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Alex TM

Lines operated by only one locomotive class?

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Hi everyone,

 

Were there any lines, especially during steam days, that were operated by only one class on locomotive?

 

While using a couple of my J72s to check clearances, etc, a conversation arose that led to this question.  In terms of steam I could think only of the Hayling (A1x), and Lyme Regis (Adams Radial) branches, while for more recent times I could think of the parts of Scotland operated by class 37/4 for a few years through the 1980s.  I couldn't think of any others.

 

I would be curious to know if this happened elsewhere.

 

Thanks for any pointers.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

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Isle of Wight after about 1953, not sure of date

Brixham branch possibly (14xx)

Vale of Rheidol :D

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Wenford Bridge - Beattie well tanks till the exGWR 1366 panniers took over. 
Wisbech and Upwell tramway? Also first line to be fully dieselised 

 

An awful lot of lines were worked ‘almost’ exclusively by one class - with very occasional visitors 

 

 

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How about the North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway, from Torrington to Halwill Junction, at one time worked by E1R 0-6-2T, then later by Ivatt 2-6-2T,

 

cheers

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Maybe the question should be re-phrased as 'What's the longest time that any branch was operated by a single class of locomotive?' ..... even the three Southern branches mentioned ( Lyme Regis, Hayling Islnd & Wenford Bridge ) started with something other than the locos we are familiar with - way back in the mists of time.

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How about the Looe branch in Cornwall? From the mid 1920s to 1959 when the first diesel unit appeared - the line was worked by 2 x 45XX class locomotives based at Moorswater shed. Information from Gerry Beale' book The Liskard and Looe Branch. 

 

Nick 

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The Dornoch Branch on the Highland Railway.  Two Highland Railway 0-4-4Ts were retained until 1957 when the final survivor broke it's axle, suitable replacements came from the other end of the country, 2 Swindon 16xx 0-6-0PTs.

 

http://www.fofnl.org.uk/images/180523.55053.Dornoch.07-55.jpg

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswissernie/38546470685

 

Not unlike the Lyme Regis branch where the Adams Radials were used until needs meant Ivatt 2MTs replaced them.

 

Martin

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Most would have had locomotives before and after though.

 

Or borrowed a locomotive of a different type when there was a failure or the regular locomotive needed to go to the works.

 

I would think it would be narrow gauge or a short lived light railway.

 

Not the VoR though. That had Rheidol for much of it's existence and borrowed locomotives from the FR when it was desperate, usually Palmerston. It's had a diesel for about 40 years, which also rules out the Snowdon Mountain Railway as they have diesels as well. Nor the IoMR.

 

 

 

Jason

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Loads of them if you're counting narrow gauge lines. Alcoy-Gandia, leek & manifold, puffing billy pre preservation.

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The Tilbury lines out of Fenchurch Street were operated for several years by the Stonier 3 cylinder 2-6-4-Ts built especially for the line. After the 1950s some BR 4MTs were drafted in as well.

 

There were other lines where specially designed classes held sway, if not total exclusivity.  Think of the Oban Bogies for instance.

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How about the Leicester West Bridge branch, operated exclusively for many years by Johnson 2F 0-6-0s with cut down cabs to get through Glenfield Tunnel? And the oldest part of the Midland Railway.

 

In its latter days, by Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0s, I think with similarly cut down cabs.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, TomJ said:

Wisbech and Upwell tramway? Also first line to be fully dieselised 


There were two forms of steam tram, 0-4-0 and 0-6-0, which looked the same at first glance.

 

More broadly, many branches had the same class, even the same few locos, for donkey’s years at a time. Restricted loading gauge, tight corners, restricted axle-load could all be reasons, but sometimes it was just a case of ‘if it works, don’t change it’.

 

Folkestone Harbour and the Canterbury & Whitstable spring to mind for obvious reasons.

Edited by Nearholmer
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9 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:


There were two forms of steam tram, 0-4-0 and 0-6-0, which looked the same at first glance.

 

More broadly, many branches had the same class, even the same few locos, for donkey’s years at a time. Restricted loading gauge, tight corners, restricted axle-load could all be reasons, but sometimes it was just a case of ‘if it works, don’t change it’.

 

Folkestone Harbour and the Canterbury & Whitstable spring to mind for obvious reasons.

As Nearholmer has said, a lot of branch lines used pretty much the same class of engine for years at a time, particularly if used as part of an auto train.

LT's Brill branch used No 23 for years!

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Killin Branch in Perthshire only had a single Caledonian 0-4-4T for many years, and latterly it was operated by BR 2-6-4T 80,000 series tank locomotive.  Whithorn Branch had a Caley Jumbo 57375 as the sole operator when it was a goods only branch in the 1950's, and that was only supplemented by BR 78016 when the Jumbo was in the works. Both lines were built to light railway standards.  (AM)  

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Ok, I can't comment on early years,

but AFAIK St. Erth - St.Ives only ever had

45xx, lighter straight tank versions

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, jointline said:

LT's Brill branch used No 23 for years


Weirdly, given the antiquity of everything involved, that was actually quite a short run case compared with others, because the A class were only used on the tramway from c1918 until 1935, when the line closed.

 

PS: I forgot the Sentinel that looked like two upright pianos on the W&U.

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer

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The Cambrian rlys branch to Kerry was run with the use of 0-4-0STs built in the 1860 by Sharp Stewart.

Marc

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9 hours ago, wagonman said:

The Tilbury lines out of Fenchurch Street were operated for several years by the Stonier 3 cylinder 2-6-4-Ts built especially for the line. After the 1950s some BR 4MTs were drafted in as well.

 

There were other lines where specially designed classes held sway, if not total exclusivity.  Think of the Oban Bogies for instance.

Before the Stanier Tanks, the LT&SR had a series of different designs of 4-4-2T, which were used on passenger services. Until 1903, the only exceptions were 2 0-6-0 tender locos, acquired cheap when the Ottoman Railway couldn't afford to pay for them!

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10 hours ago, brack said:

Loads of them if you're counting narrow gauge lines. Alcoy-Gandia, leek & manifold, puffing billy pre preservation.

 

That's the closest so far to a railway run entirely* by only one class. I'll discount the other two for being foreign.  ;) 

 

I did think the Glyn Valley, but forgot about the Baldwin they bought second hand.

 

 

*People carry on posting answers relevant to periods in time. I was just curious whether any had only one class for it's whole existence.

 

 

 

Jason

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11 hours ago, wagonman said:

The Tilbury lines out of Fenchurch Street were operated for several years by the Stonier 3 cylinder 2-6-4-Ts built especially for the line. After the 1950s some BR 4MTs were drafted in as well.

 

There were also significant numbers of Fairburn 2-6-4Ts allocated before the Standard tanks arrived.

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3 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

I'll discount the other two for being foreign.  ;) 

I'm not sure you can do that so readily for the company legally known as the Alcoy y Gandía Rail and Harbour Co Ltd, company office in London. British owned, financed and equipped, it just happened to be located overseas.

 

Anyway, have we had the Bideford, Appledore and Westward Ho! Railway yet? - standard gauge and in the UK.

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Axminster to Lyme Regis was operated for a long time exclusively by the Adams Radial tanks.

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14 hours ago, MR Chuffer said:

How about the Leicester West Bridge branch, operated exclusively for many years by Johnson 2F 0-6-0s with cut down cabs to get through Glenfield Tunnel? And the oldest part of the Midland Railway.

 

In its latter days, by Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0s, I think with similarly cut down cabs.

 

IIRC the MR 2Fs fitted Glenfield Tunnel without mods to the cabs. They were replaced by Standard 78000 series locos (not Ivatts) which did need modified cabs.

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3 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

That's the closest so far to a railway run entirely* by only one class. I'll discount the other two for being foreign.  ;) 

 

I did think the Glyn Valley, but forgot about the Baldwin they bought second hand.

 

 

*People carry on posting answers relevant to periods in time. I was just curious whether any had only one class for it's whole existence.

 

Jason

 

 I was wondering about the Ashover Light Railway. I know there were diesels latterly but they may have been restricted to shunting and not worked the main line.

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Although the Saundersfoot Railway had two locos built to different designs, as one operated below the incline and one above, each of the two sections of the railway operated with the same loco throughout the line's existence (apart from possible horse workings in the early days).

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