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brian777999

A few questions about early BR era.

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1. How long was ''British Railways'' used on the sides of locos before the early crest became available ? 

 

2. Were the rear lights on brake vans during this time constant or flashing ?

 

3. Would you have seen GWR brake vans anywhere other than an old GWR line ?

 

4. How long was it before BR started constructing and using their standard brake van ?

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Flashing lights are a relatively recent development. At the time you are talking about the lights would have been oil lamps giving a constant (limited) light. 

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The only one I can answer from memories of my trainspotting days is that rear lights were constant.  It's not easy to make an oil lamp flash ...

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2 hours ago, brian777999 said:

 

2. Were the rear lights on brake vans during this time constant or flashing ?

 

3. Would you have seen GWR brake vans anywhere other than an old GWR line ?

 

4. How long was it before BR started constructing and using their standard brake van ?

 

2. Brake lamps were constant

 

3. While probable this seems to have been very rare and they don't tend to crop up in images far away from home unlike other big four Brakevans.

 

4. British Railways continued to produce big four rolling stock for the first few years of their existence.  The standard BR brake van is in fact based off an LNER design and therefore would have been present in this format at the very least

 

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3 hours ago, brian777999 said:

1. How long was ''British Railways'' used on the sides of locos before the early crest became available ? 

 

Early crest first appeared on BR(W) in May 1949.

 

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2 hours ago, spikey said:

  It's not easy to make an oil lamp flash ...

........ but they flickered in a draught ............. and might go out completely !

 

Don't forget that freight trains had side lamps too - something you'd not see in the 'flashing' era !

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The lamps would not normally be lit during daytime either, but should be present to indicate the last vehicle. Side lamps would be on most goods trains, unless fully fitted (fairly rare in the 1940s).

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2 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

 

Early crest first appeared on BR(W) in May 1949.

 

 

Worth emphasising the various overlaps here. Some locos/tenders contrived to retain company branding, eg: LMS well into the 50s. At least one 58XX retained GWR on the side of the tanks until withdrawal in the 60s. 

Once embellished with the words British Railways locos would have carried them until the next overhaul long after 1949

In other words in theory you could see all three standing next to each other and of course the same thing happened with the introduction of the ferret and dartboard

Edited by Caledonian
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16 minutes ago, Caledonian said:

 

Worth emphasising the various overlaps here. Some locos/tenders contrived to retain company branding, eg: LMS well into the 50s. At least one 58XX retained GWR on the side of the tanks until withdrawal in the 60s. 

Once embellished with the words British Railways locos would have carried them until the next overhaul long after 1949

In other words in theory you could see all three standing next to each other and of course the same thing happened with the introduction of the ferret and dartboard

That's if any of it was actually visible under the grime :P

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1 hour ago, Caledonian said:

Worth emphasising the various overlaps here. Some locos/tenders contrived to retain company branding, eg: LMS well into the 50s. At least one 58XX retained GWR on the side of the tanks until withdrawal in the 60s. 

Once embellished with the words British Railways locos would have carried them until the next overhaul long after 1949

In other words in theory you could see all three standing next to each other and of course the same thing happened with the introduction of the ferret and dartboard

 

Yes of course. I was merely answering the question as asked.

 

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I think the BR brake van appeared about 1949. They were still building Big Four types up until this time.

 

Previously to this the LNER version was virtually the same with minor differences. The most noticeable one is a lack of handrail on the end platform and different style handrails leading up to the cabin. BR having full length handrails whilst the LNER version had hand loops at the bottom. The LNER also had shorter footboards with the BR version having full length ones.

 

 

 

Jason

 

 

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I have a photo of a GW brake van at Brunswick (Liverpool) in the 1950s but they certainly weren't common away from the Great Western.

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At midnight on 31st December 1947 British Railways came into existence and every loco in steam blew it's whistle to mark the occasion.  Then, nothing much happened for a while.  Locos and coaches coming out of main works paint shops continued to be painted in whatever livery they had been previously, but company initials or crests were not to be painted on and the change of ownership was to be recorded.  On the WR this meant that 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' appeared on tank and tender sides in GW 1920s style 'Egyptian Serif' lettering and the previous liveries were continued, i.e lined or unlined green, and likewise Apple on the ex LNER  and Malachite on the Southern continued to be used, but by the late 40s most locos were being painted black anyway.

 

This situation lasted until May 31st 1948.  By that time the new standard liveries had been chosen and were introduced on that date, along with 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' in the now standard Gill Sans lettering.  The new coach liveries, crimson/cream for gangwayed or crimson for non-gangwayed and NPCCS, and freight bauxite or grey (7 plank minerals and 5 plank opens were unpainted; there were still austerity regulations and rationing in place and many materials were in short supply including paint), also began appearing.  

 

This remained the case for a year, until May 1949, when the 'unicycling lion' emblem was introduced on locos.  Next big livery change was 1956, when the regions were given some autonomy; the Southern painted coaches in Malachite Green and the WR used a chocolate/cream similar to GW livery for some named expresses.  The LMR began painting some Stanier pacifics in Crimson Lake, and the WR extended lined passenger green livery to some mixed traffic and tank engines.  The practice of not painting unfitted wooden bodied open wagons ceased as paint shortages resolved during the early 50s.

 

In 1958, the second crest, the 'ferret and dartboard'  was introduced, and that was the last livery change until the introduction of Corporate Scheme blue in 1966.

 

As has been mentioned, there was none of the rapid rebranding that typifies modern livery changes at change of ownership, and vehicles were not repainted until necessary, sometimes not even at major overhauls, resulting in Big 4 and the various early BR liveries being seen for a long time after nationalisation, some locos lasting until the 60s in Big 4 liveries, but this is a complex situation as some locos displayed Big 4 lettering as a result of a later livery having worn off.  The 1948/9 period is further complicated by the provision of standard BR smokebox number plates and shedcode plates, and on the WR by the practice of painting number and name plates with red backing LNWR style, then re-introducing black backing in the early 50s.  Some of these changes were applied at the sheds and did not require works attention.

 

The BR standard goods vehicles started to appear in 1949, and the standard brake van was a variant of the LNER 20ton as discussed.  The Mk1 coaches began to appear in 1950, and the standard locos in 1951, but orders for Big 4 locos and stock were still being built until about 1954.  At least two brand new steam loco designs, the Hawksworth 15xx and 16xx, were introduced by BR, as were the Southern's 1Co-Co1 diesel electrics and the two gas turbines ordered by the GW.  The LNER designed 'production' EM1 electrics and the Shenfield emus were also built by BR.  

 

Brake vans of  LMS and GW designs continued to be built well into the 1950s, along with many goods vehicles, alongside the new BR designs as orders were completed.  These, and the standard BR brakes, carried oil lamps until withdrawal.  3 lamps were carried, a red tail lamp and 2 side lamps which could show a white light forward so that loco crews could confirm that the complete train was following them at night. The side lamps showed red to the rear, but this was a removable shade and they showed a white to the side nearest a running line when the train was in a loop or refuge siding, or running on a slow or relief line parallel to a fast main line; this reassured drivers of overtaking trains that they were not about to plough into the back of a freight train at high speed at night.  

 

Side lamps to confirm that the train was complete were needed on part-fitted or unfitted freight trains, but fully fitted freight trains did not need them as any coupling failure automatically result in the train brake being applied; you'd be aware of this on the loco!

 

GW brake vans, and BR (W) built ones to the same diagrams were nearly all 'restricted user' vehicles allocated to specific workings.  BR had specified pool working for the majority of brake vans except where there was a specific reason for a van to be allocated to a service, but the WR resisted this and continued with the GW working arrangements, seeing no reason to alter them and branding the vans with home depots and other instructions so that they came back home.  They were, in any case, unpopular except with GW/WR guards, because they required the guard to go outside to apply the brake, which is not as much fun as you think it is on a freezing cold or wet night when the balcony end is leading, nor on a hot day behind a dusty coal train, and this meant that any that went 'off region' tended to attached to the next train going back there.  A similar situation applied to the Southern's Queen Marys, but for the opposite reason.  These very comfortable bogie vans were understandably popular and the Southern chased them up assiduously despite their being theoretically 'pool' vans.

 

The GW vans went out of use in the 60s after the NUR convinced the management that the lack of means of exiting at one end in the event of a collision was endangering guards, though I am unaware of any specific incident which highlighted this.  By this time most of the older designs were extinct or restricted to local working, and the vans were replaced on the WR largely by BR standard and LMS-but-BR--built 20ton vans.  But you would be justified in including one for any BR period layout pre 1965 period, and they are essential for a WR layout of that period.  

 

Many were still fairly new and in excellent condition at withdrawal, and had further lives as departmental vehicles, the source of most of those in preservation.

Edited by The Johnster
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37 minutes ago, Michael Edge said:

I have a photo of a GW brake van at Brunswick (Liverpool) in the 1950s but they certainly weren't common away from the Great Western.

 

Probably local enough to not be much of a problem. Possibly even a regular or occasional working from somewhere like Chester or Wrexham.

 

 

 

Jason

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4 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

 

Yes of course. I was merely answering the question as asked.

 

 

Indeed and no criticism intended, I was just following the broader issue :good:

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There's a picture of a GWR brake van at Guide Bridge during the period when the Woodhead electrification was being done.

Regarding the British Railways lettering, it didn't seem to last long on express passenger locos wkich did high mileages on heavy jobs, probably visiting main works about every 3 years for some attention, but on smaller goods and mixed traffic locos it lingered for several years. I've seen a picture of an Ivatt tank with it still there in the mid 1950s. 

Also to be remembered was the prefixing of loco numbers e.g. M4750 on an ex-LMS Black 5. Depot renumbering and tender swaps could further complicate matters, for example a Stanier 2-6-2t with LMS on the tank and BR  number 

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwrbns_br1800.htm

 

Or a double header, one with BR number in LMS style and LMS on the tender and one with prefixed number and 'British Railways' on the tender.

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwrbns_br345.htm

Edited by TheSignalEngineer

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GWR single-ended brake vans survived for a good while in departmental use, although whether they were technically being used as brake vans, I’m less certain. I think they were, and that the marshalling practices got over the “one ended” problem.

 

i photographed one on a PWay train deep in rural Sussex in about 1971/72, and that was by no means the last time I saw one, it just happened that I’d gone out to photograph something else and had the camera with me.

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I believe that they were liked by the engineers on account of the large veranda on which equipment could be stowed. The same applied to the SR bogie brake vans.

 

Jim

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16 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Probably local enough to not be much of a problem. Possibly even a regular or occasional working from somewhere like Chester or Wrexham.

 

 

 

Jason

It might have been local in terms of distance but very remote in terms of train working on the CLC.

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10 hours ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

These shots by D J Norton show a lot of variations at New Street in 1948/9

 

http://www.photobydjnorton.com/NewStAtWork1.html

 

I like the combination of the Rebuilt Patriot in 1946 LMS livery and BR-style number but what appears to be an unlined black tender branded 'British Railways'

....... and talking of wandering brake vans, that's an S.E.C.R. example behind 3168 !

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19 hours ago, Michael Edge said:

I have a photo of a GW brake van at Brunswick (Liverpool) in the 1950s but they certainly weren't common away from the Great Western.

Post WW2 there were various GWR freights from Saltney to places off the Birkenhead Joint to Warrington. There was also an evening express freight from Manchester Liverpool Road to Bristol via Warrington and Chester

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