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Chiltern Court Coal Siding





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#1 298

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 19:21

No surprises for guessing that this thread has been started by the impulse purchase of a Heljan Met BoBo from a certain Liverpool retailer, and a side-diversion to build a minimum space layout for it to run on and perhaps a bit of shunting with our Bachmann Midnight Metropolitan stock (but not at the same time). I also fancied building a bit of juice rail after years of hanging overhead wires. 

 

Despite a lot of exhaustive research, I've yet to find a photo of the actual coal siding for Chiltern Court at Baker Street station, I've seen the ones in the LT Museum collection (ie: https://twitter.com/...826864747278337 ) and found others in Historical sites taken from an elevated position at the country end of the station and large scale OS maps from 1952 that show the position of the turnout, but nothing to show the loading dock or even what is there today (although that overhang still looks damn ugly).

 

Another issue I've found is exhibition punters are very receptive to micro/APA box sized layouts, but only when they show the whole of a scene- as emotive as the photo of Number 7 is in the above link, you wouldn't be able to see much as a layout because P1 would be in the way and it'd be difficult to portray that viewpoint in 4mm/ft scale. And even something based on that operating arrangement would still need two locos, one to bring the train into P1 and an available layover engine to perform the shunt and take the train out. I have come up with an APA sized plan based around a double slip that works on the theory of having the loco siding on the west side of the station and truncated platforms, but there is still the perception of something missing from the whole scene. There is also the concept of a "reverse inglenook" where one line has been retained past the end of a pair of terminal platforms towards a disused tunnel mouth, with the reverse siding back into the coal siding. Either way, I'd need either two locos or two turnouts to avoid propelling moves (turnouts are ~£20, Met BoBos are £74....). 

 

So, does anyone know of any accessible photos of the Coal siding...? (I've been slowly looking through Mrs 298's legendary LU book collection but not found a lot either but even a mention to something in print would be useful).

 

 





#2 298

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 19:58

OK, I've just found the North and South views on Wikipedia: 

 

https://commons.wiki..._look_south.JPG

 

This shows where the siding was, but no details as to the wall next to it. I hope it's not covered in cables...



#3 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 20:06

Tagging along on this one. Hope someone comes up trumps...

#4 Engineer_London

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 20:37

I don't have a lot to hand, and sadly no photographs of the siding in place that add to the story. 

When very small, I remember the siding, particularly that it had a power-operated derailer for protection  against wagon runaway - there was no trap point.

In the very early years of my career I visited the Chiltern Court boilers area at a time of reconstruction.  I did see where the siding used to end, with a built-in timber buffer.

Many years later, I took some very quick pictures in passing and to my embarrassment they are both poor and shaken and spoiled, but I include them here because it may fill a gap until good material surfaces - and I've even managed to get the pictures out of order at first attempt!

DSCN7017.JPG

I believe the siding ran close and straight in a position parallel to the low brick wall in the picture.  The structure in the shadows on the siding alignment is a later construction, almost certainly related to the Chiltern Court facilities.

DSCN7016.JPG

The above picture reinforces that the straight siding had good space between it and the platform road.  It shows well the curve in platform 1.  I want to be a bit careful here as I don't have much evidence or dated material to hand, but I know that Baker Street had many layout variants over the years with quite interesting features.  By the early 20th century there was a separate bay platform 1 and up to about 1913, give or take, the platform 1 curve we see continued to swing to the right.  The alignment lay roughly parallel to the stairs and alongside the present-day wall where there used to be small shops up to a few years ago.  The realignment of platform 1, to end perpendicular to the Circle platform 5, was one of a sequence of Metropolitan reconstructions on the Baker Street site.

DSCN7013.JPG

This also shows platform 1 looking away from the buffers.  The earlier platform1 alignment passed to the right of the blue telephone kiosk.

DSCN7014.JPG

The Platform 1 hydraulic buffers - a terrible image but gives a reasonable impression.  The brick building with two windows was in place when the siding was operational and the siding lay behind it and extended to the buffer position mentioned previously roughly in line with the back wall of the structure around the hydraulic buffers.

 

It may take a while, but I'll see what more I can find out.


Edited by Engineer_London, 12 June 2018 - 20:41 .

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#5 Nearholmer

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 21:42

Have you tried the records team at LU? The museum archives might have something, but I suspect that because it is still operational infrastructure, the drawings might still be with the “infrastructure protection” team that keeps a lot of such things.
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#6 Engineer_London

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 22:02

Better images this evening, still not ideal:

IMG_20180612_221619.jpg

The view towards the stop mark for platform 1.  Another building sits on the siding footprint these days. 

IMG_20180612_221742.jpg

A closer view of the structure around the hydraulic buffers, which are modern items together with buffers more suited to modern stock.  The stop mark is well short of this.

IMG_20180612_221806.jpg

A view of the old brick structure, still in place, which I guess was a 'rest room' for the crew unloading wagons of coal into the Chiltern Court bunkers.  The picture gives an impression of the space behind this structure where the siding would have been.

IMG_20180612_221922.jpg

A side view of the structure around the hydraulic buffers for the platform road.  I'm sure that there is a narrow walkway behind the door that passes right behind the hydraulic installation and also behind/above where the siding buffer block was [or still is?].  I guess that the access door is original, and the poster frames alongside are Metropolitan in origin, with traces of the railway company name in paint at the top of the frame.  Almost opposite, on the back wall of platform 1 there is a more well-known restoration of a Metropolitan-era sign advertising the Chiltern Court Restaurant.


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#7 Talltim

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 23:00

How did the really operate it? Did they need two locos or did they run around somewhere else and propel in?

#8 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:25

How did the really operate it? Did they need two locos or did they run around somewhere else and propel in?


As I understand it, they used two locos. The inbound loco then taking the place of the outbound in the loco siding

#9 Nearholmer

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:44

I had another look at the set of photos in the LT museum collection, the ones showing "the last coal train" and, aside from the fact that I suspect them to be either a 'put up job', for the benefit of the cameraman, or a rubbish, rather than coal, train, the shunt is interesting.

I think the batting order is probably;

- train arrives loco, wagon, van;
- second loco comes from spur, pulls wagon from siding, then buffers up to rear of arrived train;
- pulls entire train back and shunts it into siding, where the incoming wagon is detached;
- depart with train;
- incoming loco to spur.

There would be a loco 'kicking about' at Baker Street anyway, between Aylesbury train turns, so this doesn't really consume two locos, just the one extra, and even that was probably filling a gap in its turn off-peak. Who were the crew, though? Did they get an entire shift for going Neasden to Baker Street and back?

Excellent diagram extracted from the excellent collection on Harsig's excellent website. Thank you Harsig, whoever you are!

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Edited by Nearholmer, 13 June 2018 - 07:48 .

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#10 298

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:05

I had another look at the set of photos in the LT museum collection, the ones showing "the last coal train" and, aside from the fact that I suspect them to be either a 'put up job', for the benefit of the cameraman, or a rubbish, rather than coal, train, the shunt is interesting.


The 1956 clean air act probably put paid to coal deliveries, although rubbish (ie Ash) did continue until 1961.

The signal diagram is interesting in that there was a miniature ground frame and locking lever on the main frame, I was asking someone at the weekend as to how it would have been worked.

#11 Nearholmer

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:35

And, according to a correspondent on District Dave's forum, there is an article in Railway Magazine showing the siding in use during the construction of Chiltern Court, December 1927 issue, if you have that to hand!

#12 johnb

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:47

Ah! Unmasked! I was the one you were chatting to!!

 

Nearholmer is correct in the method of operation, it is detailed in Benest's Metropolitan Electric Locomotives. A mine of information, it was originally published in 1963. Last published 1983 and both issues are currently available on Amazon for around £20!

 

I did do some checking with someone-in-the-know on the operation of the point and it was thought that it was wholly operated from the 'box. Mr Harsig's diagram indicates it was locked from the 'box but operated locally, makes sense I suppose.

 

Will be very pleased to see the results.

 

Good luck with the project

 

John



#13 CloggyDog

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:33

The Harsig signalling diag is dated 1933, which I think is before Baker Street was re-signalled and the new signal box opened (in 1935??)

 

Did the arrangements re: Chiltern Court/Hotel Siding alter after that - was the opportunity taken to bring the movements covered by the GF into the main box?

 

I could equally be wrong and the GF continued in use until the end of loco operation in 1961/2.


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#14 CloggyDog

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 13:02

Chiltern Court has been mentioned before:

http://www.rmweb.co....it/#entry865110

http://www.rmweb.co....es/#entry534594

http://www.rmweb.co....y/#entry1127798



#15 GoingUnderground

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 17:29

Hi Andy

If you can get it, see page 61 of the LURS 1984 reprint of Ken Benest's "Metropolitan Electric Locos" ISBN 0 9508793 1 2 has a picture of No. 7, "Edmund Burke" coupled up in the siding to the coal truck, with a guards van behind that, and No. 16 "Oliver Goldsmith" which had brought the wagon up from Neasden, further down Platform 1 waiting for Edmund Burke to take the train back to Neasden and release it from Platform 1. The siding appears to be straight, judging by the alignment of the loco and guards van, hence the contortions of Platform 1. The picture was taken on 3/8/61, the date of the last delivery.

The text also mentions a wagon for rubbish being included in the train, but the photo only shows one wagon.

The picture is credited to the London Transport Executive so it may well be in the LT Museum's collection by now.

If your stuck, PM me and I'll post you a copy.

Edited by GoingUnderground, 13 June 2018 - 17:39 .

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#16 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 17:53

And, according to a correspondent on District Dave's forum, there is an article in Railway Magazine showing the siding in use during the construction of Chiltern Court, December 1927 issue, if you have that to hand!


Well I have a copy on order!

Hi Andy
If you can get it, see page 61 of the LURS 1984 reprint of Ken Benest's "Metropolitan Electric Locos" ISBN 0 9508793 1 2 has a picture of No. 7, "Edmund Burke" coupled up in the siding to the coal truck, with a guards van behind that, and No. 16 "Oliver Goldsmith" which had brought the wagon up from Neasden, further down Platform 1 waiting for Edmund Burke to take the train back to Neasden and release it from Platform 1. The siding appears to be straight, judging by the alignment of the loco and guards van, hence the contortions of Platform 1. The picture was taken on 3/8/61, the date of the last delivery.
The text also mentions a wagon for rubbish being included in the train, but the photo only shows one wagon.
The picture is credited to the London Transport Executive so it may well be in the LT Museum's collection by now.
If your stuck, PM me and I'll post you a copy.


Off to look for a copy now.

#17 GoingUnderground

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 18:47

Here's a link to the August  '61 photo on the LT Museum website, hope it works

 

https://www.ltmuseum...sdGVybitjb3VydA==

 

If it doesn't work, search the LT Museum Photos Collection using the search term Chiltern Court, that's how I found it.

 

In fact, there are several photos of that final train which come up on the same search.


Edited by GoingUnderground, 13 June 2018 - 19:03 .

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#18 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 19:09

Thanks Keith, I think 298 and I have seen all of the sequence on there, although it there are any more elsewhere we'd be delighted to learn of them. However, I suspect that it was such a minor event in the teeming business of the Met that it failed to gain the attention it might have done. After all, where else in the UK would a two wagon siding attract such interest!

There's a little bit of a mystery in my mind relating to the 1961 sequence. It is usually described as the last delivery, which implies there was a final collection which went unrecorded at a later date. Although it's possible to work out from District Dave when the "coal train" ceased to appear in the WTT, I'm not sure that necessarily gives a date to the final run.

In the timetable it was apparently described as the coal train right to the end, even if, by that date, it perhaps only conveyed outbound rubbish to Croxley tip.

#19 GoingUnderground

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 20:38

Thanks Keith, I think 298 and I have seen all of the sequence on there, although it there are any more elsewhere we'd be delighted to learn of them. However, I suspect that it was such a minor event in the teeming business of the Met that it failed to gain the attention it might have done. After all, where else in the UK would a two wagon siding attract such interest!

There's a little bit of a mystery in my mind relating to the 1961 sequence. It is usually described as the last delivery, which implies there was a final collection which went unrecorded at a later date. Although it's possible to work out from District Dave when the "coal train" ceased to appear in the WTT, I'm not sure that necessarily gives a date to the final run.

In the timetable it was apparently described as the coal train right to the end, even if, by that date, it perhaps only conveyed outbound rubbish to Croxley tip.

What do you think they might have needed to collect? Ash? It occupies a lot less volume than the coal, and would have been removed later via road, assuming Chiltern Court still used coal. Once deliveries and collections via the siding stopped, they would have been made by road on an ongoing basis anyway. So there was no need for final collection run, whatever replaced the rail service took over completely.

One of the archive photos, the one that shows the inside of the wagon being hauled by No 16, was taken where the line crosses the Grand Union canal the only point between Finchley Road and Baker Street where it comes to the surface. As it is No. 16, it will have been taken from the brake van on the way to Baker Street/Chiltern Court. I was a regular commuter on the Met when I worked in Central London, and I recognise the location, and the direction of travel. The wagon looks to be lightly laden, or possibly even unladen, as the photo shows the top 4 end planks of the wagon. As it was August coal would only have been need for hot water, not for heating. So it might not have been a large delivery anyway. Whatever was in the wagon, it would have had plenty of space on the return journey for rubbish collection.

Thus to my way of thinking, there is no mystery.

Edited by GoingUnderground, 13 June 2018 - 20:44 .


#20 298

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 20:53

Here's a link to the August  '61 photo on the LT Museum website, hope it works
 
https://www.ltmuseum...sdGVybitjb3VydA==
 


Hi Keith, hope you are well. Thanks for the link, I've found some photos from that collection but searching for "Chiltern Court" has brought up a few more from that day and a couple more aerial shots from angles that I haven't seen before.

#21 Talltim

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 09:05

What do you think they might have needed to collect?

The wagon, presumably.


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#22 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 11:09

As Tim suggests, my supposed mystery was the wagon. Perhaps it was unloaded/loaded or whatever and returned on the same day, but since that's not clear, that was my supposed msytery. Not a very interesting mystery i grant you, but still, I found the description of a delivery as odd. Perhaps it was a very small amount of coal, and they simply shovelled it into bunkers and then took the empty wagon away, I don't know.



#23 GoingUnderground

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 11:33

How did the really operate it? Did they need two locos or did they run around somewhere else and propel in?

There was a half-hourly, if I remember correctly, off peak service to Aylesbury from platform 4 at Baker Street, which meant that there was always an electric loco stationed in the loco spur alongside Platform 4 as the only run round facilities were on the Circle/Hammersmith lines. The stand-over loco stationed at Baker Street would have taken the coal train back to Neasden and it's place on the hourly Aylesbury service would have been taken by the loco that brought the coal train up to Baker Street as Nearholmer has described. The interesting movements would have been from Platform 4 to Platform 1, and back again, as the track configuration didn't lend itself easily to that sort of movement.

 

The wagon, presumably.

Why go back for a wagon containing only rubbish? That doesn't make any sense. I doubt that an empty wagon would have been left in the siding anyway as Platform 1 was home to the quarter-hourly Uxbridge service, and there was no space for catch points to protect trains arriving at and departing from Platform 1. Would wheel chocks have been considered adequate in such a short siding? I doubt it. Whatever alternative arrangements were put in place for Chiltern Court would, most likely, have applied from 3 August onwards. But if someone can find a picture of a wagon sitting in the siding between deliveries and collections I'd be happy to retract this statement.

 

I think that rather than just model the coal siding, a model of Baker Street Platforms 1-4 in late 1960-early 1961 would be most impressive, but somewhat daunting. Just think of the potential rolling stock; MetroVic Bo-Bos and Dreadnought carriages, F Stock and O/P Stock on Uxbridge services, with T Stock and its replacement A60 Stock for Watford. And if you added the Bakerloo line Platforms 7-9 there would also be '38 Stock with a token appearance of Standard Stock in the 58 trailer cars. Almost all the LT rolling stock of the time. All that would be missing would be Q and R Stock.


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#24 CloggyDog

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 12:23

I doubt that an empty wagon would have been left in the siding anyway as Platform 1 was home to the quarter-hourly Uxbridge service, and there was no space for catch points to protect trains arriving at and departing from Platform 1. Would wheel chocks have been considered adequate in such a short siding? I doubt it.

 

See post #4 - there was a power-operated derailer to protect P1.


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#25 Engineer_London

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 13:03

As in post 4 - In the early 1960s I saw a device not far from the siding exit which I was told was a derailer, something like this:  https://goo.gl/images/WiQH9z found in:  http://www.clag.org.uk/3rd-4th.html

I am happy for the experts to correct me, as it was a long time ago. 

 

Similarly, from post 23, "All that would be missing would be Q and R Stock.".  I will bow to the experts, however I believe this combination might have been covered by the District trains over the North side of the Circle on Sundays, many years ago.

 

On further information, I have spotted a small detail within an old drawing of the station that shows an elevation of the buffer positions on p1 and the siding.  Centre-to-centre of tracks approximately 18 feet.

 


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