Jump to content

Trainspotting at Little Benton Sidings, Newcastle.


Recommended Posts

46 minutes ago, rowanj said:

But wouldn't a train like this have had a Glasgow stop?  I must try to track down more info. It seems to have fun for several years as a summer SO, but I confess I had never heard of it.

John

Hi,

it may have had a stop in Glasgow, but not necessarily Queeen Street (Upper).  It could have run via Queen Street (Lower) or Central (Lower).  Either route would mean it didn't have to make a reversal in Queen Street (Upper) or negotiate Cowlairs Bank.  Personally I think running  via Queen Street (Lower) the more likely option for a stopping service.  I recently travelled this route to Edinburgh with my daughter after a holiday in Oban.  Roja

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not a train I had heard of either so I had a quick look through my working timetables this evening and dug out the following:

 

Summer 1953

Train 179 (Class ‘A’) 12.12pm SO Craigendoran to Nottingham Midland

2.25pm ex Waverley, passes Berwick 3.34pm, arrives Nottingham 10.19pm

Runs 20th June to 12th September inclusive.  Only conveys passengers holding tickets for inclusive Scottish tours.

 

 

Summer 1954

BR NE Region carriage workings (NER Association facsimile) has the following information:

 

Sets 631 and 631A. LMR Stock. BTOBS (48) TOBS (56) RKBS 4TOBS (56) RKBS TOBS (56) BTOBS (48) – 10 (432T)

 

Set 631 works the northbound train (SO)

Dep Nottingham Midland: 6.08 am

Leeds City N: 8.54 am

Newcastle : 11.32 – 11.42 am

Edinburgh: 2.13 pm

Craigendoran: 4.15 pm

 

Set 631A works the southbound train (SO)

Dep Craigendoran: 12.12 pm

Edinburgh: 2.25 pm

Newcastle: 4.52 - 5.02 pm

Leeds City N: 7.29pm

Nottingham Midland: 10.19pm

 

Note that the northbound train arrives after the departure of the southbound service so two sets of stock were required.  Did the set spend the whole week in Scotland awaiting the following Saturday's return working?

 

 

Summer 1956

Train 179 (Class ‘A’) 12.12pm SO Craigendoran to Leicester

2.25pm ex Waverley, passes Berwick3.36pm

Runs until 8th September inclusive. Inclusive Tour not advertised in Public Book.

 

 

Summer 1959

Train 179 (Class ‘A’) 1.0pm SO Craigendoran to Leicester

3.0pm ex Waverley, passes Berwick 4.07pm

Inclusive Tour not advertised in Public Book.

 

 

Summer 1960

Train 179 (Class ‘A’) 1.0pm SO Craigendoran to Leicester

3.0pm ex Waverley (arrived 2.45pm), passes Berwick 4.07pm

Inclusive Tour not advertised in Public Book.

 

 

Summer 1962

Train 1M97 1.10 pm SO Craigendoran to Leicester

3.0pm ex Waverley (arrived 2.45pm), passes Tweedmouth 4.8 1/2pm

Inclusive Tour not advertised in Book.

 

The next summer WTT that I have is for 1964 and the train is not listed therein. 

 

The train seems to have run as part of a tour so I don't think there would be any need for a stop in Glasgow. I would imagine that passengers joined the train on the pier platform at Craigendoran from one of the Clyde steamer services. Given the running time of around two hours from Craigendoran to Waverley, I would suggest that the train ran direct via the Knightswood North Junction - Cowlairs line then the north curve at Cowlairs to gain direct access to the Edinburgh - Glasgow main line. The stop in Waverley itself was purely for the purposes of changing locomotive. There seems to have been another stop at Newcastle, presumably for a further change of locomotive.

 

My main areas of interest are the ECML north of Newcastle, the Waverley Route and the Edinburgh - Perth via Glenfarg lines, all neatly contained within the same section of the working timetable and hence why my collection of WTTs is rather limited.

 

Hope this is of some use!

 

Regards,

 

Brian

  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Roja and Brian. Thanks for the most interesting posts. 

 

I'm making assumptions here, but it looks as though this train, which seems to have run in both directions throughout the summer timetable, was to drop off folk who had booked a variety of tours in Scotland. The train therefore only really makes sense, at least in 2019 thinking, if it collected and dropped off passengers at a few destinations en-route. So a stop at Nottingham seems feasible, and given the photo of Harvester at Newcastle, Leeds City also makes sense - Harvester was a Neville Hill Loco. It was presumably changed for a Haymarket loco at Newcastle. The photo of Harvester can be found via a Google search. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think that the likelihood of any additional stops in Scotland would be slim.  The Queen of Scots took an hour for the non stop run from Queen Street to Waverley.  It didn't even stop at Haymarket.  The running time for a fast train from Queen Street low level to Craigendoran was roughly 45 minutes.  Bearing in mind that the running times shown above from Craigendoran to departure time from Waverley (and after a change of locomotive), the scope for any additional stops is rather limited.

 

I suspect, although it is only an assumption, that this train was hired by a touring company as part of a week's package holiday touring the western highlands.  Alternatively, it may have been an organised tour run by British Railways.  An economy version of the Northern Belle perhaps?

 

What I assume to be the same photograph of 60035 at Grantshouse appears in Book Law's "Steam Memories: 1950s-1960s East Coast Main Line 7".  The photograph was taken on the same date and the caption states that the train was composed of ex LMS stock.  The caption asks "Now, where did that lot originate from?"  The irony is that Book Law are based in Nottingham!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

a bit more on this most interesting train. Amongst the Railscot pictures of Newcastle Central is one dated 23/06/62 with 45605 Cyprus taking the train south. It states the Newcastle departure time of 1.00pm which doesn't fit the timings above. Cyprus had brought in a train from Manchester Exchange (it would usually have been relieved at York ) so this was a convenient way to get it home.

 

https://www.railscot.co.uk/locations/N/Newcastle_Central/15.html

 

And here is the link to the photo of Harvester - both are thumbnails due to copyright restictions

 

https://www.railscot.co.uk/locations/N/Newcastle_Central/12.html

 

So the least I can do is run the train, now just a few miles from Newcastle, headed by 64B's 60087 Blenheim.

 

 

IMG_20191208_171230.jpg

Edited by rowanj
Add photo
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think "Cyprus" did work this train. The caption refers to the 1.0pm Craigendoran to Leicester whereas the Summer 1962 working timetable refers to the 1.10pm Craigendoran to Leicester. However, in earlier years (Summer 1959 and 1960) the departure time from Craigendoran was 1.0pm. Perhaps the caption writer was confused by this or an amendment was issued to the WTT retiming the train to a 1.0pm departure from Craigendoran.

 

I did a Google search for “Leicester to Craigendoran” and it produced one inconclusive reference to a CTAC special plus links to images of various British Railways posters promoting CTAC all inclusive tours to Scotland. Further searches produced references on the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust website to 60126 "Sir Vincent Raven" working a CTAC special at Newcastle on 3rd September 1962 (a Monday!) and 60129 “Guy Mannering” working the up CTAC special into Newcastle on 16th June 1962 (a Saturday).  60131 “Osprey” is recorded as working a Birmingham – Gourock CTAC special on 10th August 1963 (a Saturday) north from Leeds over the Settle & Carlisle.

 

Some views of the CTAC train can be found online but all of them seem to date from 1963 onwards and all are on ex LMS lines and bound for Gourock so perhaps the train was re-routed after the Summer 1962 season.  I don't have a WTT for Summer 1963 but it doesn't appear in the Summer 1964 WTT.

 

CTAC apparently stood for Creative Tourist Agents Conference.  According to the Science Museum website this was a consortium of nine travel agents and firms which chartered special trains from 1933-1939 and 1945-1968.

  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

As this layout is a sort of Memory Book of trainspotting at Little Benton from about 1960 -64, here are 3 of us looking suitably disgusted as an often-seen local J27 takes another train of loaded hoppers, probably from the Backworth Coalfield, to some staithes or another on the Tyne.

IMG_20191215_112439 (2).jpg

IMG_20191215_112518.jpg

IMG_20191215_112636.jpg

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, manna said:

G'Day Folks

 

Is that a young Rowan J, hanging around the fence ???

 

manna

Well, a Bachmann version. It looks from the posture that we may have been sharing a can of Fosters  ..

  • Like 1
  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Things got a bit more exciting for the lads after the J27 passed, presumably why the lad in the centre is back on his heels, but I doubt if any of these were cops. D5180 on a Down Parcels was new at Gateshead in 1963. I renumbered a Bachmann model, but no doubt should really do more - for example, I think this loco was built without a boiler. D345 was a 64B loco, and is on my rake of kitbuit TPO coaches. A Heaton V3 shunts the sidiings, ready to add the pair of grain wagons to the rake on the adjacent track ready to be tripped to Tyne Yard.

In reality, the sidings were mainly used at this point to store condemned open wagons, and only occasionally as reliefs. by 1965, they were lifted and Little Benton North Box closed, and the 3rd rail lifted. Even the bridges were altered.

IMG_20191220_141557.jpg

Edited by rowanj
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. A Little Engines T1 kit awaits, but there are a couple of existing builds needing tweaks. The Dave Alexander J27 has an etched boiler, and the whitemetal tender is heavy, so it struggled to manage the rake of hopper wagons on the Down line, which has a slight (accidental) incline as it enters the scenic section. So 65813 has had additional lead in the boiler. Although the tender was free-running, I reduced some weight by replacing the dummy whitemetal chassis with a plasticard one using Evergreen rodding. Here, the loco proves its' worth, now handling the hoppers without difficulty, and running tender-first, as was very usual at Little Benton.

IMG_20191227_160733.jpg

IMG_20191227_160909.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

To round off 2019, here is the other loco I put back into service - in this case after a gearbox came out of mesh, and I just couldn't fix it. It runs nicely now, but as soon as I picked it up, it stopped running, luckily only because the soldered joint to the chassis from the motor had failed. Phew- an easy fix to the K3 , a GBL body on an SEF etched chassis.

 

Though K3's were frequently seen at Little Benton, I certainly never saw one on a passenger train. Based normally at either 64A or 52B, Class A freights were more usual. I'm not sure about St.Margaret's but Heaton had sufficient 6P or 7P power for its trips north, and I suspect Haymarket had the majority of Up workings to Tyneside. Anyway, I haven't even seen a photo of a K3 on passenger work around Tyneside. My only piece of logic to justify tis one is that 61869 is ex-works, so has been used to get back home on an Berwick-Newcastle stopper.

 

Is that me on the bridge? Not with that blazer. 

 

Happy New Year and Happy Modelling.

 

John

IMG_20191231_175249.jpg

IMG_20191231_175530.jpg

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

You know that you have too many locos when you discover there are 2 with the same number. Heaton only needs one of 61869, so the other is now St. Margaret's 61885. How long it would have stayed looking ex-works is a good question, as both photos I have of it on Edinburgh-Tyneside freights show it looking pretty grubby.

 

Anyway, here it is in the headshunt at Little Benton North, either waiting a path back home or waiting to take a freight out of the sidings. Passing it is Haymarket's Hornets Beauty, just back in service after being fitted with an SEF chassis,. The loco is a DJH kit, which I made a mess of several years ago. Regrettably, DJH wont sell their chassis as spares, at least not to the likes of me.

 

Talking of A2's, I am about a third of the way through modifying another SEF chassis to fit under A2/3 Ocean Swell. This is a GBL body with Graeme King resin castings, and was fitted to a modified Hornby Brit chassis. I did 3 of them and all 3 chassis have failed with the motor coming out of mesh.

IMG_20200111_103609.jpg

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good afternoon John

 

your aware from our pms that the sudden loss of gear meshing has happened to me. In my case it was a Royal Scot. I recall that some modellers reported it was a problem with Hornby China made chassis built at certain period. My worry is I have a number of Hornby models from that time ....circa 2007 to 2010 I think the problem is the plate on top of the gear stack working loose. If anyone can point me to any thread or other advice concerning the problem and potential cute it would be appreciated. In respect of the Scot you may recall my attempt to fix made the whole chassis U/S and led to comet replacement

 

just had a look on net in new modellers forum a poster reports the same problem with the Hornby royal Scot.....the screw holding the worm gear clamp in place.....cured in his case with evostick....states the problem sorted out when the " new" Brittania chassis introduced......

 

best wishes Brian

Edited by 46256
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to get the SEF A2 chassis adapted to take the GBL/ GKing A2/3 "Ocean Swell" I am not a fan of the cylinder block, and if I ever do another one, I'll try to adapt a Comet/Wizard arrangement. The chassis itself, however, is a dream to assemble. I suspect it was designed to replace the Triang Brit chassis which originally  went under the Wills A2, and the wheelbase is consequently a bit too short to allow the easy fitment of brakes.

 

Here is the loco on test, running light back to its' home at Heaton. It has an original Thompson boiler Dia 117 with the round dome, which differentiates it from my other pair of A2/3 with the Dia 118. It is typically Tyneside scruffy, though Heaton tended to keep its' Pacifics cleaner than the friends across the Tyne.

IMG_20200117_193605.jpg

  • Like 5
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This could be North Road Scrapyard, or a site I visited at Choppington ( appropriate name) where I saw a J27 being cut up in 1967. In fact, it is an LRM N8/9 kit being slowly assembled to represent one of the last N8's withdrawn from Tyne Dock in late 1956, and which was on test on the layout. The chassis is complete, and the main superstructure well on the way, but there is still a lot of detail to fit. This loco also got full mixed traffic lining at its' last general in 1953. I did consider just doing one in unlined black, but thought this would make a change. Loco will be 69390

IMG_20200124_113702.jpg

Edited by rowanj
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Heaton's N8 69377 has been sent up to collect a few hoppers, and is seen leaving the sidings for the short run to Heaton Yard. The sidings are busier than usual. York's B16/3 and Alnmouth's D20 have been parked up, as the Heart of Midlothian is due- it must be running late. 

 

The fish empties for Aberdeen are passing on the Down line - a mix of Hornby RTR and Parkside kits, the loco is Heaton's "Ocean Swell", which I fitted onto an amended SEF A2 chassis, It runs well, but suffers, amongst other things, from a problem with the GBL plastic which reacted to the rattle-can paint.  all 3 GBL A2's did the same, though none of their other loco or tender bodies had this problem. C'est la vie.

IMG_20200130_161846.jpg

IMG_20200130_164230.jpg

IMG_20200130_174923.jpg

Edited by rowanj
  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

The latest work in progress is a Little Engines T1. It's an "old fashioned" kit, and a much better one is available from 52F Models, but hopefully this will meet my needs. It is seen here while I tested it on my curves, though the real proof of the pudding will come when the cylinders are fitted.

 

I normally find ex-NER locos to be attractive things, but this heavy shunter is an ugly brute, The kit is pretty basic - there is next to no cab detail, for example, and photos are a bit thin on the ground. Once the main superstructure is complete, and the chassis running, I'll see what detail can be fitted just to round things off a touch. The boiler and cab roof are not yet fixed in place.

IMG_20200203_143642.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

N8 takes a short ECS from Killingworth Racecourse station to Central, ready to be added to another 3-coach rake for a race-day meeting. The loco needs a crew, but otherwise is complete. The LRM kit is a nice build, and I will get another in due course to build an N9 with smaller tanks, as a few of this class managed to carry on until the mid 50's too.

IMG_20200204_182315.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

D249 was among the first Class 40's to be allocated to Gateshead, and was often seen at Little Benton. It seems to be on a Kings X- Edinburgh relief, I smile when I read that folk "need" a particular class of loco, but an early 40 without headcode boxes does fill a gap in my roster.

Passing it is a Heaton V3 runs bunker-first on an ECS back to Heaton Sidings, having finished its' runs on Manors North -Newbiggin turns.

 

I confess that, though I love building kits, many of those I have built disappeared during the mid to late 50's, and these photos much more accurately reflect what I saw when I began serious spotting in 1960/1 or so.

IMG_20200210_152545.jpg

IMG_20200210_152842.jpg

Edited by rowanj
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Railway Memories Volume on Tyneside has some useful information on freight traffic, including details on the Aberdeen-London fish and meat traffic - The Scotch beef. these trains had priority over everything but passenger trains, It gave timings, etc ,but also gave details of a relief service, from Tweedmouth to Newcastle, which I knew nothing about. It looks as though this train had both fish and meat vans in the consist.

 

So here, the train has been put into the sidings to allow passage of the Talisman, and begins the last few miles to Heaton Yard, The K3 is a GBL body on a modified Bachmann V1 chassis, and the wagons are all Parkside kits. I have a couple more to build to flesh out the rake.

 

John

IMG_20200218_184757.jpg

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tyne Dock's last T1 (on test) runs light back to its' home. There is a short on the leading bogie wheel which I hope will be cured by a smear of Araldite on the chassis, but otherwise all seems well. It passes the DJH D20 which waits to take empty stock to Central, and then off to Alnwick.

 

Tyne Dock was an easy shed to "bunk", but I was too young to see their T1's , the last of which was withdrawn in 1961. But it was a great visit from 1963 or so, as lots of V2's and A1's were stored there after withdrawal..

IMG_20200222_150815.jpg

IMG_20200222_150840.jpg

IMG_20200222_151511.jpg

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.