Railway World
Volume 52 (1991)

Key file

Number 630 (February 1991)

Peter Winding. 'Elegant engines': the LSWR's Adams 4-4-0s. 106-9.
Used to be known as Peacocks as first series supplied by Beyer Peacock. Initial series supplied by that firm in 1880 as 135 class: 6ft 7in coupled wheels, 18 x 24 inch outside cylinders and 140 psi boiler pressure. Capable of excellent work: Waterloo to Exeter (171.5 miles) in 4 hours 3 minutes with 150 tons and six stops. In 1883 the 445 class was introduced with 7ft 1 in coupled wheels and the boikler pressure raised to 160 psi. Built by Robert Stephenson & Co. they were capable of 80 mile/h. In 1884 the 460 class reverted to the earlier size of coupled wheels, but ran at 160 psi with a slightly larger boiler. Ten were built by Neilson & Co.  and a further ten by Stephenson & Co. plus an additional one exhibited by the firm in Newcastle in 1887 where it gained a gold medal before bring sold to the LSWR. There were four later classes built at Nine Elms between 1890 and 1896. The X2 and T6 classes had 7ft 1 in coupled wheels and the T3 and X6 6ft 7in coupled wheels. In 1937 J.N. Maskylyne [Maskelyne?] observed No. 681 running at 65 mile/h hauling the Atlantic Coast Express when its normal locomotive had failed at Basingstoke.

Behrend, George. 60 years on the Channel. 110-12.
Rather incoherent memories of five Stirling 0-6-0Ts hauling and pushing a boat train from Folkestone Harbour up the hill to Folkestone Junction; a later and faster ascent in an EMU. A trip on a shabby EMU to Dover and on to Paris in Corail rolling stock (with observations of work on Channel Tunnel); the Newhaven to Dieppe route, and a brief mention of travel to France via Southampton

G.J.C. Reid. Gordon Highlander repainted. 113
Glasgow Museum of Transport

Jeremy Clarke. The Catford Loop and its branches. 114-17.
Lines characterised by sharp gradients and tight curves. The line between Brixton Junction and Shortlands Junction gave a splendid panorama of London from near Nunhead station which was the starting point for the former branches to Greenwich Park (part of which survives as the link to Lewisham) and to Crystal Palace. The Crystal Palace branch was the first electrified branch to close — in 1954 as the cabling renewal could not be justified. Passenger traffic was extremely light except for special events. The remains of the once grand terminus are described. London County Council housing estates provided traffic at Croft Park, Bellingham and Beckenham Hill and reversal fascilities were provided  at  Shortlands Junction beyond Ravensbourne. Freight traffic included that derived from the Midland and Great Norhtern lines. 

Number 614 (June 1991)

David Chough. Modern Traction Performance. Class 50. 337-41.
D437 and D447 on non-stop Crewe to Carlisle run: Minimum of 68 mile/h at Shap on 4 May 1970; No. 50021 with 12 Mk II coaches was down to 49 mile/h at Shap Summit on 4 May 1974. Southbound runs from Carlisle to Preston featured No. 50035 with 12 Mk II coaches on 4 May 1974 and 50025 withg 50019 and 13 Mk II coaches on 8 April 1974. Also five Carlisle to Penrith runs with single locomotives.

Alan Earnshaw. Trouble with viaducts. 342-5.
Mainly those on Huddersfield to Penistone line. At Lockwood there was a challenge to throw cricket balls over the viaduct: this was only achieved rarely. At Denby Dale there was a timber trestle, but this was replaced by a stone viaduct in 1884. At Penistone the viaduct collapsed on 2 February 1916 and the footplate crew of 2-4-2T No. 661 not only escaped but were able to record what happened in considerable detail. Attempts were made to retrieve the locomotive by hauling it up the steep slope, but these failed and the locomotive was cut up on the spot. Teams of masons restored the viaduct. New Mill Beck Viaduct on the Holmfirth branch collapsed twice during construction on 19 February 1849 and on 3 December 1865. There is a picture of Knitsley Viaduct in County Durham showing the timber trestle being replaced by a embankment.

New books. 346.

Great Northern locomotive history. Volume 3A. 1896-1911. The Ivatt era.N. Groves. RCTS, 1990. 238pp.
The RCTS has a well-deserved reputation for publishing sound historical research on locomotives. This latest addition to the list is well up to the usual high standard. It deals with that fascinating era when the Great Northern had to come to terms, in a rush, with the rapidly increasing demand for power as train weights soared, at much the same time as the revered Patrick Stirling firstly became over- conservative and then died in office. Ivatt was brought in from outside and turned locomotive policy round in a short time, bigger machines with much larger boilers, more wheels and a lot more power· being introduced. At the same time, the less glamorous side of the locomotive fleet was also being modernised and railcars were tried, with customary lack of success. The Ivatt era was of course significant to enthusiasts for the creation of the famous Atlantics, which held sway on the main line and in the affections for so long. Of no less significance, it laid the foundations for the Gresley years that followed. This fact-and-data packed book takes the reader through one of the most important phases in British locomotive history

Leader and Southern experimental steam. Kevin Robertson. Alan Sutton. 128pp.
Third of Kevin Robertson's books on experimental topics, proves that the subject matter is far from exhausted. Despite the first of the trio being dedicated exclusively to the 'Leader' class, the author has found plenty of new ma- terial about the type and its unhappily brief history to make up the largest section of this book. The pictorial content is most interesting here, with many illustrations of the class being new to this reviewer at least. Of particular interest is that, with the opportunity for further research into the class, the author admits to changing his mind about the reasons for its short life and untimely fate; he has come, he says, to the conclusion that it was not the design which failed but the railway which failed the design. Reading the story as he gives it, and bearing in mind that this revolutionary concept was bound to have teething troubles, the reviewer is inclined to agree. As Robertson presents his story, little was done and only half- heartedly, to counter the problems of the class and under scrutiny the principles of the design emerge as being soundly reasoned. Under a different leadership the concept might well have been given a fair chance. The other interesting aspect of this book is that it takes the story of experimentation on the SR back to its beginnings. The high-profile and charismatic Bulleid has for so long been seen as the experimenter and innovator of the SR that it comes almost as a surprise to see how much went on before his time, in Maunsell's day. The difference, perhaps, is that whereas Bulleid tended to experiment in wholesale quantities, Maunsell was more cautious, preferring to try ideas out on single units before deciding that they were any good. Equally interesting, most of them seemed to fail his exacting standards. The reason for this approach is suggested by a passage in the book, which tells how the relatively young Maunsell was carpeted by the Board for authorising experimental changes to an engine without their permission to spend the money involved. Later in his career, perhaps caution grew to counter his greater prestige. However, experiments there were, not just the well known and successful ones with smoke deflectors that changed for ever (and for the better) the looks of SR express engines, but with oil burning, a condensing system with turbine draught for the fire, and Marshall valve gear, to name a few cases. The latter involved fitting a novel but promising valve gear to an 'N' Mogul, the trials being abandoned after the gear disintegrated at speed. Bulleid, one suspects, would have modified the lot, had he believed in it, then moved heaven and earth to make it work! All in all, a most interesting book about a little-known facet of the SR's locomotive department. Well worth reading.

British locomotive classes: principal 'Big Four' locomotive classes at 1945. Brian Reed. Ian Allan. 62pp.
New edition of book first published by the Locomotive Publishing Co in 1945. Brought out just after World War 2, it covered some 60 of the main classes of locomotive in service at that time. Some were new or recent, some had been around for years. All were successful and played a significant part in keeping our railways operat- ing, thus earning their place herein. Each class is illustrated, as well as having a side-view drawing. The text covers the class history, technical details, performance, range and other data. In all, it adds up to a most interesting look at the railways' front line power in the years following on from the war. It will be enjoyed by most enthusiasts with any sense of history. It is certainly fascinating to look back and see what power our railways depended on nearly 50 years ago. It comes almost as a shock to realise how many familiar types of later years had not been built in the mid-1940s.

Letters. 348.

Steam trams. G.H.H. Wheler.
Notes on Blessington tramway near Dublin which was noted as "longest graveyard in Ireland" due to the high number of drunks killed by the trams as the tramway switched sides of the road; also the terrible track: cites article by Trevor Rouse and Oakwood title

Peter Brock. Kingmoor's forgotten tankers [tank engines]. 359-63.
During February 1956 the author fired No. 40185 on an all stations job to Appleby then moved to Fairburn 2-6-4T and anticipated work as banker at Beattock, but there was a call to go north to Symington to take over from failed Patriot No. 45531 on the up Birmingham Scot. This 475 ton train was worked to Carlisle bunker first. On 8 May 1956 No. 42449 was called to assist No. 45100 on the 16.05 from Glasgow St enoch between Carlisle and Ais Gill. No. 42110 assisted No. 46139 on the climb to Shap with the Inverness to Euston sleeper. 0-6-0T No. 56374 had dry cylinders: an attempt was made to rectify this by pouring oil down the blast pipe.

R.G. Chapman. The Calder Valley Railway Summit Tunnel. 364-6.
Mainly an account of the fire which happened on 20 December 1984 when a train of petroleum tanks derailed due to a faulty bogie and caught fire. The locomotive and some wagons were drawn clear, but the reaminedr burnt for 100 hours and flames and smoke issued through the ventilating shafts. It is estimated that the structure withstood temperatures up to 3000°C. It took eight months to repair and reopened on 19 August 1985.