Tag Archives: L&SWR

Not Midsomer or summer

45305-pinesThe Pines Express began life, without title, in 1910; it ran from Manchester to Bournemouth and was launched, by the LNWR & the MR to compete with a service from Birkenhead to Bournemouth, which was operated by the LSWR & the GWR. The first ‘named’ Pines Express ran in September 1927, the last one to run over the Somerset & Dorset Joint, was in September 1962. The engine on the right, No.92220 Evening Star, hauled that train. (The engine in the photo is actually No.92214 mocked up as No.92220 Evening Star.)

The route and train were, perhaps, more well known than they might have been thanks to the photography of Ivo Peters and the writings of footplatemen Donald Beale and Peter Smith. The S&DJR also had a unique class of locos. Designed and built in Derby, (the Midland Railway was responsible for the motive power of the S&DJR),  the S&D 2-8-0 7Fs, apart from a brief interregnum when they were tried out on coal trains in the Midlands, spent their entire working lives on the S&D. 11 of these engines were built, in two phases, the first in 1914 and the second in 1925. They remained in service until 1959 when withdrawals began; the final engines were withdrawn in 1964. Remarkably for such a small, and ‘dedicated’ class of locomotives, 2 of them survived into preservation, Nos. 53808 and 53809 – both engines are, currently, operational.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – 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 Pines Express?

92214pinesSadly, not Midsomer Norton, or Sturminster Newton, but Goathland, not high in the Mendips,  high on the North Yorkshire Moors. The Pines Express which ran from Manchester to Bournemouth, began in 1910, though it wasn’t named ‘The Pines Express’ until 1927. Originally operated by the LMS /LNWR the service was a response to the LSWR / GWR who had begun to operate a joint service between Bournemouth and Birkenhead.

Until 1962 the Pines Express ran via the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway, which was formed, principally, of the Somerset Central Railway and the Northern section of the Dorset Central Railway, which, in an amalgamation of September 1862, become the Somerset & Dorset Railway. The S&DR’s extension into Bath effectively bankrupted the company and in 1875 they signed a deal with the LMS and the LSWR, to ensure the survival of the company. The following year, 1876, by Act of Parliament, the S&DR became the S&DJR we all knew and now lament.

The Pines Express used the S&DJR until 1962 when it was re-routed  via Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke and Southamptom, until it was axed in 1967. Briefly resurrected by BR the name Pines Express finally disappeared in 2002.

The last Pines Express over the S&DJR was hauled by the last Swindon built locomotive, No.92220 Evening Star, which was slightly ironic as the purchase of the S&DR by the LMS / LSWR was made to prevent the GWR having access – c’est la vie.

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 essential ingredients

cescoal&waterFor several years, during the mid-1990s, I was involved in some research on the Railway Races to the North and Railway Labour using the facilities of the reading room of the National Railway Museum. During my lunch breaks I would go into the museum and sit on an old ‘waiting room’ bench, with a sandwich and a flask of coffee. The bench was opposite a locomotive I had fired, many times, 30 years previously, over the LSWR main lines from Waterloo to Bournemouth or Salisbury and back. The engine concerned is the ‘sectioned’ display No. 35029 Ellerman Lines, and a fine machine she was too.

What struck me most, apart from the very odd conversations that folk had about the engine and what did what, was that despite being cut in half, and the motion slowly turning, so that the actions of valves and pistons were clearly visible, there was a glaring omission. In the attempt to show how the locomotive worked, and what its constituent parts were, there was not one word about the essential ingredients, no not the coal and water – it was the footplate crew who were missing. There was no explanation of how it was the skill, effort, and team work of the footplatemen that really made the steam engine steam and create the power to turn the wheels and haul the train. Nor, for that matter, was there any explanation of the countless others, fitters, boilersmiths, steam risers, etc. etc. who worked, behind the scenes, to keep the engine available for traffic. Just as there was only ‘half’ an engine to see there was, sadly, only ‘half’ a tale being told.

The photograph is at Andrews House Station on the Tanfield Railway.

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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Speeding Mail

6960tpo

Under a cloudless blue sky, Ex-GWR Hall Class 4-6-0 No.6960 Raveningham Hall, is nicely into her stride, with the Loughborough – Rothley Mails, during the  Great Central Railway’s recent, ‘Railways at work’ weekend. A mini gala with freight, passenger, and TPO workings, the former BR 2-10-0, No.92214, was mocked up as No.92220 Evening Star, complete with copper capped chimney, for the event..

Swapping names and numbers, it could be argued, is simply the preservationists continuing an age old railway tradition of swapping loco identities, as and when it suited a particular, usually publicity oriented, purpose. Makes sense if your running a business, to sell it to the public – and heritage railways are businesses, with wages to pay, bills to meet for everything from track and infrastructure  maintenance, to meat pies in the Buffet – you know, the one’s the Fat Controller eats, when Thomas isn’t watching!!

The competition between the London & South Western Railway and the Great Western Railway, for the carriage of the ‘Atlantic Mails’ and the Ocean Liner Passengers, from Plymouth to London was, in it’s own way, as intense as the Railway Races to the North of 1895. The GWR carried the mail, the L&SWR carried the passengers – the only stop was an engine change. This rivalry, it is believed, was behind the Salisbury rail crash of 1906 when 28 people died, including the driver and fireman of the Boat Train. Beyond the tragic loss of life in this incident, the same rivalry was, it is argued, the spur for No.3440 City of Truro and the did she didn’t she reach 100mph saga. A rather more important consequence of the 1906 crash was, that trains ‘through’ Salisbury ceased,   thereafter all trains ‘called’ at Salisbury.

If you've enjoyed this post, please feel free to share: http://steamagedaydreams.co.uk/   - with friends, rail fans, or railway groups.
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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Pounding the Bodmin Beattie

30585book

Bodmin, besides having the charming Bodmin & Wenford Railway as an attraction, does offer a rather disturbing, if not positively macabre, alternative – Bodmin Jail. I can do little better by way of introduction than this quote, taken from the Jail’s own website: ‘Welcome to Bodmin Jail’.  ‘We are an all weather, family attraction….’ If this hasn’t made you slightly wary, there’s more – a ‘Night Ghost Walk’ with, ‘an experienced and professional Psychic’ – a steal at a mere £75 for the night, ‘don’t forget warm clothes and a torch,  and a camera’. ( In case you need to escape?)

Spending the night in an 18th Century jail, ‘ghost hunting’, makes standing in a sun lit field, taking photographs of 19th Century technology, a veritable haven of sanity in an increasingly, mad, mad, world. Anyway, back to the railway stuff, Joseph Beattie, who designed what eventually became this engine, was born in Ireland in 1808; and the short version is that his Dad got him a job with another Joe – Joseph Locke, a Barnsley lad, who built a chunk of what became the London South Western Railway’s main line. These connections secured Beattie the post of Carriage & Wagon Superintendent at Nine Elms works, he became  Locomotive Engineer there, in July 1850.  He was succeeded, in the post of Locomotive Engineer, by his son, William George Beattie, in 1871.

I will now play my ‘get out of jail free card’ , undo the Locke and Beattie a hasty retreat – ‘I’ll get my coat’.

If you've enjoyed this post, please feel free to share: http://steamagedaydreams.co.uk/   - with friends, rail fans, or railway groups.
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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