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 further Act of Parliament 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 Part 2 with letters relating to limks.
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
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). See also letter from John Bushby
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 letters from John Macnab and David Rollins (from Australia): the latter about the pitch of the whistle on No. 4472 Flying Scotsman.
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 Martin Sutcliffe on page 222, and from John Bushby on page 277.
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);. See also letter from Mark Doran
Stephen Roberts. Northamptonshire's railways.
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). Several letters on pp. 277-8: Neil Woodland (mainnly on frontier with Oxfordshire and limited potential for reopening stations; Stephen G. Abbott (mainly on station closure dates and the Soke of Peterborough which was sometimes considered to be in Northamptonshire); David Daines (errors relating to Grand Junction Canal) and Anthony Hinxman (from Oregon on omission of Great Central services to Cardiff and Bournemouth from Newcastle and York) and from Robin Leleux. on page 333,
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); Carlin How engine shed from east in 1935 (W.A. Camwell); Carlin How engine shed on 25 September 1949 with two lorries CFD 360 and DYK 963 and old NER mineral wagons; BTP Class 0-4-4T sandwiched between two Autocar (push & pull) coaches at Hinderwell with seervice for Whitby c1905, See also latters from Chris Nettleton, Mike Godfrey and Doug Rushton on page 277.
'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
Part 1. 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 just 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). Letters received concerning subject from Mike Stone and from Stewart Clark and from Stephen Eaves.
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). Letter from Author cn caption which misplaces an accident at Chartham to Chatham; and another from C.A. Allenby on Hutchison's inspection of first Tay Bridge.
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). Letter from David Daines notes that Furness Railway used white ensign on its steamers and this was illegal
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: collonpublishing&gmail.com [advertisement]
Killin time in Glen Dochart. George Watson. rear
BR 2-6-4T No. 80029 at Killin Junction on 29 August 1965. See also letter from Sandy Smeaton.
|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). See also letters from Tim Edmonds and from Neil Knowlden.
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 see letter from Trevor Warner on white elephants: the M45 and the bridge over it to accomodate the Great Central Line south of Rugby; 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.
|Great Eastern Railway J69 0-6-0T
No.68619 gleams in the old company's
blue livery as station pilot at Liverpool
Street on 23rd May 1961.
(Trevor Owen/Colour-Rail.com 393953)
|May (Number 361)
Leaving it to someone else. Michael Blakemoor. 227
Editorial on photographic collections of deceased photographers.
'On the difficult stretch from the Tyne to the Border' and onwards . Gavin
Colour photo-feature: J39 No. 64917 with single coach train for Eyemouth at Burnmouth with evening Edinburgh to Berwick stopper from which mailbags are being unloaded on 15 July 1961; Type 40 No. D261 in black livery? on Saturday extrs (leading two vehicles Gresley corridor stock with compartment doors) passing site of Cockburnspath station on 15 July 1961; Type 40 No.40 040 in blue livery on up Freightliner train near Marshall Meadows with calm North Sea behind on 28 June 1975; dark livery Type 40 No. 40 042 on return Scarborough to Glasgow express formed of ten Mk1 corridor coaches in blue & grey livery near Scremeerston with vista across to Lindisfarne on 10 June 1978; Type 47 No. 47 462 on 11.55 King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley formed of Mark 2 stock near Burnmouth with gorse in flower on cliffs on 2 June 1978; Northbound HST in blue & grey livery with power cars in InterCity livery on Penmanshiel deviation on 16 September 1987 (former tunnnel entrance in foreground; Deltic No. 55 007 Pinza emerging from Calton Tunnel into Edinburgh Waverley with shuttle service from Dunbar due to tunnel collapse on 5 August 1979; Cross-Country Class 221 Voyager crossing Royal Border Bridge going south on 4 March 2015 and GNER No. 91 132 City of Durham heading north approaching Berwick on 9 August 2007 in evening sun.
Gordon Biddle, The Preston & Longridge Railway including the
Whittingham Hospital Railway. 232-3.
The Preston & Longridge Railway was authorised on 4 July 1836 and opened on 4 May 1840. It was horse-worked and transported stone from Tootle Height to build Preston and shipped by sea to build docks in Liverpool. The terminus was at Deepdale in Preston, but eventually a junction was established with the Lancaster & Carlisle at Deepdale Junction. There was a link to a Courtaulds factory beyond Ribbleton, but nothing is stated about that except that it closed in 1980. More is stated about the Whittingham Hospital Railway which was opened in 1888 by Lancashire County Council and was a psychiatric hospital. It closed in 1957. Two former LBSCR D1 0-4-2Ts, another was a Barclay 0-4-0ST and finally a Sentinel worked the traffic. Slightly more precise information. Cites three works but not Flann's The Preston & Longridge Railway including the Whittingham Hospital Railway Backtrack, 2011, 25, 676-81. Illustrations: Longridge station alongside Tonneley Arrms Hotel; map; Grimsargh station in May 1954; 0-4-2T James Fryars (ex-LBSCR No. 357 on Whittingham train at Grimsargh station in June 1952; Whittingham Hospital station in April 1957 (N. Jones)
Brian Travers. Steam railmotors and push-pull auto trains
in the Wrexham district. Part one. GWR steam railmotors, 1904-1933.
This is a well researched judging by the citations, both to the railcars and to the railway lines. The Author states at the beginning that the Denbighshire Coalfield around Wrexham and Ruabon became on of the cradles of the Industrail Revolution and a dense network of branches were developed between 1847 and 1901. The Great Western was the largest, but the LNWR was an early player through its ownership of the Shropshire Union Canal and the Great Central got there through its acquisition of the Wrexham, Mold & Connahs Quay Railway, Many of the railways were purely mineral lines and the mines and ironworks had their own railways, come of which were narrow gauge. In 1874 a horse-worked passenger street tramway opened in Wrexham and served Johnstown: this was electrified and extended in 1903 and created competition for the railways. The Great Western began bus services using Milnes-Daimler petrol-electric vehicles and by 1914 there were several private bus operators. Tables list railmotors based at Croes Newydd.and GWR railmotors based on typr whether suburban or rurall. Illustrations: GWR railmotor No. 9 at Cynwyd on Dee Valley service in July 1904; map of branches north west of Wrexham in 1904-1930 period; map of branches south west of Wrexham in 1904-1930 period;; Brymbo Middle Crossing or Vron Junction with corrugated iron smelting mill; GWR railmotor No. 9 painted crimson at Croes Newydd shed; Plas Power station; GWR railmotor No. 5 in chocolate & cream livery at Stroud in May 1904 with Brymbo iron & steel works above and behind; Brymbo West Crosing Halt looking towards Minera; GCR railmotor at Neston and Parkgate station.
Jim McBride. Strabane a lost railway centre: killed by Partition
and religion. Part one. 240-4
The Londonderry & Enniskillen Railway opened to Strabane from Derry in April 1847, reached Omagh in 1852 and Enniskillen in 1859 and Dublin and Belfast via other companies by 1861. In September 1863 the Finn Valley Railway linked Strabane to Stranolar. The Irish North Western Railway took over the Londonderry & Enniskillen Railway in 1862 and it became part of the Great Northern Railway Ireland in 1876. In 1882 the West Donegal Railway built a 3-ft gauge southwards from Stranolar to Ballyshannon and Killybegs. The Finn Valley Railway was absorbed by the West Donegal Raileway and converted it to 3-ft gauage. In 1905 the Strabane & Letterkenny railway was formed and built to te 3-ft gauge, but prior to that had built its own railway from Strabane to Derry Foyle Road. In 1903 the Midland Railway had acquired the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway and in 1906 it offered to purchase the Donegal Raileway Company which alarmed the GNRI and it was agreed to make a joint purchase leading to the County Donegal Raiway Joint Committee. The line between Victoria Road and Strabane was worked by the Midland Railway. During WW2 consideration was give to converting this to 5-ft 3-in gauge to avoid Border crossings. The Will Hay customs arrangements imposed upon the Border Crossings created by the Stormont government and the bulk of Ireland damaged railway viability and this was furthered by the Ulster Transport Authority pro-bus policy which has left Enniskillen and Strabane without railway access. Illustrations: Strabane station sign in 2020 at the Transport Museum at Cultra; map of railways between Londonderry/Derry Foyle Road and Victoria Road and Strabane; PP class GNRI 4-4-0 No. 71 from Londonderry to Omagh on 7 June 1956; south end of Strabane station on 1 May 1958; GNRI railcar set No. 606 on 14.10 Belfast Victoria Street to Londonderry Victoria Road at Strabane with CDR railcar No. 18 beyond at Strabane on 7 June 1956; PP class No. 43 in goods yard with Guinness grain van behind; south end of Strabane station with CDR 2-6-4T No. 6 Columbkille in goods yard; two ex-GNRI coaches in UTA green; two CDR coaches of which No. 58 which was former NCC narrow gauge vehicle built in Belfast in 1928 and in misty distance two UTA buses, one of which is a double decker (John Langford: colour)
Eric Stuart. Orbiting London: the renaissance of some old London rail
services ; a 21st century surprise? 245-51
During the nineteenth century the northern companies sought to establish links with the railways south of the Thames mainly to serve coal depots and the transfer of freight avoiding congestion on central London's streets. The North London Railway began as a route to link the London & North Western with the City and the docks. It created its City terminus at Broad Street from which it ran to Willesden Junction and to Poplar and from the former to Richmond. The West London Railway linked the LNWR with the LSWR and LBSCR at Clapham Junction. The East London Railway used Brunel's Thames Tunnel to link the Great Eastern with the SECR and LBSCR. The Tottenham & Hampstead gave the Midland Railway access to the Great Eastern and Tilbury lines. Obviously the Metropolitan Railway and District Railway increased the potential foor further orbtal services. These tended to be reduced in importance with emergence of the Tube network. Transport fo r vLondon has introduced London Overground which has sought to integrate services and reduce journeys via the overloaded central area. Illustrations: North London Railway 4-4-0T No. 7 on High Barnet train near Crouch End; high vol;tage overhead electric LBSCR train at Wandnsworth Road; Moorgate station (bombed open air Metropolitan Line station with Fowler Class 3 2-6-2T No. 40024, Metropolitan Line T stock in brown livery and F stock in red livery in 1959 (colour); Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T No. 41292 at Kensington Olympia with train for Clapham Junction on 3 August 1960 (John Spencer Gilks); District Line Q stock at New Cross Gate (Brian Hardy: colour); District Line H stock at Shoreditch on East London Line; Shoreditch green lozenge station sign from Shoreditch in preservation; Turnham Green sta6tion in 21st century; London Overground train at Crystal Palace; Class 172 DMU in London Overground livery at Gospel Oak on service to Barking; Wapping station on East London Line showing mural of entrance to Thames Tunnel with freight train entering and F stock exiting.
East Enders. 252-5.
Colour photo-feature: J69 No. E8619 lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS in apple green on RCTS railtour at North Woolwich on 14 April 1951 (Trevor Owen); N7 No. 69614 with special embellished finish for West Side station pilot at Liverpool Street Station with Britannia No. 70039 Sir Christopher Wren on The Norfolkman behind on 14 March 1959 (Trevor Owen); N7 0-6-2T No. 69692 at Saffron Walden on Audley End to Bartlow train in 1954; J69 No. 68619 in GER blue livery and polished metalwork with N7 No. 69708 also with polished metalwork within gloom of Liverpool Street in company with two Brush Type 2 A1A+A1A diesels (later Type 31) in August 1960;; N7 No. 69668 at Seven Sisters with a Quint-Art articulated set in brown livery at Seven Sisters iin 1960 (Marcus Evis); F5 class 2-4-2T No. 67200 with no red on its buffer beam with crimson push & pull set for Ongar and Central Line scarlet unit which states Loughton as its destination (Julian Thompson); N7 No. 69640 with four Gresley compartment coaches emerging from Silvertown Tunnel on way to North Woolwich with ship in Royal Albert Dock, Dr Who pollice box,, red telephone box and Regent petrol sign on 14 October 1961; N7 No. 69692 with four dark coloured coaches approaching North Woolwich on 24 June 1961 passing red London Transport Routemaster bus; and N7 No. 69646 at Palace Gates Wood Green (locomotive in very stained state from primiing?) in June 1962 (J.B. Snell)
Ruary Mackenzie Dodds. From Reivers to railways
the forgotten Dodds Dynasty. 256-61
Thomas Dodds, the Viewer at Felling Colliery was killed in a major gas explosion at the neighbouring Hebburn Colliery leaving Ann Weatherburn Dodds a widow and her four chidren: El eanor, Thomas Weatherburn, Isaac and Ralph. The Dodds were reivers from the Upper Tyne Valley who moved to the industrial area around the mouth of the Tyne at the start of the Industrial Revolution. They made contact with the Stephensons who emerged from a similar background and thus came to be associated with early railways and early steam locomotivrs and have perhaps tended to be under represented in histories of them. The Dodds-Stephenson patent of 28 February 1815 is frequently cited as Stephenson's, but Nicholas Wood claims that it was Ralph Dodds' idea and that he provided the finance for the patenting process. George Dodds eldest son, Robert Dodds, although only ten years old was probably present during the construction of Blucher at Killingworth. In 1827 George Dodds became the Superintendent of the Monklannd & Kirkintilloch Railway and designed two locomotives for it based on those at Killingworth. He also designed the first metal piston rings. Robert Dodds was appointed Resident Engineer at the Ballochney Railway and in 1828 ran the first railway passenger coach in Scotland. In 1834 George helped his middle son William to build the third Monklannd & Kirkintilloch engine in its own works at Greenside and this was the first company built locomotive in Scotland. George Gibson Dodds who was foreman at the Monkland Locomotive Works took Victoria across to Lock 16 (between Camelon and Falkirk) on the Forth & Clyde Canal to see how it would haul barges when running on rails on the canal bank: carrying 90 passengers it reached almost 20 mile/h. In 1840 George Gibson Dodds became Superintendent of the Slamannan Railway and of the amalgamated Monkland lines in 1847. Makes extensive use of illustrations from Snell's Railway pioneers 1921. Illustrations: Ralph Dodds, Chief Viewer at Grand Allies Collieries Killingworth (portrait); Dodds-Stephenson patent 1815 (stated from Ahrons British steam locomotive); George Dodds locomotive No. 1 Monkland & Kirkintilloch Railway; Cal railways of Central Scotland and the canals 1840 (Wikipedia); Isaac Dodds, Locomotive Engineer (portrait), Dodds & Son Rotherham Works; Dodds & Son steam yacht Gazelle 1860; Dodds & Son saddle tannk 1865 (0-6-0ST); Dodds & Son LBSCR express locomotive Norwood 1866 (2-2-2); Thomas Weatherburn Dodds, Locomotive Engineer (portrait)
John Spencer Gilks. The 'little' North Western line. 262-3
Black & white photo-feature: Fowler Class 3 2-6-2T No. 40041 with a Leeds to Carnforth at Wennington train due out at 12.48, in eastbound platform carriages from Carnforth waiting to be attached to train from Morecambe on 30 May 1960; later same day class 5 4-6-0 No. 44826 at Wennington with train from Morecambe about to attach through coaches from Carnform to form 18.58 to Leeds City; 4F 0-6-0 No. 44003 passing Gargrave station with its low platforms & movable steps to assist passengers to join or leave trains; on 24 April 1965; Type 45 with a short train from Leeds to Morecambe entering Halton station on 22 April 1965; Class 5 No. 44908 leaves Long Preston station with a Morecambe to Leeds local on 24 April 1965. Most stations had LMS bulls eye signs.
David Joy. Railways of Bradford 264-71.
Originally written for Railway & Canal Historical Society's 2020 Annual Meeting in Bradford which was a Covid 19 caualty. Does not mention Northern Powerhouse Bradford Central Station with fast links to Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool and into HS2 which is needed to boost post pandemic activity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, nor does it mention the City's remarkable trolleybus network with its electricity regeneration. Illustrations: facade of Bradford Market Street pre-1890; map of railways in Bradford area showing ownership (Midland, Great Northern, L&Y); Midland Hotel; Johnson 1562 class 4-4-0 No. 1579 next turntable with clerestory bogie van behind; interior of Market Street station with its six platforms and long trains of suburban stoch hauled by 0-4-4Ts and crowds coming off train and well-stocked bookstall;; 4P compound No. 41112 on evening Residential to Morecambe in Bradford Forster Square on 26 April 1957 (T.E. Rounthwaite); Saltaire station with Titus Salt's Palace of Industry in background; Bradford Adolphus Street goods depot in July 1963 (John Marshall); High Flyer L&YR 4-4-2 No. 1407 in Bradford Exchange on 24 June 1905 (J.H. Wright); Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42116 arriving at Bradford Exchange with through coaches from King's Cross on 22 April 1967 (T.J. Edgington); DMU service to Leeds in Bradford Exchange on 6 September 1964; Laisterdyke station probably in 1931; Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42116 on through coaches from King's Cross passing Dudley Hill station on 30 October 1966 (Gavin Morrison: colour); No. 42196 passing new New Pudsey station on 18 March 1967 with through coaches from King's Cross (Gavin Morrison: colour); Pudsey Greenside station; Class 180 No. 180 105 beginning its journey from Bradford Interchange to King's Cross in Grand Central livery on 28 January 2012 (Gavin Morrison: colour).
John Chapman. Operation Dynamo. 272-4.
The transport of the evacuated from Dunkirk was an amazingly successful operation tackled by the Southern Railway with the assistance from the other man line companies with rolling stock for onward journeys. Trains had to reverse at Redhill and sometimes at Woking and at the former this was ofen achieved at great speed. The troops needed to be fed and volunteers provided assistance. One of the soldiers who had been detailed to surround Dunkirk and was captured by the Germans relates that the guards were brutal and food was in very short supply for prisoners of war. 97 members of the Norfolk Regiment were executed by the SS, He was in a camp liberated by the Red Army and returned to Britain from Odessa on a Soviet luxury liner and treated like cruise passengers. Illustrations: troops evacuated from Dunkirk queue for their train hauled by N class 2-6-0 at Dover Marine on 4 June 1940; exhaausted French soldiers rest on quayside at Dover taking opportunity to write home; Paddle Steamer Whittingham in normal service (caption mentions extraordinary service at Dunkirk); French civilian being assisted by Southern Railway staff at Margate station; TSS Maid of Orleans (caption mentions her War service which ended by being torpedoed during Normandy landings.
Stockport by starlight. David Rodgers. 275
Colour photo-feature: Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42116 takes water in the carriage sidings outside Stockport Edgeley on 5 November 1966 priior to working the 19.35 to Bradford Exchange and on 17 March 1968 Britannia No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell having worked a special to Carnforth was having its fire dropped in te evening.
Brian Chandler. Crane solutions at Derby Works. 276' illustration
In 1973 Derby Locomotive Works was under great pressure to improve the throughput of servicing diesel locomotives and the Works Engineer, Albert Summers, and his assistant Chief Electrical Engineer, Vernon Rose, recognized that cranage was a key problem as the old overhead locomotive cranes required several staff to ensure that accidents did not happen. With the assistance of Loughborough-based crane manufacturer, Herbert Morris, radio controlled cranes provided the solution. A similar problem xisted in the Carriage Works, but the loads were lighter but equally hazardous.. The Works Engineer, John Cullen, followed the same path to Herbert Morris and to a similar solution of radio control designed by Telemotive Ltd
Readers' Forum. 277-8
The LNWR/ LYR amalgamation 1921. John
Re article in February Issue, some additional points: firstly, in 1875, a successful legal case was brought against the LNWR by the newly formed Locomotive Manufacturers' Association to prevent that Company continuing to build new locomotives for the L&YR. This was an important judgement that had implications beyond those two companies. Henceforth, British railway companies could only build new locomotives for their own use. More immediately, it was also indicative of just how close the relationship was between the two railways continued to be right up to the grouping period. The 1875 verdict in favour of the private, non-railway works, locomotive builders stood with one exception up to 1948, namely the LMS later British Railways! NCC later UTA Derby-built 2-6-4Ts of the late 1940s. Even then this came about through political circumstances, namely railway nationalisation and the separation of the LMS's Northern Irish assets after the order had been placed, rather than deliberate intent. (Atkins, The golden age of steam locomotive building).
Secondly, in respect of the 1922 amalgamation, it would be naive not to think that, tacitly at least, the LNWR directors would not have seen the attraction of an amalgamation with the L&YR, whilst retaining their own company's name, as a useful means of strengthening their position for whatever lay ahead given the all the uncertainty and ideas for reorganising the railways then circulating. Preliminary moves and regroupings of this kind were, and are, far from unknown in the corporate world. From the L&YR standpoint, did its Board see amalgamation with the LNWR, as its best, or least worse option? Volume 3 of Marshall's Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway implied this was the case, but otherwise has surprisingly little to say on the matter. In his London & North Western Railwway, Reed confirmed that the basis for the proposed amalgamation was concluded on 25th March 1921 ie well before the final form of the 1921 Railways Bill became known. The official press notice issued 26 March 1921 in the name of the LNWR's Secretary.J. Bishop was perhaps less than tactful in that it referred to the planned 'acquisition' of the L&YR by the LNWR rather than an 'amalgamation'. O.S Nock in his history of the L&YR noted that it was well understood that the impending railways reorganisation would be enforced by legislation. Consequently, he stated, the merger was a logical anticipation welcomed as such by business interests for being, again in his words, a voluntary process through natural selection and commercial suitability. Whilst Arthur Watson was General Manager for both companies at that time, there was no overlap in terms of their respective board's (Railway Year Book 1921). That said, research into the two sets of directors' professional interests and personal relations might help to further an understanding of the decision making process on both sides.
Illegal closures. Mike
A section of route almost always overlooked when discussing these is Aston to Stechford, which having enjoyed a limited service of one morning train in either direction at least as far back as the first LMS timetable in 1923 and by 1938 reduced to a southbound service only. After a brief increase to two up morning and a down evening service in 1987, with a second northbound service being added the following year, it reverted to a single southbound service in 1989, which was then withdrawn without replacement in 1990.
Thereafter the only passenger services were random engineering diversions until the introduction of the Wrexham, Shropshire and Maylebone service I am not sure if this was ever declared an experimental service. When this was withdrawn in January 2011 a CrossCountry service was re-routed to arrive at New St via Aston from the following May it's not clear, at least to me, whether this was merely for route retention or to cover a belated realisation of the illegality of the 1990 closure. Whichever was the case it did not really provide a replacement for the original service or the WSMR service. I also have my doubts regarding the Darlaston Junction-Bescot Junction section of line which retained a train service after withdrawal of the Wolverhampton-Burton train service and closure of Willenhall and Darlaston stations and as far as I recall was not mentioned in the closure notice for that route. Although currently served by several trains it has had periods with no service and none has ever provided a direct service between Bescot Stadium and Wolverhampton.
Illegal closures. Stewart
Re the politics of the development of local train services between South Wales and England which is somewhat complicated, but once established 'Wales and Borders' developed longer-distance through trains to the West Country from Manchester (via the Marches), also West Wales to London Waterloo via Salisbury.
Even before the end of the franchise, the Strategic Railway Authority had decreed that the timetable should be altered to limit the service to within the general franchise operating area. This is confirmed by the new franchise holder' Arriva' within a public Notice, headed 'Summer 2004' on display at Pyle station, for operations from 23 May 2004. From memory the period of Notice was short.
Interest now turns to the 20.16 ex-Pembroke Dock, calling from memory at Pyle, not long before midnight, then heading to London Waterloo, not via Salisbury, but up the Great Western main line, diverting presumably via Acton Wells and the 'Sheepcote Lane curve' to Waterloo. Quoting 'The Railways Act 1993' the Strategic Railway Authority informed the travelling public, again including Notice seen at Pyle station, of the intention to close the Sheepcote Lane curve (linking the West London and Windsor lines just inward from Clapham Junction) on or after 1 October 2004, comments by 1 June that year. Maybe I should have complained that the Notice was not also in Welsh, presumably then requiring a restart .. A Notice then appeared at Waterloo, dated Tuesday 25 May to 7 December 2004, timetabling an early morning bus service (Tuesdays only from Kensington Olympia to Waterloo and return), where to board and how to contact 'Silverlink' the operator.
I came to use the trains quite often to visit my ageing mother in South Wales. Both Waterloo and Pyle were nearer 'home: and while a change from GW at Bridgend made for a quicker journey, in the up direction the wait was 52 minutes, making the tortoise as fast as the hare. All seats had to be reserved, wildly ignored eastwards from Bath by the afternoon train. By chance I returned to London on 22 May 2004, but was turned off the train at Cardiff, the unit seeming required in connection with a rugby match. The through fare remained for a time at least at around £17.00 advance tickets only return. However, as the Welsh train arrived at Platform 1 or 2 at Temple Meads on time, the new 'South Western' replacement departing Platform 13 for Waterloo in the same time slot as before, a transfer was not possible I suspect even for a trained athlete.
Saltburn locomotive shed Chris
Re caption accompanying photograph at top of page 133:. building in the left distance is not the Zetland Hotel, but at the time of the photograph was a convalescent home for members of the Working Men's Club and Institute Union. Built in 1872, it originally served in a similar capacity for workers of Messrs. Pease and company, of Stockton & Darlington Railway fame. The building is now a guest house and unfortunately has lost the attractive addition to the top of the clock tower, as seen in the photograph.
The large and impressive Zetland Hotel was opened in 1863 and was another creation of the Stockton &Darlington Railway who, with the Pease family, had been responsible for bringing the railway to Saltburn. Sited at the end of the terminus railway station, a novel feature was the continuation of the line and platform to the rear of the hotel for loading/unloading goods, laundry ete. Closing as an hotel in 1983, it has been converted into apartments and is simply known today as 'The Zetland'. The building is Grade II listed.
Saltburn locomotive shed, Mike
Re authors' question on why the J27 was transferred away from Saltburn in 1954. Lumpsey, a local mine not far from the shed, did close that year but it was an ironstone mine so would not appear on coal mining maps. Whether this is coincidence or not is open to suggestion. The original engine shed at Redcar was actually in Coatham then a separate community. The villagers were so anxious to preserve their identity that a boundary fence was erected between them and Redcar! Coatham was a fishing community and the Middlesbrough & Redcar Railway cut straight across their common, cutting them off from the sea and their livelihoods. After many protestations the railway agreed to provide a few crossing places but I am sure that the good villagers trespassed on the railway whenever they felt like it.
The article then moves on to Carlin How and mentioned the closure of liverton mine. This quickly reopened and an agreement was made with the NER to mine under the Kilton Viaduct next to the mine. To stabilise the viaduct it was covered in shale from the mine over a period of years. The railway tracks down the famous zig-zag railway track in to Skinningrove had to be realigned because one leg used to go under the viaduct. The viaduct, encased in its embankment, still exists and still carries trains to Boulby Mine. There is a footpath for locals across the viaduct alongside the railway but this is a very exposed and windy location.
As an aside I would also point out that the majority of the ironstone mined in the Cleveland area came from drift mines which were in operation for decades. Each was connected to the national rail network sometimes directly sometimes by an intricate network of cable-hauled narrow gauge industrial lines both on the surface and under it. Though these have long gone the routes taken can mostly still be followed on foot.
Saltburn locomotive shed, Doug
Re two lorries on p139: the vehicle on left was registered in Dudley in 1937 and is, I believe, a 2-ton Guy, probably a Wolf. and appears to be undergoing some form of maintenance. The other truck, DYK 963, was registered in London, also in 1937, and appears to be a 2½-ton Morris-Commercial. Both are quite a long way from their original homes.
Northamptonshire's railways. Neil
Stephen Roberts's interesting article contained one or two minor errors concerning the border with Oxfordshire. After their opening in 1850, both stations in Banbury, Bridge Street (GWR) and Merton Street (LNWR), were in Northants and remained so until 1894 when a minor boundary change transferred the parish of Grimsbury (the urban area east of the River Cherwell) to Oxon. Conversely, although Chalcombe has always been in Northants, its station (to the north of the village) was just over the border in Oxon!
Despite the recent reopening of Corby, the present network does not provide for rail travel within the county, with some very limited exceptions. Public transport users have to depend on buses which are slow and subject to congestion. United Counties (the NBC provider) developed a network of inter-urban services in the 1980s known as Coachlinks, but these have largely been withdrawn in recent years.
There are limited possibilities for development - Roade on the WCML was included in Network South East's reopening aspirations over 30 years ago: with recent residential development in the area, this might be worth reconsidering. A Rushden Parkway station has been proposed to serve Rushden and Higham Ferrers. More speculatively, a Parkway station sited where HS2 will cross the A43 would be a possible railhead for both Brackley and Towcester and would help to overcome the vocal anti-HS2 groups who claim (with some justification) that the new railway will bring no benefits to the county.
But even with these additions rail is unlikely to play a major role in public transport usage within the county. (KPJ: lack of Northampton to Peterborough train service except via London is not in line with reduction in global warming ambitions); .
Northamptonshire's railways. Stephen G.
Stephen Roberts covered the complex story of Northamptonshire's railways in an interesting readable article (March issue). A few comments follow for the historical record.
Market Harborough line: Pitsford & Brampton station did not survive until the end, it closed in 1950. I am not aware of a summer Saturday train from Northampton to Skegness via Market Harborough, at least not in the heyday of such trains. It would have had to be routed via a double reversal at Sneinton Junction, Nottingham, to cross from the ex-Midland to the ex- Great Northern lines a move sometimes made by excursion trains, or a reversal at Peterborough.
Northampton Loop: Althorp Park closed in 1960 not 1964, Church Brampton in 1931 and Kilsby & Crick in 1960.
Peterborough line: Billing closed in 1952. Stations east of Oundle were in what is now Cambridgeshire, but when open and before modern boundary changes Wansford station was in Huntingdonshire. Castor (closed 1957), Orton Waterville (closed 1942) and stations on other lines in the Peterborough area were in the Soke of Peterborough, usually considered part of Northamptonshire.
Midland main line: Glendon & Rushton closed in 1960 and Burton Latimer in 1950. Electrification has at last reached the Northamptonshire section, wires being energised last year between Bedford, Kettering and Corby with electric services due to start in May 2021.
Northamptonshire's railways. David
Re Grand Junction Canal errors: first concerns the 'railway' over Blisworth Hill. This was in fact a plateway, that is, it consisted of flat plates with a right angle flange on which waggons whose wheels had no flanges were drawn by horses. This was built not to assist in the construction of the tunnel, but to convey goods between the completed canal from the south at Stoke Bruerne and from the north at Blisworth whilst the tunnel was driven on a new alignment, the original having catastrophically failed, causing delays in the opening of the complete canal line. The second point relates to the crossing of the GJ Canal by the L&B railway The railway first crosses the canal in Northamptonshire just north of Blisworth, far south of Stowe Hill Tunnel, and remains on the west side of the canal, through Weedon, through the 'Watford Gap' and until some way up Buckby Lock flight, a long way north of Weedon. There is no crossing near Stowe Hill Tunnel or Weedon. After Buckby, railway and canal part company and do not cross again.
Northamptonshire's railways. Anthony Hinxman
(from Portland in Oregon).
Stephen Roberts omits the significance of the GC Culworth Junction to Banbury Junction line as the route for north east to south west trains such as York to Cardiff and Newcastle to Bournemouth. To refer to a Rugby to Stamford line is misleading. At Seaton in Rutland there were two branches off the LNWR Market Harborough to Peterborough line. One was to Uppingham and the other to Luffenham. Trains on the Luffenham branch continued to Stamford on Midland Railway metals. ,
An Inspector calls but at Chartham, not
Chatham. Jeffrey Wells
Your readers are correct in drawing attention to the confusion between CHATHAM and CHARTHAM, the latter being the actual location of an accident which led to the deaths of several hop-pickers. At least two newspapers, the Globe and the Bristol Times & Mirror verify that the actual location was CHARTHAM. Perhaps a northerner can be forgiven a northerner for confusing the two places, which have only one letter (r) to mark the difference. I think that CHATHAM is more well known than CHARTHAM.
An Inspector calls. C.A.
In Jeffrey Wells's short biography of Charles Scrope Hutchinson (1826-1912) in his (March 2021) he is correct in saying that Major-General Hutchinson's three-year term as the Board of Trade's Chief Inspecting Officer encompassed the years 1892 to 1895. However, contrary to what is stated, this period did not cover his successful inspection of the second Tay Bridge which took place, along with Colonel Rich, and was concluded on the 18 June 1887. Neither did it embrace the days between the 18 and 20 February 1890 when, together with two other Board of Trade inspecting Officers, following the most stringent tests, approval was given for the Forth Bridge to open. I am greatly surprised that no mention was made concerning Hutchinson's, some might say in hindsight, incomplete inspection of the ill-fated first Tay Bridge carried out between 25 and 27 February 1878, and led to approval for it to be opened, although the calm weather precluded Hutchinson from witnessing the effects of high wind on the bridge. Consequently, after the dramatic fall of the bridge in a gale on 28 December 1879, Hutchinson received considerable criticism. Fortunately for him, unlike the luckless Sir Thomas Bouch, the bridge's designer, Hutchinson was absolved of all blame by the Board of Trade, chiefly because his report contained a suggestion that a 25mph speed limit be imposed for trains travelling on the bridge and also, more significantly, he included the sentence "When again visiting the spot (which unfortunately he was unable to do) I should wish, if possible, to have an opportunity of observing the effects of a high wind when a train of carriages is running over the bridge". Finally, neither was Hutchinson in the post of Chief Inspecting Officer when he carried out the Inquiry into the Armagh accident in 1889.
Furness Railway Lake Steamers. David
The flags flying on the boats in the article on Furness Lake Steamers are not 'white ensigns', which would have been illegal, but are 'Defaced Union Flags'. Strangely, it is illegal to fly our national flag from any vessel not in Royal Navy service.
Book reviews. 278
The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway: the story
of a Welsh rural byway. Peter Johnson. Pen and Sword Transport,
hardback, 232pp. Reviewed by DWM *****
Following in the tracks of earlier books on the Vale of Rheidol and the Corris Railways, this author and publisher are making quite a name for themselves in recording the history of the narrow gauge in Wales. And quite deservedly so, this a fine book and it fills a space with this particular line often slipping 'under the radar' perhaps by virtue of its agricultural and pastoral setting rather than the mineral and mountainous nature of its counterparts further to the north and west.
The author has produced a splendid 'line history', researched in detail, comprehensive in scope and very well illustrated. The text covers all the 'usual suspects', proposals and counter- proposals, the building and operation of the line, high days and mishaps, Company days and closure and, particularly pertinent in this case, the days of the WLLR as a preserved/heritage line. It came as somewhat of a surprise to your reviewer to find that in 2017 the Railway passed a milestone as having run more years in preservation than under its three previous operators, the Cambrian, the Great Western and British Railways combined!
For those interested in the real minutiae of the WLLR the book sports no fewer than fourteen appendices covering items such as estimates for building the various proposed lines, revenue and personnel. A fine point, and one which this author seems to delight in, is the inclusion of the last resting places of some of the people involved with the railway - a poignant touch and one which makes the story all the more human.
The book is lavishly and pertinently illustrated. Whilst pictures do feature generally amongst the running text an interesting decision has been made to group related photographs together in distinct 'chapters'. Thus rolling stock of the company era and of preservation days, visiting locomotives and features along the line all make very coherent sections.
Three diverse 'pictorial' items took your reviewer's eye. The cover of the book is a little disappointing, hardly an outstanding example of the designer's craft. The picture of Lord (William) and Lady Hague came as a surprise but the map, produced in both front and back endpapers is a masterpiece, being brilliantly placed for reference as the text is read.
This is a first class book about a delightful railway. It comes highly recommended.
North Eastern Railway engine sheds Ed. by J.F.
Signalling centres in the North East: No.1 York. Richard Pulleyn. 136pp.
Both published by the North Eastern Railway Association and available from its Sales Officer, 31 Moreton Avenue, Stretford, Manchester M32 8BP.
The NERA is at the top of the league when it comes to producing well-informed and readable publications and these two, reviewed together, can be heartily recommended.
The first title is as might be imagined a descriptive tour, alphatically, of all the NER's depots from large installations such as York and Gateshead down to country outposts like Market Weighton and Pateley Bridge. All are accompanied by photographs and track plans. That in itself would be enough but the book is further enhanced by a chapter of notes on water, coaling, turning, sand drying ane maintenance arrangements. In addition a chapter looks at the very important issue of Pay and Conditions, the latter encompassing labour relations, welfare and education. Welfare is also touched upon; in 1870 the NER stated that in the event of an employee being injured "we try to keep him in our service, but if it is death we pay a certain sum of money ... to his relatives. We treat it as a case of charity; the man has no legal claim on us." Charity indeed ... The research and knowledge of this book's compilers have certainly done us a great service. The second book bears the sub- title 'From Early Days to Rail Operating Centre' and those many years take in a massive change in signalling at what grew to be one of the country's major railway focal points, with large dstation, loco sheds, carriage and wagon depots and marshalling yards. The situation became even more complicated after the opening of the new (ie present) station in 1877 and the Yotk area went on to have signal boxes almost too numerous to count! Amongst these was Locomotive Yard which had a total of no fewer than 295 levers, the largest mechanical signal box in the world. The fascinating story of York's signalling, still unfolding is expertly told, with photographs of signal boxes inside and out, even underneath in locking rooms, supported by an abundance of track layouts and signalling diagrams.
The Gresley Observer 'The Non-Stop'.
Eaglescliffe: The Gresley Society. 96pp. Reviewed by Michael Blakemoor.
Some train names carry 'romantic' connotations, others are redolent of destination or style; but the train service which ran non-stop between London King's Cross and Edinburgh was something else, not especially because of where it went but because it did so, literally, without stopping. The general background to the 'Non-Stop' probably needs no introduction to readers and it was, of course, a publicity venture by the LNER rather than an operational necessity. But it was certainly an operational challenge, not least in ensuring that the locomotives rostered to it were in tip-top condition for the 392-mile journey. It was the 'Flying Scotsman' service which ran the non-stop from its introduction in 1928; from 1949 a new service The Capitals Limited, later The Elizabethan, fulfilled this function.
This principally a pictorial record of the 'Non-Stop' with a host of locations throughout the route being shown, the two-a-page layout enabling them to be given good space. A lucky photographer had the good fortune to catch the north- and southbound trains passing at Escrick, though some of the finest shots are on the platforms at the two termini. There are some fine photographs of the Al Pacifics from the train's earlier years, though the A4 streamliners naturally predominate. We are, though, reminded that the W1 'Hush-Hush' 4-6-4 No.10000 worked the train and there are a few shots of the relatively few occasions when the rostered A4 failed en route and a substitute had to be summoned, typically a stand-by V2 2-6-2. This most special of trains attracted ceremonial occasions, so we have plenty of top-hatted Lord Mayors, station masters and railway high officials, while the inaugural 'Capitals' was sent on its way by the actress Anne Crawford and the children's radio personality 'Uncle Mac' made a recording from the footplate. There are some good colour photographs, complemented by a splendid 'cut-away' illustration of the sort well remembered from the Eagle comic. Interiors of the hairdressing saloon and the 1930s restaurant car serve to remind us how far we have slid since then.
An account of driving the 'Non-Stop' by the well-known King's Cross driver Bill Hoole completes this tribute to a remarkable piece of railway working and the Gresley Society is to be complimented on this very satisfying production.
Broad Street om a Sunday afternoon. Marcus Eavis.
Caption takes almost one third of back page, Date was 11 August 1968. Routemaster bus provides a dash of colour in an otherwise dreary scene, Betjeman called architecture: ombardic style, Date was British Railways' Steam Finale. Britannic House in background is a portent of what was to become Broadgate.
|Ex-Midland Railway 3F 0-6-0 No. 43585
on carriage shunting duty at
Hellifield station on 4th November 1961.
|June (Number 362)
Passing Water on Dillicar Troughs, 283
In lieu of an Editorial fine photograph taken on 10 May 1956 of Class 5 No. 45414 passing Coronation class No. 46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent on express from Euston: the latter clearly shows the failure of the smoke deflectors to deflect the smoke away from the cab and this may have been a contributory factor in the Harrow & Wealdstone Disaster
Steaming through Sussex. Gerald Daniels (notes by Michel S. Welch).
Colour photo-feature: H class 0-4-4T No. 31551 at Three Bridges with Maunsell push & pull set with service from East Grinstead in early 19960s; Grange Road station with 16.08 Three Bridges to East Grinstead service formed of former LB&SCR push & pull set in pink (BR red) livery hauled by M7 0-4-4T on 18 September 1960; Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T No. 41260 with Lancing Belle leaving Brighton for Lancing Works in May 1964; Rowfant station signal box and level crossing (station was built for local landowner Curtis Miranda Lampson); LBS&CR E4 class 0-6-2T No. 32503 with freight for Kemp Town just before entering tunnel on 17 March 1961; Hartfield station between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells with heavy London-bound train hauled by BR Class 4 2-6-4T No, 80140 in early 1960s; two C class 0-6-0 Nos. 31686 and 31722 on final journey to Ashford passing Kemp Town Junction on 28 April 1962.
Roger Jermy. James Fenwick Station Master.
North British Railway at Meldon on branch to Reedsmouth (Wansbeck Valley. James Fenwick was born at Greystead between Falstone and Bellingham in about 1848. He was employed as a guard on the North British Railway and by 1891 was station master at Meldon. Meldon was a very quiet location, but the post commanded a certain social position comparable with the rector and schoolmaster. James was a sidesman at the St. John the Baptist Church. Although the station was quiet Fenwick would have been expected to be in attendance with everything in order when guests, especiallly royaltty were in transit to Sir William Armstrong's mansion at Cragside. A more regular cause of excitement were the hounds based near the station for the Morpeth Hunt. In July 1891 sixty pupils from the local school were taken by train to Newbiggin-on-Sea to experience the magic of the coast . Fenwick must have been involved as he was when three local children went missing, but were recovered in one case at Angerton station, just as a train was arriving. All the children were reunited with their parents. Fenwick suffered an accident on 30 May 1900 when he fell into one of the coal drops at the station and broke his neck..Illustrations: station in about 1901 with signal cabin; map of Morpeth railway lines; Newbiggin-on-Sea beach in about 1900; headstone for James Fenwick and his wife Mary in Meldon churchyard; station converted to very des-res.
Geoffrey Skelsey. On a journey to nowhere: the origins
and effects of the Serpell Report, 290-6.
On 20 January 1983 the Serpell Report was published by HMSO and received a hostile reception from The Economist which KPJ had always assumed to be hostile to the future of railways. David Serpell had been a member of the British Railways Board and was asked by the Government to investigate the gradual decline of the railways in terms of passenger numbers and freight conveyed as well as the cost involved. Norman Fowler was in charge of Transport within the Govermnent. An impending General Election created a rushed result. Fowler instigated an Inquiry into the state of the railways, but was replaced by David Howell due to a Cabinet reshuffle. The members of his committee were up and coming candidates for Tory slease: as Skelsey states "it was startling to find that two members of the Committee were associatess of the consultancies commissioned (at a cost of several million pounds in present-day terms) to work on the Committee's behalf, a remarkable conflict of interest", At that time Sir Peter Parker was the BRB Chairman and Skelsey describes him as "a colourful, engaging man, a natural and memorable phrase-maker, with a keen sense of political realities and influence." Unlike the Beeching Report which condemned lines to closure the Serpell Report listed options for routes to close, one of which removed Plymouth from the railway map leaving Exeter as the railhead (KPJ has endured a coach journey from Exeter to Plymouth at the depth of the chaos created by the Hatfield derailment in a vehicle which most hippies would have redjected as unsafe and which could scarsely cope with Devon's hills and is thus unlikely to be sympathetic to bus replacement temporary or permanent). The aftermath of the Inquiry was that Peter Parker and Norman Fowler were the saviour of the railways. Illustrations (all colour taken by Author): DMUs reversing at Battersby on Whitby branch in 1977; Advanced Passenger Train at Derby Works in 1979 alongside 5 m.p.h. sign; electric locomotive hauled express at Coventry station; InterCity 125s High Speed Trains at Paddington in original livery; Commuters Charter; electric locomotives with train of steel coil passing Preston in October 1980; DMU at Berney Arms station; Thurso station forecourt; Windermere branch terminus with DMU (now a supermarket); Class 150 Sprinter units at Machynlleth in 1989; Thornaby station forecourt and Option C3 map minus Plymouth, Holyhead and Inverness.
Alistair F. Nisbet. Express electric railways.
With the exception of one reference to The Times this is based on newspaper reports in the provincial press and a major book on the subject is not cited. In the early years of the twentieth century there was an interest in high speed electric railways and their possible locomotives and in monorails, There was a proposal to build a railway from Harwich to Port Dinlleyn in North Wales with the aims of providing faster journeys to Dublin and shortening journey times from North America to Continental Europe. Links with other railways were proposed for Cambridge, Huntingdon (for Great Northern); Leicester (for Midland); Tamworth (for London & North Western) and Shrewsbury (for Great Western). It was to be four track and electric. There was also a plan for a Hull to Leicester high speed line. This is based on Dundee journals: the Courier & Argus 14 February 1901 and Evening Telegraph of 21 May 1901. Behr was promoting a Liverpool and Manchester high speed railway and this reached the Parliamentary stage in 1902, but then collapsed. McKean's Battle for the North may explain Dundee's exceptional interest in railways. The Dundee Courier & Argus featured an Edinburgh to Glasgow high speed line. Illustrations: Listowel & Ballybunnion steam-worked monorail; Deansgate looking towards Manchester Cathedral on 11 April 1960 with Manchester Corporation bus (Ben Brooksbank); Patriot 4-6-0 No. 45515 Caernarvon on 10.05 to Birmingham and Bournemouth in Liverpool Lime Street on 11 June 1959; Class 5 4-6-0 No. 45298 on 12.00 for Swansea and Class 4 2-6-4T No. 42468 on a local train; Zossen Bahnhof on former military railway; AEG Versuchstriebwagen (high speed three-phase electic railcar); Siemens Drehstromtriebwagen [KPJ wonders what Robin Barnes would have made if commissioned]
A.J. Mullay. South East by North British to
Kelso is a "mighty fine town" situated just inside Scotland at the confluence of the Rivers Teviot and Tweed. In 1806 proposals were made to link Kelso with Berwick by a railway or waggonway. On 31 May 1811 an Act was obtained and thi included a clause permitting passengers to be carried, but the project was formally abandoned in 1838. The North British commissioned a survey for a railway from St. Boswells to Kelso via Roxburgh where the Teviot would be crossed and a branch to Jedburgh could start. Work on this line almost ceased in 1849. Progress was hindered by the extortionate cost of the land owned by Sir George Douglas who gained £25,000 for it. The Kelso station also provided a more satisfactory location for trains from Tweedsmouth and this was rented to them with the North Britsh making an end on junction with the North Eastern at Mellendean Farm. The York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway was the first to reach the Kelso area with its branch from Tweedsmouth to Sprouston opened on 27 July 1849. In 1926 the Royal Highland Show was held in Kelso. Charles Stemp, the Scott ish Area's Superíntendent attempted to disuade the organizers to hold it there, but William Whitelaw, the Company Chairman ordered that improved fascilities shoud be provided in the form of a loading bay and extra sidings. A fur ther complication was that the Prince of Wales arrived at Berwick on an overnight train and required a special to convey him to Kelso. Little attempt was made to provide good connections between the two routes and there was only one express a connection off the overnight service from St. Pancras at St. Boswells. Charlesfield Halt was situated between St. Boswells and Beses opened on 10 August 1942 to serve an ordnance factory making small iincendary bombs. The mainly female workers were conveyed there from Galashiels aand Hawick in special trains and freight within the factory was handled by diesel mechanical shunters. During the 1948 East Coast floods which breached the main line betwee n Dunbar and Berwick trains were diverted via Kelso and this led to some extremely distinguished locomotive handling of the non-stop Flying Scotsman, bot southbound and northbound. Details are given of a run on 21 September behind No. 60024 Kingfisher which is not included in the Author;s book Non-stop, The final passenger train ran on 15 June 1964. Freight lingered om a little longer. Illustrations: Kelso railway station forecourt with mechanical horae and trailer in red & cream livery in early 1960s (J,M. Boyes: colour); former Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway Beyer Peacock 2-4-0 No. 324 shunting horsebox and clerestory coaches at Kelso (John Alsop Collection); platforms at Kelso in early 1960s (J,M. Boyes: colour); map; A4 No, 60031 Golden Plover at Tweedsmouth with train which might have been Flying Scotsman having come from Edinburgh via Kelso (W.E. Boyd Collection); V1 2-6-2T No. 67617 with 07.43 to St. Boswells (John Spencer Gilks); BR Class 2 2-6-0 No. 78049 with single Gresley corridor brake third on 12.07 for St. Boswells (John Spencer Gilks); BR Class 2 2-6-0 No. 78049 with single Gresley corridor brake third on 12.07 for St. Boswells with Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 on freight for Jedburgh (John Spencer Gilks); and No. 78049 with single Gresley coach leaving Roxburgh viaduct en route to St. Boswells (John Spencer Gilks).
Midland workers. Gavin Morrison. 308-10.
Colour photo-feature: Class 3F 0-6-0 No. 43681 at Leeds Holbeck MPD on 7 February 1961; 4F 0-6-0 No. 43931 on coal train heading north on 16 March 1961; 4F 0-6-0 with express headlamps leaving Leeds City with a Bristol to Bradford relief which will terminate at Forster Square on 20 August 1960; 4F No. 44282 with tender-cab running tender-first leaving Hellifield with a freight in snow on 26 January 1963; 3F 0-6-0 No. 43585 on Hellifield shed on 29 June 1961; 4F No. 44446 on coal empties just south of Goose Hill Junction near Normanton on 1 June 1963; No. 44250 taking Peak Forest line at Chinley North Junction with train of mineral empties on 4 March 1961.
Ian Travers. Steam railmotors and push-pull auto trains in the Wrexham
District. Part Two. Great Western auto trains 1906-1962. 311-18.
In 1905 twelve 517 class 0-4-2Ts were fitted with push & pull (motor) equipment and one was sent to Croes Newydd shed in Wrexham. The Great Western system was mechanical and relied upon rods and cranks under the vehicles and a cotter pin to attach the system to the regulator: two vehicles was the limit, but sandwich operation was possible, although reversal must have been messy. Gongs were fitted to warn permanent way staff and others on the line, although a wire could operate the whistle. The fireman had to operate the reversing mechanism. Many of the steam railmotors were converted into trailers which increased their passenger capacity, They were faster, could climb better. Oswestry became a centre for auto working. The Cambrian Railways Wrexham to Elllesmere line was worked puush & pull from 1911 using a mechanical systm which was not compatible with the Great Western system, and were replaced by 517 0-4-2Ts and compartment trailers which included first class, In 1937 these were replaced by B class compartment stock which retained first class. A new halt was opened at Hightown. From 1932 the 517 class was gradually displaced by the 48XX (later 14XX) 0-4-2T which were faster, more powerful and were capable of working furtther or longer. There was a racecourse at Bangor-on-Dee and meetings sometimes produced specials from further afield, In 1940 a major Royal Ordnance factory was built at Marchwiel to the east of Wrexham and this was linked to the Ellesmere branch. On the Great Central some Sacré double-frame 2-4-0Ts were adapted for push & pull working using mechanical linkage and a speaking tube. Three driving trailers were newly built with six-wheel bogies and revve rsible tramway type seating and a central entrance. There were twelve first and 48 third class seats. The LNER replaced the mechanical system with a fail-safe vacuum system. Some of Creat Central 4-4-2Ts were adapted and some worked into Wrexham Central from Biston and Seacombe. A halt was built at Shotton for the Summers steel works near the Hawarden Bridge in 1924. The LNER also used a Sentinel railcar on some of these services. Illustrations: Auto coach trailer No, 148 being pushed by a 48XX 0-4-2T at Ruabon on 7 August 1935 (H.F. Wheeler Collection); 0-6-0PT No. 6405 with two auto trailers on 15.25 Bala to Wrexham waiting to cross a Ruabon to Barmouth train hauled by 43XX 2-6-0 at Llanderfel in July 1948 (R.G. Nelson Collection); 14XX pushing two auto trailers (rear one 63ft Hawksworth vehicle) and hauling LMS parcels van from Bala on service for Wrexham leaving Llangollen c1958 (C.M. & J.M. Bentley Collection); No. 1428 propelling 70-ft auto trailer probably converted from steam railmotor at Ellesmere on 13 September 1952 (C.H.A. Townley); eastern approach to Oswestry with 14XX propelling BR built 63ft steel panelled trailer and probably W6820 brake composite built in 1936 to Diagram A32 with matchboard side trailer behind in siding adjacent Works (R.G. Nelson); Hightown Halt on 28 August 1962 with No. 1458 hauling W231W on Wrexham to Ellesmere service with ex-Ministry factory for aircraft components behind then owned Rubery Owen; mp Wrexham-Ellesmere branch;; No. 1432 with trailer No. W231 at Cloy Halt on 9 April 1959 (H.B. Priestley); No. 1432 with trailer No. W231 at Wrexham Central on 19 May 1062 (P.J. Garland); C13 4-4-2T No. 67421 (push & pull fitted, but pulling) on Glossop to Manchester London Road service on Dinting station triangle (B.K.B. Green)
Robert Casselden. Sixty years ago in Farnborough holiday 1961.
Author's maternal grandparents lived in Napoleon Road, Farnborough where Princess Eugenie had died. His father worked for Normalair in Yeovil and in 1961 they journeyed from Yeovil to Farnborough by train beginning with an M7 powered trip to Yeovil Junction, from thence rebuilt Battle of Britain No. 34062 17 Squadron hauled them to Baasingstoke where they changed and photographic record begins. King Arthur No. 30798 Sir Hectimere completed the journey. His grandfather was a Lieutenant Collonel in the Army Physical Training Corps and a stickler for punctuality at meal times: this interfered with observing the down Bournemouth Belle. His father was a fellow railway ernthusiast, but gibbed at recording the numbers of every electric multiple unit. Tables record some of the locomotves seen and the services being operrated and the composition of the trains. Illustrations: rebuilt West Country No. 34034 Honiton leaves Farnborough with four coach set plus van on 7 September 1961 (C. Hogg: colour); King Arthur No. 30772 Sir Percival leaving Farnborough in 1960 (colour); Lord Nelson No. 30860 Lord Hawke at Basingstoke with10.25 Poole to Leicester and Bradford Exchange on 29 July 1961 Author's parents on platform (Author); BR CLass 5 4-6-0 No. 73119 Elaine on 12.12 Waterloo to Basingstoke on 2 October 1962 (M.J. Reade); Schools class No. 30911 Dover in green livery on 13.24 Waterloo to Salisbury leaving Farnborough in November 1959 (G.H. Humt: colour); No. 7929 Wyke Hall at Basingstoke with10.25 Poole to Leicester and Bradford Exchange on 29 July 1961 (Author); rebuilt Merchant Navy No. 33005 Canadian Pacific speeds through Farnborough on down Bournemouth Belle in Júly 1964 (G.H. Humt: colour); H16 4-6-2T No. 30516 at Feltham on 6 September 1956 (T.J. Edgington); C class 0-6-0 No. 31150 at Feltham on 31 July 1961 (Author); rebuilt Battle of Britain class No. 34089 602 Squadron with Royal Train (three Pullman cars and van st Shawford en route to Southampton Docks on 5 August 1961 (colour); U class 2-6-0 No. 31797 near Farnborough North station with Redhill to Reading train on 3 July 1963 (T.J. Edgington).
Wanderings South and West. John Spencer Gilks. 326-7
Black & white photo-feature: ex-LSWR 700 class 0-6-0 No. 30309 at Fordingbridge with a pick up goods on 1 November 1955; 57XX 0-6-00PT No. 4647 at Hallatrow on 14.25 Bristol to Frome on 21 February 1959; 57XX No. 5757 at Pensford on 18.15 Bristol to Frome on 16 May 1959; BR Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76066 at Daggons Road with 09.25 Salisbury to Bournemouth West on 21 May 1963; 57XX 0-6-0PT hauling freight from Cheddar Valley line onto main line at Yatton showing running-in board "cchange for Cheddar Line and Clevedon" on 10 October 1960; Bournemouth West with BR Claass 4 2-6-0 No. 76057 and carriage sets in September 1965.
Jeffrey Wells. Poulton-Le-Fylde in focus. 328-31.
Poulton-Le-Fylde is a market town near Fleetwood between Preston and Blackpool. It is probable that it now has excellent train services to Manchester, Blackpool and London although a search on the Internet failed to provide any illustrations of them. For once Gordon Biddle's entry for Blackpool in the Oxford Companion forrms an excellent intr ioduction to a more than usually wayward article by this author who presumes that we have all paddled in the Irish Sea. The railway fascilities are interesting in that the original station had involved a was on the Preston & Wyre Railway and was on a straight line to Fleetwood (online search revealed archaeological evidence of this and the first illustraion shows it. The very severe curve led to a serious accident on 1 July 1893 when a LNWR train from Talbot-road to Wigan and Stockport hauled by an 0-6-0 failed to slow sufficiently and derailed: the driver and two passengers were killed. The author quotes The Chepstow Weekly Advertiser. In 1896 this was replaced by a new line on the Blackpool side of the town to improve the junction. Illustrations: Poulton station, level crossing and signal cabin c1880; Aspinall Atlantic 4-4-2 with club carriages att Polton Junction with "A" on smokebox indicating to Manchester via Atherton (J.M. Tommlinson/John Alsop Collection); Aspinall 4-4-0 No. 1110 haling inspection saloon at Poulton (J.M. Tommlinson/John Alsop Collection); permanent way men at work replacing rail at Poulton station probably in early LMS period; Poulton Curve Halt with steam railmotor carriage (steam railcar) No. 15 c1908 (John Alsop Collection); Aspinall 0-6-0 with Belpaire boiler No. 695 on freight train passing through Poulton station (John Alsop Collection); island platform at Poulton station in May 1965 (Eric Blakey),
David Mosley. Scenes from Sligo, 332.
Colour photo-feature: Martin Atock 2-4-0 No. 659 with Bulleid luggage/train heating boiler vsn and MGWR six-wheel Post Office van; Sligo in summer 1956, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway diesel railcar at Sligo boarding for Enniskillen on 29 May 1957 and A class No. A28 at buffer stops having arrived from Dublin
Readers' Forum 333
Abingdon branch. Mark
Further to Alistair F. Nisbet's fascinating account of the Abingdon branch I once worked with the Swindon train planner whose unenviable job it was to devise the branch timetable. He recalled with despair that whatever time he arranged for a train to arrive at Radley it would either (1) miss a connection to Didcot or (2) fail to connect for Oxford or (3) both! The reverse problem arose when it departed back towards Abingdon. The business plan for the Bowyer Arms pub at Radley must have been largely based on this conundrum. Meanwhile, of course, by the 1950s there were frequent buses from Abingdon town centre direct to Didcot and Oxford.
Complaints about engine whistles, David Rollins.
Alistair's article (March actually February) was interesting. As one who abhorred, and sill do, unnecessary use of the whistle/horn might I add a few comments? The BR, and earlier, rule books stated when and where the whistle should be used. One that always offend me was 'when entering, when in long, and when exiting tunnels'. There was NO exception between normal working hours and the 'wee hours'l I could never see the sense (and did not do any more than a 'pop') when it was obvious that there were NO staff in the tunnel. I am surprised that this was not included in Table 1!
Re the pitch of steam locomotives whistle, I happened to be part of the 4472 support team when we were required to go to Derby and have the weights checked on the weighbridge. After the first setting we were requested to steam off the weighbridge and shunt up and down a couple of times before returning for re-weighing. I was driving and each time before moving I just 'popped' the whistle. On returning we were met by a few of the Derby test centre staff who requested permission to record the whistle as they'd had a number of complaints that modern traction horns did not carry as far as previously on steam locomotives. They thought the one on No.4472 did a vey good job. However, after several recordings we heard no more.
At Haymarket the depot was split either side of the main line and there was a foot crossing that was used quite frequently by staff. Visibility of approaching trains into Waverley station was on a curve and in the opposite direction a short distance from the exit of a tunnel. as it was also on a down gradient, you could be caught by surprise, so a whistle board was erected either side. I believe that later a automatic track occupied system was installed that also included a flashing light, an a 'train on line' indicator as a warning of an approaching train.
Coach working on LMS lines in South Wales. John
In the article in the February issue, LMS through goods services via Abergavenny and Caerphilly to the LNWR/LMS goods warehouse at Tyndall Street, Cardiff, ceased in 1933, not 1931. As such, 1 July 1933 is the date generally given for their withdrawal. Cardiff commercial directories from the 1932-1933 period confirm they were still running after 1931 as does the LMS November 1932 working timetable. Withdrawal followed the GWR/LMS 1933 pooling agreements concluded during what turned out to be the worst period of the Great Depression when the railway companies sought economies and the elimination of unnecessary duplicate, competing goods services Somewhat improbably, the former LNWR facility at Tyndall Street has survived extensive redevelopment in the surrounding area after years of dereliction and neglect. It now forms part of a large hotel complex although its LNWR origins are still obvious today.
Northamptonshire's railways. Trevor
Re middle picture on page 219 of the April issue the motorway in question is the M45 which has turned out to be the least-used motorway in the country whilst the railway is the ex-GC main line just south of Rugby and just to the north of Barby sidings. The bridge deck is still in situ (according to Google Earth) and as it carried trains for barely eight years two white elephants in one picture .The West Coast Main Line lies wholly to the west of the M1 and even the Northampton loop crosses beneath the motorway just south of Rugby near the present-day DIRFT (Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal).
Northamptonshire's railways. Robin
Re Stephen Roberts's survey of Northamptonshire's Railways in the March issue and in passing correct a couple of them. In describing the line from Northampton to Peterborough he says that a spur was built to connect with the main London & Birmingham (L&BR) line at Blisworth. The reality was that after four years of lobbying from Northampton interests, in 1842 the L&BR directors resolved to promote a branch line from just north of Blisworth through to Peterborough. Not only would this serve the interests of intermediate towns such as Northampton, Wellingborough, Thrapston and Oundle but would allow for earlier postal deliveries in Peterborough, Wisbech and King's Lynn and cater for the carriage of cattle from the lush Nene Valley pastures to London and Birmingham markets. So the 47V2-mile line was conceived, built and opened as an entity. He cites the many intermediate level crossings, inevitable on a valley line in flat country, as a cause of its early closure under the 1960s rationalisation; that is true but so also was indifference to this problem by regional management who had done nothing to promote the strategic cross-country value of the route over many years. Many other lines throughout eastern England are beset with level crossings to this day but survive in important passenger use. It is also worth mentioning that up passenger trains were often routed over the line to Blisworth to avoid conflicting with heavy southbound freight trains labouring up the long gradient on the direct line to Roade. Incidentally this enters Roade cutting below the level of the original L&BR line, hence the lengthy succession of girders across the line to keep the cutting side from sliding in, as had happened twice during the 1890s.
Turning now to the line into Northampton from Bedford, this was promoted by an independent company, with Midland Railway backing, aiming for Weedon via Northampton. This proved to be impracticable so the line stopped short of Bridge Street in Northampton. The company wished to buy the garden of the Hospital (not Priory) of St. John there to site its terminal station. It was, however, obliged to buy the whole site, and although it then demolished the Master's house it subsequently sold the infirmary and adjoining chapel to a local businessman, Mr. Mulliner, who then re-sold them to the growing Roman Catholic community. The Midland Railway contributed to the restoration of the church. The hospital inmates were transferred to smart new premises on the eastern outskirts of town.
In order to service its locomotives the Midland Railway built a smart two-road locomotive shed in the junction at Hardingstone. This too survives, long after its original use ceased and also its later use as a BR welding school. After some years of dereliction and vandalism it was acquired by the University of Northampton and transformed into its Students' Union Building. As such, and wearing again my National Railway Heritage Awards hat, I am delighted to say that its restoration was unanimously regarded as the Best Overall Entry in the 2020 competition; hopefully its plaque can be unveiled once the present pandemic restrictions are eased. Stephen Roberts mentions just one bad accident in his survey, the head-on collision near Billing in 1877. Undoubtedly important at the time, it was sadly surpassed in significance by the serious derailments on the Midland main line at Wellingborough in 1898, two on the West Coast Main Line at Weedon, in 1915 and 1951, and on the ex-Great Central main line at Barby, on the Northamptonshire/Warwickshire border in 1955.
Around Croydon. Tim Edmonds
The short-lived LBSCR terminal station at Croydon was named 'Central Croydon' rather than 'New Croydon' and the final closure date was in 1890, not 1880 (p. 125). The name 'New Croydon' was applied to the separate LBSCR suburban platforms added to East Croydon station in 1862 and they are labelled as such on the 1894-6 edition of the OS 1:1056 town plan of London, sheet XVI1.5, available online at maps.nls.uk. These platforms were later combined with East Croydon station. To check the dates I referred to an excellent reference source, Quick's Chronology, which is now available online, and regularly updated, through the website of the Railway & Canal Historical Society at rchs.org.uk/railway-passenger-stations-in-great-britain-a-chronology/.
Around Croydon. Neil Knowlden
Re Michael H.C. Baker's Croydon article in particular the Wimbledon-West Croydon line. No, the line didn't really pass 'right through' the gas works though the main gasholders were north east of the tracks while the gas-making plant itself was to the south west. Also to the north east was one of the two power stations and it was here at 'A' station that the electrified 'network' was (a few sidings and a single locomotive) together with a single steam locomotive second-hand from the Kent Electric Power Company.
Croydon 'B' power station to the west lay north of the gasworks and had two steam locomotives and a couple of diesels at the end while the gasworks itself had a succession of steamers over the years. The only remnants of the once thriving industry are the two chimneys from 'B' station standing erect in a retail park desert and bespoiled with banners proclaiming'IKEA'. The electric unit illustrated on p178 is at Mitcham not Mitcham Junction and has just passed the point where the supporting wall later became unstable necessitating singling the track beneath the road bridge.
Illegal rail closures. Stephen
Re Stephen G. Abbot's article, Eaves who worked on the Southern, understood that the Brighton to Manchester service was due to the loss of the Ramsgate to Birmingham service (worked by Class 37 then a 'Deltic'). The Ramsgate service was a replacement for the Dover Inter-City services. The withdrawal of the Ramsgate service meant that there was no passenger service between Factory Junction and Longhedge Junction, so on a Saturday the morning Brighton to Manchester was diverted via Streatharn, Tulse Hill and Herne Hill. This was okay as, when the service started using that route, it was worked by Class 47s locomotives and Mkll coaches that were permitted that way. However, when Class 221s were put on that service, they were initially not cleared between Streatharn and Tulse Hill (they were cleared via Norwood Junction, Crystal Palace and Tulse Hill).
To cater for this a Clapham High Street to Kensington Olympia afternoon service was introduced. The problem was that it ran empty from Selhurst and had to use the up Chatham to up Atlantic Line crossover at Shepherds Lane but, in the summer months the points at Shepherds Lane were unreliable and often failed due to the heat. So the train had to run to Voltaire Road and crossover to the up Ludgate via the up Chatham to cross over and could not call at Clapham High Street or Wandsworth Road (these only have platforms on the Atlantic Line). To allow for a failure we started having staff at Shepherds Lane to ensure that the points could be wound if they failed, thereby allowing the service to run as booked. I read somewhere that the train terminated at Kensington Olympia because there were no pathways on the Western Region (so there was still no passenger service from Kensington).
Killin Junction. Sandy
The caption to the photograph of Killin Junction on the rear of the March edition states that No.80029 (actually No.80028 of 63A) is running round its coach which is parked in the background. This is unlikely. The normal method of running round the single coach was that the engine uncoupled after arrival in the platform shown and ran round to the other (east) end of the coach via the loop to the north (right in the photograph) side of the engine. So the branch coach is out of sight at the platform behind 80028. As the coach in the photograph is sitting in a dead end siding it would be difficult to run round and is likely to be parked until required.
Book Reviews 334
Right Away: the railways of East Anglia. Douglas
Bourn, Lowestoft: Bridge Publishing, (Available from www.poppyland.co.uk.
159pp. Illustrations and maps in text. Reviewed by Geoffrey Skelsey ***
In this delightful new book, Douglas Bourn tells of discovering his mother's diaries after her death and finding out from them the reality of railway life and work. Brought up in a railway family the author already knew, more than many, of the harshness of railway work, and he resolved to write a different sort of history of East Anglia's railways, not to feed the appetite for nostalgia but to tell the story 'warts and all'. He begins with a well-potted outline of the origins of the region's railways, and the economic circumstances of that time. The changes they then wrought, even in a mainly non- industrial area, are profound, in tourism, agriculture, fishing, as well as continental traffic at Harwich and Felixstowe. A legacy of many of these remains today. There are glances at the wartime experience, the sensational advent of the 'Britannia' locomotives on the Norwich run, and then the transition to diesel and electric traction: all these affected deeply the daily lives of those working on the railway. Inevitably the story covers the axing of many of the local railways, a loss felt especially by a family living at Sudbury, now the terminus of the surviving fraction of what had been the Stour Valley branch. The attempts to save the line form a central part of the narrative, and there is also an account of the effects of wider changes on a single station, Manningtree, which the author used regularly. Glimpses of development of railways at Norwich, Lowestoft, and Melton Constable ('the Crewe of East Anglia') are included, whilst the latest rolling stock, as well as the birth and progress ofthe local heritage railways, are happy aspects of the story.
The author rightly concludes that there "has never been as healthy and popular a railway": we all have to hope that events since publication don't threaten the positive trends of the last thirty years. There is an excellent bibliography, including useful links to relevant websites, and an index.
Even if some of the contents will be familiar the personal nature of the narrative will be new, and in so modestly- priced a volume this is a chronicle well worth exploring.
A quite impossible proposal: how not to build a
railway. Andrew Drummond, Birlinn, 2020. 308 pp.+ 12pp. illustrations
with maps, plans and sketches in text. Reviewed by Peter Treloar (PT) ****
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, firstly 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.
Southern Style: The Southern Railway compiled
by John Harvey. Historical Model Railway Society, Soft back, 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 mileposts 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 five 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.
Steam on the Sirhowy Tramroad and its neighbours.
Michael Lewis. Railway, & Canal Historical Society, hardback.
176 pp. with 122 illustrations including maps. Reviewed by Robin Leleux?
The old adage of 'you shouldn't judge a book by its cover' may be true, but in this case an enthusiast would do well to trust their inner instinct when seeing the striking four images on the front cover of this new volume. A large atmospheric image of a plateway locomotive at work accompanied by the sight of two contemporary drawings and an image of a locomotive in relic condition awaiting scrapping, together with an image on the rear of a small saddle tank hauling a train of wagons on plateway track, give a strong indication of the treasures that await inside. The books focus, as the name suggests, is the 4ft 4in gauge Sirhowy Tramroad (plateway) and those neighbouring it which ran from 1804 to 1860 with its main focus being the movement of iron and coal to Newport. The next thing that strikes the reader about this book is the high production quality. At a time when, owing to various factors, publishers are economising where possible with commensurately a general decline in quality of paper, photographic reproduction etc, the look and feel of this book is really a set apart. Most images, including the reproduction of early maps, artwork showing the tram roads in use and diagrams of locomotives, wagons and track are fortunately crystal clear, although a few suffer from large pixelation. The authors name will likely be recognised by those interested in early railways. Dr. Michael Lewis is a well known early railways expert and his important and yet to be bettered Early Wooden Railways marked its 50th anniversary of publication in 2020, which is an early indication of the quality of research and writing that the reader soon discovers in these pages. The book is split into three parts 'The background', giving an overall view of the area, the Sirhowy Tramroad and the Tredegar Ironworks, and other lines in the area. The excellent maps greatly aid a reader not familiar with the area and are useful to keep referring back to whilst reading the text. The second part, 'the locomotives', is unsurprisingly given the title of the book the main focus of the book and covers the greatest proportion of its 176 pages (including index). Research on early locomotives tends to involve a lot of detective work and Dr. Lewis has gone above and beyond in doing so, supporting his research and theories. A personal highlight was the convincing argument that the well-known 1803 dated drawing of a 'tram engine' to a Trevithick design, replicated at Ironbridge as a possibility of being the Coalbrookdale locomotive, could actually have ran at Tredegar. The variety of images including works drawings, modern drawings, surviving photographs and contemporary illustrations complement the comprehensive research into the locomotives used.
Part three, 'The tram roads at work, is of great interest to this reviewer in particular, putting the preceding two chapters into context and bringing the research to life, continuing to draw on a wide variety of sources including accounts from contemporary newspapers, which as the author acknowledges have become a new, vital resource to historians. This book has much wider appeal than those with an interest in the railways of South Wales, being a valuable addition to the understanding of how early railways ran, the impact they had and the effect the steam locomotive had on railways. This book sets a high standard indeed in terms of depth and breadth of research and production quality for anyone who wants to write about early railways. This is an extremely well-produced work which quality in production matches its quality in terms of writing and research presented to the reader, and should be a necessary purchase for anyone with a serious interest in early railways and/or the history of railways in Wales.
A great survivor the Fintona horse tram. rear cover
Gtreat Northern Railway (Ireland) Driver Hamilton with horse Dick as motive power at Fintona Junction about to set off for Fintona in County Tyrone in May 1957 (BBC recently ran a charming series of programmes presented by the Northern Ireland weather presenter which included the tram and the museum at Cultra).