Tag Archives: Edinburgh

2001 – not a space odyssey

2001conRailway Magazine, January 1936, and CJ Allen’s Locomotive Practice & Performance, with additions by OS Nock, is all about the P2s and, in particular, over the Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.  Train loadings in the detailed running logs were in the 475 to 500 ton range, over a very difficult stretch of railway – the very loads and railway these engines were designed for.  The ‘performances’ ranged from ‘a little disappointing’ to ‘very fine’ and seem to have been determined as much by the driver’s intentions as engine capabilities.

The P2s were all pretty ‘experimental’ locomotives being built with different types of valve gear, boiler, and firebox arrangements, even the shapes changed, some were built with Gresley’s ‘classic’ Bugatti style streamling, others, like No.2001 Cock O’ the North, began life with the V front design, as pictured, and then became streamlined.  In 1943 / 44 Gresley’s successor Edward Thompson rebuilt them all as A2 class 4-6-2s, a choice which was not without some rancour and division, but I am not going to add to it.

On the subject of rancour and division; one of the original P2s was named after one of the most unpleasant members of the Scottish ‘nobility’ ‘Wolf of Badenoch’, a.k.a Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan. Wolf of Badenoch, it seems, was a bit of a ladies man and not very fond of stroppy churchmen. His run in with Bishop Burr, Bishop of Elgin, ended with Badenoch burning down Elgin cathedral, a church, and monastic ‘hospital’. In today’s more enlightened times, a new P2 is under construction, by the same  dedicated group of enthusiasts, who built No.60163 Tornado – we can only wish them well.

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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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Between the Wars

9449craigentinny copy

It’s 1929 and the former North British Railway 4-4-2T, now London & North Eastern Railway class C16 No.9449, is, according to the legend on the back of the photograph, “passing Craigentinny”. A vastly different scene today, of course. These engines were designated as the L class when in NBR ownership, a development of the Reid M class, which later became, LNER class C15. The main difference between the M & L or C15 & C16 was that the latter were fitted with Robinson type superheaters.

The original M class, designed by Reid, for the NBR, were unusual in that they were constructed, for the NBR, by the Yorkshire Engine Co. A choice which inevitably led to them being known as Yorkshire Tanks, or Yorkies. They were built for work on the Edinburgh and Glasgow suburban services but, also worked Clyde Coast trains and services between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The C16s were built at the NBR’s Atlas Works between 1915 and 1916 with a further batch built in 1921, and immediately took over the ‘heavier’ duties, displacing the C15s.

In later years, as they themselves were displaced, they were allocated as far afield as Aberdeen, Dundee, and Dunfermline. One of them which, by the time, 1954, was  BR No.67488, had a bit part role in the film, ‘Geordie’, which was shot near Gartmore on the Aberfoyle branch. None of the C15 or C16s survived long enough to make it into preservation, which is, perhaps, a pity as they are quite handsome looking tank engines.

In just over two weeks Steam Age Daydreams will cease. On the website there is an archive of over 600 articles, and even more photographs in them – you might want to check out before they go too.

I will still be passing my time photographing steam locomotives and for those of you who have enjoyed reading the Blog – I will be continuing to write, Part II of ‘In Memory’ will be available before the end of the month with parts III, IV and V to follow at intervals in the New Year. If you’ve enjoyed my photographs the Steam Age Daydreams 2019 Calendar is now on sale on eBay – here’s the link: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302936132284

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

 

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The Holbeck Scots

46115insch

If you lived in Leeds in the 50s, you’ll know the Scots were regular performers on the Thames Clyde Express, and the Waverley, the former running non-stop between Leeds and Carlisle. In 1955,  Holbeck MPD 20A,  had nine Scots on the books, including Welsh  and Irish Guardsman, but not No.46115 Scots Guardsman, which was based at 9A Longsight MPD, in Manchester. By 1960 Holbeck had become 55A and the complement of Scots was down to four and, as the swinging sixties began to swing, the  A3s were  turning up on the Waverley.

Speaking of Waverley – later this year we could see steam back on part of the old Waverley route between Edinburgh and Galashiels, which, at great expense, has just about re-opened, a proving train ran on the 8th of June and public services start in September, following driver training and route learning. For the steam fans there are to be a number, unspecified, of steam trips, after the public opening, ‘to gauge passenger interest in a summer service for 2016.’  The interest might be the 8 miles of 1:70 on the climb out of Edinburgh up to Falahill – make a nice debut season for No. 60103 Flying Scotsman – an A3 on the Waverley – how very 1960s!!

The Scot in the photograph, No.46115 Scots Guradsman, is passing Insch golf course, en-route from Aberdeen to Inverness, with one of the series of GB Rail Tours.

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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A four Art Deco

There’s some comment about ‘history repeating itself’ and there are certainly parallels to be drawn between 1930s Britain and the current ‘austerity’ programme. Glamour and glitz in the 1930s was to travel by train, in rolling stock with Art Deco interiors to match their streamlined exteriors; trains like the Coronation, or The Silver Jubilee which ran between London and Newcastle, in 1935.

The first of the A4s ‘Silver Link’, painted in Silvery / grey livery, hauling matching streamlined silver/ grey painted stock, reached 112mph on the inaugural Silver Jubilee run, made on the 29th September 1935; regular services commenced the following day. No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, the engine in the photograph, also attained 112mph – post-war, and a small laurel leaf plaque affixed to the casing attests to this. Like the Silver Jubilee, the Coronation was similarly streamlined, finished in 2-tone blue, rather than silver, it ran between Kings Cross and Edinburgh. Departing Kings Cross at 4pm and arriving in Edinburgh at 10pm. During the summer timetable a beaver tailed observation car was added to the formation, which was usually made up of two four coach articulated units.

Passengers on these trains paid a premium above the standard fare and the London to Newcastle journey, on the Silver Jubilee, with an intermediate stop in Darlington took just 4 hours to cover the 268.3miles, about 67mph average. The Coronation took just six hours for the journey from Edinburgh to London, this was in 1937. Sadly the Second World War saw this service discontinued and post war the stock entered general service – ‘austerity’ post war style didn’t run to Art Deco rolling stock, hauled by Art Deco styled locomotives, hurtling along the ECML at 100+ mph.

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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
Please like & share:
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