Tag Archives: LBSCR

Some Early Lines – The Spa Valley Railway

Some Early Lines

The Spa Valley RailwayDiesel haulage from Eridge

Diesel haulage from Eridge

A group had chartered this train on the Spa Valley Railway for the day, but invited members of the public to join them for a reasonable fee for a day rover ticket. It was “topped and tailed” by two diesel locomotives. Here, 33063 is at the rear of the train as it leaves Eridge; 37153 was hauling. © Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Spa Valley Railway (SVR) is a standard gauge heritage railway that runs from Tunbridge Wells West railway station in Tunbridge Wells to High Rocks, Groombridge, and Eridge, where it links with the Oxted Line. En route it crosses the Kent and East Sussex border, a distance of 5 miles (8 km), along the former Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line / Cuckoo Line. The railway headquarters is at Tunbridge Wells West railway station.


The railway was engineered by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s (LB&SCR) Chief Engineer Frederick Banister, as part of the East Grinstead, Groombridge and Tunbridge Wells Railway (EGGTWR), itself an extension to the Three Bridges to East Grinstead Railway which had been completed in 1855.

The EGGTWR was part of a regional race between the LB&SCR and the SER, and a specific race to access the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells:

“ The LBSC was becoming concerned at threatened incursions by the [SER] on its territory. So a battle was on. Tunbridge Wells was first reached from East Grinstead in 1866 via Groombridge. Two years later, with the South Eastern Railway (SER) looking towards Lewes, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway countered with a line from Groombridge to Uckfield. ”

The LB&SCR opened Tunbridge Wells West in 1866 as the eastern terminus of the EGGTWR; there was also an extension to Tunbridge Wells Central. From Tunbridge Wells West there were direct services to the South Coast at Brighton and Eastbourne and to London Victoria. The Victoria services ran via Groombridge and Ashurst. As a sign outside the station proudly proclaimed, “New Route to London: Shortest, Quickest and Most Direct. Frequent Express Trains.”

Eridge Station platformsEridge station platforms

This is a shared station. The left hand track here is under the control of the private Spa Valley Railway. The right hand track is owned by Network Rail and served by Southern Railway trains in both directions on the Uckfield branch. SVR has its own part-time booking office on the platform; Southern’s booking office is on the footbridge.  © Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The Spa Valley Railway (SVR) has its origins in a charitable society formed on 13 September 1985, to purchase and reopen the Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge line. Named the Tunbridge Wells and Eridge Railway Preservation Society (TWERPS), it began a long struggle to reopen the line. The campaign received a setback in the late 1980s when Tunbridge Wells Borough Council gave planning permission for the construction of a large Sainsburys supermarket complex on the site of the derelict goods yard of Tunbridge Wells West. While the 1891 locomotive shed and station building were protected as listed buildings, the remaining area of the site was obliterated, including the goods shed and signal boxes. However, planning permission was subject to the condition that the developer pay for construction of a new station platform and restoration of the engine shed.

In 1996 the North Downs Steam Railway relocated from Dartford, where it was experiencing vandalism problems, and merged with TWERPS. It transferred its assets and helped establish a base in the former LB&SCR locomotive shed. Also in 1996, the group acquired the line as far as Birchden Junction. Alongside the loco shed a new platform was built, from where services began running to Cold Bath Bridge (about 0.75 mile away) in December 1996. Services were extended to Groombridge in August 1997 and to Birchden Junction in 2005.

In 2007, SVR marked the tenth anniversary of the opening of the line by transforming Groombridge into a busy interchange station, with trains arriving or departing every 15 minutes. The funds raised from this event went towards the “Return to Eridge” appeal to raise £500,000 for the extension to the Uckfield main line at Eridge. The heritage railway finally re-opened the line to Eridge on 25 March 2011Groombridge StationGroombridge station

A view from Station Road bridge  © Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The SVR provides a way of getting to other local tourist attractions, such as Groombridge Place, High Rocks and the Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells. On 25 March 2011 the SVR extended passenger services to Eridge, where there is a footbridge interchange with Southern services on the London Bridge to Uckfield line.

The railway holds a number of special event days, including A Day Out with Thomas weekends, Santa Specials, and both steam and heritage diesel weekends.05190 Topham 0-6-0ST Bagnall 2193-1922 West Cannock

Bagnall 2193/1922 – Under assessment at Spa Valley Railway.

Pictured at work at West Cannock Colliery.  Chasewater Railway Museum Collection.



Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1910 – 4-6-2T London Brighton & South Coast Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1910 – 4-6-2T

London Brighton & South Coast Railway

32325 as running in 1947Two very fine express tank engines designed by D.E.Marsh and built in 1910 and 1912. They were Nos. 325 ‘Abergavenny’ and 326 ‘Bessborough’. The second engine differed slightly from the first in being fitted with Walschaert’s valve gear. They had superheaters from the start. They did splendid work on the London and Brighton expresses until the electrification of 1932, after which they had to be relegated to less spectacular duties. They eventually found a home at Tunbridge Wells and finished their days on stopping trains to London via the Oxted line.

Both lost their names in Southern days, when they became SR Nos. 2325 and 2326. They survived to become BR Nos. 32325 and 32326, but both were withdrawn in 1951.

Driving wheels – 6’ 7½”, Cylinders – 21”x 26”, Pressure – 170 lb., Tractive effort – 20800 lb., Weight – 89 tons, Classification – J1 (No. 325), J2 (No. 326)


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1907 – Marsh 4-4-2T London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1907 – Marsh 4-4-2T

London, Brighton & SouthCoast Railway

No.22 as originally builtNo. 22 as originally built

In 1907 D. Earle Marsh built the first of a very fine series of express tank engines for the Brighton main line.  The importance of this design lay in the fact that they were practically the first main line locomotives in the country to be fitted with high degree superheaters.

The first of the new engines, No. 21, was built as a saturated engine, the superheater being added later, but Nos. 22-6, which appeared in 1908-9, came out with Schmidt superheaters.  For comparative purposes the next six, Nos. 27-30, 75 and 76 were also non-superheated to begin with, but the apparatus was fitted to the rest of the class, Nos.77-91, built between 1910 and 1913, when new.

An important series of trials took place in 1908, which had considerable influence on the subsequent locomotive practice in this country.  The experiment consisted of working the ‘Sunny South Express’, which was a through train between Brighton and the North, throughout between the former place and Rugby alternately by a North Western ‘Precursor’ and one of the Brighton tanks, instead of changing engines at Willesden.  Each locomotive stayed overnight at the other Company’s shed, returning the next day.  LBSCR engines used were Nos. 23 and 26, and the LNWR locomotive was No.7 ‘Titan’.  The results of the tests, which lasted a month, showed a considerable economy in both coal and water consumption for the Brighton, which, notwithstanding its being a tank engine, with a coal capacity of only three tons, it was found could make the full round trip of 264 miles between Brighton and Rugby without refuelling.  Moreover, the LBSCR engine could run the ninety miles between Croydon and Rugby without taking water, which ‘Titan’ had to do at Willesden.  The load was about 250 tons.  The results of these tests were conclusive enough to influence locomotive design on all other major Companies, and after a year or two, superheating not only became standard equipment as a matter of course for new express engines, but also became to be applied widely to older existing types.  It has never become practice to apply it universally to smaller shunting engines, where its benefits are comparatively negligible.

32021The Brighton tanks, known as Class I 3, performed fine work on the main line for many years, taking their turn on the ‘Southern Belle’ and other fast expresses to Brighton, Eastbourne and Portsmouth, until displaced by electrification, after which they were relegated to less spectacular duties.  Many of them finished up at Tunbridge Wells, working stopping trains on the Oxted line.  They became SR Nos. 2012-30 and 2075-91 at the grouping, and all except No. 2024 lasted until Nationalisation days, in most cases to have 30000 added to their numbers.  The last to remain in service was No. 32091, withdrawn in 1952.

No.21 – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 17730,  Weight – 75½ tons

Nos. 22-30, 75-81 – Driving wheels – 6’ 7½”,  Cylinders – 20”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 20015,  Weight – 76 tons

Nos. 82-91 – Driving wheels – 6’ 7½”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 22065,  Weight – 76 tons


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1898 ‘Atlantics’ Great Northern Railway – London Brighton & South Coast Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1898 ‘Atlantics’

Great Northern Railway – London Brighton & South Coast Railway

990 in early LNER days

H.A.Ivatt’s No.990, which emerged from Doncaster Works in the summer of 1898, was the first 4-4-2 tender engine to run in this country.  This type had already established a firm footing in the USA, and this was no doubt the reason for the nickname ‘Atlantic’ which has always been applied to engines of this wheel arrangement.

No.990 subsequently received the name ‘Henry Oakley’ and was unique in that it was the only GNR engine ever to bear a name until almost the close of that Company’s independent life, when Gresley’s two ‘Pacifics’, which appeared in 1922, were likewise honoured.

After extended trials with 990, ten more of the class were built in 1900, Nos.949, 950 and 982-9.

No.271, which followed in 1902, was a much more powerful engine, in that although similar in appearance to the 990s, it was provided with four high pressure cylinders in place of the two carried by the earlier examples.  It remained the only engine of its class, and after various modifications it ended up with two inside cylinders only, in the form in which it remained until scrapped in 1936.4433 in early LNER days

Also in 1902 appeared No.251, the pioneer of the larger and better known class of Atlantics which did so much yeoman service on the GNR main line for very many years.  This engine was provided with a much bigger boiler, and was the largest passenger engine in the country at the time.  Another essential difference between the new engine and the ‘small Atlantics’ was the wide firebox extending over the whole width of the frames.  The large grate which it was thus possible to provide was one of the contributory reasons for the success of the design.  Whilst 251 was undergoing trials ten more of the small class appeared in 1903, Nos. 250 and 252-60, after which the enlarged version came out in considerable numbers between 1904 and 1910, eventually totalling 94 engines.  The numbers were 251, 272-301, 1300, and 1400-61.  The last ten were built new with superheaters and had sundry other improvements.  Eventually the remainder of the class was also superheated.

There were a few add deviations from the standard design amongst these engines.  No. 292 was built as a 4-cylinder compound, and was scrapped as such in 1927.  No. 1421 also started as a 4-cylinder compound, but was converted to a standard 2-cylinder simple in 1921.  No. 279 was rebuilt as a 4-cylinder in 1915, but reverted to two cylinders in 1928.  No. 1419 acquired a ‘booster’ to the trailing wheels in 1923, a small auxiliary engine to assist in starting, but this was not greatly successful, and the apparatus was later removed.  Finally, No. 1300, which was a 4-cylinder compound constructed by the Vulcan Foundry in 1905, and which differed considerably from the standard class in appearance, was converted to 2-cylinder simple in 1917, and scrapped in 1924, the first of the class to go.

By 1946 all of the small-boilered Atlantics had been taken out of service, and withdrawal of the large ones had already begun in 1945.  All except Nos. 292 and 1300, however, were included in the 1946 renumbering scheme as 2800-91, although many of them never actually carried these numbers.  Seventeen survived to be incorporated in BR stock in 1948, but only No. 62822 was actually renumbered as such.  This engine, the last to remain in traffic, was scrapped in 1950.

The originals of both small and large designs, Nos. 990 and 251, have been preserved in their old GNR colours, but No. 990 is not exactly in its original condition, as it acquired, in common with others of its class, an extended smokebox.

When D.E.Marsh, who had been at Doncaster when the ‘251’ class came out, and probably had a hand in their design, went to the LBSCR, he built eleven almost exactly similar engines for that line, Nos. 37-41, originally un-superheated, in 1905, and another six, with superheaters, in 1911-12, Nos. 421-6.  Most of the latter outlasted their GNR antecedents, one of them remaining in service until 1958 as BR No. 32424.  This was the last ‘Atlantic’ type engine in regular service in this country.3258 pic by M.Peirson – LNER Encyclopedia

Dimensions as finally running:

GNR 990 class – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders – 19”x 24”,  Pressure – 170 lb.,  Tractive effort – 15649 lb.,  Weight – 60 tons,  LNER classification – C2,  LBSC & SR classification – NA,  BR classification – NA

GNR 251 class – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders – 20”x 26”,  Pressure – 170 lb.,  Tractive effort – 18735 lb.,  Weight – 70 tons,  LNER classification – C1,  LBSC & SR classification – NA,  BR classification – 2P

 LBSC 37-41 – Driving wheels – 6’ 7½”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 20070 lb.,  Weight – 68¼ tons,  LNER classification – NA,  LBSC & SR classification – H1,  BR classification – 4P

LBSC 421-6 – Driving wheels – 6’ 7½”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 24520 lb.,  Weight – 68¼ tons,  LNER classification – NA,  LBSC & SR classification – H2,  BR classification – 4P

GNR 4-4-2 Class C2 “Klondyke” no. 990 “Henry Oakley” at Doncaster Works open day on 27th July 2003.

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Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1882 Stroudley 0-4-2 London Brighton & South Coast Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1882 Stroudley 0-4-2

London Brighton & South Coast RailwayIllustration: No.191 as running in 1920, still carrying a Stroudley type boiler, but with cast iron chimney and in Marsh livery.

Stroudley’s main line express locomotives for the LBSCR were unusual in that whereas other designers at this period were building engines mainly of the 2-4-0 or 4-4-0 type, the Brighton engines had no leading bogie or even pony truck.  The use of large front coupled wheels for express work was considered in some quarters to be somewhat hazardous, but the engines turned out in fact to be very steady runners and there is no record of any of them having been derailed at speed.  Te design proved to be an excellent one and they took their turns along with more modern classes on the principal Brighton expresses, well into the 20th century.Heraldics for royal train – at the National Railway Museum

The first engine was No.214 Gladstone, completed in 1882 and 35 others followed down to 1891, numbers 215-20 and 172-200.  The last mentioned were built in reverse order, Nos.198-200 in December 1887, 196 and 197 in May 188, and so on, until the last one No.172 Littlehampton appeared in 1891.  The last ten came out after Stroudley’s death in 1889.  The class had been preceded by the six somewhat similar engines built in 1878-80, but with rather smaller dimensions these never achieved the success of the ‘Gladstones’, and they had all gone by 1904.  Of the ‘Gladstones’ themselves, ten were scrapped prior to the First World War, but no more withdrawals took place until 1923.  The last in service was No.172, scrapped in 1933, but Gladstone itself has been preserved, having been restored to its original condition with the old yellow livery.

The engines were rebuilt by Marsh from 1906 onwards, and many of them acquired boilers with Ramsbottom safety valves over the firebox.  The copper-capped chimney also in many cases gave way to plain cast iron ones, the yellow livery was replaced by Marsh’s chocolate brown, and most of them lost their names.  Under Southern auspices the colour was again changed to green, the numbers became B172, etc. (none ever received a 2000 number), and the few remaining names disappeared, including that of 184, which had borne the name of Stroudley in commemoration of its designer.

Driving wheels – 6’ 6”,  Trailing wheels – 4’ 6”,  Cylinders – 18¼”x 26”,  Pressure – 150 lb.,  Weight – 38 tons 14 cwt.B1 173 Cottesloe at East Croydon c1895


Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1873 – Stroudley’s D1 0-4-2T London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1873 – Stroudley’s D1   0-4-2T

 London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

Illustration:  No.233 Handcross in original state.

Stroudley’s standard suburban and branch tank engine, 125 of which were built between 1873 and 1887.  Numbered 1-34, 221-99 and 351-62, they bore names of villages and localities served by the old Brighton railway, but these were all removed by Marsh from 1905 onwards, when the gay yellow livery was at the same time replaced by the more sombre chocolate.


They were grand little engines, and could be seen as late as the 1920s still taking their share on those sections of the busy London suburban service not then electrified.  In later years most of the survivors were adapted to motor working with pull-and-push trains for the country areas.

Nine of the original1-34 series and also No. 263 were scrapped between 1904 and 1913, but no more withdrawals took place until the grouping in 1923, and even then most of them survived for a number of years and had 2000 added to their numbers by the SR.  By this time all the remainder of the first batch had been renumbered, mostly into the 600s, and in some cases they were altered more than once.  Eighteen still remained in 1948 to be absorbed into BR stock, but they did not survive much longer and none acquired a BR 30000 number.

The last to remain in service on the SR was Np.2252, withdrawn in September 1950, but the last survivor of all was old 357 Riddlesdown, which in 1947 had been sold to the privately owned Whittingham Mental Asylum Railway in Lancashire, on which line it existed until closure in 1957.

During the war a few of them were loaned to the LMS in Scotland, far from their normal haunts; in fact one even reached the now closed Wick & Lybster branch, the rail point most remote from the south on the whole British railway network.  During the same period others were fitted by the SR for fire fighting as an air raid precaution and kept at various important sheds in the London area.

In their later days the types of boiler and chimney carried varied considerably, and most of the more recent survivors had acquired plain cast iron chimneys with Ramsbottom safety valves on the firebox.  In 1920 old 20 Carshalton, then renumbered 79 and which later successively bore the numbers 79A, 349, and finally216, was rebuilt with a much larger boiler and reclassified D1x, but no more were similarly treated.  This engine lasted until 1934.  The only other alteration of note was to No.248, formerly Ashurst, which was badly damaged in a collision in 1920 and emerged from the shops with new square topped side tanks.

The last of the class (357 Riddlesdown) as running on the Whittingham Railway in 1951, in the form to which most of the later survivors were finally altered.


Class D1 – Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Trailing wheels – 4’ 6”,  Cylinders – 17”x 24”,  Boiler diameter – 4’ 0”,  Pressure – 170 lb (originally 140 lb and later 150 lb),  Tractive effort – 15185 lb,  Weight – 43½ tons

Class D1x (No.216) – Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Trailing wheels – 4’ 6”,  Cylinders – 17”x 24”.  Boiler diameter – 4’ 6”,  Pressure – 170 lb  Weight – 44tons 18 cwt

248  Class  D1 with modified tanks

Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era 1872 – ‘Terriers’ 0-6-0T – London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era

1872 – ‘Terriers’ 0-6-0T – London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

British Railways Southern Region 0-6-0 ‘Terrier’ tank No.32670 leaves Tenterden Town station for Robertsbridge on 27th September, 1952.  This engine, once London, Brighton & South Coast Railway No.70 Poplar, was built in December, 1872; it was later sold to Colonel Stephens, in May, 1901, who put it to work on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, giving it the number 3 and the name Bodiam.  As late as the summer of 1948 it was still resplendent in apple green with the letters ‘K & ESR’ on its side tanks.  J.G.Dewing

The first of these remarkable little engines, No.71 Wapping, came out in October, 1872, followed by No.70 Poplar and 72 Fenchurch in November.  The class eventually totalled fifty, numbered 35 – 84, the last appearing in 1880.  The design was a direct development of the type which William Stroudley had introduced on the Highland Railway during his short term of office on that line.  (See previous post – Stroudley 0-6-0T, Highland Railway).  They were designed originally for suburban work in the London area, but of later years their uses have been many and varied.There are few of Stroudley’s ‘Terriers’ left in service today, (1969) though they still work on the Hayling Island Branch and shunt the quay at Newhaven.  Two have been preserved by British Railways, one at Brighton Works and another at the Clapham Museum of the BTC.  There is also another working on the Bluebell Line.  During their lives, engines of this class have gone far afield – even the mighty Great Western had two of them from the late Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway.  They were favourites of Colonel Stephens.  Their great assets were their high axle loading and their short wheelbase, which made them ideal engines for cheaply laid branches and light railways.  No. 32661 leaves Havant for Hayling Island with the 12.35 pm train on 4th March, 1950.  P.M.Alexander.

From 1901 onwards a number of them were disposed of, some were scrapped, but very many of them were sold out of service, details of which are to numerous to go into fully.  It may be mentioned however that two of them went to the LSWR, one to the SECR, several to various light railways, others to collieries, whilst a few went on Government service during the first world war, and were subsequently disposed of to sundry undertakings.  Of those that remained on the Brighton, a number were fitted with pull-and-push apparatus for motor train working, and most of the later survivors of the class had been rebuilt with extended smokeboxes.  About a dozen still remained on the LBSCR books at grouping in 1923, but this total was increased under the Southern Railway regime, as several which had been sold previously now came back to the fold under the combined ownership.  These included some which had gone to the Isle of Wight railways.The summer of 1949 saw the end of the Isle of Wight 0-6-0 ‘Terrier’ tanks.  This class had worked the Merstone to Ventnor West branch from its inception in the days of the Isle of Wight Central Railway.  ‘A1X’ class No.W8 Freshwater enters Ventnor West station on the early morning train on 18th April.  P.M.Alexander

In later Brighton days the remaining engines had and their numbers increase by 600, the Southern Railway in turn put 2000 on to this, whilst those that have survived Nationalisation have again received an addition of 30000.

Those in the Isle of Wight were numbered in a special series as W9, etc., but on return to the mainland were either scrapped or given their original numbers plus the 326xx addition.  A particularly interesting example of this perpetuation of identity occurs with No.70, which when sold to the Kent & East Sussex Railway in 1930 became their No.3 This line remained independent until 1948, when the engines became BR stock, and it duly received its rightful number 32670, having skipped the intervening 670 and 2670 phase during the many years it had been in independent hands.  This engine, together with No. 32636 (old 72 – in this case the original number was not perpetuated) are in 1959 the oldest engines in service on British Railways.Travellers over the one-time Stratford-on-Avon & Midland Junction Railway, had they alighted at Burton-Dassett station under Edge Hill, would have found the remains of the moribund Edge Hill Light Railway, an unsuccessful Ironstone speculation where two Brighton ‘Terriers’ slumbered on grass-grown tracks.  Both engines somehow survived the wartime scrap drives but were cut up on the site by 1946.  J.H.L.Adams

Driving wheels – 4’ 0”,  Cylinders – 12”x 20”,  Pressure – 150lb.,  Tractive effort – 7650lb.,  Weight – Unrebuilt – 27½ tons, Rebuilt – 28¼ tons,  LBSCR & SR Classification – Unrebuilt – A1, Rebuilt – A1x,  BR Classification – OP

Tractive effort  – Engine 32636 had cylinders 14.3/16”x 20” with 10695lb  tractive effort.

No.70 as running in 1933 on the Kent & East Sussex Railway.  It subsequently became BR No. 32670 and was rebuilt to Class ‘A1x’ with extended smokebox.  H.C.Casserley.

Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era 1869 – Stroudley 0-6-0T – Highland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era

 1869 – Stroudley 0-6-0T – Highland Railway

16118 at Inverness shortly before withdrawal.   H.C.Casserley

William Stroudley, best known as locomotive superintendent of the LBSCR from 1870 to 1889, had previous to his appointment with that line spent two or three years on the Highland.  During this short period he was able to do little but rebuild some old locomotives, but he did design and build one small tank engine which was the direct forerunner of his well-known ‘Terrier’ class (coming soon!) which he gave the Brighton.  This locomotive was numbered 56 and named Balnain. After Stroudley had left two more were brought out by his successor in 1872 and 1874 respectively, No.57, Lochgorm, and 16, St. Martins.  The latter was renamed Fort George and Balnain became Dornoch.  All three were still running on the formation of the LMS Company in 1923, by which time their numbers had become 56B, 57B and 49B.  They were renumbered into LMS stock as 16118, 16119 and 16383, and lost their names.  Two of them were broken up in 1927, but 16119, the former Lochgorm lasted until 1932.

Driving wheels – 3’ 8”, Cylinders – 14”x 20”,  Pressure – 120 lb., 

Tractive effort – 9087lb.,  Weight – 26 tons.

 Terrier No.70 on  the Kent & East Sussex Railway in 1933 for comparison.

113 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No.2 From ‘Chasewater News’ Summer 1987

113 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No.2

From ‘Chasewater News’ Summer 1987

Permanent Way

Under the leadership of Chris Chivers a small group of workers have made a start on clearing the lineside undergrowth along the running line whilst a group of students spent a week clearing the passing loop beyond the current limit of operations.

The line has been weedkilled to give a more workmanlike look to the track and a catch point has been installed on the loco shed siding.

Work is now centred on the point connecting Nos. 2 & 3 roads in the compound, which were comprehensively written off by the new diesel!

From the Archives

Something which we expect to make a regular feature of in Chasewater News in which we feature anecdotes and snippets from items in the Museum Collection.  We begin this feature with items of local interest taken from the LMS Sectional Appendix to the Working Timetables dated March 1937.


Stafford No.5 to Venables Sidings (LNT).  Drivers of trains not conveying passengers, proceeding to the LNE line must be prepared to receive a green hand signal when passing No.5 signal box.  The exhibition of this green hand signal will indicate that Venables Timber Yard crossing gates may be across the railway and drivers must be prepared accordingly.

Norton Branch

Five Ways Mineral Branch – between Five Ways and Conduit new Sidings.  In addition to LMS trains, the Five Ways Colliery Company’s engines work over this branch, and the Conduit Colliery Company’s engines work over a section of the branch between Conduit Colliery Sidings and Conduit Junction, and between Conduit Colliery Sidings and Conduit New Sidings.

Two keys are provided for padlocking the trap points – which must be obtained from the pointsman at Conduit Junction and must be returned to him on completion.

Five Ways

Before proceeding towards Five Ways, the guard must satisfy himself that the Colliery Company’s engine is stationary, and must set the road for the single line to the Colliery Sidings.   The line between the trap points and the sidings is used as the Colliery Company’s shunting neck, and on arrival from Conduit, train men having to place wagons in the sidings must at once place the signal provided for the purpose to danger to warn the Colliery enginemen that they must not come out on the shunting neck from the Colliery Sidings.  Before returning to Conduit the signal must be taken off, its normal position is ‘clear’.

After placing wagons in the sidings at Five Ways, engines waiting for loaded wagons must stand on the single line protected by the trap points before a train worked by either the Colliery Company’s or the LMS men leaves Five ways towards Conduits, the trap points must be set for the running line, and after the passage of such train must at once be reversed and securely padlocked for the trap by the guard.

Curator’s Notes

Peckett 0-6-0ST Hanbury

The Conduit Colliery locos referred to in the above would have been the four or perhaps five Manning Wardle 0-6-0STs in the Company’s ownership at that time.  Locos known to have been at Five Ways were the Peckett 0-6-0ST Hanbury and a Kitson 0-6-0T.  None of these locos survive but our museum does contain one nameplate and one worksplate ex Conduit Colliery and a brass No.2 off the Kitson.Coppice Coll. No.2 0-6-0T Kitson 5358-1921

East Somerset Railway and Cannock Wood

‘Cannock Wood’ No.9  in LBSC Livery

Older members may recall that when the E1 was sold to the Lord Fisher Locomotive Group in 1978 regular reports of its progress were to be received.  We make no apologies for giving news of the loco which left Chasewater nearly nine years ago.  The loco is now 110 years old – the hundredth engine built at the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s works at Brighton by William Stroudley and the doyen of the Cannock & Rugeley Colliery Co. fleet from 1926 through nationalisation and into National Coal Board days until withdrawal in 1963.

It is of interest to note that despite their intention to restore the loco to main line order as BR 32110, it never carried that number in service.  All reports refer to her as ‘Cannock Wood’ or number 9.

The boiler has been removed from the frames and detubed.  A boiler inspection has revealed the probable need of a new front tubeplate and the definite need of a new inner firebox with consequent restaying and a new foundation ring.  It is estimated that a further £20,000 is needed to put the boiler into a steamable condition.  The wheels have been sent to Swindon for tyres and bosses to be turned.  New side tanks are required.  Springs are being re-tensioned.  Loose horn guide bolts have been replaced.  Much platework is being replaced and a new bunker is virtually complete.  The frames have been needle gunned and received two coats of paint, new footplating is being fitted to the frames.

Eccentric straps, big end straps, connecting rods and valve roads have been cleaned, checked and are ready for re-fitting.  More news in future issues.

From the Museum

On Tuesday April 14th we suffered yet another break-in at Chasewater.  This time it was the LNWR 50 ft brake coach which was the subject of the robber’s intensions.. Having failed to gain access through the end door nearest the waiting room, and the lock refusing to give way on the normal entrance door used, the miscreant managed, presumably at some length, to chop his way with a pickaxe through one of the double doors on the platform side.  A quantity of railway rule books and the entire collection of some 160 odd LNWR postcards was taken plus a few other books and sundry items.

The following week saw the return of some items following a visit by Ralph Amos to a second-hand bookshop in Walsall which some of the books had been sold to by the criminal.  Unfortunately some pieces had already been sold by the shop owner who was unaware that he was dealing with stolen goods.

Latest news is that the police have picked up a Walsall man who confessed to the crime, amongst others as one might suspect.

There is some good news to report.  There is now an annex to the museum coach in the form of the recently restored ex Midland Railway circa 1880 four-wheel passenger brake which sees a display of railway prints, etc. on Open Days.  A selection of Chas. Butterworth’s very fine drawings was displayed therein on April 26th at the Railwayana Fayre.

Additions to the collection include official postcards of the LNWR, GNR, L & Y, Furness Railway and cards from the following railways which are all new to the collection.  Corris, Cambrian, LNWR and LYR Joint, GCR, NER, SECR, LSWR, Metropolitan Railway and Douglas Southern Electric Tramway.  Other nice additions are a ticket from pre-preservation days of the Talyllyn Railway and an LNWR ‘Birmingham’ dinner fork, courtesy of Rob Duffill.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No. 86

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

No. 86

From the Chasewater News Magazine No. 24 July 1978 – 2

E1 Locomotive

At the committee meeting of the 22nd March it was decided that positive action to safeguard the loopline was needed and in the view of the committee the best course of action was to offer the ex. LBSCR (London, Brighton & South Coast Railway) ‘E1’ locomotive for sale.  This decision was reached after much heated discussion, during the course of the meeting Andrew Louch resigned.  The rest of the members of the committee present were unanimous in their decision to sell the locomotive.  The Hon. Sec. was instructed to obtain offers for the locomotive and at the meeting of 24th May it was decided to sell the loco to ‘The Lord Fisher Loco Group’ who reside at the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore, Somerset. 

‘Lord Fisher’ Barclay 0-4-0ST 1398/1915 – Pic by John Cornelius
This loco is now at the Yeovil Railway Centre where it will be restored with the Gartell Light Railway.

The LFLG own five engines at present, the ‘E1’ will be their sixth locomotive and if it is restored to their previous standards, then it will be well worth a visit.  They have every confidence of seeing the loco in steam during the early eighties and work will start as soon as it leaves Chasewater.

Members of the Chasewater Light Railway Society will be informed of progress upon the locomotive in this newsletter and the locomotive’s plates will remain at Chasewater as well as the unique tapered Rawnsley chimney, which will be mounted on the platform at Brownhills West.

The sale of the locomotive realised £5,000, which has virtually paid for the loopline.  Appeals in the newsletter and elsewhere have raised over £2,000, which gives us room to breathe a little easier, though we estimate at least another £5,000 is needed to realise our plans for the Chasewater Light Railway during the next three years.

The E1 arrived at Cranmore, Somerset in September, 1978.  The overhaul started in 1986 and she returned to service in 1993 – in green livery, number 110.  Firebox problems forced a premature withdrawal from traffic in 1997.  During 2000 work commenced stripping the loco down to assess the state of the firebox.

The chimney is still at Cranmore, last heard of being used as a donation box.In the yard at Cranmore – Pic Bob Fowler

News from the line

The main news is that the purchase of the loopline is secure, as we have the money.  British Rail granted access to works trains as from the 18th April and completion of the purchase should be made by the end of this month (July).  However, this is just the start, as the line must be completely fenced before we can think of extending our services to satisfy the Railway Inspectorate and quite a bit of trackwork is needed, though generally the loop is in excellent condition.

Engineering Works

Over Easter weekend the point at the south end of the loop was dismantled and a start made upon reassembling it on a new alignment away from the edge of the embankment.  Part of the loop has been slewed to meet the new alignment and hopefully the gap will be completed before August Bank Holiday, to enable works trains to start removing scrub from the loopline.  The extension to the platform is now virtually complete, lacking only coping stones before it can be put into use.  The majority of the wall was built by Brian Hames over Spring bank Holiday weekend, infilled with hardcore supplied by courtesy of Walsall Council and surfaced with red ash by courtesy of Chasewater Power Boat Club.

Train Operations

This year has seen a welcome increase in the amount of money taken per steaming, only partially due to the modest fare increase implemented at the start of the season.  After 13 steamings receipts were 230% up on last year with an average of 380 people visiting the railway per operating day.

Small Relics Collection.

Recent additions to the collection include a St. Helens Canal & Railway memo; an LMS/GWR joint lines trespass sign; a Midland and Great Northern Tyers tablet (Long Sutton – Gedney) and an LNER ‘Carter to Call’ card.Tyers Tablet

Brownhills CID has apprehended two local youths (thanks to the help of several CLRS members), who are due in court shortly to explain why they were in possession of many items from the museum coach.  Following the trial the missing items will be returned – at present Brownhills Police Station has a fair collection of railway relics!!

A visit to Derby Carriage Works is being arranged so that Society members can view progress on the restoration of our Royal Saloon (ex Midland Railway), which many members will know is on loan to Derby Corporation until 2020 if they take up their full option. (I think this was another of the crown jewels to be sold!)