Tag Archives: Freight

Brownhills L & NWR Station and Buses

Brownhills_lnwr_stationI’ve been familiar with this station since the late 1940s when I used to go to school in Lichfield by steam hauled train.  In the early 1960s I started work in Walsall and used the train in the opposite direction, to Walsall, but by that time steam had virtually disappeared and diesel had taken over.

Looking in the other direction, towards Walsall, the second arch of theBrownhills Stn towards Pelsall 2

bridge can be made out.  This did indeed lead to the canal basins and the Wyrley And Essington canal, and sidings on both sides of the main line.Northern Lights (B-Hills Stn) enlargedThis unusual picture shows some of the sidings, looking back towards Brownhills Station in the Lichfield direction.  Goods were unloaded by the building on the left-hand side and delivered by Scammell Scarab hauled lorries.ScarabThe exit from the goods yard was difficult enough in those days – at the junction of Pelsall Road and Chester Road, virtually on the corner.  Just as well there was not much traffic about back then!Plan of road to bus garage 2

Plan of road to bus garage

These maps shows the line to the canal basins, passing the bus garage on the way.

Buses outside garage

London & North-Western Railway Buses

On 1st October 1912 the London & North-Western Railway introduced a bus service between Brownhills, Norton Canes and Hednesford using two Milnes Daimler double-decker buses purchased second-hand 3 years previously from the Associated Omnibus Co., London.

The following year, on the 16th June, a variant of the above service began running via Chasetown and Chase Terrace and additional buses, double-decker Commers were sent to Brownhills.

Painted in standard coaching colours of chocolate and milk, buses carried the company name or initials on the front, back and sides of the top deck and displayed the company Coat of Arms on the sides of the lower deck.

The majority of the LNWR bus services in various parts of England and Wales were withdrawn on 17th April 1915, both Brownhills services included.  The decision to withdraw services being brought about by the continued ‘call-up’ of staff for military service and the probability of buses being commandeered by the War Office.


Industrial Gala

Saturday 12th September2009_09120001Getting steam up!

The first day of the Industrial Gala and beautiful warm sunshine – couldn’t be better!  Once timetables were available and things started moving, everything seemed to run very well and right on schedule.2009_09120011For the first time for a number of years we had the Western Re-enactment Group showing what they could do.  They certainly enjoy themselves and try to ensure that spectators enjoy it too!  Everyone knew that they were there – those guns had no silencers!!

There were the usual passenger, coal and freight trains, together with the popular push-and-pull with Asbestos and Colin McAndrew in action with the riding van and a brake van.2009_09120025The only down-side as far as I could see was the number of visitors to the museum.  Whenever our visitors have to walk around the platform instead of entering the Heritage Centre via the crossing, it seems that they just won’t do it – numbers today were well down on recent weeks, enthusiasts come to see us but not ordinary passengers.   Perhaps it will be better tomorrow if the narrow gauge is running demonstration trains.2009_09120007Bearing in mind that Sundays are nearly always better-attended than Saturdays, and the weather forecast is still exceptional, we should be very busy tomorrow.

Finally, somewhere in the region of Lakeside Station and Chasewater Heaths, the carrying case for my tripod went missing, if anyone should have picked it up, would you please hand it in to either Chasewater Heaths or Brownhills West Station?  Thank you.

Midland Railway Box Van

MR 1109 Box Van

Midland Railway Box Van

One of the handful remaining of a type first introduced in 1893, eventually 7,261 of these were built up to 1916.

It is 16’6’’ (approx.5metres) long over headstocks and has a capacity of 8 tons.

This example dates back to 1902, fitted with grease axle boxes and brake gear on both sides.

Sold by the London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) railway to Bass, Burton-on-Trent who used this type of van on their internal railway system to carry grain (barley and malt).

At Burton from the late 1930s, the van was rescued by the Railway Preservation Society in 1967, costing £50.

The number 1109 is the LMS number.

The Midland Railway

In the 1830s several companies were formed with the intention of building railways in the Midlands. This included the Midland Counties Nottingham to Derby North Midland Railway, Derby to Leeds, York & North Midland, York to Newcastle upon Tyne andBirmingham & Derby.
The chairman of the York & North Midland was George Hudson. In 1844 Hudson arranged for his own company to amalgamate withMidland Counties, North Midland Railway and the Birmingham & Derby. Hudson became chairman and leading shareowner of what was now known as the Midland Railway. This was the first large scale amalgamation of several small railway companies into one large company.

In 1845 George Hudson added the Birmingham & Gloucester and the Bristol & Gloucester to the Midland Company. Hudson’s companies now controlled 1,016 miles of railway track and he obtained the title, the Railway King. A survey that year revealed that Hudson had £319,835 invested in railway shares.

North Eastern Railway Box Van

North-Eastern Box Van

North Eastern Railway Box Van

Manufactured around1900 and numbered100-684, this ex NER goods van was sold out-of-service on an unknown date and was resident at Cadbury’s Bournville until1973, when it was the last wooden van there, having survived for use as a mobile breakdown van containing permanent way equipment.

The van was not the usual Cadbury reddish brown livery, but was painted grey.

Donated by Cadbury-Schweppes in 1973.

Rail traffic ceased at the Bournville factory in 1976.

The North Eastern Railway

In 1854 three companies, York & North Midland,  Leeds Northern and the York, Newcastle & Berwick amalgamated to form the North Eastern Railway. The amalgamation produced a system 700 miles long, with administrative headquarters at York. The North Eastern Railway continued to expand and gradually other companies were taken over. This included: South Durham & Lancashire (1862), Stockton and Darlington (1863) and the West Hartlepool Railway (1865).

The North Eastern Railway now had virtually a monopoly of rail transport in the north-east. However, integration was slow, and an increase in accidents brought warnings concerning the dangers of trying to organize such a large company. After four serious accidents took place on the North Eastern at the end of 1870, the company’s general manager, William O’Brien, was sacked.

The North Eastern Railway relied heavily for its income on the transport of coal and other raw materials. This trade declined in the early 1870s and in order to maintain revenues, the company decided to vigorously promote third-class travel travel.

Lancs & Yorks Box Van

Lancs & Yorks Rly Box Van

Lancs & Yorks Railway Box Van

This goods van was constructed at Newtonheath in 1895, eventually passing from the L & Y to the London, Midland & Scottish Railway at the 1923 grouping.  At an unknown date the vehicle was sold to the Rolling Stock Company, Darlington and, after renovation, sold on to the well-known chocolate manufacturers, Cadbury’s of Bournville and numbered 144 in Cadbury’s wagon fleet.

During 1963, with the arrival of new all-steel box vans at Cadbury’s, the majority of the old internal user vans were withdrawn, with 144 being donated to the Railway Preservation Society and transported to the Hednesford depot before later being transferred to Chasewater.

The van carried the ‘Cadbury’ logo in white at the top of one end, with its stock number at the opposite, lower end.  Overall livery was reddish brown.

Of particular note is the canvas roof flap, a once-common feature enabling goods vans to be loaded from overhead hoists.

Rail traffic at the Bournville factory ceased in 1976.


The Lancs & Yorks Railway

In 1840 the Manchester & Leeds Railway was completed. Seven years later the company acquired eight smaller companies and called itself the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. It now stretched across the country from the west coast at Liverpool, Southport, Blackpool and Fleetwood, to the east coast at Goole on the Humber.

The Lancashire & Yorkshire line had to cross a large number of hills and valleys. Of the 580 miles (933 km) of the railway, only 25 miles (40 km) was level track. As a result of this terrain, there were almost 100 tunnels and viaducts on the route. At first the railway mainly transported cotton, wool, fish and coal. With the development of seaside resorts such as Blackpool, the trains carried a growing number of passengers.

50th Anniversay Gala – Father’s Day



 June 20th & 21st Anniversary Gala

Father’s Day, Sunday June 21st

Dads like steam trains,too!

A huge celebration of our 50th year, with visiting engines, historic vehicles and lots going on all over the railway.

Prices – Adults £4.45, Children £2.45,

Family (2 Adults+up to 4 Children) £9.45

Hawthorn,Leslie 0-4-0ST ‘Asbestos’ 2780/1909

Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST No.701 1968/1929

Bagnall 0-4-0ST ‘Linda’ 2468/1941

Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST ‘Colin McAndrew’ 1223/1911

Visiting Locos

Hunslett 0-6-0ST NCB No.7 ‘Wimblebury’ 3839/1956

Peckett 0-6-0ST Type B3 2000/1942

2 ft gauge 0-4-0 VBT De Winton replica ‘Taffy’ 30/1990

 Intensive Train Service  Brake Van Rides

Freight Train and Coal Wagon Train

 Saturday 20th June  9.30am till late

Sunday 21st June 9.00am till 6.00pm

Chasewater Railway

Chasewater Country Park, Brownhills, WS8 7NL    

01543 452623     http://www.chaserail.com

Riding Van


Works Riding Van

This is an LNER Riding Van, built by Pickering of Glasgow in 1947, No.DE544440.  It came to Chasewater from Shackerstone.

The first photo was taken shortly after arrival, the second after considerable renovation work had taken place.