Tag Archives: LNWR

LNWR Buses in Brownhills

LNWR Buses

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 (as the one in the photograph).

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The majority of the LNWR bus services in various parts of England and Wales were withdrawn on 17th April 1915, both Brownhills services included.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.

LNWR BusThe bus shown, BM2597 was numbered 45 in the LNWR fleet and carried 34 passengers seated.

Chasewater Railway Museum News – LNWR Private Sidings Diagrams

Chasewater Railway Museum News

LNWR Private Sidings Diagrams

The Chasewater Railway Museum has recently acquired a folder containing over 200 diagrams of private sidings on the London & North Western Railway, dated Euston 1911.FolderTitle PageAs can be seen, the folder itself is rather fragile, but the diagrams inside are in very good condition.Anglesey SidingsAnglesey Sidings

Our good friend Ian Pell has put all the diagrams onto a CD, which is now in the Museum – thanks Ian.Cannock Branch, Hednesford RPSCannock Branch, Hednesford – the shed on the centre-left of the photo is the original HQ of the Railway Preservation Society.Cooper's Junction Green pipeCooper’s Junction, near to the Cannock Wood CollieryFrom Pye Green ValleyHednesford Station area, showing the sidings coming from the Pye Green Valley – West Cannock No. 1 Colliery.Holly BankHolly Bank Colliery

Just a few samples which are of local interest the the Chasewater Railway.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1913 – ‘Claughtons’ – London & North Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1913 – ‘Claughtons’

London & North Western Railway

No. 6021 'Bevere' one of the unrebuilt enginesNo. 6021 ‘Bevere’ one of the unrebuilt engines

Bowen-Cooke’s heavy 4-6-0s, the largest express engines built for the LNWR.  The first of them was 2222 ‘Sir Gilbert Claughton’ and ultimately 130 were constructed between 1913 and 1921.  Many of the later ones never bore names.

They did quite good work in the latter days of the LNWR, but on the whole were somewhat underboilered in relation to the capacity of the four cylinders, and in 1928 twenty of them were provided with new boilers of considerably increased dimensions, some of them also being fitted with Beardmore-Caprotti valve gear.

One engine of the class was chosen to commemorate the memory of the LNWR men who lost their lives in the First World War.  It was given the number 1914 and named ‘Patriot’.  The LMS numbers from 1923 onwards were 5900-6029 and the first to be cut up was No.5977, in 1929.  In 1930 Nos. 5971 and 5902 were nominally rebuilt into what later became the ‘Baby Scot’ or ‘Patriot’ class, but the new engines were totally different from the old, having three cylinders and many other essential differences.  The first two engines, which subsequently became Nos. 5500 and 5501, did in fact incorporate the wheels of the ‘Claughtons’ they replaced, but the later ones were entirely new throughout.

The new 5500 was named ‘Patriot’ and was not a direct replacement of the original engine, which had been renumbered 5964 and was scrapped in 1934.  All of the unrebuilt engines had disappeared by 1935.  The large boilered rebuilds lasted a little longer, but by 1937 four of these only remained, Nos. 5946, 6004, 6017 and 6023.  Three of them went in 1940-1, but No. 6004 out-lasted all the others by several years and was not scrapped until 1949.  It never bore its allotted BR number 46004.


As built – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders (4) – 16”x 26” later 15¾”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive Effort – N/A,  Weight – 77¾ tons,  LMS classification – 5

As rebuilt – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders (4) – 15¾”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive Effort – 27072,  Weight – 79 tons 9 cwt,  LMS classification – 5XP


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1911 – Robinson 2-8-0 Great Central Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1911 – Robinson 2-8-0

Great Central Railway

No. 1185No. 1185 in Great Central days; this is one of the engines which went abroad on active service in 1941 and never returned.

Robinson’s standard heavy freight engine of 1911 was destined to achieve much historic interest, as the design was adopted by the Government during the First World War for use in the various theatres of action abroad.  Several hundred were built by outside firms for this purpose alone, apart from the 130 engines constructed by the GCR for its own use between 1911 and 1920.  After the war the Government engines were disposed of, some to railways abroad, and at home the LNWR had fifty, and the Great Western 105, whilst the LNER eventually absorbed another 273 into its own stock along with the original Great Central engines.

A good deal of rebuilding and modification has since taken place, resulting in about seven different varieties from the original basic design.  These mainly concern the boilers and boiler mountings, but a number have been completely rebuilt from 1944 onwards with raised framing, Walschaert valve gear, and LNER B1-type boilers.

The class was again one of those commandeered for overseas service at the beginning of the Second World War, and 92 of the LNER engines were sent abroad, some of them being the same ones which had done duty in 1917-18, thus being ‘called up’ for the second time.  In 1946 the LNER renumbered the class from 3500 onwards, provision being made for the return of some of the war service engines, but in fact none of them ever came back.  Consequently the remainder of the class eventually became Nos. 3570 to 3920 with some gaps, altered in due course under Nationalisation by the addition of 60000.  Withdrawal on a general scale of the LNER engines did not commence until 1959, but it may be mentioned that the last of those acquired by the Great Western, which had been Nos. 3000-99 and 6000-4 in that Company’s lists, was scrapped in 1958, and the fifty engines of the LNWR, which became Nos. 9616-65 (some of which were later renumbered into the 9400s), had all gone as early as 1933.

63666 04 Original design – Driving wheels – 4’ 8”,  Leading wheels – 3’ 6”,  Cylinders – 21”x 28”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort 31325 lb.,  Weight – 73 tons 4 cwt.,  GCR classification – 8K,  LNER classification – 04,  BR classification – 7F

1944 rebuilds – Driving wheels – 4’ 8”,  Leading wheels – 3’ 6”,  Cylinders – 20”x 28”,  Pressure – 225 lb.,  Tractive effort 35518 lb.,  Weight – 73 tons 6 cwt.,  GCR classification – N/A,  LNER classification – 01,  BR classification – 8F

63777 Rebuild


Some Early Lines – Verney Junction

Some early Lines

Verney Junction

 Station site in 2005, stationmaster’s house to the right. As of April 2007 the view was much the same – rails are intact (save for some 60–100 foot segments near Bletchley) but low weeds are growing on much of the line between Bicester and Bletchley. This image was taken from the Geograph project collection.  See this photograph’s page on the Geograph website for the photographer’s contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by Hywel Williams and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.


Original company Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway and Great Western Railway (1868–1891)

Pre-grouping Metropolitan Railway (1891–1906) and Great Central Railway (1899–1906)

Metropolitan & Great Central Joint Committee (1906–1923)

Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway (1923–1948)

Eastern Region of British Railways (1948–1962)

London Midland Region of British Railways (1962–1968)

Platforms 3


23 September 1868 Opened

6 July 1936 Metropolitan passenger services withdrawn

6 January 1964 Closed to goods

1 January 1968 Closed to passengers

One of the L&NWR Cauliflower Class 0-6-0s which throughout their long career were frequently to be seen on passenger trains.  At Verney Junction in 1936, with an Oxford – Cambridge cross-country local, – H.C.Casserley.

Verney Junction was a railway station at a junction serving four directions between 1868 and 1968 and from where excursions as far as Ramsgate could be booked. Situated fifty miles from Baker Street, the station is one of London’s disused Underground stations and, although it never carried heavy traffic, it was important in the expansion of the Metropolitan Railway into what became Metro-land.


Verney Junction opened in 1868 as northern terminus of the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway’s (A&BR) single track from Aylesbury. The station was at a junction with the London and North Western Railway’s (LNWR) Bletchley to Oxford line, 1.75 miles (2.82 km) east of Steeple Claydon, and constructed to a rudimentary design at the cost of the A&BR, whose progress it viewed with disfavour.

Plans to extend the railway north to Buckingham never materialised and Verney Junction remained remote with a few cottages for tenants of Claydon House estate. Claydon’s occupant, Sir Harry Verney, was on the board of the A&BR which was chaired by the Duke of Buckingham, and he invested heavily in the scheme. There being no settlement from which the station could take its name, it was named in honour of Sir Harry, who was later to have another nearby station – Calvert – named after him; he had been born Harry Calvert, and took the surname Verney in order to inherit his late cousin’s estates in 1827.

Early years

The A&BR initially began advertising services to and from Banbury, Oxford and Bletchley but the LNWR attempted to isolate the A&BR by encouraging passengers to take its longer route to Aylesbury via Bletchley and Cheddington. The A&BR turned to the Great Western Railway (GWR), with whom it managed Aylesbury,) to agree to services over the GWR’s Wycombe Railway; the Wycombe line was converted to standard gauge on 23 October 1868 and A&BR services were reinstated.

The GWR worked the A&BR for more than 20 years, turning down the chance to acquire it in 1874, although for the first six years the route was operated by the A&BR’s own staff, except for footplate crews who were GWR employees. Traffic was initially “almost non-existent” due to Verney Junction’s rural locality, but the Metropolitan Railway under the influence of Sir Edward Watkin nevertheless saw an opportunity for growth and absorbed the A&BR on 1 July 1891. The A&BR would be the line that the London Extension of Watkin’s Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) would meet at Quainton Road. In anticipation of the connection, the A&BR was doubled by 1897 and the Metropolitan extended its line from Chalfont Road to Aylesbury in 1892.

Verney Junction, on the old LNWR line from Bletchley to Oxford, was also the meeting of lines from Banbury (LNWR) and the Met./GC from Quainton Road and all points south.  Webb 2-4-2 radial tank No.6704 from Banbury passes Metropolitan 4-4-4 tank No.107 on 2nd May, 1936. – H.C.Casserley

Decline and closure

Although the two World Wars brought an increase in freight traffic from Verney Junction to London, with considerable volumes of freight passing through the station’s transfer sidings, the post-war period saw a decline in the station’s fortunes. The closure of the Aylesbury-Verney section by the LPTB in 1936, severing the connection to Buckingham, was followed by the removal of one of the line’s tracks on 28 January 1940. In the same year, freight traffic through Verney Junction was substantially diminished by the construction on 14 September 1940 of a connecting spur between the LNWR and GCR lines at Calvert which enabled freight from the Oxford-Bletchley route to work south over the Great Central Main Line without having to pass over the Verney Junction-Quainton Road section.

By the end of 1940, Verney Junction was effectively left “severed from its purpose”,having little usefulness other than as a rural interchange for local services. It played a useful part in the transfer of goods between the interconnecting lines, but passenger traffic declined in the face of the availability of more direct routes to and from Banbury and Oxford. Goods services were withdrawn in 1964, with passenger services following in 1968.

After closure, the track on the northern section of the A&BR between Verney Junction and Winslow Road was retained until the early 1960s, including the former Metropolitan sidings which were subsequently used for storing veteran railway vehicles.

Here, the course of the Quainton Road to Verney Junction branch (now lifted) can be seen running in parallel with the main line railway (now also disused) just outside Verney Junction station.  © Copyright Hywel Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1897 Webb 4-Cylinder 4-4-0 London & North Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1897 Webb 4-Cylinder 4-4-0

London & North Western Railway

No.1974 ‘Howe’, which ran as a compound until scrapped in 1928

Two months after the appearance of the G&SWR engine came two 4-4-0s from Crewe, one 4-cylinder simple and the other a compound, respectively Nos.1501 ‘Iron Duke’ and 1502 ‘Black Prince’.  The compound engine differed radically from Webb’s previous efforts in this direction, firstly in having four cylinders in place of three, secondly in that the driving wheels were coupled, and lastly, in seeing the introduction of a leading bogie on an express engine for the first time on the North Western.  Piston valves were used on the two outside high pressure cylinders, and balanced slide valves on the two inside low pressure ones, Joy’s valve gear being employed.  It was at first fitted with a divided exhaust and double chimney, thus anticipating modern practice by many years.  The two engines were thoroughly tested against one another, and the compound made the better showing, as a result of which another 38 of the class were constructed, and the ‘Iron Duke’ was also converted to compound working.  Nos.1501-2 were renumbered 1901-2, and the new engines followed as Nos.1903-40.  Between 1901 and 1903 another 40 engines were built, with slight modifications and increased dimensions.  These were Nos.1941-80, and the complete series 1901-80 was the only case in the history of the LNWR where a large class was numbered in one consecutive series.  In 1920, No.1914 was renumbered 1257, as it was desired to allocate the former number to the LNWR War Memorial engine ‘Patriot’.

1901 engrailhistory.info

In 1908 No.1918 ‘Renown’ was altered to a simple with two inside cylinders only, and conversion of most of the others followed gradually, although a few remained as compounds to the end, the last being ‘Howe’, withdrawn in 1928.  This engine had received a superheater in 1921.  All but three lasted into grouping days, and were allocated Nos.5110-86 in the LMS list, but many never survived to carry them, and all were taken out of service by 1931.  The two original engines, both rebuilt to ‘Renown’ class in 1919, were amongst the last.  They finished up as Nos.5156 ‘Jubilee’ (renamed from ‘Iron Duke’) and 5157.

1901-40 ‘Black Prince’ Class – Driving wheels – 7’ 1”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 9”,  Cylinders – 2 HP 15”x 24”, 2 LP 19½”x 24” (later 20½”x 24”),  Pressure – 175 lb., later raised to 200lb.,  Weight – 54 tons 8cwt.

1941-80 ‘Alfred the Great’ Class – Driving wheels – 7’ 1”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 9”,  Cylinders – 2 HP 16”x 24”, 2 LP 20½”x 24”,  Pressure – 200 lb., Weight – 57 tons 12 cwt.

L&NWR Webb Alfred the Great 4-cylinder compound locomotive 1942 King Edward VII Date 1907 Source Scan from Howden, J.R. (1907) The Boys’ Book of Locomotives, London: E. Grant Richards, pp. facing p. 81 Author Andy Dingley (scanner)  Showing new valve-gear for high-pressure cylinders, fitted by Whale

Some Early Lines – The Midland Railway in the East Midlands

Some Early Lines

The Midland Railway in the East Midlands

The Midland spread its rail network like spiders’ webs throughout the eastern Midlands, with tentacles reaching out to the Great Northern’s main line at Peterborough and Newark and the Great Eastern at St. Ives with running to Cambridge.  Most branches were run by 0-4-4 tanks and elderly 2-4-0s or 0-6-0s with standard class 2P 4-4-0s on the secondary lines.  This Pattern remained until Stanier’s coming when his new standardisation construction released some Fowler engines for work where weight restrictions allowed.

One of the branches to succumb in the fuel shortage period immediately after World War II was that from Duffield to Wirksworth in Derbyshire (16th June 1947).  This photograph (taken in the 1920s) shows Johnson 1P 0-4-4 tank No.1428 in early lined out LMS red livery approaching Duffield with a branch train.  Photo: W.Leslie Good, P.B.Whitehouse collection.

The Wirksworth branch served an unusual purpose in that its terminus was used by Derby Works as a prime spot for some of its official photographs.  When the ex-Midland Railway locos were stored in the works, prior to the establishment of a national museum, the opportunity (in 1960) was taken to ensure their preservation on film and they were hauled up to Wirksworth dead in a train (complete with brake van) by the Midland Compound and duly lined up for the official photographer.  The photographs were taken from the station platform and even at that late date a large plate camera was used.  Shown here is Kirtley 2-4-0 No.158A.  Photo: P.B.Whitehouse.

Buxton was served by two of the LMS constituent companies, the LNWR from Millers Dale on the main (now closed) Derby – Manchester line.  The stations lay side by side in Buxton and tank engines usually operated the services, the LNWR using the Bowen Cooke 4-6-2Ts and the Midland its smaller 0-4-4Ts.  Sometimes, however, trains ran south beyond Millers Dale and here is Class 2 4-4-0 No.447 at Buxton (Midland) on 3rd May 1934.  Photo: H.C.Casserley.

Manton Station on 26th May 1953 with Fowler 2-6-4 tank as BR No.42330, leaving with the 2.10pm Kettering to Melton Mowbray train.  Manton was the junction for Luffenham, Stamford and Peterborough.  Photo: P.M.Alexander.

Still carrying her Midland Railway cast iron smokebox number plate, Kirtley double framed 2-4-0 No.12 heads a Kettering to Cambridge train near Cambridge in the early days of the LMS.  Photo: P.B.Whitehouse collection.

An LNWR/Midland Joint line left Nuneaton (TV) and meandered via Shackerstone to Burton, the last section from Overseal and Moira to Burton being pure Midland.  The passenger service was axed on 13th April 1931.  MR Johnson class 1P 0-4-4 tank No.1369 in unlined black is seen here approaching Ashby Junction, Nuneaton with an Ashby and Burton train in 1930.  Photo: A.W.Flowers.

Some Early Lines – LNWR in South Wales

Some Early Lines

 LNWR in South Wales

Nantybwch on the Abergavenny to Merthyr ‘Heads of the Valleys’ line on 19th August 1950 showing (left) a train arriving from Newport and Tredegar and (right) a train for Abergavenny, both behind the then standard motive power: LNWR 0-6-2 cola tanks.  Trains from Newport terminated here and the locomotives for the branch were shedded at Tredegar. – P.B.Whitehouse

 South Wales plus its coal were magnets which attracted the LNWR very strongly but the problem (with the GWR and the South Wales independents already ensconced) was how to get there.  The company had two main aims, the first to get into Newport and Swansea, the other, black gold.  In the event this was achieved by the construction of the long Central Wales line from Craven Arms on the Shrewsbury to Hereford route, under the Sugar Loaf to Swansea and, by the Heads of the Valleys route from Abergavenny through Brynmawr to Merthyr.  There was a change for Newport at the isolated Nantybwch Junction, trains ran down via Tredegar.  Today it is virtually all gone, with only the Central Wales line open with a desultory passenger service.  It was LNW and GWR joint from Llandovery to Llandilo.

A shot from the footplate of a Fowler 2-6-4 tank on the evening train to Craven Arms approaching Sugar Loaf from Llandovery. – P.B.Whitehouse

A train from Newport and Tredegar about to enter Nantybwch on 19th August 1950 behind LNWR Webb 0-6-2 coal tank No.58933.  This is a Saturday afternoon strengthened set of four coaches making a heavy load for this small engine up the gradients to the valley head.  The leading vehicle is an old LNWR eliptical roofed non-corridor dating back to the 1890s.  By the look of the peeling paint it had been used on miners’ trains, which did not provide the acme of comfort.

A Bescot (3A) shedded LNWR Super d 0-8-0 No.49064 a long way from home in Nantybwch on 19th August 1950.  Note the tender cab for adverse weather conditions.  The train is an afternoon working from Merthyr to Abergavenny Junction whilst in the branch platform to the left is the connection from Newport behind Webb 0-6-2 coal tank No.58933.  The first coach is an ex-Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway vehicle.  – P.B.Whitehouse

Abergavenny Junction on 8th September 1952.  Webb 0-6-2 coal tank No.58888, one of the last two to be steamed, shunts prior to moving up the line to Nantybwch and Brynmawr.  At that date a further eight other coal tanks were ‘stored’ awaiting despatch to Crewe for scrapping. – P.M.Alexander


Some Early Lines – LNWR in North Wales

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Some Early Lines LNWR in North Wales Bettws-y-coed station in May 1947 during the last days of LNWR coal tank working.  No.7841 is arriving on the afternoon train from Llandudno Junction.  P.B.Whitehouse North Wales was a happy hunting ground for … Continue reading

Some Early Lines – LNWR & Midland in Ireland

Some Early Lines

LNWR & Midland in Ireland

 A photograph taken in 1950 at Greenore, retaining a very LNWR atmosphere.  The signals and coaches were Crewe manufactured (the coaches still in plum and spilt milk livery).  P.B.Whitehouse


Both the LNWR and the Midland put roots down in Ireland, the former in connection with its steamer service to Greenore (which took passengers to Dundalk where they changed for Dublin or Belfast) and the latter with an extensive system known as the Northern Counties Committee.  Both were 5’ 3” gauge.  The LNWR line had a separate name, the Dundalk, Newry and Greenore Railway, but its engines (Ramsbottom/Webb 0-6-0 saddle tanks with names) and its six-wheeled coaches were exclusively Crewe built; although this was LNWR owned it later became worked as a branch of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland).  The NCC system was much larger, serving Belfast and Londonderry and the port of Larne.  There was one secondary line and branch serving Magherafelt and Draperstown via the north shores of Lough Neagh.  In addition there were some narrow gauge lines (3’ 0”) including that from Londonderry to Strabane where it met the Midland and GNR(I)  jointly owned County Donegal Railways Joint Committee’s tracks went to Donegal town and beyond.  This branch was worked by the CDRJC.

Ex-Belfast & Northern Counties Railway 2-4-0 as NCC No.57 Galgorm Castle at Cookstown Junction with a Magherafelt train on 20th June 1938.  Locomotive and train are in LMS livery.  Note the NCC somersault signal right background.  H.C.Casserley