Monthly Archives: March 2013

228 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Spring 1999 – Part 7

228 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Spring 1999 – Part 7

Loco Shed 1

Alfred Paget & Invicta - Gricers' Day 9-10-1977

Loco Shed 2

Pic S100 Axle Box

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1904 – ‘Precursors’ and ‘George Vs’ London & North Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1904 – ‘Precursors’ and ‘George Vs’

London & North Western Railway

5275No. 5275 ‘Tiger’ about 1925 in a somewhat rare intermediate stage of rebuild, having acquired a Belpaire boiler whilst still retaining the original short smokebox.

When George Whale succeeded F.W.Webb at Crewe in 1903 his first task was to provide the LNWR with a powerful and reliable design of express passenger engine to take the place of Webb’s temperamental compounds with which the running department had had to make do as best they could for so long.  No. 513 ‘Precursor’, which emerged from Crewe in March 1904, quickly showed that it was just what had been needed, a simple robust 4-4-0 which could tackle the loads of the day without the frequent recourse to piloting hitherto necessary to a considerable extent.  Not only was it a very capable machine, but an extremely handsome one into the bargain.  The class quickly multiplied, no less than 110 of them being turned out in the space of two years, concurrently with which large numbers of poor Webb’s compounds saw their way to the scrap heap.  Another twenty of the new design were turned out in 1907, making 130 in all, and for several years they bore the brunt of working heavy main line trains over the LNWR.  They would, moreover, stand any amount of thrashing when necessary, although their coal consumption was liable to rise to uneconomic heights under these conditions.

PrecursorA ‘Precursor’ heads a Birmingham and London express through the northern suburbs.  A specimen of North London Railway’s austere passenger rolling stock is visible beyond.  (C.Hamilton Ellis

It is not difficult to see what was in Whale’s mind when he succeeded Webb in 1903.  He had held the post of running superintendent through all the years when the Operating Department had had to do the best they could with the Webb compounds, which sometimes would, but often would not, go.  The only really reliable engines during this period were the 2-4-0 ‘Precedents’ and it must have been very apparent to Whale that what was really needed to cope with the tough work on the LNWR main line was a much-enlarged version of these remarkable little machines.  The resulting ‘Precursor’ can well be regarded as a direct development of the 2-4-0s, at the same time retaining all the Crewe characteristics of the earlier engines.

An important experiment took place in 1909, when No. 7 ‘Titan’ was tested against a superheated LBSCR 4-4-2T, the results of which demonstrated the value of superheating, then in its infancy.  As a direct result of these tests C.J.Bowen Cooke, who had succeeded Whale, built two new engines in 1910, Nos. 2663 ‘George the Fifth’ and 2664 ‘Queen Mary’, the first being fitted with a superheater and the second unsuperheated.  Trials between these two at once established the superiority of the superheated engine, and more followed up to 1915, by which time a total of ninety had appeared.

25350 Geo V

The ‘George the Fifths’ were an improvement on the ‘Precursors’, not only in being superheated, but in having piston valves and large cylinders.  Subsequently many of the ‘Precursors’ received one or both of these modifications, and after the grouping many engines of both classes received Belpaire fireboxes in place of the original round-topped ones.  On rebuilding, the ‘Precursors’ acquired extended smokeboxes, but could still be distinguished from the ‘Georges’ in having a separate splasher to the leading driving wheels, whereas in the ‘George V’ class this was continuous to the rear square panel.  They were, however, now virtually the same class.

At the grouping the unsuperheated ‘Precursors’ became LMS Nos. 5187-5266 and the superheated ones 5270-5319, whilst the ‘Georges’ were 5320-5409.  After 1934 the survivors of both types had 20000 added to their numbers.  Scrapping of the unconverted ‘Precursors’ began in 1927 and the superheated engines began to be cut up from 1935 onwards.  The last survivor of all was No. 25297 ‘Sirocco’, withdrawn in 1949.

25297 Precursor

‘Precursor’ class as originally built – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 185 lb.,  Tractive effort – 18222 lb.,  Weight – 59 tons 15cwt.,  LMS classification – 3

‘George the Fifth’ class – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders – 20½”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 20640 lb.,  Weight – 59 tons 17cwt.,  LMS classification – 3

Geo vC.J.Bowen Cooke’s ‘George the Fifth’ class engine ‘Coronation’, the five- thousandth built at Crewe, on a London to Liverpool and Manchester express.  (H.Gordon Tidey

Some Early Lines GNR from Leicester Belgrave Road Railway Station

Some early Lines

GNR from Leicester Belgrave Road railway station

Leicester Belgrave Road was the Great Northern Railway terminus in Leicester, England. It was the terminus of the GNR’s branch line from the Great Northern and London and North Western Joint Railway at Marefield Junction.

4A Sundays only express to Skegness leaves Leicester Belgrave Road behind B1 class 4-6-0 No. 61209 on 16th July, 1961.  (P.H.Wells


The station opened on 2 October 1882. Marefield Junction was triangular and allowed through running north or south.


The main services from Leicester were to Peterborough and Grantham. The station was also well provided in summer with specials, especially to Skegness and Mablethorpe.

The Peterborough trains were stopped as a war economy in 1916. Local traffic was never heavy, and by 1950 there were only two Grantham trains remaining, one of which was a semi-fast with limited stops which connected with the Flying Scotsman at Grantham. This train was withdrawn in 1951, the remaining stopping train survived until the end of regular services over the joint line in 1953.

Summer specials continued to run until 1962, in the later years with severe speed restrictions on the Leicester branch.

1A Bank Holiday special nears John O’Gaunt behind an unknown B1 class 4-6-0 on 6th August, 1952.  (P.H.Wells


The line closed in 1962 but various depots continued in use for a few years using a reinstated connection with the Midland Railway which had last been used for materials delivery during construction. The last of these, Catherine Street oil depot, closed on 1 January 1969.

The Leicester station site has been since been developed as a supermarket and adjoining car park.

2The 1.00pm (S.O.) Belgrave Road to John O’Gaunt approaches Humberstone on 6th October, 1956.  The GNR picture is almost complete with the 0-6-0 and the somersault signal.  (G.D.King

227 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Spring 1999 – Part 6

Another piece from the Spring 1999 Magazine

227 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Spring 1999 – Part 6

As others see us 1Pic Mess CLR

As others see us 2

Chasewater Railway Industrial Gala Video – Sunday

More video clips from the Chasewater Railway Industrial Gala – this time from Sunday March 17th.

Canal News – Opening Times: Montgomery Canal

Canal News

Opening Times: Montgomery Canal

Montgomery Canal

Frankton Locks – SUMMER OPENING TIMES 2013

 Wednesday 27 March 2013 – Thursday 31 October 2013

Lock opening times 12 noon until 2pm, 7 days per week (including Bank holidays).

Bookings are required for passage through the locks.

Customers can book any day in advance but no later than 10.00am on the day of passage*

To book, please call our Northwich Office.

Please note there are no passages available without a booking or outside these hours.

To book a passage Monday-Friday, call 0303 040 4040

If you are calling on a Sat, Sun or Bank Holiday, please call 01606 786777, Option 8 (Anderton Boat Lift)

*NB Customers are advised that there are a maximum of 12 boats allowed down the locks and 12 boats allowed up the locks in any one day and booking well in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment. There is a minimum of 1 night and a maximum of 14 nights stay.

Enquiries: 0303 040 4040

Forthcoming Attractions – a busy April

Forthcoming Attractions

A Busy April!

Chasewater Transport Show 2013

Chasewater Railway Industrial Gala, taken on Saturday March 16th at Brownhills West


DSCF9032A few clips from the Chasewater Railway Industrial Gala, taken on Saturday March 16th at Brownhills West.

I shall have to try and escape to the other end of the line one of these days!!


Narrow Gauge abroad

Arroyo Grande, CA 2007

A former local lad, now resident in Canada, sent me this link:

A bit smart, eh?

Canal News – Round the MIdlands, March 2013

Canal News round the Midlands, March 2013

Canal Br 66Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley, Staffordshire

Approaching Leather Lane Bridge, No 66. Visitor moorings here are good for a visit to Morrison’s supermarket nearby off to the left.  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Boating MontgomeryBoating on the Montgomery Canal

Discovery and invention at Gloucester Waterways Museum as part of National Science and Engineering Week

15 – 24 Mar 2013
10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Science and engineering is at the heart of Britain‘s waterways and what better time to celebrate the inventions that have contributed to our canals and rivers than National Science and Engineering Week (15-24 March).

Families will be able to follow a specially created science trail around the museum and learn more about the science and engineering behind some of the museum’s mechanical exhibits, including the Fielding Engine, steam crane and the museum’s famous SND No4 steam dredger, restored recently thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding.

Visitors can put their problem-solving skills to good use when they learn how to build a bridge to get a tall ship through as well as understanding more about the intricacies of dredging Gloucester Docks.

Steam Dredger GlosSND No4 Steam dredger at Gloucester Waterways Museum