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S&DJR connections with the GWR

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7 hours ago, PatB said:

Is it just me, or is the possibility of a Midland takeover of the B&E a fascinating might have been? 

No absolutely not. The natural boundary of the MR was Bristol. It only took over the S&DR because of the joint agreement with the LSWR, so limiting it's liability. Even that was a mistake.

The B&E was, and is, very much a rural railway, Exeter was very small in the mid nineteenth century, not much there for the MR.

Regards

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4 hours ago, PenrithBeacon said:

The natural boundary of the MR was Bristol.

 

I don't think the Midland Railway regarded itself as having natural boundaries, given that its empire stretched, solely or jointly, from Shoeburyness via Bournemouth and Bristol to Carlisle and even Northern Ireland, plus having a large investment in the Forth Bridge !

 

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1 hour ago, caradoc said:

 

 a large investment in the Forth Bridge !

 

I've always wondered what exactly that was for. It was known as the Forth Bridge Railway Company and was joint GN, MR, NB & NE.

AFAIK the Midland didn't run any trains over it. (Neither did the NE or GN)

I can understand the GN & NE as part or the East Coast Joint operation, but why the Midland?

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6 hours ago, PatB said:

I have a mental picture of Stanier Pacifics working the alternative reality equivalent of the Cornish Riviera Express, alongside a more bucolic one of the Culm Valley line being worked by a variety of superannuated 1P tanks, and stock in faded Crimson Lake :D

The Culm Valley would have provided suitable work for the 1Ps , but sadly I reckon the idea of Stanier pacifics on the CRE would in reality have been 4Ps piloted by 2Ps because that’s how the Midland and the early LMS did things.  The history of the GW would have been very different of course; assuming the Midland took the South Devon under it’s wing as well Churchward, relieved of the burden of the South Devon banks (for which Derby might have built sisters for Big Bertha), might have built wide firebox atlatics and developed them into pacifics.  The Berks and Hants might never have been built. 

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32 minutes ago, melmerby said:

I've always wondered what exactly that was for. It was known as the Forth Bridge Railway Company and was joint GN, MR, NB & NE.

AFAIK the Midland didn't run any trains over it. (Neither did the NE or GN)

I can understand the GN & NE as part or the East Coast Joint operation, but why the Midland?

 

The Midland wanted a slice of the Anglo Scottish traffic so had a close relationship with the NBR and GSWR to counteract the LNWR & CR alliance.

 

I imagine that its involvement in the Forth Bridge was based on the understanding that its completion would allow the NBR to capture more of of the market with respect to travel from Dundee / Aberdeen via Edinburgh which could then be passed along the Waverly route and handed over to the Midland at Carlisle.

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7 hours ago, PatB said:

I have a mental picture of Stanier Pacifics working the alternative reality equivalent of the Cornish Riviera Express,

With frequent visits to the shops to repair cracked frames, working all those twisty routes?

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10 minutes ago, melmerby said:

With frequent visits to the shops to repair cracked frames, working all those twisty routes?

Would they have had more trouble than GWR 4-6-0s? I wouldn't have thought the rigid wheelbase was much different. 

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7 hours ago, PenrithBeacon said:

No absolutely not. The natural boundary of the MR was Bristol. It only took over the S&DR because of the joint agreement with the LSWR, so limiting it's liability. Even that was a mistake.

The B&E was, and is, very much a rural railway, Exeter was very small in the mid nineteenth century, not much there for the MR.

Regards

 

If Exeter was such an insignificant traffic centre, why was it the object of such an early line as the Bristol & Exeter? 

 

As to the Midland's interest in the B&E, that is, I think, something for which there is evidence - I'll look it up when I'm home.

 

2 hours ago, caradoc said:

 

I don't think the Midland Railway regarded itself as having natural boundaries, given that its empire stretched, solely or jointly, from Shoeburyness via Bournemouth and Bristol to Carlisle and even Northern Ireland, plus having a large investment in the Forth Bridge !

 

 

Exactly - the Midland can be likened to a mighty octopus with its head at Derby and a tentacle in every pie. One of only two truly national lines in the pre-Grouping period, the other being the LNWR of course, which had an equally extensive reach.

 

1 hour ago, melmerby said:

I've always wondered what exactly that was for. It was known as the Forth Bridge Railway Company and was joint GN, MR, NB & NE.

AFAIK the Midland didn't run any trains over it. (Neither did the NE or GN)

I can understand the GN & NE as part or the East Coast Joint operation, but why the Midland?

 

At the time the Forth Bridge was being promoted, the chairman of the Forth Bridge Company was Matthew William Thompson; he was also chairman of the Midland Railway and the Glasgow & South Western Railway and had tried to bring about the amalgamation of those two - rejected by parliament on the grounds of lack of physical connection at Carlisle, I believe. This was also a period of very friendly relations with the North British (which was getting more than a little frustrated in its relations with the North Eastern) so I think we can see the Midland investment in the Forth Bridge as a hidden subsidy to the North British. By 1900, the Midland was running through carriages via Edinburgh and the Forth Bridge to Aberdeen, Perth, Inverness, and Fort William - even Mallaig was tried for one summer season.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, PenrithBeacon said:

No absolutely not. The natural boundary of the MR was Bristol. It only took over the S&DR because of the joint agreement with the LSWR, so limiting it's liability. Even that was a mistake.

The B&E was, and is, very much a rural railway, Exeter was very small in the mid nineteenth century, not much there for the MR.

Regards

The Midland built a route through difficult terrain the middle of nowhere in the latter part of the century, to compete with two already well established routes to the North, both of which had more traffic potential for intermediate destinations. Yes, it was for the potentially lucrative Scottish traffic, but did the S&C ever really make any more sense than a route to the south west?

 

And whilst Exeter may not have been terribly promising, what about Plymouth, only a little further to expand? If nothing else, it would have been fairly obvious that steamships were the future, with the possibility of significant coal traffic to help pay the bills. 

Edited by PatB

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No, the S&C didn't make sense and it started as a political ploy by the Midland to get access to the L&C at Low Moor for Anglo-Scottish traffic. This isn't the place to go into this but things went belly up and after much to-ing and fro-ing the Midland was obliged to build the railway by parliament. There are books on the topic, lots on Amazon 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, PatB said:

I have a mental picture of Stanier Pacifics working the alternative reality equivalent of the Cornish Riviera Express ...


You mean like this?

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/arthurmorley/4237636014

 

https://thetransportlibrary.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=129784


(46207, 46210 and 46257 are also recorded as having worked the train.)

Edited by pH
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1 hour ago, PatB said:

Would they have had more trouble than GWR 4-6-0s? I wouldn't have thought the rigid wheelbase was much different. 

You still get sideways forces from the trailing truck and the Princess was the same wheelbase from the bogie to the rear drivers as a KIng.

It would probably be OK as far as Plymouth.

Did the Kings aver go further west than Plymouth in regular traffic?

The rest of the GWR 4-6-0s had a shorter wheelbase

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1 hour ago, PenrithBeacon said:

No, the S&C didn't make sense and it started as a political ploy by the Midland to get access to the L&C at Low Moor for Anglo-Scottish traffic. This isn't the place to go into this but things went belly up and after much to-ing and fro-ing the Midland was obliged to build the railway by parliament. There are books on the topic, lots on Amazon 

 

Low Gill. The original aim of the "Little" North Western was to build a line from the Leeds & Bradford Extension Railway to Tebay, to provide a route from the West Riding to Scotland, but the financial crisis of 1866 put a spanner in the works; in the event the NWR only built the line to Ingleton, with the Lancaster & Carlisle building the Lune Valley branch south from Low Gill to Ingleton, making an end on junction. The approach to Low Gill was designed with a sharpish curve over the eponymous viaduct, to preclude fast through running, and the L&C went to some lengths to make life awkward for passengers booking through by that route. Following the working agreements of 1908 between the LNWR and Midland, one Midland Scotch Express per day was routed via the Lune Valley and over Shap, to serve Penrith. 

 

Alas, owing to Covid19, this year I will not be spending a fortnight within view of the Low Gill Viaduct, for the first time in many years.

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On 31/07/2020 at 18:50, Compound2632 said:

 

Not competing at a local level maybe but certainly in terms of the grand game of 19th Century railway geopolitics. The S&DJR / LSWR provided the Midland with a tentacle deep into Great Western territory - there was even an attempt at a Bradford (?) - Plymouth through carriage via Templecombe though it didn't stick. Remember that with the opening of the Severn Tunnel, the Midland's virtual monoploy on traffic between Bristol (and points west) and the Midlands and North was under attack.

 

The Midland was very good at extending its territorial reach through proxy companies, avoiding too much financial exposure on the more unremunerative lines - in addition to the S&DJR one could mention the M&SWJR (for Southampton), M&GNR (for the Norfolk Coast resorts), CLC (for Manchester and Liverpool - hardly unremunerative), H&BR (for Hull), and even dare I say it the G&SWR (for Glasgow and Ulster) and NBR (for Edinburgh and beyond)!  This led to some disputes over outstanding loans when the H&BR was absorbed by the NER in 1922 and the M&SWJR by the GWR in 1923.

The Midland hat rdl had a onopoly between Bristol and the Midlands/north as the GWR had various (roundabout) routes available well before the Severn Tunnel opened and once the OWW was open it had its own route directly into the heart of the Midlands from either London or Bristol while the GWR had routes via both Worcester and Hereford.   Interestingly the GWR shareholder's frequently criticised the Board for their lack of interest in goods traffic!

 

Prior to 1849 the B&E was under no outside threat from anyone as it had agreed a lease with the GWR before even its first stretch was opened to traffic.  The B&E followed it own way after the lease ended but then came back to rejoin the GWR in 1876 - on rather different terms from the original lease.  I doubt the GWR had any concern about the Midland getting anywhere into the south because it spent years battling with the LS&WR,  and the Midland had no access southwards until the S&DJt reached Bath - with a route which basically offered little competition to established GWR/B&ER lines because the GWR had no access to the south coast east of Weymouth.  The GWR's main concern in respect of the Midland - once matters had finally been settled between Bristol and Gloucester - was in respect of South Wales where, for once, it and the LNWR were in agreement in trying to keep the Midland out

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Yes, you're right, Low Gill; thanks.

1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Low Gill. The original aim of the "Little" North Western was to build a line from the Leeds & Bradford Extension Railway to Tebay, to provide a route from the West Riding to Scotland, but the financial crisis of 1866 put a spanner in the works; in the event the NWR only built the line to Ingleton, with the Lancaster & Carlisle building the Lune Valley branch south from Low Gill to Ingleton, making an end on junction. The approach to Low Gill was designed with a sharpish curve over the eponymous viaduct, to preclude fast through running, and the L&C went to some lengths to make life awkward for passengers booking through by that route. Following the working agreements of 1908 between the LNWR and Midland, one Midland Scotch Express per day was routed via the Lune Valley and over Shap, to serve Penrith. 

 

Alas, owing to Covid19, this year I will not be spending a fortnight within view of the Low Gill Viaduct, for the first time in many years.

I had intended to take a week based at Ingleton last month, again confounded by the lockdown. perhaps again next year, assuming a vaccine to be available by then.

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3 hours ago, PatB said:

The Midland built a route through difficult terrain the middle of nowhere in the latter part of the century, to compete with two already well established routes to the North, both of which had more traffic potential for intermediate destinations. Yes, it was for the potentially lucrative Scottish traffic, but did the S&C ever really make any more sense than a route to the south west?

 

And whilst Exeter may not have been terribly promising, what about Plymouth, only a little further to expand? If nothing else, it would have been fairly obvious that steamships were the future, with the possibility of significant coal traffic to help pay the bills. 

My understanding with the Settle and Carlisle route is they (the MR) proposed it in the full expectation that this threat to other existing operators would lead to their getting concessions over existing routes. Their intention all along was that once those concessions were gained by the threatened rival route the never really wanted S&C project would then be abandoned. Unfortunately (for them) power politics prevailed, the scheme was not allowed to be abandoned, and they were forced to build it. 
 

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5 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

If Exeter was such an insignificant traffic centre, why was it the object of such an early line as the Bristol & Exeter? 

There was an earlier proposal, partly constructed, for a canal to link Exeter with the Bristol Channel (The Grand Western Canal). The main reason was to avoid the long journey by sea around Land's End. Given the late 1700s date also suggests that French privateers might be one extra risk to shipping. So the prospect of some through traffic probably encouraged the B&E, especially as part of the canal would only take tub boats of around 20T.

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8 hours ago, caradoc said:

 

I don't think the Midland Railway regarded itself as having natural boundaries, given that its empire stretched, solely or jointly, from Shoeburyness via Bournemouth and Bristol to Carlisle and even Northern Ireland, plus having a large investment in the Forth Bridge !

 

Didn't the Midland also reach Swansea from Hereford via the Neath and Brecon?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

The Midland hat rdl had a onopoly between Bristol and the Midlands/north as the GWR had various (roundabout) routes available well before the Severn Tunnel opened and once the OWW was open it had its own route directly into the heart of the Midlands from either London or Bristol while the GWR had routes via both Worcester and Hereford.   Interestingly the GWR shareholder's frequently criticised the Board for their lack of interest in goods traffic!

 

Prior to 1849 the B&E was under no outside threat from anyone as it had agreed a lease with the GWR before even its first stretch was opened to traffic.  The B&E followed it own way after the lease ended but then came back to rejoin the GWR in 1876 - on rather different terms from the original lease.  I doubt the GWR had any concern about the Midland getting anywhere into the south because it spent years battling with the LS&WR,  and the Midland had no access southwards until the S&DJt reached Bath - with a route which basically offered little competition to established GWR/B&ER lines because the GWR had no access to the south coast east of Weymouth.  The GWR's main concern in respect of the Midland - once matters had finally been settled between Bristol and Gloucester - was in respect of South Wales where, for once, it and the LNWR were in agreement in trying to keep the Midland out

 

Tru enough, but the Midland had the direct route - until challenged by the LNWR and GWR in league after the opening of the Severn Tunnel - a very real threat to the Midland's business, especially for goods between Bristol and the South West, and Lancashire and Yorkshire.

 

16 minutes ago, Artless Bodger said:

Didn't the Midland also reach Swansea from Hereford via the Neath and Brecon?

 

Indeed, by purchase of the Swansea Vale and Hereford Hay & Brecon Railways - a process completed in the early 1870s. The through route from Swansea to Birmingham involved traversing not only the Neath & Brecon but also stretches of the Cambrian and Great Western - only goods traffic was worked right through; the Birmingham - Swansea through carriage was worked by Great Western train between Worcester and Hereford. The Midland never pretended that was a competitive route for passenger traffic - the attraction was always goods and mineral traffic, especially anthracite to the Midlands and North.

 

The Midland and the LNWR were the only two companies to own lines in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland - in both cases the last only by joint ownership with Scottish companies.

Edited by Compound2632
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14 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

 

 

The Midland and the LNWR were the only two companies to own lines in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland - in both cases the last only by joint ownership with Scottish companies.

I know the Midland but what was the LNWR's Scottish interest?

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7 minutes ago, melmerby said:

I know the Midland but what was the LNWR's Scottish interest?

 

The LNWR, Midland, Caledonian, and Glasgow & South Western were joint owners of the Portpatrick & Wigtownshire - the "Port Road" - giving access to Stranraer and hence the fastest route between England and Ulster.

 

The Midland was also, as previously noted, a joint owner of the Forth Bridge. Neither the LNWR or the Midland worked trains into Scotland with their own locomotives - that distinction fell to the North Eastern, which worked the East Coast expresses through to Edinburgh (except for the NBR's 1894 rebellion). On the other hand, the North British, Caledonian, and Sou' West all worked into England, the latter two only at Carlisle whereas the NB had a considerable mileage of unremunerative branch lines in Northumberland that gave it a toe-hold at Newcastle.

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5 hours ago, melmerby said:

 

Did the Kings aver go further west than Plymouth in regular traffic?

 

 

They never ventured further west as they were barred from the Tamar bridge. This was due to axle loading rather than wheelbase as the Kings were Double Red.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I rather like reading about these sorts of oddities, and did not know that the Midland had an interest in the Forth Bridge.  We've just mentioned the Midland at Swansea, which was the Swansea Vale branch and the wobbly connection via Worcester, Worcester-Hereford on the GW and GW/LNW joint, Hereford, Hay, and Brecon, which the Midland worked, and the Neath and Brecon.  You could see 2Fs and 1Ps at Brecon in BR days, worked from Hereford, and the Midland shed at Swansea St Thomas had a stud of 1Fs, 1Ps, and auto fitted Jinties.

 

Another oddity of this type was The Earl of Dumfries, an LNWR Webb saddle tank outstationed with a crew at the Rhymney Railway's East Dock shed on Cardiff Docks.  The LNW had a bonded warehouse on the docks and used the loco to shunt it.  It had more or less achieved effective control of the Rhymney by bailing that company out of the financial hole it had literally dug itself into under Cefn Onn, the Caerphilly Tunnel, which cost more and took longer to complete than had been planned.  This was necessary as the original route was via Penrhos and Walnut Tree (Taff's Well), thence with running powers to Cardiff Docks on the Taff Vale, which was highly congested.  

 

The LNW already connected with the Rhymney by a branch from Rhymney Bridge on the Merthyr, Tredegar, and Abergavenny, so the chance of access to Cardiff Docks made the bail out worth their while, but they were content to have a through route for freight that way and allowed the Rhymney to continue to operate independently.  What the Rhymney would have looked like had the LNW absorbed it could be seen on the Sirhowy Valley line between Tredegar and Risca.

Edited by The Johnster
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Blimey, that's certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons. I was just speaking in a very broad sense of supposing the Midland had sniffed around the B&E a bit harder. The whole premise of alternative realities is that enough of the fine detail changes to bring about the end result. At root, the Midland was sufficiently expansionist to plausibly be interested in a route to the SW, and C19th railway politics were sufficiently byzantine to result in schemes coming to fruition far more outlandish than Derby stretching its influence to Exeter and beyond. All else is detail. 

 

As for working expresses West of the Tamar, Johnster is probably nearer the mark in (alternative) reality, or maybe we'd have seen Scots in the far west :D. Or, perhaps, the Midland/LMS would have developed something else, given the whole new territory and its requirements. Mind you, the Black 5 is so near to being a GWR engine, maybe they wouldn't need to ;)

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10 hours ago, PatB said:

Mind you, the Black 5 is so near to being a GWR engine, maybe they wouldn't need to ;)

 

That is to say, the Hall was a near miss at the ideal mixed-traffic 4-6-0!

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