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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 3 (June 1, 1936)

Our London Letter — Famous Locomotive Types

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Our London Letter
Famous Locomotive Types.

“Pacifics,” outside King's Cross Locomotive Sheds, London.

Of all steam locomotive types, probably the “Atlantic” and the “Pacific” are the best known, alike to railwaymen and railway users. These two designs of locomotives have performed, and are performing, wonderful work throughout the world of railways, although the “Atlantic” engine is rapidly disappearing from the track to make way for more powerful equipment.

The first “Atlantic” engine to be employed on the Home railways was the “Henry Oakley,” built in 1898, in the Doncaster shops of the Great Northern (now London & North Eastern) Railway. This historic locomotive is shortly to be scrapped, after nearly forty years of service in fast passenger working. Just prior to the construction of the “Henry Oakley,” a type of machine had been evolved in America which consisted of a fourcoupled bogie locomotive, with the addition of a pair of trailing wheels helping to support the very large firebox. This engine was the world's first “Atlantic,” and the “Henry Oakley” was, to all intents and purposes, an adaptation of the American plan. The first British “Atlantic” weighed 58 tons. It had two pairs of coupled wheels, 6 feet 8 inches in diameter, set very close together, and driven by outside cylinders. Many sister locomotives were built, and these performed fine service on the AngloScottish main-lines, later being relegated to the London-Cambridge, working out of Liverpool Street station in the metropolis.

Historic Locomotives Preserved.

Following its commendable policy of preserving historic locomotives, the London, Midland & Scottish Railway has recently restored and repainted two notable engines, and placed them on exhibition in Glasgow. These are the former Caledonian Railway 4-2-2 type engine No. 123, and the former Highland Railway 4-6-0 type locomotive, No. 103.

The 4-2-2 locomotive was actually the last engine with single driving wheels employed on the Home lines for public passenger service. Built in 1886, No. 123 played a prominent part in the historic “Race to Edinburgh.” Its single driving wheels are 7 feet in diameter. The other engine to be placed on show was the first 4-6-0 locomotive to be introduced in Britain, being designed in 1894 for hauling passenger trains over the heavilygraded Highland tracks. An especially interesting feature in its design is the double chimney for draught induction. Several similar locomotives continue to give good service over the Highland section of the L. M. & S. Railway.

Re-arranged on Area Basis.

Locomotive running-shed reorganisation has recently been undertaken on the L. M. & S. Railway. The depots have been re-arranged on an area basis, one shed forming the “headquarters” for a particular district, all the other sheds being simply “garages.” Locomotive repairs not calling for a visit to the works are carried
1,400 Class Locomotive, Madrid-Zaragoza-Alicante Railway, Spain.

1,400 Class Locomotive, Madrid-Zaragoza-Alicante Railway, Spain.

out at the “headquarter” shed in each district, thus enabling repair shops and equipment at the smaller depots to be eliminated. In addition, the concentration of locomotive supply and repair on this area basis enables greater use to be obtained from the power within that area, and eliminates redundancy and overlapping in the provision of motive power.

The various L. M. & S. running sheds are also being overhauled and modernised in respect of their layout and equipment, thus saving a considerable amount of time in the aggregate in handling engines on and off the sheds, in coaling, and in other running shed operations. About twenty-eight sheds have so far been modernised, involving the installation of mechanical coaling-plants, ash-lifting equipment, and so on.

Liverpool Street Station.

One of the most interesting passenger stations in the world is undoubtedly the Liverpool Street Station of the L. & N. E. R. in London. This immense station in a normal day deals with 1,260 trains, conveying nearly 230,000 passengers; while 10,000 bags of postal mails also are handled.

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London-Cambridge Express (L. and N.E. Railway) hauled by “Atlantic” Locomotives.

London-Cambridge Express (L. and N.E. Railway) hauled by “Atlantic” Locomotives.

Liverpool Street lies to the east of the City, and is in charge of a stationmaster, assisted by two deputy stationmasters, covering the period 7.0 a.m. to 11.0 p.m. Next come seven inspectors, fourteen station foremen, and a total personnel of 395, this figure including 63 ticket collectors and 90 porters. Main-line services in and out of Liverpool Street connect the metropolis with all parts of East Anglia, and an important service is that linking London with Harwich in connection with the L. & N. E. steamship route to the continent. In addition, the terminus handles the most intensive steam-operated suburban train service in the world.

Apart from the usual underground railway connections, there is an important link at Liverpool Street between the main-line railway and that interesting transportation undertaking—the Post Office Tube Railway —which runs east and west beneath the capital. Exchange of traffic is effected by spiral chutes and a conveyor belt 502 feet long. Over the Tube, no fewer than 920 cars of mails pass daily to and from Liverpool Street. The cars, of course, are somewhat smaller than the standard railway carriage.

For Third-class Passengers.

As part of its big new constructional programme, the Great Western Company is building in the Swindon Works 124 third-class corridor coaches of a new design, embodying many outstanding features. These coaches will be used on all main-line express services, and will provide a greater degree of comfort than has hitherto been possible. Each of the new vehicles is 61 feet long, 9 feet wide, has eight compartments, and seats 64 passengers. Entrance is by doors at each end of the car, and a side corridor is provided. Each coach is built with massive steel underframes to which is attached the body, separately constructed and entirely encased with steel built on a timber framework and fitted with a steel roof.

The outstanding feature of the new vehicles is the large observation windows, which stretch practically across the whole side of each compartment. The corridor partition has ben altered, and, by means of enlarged side windows and a wider sliding glass-panelled compartment door, an uninterrupted “window seat” view on either side is given to every passenger in the compartment. The interior scheme of decoration is in cream and brown. The seat backs are fluted and fashioned to fit the back,
A Northern Ireland Beauty Spot, Newcastle, County Down, viewed from the Railway Hotel. (Mourne Mountains in background).

A Northern Ireland Beauty Spot, Newcastle, County Down, viewed from the Railway Hotel. (Mourne Mountains in background).

and steamheating, electric lighting, and draughtfree windows add to passenger comfort. The coaches are excellently sprung, and the smoothness of running is a feature.

Popularity of the Camping Coach.

The camping coach holiday arrangement introduced by the Home railways three years ago, proved so popular that this season the group lines have placed at public disposal an additional 108 camping coaches, bringing the total number of these vehicles in use up to 323. Many extra sites have been selected for the coaches, these including the most attractive coastal and inland localities from Cornwall to the Highlands, and also Northern Ireland.

Bookable in advance, the camping coaches may be rented, with accommodation for six or more persons, at charges varying from #2/10/- to #5 per week. Their equipment includes everything a modern camper on holiday is likely to require. Bedclothes, chairs, crockery, cutlery, kitchen utensils, linen, mirrors, oil lamps, and in some cases even a wireless aerial, are supplied. Fresh stocks of bed and table linen are provided through the railway laundries each week. A condition of tenancy is that return railway tickets for the holiday journey are purchased by the temporary tenants, who are also in many instances able to send their luggage in advance to the coaches, which are under the charge of local station-masters.

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