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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. Which is why, when I was teaching, I always told students not to cite Wikipedia as that part would have a red pen drawn across it and disregarded, if not by me then by the external moderator.
  2. I think it was Eric Langridge who commented that, until they began tests of ETH from diesel locomotives, it hadn't been realised how much work the old steam engine boiler had been doing!
  3. Not sure on that. The yard could be accessed by trains from either direction, and running around could be performed on the main line via the trailing crossover near the footbridge, positioned this far away to allow it. Leaving part of the train on the main line to put down / pick up wagons was certainly an option, but very dependent on the traffic situation.
  4. The two points I was making were that this was a common arrangement and that was because it avoided the use of facing points on a running line. A similar situation occurred at the south end of Bridgnorth station. Up trains bound for the yard ran through a trailing connection and then set back through that connection; they did not encroach on to the Down line, even though the Up and Down running lines combined into single track about thirty yards further south. I in preservation, this complex pointwork was replaced by a single connection, which serves the purpose.
  5. This was quite a usual arrangement. The yard can be accessed by trains coming from either direction, but neither of the running lines contain a facing point. These were carefully avoided following the derailment at Wigan of 3 August 1873.
  6. It was unloaded this morning and in steam this afternoon.
  7. You're right, and these weren't the only Webb 0-6-2Ts. As Andy Kirkham says, they were the tank version of the 0-6-0 tender Engines, Seventeen Inch (cylinder bore) Goods and generally known as Coal Engines. These were superseded by the Eighteen Inch Goods, usually known as Cauliflowers, and there was an 0-6-2T version of these, but they enjoyed a happier name as Watford Tanks.
  8. They look very similar unless you get a clear view of the wheels. The give-away here is the spring ahead of the tank.
  9. I seem to remember reports, possibly from the 1980s, that all the oil would be gone by, I think it was, 2013. There's still a lot down there eight years later.
  10. Electricity - again! The amount of electrical power which natural resources will need to generate, and the national grid's ability to carry it, are items generally glossed over by the environmental bodies.
  11. Not just in Scotland. Many English engines, including those from the former ex-L&YR, continued with smokebox plates. But Ted Talbot makes clear that the precedent had been set, and Crewe probably used it to rid its engines of as much Midland paraphernalia as it could. No plates on our smokeboxes!
  12. According to Ted Talbot (The London & North Western Railway Eight-coupled Goods Engines (2002) Published by Edward Talbot ISBN 0-9542787-0-4): . . . the engine had all the standard Crewe fit­tings and all the usual features of the day. For the sake of standardisation with the '17in Coal Engine', the same splashers were used, but as the boiler was pitched higher, 7ft 10 ½in, and the cab floor and foot­plate were raised accordingly, 4ft 5in above the rails, there was a space of 9½in between the splashers and the treads of the tyres. This feature was perpetuated in all the 0-8-0s. Had the footplate been pitched 4in or so higher still, no splashers at all would have been need­ed, but clearly Mr Webb, despite his concern for econo­my, was sufficiently concerned with appearance to pro­vide them. Indeed, the splashers over the rear wheels, which were hidden behind the cab side-sheets, were much less deep than those over the other wheels. As to number plates, these were a Midland Railway item and made sense there: that railway used (square) roundhouses so engines would be stabled around a central turntable and the crews would see the front of the engine. Other railways, including the LNWR, used straight sheds so the number needed to be visible from the side as crews walked down the lines of stabling roads; the front of the engine became visible only when up close. Bob Essery and David Jenkinson (An Llustrated History of LMS Locomotives (1981) OPC ISBN 086093 087 4) put it: All engines were, or rather should have been, fitted with cast iron smokebox numberplates of Midland pattern although by the middle thirties, except for the standard locomotives and, of course, the ex-MR ones, the bulk of them were running without them (Figs. 6-7). The Official agreement to dispense with smokebox plates did not, however, take place until February 1928 when it was agreed that with the change in the position of the running number to the engine at that time, there was no longer any need for the numberplates on Western, Central or Northern Division engines. It is highly probable, therefore, that many non-Midland engines (especially ex-LNWR engines) were never given smokebox plates at all unless repainted during 1923-7. They were to be continued on the Midland Division where roundhouses predominated and it is an interesting fact that whenever the Midland Division received an engine without a smokebox plate, it was usual to chalk or handpaint its number on the smokebox for ease of identification on the shed. Most authorities are agreed that it was rare to see a Scottish (and almost unknown to see an ex-LNWR) locomotive with a numberplate by the time of the Second World War, although a few ex-LYR engines did keep them after repainting in the thirties. Needless to say, all standard designs received front numberplates which were never deliberately removed.
  13. When Stanier was designing his 2-6-0s, the Chief Civil Engineer announced a whole list of areas where clearances over the cylinders didn't exist and from which they would be barred. WAS's answer was to fit a Horwich Crab with lead fingers to the new cylinder profile and run it to all those areas specified. Only in a few locations was there an actual clash, so in those places the CME had to modify what we now call the infrastructure. This of course was long before polystyrene had been invented, but the use of lead as the material served the same purpose.
  14. That is largely true, certainly at Bromsgrove. The bankers simply each took their turn to go into the holding siding, then the required number came out when a train needed assistance. The tankies counted as one unit, Bertha, and presumably the Garratt, as two. If a train needed two units and the order in the siding was a tankie, Bertha and then other tankies, the first engine and Bertha would be used, i.e. three units. If a train needed four bankers and Bertha was way back in the siding, four tankies would appear. It certainly wasn't a flexible system.
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