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Locomotives on wagon turntables


Guy Rixon
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A wagon turntable fest at Smithfield ......

 

I'm sure I've read or heard somewhere about Pannier tanks clonking over wagon turntables here, and again it's hard to see how it was shunted if they didn't.

 

Drawing lifted from 'London Reconnections'.

post-26817-0-50984600-1503036367_thumb.jpg

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A wagon turntable fest at Smithfield ......

I'm sure I've read or heard somewhere about Pannier tanks clonking over wagon turntables here, and again it's hard to see how it was shunted if they didn't'.

I like the ones arranged at 45 degrees, presumably because the track centres are too tight. Not noticed anything like that before.
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Whilst this is one from the preservation era, I think it merits a mention. At Buckfastleigh on the SDR there is a small wagon turntable at the back of the works to give access to the boiler shop. Pannier No. 1369 can fit on it as well as a number of the smaller locos.

http://www.southdevonrailwayassociation.org/News-and-Press-Releases/Buck-Turntable.html

20120320_1369_turn-1.jpg

20120320_1369_turn-2.jpg

20120320_1369_turn-3.jpg

 

http://www.southdevonrailwayassociation.org/News-and-Press-Releases/1369_turned_20120320.html

Edited by Corbs
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A wagon turntable fest at Smithfield ......

 

I'm sure I've read or heard somewhere about Pannier tanks clonking over wagon turntables here, and again it's hard to see how it was shunted if they didn't.

 

Drawing lifted from 'London Reconnections'.

 

It's pretty hard to see how anything was shunted here if they did!  Where are the reception roads?  How were trains made up? It makes no sense at all unless wagons were handled one or two at a time, and I suspect the traffic demanded a lot more than that! An amazing place that must have been fascinating to watch in operation.

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Johnster

 

My guess, no more, is that a train of full meat wagons arriving from the west (left) was backed into the road nearest the main lines, then the loco beetled-off east, crossed over, ran past, then backed onto a cut of empties waiting for it in the second or third road down.

 

They probably split the incoming trains into halves or thirds, made up the outgoing ones likewise, but it must have been like one of those nine-square puzzles, with only one blank space .......... I certainly haven't worked out how to deal with brakevans yet!

 

I think you should build a full working model of it, and set puzzles at exhibitions.

 

ASmay

 

Fantastic videos!

 

I spotted so many infringements of good H&S practices per minute that I'm now nearly aploplectic! It's a wonder that those guys had and hands and legs left between them.

 

Kevin

Edited by Nearholmer
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great little films, good to see how the turntables were actually operated too - wagon sent a little bit past, place the chock on the rail, pull the wagon back onto the chock. And the table 'stop' consisting of a metal flap which fits into a gap on the edge!

very simple really, but effective, a large depot running a full tilt would really be something to see

Edited by keefer
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Johnster

 

My guess, no more, is that a train of full meat wagons arriving from the west (left) was backed into the road nearest the main lines, then the loco beetled-off east, crossed over, ran past, then backed onto a cut of empties waiting for it in the second or third road down.

 

They probably split the incoming trains into halves or thirds, made up the outgoing ones likewise, but it must have been like one of those nine-square puzzles, with only one blank space .......... I certainly haven't worked out how to deal with brakevans yet!

 

I think you should build a full working model of it, and set puzzles at exhibitions.

 

ASmay

 

Fantastic videos!

 

I spotted so many infringements of good H&S practices per minute that I'm now nearly aploplectic! It's a wonder that those guys had and hands and legs left between them.

 

Kevin

 

I'm not building a model of that; my mental health is fragile enough already!  Imagine trying to operate it!  On second thoughts, don't, or your head'll go squerly...

 

Your explanation makes sense, as much as anything can with this particular track layout; as I say, it must have been a fantastic place to watch in operation.  I would suggest that there are reception sidings not far off-scene, and traffic approaches the complex without brake vans and possibly propelled.  It is entirely possible bordering on probable that some at least of those guys were missing the odd hand or leg.

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No reception sidings.

 

Added to which, trains had to dodge in and out in the short intervals between a very intense passenger service.

 

K

 

PS: interesting read here, about a girder being dropped on top of a passing train during the construction of the place in question http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/BoT_AldersgateStreet1866.pdf

Edited by Nearholmer
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The trains to Smithfield goods depot were very short. I think the limit in the sectional appendix was something like 18 wagons + brake van. There was a class of special, short brake vans for this working. suggesting that every last inch of train length counted!

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FWIW, here's an OS extract of Whitecross St. depot:

 

post-22875-0-78086800-1503157278_thumb.png

 

The free space east of the turnout at the end of the entry/exit loop is about 85 feet.

 

Also, the internal wagon lifts and traverser:

 

 1997-7397_DY_11124.jpg

Edited by Guy Rixon
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I'm sure that, at some point, rail-served goods depots in the centres of towns will get re-invented.

 

They're such a potentially environmentally-friendly way of getting goods into very densely populated areas, almost un-noticed. By using 'miniature' containers on wheels, and electrically powered (autonomous?) flatbed road transporters, the 'last mile' could be achieved easily, and 99% of the manual-handling obviated.

 

K

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I like the ones arranged at 45 degrees, presumably because the track centres are too tight. Not noticed anything like that before.

 

For the top two tracks that could well be the case.  Along the two lower tracks there are turntables in line so the track centres are clearly wide enough there. The lower three 45deg turntables appear to be arranged like that to make easier access to the two tracks leading into the loading dock at each location with the least amount of turntables.

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I've just noticed that the turntables on the siding nearest the running lines are drawn differently - my surmise is that these are the "locomotive proof" ones.

 

K

 

 

Those turntables are drawn with only one track rather than two tracks at 90 degrees. Since the approach tracks aren't at 90 degrees, it makes no sense to have the second track.

 

It's possible to work the depot without a loco passing over any of the turntables, assuming that a train fits in any one of the sidings, which it would at 18 wagons + brake. The northernmost road is the arrival road and the loco backs the train in from the Up Widened line over the scissors crossing at the north-east of the depot, stopping with the loco on the crossing, just clear of the turntable. The loco then runs back onto the Up Widened line, then crosses over to the Down Widened line and runs to the west of the depot. The loco then sets back onto the depot's exit line and parks by the signal box next to that line. The depot handles the incoming wagons and then assembles the outgoing ones on the second and third roads counting from the north. Loco backs down on the turntable-free road and away.

 

I don't think that locos were originally supposed to work through the depot, as there is no clear path from entry to exit road. However, if one wanted to avoid running round on the Widened Lines, then three turntables need to be uprated: the eastern one in the arrival road and the two in the second road from the north.

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Ah, I see what you mean about the 45, as opposed to 90, degree logic.

 

Your shunting surmise is similar to the one I set out above.

 

I wish I could remember where I read/heard the account of working these trains, given by a loco driver IIRC.

 

Waaaay back, when I was a very small boy, I was with an uncle at either Baker Street or Great Portland Street, returning from a trip to the zoo, when a Pannier came through with a train. What I don't know is whether it was an LT one with a Watford Tip train, or a BR one on a meat train, all I've got is a mental snapshot of a loco emerging from a tunnel, right in front of us, plus lots of steam/smoke, and the noise of it rumbling by. It was definitely a Pannier of some sort, and it was definitely a big surprise!

 

K

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Looking again at the Smithfield layout, the things that I'm curious about are the working of brake vans, and the departure limitations. I guess the brake vans are rolled across the site when a line is clear. As for departure to the west, only the two middle lines  can be used, while four are available for arrivals reversing in from the east. With the sheer amount of siding space, I imagine that trains were brought in as and when paths  were available, so that unloading could continue without delays.

What else was brought in besides meat? Might ice and sawdust have been come by train too.

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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My guess is that the van went into the turntable-free siding on the left, then got moved to the neck on the right.

 

The place was definitely envisaged as a general goods depot, as well as serving the market, which is why it had the spiral cart road that later got used as access when it became a car park. I found a photo on line of an open wagon marked as reserved for linoleum traffic from Staines to Smithfield on line; all those city offices must have needed acres of brown Lino!

 

K

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Looking again at the Smithfield layout, the things that I'm curious about are the working of brake vans, and the departure limitations. I guess the brake vans are rolled across the site when a line is clear. As for departure to the west, only the two middle lines  can be used, while four are available for arrivals reversing in from the east. With the sheer amount of siding space, I imagine that trains were brought in as and when paths  were available, so that unloading could continue without delays.

What else was brought in besides meat? Might ice and sawdust have been come by train too.

 

Thanks

 

Dave

 

 

Smithfield was a general goods depot. It just happened to have a privileged position w.r.t a meat market - and Smithfield Market also sold things other than meat IIRC. The meat went up in lifts to the market floor (or to cold stores, some of which may have been in an adjoining building, I think).

 

Other goods could be moved out be road. The circle on the plan shown earlier in this thread is a spiral road down to the rail-served floor and there is a loading bank for carts. I don't know what warehousing space they had there; possibly very little by the normal standards of City-of-London depots.

 

Smithfield didn't do livestock and it didn't do coal, but most other classes of goods could be sent there. There were cranes for heavyish consignments, but IIRC there was a limit in the length of goods that could be handled.

 

There were trains throughout the day, and I think they were regular, not "runs as requires".

 

Interestingly, the AA7 vans used on this route were originally vacuum piped but not vacuum braked (they were braked later). This only makes sense in a brake van if there is one van at each end of the train.

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Interestingly, the AA7 vans used on this route were originally vacuum piped but not vacuum braked (they were braked later). This only makes sense in a brake van if there is one van at each end of the train.

If the train is fitted all that's needed in the van is a brake valve to let air into the brake pipe. The van itself doesn't necessarily need vacuum brakes on its own wheels.

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  • 4 years later...
On 17/08/2017 at 23:13, Nearholmer said:

The Midland Railway Goods Depot at Whitecross Street, just short of Moorgate on the City Widened Lines, is one that I think might have had a "locomotive proof" wagon turntable.

 

From what I can work out, the railway level (in a combination of cuttings, tunnels, and basements) track plan was as below.

 

The wagon lifts led up to a street-level warehouse, which was obliterated in the blitz, containing traversers and a set of points.

 

If locos couldn't cross the turntable, goodness knows how it was shunted ....... in fact, even if they could, goodness knows ......

 

Kevin

post-26817-0-40469600-1503008026_thumb.jpg

 

Somewhat late in the day:

 

898318332_RFB20628Whitecrosscrop.jpg.fc5b6c2c29af7615cdd0205621ed36d5.jpg

 

[Crop from Midland Railway Study Centre Item 20628.]

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