Tag Archives: Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway

Cows ‘n’ Clag

The roast beef of Olde England utterly unconcerned by the passing of the noisy smoke belching beast; mulching is way more important! Enjoy the grass guys it won’t be long before you’re on the plate – sadly for you it’ll be the dinner plate and not the footplate.

You can just see the first hint of autumn colour in the tree tops and the gone to seed Rose Bay Willow Herb – aka ‘railway lupins’ on the embankment. Another week from now and the clocks go back – it really will feel like autumn, getting dark at 4 o’clock. Before you know it it will be Santa trains and the mince pie specials. However, before that there’s a bit of a do on the East Lancs, next week, and then two Caley engines and some Caley coaches at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway from 2nd to 4th November. The Strathspey Railway’s 0-6-0 No.828 is the guest engine and Bo’ness’ own, fresh from overhaul, No.419 will be back in action. She was steamed and run for the first time, last week. It will, according to the B&KR, be the first time these two Caley engines have been together, in preservation.  A braw mornin’ wi’ loadsa sunshine would be nice too!

In the photo No.76079 is climbing past Esk valley, shortly after leaving Grosmont, with a train for Pickering.

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

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Tall chimneys

No.20exbay1Back in the days when ‘dark satanic mills’ covered the land tall chimneys were everywhere, even the locomotives had them. Furness Railway No.20, in this guise, really does look mid-Victorian, she was built in 1863 by Sharp Stewart, the famous Manchester engine builders. Sharp Stewart, moved to Glasgow in 1888 eventually becoming one of the constituents of the North British Locomotive Co. It was Sharp Stewart who, in 1860, acquired the ‘sole patent’ for Giffard’s newly invented ‘injector’ – which, as we all know, became the norm in British locomotive building practice.

No.20’s career with the Furness Railway was fairly short-lived and by 1870 she had been sold to the Barrow Haematite Steel Co. who kept her in service until 1960 – though she had been converted to a saddle tank, by Sharp Stewart, before being sold on to Barrow Haematite. No.20 was back built to her original condition by the volunteers of the Furness Railway Trust, and others, and was recommissioned, on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway in 1999.

In this photograph, No.20 is heading out of the bay platform at the Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s Bo’ness station, during the Bo’ness & Kinneil railway gala in2015.

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

“Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.”

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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the on off in out shake it all about Scotsman

60103tyneheadHere she is, the ‘nation’s favourite engine’ doing her stuff on the brand new Borders Railway, or, as some might say, the northern end of the  of the Waverley route. The gradient here is 1:70, there’s around 9 miles of it between Hardengreen Jct and Tynehead, which is where this shot was taken, and a final mile at 1:100 to the summit at Falahill box.

The A3s were no strangers to this route and they were amongst the last steam locomotives to work over the route, before its much lamented closure in January 1969. Numbers 60041 Salmon Trout, 60052 Prince Palatine and 60100 Spearmint were all regular visitors during 1965. In September and October of 1966 there were a series of ‘steam farewell’ tours over the route, with V2s, A1s and an A4 all in the mix. The last steam hauled stopping train between Hawick and Carlisle ran on the 5th of June 1965, hauled by BR std. Class 4 No.76050.

Back in today’s world; if ever you wanted to ensure maximum publicity for a rail tour the on, off, and back on saga of the runs over the Borders Railway and the evening trip around the Fife circle was surely the way to go. Flying Scotsman and the tour featured two nights running on the main Scottish news and, on Sunday, the BBC 1 evening news got in on the act, adding their ten pen’orth, as did the Scottish Transport Minister, who probably gained a few brownie points from rail fans and passengers.

Scottish news even managed to do piece on No.60103 Flying Scotsman’s visit to the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, where she will be ‘on display’ on Monday – that’s today. Along the route, well the bit I saw, the stretch of A7 between Eskbank and Tynehead, there were crowds on every bridge and vantage point, they must have run into the hundreds – the pulling power of steam, or media hype – take your pick.

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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Steam, Diesel & Electric

No.6longannett

A little while ago I was given a pile of back issues of Railway Magazine, from the 1930s and 40s, one of which just happens to be the February 1936 edition. Eighty years ago this month, Railway Magazine readers were enjoying articles on; 100 years of German Railways, The Early Days on the London & Greenwich Railway, North American Railway Speeds in 1934, Early Locomotives in Canada, and Part 1 of The Culm Valley Branch of the GWR, as well as regular features, Locomotive Practice & Performance, The Why and the Wherefore, Pertinent Paragraphs, and What the Railways are doing.

In the ‘What the Railways are doing’ feature, was this little gem; “On New Year’s Day, the Bristolian made an inauspicious start to the year in consequence of “King” class 4-6-0 No. 6011 developing a hot box, and having to come off the train at Foxhall junction, Didcot. A “Hall” class 4-6-0 was commandeered, and having regard to the stop and consequent delay, and the 6ft.wheels of the substitute, good work was done to get the train into Bristol no more than 31 min. late.” No internet then – just image waiting best part of 2 months to hear what was happening!!

It might be just me, but I got the impression, from flicking through these pre-war, and war time, editions, that there was a much more ‘World’ railways theme in them. Photographs and articles about European and North American railways feature in many and ‘correspondents’, from around the globe, feature in the letters pages.

The ‘steam diesel and electric’ is Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway’s NCB No.6  acting station pilot, the diesel is sat in the head shunt and the electric bit is Longannet power station, visible in the back ground, just above and to the right of the diesel.

For anyone interested, I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, on many levels, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: ‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

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Bo’ness passing

80105&246sadd

It’s Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway’s gala this weekend and it’s also the last outing, before her ticket expires, of Ex-LNER Class D49 4-4-0 No.246 Morayshire, which is why I chose the ‘passing’ shot. The pilot engine BR Std Class 4MTT 2-6-4 No.80105 is already in the overhaul queue.  The workshops at Bo’ness must be getting pretty full now, as along with No. 80105 and No.246 Morayshire, there are the longer term absentees the ‘Caley Tank’ No. 419 and the old battler Ex-North British Railway 0-6-0 No.65243 Maude.

Another engine which will be keeping the workshop crew busy, at some point, is the recently repatriated, (2014), Glasgow built 8F, Ex Turkish State Railways No.45170. No.45170 was built by the North British Locomotive Co., in 1942, and then allocated to the War Department, who sent her out on loan to the LMS for a few months, before she was shipped out to Turkey in 1943. The current estimate for putting No.45170 back in action is a cool £250,000. One can only wish them well with their fund raising.

The gala begins with a couple of fish trains on  Friday night – sorry, fish and chip trains –  and they come complete with a groan inducing banner – ‘The Frying Scotsman’ – sadly Flying Scotsman will not be on the premises!! Later maybe?

 For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Hunting in the shires

246gdsberwyn

When I was a nipper, near to our home, was Burley Park, through which ran the, North Eastern Railway, route from Leeds Central to Harrogate and points north – the Hunts, of Class D49, were regular performers. I knew the numbers for The Bedale, The Quorn, and The The Goathland, before I knew my times tables, 62740, 62727 and 62765, respectively.

These weren’t the only D49s on the route, and there were quite a number allocated to both Neville Hill 50B, in Leeds, and Starbeck 50D, Harrogate, though it was mostly the Starbeck based engines which came through Burley Park, as I recall. North bound trains were working very hard at this point too, the gradient is between 1 in 90 and 1 in 100, and the three cylinder bark, of a Hunt hard at work, is quite distinctive.

There are, sadly, no surviving Hunts, but we do have No.246 Morayshire, BR No.62712, thanks to a laundry in Edinburgh. No. 62712 Morayshire, was withdrawn in 1961, and went to  Inverurie Works, where some chums and I saw her, in a sad state, in 1964. This might have been her last were it not for the Slateford Laundry, who purchased No.62712 for use as a boiler – this gave enough time for Scottish Railway enthusiast, Ian Fraser,  to raise the money to rescue her for preservation.

I know the setting for the photograph might look like a Highland Glen, it’s actually the approach to Berwyn Station, on the Llangollen Railway, in North Wales, not an area one would expect to find an LNER Class D49 4-4-0 with a goods train. No. 246, now painted in BR livery and numbered 62712 is in her final few months before her boiler ticket expires and is to be found at work on the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway.

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If you enjoy my photos and writing - I'm sure you'd enjoy my ebook 'Gricing' the sales of which help to keep this blog running. The links below will take you to it. You can read a sample for free and you don't need a Kindle - there's a free app so you can read it, and view the photos at screen size, on you PC.
http://www.amazon.com/Gricing-real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B00ML0QYK2
or for British readers.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B00ML0QYK2
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No smoke without fire.

246kinneil

Blue skies and thick black clag, which to some railway enthusiasts is just as it should be. However, there’s another school which thinks making black smoke is bad form, gets railway preservation a bad name, and upsets the neighbours and the green lobby. Then there are the almost inevitable arguments about, how the fireman should have opened the dampers, or firehole door etc., etc.

Debates about how to drive and fire a steam locomotive usually bring out all the armchair theorists, a sprinkling of ex-steam firemen and drivers and, the inevitable, ‘ Mr. Know it all’, who could be an ex-footplateman just as easily as it could be an enthusiast. One grows to accept all this as part and parcel of a hobby which arouses people’s passions and prejudices in almost equal proportions. Being an ex-footplateman, and an enthusiast you could say I have a foot in both camps – I even had a regular column in, the now defunct, Steam Railway News, which went under the name ‘Clag and Rockets’ – so maybe my sympathies lie more towards the ‘I love clag camp’.

There is another debate, and this one does concern me more than the colour of the exhaust, it’s about setting off and having the cylinder cocks open. In general terms one completed movement of the piston, with the cylinder cocks open, should clear any water from the cylinder. There may be an exceptional set of circumstances which could result in the need to open the cylinder cocks if the engine was carrying water from the regulator valve – only a seriously over-filled boiler, or an engine priming very badly due to needing a washout are likely to cause this.

However, the are some drivers, on the heritage railways, who run with the taps open for ludicrous distances, way beyond anything reasonably required to clear the cylinders of any build up of water. In the case of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway some of them still have the taps open as they approach the entrance to Grosmont tunnel – this is dangerous, they cannot see that the line ahead is clear of obstruction, nor can they see if anyone is waving a flag, lamp, or arm to warn them. I suggest that those who think this is sound operating practice, take a long hard look at all the hours of footage of steam action from the 1900s to 1968. What you don’t see is engine and train enveloped in a white mist for a quarter of a mile or more.

If you've enjoyed this post, please feel free to share with friends, rail fans, or railway groups.

http://steamagedaydreams.co.uk/

You might also enjoy my ebook 'Gricing' the sales of which help to keep this blog running.

http://www.amazon.com/Gricing-real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B00ML0QYK2

or for British readers.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B00ML0QYK2
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Steam Age Daydreams at the GCR gala

Star attraction, for me anyway, at the Great Central Railway gala was the Ex-LNER class D49 4-4-0 No.62712 Morayshire. Growing up, in Leeds, in the 1950s, these engines were a common sight on the lines around my home. No.62712 is seen here pulling away from Loughborough Central Station with a train for Quorn

via Steam Age Daydreams at the galas.

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