November 2010. No. 1,315. Vol 156. A journal of record since 1897
Headline News New chief for Network Rail; DB aims for high-speed service to UK by 2013; Shock as Class 60s put up for sale; Japan pleads to save new train order; Bids to build two Gresley P2 ‘Mikados’; Chart Leacon depot decimated; Weardale Railway wins network operating licence.
The Bluebell Railway’s East Grinstead station opens – p10.
On the cover
MAIN IMAGE: A fine pictorial image at Purley-on-Thames, near Reading, on September 3 as DRS No. 37218 hauls Type 1s Nos. 20309/10/11/12 from Eastleigh to Crewe. DARREN FORD.
FOR EVERYTHING THAT RUNS ON RAILS
‘RAIL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR’
7G>I6>CÉH IDE"H:AA>C< G6>AI>IA:
Re-liveried Class 60 (see page 6); Class 58s in France (page 15) and one of 300 or so stationary boilers identified in The RM’s register (page 38).
STATIONARY BOILER LOCOS The first-ever list of where they all were –andwhen
+%h/I6I6;DGCDL È7DC:HÉDCI=:G=ãC: CZla^kZgn!nZi'%je[dghVaZ 7g^i^h]*-h]ZaeWj^aY;gZcX]I
Track Record The Railway Magazine’s monthly news digest
56 Steam & Heritage
T9 ‘Greyhound’ back in service; South Devon buys Pridham boiler firm; August boost for Severn Valley.
67 Narrow Gauge Sittingbourne’s October re-opening plan; Bursledon’s first steam; Chevallier stars at Welshpool.
Loco-hauled to Looe – Railtours, p69.
69 Railtours K4 becomes Oban banker; Airdrie-Bathgate charters.
74 Freight 74 Metro 76 Traction & Stock Special branding for ‘Super Voyager’ and ‘Pendolino’; Class 380s start to arrive; Class 60 preservation bid.
80 Network Airdrie-Bathgate tracklaying complete; Revamped Newport opens; New footbridge at Canterbury West.
82 Classic Traction ‘Baby Deltic’ to be built; NRM marks Type 3 anniversary; SVR railcar reunion.
85 World News New EMUs in Wellington; Italian high speed for London?
87 Operations Our monthly round-up of news from the industry.
93 Disposals and Stock Spot Repainted, named, sold or scrapped? Full details here.
12 Multiple Aspects Views and opinions of Lord Berkeley.
12 Railways in Parliament 28 Readers’ Platform Rare track for a ‘Patriot’ and the NRM chief’s response to criticism of Mallard’s move to Shildon are some of the topics in our monthly letters page.
49 Panorama Our showcase of the best in rail photography, giving you ideas for your calendar contest entry perhaps?
53 Heritage Events Diary All the details you need on where to go this autumn.
54 100 Years Ago A look back at what Britain’s senior rail title was reporting 20, 50 and 100 years ago.
Remembrance Day ‘Patriot’ – Readers’ Platform, p28.
65 Subscription Offer Record number of readers are subscribing to The RM, so why not take advantage of our special offer?
94 Meetings 98 Prize Crossword Tax your grey matter with our popular puzzle.
Above: A splendid early-morning view of LMS Class 7P 4-6-0 No. 46115 Scots Guardsman crossing Whalley viaduct with the Lune Rivers Trust special from Carnforth to Chester via Hellifield on September 4, 2010. TOM PICKLES
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Call 0845 676 7778 or see page 65 for our latest offers Features 15 British Class 58s in France Andy Mason takes a trip to south-eastern France where more than 20 British Class 58s are hard at work helping to build a new TGV line.
19 A Jolly Good Visit Once a farm line, the Mangapps Railway now has one of the largest and most fascinating collections of rolling stock and railwayana, as Nick Pigott reports.
22 Peak Forest ‘Pegs’ Main line signalman Dafydd Whyles takes a look at the signalling systems in the busy Peak Forest area of Derbyshire.
30 A New British Shunter Chris Milner visits Daventry yard to examine Hunslet’s new British-built diesel shunter.
32 ‘The Bristolian’ in the Diesel Era In the third and final part of ‘The Bristolian’ trilogy, Keith Farr brings the story of this famous title train into the modern traction age.
38 Back Burners In another Railway Magazine exclusive, we tell – for what we believe is the very first time – the full story of stationary boilers; where they all were and when – and YOU can help us perfect it!
HOW IT WORKS
MOST enthusiasts will be familiar with Peak Forest. Its long association with heavy freight and a variety of motive power have made it a ‘Mecca’, particularly of late, as somewhere to find a Class 60 at work on a fairly reliable basis. Part of the attraction of the area is the widespread use of semaphore signalling controlled from traditional signalboxes. This article will look closely at this and venture behind the doors of the boxes to reveal the largely unseen world of signalling.
The three signalboxes we will concentrate on are Peak Forest South, Great Rocks Junction and Buxton.
Peak Forest South and Great Rocks Junction are both Midland Railway structures, although both opened after the Grouping of 1923. Just before the Midland became part of the LMS, it had embarked on a huge resignalling programme and these two boxes were installed under the new ownership.
At that time, they would also have controlled passenger traffic on the long-lamented main line from London St Pancras to Manchester via Matlock.
The Matlock line closed in 1967 and today the only passenger trains to rattle the windows of the boxes are occasional enthusiast charters, though at a much more sedate pace than the main line expresses of old.
The lever frame inside Great Rocks is still the original from the 1920s, so will have operated the signals (known as ‘pegs’ to many enthusiasts) controlling famous trains heading to and from Monsal Dale. FjVgg^Zh
Peak Forest ‘pegs’
Getting back to the present scene, the huge limestone quarries surrounding the line are currently generating more than 80 trainloads of stone every week, spread over seven days, day and night. Combined with the associated empty trains and loco movements, the area can be very busy at times.
Adding to this is the presence of a train crew depot, meaning that trains often stand on the main lines for crew changes.
The line from Chinley through to Great Rocks Jct is worked to Absolute Block regulations. This basically means there can only normally be one train on each line in the section from the last stop signal controlled from one signalbox to the first stop signal of the next box.
There is one block section from Chinley to Peak Forest South and another from Peak Forest South to Great Rocks Jct.
Once a train is in the section between Chinley and Peak Forest, no more are allowed to enter on that line until that first one has arrived at Peak Forest, complete with a tail lamp, and then either been shunted clear or passed through to
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Great Rocks, leaving a safe overlap beyond the first Peak Forest stop signal. This overlap is known as the ‘clearing point’.
The basic layout of signals on Absolute Block is as follows: The section signal is the last controlled stop signal of one box and gives access to the next block section. This first stop signal is called the home signal.
At Peak Forest, the sections are short and the signalboxes close together. This means that the normal arrangements for siting signals can’t be achieved. In cases such as this, the usual arrange-
ment is for the distant signal to be positioned on the same post as the section signal of the box in rear. The section signal is controlled by that signaller, but the distant signal is controlled by the box in advance. The two are ‘slotted’ together so they cannot show conflicting indications.
For the distant signal to be ‘pulled off ’, i.e. show a green aspect, all stops signals on that line worked by the same box must also be pulled off. Therefore, when a driver sees a distant signal displaying green, it means that the line is clear through into the next section beyond the signalbox controlling the distant signal.
“The fact that the signalbox lever frame became worn out in such a relatively short time is testament to the business of the Peak Forest area”
22 U The Railway Magazine U November 2010
When a distant signal is in the ‘on’ position, a driver can still pass it but must understand that the next or any subsequent signal ahead, worked from the same box that controls the distant, might be at danger.
At Great Rocks Jct, the lines ahead lead to
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Peak Forest box was during that time. The current frame has seen some alterations over the years. It originally had 50 levers, but now has 48, of which 29 remain in use – 14 of them control shunting signals and five controlling main running signals.
Above the frame is a large block shelf and track diagram. The noticeable thing about this diagram is the fact that the presence of a train is represented by mechanical indicators attached to the block shelf, rather than illuminated lights on the track diagram itself, as is more usual these days. These indicators have a strip of metal that pivots to show ‘Track Clear’ or Track Occupied’. A fascinating layout exists here. As well as the up and down main lines that are worked by Absolute Block in the normal way, there is also a ‘down and up through siding’ running through the section between Great Rocks Jct and Peak Forest. This line is classed as ‘No Block’, and therefore doesn’t have a block indicator to control entrance to the section.
Because the sections are so short and close together, an ‘outer distant’ is fitted below Peak Forest’s home signal and an ‘inner distant’ is fitted below Peak Forest’s section signal, but both distants are fixed in the ‘caution’ position, telling all drivers they must be prepared to stop at a signal ahead worked by Great Rocks box.
Co-operation with freight operators and quarry staff is an important part of the job for the Peak Forest signaller. If a train is not proceeding through to Great Rocks, it needs to be dealt with quickly to avoid backing up on to the main line at Chinley and delaying the passenger services.
DB Schenker (DBS) has a train crew office at Peak Forest and arriving DBS trains often stop to change crews. The Cemex sidings are operated by quarry staff and, further complicating matters, is the fact that trains have to pull forward and propel back into those sidings as there isn’t a ‘facing’ connection. Although there may often appear to be plenty of quiet spells when observing trains at Peak Forest, signallers are always keeping tabs on developing situations and planning for the arrival of incoming trains.
As most readers will already know, the terms ‘up’ and ‘down’ refer to direction of traffic. Historically, up was toward company headquarters and at Peak Forest South, the up line is the one heading north from Great Rocks Jct to Peak Forest and Chinley. EZV`;dgZhiHdji]
Moving inside Peak Forest South signalbox, we are greeted by a Crewe-built BR(LM) standard frame, fitted in 1974 as a replacement for a worn-out Railway Executive Committee frame fitted when the box was built in 1925. The fact that the frame became worn out in such a relatively short time is testament to how busy
The through siding is normally used for Tunstead to Hindlow trains to run round in section without obstructing the main lines. The signaller at Great Rocks has shunting signals to give access to and from the through siding, but the signaller at Peak Forest only has a signal for trains to leave the siding, not to put trains in. Should this be necessary, special arrangements need to be made to ensure no conflicting moves are made.
There can’t be many boxes remaining on the network where a train can approach the signalbox at the end of a section and the first the signaller there knows about it is when he sees the train loom into view through his box window!
Opposite Peak Forest box, on the other side of the main lines, are No. 1 and No. 2 sidings. The latter is effectively just a loop off the longer No. 1 siding. These sidings are under the control of Peak Forest box and are separated from the Cemex sidings by a ‘limit of shunt’ board. This allows Cemex staff to shunt in the north end of
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November 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ23
SEMAPHORE SURVIVORS: Pegs in the Peak – p22
PRACTICE & PERFORMANCE
The world’s longest-running railway series, established 1901
IN the August and September issues, I outlined the history of ‘The Bristolian’, from its inauguration in 1935 to the introduction of a ‘Warship’-based 100min Paddington- Bristol schedule in the summer of 1959. The first such run took place on June 15, with 2,200hp B-B No. D805 Benbow hauling the usual Monday load of eight coaches (Table 1).
‘The Bristolian’ in the diesel era
In the third and final part of his ‘Bristolian’ trilogy, A;?J> <7HH brings the story into the modern traction age
Cecil J. Allen was aboard and wrote in Trains Illustrated: “The diesel showed its capacity to maintain 88-90mph indefinitely on the level, and . . . with 90mph at the top of Dauntsey bank, we could easily have reached . . . 100mph down the 1-in-100 grade”. But the Western Region civil engineer had by then imposed a 90mph ‘ceiling’; so, after reaching 95, Benbow was eased.
Speed ceiling or no, on the return journey via Badminton, the Revd R.S. Haines recorded even faster running behind D804 Avenger with the standard seven-coach formation. The 1-in-75 to Filton reduced the rate only from 50 to 48mph, 77 was attained on the 1-in-300 to Badminton, and 100mph or slightly over was touched three times, on the descent to Little Somerford and twice down the almost imperceptible grades of the Vale of the White Horse. The 117½ miles from Bristol to Paddington were dismissed in 92min 52sec or 87min net – almost certainly a record at the time.
As in steam days, the ‘Warship’ from the down ‘Bristolian’ returned to London with the 12noon from Bristol, while the loco from the up working regained Bristol by the 8.05pm from Paddington. On August 21, 1959, the down ‘Bristolian’ was entrusted to D601 Ark Royal, one of the earlier North British A1A-A1A ‘Warship’ variants rated at 2,000 brake horsepower (bhp). It would be interesting to know how it fared on the 100min schedule.
That schedule, however, was short-lived: after reports of rough riding on the B-B ‘Warships’, an 80mph limit was imposed on
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the class, making it necessary in September 1959 to return to the 105min booking. Yet this deceleration was as nothing compared with the timetable changes of 1961/2, with faster and more frequent services overall but with more stops and extended journey times for ‘flagship’ trains. ‘The Bristolian’, now a 10-coach formation, called at Bath Spa in both directions and was allowed no less than 119min between Paddington and Temple Meads. A gradual resurgence took place once the 2,700hp ‘Westerns’ became available, and, by the summer of 1964, the down train was reaching Bristol in 115 minutes. Meanwhile, Keith Grand’s successor as WR general manager, Stanley Raymond, was taking the ‘Great’ out of the ‘Western’, although he did succeed in cutting the region’s so-called deficit by 50 per cent. Chocolate & cream for titled trains was ‘out’ and ‘The Bristolian’ became maroon from head to tail; then, in 1965, its name disappeared from the timetable.
32 U The Railway Magazine U November 2010
Even if the sun does not always shine through Box tunnel on Brunel’s birthday, there was light at the end of the metaphorical one. ‘Westerns’ were joined by 2,750hp Brush Type 4 diesel-electrics, both to be succeeded on certain London-Bristol/South Wales duties by pairs of English Electric Type 3s (37s), re-geared for 100mph and working in multiple. With Commonwealth-bogied Mk 1 and XP64 prototype Mk 2 coaches in BR’s new corporate blue & grey livery, in April 1966 the equivalent of the up ‘Bristolian’ was again making the run in 105min, Bath stop included.
with speed entirely between 88 and 92mph, a skilful attempt to keep within the loco’s official 90mph maximum. According to timer Douglas Landau, the total horsepower needed for a ‘Western’ to maintain 90mph on level track with 340 tons is about 2,400, compared with its rated 2,700bhp, confirming the recorder’s view that the loco was being worked at less than full power. Paddington was reached three minutes early, after what must have been an exhilarating run for an enthusiast, although
Despite a combined bhp of 3,500, a brace of 37s is not much more effective at the drawbar than a single 108-ton 2,700hp Type 4, especially at high speed; so the Type 3s returned to freight duty, leaving the field to 47s, 52s and, from 1974, Class 50s. May 1971 saw the restoration of the ‘Bristolian’ name and, after a 12-year interval, a 100min booking, with the down train leaving Paddington at 08.40 and the up one returning at 16.45, both workings non-stop via Bath.
David Adams, of the Railway Performance Society, timed the newlyaccelerated up ‘Bristolian’ on its second day, May 4, 1971, and his log is summarised in Table 2. D1072 Western Glory had ten coaches, by this time chiefly Mk 2A/B stock, lighter than Mk 1s and weighing only 340 tons full. After a brisk run to Bath, the diesel-hydraulic attained 74mph at Box but fell to 61 on the following two miles of 1-in-100 ascent through the tunnel, while the shorter Dauntsey bank lowered the rate from 90 to 81mph.
“With 90mph at the top of Dauntsey bank, we could easily have reached 100mph down the 1-in-100 grade”
not one requiring undue exertion from Western Glory.
The year 1972 saw the down ‘Bristolian’ running via Badminton to serve the new station at Bristol Parkway, reached in 93min, while the overall schedule reverted to 105min. The equiva-
lent up train continued to run via Bath, but lost its name and called additionally at Reading. The following year, the down working also relapsed into anonymity.
On favourable grades, Western Glory then averaged 90.6mph from Swindon to Tilehurst
For ‘The Bristolian’ was no longer the route’s most prestigious train. Electrification from Euston to Manchester and Liverpool in 1966 had made the St Pancras-Manchester ‘Midland Pullman’ redundant and the six-car DMUs were transferred to the WR. With the same brake horsepower of 2,000, the
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November 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ33
‘BRISTOLIAN’: Practice & Performance – p32
THE STATIONARY BOILER STORY
It sometimes seems as though every aspect of Britain’s railways has been published and picked over in great detail, but there is one major subject that remains largely undiscovered – stationary boilers. In its continuing campaign to push back the frontiers of knowledge, The RM turns the spotlight on those darkest recesses at the back of the shed . . .
Compiled by F7KB
IC?J>, the late 7BB7D IECC;H;B:, D?9A F?=EJJ and H;N 97HL;H
THE utilisation of old locomotives for purposes other than haulage dates back to the earliest days of railways, but exactly when and where the practice began is unknown. This is very much a ‘dark age’ aspect of railway history and surviving official documentation appears to be patchy – much of the information gleaned being passed down via observations and photographs taken by enthusiasts over many decades.
The objective of this pioneering project is to identify all UK engines known to have been used on such duties (whether as complete locomotives or as grounded boilers) along with a brief resumé on each, detailing dates and locations.
The uses to which stationary boilers were put were manifold. By far the most common was the pre-heating and leak-testing of steam-heated carriages to ensure warmth when passengers entered them on winter mornings (the train engine probably coupling on to the rake only a few minutes before departure). This explains why so many stationary boilers (SBs) were to be found in carriage sidings.
Others were located at engine sheds, where their steam and hot water was used for a variety of purposes, including boiler washouts and sand-drying. Those based at railway works were mainly used for heating the workshops, powering machinery such as steam hammers or indirectly powering electric equipment via generators, while others were installed at pumping stations, goods yards (for heating banana vans), station hotel laundries . . . and even the first Channel Tunnel works in 1898!
It is realised that research into a subject of such complexity cannot possibly capture every single example at a first attempt, especially as a large number of engine sheds (particularly on the GWR) had permanent boiler houses containing one or more small SBs. A few boilers are understood to have been purpose-built for heating etc, but most were removed from superannuated locomotives. The one at Didcot
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38 U The Railway Magazine U November 2010
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depot, for instance, is believed to have come from an old Dean engine of the Victorian era. Didcot shed’s preservation shortly after the end of the steam age meant that its SB was saved and it is still there to this day – probably the only ex-main line one in the UK that is.
The mechanics of stationary boilers were remarkably simple. The cylinders, if not removed, would be blanked off and a pipe would be affixed to the top of the dome or (depending on the design of loco), the main steam pipe in the smokebox, the regulator valve or even, in very rare cases, the whistle or one of the safety valve orifices. With liberal use of plumbers’ angle joints and lagging, this pipe would then be led off to wherever on the site the steam was required. Although some pipes could be controlled via the regulator valve, it was common for a shut-off valve wheel or cock to be fitted above the dome, so that steam could easily be turned on and off by a shed artisan. A ladder would often be provided for this purpose.
The reason for the extremely tall chimney extensions (some as high as 30ft) on many SBs was primarily to aid draughting, via convection currents – because the lack of cylinders meant there was no blast to draw the fire through the tubes – but it was also done for health reasons; all locos tend to belch thick smoke when being lit up and although that was considered acceptable for the relatively short time serviceable locos were being prepared for line work, it would not have been good practice for a boiler to have been regularly exhausting sulphurous yellow fumes into the shed environs, at nose and mouth level, all through the day – a problem exacerbated where SBs were concerned in that low-grade coal was often burnt in them.
It will also be seen that a number of SBs had curtain-style flaps of heavy fabric or tarpaulin- type material draped over their side windows and either a storm-sheet or a wooden ‘shed’ built around the rear of their cabs. Such additions were necessary not only to control draughting but to protect the fire from violent gusts caused by wind or passing trains that could cause a dangerous blow-back of flames. They also afforded rudimentary protection for the stoker (who at some big sheds would be a full-timer). On many locos, the pair of driving wheels forward of the firebox was removed to afford easy access to the ashpan. The centre axle of the tender was also sometimes removed as that vehicle required only two to support itself and the wheels could be used elsewhere if necessary. In the cases of complete locos utilised as temporary or short-term SBs, the rods or other motion parts were often removed to prevent the engines being inadvertently moved and, in some cases, the wheels were even chained to
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November 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ39
OUT OF THE SHADOWS AT LAST: Stationary boilers – p38
November 2010 • The Railway Magazine • 5