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Greetings, All

 

I've been lurking on here, with some gaps, for the past two to three years, drinking in more knowledge than I could have imagined (but also forgetting much of it - steep learning curve for me).

 

I was born in Beckenham, from where my family moved to Stratford, Ontario, Canada in 1965.

 

I've had an interest in railways from as far back as I can remember, received my first Tri-Ang stuff (some of which I still have, somewhere) a few years before emigrating, and frequently walked with my grandfather to Beckenham Junction to watch trains pass through, including the Golden Arrow.

 

Later, on trips back (1966, 1969, 1972, various times from 1986 to 1989 while stationed in Lahr, West Germany, and lastly 1995), I rode to London and back from there.

 

I took many slides of Beckenham Junction on my 1972 trip, with the intent to model it someday, and recently rekindled that desire. My period of interest is early-1960s to 1972, with a mixture of green and blue.

 

I've been gathering books of interest from Amazon, E-Bay, and other booksellers and have bought some old photographs from E-Bay and have a list of others to order later. I can buy four British model railway magazines here as well, although the virus has interrupted supply a few times so I should probably subscribe to one or two (BRM as my first choice of those). I've bought a few Parkside and Dapol kits and some other items, and put together a list of useful websites (including links to threads of interest here). I've found much useful information (and some not useful but still interesting) information and a few photographs and maps, but am lacking much of what I'd like to have.

 

BUT

 

The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know and the more questions arise. Many of those questions are trivial and basic for the bulk of members here.

 

I've begun this thread to keep as many of my questions (and hopefully helpful answers to them and relevant useful discussion) in one place.

 

If there is a better forum for this topic, I'd be happy for it to be moved.

 

So, first questions, if I may...

 

I remember Bulleid-pattern EMUs, which I believe were 4SUBs, but no BR-pattern EMUs. I didn't know the names or anything back then, but would have noticed differences and the Bachmann 2EPB looked "foreign". I've not seen photographs of BR-pattern EMUs running through Beckenham Junction. Would BR-pattern EMUs have run through Beckenham Junction? If so, that would make life easier, but I'd still like to model some Bulleid-pattern ones. From what I've seen here, no kits are currently available. Would 2/4EPBs have run through Beckenham Junction?

 

I remember seeing Golden Arrow run through one morning behind a green Class 71 - and being disappointed that there was no steam locomotive on that day. Would any old Class 71 be so assigned, or were any kept extra-clean for that prestigious duty? If somebody could provide specific numbers, I'd appreciate that. In what shed(s) would they have been stabled?

 

What steam locomotives might have led Golden Arrow in its last days of steam? I'm looking for specific names/numbers, if possible. Would any unrebuilt Bulleid Pacifics have still been around? I'm likely to take some modeller's licence in that regard, but would still like to know. Again, in what shed(s) would they have been stabled?

 

I only ever remember seeing one goods train pass through, London-bound, behind a blue Class 71. Obviously, there would not have been much opportunity to do so with high-density commuter traffic, but what commodities would have been carried?

 

Are drawings available of the station buildings and the last signal box available anywhere? I took lots of measurements as well as the slides on my 1972 trip, but have no idea what happened to those records. I can probably scale well-enough from photographs, but drawings would be of great help as well.

 

Are any decent photographs of the goods yard on the north side available, especially any showing buildings? I vaguely remember seeing mineral wagons in there but do not know when the coal operation ceased. I am guessing that there was some other goods activity in there at some point as well. I am not averse to a few anachronisms to add flavour - and nobody who's likely to see it, presuming that I actually build it, would recognize any errors or deviations. What would have shunted such a modest yard (either/both steam or diesel)?

 

What colour would ballast have been? All that I remember was that between the platforms, which was all oily black/dark brown. Would ballast outside of the platform area have been any less filthy?

 

Thanks in advance to anybody able to provide information and direction. It will be deeply appreciated.

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10 hours ago, Mark L Horstead said:

I remember Bulleid-pattern EMUs, which I believe were 4SUBs, but no BR-pattern EMUs. I didn't know the names or anything back then, but would have noticed differences and the Bachmann 2EPB looked "foreign". I've not seen photographs of BR-pattern EMUs running through Beckenham Junction. Would BR-pattern EMUs have run through Beckenham Junction? If so, that would make life easier, but I'd still like to model some Bulleid-pattern ones. From what I've seen here, no kits are currently available. Would 2/4EPBs have run through Beckenham Junction?

 

 

 

Before the mid 1950s the EMU stock used on routes through Beckenham junction would have been a mix of Mansell designed units - many being rebuilds of 4 / 6 heeled stock on new underframe. Some newer HALs would have appeared for the 1939 extension of electric working out to Maidstone

 

IIRC the South Eastern division was all EPBs in a mix of 2 and 4 car variants (with respect to suburban services). Mainline trains were in the hands of 4CEPs. Some EPBs did use a tweaked Bulleid design (i.e. 4-SUB) of body shell however.

 

The Bullied designed 4SUB units* were used on the central (ex LBSC) and western (ex LSWR) services - with respect to Beckenham Junction its possible that 4SUBs may have been used on services terminating from the Crystal Palace direction.

 

* As opposed to some of the aforementioned rebuilt pre-grouping stock which was also confusingly known as 3SUB / 4SUB units

 

 

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By the early '60s steam was dead on the South Eastern Division, apart from incursions on trains from Redhill to Tonbridge, maybe. Kent Coast Electrification had happened by 1962, so fast trains passing would all be EMUs, CEP, BEP, Hap, including boat trains which might have an MLV, or later in the 60s a TLV as well. The Arrow and Night Ferry did not have designated electric locos as far as I am aware.

 

EPBs, both BR and SR, operated the suburban services on the Chatham side at Beckenham Junction. 4 or 8 car formations only. The Central trains into the Crystal Palace bay were usually 4-SUBs, again in 4 or 8 car formations.

 

Some ECS trains berthed in the down sidings might have been 10-car, because these were trains that had arrived ECS from New Beckenham, and would return there for their next duty. The South Eastern services, i.e. those serving Charing Cross and Cannon St, had been 10-car for some years before 1960. Chatham suburban services, to/from Victoria and Holborn Viaduct services were never more than 8-car.

 

I think coal services were still operating well after the period in question, with shunting undertaken by the train loco, probably an EDL - Class 73. 

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7 hours ago, Siberian Snooper said:

I  have seen a Britannia at Victoria, with the Golden Arrow paraphernalia on it, back in the 60's when my dad took me to the national show. I don't know which one. No other info as we lived on the Central section.

 

My grandfather did take me to Victoria a few times. I have a fuzzy memory of Golden Arrow Pullmans, but even less of the locomotive present.

 

Thanks.

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The WTT of Mandatory Train Services, Section M (Freight), commencing 01/05/1972, shows that the only regular freight at Beckenham Jn was the daily service, detailed below, serving the coal concentration depot in the former goods yard.  Any services seen passing through on the main line at this time would have probably have been diversions due to engineering work etc. or specials.

 

8K80 1050 (SX) Bricklayers Arms to Beckenham Junction arr.1110 - Worked by class 73, headcode 1E.

8K86 1205 (SX) Beckenham Junction to Bricklayers Arms arr.1232 - Worked by class 73, headcode 1E.

The inward service (8K80) was restricted to a maximum length of 26 SLU's as it ran round in the Down Platform with the loco shunting via the mainline crossover at the Shortlands end, before hauling the train back towards New Beckenham, prior to shunting the coal depot sidings.

 

An interesting book to look out for, if not already in your collection, is The Railways of Beckenham by Andrew Hajducki, published by The Ardgour Press, this contains photos, plans and details of goods and other traffic through the years.

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BJ was my favourite local station (lived in West Wickham from 1969 - 1985).

 

Can't really add anything to comments above other than 2-SAP units for a while BJ - Victoria. Made a bit of a change with their downgraded 1st class compartments.

 

Steam locomotives for Golden Arrow would have been Stewarts Lane locos.

 

Not an easy station to model unless you have a lot of space. No obvious scenic break at the west end.

 

Was the down Golden Arrow routed through BJ or did it go down the Catford Loop?

 

And, of course, don't forget the Night Ferry.

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6 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Before the mid 1950s the EMU stock used on routes through Beckenham junction would have been a mix of Mansell designed units - many being rebuilds of 4 / 6 heeled stock on new underframe. Some newer HALs would have appeared for the 1939 extension of electric working out to Maidstone

 

IIRC the South Eastern division was all EPBs in a mix of 2 and 4 car variants (with respect to suburban services). Mainline trains were in the hands of 4CEPs. Some EPBs did use a tweaked Bulleid design (i.e. 4-SUB) of body shell however.

 

The Bullied designed 4SUB units* were used on the central (ex LBSC) and western (ex LSWR) services - with respect to Beckenham Junction its possible that 4SUBs may have been used on services terminating from the Crystal Palace direction.

 

* As opposed to some of the aforementioned rebuilt pre-grouping stock which was also confusingly known as 3SUB / 4SUB units

 

 

I've answered part of my own question from the Wikipedia Class 415 page: "However, on 23 March 1988, a woman was found murdered in a compartment EPB car on an Orpington/London Victoria working". I'd read that quite some time ago, but forgot until you prompted me.

 

Did 4SUBs have a single buffer between coaches? I have another old and vague memory of seeing that at Beckenham Junction.

 

I remember seeing non-stop EMUs with gangways whizzing through Beckenham Junction and was planning to research those later, so the 4CEP reference is definitely helpful.

 

"Confusing".

 

Yup.

 

I'm still trying to straighten the geography in my mind. I only ever went anywhere by 54 or 227 bus, train, and, in London, the underground.

 

Thanks tons.

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12 minutes ago, Mark L Horstead said:

I've answered part of my own question from the Wikipedia Class 415 page: "However, on 23 March 1988, a woman was found murdered in a compartment EPB car on an Orpington/London Victoria working". I'd read that quite some time ago, but forgot until you prompted me.

 

Did 4SUBs have a single buffer between coaches? I have another old and vague memory of seeing that at Beckenham Junction.

 

I remember seeing non-stop EMUs with gangways whizzing through Beckenham Junction and was planning to research those later, so the 4CEP reference is definitely helpful.

 

"Confusing".

 

Yup.

 

I'm still trying to straighten the geography in my mind. I only ever went anywhere by 54 or 227 bus, train, and, in London, the underground.

 

Thanks tons.

 

Have you seen these pages?

 

(1) Early Southern Railway design

 

https://sremg.org.uk/emu/3sub.shtml

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/LSWR-3carmotorunits.html

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/SR-AugSUB.html

 

(2) 4SUB Bullied Units

 

https://sremg.org.uk/emu/class405.shtml

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/SR-4SUB.html

 

(3) BR era EPBs (and variants)

 

https://sremg.org.uk/emu/class415.shtml

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/br-2epb.html

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/SR-2EPB.html

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/br-2hap.html

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/SR-2HAP.html

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/BR-4epb.html

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/sR-4epb.html

 

(4) Mainline BR CEP stock

 

https://sremg.org.uk/emu/class411.shtml

 

https://www.bloodandcustard.com/BR-4BEP-4CEP.html

 

 

Unfortunately this site doesn't have a page on Beckenham Junction but you may find it a useful resource because of the other places featured.

 

https://kentrail.org.uk/kent_infrastructure_index.htm

 

Edited by phil-b259
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53 minutes ago, 62613 said:

One of the Brits, I believe was 70014. There were two allocated to SL specifically for the 'arrer

 

The other was 70004 William Shakespeare and I have Hornby's version of this on my layout for the Golden Arrow.

 

9 minutes ago, Mark L Horstead said:

I've answered part of my own question from the Wikipedia Class 415 page: "However, on 23 March 1988, a woman was found murdered in a compartment EPB car on an Orpington/London Victoria working". I'd read that quite some time ago, but forgot until you prompted me.

 

Did 4SUBs have a single buffer between coaches? I have another old and vague memory of seeing that at Beckenham Junction.

 

I remember seeing non-stop EMUs with gangways whizzing through Beckenham Junction and was planning to research those later, so the 4CEP reference is definitely helpful.

 

"Confusing".

 

Yup.

 

I'm still trying to straighten the geography in my mind. I only ever went anywhere by 54 or 227 bus, train, and, in London, the underground.

 

Thanks tons.

 

4-SUBs had single central internal buffers like the EPBs. 

 

And I went to school (in Lewisham) on the 54 bus so it's a small world!

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4 hours ago, Oldddudders said:

By the early '60s steam was dead on the South Eastern Division, apart from incursions on trains from Redhill to Tonbridge, maybe. Kent Coast Electrification had happened by 1962, so fast trains passing would all be EMUs, CEP, BEP, Hap, including boat trains which might have an MLV, or later in the 60s a TLV as well. The Arrow and Night Ferry did not have designated electric locos as far as I am aware.

 

EPBs, both BR and SR, operated the suburban services on the Chatham side at Beckenham Junction. 4 or 8 car formations only. The Central trains into the Crystal Palace bay were usually 4-SUBs, again in 4 or 8 car formations.

 

Some ECS trains berthed in the down sidings might have been 10-car, because these were trains that had arrived ECS from New Beckenham, and would return there for their next duty. The South Eastern services, i.e. those serving Charing Cross and Cannon St, had been 10-car for some years before 1960. Chatham suburban services, to/from Victoria and Holborn Viaduct services were never more than 8-car.

 

I think coal services were still operating well after the period in question, with shunting undertaken by the train loco, probably an EDL - Class 73. 

I do, again vaguely, remember some steam engines leading Golden Arrow and that would have been early sixties.

 

"MLV"? "TLV"?

 

If any random electric locomotive could be used for Golden Arrow, may I presume that a higher standard of cleanliness was maintained then? Aside from roofs, I do not remember seeing much dirt on equipment. My intent for weathering on passenger equipment is just enough to show use. I've not really begun to look at goods stock from my period of interest, but I am hoping that there is a greater variety of dirt and deterioration.

 

I just traced the route partway to Chatham. The only time that I'd gone in that direction was between Orpington and Beckenham in 1984 when I was back for my grandmother's funeral and was staying with relatives in Orpington. I'll be researching routes and associated platforms more in the future.

 

"ECS"?

 

I only remember going to Charing Cross once, likely during my 1972 trip back. I don't know why I went there. I was pretty sure that the trains that I rode to/from Victoria were eight-car, so I appreciate that confirmation.

 

I'd guessed that the train's locomotive would have done the shunting, as it should have been a simple operation. I was hoping for an excuse for a Class 08 to show up there on occasion, as I've liked them ever since Duck and the Diesel Engine entered my early personal library but was not particularly optimistic. I do intend to depict at least a part of the yard.

 

Thanks for all of that.

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1 hour ago, SED Freightman said:

The WTT of Mandatory Train Services, Section M (Freight), commencing 01/05/1972, shows that the only regular freight at Beckenham Jn was the daily service, detailed below, serving the coal concentration depot in the former goods yard.  Any services seen passing through on the main line at this time would have probably have been diversions due to engineering work etc. or specials.

 

8K80 1050 (SX) Bricklayers Arms to Beckenham Junction arr.1110 - Worked by class 73, headcode 1E.

8K86 1205 (SX) Beckenham Junction to Bricklayers Arms arr.1232 - Worked by class 73, headcode 1E.

The inward service (8K80) was restricted to a maximum length of 26 SLU's as it ran round in the Down Platform with the loco shunting via the mainline crossover at the Shortlands end, before hauling the train back towards New Beckenham, prior to shunting the coal depot sidings.

 

An interesting book to look out for, if not already in your collection, is The Railways of Beckenham by Andrew Hajducki, published by The Ardgour Press, this contains photos, plans and details of goods and other traffic through the years.

Most helpful, and appreciated, that.

 

I'd guessed that a Class 73 would be the most suitable, and presume that there was no third rail service in the yard itself.

 

"SLU" - Standard Length Unit?

 

I bought The Railways of Beckenham a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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13 minutes ago, Mark L Horstead said:

I do, again vaguely, remember some steam engines leading Golden Arrow and that would have been early sixties.

 

"MLV"? "TLV"?

 

 

 

The Britannias were transferred away in 1958 after which Bulleids were the normal power, usually rebuilt light Pacifics.

 

MLV = Motor Luggage Van, and TLV = Trailer Luggage Van, the latter being a standard BG through-wired for working on boat trains. It would be marshalled between the MLV and CEP. There's a picture of such a working here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertcwp/50969034638/in/album-72157629191176988/

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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

BJ was my favourite local station (lived in West Wickham from 1969 - 1985).

 

Can't really add anything to comments above other than 2-SAP units for a while BJ - Victoria. Made a bit of a change with their downgraded 1st class compartments.

 

Steam locomotives for Golden Arrow would have been Stewarts Lane locos.

 

Not an easy station to model unless you have a lot of space. No obvious scenic break at the west end.

 

Was the down Golden Arrow routed through BJ or did it go down the Catford Loop?

 

And, of course, don't forget the Night Ferry.

There was a model railway shop in West Wickham that I visited on one of my early trips back.

 

I'm not familiar with 2-SAPs, but they entered service after my period of interest according to Wikipedia.

 

I have nowhere near the space that I think that I'll need at present - or time or money - but hope to in another couple of years.

 

I only remember seeing the up Arrow.

 

I shall investigate the Night Ferry in the future.

 

Thanks for all of that.

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Just now, Mark L Horstead said:

There was a model railway shop in West Wickham that I visited on one of my early trips back.

 

I'm not familiar with 2-SAPs, but they entered service after my period of interest according to Wikipedia.

 

I have nowhere near the space that I think that I'll need at present - or time or money - but hope to in another couple of years.

 

I only remember seeing the up Arrow.

 

I shall investigate the Night Ferry in the future.

 

Thanks for all of that.

 

You're welcome.

 

Hobbytime was a great model railway shop, also the home at that time of BSL coach kits. The proprietor, Denis Hextall, was always helpful and supportive of young modellers.

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43 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

The sremg.org and kentrail.org ones yes, the bloodandcustard.com ones no.

 

Again, thanks.

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7 minutes ago, RFS said:

 

The Britannias were transferred away in 1958 after which Bulleids were the normal power, usually rebuilt light Pacifics.

 

MLV = Motor Luggage Van, and TLV = Trailer Luggage Van, the latter being a standard BG through-wired for working on boat trains. It would be marshalled between the MLV and CEP. There's a picture of such a working here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertcwp/50969034638/in/album-72157629191176988/

Roger. Thanks.

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3 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

Hobbytime was a great model railway shop, also the home at that time of BSL coach kits. The proprietor, Denis Hextall, was always helpful and supportive of young modellers.

I couldn't remember the name, just the pleasant experience.

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30 minutes ago, Mark L Horstead said:

Most helpful, and appreciated, that.

 

I'd guessed that a Class 73 would be the most suitable, and presume that there was no third rail service in the yard itself.

 

"SLU" - Standard Length Unit?

 

I bought The Railways of Beckenham a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Although booked for a class 73, class 33's could turn up from time to time.  The yard was not electrified, although the 73 was usually switched to diesel power whilst being uncoupled in the Down Platform prior to running round.

 

Sorry, yes SLU = Standard Length Unit = 21 feet or in simple terms the length of a two axle mineral wagon.

The coal depot was equipped with a discharge hopper and also lifting sections of rail to discharge mineral wagons through their end doors into the pit.  Over the years, the coal traffic would have mainly arrived in 21T hoppers although even in the early 1980's there was still the odd mineral wagon.

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No apology necessary - I looked SLU up after seeing your previous response, and was a little surprised to actually find an answer that made sense. I initially thought that it might be a TOPS wagon designation.

 

Roger Class 33s - more potential variety (and expense, but probably a trivial amount overall) and the shunting potential. The location of the switch to diesel power gives me a good idea of the end point for third-rail service into the yard - none at all.

 

I had found one or two photographs of the coal concentration depot, but do not remember it from any of my trips back. Nor do I remember seeing any hoppers, ever. My memory of mineral wagons is most likely pre-emigration (1965). I'm not sure at all what I'll do about the yard. I may just base it on whatever photographs I might find (no luck so far, but I found a shot of the north side of the signal box online last night). It may have to be largely fictional. I like mineral wagons.

 

And A4s (from grandfather-led visits to Mallard in its previous location).

 

And Hymeks.

 

And GWR pannier tanks.

 

I'll run those only when nobody (knowledgeable) is looking.

 

I promise.

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Yes, but that's a bit of a cliche, like burning houses. I'd rather just have them blow through occasionally with no excuse or justification whatsoever.

 

There will be some anachronisms because of my roughly ten-year period, and some licence taken, but I don't want to torture Rule 1 too much. I want to keep as much faith with prototype and period as possible/practicable.

 

.

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