Notes and Queries


HST held at a signal... where and when?
[Added 17 February 2018] MOVED TO LONG TERM MYSTERIES 25 FEBRUARY 2018

Answers

Fairly sure its somewhere on the northern section of the Midland main line - probably in the late 1980s judging by the HST.


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Photograph taken c. 1959... where?
[Added 11 September 2017] MOVED TO LONG TERM MYSTERIES 26 SEPTEMBER 2017

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Could this be the Callander and Oban near Luib, looking east?
Not sure about the C&O... signal looks GWR to me.
It looks like a GWR signal to me, too. The scenery makes me think of Wales, and in particular Carmarthenshire.


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This is a photo of what I am pretty certain are the remains of a tramway, used to haul the granite blocks quarried on the Ross of Mull up the hill to construct Glengorm Castle. The line would have continued behind the photographer up to a headshunt and then up to the castle site. Unfortunately the construction of the castle pre-dates the 1st series OS maps so only the line of the track is shown. I haven't managed to find any reference to a tramway but there's a lot of granite in that castle! Does anyone have any more information about this aspect of the castle's construction?

[Added 19 July 2017] MOVED TO LONG TERM SECTION 27 JULY 2017

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Portrait of Caley single 123. No details known but headboard reads 'Royal Train Pilot'. Can anyone provide any info re date, location or occasion?
[See similar image 59856] MOVED TO LONG TERM QUERIES 8 JULY 2017 : RESTORED TO CURRENT STATUS 24 JANUARY 2018 :MOVED BACK TO LONG TERM QUERIES 5 FEBRUARY 2018

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A similar photo appeared in the North British Loco Co. 50th Anniversary book. The photo was in colour but it isn't quite the same location as the rail joint in front of the loco in this photo is under the cab steps in the book. The main driving wheel counterweight is also hidden but the background is very similar. One reason that the loco was moved was the tree behind the cab and tender. In the photo in the book there is what looks like a tree visible through the left hand cab window. Unfortunately there is no indication of wher e the photo was taken but it must have been prior to the anniversary year of 1953.
I read in the True Line Journal no 118 of the CRA that 123 was painted in St Rollox as a static exhibit in 1953. This was for a London Exhibition entitled 'Rail travel by Kings and Queens' at Battersea Wharf. Thereafter it toured England, Wales and Scotland and all photos show it with the Royal Train Pilot headboard and an empty tender. Seven Royal saloons also went on the exhibition tour and the loco was away from St Rollox from May until November 1953.


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Old photograph... can anyone name location / date?
[Added 13 June 2017] MOVED TO LONG TERM MYSTERIES 7 JULY 2017

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Not sure of location but notice that the Station building is very like the one at Tillitudlem.
I'll kick this off by saying that the station building looks very suburban Aberdeen GNoSR but without canopies - but not sure if telegraph poles are wrong though. Could it be Dyce on the airport side?
Not Tilletudlem see link http://cbranchcr.livejournal.com/576.html
Could be Burnbank on the GBH&C, but not 100% sure.
Could it be an Edwardian period staff photo at Burnmouth?


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Oops! ...where and when?
[Added 10 August 2016]

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Possibly south-east of Galashiels near Selkirk Junction with the Gala Water in the foreground, c1960.
It could be the Waverley Route but it looks like a Cowans and Sheldon 45t Crane and I can't recall when the the NB 36t crane at St Margarets was displaced North, by a larger capacity crane.It could be a Carlisle Crane that attended.
Knowing that this is another Douglas Squance collection shot, I had assumed that it was taken in the vicinity of Galashiels and I would agree with Kenneth's suggestion. By coincidence I have just come across a reference (in NBR Study Group Journal No. 121) to a derailment of some wagons near Galashiels on Saturday 9th March 1963 causing disruption on the Waverley Route. Although this was the winter of the big freeze and one might have expected there still to be snow lying, it seems there was a rapid thaw in early March.
Having convinced myself of my previous I'll now just un-convince myself.

The crane isn't lifting straight on and there does appear to be another vehicle adjacent so quiet likely double track, unless they are placed off to the side, unlikely. One part of the mainline at Glenfield fits with the high bank of trees and the immediate proximity of the Water, but I can't for the life of me match that wall......

Mac.
I can suggest a location based upon the topography and the orientation of the crane as well as what is in view but a wee bit more research will be needed (Bill Jaimeson, NBR Study Group maybe?).
The close proximity to the River with the wooden fence posts viewable along the bottom of the embankment rule out the Gala Water around Gala-Netherfield areas. However what would fit but is impossible to get a contemporary photograph of is 300 yards or so to the north of Linden on the Selkirk branch wher e the old formation skirts the Ettrick Water. The line does look to be single in the photo as the crane is having to lift straight on to traffic and is in the correct position to be Selkirk Junction side of the Derailement and be attending to the rear inwood bound vehicle (the Guards van obviously) of the branch freight derailed heading for Selkirk.
According to the 25'maps and the air photo mosaics on the nls website the original alignment of the Lindean-Abbottsford-Broomilees road ran above the cutting with a passing place/refuge in the vicinity. I think it looks good from the landscape archaeology point of view and hope this suggestion fits the approval of those of you out there that either remember the road infrastructure prior to rationalisation and re-alignment and/or also any documentation coming to light about a guard getting the bumps heading for Selkirk.

Mac.
Iain's last suggestion makes a lot of sense but I wonder if the location is not slightly further north wher e the railway appears to have run on a low embankment at the top of the river bank - I would suggest that the shot was taken using a telephoto lens (George Kinghorn frequently used such a lens) which has compressed the planes, giving the impression that the hillside beyond the railway is much closer than in reality and hence misleading Iain into thinking it is a cutting slope.
Sorry for not responding earlier.
Bill
I agree that the location is Rathen in the 1950s.
It looks to me like the train is stationary (smoke and steam are rising vertically) That would mean the driver or fireman has just visited the gents for a personal needs break and uses his bike to return quickly and allow the train to get away on time.


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Where, when and what's going on? (Only responses addressing all 3 questions will be published!)
[Added 26 January 2016] .....SEE IMAGE 54028

Answers

I think this is Rathen station on the Formantine & Buchan Railway, looking north to Fraserburgh, southbound local about to depart for Maud, say late 1950s. I was going to suggest that the chap on the bike was the signalman dashing between signalboxes, but a quick check on O/S maps indisctes that although there were two signalboxes here, one was north beyond the goods yard throat, the other on the platform (roof just visible beyond the station building?) so why he's going wher e he's going, I don't know. Maybe he's racing the train to the end of the platform?!
I think this is Rathen station on the Buchan Line sometime between 1949 and 1952. The bicycle looks new so did the cyclist just get it, even delivered to him by the train at the platform?
The station would appear to be Rathen. As for when well mid to late 50s is the best I can give. Finally the 'what'; it reminds me of the cycling between the cabins at either end of the loop on the Highland but this is GNSR and there wasn't a loop at Rathen in BR days. Perhaps one of the station staff was needing some exercise?
The location is Rathen on the GNSR, photo taken in the late 1940s/early 1950s. I would guess that the signalman/porter is handing a token to the driver, but I'm not 100% sure about that)
Rathen station on the Fraserburgh line, looking north c1950. I would guess that the cyclist is the signalman transferring the tablet to the driver.
Up train at Rathen, early 1950s. I think the train is non-stop and the man on the bike has an arrangement wher eby, if he needs to catch this train, he calls his friend in Fraserburgh who is a regular on this service. When the train is approaching he cycles along the platform as fast as he can and his friend (seen on the first coach) leans out as the train is passing and lifts him on board. He eventually had to give up the arrangement due to the mounting cost of bicycle repairs.


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Gary Straiton is looking for help in trying to find out more about this old photograph taken at Perth shed. CR 65 was new in April 1917, although neither the actual date of the picture nor the reason behind it are known. Possibly taken to mark the end of WW1, perhaps as a publicity shot for the CR or even as a private commission. Any contributions at all concerning the picture, including any of the various individuals shown, would be appreciated.
[Added 19 August 2015]
[Moved to long term mysteries 1 September 2015]

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Can anyone suggest what is this? ...and from where (NBR or LCDR possibly)?? Dimensions 17 x 2 .
[Bought many years ago from the Vintage Carriages Trust shop in Haworth]
[Added 19 March 2014] MOVED TO LONG-TERM 26 MARCH 2014 - ANY FURTHER INFO PLEASE CONTACT BILL ROBERTON THROUGH THE WEBSITE

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Could this be the 2nd part of two part sign for Stoke Newington on the Seven Sisters branch of the Lea Valley Lines into London Liverpool Street? The colour could be Great Eastern or BR Eastern Region Blue.
Is it from a manual departure board wher e the destination or indeed intermediate stations would be slotted into the board? I would favour NBR and Newington, Edinburgh since it is home territory but have no idea what colour signs on NBR departure boards were so may be completely off the mark.


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Where and when?
[Added 24 December 2012]

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Moved to long term mysteries 29 January 2013

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Reinstated 17 August 2013 - any further thoughts?

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Put back to bed on 25 August 2013

Answers

As a starter for ten what about Falkland Junction in Ayr.
Possibly Upperby from the west side of the main line, 1960/1961?
Editors note: From studying the original scan the locomotive could be 42752, although this is not certain.
If it be 42752, Carlisle is likely as it seems to have spent much of its life at 12A /68A,Kingmoor. I did think Falkland Jct., but there appears to be a high level line in the indistinct background.
Additional - further examination suggests locomotive number could be 42852.
Possibly the old sidings at Fleetwood?
42752 was a Carlisle Canal engine at withdrawal in 1962/3, whras 42852 moved from Willesden to Birkenhead in 1961/2 before being withdrawn in 1963/4.
Is there a hump in the background? The wagos look like they could be cuts. Therefore this could be in England.....just a clutch at a straw!
Falkland junction box seen in the photo is Ayr harbour junction the train is coming up the loop from Newton junction


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Black 5 no 45053 with a freight.... where is this?
[Added 10 July 2010]

Additional: The photograph was given to Ken Browne some years ago by an acquaintance who worked in the publicity dept of BR Scottish Region. It was a promotional still for a BR Freight service. Ken tells me Stirling or Perth come to mind vaguely but he really cannot be sure where it was taken. Ed. THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN RESOLVED - SEE IMAGE 29855 - ALTHOUGH FURTHER DOUBTS HAVE SINCE BEEN EXPRESSED - ALTERNATIVE LOCATIONS PUT FORWARD ARE ST ROLLOX & ROBROYSTON - REINSTATED 18 JULY 2010. MOVED TO LONG-TERM 22 JULY 2010 PENDING ANY FURTHER RESPONSES.

___________________________________________________

Reinstated 26 April 2013 - any further thoughts???

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Put back into hibernation 4 May 2013.

Answers

Given the extra gen, I was going to suggest Stirling - south end of Up Main platform. My notes say 45053 was a 63A loco between 1957 and June 1959.
Dont agree its south end of Stirling as the foreground layout, disc signals, lack of curvature and the once prominent signal gantry illustrate. The double arm signal above the wagons is interesting as it appears to be two home signals if my eyesight is correct (rather than a home and distant) mounted one above the other which is quite rare in Scotland and although there was an example of this type of low speed junction signal worked from St Leonards Bridge SB in Perth prior to resignalling I dont think its that location as the yard lamps testify.
How observant of DH to notice the double home signal. There was one like this roughly half way between Perth Station and the shed with two further home signals sharing the post lower down and for the opposite direction so hidden by train. The yard lamps would fit with my photograph of this location.
Would go for the loops just south of Perth station alongside the shed, with the train heading north. Date probably around late 50s or early 60s.
Pretty sure it is Perth (the semaphore is distinctive) not convinced it is the Friarton though. Ill check my records but Im sure that semaphore was on the Southern approach to the station (down direction). Flat bottom rail and (perhaps?) a shadow of a new point motor under the second wagon indicates 1960-1. But maybe not!!
I was wrong about the signal, the arms are too close together (refer Scottish Steam- A tribute WJV Anderson P.70). back to the drawing board!
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I still vote for the northbound goods loop in Perth. The signal mentioned by GS was as in this photo in 1955 and in the Anderson book the middle arm has been removed although the lamp survives and it was taken during the resignalling.
I think JRs Perth argument is quite convincing.
Although a consensus seems to be developing in favour of Perth, my researches suggest its not there (at least not in the vicinity of the new power box as has been postulated). Ive found two pictures by Brian Morrison (in his Scottish Steam Album) taken in 1955 from the opposite side of the main running lines to the WJV Anderson shot mentioned, but also looking towards the station. These show quite clearly that (a) there was then no FB rail used in the vicinity (b) there were no yard lamps corresponding with those in the mystery image and (c) the approach to the station on the down main was controlled by a bracket signal with no sign of a post bearing two home arms, one above the other. This bracket signal is also visible in the WJV shot and I would suggest that the single post with two home arms is a temporary arrangement, using recovered materials and not yet in use, to replace the bracket signal and allow the track layout to be remodelled prior to the colour light signalling being commissioned. No idea whr it actually is though!
PS Further to my previous post I have since put on the proper glasses and the Brian Morrison photographs are actually dated 1953. However it seems clear from the WJV shot (despite the snow) that the rails were still still predominantly bullhead in 1959.
Incidentally theres another BM shot which shows the signal John R has referred to - the twin home signals were lower down the post and controlled the exit from the up goods line while the upper pair of arms were a home and distant and applied to the down main - I think the next signal in the down direction would be the bracket affair I referred to earlier.
45053 was fitted with a domed boiler between June 1952 and February 1957. As the loco is domeless and carrying a 63A plate, the date must therefore be between 1957-1959.
Might this be some way south of Stirling station, with the west end of the Ochils just creeping into the far right of the background?
Ewan,

Query no 9468.

You don't happen to have an original scan so I can have a proper look. This still annoys as, if it is Perth, would be a cracker. Gary


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Photograph thought to have been taken from the window of a train somewhere on the Highland main line in the late 1950s.... but where?
[Added 030210]

MOVED TO LONG TERM MYSTERY SECTION 9 SEPT 2010.

REINSTATED 26 SEPT 2011 - SEE LATEST COMMENTS.

RETURNED TO LONG TERM 29 SEPT 2011.

Answers

To get the ball rolling very tentatively, Id say - as the line is single track - that it has to be climbing to Slochd or Dava summits.
Something about this Photo suggests to me that its not the Highland Main Line. The Photo reminds me of the West Highland line a few miles south of Crianlarich. But its only a Guess.
My resident lineside adviser (Bill Jamieson) advises that the trees to the right hand side of the track, which are reminiscent of Crianlarich as it is now, probably didnt exist there in 1960; the ground to the left of the line rises too steeply; and the ground to the right of the track should rise much more steeply for it to be the suggested WHL location.

Im no expert on the Dava line (I was under 10 when I travelled on it), so my current inclination is that this may be on the final stages of the southbound climb to Slochd - the angle of the sun fits, and Bill tells me the telegraph poles are in the right position!
I wondered too if this could not be coming South at Dava as the line s down towards Grantown. It is now a footpath.
I do think it is the Highland Main Line but not the final part of the climb to Slochd. The hills arent steep enough either side of the line.

I think this is about a mile south of Moy viaduct just before the line currently goes under the A9.
Wildcard. Something about the loco reminds me of a standard tank. If acting as a banker should be double track so could it be the Killin branch.
I think the sun (such as it is) is in the wrong direction for Killin - also not sufficiently steeeply graded?
I can also see where TC is coming from on this one, but I am still inclined to think it is southbound Slochd.


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One of three old images sent to BMcC around 5 years ago. Unfortunately the sender cannot now be contacted. The other two photographs were taken around Hawick. Can anyone throw any light on this one...???
[Added 111109] MOVED TO LONG TERM MYSTERIES 221109

Answers

I recall something very similar in North British Album???
I do not ave a copy to hand presently, but I believe this photo is printed in the book, Kirkby Stephen East, A station remembered, by K Richardson. If not then very similar.


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The crew of Caledonian 0-6-0 no 689 pose beside their locomotive, date and location unknown. Note roster no 108 attached to the smokebox lamp iron. The photograph was passed on by a late relative, the son of the driver.

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Further enquiry of surviving ancient discloses that the driver, name of Palmer, was stationed in Glasgow and then in 1920 moved to work at Paisley St. James, which would then be the large goods and mineral depot latterly called, I think, Underwood. No idea, of course, when the photo was taken. Colin Miller.


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A cosy scene in the Guards van on the way back to Galashiels from Kelso with the last freight on 29 March 1968. Who is that on the right of the picture? He joined us at St Boswells and had a pass for the freight. He wasnt local, and the name Craig seems to ring a bell.
[Reinstated from long-term mysteries 29 March 2013 - can anybody add anything 45 years on?]
[Returned to long-term mysteries 4 April 2013]

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Just to add a little more. He was a member of the Branch Line Society, had joined the freight at St Boswells (it left from Galashiels) and - though memory is fuzzy - Im sure he was from the west of Scotland.


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Blackpool Pleasure Beach station - opened in 1987, but with an old traditional style canopy. Does anyone know this came from?

Answers

I have heard asuggestion that the components may have come from Thornton Cleveleys , which lost its canopies about this time. Can anyone confirm this?
It is very unlikely to be the Canopy from Thornton-Cleveleys. The station and canopy at Th-Cl were demolished in the mid to late 1970s (about 10 years before the opening of the Pleasure Beach Station). Looking back at my collection of old photos, the canopy at Th-Cl was glass and the supports were quite ornate.
The canopy at Blackpool Pleasure Beach could have come from one of several stations along the Blackpool South - Kirkham line. Many were modernised at that time as the line was singled.


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