Railway World
Volume 52 (1991)

Key file

Number 609 (January 1991)

Tony Hills. The way ahead at the Vale of Rheidol. 14-18

Mark Smithers. Minimum gauge at Deptford. 19-21.
Royal Army Service Corps eighteen inch gauge system which operated in the Cattle Market area to provide stores, presumably food, for the troops fighting on the Continent. After WW1 ceased the railway was used to handle newsprint. The locomotives were similar to those employed at Woolwich Arsenal and Chatham and were oil fired. They were supplied by the Hunslet Engine Co. Illustrations: Road Transit Shed during WW1 ahowing long narrow gauge train alongsid standard gauge train; one of Hunslets seen on train of rolls of newsprint in late 1920s; John Knowles' 0-4-0T Jack at Armley Mills Museum in Leeds (colour); plan of Deptford standard and  narrow gauge railkways; coal burning Waril Gwen; eighteen inch gauge trackwork at Deptford in March 1990

Peter Johnson. Railway preservation and the Light Railway Order. 42-5.
Table lists number of orders issued to British Railways, indust ries and preservation orogabizations between 1960 and 1989. Colour photographs of preparatory work at Medstead and completion of it on Mid Hants Railway at Arlesford.

Gordon Prttitt. Beyond the Sprinter: Regional's way ahead. 46-
Author was Director of Regional Railways.

Michael Harris. Reassessing a repuutation: The Great Marquess and the other 'K4s'. Part 2. 50-3.

Number 610 (February 1991)

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

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

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

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

Number 612 (April 1991)

Still Twittering [Rowland Emett cartoons]. 218-20.
Brief biography; some Punch cartoons

Number 613 (May 1991)

A.J. Mullay. 'Mr Ibbotson changes trains, 270-1
Ibbotson was an LNER traffic apprentice who was required by the General Manager to examine the quality experienced by passengers on about twenty long distance East Coast Main Line services. 32 journeys were made. T he Flying Scotsman and night trains were subjected to his scrutiny which included warmth which was inadequate on some of the trains. The proportion of smoking compartments and third class accomodation, and general cleanliness were examined.

New stock on the Ffestiniog. 272-6.
Diesel-powered push & pull train with semi-self steering bogies featuring Metalastic natural rubber/steel chevron springs; gas heating; carpeting, buffet, and swivel seating in first class observation car. FR moquette.

New books. 277

The Mid-Wales Railway .R.W. Kidner Oakwood Press.  128pp,
Oakwood keeps up its reputation of good histories of minor lines ignored by other books but often quite fascinating, in this new title by a respected writer.
The Mid-Wales was a good example of those lines built in lightly-populated areas with the dual motives of 'opening them up' and making money because the promoters were always sure that business would soon develop to profitable levels. As was so often the case, they were proved wrong and the line remained a 'social railway' throughout its existence, succumbing in the great round of closures of the 1960s when the Welsh railway map was reduced almost to its bare bones. Like so many, this line lost its independence quite early, in this case to the Cambrian Railways, which really could not be called a great financial success itself. This ready-made line, however, gave it an opening to the south and its own link with the systems of the coalfield and industrial area of South Wales. Running, in effect, from Moat Lane Junction on the Cambrian main line to Brecon, it was certainly a valuable link in the railway network in pre-road days but could hardly hope to survive in a later age.
For a small line, the Mid-Wales had more than its fair share of history, as this book makes clear. The battle to get it built and to keep it running in its early, independent years, makes an epic in itself and is well-told here. The line's later history was more straightforward but is equally covered in depth. A good choice of photographs and excellent maps help make the story clear, even to those who have only a vague knowledge of the area.
Much of the historic material in this book is published here for the first time, the product of new research. The author poses a good number of questions on matters which could not be confirmed or clarified. They make much interesting food for thought. This is a welcome addition to existing railway histories.

The last years of the Somerset & Dorset. Colin G. Maggs. Ian Allan Ltd. 128pp
Of all the Beeching era closures, the S&D must be one of the most loved and certainly the most-remembered. This book, published to mark the 25th anniversary of the line's closure, looks at a number of the ingredients of the 'magic' that made it such a favourite. How did the atmosphere work? Was it that this trunk route, for years an important link in the cross-country system of secondary main lines, carried a string of important long-distance trains, many to express timings, yet retained the infrastructure of a local system? Or was it that, once the threat of closure began to be felt and the line was passed from one region to another, it became such an obvious hostage to fortune that enthusiasts' sympathies were aroused? Perhaps it was because of this threat that the line became frozen in time for its last 15 years, with an antiquated air even then, a lack of modern facilities and a reliance on out-dated methods, which appealed to those who saw the beloved railway system succumbing to either closure or modernisation? Certainly there was a family atmosphere about the S&D, with the staff knowing most of their colleagues by name throughout the system, many passengers becom- ing personal friends and the regular enthusiasts becoming welcome guests.
These are all aspects that shine through in this evocative account of the S&D. A resume of the line's history is given, with a description of the route, but the bulk of the book deals with its declining fortunes in the BR era. Somehow the book brings out the character of the line without trying to define too closely what created it. The photographic content is particularly interesting, being largely new material — quite an achievement for a line which has had so many books dedicated to it over the past quarter-century! A good number of these take in features not usually well-covered; the book is not a wall-to- wall succession of pictures of steam engines, which is much to its advantage. The views of civil engineering features are particularly inter- esting.
The narrative gives plenty of details of life working on the line, with a wealth of anecdotes. The last sections concern the final rundown and closure, a particularly sad story of the death of a line. Although essentially a local line, the S&D simply was not viable on local traffic alone, and once its through traffic was taken away, closure became inevitable. Even so, the rundown was cruel, with a callous disregard for the feelings of the staff or the needs of those who depended on the line. At the end the closure was marked by a still-unsolved mystery — the signal box fire that disrupted the final day specials. What really happened — will we ever know?
The book has its sad moments but is a splendid tribute to a much-loved line. It captures the spirit of this grand little system and the reader can understand why those last years were so painful for the S&D's staff and devotees.

South Eastern Railway. Adrian Gray. Middleton Press 320pp
This is one of Middleton's occasional breaks from their normal albums, though designed to be at one with them. Indeed it carries only a modicum of illustrations and many of those are line drawings and old woodcuts, not photographs. The South Eastern has been poorly served in railway literature, although the SECR era, 1899- 1923, has been better served both in company and locomotive histories. This book claims to be the first full and comprehensive history of the SER in the 19th century and it is a railway his- tory in the classic style. The history of the company itself and the railway it built and operated are treated as separate yet intertwined stories. Over it all the figure of the formidable Sir Edward Watkin, who dominated the affairs of the SER for so many years, never seems far away, even if a section does not directly mention him.
This book does in fact bring out what a remarkable railway the SER was, and how much of a mistake is the common notion of dismissing it as a small concern tucked away in a corner of England. It was a good-sized line with a crucial role in the country's transport system, which it was ever seeking to get a stronger hold- on. It had many problems, not least a frequent shortage of money (the modern 'cash flow crisis' sounds better and is possibly more accurate!), which showed up in outdated stock and poor facilities, which earned the line the opprobrium of press and public alike for many years. A mixture of carelessness and bad luck on the SER's part allowed the little East Kent Railway to grow into the troublesome LCDR, and this fatal combina- tion seems to have played a regular part in the company's problems. Certainly the book's account of the eternal in-fighting at company meetings leaves you wondering how the SER ever achieved anything at all!
The SER's (thanks to Watkin) deep commitment to the cause of building a channel tunnel is well covered. It is quite remarkable just how much was physically achieved on this project in the l880s —: equally the story of insular paranoia, dire warnings from the Admiralty and personal attacks on Watkin which finally brought about its abandonment, makes interesting read- ing now, as Watkin's dream approaches completion 100 years later.
The book does not quite convince that it should be regarded as the definitive history of the SER, however. For instance, the author says, of some highly questionable AGM vote-rigging, that it was 'possibly illegal'. Well, either it was or it was not, and we except the writer of a serious history to find out! However, it is certainly a good book and a useful addition to the railway history of southern England.

Also received

The cement railways of Kent. B.D. Stoyel and R.W. Kidner, Oakwood Press, 128pp i
This second edition of a boo first published 18 years ago gives detailed coverage of the maze of industrial lines serving the North Kent cement industry. Famous among enthusiasts for interest- ing motive power, notably Aveling Porter geared locomotives, the lines had plenty of other features of interest, which are well-covered here. A must for students of the industrial railway scene.

Illustrated treasury of the American Locomotive Company. O.M. Kerr and W.W. Norton & Co. 224pp
The American Locomotive Company, better known as ALCO, has an impressive history as one of the biggest builders of railway locomotives in the world. This books opens with a brief history of the firm, then gives up most of its space to a large gallery of posed works record photographs of ALCO products. Good as a reference source but an album showing the various classes at work would have been just as useful and have far more appeal.

Letters. 313

Steam trams. David Bayes  
Perhaps because Kitson's were pioneers of steam tram development and my maternal ancestors were of that family, I have always had a fondness for the square 'pugs' that traversed urban streets and rural roadsides. I therefore welcomed Trevor Rowe's article 'Divided Loyalties'. I followed the Upwell steam tram on my bike before the War [WW2] and on the liberation of Belgium in 1944 I had many a run in the Vicinal Trams, on some occasions enjoying footplate journeys, fortified with gifts of pears and peaches from the drivers!
Of surviving steam trams not mentioned in the article, may I add an engaging 2-4-2T built by Swiss Locomotive Works (316/1882) for Mulhouse, France, which is nicely preserved on the Blonay Chamby Railway, Switzerland. There is also a very rare 0-4-0 steam tram by Thomas Green of Leeds, named Beaconsfield, preserved in buff and brown livery in the museum at Kimberley, South Africa. Several Thomas Green locomotives once graced the streets of our industrial towns and Beaconsfield apparently ran on the Bradford 4ft gauge, being purchased about 1900 from Dick, Kerr, when it was shipped to South Africa and converted to 3ft 6in gauge.
There are also two remarkable survivals in New Zealand. A clerestory-roofed Baldwin saddle tank, which came from New South Wales to Wanganui, is preserved at Aukland; while on the South Island at Ferrymead, steam tram No 7 of Christchurch is preserved, now 110 years old.
Many details are missing or obscure and much has yet to be discovered of the steam tram chapter of our transport history, though the writings and researches of the late Dr Whitcombe, of W.Hefti and Mr G. E. Baddeley have proved invaluable.

Record loads.  Richard Brown
February's 'Preservation Review' included the item "Clan Line claims record", referring to a 580-ton train recently hauled by No 35028. I am not aware of a passenger train heavier than 580 tons having been worked by a preserved locomotive on BR. However, on 3 December 1977, No 4472 Flying Scotsman returned from York, where she had been filmed for sequences in The Seven per cent Solution, to Carnforth. Her train consisted of various preserved items including her own second tender, a steam crane, coaches, vans and No 850 Lord Nelson, a total load of 700 tons. An excellent photograph of the ensemble is featured on the title page of A Decade of BR Steam Running 1971-1981, By Dr Les Nixon, published in the latter year by Ian Allan Ltd.

Catford Loop. Ralph Briars  
Re Jeremy Clarke articles: these brought back memories of living in Putney between 1930 and 1933, and the annual excursion to Crystal Palace for the large fireworks display. The author may care to note that spectacular displays had not entirely ceased by the turn of the century. The vaulted subway is particularly remembered as a quite gloomy place, albeit temporarily packed with seemingly a considerable proportion of London's population on these occasions. We travelled from Putney High Street, but from here on I have no idea where we changed to reach the High Level station. I wonder if any knowledgeable readers may care to suggest a route?

Catford Loop. Robert Perkins  
Re Jeremy Clarke articles on the Catford Loop. He first travelled on that line in the spring of 1926, a few months after it was electrified. The EMUs were mostly converted South Eastern steam stock and had almost flat fronts, unlike the South Western electrics that he knew better and had torpedo-shaped ends. Despite his tender years he detected a different sound from the motors. In later years he learned that they were EE Dick Kerr type motors, rather than the Westinghouse/MetroVic ones on the South Western. He was travelling with his mother to Shortlands and for some unknown reason she went to Elephant &Castle station. He hadd no idea why she did not go to Victoria, except perhaps that she had no great sense of direction. He well remembered the porter calling out 'Catford Loop and Shortlands train!' That service terminated at Shortlands.

Charing Cross. Dave Rubenstein  
Weaned on the delights of the Brighton Belle until he emigrated to Canada with his parents at the age of eight. Rail travel is one reason why he returned to England. In the past 2½years business and pleasure had brought him back to the UK on five occasions. With my Britrail International pass in hand he had been able to enjqy the extensive BR network at his leisure. He usually picked up a copy of RW and was interested to note the story on Charing Cross in the February issue. The last Sunday in January found him making an early morning journey to Ashford and then on to Rye. He got up without getting breakfast, figuring he would grab a bite to eat at Charing Cross. It was an ill-conceived idea. Emerging from the tube, he was met by this cavernous station with not a single seat to help weary or hungry passengers rest their tired frames. The station had the normal quick-snack venues but how on earth are you supposed to eat them? Surely not by going out on to the chilly platform? One could sit on the floor and look totally foolish or try to balance a breakfast on one's knees in a stooped posture. Is this a slight oversight on BR's part which will be amended? Let's hope so — otherwise one could erect two nets with posts and have an indoor hockey or soccer match! Yes, the outside of the station is quite impressive, but please let us have seats inside for my next visit in September.

Philip Horton. The Malton-Scarborough-Whitby triangle. Part 1.A summer excuursion remembered. 278-82.
Journeys made in summer of 1964. The first two legs were made by DMU, but the final stretch (Whitby to Malton) was in one of two non-corridor carriages behind B1 No. 61319. Comm ent on the very steep gradients on the coastal section especially down to Robin Hood's Bay. History of the lines also briefly cove red.

Michael Farr. Pioneer volunteer. 299-301.
Talyllyn Railway in summer of 1954 when he met Tom Rolt and John Snell and the Newcomen Society visited the line. Accommodation was primitive.

John Powell. In the firebox of Scots Guardsman: Pensive Moments. 302-6.
The Royal Scot 4-6-0s were magnificent locomotives but there were: faults in the original design; faults in the data attributed to them; and faults in the rebuilt engines. The original tenders were inadequate. The original piston rings rapidly deteriorated and led to high fuel consumption, but the problem was cured by fitting six narrow rings. Cox in his Locomotive panorama stated that the original locomotives were using 9 tons of coal on the London to Carlisle run, but Powell considers that this was impossible with a tender limited to 5½ tons, especially before the addition of coal rails. The original bogies were prone to derailment and caused severe oscillation and was alleviated by increasing the strength of the side control springs, but before a Royal Scot was sent to America a Swindon or de Glehn bogie was fitted. Smoke deflection was a major problem and drifting smoke led to serios accidents. The use of Southern Railway type smoke defectors diminished the problem. The rebuilt locomotives also suffered in this respect, but only the locomotive fitted with BR standard deflectors  was aesthetically satisfactory. The problems with No. 6170 are briefly considered. The weakness of the original smokebox was eliminated in the rebuilds, but the problem of rough riding demanded further modification to the bogie springing. Article is also interesting for citing Numbers of LMS Locomotive Test Reports which used to be available at the NRM (clearly an urent need to digitize this collection): No. 19 gave coal consuption (high) for No. 6115 fitted with single Schmidt piston valve rings. Test Reports Nos. 31 and 38 also refer to fuel conumption and the wear of piston rings and Test Report No. 37 (March 1932) refers to bogie side control: this followed the Weaver Junction accidrent 

Number 614 (June 1991)

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

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

New books. 346.

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

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

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

Letters. 348.

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

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

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

Number 615 (July)

Adrian Vaughan. I.K. Brunel's achievement. 404-7.
Trailer for major biography

David Chough. Modern Traction Performance. Class 50. Part 2. 411-15.
On Western Region including on Bristol to Birmingham route where Lickey Incline was taken in its stride.

Number 616 (August 1991)

Lars Olof Karlsson. Strategic reserve for disposal. 462-3
The military in Sweden considered that the mainly electrified State Railway might be vulnerable to attack by the Soviet Union and created a reserve of steam locomotives starting in the 1950s. The locomotives were covered in oil and dtored in dry secret places (known to railway enthusiasts). Some were put into service during the severe winter of 1965/66 and some smaller locomotives were withdrawn in the late 1970s. The remainder were being sold off. The author was the Director of the Swedish National Railway Museum at Gavle. Illustrations: F class Pacific working an enthusiast special in 1966; B Class 4-6-0 at Gavle in 1953; E class 0-8-0 at Motala in 1907; new E10 class 4-8-0 No. 1739 at NOHAB in Trollhattan in 1947; preserved E2 No. 935 at Goteborg Central on 1 December 1981.

Bob Avery. Steam south from Fort William. 464-6.
Mainly a trailer for book Rails to the Isles. Pictures (some colour) of Class 5 locomotives dwarfed by the mountains.

Rex Christiansen. Railways around Bury. 468-72.
In the days before it lost its football team and was reduced to a tram stop and a heritage railway Bury enjoyed through services to Rochdale, Southport, Liverpool and Accrington, although the afternoon express to the last ran through non-stop. The East Lancashire Railway opened from Clifton Junction on the Manchester & Bolton Railway to Bury in 1846, extended to Ramsbottom in the same year and to Accrington in 1848. A branch to Baacup also opened in this period. Illustrations: map; Class 504 electric multiple unit in orange livery (colour); two 0-6-0Ts Nos. 47202 and 47383 on Manchester Railway Society tour at Bury Bolton Street on 26 November 1966; Caprotti Class 5 No. 44743 arriving at Bury Knowsley Street on 08.14 Southport to Rochdale express on 2 March 1963; Standard Class 4 4-6-0 No. 75047 on 10.00 Rochdale to Liverpool express at Bury East on 17 February 1962; 4F 0-6-0 No. 44481 on short freight heading towards Broadfield on 26 June 1964; Derby lightweight DMU on Bacup service near Stacksteads on 11 April 1961; Horwich 2-6-0 No. 42700 leaving Bolton Street with excursion for Southport on 12 September 1959.

Letters. 476

Mr. lbbotson. Geoffrey Hughes  
A.J. Mullay has done well to prise from the archives the account of an LNER investigation into train running on its system in 1933. This is an example of the special tasks carried out by Traffic Apprentices, a grade of employee who joined the LNER in small numbers from university, or, if existing staff, following a difficult examination. Traffic Apprentices were regarded as young men of above average potential, with, it is said, 'a General Manager's baton in their brief case'.
Few made it that far but Lance Ibbotson, the subject of A.J. Mullay's report, was one of these: he retired in 1972 as Chairman and General Manager of BR Southern Region. Indeed, LNER Traffic Apprentices were highly regarded in the post-nationalisation period, when a number, notably Sir Robert Reid, occupied very senior positions.

Mr. lbbotson. P.J. Lynch
In his article 'Mr Ibbotson changes trains' A.J. Mullay takes a swipe at BR by comparing its apparent attitude to passenger comfort, quoting Sprinters, with that of the LNER on its ECML expresses in 1933.
Such a comparison is manifestly illogical, turning its back, as it does, on like with like. The LNER management of the early 1930s can hardly have dreamt, even in its wildest moments, of being able to run Anglo-Scottish services as quick, clean and efficient as those on offer at King's Cross today, to say nothing of the multitude of Leeds and Newcastle terminators.
At the time I Presumably only Mr Ibbotson knows whether or not his assignment was a one-off. It may be that by 1934 the LNER was less mindful of its passenger comfort. And only Mr Ibbotson can say how he feels about being regarded as a rather comic figure, should he happen to read Mr Mullay's article.

We have also been told that Mr Ibbotson, after he retired from BR, became an active member of the Railway Conversion Society - Editor.

Purpose of preservation. Richard North. 476  
Mr Castle puts his finger on a crucial point in his letter (March).To survive, railway preservation requires the input of substantial resources, both of manpower and finance. To justify expending such resources, the aim must surely be seen as nothing less than the preservation of our railway heritage for the benefit of posterity. The long term aim is presumably to facilitate the study and appreciation of Britain's railway heritage by future generations.
However the proliferation of preservation in recent years has led to an intensely competitive situation, where limited management resources have inevitably to be concentrated on marketing and entertainment, to bring in the visitors. The sheer presssure of the struggle to survive, apart from being inimical to long-term planning, also tends to blur the more serious educational role of preservation.
I recognise that there are preservation organisations fully conscious of their responsibilities but overall I find the present situation a cause for concern. For example, is there any real virtue in preserving a steam locomotive, in order to run it around with a funny fate hung on the front? One may be unable to demean or humiliate an inanimate object but one can very easily demean those who designed and built it by treating their creation as an objet de folie rather than as a part of our engineering heritage to be valued and appreciated. If this is the result of 40 years of preservation, I wonder what we shall have come to in another 40 years! I feel it is significant that many serious students of railway history have nothing to do with preservation, seeing it as irrelevant to their interests.
If Railway World can stimulate a debate within preservation as to how it can pursue its legitimate commercial goals without detriment to the true reason for its existence, I believe you will have done the movement a very real service.

More steam? Ralph Phillips. 476
I have been following developments in the 'conversion and new-build' field with great interest. It seems to me that the sad loss of a number of classic locomotive designs can now be rectified. In particular, the technical know-how exists to convert a 'Manor' to a 'Grange', with the assistance of a 'Modified Hall' boiler, or a 'Modified Hall' to a 'County' with the use of a Stanier '8F' boiler (from Turkey?), or a 'Castle' to a 'Star' with a boiler from one of the (too) many '28xx' 2-8-0s, a '51xx' 2-6-2T to a '3150' using cylinders and boiler from a '42xx' 2-8-0T. That would leave only a 2-6-0 'Aberdare', a 4-4-0 'Bulldog', a '47xx' 2-8-0 and a 4-4-0 'County' of the famous GWR types not surviving. A tribute to Churchward's standardisation. The other railway groups pose much more of a problem, with only the possibility of a conversion from a 'Jubilee' (Galatea) to a 'Patriot', and that requiring a new parallel boiler. This might all seem far-fetched, but thought about, it is all very possible. Perhaps an acknowledged technical expert could report on the possibilities?

Harry Friend. Up hill and down dale. 490-3.
K1 class 2-6-0 working a vacuum fitted freight ffrom Low Fell up to Consett.

Denny S. Anspach. Sacramento! Railfair 91. 496-9.
Locomotion No. 1 and 0-4-4T No. 1247 Dunrobin were the Btitish participants; Southen Pacific No. 4449 Daylight and streamlined train arrived under own steam as did Northern Pacific 4-8-4 No. 844

New books. 505-6

Stanier locomotive classes. A.J. Powell Ian Allan Ltd 96 pp. softbound
Sir William Stanier and his work continues to attract interest and surviving examples of his work are invariably popular with steam followers. This book will be enjoyed by many of them. It is in form a really thorough catalogue, taking each Stanier class in turn, yet written in a good narrative style. The author is able to draw on his own considerable experience of the locomotives concerned, in his career as a BR engineer. This however does not dominate the book, which is largely taken up with factual details. The history of each class is considered, modifications made during construction and in the life of the class are listed, along with vital statistics and numbering data. Illustrations include many dimensional diagrams and a fine variety of photographs, many of them published here for the first time or only rarely seen before.
The book's stated purpose is to present a full account of the visual characteristics of the various Stanier classes, with all the various permutations, and enumerate exactly which locomotives carried which modifications at what stage in its career. It succeeds well and although the author protests that he doubts that the book will be the last word on the subject, it is certainly set to become a standard work of reference. But it goes further than that. The introduction sets out the background to the construction of the Stanier fleet and is one of the finest potted his- tories of LMS Locomotive Department policies and achievements that this reviewer has ever read. The in-fighting between works, unashamed interference by the operating department, Fowler trying to concentrate on his preferred work as this all raged round him and the eventual realisation that a strong-man from outside was the only answer — and with what results, are retold in a lucid and most interesting style. The book is worth reading for this section alone.

Rails to the Isles (Railway World Special) . Bob Avery. Ian Allan. 48pp.
Sub-titled Fort William-Mallaig, this book in the Railway World Special series is primarily an account of the steam revival on this splendid, scenic line, arguably the most attractive and photogenic railway in the country. This operation, which has been one of the great success stories of the BR Return to Steam era, commenced in 1984 and is now established as an annual summer-long event, although of course it is carefully assessed every year. The book is not just a celebration of this operation, it also looks behind the scenes at the problems and the little triumphs. How is it possible these days to operate a regular steam service, when the special infrastructure has long gone and is replaced by a cobbling together that makes many pre- served railways seem positively luxurious? The book discusses the many big and small prob- lems. It also looks at the locomotives that have been associated with the line and lapses into most enjoyable reminiscences of the highlights of the past few years for the BR crews and volunteer support crews.
As a starter there is a good historical section, with a most surprising gradient diagram — surprising for this reviewer, who had not realised how much of this famous mountainous route is in fact level track! The colour illustrations are also well-chosen and interesting; a few historic pictures and a fine, varied collection depicting the current operation, which give an excellent 'taste' of the line.
Those who have experienced the West Highland steam operation will appreciate the book as a bonus to their enjoyment of a great spectacle. For others, it will surely whet the appetite. It shows that you are missing something quite special.

The Melbourne Military Railway. Alan Cooper, Peter Leggott and Cyril Spended. Oakwood Press, 96pp
The involvement of the army with railways has been an interesting but somewhat neglected topic among railway literature. The Longmoor line is well-documented of course, but it was only one of several systems. This book tells the story of another line, a section of the LMS which was lit- erally taken over and used as a training ground by the Royal Engineers in World War 2. The line concerned was the secondary route from Ashby on the Leicester-Burton line to Derby via Melbourne, adjacent to a large army camp. The military made good use of its railway and the book tells an intriguing tale of training exercises, work on mechanical and civil engineering and preparations for railway operations in Europe after D-Day. More than that, it describes life for the soldiers concerned. A pretty mixed bunch they obviously were  — the enthusiasts who discovered that the MMR existed and managed to get themsel ves transferred to it, thereby making the most of their war, to the wide boys and cowboys who hoped it would be a soft option and once there tried to make sure it was, bashing their way through it with a total lack of respect for the medium!
This book is a fine combination of research and anecdote, both of which have clearly needed much work to bring together. Few obvious sources were available to the writers and ex- squaddies' memories are not always reliable. The resulting account of a vanished part of our railway history is fascinating and a worthwhile addition to the available literature on the subject.

East Coast electrification (Modern Railways Special). Colin Boocock. Ian Allan Ltd 48pp.
It was inevitable — and quite proper — that an event as significant as completing the East Coast electrification should be marked by publication of a number of books. This, and Peter Sernmens's treatment of the subject are the two published so far and are quite different in approach.
In a limited space, with a high pictorial content, Colin Boocock gives this wide-ranging subject a succinct and concise treatment. Without getting bogged down in technicalities, or drifting into side issues, he deals with the background to the project and the way in which it has been executed. Nor is the past forgotten, with a chapter covering the ECML's history of high-speed expresses.
The sheer scale of the project comes over strongly; not only was this about electrifying one of BR's prime routes, it was about major acceler- ations, resignalling and introducing new, state-of-the-art locomotives and rolling stock. We have here a clear description of the process of complete modernisation of a railway in its entirety, bringing together into a whole, sections that had been improved in a piecemeal fashion over many years.
The many problems, both technical and aesthetic, which had to be overcome, are considered, for this was by no means an easy project, yet they have been overcome, which is a cause for celebration. One problem which gets its share of cover but might have had more, was the strug- gle to get the project agreed and funded by the DoT. The constant fight that BR has with its paymasters to justify capital investment, with the eternal looking over its shoulder that has to follow, in case a change of policy at high level cuts a project's lifeblood before completion, is a continuing scandal which deserves more publicity. Obviously, what can be covered here is limited by problems of space in a short book. What is there is good, concise without appearing too brief and giving a good over view of the entire project. A good account of one of the biggest projects seen on BR for many years.

Electrifying the East Coast Route. Peter Semmens. Patrick Stephens Ltd. 224pp.
Compared with Colin Boocock's work on the same subject, this is a longer and more detailed look at the same subject. The first third of the book is a delve into the past, considering the various projects to electrify the line, spread over the whole of this century and mostly abortive. The rest of the book deals with the current project and the many complex problems that had to be solved to bring it to fruition. The topic covered is the same in both books of course — Peter Semmens goes into more technical detail, with some additional subjects covered, such as the major public relations exercise that has been an essential adjunct. Diagrams, maps and graphs play a prominent support role in the book and - of course, from this author - there are a good number of perfor- mance logs and reports of trips on the line. The end result is a rich, detailed account of a remark- able transformation of a railway.
As to which of the two books is the better, it really must come down to a matter of personal choice, closely tied here with how much time the reader has. Both books are well-written, factual and thorough. If you want a really detailed account with plenty of ancillary detail, Peter Semmens's book will suit. If you wish to know what the project was about and how it was carried through but do not want too much fine detail, and your interest is general rather than specific, you will find Colin Boococks account ideal. The reviewer has read, and enjoyed, both and did not find that having read one diminished his enjoyment of the other — and he is not going to say which one he read first!

Great Locomotives of the GWR.  O.S. Nock. Patrick Stephens Ltd.  232pp.
This, the last in Mr Nock 's four-volume Great locomotives series is, to the reviewer, the best. Whereas all the books bear the hallmarks of the author's usual meticulous research, this one gives the feeling of personal involvement. It is a correct impression too, for he was following its affairs for many years before he became a respected writer on railways and either witnessed many of the events and developments he covers or had the chance to discuss them with officers of the company.
An odd decision at first sight is to omit, bar a short resume, the locomotives of the broad gauge era but on consideration the bulk of the broad gauge classes were singularly unmemorable, only the great Gooch eight-foot singles still holding the imagination, so the advantage of having a clear starting point to begin his study gives this book a flying start.
From the beginnings of the standard gauge GWR system, Nock follows a clear theme of development. Dean's foundations, leading to Churchward's formulating a grand scheme which Collett developed and Hawksworth gave an added polish, gave a continuum which no other of the Big Four companies possessed. There were of course aberrations to this plan, the most splendid being The Great Bear, which gets the thorough coverage that this fascinating once-off deserves. There were also apparent weaknesses, such as the Manor class, which needed post-1948 treatment to get right. These are not overlooked. Neither are the less prominent classes, which still played a vital part in the GWR's life. Just because they were not high in the esteem of the public and enthusiasts at the time does not mean that the secondary or heavy goods classes, which did superbly well the jobs they were built for, should be treated as less important than the prominent express classes —especially as they arguably contributed more to the company's balance sheet!
There are areas which left the reviewer feeling the book could have given more attention to. For instance the policy of so-called rebuilding, which for the GWR was almost a mania at times and allowed obsolete classes to be turned into some- thing new and more useful while not giving the company accountants too many heart attacks, could have been given a more critical and in- depth study. Also the author goes along with the conventional wisdom that Dean spent his last few years in office 'losing his faculties', which generally equates with going harmlessly round the bend. Other writers have challenged this view in recent years, suggesting that Dean was directly responsible for handing over more responsibility to his young deputy, Churchward, and their interpretation has a greater ring of truth about it. There is clearly a need for more research on this and it would have been interesting to see an in-depth look at it by this author. These are small points, taking the book as a whole, however. It is a most interesting study of the locomotive policy of a major company. Students of the GWR and others will find it well worth reading

Locomotive engineers of the LMS. Denis Griffiths. Patrick Stephens Ltd. 184pp.
Denis Griffiths has established himself as an author to note with several good railway books over the last few years and this one is definitely in the same class. It is more wide-ranging than the title suggests, as it is sub-titled and its major English constituent companies, and the book devotes most of its space to the LNWR, L &YR and Midland Railway engineers and their work. Why the Scottish railways should be left out is unclear unless keeping the book down to a rea- sonable size had some bearing on the decision but it certainly leaves scope for a future work, for surely the Caledonian, GSWR and Highland could produce at least as much material of interest as the L&YR?
The book broadly divides into two sections, one dealing with the engineers and the other with class histories of their time in office. It seems that the limitations of space have prevented some interesting areas being covered: for instance, did Deeley resign from the MR in a very public tow- ering fury, as other writers have suggested? The matter is hardly touched on. And the early years of the LNWR, with the machinations that disposed of Trevithick followed by McConnell's fall from grace, both in favour of Ramsbottom, are skated over. In more recent times, the reviewer gets the definite feeling that some contentious topics are rather rushed through. For instance, was Fowler the right man for the job? Did he, with his pre-occupation with certain aspects and apparent lack of interest in the hostilities existing between the various works, do lasting damage? Should he have stood up to the Civil Engineer and General Manager with more determination than he did? These are points that the reviewer would have liked to have more thoroughly considered
On the other hand, the author's treatment of the Webb era at Crewe is superb, one of the best that has been written to date. We are at last getting away from the unjustified rubbishing of this brilliant engineer and his works, and here at last is a book which gives proper credit. It makes a nice change from some recent books that churned out all the old calumnies about the man and his engines and the relevant chapters should be required reading for anyone who takes an interest in LNWR locomotive matters or British compound classes.
In general this is a good, worthwhile book, giving a thoughtful and well-researched look at a succession of good engineers. To have so much material about the men who shaped the motive power fleets of a major British railway group brought together into one volume is a treat.

Doncaster, town of trainmakers, 1853-1990. Philip S. Bagwell, Wheaton Publishers, 136pp.
Chosen in its early days as the engineering centre of the Great Northern, Doncaster has been a notable name in railway engineering ever since. This book tells the fascinating story of the Plant, its chief engineers and workers. Limitations of size prevent much in-depth study but it is a most enjoyable and generally informative account of a justly famous centre.

Indian locomotives: Part 1, Broad gauge, 1851-1940. Hugh Hughes, Continental Railway Circle, 112pp. softbound
Former grammar school maths master Hugh Hughes is a recognised authority on Indian Railways. This thoroughly-researched book, with a wealth of detail, is an in-depth review of the steam classes used on the sub-continent up to the outbreak of World War 2.

The colour of steam: Vol 9, The Great Eastern Line. R. C. Riley, Atlantic, 48pp colour album, softbound,
This excellent series continues to provide fine archive colour with authoritative extended captions. This volume is a typically high-standard addition to the series. Written by one of the most respected students of railway history, who had the foresight to take up colour photography in its early days, it contains a most interesting and enjoyable wealth of his own material, supplemented by work from other photographers on those areas where his own collection is sparse. Recommended to all fans of the GER route.