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Unusual Steam Classes In Kings Cross

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I have always held the view that if it could happen on the Railway it possibly did at some time or other.  So, I have been wondering did any unusual steam engines ever appear at a Kings Cross.  Like one of those show stopping  moments when something appeared that shouldn’t have been there.   I am aware of the obvious locomotive exchanges but after that did say, a Black 5 ever find its way into Kings Cross.  These engines were so ubiquitous across the network, especially North of the Thames, that it seems a likely  contender.

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I suppose it is about as likely as a B1 at St Pancras. 

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Yes a Black 5 did work to and from King's Cross for a little while.  44911 was loaned to Top Shed for a while in 1956, to take part in trials with the new AWS system.  Another loco involved in the trials was BR Standard Class 5 73071.

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Considering a Great Eastern locomotive managed to get to Ludgershall in Wiltshire with a troop train . Anything is possible.. 

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I was just going to add the Black 5 (above). Also the A8 4-6-2T 69814, and 46245 City of London. Plenty of oddities in the modern preservation era but I'll ignore those. Often forgotten are the handful of Brits, and the 73xxx too.

 

Stewart

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13 hours ago, jonny777 said:

I suppose it is about as likely as a B1 at St Pancras. 

 

Yes a B1 did turn up at St. Pancras, 61251 OLIVER BURY on a Manchester Central - St. Pancras working 10/6/48 during the locomotive exchanges of that year.

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But I thought the OP was not including the 1948 loco exchanges? 

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2 minutes ago, Edge said:

I think the most prolific period would have been the loco trials in 1948 which used the Kings Cross <-> Leeds route:

 

- LMS Royal Scot 46162 

- LMS Coronation 46236

- GWR King 6018 

- Merchant Navy 35017

 

 

Pendennis Castle also put in an appearance in 1925 in the joint LNER/GWR loco exchange with the A3 ‘Victor Wild’. 

"Trials" which the OP specifically ruled out!:D

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I wonder whether any of the services such as Bradford to KX, which started with a loco such as a Black 5 managed to get there without a loco exchange part way?

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On 01/09/2019 at 19:22, TheQ said:

Considering a Great Eastern locomotive managed to get to Ludgershall in Wiltshire with a troop train . Anything is possible.. 

Apparently, a B12 turned up tender first with a hospital train (because of it's air brakes as the trains worked through on the ferry from the field hospitals near the front, and were air braked for use with French/Belgian/Dutch/German locos) at Coryton, an otherwise not very exciting branch in the northern suburbs of Cardiff, some time in late 1944 or early 1945.  The nearby hospital was being used by the U.S. Army.  

 

Anything is possible on an interconnected railway system with a common track and loading gauge and coupling compatibility, and some superficially unlikely things such as 16xx panniers on Scottish branches were normal events, but by and large it is IMHO better to model typical, usual, 'normal' events.    Rule 1 trumps all other considerations, of course, but if you have decided to model an actual location at a given period, or an imaginary one set in a specific area or on a specific railway, it seems a bit object defeating if you then go running Flying Scotsmen on your Cornish 1910 period branch line...

 

Set against this is that it is sometimes difficult to source the correct item but something very close to it is available RTR.  This has happened on my own railway, which I am not claiming to be perfect practice in such matters, with the Birmingham/London area Collett suburbans from Hornby standing in for South Wales coaches with the same profile but different arrangements for the compartments.  The answer is of course Comet kits of the correct coaches, but these are going to take me a long time to build and I am unlikely to be able to complete them to the standard of the Hornbys.  

 

Similarly I have 3 Airfix/Hornby auto trailers that don't know what diagram they are, but the numbers are correct!  

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9 hours ago, melmerby said:

I wonder whether any of the services such as Bradford to KX, which started with a loco such as a Black 5 managed to get there without a loco exchange part way?

Sorry to rain on your parade, but I doubt it very much.  These trains reversed at Leeds Central, and a Black 5 from Bradford would have had to do the run tender first and performed a miraculous airborne  run around at Leeds.

 

Same reason the 94xx from Cheltenham never made it further towards Paddington than Gloucester, though a run around would have been feasible here!

Edited by The Johnster

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19 hours ago, jonny777 said:

But I thought the OP was not including the 1948 loco exchanges? 

 

Sorry jonny777 missed that, another senior moment.

 

I have just been looking at John Palmer's excellent book: Midland Mainlines to St. Pancras & Cross Country 1957-1963 and he lists visits by B1s on a number of occasions during that period, but just as interestingly a couple of V2s

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Thanks Dibatag. I know B1s seemed to get almost everywhere but I didn't realise they had found their way to St Pancras other than 'Oliver Bury' in 1948. 

 

The thing with the southern ECML is that the line had so many Pacifics and V2s that the need to use 'foreign' loco classes would generally be unnecessary. 9Fs must have made it as there are photos of them on the Summer stopping train from Kings Cross to Grantham.

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A Jubilee was captured on film barrelling south through Oakleigh Park on a special.

 

The Nim.

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13 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Sorry to rain on your parade, but I doubt it very much.  These trains reversed at Leeds Central, and a Black 5 from Bradford would have had to do the run tender first and performed a miraculous airborne  run around at Leeds.

 

Same reason the 94xx from Cheltenham never made it further towards Paddington than Gloucester, though a run around would have been feasible here!

I thought the Bradford kx trains were attached to the Leeds trains at Wakefield Westgate. Not my area of expertise and willing to learn different.

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What era are you asking about?  Everyone seems to have assumed BR - Eric Neve's book 'East Coast from King's Cross' covers many unusual workings going back to 1923.

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Sorry I have not thanked everyone for their contributions so far but I am currently out of the Country.  It is interesting to me that some steam classes, in geographical terms located quite close by, rarely if ever crossed the old boundaries of the Big Four despite all being part of BR.  At Kings Cross there were BR Standards, including, as Jonny777 states, 9Fs on passenger duties when motive power was short.  However, there is precious little evidence that I have been able to find with anything too foreign other than the aforementioned loco exchange trials.  And yet just a few miles up the line at Hornsey MPD Southern classes  such as Q1 and even a Class C would come over on cross London freight workings.  Yes, these were goods trains so they would not be seen at Kings Cross unless they could get through the Widened Lines.  But it still seems odd to me that over the period 1948 to 1963 when Top Shed closed nothing unusual was seen.  Perhaps as has been suggested there was so much home grown motive power around there was no need.

 

Thanks again for the replies.

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HI - I think that there is a Fowler 4MT that was trialled on the GN for a little while in the mid 50' and was about Kings Cross shed. Also there was an N7 at Hatfield I think from memory. I can't remember which one and to be fair I've not seen pics of them in the station itself. I'm sure I've read about a Flying Pig working down there from the M&GN too. Not seen a pic of this though.

 

Again, my memory is hazy but there was a rail tour with a Red Duchess 'City of London' and I've seen a pic of a Jubilee on a special in the 50/60's in one book.

 

Just after grouping you have some GC and NE locos trialled on the ECML - eg GC B2 and Raven Pacifics.

 

And B1's and even a couple of V2's got to St. Pancras at different points. I've got a pic of one at Kentish Town on shed. When Millhouses was taken over by the ER they obviously got down there randomly! 

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7 minutes ago, cbeagleowner said:

...Also there was an N7 at Hatfield I think from memory. I can't remember which one ...

There was a regular allocation from early in the LNER period, intended primarily for working passenger services on the three branches, (on which the N2s were then supposed to be restricted to goods workings) but they got up to KX often enough. By end of steam the N7s outnumbered Hatfield's N2 allocation; and it had an N5 in summer 1959, I have an excellent photo to prove it ( but HALS won't put it in the online resource because provenance = unknown!) and also at times a J69.

 

Between Peter Townend's 'Top Shed' and David Percival's KX lineside 1958-1984 you can compile a good list of steam visitors to the KX area in the final years of steam. One of the nicest is Hitchin's 65479 (J15) dwarfed alongside 60075 (A3) at Top Shed. Hornby haven't thought to produce a 'Little and Large' set...

 

I think it amounts to 44 steam classes I could legitimately operate 1956 - 62, and that's without turning to specials for the likes of a Duchess and the 1000/CoT pairing. (And then there are at least fourteen diesel classes in this period.)

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Hows about an ex GW 52xx 2-8-0T?  According to The Eastern since 1948 trialled to see if it was powerful enough to lift the combined stock of the overnight sleeper trains over the Harringay flyover. Suspect those cylinders were problematical!

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Phil Bullock said:

Hows about an ex GW 52xx 2-8-0T?  According to The Eastern since 1948 trialled to see if it was powerful enough to lift the combined stock of the overnight sleeper trains over the Harringay flyover. Suspect those cylinders were problematical!

Peter Townend varies. Claimed that some were requested to be allocated for this task, but never materialised. (Surprise!)

 

There's something specious going on there. With a  plenitude of J50 and J94 in the area, a pair would have made short work of the job. I think this was 'manoeuvring' to try and obtain amelioration of the speed restriction on the approach to the flyover through Wood Green, so that the crews could take a flying run at the gradient, which had been their successful practise before the speed restriction was applied.

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Midland engines were routinely at Kings Cross between the opening of the Bedford and Hitchin line in 1857 and the opening of St Pancras in 1868. The Great Northern built a roundhouse for their exclusive use, the Midland paying rent.

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There are a few photos available of the LNER bringing at least one of the P2 2-8-2's to the Cross.  Think that there were comments about it being so powerful that the train length would have not been able to have been used to capacity or an issue that the "Prince of Wales" designers have had to overcome the rigid wheel base!

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Just one to add B16/3 61476 recorded as working KX cambridge

 

B16b.JPG

Edited by MiDAS
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