Backtrack Volume 35 (2021)
Published by Pendragon, Easingwold, YO61 3YS
|A2 Pacific No.60532 Blue Peter
climbs out of Dundee towards the
Tay Bridge with the 12.10 express
freight to Edinburgh Millerhill in
September 1965. (Derek Penney)
|January (Number 345)
On Shed elsewhere in Carlisle. Gavin Morrison. 4-6
Photo-feature of on shed scenes at Upperby and Canal depots (Kingmoor conidered previously): Princess Coronation No. 46225 Duchess of Gloucester (red) on 26 March 1964; two Princess Coronation Pacifics: Nos. 46256 Sir William A. Stanier FRS (very dirty red) and 46235 City of Birmingham (green) wiith many loaded coal wagons and hostel for footplate crews visible on 1 September 1963; Britannia No. 70048 The Territorial Army 1908-1958 suffering from feed water problems; ex-Works Class 5 4-6-0 No. 44906 in fully lined livery on 22 May 1961; Class 4F No. 44081 with snowplough on 6 April 1963; Canal shed with severalltypes of ex-LMS locomotives including Stanier 2-cylinder 2-6-4T No. 42634, a Jinty 3F 0-6-0T, two Fairburn 2-6-4Ts, two Horwich 2-6-0s and two Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0s; A2 class No. 60530 Sayajirao also at Canal at same time as previous 6 April 1963; and Nos. 46256 Sir William A. Stanier FRS (very clean red) at Upperby waiting to haul the RCTS Scottish Lowlander back to Crewe on 26 September 1964
Bruce Laws, .Working at Christmas. 7-12
Illustrations: O4 2-8-0 No. 6365 possibly in late 1930s; O4/8 Nos. 63800 and 63776 at Langwith Junction mpd in 1963; L1 2-6-4T No. 67780 backing stock for Grantham train into platform at Nottingham Victoria on 2 August 1962 (T.J. Edgington); K2/1 No. 61723 in BR lined black livery; Ivatt Class 4 No. 43102 shoing its ugliest features in Peterborough shed yard during 1960s; L1 No. 67758 entering Radcliffe-on-Trent with Nottingham Victoria to Grantham train; up South Yorkshireman powered by V2 No. 60820 in Nottingham Victoria with J39 No. 64832 and J6 No. 64238 on local passenger trains and another V2 No. 60815 on corridor train; L1 No. 67799 in Nottingham Victotori on passenger train in 1959; Les Beet's log book for 1961-2.
Chris Hogg. Paddle steamers in the Firth 13-16.
Illustrations: PS Galatea at speed with dark coal smoke from both funnels; PS Jupiter; PS Duchess of Fife; PS Jeannie Deans in early BR livery; PS Lucy Ashton; PS Minerva in Albert Harbour, Greenock with sailing vessel behind; PS Waverley of 1899
Jim McBride. The end of Company service. 17-22.
Like the following article this is partly a personal view of the railway near his home and a childhood journey to Portrush and a final trip from Carrickfergus to Greenisland at Easter in 1970. The Ulster Transport Authority used the Belfast to Larne railway to convey rock from a quarry at Magheramorne to the site of the M2 motorway which was intended to eliminate railways from the Province (at least Marples was not guilty of using the West Coast Main Line to build the M1). Illustrations mainly of UTA Jeep class 2-6-4T (an attractive variant of the LMS 2-6-4T species, one of which is preserved at Whitehead and used on Irish rail tours): No. 6 at York Road shed, Belfast on 28 May 1969 (colour); No. 4 leaving Whitehead with spoil train on 1 January 1968 alongside Belfast Lough (colour: J.R.L. Currie); No. 56 on spoil train alongside Belfast Lough in summer 1968; No. 4 at Magheramorne during loading operations on 6 May 1967 (George R. Mahon); No. 10 at front and No. 51 at rear between Magheramorne and Ballycarry with loaded spoil train on 16.00 to Greencastle near Oldmill Bay on 22 August 1969 (colour: David Idle); No. 4 leaving Whitehead at rear of 18.05 from Magheramorne on 22 August 1969 (colour: David Idle); unloading stone at Greencastle on 23 August 1969 (colour: David Idle); and No. 4 leaving Whitehead on 18.05 from Magheramorne on 2 July 1969 (colour: David Idle). See also letter from Andrew Klrissner
Peter Butler. Memories from a Midland main line outing.
Mixturre of a fairly recent trip from Loddington to Matlock with friends (all of whom love the railway) and earlier trips over the same route when steam was the norm abd freight was conveyed in pocket-sized wagons. The more recent trip began by car as far as Kettering where electification was in progress. The train from Kettering stopped at Market Harborough where straightening had altered the position of te platforms. On the approach to Leicester they passed Kilby Bridge where te signal box had been visited on an earlier visite with an approach along the Grand Union Canal. Beyond Leicester, passing Syston he was reminded of journeys to court a young lady who taught at Sileby and had digs in Syston: she later became his wife (this is very much travrel in the style of poet Sean O'Brien). The Red Hill tunnels reminded him that the view of the northern portals are now obscured by tree growth. Change at Nottingham fave time to note the skylight over the circulating area. The train for Matlock left from a point far removed from their arrival (must be feature of stations in places beginning "N"). They paused at Derby where there used to be much to reflect upon an evenually reached Matlock where they were greeted by an Austerity 0-6-0ST. Commend s Ellis of Leicester by Andrew Moore. Illustrations (by author): Kettering station flat milepost; Kilby Bridge signal box on 24 June 1978; Midland Railway cttages at Wigston on 24 June 1978; London Road signal box Leicester on 26 November 1983; fireman's call plunger at London Road Junction; castellated northern portals of Red Hill tunnels in 1903; Beeston station on 26 December 1972; Nottingham Midland station roof above circulating area on 2 July 2019. See also letter from Stephen G. Abbott on Nottingham being a "quiet station".
Stephen G. Abbott. In the wake of Madge Bessemer: a review
of illegal rail closures. Part One. 26-31
Miss Margery (Madge) Bessemer was the person who found a clause in the original Act which led to the Bluebell Line being reopened and provided with a rather unusable tr ain servive until a fur tyhe Act of Pa rliament led to its closure and evantual reopening as a heritage railway: see Gibbins. This article examines train services which have been withdrawn or modified since the 1962 Transport Act and to an extent considers the new breedd of Parliamentart Trains where it is simpler for the railway managemnt to run a bare minimum service rather than to seek a formal closure. It begins with the Washington service in County Durham which used to be a part of the main line into Newcastle, but exists in a sort of limbo where iit has neither been restored to provide extra capacity into Newcastle, nor extended the Metro service out to Washington and possibly the City of Durham. The Mexborough curves provided links betwe3en the Midland Railway and the Great Central Railway, but were removed in 1965, and for a time a replecement bus service had to be provided. But the curve had to be relaid to enable Doncaster to be brought into the cross-country nettwork and to satify the ambitions of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive. Illustrations: LNER V3 class with train of clerestory coaches at Washington station on 3 August 1948 (W.A. Camwell), Mexborough curves map; Brush Type 4 No. D1574 passing under flyover bridge at Ashendon Junction with a special train for the England versus Scotland schoolboy international football match at Wembley on 3 Apeil 1965 (Tommy Tomalin); former LMS 3FF 0-6-0T No. 47584 on freight on connecting line from Bury Bolton Street to Bury Knowsley Street on 2 February 1963 (Tay Farrell); former LNWR Renown class 4-4-0 No. 5121 Galatea at Spratton on Market Harborough to Northampton service c1928 (L,J. Thompson); Fowler 2-6-4T No. 42353 at Lamport on a Market Harborough to Northampton service; Marylebone-based four car DMU on last train special from Market Harborough to Northampton on 15 August 1981; Leeds area former railway network; Kirkby Stephen with Dales Rail service in 1975
An assortment of LNER A2 Pacifics. Derek Penney. 32-4
Colour photo-feature: Thompson reduction of former magnificant Gresley P2 No. 60503 Lord President to A2/2 on express near Grantham in 1959; A2/3 No. 60519 Honeyway on Haymarket shed in August 1958; Peppercorn class A2 No. 60532 Blue Peter (with double chimney & multiple valve reulator on Dundee engine shed in 1965; No. 60535 Hornets Beauty with single chimney in ex-Works condition leaving Retford on a northbound express; A2/3 No. 60500 Edward Thompson leaving Grantham on a northbound evening express; A2 No. 60530 Sayajirao on 18.15 Glasgow Buchanan Street to Dundee express on Kinbuck bank on 30 August 1965; A2 No. 60533 Happy Knight on up express south of Retford
Topsyturvy at Turvey. 35
Colour photo-feature of accident at Turvey when an 8F 2-8-0 No. 48616 hauling wagons loaded with track panels collided with empty coaching stock on the Bedford to Northampton line on 17 June 1960. The 8F crew lept to safety. The two photogeaphs show cleaning up operations by two steam cranes one of which survives on the KWVR
Mike Fenton. The Calne branch - Part One. 36-41
The Calne branch by G. Tanner (the author had been na clerk in the Calne booking office) started Fenton's interest in the line which KPJ travelled over once during his National Service period at Aldershot. The Calne Ralilway was conceived by C. & T. Harris to ease the problem of supplies which were beyond the abilities of the long abandoned Wilts & Berks Canal. George Harris, son of the pork processor's firm was on the board of the railway. The broad gauge Calne Railway received its Act on 15 May 1860 and opened on 3 November 1863 following more than one inspection by Henry Tyler. Thomas Henly, the chairman of the railway had to travel to Scotlnd to pursuade Tyler to make the third inspection. Motive power in the broad gauge period included the Sun class 6ft 6in single saddle tanks (2-2-2ST), probably incuding Javelin; 2-4-0ST 5ft 0in saddle tanks converted from tender engines and the Metropolitan class of 6ft 0in condensing tanks. Fenton is uncertain about the precise motive power. Some consideration was given to extending to Marlborough, but this would have involved steep gradients and a tunnel. Bus services were run by the Great Western to Marlborough. The Royal Air Force used to provide considereable passenger traffic. Illustrations: Calne station & engine shed c1900; map; steam railmotoor (railcar) No. 21 with vast number of staff at Calne; 850 class 0-6-0ST No. 853 alongside Calne signal box with signalman Arthur Gabb c1910; Calne station c1908 with station master Arthur Wynn Lloyd, milk cans and GWR Milnes-Daimler bus AX 120 on service to Marlborough; steam railmotoor (railcar) No. 19 at Stanley Bridge Halte; advertisement for Calne to Marlborough bus service; G.F. Bird side elevation drawing of 2-2-2ST of rebuilt Sun class; GWR Thornycroft bus AV 5108 in Calne station forecourt on Marlborough High Street service with Driver Johnny Dawes in 1930; C.T. Harris boxes of pork sausages and lard being loaded into Siphon C vans at Calne with Ewart Ponting in picture in late 1920s; 14XX No. 1454 paiunted green at Calne in February 1957 with driver Tom Newman and fireman Fred Weeks photographed by Kenneth Leech
Michael S. Welch. A flash of Southern Electric.
Colour photo-feature with an excellence still to be achieved in the vastly more expensive Southern Way. Photographs taken by John Hayward. 6 PUL No. 3010 on 12.00 Victoria to Brighton passing Battersea Park station on 2 June 1965; 4 SUB No. 4107 on Victoria to Epsom Downs service via Selhurst and rebuilt light Pacific on Surrey Rambler railtour at West Croydon station on 5 June 1966; 6 PUL No. 3041 on Locomotive Club of Great Britain trip to Brighton on 24 April 1966 (leading motor coach was experimental motor coach No. S311001S built by BRCW in 1931 with straight sides and panelling which covered the solebars; Co-Co electric locomotive No. 20002 at Victota on Royal Train to Tattemham Corner on Derby Day 4 June 1956; Brighton Belle Unit No. 3053 on arrival at Brighton on 2 March 1969.
Rob Langham. Coals from Newcastle. Part Two, 44-7.
Part 1 see Volume 34 page 636. In 1901 eight-coupled locomotives were introduced: the T and T1 classes; the former having piston valves, the latter slide, which were foiund to burn less coal. These were intended to haul sixty lloaded hoppers, but could manage more. An experiment conducted at Tyne Dock in 1901 one hauled a load of 1326 tons, 559 yards long. A visit to the USA in 1901 by senior officers led to the introduction of longer train and larger hoppers including the P7 which could carry 20 tons. Modified buffing gear was designed for the P7 hoppers used on rope worked inclines. 12606 wagons of this type were in service at the Grouping. 32-ton and 40-ton hoppers built by external companies were used to move coal from Ashington Colliery to Blyth. In 1903 British coal consumption was estimated at 167 million tons, of which 32 million was for domestic use. The P3 0-6-0 (later J27) was described by Ken Hoole as a large boiler on wheels with the minimum of valves, cylinders and cranks to impart motion. In 1910 the NER moved 38 million tons of coal, more than any other railway (the Midland moved 26.5 million). Raven modified thr 0-8-0 design with a larger boiler and revertted to piston valves and instigated the scheme to electrify between Shildon and Newport, but World War I limited progress. He also introduced the T3 three cylinder 0-8-0. Langham also mentions that Arthur Stamer took control of locomotive during Raven's absence on Governmnet work during WW1 and in that time was involved in the design of the S3 class three-cylinder 4-6-0 and in the Government's quest to standardize locomotive design: see Much ado about nothing, Illustrations: T2 0-8-0 hauling empty P7 20-ton hoppers between Stanley and Annfield Plain in snow (colour painting: Beamish Museum); T1 0-8-0 No. 211`8 (had been sent to France in 1917); Morrison Pit, Annfield Plain showing P6 15 ton and P7 20-ton hoppers c1916; H class 0-4-0T on coal staithe with teemers and strimmers; T2 class 0-8-0 No. 1247; T1 class No. 772 passing Cowton with a down train of coke empties on 15 May 1920 (William Rogerson); electric locomotive No. 4 with a coal train at Aycliffe on 24 August 1923 (William Rogerson); P3 0-6-0 No. 1025; T3 three cylindrer 0-8-0 No. 901 passing Cowton with coal train on 19 June 1920 (William Rogerson). See also long letter from John Bushby
Steve Leyland. Railway observations from a Selside winter.
Part 1 1958/9. 48-52.
Text is built around train register acquired from Selside signal box covering the period late 1950s/early 1960s when the transition from steam to diesel was about to take place. Illustrations: World War II of thee people on veranda at Selside signal box (signalman, mechanic and lady); Britannia No. 70029 Shooting Star with mineral wagons northg of Horton-in-Ribblesdale with 12.55 Stouron to Carlisle freight on 18 April 1967 (colour: Gavin Morrison); same train as previous at Ribblehead photographer as previous; 9F 2-10-0 No. 92118 on northbound freight passing Selside signal box on 5 August 1967 (Bob Clarke); Jubilee No. 45593 Kolhapur on relief to down Thames-Clyde Express between Selside and Ribblehead on 12 August 1967 (colour: Gavin Morrison); view from cab of A4 No. 60023 Golden Eagle hauling RCTS Three Summits tour from Leeds to Carlisle on 30 June 1963 (colour: Gavin Morrison); former Franco-Crosti 9F No. 92021 climbing towards Ribblehead with 12.55 Stouron to Carlisle freight on 5 August 1967 (colour: Gavin Morrison). Part 2 page 187.
Mike G. Fell. Stoke Station and its Station Masters.
Part Two. 53-9.
Continued from Volume 34. William Woolgarr was the first sstation master at Stoke. He was baptised in Wimbledon in 1815 and joined the NSR as Station Inspector in 1849. Fell describes several legal actions against him following his promotion to station master culminating in his dismissal in 1861. John Hand succeeded him in October 1874. He had been born in Aston near Pipe Gate on 31 March 1844 and was employed by NSR for nearly sixty years as porter, guard and foreman porter. He was appointed station master at Stoke in October 1874.. Arthur Carr Pennington succeeded him on 2 June 1919. He joined the NSR in 1883 and in 1896 became station master at Trentham, having possibly held a similar position at Marchington. On 2 June 1919 he succeeded John Hand at Stoke and retained the position after the Grouping, but became unwell in 1925 and was moved to Trent on 22 May, but died there on 17 August 1925. He was buried at Hanley Cemetry on 20 August 1925. William Arthur Soden (1878-1958) beacme station master at Stoke in 1929. He had joined the LNWR in November 1893; became station master at Shilton on 1 March 1903; then held similar positions at Narborough from 1909 and Bushey from 1912 before moving to Leek and Leek Brook in March 1928. In 1929 he was moved to be station master at Stoke and then moved to Leicester in 1931 and to Carlisle in 1932 where he remained until his death on 6 May 1956. Born 1871; died 1947. Lawrence Palmer Briggs (1871-1947) joined the Midland Railway as a gateboy at Denby on 1 March 1866, and eventually became station master at Melton Mowbray, Lancaster and Trent In 1925 the LMS moved him to Stoke, but on 24 June 1929 he was moved to Nottingham where he retired on 21 July 1934. Charles Fitzherbert Bill (1843-1915) promoted the Leek & Manifold Light Railway and was appointed a Director of the NSR in 1898. He was MP for Leek from 1892 to 1906. Douglas Harold Day (1888-1964) became station master under the LMS. He had joined the Midland Railway at Derby in 1903. He served in 8th King's Irish Hussars during WW1. In 1916 he was commissioned and eventually became a captain in the Royal Engineers. Prior to coming to Stoke he had been station master at Gloucester Eastgate (presumably) from October 1928. He served at Stoke until his retirement in 1962. At Stoke he was followed by Ralph William Masters (1892-1972), who had moved from a similar position in Macclesfield. . Illustrations: Josiah Wedgwood statue facing staion facade with horse drawn cabs; G class 4-4-0 No. 86 leaving Stoke with through working from Derby Midland to Llandudno which included through Great Northern coaches from Grantham in 1910; poster advertisement for through coaches to Blackpool; staff group photograph in LMS period taken betweeen 1924 and 1934;; North Stafford Hotel frontage after restoration on 21 October 1931; poster for North Stafford Hotel featuring Wedgwood black Portland ware vase; C class 0-6-4T LMS No. 2040 in Stoke station (William Henry Whitworth); Platform 1 in BR period; rebuilt Scot No. 46121 Highland Light Infantry, City of Glasgow Regiment on down The Lancastrian on 7 May 1960; station frontage on 16 November 2004 (colour). See also letter from Robin Leleux.
Between Swansea Victoria and Pontardulais. John White. 60-1.
Black & white photo-feature: BR Class 5 4-6-0 No. 73036 at Swansea Victoria with 18.25 to Shrewsbury on 19 May 1964; 57XX 0-6-0PT No. 9675 at Gorseinon station on 12.10 from Swansea Victoria on 29 July 1963; BR Class 4 2-6-4T No. 80134 entering Pontardulais wth 14.40 Swansea Victoria to Shrewsbury on 29 July 1963; No. 5609 0-6-2T with sincle coach forming 16.15 service from Swansea Victoria to Pontardulais at Mumbles Road on 16 September 1963; 57XX 0-6-0PT No. 9675 at sand covered Swansea Bay station with 14.40 Swansea Victoria to Shrewsbury on 23 May 1964; BR Class 5 4-6-0 No. 73036 leaving Swansea Victoria on 1 in 40 bank with 18.25 to Shrewsbury on 19 May 1964. (notes use of express headlamps on Shrewsbury services)
Readers' Forum. 62
That sinking feeling. Leonard
Many thanks to Mr. Sadler for the article in the November issue outlining the negotiations between BR and the NCB over mining in South Yorkshire. For someone who lived through the times described, it makes fascinating reading to hear of the wrangling which went on between the two nationalised industries. All that we, the public, were made aware of was that an agreement had been reached. This, from Railway World for August 1972 (doubtless reflecting a BR press release), was typical: "An agreement between British Railways and the National Coal Board has secured the future of Inter-City speeds in the area of the West Riding bounded by Wakefield and Burton Salmon in the north and Mexborough in the south." (The news item then goes on to detail the service alterations that would take place in May 1973.) Mr. Sadler does well to set both nationalised industries in their wider political and economic contexts too.
What the author doesn't mention, possibly because it was not considered relevant to his narrative, is that services had already undergone one diversion, because of the effects of mining subsidence, prior to 1973. The traditio~al route for York-Sheffield express services was down the full length of the S&K (using the article's abbreviations) from Burton Salmon to Wath Road Junction, while Leeds-Sheffield services used the NML (as defined on the map) from Normanton through Cudworth to Wath Road Junction. From October 1968 Leeds-Sheffield services were diverted off the NML and took the West Riding and Grimsby Joint route (WR), ie the former Great Northern Leeds to Doncaster main line, through Wakefield, as far as Moorthorpe, where the WR crossed the S&K. Here they joined the S&K for the journey to Sheffield. From a commercial point-of-view, this had the advantage of now giving Wakefleld passengers through service to Bristol and the West Country as well as to the East Midlands. At Moorthorpe, the 1968 diversions meant upgrading for passenger use (again) the three- quarters-of-a-mile mile spur from South Kirkby Junction which had last seen regular passenger services in World War I. Passenger use of the South Kirkby Junction to Moorthorpe Junction spur has had a chequered history: commenced in July 1879 with the opening of the S&K, it ceased in October 1893. Restarted in May 1903, it ceased again in April 1918, according to David Joy in A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Vol.8. lt recommenced, as noted, in October 1968 but stopped again in May 1973 as the article makes clear. Finally, passenger trains returned in October 1982, as our author mentions towards the end of the article, and have stayed, to this day. I wonder, did the NCB contribute towards the 1968 upgrade of this piece of infrastructure or were they as hard-nosed as ever?
Another point that is not made clear in our author's account, I feel, is that the 1973 diversions did not divert (return) all services to all of the NML York-Sheffield Class 1 services did indeed take the line as shown in salmon pink on the map in its entirety. However, rather than return to their pre-October '68 route via Methley and Normanton, Leeds-Sheffield expresses were kept on the WR as far as Wakefleld so as to be able to serve that city. In order to then reach the NML they had to meander around Wakefleld somewhat. The route is described in the caption to the picture on p596. On the map, it involved using the line shown in black just to the right of the words 'Wakefleld Westgate', in order to move from the blue to the salmon pink. After October 1982 and the return of these trains to the WR then the S&K south from Moorthorpe, the 'Wakefleld wander' (to coin a phrase) was eliminated.
After October 1982 the NML, once the mighty Midland Railway's main line to Scotland, was left to wither and die. Local passenger services south of Goose Hill Junction at Normanton had been withdrawn on 1st January 1968, even before the first removal of the expresses, and never returned. As the article says, investment in modernisation was not forthcoming and in 1987, as freight traffic slowly dwindled, the through route south of Cud worth, to Wath Road Junction, was severed. Remaining colliery traffic disappeared in the 1990s and today all that remains is a seven-mile 'long siding' from Crofton, on the outskirts of Wakefleld, to the glassworks at Monk Bretton.
Finally, the article mentions the Newcastle-Bristol 'mail train', which also conveyed sleeping cars and seated accomodation, and which remained on the S&K after May 1973. It is noted that it stopped at Pontefract Baghill to pick up mail traffic. This reminds me that, in connection with this train, a DMU would run from Selby to Pontefract each evening. By the late 1960s, this was the only daily passenger service over the connection from Gascoigne Wood to Milford Junction. At Selby bags of mail would be transferred from the 20.37 Hull-Leeds, itself one of the few loco-hauled trains on this route (because of the volume of mail and parcels which it conveyed), to the DMU for transfer once again at Pontefract to the NE-SW TPO. I have quite a strong memory still of using this connection on a journey with our school railway society, at the end of December 1968, from Hull to Barry no prizes for guessing what we went there for!
That sinking feeling. Stephen G.
Mr. Sadler's article (November) gives the most detailed explanation I have read for the 1970s reroutings of NE-SW trains, which were puzzling at the time. Leeds-Sheffield fast trains were diverted away from the North Midland Line (NML) twice, as from 1 May 1967 they had been routed via the spur from South Kirkby Junction to Moorthorpe presumably to serve Wakefleld, which they continued to do when rerouted via Oakenshaw in 1973. From 7 October 1968 the NML from Goose Hill to Wath Road Junctions was closed to passenger trains, and a few residual services serving Normanton (running thence non-stop to Rotherham) were routed via the Turner's Lane Junction-Calder Bridge Junction spur outside Wakefield. These trains ceased from 2 October 1972, except for an 04.33 departure from Sheffield not withdrawn until 1 March 1976 following statutory closure procedures for the Turner's Lane spur.
The NML from Goose Hiil to Wath Road is a rare example of complete closure of a four track main line; the only remnant is a single line south from Oakenshaw serving a glass factory at Monk Bretton, trains of sand running from Middleton Towers in Norfolk.
From road unto rail. John
Following on from Setphen G. Abbot's letter regarding railbuses, they were part and parcel of the Modernisation Plan of 1955 that covered a variety of such passenger- carrying stock for use that was, for not a few of them, experimental in the sense they were to prove successful or otherwise either in creation or be the saviour of whatever services they found themselves on. Mention of 'bubble cars' is somewhat apposite in regard to the Scottish Region whereby in order to act as a stand-by for the tardy performance of the railbus(es) operating, mainly, the Ayr-Kilmarnock services, Gloucester single unit No. 55000 was sent to Ayr from Reading in the spring of 1967 with us despatching, a swap being necessary, MetCam trailer No.59543.
In passing, I thought at the time, what would that WR depot do with it as it had no such build to use it with although around eight or nine years later some half-a-dozen full MetCam triples followed on from us to Reading. I have no note of the use of No. 55000 in its allotted task but others of its kind followed on in subsequent years to the Scottish Region to augment the formations of other DMU sets. See letters from Stephen G. Abbott and Gerakl Goodall.
Book Reviews 62
The Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway
Chesterfield to Langwith Junction, the Beighton Branch and Sheffield
District Railway. Chris Booth, Fonthill. 160 pp. Rreviewed by
And for those who look carefully at the spine of this book they will see a figure '1' indicting that this is actually only half of the offering and that, in due course, 'Volume Two will cover the remaining section to Pyewipe Junction, along with the Mansfleld Railway connection'. If a railway never quite managed to 'do what it said on the tin' then it was the LD&EC. Being a late-orner on the railway scene, whilst it certainly served the coalfields of north Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, outlets to salt water in Lancashire or on the Lincolnshire coast remained the stuff of dreams and what it proposed to do in driving its line over the Peak District would have given John Ruskin apoplexy! So Chesterfield to Lincoln it remained and this enthusiastic study covers the western portion of the 'system' from Chesterfield (Market Place) as far east as Langwith Junction.
A lively and well-illustrated opening chapter describes the route of the 'main line' and outlines the history thereof; seek here for information on such diverse topics as the 1948 Stephenson Exhibition at Chesterfield, collieries and colliery branches, the infamous Bolsover Tunnel, passenger services and the eventual closure of the line.
A chapter on the Beighton branch covers more access to collieries and a link up with the Midland 'Old Road' at Beighton. The Sheffield District Railway was a matter of running powers and discreet piece of LDEC track to give access to the City's Pond Street (now Midland?) station. Both these chapters are thoroughly illustrated, the amount of heavy civil engineering required for a late arrival on the railway scene and mining subsidence is apparent and amidst the frequent coal trains exotic services such as the Belper to Cleethorpes holiday special- what route did that take to get on to the Beighton branch? occasionally appear. 'Locos, Depots and Works' is a feast of largely LD&EC and LNER steam whilst the chapter on Signalling gives interesting detail of a number of the larger signal boxes.
The final chapter provides sharp focus to a major civil engineering project undertaken in 1974. Bridge No.37, which carried the LD&EC over the Midland Worksop to Mansfleld near Shirebrook was life-expired and, rather than replace it, it was decided to link the two lines by the construction of a chord line. These works are colourfully illustrated in a series of fine photographs although the picture of a Class 66 diesel en route from Thorsby Colliery to West Burton power station in 2014 is a poignant reminder of how quickly things change!
In no respect is this book a detailed 'academic' study of the line in question but it succeeds as an engaging and enthusiastic look at (part of one of our more obscure and less-considered main line railways.
Railways, ports and resorts of Morecambe Bay including
the Ulverston Canal. Gordon Biddle, Railway & Canal Historical
Society. Softback, 64 pp.Reviewed by DWM *****.
This slim, elegant volume does exactly what would be expected of a publication by the Railway & Canal Historical Society covering, as it does, highways and byways of its nominated area, in this case the north west of 'mainland' Lancashire and that detached part of the county remembered from the Home Service weather forecast as the Furness District. Two of the ports considered, Barrow and Heysham, are self-explanatory and transport enthusiasts will be familiar with Ulverston and its Canal, but Milnthorpe, Greenodd, Penny Bridge and Hest Bank? These lesser-known towns and villages around The Bay represent the period when trade and industry was growing but before the facility of transport by canal or rail was available and coastal shipping remained particularly important.
Commodities such as Coniston copper, haematite, slate and Lakeland wool went out through these small ports whilst coal, for growing towns such as Kendal, along with cloth, corn and oats were imported. Both Greenodd and Penny Bridge were apparently building ships long before the idea caught on at their neighbour, Barrow! The two resorts featured are popular Morecambe and the more genteel Grange-aver-Sands.
The book has a brief introductory chapter with a useful delineation of what actually constitutes a 'port' and a concluding section on crossing the estuaries by the viaducts over the Kent and the Leven. The closed Bela Viaduct, on the Furness Railway's link from Arnside to the West Coast Main Line at Hincaster, features as a splendid double-page photograph. The eight, short chapters of the book conform to pattern. In each there is an outline of developments in each location supported by an excellent collection of photographs historical and contemporary, black and white and colour.
The pictures themselves range from a powerful study, on the cover, of the preserved Flying Scotsman with a little help from Sir Nigel Gresley crossing the viaduct at Arnside, to the canal basin at Ulverston, the shipbreaker's yard at Morecambe, the Morecambe electrics, Furness Railway tenements at Barrow and the boat train leaving Heysham with a Midland 2-4-0 at the head. There is a useful index and a comprehensive bibliography.
In itself the book is an excellent 'primer' to the growth of transport in the area which it covers; it left your reviewer already hoping for an expanded second edition! But in the meantime the current volume comes well recommended and, whilst driving through the 'South Lakeland Peninsulas' on his way to play trains at Ravenglass when we are all back to 'normal', your reviewer is now going to see Greenodd and Penny Bridge in an entirely different light. Shipbuilding and slavery indeed!
Dashing through the snow. David Lawrence. rear cover
43XX No. 6372 with a Barnstaple to Taunton train in early 1963
|Brand-new and allocated to
Trafford Park shed, BR Class 4 2-6-0
No.76089 heads a local near New
Mills Central in June 1957. W. Oliver.
See also colour photofeature
|February (Number 358)
Noises off. Michael Blakemore. 67
Editorial comment on noise pollution caused by railways
Return to Glasgow Central. Gavin Morrison. 68-9
Colour photo-feature: Class 87 No. 87 018 Lord Nelson enters Glasgow Central from Polmadie carriage sidings with Virgin liveried coaches to form 17.00 departure for Euston on 25 August 2000; Class 156 in orange Strathclyde orange livery departing for East Kilbride on 11 June 1992; Virgin HST No. 43 193, Class 303 No. 303 058 in Strathclyde livery and Great North Easte rn Railway DVT No. 82 206 on King'Ss Cross train on 12 August 1999; Class 314 No. 314 208 in Scotrail crimson and cream livery on 13 September 2011; Scotrail Class 314 No. 314 211 in blue livery on Paisley Canal working; flap type electronic depaarture board on concourse on 23 April 1992
Clive Carter. Coach working on lMS lines in South Wales. 70-4
The LMS acquired linrs in South Wales from both the LNWR and from the Midland. The LNWR had a main line from Craven Arms to Swansea Victoria and another route from Abergavenny to Merthyr and also to Newport. Swansea Victoria had through coaches to Euston via Stafford and a mail coach to Newcastle provided by the North Eastern Railway, the ultimate point reached by its through service to York. The Midland service originated as one from Birmingham to Swansea St. Thomas, but gradually descended into a Swansea local service and another from Hereford to Brecon. Push & pull operation featured on the Swansea local services and on the branches off the Abergavenny to Merthyr line. Illustrations: LNWR 0-6-2T Coal Tank No. 58915 approaching Pontardulais on 16..05 ex-Swansea Victoria in March 1954 (Hugh Daniel: colour); 0-6-2T Coal Tank No. 7741 at Pontardulais with push & pull set; 3F 0-6-0T No. 7481 at Swansea St. Thomas with push & pull set (H.C. Casserley); Dean Goods 0-6-0 on Her eford to Brecon train at Eardisley c1950 (H.C. Casserley); S wansea and Brecon set of non-bogie coaches with clerestory through coach from Birmingham at Hay; Nantybwch with trains hauled by two Coal Tanks Nos. 7710 and 27654 and later LMS motive power (caption states 2-6-4T) (W.A. Camwell)
Alistair F. Nisbet. Complaints about engine whistles.
Surprisingly, Nisbet begins with the origin of locomotive whistles, which it was thought had been established (Leicester & Swannington Railway). From the sart there was a fear that horses might bolt at level crossings and a horrifying incident at A Frrench crossing in 1880 is described where a mother and her infant were thrown into the path of a train and killed. The sound of whistles, especially at night could disturb the sleep of important people and the railway companies had rules to limit the sounding in places like city centres. Letters to the editor in newspapers were a frequnt outlet for the public to complain about the annoying sound. The Bucks Herald in 1950 contained one that moaned about drivers saying goodbye to their wives at Aylesbury.. Niisbet notes something that KPJ missed in an article by Bullleid's son, namely that whistle valves could fail to close. The illustrations show some prime locations. Illustrations with informative captions: St Margarets locomotive depot, Edinburgh with V1 2-6-2T No. 67659; B1 No. 61657 and V2 No. 60851 (D.L. Dott, colour); A4 class No. 60019 Bittern (nameplate and chime whistle); Ranelagh Bridge, Westbourne Park with turntable and Castle class and Britannia class (R.C. Riley); Princes Street Gardens, National Gallery of Scotland and Edinburgh Waverlley beyond and trams and steam from locomotive (R.J. Buckley); level crossing in east end of Edinburgh: Long Eaton on Midland Ry (Norris Forrest); C16 4-4-2T on Dundee East to Arbroath service at Broughty Ferry; Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and whistling at Norwich mpd with J19 No. 65581 and B1 No. 61096 (Ian C. Allen); MR 2P 4-4-0 No. 40404 at Derby MPD in 1955 (R.C. Riley); and Sentinel No. 68169 as tarted up for whistle recital at Stratford MPD in 1949 (Roy Vincent). See also letter from John Macnab
Mike Fenton. The Calne branch. Part Two. 81-7.
Illustrations: Calne station platform on 26 July 1964 (colour); Black Dog Halt with Douglas Lovelock, porter-in-charge and his home and a freight (Norman Simmons); view from goods platform showing passenger platform and outbuildings including air raid shelter used as passenger foreman's office, paraffin store, garage for station master's car with few wagons in yard; No. 1444 on final stream special Bollivar's Travels Railtour on 20 September 1964 (P.A. Fry: colour); 27 station staff including station master Seymour John Harding and author of OPC book Graham Tanner; Chippenham station platforms looking east with Calne train in bay platform and gas tanks wagon on 19 May 1956; (Norman Simmons); Stanley Bridge Halt; east end of Calne terminus on 19 May 1956 (Norman Simmons); No. 1406 on auto train with strengthening carriages on left of loading platform in mid-1950s; working timetable 1954
The British Railways class 4 '76000s'. 88-90
Colour photo-feature: No. 76008 on ballast train passing Basingstoke in 1966; No. 76074 at Crianlarich Upper with fireman pulling coal forward on 19 June 1960; No. 76060 with larger tender at Ash on 24 January 1959 with train of carmiine & cream corridor coaches (Trevor Owen); No. 76004 at Wemyss Bay with express headlamps on train for Glasgow Central in May 1965; No. 76068 with larger tender at West Moors with a summer Saturday spcial from Bournemouth via Wimbourne and Ringwood: train formed of nine coach Western Region corridor stock in 1959 (G.H. Hunt); No. 76067 with larger tender at Eastleigh in 1967; No. 76033 at Wisbech East with long corridor express on 19 April 1962;; No. 76044 in Birkenhead Woodside on 5 August 1966 (M.H. Yardley).
Richard Clarke. A signalling interlude on the GW and
GC Joint line. 91-3.
Memoir of former signalman in te Erewash area who had moved into rock music business in Soho and who encountering semaphore signalling at Yeovil Pen Mill became a signalman again at Northolt Junction. Most of the traffic was the DMU serviice from Princes Risborough into Marylebone. There was a fault in the locking mechansm o the route ttowards Neasden and care had to be taken especially when the intermediate boxes were open as the staff there tended to be very inexperienced. Illustrations: Northolt Junction East signal box front & rear views (colour); track diagram at Northolt Junction; interior of signal box, exterior of box viewed from rear cab of Class 50 on 17.41 Paddington to Wolverhanpton on 2 July 1984. See also letter from Gerald Goodall
On the Great Central in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. John Spencer
Black & white photo-feature: Doncaster to Cleethorpes DMU with whiskers enters Barnetby staion (with semaphore gantries) on 3 August 1959;; K3 No. 61826 on 14.11 Skegness to Basford North passing Edinstowe station on 11 August 1962; New Holland station with DMU and funnel of ferry visible; Stanier Class 3 2-6-2T No. 40079 on train for Nottingham at Worksop station on 3 August 1959; DMU on railtour at Barton-on-Humber station; Class 5 4-6-0 No. 44962 passing Warsop station on Nottingham to Scarborough Saturday special on 11 July 1964,
John Jarvis. The rise and fall of IIfracombe station. Part One. Planning
and infrastructure. 96-103.
Opened on 20 July 1874 following Colonel C.S. Hutchinson inspection. Vey steep descent from Morthoe Hill on 1 in 36 gradient with sharp curves. Station had to be enlarged to handle increased traffic and this is shown by five plans. Illustrations: sstation viewed from outer home on 1 in 36 downward plunge with Bristol Channel, a ship, and South Wales beyond; N class 2-6-0 with Bulleid three coach set and Western Region set behind; N class No. 31860 shunting (all previous colour); map; M7 class No. 251 leaving with train for Barnstaple Junction in late LSWR period; train shed nearing completiion c1880?; Southern Railway excavations to extend locomotive servicing area c1924; turntable with light Pacific beyond in 1954 (Roger Griffiths); ; DMU arrival with nun amongst passengers in late 1960s; N class No. 31849 on carriage siding on 13 July 1963 (Trevor Owen: colour); N class No. 31647 shunting empty stock in July 1957 (F. Hornby); N class No. 31835 and West County No. 34011 Tavistock on passenger train departures at the island platform on 11 June 1963 (L. Rowe); throat in 1965 (colour)
Jeffrey Wells. The LNWR amalgamation with the LYR in
The text is based on newspaper reports. and on Michael Bonavia's The four great railways and Steel's The history of the London & North Western Railway. Some consideration is given to the proposed amalgamation of 1871 which involved the Great Northern and Midland Railways in the proposals which Parliament firmly through out and which soured a more limited LYR-LNWR proposed merger. Illustrations from John Alsop Collection: LYR 1400 cllass No. 1412 leaving Blackpool Central with an express (Blackpool Tower visible behind); staff photograph of Great Moor Street station, Bolton (date not given, but attire suggests probably post WW1, but still pre-amalgamation uniforms still LNWR coal tank with train of four-wheel or six wheel coaches behind); Bolton Trinity Street with 1400 class in down platform; LYR 2-4-2T No. 740 on vestibuled corridor boat train at Fleetwood station with Town Hall behind; Huddersfield station with LNWR 2-4-2T No. 661 shunting passenger stock (view taken from up platform); map of L&YR system;; concourse Liverepool Exchange station probably post WW1; Liverpool Lime Street frontage with electric tramcar in Lime Street; Manchester Exchange with Renown cass 4-4-0 No. 1965 Charles H. Mason on westbound stopping service; Manchester Victoria looking west with telpher clearly visible and baskets on platform; Preston station c1910 with LYR Platfforms 6 and 5 visible (and much rubbish on permanent way); See also letters from Tom Wray and from Martin Sutcliffe on page 222.
Readers' Forum 110
The near death of the North Warwickshire
Line. Stephen G. Abbott
Re Geoffrey Skelsey's informative and balanced article (December), following the closure of intermediate stations between Stratford and Honeybourne from 3 January 1966 a few trains, in early morning and late afternoon only, continued to run through between Stratford, Evesham and Worcester. They were withdrawn from 5 May 1969, the date originally set for closing the North Warwickshire section. On Saturday 17 February 1968 he was one of only four passengers on the 15.50 from Stratford to Worcester Shrub Hill (maybe during the week this train carried schoolchildren). The return 19.26 from Evesham left with two passengers; one alighted at Honeybourne leaving him in splendid isolation on to Stratford. The residual twice daily Leamington to Gloucester trains over the Honeybourne-Cheltenham line ran non-stop from Stratford to Gloucester after Cheltenham Malvern Road station closed from 3 January 1966, along with the spur to the GWR terminal station at Cheltenham St. James. Oddly, the morning working ran to Gloucester Eastgate and the afternoon train to Gloucester Central; the service was withdrawn from 25 March 1968. On Saturday 8 July 1967 the 10.08 from Leamington picked up around twenty passengers at Stratford and dropped 30 at Gloucester. On the return 18.40 my friend and I were accompanied by only three 'normal' passengers. The journey non-stop through the string of closed stations and halts was surreal. The freight train derailment which finally closed the line took place on 25 August 1976, not 1975. ,
A Grand Day Out ... Adrian
Re article by John Chapman in the December issue: his statement about Byfleet & New Haw possibly requires clarification as the station was named West Weybridge until 1962 and the goods train would join the main line at that point.
'Kings' at Reading. C.J.
The December cover illustration contains a caption error. It is not a West of England express but a Jockey Club special for the Newbury Races. Four 'King' Class locomotives were rostered to the chartered specials on Saturday 27 October 1962, the engines were respectively:
No.6000 King George V Reporting No. Z10
No.6005 King George II Reporting No.Z11
No.6011 King James I Reporting No.Z12
No.6025 King Henry III Reporting No. ?
The train hauled by No.6025 was recorded by D.S.M. Barrie. The formation was thirteen coaches, 446 tons tare, 465 tons full covering the 52.4 miles in 60min 04sec/54 min net. I do not know how many trains were chartered that day but R.C. Riley was in the Newbury Racecourse sidings where he photographed the specials including a 'Castle'. Also there was Mike Pope, later editor of the Great Western Echo, who wrote: "For these Great Western thoroughbreds this was to be their last race."
"Bulleid was a brilliant engineer...
" David Rollins
Re article re Bulleid and the subsequent letters with interest. I managed several unofficial firing turns on both 'WC/ BB' and 'MNs', usually from Waterloo, I say firing turns as on every occasion the locomotive had been prepared by the booked fireman at Nine Elms on the down or I took over on the up again from a locomotive already having a good fire. And of course Kent or South Wales coal. The only exception to this was on No.35030 on the last up run on the GC, we had hard coal in coffin-size lumps!
So to do a comparison with the Gresley locomotives I was more used to, I can recount that I regularly used to relieve a Copley Hill fireman on the up at Doncaster, then work forward to King's Cross. Even with an Al with its 50sq ft of firebox and Yorkshire hards I shovelled less.
In 1994 when I fired No.60009 out of King's Cross I later learnt that several of Clan Line support team, who knew me, were on the platform end to see us depart. I was informed later by some retired King's Cross drivers that one of them looked into the cab as we got right away and stated that I did not know what I was doing. When questioned he stated that I was leaving with only about 1in of water and 150psi. Those he spoke to replied 'Dave knows what he is doing'. At Holloway we had 250psi and the injector was on. You could NOT do this with a Bulleid machine even with its thymic syphons. I often wonder how well an A4 would have steamed with two of these fitted. Yes, the 'WC/BB' and 'MN' were a very free-running machine so he got something right.
As a minor point to Allan Baker the tubes and flues were welded both ends (but this was usual unless the firebox was copper) as of course were the stays.
Re Class 40s, when new at both Stratford and King's Cross drivers were issued with an oil can to oil the bogie slides on preparation. There was a Bulletin issued re running over humps; the reason this was banned was that the front wheel tended to derail unless travelling at a very low speed .. We had a least one runaway at King's Cross Top Shed. Apparently the signalman at King's Cross Goods & Mineral box telephoned the shed and enquired "what is one of your drivers playing at, he has passed my signal several times in each direction and will not answer us?" Chocks were issued! Each handbrake only worked on one wheel.
I took over one on York depot fully prepared, ran light to Clifton sidings, attached to a freight train and ran non-stop to King's Cross yard. On being relieved the driver when changing ends asked me what I was doing running with the rear handbrake on! I felt the block - they were only warm!
Book reviews. 110
New Mills to Sheffield and Hayfield . Vic Mitchell and Keith
Smith, Middleton Press, hardback, Reviewed by DWM **
From the 'Northern Lines' series, this is the latest offering as the Middleton Press evolves its Ultimate Rail Encyclopedia. The book comes in the standard Middleton Press formula and essentially gives a journey, on Midland lines, from New Mills Central throughout the mighty Cowburn and Totley Tunnels to Sheffield Midland. There are 'branch lines' up the Great Central to Hayfield and, briefly, along the Midland towards Manchester at Hazel Grove. So far so good, but, to your reviewer, the substance of the book does not fulfil its promise. As with most Middleton Press publications the use of large scale Ordnance Survey maps is excellent but the written introductions, both geographical and historical, are sketchy. The pictures are the usual catholic selection of ancient and modern but your reviewer was disappointed to find that one of the major traditional railway establishments on the line, namely Gowhole Sidings, merited only one photograph whereas the Hope Cement works, admittedly a very important contemporary feature of the line, is treated to a six page spread.
Your reviewer was disappointed with the picture captions, some of which add very little to an encyclopaedic store of knowledge. No.57 is a classic example. It shows a picture of Hope station in 1904 with a Volunteer Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers lined up on the platform. The caption tells nothing of the carriages at the platform or where the train might have originated from or where it may be going to. Rather it is concerned with the position of the toilet signs, slouch hats and a reference to 'the Peaks' - rather than giving the area its correct title of the Peak District. Your reviewer remains equivocal about the offerings from the Middleton Press.
The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast
Railway.Vol. 2, A pictorial view of the 'Dukeries Route' and branches,
Langwith Junction to Lincoln and the proposed route to Sutton-on-Sea'.
Chris Booth, Fonthill. 174pp,
Vol. 3, A LD&ECR miscellany, the Mansfield Railway and Mid-Notts Joint Railway connections Chris Booth, Fonthill. softback, 192pp, Reviewed by DWM *****
Reviewed in Backtrack for August 2018, Volume 1 was published in 2017, and has since been followed by Volume 2 in 2018 and Volume 3 in 2020. Although the LD&ECR operated as a legally independent entity for merely ten years (between November 1896 and December 1906) this quite remarkable trilogy totals no fewer than 526 pages, running right through the twentieth century and up to the present day. Volume 2 continues the narrative eastwards from Langwith Junction to Lincoln, followed by details concerning the unbuilt projected continuation to the North Sea coast at Sutton-on-Sea, including the proposed harbour and dock facilities that were to have been established there. Volume 3 for its part covers the corresponding and also unbuilt western section from Warrington through the Peak District to Chesterfield, whose engineering wonder would have been a 272ft high steel viaduct straddling Monsal Dale. Also described is the adjoining Mansfield Railway, completed in 1916, worked by the Great Central Railway, and which was effectively a throwback to a branch to Mansfield which had originally been proposed by the LD&ECR. Likewise there are details concerning the little known post-1922 Mid-Notts Joint Railway, a joint LMS and LNER enterprise of which only the central section was actually completed - in the best traditions of the old LD&ECR!
Although the sparse passenger services ceased as early as 1955, the coal traffic over the route east of Langwith continued to flourish well into the 1960s, when the major river crossing over the Trent at Fledborough was heavily renewed. That decade also saw the completion of the exceptionally large power station at High Marnham in 1962, which in due course consumed 1¾. million tons of coal per annum. This was shortly followed by the much delayed completion of the ill-fated 'high tech' colliery at Bevercoats, which was bedevilled by unforeseen geological problems and which closed after less than 30 years in December 1992. High Marnham closed in March 2003. The beginning of the end, however, had already occurred quite unexpectedly on 20th February 1980, when the catastrophic derailment of a mineral train at Clifton on Trent damaged the track there so severely that it was decided not to repair it, and through workings to and from Lincoln consequently abruptly ceased. Remarkably, the section between Shirebrook and High Marnham still survives as a test track in association with the Rail Innovation and Development Centre, which is located on the site of LD&ECR's Tuxford Works, whose former erecting shop rather surprisingly still stands. Furthermore, there are currently ongoing proposals to extend the Robin Hood line, which originates in Nottingham, over the western part of this from Shirebrook to Ollerton. Quite apart from the comprehensive text, which covers operational. infrastructure (including potted histories of local collieries) and signalling matters in an extraordinary degree of detail, the latter as dictated by changing traffic patterns, the photographic content in these volumes is also remarkable. Several of the illustrations dating from before 1907 have almost certainly not been published previously. Having said that, comparatively few date from between the two world wars, when the 'East to West' appears to have been particularly neglected by contemporary photographers, even by Nottingham- based Gordon Hepburn during this period. However, he obviously later made good this omission in the early 1950s, concentrating on the passenger workings. There are numerous photographs taken by others of work-worn Robinson 2-8-0s, both in their original form and as rebuilt by Edward Thompson with Bl boilers to Class 04/8, hard at work on coal trains. These are rounded off by many excellent colour photographs taken in the latter day diesel era. These three volumes must stand as the definitive history of the LD&ECR and are thoroughly recommended.
Fair exchange on the 'Cuckoo Line'. John Hayward. rear cover
Eastbourne to Tunbridge Wells dsiesel electric multiple unit at Mayfield on 12 June 1965
|LMS 'Princess Royal' Pacific No.46207
Princess Arthur of Connaught in its new
red livery at Crewe station in 1958, fresh
out of works and about to take a running-in
turn to Shrewsbury. (Eric Oldham)
|March (Number 359)
"Never known to quail, At the fury of a gale... ". Michael Blakemore
Maritime heritage of former railway-owned ships, few of which remain except the paddle steamer Waverley on the Clyde and some small vessels on Lakes Coniston and Windermere. Many participated at Dunkirk, the Princess Victoria was lost on the Stranraer to Larne crossing in a terrible gale. There was also the luxury of the Night Ferry sleeping car service from London to Paris and the Golden Arrow Pullman service with its special vessel the Canterbury.
Postal Special. Gavin Morrison. 116-18.
Colour photo-feature (everything is in pillar box red): Class 90 No. 90 019 with four vans on afternoon Low Fell to King's Cross service on 24 September 1997 passing Dringhouses with new desirable houses which would be up in arms if it was HS2 two miles away; Class 73 No. 73 131 at rear of 15,48 Willesden to Dover mail leaving Kensington Olympia behind No. 73 136 which was probably not red on 4 May 2000;; Class 128 single unit diesel railcar No. 128 No. 55995 at Orsall Lane on way to Manchester Victoria ón 23 July 1989; EMU Class 302 with roller shutter doors descending Bethnal Green Bank and arrived at Liverpool Street on 12 August 1989.
Alistair F. Nisbet. 'This omission is to be at once rectified' [opening
the Abingdon branch]. 119-23
Abingdon used to be the county town of Berkshire, but local landowners were opposed to railways and the Official Guide to the Great Western was able to claim "That there is little to detain the stranger in Abiingdon". Eventually the town was served by a short branch opened as the Abingdon Railway from Nuneham off the circuitous route via Didcot to Oxford. This was inspected by Captain Galton for the Board of Trade and opened on 2 June 1856. The Great Western worked the line but formal takeover did not happen until 1904. When the gauge was converted in 1873 the junction was moved to a new station at Radley. The line closed to passengers on 9 September 1963, but freight lasted until June 1984 when the coal concentration depot closed. MG Cars had provided traffic until 1980. Illutrations: Abingdon station forecourt c1912; Armstrong 2-4-0T Metro tank at Abingdon c1912; Radley station c1912; 850 class 0-6-0PT No. 1976 with four-wheel coaches at Radley with Abingdon train in March 1931; 14XX No. 1444 at Radley with branch train being boarded by party of Scouts on wet 11 August 1961 (R.J. Buckley); water tower at Abingdon on 14 May 1951 (R.C. Riley); No. 1437 with auto car No, W194 Abingdon on 14 May 1951 (R.C. Riley); 58XX No. 5818 on branch freight at Radley (James Harrold);
Stephen Roberts. Northamptonshire's railways. 124-31.
The London & Birmigham Railway was early in the field and its route still dominates although the Midland Railway's Harringworth Viaduct is perhaps the dominant visible structure with its more than eighy arches. Surprisingly Kilsby Tunnel is neither mentioned nor illustrated, yet Catesby on the former Great Central is both. The cross country routes from both Rugby and Northamton have gone thus limiting access to the East of England to travel via London at great expence or reliance upon bus services to Peterborough. Corby ceased to have any passenger trains after 1966, but services have slowly been restored, Illutrations: 8F 2-8-0 No. 48053 on freight (mineral wagons) 0assing through Northampton Castle on 17 March 1961 (colour); Roade Cutting in 1839 (LNWR postcard); Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T No, 41224 propelling push & pull service to Bedford at Northampton Bridge Street (colour); map from P. Butler A history of the railways of Northamptonshire, Silver Link, 2006; Weedon station c1900; Northampton Castle station forecourt c1900s (coloured postcard: Boots Pelham series); Long Buckby station with oil lamp illumination; No. 7903 Foremarke Hall approaching Catesby Tunnel on eliminated Great Central main line on 10 Septrember 1961 (G. Parry: colour); ex-Midland Railway 1P 2-4-0 No. 256 at Northampton St. John's station with train fioe Bedford? c1930; frontage of Northampton St. John's station on 15 April 1949 (structure still extant and part of University of Northampton; 4F 0-6-0 No. 44215 on 16.00 from Peterborough East at Wellingborough on train for Northampton (Ben Brooksbank); Charwelton staion, GCR in 1909; Woodford Halse station platforms in 1929; Harringworth Viaduct on 29 August 1959 (John Spencer Gilks)
Roger Griffiths and John Hooper. Yorkshire coastal engine sheds and their
locomotives. Part One: Saltburn. 132-9
Before the engine shed opened in about 1863. Before then there had been authorised in 1847 a shed at Redcar and this was moved to Saltburn after 1863. It is not clear whether the Satburn building was entirely new, but the authors claim that there may be remains serving different fuctions in Redcar. The physical structure ín brick is described together with the water tang and coaling methods. The roof had to be replaced several times. The abbreviation for the shed used by the LNER was S'BURN later changed to SALT. British Railways coded it 51K. Cites Bill Hoole's North Eastern locomotive sheds. David & Charles, 1972. The 50 foot turtable could not turn larger locomotives and these had to use thr Brotton triangle until the Skinningrove 70-foot turntable was installed. Sections of the 1884 working timetable showing services to Consett are reproduced and notes are given of the coastal service to Whitby and Scarborough. Therre are descriptions of the locomotives allocated to the depot. Illutrations: map. plan Saltburn engine shed LNER 27 December 1928; engine shed on Whit Monday 29 May 1939 (W.A. Camwell); B16/1 No. 2375 on shed on 29 May 1939 with water tank dominant; steam crane coaling Ivall Class 4 No. 43072 (F.W. Hampson); B1 No. 61240 Harry Hinchcliffe on shd on 31 Jully 1955 (C.J.B. Sanderson); A8 4-6-2T No. 69883 on turntable (C.J.B. Sanderson); Horwich Class 5 2-6-0 No.42794 being coaled on 17 September 1955 with excursion from Sheffield (loco based at Grimesthorpe) ((K.H. Cockerill);
'Highnesses' of the LMS... [Stanier Princess Royal Pacifics].
Colour photo-feature (BR green unless otherwise stated]: No. 46201 Princess Elizabeth near Beattock Sunnit with heavy train with smoke from banker at rear; No. 46207 Princess Arthur of Connaught [red with LMS lining] at Camden shed in August 1961 (J.G. Dewing); No. 46208 Princess Helena Victoria [red with BR lining] on Camden shed in February 1959 (Trevor Owen); No. 46203 Princess Margaret Rose at Carlisle with northound express (LNER non-corridor coach in background); No. 46201 Princess Elizabeth leaving Glasgow St. Enoch with train for Carlisle via GSWR route; No. 46204 Princess Louise [red with BR lining] with front coach in carmine & cream livery (strange clash of liveries) aat Watford Junction going north (L.V. Reason); No. 46204 Princess Marie Louise light engine at Crewe in 1962 (Colour Rail identified few of photographers)
Via Harrogate 143
Colour photo-feature (all locomotives in BR green livery: A3 No. 60036 Colombo on up Queen of Scots Pullman passing through the Stray on 17 August 1960 (Donald Watson); V2 No. 60929 arrives with 10.00 Sunderland to Manchester Exchange on 20 July 1963; V2 No. 60929 on 13.17 through coaches (including two Gresley vehicles with compartment doors) at platform waiting to leave for King's Cross via Leeds Central on 2 August 1963 (George Watson both latter)
I name this locomotive... 144-5
Black & white photo-feature: York station on 3 April 1939 V2 No. 4818 St. Peter's School, York, AD 627 was named by the Head Boy, J.T. Brocklebank; No. 35021 New Zealand Line (caption does not identify four present);; Britannia class No. 70045 Lord Rowallan at Euston on 6 July 1957 with Lord Rowallan performing ceremony with two BR officers; No. 46112 Sherwood Forester reeceiving regimenytal badges at Nottingham Midland on 18 September 1948 (no names, but footbridge above in very tatty state); No. 70048 The Territorial Army 1908-1958 by Duke of Norfolk at Euston on 23 July 1958; 9F 2-10-0 No. 92220 Evening Star with those who built her at Swindon on 18 March 1960.
Stephen G. Abbott. In the wake of Madge Bessemer: a review of illegal
railway closures. Part Two. 146-52
The text considers the Leeds Northern Line on which the City of Ripon was demoted to a village without trains, yet Yarm, north of Northallerton was gifted with a new station and a multiplicity of train services. The Transport Acts flew into place at an almost regular pace and confused the management and their customers. The train service on the North Staffordshire Line has been subjected to temporary closure for protracted periods and replacement bus services are derogatory, especially for Stone. Newhaven ceased to have any justification after the Channel Tunnel opoened, but Brexit, Corvid & Boris may change that. Needless to say the Scottish devolved government has implemented illegal railway closures presumably to further disrupt any Unionist opposition. Illustrations: preserved K4 2-6-0 No, 2442 The Great Marquess passing Brompton station between Eaglescliffe and Northallerton on a railtour on 10 April 1965 (John Spencer Gilks); Sfone station on 29 May 1985 (Tommy Tomalin: colour); closed Barlaston station in April 2015 (Tim Hall-Smith: colour); closed Newhaven Harbour station in October 2014 (Tim Hall-Smith); Railway Clearing House map Willesden & Acton Wells; West Country Pacific No. 34099 Lynmouth at Mitre Bridge Junction with a Leicester to Hasings through service on 29 August 1959 (R.C. Riley); Class 47 No. 47 805 Bristol Bath Road and set of Mark II coaches all in Inter-City livery on 14.30 Brighton-Manchester-Glasgow passing Brighton Lovers Walk depot on 22 September 1991 (Keith Dungate: colour); Railway Clearing House map Clapham Junction, Stewarts Lane, Lavender Hill & Longhedge; Kensington Olympia with Schools class No.30938 St. Olaves's joust off a Hastings to Leicester train and a B1 preparing to take over on 22 August 1959 (R.C. Riley: colour); Pacer No. 142 022 at Redcar British Steel on 07.41 Saltburn to Bishop Auckland on 19 October 2019 (Tim Hall-Smith: colour).
Jeffrey Wells. An inspector calls... [Board of Trade
Railway Inspectorate]. 153-7
No reference is made to a rather comprehensive weighty tome published by another railway enthusiast publisher, but there are many references to obscure local newspapers, like the Leeds Mercury. Cites Henry Parris Governmnet and raiilways in the 19th century. The career of Henry Whatley Tyler, William Yolland, Frederick Henry Rich and Charles Scrope Hutchinson .are considered in detail. of which Hutchinson in a a retirement notce in the Maryport Advertiser noted that he had conducted 1100 inquiries into railway accidents, made 6500 inspections and travelled 1,250,000 miles in connection with this work. Illustrations (from John Alsop Collection): Exeter St. David's in 1930; Bawrtry station c1905; two Midland Railway 4-4-0 locomotives on down Scotch express at Hellifield c1904; de Glehn compound 4-4-2 No. 104 Alliance emerging from Severn Tunnel on up express; Hayle station c1910; 0-6-0ST at Redruth station with down train c1905; Chatham station c1908 (coloured postcard)
Andrew James. Backwaters of the London Midland: a study in performance
85 mile/h attained near Leigh between Stoke and Uttoxeter by a Class 5 4-6-0 in 1951. Two routes long since closed feature: Penrith to Whitehaven and Rugby to Market Harborough. On the former the Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0s were required to develop high horsepowers for their size and on the latter performance by a Prince of Wales 4-6-0 was comparable with that of its stated replacenment, the Stanier class 5. The Webb Cauliflower class was still capable of running fast down to Carlisle. Recorders included D.S.M. Barrie and G. Aston. Illustrations: Class 5 4-6-0 on excursion passing Old Foley Pottery of James Kent Ltd at Foley Crossing, Longtown; Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0 No. 46448 climbing away from West Coast Main Line with Keswick train in 1950; Class 5 No. 45434 running towards Uttoxeter with 12,55 Llandudno to Derby express on 19 August 1961 (Michaekl Mensing); Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0 No. 46456 departing Keswick with 16,52 for Workington on 29 May 1952; 18-inch Cauliflower 0-6-0 No. 8429; Prince of Wales 4-6-0 No. 29685 Persia; Class % 4-6-0 No, 5330.
Rob Langham. Furness Railway lake steamers. 162-4.
The steam yacht Gondola was saved by the National Trust in the 1970s and sails on Lake Coniston burning wood. Illustrations:: Furness Railway poster Edwardian lady above Lake Coniston with Lady of the Lake steam yacht far below (colour); Gondola of 1859 and Lady of the Lake of 1908 at Coniston; Lady of the Lake on Coniston Water; 1869-built Swan off Ambleside; Lakeside with Swift about to leave foe Windermere; Gondola steaming on Coniston Water in 1980 (colour).
Readers' Forum. 165-6
From road unto rail . Stephen G. Abbott,
Re John Mcnab letter:, the fate of Metro-Cammell diesel multiple unit trailer No.59543. Reading depot originally used it plus 59528/38 from the North Eastern Region to strengthen three-car units to four cars, replacing Hawksworth corridor composite coaches which had been converted for use with DMUs. Eventually it was formed into a hybrid three-car set using spare power cars Nos.50083 (Derby-built) and 51399 (Pressed Steel). No.50083 lost its partner 50125 in the head-on collision on 24 November 1960 near Pontrhydyfen on the ex-Rhondda & Swansea Bay line, between the 16.55 Swansea High Street to Barry Island via Treherbert and a 620-ton coal train headed by pannier tank No. 9737. The coal train should have crossed the passenger train at Pontrhydyfen, but ran away through the station on to the single line down a 1 in 42 gradient. Sadly the DMU driver and coal train fireman lost their lives. No.51399's partner 51357 was withdrawn in April 1968 following fire damage. On 13 January 1977 I rode in the hybrid unit from Maidenhead to Paddington, No.59543 proving distinctly luxurious in comparison to its suburban-style companions!
From road unto rail. Gerald Goodall
Re John Macnab letter he inquires into what happened to MetCam trailer No.59543 after its transfer to Reading in exchange for 'bubble car' No.55000. By that time, several BRCW three-car suburban sets (Class 118) were running from Reading as additional units to complement the almost identical Pressed Steel Class 117 units that were the mainstay of Reading's allocation. Three MetCam trailers made their way to Reading Nos.59528, 59538 and 59543 and were formed into Class 118 units to make four-car sets. The 118s may by then have been equipped with gangways within the set; if so, there would then be a gangwayed four-car set. The four-car sets were often to be found in the peak-hour through trains between Paddington and the Bourne End branch from Maidenhead; these services were regarded as mildly prestigious, though to nothing like the extent of the Henley through trains. The Bourne End trains were commonly of seven cars (four-set plus three-set, the latter perhaps having a MetCam trailer but no Class 118 trailer), and I can recall seeing a ten-car train at Paddington one evening. My notes from the time indicate that the three MetCam trailers were later transferred to Cardiff and thence to the LMR. As Macnab rightly notes, several complete MetCam three-sets later came to Reading, in principle for the Gatwick service though they also had some use on Paddington locals.
How not to close a railway. Robin
Re Geoffrey Skelsey in December issue in which he makes the salient point that to be successful a fght against closure of a railway line needed the mobilisation of a persistent, persuasive and professional campaign. This was the case too at IIkley at much the same time with the lines from Leeds and Bradford, although unfortunately this did not extend from Menston round the corner to Otley, something which has plagued Leeds commuters ever since. Skelsey implies that railway support for the North Warwickshire Line declined once it became part of the monolithic London Midland Region. At that time the LMR did not seem to be interested in promoting railways in its domain. I experienced this a year or two before: my girlfriend, later fiancee, was training in London but would come home to Northampton for the weekend on the United Counties coach from Victoria, that being much cheaper than the train fare. The Friday evening service regularly loaded to four or more additional coaches, and similarly with the return service to London at 18.00 on Sunday evenings. So I wrote to the LMR suggesting a cheap weekend ticket to tap this evident market. I received a dusty answer effectively saying that there was no market worth tapping into. We had also seen this lack of interest in promoting local railways in the closure in 1964-66 of the two lines stradling Northamptonshire heading for Peterborough. Again when I lived in Worcester from 1967 the local railway authority made no attempt to encourage rail travel to Birmingham, so the Midland Red express coach up the MS did a good trade. I would not agree with him that the rise of traffic congestion could not be foreseen in the later 1960s. Birmingham was already being touted as the city of the car and congestion there was rising during my four years in Worcester. Leeds too has been grappling with road congestion for more than a generation and seen successive light rail or similar schemes proposed and blocked as not being value for money.
The end of company service. Andrew Kleissner
Re Jirn McBride article: there is an omission. While the fmal spoil trains ran on Saturday 2 May 1970, there were two further outings for steam in Ulster on Sundays 24 and 31 May. These were used to take heavy girders from York Road yard for a new bridge at Ballyclare Junction and featured at least. on 31 May the use of Nos.4 and 51 together with a steam crane. Some fascinating pictures of these, and of the spoil train operation, can be found on the RPSl's excellent 'steamtrainsireland.com' website.
Coals to Newcastle. John
Re article (December and January), the following additional points might be of interest. The North Eastern Railway (NER) was an exception in its successful and widespread use of high capacity mineral wagons, i.e. those of more than 10 or 12 ton capacity. High capacity mineral wagons were introduced in Britain during the first few years of the 10th century. However, they failed to gain widespread acceptance. Where they did find favour, other than on the NER, it tended to be in niche roles such as the wooden-bodied 15 ton locomotive coal wagons of the Cambrian Railways and their better known, and more more numerous, 20 ton all-steel Great Western Railway (GWR) equivalents.
The NER enjoyed three important advantages in terms of its extensive use of higher capacity mineral wagons. Firstly, as the article states, the NER enjoyed a monopoly in the very productive Northumberland-Durham coalfield and, other than on the fringes, in north east region of England as a whole. Secondly, this monopoly, together with control of the shipping facilities enabled the NER, as noted by the author, to dictate to the colliery companies the types of coal wagons to be used and on what terms. This was in complete contrast to the usual situation elsewhere in, for example. the South Wales or South Yorkshire coalfields. In both as elsewhere the proliferation of alternative rail facilities meant rarely could a single company enjoy similar advantages. Lastly, much of the coal carried by the NER. if not intended for shipping over its own lines through port facilities it controlled, was destined for places that it served directly. Consequently, the NER was able to exercise direct control at all stages from pit to consumer over much of its coal traffic. It is worth stating however, that NER high capacity mineral wagons regularly appeared in the West Cumberland/Furness industrial districts via the NER's cross-Pennine links as both districts had had strong economic connections with the north east.
The NER was probably also the most successful of the major railway companies in terms of dealing with the ever contentious issue of private owner wagons. Again, as stated, the NER's strong position, viz.the colliery companies, meant that, unusually, it was able to insist that they conform to its own design standards even where they chose to use their own wagons. In total contrast, in South Wales for example, coal trade owners' use of their private owner wagons was virtually universal other than for locomotive coal. This was a deliberate, openly stated and jealously guarded policy on the part of the colliery proprietors both there and elsewhere (see South Wales Coal Annual 1903 and subsequent editions). In 1909, an attempt by the three largest Scottish railway companies acting in common, rare in itself, to prevent three colliery companies from using private owner wagons had failed in the courts.
On l August 1918, as part of ongoing and largely abortive attempts to make better use of private owner wagons during World War I, Britain's first ever accurate count of private owner wagons established that 4,321 such wagons were based on the NER at the time of which 3,298 were mineral hopper wagons which conformed to NER standards. Accordingly, like their NER counterparts, they would have been classed as not suited for general use and excluded from any common user and/or pooling arrangement applied to private owner wagons. However, no national pool of private owner wagons ever materialised despite lengthy and unproductive negotiations that dragged on from the end of 1915 up until the Armistice. Eventually, just over 10,000 owners wagons were reluctantly hired to the railway companies on agreed terms as partial replacements for the 30,000 or so wagons that that they had made over to the War Department for use abroad. Even then this number, which represented less than 2% of the private owners wagon total fleet, was only obtained after prolonged haggling over compensation terms.
Notwithstanding the low number of owners wagons based on the NER in relation to its size, the company was still obliged to accept them from elsewhere. This was a long-standing legal obligation placed on the railway companies provided that an owner's wagon was in a 'reasonable' state of repair, a definition that came to be of great benefit to lawyers. Strange as it may seem today, the August 1918 private owners' census was the first time that an exact figure for the number of private owner wagons were running on the railways of Great Britain had been established. During the pre-war decade, 600,000 plus, or thereabouts, had been the generally accepted estimate but this was nothing more than guesswork. The 1918 census found that there were 626,623 such wagons, exclusive of internal user only wagons and those not currently able to run on the system due to awaiting repairs etc, which were owned by different entities 6,459. (from Britain's Railways In the Great War Val.2 by Edwin Pratt, 1921).
Stoke station. Robin Leleux
Wearing my hat as Chairman of the Panel of Adjudicators for the National Railway Heritage Awards, may I elaborate on Stoke-on- Trent station's involvement with the Awards as detailed in Mike Fell's interesting two-part article (December 2020 and January 2021)? The work on reviving the down-side buildings which he fully describes was not the first time the station had been entered for the Awards, let alone winning one. He mentions work on the main station roof in 2013; while this and other smaller works at that time, entered by Virgin Trains, were not short listed, substantial work on the platform roof in 2001 was short listed. One of our judges sent us a photograph of the sun streaming through the newly refurbished glazing creating patterns on a train below. More significant still was the extensive work on the impressive station roof in 1993. its distinctive banded tiling can just be made out in the colour photograph on page 59. This and the crested ridge tiles, were thoroughly restored, also with the assistance of the Railway Heritage Trust, with replacements being carefully manufactured as appropriate, thus bringing the RHT Award for 1993 to the British Rail Property Board. This undoubtedly set the tone for the long-term treatment of this most handsome set of station buildings which some two decades later saw its culmination in the rehabilitation of the down side.
Highland 'Clans'. Arnold Tortorella.
The December issue contained a fascinating account of the Highland Railway 'Clan' class of 4-6-0 tender locomotive which went on to form part of the backbone of LMS operations in the Highlands of Scotland after the grouping in 1923. For the colour photograph at the top of page 644 I can supply the following supplementary information: from the view of the photograph as published, it would appear that LMS No.14765 is heading along the road to the locomotive shed and off the larger 60ft turntable, which had been installed some live years before as the Northern Division Minute Book records. The entire matter of the then existing turntable at Oban shed had been discussed at a meeting of the 'Traffic Sub-committee', held at 302 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, on 17th January 1933, and recorded under Item No.45. "Oban: proposed installation of 60 foot engine turntable (DWO 3004).
The Chief Officer for Scotland reported that the engine turntable at Oban was too small and required to be renewed and he recommended that it should be replace by a disused 60 foot turntable from Dumfries Caledonian Yard; that the turntable pit at Oban should be enlarged to accommodate the larger turntabl ; that the engine hoist should be removed to an adjacent site, and that an alternative siding should be provided for the Breakdown Crane as the present siding would be displaced by the larger turntable ... "
The estimated outlay was £2,226 0s 0d, but it was anticipated that the material recovered could be disposed of for £87 0s 0d, resulting in a net outlay of £2,139 0s 0d. The above proposal was so approved. Perhaps it would be helpful to explain that the previously-installed 50ft turntable at Oban, although adequate to turn the 'Oban Bogie' 4-6-0 tender designs of both J. F. Mclntosh and then William Pickersgill for the Caledonian Railway, with their somewhat shorter overall lengths, it would not have been adequate for the longer and heavier locomotives which were being designed by the early 1930s. In any case, the first five of the 55 class of 'Oban Bogie' from the design work of Mclntosh were already over 30 years of a working life, whilst the second four were fast approaching that age, so all were reasonably 'life expired'. These factors account for the decision of the Northern Division to install a longer turntable at Oban.
Interested readers will find a fascinating survey of the entire locomotive shed area at Oban within LMS Engine Sheds, Vol. 5: the Caledonian Railway by Chris Hawkins & George Reeve (Wild Swan Publications, 1987), which contains a wealth of photographs and information relevant to the situation at Oban. Similarly, A History of Highland Locomotives by Peter Tatlow (OPC, 1979) contains invaluable information relevant to HR engines, including, somewhat obviously, the 'Clans', along with superb line drawings, photographs and tablature data.
Book reviews. 166
It's still a lot of fun! Published by the Ravenglass £ Eskdale
Railway Preservation Society. A5 softback, 240pp.
The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is one of our most cherished heritage railways and this reviewer has never failed to enjoy a visit. This book was published last year to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the RERPS but sadly 2020 was not to be the joyous year hoped for, as like all its fellows in the heritage world, its activities werre devastantingly curtailed by the pandemic. Now isn't the moment to dwell on that nightmare, though. This cheery publication is a celebration of the Ratty, written and compiled by those who live with it - as full-time staff or as volunteers in all the activities, often unnoticed and unsung, who work to keep the railway running. There are thus tales from the engine drivers, guards, workshop technicians and permanent way maintainers, but also the thoughts of those who do such essential work as keeping the loos clean, walking the track to collect litter, fighting lineside fires, preparing the Society's magazine, handling membership matters - well, everything really. The landscape through which the railway passes gives rise to scenic photography, with pictorial accounts of sheep invasions or the sighting of red squirrels and buzzards. It's hard to pick on specific details of the life and times of the Ratty as there are so many of them, but the affection for it of those who have lived with it, in the past or the present, in whatver capacity, comes through overwhelmingly. This is a book you don't have to read from cover to cover; you can delve in and out at will and savour an individual contribution on its own. It can't fail to make you feel better! Buy it and support the RER - and let's all hope that 2021 proves a much better year than the dreadful one preceding it. ~
The evolving railway 1951-1976. Brian Morrison.
Crecy Publishing, 160pp. hardback. Reviewed by DWM *****
Your reviewer found it difficult to sum up this book in a better way other than by using the words on the inside of the dust jacket, 'not just a celebration of the work of one of our finest railway photographers, The Evolving Railway' contains a wealth of memories for all those interested in Britain's railways from the 19S0s onwards'. The end result is a stylish-produced pictorial volume: on the whole pictures are afforded a full page, captions are extended and, in some cases, the printing process seems to have almost imparted a sepia-like quality to some of the pictures.
The pictures themselves, all of the highest quality and some 'old friends', extend from the 'steam railway' of the fifties through to the days when the traction was 'modern' but the infrastructure still looked over its shoulder to the good old days. There's even a nod towards heritage railways in the form of Blackmore Vale, Green Goddess and the 'rail blue' Vale of Rheidol.
The geographical bias of the photographs is largely towards the south and east of the currently United Kingdom although the north is represented by such gems as the ill-fated Ben Alder at Inverness, 'Bantam Hen' at Aberdeen and a WD 2-8-0 basking in the dawn light at Perth. No seeming geographical progression is obvious in the placement of pictures, Hildenborough bank follows Brentwood and Brighton and Swindon Works face each other across the page - but, no matter, this perhaps all adds to the 'box of delights' nature of the book. A very catholic selection of motive power is featured in the photographs. In addition to those already mentioned perhaps more unremarked types such as HI5 4-6-0s, Midland 0-4-4Ts, A8 4-6-2Ts, the ungainly Thompson A2s and (lots of) B17s seem to have been sought out by the photographer. For 'modern traction' enthusiasts there's a good representation of the first generation of the 'usual suspects' and some rarer pictures of the stylish Southern electo-diesels. Dyed in the wool steam enthusiasts who are looking for portraits of either 'Castles' or Duchesses', however, will be disappointed. This is a fine book - but it probably doesn't add a great deal to our bank of knowledge about railways. What it does do brilliantly and as stated on the dust jacket is to bring back a flood of memories of happier, more expansive times.
Just Published! Locomotives of the Great Southern & Western Railway
By Jeremy Clements, Michael McMahon and Alan O'Rourke
284 pages, casebound, heavily illustrated, 215mm x 287mm. The motive power fleet of the largest pre-1925 railway company to operate on the island of Ireland has never before been comprehensively surveyed, This work consists of 284 pages with four colour illustrations, 195 black-and-white photographs, 81 line drawings, 34 diagrams, and five maps/plans, Dimensional information is provided on all locomotives owned by the GSWR from inception in 1844 until the 192415 Amalgamation. Similar information is included on the fleets of the companies taken over between 1866 and 1901, This book is the result of a research project which started in 2011 and has involved exhaustive investigation of original records in Ireland and Britain, This is a limited edition that covers an importan era in Irish transport history. It is the last major part of the steam locomotive story of these islands to be fully recorded. Only available by mail order from the distributor. Collon Publishing, Collon House, Ardee Street, Collon, Co Louth, A92 YT29, Ireland. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org [advertisement]
Killin time in Glen Dochart. George Watson. rear cover
BR 2-6-4T No. 80029 at Killin Junction ón 29 August 1965.
|London, Brighton & South Coast
Railway H2 4-4-2 No.32424
8eachy Head at Newhaven
locomotive depot in April 1958.
| April (Number 360)
Every picture tells a story - but where? Roger Backhouse
In a guest editorial on the long term storage of railway images mainly in the fiorm of photographs and the efforts of societies, libraries and public authority archives.
Freight working in Kent. Rodney Lissenden. 172-3
Colour photo-feature: No. 47 307 approachiing Dartford with 12.52 Grain Thamesport to Crewe Basford Hall with Evergreen shipping containers with Dartford Crossing Bridge behind on 15 March 1993; No. 59 103 Village of Chantry in ARC livery with empty stone wagons from West Drayton to Allington stone terminal near Swanley on 27 June 1995; electro-diesel No. 73 004 on third rail hauling nuclear flask from Sellafield to Dungeness at Swanley on 8 August 1985; No. 09 013 shmting wagons off train ferry from Dunkerque at Dover Western Docks on 26 April 1984; Class 20 Nos. 20 901 and 20 905 in Hunslet-Barclay livery topping and tailing weedkilling train through Paddock Wood on 20 April 1005.
Michael H.C. Baker. Around Croydon, 174-9
Mixture of personal history based on childhood and early married life spent in Croydon and the history of raiways therein with particular reference to the byway which wandered from West Croydon to Wimbledon and which is now served by Tramlink. Illustrations: building the railway through Coombe Cliff [painting of men excavating cutting in dangerous working conditions]; diagram of stations, junctions and running lines within period 1940-1959; LBSCR 0-4-2 Gladstone class No. 187 Philip Rose passing East Croydon c1920; 0-6-0 No. 31048 on station pilot duty at East Croydon in 1958; Crystal Palace High Level station frontage in 1974; EPB multiple units on Charing Cross to Caterham and Tattenham Corner working at Norwood Junction in 1969; 2-BIL leading Victoria bound train at East Croydon in summer of 1969; LBSCR E5 0-6-2T No. 591 on down express formed of balloon stock passing South Croydon c1920; ex-LBSCR high voltage stock converted to third rail at Mitcham Junction in 1952; Schools class 4-4-0 No. 30928 Stowe at Sanderstead on 16.48 Victoria to Brighton in August 1961; Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42087 on 18.10 Victoria to Tunbridge Wells in 1954 (R. Russell); Tramlink trams in original scarlet livery at East Croydon in 2001 (colour)
Barry Taylor. A grand tour of East Anglia the 1956 'Best Kept
Station' Competition. 180-6.
Based on the special timetable (Special Trains Notice S1230) produced for an eight day inspection of station gardens in East Anglia under the direction of G.F. Fiennes, then the Area Operating Superintendent based at Shenfield Station, although the tour began at Liverpool Street behind B12/3 No. 61572 on Monday 9 July 1956. Illustrations: J15 0-6-0 No. 65462 propelling an inspection saloon through Whitlingham Junction station; an early Derby diesel multiple unit runs ino Acle station on 14 July 1958 with a Yarmouth to Norwich service; Brundall Gardens station on 19 February 1962; Chatteris station; Eye Green (for Crowland) on 9 January 1957 (Douglas Thompson);
Railway observations from a Selside winter. Part Two
Part 1 page 48. Signal box register from late 1965 by which time steam was disappearing from most traffic, except freight. Notes on delays, the presence of snowploughs. There is an extract from the register with excellent copperplate handwriting by G.T. Horner. The author also travelled over the Carlisle to Settle route during this period when he was fortunate to have a jouney behind No. 70006 Robert Burns. Illustrations: exterior of Selside signal box viewed from cab of down train; 12.08 all-stations to Carlisle hauled by Britannia class No. 70050 away from Ribblehead Viaduct with residual snow on 9 April 1966 (S. Leyland); Britannia class No. 70029 Shooting Star on Stourton to Carlisle freight on 18 April 1967 (Gavin Morrison: colour); 8F 2-8-0s Nos. 48321 and 48758 with train of track panels on 24 June 1967 (Gavin Morrison: colour). .
John Jarvis. The rise and fall of IIfracombe Station
- Part Two. 190-5.
In June 1887 the Great Western opened a chord to enable its trains from Taunton to work through to Ilfracombe. Sunday services began in 1890. Another GWR chord enabled its terminus in Barnstaple to be bypassed. Through services to Manchester and Liverpool via Taunton started in 1891 and most of the branch was doubled. The Southern Railway introducedd the Atlantic Coast Express through coaches or even complete train in 1926 and the Pullman Devon Belle in 1947. Railway Illustrations: Battle of Britain class No. 34078 222 Squadron with three coaches climbs 1 in 36 to Morethoe with 15.00 to Exeter in September 1961 (J.F.W. Paige colour); N class 2-6-0 No. 31856 and Battle of Britain class No. 34065 Hurricane waiting to depart from Platfprm No. 2 in July 1961 (Dave Cobb); Battle of Britain class No. 34078 on turntable at Ilfracombe in September 1961 (J.F.W. Paige colour); N class No. 31840 banking down train between Braunton and Mortehoe near Willingcott on 13 July 1963 (T.B. Owen: colour); Class 118 diesel multiple unit waiting to depart for Exeter on Sunday 24 July 1966; M7 0-4-4T No. 30667 and 43XX No. 7337 descending from Mortehoe with 08.50 from Taunton on 1 September 1962 (P.W. Gray); West Country No. 34020 Seaton descending Mortehoe Hill about to pass another light Pacific working hard on climbb (T.B. Owen: colour); Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T No. 41297 outside locomotive shed at Barnstaple Junction on 12 October 1962 (J.L. Lean: colour); No. 34078 hauls empty stock out of Platform 2 on 17 September 1961 (G. Parry: colour); Warship diesel hydraulic No. D817 Foxhouns in maroon livery in Platform 2 with 10.55 for Exeter St. David's in March 1069 (John A.M. Vaughan: colour).
The Brighton's Atlantics. 196-7
Colour photo-feature of Marsh LB&SCR H2 class: No. 2421 South Foreland in Bulleid malachite green livery at Newhaven shed in 1947 (C.C.B. Herbert): all remainder BR lined black: No. 32424 Beachy Head with return RCTS Pullman centenary special (of Brighton Works) at Brighton station before leaving for Victoria on 5 October 1952 (Trevor Owen); No. 32424 Beachy Head running through Norwood Junction on 12 April 1958 to Victoria to work special next day (R.C. Riley); No. 32424 Beachy Head having worked RCTS Sussex Coast Limited from Victoria on Newhaven shed 13 April 1958 (Ken Wightman); No. 32424 Beachy Head with BR Class 4 2-6-4T No. 80154 (last steam locomotive built at Brighton on Newhaven shed on 13 April 1958 (latter worked RCTS Sussex Coast Limited back to Victoria (P.Hughes)
Going round the South Wales sheds. Gavin Morrison. 198-201
Mainly colour photo-feature: former Rhymney Railway Hurry Riches 0-6-2T No. 38 at Cardiff East Dock on 25 June 1955 (black & white); two 57XX 0-6-0PT at Llantrisant shed on Sunday 3 June 1962; Carmarthan shed with No. 5938 Stanley Hall; No. 4081 Warwick Castle; 5087 Tintern Abbey on 9 September 1962; Cardiff Canton with No. 4080 Powderham Castle; No. 6010 King Charles I; Modified Hall No. 7913 Little Wyrely Hall and 28XX No. 3860 on 2 June 1962; 2251 class No. 2255 in lined green livery at Machynlleth shed on 28 March 1959; 72XX No. 7215 on Swansea East Dock on 9 September 1962; Castle cl;ass No. 5061 Earl of Birkenhead and 9F 2-10-0 No. 92237 at Cardiff Canton on 3 June 1962; 45XX No. 5571 on Pembroke Dock shed 9 September 1962; 56XX 0-6-2T Nos. 5674 and 5666 on Cae Harris shed on 8 July 1956 (black & white); 42XX 2-8-0T No. 4265 at Cardiff Canton on 29 July 1959 en route from Swindon to Aberdare; 57XX 0-6-0PT No. 9602 shunts coal wagon at Fishguard Goodwick shed on 9 September 1962.
John M. Clarke. Coffins by corpse van: some hearse carriages
of Britain's railways. 202-5.
Survey excludes tthe dedicated vans used by the London Necropolis Company (cites Oakwood Press publication The London Necropolis Railway by John M. Clarke), the one-off use of normal van stock to convey the remains of Edith Cavell, Captain Fryatt, the Unknown Warrior and Sir Winston Churchill.. Illustrations: Great Northern Railway coffin carrriage (diagram: Martin Dawes); Glasgow & South Western Railway corpse van No, 3; Great Eastern Railway six-wheel corpse van No. 63335 at Wentworth Junction in 1947; Midland Railway corpse van No. 21 (colour: red model 7mm scale); North British Railway corpse van No. 1357 (diagram: side & end elevations); Festiniog Railway preserved corpse van: interior showing rollers to assist loading/unloading (Nicolas Wheattley)
Bill Taylor. Fatal accident at Birkby on the North Eastern Railway.
On 18 June 1914 Ernest Frederick Horner of Northallerton was fatally injured whilst firing a Class Y 4-6-2T. His head had struck the balcony of Birkby signal cabin when leaning out to verify if the injector was working properly. Illustrations: Class 7 4-6-2T No. 1175 in NER livery (similar to locomotive in accident); LNERE B16 (NER S3) No, 925 passing Birkby signal box on fast freight on 4 September 1926; diagram of cabin showing proximity of balcony to cab of locomotive.
Allan C. Baker and Mike G. Fell. No. 6254 City
of Stoke-on-Trent. 208-14
No, 6254 was one of a smalll batch of non-streamlined Coronation class Pacifics built following WW2 to the design of Sir William Stanier, although the authors acknowledge the input of Tom F. Coleman, the LMS "Chief Draughtsman". No. 6254 was named at Stoke station on 20 September 1946 by the Lord Mayor Percy Williams in the presence of Sir Francis Joseph who hosted the event on behalf of the LMS. Henry Brindley and Clive Robinson, both from Stoke shed, were on the footplate. Illustrations: No. 46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent. in crimson livery possibly ex-works in 1960 (colour); No. 6254 City of Stoke-on-Trent. being named by Lord Mayor Percy Williams with Sir Francis Joseph hosting the LMS on 20 September 1946; No. 6254 City of Stoke-on-Trent. on Edge Hill shed with Class 5 4-6-0 No. 5025; No. 6254 City of Stoke-on-Trent. departs south from Carlisle Citadel with 13.15 Glasgow Central to Euston (Gavin Wilson); No. 46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent.on 13.00 Euston to Glasgow south of Apsley on 13 September 1949; No. 46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent. in red livery with BR lining ex_works at Shrewsbury in 1958, fitted with speedometer but lacking AWS (Gerald Worland Collection); No. 46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent. in crimson passaing Rutherglen on 3 September 1960; No. 46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent on exhibition at Stoke on 2 1 May 1960; (Gerald Worland Collection); No. 46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent on Abyssinia No. 1 Road (known as Abba) Crewe (Jim Carter) (when Allan Baker worked there it was being demolished; No. 4 6254 in Erecting Shop at Crewe (Jim Carter); No. 46254 in worn red livery at Crewe North on 29 August 1964.
Philip Atkins. A locomotive spending spree, 1921, 215-17.
During WW1 the supply of new locomotives onto British railways had been very limited due to a shortage of raw mateerials and manpower: everything was dominted by the war effort. In 1921 a floodgate of new orders was opened, but two major engineering companies switched to locomotive construction in an attmpt to reduce unemployment: these were Amstrong Whitworth on the Tyne and Beardmore on the Clyde. The effort did not prove very profitable for the new entrants. One peculiarity of this time was the crdering of Baltic 4-6-4Ts with inside cylinders by the Furness Railway; from Kitson & Co. and huge three-cylinder machines designed by Robert Whitelegg for the Glasgow & South Western Railway. Illustrations: Beardmore-built B12 No. 61543 with Belpaire firebox leaving Aberdeen in July 1952 (T.J. Edgington); Armstrong Whitworth-built T2 class 0-8-0 No. 6 at Tyne Dock shed on 2 August 1966 (T.J. Edgington); Robert Stephenson & Co. partially built 43XX 2-6-0 No. 7308 at Hereford on 8 May 1953 (T.J. Edgington); North British Locomotive Co.-built N2 tank No. 69543 at King's Cross on 16 October 1955 (T.J. Edgington); Armstrong Whitworth-built 4F 0-6-0 No. 3937 on Lea Road water troughs on return Blackpool excursion in early LMS period (T.J. Edgington Collection); North British Locomotive Co.-built 4-6-T (Baltic tank) No. 541 at Glasgow St. Enoch.
Modernising the London Midland Region .218-19
Photographs presented in an album presented to David Blee, General Manager LMR on his retirement in 1961, taken by John Spencer Gilks: No. 18100 former Western Region gas turbine locomotive converted to 25kV (KPJ: looks as if fitted with trolley pole pick up); Wilmslow signal box with very heavy overhead electric catenary; auger borer digging pit for concrete base for electrification mast with vast workforce including supervisory grades plus 8F 2-8-0 to haul contraption; parcels loading dock being constructed at Coventry station; railway bridge over M1 motorway near Rugby between Junctions 17 and 18; new station at St Helens Shaw Street featuring glass in structure
David P. Williams. The Ballachulish branch train recalled. 220.
Book Reviews. 221-2
Barrow-in-Furness and its railway. Michael
Andrews. Barrai Books, paperback, 150pp, Reviewed by DJ ****
Although not immediately made clear, the core of this book was first published by the Cumbrian Railways Association in 2003 under the title The Furness Railway in and around Barrow. For those not possessing the original work, this new version is highly recommended.
Michael Andrews, who died in 2010, was born in Barrow and spent a lifetime studying the Furness Railway and the town it played a key role in creating. Here are related the early years of the Furness, the phenomenal growth of Barrow from a small harbour into one of Britain's principal centres of heavy industry, and the sad period of gradual decline to leave a system that is a shadow of its former self.
More than 150 photographs capture the highs and lows of both the railway and the town. Especially helpful are the excellent maps, which in this new version have the advantage of being in colour. A 20-page postscript brings the story up-to-date, covering 21st century developments ranging from traffic in moving nuclear fuel flasks through to passenger services provided by the Government's 'Operator of Last Resort'. An additional map shows how much of the Barrow rail system has gone and how little is left. An unfortunate omission compared with the 2003 book is the lack of an index but a redeeming feature is an excellent cover illustration of FR 0-4-0 No.9 by the late Edward Paget-Tomlinson.
The Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2 Co-Bo diesel-electric
locomotives from design to destruction. Anthony P. Sayer,
Pen and Sword, hardback, 272 pages, Reviewed by DWM *****
This heavyweight publication, the latest in the publisher's Locomotive Portfolios series, could well be subtitled 'All you would have liked to have known about the Metro-Vick Co-Bos but were somewhat reluctant to ask' and oh that British Railways engineers had asked their colleagues in the Emerald Isle before embarking on the installation of Crossley engines in their latest diesel development!
It must be conceded that, distinctive as the Co-Bos appeared, they weren't actually one of the most successful of the first generation of diesel traction intended to replace steam but this volume is a very detailed and even-handed study of their time in service. The book is splendidly-produced, lavishly illustrated in both black and white and in colour and meticulously researched and is set fair to become something of a 'standard' source on this stylishly-inelegant class of twenty locomotives.
The author draws heavily on original sources and the book falls logically, although not indicated as such, into four divisions. The technical specification, design, delivery, testing and allocations bring the locomotives in service. There follows an individual consideration of each locomotive, its overhaul history and some comment on performance before the onset of 'the Dukinfield Years'. This was a period (between 1961-63) when the locomotives were stored and then 'rehabilitated' by Metropolitan-Vickers engineers at the former Great Central carriage and wagon works to the east of Manchester. Post- Dukinfield and restored to a somewhat more reliable condition the locomotives migrated 'en mass' to Barrow and saw out their working lives in Cumbria, The concluding part of the book gives a summary of the operational activity of the class, the highlight of which must have been the named 'Condor' freight service, before considering items such as liveries, accidents, disposal and the remarkable survival of No.D5705 largely due to it being acquired as possible motive power by the Research Centre at Derby.
The book is well-provided with excellent illustrations, although perhaps five pictures of the same train, a 'Black Five' hauling four Co-Bos away for storage, is a little excessive? Your review was particularly taken with the pictures of the locomotives in action on the Midland main line over the Peak District and with those featuring Cumbrian Coast locations such as Seascale and Drigg with the 'Victoria Hotel' prominent in the background of the latter! Having studied this book in some detail and digested much of the erratic performance of the locomotives your reviewer was somewhat relieved to recall an entirely uneventful journey from Lancaster to Barrow in the summer of 1963 hauled by No.DS703 on the way out and the now-preserved No.D5705 on the return. In contrast driver Ron Clarke, formerly of Carnforth and a colleague in more recent times on 'L'al Ratty', recalled one of his better railway days on the main line as being when "we towed three of those awful Metro-Vick things away for scrap using a Standard Class 4 4-6-0 too!"
Anecdotes aside, this is a really excellent book. It covers, in tremendous detail, a niche in railway history that could have remained un remarked for a long time. If nothing else it answers the reviewer's long-held query about the asymmetric power bogies! Highly recommended.
Southern Steam 1948-1967. Ben Brooksbank and Peter
Tuffrey. Great Northern Books, hardback, 160 pp. Reviewed by DWM
This nicely presented volume is a comprehensive, alphabetical and geographical pictorial study of steam locomotives in the South of England from nationalisation to 'the end'. It is slightly more than a photographic record of locomotives of the old Southern group including as it does BR Standard types, locomotives of LMS provenance and even a 2-8-0 of the former Somerset & Dorset Railway. The photographic locations run, in order, from Alton to Yeovil and almost but not quite all Southern types are included. There is the expected plethora of Pacifies, rebuilt and otherwise, a melee of Moguls and a veritable terrier of tank engines of most shapes and sizes. More out of the ordinary are some fine rarities in the likes of shots of a former Brighton Pacific tank at London Bridge, an I3 4-4-2T at Brighton and A.S.. Harris, an 0-6-0T of the former Plymouth, Devonport & South Western Junction Railway consorting with the enemy at Stewarts Lane. Your reviewer searched in vain for a picture of a 'Remembrance', an H15 or a G16 4-8-0T and was disappointed that the 'Lord Nelsons' merited only one picture and that of the admiral himself taking his ease on Basingstoke shed.
The juxtaposition of black and white and colour pictures is very effective. If nothing else the colour pictures show up, in not-so-glorious detail, what a filthy place the steam railway was in the later days! It seems to be almost a 'house style' of this publisher to reduce photographic captions to the barest minimum. Your reviewer would have preferred perhaps three pictures instead of four per double page but with a little more background information given for each picture. Other than a good selection of pictures of steam locomotives in action this book won't add a great deal to our knowledge of the steam era in the South of England. Nonetheless it is probably a book that enthusiasts for the Southern way of doing things will not want to be without.
Wymondham to Wells featuring the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
Richard Adderson and Graham Kenworthy. Middleton Press, 96pp.
Reviewed by RC ***
This is another in the Middleton Press series of books, 'Evolving the Ultimate Rail Encyclopedia International'. It is sad to record that co-author Graham Kenworthy, died before publication. Following a very brief historical introduction, timetable extracts and a not too-challenging (to enginemen) gradient profile, the reader is taken on a pictorial journey through central Norfolk from Wymondham via Dereham, County School and Fakenham to arrive at Wells-next-the-Sea. Each station, location or junction is dealt with on a 'then and now' basis and this reviewer was stunned by the spectacle, in East Anglia, of a Stanier Pacific rubbing shoulders with a 'Royal Sect', at Thuxton on the Mid-Norfolk Railway an inconceivable event in this region even a decade ago.
There are many photographs to interest even the most impartial reader. A tunnel is pictured being opened out in 1898 at Stiffkey;
Norfolk only had two standard gauge tunnels, the other, disused, is extant at Cromer. Much of the tunnel spoil was then used, it is claimed, as embankment, to fill in a wooden viaduct over the River Stiffkey. Studies of buildings rather than simply trains abound. The GER's rural architecture had more charm than the GNR; the waiting shelter and signal box at Hardingham are sheer joy.
Eyebrows will be raised by a Brush Type 2 shunting wagons, at Fakenham East, using a strong tow wire not the sort of photograph that would be reproduced in the annual BR report! The tow wire suggests the track was no longer able to take the weight of an A1A- AlA locomotive.
BR diesels had come early to East Anglia and a caption tells of a marked increase in local patronage of DMUs at Fakenham East, but it was all too late and by 1960 high street car showrooms everywhere flourished. Weed-strewn decline and closure
rapidly came about - the BR rail blue era of rationalisation and retreat. Only seasonal grain traffic to North Elmham, beyond Fakenham East kept going long enough to allow Mid-Norfolk Railway preservationists to gain a foothold northwards from Wymondham.
Narrow gauge railways feature and the success of the 10¼in Wells &Walsingham Light Railway is well recorded. This tourist line, opened in 1982, uses four miles of the old GER formation from Wells to Walsingham.
Reproduction is very good and two aerial photographs suggest the photographer may have used a drone to clearly show the new storage sidings laid near Hardingham, on the preserved Mid-Norfolk Railway. Greater Anglia's factory-fresh Stadler-built train fleet was stored there before acceptance in 2019.
The book is full of historical, and modern, rural railway charm, something Norfolk always does well. Through the pages, the GER-built E4s, Dl6s and Jl7s rub along well with later BR-blue DMUs, which, through the passage of time, now have their own following It is a pity that, despite nice BR period colour pictures on the front and back covers, the inside pages are entirely monochrome. To cater for a younger enthusiast market, visiting the MNR, upon which the authors have anchored this album of photographs, a colour section would have made the publication more attractive and justified the expensive cover price.
Southern style: the Southern Railway. Compiled
by John Harvey. Historical Model Railway Society, Soft back, A4,
240 pp, Reviewed by JC *****
'Comprehensive' was the first word that sprang to mind after a dip or two into this book. But further, more measured viewing showed even using the word 'exhaustive' is barely adequate to describe the level of research and scholarship that has gone into its production. The fact that ten of its pages are necessary to list the various sources, and the closely-printed index takes another ten, is indicative of the depth of enquiry that has produced it, the fourth book in the series of 'Southern Style'. Perhaps that depth is emphasised by the fact that almost all the remaining 220 pages are to do with paint in one form or another and in that I am not being facetious. The various liveries adopted for locomotives and rolling stock both passenger and freight over the 25 years of the SR's existence, including lining and lettering - the font styles also illustrated - are covered in full and minute detail. Applications are noted too, the various layers of paint and varnish fully described. One does not need to imagine why painting an engine or a carriage could be costly: the reasons are shown here.
The painting styles for road vehicles, signals, buildings of all sorts, gradient and rnileposts and ancillary equipment - signs, barrows, telephone boxes, notice boards, level crossing gates and so on - and every other conceivable item in the company's ownership, are described in detail and illustrated. Even the moquettes used at various times in the coaching stock are photographed in colour. As a welcome addition for modellers no doubt, specimen colour samples, fifteen of them - including eight different greens! - come separately on a stiff card folder. Among these too incidentally are Lynton & Barnstable coach brown and Somerset &Dorset blue, a reminder of the Southern's other associations.
Perhaps as an illustration of the degree of enquiry, two loose sheets also come with the book. One of these has some notes regarding the colour swatches as well as two additions to the text. Two-thirds of the second sheet is of photographic credits omitted from the list in the book as well as a photographic correction, an illustration perhaps of the difficulty and complexity of the task the author faced in bringing the whole into being.
But now I have a problem, for perhaps of the several books I have reviewed this has to be one of the most difficult to classify. Looking at it purely as an informative document there is little doubt it has no peer and awarding iive stars does not seem nearly enough. On the other hand the cost incurred in having that extraordinary level of detail must, I think, limit its appeal. No doubt a historian with a particular interest in the Southern, or a model railway club with a strong Southern following, would add it to the library without a second thought. But even the keenest individual modeller might decide the 'net' could provide much of what he needs without charge, a conundrum then. Perhaps, after all, I should go with my first instincts and classify it for what it is, a most remarkable and unique compendium of the Southern Railway as it appeared while at work.
A quite impossible proposal: how not to build a railway.
Andrew Drummond, Birlinn. 2020. 308pp. maps, plans and sketches
plus 12 pages of half-tone, Reviewed by PT **** page 222
This book explores the social and economic history of the North West of Scotland from the mid-Victorian era and the abortive attempts from the 1880s onwards to promote the construction of a number branch lines to the west coast, thereby affording access the Isle of Harris and Lewes. The Highland Clearances and consequential deprivation of the indigenous population, resulting in depopulation, civil unrest and the advance of evangelism, in turn led to the Government setting up the Napier Commission and enacting the Crofters' Law. As well as the perceived need to redistribute land use and ownership together with developing the fishing industry, the desirability of improved access to markets would at the time ideally met by rail transport.
Over the ensuing decades, a number of Government committees came and went, as they considered several proposals for branch lines from the Highland Railway's lines to Strome Ferry/Kyle of Lochalsh and the Further North, through remote mountainous terrain, to reach the NW coast, with particular reference to Garve to Ullapool, from where ships would sail to various Hebridean destinations, such as Stornoway. In the event, Government prevacation smothered them all and none was built, and only at the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth century were the lines from Strome Ferry and Fort William extended respectively to Kyle and Mallaig with the assistance of generous Government grants.
At the time the Dingwall & Skye line was being mooted in the mid-1860s, the only rival destination on the west coast of Scotland being proposed was way down south at Oban, in which case the ultimate goal of the Kyle of Lochalsh made a lot of sense, being on the existing steamer route from Glasgow through the Sound of Sleat to serve both the Isle of Skye opposite and on to Stornoway. Between Kyle and Oban all the rest of the Hebridean islands could be reached. As it was, the potential revenues were perceived as being so poor that barely sufficient capital was raised, iirstly to reach Strome Ferry in 1870, some way off the steamer route, while the line to Oban was not opened throughout until a decade later. Not surprisingly, in the days before the dawn of the motor vehicle, this was not considered entirely satisfactory and by the 1880s led to a number of alternative proposed branch lines. However, had any of them reached fruition, it is doubtful that the combination would have been viable. Only a century later did highways improve and motor transport develop to the point at which the ferry routes could be recast to minimise the sea crossings and Ullapool come into its own. For those with an interest in the social history behind the development of our railways and/or the railways of the North West of Scotland, this well researched work is thoroughly recommended.
A grand day out. Robin Leleux
There are two references in the December issue to GWR 'Manor' Class locomotivess running on the Reading-Redhill line, in the photographic feature on Reading and then in the nostalgic piece 'A grand day out for eight shillings and three pence'. As a boy I lived beside the line at Chilworth from 1950 to 1955. For most of that time the only 'Manor' I saw was No.7811 Ditcheat Manor which came along regularly. Not long before I left it was replaced by No.7814 Fringford Manor. These must have been working seasonal reliefs or extras as they never hauled the 'Birkenhead', our through daily long-distance express from Birkenhead to the Kent Coast. This was always in the hands of a Maunsell Mogul of U or N Classes. 'Schools' Class locomotives were at that time unknown and even a 'King Arthur' was a rarity.
LYR/LNWR amalgamation. Tom Wray
Re bottom photograph on p108 the building on the left, which is stated as being the original 1844 structure is, in fact, the booking office erected on Platform 12/13 of the 1884 extension of Victoria station. Also the camera is facing east not west as stated in caption.
LYR/LNWR amalgamation. Martin
Re period image of Preston station on p109, showing the station as it was c1910. Approximately 57 years after that photograph was taken, the exact same spot as the sack trucks in the foreground occupy, was where my father introduced my eleven-year-old self to the wonders of the WCML. Wonders very nearly cut short by a northbound service headed by EE Type 4 No.D211 Ivernia emitting a stentorian blast upon departure, which nearly hastened my departure also!
The image of Platform 6, as he refers to it, is (or was), in fact, Platform 5. I have studied the the photograph long and hard the view from the passenger footbridge is looking south (or 'up') and the platform comprising the majority of the image is the down Platform No.5, making the opposing platform " .... the LYR down line, Platform 5" in fact, Platform 4, and east-facing, not west.
Preston was my home turf for trainspotting. I bore witness to steam's final hurrah there and at nearby Lostock Hall during 1968. Given half a century plus between the picture on p.l09 and my earliest memories, not much had changed apart from the fashions. A radicalisation, a streamlining if you like, in the wake of electriiication during the 1970s saw the loss of the East Lancashire platforms, much frequented in their 'dotage' by Cravens hydraulic multiple nits (in the '517XX' series) and the change of use of Platforms 1 and 2 given over to Post Office traffic and consequently shorn of their numbers, resulting in alterations all round. Thus, the illustrated Platforms 4 and 5 were obliged to take a demotion and become 2 and 3 respectively. The main up platform 6, out of shot behind the original ELR buildings, became Platform 4, of course. There was rumour afoot this previous year or two that with the Royal Mail no longer using the ex- Platforms 1 and 2 for its business and the simultaneous growth in passenger traffic, thought was being given to bringing the moribund brace back into use. The obvious stumbling block - what to number them?
Northolt Junction East. Gerald
Some nice recollections and anecdotes of Northolt Junction East signal box by Richard Clarke in the February issue. For the avoidance of confusion, please may I point out that the two references to Pinner near the end of the article should be to Northolt, meaning the present Central Line station of that name. This was also (very near) the location of a former small 'Northolt Halt' on the GW main line long before the Central Line was even dreamed of. Unfortunately this is in itself historically confusing, as the station at Northolt Junction was originally itself named Northolt Junction (logically enough!); 'South Ruislip and' was added in 1932 and it became just South Ruislip in 1947 in anticipation of the arrival there of the Central Line. Pinner, however, is several miles away and not on any of the lines that pass Northolt Junction.
Another small point is that the next signal box (only open very part-time) up the line towards Marylebone would have been at the station known as Sudbury Hill, Harrow, not at Sudbury &Harrow Road. The latter was one station further up and was reduced to plain line at an earlier stage. Blind Lane was a short distance further, where the four-track layout through the station then known as Wembley Hill started.
In 1973, which is the article's dateline, the Paddington-Birmingham express service via High Wycombe was reduced to just one up morning and one down evening train. All the others ran via Oxford. The High Wycombe line still had its DMU connections to and from Banbury (which came to be operated as extensions of Marylebone locals), but it all seems such a long way removed from the Marylebone-Birmingham services which started in the 1990s.
Memories from a Midland Main Line outing .
Stephen G. Abbott
Peter Butler must have caught Nottingham station at a quiet moment to have formed the view (January issue) that it is too large for its traffic. For over twenty years it has been under pressure. The utilitarian Platform 6 (now 7) on the former up goods line, originally provided to segregate football special trains and with no facilities except for a small waiting room, has had to be brought into daily use. During remodelling and resignalling in 2013 the east end of Platform 4 was built out to the adjacent through line, to create a short through Platform 4 and a lengthy bay Platform 5. Passive provision was made for a future Platform 8. As Mr. Butler rightly comments, this inconveniences passengers but has allowed more trains to be handled. At times two, and sometimes three, short trains have to share one platform. One train per hour, from Skegness, uses east-facing bay Platform 2. Otherwise, the west-facing bay plus iive through platforms have to accommodate six through and seven terminating/starting trains per hour - with two more planned from December 2021. Constraints are the long dwell times of Norwich-Liverpool trains to attach/ detach the strengthening units used west of Nottingham, and the occupation of platforms for 20- 35 minute turn-rounds by the twice-hourly London trains.
Complaints about engine whistles. John
The assortment of sounds emanating from the railway in varying aspects has annoyed the populace over the years as given note in this article. As a young lad In my native Angus I would read in the Dundee Courier & Advertiser the oft repeated complaints from the house owners of Perth Road in Dundee being neighbours in that sense to the West locomotive sheds and whistles along with sundry other 'noises' resounding thereby distinctly annoying. Tay Bridge sheds, although that bit further, away would join in, so to speak, depending on the direction of wind.
This was still to the fore on beginning my railway employ in early 1953 with the then district railway boss, B.R. Temple by name, batting away these criticisms on the letters to the editor page of the aforementioned newspaper. It would appear, incongruously, that his first two initials, B.R. (as in the other meaning), added to the ire of the complainers. In the mid-70s, on the advent of H5Ts, a lady living in the vicinity of Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh gave vent to her wrath on the 'whining' sound of the 'engines' helpfully, as she saw it to whomsoever in authority she wrote, by giving the number "It is InterCity 125."
Jammed whistles have me recollect reading that recording of the celebrated 1936 GPO film Night Mail in the moorlands of Shap or thereabouts had requested the locomotive to sound its whistle as it passed on its way. This it assuredly did, but the whistle jammed, and the eldritch sound carried on over the Cumberland fells far into the night!
The signals on p78 have been identiiied as at Long Eaton, Midland Railway. Ed. 222
A fine day in the Fells. Rodney Lissenden. Rear cover
Class 56 in EWS red livery hauls 13.15 Carlisle to Crewe permanent way train through Lune Valley near Lowgill on 9 September 2003.