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    Archivist to Stanier Mogul Fund and Stanier 8F Locomotive Society.
    Was a guard with BR and a fireman on the SVR, both in the 1970s. Currently, and once again, a volunteer at Bridgnorth MPD, another follow on from the 1970s!

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  1. I think you have mixed up two incidents from 'Red for Danger'; I've just dug out my copy to check. L.T.C. Rolt, in his description of Harrow, states,". . . No. 46242 which had passed a colour light distant and two semaphores at Danger in patchy fog . . ." There is no mention of a bright haze. I think you've remembered parts of the derailment at Bourne End on 30 September 1945 when 6157 went through the 20 m.p.h. crossover (Fast to Slow?) at about 50. Again, a colour light distant was involved. "It was a fine, clear morning with some haze, and the low sun was shining directly into h
  2. It might not be realised that crossing the local from Up Slow to Up fast was the scheduled move; it wasn't that Signal Armitage decided himself to do it to allow it pass the (coal?) train ahead on the Up Slow.
  3. That's one of those myths with little if any basis in fact. It's true that the report spent many pages advocating what was still at the time referred to as ATC, same as the GWR system, but main line trials began on the Eastern Region the week after Harrow as scheduled. It was 1959 when the equipment began widespread adoption but, as said, over thirty years later many lines still didn't have. It's lack was cited as a contributory factor in the Eccles (actually Weaste) collision of 4 December 1984.
  4. Agree that the Trials were for psychological reasons and in no way influenced future policy. As to the diesels, there were only the two of them, completely new and requiring both a lot of testing to make them work properly, and crew / service staff training to get the most out of them. Including them, even had the Trials been properly organised, was hardly likely to show them at their best.
  5. A good suggestion, Johnster, but I don't think so. The critical dimension would be from the handrail to the top of the running plate. I don't know what that dimension is, but both locos had the running plate about level with the lower face of the boiler, the 5X having splashers to accommodate its 6' 9" wheels, but the Black 'un had none over its 6' 0" wheels. But a very similar boiler was fitted to the 8Fs, and their 4' 8.5" wheels allowed the running plate to be lowered quite a bit, but the handrail wasn't lowered as in the 5X but stayed at the same height as the Black 'un. One po
  6. I can go with a lot of that: I have always felt that the 9F's main problem was that it was ahead of its time. Its natural place was the at the head of fully fitted block workings running at 60 mph, possibly 75 mph, but when introduced those trains were very much in the minority. As the 1950s progressed they began to evolve, but so too did the diesels, and it was mostly these which picked off these express goods workings, leaving the 9Fs for the most part with traffic for which they were less suited than the earlier 2-8-0s. You certainly didn't want one on a normal pick-up goods: that stiff rev
  7. Although the Nines did get some very heavy jobs, I doubt that the majority of their work was in that category, and much of it was within the capacity of the 2-8-0s from three of the Big Four groups, and in that case their muscle power was rather wasted. They did in these cases have a reserve of power to meet potential problems, but you could run only so fast with a heavy, loose coupled train, no matter how many d.b.h.p's the engine could develop: you soon reached a point where stopping the thing became the main concern and brakes were not a 9F strong point. As to their speed potent
  8. It wasn't always the case that the clergy loved trains. In the early days, the rector of the church at Winwick caused major problems for the proprietors of the Warrington and Newton Railway by refusing to allow it through the village, although after it opened he did ask for a reduced fare! And then there was the issue of running trains on the Sabbath, especially in Scotland, on which feelings were sufficient to lead to blows being exchanged. Thankfully, things change, and such people as Eric Treacy made up for earlier 'misunderstandings'.
  9. No idea, but the 5Xs do seem to have been the odd ones out. With the exception of the Lizzies, all others were higher on the boiler.
  10. But the remains were handy for lighting fires in the mess!
  11. Which basically says that this is never going to happen in reality.
  12. I have to say that Edge Hill was a goods depot; passenger work was covered by Lime Street. We did work parcels, though.
  13. I was at Edge Hill, so we did, among others, the routes to Crewe with m.a.s. and full track circuiting, the L&MR, St. Helens line, and these were a mixture of full manual and semi-automatic signalling, to the Bootle Branch, the Clock Face line (St Helens – Widnes) and Huskisson Dock CLC branch, these last two by then singled, at least in parts, and manually signalled where any boxes survived. Most trains I worked at that time were Class 9 so we had a van on the end, but I did spend time at the front when we had a Class 4. Bear in mind that I wasn't there long enough to get the longer dista
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