“On Shed” The Monthly Magazine of Steam Tube- The Home of Steam on the Net
” Preserving the steam locomotive legacy.. and more..on film”
“1938 built LMS Princess Coronation Class 46233 Duchess of Sutherland coming through Garsdale Head.” (Stuart Hill)
Why we British love the railways – and how railway enthusiasm became respectable again.(Michael Williams)
Steam Tube Photographic Highlights
Steam Tube Video Highlights
Steam Tube Blogs
100 Trains….the journey so far….
Tornado…The Story so far…
New & ReBuild News.
B & O Railroad Museum TV
A-Z Great Railway Engineers (S)
Mainline Steam Schedule
On This Day in History.
Radstock to Frome Railway Project
Around the World in 80 Railways. (No 59:Africa)
WATTRAIN , APHTRO
Welcome …and site news.
Welcome to this June 2015 edition of “On Shed”.
First up, we are delighted to introduce a contributed article by Michael Williams, best known for his series of railway books….”On The Slow Train”, “On The Slow Train Again”.He takes up the theme…Why we British love the railways – and how railway enthusiasm became respectable again.(Perhaps we might be induced to buy one of his books…especially the most recent… The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into the Lost Delights of Britian’s Railways..which includes a chapter on the Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway……
Later on in this edition, Christian Wolmar reviews a book on “The English Railway Station”
There are the usual features, including a look at June in years gone by, a selection of highlights from May’s uploads of photos and videos to Steam Tube…and the latest news from several new build and other railway projects….
If you would like to contribute a piece for next month’s edition..or any future edition(!!) please let us know!!
Why we British love the railways – and how railway enthusiasm became respectable again
By Michael Williams
AS an author of books about railways, I’m often asked what makes us British so obsessed with nostalgia about railways. The mood seems to be everywhere. Here is Michael Portillo, ubiquitous on our living room TVs, brandishing his Bradshaw and seemingly endlessly roaming the rails and catching the zeitgeist with his Great Train Journeys. Pete Waterman is there, too, rejoicing in in the greasy world of the steam engine, while Dan Snow adds the gloss of the celebrity historian.
Likewise, present-day “railwayacs” and “locoists” wax sentimental about the colourful liveries and polished brasswork of the steam engines of yore. We may enthuse about the “Blackberry Black” of the London & North Western at Euston or the “Improved Engine Green” of the London Brighton & South Coast Railway (which was actually yellow) – much as a design guru might fuss over a Farrow & Ball paintcard.
But why should nostalgia be on anyone’s mind in this age of fast, state-of-the-art trains, that routinely whisk us efficiently all over the developed world at speeds of up to 200 mph. Is it merely fanciful and indulgent to summon up some “lost age” of the railways, when more of us are choosing to use the modern rail network than at any time in history. Trains today, the mantra goes, are faster, more frequent and better than ever. Why bother about the past?
Is it that, as the nation that invented the railway, we are pining in a post-modern world for our lost industrial heritage? A cocktail of loss stirred with the recall of vanished pleasure is ever present in the literature of rail travel – moments fleetingly experienced and then lost forever. Here is Auden’s Night Mail ever hurrying on with “letters of thanks, letters from banks, letters of joy from girl and boy”. For Edward Thomas it was the sublime moment when his express train paused at Adlestrop and “for that minute a blackbird sang”. Philip Larkin peeks from a train momentarily into the romantic lives of strangers in Whitsun Weddings. For Thomas Hardy life is never the same after a snatched kiss at the barrier in On the Departure Platform. “Each a glimpse and gone forever!” as Robert Louis Stevenson puts it in his famous From a Railway Carriage.
Much more than merely agents of commerce and industry, we love the railways because they encapsulate the whole gamut of human life and experience. They are the focus of emotions and the stuff of memories. The railway station, observe the social historians Jeffrey Richards and John M. Mackenzie, is a gateway through which people pass “in profusion on a variety of missions – a place of motion and emotion, arrival and sorrow, parting and reunion”. It is a place of “countless stories” – of drama, mystery and adventure.
Yet many of these stories belong to a world long gone – lyrically described by Gilbert and David St John Thomas in their charming book Double-Headed: “Railways are in a world of their own; they are segregated from the rest of the nation, and yet they serve it. They are self-contained, definable, understandable even by attentive amateurs and therefore welcoming to escapists; yet they are ubiquitous, infinitely diverse, complex within their own limits and wrapped in their own mystique. They have their own language, their own telephone network, their eating houses, factories and estates; they have their own slums, palaces, mausoleums and rustic beauty; they offer majesty and meanness, laughter, wonder and tears.”
Not much of this could be said of the railways of today, with their characterless trains and homogenised services.
It is hardly surprising, then, that we should invest so much emotion in romantic nostalgia. Who could disagree with that most poetic of railway historians Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis when he wrote (in 1947): “Surely it was always summer when we made our first railway journeys. Only from later boyhood do we remember what fog was like at Liverpool Street… or how the Thames Valley looked between Didcot and Oxford when there was naught but steel-grey water upon the drowned meadows. No, it was always summer! Sun shone on the first blue engine to be seen, a Somerset & Dorset near Poole; there was sunshine most dazzling on a Great Western brass dome; the sun shone on an extraordinary mustard-coloured engine of the London, Brighton & South Coast.” “Nostalgic?” asks Hamilton Ellis. “If so, why not?”
And why not, indeed? This sense of what the railways of the past signify to us has been heightened recently by the renaissance of railway enthusiasm. Gone are the days when those with an interest in railways were derided as trainspotters, anoraks or rivet counters, and mocked in the routine of almost every second-rate comedian on the stand-up circuit. The mark of respectability came in autumn 2014 when the National Railway Museum staged an exhibition called Trainspotting, in which various celebrities “came out” to declare their interest in what 20 years ago might have been an unspeakable taboo.
Actually, railway enthusiasm never really went away and – despite the mockers – has a long and noble history. The first railway enthusiast can be reckoned to be the 21-year-old actress Fanny Kemble who in 1830, just before the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, charmed George Stephenson into letting her ride with him on the locomotive. The engine, she gasped, was “a magical machine, with its flying white breath and rhythmical, unvarying pace.” Recognition of what was to become a national pursuit initially came when Stephenson’s 1825 engine Locomotion was put on public display on a plinth at Darlington station in 1857. Soon, upright professional men indulged their hobby in a manner not dissimilar to butterfly collecting or philately. By the turn of century they had their own magazine and their own club in London, the Railway Club – as smart a place to be in its own way as the Garrick or the Oxford & Cambridge.
Before its decline into unfashionability in the 1980s, trainspotting had become a national cult in which men and boys turned out in all weathers on platforms all over the land, accompanied by their “Bible” – a well-thumbed copy of the Ian Allan Locospotters’ Guide. I recall having to fight my way to the end of the platform at King’s Cross and Paddington through throngs of boys with notebooks and lapels plastered with enamel badges of their favourite engines. Then we discovered Pink Floyd and girls – and all grew up.
These days things have come full circle, with wealthy hedge fund managers in the City indulging their baby-boomer passions by spending millions buying and restoring vintage express steam locomotives to run on the main line – motivated not by profit, but by the sheer joy of the thing. This is probably not surprising, since railway enthusiasm is the ultimate nostalgia in the imagination of what Orwell called a “nation of collectors.” And why should such pleasures have to be defended? As the historian Roger Lloyd wrote in his book The Fascination of Railways: “I have never met a lover of railways who felt the slightest need to produce any justification for his pleasure. Why should he?” The NRM even had the confidence to commission some verse from the poet Ian McMillan giving trainspotting a modern family feel:
It’s a life filled with moments that ring like a bell,
With elation the thrill of the chase;
It’s a smile from your dad that says ‘Yes, all is well
As he matches the grin on your face.
This is a hobby that never will pall.
Tomorrow’s a spotting day. Well, aren’t they all?
I have just published a new book The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into the Lost Delights of Britian’s Railways, in which I unashamedly celebrate the lost delights of Britain’s railways on an odyssey, which took me from Preston to Paris, and Baker Street to Bangkok to celebrate the best of what has gone from our railways. I’m entirely with the spirit of the railway historian Bryan Morgan, when he writes in his evocative book The End of the Line that “the words on an Ordnance Map ‘Track of Old Railway’ have the power deeply to move me, and when I discover the scar itself I have to discover where it is going and what is left of its furniture.”
And so I walked over the crumbling viaducts of what was once the highest railway in England, I uncovered the farthest outpost of the London Tube buried in the undergrowth of the Buckinghamshire countryside. I rode today’s fastest train from Scotland to London to summon up the great days of the Anglo-Scottish expresses. I trudged through the back streets of provincial towns to stand on the sites of old stations, where the hopes and dreams of Victorian visionaries were raised and dashed. I relived the world of Rowland Emmet and William Heath Robinson on the tracks of some of the most eccentric railways ever built. I sat in a car park by the sea where the laughter once echoed from happy excursionists piling off trains from Lancashire and Yorkshire factories and mills. In all these journeys I’ve tried to re-inhabit the essential character of the railways as they once were and to distil the romance that has been irretrievably lost.
For me, the essential flavour of the railways of the past is often best divined standing on some overgrown embankment, or beneath the ruins of an ivy covered viaduct or amid the last fragments of some grand city terminus such as the old Euston or the demolished Birmingham Snow Hill or Nottingham Victoria, gently reconstructing the humanity and the grandeur that was once there. If you wait long enough between somewhere and nowhere, the past can often return with surprising clarity. Even a high-speed journey to Paris on the Eurostar helped resurrect for me the ghosts of the glamorous days of the old boat trains. Likewise a delicious lunch on one of today’s weekday trains to the West Country was a journey back, too, to the great days of the splendid restaurant cars of the Golden Age.
Meanwhile, we must be cautious about over-egging the nostalgia. Compared with the “good old days” there is so much that is better about the modern railway. As I write this, sitting in front of me is the ABC Railway Guide from February 1953, with its well-worn buff cover and adverts for Lemon Hart Rum and Punch magazine – as familiar in the homes of our parents, as an old bible or prayer book. We may regret its passing, yet it paints a dismal picture of the train services of even the recent past. Back then, a railway journey from London to Manchester, for example, took around four hours with gaps of up to two hours between trains. Today there are three trains every hour taking half the time. Name almost any journey on the main lines of Britain and the story is mostly the same.
As well as being faster, today’s trains are infinitely safer and cleaner, too – air conditioning rather than smuts in the eye. Even the remotest branch lines have it better, with regular timetables, and no more wondering when the train will come on a windswept platform in the middle of nowhere. Electronic information is ubiquitous – and if you fancy it, all today’s train companies have real-time train information on their websites and apps, as well as twitter feeds. The world defined by the ABC Railway Guide is already in the trash.
For all this, though, we may wonder if in 50 years time, we would ever be able to speak lovingly of today’s railways with the warmth of Hamilton Ellis in the concluding words of The Trains We Loved: “These were the trains we loved; grand, elegant and full of grace. We knew them and they belonged to the days when we first gazed on the magic of cloud shadows sweeping over the Downs, when we first became fully aware of the smell of a Wiltshire village after rain, or when we first saw a Scottish mountain framed in a double rainbow so vivid that no painter dared to try to record it…They were the days when the steam locomotive, unchallenged, bestrode the world like a friendly giant.”
The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into the Lost Delights of Britain’s Railways is published by Preface, a division of Penguin Random House. It is available on Amazon or at your local independent bookshop
There is more about Michael’s books on railways on his website HERE
Video: Steaming to Victory….
Steaming to Victory by Michael Williams OFFICIAL TRAILER
In the seven decades since the darkest moments of the Second World War it seems every tenebrous corner of the conflict has been laid bare, prodded and examined from every perspective of military and social history.
But there is a story that has hitherto been largely overlooked. It is a tale of quiet heroism, a story of ordinary people who fought, with enormous self-sacrifice, not with tanks and guns, but with elbow grease and determination. It is the story of the British railways and, above all, the extraordinary men and women who kept them running from 1939 to 1945.
Churchill himself certainly did not underestimate their importance to the wartime story when, in 1943, he praised ‘the unwavering courage and constant resourcefulness of railwaymen of all ranks in contributing so largely towards the final victory.’
And what a story it is.
The railway system during the Second World War was the lifeline of the nation, replacing vulnerable road transport and merchant shipping. The railways mobilised troops, transported munitions, evacuated children from cities and kept vital food supplies moving where other forms of transport failed. Railwaymen and women performed outstanding acts of heroism. Nearly 400 workers were killed at their posts and another 2,400 injured in the line of duty. Another 3,500 railwaymen and women died in action. The trains themselves played just as vital a role. The famous Flying Scotsman train delivered its passengers to safety after being pounded by German bombers and strafed with gunfire from the air. There were astonishing feats of engineering restoring tracks within hours and bridges and viaducts within days. Trains transported millions to and from work each day and sheltered them on underground platforms at night, a refuge from the bombs above. Without the railways, there would have been no Dunkirk evacuation and no D-Day.
Michael Williams, author of the celebrated book On the Slow Train, has written an important and timely book using original research and over a hundred new personal interviews.
This is their story.
Steam Tube Photographic Highlights(31,061 in Library!)
Steam Tube Video Highlights(6,795 in Library!)
Steam Tube Blogs (Total of 413 in Library!)
There are now 413 blogs in the Blog section! And what an interesting selection we have to enjoy!
This month, we feature the Trip Report – Whiskey River Railway from Steve Mitchell …….
About the Whiskey River Railway
The Whiskey River Railway is a Grand Scale railroad operation located in Marshall, Wisconsin. It’s part of the Little Amerricka amusement park, and train rides begin under a large covered train shed in the heart of the park rides.
After departing the station, trains quickly leave the sound of the amusement park behind as they travel over two miles on 16” track. Rounding a curve, trains approach what appears to be a row of storefronts, which is actually a false facade covering the car storage building. At the end of this row of faux buildings the track enters a long tunnel.
Emerging from the tunnel portal, train riders will discover they are in a totally different world – a green rural scene filled with domestic farm animals, along with some zebras and other exotic creatures in a 400 acre setting of agriculture, ponds, and wooded countryside. The tracks pass barns, a windmill, and other typical country structures, as well as railroad structures including a four stall roundhouse.
The amusement park and railroad were founded in 1991 by the late Lee W. Merrick. Mr. Merrick had a decades long hobby with Grand Scale railways before establishing Whiskey River.
Also on site is the Merrick Light Railway Equipment Works, a company specializing in building and restoring light railway locomotives and rolling stock. Number 1919, a 4-6-2 Pacific and the largest steam locomotive on the Whiskey River, was built here. Merrick’s chief engineer is Darrell Klompmaker, who we interviewed in our Wisconsin Steam Stories DVD chapter about Grand Scale Railroads. Other notable steam locomotives built by Merrick include #801 at the Arborway TT & Northwestern (ATT & NW) in Missouri and #5 at Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad in California. Several diesels have also been constructed here.
Three older steam locomotives which operate at Whiskey River came from other builders and were restored by the Merrick Equipment Works.
It’s always a good day to ride a train at Whiskey River, but there’s one very special day in July called Whiskey River Railway Day. On that day, all four Whiskey River steam locomotives are operated. We were invited to visit and to record footage to make our program on Whiskey River Railroad Day.
Whiskey River Railroad is operated with minimum park staff during normal times, but for special events like this, volunteers converge from all over the country.
Our visit on Whiskey River Railway Day
This was my third visit to Whiskey River, and I arrived very early in the morning to watch as the four locomotives were steamed up, and later brought outside the roundhouse for some last minute service and polishing.
The first locomotive to come out onto the turntable was #1956 Melody Ranch Special. This 4-6-2 in SP Daylight colors is certainly an eye-catcher. It was built by George Reddington in 1956 for singing cowboy and movie star Gene Autry. Melody Ranch was the name of a movie starring Gene Autry, Jimmy Durante, “Gabby” Hayes, and Ann Miller. It was also the name of his farm and motion picture studio in Newhall, CA, where he constructed his miniature railroad. The locomotive is oil-fired and weighs about 8,000 pounds.
Since it was ready first, Melody Ranch was put right to work pulling a maintenance of way car out on the line along with two volunteers to do some track work.
Next out was Lee W. Merrick #1919, the largest locomotive onsite at about 16,000 pounds. This is a coal-fired 4-6-2 Pacific class locomotive completed in 1996 by Darrell Klompmaker. It’s a beauty and several volunteers were kept busy polishing its shiny surface.
Next came Rio Grande #12, also called the Gracy after its builder Norman F. Gracy. Completed in 1969, the coal-fired 4-4-2 Atlantic class locomotive tips the scales at about 6,000 pounds.
Finally making an appearance on the turntable was Whiskey River #12, also known as The Acorn. This 4-6-2 Pacific was also built George Reddington. It’s oil fired and completed in 1950.
Soon all four locomotives were at sufficient steam pressure and they began traveling to the car barn. Number 1919 pulled a matched consist of coaches throughout the day, while the other three engines provided a much greater variety of trains. First they pulled a triple-header for a number of trips with a very long string of cars. For the rest of the day there were double headers with different locomotive pairings, and each locomotive pulled trains by themselves. Cars were added or removed to create many different consists as the motive power changed. This provided us with a lot of variety for our documentary.
It was my pleasure to meet Ed Taylor who is one of the Whiskey River volunteers as well as an accomplished videographer. Ed showed me his GoPro camera, which he mounted on several of the locomotives throughout the day. This camera produces amazing quality and Ed kindly allowed us the use of his footage in our production. Spectacular stuff!
With full access to all areas of the property, most of which is always off limits to the public, we were able to shoot extensive footage of the entire railroad with a pair of tripod-mounted hi-definition cameras. The farm is a beautiful setting for the Whiskey River Railroad and even a non-railfan will enjoy viewing trains traversing the territory.
See the Whiskey River Railway
Of course you should visit the Whiskey River Railway in person to really see this magical place. Visit the Little Amerricka website for hours and directions.
Our Whiskey River Railroad documentary is available on the Grand Scale Steam: Three Miniature Railways DVD from Yard Goat Images. The DVD also has two other chapters featuring beautiful scenes from the Redwood Valley Railway in California and a day at the Milwaukee Zoo with 4-6-2 #1924 and diesel #1958. See the Preview here.
Thanks, Steve Mitchell – www.yardgoatimages.com
100 Trains….the journey so far….
How can I follow the progress of the journey?
The entire journey is being broadcast (internet-availability allowing) via the website at www.100trains.com, the Twitter account @100trains, and via a Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/100trainscom.
Tornado…The Story so far…
‘THE WHITE ROSE’ EXPRESS RE-DATED TO TUESDAY 7TH JULY 2015
London King’s Cross to York and return with No. 60163 Tornado and iconic Deltic D9009 Alycidon
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trus has re-dated its recreation of ‘The White Rose’ express from Tuesday 2nd June 2015 to Tuesday 7th July 2015 due to the overrun of the locomotive’s overhaul. ‘The White Rose’ was the premier train from London to Yorkshire in the post-war period and this unique railtour will combine nearly 200 miles of travel behind No. 60163 Tornado and iconic Deltic D9009 Alycidon.
Fresh from her intermediate overhaul and newly repainted into her glorious apple green livery Tornado will be hauling the Trust’s first rail tour of 2015 on Tuesday 7th July 2015 from York to London King’s Cross, taking over from Alycidon which hauled the northbound leg. We are pleased to confirm that the carriages will be in the historic carmine and cream livery and those passengers in premier dining on ‘The White Rose’ will receive a traditional silver service throughout the journey. We expect there to be much fast running with Tornado at her permitted maximum speed of 75mph and Alycidon at 100mph.
Heading north covering 189 miles along the East Coast Main Line, Alycidon will stretch her legs along the line she once frequented, taking in the magnificent sights of the summer countryside heading towards the picturesque and historic City of York. A pick-up will be made along the way at Potters Bar. On arrival at York passengers will have time to explore the wonderful city, with its famous Minster and National Railway Museum, before boarding ‘The White Rose’ for its return leg to the capital hauled by No. 60163 Tornado.
Tornado will be hauling a limited number of main line railtours during 2015, with all profits going towards the upkeep of this magnificent locomotive. Consequently, space on this train is likely to be at a premium and so an early reservation is recommended.
New & ReBuild News.
Project Miller 41001 Returns!.
US Union Pacific Big Boy 4014
Latest News..and Video..HERE.
The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) T1 Steam Locomotive Trust
More information at: http://prrt1steamlocomotivetrust.org/news.php
Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2
Photo courtesy B & O Museum
Latest News on Facebook..HERE
Project 6029 (Beyer Garratt 6029 ex-NSWGR) Up to date information regarding steam locomotive 6029 in Canberra, ACT Australia. Beyer Garratt 6029 is an EX NSWGR locomotive and was a member of the largest, and most powerful class in Australia. The restoration to full working order has been undertaken by volunteers in Canberra.
Fund our Frames!
Donate just £5 to help to get this project started. We are starting with the buffer beam, We have been quoted a cost of £1300. Thats if 260 people donate just £5, we will be able to see the first part of a Claud for over 50 years.
We aim to build and operate the Great Eastern Railways legendary 4-4-0 D16/2 “Claud Hamilton” steam locomotive, No.8783 to be named “Phoenix”.
The Claud Hamilton group is now linked to the Whitwell and Reepham Railway, Providing expert help and a home base for the locomotive in the future.
To read about the “Ground Up Club”, and the latest news about the V499 project, go to
Good afternoon all. Well as you are all aware we have finally got agreement in order to be able to secure 1498s future however there is still a long way to go, we need to find her a secure long term home and to this end we are currently in talks with heritage railways more details on this will be released as and when known. However before this can happen we need your help we need to raise an awful lot of money in order to purchase the unit and then move it off the E O R, so please folks consider helping us to secure 1498’s future. We need your help so please donate to us the address for donations is on this page so please help us and remeber everything you donate large or small helps us to secure her future everything goes to buy move and restore 1498. Please help us please donate today. Many thanks 1498 Preservation Group.
You can now donate to the group through this Facebook page by visiting the DONATE tab above and then clicking donate or via this link
B & O Railroad Museum TV:
Each month the B&O TV Network, starring actor Michael Gross, spotlights a moment in B&O Railroad history. Take a journey into the past and view one or all of these episodes posted on YouTube.
A-Z Great Railway Engineers (V)
Samuel M. Vauclain,(US) Baldwin Locomotive Works. Patented the Vauclain compound engine.
Charles Blacker Vignoles, Inventor of the Vignoles rail profile
Axel Vogt, (US)Mechanical Engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad 1887–1919. Responsible for many of the beautifully proportioned and elegantly designed Pennsylvania classes. Considerable influence on modern US locomotive design
Mainline Steam Schedule
This listing is offered in good faith, so there is no guarantee offered or implied.
Please confirm running with the relevant tour operator.
And adhere, please, to Network Rail’s photographic guidelines…..HERE
The tour schedule for June 2015..and beyond..can be found at Railway Herald
On This Day In History
George Whale retires as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London and North Western Railway; he is succeeded by Charles Bowen-Cooke.
The County Donegal Railways Joint Committee in Ireland (3 ft (914 mm) gauge) introduces the first diesel engined railcar to enter regular passenger service in the British Isles
Soham disaster..exploding munitions wagon http://britainfromtherails.bradtguides.com/category/rail-history/
British Rail abolishes Third Class coaches on trains
Francis Webb, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London and North Western Railway (b. 1836).
The first Express d’Orient is operated between Paris and Wien.
“The “Cheltenham Flyer” with 5006 Treganna Castle (Driver Ruddock and Fireman Thorp) in charge, reaches record average speed of 81.6 mph over 77 miles between Swindon and Paddington.
London, Midland and Scottish Railway opens the luxury Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland
The Staplehurst Accident occurs. At 3:13 pm a South Eastern Railway boat train travelling from Folkestone derailed while crossing a viaduct. There had been engineering works on the bridge and a length of track had been removed. In the Board of Trade report it was found that a man had been placed with a red flag 554 yards (507 m) away but the regulations required him to be 1,000 yards (910 m) away and the train had insufficient time to stop. Th…e driver had also not been notified that there were repairs in the area. (Charles Dickens was on this train, and he was to be greatly affected thereafter..
The German rail zeppelin (Schienenzeppelin), an experimental propeller driven railcar, sets up a new world railway speed record of 230 km/h on its way from Hamburg to Berlin which was not surpassed by any other train for 24 years.
Queen Victoria became the first British monarch to ride on a train, traveling from Slough Railway Station to Paddington in 25 minutes.
Wilbert Vere Awdry OBE. Better known as the Reverend W. Awdry, he was the creator of Thomas The Tank Engine….
The Carrbridge rail crash in Scotland kills 5 people
Devon Belle Pullman train with observation car introduced
Josiah Stamp, Chairman of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1926- 1941
Opening of the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway in London, a deep tube railway which now forms part of the London Underground’s Northern line.
Central Railway(“Tuppenny Tube”)opens from Shepherds Bush in west London to the Bank The Official opening of the Central London Railway, core of the Central Line of the London Underground, means this is the third deep-level electrified “tube” railway in the city
First Stanier design LMS 4-6-2 (6200 Princess Royal) introduced.
Great Western Railway (England) takes delivery of its first ‘King’ Class 4-6-0 express passenger steam locomotive from its Swindon Works, No. 6000 King George V
British Rail announces a £16.5 million loss in 1956
6220 Coronation Scot reaches 114 mph between Whitmore and Crewe.
24 passengers and 4 railwaymen die as the result of the Salisbury rail crash on the London and South Western Railway of England when an express train passes through Salisbury railway station at excessive speed.
First Great Western Railway 4300 Class 2-6-0 locomotive is turned out of its Swindon Works, England. The class, designed by George Jackson Churchward, will comprise 342 members and see overseas service during World War I
Radstock to Frome Railway Project
Latest News from this group can be found HERE
Book review: The English Railway Station
The English Railway Station
English Heritage £25
Railway books tend to fall into two categories: those that provide too much extraneous detail (as in: ‘The first sod of the Dorset Central was cut at Blandford by Lady Smith of the Down House…the expenses of the ceremony amounted to £224 13s 2d including £71 for wine…’; and at the other extreme, those aimed at the presents-for-my-trainspotter-uncle type, which are often little more than train porn with a few poorly researched captions and a general history from Brunel to Beeching.
A few, like this sympathetic and accessible account of a much-neglected part of railway history, get it just right, balancing the pictures with the detail and sufficient context. The station was something of an afterthought in railway development. The first passenger-carrying railway, the Stockton & Darlington, did not bother to provide stations at all when it opened, merely stopping at pre-set points to allow passengers to get on or off, not an easy task given the lack of a platform. But the Stockton & Darlington was, in any case, a rather crude affair, mostly horse drawn and used for freight; it was therefore hardly surprising that it was the world’s first double-tracked fully steam-hauled railway, the Liverpool & Manchester, opened in 1830, that realised its passengers needed a station where they could buy tickets and shelter from the elements. This was the railway’s Crown Street terminus at Liverpool, which set the tone for many of its successors as it was designed by an established architect who was asked to provide a building that was ‘both solidly familiar and warmly reassuring’.
It took a bit of time for railway companies to understand that passengers, rather than freight, were going to be their most lucrative market. Thus while many of the early efforts were ‘an assortment of sheds, huts and barns, invariably scruffy, draughty and uncomfortable’, a tradition soon built up of well-appointed buildings that adapted a range of styles to the needs of a railway station.
Soon, the companies produced comfortable facilities for their passengers and then by the middle of the 19th century, they went much further, creating the ‘Cathedrals of Steam’ that announced their status as the biggest enterprises of their day, most of which have, fortunately, survived.
There is almost no architectural style that has not been deployed in station building. This book provides examples of every one, enabling the reader to choose his or her favourite. There is, though, an element of sadness that railway stations per se have never been recognised for their architectural achievements. Thus far too many examples have been lost to supermarkets, car parks or simply neglect. The most famous example is, of course, the destruction in the 1960s of Euston, its Great Hall and its famous arch (though frankly in my view there are enough Doric temples surviving on the planet), but there are countless other stations that are genuine losses where a more sympathetic understanding from the very publishers of the book might have saved them.
Most of this damage was wrought by the Beeching Axe, but there have been a few more recent losses such as the modernist Southern Railway station at Hastings in 2004. However, thankfully, as the author points out, many railway buildings have belatedly been given statutory protection and just as the railways have enjoyed a fantastic renaissance in the past couple of decades, so have its structures. From St Pancras to Birmingham New Street, Blackfriars to Reading, stations have been skilfully rebuilt to provide new cathedrals, a recognition that this 19th-century invention has a major role to play in the 21st.
Around the World in 80 Railways. (No 59:Africa)
Griff Rhys Jones has been on the “Slow Train Through Africa”
His 5 great railway journeys take him along the coast of North Africa, through Kenya and Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and finally to the tip of South Africa..
Get your copy HERE
WATTRAIN , APHTRO
At this very moment in time someone will be riding a heritage tram or train somewhere in the world and it is WATTRAIN’s aim to ensure that this will be the case for many years to come. Although different countries may have different laws and cultures, our heritage trams and trains all face the same sorts of issues; finance; restoration costs; Insurance; volunteer shortages and other similar things. WATTRAIN is here to bring organisations together, to allow them to learn from each other, passing on new ideas and also showing others what to avoid on their way to succeeding in their efforts.
If you or your organisation agrees with what we are trying to achieve, please consider joining us in our endeavours details can be found on our membership pages.
Although there are many activities in the heritage and tourist railway sector in the Asia – Pacific region, they are busily advancing their plans separately; it seems there is little co-operation between countries. On the other hand, the international co-operation has been achieved and succeeded in the other rigion: Europe, North and Latin America and Whole World. It is essential to establish and improve regional co-operation. This should be closer, more frequent and appropriate at the local level than worldwide level. APHTRO, Asia Pacific Heritage and Tourist Rail Organisation will mainly help the improvement of our treasured heritage railways and museums by forming a co-operative organisation to unite the countries. It will provide a forum where we can share experience and exchange ideas, advice and information in many aspects. APHTRO is able to act an important role and contribute to the growth and development of the heritage and tourist railways in the Asia – Pacific region.
Booking for this year’s APHTRO Conference
in Bangkok, Thailand, 20(optional), 21-23 October
is open now.
Your attendance will be wrmly welcomed.
Please visit our website for details;
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Speak to Neil on….. 01242 620020 or 07836 225711