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Secondary expresses

This is a huge subject which Clive and I touched on at some length and if you have a copy of LPF-1 it's worth rereading the intro which describes the basis and use of stock. I shall be offering new examples here.

York-Bradford

This example of a secondary express is more complicated than it may seem so it's best to start with the basics.

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The carriages are from Harrogate Link "A" (8 sets), this roster spending most of the day shuttling between Harrogate and York. It's only about 23 miles but it served ten wayside stations, six of which remain open today - there was always decent traffic along this line. The date would be between 1928-36 and the set hauled by a Starbeck passenger tank, most likely a G5 0-4-4T, the 1932 roster for the 3-set being (BT,CL,BT). Sets like this changed often as modernisation proceeded and on the day of the photograph contained:

  T

3rd

ex-NER

52'

BCL

1st/3rd brake

ex-GCR

50' clerestory with lavatory

BT

3rd brake

LNER

51'1 1/2" BT(4)

Which is a pretty basic set provided by the NE Area in which one ex-NER carriage remains, one has been upgraded by an ex-GCR version with lavatories, and one by a more recently built Gresley from the 1920s.

However, this set started the day at 7.12am from Bradford Forster with a train to York, and back again at 10.25am, for which a tender loco was required which is captured in the photograph running under express lights. York would have provided a D20 4-4-0 or an earlier version until Gresley introduced the D49 class and York got an allocation for its local expresses. On this day, No 256 Hertfordshire was in charge.

Note that an unrostered ex-NER Motor Carriage Truck was placed on the rear of the train. Photographer unknown, author's collection.

More York-Bradford workings

I'm going to develop this subject a little more, although it can't help getting more complicated, so please bear with me - there's a large dose of reality here from the LNER era. I haven't mentioned this earlier but Bradford Forster Square was operated by the Midland Railway and then the LMS and the NER/LNER had running rights into it. As regards train formations, there were two kinds here because the LNER's NE Area (NEA) employed several different "Compositions" for secondary sets that worked the longer distances and in 1932 they were:

49 NE Area Composition A 4-sets (BT,CL,T,BT)
40 NE Area Composition B 3-sets (BT,C,BT)
30 NE Area Composition C 4-sets (BT,CL,T,BT)

Note that the A and C sets had some lavatories and slightly different capacities with the former used in the Northern district and the latter in the Southern district. As already mentioned, there was a batch of eight 3-sets operating in the Harrogate Link "A" between York, Harrogate and Bradford Forster Square but some of the Composition C sets were also employed, running on to Northallerton, Selby, Hull and Leeds.

The scale of the service can be judged by how many trains there were in this corner of Yorkshire with 8 LNER departures each day from Bradford Forster Square - 10 on Saturdays - for which the following were employed:

8 x Harrogate Link "A" 3-sets
2 x Composition C       4-sets.

In 1932 the last LNER departure from Bradford was at 8.26pm to Harrogate and these services are best described separately:

New addition and revisions.

Harrogate-Bradford

These services made up 90% of the departures from Bradford Forster Square in 1932 and 1936 and in the earlier year they included Roster [307] Harrogate & Bradford, which was unusually well provided with 1st class seats and lavatories, clearly aimed at businessmen and well-heeled commuters:

BC

1st/3rd brake

  CL

1st/3rd lavatory brake

  CL

1st/3rd lavatory brake

BT

3rd brake

Nearly all its workings were stopping trains and and the odd express with a single stop at Otley. The day began from Harrogate with a morning rush-hour departure at 8.30pm (express) and though its final departure from Bradford was with the evening rush-hour express at 5.20pm (shown below), other trips were stopping trains from Harrogate to Bradford, Harrogate-Knaresborough and Harrogate-Pilmoor (SO). It was an example of a secondary service provided with secondary carriages being given the odd clear run for which Express lights were appropriate, as well as making a statement to passengers.

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Ex-NER D23 4-4-0 No 1120 pulls away from Bradford Forster Square with the rush-hour 5.20pm express to Harrogate, calling only at Otley. Photo: SLS. (Click on the image for an enlargement)

The date of the photograph is not known and the loco, which was allocated to Starbeck from 1929 and from 1933, sub-shedded to Bradford Manningham LMS, is hauling an untidy 4-set, still made up with ex-NER carriages, but with fewer 1st class seats than the roster of 1932:

BT

3rd brake

ex-NER

  CL

1st/3rd

ex-NER lavatory

BT

3rd brake

ex-NER clerestory

BT

3rd brake

ex-NER

A noteworthy aspect is the ageing loco (it dated back to 1888) and that it has had a recent overhaul, which may have been in 6/32 or 10/33 (soon after which it was sent to Manningham). It is impossible to say. The class was already being reduced and No 1120 was withdrawn in May 1935 so I can only offer sometime in the early '30s. The rather old appearance of the whole train also stands out, still completely pre-Grouping and the norm for many services before Nationalisation. Fortunately Dan Pinnock (D&S) does lots of kits for the NER non-gangwayed stock so it's not too hard to capture the flavour of these trains. For the loco, a D20 would be quite suitable.

With thanks to John Smart who spotted a big error in my previous estimate for the time of day.

Manchester-Cleethorpes

There were three services a day between Manchester and Cleethorpes and this was the lunchtime one. It could be described as a trans-Pennine express or a cross-country express by dint of the amount of country that it covered, and because the whole journey took just over 4 hours. Or in operating terms, as a cluster of services for which a common 4-set was employed. It was timetabled as the 12.40pm from Manchester London Road and it's best to start with an illustration of the train as it left Guide Bridge:

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Recently built (May 1933) early B17 with a short tender No 2840 Somerleyton Hall [Gorton] has paused at Guide Bridge and is restarting the train on the climb to Woodhead towards Sheffield on Tuesday 19th September 1933. In the background is the footbridge to the goods yard and shed, St. Stephen's church, three cotton mills: Guide Mills, Duncan Mill and Birch St. Mill, and extensive yards. Photo: author's collection, R.D. Pollard, LNER PRO TP/259.

I should say at this point that this image appears on Facebook under "Sir Nigel Gresley" where it is credited to the Eric Fry collection and miscaptioned as the "12.36pm" departure, followed by a history of the hall near Yarmouth. I don't propose to say any more about the good ol' choo-choo but plenty about the service and the train's mixture of ex-GCR and LNER Gresley carriages. It was timetabled as a "Through Train Manchester London Rd. to Cleethorpes" but stopped at many of the stations along the way in the manner of an Ordinary Passenger train and for which a non-gangwayed lavatory 4-set was provided, but it also conveyed two gangwayed through carriages for Hull part of the way.

The formation for the first leg to Sheffield was:

BTL

3rd brake

ex-GCR 50' clerestory with lavatory

   T

3rd

ex-GCR 60' matchboard

   CL

1st/3rd

ex-GCR 60' matchboard with lavatory

BTL

3rd brake

ex-GCR 50' clerestory with lavatory

------

-------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------

BCK

1st/3rd brake

Gresley 61'6"

to Hull Paragon

   TK

3rd

Gresley 61'6"

to Hull Paragon

------

-------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------

B

4w passenger brake van

D.120 clone

The working is best broken into its four constituent parts:

Manchester-Sheffield - Along this leg the Manchester suburban stations were not served nor wayside stations in the Pennines. However, stops are believed to have been made at Guide Bridge, Glossop and Penistone (the PTT confusingly includes a connecting local service to the wayside stations).

Hull portion - the train arrived at Sheffield Victoria at 1.58pm whereupon the two gangwayed carriages were left behind and transferred by the station pilot to the 2.10pm departure from Sheffield to Hull which was ready and waiting. It was an NEA 4-set from Hull almost certainly made up with ex-NER carriages, probably clerestory in the main (BT,CL,T,BT) and hauled by a modest tender loco.

4w van on the rear - is not mentioned in the 1929 or 1935 CWB and its destination is not known. It could also have gone on to Hull but there was parcels traffic between Manchester, Sheffield and Cleethorpes and it may have been part of that.

Sheffield to Cleethorpes - for the final leg the train comprised just the non-gangwayed 4-set and it should be noted that, quite sensibly, three of the carriages provided lavatories. The two 50' clerestories dated from 1903 and were ideal for long distance journeys, indeed the type had even been used on a Manchester express to London. The two matchboards had probably replaced 50' clerestories in the usual process of modernisation, one of them without a lavatory - there was a more modern 60' matchboard equivalent for the clerestory BTL but the older ones were kept on, at least for this formation. The route was Sheffield-Retford-Grimsby-Cleethorpes which was an all-stations service and would have carried Ordinary Passenger lights with a fresh loco having taken over from the B17 at Sheffield.

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The drawing from the Diagram of the GCR 60' lavatory composite - which I shall work up in greater detail in the non-gangwayed carriages section - see link below for the 60' 3rd - shows what a well thought out design it was with four 1st class compartments and three 3rd - CL(4,3). With three pairs of lavatories to which all the passengers had access.

Incidentally, the "O" in the title stands for Ordinary, a term sometimes mistranslated as "Open". It was used by several companies, including the LNER. Author's collection.

Conclusions

This is a good illustration of how a set of carriages could be utilised to run part of the way as an Express and the rest of the way as an Ordinary Passenger, for which pre-Grouping non-gangwayed lavatory stock was still being used. Plus the conveyance of two through carriages to the ex-NER station at Hull for which modern 61'6" Gresleys had been provided. It's not hard to model if you already have an ex-GCR secondary 4-set.

Out of interest I looked at the 1929 Carriage Working book and found a non-gangwayed 5-set alas undetailed (BT,C,C,T,BT) and the through carriages to Hull (BCK,TK). It's likely that more older carriages were still in use but until a photo turns up, I can say no more.


Links:

GCR carriages - non-gangwayed matchboard: are here (scroll down for the "60' Third)".

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