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TPO services in LNER and ER days

Another big subject and as service notes will fill several chapters in the second part of LNER Passenger & Trains & Formations, this will build up gradually, broken down as follows

1 - Postal vehicles
2 - ECML KX-Newcastle-Edinburgh service
3 - GN Section KX-Leeds service
4 - GE Section Liverpool St.-Norwich service
5 - Modelling the LNER TPO
- has already been described in Model Rail April 1999 (see the Articles Index for precis) and much here is in the Modelling section.

There are few pictures of the outgoing services because they ran overnight, mostly of return workings on the following day with TPOs being worked back empty. Also, the schedules changed so that mid-day workings once easy to photograph became unavailable (curses)!

The most important services were along the ECML from KX to and from Newcastle and Edinburgh, and along the GNML between King's Cross and Leeds. Less important was the much shorter distance service between Liverpool St.-Norwich service.

These picture are in chronological order as far as possible:

1 - The postal vehicles


An example of an ex-NER TPO that was cascaded to the GE Section, renumbered 6139 where, with reduced lineside exchangess, the equipment was removed. Photo: Photomatic.


An early 6w TPO built by the GNR (No 2573) seen with all the exchange gear removed. Some of these were kept on by the LNER to act as spares on stand-by. Photo: R.K.Blencowe Negative Archive.


Ex-works view of the GNR 56'6" TPO, built 1908 and numbered 1969 (LNER 4201) - the vehicle which featured in some of the LNER-period pictures of the services below. It was built with exchange gear on both sides to obviate the need for turning. Photo: GNR, Doncaster Drawing Office, Author's collection.


Seen at Waverley on 7th July 1957 carrying a number of E6134E, this was another GNR-built TPO (in 1909) with exchange gear on both sides, becoming LNER No 4203. In 1933 it was cascaded to the GE Section where the exchange gear was removed, as seen here. At some stage the offset gangways were replaced with the conventional Pullman type, and eventually that was removed altogether. Photo: H.C.Casserley.


A rare view of the first LNER design of TPO to D.131, built 1929 on turnbuckle trussing. All three were built for the NE Area and cascaded in 1933 to the GE Section where the exchange equipment was removed, the fate of all TPOs as exchanges on the move were abandoned. This is E70279E believed to be at Stratford c1958. Photo: Dennis Seabrook, author's collection.

Pictures of the LNER TPOs to D.164/165 built 1933-37 are in the Modelling Article: via this link


Postal tenders were more common than is generally recognised and this example, E470E, was converted from an ex-GNR Gresley 51'1 1/2" milk brake with off-set gangways. It is coupled to a Gresley TPO. Photo: Dennis Seabrook, author's collection.

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My apologies for a scruffy picture on which the number is alas illegible. This example now seems to be in general service. Photo: author's collection.

A model is possible using the D&S kit plus gangways same as on the TPO.

2 - ECML services


Judging by the notes on the back, this picture was intended to show the approach to Newcastle station with the "new bridge" in the background. Passing by, alas against the sun, is 2563 William Whitelaw, the original carrier of the name transferred in 1941 to an A4, with an up express. Behind the tender is an ex-NER TPO. Photo: Fox Photos, Fleet Street, Author's collection.


C7 No 2202 is heading south through Longniddry in the 1930s with a secondary express for Newcastle and a TPO behind the tender. Photo copyright, Steve Banks collection.


A scene from 1949 at Reston as Peppercorn A1 No 60145, as yet unnamed (Saint Mungo), passes with an Up secondary express of five carriages, four Gresley and one Thompson, and an ex-LNER TPO behind the tender for Newcastle. It's one of the 1930s builds to D.164/165.Photo: A.G. Ellis, author's collection.

3 - GNML service


A 1920s picture of the Leeds TPO being returned to King's Cross behind A1 No 2555 Centenary, between Grantham and Stoke Summit. At this time the ex-GNR TPOs were still in front line service with exchange equipment on both sides, to obviate the need for turning. They lasted into the late 1950s, albeit with all the external gear and the gangways removed. Photo: Author's collection.


A1 No 1476 Royal Lancer passes Ganwick in the 1920s with an Up express from Leeds. The passenger carriages are all ex-GNR with, behind the tender, an ex-GNR TPO and milk brake, which has probably been converted to a postal tender (see above). Photo: LGRP.


Seen around 1927, ex-GNR Atlantic No 4452 has the Up train from Leeds at Holme with the ex-GNR TPO and 51'1 1/2" BV with plug doors, possibly in support as a postal tender; a faint shadow suggests that it has been converted with off-set gangways but this is not very clear. The passenger carriages are a mixture of Howlden bogie and 6w types. Photo: LGRP.


A1 No 2543 Melton still with short lap valves bursts out of Hadley Wood Tunnel c1927-29 with the Up train and ex-GNR TPO No 4201 behind the tender. More upgrading of the passenger carriages can be seen by an ex-GNR clerestory composite emerging from the tunnel. This became a popular spot for capturing the loco and TPO. Photo: Real Photos.


Further modernisation of the passenger carriages by 1924 design twins is evident in this 1929 view of A3 No 2572 Spion Kop leaving Hadley Wood Tunnel with the ex-GNR TPO behind the tender. Photo: Photomatic.

Gresley TPO and model is here...

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