Monthly Archives: June 2012

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1892 Worsdell 4-4-0 Classes M and Q North Eastern Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1892 Worsdell 4-4-0 Classes M and Q

North Eastern Railway

No.1869 as running shortly before withdrawal

 Wilson Worsdell, who succeeded his brother T.W.Worsdell as locomotive superintendent in 1890, built several classes of 4-4-0 engines for express work, which it will be convenient to deal with in two groups.

First came twenty engines designated Class M1, turned out in 1893, and numbered 1620-39.  They proved to be very speedy engines, and Nos. 1620 and 1621 both distinguished themselves in the 1895 Race to the North, when No. 1620 ran from York to Newcastle at an average speed of 61½ mph and No.1621 thence to Edinburgh at an average speed of 66 mph, the time of 113 minutes for the 124¼ miles remaining a record for many a day, if indeed it has ever been beaten.  Even the schedule of the high speed ‘Coronation’ train introduced in 1935 allowed 120 minutes for this section.

No.1619 as a 3 cylinder compound

There was also an odd engine, No.1619, which was built in 1894 as a 2-cylindered Worsdell – von Borries compound.  This system the NER had been adopting extensively under T.W.Worsdell, and his brother wished to try out an engine of his own on the same principle.  It proved a very satisfactory machine in this form, but nevertheless in 1898 it was altered to a new system of compound working, patented by one W.M.Smith, which involved the use of three cylinders, two low pressure outside and one high pressure between the frames.  The design provided that the engine could be worked either as a compound, a semi-compound or as a simple.  By the use of a second regulator live steam could be admitted into all three cylinders, an immense advantage in starting a heavy train.  An intermediate stage between the full simple and compound working could be obtained through a reducing valve controlled by a spring-loaded regulating valve which the driver could adjust to vary the pressure in the low pressure steam chest.  This method of semi-compound working also proved invaluable in working a heavy train over a steep gradient or under adverse conditions.

Although no more like 1619 appeared on the North Eastern, it can be regarded as a notable engine in that it was the direct ancestor of the very famous Johnson compound introduced on the Midland Railway in 1902, to be perpetuated by his successor R.M.Deeley, and again in large numbers by Sir Henry Fowler for the LMS after the grouping.

D17 No.1908 in LNER livery – C.Rosewarne

In anticipation of a renewal of the rivalry between the East and West Coast routes fro the Scottish traffic, and following on the exploits of Nos.1620 and 1621 the previous year, two more engines, Nos.1869 and 1870, were built in 1896, with 7’ 7¼” driving wheels, the largest coupled wheels ever used in this country.  These could  moreover be said to be the only engines ever constructed for the special purpose of racing, and it is a pity that owing to the abandonment of the historic races to the north they were never really called upon to show their paces, although they are said to have attained very high speeds on test.

Another thirty engines, Nos.1871-80, 1901-10, and 1921-30 appeared in 1896 and 1897, generally similar to the 1620 class but with larger cylinders.  These were known as Class Q.

All of the above engines lasted into LNER days, but they began to be taken out of service from 1927 onwards.

Nos.1619, 1869 and 1870 all went in 1930.  By 1946, only Nos.1873 and 1902 were left and as Nos.2111 and 2112 these two just survived into BR days, being scrapped in 1948.  No.1621 was not withdrawn until 1945, when it found an honourable resting place in York Museum, repainted in its old NER colours.

No.1621 in the National Railway Museum – Rob Marsden

Class M as 2-cyl compound  Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Cylinders (1) 19”x 26” (1) 28”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,

 Class M as 3-cyl compound  Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Cylinders (2) 20”x 24” (1) 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Weight – 53¼ tons,  LNER Classification – D19

Class M1   Driving wheels – 7’ 1¼”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Weight – 50¾ tons,  LNER Classification – D17/1

Class Q   Driving wheels – 7’ 1¼”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Weight – 49½ tons,  LNER Classification – D17/2

Class Q1   Driving wheels – 7’ 7¼”,  Cylinders – 20”x 26”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Weight – 50¾ tons,  LNER Classification – D18

No.1880 – M.Peirson

Canal News – Chesterfield Canal Festival

Chesterfield Canal Festival

  The Chesterfield Canal Trust will be holding its Festival at the new Staveley Town Basin near Chesterfield.

Tour the area by boat, vintage bus and steam train, try the minature train ride or have a go on a Segway. Plus, stalls, canal societies, children’s rides, canoeing, a clown, food and a real ale bar.

The entertainment marquee will being putting on music and fun all weekend, with a concert on the Saturday night featuring The Swing Commanders.

Staveley is on the western section of the Chesterfield Canal, which is not connected to the network, so this festival will be mainly for trail boats using the brand new slipway. However, there is a craning pad which the Trust will be using. Time for this facility can be booked.

For further information, or to book a stall or boat, please contact or 01246 477569

With both broad and narrow locks, rare wildlife, and impressive feats of engineering as the canal climbs into Derbyshire, the Chesterfield Canal has much to offer.

Known locally as ‘Cuckoo Dyke’, it runs from Chesterfield, through Worksop, to the River Trent at West Stockwith. The 46-mile canal has 59 narrow locks, six wide locks, and two tunnels – one of which, Norwood, collapsed at the start of the 20th century.

Fortunately, even though commercial traffic was scarce, the lower reaches were saved and have been popular with pleasure boats ever since. Much of the rest of the canal has been restored, and work is underway to once again create a water highway from Chesterfield to the Trent.

Some Early Lines – West Norfolk Junction Railway

Some Early Lines

West Norfolk Junction Railway

The GE’s 18 mile Wells on Sea – Heacham line was a link between the Hunstanton and the Wells – Dereham branches ‘across the top of Norfolk’.  It was a line of wide open spaces and the 4-4-0s ran fast from village to village, bending and swaying the waves of ripening corn.  The guard’s flag is raised as D16/3 No.62557 moves the 1.35pm Wells to Heacham out of Burnham Market on 17 May 1952.  Two weeks later the passenger trains had gone. – Ian L.Wright

Dates of operation 1866–1952 (passengers)

Successor Great Eastern Railway

Track gauge:   1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)

Length:  18½ miles

Headquarters:  Wells

The West Norfolk Junction Railway was a standard gauge 18½ mile single track railway running between Wells-on-Sea railway station and Heacham in the English county of Norfolk. It opened in 1866 and closed in 1953.

GE D16/3 4-4-0 No.62577 takes the sharp curve away from Wells on Sea with an afternoon train to Heacham, Easter 1952. The seemingly curious siting of the signal post is explained by the 180 degree curve round which trains approached Wells Junction. – P.B.Whitehouse

The West Norfolk Junction Railway was opened in August 1866. The line came from Heacham on a 18½ mile single track aimed at exploiting the great arc of coastline between Hunstanton and Yarmouth. 1866 saw the start of a major financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Overend Gurney Bank; the year also saw the outbreak of a “cattle plague” in North Norfolk which impacted on the cattle receipts on the line. The West Norfolk was absorbed into the Lynn and Hunstanton Railway in 1872 which in turn was acquired by the Great Eastern Railway in 1890.

During the Second World War, the railway’s strategic coastal location meant that it provided a natural ‘rampart’ behind which a potential beach invasion could be repelled. For this reason, a line of pillboxes were constructed along the railway.

The post-war boom experienced by the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton line was not felt on the West Norfolk Junction Railway whose inconveniently-sited stations contributed to declining passenger traffic. Passenger services from Wells were eventually withdrawn from 31 May 1952, but the line remained open to freight. However, following the North Sea flood of 1953, the track between Wells and Holkham was so severely damaged that British Rail considered it not worth repairing and the line was closed completely between these two places.

Up to the end of its existence, the line was one of the last where one could travel in gas-lit clerestory coaches hauled by Victorian locomotives.

The seaside terminus at Hunstanton in Victorian times.  GE ‘Intermediate’ 2-4-0 No.479 waits to leave for Kings Lynn. – Lens of Sutton

Present day

The majority of the route remains unobstructed. The stations at Heacham, Sedgeford, Stanford, Burnham Market and Wells-nest-the-Sea remain in good order, and large sections of the route remain in transport use as roadways and drives.

Holkham station has been demolished, although the WW2 pill boxes remain. The site of Docking station has been redeveloped as a housing estate, although the station house survives as a private residence, and the route into Wells has been partially redeveloped as housing, a school playing field and an industrial estate.

The Old Railway Station at Heacham, Norfolk.

The waiting rooms of this old railway station on the disused line between Kings Lynn and Hunstanton,has now been transformed into holiday homes.  Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]  © Copyright John Wernham and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Chasewater Railway – More Busy Weekends – Concert & Model Railway Show

Chasewater Railway – More Busy Weekends

Following the last two successful weekend events, the Chasewater Railway now has two more busy weekends to come. Firstly the Walsall Symphony Orchestra Concert on Saturday June 30th:Click to enlarge

Then on Saturday and Sunday July 7th & 8th, the Model Railway Exhibition:Click to enlarge

For reports and photographs of the ‘We’ll Meet Again’ day, go to Bob Anderson’s photos and Browhills Bob’s blog.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1892 2-4-2T Belfast & Northern Counties Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1892   2-4-2T   Belfast & Northern Counties Railway


No.103 in 1930

 For the 3’ 0” sections of the B & NCR, the locomotive superintendent, B.Malcolm, pleased with the success of his 2-cylinder compound 2-4-0 express engines, decided to apply the system to the narrow gauge, and turned out two 2-4-2Ts in 1892, Nos. 69 & 70.  In 1897 the numbers were altered to 110 & 111.  Two more followed in 1908-9, Nos. 112and 113, whilst another, No.103, came out in 1919, and finally No.104 in 1920, the last 2-cylinder compound to be built in Great Britain and probably the world.  No.110 was rebuilt with a rear bogie in 1931, becoming the only engine with the 2-4-4T wheel arrangement ever to run in these islands.  It was not very successful in this form, and was scrapped in 1946.  Nos. 112 and 113 became Nos.102 and 101 in 1920, and in 1930 No.102 was fitted with a coal bunker, fitted to the rear of the cab and the wheelbase lengthened by two feet.  These were the only alterations made to any of the class.  No.103 was broken up in 1938, and the remaining four engines, Nos. 101, 102, 104 and 111, subsequently became Nos.41-4. By this time the only remaining sections of 3’ 0” gauge were the old Ballycastle Railway and a small section of line at Larne, and when these too were finally closed in 1950, the four engines were broken up.

Class S  Driving wheels – 3’ 9”,  Cylinders – (1) 14¾”x 20”, (1) 21”x 20”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 13150 lb.,  Weight – 31 tons 17 cwt.

Class S1 (No.42 rebuilt)  Driving wheels – 3’ 9”,  Cylinders – (1) 14¾”x 20”, (1) 21”x 20”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 13150 lb.,  Weight – 33 tons.

Class S2 (No.110 rebuilt as 2-4-4T  Driving wheels – 3’ 9”,  Cylinders – (1) 14¾”x 20”, (1) 21”x 20”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 16438 lb.,  Weight – 44 tons 4 cwt.

The Irish gauge is 5 ft. 3 in., but the Northern Counties Committee (L.M.S.) has sixty-four miles of 3-ft. track in addition to 201 miles of the broad gauge. Here is a narrow-gauge 2-4-2 compound engine on a broad-gauge transhipment truck at Belfast. The initials “M.R.” stand for Midland Railway (now absorbed in the L.M.S.), which acquired the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway in 1903.

Amerton Railway Steam Gala 2012

Some Early Lines – Mid-Suffolk Light Railway

Some Early Lines

Mid-Suffolk Light Railway

The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway (aka The Middy) is a heritage railway in Suffolk, which in its heyday it was a branch line which ran for just 19 miles (31 km) from Haughley to Laxfield, Suffolk. The line became part of the London and North Eastern Railway in 1924 and the last trains ran on 26 July 1952. The Railway is now both a heritage railway and preservation museum run by a small but dedicated band of volunteers. The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway is currently the only steam preservation railway in Suffolk. There are plans to extend in each direction along the line.


The line was intended to run from Haughley to Halesworth, with a second branch running from Kenton station to Westerfield near Ipswich. The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, or Middy as it became affectionately known, was built to provide transport to the rural Suffolk communities who had no reliable transport links. It was built in accordance with the 1896 Light Railways Act, which allowed for cheaper construction methods in return for a speed restriction of 25 mph. The railway was built as cheaply as possible: the buildings were constructed using corrugated iron, and the route followed the natural contours of the land to minimise the need for embankments and bridges. The section from Haughley to Laxfield was completed and open for passenger traffic. Beyond Laxfield the line was built for approx mile to Cratfield over which an occasional freight train was run but the section fell into disuse. Some earthworks were begun between Cratfield and Halesworth but these were soon abandoned with now no evidence remaining. The section of about two miles of the branch from Kenton to Westerfield was completed as far as Debenham and a few goods trains were run but this also was soon abandoned. Some sections of trackbed and embankments still survive.


The railway was built too late, long after the great railway boom that had affected the country in the Victorian age, and soon came into financial difficulties. The planned railway had troubles from the very beginning, having disputes with the neighbouring Great Eastern Railway (GER) and local landowners. The railway was bankrupt before it opened. It was pure determination that kept the Middy running. The Railway opened to freight traffic in 1904 with the hope that this would bring in enough income to complete the line, but by 1908, although the line was making an income, it still was not enough to cover its original debts and for work to continue. Finally on Tuesday 29 September 1908 the line was opened to passengers with two trains in either direction on weekdays, but this failed to bring great trade as many of the stations were sited miles from the communities they were meant to serve.

  London and North Eastern Railway

In 1924 the Middy lost its independence and was grouped together with the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), but apart from the replacement of second-hand rolling stock, the railway continued as it always had done. The railway’s original LNER Class J64 locomotives were replaced by LNER Class J65 or “Blackwall Tanks” which were eventually replaced by the older but stronger LNER Class J15.

The passenger traffic began to decline over the next couple of decades as more people bought motorcars and goods traffic was increasingly going by road. This all changed with the beginning of the Second World War. With petrol rationing, the Middy became an important transport link and with US airbases built near the Mendlesham and Horham stations, the line was relied upon for transporting military equipment and regularly used by American serviceman. The war brought more traffic to the line – both goods and passengers – as the railway became important in helping the war effort. This all came at a cost to the railway. No effort was made to maintain the rolling stock or the line itself, like the rest of Britain’s railway network.

British Railways

After the war the Middy entered into the ownership of British Railways in 1948. Although business was dwindling and the line was in a state of neglect and decay after being exhausted during WW2, the line became an attraction for enthusiasts and railway management due to the picturesque landscape through which the railway ran; and its informal atmosphere. The end of the war meant a surplus of ex-army lorries which took away the agricultural business, the main source of income for the line. The Middy eventually closed in 1952, 44 years after it had opened for passenger traffic.

Nearly 40 years after it closed, a group of enthusiasts formed a Company to recreate the Middy on the site of the Brockford and Wetheringsett railway station, now the corner of a large field.

The Mid-Suffolk line closed on Saturday, 26th July, 1952.  Here is the 11.15 am from Haughley headed by a sparkling clean J15 class 0-6-0 No.65447 climbing the 1 in 42 out of Haughley.  There are four, instead of the usual two coaches to accommodate enthusiasts.  G.R. Mortimer

The task ahead

The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Society had an ambitious task ahead of them due to the temporary nature of the original line. As far as is known, no coaches or locomotives of the Middy are still in existence and the corrugated iron buildings were either left to rust or sold to become farm sheds. However, the Company has been recreating typical scenes from the Middy’s past by using restored coaches and wagons that would have run on its bigger neighbour, the Great Eastern Railway, and its successor, the London & North Eastern Railway. The Society has been able to collect a number of Great Eastern coaches, two are now in working order, with many more under restoration. The museum has also been able to collect the remaining station buildings from former Middy railway stations.

Non-railway artifacts

The one aim of the society which makes it stand out from any other railway museum is that they are not just interested in getting a locomotive and coaches and taking passengers up and down the line. Goods wagons, road going railway delivery vehicles and line side artifacts are given just as much care and attention as the main attractions.

Another aim of the society is to bring together an archive of photos and original artifacts from the working life of the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway. Many of these are on display at the museum.


The museum operates from April to the end of September on Sundays and Bank Holidays, with Santa specials in December. Most of the Open Days have a Special Event to accompany the running of the steam locomotive.

A full list of the events and activities can be found on the Mid-Suffolk light railway society’s web site.

Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum

The small railway museum at Wetheringsett, Suffolk. First started in the 1990s collecting has meant a good variety of items. Now including many articles of pre-grouping rolling stock mostly of Great Eastern Railway origin. Steam is the main form of traction with Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Falmouth Docks and Engineering Co. Loco No. 3 running services.   © Copyright Ashley Dace and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1891 – Dean 2-2-2 ‘Convertibles’ and 4-2-2 Great Western Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1891 – Dean 2-2-2 ‘Convertibles’ and 4-2-2

Great Western Railway

One of the ‘convertibles’, No.3024 during its short period as a broad gauge engine.

 As early as the 1870s it was becoming obvious that the Great Western was fighting a losing battle over the question of its broad gauge, and that it would only be a matter of time before it had to be abandoned in favour of the 4’ 8½” gauge universal for the rest of the country.  From 1876 onwards, therefore, several classes of engines were constructed for the 7’ 0” with a view to their conversion when the time came.  They had their driving wheels placed outside the frames and completely exposed, presenting a very ugly appearance.  After conversion they became outside-framed engines with a very considerable improvement in looks.  The classes involved were 0-6-0 engines, both tender and saddle tanks, some 0-4-2Ts (these after conversion to standard gauge went through various stages of rebuilding as 0-4-2T, 0-4-4T, 2-4-0, and 4-4-0 tender engines) three 2-4-0s and eight 2-2-2s.

Dean “Convertible” 2-2-2 No. 3024, later converted to narrow gauge and named “Storm King.” Photograph by F. Moore

The last mentioned belonged to a new class of thirty engines under construction by William Dean fro main line work on the standard gauge routes, but owing to the urgent need for increased power on the broad gauge during the last years of operation, eight of them were turned out as 7’ 0” engines to help the ageing ‘Iron Dukes’ on the expresses.  These engines were Nos. 3021-8, the complete series running from 3001-30.  They ran only for about a year as broad gauge engines, from 1891 until May 1892, when the 7’ 0” gauge was finally abolished.

No.3050 Royal Sovereign in 1915, the last of the class to remain in service.  It had then acquired an extended smokebox and top feed apparatus on the boiler.

In 1893 all were named, many of them perpetuating names from the scrapped broad gauge ‘Iron Duke’ class.  From 1894 they were all converted to 4-2-2 tender engines, and between then and 1898 another fifty were constructed to this design, the whole class then running from Nos. 3001-80.  They did fine express work fro some years, but were gradually superseded by the larger coupled engines of the early 1900s.  In later years many acquired varying types of modified boiler, some of the larger domeless variety.  All were scrapped between 1908 and 1915.

Driving wheels – 7’ 8½”,  Bogie wheels – 4’ 1”,  Trailing wheels – 4’ 7”,  Cylinders – 19”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 12738 lb.,  Weight – 49 tons.

GWR 4-2-2 Achilles class 7′-8” Single No 3050 ‘Royal Sovereign’ is seen at the head on an express near Knowle and Dorridge circa 1909. The class were then officially known as the 3031 Achilles class, but are frequently known as the 3001 class or ‘Dean Singles’. The rest of the class appeared in batches until the last, number 3080 Windsor Castle, was delivered in March 1899. The final ‘Dean Singles’ to be withdrawn were numbers 3050 Royal Sovereign and 3074 e- Princess Helena in December 1915.

180 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News Spring 1995 – Part 3 From the Boardroom

180 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

 From Chasewater News Spring 1995 – Part 3

From the Boardroom

Lichfield District Council and the Railway

By David Bathurst – Chairman

It is a little over 12 months since Lichfield District Council (LDC) assumed responsibility for Chasewater in succession to Walsall MBC.  Maybe now is the opportune time to reflect on the Railway’s relations with our new landlords during this period.

It is generally recognised that LDC has inherited an area of recreational land and some very modest amenities where ‘investment’ had become an unknown concept.    Whilst Walsall MBC must accept some responsibility for this state of affairs, it is however a fact that the plans for the Birmingham Northern Relief Road (BNRR) have prevented any serious attempt to maximise the commercial and leisure potential of the area.  The BNRR may or may not happen and whichever way it goes, it will have a major impact on both the Park and the Chasewater Railway.  Until a decision is made and the first contract has been let, Chasewater will inevitably remain in limbo.

It is in this context the Board has made a number of proposals to LDC and it is similarly in this context that LDC has been unable to offer anything other than a series of courteous and sympathetic acknowledgements.

This does not mean that LDC is sitting back on Chasewater issues.  The council recently approved a document on Chasewater’s future with a view to inviting public participation and consultation.  The Railway is awaiting a copy of the document with interest and will certainly be wishing to make representations.  It will also be interesting to see whether the results of the Municipal Elections on Thursday May 4th 1995 will have any effect on LDC’s policies towards the future of Chasewater.

For the information of members, the following is an indication of the matters currently with LDC, awaiting decision.

Presentation to the Council

The Railway has indicated a willingness to make formal presentation to LDC’s Leisure Services Committee to define more clearly the current and potential roles of Chasewater Railway within the context of Chasewater Park.

Lichfield District Local Plan

The Railway has submitted a formal objection to the Draft Local Plan.  The Railway wishes to see an additional policy added to the section related to Chasewater, namely “The District Council will continue to make provision for the development of the Chasewater Railway”.

The Railway will be represented at the Public Local Enquiry which commences on 5th September 1885 and which is expected to last 8 weeks.

Extension to AngleseyWharf

The Railway has asked LDC to give planning protection to the alignment of a possible extension to our operational line, to Anglesey Wharf.  Unfortunately the proposed line of the Burntwood By-pass means that the Railway extension would need to intrude into two SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest).  This could represent a major threat to the plans for extending our operational line.

At the same time the Railway has invited LDC to examine the land ownership issues and to agree, in principle, to the grant of any necessary leases.

BNRR (M6 Toll): Brownhills West Station

The Railway has asked LDC to honour a commitment made by Walsall MBC to provide an alternative site for the relocation of Brownhills West Station and associated facilities should this be necessary because of construction of the BNRR.

Causeway/Norton Lakeside Station

LDC has been invited to assist in undertaking finishing works on the Causeway where the Railway has neither the expertise nor finance to carry out a substantial scheme of environmental improvement.  In particular the concealment of materials at the water’s edge by proper treatment works could well bring about a significant improvement in appearance.

In a related proposal, LDC has been invited to ’adopt’ the footpath across the Causeway and in the vicinity of Norton Lakeside Station within a co-ordinated approach to access the north shore area of Chasewater.  This would not involve the footpaths becoming formal public footpaths but would nevertheless be of benefit in a wide range of senses.


LDC has been asked to participate in some tangible form of official opening of the extension across the Causeway and opening of Norton Lakeside Station.

Land Tenure

LDC has been made aware of the Railway’s concern regarding the current leases which may not be sufficient to enable the Railway to gain access to finance potentially available through various funding regimes (see also below).


LDC has been asked to undertake a survey, in conjunction with the Railway’s surveyors, for the purpose of identifying the physical boundaries of the land held on lease by the Railway.  Significant changes in the landscape at the easterly end of our line makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint the extent of our lease without resort to modern surveying technology.

Carriage Shed

LDC has been asked to consider making a deemed application for outline planning permission for the provision of covered accommodation at Brownhills West adjacent to the shed compound.  The close proximity of houses might represent some difficulty although this would be removed if the BNRR were to proceed as the houses referred to would be demolished.

If the Railway were to seek National Heritage Lottery Funding for this project, it would need greater security of tenure (that is to say, a freehold interest or a long leasehold interest in the land concerned.  As an alternative, an application for Lottery funding could be made as a collaborative application between LDC and the Railway.  LDC have been asked to consider the implications.

In view of the fact that Lottery funding provides a contribution only towards cost and that a partnership approach is essential, LDC have agreed to enquire into what other grant regimes may be available to help the Railway to construct this essential covered accommodation.

Light Railway Order

Walsall MBC actually made a number of applications in the 1980s to the Department of Transport for a Light Railway Order.  The applications were so flawed that they were eventually withdrawn and put into abeyance.  The Railway has invited LDC to pick up the pieces and to seek the modern day equivalent of a LRO on the Railway’s behalf.


From this summary, members will surely form an appreciation of the importance of a good relationship between the Railway and our landlords.  Each of the items mentioned has generated considerable correspondence and has involved lengthy meetings with LDC Officers.  We must not allow ourselves to become impatient, particularly in view of the uncertainties surrounding the BNRR.  Operating a Railway involves a wide range of activities not generally known to the membership and where it is necessary for a highly trained professional and mature approach to be taken by all concerned.  There can be no certainty as to the response of LDC in relation to any or all of the matters which are currently on the table with them.  What is certain, however, is that the Council is committed to the development of Chasewater Park and, once the BNRR issue is determined, there must inevitably be significant changes on the horizon.

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1891 – ‘Intermediate’ 2-4-0 Great Eastern Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1891 – ‘Intermediate’ 2-4-0 Great Eastern Railway

No.486 as originally built

T.Holden’s mixed traffic class for the GER, 100 engines being turned out between 1891 and 1902, Nos.417-506 and 1250-59.  The last ten were renumbered 407-16 in 1920.  All had 7000 added to their numbers after the grouping. These engines were a small-wheeled version of the T19s but owing to their general usefulness and adaptability lasted much longer, none being withdrawn until 1926.  By 1940 a small stud of eighteen remained, and these were kept in service for many more years.  They were renumbered 2780-97 in 1946, and duly became BR 62780-97 on Nationalisation.  These too began to disappear from 1954 onwards, but in 1959 one was still in service, No.62785, old 490.  It was the last 2-4-0 engine to remain at work in Great Britain (excluding Ireland).  The locomotive is now preserved as part of the National Collection in the old colours of the GER.

Great Eastern Railway T26 (or E4) No.490 (BR 62785), near to Bressingham, Norfolk, Great Britain.

Class T26 2-4-0  The locomotive is on loan from the national railway museum.  Date 1 April 2010 Source From this image at; transferred by User:RHaworth using geograph_org2commons. Author Ashley Dace Permission  (Reusing this file)  Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

 A few of the class were fitted with side window cabs in the 1930s for working on the exposed Darlington – Penrith line of the LNER, but apart from this and the fitting of lipped chimneys they have altered little during their existence.

Driving wheels – 5’ 8”,  Cylinders – 17½”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 14700 lb.,  Weight – 40¼ tons,  GER classification T26,  LNER classification – E4, BR classification – 1MT

62797 Robert Langham