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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. So far:

GC:   Manchester-Cleethorpes
          Mansfield-Marylebone
NE:   Darlington-Richmond
         Harrogate-Bradford
         York-Bradford
         York-Darlington

New additions placed here temporarily

Hull-Sheffield

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Inter-regional workings often employed carriages and locos from each region as this picture shows with J11 No 5954 awaiting departure from Doncaster on Saturday 12th August 1939 with a NE set hauled by a GC loco. The "Pom-pom" was a Barnsley engine and may have worked through with a train from York or Hull to Sheffield - or taken over at Doncaster. The vacuum fitted ones (not all were so equipped) were a mixed traffic type. Non-gangwayed 4-sets were used on these workings of either GC or NE stock and this formation is led by three ex-NER clerestory carriages with some elliptical roof versions further back. The leading carriages are:

  CL

1st/3rd lavatory

ex-NER clerestory

  T

3rd

ex-NER clerestory

BT

3rd brake

ex-NER clerestory

Use of lavatory composites was a feature of these workings. Carriages in the distance are impossible to identify.

Lack of sun doen't allow precise identification of the working but the Carriage Working book includes several NEA sets alternating with GC ones and one working "made up to 10 vehicles". Other rosters conveyed long-distance through carriages (gangwayed). The important thing to bear in mind is that inter-regional services were part and parcel of the railway operation (but rarely considered).

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Manchester-Cleethorpes

This was an interesting long distance through working with Express and Ordinary Passenger legs that retained pre-Grouping carriages for a long time. In 1929 there were three daily services in each direction spread through the day with departures from:

Manchester at 5.25am, 12.40pm, 10.30pm
Cleethorpes at 8.30am, 10.40am, 4.0pm.

Which required 6 sets. The trans-Pennine journey took around 4hrs and it wasn't as simple as that because several of the sets were used for other services as well, at the Lancashire and Lincolnshire ends. As far as I can tell, they carried express lights over Woodhead (with a few stops along the way) but between Sheffield and Cleethorpes, called at all stations. Some carried through carriages to and from Hull. Strengtheners were also added around the year. Crucially, perhaps, the basic formation in 1929 was a non-gangwayed clerestory 4-set dating from 1903. The whole story is too complicated to deal with here and I shall focus on two of the workings for which there are good photographs.

The first was captured around 1930 or the early '30s and is believed to be the 10.40am from Cleethorpes. It was photographed at Dunford Bridge.

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In charge was B2 4-6-0 No 5426 City of Chester, which was at Sheffield and Cleethorpes around this time. Often claimed by pundts as relegated to the flatter parts of the country, the climb over Woodhead was 20 miles of around 1:100 and the loco has a clean exhaust and shows no sign of struggling. Photo: H.Gordon Tidey.

The carriages, as befitted a long journey with many stops, for which gangwayed stock was not justified, were based on lavatory stock which at first probably applied to all four carriages, the internal layout being semi-corridor. Manchester was reached at 3.17pm.

BTL

3rd brake

ex-GCR 50' clerestory with lavatory

   CL

1st/3rd

ex-GCR 50' clerestory with lavatory

   TL

3rd

ex-GCR 50' clerestory with lavatory

BT

3rd brake

LNER 51' 1/2"

The clerestory CL is described under "GCR carriages - 50' clerestory" (see link below). As can be seen, one of the clerestories has been modernised by a Gresley BT, albeit without lavatories. The odd thing is that it's a BT(4), none of which are recorded as allocated to the GC Section. Perhaps it had been borrowed from the GE Section or the NEA?

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I hesitate to cross-reference this rather mucky print which only shows part of the train. However, it looks like the 4pm Cleethorpes-Manchester passing Wardsend on the climb out of Sheffield behind another ex-GCR B2, No 5423 Sir Sam Fay, whose allocation in the 1930s was:
1930-1933 Sheffield
1933-1942 Immingham

The carriages are:

BV

brake van

ex-GCR 50' clerestory

BT

3rd brake

ex-GCR 50' clerestory

   CL

1st/3rd

ex-GCR 50' clerestory with lavatory

.....

rem not visible

Later developments - by 1935, strengthening was required on Saturdays in July and September (T) and even more heavily in summer (3T). They would probably have been older rather than newer stock. The train had been accelerated with a departure of 10.50am and by 1937, given gangwayed stock (BTK,CK,TK,BTK), with which strengthening was reduced to a single carriage, albeit non-gangwayed (T). Two sets were now in use, both gangwayed, a trend that picked up in the late 1930s for long distance secondary services.

The 12.40pm from Manchester London Road was a more complex working and it's best to start with an illustration of the train as it left Guide Bridge c1935:

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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: 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, rather 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. In 1929 this had a similar roster but was probably made up entirely with 50' lavatory clerestories dating from 1903. Modernisation was taking place when this photograph was taken with two of the carriages replaced by Robinson matchboards, only one of them still with lavatories. 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 taking 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.

In 1935 this set still had the same formation but by 1937 it had also been modernised with gangwayed stock (BTK,CK, TK,BTK).

As an aside there was also an express between Cleethorpes and Leeds Central, operated by the GN. By the 1960s it ran to Leeds in the morning and back at 4pm. A separate subject, methinks...


Mansfield-Marylebone

This picture first appeared in the topic "GCR carriages - Matchboard non-gangwayed" to illustrate those three carriages in the train and I've recaptioned it here because of its relevance as a secondary express.

A grand view of ex-GCR C4 No 1089 (NEA) c1923-4 leaving Marylebone with a secondary Express made up with four non-gangwayed carriages - a London Suburban leading and three Robinson 60' carriages, which are carrying destination boards. It appears to be the 4.30pm express returning to Mansfield (5pm by 1925). Photo: Author's collection.

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A closer view of the carriages. Click on the image for an enlargement

BT

  3rd brake

50' London Suburban

  CL

  1st/3rd lavatory

60' Robinson

  T

  3rd

60' Robinson

BTL

  3rd lavatory brake

60' Robinson

The London Suburban at the head without destination boards could have been substituting for a matchboard. Note how the BTL compares with the CL which has three sets of lavatories. And that's part of how this express (which I described with Clive in LPF-1 under Secondary Expresses because it changed so much - but badly miscaptioned a picture and description of what was later identified as the Bradford-Marylebone express). Well, here is the real thing in the early 1920s and several aspects stand out:

- the train wasn't at this stage deemed important enough to be granted any more than four carriages
- and they were neither gangwayed (where all the carriages had lavatories), nor was the train provided with catering.
- instead, secondary stock was used, with a token number of 1st class seats, but an enhanced number of lavatories, in half of the carriages.

Such a train is easily misinterpreted as a short Outer Suburban behind, for some reason, an Express loco (it's what spotters seeing this apparent contradiction routinely plumped for the fiction of "semi-fast"). Look closer and you see how the GCR and then LNER wanted to provide an express as a statement of intent in the hope that traffic may be generated, but fell between the two stools of an express schedule and secondary carriages (with extra lavatories).

By 1929, the train had received gangwayed carriages (BTK,CK,TK,BTK), and by 1931, a buffet car (see LPF-1 pp.137-141).


Location verified

Darlington-Richmond

This is an example of a relatively rural service which was rostered for an Ordinary Passenger service among which some of the trains carried Express lights.

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Ex-NER Tennant 2-4-0 No 1464 was captured near Croft Spa with a Composition A 4-set (BT,T,CL,BT) of clerestory carriages and, on the far end, a plain arc roof version.

BT

3rd brake

ex-NER clerestory

  T

3rd

ex-NER clerestory

  CL

1st/3rd lavatory

ex-NER clerestory

BC

1st/3rd brake

ex-NER arc-roof

The location is just south of Croft Spa by the River Tees bridge with Plumtree Cottage in the distance. A possible candidate for the train was the 8am Darlington-Richmond which came back in the middle of the morning carrying a milk van. This is based on the 1932 CWB after the formation had been upgraded from a more humble 3-set. The loco was the last survivor of the class and withdrawn in 1929. Photo: Photomatic.


Harrogate-Bradford

These services made up 90% of the LNER 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:

BT

3rd brake

  CL

1st/3rd lavatory

  CL

1st/3rd lavatory

BC

1st/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. A noteworthy aspect is the loco's age (it went 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.

This enlargement is taken from a hi-res TIFF file which I returned to with John Smart to re-interpret the details and conclude that it is the Starbeck Roster [307] Harrogate & Bradford as described above, and that my original interpretation of the blurry details was mistaken. John even offers the following NER Diagram numbers:

BT - NER.132
CL - NER.122
CL - NER.5

Most pertinently, here is a secondary service some ten to a dozen years after the Grouping still comprising 100% ex-NER loco and rolling stock, as was 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 helped clarify details.


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:


York-Darlington

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This picture is not easy to explain. As far as I can tell it was taken just south of Eryholme near the summit of a five mile gentle ascent, mostly at 1:650, steepening briefly to 1:450. All told, not very difficult, but sufficient to slow an old 2-4-0 on a working between Northallerton and Darlington. The sun angle suggests c2pm and the best match I can find from a 1932 WTT is with the 1.32pm EXP York-Newcastle FSO, which may well have had secondary stock and an ageing loco to haul it. The loco was an ex-NER Tennant No 1469, possibly a Darlington loco at the time. 11-9-26

The stock was a mixture of non-gangwayed clerestory and elliptical roof carriages in a 5-set with two additions on the rear:

BT

3rd brake

ex-NER clerestory

  T

3rd

ex-NER clerestory

  CL

1st/3rd lavatory

ex-NER elliptical roof

  T

3rd

ex-NER elliptical roof

BT

3rd brake

ex-NER clerestory

-----

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

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

  CL

1st/3rd lavatory

ex-NER elliptical roof

BT

3rd brake

ex-NER elliptical roof

If I have this right, it's an example of a limited-run express/FSO extra for which secondary stock was employed. The train actually ran on to Edinburgh with loco changes en route as required. Photo: Photomatic

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Links:

GCR carriages - 50' clerestory

GCR carriages - 60' non-gangwayed matchboard

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