Tag Archives: S&DJR

War Effort

One of a batch 90 engines, built by LIMA in 1945, USATC No.5820 was shipped directly to liberated France and eventually became Polish Railways Tr. 203.474. It was said at the time, 1942 – 45, that the American GIs were ‘over sexed, over paid, and over here’. I don’t know about that but, what I do know is that 398 of these American engines were allocated to the ‘Big Four’ with 50 of them going  to the LMS.

Whether the S160s ever worked through Keighley or up the Worth valley I cannot say. The engines which were sent to Britain were shipped to South Wales and taken, intially, to Ebbw Jct. for dispersal to the other members of the Big Four, and some to storage in preparation for the D-day landings. Some of the early arrivals went to Doncaster for completion and running in on the ECML. The LNER eventually had 168 on the books, the GWR 178, and the Southern just 6.

Built to be ‘expendable’ the S160s did have their problems. From a footplateman’s perspective having only one gauge glass, and that of a an unfamiliar type, which was less than 100% reliable, wasn’t a good thing. During the first year of their deployment there were 3 boiler explosions due to low levels of water in the boiler creating a sudden crown sheet collapse; and a GWR fireman was killed in one of them.

To the right of ‘Big Jim’ is Ex-S&DJR  Class 7F 2-8-0 No.53808 an engine which would, almost certainly, have played a role in WWII, on the S&D. During the war a hospital train was stationed at Templecombe, it was kept in a state of readiness to evacuate injured and wounded from the South coast ports to military hospitals. And, when Templecombe itself was bombed, it was used to treat the casualties; five railwaymen and eight passengers died in the attack.

The photo, taken at this year’s K&WVR Winter Gala, shows ‘Big Jim’, banked by Ex-Taff Vale Railway 0-6-2T No.85, pulling away from Keighley with the ‘demo’ goods train.

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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Neither Somerset nor Dorset

Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway No.88, now No. 53808, was built in Darlington, by Robert Stephenson & Co., in 1925. The first 6 engines in the class were introduced in 1914, to work the coal and goods traffic on the heavily graded route over the Mendip Hills. In 1925, post-Grouping, 5 more were ordered and No.53808 was one of them, which, I suppose, would make her an LMS rather than S&DJR engine. No.53808 was a one shed engine, allocated new to Bath Green Park where she remained  until withdrawn in March 1964.

Despatched to Woodhams scrapyard she was saved by the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust; and is usaully to be found at work on the West Somerset Railway. However, in the photograph she is en-route to Ingrow with the 14:20 goods from Keighley; the banker is K&WVR resident, Ex-Taff Vale Railway 0-6-2T, No.85. In addition to their intended freight duties the S&DJR Class 7F 2-8-0s frequently saw service on passenger duties, between Bath and Bournemouth, especially during the Summer timetable.

Motive power over the S&D’s Bath – Bournemouth route was a mix of LMS and Southern, the line’s joint owners, and in the later years Bulleid Pacifics were a not uncommon sight. The British Railways 9F 2-10-0s were also used for a time and in 1960, the now preserved No.92203, was one of number allocated to Bath Green Park. The S&D was, to all intents an purposes, immortalised in the work of the photographer Ivo Peters and in the footplate work and writings of Bath Green Park enginemen Donald Beale and Peter Smith. It was very nice, to have had a distant echo them and the line they loved right here in Yorkshire.

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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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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Thomas goes main line

 

47406discs

Not quite ‘live from Loughborough’ – this photograph is from the GCR’s Autumn gala in 2014.  However, all things being equal, on Saturday, I hope to be at the 2015 Winter gala enjoying scenes like this, there might even be a bit of snow, putting the icing on the cake.

Based on earlier designs, by Samuel Waite Johnson, who was the Chief Mechanical Engineer to the Midland Railway from 1873 to 1903, these  0-6-0Ts, classified 3F, have been immortalised as ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’. They began to enter service, on the LMS, from 1924 onwards, under the auspices of Sir Henry Fowler, not Sir Topham Hatt. However, as time passed, they saw service not only on the LMS but around the country.

In 1958, according to my Combined Volume, there were 417 of these engines still in service. My shed book for 1960 shows these much loved and ubiquitous little tank engines spread around the country from Bath Green Park on the former Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway to Swansea (Victoria) and its sub-sheds Gurnos, Llandovery, and Upper Bank, a Midland Railway out-post in Wales. In Scotland numbers of them were shedded at Polmadie and Corkerhill in Glasgow as well at Hamilton 66C, and in 1955, No. 47541 was up in the Highlands at Inverness. Sticking with 1960, No. 47429 was based at New England (Peterborough), and Nos.47306 & 47311 were at 30A Stratford in East London, and No.47312 was based at 33A Plaistow, the Ex-London Tilbury & Southend Railway depot. Even former North Eastern strongholds  like York and Starbeck had an allocation. The locomotive in the photograph, No.47406, was, in 1960, shedded at 24L Carnforth, just as she had been in 1955 when Carnforth was 11A.

Today, No.47406 is a resident at the Great Central Railway’s Loughborough MPD where she was returned to steam, from ‘scrapyard condition’, by Roger Hibbert and his team.

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

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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
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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