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PGH's photographs of British Railways from c1960


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On the western section the contractors used an 0-4-0 diesel electric built jointly by Brush and Beyer Peacock in 1958, hired from Brush's Loughborough Works where it had been used as one of the works shunters

 

 

 

 

No, it can't be, it couldn't be, could it?

Well blow me, it's D2999.

Well, not the actual one, but of the 5 or so that were built.

 

Mike.

Edited by Enterprisingwestern
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The Ruabon-Barmouth line seems to have lain derelict for a very long time between closure and demolition - about three and a half years; I wonder whether there was any particular reason for that. 

 

Closure of the line was complicated and the following information is quoted directly from the excellent Industrial Railway Society publication 'Industrial Locomotives of North Wales' :

 

Llangollen to Dolgellau closed to freight  2.11.1964

Ruabon to Dolgellau passenger services were due for closure on 18.1.1965, however they ceased on 12.12.1964 due to flood damage near Llandderfel as also did the Llangollen to Trevor freight service.  Passenger services were reinstated between Ruabon and Llangollen, and Bala and Dolgellau on 17.12.1964, then ceased as planned on 18.1.1965.

Freight services between Llangollen and Trevor also resumed on 17.12.1964.

Freight services between Ruabon and Llangollen closed on 1.4.1968.

 

So the last part of the line didn't actually close until 1.4.1968

 

Demolition started from the flood damaged section in June 1968 heading east and reached Ruabon Junction in May 1969.  It started west from the damaged section in July 1968 and reached Barmouth Junction in February 1969

 

There was a further complication mentioned in the Foxline publication on the line - 'Scenes from the past 9: Railways of North Wales - The Llangollen Line' , the line was originally closed to passengers on 2.11.1964 like the Llangollen to Dolgellau freight service, but passenger services were reinstated on 23.11.1964 due to the failure to provide alternative bus services

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didnt the Llangollen railway use a shunter like the port sunlight loco for putting the line back in its early days?

They had two diesels that were used during the early rebuilding of the line. A lot of the track used came from Burmah at Ellesmere Port

 

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This one was also from Burmah (I think)

 

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And this one came from Cadburys at Moreton on the Wirral. After a few years it wasn't being used so it was returned to Cadburys and was "plinthed" for a further few years outside the factory; I believe it is now at Bourneville.

 

The photos were taken 1980/1.

Edited by flyingsignalman
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In April 1962 I rode the Wellington to Much Wenlock line in single unit railcar and then from Buildwas Junction down the Severn Valley line as far as Bewdley.

 

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Bewdley Station, somewhat more deserted than you would find it today !

 

Many, many thanks for that.

 

In the summer of 1962 I was 13 years old. I remember arriving on my bike on a glorious summer's day and sitting on that very seat with my bar of chocolate and a bottle of pop. A pannier tank was shunting those very wagons in the back road, and I watched fascinated as the shunter flicked the 3-link coupling onto the hook, seemingly without effort. Seeing my interest he kindly asked me if I would like to have a go. Needless to say I failed miserably, although with a bit of help I eventually got it hooked up again.

 

We had the entire station to ourselves, in timeless silence. It was a magical day, but even at that young age I had an uneasy sense that it was all under threat.

 

Amazing that it is all still there, when so much else has gone.

 

Many thanks again for the pic.

 

Martin.

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HI 

I was born in 1966 and misses steam working, I so wished i had seen it.

I did go to Nine Elms in the summer of 67, when i was about a year and a half old , but do not remember any of it. :cry:

I do have two photo's of myself taken by my father standing next to 41298 and a West county.

 

Darren01

Edited by darren01
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Didn't the fastest rate of closures take place when the Wilson Government was in power?

As the Beeching Report's recommendations were sadly not really put on hold I suspect you are correct. However I believe Barbara Castle (good Surname that), as a non car driver, stepped in to stop the carnage so I've been told. However, my knowledge of that period is hazy as I was stupidly becoming more interested in girls rather than trains.

P

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I wonder how much the continuance of closures post-1964 was because it was too difficult to stop those which had already been approved, and how much due to the relative influence of road and rail unions (the former, the T&GWU and AEU, were much larger contributors to Labour Party funds than ASLEF/NUR/TSSA were, and had more sponsored MPs). Many of the closures were in rural areas, the fiefdom of the Conservatives and Liberals, and so of lesser concern to a Labour government. I recollect reading (possibly in something about George Thomas) that the only reason the Central Wales line survived was because it went through so many marginal constituencies.

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The fact that the Beeching report was issued in 1962 does not mean that closures necessarily followed soon afterwards. For instance, the passenger service on my local line (Coventry-Nuneaton) was a Beeching victim, but lasted to early 1965 before closure.  

 

Graham

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The fact that the Beeching report was issued in 1962 does not mean that closures necessarily followed soon afterwards. For instance, the passenger service on my local line (Coventry-Nuneaton) was a Beeching victim, but lasted to early 1965 before closure.  

 

Graham

Indeed- part of the reason behind this was so as not to flood the market with scrap, causing prices to fall; at the time, scrap from British Railways accounted for something approaching a sixth of the UK supply. I have an inkling that some of the last closures attributable to the Beeching Report were in the early 1970s (Clayton West and Alston ring a vague bell). There were other closures, though I can't remember which, which hadn't been in the Report, I believe.

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Lest we forget, many hopelessly unremunerative branches closed long before Beeching. Oldham was unlucky and lost its Oldham-Greenfield-Delph services in 1955 and Oldham-Guide Bridge and Oldham -Stockport in 1959. Diggle exchange sidings were virtually out of use by 1960-61. DMU's started in 1958 on the sole remaining passenger line and the only Beeching casualty was the Royton Junction to Royton Branch. The town's last rail services were finally removed only recently and its only rail transport today is trams. Who would have believed this would come about back in 1954 with the amount of traffic coming into and out of the many yards and sidings. The tide turned so rapidly along with the elimination of steam, wagonload traffic and much else that it is small wonder enthusiasts of the day were taken off-guard and still hold the 1950s and early 1960s in deep regard.

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I once heard it said that more route miles were closed in the ten years before Beeching than in the ten years after. 

 

Some of those that come to mind on the Western Region:

The Midland & South western Junction

All the lines to Brecon

The Eastern Valleys from Newport.

Most of the Rhondda & Swansea Bay

Ashburton

Moretonhamptead

Teign Valley

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Philip, you're a star. The first shot at Mumps in 1960 could have had me on that Lanky 0-6-0. Oldham was as bleak as it looks in your pictures.

 

Your view of a Cravens DMU in Royton Station is the year after one of these Units went through that wall at the platform end. I was handed up to the footplate crew of a loco there circa 1943-4 during a wartime journey from Hyde, but they handed me back!  Apparent newly ballasted track might be suffering from acid rain. Middleton station was ever such....a right dilapadated affair.

 

I know folk like to model lanky-grot but who on earth would model this with its damp black 'soil'. I offer no apologies to Oldhamers. PGH's pictures capture that awful town to a tee.

 

Oldham had quite a dramatic skyline with dark mill chimneys against a leaden sky. Certainly left a deep impression on me, aged three, when we visited my mum's friend who lived in Chadderton.

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T.R. Gourvish British Railways - A Business History  (1948 - 1973) lists the following closures by minister after the Beeching report up to the end of 1973.

 

Marples (Con) - 1,436 miles closed.

Fraser (Lab)  - 819 miles closed

Castle (Lab) - 606 miles closed

Marsh (Lab) - 419 miles closed

Mulley (Lab) - 227 miles closed

Peyton (Con) - 90 miles closed

 

 

Note - Marples would have closed a lot before the Beeching report. But all the big ones S&D, GC, Waverley etc., were done under Labour. It is interesting to read how Barbara Castle tried to stop the rate of closures but struggled - she was too new at the job to fight the Ministry and the BRB!

 

Rob

 

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Moving on to the Barmouth to Ruabon line:

 

 

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Bala Junction August 1962 - 7821 on a Ruabon train taking water with the connecting train to Bala extreme right

 

 

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7418 on arrival at Bala Station

 

 

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Bala Station with the coaches shunted out of the way to the other platform between trains

 

 

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View from the end of Bala Station platform towards Bala Junction, loco depot in centre distance to left of the double track line and the goods shed with its castellated end wall on the right

 

 

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7414 being prepared at the loco depot

 

 

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7414 ready to depart on a Wrexham train

 

 

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Llandrillo Station was about halfway between Bala Junction and Corwen

 

 

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7414 on arrival at Wrexham General Station

 

I have no idea why i have this in my collection...

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Presumably that signal diagram dates from the period after the line to Trawsfynydd had been severed for the reservoir.

As i said i have no eyed deer why i have it or to why it is like that. It's been filed away in the 'silly thing's other regions do' folder. I ought to find the original and get it somewhere it could be appreciated. I've always had in my minds eye taking it to the Bala Lake Railway on a jaunt round Wales, but that wont be happening for a while. Mrs LNERGE wont be up for that for some time yet methinks.

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As i said i have no eyed deer why i have it or to why it is like that. It's been filed away in the 'silly thing's other regions do' folder. I ought to find the original and get it somewhere it could be appreciated. I've always had in my minds eye taking it to the Bala Lake Railway on a jaunt round Wales, but that wont be happening for a while. Mrs LNERGE wont be up for that for some time yet methinks.

Very glad its in your collection!

Despite the date in the corner of the diagram (21/6/61) a photo dated 31/5/1963 in "Scenes from the past No9 The Llangollen Line, Ruabon to Barmouth" shows the signalling apparently unchanged since the last goods train ran to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 27/1/1961.

 

I have seen a photo showing the line severed as per your diagram but I can't (as usual) find it at the moment.

 

Regarding the signal 23 and the discs 20/21, in "Scenes from the past No25 Bala Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog" a couple of photos dated Ca1958 show a wooden signal with a route indicator but by 1963 it had been replaced as shown.

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