper block. What actually took place then was that the white metal broke off after a few weeks in service, and produced a 'lift' with the crosshead hitting the slide bars with a bump or two per tmrn of the wheel. The number of complaints that appeared on the repair cards ran into dozens, but representations to those responsible were ignored, until sheds took the law into their own hands, and stopped the engines concerned, which in wartime was, in the light of those above, a really heinous crime.
As far as my own depot was concerned, the effect of two N15 tanks, plus four J36 class engines standing awaiting the return of their old type slide bars, plus the old slipper blocks, had a strong effect on those responsible for the debacle. Why it was ever attempted will remain a more or less mystery until anything comes to light documenting the whole affair. I cannot say how many engines were involved in this stupid experiment, but am inclined to say around twelve or so of each class were so dealt with. To finally sum up, it was just another idiotic idea that was common during the war, when all types of hare-brained ideas flourished. Diagrams.
By East Coast route to South Africa! 24
Through coaches and through fares for journeys from Aberdeen to Southampton via King's Cross and Waterloo in summe 1904 (advrtisement) via J. A. Smith.
The Glasgow Mechanic's Institution trip over the E. &
G., 1862. 25-7
Originally published in The Practical Mechanic and Engineer's Magazine, pages 410/1,1862. Submitted by Allan R. Carneron.
"We mentioned last month in our notice of the Glasgow Mechanic's Institution, that the Directors of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway had offered to give the members of the Institution a trip over the line in a special train, with opportunities of examining the principal works along the line at half the usual fares. The offer so handsomely given was eagerly accepted, and the trip took place on Thursday, 30th June. The party consisting of about 650, a number of whom were ladies, filled twenty-three carriages, and were pulled up the incline in two divisions. Immediately on leaving the terminus, the carriages enter the tunnel, and being attached to the endless rope are dragged up the incline by the stationary engines situated at Cowlairs. The tunnel is divided into three portions by deep cuts, which ventilate and relieve the tediousness of the passage under ground: the three portions of the tunnel are respectively 550, 300 and 298 yards in length. At the top of the incline (Cowlairs) are situated the extensive engine-shops of the Company, and the stationary engines for bringing up the trains. Sufficient time was allowed the party to inspect these engines, which are erected in an elegant building, and from their beautiful workmanship and clean appearance excited considerable interest. Two locomotives, the "Playfair" and the "Brindley" were now attached, and at 8 o'clock, the train started for Edinburgh.
Between Cowlairs and the Kirkintilloch station, there is a deep cut about two miles in length, through the solid rock. On nearing the latter station the passenger enjoys a view of the ancient town of Kirkintilloch about a mile and-a-half to the left, and the Campsie hills in the distance. Over a portion of the line here, the rails are laid on longitudinal wooden sleepers, over which the carriages run very smoothly. The next station is Croy, where the line runs through the finely wooded lands of Croy Reid.
The general gradient on line is 1 in 880: from Cowlairs it rises to Croy Milts, (11½ miles from Glasgow) which is the summit of the line. Here the railway is hemmed in by high, and literally perpendicular walls of whinstone, perhaps the heaviest cut on the line. The train reached Castlecary (15½ miles from Glasgow), at thirty-two minutes past 8, and stopped to give the passengers an opportunity of viewing the Redburn viaduct. The viaduct consists of eight arches nearly l00 feet high, one of which crosses a small tributary of the Carron, and forms a beautiful specimen of railway architecture.
The passengers having being recalled by the steam whistle, the train again started at ten minutes to 9. Shortly after passing Castlecary, the line runs close e to the field of Bonnymuir, where a few political enthusiasts, we add, the victims of the deceitful delusion of 1819, were intercepted on their march from Glasgow to Carron, by a company of dragoons. After a short conflict the dragoons captured a number of the party, two of whom were executed and the rest transported. At this part of the line, the Ochill hills running along the Forth, with the Grampian mountains towering in the distance, form imposing objects in the view away towards the left. At a short distance from Falkirk, the railway is carried over the canal by one arch, twenty-eight feet in height, and 124 in span. From the great span of this bridge, compared with its height, the construction of this arch was deemed a very difficult, if not impracticable undertaking. The structure was finished with complete success. This part of the Railway being peculiarly favourable for an inspection of the locks upon the canal, and embracing the view of a beautiful range of country, with the Frith(sic) of Forth, placid and calm in the distance; the carriages were allowed to stop till the engines went forward to Falkirk for a supply of water and coke. After waiting twenty-seven minutes the train once more got under weigh, and passed the Falkirk station (21½ miles from Glasgow), at twenty-six minutes past 9. On approaching Falkirk the passenger obtains a view of Carron Iron Works. Ben Lomond, Benledi and Ben Venue, may also be distinguished lifting their lofty heads among the surrounding hills. Immediately on passing this station the train enters a tunnel 880 yards in length.
The environs of Falkirk are peculiarly interesting, as the scene of many remarkable events in Scottish history; between the town and the river Carron, was fought the battle of Falkirk, in 1298, when the Scottish army under Wallace, was discomfited by Edward I. On opposite banks of the stream, Wallace and Bruce are said to have held converse the night after the battle. To the south-west is the ground where the royal army under Hawley, was defeated by Prince Charles Edward.
The next station passed is Poimont, a small village in the vicinity of the line of he great Roman wall, remains of which may still be traced. About a mile from Linlithgow, the train crossed the river and vale of Avon, on a splendid viaduct of 20 arches, some of which are 90 feet high. The ancient burgh town of Linlithgow, 29½ miles from Glasgow was passed at 17 minutes to 10. Linlithgow was a favourite residence of the Scottish court during the reigns of the Jameses. The most interesting object is the ruins of the ancient palace, which stands at the back of the town, not far from the railway. The original castle is said to have been built by Edward I, when he invaded Scotland. Sir Robert Bruce obtained possession of this castle by stratagem, and razed it to the ground. The castle was rebuilt by the English, during the minority of David II. A portion of the ruins yet remaining are said to be of thi date. Pieces were successively added to the building by James IV, James V and James VI. At present, the whole is in a sad state of ruin. For this we have to thank the soldiers of General Hawley, if not the general himself, who, after being routed at Falkirk by the adherents of Prince Charles, wantonly set fire to a building which had sheltered them in their disgraceful flight. The house is still shown in Linlithgow from which Hamilton of Bothwell-haugh shot the regent Murray.
At 10 o'clock the train was stopped at the viaduct over the Almond valley, and the party descended to view the largest specimen of stone work on the line. This immense monument of scientific skill and human industry, consists of 36 arches, each 50 feet in span, and varying from 60 to 85 feet in height. It is built of beautiful freestone. The vale is traversed by the little stream named "Almond Water". .
The engineer's whistle again recalled the stragglers, and after a delay of 11 minutes, the immense train was once more put in motion. A few minutes after crossing the viaduct, Edinburgh castle, and other elevated portions of the Scottish metropolis with the Pentland hills lying to the right, came full into view. The Edinburgh terminus was reached at half-past ten.
The party now divided themselves to visit the various public buildings and exhibitions which, through the kindness of the Lord Provost and magistrates, and othe public bodies of Edinburgh, were thrown open for their inspection. These consisted of the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, the University Museum, the Museum of Lhe Agricultural Society, the Castle and ancient Regalia of Scotland; the Royal Institution comprising the Galleries of Painting and Statuary, and the Antiquarian Museum, he Botanic Gardens, the Experimental Gardens, Kemp's Chemical Museum, and the Zoological Gardens at half-price. By permission of his Grace the Duke of Hamilton, the ancient palace of Holyrood was also open to visitors from Glasgow.
The Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons is of the most extensive and complete description. The prepared and injected specimens seem almost innumerable. Of skeletons of human beings and animals, there is an extensive collection. Parts both in plaster and wax are most extensive and varied, exhibiting the several parts of the human body under the influence of the diseases to which they are liable. The University Museum contains a number of interesing specimens of stuffed cetacae stuffed animals, particularly two splendid specimens of the Giraffe. There is also a mummy in its coffin, seemingly in good preservation. The Museum is particularly rich in ornithological specimens. There is a good collection of minerals and coins. The collection of paintings in the Royal Institution, although not very extensive, comprises some of the finest specimens of the ancient masters. The Gallery of Statuary exhibits casts of the Elgin marbles, a beautiful cast of the Venus de Medicis, and casts from the most celebrated productions of sculpture. Great judgement has been exercised in the selection of these. We have specimens of the early Greek sculptors, of the masters who flourished in the noonday of the science, in its decline, and in its revival, when civilisation was restored to Europe. The Antiquarian Museum is a most interesting collection to the disciples of Captain Grose. One prominent object in the Museum is the old Scottish Maiden which beheaded the Marquis of Argyle, and several others of the Scottish nobility. To the lovers of botany, and indeed, to all who visited them, the Botanic Gardens afforded a most gratifying spectacle. The grounds spread over fourteen acres are beautifully laid out, and rich in rare or useful specimens. The conservatories were particularly interesting, from the variety of rare tropical plants in the most healthy and flourishing condition. Amongst the rest we observed a specimen of the bread-fruit tree bearing fruit.
In the vicinity of the Botanic is the Experimental Gardens, which from the short visit we paid to it seemed in a msot thriving condition, and displayed an endless profusion of floral specimens native and foreign.
At three o'clock, the committee of the Glasgow Mechanics' Institution, with a number of friends, amongst whom were several Edinburgh gentlemen, sat down to dinner in McKay's Hotel, Mr. Leadbetter, President of the Railway Board of Directors, in the chair; Mr. Ambrose, secretary to the Glasgow Mechanics' Institution, croupier. After dinner, among the toasts given and responded to, were "The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Co.", "The Lord Provost and Magistrates of Edinburgh", "The Glasgow Mechanics' Institution", "The Edinburgh School of Arts, coupled with the name of Mr. Binnie," "The Chambers' Journal, coupled with the name of the Messrs. Chambers", The Glasgow Practical Mechanics' and Engineer's Magazine, coupled with the name of Mr. W. C. Pattison."
Before half past seven in the afternoon, the company began to assemble at the railway station, preparatory to returning to Glasgow. Every thing being arranged, and amid the cheers of the gratified passengers, the train started on its homeward journey at twenty-four minutes to eight o'clock, and reached Falkirk at twenty-eight minutes past nine(sic), having seen twenty-four miles and a quarter in eight minutes less than the hour, no bad work considering the load, and that the general gradient was upward the whole way. The engineer having taken in water and coke, started, after stopping twelve minutes, and reached Cowlairs (44½ miles) in one hour and forty minutes from Edinburgh, exclusive of the stoppages at Falkirk, the whole train was sent over the incline, and by the judicious use of breaks, brought safely in to the terminus. On leaving the carriages, three cheers were given for the Directors of the Railway, and the party separated to seek their respective homes.
Thus ended one of the most delightful and instructive day's recreations it has ever been our lot to witness. It afforded a splendid illustration of the triumph of science. Two mighty and distant cities brought as it were to the suburbs of each other; breaking down local prejudices, and enabling kindred minds to associate, which otherwise never would have known each other. Minds searching after the truths of science find a pleasure in perceiving nature under every form, and in marking the huge monuments of skill and perseverence, which science has enabled man to accomplish. Here was every wish gratified. Natural scenery of the most varied appearances; human works more skilful and gigantic far than the mighty monuments of the Pharos; objects of antiquity to bring up in review the instructive lessons of hi3torical events; and in the museums and gardens of modern Athens, an exhaustless field of study and instruction. We cannot conceive anything more calculated to stimulate the patient student in his labours, to elevate the moral feelings and improve the taste of society for rational enjoyment, than a day spent as one just described. We hope this is but the first of a series of similar occasions that we may have to record here as well as elsewhere.
As might be expected from the character of the individuals composing the party, their behaviour throughout was irreproachable; and as far as we have learned, the various bodies who kindly contributed to the enjoyment of the party, had no cause to repent their liberality. The weather throughout the day was delightful."
Map of the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway, 1865. 28
North British Railway - Clearing House load gauge. A.A. Maclean. 29
Letters to the editor. 30
The first N.B.R. locomotives. James F. McEwan
Journal No. 36 (November 1988)
A.A. Maclean. The South Queensferry branch. 3-14
A.W. Miller. Further speculation about Dugald
Refers back tio article on the Abbotsfords in Isssue 30 page 11
Journal No. 37 (March 1989)
A.A. Maclean. The South Queensferry branch. Part II. 3-9.
Robin Barr. The Lochaber Railtour. 10-12.
Delayed outward journey behind a class 37 over West Highland line to Fort William and too eventful return to Glasgow behind K1 No. 2005. Date not given but probably November 1988.
Wagons of the Woodhall Coal Company Ltd. 13
Three photographs of this Pencaitland colliery wagons: Two twelve ton and one eight ton.
Ile Inspector. The Widha'. 14-16
Notes on working in the 1940s the Coal Train Link from Portobello Yard to serve the Woodhall colliery at Pencaitland whose wagons were painted green. This traversed part of the Gifford branch and on one day a J24 was provided to work cattle wagons onto the Gifford & Garvald Light Railway: otherwise heavier locomotives were used including a J38.
A.G. Dunbar. A note on the "Race tio the North". 17-19
The race to Aberdeen in 1895 which Dunbar claimed the NBR was very retiscent. The Sunday Post on 20 August 1933 published a short article entitled Speed battle that might have meant disastter. The significance of the article is that it mentions names not recorded by Nock, namely Driver Joe McGregor and Fireman John Berry of Edinburgh who worked the train to Dundee and Driver Charlie Spalding with Jim Anton from there to Aberdeen. On that morning the competing train from Perth was worked by Joun Soutar (Nock stated William Kerr) with Fireman David Fenton..
John N. Hammond. The tykes frae up the hill. 20-1
Verses by Walter Henry, a platelayer from Newcastleton.
A.W. Miller. Further speculation about Dugald Drummond - a postscript. 22
News on N.B.R. structures. J.F. McEwan. 23-4
From Construction News. Notes on then contemporary (1980s)) civil engineering works affecting spalling on the Glenfinnan concrete viaduct and lowering the track in St. Margarets Tunnel as part of electrification work
Graceful little Gareloch. 24.
H. Murray & Co. of Port Glasgow laid down their first steamship in 1871: a paddle steamer for the NBR. It was based at Helensburgh for services to the Gareloch. In 1891 the NBR took over the Galloway Saloon Steam Packet Company on the Firth of Forth and Gareloch was sent round to join the fleet as the Wemyss Castle. From the Evening Times. Submitted by Allan R. Cameron
More N.B.R. paddle steamers - photographic survey. J.F. McEwan. 25
Photographs of Talisman, Kenilworth and Waverley
Lyneside signalbox. John Hammond. 26
Three photographs including level crossing and interior.
John M. Hammond. The trials, travels and travsails of Wartime service.
Longtown signalbox in World War II. Part II. 27-31.
Engine failure as recorded by the signalmen R. Graham, F. Blythe and D. Stewart in the Occurrence Book. Notes on engine failures, especially by Sentinel railcars on service to Langholm and damage by army trucks to level crossing gates.
Obituary. Alan G. Dunbar - Honary Member. J.F. McEwan. 32
Journal No. 38 (January 1990)
Stewart Black. D.C.L. grain wagons. 4
Photograph taken in about 1938 of all steel grain hopper alongside wooden wagon supplied by R.Y. Pickering. Location Caledonian Distillery, Haymarket
Jim Smith. In the bad books. 5
Passenger travelling on a Loch Lomond Tourist Ticket bought from the Caledonian Railway was charged for the fare at Glasgow Queen Street and claimed against the NBR which had entered into an agreement with the Caledonian Rly.
Bill Rear. L.N.E.R. engine workings. 6-12.
Had started footplate work under John Maxwell Dunn at Bangor mpd and had worked as a fireman in Crewe North top link and noted that Piccolo Pete Johnson and Top Rigby kept diaries. He became interested in L.N.E.R. engine workings through visits to Kingmoor, but he never traversed the Waverley route, On the death of Ken Hoole he obtained his records. The North Eastern records show Pacific workings between Newcastle and Edinburgh during the BR period and specific duties of a few small sheds, such as Jedburgh, Hawick and Rothbury.
"Abbotsford": the saga continued. 12-
Euan Cameron with reply from A.W. Miller
A.A. Maclean. The South Queensferry branch. Part 3. 15.
Journal No. 39 (April 1990)
No. 65316 at Hawick with passenger train in August 1959. front cover
George Davidson. The power of the Gresley P2
In brief why was Thompson permitted to ruin six powerful locomotives capable of hauling almost any load [KPJ saw Cock o' the North painted black at Tay Bridge station during WW2: it remains the most superb steam locomotive he ever saw]. Photograph No. 2006 Wolf of Badenoch departing Edinburgh in 1937. See also letter from P.A.T. Collar in Issue 41. and Ile Inspector in Issue 43 page 8 and correction from Editor who asserts photograph taken by G.H. Platt.
Jim McEwan. Assorted jottings. 9.
Notes that Foundry practice published in 1890 contains a reference to Thomas Wheatley's use of cast iron wheels for slow working locomotives. Also single track working on Langholm branch
B.R. Departmental vehicle No. D.E. 320032 (alleged to be
See letter in Journal 81 page 29
John McGregor. The West Highland Line. 10-11
Authorised deviations from the original route and objections to them by the.deer shooting "gentry"; mainly reduction in number of crossings of River Spean and varitions on approach to Fort William.. Mentions club-farms annd especially some of Mackintosh's tennants (a Mackintosh on both the WHR and Highland Railway Bords).
Engine allocations. 1921. 12-14
4-4-0T No. 10461. 16
See letter in Issue 81 page 29: location Kittybrewster: locomotive fitted with cowcatcher for working St. Combs branch
Journey of Ner Majesty Queen Alexandra and Suite from Berwick to Aberdeen
en route from Wolferton to Ballater on Tuesday 13th August 1912.
General Manager's notice,Timetable for Royal Train and alterations to time of other services and instruction for earlier train ftom Berwick not to be delayed.