Widened Lines


The Great Northern introduced a 19′ covered van in 1906 and vans for perishable traffics were built to the same design, unfortunately all fall just outside of the Basilica time frame in the strictest sense so will not appear here.

However, there were at least two types of 19′ long refrigerated vans in service at the turn of the century; Diagram 113, for which I have seen neither drawing nor photograph and have limited information (8 tons, 10 meat hooks, 4 end posts and two sample numbers 30127 & 430133), and Diagram 116, illustrated below.

These vans had insulated bodywork lined with zinc sheeting and internal ice boxes at each end into which fresh ice was fed though sealed hatches in the roof. The cupboard doors were fitted with India rubber piping to ensure an airtight seal. All were designed for meat traffic and were fitted with 12 meat hooks on traverse bars.

As before, they were fitted with all the trappings of contemporary fast-fitted goods vans, and as well as the vacuum brake, were fitted with the Westinghouse brake (or more likely a through pipe).

© Public Domain

No. 9494 was built in March 1900, and carried the standard livery of refrigerated vans – white with black (some possibly brown oxide) solebars, buffers and running gear. Sources disagree on the colour of the lettering and shading and it also displays the legend, ‘To be returned to Victoria Dock when empty’.

I would be very interested to learn the dates both Diagrams 113 and 116 were introduced, any examples of running numbers beyond those given in Tatlow, and especially drawings of either type.

Around the turn of the century, the Great Northern elongated their standard 6T covered vans to 18′ over headstocks but changed the design to an inside-framed body with sliding doors to the right hand side. Initial batches of these Dia.117 vans had 3′ 6″ Mansell wheels, opposite hand brakes, and retained the four end posts. Later batches which were rated at 8T, gained ventilators in the ends, losing two of the posts in the process. I would be very interested in the introductory date of these vans, but this entry is more concerned with the 18′ vans for perishable traffics.

Five ton perishable vans to 18′ retained the outside wooden cross frames of the 16′ designs and sported a variety of ventilator positions depending on the designated use. Diagram 110 was designated for fruit and milk traffic, and Diagram 111 for fish, the former having louvres in the tops of the cupboard doors, the latter having plain sliding doors to the left and right. All had clerestory louvred roofs with three torpedo vents each side.

© Public Domain

Fish van no.8148 of 1899, built for traffic between Grimsby and London, exhibits all the contemporary standard fittings for GN vans designed for fast perishable goods; two foot boards, tall vacuum brake standard, screw couplings, safety chains, oil axle boxes, carriage-type swing-links to the springs, Mansell wheels, long spindle buffers, either-side brakes and carriage-style shaded lettering on the GNR brown oxide paintwork.

I’d be very interested to find out the date in which both diagrams 110 and 11 were introduced.

The Great Northern 9 ton 15 foot long open wagon, four planks high with a 9’6″ wheelbase was introduced sometime in the 1870s, and was very much the Company’s standard for many years, eventually numbering over eleven thousand.

Nice and clean - just as pre-Grouping wagons should be.  NOT!

This morning our much-burdened postie staggered down the drive with a large box of goodies. Practical model making has been impossible for quite a number of months (a situation now coming to an end, at long last!), and during my time away from home I’ve spent a lot of hours deciding exactly which stock for Basilica Fields, not already secured in the Tardis one of the bulging cupboards, is my priority for getting Artillery Lane up and running. The GNR 4-plank wagon was a key ingredient on that list, so about a month or so ago I fired off an email to CMA Moldings to enquire about the feasibility and cost of a run of GNR 4-plank wagons, but before I had a reply an email arrived from Tony West alerting me to the latest resin wagon from S&T Wagon Works – you guessed it, a GN 4-plank! When the quote returned from CMA it was plain to see that S&TWW won hands down when considering both the time of constructing the master to spec and the cost together. Those of you who’ve had wagons from S&TWW before will know what to expect – a detailed (inside and out) resin body, and (usually) all the necessary castings to make a nice working model.

Blimey!

Back to this morning; opening the box, 16 individually wrapped bodies were snugly packed in bubblewrap. On this occasion S&TWW are unable to supply the running gear for the wagon, but I’m not too fussed about that as ABS can supply the necessary axlebox/axleguard irons and brake gear, though I’m also considering having some etched parts made (one day!) for sprung axleguards. However, buffers (sprung ones of the correct ribbed profile from Haywood) and couplings are provided.

I noticed a little inwards-bowing of the sides on a few of the castings, but nothing that can’t be fixed with a wooden brace or two and a pan of hot water on the hob.

I understand this is a run of 50 which may not be repeated, so if you want some, now is the time, and procrastinators will kick themselves. A phone call to Simon Spare on 01455 233372 (evenings) will secure your wagons which cost £18 a piece plus postage.

The prototype photo shows no.33225. It is a product of its time, being fitted with grease axleboxes, plain spoked wheels and 4-rib buffer housings. The plate at the left hand of the curb rail reads, ‘Load 10 Tons / Distributed’. In the period of Basilica Fields, many, such as the one illustrated, were fitted with opposite-hand Morton brakes with both levers at the same end of the wagon and no reversing mechanism between either of them and the cross shaft – a system later banned by the Board of Trade. The levers operated two brake blocks located on diagonally opposite wheels. Over the years there were many variants, some (such as this example) were uprated to 10 tons, some were fitted with Williams’ sheet support bars, some with vacuum brakes, screw couplings, and even a vegetable frame!

Ordinary goods wagons were painted oxide brown, I’ve seen some GN models painted in oxide red, but received wisdom suggests the colour was warmer and slightly more orangy-brown, and sometimes referred to as ‘chocolate’. Until 1898, new wagons were lettered on the left hand side G Northern R in white serif characters, the initials being 6″ high and the other letters about 5″. These were often in a cross shape with the G and R above and below the T of Northern. The number was was painted on the right hand side of the wagon, and the load restriction was often on the lower left curb rail, also in white but of thinner lettering. A rectangular plate was affixed to the solebar with the initials GNR and the number below, picked out in white with a border. A tare and last painted date was also on the solebar. In 1898, new large initials were introduced, these were as large as possible up to a maximum of 30″ high. Of course it took many years for the earlier lettering to be phased out completely, and so most of those on Basilica Fields will have the earlier lettering, with just one or two ringing the changes.

OK S&TWW, we now need a contemporary GN covered van alongside!

Updated 4th July:- to include information  from Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers – relating to a paper on the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways, 17th February 1885.

22nd February 2010 is an important date in the evolving story of Basilica Fields, this is the day when the world of Artillery Lane was laid before all as an integral part of life in the (amended) history of the East End of London.  Some sort of celebration seems to be in order and Adrian has decreed that the occasion be marked in an honourable fashion.  So here we present a part of the railway infrastructure for the first section of the Basilica Fields development ‑ a brief outline of Metropolitan Railway track in the period 1895 to 1905 as shall constitute the permanent way of the Inner Circle Extension and the Extended Widened lines in the vicinity of Artillery Lane.

This post is unusual by comparison with many of the entries of the Basilica Fields journal in that the content here is either fact or an hypothetical statement for which we continue to seek evidence.  There are other categories of the Basilica Fields journal where the reader has to either recognise and separate fact from the writer’s distortion of history (to present a more enjoyable picture of nineteenth century life in the east end of London) ‑ or accept the diary entries as written.

 The Research Sources

Thanks and acknowledgement are due to Leslie Bevis-Smith, HMRS steward for the Metropolitan Railway, for providing information without which the task of building the track would be much more difficult.  Where this post provides information as historical fact in regard to “Met” track then the source of that information is Leslie (unless otherwise stated).  Unwittingly and without intent, Leslie caused us to take an unexpected diversion in our research into “Met” PW practices, a diversion which has proved to be of inestimable value and yet has caused us to rethink some of the preparatory work for the permanent way of Artillery Lane.  A message from Leslie contained an extract from a Board of Trade Accident Report and upon realising that such reports are a source of contemporary information we have been reading similar reports (see the Railways Archive web site).  Apart from contributing to our understanding of the permanent way practices of the Metropolitan Railway, several reports have given an insight into the identities of locomotives to be found working the tunnels in the Basilica Fields time period and provided, for some services, details of passenger train formations and the identities of the coaching stock (see posts in the Passenger Services category).

Other research sources, which provide “visual” information on “Met” track, are the photographic collections of the London Transport Museum (LTM) and the Railway Archive (RA) which is a small part of the Transport Archive (TA). The RA/TA collection features the work of SWA Newton which one might think of as being biased towards the Great Central (MS&LR as was) – however, the London Extension of the Great Central Railway formed a junction with the Metropolitan Railway at Quainton Road and at West Hampstead.    As a consequence of those junctions, there are a number of Newton photographs which feature Metropolitan scenes of circa 1900.  These collections are searchable, on-line, resources; however, choose search parameters with care… for example: – using “Metropolitan Railway” on the LTM web site produced almost 600 thumbnails for viewing.  Those images which are from the Victorian and Edwardian eras provide much material for late-night sessions of sleeper counting.

A pleasant consequence of writing posts for the Basilica Fields journal is that reader’s comments on the content of a post often provide either additional material related to the original content or suggestions for other avenues of research.  Such has happened in relation to the infrastructure of the Metropolitan Railway in that a comment from Kit Williams has given pointers to a new research resource in the form of the on-line archive of the Institute of Civil Engineers.  The Minutes of Proceedings of the “Civils” has revealed a discussion between the George Owen (engineer for Hounslow and Metropolitan Railway) and Joseph Tomlinson (Engineer and Locomotive Superintendent – Metropolitan Railway) in which those gentlemen review contemporary practices in regard to permanent way.

Location, location, location…

In the original post for Artillery Lane the plan of the area shows the lines and facilities in that part of the Ward of Basilica Without, and is reproduced below:

The tracks which enter top-left and exit bottom-right are the property of the Metropolitan Railway; those tracks are used by Extended Circle services of the Metropolitan Railway and passenger / goods services of the Great Western Railway.  The tracks which enter bottom-left, pass under the Metropolitan lines, and exit top-right are also the property of the Metropolitan Railway although not used by that company; those tracks are used by Extended Widened Lines services of the Midland Railway, the Great Northern Railway, and railways from south of the River Thames.  Although financial contributions were made by the main line companies, the Metropolitan Railway was responsible for the building and maintenance of both these lines and the track work reflects contemporary Metropolitan Railway practice.  Bottom right of the map, between Union Street and Fort Street, can be seen the connection from the Extended Circle into the small GWR Depot (known as Gun Street depot and lies adjacent to Gun Street and Union Street).  Research into the Minute Books of meetings of the General Managers (held under the auspices of the Metropolitan and Great Western Joint Committee) has revealed that the property and land of Gun Street depot belonged to the GWR, hence that company was responsible for the installation and maintenance of the permanent way within that depot.  Much to the chagrin of the GWR, the connection into the depot was made from the up line of the Inner Circle Extension and so the GWR had to pay the Metropolitan Railway to install and to maintain the required PW and S&C fittings together with the necessary signalling (and hence a contribution to the wages of the signalman in the nearby Metropolitan signalbox).

The Information

The historical record for details of Metropolitan Railway permanent way is poor for the period from the early days of the “Met” to beyond the timescale of Basilica Fields.  What is presented here is courtesy of the HMRS company steward.

  • From the early days the track was built with iron rails weighing 62lbs per linear yard, of a “Vignoles” section, and laid on longitudinal sleepers.  By 1866 the rails were made of Bessemer steel and weighing 86lbs per linear yard, still “Vignoles” section, and now laid upon transverse sleepers.  Bullhead rail supported by chairs was introduced after 1872.
  • Circa 1876, the track at Aldgate was bullhead rail of 86lbs per yard, in 24ft. lengths.  The rail was supported in cast iron chairs, weighing 39lbs, and retained with outside keys.  The sleepers were of red fir and laid on a 12inch ballast bed.
  • The extension to Willesden Green (1879) had plain track as per Aldgate (1876).
  • The extension to Aylesbury (1892) was as per Willesden and Aldgate with sleepers specified as 9ftx10inx5in, 9 per length.  Steel sleepers were used for 5 miles of the extension.
  • The extension line widening of 1901 used 30ft rails (presumably with more than 9 sleepers per rail length).  Finchley Road was provided with Manganese steel rail of 95lbs per yard for switch and crossing work.
  • [Out of the time period for Basilica Fields, the Stanmore line was laid with rails of 45ft length and weighing 95lbs per yard (circa 1931)]

Official reports into railway accidents can be an useful information source if a report describes the construction of the permanent way.  Alan Blackburn (of the Model Railway Club), has provided some relevant details:-

  • July 1892 ‑ Accident at Farringdon, 87lbs Bullhead rail 24ft, 40lbs cast-iron hairs.  Sleepers 8’11”x10”x5” and 12”x6′,’ 9 sleepers to the rail length.  (Chairs) fixed with 2 bolts, nut on top as GWR, well ballasted.

Of real interest in this report is the reference to sleepers of 8’ 11” length ‑ not 9’ 0”, as most modellers think and most historians believe, for track which was laid before circa 1914.  The tax on imported timber appears to have been related to the length of the timber and that there was a breakpoint at 9’ 0”, that is, timber at 8’ 11” incurred a lower import duty than timber at 9’ 0”.  The reference to sleepers of 12” x 6” section suggests that the Metropolitan Railway used wider sleepers each side of a rail joint or that the rail joint was supported in a “joint” chair.  There is at least one photograph which shows a pre-WW1 Metropolitan passenger train on track which includes a joint chair.  Finding a joint chair in photographs of “Met” track work is marginally easier than spotting 12” wide sleepers with ballast up to the top of the sleeper; however, a Topical Press photographer was on hand to photograph some repair work at Aldgate during WW1 and this photograph appears to show the use of 12” wide sleepers on either side of a rail joint.

Finally, the HMRS company steward has provided a drawing of a Metropolitan cast-iron chair, dated 1883, which shows that the chair was fixed to the sleeper with two, square-headed, bolts into threaded plates under the sleeper.  The bolts were arranged diagonally, bottom left corner and top right corner when viewing the chair from above (with the rail running top to bottom).   After almost 130 years we rather felt that seeing an example of this chair was very unlikely….  however, whilst looking for something else (is not that always the way?), an interesting and relevant photo presented itself.   The provenance is correct, the date is reasonable…  and there is a good probability that this photograph from the TA shows a chair of the “Met” 1883 pattern.

The details above, as far as we know, are the sum of the written record; from here we need to peer into the dark corners of photographs (which were taken, mostly, to show some other railway feature).  There are several books on Metropolitan Railway services and branches, published in the last decade, which feature photographs similar to this of the “Met” in Victorian and Edwardian times.  Often those books provide us with detailed captions which include the date (or decade) of the photograph along with a location for the photograph –  such photos and captions can offer support for and interpretation of the written word, for example:-

Memories of the Met & GC Joint Line, Clive Foxell, published 2002, ISBN 0 9529184 3 9.  Pg. 25 shows “Met Tank” No.34 on a down Harrow service, the location is given as “past Willesden” and the date as pre‑1905.  The track under the engine has nine sleepers per rail length and whilst the angle of the photo does not help to estimate the rail length the photograph is probably representative of Metropolitan Railway practice in the period 1890-1900.

Metropolitan Railway Rolling Stock, James Snowdon, Wild Swan, published 2001, ISBN 1 874103 66 6.  Pg. 18 shows “Met Tank” No.59 on a down Rickmansworth service, the location is thought to be Northwood and the date as circa 1890s.  This picture gives a very clear impression of “Met” track with 9 sleepers per rail length (although the angle of the train does not enable confirmation of the expected 24’ rail length).

The Application to Artillery Lane

 

 

In case you think that all is “tickety‑boo” with the arrangement of plain track panels, let us review the “accepted” wisdom and then step back a bit.  From the written record and photographic evidence a picture emerges of the “Met” employing 24’ rails with nine sleepers per length from circa 1876 and 30’ rails with eleven(?) sleepers per length being available from 1901 (at the latest).  There is photographic evidence to support the idea of “24’ rails and 9 sleepers per length” as being the standard for Metropolitan Railway plain track on new lines in the period to be represented by Basilica Fields.  Given the potential for corrosion from the atmospheric conditions in the tunnels and the wear resulting from the passage of trains then replacement of rails every few years, with replacement of sleepers at a slower rate, is likely to have ensured that the permanent way of the Extended Widened Lines was maintained to contemporary specification.  For now, “contemporary specification” means that the track work for the Extended Circle Lines on Artillery Lane shall be a representation of bull-head rail, in two-bolt chairs on 8’ 11” sleepers (10” wide generally and 12” wide on each side of a rail joint), using 9 sleepers per 24’ rail length, with clipped fishplates fastened by four bolts/nuts.  As to the ballast, therein lies a problem for although we know that the “Met” included late night paths in the working timetable for “Ballast trains” to/from Aldgate the trains seem to have run at times when photography was not possible, hence the material and riddle size is a mystery at the moment.

However, the well known saying “Spanner, works, throw”, attributed to Mr. Murphy (or Mr. Sod, your choice), now comes into play.  As well as Victorian and Edwardian photographs showing the “24’ rails and 9 per length” standard for plain track there are a number of photographs from circa 1895-1900, reproduced in Jim Snowdon’s book, which show that the “Met” was particular to plain track of a “24’ rails and 8 per length” arrangement. At this time the balance of evidence falls in favour of 9 sleepers per panel for tunnel lines – and hence for Basilica Fields – with the 8 sleepers per panel probably used on the surface lines.

In passing, the Metropolitan Railway acquired, circa 1900, a number of single bolster wagons which, coupled in pairs, were able to carry rails of 45ft. length ‑ a sure indication that the Metropolitan Railway was using, or intended to use, rails of that length (as was, for example, the Great Western Railway).

As to the arrangement of sleepers, the details from an accident report (above) give us:-

  • 1 of 12” wide sleeper adjacent to the rail joint;
  • 7 of 10” wide sleepers;
  • 1 of 12” wide sleeper adjacent to the rail joint.

The spacing of the nine sleepers along a 24’ rail length would appear to be anything but consistent. Met A-Class No. 18 and Met A-Class No. 27 are probably the best photographs which we have located so far for the purpose of estimating the spacing of the sleepers along the rail length.  If we look at the PW practices of a main‑line railway company, the Great Western for example, then the central sleepers of a typical 44’ 6” track panel circa 1900 would be spaced at X’ Y” centres and the whole panel arranged as:-

  • first sleeper from rail end so that chair against end of inner fishplate;
  • next sleeper at less than X’ Y” centres;
  • (say) fourteen sleepers at X’ Y” centres;
  • next sleeper at less than X’ Y” centres;
  • last sleeper from rail end so that chair against end of inner fishplate.

What is clear from those photographs of Metropolitan track where the full length of a rail and all of the chairs are visible is that the prototype spacing of sleepers was not maintained to a standard.  The best which can be said about sleeper spacing on the “Met” circa 1890-1900 is:-

  • Chairs are not tight to fishplates, rather the spacing between the chairs at each side of a joint is similar to the spacing between chairs in the middle of the panel.
  • Sleepers are spread “uniformly” along the rail length although the spacing is “approximate” rather than “accurate”!

 

 


In conclusion – for now

Now those of you who have got this far may well be thinking “What about the Switch and Crossing practices for the turnouts?” and that is a very good question…  a question which has not escaped us.  At this time we have not been able to find details of the Metropolitan Railway specifications for turnouts; so, for example:- we do not know the preferred crossing angles; we do not know the preferred switch blade lengths; we do not know how the turnout was “timbered” – so any contributions on this subject shall be welcome. Unfortunately a request for any information by Adrian from the London Underground Railway Society was received with ‘panic’ by the secretary (he had never received an enquiry of that nature in over twenty years), and laughter by the Society’s ‘leading historian’.

Until we have sufficient to say on the subject of “Met” turnouts, the next step is to build plain track panels as representations of the Metropolitan Railway standard circa 1895-1905 for Artillery Lane – and that is to be part 2 of this topic.

And finally…

 

 

The details of track at Farringdon, circa 1892, quoted above are as provided by the HMRS Company Steward – these details are in conflict with an accident report, here, for an accident at Farringdon Street in January 1892 where C. S. Hutchinson, the inspector on behalf of the Board of Trade, took evidence from William H Gates, responsible for the permanent way of the Metropolitan Railway, that sleepers in that location on the Widened Lines were of 10 feet in length.  Accepted wisdom is that sleepers were 9 feet in length until circa WW1 when a change was made to 8 feet and 6 inches.  Until further information is forthcoming about this subject then the track for Artillery Lane on both the Extended Circle and Extended Widened Lines is to be with sleepers which are 9 feet in length.

The South Eastern Railway, long time rival of the LC&DR in Kent, was the first of the two companies to arrive in London – in 1836 it shared the London Bridge terminus with the London & Croydon and London & Greenwich companies. The SER added three further London termini to it’s bow; Bricklayers Arms in 1844, Charring Cross in 1864 and Cannon Street in 1866, however it had no direct access to the Widened Lines until 1878 when the link between Metropolitan Junction and St. Pauls (Blackfriars) was opened on the London Bridge – Waterloo line. The SER was less active in cross-river services than its rival the LC&DR, but nevertheless, within a month the company was providing trains to Enfield and Ally Pally on the Great Northern. The company’s first locomotives to be fitted with condensing apparatus were Cudworth’s 235 Class of 0-4-4 Well Tanks of 1866, slightly odd looking locos with very long bunkers, but the locos were painfully under-powered for Widened Lines duties, struggling on on the steep gradient connecting line at Metropolitan Junction. Until the situation could be remedied, the current Locomotive Superintendent, James Stirling (brother of Patrick) approached and bought three of the well-proven Beyer Peacock 4-4-0Ts from the Metropolitan Railway which were used exclusively on cross-London services to GNR destinations until Stirling’s own design could be implemented (more of which anon) in 1881.

Meanwhile, from the 1st April 1880, the SER began running sixteen trains daily from Addiscombe (Croydon) via New Cross and the East London Railway (ELR), under the Thames to Liverpool Street. In 1882, the SER became one of the co-lessees of the ELR, and from 3rd March 1884 the company cut back the service from Addiscombe – St. Mary’s, until withdrawing it completely on 30th September of that year. In 1865, despite not providing any passenger services over the ELR, the SER took over responsibility for maintaining the line.

With the opening of the New Thames Tunnel in the early 90s, the SER took the opportunity to provide a circle within the Circle service out from New Cross and back again via Deptford Road on the ELR, the New Thames Tunnel, Limehouse and Basilica Fields on the Extended Widened Lines, Bishopsgate and St. Pauls on the Widened Lines, and finally round to London Bridge and back to New Cross.

The photo is one of Cudworth’s 235 class, no.241, and Stirling’s domeless boilers were fitted during 1881-3. It was the first front-coupled bogie tank design built for an English railway, and both the driving wheels and bogie axles were connected by compensating beams. Four of the class (but not no.241) were fitted with condensing apparatus in June 1878 for services running between Woolwich Arsenal via Metropolitan Junction and the Widened Lines to Enfield, Muswell Hill and Alexandra Palace on the GNR. The Beyer Peacock 4-4-0Ts relieved them of these duties in 1880, and the class were instead transferred to East London Railway duties. These locos were then relieved from that line when Stirling’s Q class were released to traffic in 1882.

This class won’t be represented on Basilica Fields; all bar two were gone by 1890, one of which went that year, and the other lingered at Ashford Works until 1893. However, they are an interesting locomotive to highlight, not least in terms of historical importance, and must have looked extraordinarily quaint, even during their last years of service.

Continuing on from my earlier post , I thought it might be an idea to show how the Extended Circle & Widened Lines, and the East London Railway Extension with the new Thames Tunnel all fits into the geography of East London.

If you’ve read the earlier post you will know how the Extended Lines branch off from the Inner Circle just after Bishopsgate (Liverpool Street), and here you can see the Extended Circle and Widened Lines pushing east as far as Bow before heading south towards the river where there was a junction for the New Thames Tunnel at Limehouse. The Extended Circle and Extended Widened Lines finally headed west, past the docks to Mark Lane, while the new tunnel took the line under the Thames and the Surrey Commercial Docks to Deptford Road, where the line rejoined the ELR to New Cross. For clarity I’ve only marked the Basilica Fields stations on the map (both the GER and Metropolitan ones), but there are other stations on the Metropolitan line which I’ll describe later. For the same reason I’ve omitted the goods depots which will be covered in subsequent posts.

As an aside, welcome to new readers. Unique hits almost doubled yesterday, with almost 100 different visitors which I find staggering.

With the imminent opening of Ludgate Hill terminus, and the projected link with the Widened Lines at West Street, by August 1864 it was obvious to the board of the LC&CR that a more powerful class of locomotive than the Second Sondes was needed for the cross-London trains, and following much discussion, Martley’s design for a larger 2-4-0T was put out to tender. Neilson & Co.returned with the lowest price, but following consultation with the Locomotive Superintendent, Neilson & Co. suggested substituting the design for an 0-4-2 well tank, similar to those being supplied by them to Sturrock of the GNR for Widened Lines duties. Sturrock was approached and had no objection to his design being replicated, and so the Chatham was supplied with fourteen of the well tanks. Named after Scottish islands and rivers, the class became known on the Chatham as Scotchmen; they performed their duties well, and remained on Widened Lines turns until the introduction of Kirtley’s A class 0-4-4Ts in the mid-1870s.

Between 1868 and 1871, Patrick Stirling introduced the 126 class 0-4-2WTs replace Sturrock’s tanks on the GNR Widened Lines services. Concurrently, the LC&DR realised the need for more and more powerful locomotives for cross-London trains, and on the advice of Neilson & co., Martley once again approached the Great Northern, and was granted permission to base the new Chatham locos on Stirling’s design. Like the Scotchmen before them, the Large Scotchmen performed well on Widened Lines duties, showing an aptitude for quick acceleration and improved riding qualities at speed over their predecessors. Their Widened Lines duties included sharing the Victoria to Moorgate Street services with the Second Sondes class, as well as services to Wood Green over the Great Northern, to Hendon via the Midland, and City portions of main line trains from Holbourn Viaduct to Herne Hill. At the turn of the century, the class was still employed on the latter, but by now, instead of terminating at Moorgate Street, services from Victoria ran as far as Basilica Fields.

Erin, No.97, was photographed at Longhedge in the early 1890s. The Westinghouse brake was fitted in 1890-1, and iron brake shoes replaced the wooden blocks seen here, from this date. The rounded corners to the lining, just visible under the grime, replaced concave corners from 1892. Both this, and the photo of the Second Sondes shatter Bradley’s assertion in his book that:

Chatham locomotives were among the best groomed and smartest locomotives in the country. Every express passenger engine was thoroughly cleaned daily no matter what the climatic conditions. Many passenger tanks received similar attention…The Locomotive History of the London, Chatham & Dover Railway – D.L. Bradley (RCTS) p.10.

The loco sports the small Neilson works plate, name plate, and a brass ownership plate on the bunker. It has a replacement Kirtley cast chimney, and has been fitted with a rudimentary all-over roof and rear weatherboard.

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