June 2010. No. 1,310. Vol 156. A journal of record since 1897
Headline News All locos and stock in the UK to be renumbered under new Euro legislation; Jarvis’s Fastline Freight goes into receivership; Arriva swallowed up by Deutsche Bahn; A1 Trust to build a Gresley P2 ‘Mikado’; Trains standed in snow drifts; Volcano eruption results in extra trains!
On the cover
MAIN IMAGE: GWR ‘Castle’ No. 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe leaves Paddington with the non-stop ‘Bristolian’ dash, launching the ‘GW175’ anniversary year in superb style (see story on p9). JAMES HAMILTON
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‘THE BRISTOLIAN’ Glorious non-stop dash by steam
Right: The East London Line reopens – p6.
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Track Record The Railway Magazine’s monthly news digest
54 Steam & Heritage GWR175 at Toddington with The RM; ‘Brit’ and ‘Black Five’ visit South Devon; Lincolnshire gala success.
64 Railtours ‘GB III’ round-up; Yeovil base for ‘Dorset Coast’
Black ‘Duchess’ in fine form – Railtours, p65.
specials; ‘Coronation’ for ‘The Coronation’; A4 at Piccadilly.
70 Narrow Gauge Bursledon opens for passengers; Leighton Buzzard secures future; Sittingbourne to reopen in 2010.
73 Traction & Stock Grand Central reaches Bradford; Class 58s for sale; New livery for Northern 150s; Shields depot shapes up.
78 Network £70m to transform Cotswold line; Irish line reopens.
80 Classic Traction ‘Peak’ tests turntable; German railbus in Wales.
85 World News Swiss have busiest railway; SNCF loses ¤980million.
86 Operations Our monthly round-up of news from the industry.
93 Disposals and Stock Spot Repainted, named, sold or scrapped? Full details here.
25 Location, Location, Location We show you where to go to get the classic shots. This month we turn the spotlight on Abbey View, Bath.
33 Readers’ Platform ‘Hare-brained’ guided bus schemes and HSTs in black & yellow livery are among the topics this month in the liveliest letters pages around. 41 Subscription Offer Record number of readers are subscribing to The RM, so why not take advantage of our special offer? 47 Heritage Events Diary All the details you need on where to go for steam and classic traction action this spring. 48 100 Years Ago A look back at what Britain’s senior rail title was reporting 20, 50 and 100 years ago. 49 Panorama Our showcase of the very best in rail photography.
94 Meetings A summary of club meetings and film shows of interest to railway enthusiasts.
98 Prize Crossword Tax your grey matter with our popular puzzle.
The best in railway photography – Panorama, p49.
Above: Still in its Mainline Freight blue, Type 5 No. 60011, one of a handful in traffic, cruises past Ashwell on April 9 with cement tanks from St Pancras Churchyard sidings to Peterborough West yard. PAUL BIGGS
Right: Against a covering of snow on the hills, Class 40 No. 40145 passes Luib, west of Achnasheen, with a return Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness charter on April 4. MURRAY LEWIS
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Call 0845 676 7778 or see page 41 for our latest offers Features14BringBacktheBrighton Belle Neil Marshall sets out the exciting plan to put the ‘Brighton Belle’ back on the rails.
20 The Rolling Stock Library Phil Marsh makes an exclusive visit to the Rolling Stock Library to explain its history and workings.
26 Class 50 Livery History Darren Ford recalls the variety of liveries that have
RETURN OF A LEGEND
IT may surprise readers to learn that the biggest train restoration programme currently underway in Britain involves electric traction. For the first time ever, we are about to see the total rebirth of an entire train, not simply a locomotive.
And not just any old train either . . . for the 5BEL Project is bringing back ‘The Brighton Belle’ – one of the world’s most iconic and best-known expresses.
Work to return a third-rail EMU to the main line for the first time has been moving forward at a remarkable rate over the last two years and four ‘Belle’ coaches, sourced from various locations, are now being returned to their former Pullman splendour. Negotiations to secure a fifth to complete the set are at a very advanced stage.
The ‘Brighton Belle’ was the only all-electric Pullman train in the world and was the pride of the Southern Railway. Built by Metropolitan Cammell in 1932, three five-car units ran between London and Brighton from 1933 to 1972. They were an art-deco icon, loved by passengers and enthusiasts alike until the romance died with withdrawal by British Rail in 1972. IVg\Zi
The 5BEL Trust has set itself the target of having them running in time for the ‘Belle’s 80th anniversary in 2012.
The outline of this ambitious and ground- breaking project was first cast by the Transport Trust, whose council was deeply concerned that the importance of electric traction to Britain’s rail heritage was not being matched by 1) the prioritisation of rolling stock for preservation, 2) the provision of suitable infrastructure on which to run, or 3) the ready availability of funding.
The Trust therefore began to quietly gather together components of the ‘Belle’. Remarkably, all but one of the 15 vehicles had survived, some as restaurants in pub car parks, some beautifully restored for loco-hauled use in the Venice-Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) Pullman train, some laid up in the sidings of heritage railways, and one even being used as bed & breakfast accommodation.
The key to the success of the scheme would obviously have to be the acquisition of two driving cars. In this the project was successful, managing to acquire motor thirds Nos. 88 and 91, the latter from the North Norfolk Railway,
The Brighton Belle
Electric trains have long been the ‘Cinderellas’ of railway preservation, but the 5BEL Project is well on the way to rectifying that situation. D;?B C7HI>7BB reports where it and Car No. 87 had been used since the 1970s for special occasions, hauled by locomotives along that non-electrified line.
More recently, No. 91 had also spent time at Scotland’s Keith & Dufftown Railway, the salt-filled air at both locations doing little for the bodywork.
Two cars – trailer third No. 85 and motor third No. 88 – were purchased from VSOE. (For details of all cars, see details in panel on page 17)
The 5BEL Trust was formally inaugurated in January 2009 to progress the train’s restoration and raise the status of electric trains generally. The individuals chosen to form the team – all giving their time freely – each bring unique skills to a project facing formidable technical, legal and
THE 5BEL UNITS
financial challenges. Biggest of the challenges is the fact that the heart of the train – the traction motors, switchgear and cab controls – were ripped out for scrap before disposal, meaning that replacements are having to be sourced and adapted from other EMUs or manufactured new. It has been decided to replace the bogies as well, to bring the ride quality up to acceptable levels.
Says the Trust’s chairman, Denis Dunstone: “We’ve set ourselves a tough deadline to complete the restoration as we want the train running in time for the 2012 Olympics, but we’re on target and hope our groundbreaking work will make it easier and cheaper for other projects that follow. “Bringing back the ‘Belle’ has captured the public’s imagination; the number of people emailing or writing to us with memories of this
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wonderful train is quite moving. We have now begun to capture material on video so that schools can download it for their pupils. Children are fascinated by the environment and the electric train is our ‘green’ future, as well as our past.”
The primary restoration is being undertaken by Rampart, of Derby, which has just completed motor thirds 88 (originally from set 2051) and 91 (set 2052). When Car 91 arrived at Derby on September 15, 2009, it was almost certainly the first time two ‘Brighton Belle’ driving cars had been coupled together since they were constructed at Birmingham’s Saltley Works in 1932.
The bogies and control gear are to be installed at Barrow Hill by HNRC under the guidance of specialist engineering consultants Pindari Ltd.
Earlier this year, the Trust purchased 4-CIG No. 1881 from Knights Rail at Eastleigh Works to act as donor for the bogies and the extensive range of parts required to complete the restoration to ORR (Office of the Rail Regulator) approvals. The B5 bogies, with their reliable and rugged EE507 traction motors, as fitted to many SR suburban EMUs, are approved for use on Network Rail. 8gjbeaZ odcZ
The all-steel construction of the 5BEL cars goes some way towards meeting modern safety standards, the rigidity of each car being greater than that of a standard BR Mk 1 coach. Additional corner strengthening is being installed, but this is a relatively straightforward task. The brake van also offers a large degree of non- passenger space in the driving motor thirds, which can be utilised as a crumple zone.
The original screw couplings between the intermediate ‘Belle’ cars offer no protection against telescoping, so will be replaced by a rigid bar coupler that meets SMS (safety management system) standards, requiring fabrication of a new dragbox to take the buffing forces. While this will render the original buffers redundant, the plan is that these distinctive features will be retained in situ, although inoperable.
Secondary, or centralised, door locking is required today for all trains with passenger- operated slam doors; fortunately, ex-‘Belle’ cars operated by VSOE have employed a safe system that will be applied to the project. The unit will also need to have other modern requirements, including on-train monitoring recording equipment (OTMR), a new train electrical system for main and emergency lighting, new catering facilities and a new air-braking system.
There have been some pleasant surprises inside the carriages. The interiors may be somewhat down-at-heel, but they have been
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14 U The Railway Magazine U June 2010
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June 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ15
PULLMAN GLORY: Return of an legend – p14
been applied to Class 50s since first built in 1967.
29 Thameslink Update Chief correspondent Phil Marsh is given an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Thameslink construction work at Blackfriars and Farringdon.
34 Giesl ejector: Panacea or Pipedream? In Practice & Performance, Keith Farr looks at the
PRACTICE & PERFORMANCE
WHAT did a Bulleid Pacific, a 9F 2-10-0 and a 2ft 3in gauge 0-4-2 saddle tank have in common? The answer is the Giesl Oblong
Ejector, invented and patented by Dr Adolph Giesl-Gieslingen of Vienna and designed to improve the efficiency of steam operation during its final years.
The world’s longest running railway series, established 1901
The Giesl ejector: Panacea or pipedream?
It was viewed by many as steam’s last- ditch hope of survival in the new world. A;?J> <7HH reports on a bold experiment
Cantlie. In 1958, he managed to get me an interview with the (BR) chief mechanical engineer, Mr Bond.
First, a word about locomotive draughting. In the days of heavy, coal-based industry, the manufacturing towns of northern England were characterised by forests of tall chimneys, belching brown smoke. Why were those chimneys – and the funnels of the very earliest steam locomotives – tall and slender?
Gases expand when heated, become less dense and, therefore, rise. Confined to a vertical tube, they accelerate rapidly upwards, leaving a vacuum in their wake, which can be filled only by more gases. Similarly, on a steam loco, exhaust from the cylinders creates a vacuum in the smokebox, which draws the combustion gases from the firebox through the boiler tubes, exerting a draught on the fire.
During its passage from blastpipe to chimney, the exhaust steam mixes with – or ‘entrains’ – the firebox gases. This causes ‘shock loss’, increasing the effort needed by the exhaust steam to draught the boiler: with a large American loco at full blast, up to 20 per cent of the total cylinder power could be thus absorbed. In the quest for greater efficiency, BR engineer Sam Ell successfully re-draughted ‘King’ and ‘Castle’ front-ends at Swindon in the 1950s; and it was further to enhance steaming that the double chimney/blastpipe arrangement evolved – two blastpipe orifices providing a greater contact surface area for the exhaust steam where it entrains the combustion gases.
“Mr Bond didn’t believe in the thing . . . he also couldn’t understand the throttling of the flow through the small tubes to give increased superheat.” For, as an accessory to the ejector itself, Giesl had designed a superheat booster that restricted the flow of firebox gases through the lower, small tubes in the boiler, forcing a higher proportion of the gases to pass through the larger superheater flues. This raised the superheat temperature and increased the steam volume, again enabling locos to be driven on shorter cut-offs than would otherwise have been the case. Dr Giesl continued: “He (Roland Bond) saw a picture of the Austrian 4-8-0 express locomotive which had a very small chimney (and said) it’s very easy to improve the front-end because it’s much too small anyway. So, I got the drawings and Kenneth Cantlie proved to Mr Bond that the inside dimensions of this seem- ingly very small chimney were exactly the same (as a) BR loco with a new chimney. The British embellished theirs by an outside casing . . . but inside they were both exactly the same size.” I^gZhdbZ
Roland Bond’s scepticism is apparent in his book, ‘My Lifetime with Locomotives’, in which he wrote: “This was a long and tiresome story. When I was chief mechanical engineer, I had declined to try the special type of blastpipe. With steam on the way out, expenditure thereon could not be justified.”
Developed in Finland by Kyläla and in France by Chapelon, the Kylchap system was an advance on this.
We now come to the Giesl ejector, seen by many as steam’s last-ditch hope of survival in a world of alien traction. Bob Bridger, of Ashtead, Surrey, was lucky enough to meet Dr Giesl in Vienna in 1972 and has sent me a recording of their conversation. Born in the Austrian Tyrol in 1903, Adolph Giesl became a design engineer at Floridsdorf locomotive works, Vienna, in 1925, returning in 1938 as managing director after a spell in the USA.
An early version of his ejector was fitted to ten 0-6-0Ts built in Austria during 1941-3 for industrial use, before Giesl revisited the US to
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promote his invention there. Explained Dr Giesl: “In 1949, I made my first test in the United States. It was on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and it was a splendid success. It was only a shunting locomotive (a tender 0-8-0) . . . ‘Oh boy (enthused an ‘old-timer’), you’ve got something there; I can hear it in the exhaust.’ ” Back in Austria, Giesl patented his ejector in 1950, placing it on the open market with the Schoeller-Bleckmann steelworks becoming
THE OBLONG EJECTOR IN CLOSE-UP
responsible for its production. In its final form, it comprised a blastpipe set low in the smokebox, tapering to a narrow slot containing a row of seven oblong orifices through which the exhaust steam was forced into separate jets. The very large total surface area of these jets created strong upward exhaust streams, minimising shock loss where they mixed with the smokebox gases – and, indeed, at the chimney top where the combined exhaust and gas stream entered the atmosphere. The nozzle size could be altered by adjusting steel slides, which were welded down when the optimum setting was obtained.
34 U The Railway Magazine U June 2010
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The blastpipe and the flat-sided, narrow chimney, tapering outwards in the direction of travel, were precisely aligned, using rigid arms secured by keybolts, although the chimney could be removed in two or, more usually, three sections. This made access to the boiler tubes easier than in a loco with a conventional front-end. The strong and even draught on the fire meant that poor-quality coal could be burned more readily and that shorter - and, therefore, more economical - cut-offs could be employed. The Schoeller-Bleckmann publicity booklet made the following claims for the ejector: N Simplicity N Installation within one or two days N Amortisation (i.e. paying for itself) within
3-20 months N 20-40 per cent increase in loco capacity N Up to 20 per cent improvement in fuel economy N Perfect exhaust lifting at speed N Reduced spark emission.
Giesl’s first application of his ejector in Austria was on a couple of Class 33 express passenger 4-8-0s in 1951 and on 4-6-4T No. 78.602 the following year. The Austrian Federal Railway authorities were so impressed by the locos’ improved performance and economy that they decided to fit the ejector to all steam locomotives expected to last beyond 1960.
But, when Dr Giesl offered British Railways four ejectors on a sale-or-return basis, his
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proposal was initially turned down. He explained: “Mr Richard Pennoyer (a mechanically -trained friend) with very good connections in England . . . did not manage to penetrate the wall around the mechanical department of British Railways. So . . . in 1957, Mr Pennoyer invited Colonel Kenneth Cantlie, consulting engineer, to come to Austria and we showed them the ejector. They were both enthusiastic, particularly Colonel
Yet steam traction had several years to go and the ejectors paid for themselves so quickly that, in Austria, they were routinely fitted to pre-war locos with a life expectancy of just three years. Some 230 miles from BR Headquarters at Marylebone, the Talyllyn Railway was more receptive. A Giesl ejector under patent from Schoeller-Bleckmann was fitted to former Corris Railway 0-4-2 saddle-tank No. 4 Edward Thomas during one weekend in September 1958 and comparative trials were held with 0-4-2ST No. 1 Talyllyn. The results were reported by O.S. Nock in The RM for August 1959 (Table 1).
With Talyllyn hauling nine vehicles weighing 25 tons gross and driver Dai Jones using maximum cut-off on the climb to the terminus at Abergynolwyn, boiler pressure varied between 45 and 80lb per sq in against the rated maximum of 120lb. But Giesl-equipped Edward Thomas
June 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ35
BOLD EXPERIMENT: The Giesl Ejector – p34
bold experiment seen as steam’s last-ditch hope.
34 The 5AT Project
Tez Pickthall investigates a possible second coming for steam with a new generation loco.
42 How we built a level crossing
Bob Wright tells the story leading up to the NNR’s ‘Challenge Anneka’-style race against time!
ANOTHER HERITAGE BARRIER FALLS
How we built a level cr ossing in a town centre In the 1960s, BR severed the railway at Sheringham and left the North Norfolk Railway isolated. Few thought it would ever be re-joined, but life has a habit of throwing up the unexpected, as the NNR’s 8E8 MH?=>J explains.
IT was October 2007 and Network Rail had decided to hold its annual retirement and long service day on the North Norfolk Railway. Hosting senior Anglia Region managers in a hotel bar the night before, NNR director Steven Ashling half-jokingly suggested laying a temporary track across the road at Sheringham and running a train over it as a bit of a stunt!
It was, he says, like asking a girl out for the first time. You do it while you have a drink in your hand so that the pain of rejection is masked by the alcohol.
But to his amazement, there was no rejection. On the contrary:
“Why don’t you build a permanent level crossing?” came the reply.
“What an excellent idea,” said Steven, swiftly buying them another pint before they could change their minds!
The next day, Steven, himself an NR operations manager, showed his superiors around the site and they not only agreed to an NNR connection but said they would assist with materials and expertise. The door was open. It was now or never!
So began the remarkable story of Sheringham East level crossing’s reinstatement, which reached its glorious finale on March 11 when a main line special hauled by ‘Britannia’ Pacific No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell became the first through train from London to cross the town’s Station Road for 46 years (see news report last month).
A few weeks after that fortuitous conversa- tion in the hotel bar, NR proved to be as good as its word with a formal confirmation of its offer and the North Norfolk Railway then put together a team comprising Steven, Julian Birley and myself to get the project under way.
Our initial thoughts were that it ought to be an easy job; do a bit of digging, lay some rails, patch up the road and head back to the buffet for a cup of tea. The reality proved to be totally different . . . and so began a two-year struggle through a bureaucratic jungle.
First, we had to obtain approval from Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate to build and operate a level crossing. This could not be assumed, for the general trend in the safety- conscious railway world these days is to abolish them, not build new ones!
The bad news was that HMRI would not allow a full crossing unless the road traffic could be managed properly. However, they told us they would be prepared to permit an ‘occasional use, tramway-style’ crossing, with trains moving at walking pace. After so many years hoping for a breakthrough of any description, we didn’t want to run before we could walk anyway, so we accepted the offer and Julian duly spent much time in London negotiating a Level Crossing Order, which came through in early 2008.
The next major step was to obtain planning consent from North Norfolk District Council. In the 1970s and ’80s, the local authorities in the area had at best been lukewarm and at worst downright obstructive to the idea of reinstating the crossing. That was also true of many local townsfolk, who remembered the frustration of queuing at the gates and didn’t want a return to that era. But times and attitudes change and in the ensuing four decades, the NNR itself had grown in stature too – transforming itself from what many locals previously viewed as a bunch of weekend enthusiasts ‘playing trains’ into a major tourist attraction bringing more than 120,000 visitors into the area every year. 8]VaaZc\Z
Main line expresses arriving from London and other parts of the country would bring in an estimated 3,600 to 4,800 extra people a year, many of whom would stay for the weekend, resulting in even more revenue for the region. So, in May, we held a public meeting and found that the town was happy to accept our proposals. To our great relief, the only condition was that we allow provision for the Christmas tree on Otterndorf Green as its current position would be in the ‘four foot’! That we were happy to do and we also promised to reinstate the green to a high standard and grass the track up to the rails to reduce the visual impact.
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42 U The Railway Magazine U June 2010
However, we still had the major challenge of gaining approval from Norfolk County Council’s highways department, so, in August 2008, we employed a land survey company to carry out a detailed survey between the Network Rail station and our own. This revealed that the profile of the road had been altered over the years and that the rail level would need to be about six inches above the crown of the road and ten inches above the gutters, meaning that the highway, kerbs and footpaths would all have be adjusted too. This
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was the first indication that the project wasn’t going to be quite as simple as we’d thought.
We devised a solution involving approach ramps at each side of the crossing and were pleasantly surprised when the highways department agreed to them. However, one problem often leads to another and development of the design showed that raising the roadway would affect access to Network Rail’s station car park and also impact on drainage at two private properties alongside the road.
The county also required us to provide a refundable bond to the value of the highway works and a cash sum lodged with them to cover the cost of making good the area if we were to abandon the project part-way through.
Believe it or not, sorting that little lot out took a year and a half and involved 398 emails and 29 revisions of the planning drawings!
But it was to get worse. Although the gap between the two railways was only 100 yards or so, it was situated in a town centre and it was discovered that the innocuous-looking strip of land was hiding a multitude of sins.
We first began to realise this when we received drawings from the various utility companies, so we employed the county council to carry out a ground radar survey and to dig trial holes. These revealed that the high-voltage electricity mains were very shallow at that point (only 16 inches below the surface) and that
British Telecom’s phone cable ducts were only a little deeper than that. There was also a street- lighting cable just below the surface.
Although these had probably all been under the old railway, new standards had been introduced since then that required them to be re-buried at least 2½ft below ground level. On top of that, Network Rail had its own regulations that required such cables to be at an even greater depth beneath its tracks.
Lowering the electricity cables alone was going to cost £26,497. This was all turning into something of a nightmare, especially for a heritage railway with limited funds and volunteer labour. Luckily, the water and gas mains were deep enough not to require alteration.
However, in August 2008, another problem came to the surface. It turned out that BT didn’t just have ducts below the ground, but an entire inspection chamber – an eight-foot high underground room in which phone engineers stand to carry out maintenance. This had been built since the closure of the previous crossing and although it wasn’t directly under the course of the railway, it was near enough to the sleeper ends for BT to be concerned that the weight of trains could cause its roof to collapse.
The phone company’s proposed solution was to move the chamber – at a cost of £396,480! This was clearly way beyond our means and would have killed the project stone dead. So many weeks of discussions and various proposals followed until we came up with the idea of building a concrete span across the roof of the cellar to take the weight.
What this amounted to was an all-new bridge! For although the span would lie just below the surface and thus be invisible, it
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June 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ43
RE-CONNECTED!: NNR’s level crossing project – p42
June 2010 • The Railway Magazine • 5