Tag Archives: North British Locomotive Co.

The driver, the guard, and the mail bag catcher.

The humble 0-6-0 tank engine, guards van in tow, could be seen anywhere from bucolic country branch lines to a colliery siding in Barnsley. And the first recorded 0-6-0, ‘Royal George’, built by Timothy Hackworth, for the Stockton & Darlington Railway, in 1827, is credited, by some commentators, with ensuring the success of steam haulage on the S&D, which, at the time, was said to be ‘in the balance’.

These ‘Fowler’ LMS Class 3F, 0-6-0Ts are, essentially, updates of an earlier Midland Railway design of Samuel Waite Johnson, the 2441 Class, introduced in 1899. The ‘Jinties’, as they are commonly and collectively known, were introduced in 1924 and many of them were built by private contactors. The Hunselt Engine Co. built 90, the North British Locomotive Co. made 75, and Vulcan Foundry constructed 120, including No.47406, in 1926.

WG Bagnall was another one of the private companies given an order to build the 3Fs,  seven of which, in 1929,  went to the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway – S&DJR Nos. 19 – 25, in 1930 they were absorbed into LMS stock. And, in one of those you learn something new everyday moments, I discovered that 90 Jinties were built by William Beardmore & Co. a Glasgow ship building corporation.

Nine Jinties made it into preservation 4 from Vulcan Foundries, 3 of the North British ones and 2 of the Hunslets but, the Bagnalls and all the Beardmore’s bit the dust; as did the last 15 of the Class, built at Horwich works, in 1931. Quite a number of the preserved examples have run in the past but, currently No.47406 is the only operational Jinty. No.47298 and 47324 are ‘under overhaul’ at Rileys and the ELR with No. 47324 being expected back later this year or early in 2019 as is No.47298 – watch this space, as they say.

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

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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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‘better go in disguise’

44787&63395MPDOne loco disguised as another isn’t confined to ‘heritage railways’, indeed it began many years before railway preservation ever got started. Probably the most famous, and surviving, example is No.61000 Royal Scot, which had a name change way back in 1933. The LMS were invited to send one of their engines to the ‘Century of Progress Exposition’ in Chicago and the decision was made to send one of the ‘Royal Scot class 4-6-0s. The obvious choice was the doyen of the class No.(4)6100 Royal Scot, which had been built in 1927, by the North British Locomotive Co. Rather than send the six year old and rather care worn No.(4)6100 Royal Scot the LMS swapped name plates and numbers with No.(4)6152 The King’s Dragoon Guardsman, which was some 3 years younger, having rolled out of the shops in 1930, and sent her instead.

No.46100 Royal Scot owes her survival not to any national policy of preserving locomotives with ‘history’, but to Billy Butlin and his holiday camps. No.46100 Royal Scot was withdrawn in 1962 and from 1963, following a cosmetic overhaul and re-paint into ‘crimson lake’ livery, she was on display at Butlin’s Skegness camp, where she remained until 1971, when she went to Bressingham.

In the photograph, Black 5 No.45428, has swapped identities with No.44787, which between 1955 and 1963, was allocated to 65A Eastfield (Glasgow) and is here carrying a 66B Motherwell MPD shed plate where she was based during the years 1963 to 65 and from where she was withdrawn in November of that year. A working life of just 18 years, which is very short for a locomotive which would quite easily have been expected to work 40, 50, or more.

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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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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Fair day Fairburn

42085pass

My abiding memory of these engines are from Leeds City Station in the late 1950s. Bradford bound  trains from London, and the famous ‘Devonian’, would be hauled in and out of Leeds, en route to or from Bradford Forster Square, by these Fairburn 2-6-4Ts or, their immediate ancestors, the Stanier version with their slightly longer wheelbase, occasionally, by the still earlier Fowler versions, which were, by then, 30 years old.

Today, I have a rather different view of ‘back then’. Today, I’m amazed that both during, and in the aftermath, of WWII so many new locomotives were being built, or were on the drawing boards. The Merchant Navy class and their smaller sisters, the West Country and Battle of Britain classes, were rolling out of the workshops on the Southern, on the LMS, these Fairburn tanks, then the Ivatts, not to mention the continued production of Black 5s and 8Fs, the LNER were weighing in with A1, A2, and B1 classes most, if not all, of which were built between 1942 and 1949. I know not all of the engines were being built ‘in house’ and that major manufactures, such as, the North British Locomotive Co., Vulcan Foundry, or Armstrong Whitworth, were also adding to the numbers, but even so, it is still a pretty phenomenal achievement.

Another phenomenal achievement, from ‘back then’, was the number of miles of railway built between 1839 and 1849. Currently we are planning to take between 13 and 17 years to build a line from London, through Birmingham to Manchester and eventually Leeds – around 300 miles. In those ten years, 1839 -1849, in Olde Victorian Tymes, with not so  much as a hard hat or JCB in sight,  ‘railway navvies’, men with picks and shovels, dynamite and donkeys built 4,000 miles of railway, across Britain. To do that 400 miles a year was being built, complete with tunnels, bridges, cuttings, embankments, stations, goods yards –   that is progress! It also gives some perspective on new build projects. More on this later.

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You might also enjoy my ebook 'Gricing'

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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