Midland Railway


The earliest Midland sets for Moorgate Street – Bedford services were introduced in 1868 by Kirtley. Calyton’s first sets were ordered from the Gloucester Wagon Co. in 1875, and were 27′ long and 8’6″ wide, and similar carriages with detail differences continued to be built up to 1898. They were gas lit from the outset, initially the gas being carried in leather bags on the roof encased in a long wooden box resembling a clerestory, and from 1883 the bags were replaced with cylinders mounted on the underframe. More batches of these carriages were introduced in 1883/4, this time built at Derby, and these became the standard type for the various Lots over the next 15 years. In a previous post I mentioned the discovery of a short formation in 1893: B3/3/1/1/3/B3 in Lacy & Dow Vol.2, which also gives five of the six running numbers in that set. Fortunately I believe I can deduce the missing number. Like the GWR City sets, these carriages had short buffers (standard length ones on the brake ends) and were close-coupled.

The Brake 3rd in the photograph was one of Lot 100, a batch of 44 carriages built in 1884 to Diagram 505, drawing 596. Straw-lined in the crimson Lake livery of the period, the short buffers on the inner end (long on the outer end), close coupling pinion and side chains are clear, as is a prominent roof destination board.

Mercian produce kits for these carriages, but I’m concerned about the depth of the lower panels and windows – it may just be the photograph, but I’ll need to measure a kit up to be sure. Once I have the opportunity to do so, probably the ALSRM show [edit: ALSRM site unavailable pro tem, alternative link provided] at Reading in May, I’ll report back.

In the 1890s, the Midland passenger services on the Widened Lines were mostly in the capable hands of Johnson 0-4-4Ts, though several of Kirtley’s fascinating double-framed 0-4-4BTs had avoided being displaced, and were still available for passenger turns. Kirtley’s 780 class were unusual in that they had a ‘Back Tank’, the water being carried in a tank in the bunker. The class of twenty, built in 1870, was the Dübs & Co. version of the Beyer, Peacock 690 Class built the year previously, but due to differences in the type of brake fitted, the 690 class spent its early life on goods duties, whereas the 780 class were used on passenger services. All members of the class received wrap-over roof, and apart from the fitting of the automatic vacuum brake in 1889, and an earlier change from green paint to lined Crimson Lake, the external appearance remained very much unchanged over the years, and into the period covered by Basilica Fields.

The photo shows Number 786 sometime after 1889 and displays the crimson lake livery with elaborate ‘London lining’ – absolutely gorgeous to look at, but a challenge for my Laurie Griffin kit.

I’ve been wondering just how much stock I’ll need as the bare minimum to get Artillery Lane up and running. I consider the main players for this segment to be the Metropolitan, the Midland, the Great Western and the Great Northern. All of these will be providing passenger services, and all using tanks with condensing apparatus. I’ve also decided where on my timeline I want to begin, and after much deliberation I’m plumping for mid to late 1890s.

Taking the four companies in turn, the Metropolitan used the famous A and B class Beyer Peacock 4-4-0 tanks, hauling rigid eights or rakes of nine ‘Jubilee’ 4-wheelers. The tanks are essential, and currently there are no kits on the market, so it’s likely to mean finding the GAs, a visit to the London Transport Museum to measure and photograph the preserved one, and a bout of head-scratching and scratch-building to cobble it all together. I’ve had the artwork for the Jubilee carriages drawn up by a friend which has been a real boon. A rake of Jubilees was formed thus: Bk2/2/1/1/3/3/3/3/Bk3, and thanks to Jim Snowdon’s book on Met. stock, I have the individual numbers of the carriages to hand.

The Midland had a variety of four-coupled tanks in use, by both Kirtley and Johnson. Carriages consisted of Clayton’s 1st, 3rds and Bk3rd City sets running in various formations, and according to Lacy & Dow, one short train in 1893 consisted of Bk3/3/1/1/3/Bk3, the same source gives all the numbers of the carriages in that rake bar on, and I reckon I can make a pretty decent guess at what that might be. I have a Laurie Griffin kit for the Kirtley tank and Slater’s kit for the Johnson type, the latter requiring a few changes to represent the relevant class. Mercian can supply the carriages, but I want to see and measure a number of key dimensions before buying as the photos on their website are not exactly complimentary.

The Great Western provided the 2-4-0 ‘Metro’ tanks in a number of varieties hauling Holden’s 4-wheel stock. Thanks to some herculean research by Graham Beare and John Lewis I now have enough information to build and number a prototypical rake, as running between 1890 and 1896. I have a Roxey kit for the loco and for the 3rds and Bk3rd, but will have to draw up some artwork to get some sides etched for the 1sts, 2nds and Bk2nds.

The Great Northern had a variety of different four-coupled back and well tanks by Sturrock and Stirling, but I’m going to begin GN services with a Meteor kit of Ivatt’s C2 Atlantic tank (LNER C12), introduced in 1898. I’ve drawn a complete blank regarding carriages – I assume 4-wheelers, but researches continue along with membership to the GNRS for some much needed help..

I’ll be making  in depth posts about all of these locos and carriages in due course. What is slightly concerning is that apart from a minimum of four passenger locos, I’ll need about 25 carriages, and that’s before I factor in the GNR services which remain elusive.

Next I’ll consider the minimum goods services.

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