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I'll be running the occasional photo here which has stumped me, with information that I have established, updated with any fresh info that viewers can suggest. If anybody can help with identification, please get in touch! New sequence:

Unresolved: Ex-NER C7 No 2208 approaches the camera at an unknown date and location. Express lights are being carried, which might suggest a portion, of Gresley 61'6" carriages, plus a horse box (ex-GER?) behind the tender. The loco lasted until Nov 1948 so the date could be late '30s or '40s.

BTK   3rd brake
  CK   1st/3rd
BTK   3rd brake

On the high ground in the background is a staggered row of terraced houses.


Resolved below


Your puzzle this year is a pair of LNER "Official" pictures, 12"x10", on the back of which is written "Flying Scotsman" and the cost of construction of the loco. The basic questions are:

1 - Which class of loco is actually taking shape?

2 - At which works?

3 - The approximate date?

Answers on New Year's Eve, 31st December, with commendations as appropriate. Good luck! If you'd like to submit your thoughts please use Contact/feedback via either of the menus or Contact/feedback.

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The answers

The answers came in quickly, led by Rob Dickson (well done!) and summarise thus:

1 - Gresley 3-cylinder 4-6-0 Class B17

2 - Darlington Works

3 - 1930-36

I think the general design history of this lightweight 4-6-0 is fairly well known, intended for the GE Section to supplement the Holden B12s, which the North British Locomotive Company was asked to design and build a batch of 10, under guidance by the LNER. Gresley had struggled with first designs attempted at King's Cross and Doncaster before handing over to NBL - which had already built several classes of LNER loco. There's a well-detailed account in RCTS 2B.

Further batches, were constructed at Darlington (52 between 1930-36) and a final batch of 11 (1937) at Robert Stephenson & Co. at Darlington. The total came to 73.

Identifying the works in the photograph was the trickiest part as there were three possibilities. Among the misleading stuff on the rear of the photographs, the location was cited as "Darlington" and the picture below shows the same works with the salient features confirming it:

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A view inside Darlington Works about 1923-24. Source: LNER 150, Patrick Whitehouse and David St.John Thomas, D&C, 1989, p.140.

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Examples in service

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The first batch built at Darlington comprised numbers 2810-2821 and No 2818 Wynyard Park, allocated to Cambridge, is seen leaving the city in the 1930s with an express for Liverpool St. The train is dominated by pre-Grouping carriages, mostly ex-GER with an ex-NER one leading. Photo: AWV Mace collection.

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Another example from the first batch and also allocated to Cambridge, No 2819 Welbeck Abbey is seen passing Littlebury on 4th August 1934 with an Up express to Liverpool St. Photo: ER Wethersett.

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In 1931 the second batch built at Darlington comprised numbers 2822-36 and the first one of them, Alnwick Castle is portrayed on a sepia postcard at Ingrave Summit, Brentwood, with a "Seaside Exoress". Note how the catering carriages (ex-GER restaurant car and dining car) were placed at the head, behind the loco. Photo: F.J. Agar.

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Another one from the same batch was No 2834 Hinchingbrooke which was sent to Neasden on the GC Section and is seen on shed in 1933. Photo: Author's collection.

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Also from this batch was No 2835 Milton, captured in November 1933 at Woodford Halse. It was one of three B17s sent to Doncaster to work fish trains to Banbury but by December, it had been transferred to Parkeston. Photo R.S.Carpenter.

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A B17 from the fifth and final batch built at Darlington in 1936, No 2850 Grimsby Town, now being built with a larger LNER Group Standard tender and named after football clubs on the LNER. It was one of three allocated to Woodford for working the cross-country expresses and is seen on shed on 14th August 1938. Photo R.S.Carpenter.

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The penultimate B17 built at Darlington in 1936 was No 2860 Hull City and is seen awaiting its next turn at Nottingham Victoria. Photo: TG Hepburn.

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This is based on Colour-Rail NE106 with my apologies for the mediocre colours; the original, a Dufaycolor slide, was exposed on a dull day and the duplicate from C-R quite strongly vignetted and blue; I have done my best to restore it.

The scene is Edinburgh Waverley in August 1939 and A3 No 2747 Coronach is about to depart with the LMS formation of the Up "Thames-Forth" * express. In the background stands a K3 and a Gresley 61'6" 3rd (TK)

All good stuff, but I got the picture because of the 6w van behind the tender - it's one of the rarely photographed ex-NBR Fruit and Yeast Vans (LNER Wagons-3, p.59, Peter Tatlow).

The livery is intriguing, too, for this was classed as a goods van, even though fitted with AVB and through steam heat pipe. The body colour can be loosely described as brown and I think I can see the large white letters "NE" placed fairly centrally, between the doors. Further text would have been placed below them, and the slide seems to show what may be two words, in yellow??

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*Route of the Thames-Forth express - Heading south was:
Edinburgh-Carlisle via the Waverley Route
Carlisle-Leeds via the Settle & Carlisle
Leeds-St.Pancras via the Midland main line through Derby.

After the hiatus caused by WWII, the service was not actually restored until 1956, when BR renamed it "The Waverley". But it was not to last and after an initial reduction to summer-only, it was withdrawn in 1968.

Iain Chalmers, member of the NBR Study Group, has come forward to say there could be two of these yeast vans behind the tender. He believes that much of the yeast was a by-product from the beer industries around Alloa and that these despatches could reach Burton-on-Trent in the Midlands. It's interesting that the NBR gave these vans a passenger livery (ie. NPCS) while the LNER regarded them as goods vehicles - a bit strange for a 6w vehicle fully up to NPCS specifications and running with expresses, but you have to get used to inconsistencies in railway practice.

There's more work to be done here but already there is the tantalising prospect for LNER and LMS modellers to run these vans.

How the yeast vans were taken on to Burton-on-Trent is not yet known. It's possible that they may have been attached to other passenger services, from Derby for example, by which time thanks to the change of direction at Leeds City, the Yeast Van would have been on the rear. And possibly returned via goods trains?

Any further ideas/corrections would be welcome (via the "Contact/feedback" link, please)!


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Your Yuletide puzzle for 2017 is the train in the above picture. The negative arrived with only these words on the sleeve "2479 Rugby 1-8-37".

There is a lot of content here and the basic questions are to identify:

1 - Season and day of the week.
2 - Direction of travel and possible destination.
3 - The NPCS (2 vehicles).
4 - The passenger stock (there's at least eleven - as many as you can: not all are possible but there are some significant types and groupings.
5 - The loco is a passenger tank and it's carrying a reporting number, presumably for an excursion, and Ordinary Passenger lights. What is likely to have been happening here?

Answers on New Year's Eve, 31st December 2017, with commendations as appropriate. Good luck, it's quite a tough one! If you'd like to submit your thoughts please use Contact/feedback via either of the menus or Contact/feedback.

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Solutions

Good progress was made after Philip Millard recognised the precise location, and thus allowed examination of the local track plan and the likely routes onwards. So, starting with the questions outlined above:

1 - 1st August 1937 was a high summer Sunday (so popular for a day out that many years later it would become a Bank Holiday). The sun angle indicates just before noon.

2 - The train is leaving Rugby and heading west.

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This is the layout after Rugby No.7 signal box was moved from the north to the south side of the running lines in 1936. The train is on the third track up from the bottom of the plan and the signals indicate that the route being taken is towards Leamington Spa.

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3 - The NPCS comprises a pair of CCTs (covered carriage trucks), often used as general vans. Leading is an LMS 6w covered combination truck, and behind it, an ex-NER bogie CCT.

Fresh information

4,5 - At this point (the date is 25th January 2019) I drop my initial suggestion of an excursion in favour of analysis by Darwin Smith, thank you very much. He makes the point that my original interpretation of an excursion was plausible - because irregular workings and events were part and parcel of the the steam railway - but offers an alternative, that is arguably even more irregular, but more plausible. We've discussed this in some detail and here are the results, 90% Darwin's work:

To begin with, the reporting number of W21 was indicated in the WTT as the Sundays-only 10.22am Euston-Wolverhampton advertised only as far as Coventry, and to carry Ordinary Passenger lights beyond Rugby, which can be seen on the loco. It was, in fact, a semi-fast working. The carriages were rostered in two portions: for Wolverhampton and Coventry with the latter normally on the rear for ease of detachment. Destination boards on the leading carriages were reversed because this stock was taken from a different working during the week (the 11.30 Euston-Wolverhampton express with restaurant car, hence the pair of TOs which during the week served as dining cars).

At this point another factor comes into play as the route towards Leamington Spa is being taken, which indicates a possible diversion because of engineering work, entailing reversal at Coventry - hence the tank engine rather than the tender loco which would have worked the train from Euston to Rugby.

According to the Marshaling Circular, the formation for the Wolverhampton portion was:

BTK

P.III

  CK

P.III

  CK

P.III

  CK

P.III

  TO

  TO

BTK

P.III

The use of three CKs was not very common and while (FK,TK,TK) was arguably simpler and placed all the 1st class passengers in a dedicated carriage, the LMS was not a big user of the FK and this was not an elite express but, also, the three modern CKs provided more 1st class seats: an important consideration for this service. The two TOs were older carriages:

P.I

single window to D1706

P.II

low-waisted version to D1721

The Coventry portion did not have a return working and was rostered for any available stock to (BCK, TO, TO, TO, TO, BCK). Not all of these are visible but the following can be discerned, with a tendency towards older stock including a pre-Grouping carriage:

BCK ?

ex-MR Bain

  TK ?

  TO

P.I

  TO

P.III

Remainder not visible...

The next stage in these workings began at Coventry where the trailing portion was detached and the 7 (rather posh) carriages for Wolverhampton were held for 10 minutes to depart as a fresh train in the public timetable, calling at almost every station, including 35 minutes at Birmingham New St. For a secondary service like this, in the hands of a 2-6-4 passenger tank, the stock was on the elegant side - and serves as an example of how efficient the steam railway used to be in trimming a main line formation and maximising its utilisation.

And finally...

The set terminated at Wolverhampton where the restaurant car (an RF) was put back in the formation, ready for the week's normal duties, which began as the 6.50am Wolverhampton-Euston express, calling at Birmingham New St. at 7.30am, and returning with the already-mentioned 11.30am Euston-Wolverhampton. It would have been busy serving breakfast in the Up direction, and lunch in the Down working and was a good example of a roster which fielded a high catering demand in both directions and was thus provided with three catering carriages (RF, TO, TO).

That's as far as we can get and my apologies for such length, but as you can see, even irregular workings had a solid operating basis and, for the modeller, options that don't normally come to mind. It's also fair to say that Sunday workings, for which a weekdays formation was modified, don't get the same level of attention!

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I got this picture for the view of the train being loaded, hauled ex-LMS 2P 4-4-0 No 40569, which is carrying a 5A Crewe North shed plate. The date appears to be sometime in the 1950s, the loco moving to Watford in 11/59. Withdrawal came a few years later in 6/61. A single lamp is being carried over the LH buffer, which would indicate a pick-up goods, but it may be a "light engine" light that hasn't been changed yet. My guess is that it's a parcels working. The location, however, has defeated me - can anybody recognise it?

Gordon Luck has come to the rescue - it's an Up train at Crewe station, platform 6. Armed with that info the presence of ex-GWR vans, a pair of Siphon Gs (early and late versions), behind the loco suggests a Parcels working to Shrewsbury. There used to be a working from Crewe to Bristol although the only source I have is for 1935-36 when it ran overnight and comprised almost entirely GWR vehicles: passenger brake vans and Siphons. Rostered for up to eight vehicles, if this was a comparable service in early BR days it would have been no problem for a lightweight ex-LMS 2P. Presumably, Shrewsbury took over with a GWR loco.

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Two sets of pictures with horse boxes, since updated and moved into the topic "Horse and Race Traffic" with a sub-section focusing on LMS horse boxes.

LGRP 21135

This is LGRP 21135 and shows a NBR-built Wheatley 0-6-0 approaching Carlisle with a train of 6-wheel and bogie passenger carriages; a 4-wheel passenger brake van; and a horse box. The headlamps are not RCH-related but a local one so I cannot tell if this was an express or ordinary passenger train. I suspect that the code probably indicated the route being served, a practice which lasted beyond the Grouping in several parts of the UK.

LGRP 21135 detl

An enlargement of the two non-passenger vehicles shows more of the horse box. Oil axleboxes are evident, a fixture that was becoming normal on coaching stock built after around 1900.

Real 17363

The second view shows an LMS train in 1925 at Blackwell being banked up the Lickey Incline. 2P 4-4-0 No 521 has an Ordinary Passenger train comprising four bogie carriages, mostly clerestory, flanked by vans: ex-Midland Railway 6w at the front and on the rear, ex-LNWR, still in LNWR livery, a common sight during the 1920s. Behind the loco, however, are five horse boxes.

Real 17363 detl

The trailing three are indistinct but look like Midland Railway designs, of which there were several different types, both flat-sided and with tumblehome, arc roof and elliptical. At the head there are two more examples of the mystery design.

In Peter Tatlow's "Historic Carriage Drawings, Volume Three, Non-passenger Coaching Stock" (Pendragon, 2000), page 75 shows a Maryport and Carlisle horse box, No 4, which Peter concluded was the sole survivor listed in the LMS renumbering in 1932. The body profiles are similar and there are several similarities in detail.

Philip Millard, well known for his LNWR researches, has come forward to identify the mystery design in both pictures so I have trimmed my thoughts and quote Philip thus:

"A considerable number of these 21ft boxes was built by the LNWR to Diagram 436. In all, 692 were produced between 1890-1923 and the ones at Blackwell are earlier examples built on steel channel frames with rounded ends to the headstocks. They have the 1901 pattern of oil boxes. The first one is a pre-1896 example with horns outside the solebars. The second appears to be post-1896 with horns inside the solebars.

The one at Carlisle is a later, post-1899 build on bulb-iron frames with square-end headstocks, and it too has oil boxes, of the 1916 type.

There were still about 699 of these horseboxes in capital stock at the Grouping, and 247 in 1933. The type did not become extinct until 1954".

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At this point it's fair to show the preceding LNWR Diagram 438 to 19'6" because it is covered by London Road Models, whose illustration is shown above. The website states that this Diagram had been built between 1883-1889. 150 were constructed, 88 of which were still running in 1915. By 1920 they had all been replaced by the newer design. London Road Models can be found via the Useful Links section in the main menu.

As regards M&CR horsebox No 4 which was built in 1904 and shown in Peter Tatlow's book, although built by R.Y. Pickering of Wishaw near Motherwell in Scotland, it appears to have been based on contemporary LNWR designs with a few simplifications, such as one less door to the fodder compartment.

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Workings - All of which brings us back to the train pictures and possible workings. Philip Millard tells me that there used to be a weekly sale of horses at Crewe, to and from which horses would be sent by rail. The LNWR would have despatched using its own boxes, and after the Grouping, ex-MR ones too. There were other sales, of course, around the country in the same way that second-hand cars are traded these days and I'm wondering if the ex-MR and ex-LNWR horse boxes at Blackwell were part of a sale, at Gloucester, for example, or possibly empty boxes being returned? I think that race traffic can be ruled out.

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Another mystery picture with an Ivatt 0-6-2T, this time an N2. The photographer is unknown and the quality is a bit iffy: again, I have done my best to fix it with Photoshop CS.

- - - - - -

Not the West Riding after all, thanks go to Rob Stout, member of the North British Study Group (see Useful Links), who has recognised the location as near Craigentinny Signal Box, Portobello, on the east side of Edinburgh, a few miles out from Edinburgh Waverley.

If my map reading is up to scratch the pair of lines in the middle are the ECML towards Newcastle and King's Cross and the junction to the right leads into Craigentinny depot and carriage sidings. The pair of tracks to the left are the goods lines with a junction further north that parted off towards Granton Harbour, and that's the direction the Class D "pick-up goods" may have been heading.

The loco was one of a batch 2583-94 that was sent new to Scotland in the spring of 1925 and allocated initially to Dundee, St.Margaret's and Eastfield, on passenger duties except for the St.Margaret's ones which were initially put on the goods transfer trips around Edinburgh. See RCTS 9A for more details about subsequent developments.Reading between the lines, I get the feeling that Doncaster may not have been best pleased about brand new passenger tanks being relegated to duties as humble as this. The train is quite short and not unusual for the 1920s when relatively low-sided wagons were numerous. The leading three visible here, and a telling point is continued carriage of pre-Grouping liveries, are:

- 3-plank dropside with a loose tarpaulin sheet, still in GCR livery with grease boxes and handbrake lever to the left.
- 2-plank LMS (possibly ex-MR)?
- 4-plank ex-HR, with a primitive brake lever arrangement. Confirmed by John Smart, who prompted me to make a hi-res scan of the wagons, in which the lettering is clear to see.

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Dare I conclude by saying that this reminds me of my first ever train set, boosted by second-hand wagons from the model shop in Leeds, and when I eventually started building wagons from scratch in the days before kits were available (the magazines used to be full of helpful articles by the LNER Study Group and the LMS Society), wagons like this were easy to knock off. Oh, happy days!

Map

For those wishing to delve deeper into the scene, Rob Stout has flagged up the OS map of 1934 courtesy of the National Library of Scotland whose stunning presentation shows Edinburgh around Portobello. The link below takes you straight there - return by using the browser "back" button.

OS map link

Rob adds that the walled footpath to the left was called the Fishwives' Causeway.

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3216 84C

Here is an undated picture of Collett 2251 Class, No 3216 and the location is unmistakably Banbury. The real puzzle is when? Below is an enlargement of the smokebox door showing the 84C shedcode. According to my half dozen ABC shed books, I cannot trace the loco as having been at Banbury and the website BRDatabase quotes:

pre-1953 - not stated
16.5.53 to 84F Stourbridge Jc
30.1.54 to 87G Camarthen
18.6.55 to 85A Worcester
8.10.60 to 92G Templecombe
12.63 withdrawn

Does this lead us to conclude, bearing in mind that BR style front number plates weren't seen here until around 1950 and this looks like a high summer's day, that the picture was taken sometime between 1950-52?

3216 detail

John Smart has been in touch to say that several records (that I could not find; John's good at this!) show that 3216 was at Banbury from Nationalisation in 1948, departing to Stourbridge as shown above. I'm embarrassed to say that this is one of the quickest resolutions to date!


2851 and fmn

Ex-works ex-GWR 2-8-0 No 2851 stands in the shed yard on 21st April 1959 with what appears to be an 84C shedplate. The caption on the back states "and shed foreman". Photo: SV Blencowe Collection

Ban Foreman

Can anybody identify this man, and was his title really "Shed Foreman"? Looks more like the Shed Master to me!

News has come through from John Batts, that this was Shed Master George Holland. :)


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This view comes from a CCQ slide whose uneven tones and debris I have cleaned up and balanced. Taken sometime in the 1930s it shows Southern Railway "King Arthur" No 742 Camelot at the head of a southbound express with 10-11 carriages behind the tender. Note the long distance coaches with destination boards, and among them what appear to be strengtheners, some of which may have been added at Oxford. The staff on the ground by the train would have been involved in remarshalling the train. They seem to be waiting for the off so they can climb back on the platform. At the head, it looks like a fresh loco with safety valves blowing off has taken over the train for its next leg to the south.

The question is, what was the express?

There are two cross-country candidates for which I quote from the LNER 1939 (summer) Working Timetable:

10.10am Newcastle-Bournemouth - arr Oxford 2.53pm : alternating LNER and SR stock.

2.55pm Newcastle-Southampton - arr. Oxford 7.56pm : alternating LNER and GWR stock (actually the Glasgow-Southampton, remarshalled at Newcastle)

Based on the angle of the shadows in the picture and keying 2.53pm into a solar calculator gives a good match, for 2.53pm, not for BST but the "winter" period between the end of October and end of March. This would of course be in the railways' winter timetable and on a fine day give a photographer plenty of low-slanting sunlight.

The puzzle is that a mixture of GWR and SR stock would suit neither train. It's almost as if the two cross-country trains were in some way combined. And I have no knowledge of such a practice, even though all my Carriage Working Books are for summer period. Any ideas, anybody? Or was this a different train altogether that arrived at a similar time?

John Smart has come up with an explanation, referencing the May 1934 Bradshaw, with two possibilities where GWR and SR stock was carried on alternate days. The first was a service between Birkenshead-Brighton and the SE coast ports, leaving Oxford at 12.12pm.

More likely, however, and tallying with the sun angle, was the Birkenhead/Manchester to Southampton and Bournemouth, with through coach Manchester-Portsmouth, which departed Oxford at 2.25pm. Well done, John! :)

More recently, the slide has been dated as April 1939.

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C7 No 2202 is heading south with a secondary express and a TPO behind the tender. My guess is that it's heading for Newcastle (or York?) and the wayside station would be on the ECML between Edinburgh and Newcastle (or York?). Can anybody identify the station, please? Click on the image for a larger, higher-res version. Photo copyright, Steve Banks collection.

Thanks to John Smart, the station has been identified as Longniddry, on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Other details about the working have also been resolved, helping make sure this picture will shine in "LNER trains etc." Vol.2 about the Secondary Services (now renamed by Ian Allan as: "Secondary, Branch Line and Non-Passenger Services").

Confirmation comes from Paul Tetlaw who has just travelled along the ECML, the curve and houses all fitting in, some three-quarters of a century later! (2-5-15)


K1 No 62066 passes with a horse train made up with the BR Mk.1 style horse box. Can anybody identify the location? With a March loco, and fairly flat terrain, possibly not too far from Newmarket?

John Chalcraft (yes, he of Rail Photoprints) reckons that, having been to this location himself, the picture shows the train entering Ely from the north. Thanks, John, one of the longest standing puzzles solved at last! (11 April 2014).


The return half of a complimentary King's Cross-Newmarket ticket for the Racecourse Betting Control Board. Does anybody know what this might be?

26th March 2014: I have struggled to makes sense of conflicting information on this one, with thanks to David Wilkins. One school of thought has it that the RBCB was set up to monitor attendances at race meetings, and was then tasked by the Government in 1928 to set up reliable, govt supervised betting, nicknamed "the tote" (after Totalisator). Another source states that the RBCB did not exist until the gov't created it as part of setting up the tote. Yet another source declares that the tote did not exist until 1961! I have yet to establish exactly where the truth lies.

One thing I can add with some confidence is that complimentary tickets for RBCB officials used to be issued by the railway. Racing reporters were granted the same privilege. This is the return half of a ticket from London.


Heading south, this cross-country train was brought by an LNER loco, an ex-GCR Atlantic or, later, a Footballer B17, into Banbury General (GWR) station where a GWR loco took over. It has recently come to light that "during the 1920s and '30s a large GWR Prairie tank was used as far as Oxford". This picture was taken by Maurice Earley and it's one of his earliest (it says No.10 on the back). My estimate for the date is 1926-27, but the location has defeated me: any suggestions?
- Bob Humphris has suggested c1923 but a better location has come from Martin Crane, who says that it's Tilehurst, where Maurice Earley took several pictures . A former signalman, Martin adds that key indicators are the Stop signal with a lower Distant, and a Shunt arm lower down the post. The train is on the Up main line with the relief lines further away, and the River Thames in the background.

Tilehurst is the last wayside station between Didcot and Reading and shows that the "Prairie" tank worked all the way from Banbury to Reading. At the time, the off-peak Newcastle-Bournemouth was a medium-sized train and the gradients were modest and many, falling. Whether or not a similar loco worked the Down train I cannot say, but 4-6-0s from Reading were certainly in charge later. I can't help musing that according to one expert on the GWR, the company treated the cross-country expresses as "secondary", and having looked at them in some detail, I consider that to be quite charitable!

The service itself got heavier from 1927 when, for five years, extra coaches were added to the train, from Leeds, and then Bradford as well. I would suggest that use of a "Prairie" tank ended that year. These coaches from the West Riding formed part of a Leeds-Bournemouth express and a write-up is in hand.


2510 Silver Jubilee

A4 No 2510 Quicksilver has the train, but what is the location?
- Steve Gwinnett (many thanks!) proposes: "leaving Hadley Wood North Tunnel which would, if correct, mean that Ganwick signal box (or site of) was about 100 yards behind the photographer's left shoulder. Can't be sure, though, despite growing up half a mile from there", (several other viewers have confirmed this).
- David Lester has just pointed put that 2510 was not actually "Silver Link" as per my original caption. I'm wondering how many of us have been in a dream-like state around these A4s and never noticed? Thank you David for the reality check. :)



Testing, testing, testing...... assembling new topics.....


New additions placed here temporarily:

New additions placed here temporarily:

#####################

#####################

###Barnums##

The carriages

An overview of a more complex subject than first meets the eye for there used to be two kinds of 3rd Open with seating arranged:

   2:1 for use as dining cars alongside restaurant and kitchen cars
   2:2 where the main use was for excursions.

In principle either could be used for either application (if not as satisfactorily, of course) and when the telegraphic codes were created, the LNER used "TO" for both types. In the carriage rosters the right choice could be covered by stating the number of seats, the 2:2 version having one third more. For a 60ft carriage it was TO(48) and TO(64), respectively. In BR days a difference in codes was finally established by adding a prefix "T" which the LNER had previously used to indicate the green & cream Tourist stock with 2:2 seating.

Robinson designed matchboard versions of both kinds and there were several catering types but the excursion one was covered by two Diagrams with thirty-eight built:
   TO = 32
BTO =    6

Running numbers were, respectively, prefixed by the LNER with a "5":

89, 94-7, 153, 160, 238, 252, 396, 465, 482, 657, 661-2, 664-6, 668, 670, 684, 698, 700-2, 710-4, 718-9.
146, 155, 222, 695-7.

The GCR was not alone for other companies also built excursion-dedicated stock. The GCR's historical claim to fame arises from the fact that when introduced in 1910 they marked a turning point on the GCR from conventionally panelled and beaded carriages to varnished teak matchboarding below the windows and, at the van ends, all the way up to the roof. The BTO and TO designs acquired the rather jolly nickname of "Barnum". However, they were not entirely precursors of the general service matchboard designs which began to be built from the following year, 1911.

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It's convenient to show the Diagram for the BTO first because all the relevant stuff is displayed. Note how, although it's greatly over-stated in the drawing and not at all realistic (many carriage Diagrams exaggerated the body profile), there was no curved tumblehome below the waist: it was flat and vertical. The upper half was also flat but angled back almost imperceptibly, especially at the van end where it is almost impossible to see with the naked eye. This contributed to a rather boxy appearance and, some would say, "continental" or "American" appearance. This profile was not repeated: subsequent matchboard designs had a conventional outline with an elegantly curved tumblehome below the waist.

The narrow end vestibule - at both ends of the TO and BTO - was also not to be repeated. Indeed, Robinson spurned end vestibules with doors for all his future designs (except for a restaurant composite of 1913). In addition, all the doors opened inwards and, even more unusually, the passenger doors had no droplights, only fixed glazing, in four panes. This, too, was not to be repeated. In truth, the only new design feature that was continued was the use of teak matchboarding. Perhaps Robinson wanted to make a statement with carriages for excursion use and cultivate the traffic, for which rickety old bangers on six wheels had been a staple for some time, as did Gresley some years later with his "Tourist" stock?

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The 2:2 seat layout limited the space for a complete lavatory with W.C. (water closet) and wash basin so, instead of providing a longer one, they were separated and placed on opposite sides of the corridor.

In the van end - single sliding doors were provided, which were alright if well maintained, but otherwise prone to stiffness. The concept had been introduced during the 1900s as an external feature of bogie vans and Robinson was to use again in his matchboard BG of 1913-14, but the "Barnum" BTO of 1910 was a complete one-off - it was the only passenger-carrying vehicle to be fitted with sliding doors and they were placed internally. After these episodes, the concept was abandoned altogether in favour of hinged doors. The end vestibule door for the guard was fitted with a droplight, but the ducket, which the GCR normally provided on both sides, was omitted. The guard was expected to stick his head out. No hand brake was provided either; it was a little spartan and with the sliding doors, probably draughty, too. By contrast, sliding van doors on the GNR were of the "plug" type which sealed better, but they too were eventually abandoned by Gresley who, after the Grouping, began to provide a heater as well. Conditions for the guard, often primitive at first, gradually got better.

The underframe layout - became the standard one for 60ft carriages, carried on Spencer 10'6" bogies with heavy journals. This was arguably a case of safe, over-engineering and 8ft bogies were used for 56ft carriages. In 1909, when the GNR had introduced a similar carriage length of 61'6", it had also fitted a longer bogie (10') but within a few years Gresley's 8'6" bogie was available and a heavy version was only used where it was really required. It's an interesting aspect of the thinking behind these "Barnum" opens and their intended use for cheap-fare excursion traffic.

Originally fitted with dual braking for use all over the country, the LNER began removing the Westinghouse brake in the very late 1920s.

Over the years other aspects of the design were modified and these are described under the photographs. Author's collection.

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An official photograph taken in 1910 at Dukinfield of newly-built TO No 153. Originally some of the large windows were droplights and the nearest one can be seen lowered by a couple of inches. This was a grand feature which the GNR and LNER used in some of its 1st class carriages but in practice the ventilation was not so good and in the "Barnums" it was changed later. In the photograph, a combination of the play of light, fresh varnish and cleanness make a stunning impression but, alas, this did not last in service. One suspects that they weren't visited by the carriage cleaners as often as the main line trains. Photo: Gorton negative, Doncaster Dwg Office, author's collection.

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TO No 153 on the same day which, from a lower and more end-on angle, isn't as flattering with the recessed end vestibule and its large grab handles contrasting with the rest and more streamlined body. The door handle is difficult to identify and looks like a conventional door knob! The British Standard scissors gangway shows well. Photo: Gorton negative, Doncaster Dwg Office, author's collection.

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TO No 5700 in late LNER condition, seen in the 1940s, possibly at Mansfield. In the vestibule, the large grab handles are a different style, a variation when construction was spread over several years. Changes to the body and roof are described in the next two pictures. Photo: Author's collection.

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Captured on 28th May 1949 is "Barnum" TO No E5712 at Gorton, recently shopped and still in varnished teak.

The ventilation in the body has been revised significantly. It looks like four of the windows have had their droplights sealed and toplights installed with sliding lights. This modification would not have been undertaken lightly. The LNER recognised a lack of ventilation on hot sunny days in the corridors of Gresley designs where there were large fixed windows and began to increase the number of toplights in new construction from 1938 so this upgrading could have been carried out around the same time, or perhaps the problem was worse and a start was made earlier? I can't help thinking that a saving by not fitting roof ventilators proved to be a short cut that had to be rectified later.

On the roof, three changes were made: racks for destination boards; a long curved rainstrip; and on the cornice above the doors, a slimmer rain deflector. Photo: Author's collection.

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A marvellous view of a "Barnum" BTO is undated but the late BR lettering - the number appears to be E5695E - suggests the late 1950s and either maroon or possibly plain brown. Starting from the near end, the recessed end vestibule shows the different door provided for the guard with a droplight and a lever door handle. The depth of the sliding van doors lacks grace but the door handle is so small that one can only imagine that these were good, free-running fixtures. The lettering is partly concealed but there is a scribbled note on the Diagram which suggests that it would have read "Load 3 Tons Distributed".

The modified roof, windows and toplights with sliding ventilation are the same as on TO Nos 5700 and E5712 above. Once again, a full set for each window was not provided, only half of them. Photo: R.S. Carpenter.

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A preserved "Barnum" at Loughborough, (GCR No 664) shows how grand these carriages were when freshly built or overhauled. And such a tonic after all the black & white pictures which barely do them justice. The LNER replaced the lavatory end windows, originally etched with the GCR crest, by plain versions. Photo: Author's collection.

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Later developments

It may be argued that Robinson's Barnums established a new approach for excursion traffic via long bogie carriages with a simple and uncluttered open layout, only served by external doors in the end vestibules, and I describe in the section "More LNER services" below how Gresley took these concepts further. I don't think that this sequence of developments has been observed before.


Barnums and their deployment

Barnums were designed for the excursion traffic and it's fitting to look at a sample handbill first:

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This battered handbill from 1913 advertised twice-weekly half-day excursions in May from Nottingham to Marylebone and was produced by the GCR's travel agents, Dean & Dawson. It is impossible to tell what kind of carriages were provided, nor how many but a couple of things stand out:

- it was a "corridor" train with catering.
- the small print states rather ambiguously that when full catering wasn't available, "light refreshments" were supplied. This is an early example of restaurant cars being used to provide what would later be called a buffet service.
- departure was at 11.12am, arrival Marylebone at 2.45pm, return at 12.40am. Flexibility was offered by an earlier return on the Down 6.20pm (Bradford express) or on the Sunday, at 5.30pm (Manchester express) but as can be seen, tickets for return by an express were normally more expensive - almost double and treble the half-day rate. It was a device to discourage excursionists from using better-appointed timetabled expresses.

In practice - there were big differences between full and half-day excursions, and the distance covered, which led to widely varying stock being used - from 6w carriages to bogie stock, non-gangwayed and gangwayed. Often in combination.

There is a belief that complete trains of Barnum carriages were operated by the GCR but the evidence points to their use in small quantities, mixed with other carriages. Large formations have so far only been found c1930, a few years before the LNER started building Buffet Tourist Trains. Afterwards, the Barnums were dispersed.

Some non-excursion uses have also to light. I have therefore divided the subject into separate parts.

1 - The heaviest excursions

At first, there wasn't enough open stock to provide for a really heavy excursion and normal practice was to use elderly stock cascaded out of front line line express service, ie.
- pre-matchboard gangwayed carriages (Parker 46'6" and Parker-style 50') and
- pre-matchboard non-gangwayed carriages (50' clerestory and London Suburban)
to which a few Barnums could be added.

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8E No 365 Sir William Pollitt is supported by another Atlantic with a train of at least 12 carriages at an unknown location. The back of the print was captioned "Down Sheffield Special" and it looks like a heavy excursion made up with a great variety of carriages going back to 1899. Leading are:

  T

50'

non-gangwayed clerestory

  T

50'

non-gangwayed London Suburban

  TO

60'

Barnum

  TO

60'

Barnum

BTK?

46'6"

gangwayed Parker

  ?

50'

gangwayed Parker-style

...remainder unclear

Note the absence of a brake end near the tender, as if the leading 4 carriages were an addition. Non-gangwayed stock was normally placed outside the gangwayed carriages anyway. The rest of the train is alas too blurred to resolve. Photo: H. Gordon Tidey sepia postcard, author's collection.

A tricky point is whether or not catering had been provided but was further back in the train and cannot be seen? But it should be borne in mind that when Dean & Dawson advertised excursions, from Nottingham to London and back, for example, they were pointedley described as "Corridor Dining Car Expresses" and it's unlikely that non-gangwayed carriages as seen in the train above would have been allowed. The handbills also stated that "Light Refreshments" could be provided - what was later called a buffet service.

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The LNER version heads north with a "Marylebone-Leicester" 10-carriage excursion behind B3 No 6165 Valour. The date can be estimated by the loco's aquisition of side screens to the cab in 5/1933 and allocation to Neasden 1933-34 and late '35-'38. Not all the carriages can be made out although the leading four are clear:

  TK

61'6"

Gresley

BTK

61'6"

Gresley

  TO

60'

Barnum

  TO

60'

Barnum

... remainder unclear

It is possible that there was a catering carriage further down the train but I cannot be sure. Either way, it's another example of small numbers of Barnums still being deployed with heavy excursions on the GC Section. Photo: Author's collection.

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2 - Intermediate size GCR excursions

These were generally around 7 carriages long and a higher proportion of open carriages could be deployed.

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8B Atlantic No 1086 heads a down excursion made up to 7 carriages and many different types in which 5 opens were included, albeit only three of them "Barnums" - which led the train. Following them were the older carriages, tailed by a non-gangwayed brake end:

BTO

60'

Barnum

  TO

60'

Barnum

  TO

60'

Barnum

  TO

60'

Parker-style

RT

50'

Parker-style

  TO

60'

Parker-style

BT

50'

London Suburban

They've been arranged tidily, but what a variety! Note the trio of Parker-style carriages behind the Barnums which include two 60ft Parker-style TOs. These dated from 1906-07 when six had been built on 6w bogies as 3rd class dining cars - they created quite a stir - but as matchboard catering was built they became increasingly surplus to requirements and could be cascaded for use as general service opens in excursions. In between them is a 3rd Restaurant car of 1903, also relegated after matchboard catering arrived. It's a rare example of the GCR providing catering in an excursion for which the now-relegated RTs would have been a good choice, whether offering cooked meals or a buffet-style service.

The London Suburban BT on the far end would have resulted from a shortage of gangwayed brake ends in high summer. Pity the occupants for they would not have been able to reach the catering.

Note, by the way, how clean these London-based "Barnums" are compared with the ones from further north. Photo: Author's collection.

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Another 7-carriage excursion from Marylebone, this time behind 11E No 432 Sir Edward Frasier, heads north through Charwelton after picking up water on the troughs. On this occasion 5 "Barnum" opens with a single BTO were provided with corridor coaches outside them.

Barnum BTOs were relatively thin on the ground and, on the north end of the train, a Parker BTK was used instead.

This time, no catering was provided. At the far end of the train, a conventional matchboard carriage was added but it looks like a TK or a CK (excursions were known to provide a few 1st class seats). A possible explanation may be that a composite had its 1st class seats placed at the station buffers end for the boarding convenience of the upper class travellers; it became a common practice at terminal stations but in this case it is hard to be sure. The upshot is that this was another mixed formation with 5 Barnums and 2 other types. Photo: LGRP.

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3 - Excursions for small parties

For modestly sized, privately booked excursion parties, by a club or society, for example, where only 1-2 carriages were required, they were attached to normally timetabled expresses, either travelling the whole route of the express or only part of it. It was a common practice and it is evident that Barnums were distributed around the GCR's principal stations with such traffic in mind. These carriages were normally placed behind the tender where they could look like strengtheners. There had been a period c1900-1905 when the GCR was short of carriages and when pressed, had used non-gangwayed carriages as strengtheners but this died out after more Parker-style carriages were built and then, of course, the matchboard versions.

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An old LGRP print whose caption may be suspect but states that 11F No 509 Prince Albert is passing Ashby Magna "on an Up Bradford Express". It's not clear enough for me to analyse the formation beyond a non-gangwayed 50' clerestory 3rd and, ahead of it, two Barnum TOs which, I suspect, were serving a chartered excursion party from Bradford. The non-gangwayed clerestory would have separated them from the main body of the train and its catering and it's not clear if it had been added as a strengthener to the main train or the excursion. Indeed, it may have been added deliberately to prevent 3rd class excursionists on cheap fares from availing themselves of the restaurant car. Photo: LGRP.

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An unusually heavy express which is being double-headed, this time by 8B No 263 and 11D No 1020 near Leicester in September 1921. The back of the card is captioned "Down Manchester" and this may be plausible, after a Bank Holiday, for example. It is evident that six carriages, the body of the train, are carrying nameboards and included a restaurant car.

On the rear is an unidentified and unboarded carriage and, behind the loco, two similarly unboarded Barnum TOs. Whether they had been added for an excursion party or as strengtheners is impossible to tell, nor if they would have travelled the whole way or been detached en route, at Sheffield, for example.

It's only fair to add that nine heavily loaded carriages were too much for a GCR Atlantic on the difficult route that was the London Extension. Photo: anonymous, author's collection.

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Class 1 (LNER B2) No 424 City of Lincoln sweeps down from Woodhead through Guide Bridge with a heavy 9-coach express for Manchester.

I am unable to identify the service and can only say that six of the carriages are carrying roof destination boards - two on the rear are not, and neither is the Barnum which has been placed inside the leading brake (roof racks were not fitted on the Barnums until LNER days - at this time they were just above the windows and are empty). The Barnum could have been for an excursion party travelling the whole route of the timetabled express and been deliberately placed inside the leading brake. Photo: W.H. Whitworth, LNER Press Section TO/72, author's collection.

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4 - In express service as a 3rd class dining car

This was rare and could happen if the rostered dining car with 2:1 seating failed and only a Barnum with excursion-style seating of 2:2 could be found. This was known to happen on other parts of the LNER with a Gresley 2:2 TO and it was abnormal because the tables were smaller and more cramped. As soon as a carriage with the right arrangement was available it would be put back into the formation. It's a good example of the practical reality of any human endeavor, really, with operating rules not set in stone as some modellers like to believe.

The two examples I have are from late GCR and early LNER days when Marylebone's express sets were dominated by matchboard carriages. As the years passed and more full-length dining cars became available, the need to use a Barnum as a stand-in would have disappeared.

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At an unknown date but, I would suggest, in the late 1910s or early 1920s (this loco was built in 1917), 9P No 1169 Lord Faringdon departs Marylebone with a Down express which, remarkably for the period, has been strengthened behind the tender by a non-gangwayed London Suburban 3rd (T). Next to it, another strengthener is a more conventional matchboard TK.

In the middle of the train a restaurant car has had its dining car replaced by a Barnum TO. Note that destination boards are not being carried. At least the Barnum had been serviced recently and looked quite fresh. Photo: F. Moore's Railway Photographs, author's collection.

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The second example was captured a few miles further north near Harrow and shows the 3.20pm express to Manchester behind B3 Earl Beatty after it was renumbered No 6164 11.7.25. This mid-afternoon express left Marylebone as a medium size formation of 5 GCR carriages and, on the rear, alas out of sight,1-2 LMS coaches for Halifax, to be detached at Penistone. At Sheffield a GCR Locker composite (to be described separately) was attached, travelling between Bournemouth-Bradford, also for detachment at Penistone.

As in the above picture, on this occasion the dining car in the catering pair (RF,TO), normally a 48-seat type with 2:1 seating, was replaced by a Barnum and the substitute is not carrying destination boards. Photo: Author's collection.

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5 - In express service as a through coach

Using an all-3rd class Barnum for this purpose was extremely unusual, hard to explain, and only one example has been found, in LNER days, in the "North Country Continental" which was a complex service running between Harwich-Manchester-Liverpool and a core of 50' GER/ex-GER vehicles, including the catering. Gresleys modernised part of the non-catering.

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Ex-GER B12 No 8557 in the late 1920s has the "North Country Continental". The caption on the back of the print states that it's the Up train but it looks to me like the Down train at Torside, between Sheffield and Manchester. The GE Section provided the loco as far as Manchester and the carriages, too. In this case they comprise two Gresley 61'6" (BTK,CK) followed by ex-GER 50' catering (RF,TO), tailed by another ex-GER carriage (BTK).

At the front was a through carriage between Lincoln and Liverpool for which a 64-seat 60' 3rd Open "Barnum" was rostered. It's condition was close to as-built plus the addition of destination board racks. Boards were probably not carried because the service was unique (and the train was frequently revised). By contrast, the main body of the train was carrying triple destination boards. The Barnum was shown in the roster for 1929 but had gone by 1937.

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An undated view, probably from the 1930s before this loco was modified with Caprotti valve gear (in 1938) and the carriage roster was changed (by 1937), shows B3 No 6167, formerly Lloyd George, passing through Woodhead station on the ascent to the summit with the Up "North Country Continental" and the Barnum TO at the head as a through carriage between Liverpool-Lincoln. Destination boards were not provided but gangway adaptors would have been fitted to allow passenger to reach the rest of the train and its catering.

The Barnum's carriage windows are as originally built but roof racks for destination boards have been added. It's not possible to tell whether or not a curved rainstrip had also been fitted. Photo: R.S. Carpenter.

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6 - More LNER services

The GCR had introduced the Barnum Opens for its excursion traffic but I have found no evidence from GCR days of complete or nearly complete trains of Barnums, nor with the addition of catering. The LNER is known to have provided substantial catering with its excursions on the GNML, which until the mid-1930s were made up in the classic old style with elderly carriages. There was a transition period in the late 1920s and early '30s when Gresley moved towards the use of dedicated 64-seat 3rd Opens (with a similar capacity to the Barnums) in 1927-28 by building an all steel design (D.28) of which 12 were for the GC Section and 9, the GN Section. Here is an example:

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D11 No 5503 Somme is seen in the late 1920s/early 1930s near Wadsley Bridge with a Marylebone-Manchester express. Behind the loco where there might previously have been a pair of Barnums for an excursion party are two Gresley all-steel TOs to D.28. Note that, once again, a non-gangwayed 50' London Suburban carriage was placed between the Open 3rds and the main train, presumably to keep the excursionists out of the main train and its top-drawer catering. Photo: Author's collection.

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In the 1930s ex-GCR RCs were converted to kitchen cars (RK) for running with excursions and on the GN and NE, conversion began of other carriages to Buffet Cars. The LNER seemed to wise up about providing catering on excursions and the most important development followed in the mid-1930s with construction of the Tourist Train Sets containing 2 buffet cars and painted a gay green and cream colour - which the GC Section began to borrow. "Standard" teak panelled open stock was also built, for all regions, notably to D.186 TO which could run with a higher level of catering such as a restaurant car or a kitchen car.

In this light, it is interesting to see two pictures from the transition period in the late 1920s/early 1930s showing GC excursion sets dominated by Barnums plus catering.

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The first view was captured behind B7 5470 in the Pennines (from Manchester at Torside)? The train gets hard to decipher towards the far end and scrutiny of the original suggests that this was a Barnum formation with a matchboard restaurant car 4th from the far end. It would have been one of the 56' or 60' RCs of 1911-13, such as GCR 4M2, deliberately deployed from the reserve catering pool, which grew in size after Gresley RFs started being provided for expresses on the London Extension.

Hence the 9-carriage train was made up:

BTO    3rd open brake
  TO    3rd open
  TO    3rd open
  TO    3rd open
  TO    3rd open
RC     1st/3rd restaurant car
  TO    3rd open
  TO    3rd open
BTO    3rd open brake

Note the contrast between the two styles of end vestibule grab handles. An underlying question is, was the RC being used to provide a restaurant service, or something lighter, buffet-style? It helps to bear in mind that the GCR had been unique in dabbling (and failing) with buffet cars in 1899 in expresses. This would have been a new venture. Photo: Real Photographs.

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Another picture shows a "complete" train of Barnums in an excursion on the GNML, again with a restaurant car added:

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There is much to say about this picture, beginning with the date, which is unknown. The best that I can offer is between 1927-34, based on the loco livery and the catering. Photo: Author's collection.

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The back of the print states "Langley Troughs", which I believe is correct, but also "Up Sheffield Excursion" - which I am not sure about. To begin with, C1 No 4421 was a Doncaster loco from 1927-47 and is likely to have been working a train between Doncaster-KX. Excursions from Sheffield to London were more likely to have been rostered for a Sheffield or GC section loco and run to Marylebone. My best suggestion would be a complete GC Section set borrowed by the GN Section at a time before the Tourist Train Sets were built (and the GN Section took quite a large number but the GC took none. Thereafter the GC Section would borrow TTS from the GN Section).

A related puzzle is that there's no foliage on the trees so it wasn't a summer excursion and a solar calculator gives an approximate time of 4.30pm and arrival at King's Cross of getting on for 5.30pm, which is unusual and I cannot explain.

The 8-carriage train was formed with:

BTO    3rd open brake
  TO    3rd open
  TO    3rd open
RC     1st/3rd restaurant car
  TO    3rd open
  TO    3rd open
  TO    3rd open
BTO    3rd open brake

A few points about the Barnums and aspects described in the main body of this topic:

- There were two types of handrail at the end vestibule and both versions stand out clearly in the two pictures above.

- The Barnums were modified by the LNER by fitting toplights in the matchboarding above some of the large picture windows. The main point here is that in this picture, none of the Barnums had been modified and this endorses an earlier rather than a later date for the picture.

- Roof destination boards had already been fitted and they show quite well. No boards were being carried, which was normal with excursions.

7 - Later developments

Construction of new trains and carriages for excursions led to a gradual dispersal of Barnums into the secondary fleet of pre-Grouping carriages.

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This picture is the most curious that I have come across on this subject. Taken on the GNML at Sandy at an unknown date in the early '30s, it shows a secondary GN Section Ordinary Passenger heading towards King's Cross with a 4-set made up with ex-GNR carriages:

BCL

1st/3rd brake

58'1 1/2"

BT-CL (twin)

1st/3rd brake

ex-6w

B (6w)

brake van

Unfortunately the camera was jarred at the moment of exposure which has given rise to a doubling of horizontal lines and made analysis of details difficult. For example, the two goods wagons behind the loco: they would have been fitted with AVB or through pipe but I cannot tell if they are flat or bolster wagons. They would have been detached somewhere en route by the train engine. Secondary services on the GNML were much used for conveying all sorts and that includes the two carriages on the rear.

On the far end there appears to be a Howlden 45' bogie van. Inside it is the remarkable sight of a fresh-looking ex-GCR TO "Barnum" and I can only suggest that it was being ferried south for transfer to Cambridge where Barnums were known in LNER days. Photo: anonymous, author's collection.

A thought crosses my mind for modellers of the GN Section that such a movement could easily be modelled, with almost any kind of recently refurbished carriage.

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This view reached me as a small contact print and it's a relatively rare service view of a Barnum BTO. The date was c1938 and the location is just south of Woodford & Hinton, by the SMJ over-bridge on the approach to Culworth Junction. In the distance the signals are off for the Banbury Branch.

In charge is Sheffield's C1 No 3287 with what looks like a summer Saturday extra for Bournemouth and the sunny south. The formation is a classic "made up" one with a miscellany of carriages including LNER Gresleys and pre-Grouping carriages with what looks like an ex-ECJS TK and, behind the tender, a brake end for which a Barnum BTO was found. Photo: J. Suter Collection.

Condition of the carriage is the later version with toplights and sliding ventilators added, plus destination boards on the roof and a curved rain strip. The lavatory window, originally with an etched GCR coat of arms, would now have been plain.

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In BR days the Barnums remained in excursion trains and I have seen two pictures of them in the North of England, in each case a single one behind the tender. Here is an example at Hull Paragon in July 1949.

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Ex-NER Class A6 No 69796 is moving a train of empty stock which has the air of a summer excursion "made-up" set with a variety of ex-LNER and pre-Grouping carriages. The rear of the train is concealed but the leading six coaches can be made out:

  TO

60'

ex-GCR Barnum

  TK

52'6"'

Gresley

BTK

61'6"'

Gresley

BTK

45'

ex-GCR Parker

BTK-TK

52' (twin)

Gresley (SP)

.... remainder not visible.

The steel-panelled twin had been built in 1935 for the GN Section's "steel quintuple sets". The oldest carriage in the train that's visible was the ex-GCR Parker from the turn of the century. The "Barnum" was 38 years old and would have lasted for a further half-dozen years until displaced by slightly less old stock. Note how much of the loco and train was still of pre-Grouping origin. Sights like this were common in Summer and continued well into BR days, in this case for excursions to York or the coastal resorts. Photo: Real Photographs.

Click on the image for an enlargement

A note for modellers

The record so far shows a variety of operating practice and it depends on your period. There is no evidence of all-Barnum trains although in mid-LNER days an attempt was made with an ex-GCR matchboard RC (Dia 4M2). In the GCR period the easiest way to use Barnums would be as a pair (TO,TO) outside a main line express, possibly separated by an older, non-gangwayed carriage. As the Barnums aged in late LNER and BR days the odd one could be added to a relief or an excursion, in both cases where a jumble of older carriages was deployed.

GCR carriages - 60ft matchboard: are here.

GCR carriages - Barnums: are here.

GCR carriages - 50ft London Suburban: are here.

Modelling GCR clerestories: is here.

Milk vans: are here.

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