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LB&SCR Battersea Wharf - any photos?


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I'm looking at the scope for a small shunting layout featuring a couple of imaginary exchange sidings between the LB&SCR Battersea Goods and the GWR's neighbouring South Lambeth Goods.

 

As can be seen from the map below, this is not as implausible as it sounds. The LB&SCR's sidings along Battersea Wharf extended Eastwards below the overhead Victoria Lines, and when the GWR depot was built in 1911 it's northermost sidings were only a few hundred feet from the LB&SCR's. An opportunity too good to resist!

 

My question however is whether anyone has ideas  for where I might find some photos of Battersea Wharf in LB&SCR days. A search of the web and my few available books on the LB&SCR has revealed nothing so far, save a few close-up shots of locos in the main goods yard.

 

I'm hoping for something full of atmosphere like this one from Deptford Wharf: http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/d24a69c92f674fdd804bab5d093dac58/london-scenes-london-docks-deadmans-dock-deptford-wharf-g7xfdh.jpg - but so far no luck.


29865790721_46f1b5f53d_o.jpg

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  • RMweb Gold

Not sure that either the plan, or the interesting photo, would qualify as "small"! :)

I thought I’d dabble a bit in 7mm, so why not begin with the Battersea tangle  :)

In practice it’s a fairly modest affair though. I was thinking along these lines:

29873318721_6ed94152d2_o.jpg

 

A GWR saddle tank and an LB&SCR side tank knocking a few wagons about on a couple of exchange sidings. Add a bit of London 1900s wharf atmosphere at the front, and some grotty half-relief warehouses at the back...

 

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I thought I’d dabble a bit in 7mm, so why not begin with the Battersea tangle  :)

..........

A GWR saddle tank and an LB&SCR side tank knocking a few wagons about on a couple of exchange sidings. Add a bit of London 1900s wharf atmosphere at the front, and some grotty half-relief warehouses at the back...

I can guess where the Brighton loco would come from, but what about the saddle tank? Are there such things in 7mm, or are you planning some backdating of the forthcoming Dapol or Minerva 57xx? If you are, please don't post anything about it here, as it's something I'm trying to avoid being tempted by!

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  • RMweb Gold

Sadly our predecessors, just like us, were a darn sight more interested in trains, particularly locos, than infrastructure. So even learned LBSCR volumes do not tell us much of that area. I've just checked Edward Wallis's two-volume Southern Infrastructure 1922-1934 books, and they start at Pouparts Junction! The area now looks very different - and much of that is relatively recent. On a day in 1978 that will live in infamy, I toted my Nikon round Battersea Yard, snapping old buildings etc - only to find later that the film was not advancing. 

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  • RMweb Gold

I can guess where the Brighton loco would come from

 

Yes, the idea was to use the Dapol Terrier as the LB&SCR loco - I hope I can get away with that as I understand that they were increasingly used for shunting duties as time went on.

 

post-738-0-89746800-1474311142_thumb.jpg

 

 

GWR saddle tanks in 7mm scale?

 

Plenty of kits: Scorpio models, and the old Underhill kits with resin tank/boiler castings.

 

My chassis building skills are rather limited, so I was thinking of using the Minerva or Dapol 57xx chassis as a basis for an 2721 ST or similar. I may have to scratchbuilt the body in styrene, unless I am lucky and can find parts from a kit. Whether the latter is economically and practically feasible is an open question (!), but I'm having fun doing something similar in 4mm:

 

post-738-0-15744300-1473106576_thumb.jpg

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What about the Battersea wharf,  controlling from where the LS&SCR tracks are, just 3 turnouts, a diamond and a wagon turntable. Bridges at both ends

 

That would be quite something. And a great excuse for a wagon turntable, which I've always fancied. But Brunel is calling from the grave, saying he'll haunt me forever if there is no GWR element! 

 

 

Sadly our predecessors, just like us, were a darn sight more interested in trains, particularly locos, than infrastructure. So even learned LBSCR volumes do not tell us much of that area. I've just checked Edward Wallis's two-volume Southern Infrastructure 1922-1934 books, and they start at Pouparts Junction! The area now looks very different - and much of that is relatively recent. On a day in 1978 that will live in infamy, I toted my Nikon round Battersea Yard, snapping old buildings etc - only to find later that the film was not advancing. 

 

Thanks very much for checking. It's frustrating to have all these fantastic loco photos and so little of the infrastructure and goods operations.

 

I can imagine what you must have felt when those photos from Battersea were developed! Or did you discover it while still in the camera, I can remember that panicky feeling when things felt wrong.

 

Incidentally, Baby Deltic has posted a few 80's shots from South Lambeth goods here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/gallery/album/731-south-lambeth-goods-yard-battersea-power-station/

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I think I realised a day or two later when the film was showing about 39 exposures....

 

The curve into South Lambeth as shown on the map was significant. ISTR VTG wagons were a bit of a liability there when first tried, with more than one derailment. 

 

The whole area was a bit of an odd backwater by the '70s. There were lots of trains rattling overhead in and out of both parts of Victoria, and not far away, also elevated, were the lines into Waterloo. But all was relative tranquility below. Lots of rusty track and apart from peak-hour ECS in and out of Stewarts Lane Depot, not very much movement. 

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Would it actually happen like this, though? Exchange of wagons between companies would need to be recorded by someone from the RCH, which means it would be more likely to happen at a busy yard, where the manpower costs would produce a better return on the investment.

Does anyone know of a list of exchange points between companies?

 

The original exchange point between the GWR and L&NWR at Oxford was a single double ended siding which was still called 'the exchange' in the 1960s long after it's original purpose had vanished due to later through running connections between the Companies.

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My chassis building skills are rather limited, so I was thinking of using the Minerva or Dapol 57xx chassis as a basis for an 2721 ST or similar. I may have to scratchbuilt the body in styrene, unless I am lucky and can find parts from a kit. Whether the latter is economically and practically feasible is an open question (!), but I'm having fun doing something similar in 4mm:

The 1813 class had panniers fitted from 1904. The tanks were made for the 2721s, but the 1813s went into the works first, so got them instead. I'm planning to convert one of my Hornby 2721 bodies to 1819, and I've got the number plates for it already. From what I can see, many of the 0-6-0 tanks were so similar by the time they got into the 20th century, that it's not difficult to convert them to another class. I suspect that the 57xx is pretty much the same size, so may be a fairly straightforward conversion. My Bachmann one is pretty close to the 2721 in 4mm, but IF I seriously consider doing it in 7mm I'd do some careful checking first.

 

As my EM layout is set in 1905, I can have one of the few panniers that would have had Indian red frames, but you'll have to miss out on that if this layout is set in 1911 or later!

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Fascinating area, and fascinating idea, but did the GWR actually have locos of their own there?

 

There were "not incumbent railway owned" goods and coal depots in multiple places across South London, and although several had services into and out of them worked by the "not incumbent", using their own engines, from their North London yards, I'd always assumed (dangerous pastime, I know) that, once the daily trip disappeared, they were shunted by horse and capstan.

 

Are there any photos of GWR, MR, GNR locos shunting in South London?

 

Kevin

 

Edit: Simon, the above partially answers your question. Block coal trains, for instance, ran right through from the MR and GNR, and GNR locos worked good trains via the Widened Lines to Hither Green, once that yard was open. I will delve further into other goods services.

Edited by Nearholmer
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Is the goods depot called Willow Walk Depot?  If so there are a couple of pictures in the HMRS Journal Volume 11 July - September 1983.  Willow walk is recorded there as the LB&SCR's major London depot - which looks like it could fit the plan as shown in the map.   No sign of any quay however in the 2 pictures.

 

Edit:  It looks as if Willow Walk is in Bermondsey - so a few miles away

Edited by Andy Hayter
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Great idea, though rather a bare board.  Is your fictional development going to include a run of contemporary warehouses as a back drop?

 

Alternatively, you may be able to work something with the pumping station.

 

 

post-25673-0-63300500-1474985963.jpg

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Fascinating area, and fascinating idea, but did the GWR actually have locos of their own there?

 

There were "not incumbent railway owned" goods and coal depots in multiple places across South London, and although several had services into and out of them worked by the "not incumbent", using their own engines, from their North London yards, I'd always assumed (dangerous pastime, I know) that, once the daily trip disappeared, they were shunted by horse and capstan.

 

Are there any photos of GWR, MR, GNR locos shunting in South London?

 

Kevin

 

Edit: Simon, the above partially answers your question. Block coal trains, for instance, ran right through from the MR and GNR, and GNR locos worked good trains via the Widened Lines to Hither Green, once that yard was open. I will delve further into other goods services.

 

GWR/WR engines worked to & from South Lambeth and I believe remained a WR depot until closure.  GWR trains of course worked into Victoria in earlier years but although the GWR remained one of the joint tenants of one side of the station until nationalisation I don't think it had any trains running there after WWI.

 

The July 1939 STT shows the following GWR services to South Lambeth -

 

01.20 MX Acton

01.50 ex Willesden (LMS train)

02.45 MX Old Oak Common (calls Stewarts Lane as required)

02.50 MO Acton

03.52 MX Acton

05.20 MX Park Royal

05.30 MO Old Oak Common

06.28 MX Acton

06.48 MX Park Royal

08.45 Old Oak Common

09.45 Willesden (LMS empty wagons)

11.15 Old Oak Common

12//38 Addison Road (light engine)

13.50 SX Addison Road (LMS ex Hammersmith & City?)

13.40 SX Willesden (LMS Engine & van)

16//10 SX Wood Lane (light engine)

16//30 Old Oak Common (light engine)

16.15  Hanwell Bridge

18//00 Old Oak Common (light engine)

19.15 Old Oak Common (engine & van SX, light engine SO)

XX.XX Light engine to work 20.30 ex south Lambeth

19.55 SO Old Oak Common

20.35 Old Oak Common (Goods SO, light engine SX)

20.35 SO Willesden (LMS empties, runs as required)

22.40 Willesden (LMS empties)

01.50 Willesden  (LMS engine and van - runs as required) 

 

No doubt some of these were cancelled due to light traffic etc but the above is the southbound timetabled situation, plus two GWR worked trips each day to Hither Green.  

 

In July 1939 there were three GWR shunting pilot/assisting engines at South Lambeth  - No.1 was booked 23 hours daily M-F and 17.75 hours on Saturdays;  No.2 was booked 6 hours M-F and 8 hours on Saturdays when it was also booked to assist the 18.10 South Lambeth - OOC trip; No.3 was booked 3 hours on Saturday and 2.5 hours on Sunday.

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Simon

 

Attempting to collate incomplete knowledge:

 

Goods trains via WLER: traffic for LSWR, worked by "foreign" engine to Nine Elms; traffic for LBSCR main area,taken over by LBSCR loco and van at Kensington for onward transit to Norwood; my guess is that LNWR and GWR trains worked direct into Battersea with traffic for that area. From about WW1, the LSWR exchange yard became Feltham.

 

Goods via Widened Lines: GNR and Midland worked through goods to Hither Green, but before that was open c1905 ??????

 

Goods via ELL: definitely through trains from GER to New Cross LBSC, via a messy shunt into Liverpool Street or via a load of complicated wagon lifts.

 

Coal trains via WLER: LNWR direct to own yard at Clapham.

 

Coal trains via Widened Lines: direct to own coal depots by Midland and GNR.

 

At some date, certainly by early BR period, goods and coal via the WLER began to be taken all the way to Norwood by "foreign" engines, and there were also BR(S) locos working from Norwood, through to Acton, Willesden and Brent.

 

Worth remembering that the Midland also had access to West London via Dudding Hill (?), and ran coal trains direct to depots at two locations in Kensington.

 

Can anyone add or correct, because this is a fascinating bit of railway history.

 

Kevin

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Grrrrrrrrr! I'd have to go back earlier so I could have some broad gauge!

 

As Mike says, the GWR had passenger services into Victoria via mixed gauge track right up to the end of the BG (and continued the services thereafter up to 1915).

 

In the unlikely event that anyone wants the full details of the (re-)construction of the bridge and associated lines to Victoria in this area, here are the minutes from the proceedings of the civil eningeers: https://archive.org/stream/minutesofproceed27inst#page/54/mode/2up

 

Is the goods depot called Willow Walk Depot?  If so there are a couple of pictures in the HMRS Journal Volume 11 July - September 1983.  Willow walk is recorded there as the LB&SCR's major London depot - which looks like it could fit the plan as shown in the map.   No sign of any quay however in the 2 pictures.

 

Edit:  It looks as if Willow Walk is in Bermondsey - so a few miles away

 

I believe the LB&SCR depot was simply known as Battersea Goods. The GWR depot was South Lambeth Goods.

 

Fascinating area, and fascinating idea, but did the GWR actually have locos of their own there?

 

 

Yes. South Lambeth was a big GWR depot, with 500+ staff. According to GWR Goods Services Vol 2 p.167-171 [edit: and Mike's post above], there was a regular 24 hour GWR shunter as well as "additional evening shunting by train engines to prepare for the night's departures". 

 

The workings to and from the depot are described as follows:

 

"Many of the trains from South Lambeth conveyed traffic for the fast goods trains to South Wales, the Midlands, and the West Country, and was taken by pilot trips (about 14 per day) to Acton and Old Oak Common for remarshalling [...]

 

Most of the traffic for South Lambeth was routed from the yards at Old Oak, although trains also ran through from Hanwell Bridge, Acton and Park Royal. In all, around ten trains (including light engine or engine and van movements) ran each way daily to and from the depot in 1939". 

 

So one excuse for an exchange siding here could be that the LB&SCR had some sort of regular goods traffic coming up from the South, which needs to go on the fast GWR expresses to Wales and beyond. Or maybe more plausible the other way round: South Lambeth goods was a major milk depot, with no less than two long milk docks at one point. Might some of that need forwarding via the LB&SCR to the southern suburbs?

 

 

Great idea, though rather a bare board.  Is your fictional development going to include a run of contemporary warehouses as a back drop?

 

Alternatively, you may be able to work something with the pumping station.

 

Good point. This was before Battersea Power station of course (built in 1931) and part of the area seems to have been a bit of a wasteland even at that time (the GWR bought it from the Metropolitan Waterworks). But as the exchange sidings would be imaginary anyway, I suppose the buildings could too. Eg something like this could maybe be crammed in:

 

 bfd229e0de27c0d42626976134795b70.jpg

Edited by Mikkel
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The recent South Western Circle publication on Feltham Yard (a little book well worth having) states that GC interchange traffic from Neasden was worked by LSWR locos. Apparently the MO was for the GC to shunt the wagons into train order at Neasden, the LSWR did the rest.

 

I agree that the inter-company traffic workings in the London area are quite fascinating. And there are plenty of obscure locations which would potentially make great models.

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Knowing that the GWR depot was big on milk, might explain this photo, which I stumbled upon while looking for something else, and which intrigued me https://www.flickr.com/photos/northbriton/15433188889

 

I'd assumed (that again!) that the train was only going as far as Kensington, but possibly not.

 

Empty coal wagon returning to Swansea on the other road, too. A bit prosaic, but might coal be the exchange traffic? Maybe very good stuff, for a customer with very particular needs.

 

Or, what about tobacco products, going from SE London to Ireland, by way of Fishguard? London was a big cigar and cigarette making centre, especially within striking distance of the docks, and I know that tobacco products were conveyed by vans attached to passenger trains to Fishguard (not from london though), so you could join these thoughts together. A more likely route out would be via the city goods depots and the widened lines, but ........

 

K

Edited by Nearholmer
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Interesting picture. I'm just starting on the proper buildings for Cheapside Yard, and have pinched it for ideas. Have you got a link to any more?

  • post-25673-0-89880300-1474993905.jpg

Not really what I'm after at the moment, but lots of potential for the future, although this one could be useful. I'm just after a row of fairly presentable factory and warehouse buildings, that are interesting without being too difficult to build.

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  • RMweb Gold

Knowing that the GWR depot was big on milk, might explain this photo, which I stumbled upon while looking for something else, and which intrigued me https://www.flickr.com/photos/northbriton/15433188889

 

I'd assumed (that again!) that the train was only going as far as Kensington, but possibly not.

 

Empty coal wagon returning to Swansea on the other road, too. A bit prosaic, but might coal be the exchange traffic? Maybe very good stuff, for a customer with very particular needs.

 

Or, what about tobacco products, going from SE London to Ireland, by way of Fishguard? London was a big cigar and cigarette making centre, especially within striking distance of the docks, and I know that tobacco products were conveyed by vans attached to passenger trains to Fishguard (not from london though), so you could join these thoughts together. A more likely route out would be via the city goods depots and the widened lines, but ........

 

K

 

Great find, very interesting photo. That collection has several intriguing photos, including this one with a Coal Tank and in the background a GWR siphon: https://www.flickr.com/photos/northbriton/14998205384/in/album-72157646392833746/

 

Reminded me of Twickenham MRC's layout of Kensington Olympia: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/91730-twickenham-mrcs-addison-road-kensington-olympia-in-7mm/page-6

 

Here's a photo of the original milk dock at South Lambert Goods. There's another photo of it in GWR Goods Services shortly after construction, with a saddle tank and some siphons. Lovely stuff. http://www.steampicturelibrary.com/goods-depot-south-lambeth-1909/print/689449.html

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Not really what I'm after at the moment, but lots of potential for the future, although this one could be useful. I'm just after a row of fairly presentable factory and warehouse buildings, that are interesting without being too difficult to build.

 

Ah,

post-25673-0-47516100-1474999704.jpg

post-25673-0-55863800-1474999712.jpg

post-25673-0-34449800-1474999736_thumb.jpg

post-25673-0-48135200-1474999743.jpg

post-25673-0-25792100-1474999762_thumb.jpg

post-25673-0-07213000-1474999773.jpg

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