Quick search:

Full search

Click for full size image in a pop-up window. Use 'X' to close

Click for full size image in a pop-up window. Use 'X' to close

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.

Click on either image for an enlargement

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.

Click for full size image in a pop-up window. Use 'X' to close

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.

Click on the image for an enlargement

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!

Latest News

Leeds - West Riding

Leeds map

A new section with its own menu.

Read more ...

LNER Passenger Trains and Formations

The book took 12 years for me and Clive to complete and, though I say so myself, Ian Allan have made a beautiful job of it (see full description and sample pages). Vol.2 about the Secondary Services should follow in a year or so's time.

Copyright © S.W.Banks 2018    Privacy Policy    Terms & Conditions    Design by PageUp