Platform 9 and 4/4: A New Railway Appreciation Thread

Wesley JWesley J Circus Host
There seems to be a need for a new railway appreciators' thread; the subject's keeps popping up all over the Ship.

Ready for departure now. :)
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Comments

  • Wesley JWesley J Circus Host
    I'm copying the following post from the All Saints Remembrance Day thread. Interesting!
    KarlLB wrote: »
    You may be interested in this, @Baptist Trainfan - lots of references to the role of trains in wars:

    https://youtu.be/wn9NUmPV_Ts?si=pEMX8klxHhWyfwFZ
  • Thinking of trains, I cannot help thinking of how they were used to efficiently transport countless millions to the German death camps.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited November 2023
    I think @Barnabas_Aus's Australian engine might have been a Great Central 2-8-0, LNER O4.

    The Railway Operating Division ordered large numbers of these in the 1st World War. It sold some after the 1st World War to a mining company in New South Wales, where I think they remained in use until not all that long ago and 2 or 3 may still survive but not capable of being safely steamed. Others were sold elsewhere, including the LNWR and later more to the LMS, the GWR. The majority to sold back to the LNER. The LMS ones did not last all that long, but some of the GWR ones were still around into the late 1950s. Some of the LNER lasted through almost until the end of steam and one has been preserved and has worked in this century.

    The War Department requisitioned some of the LNER engines again in the 2nd World War and sent them to the Middle East. None of those returned but some were in use there well after the war.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Second Post

    I think I've commented before on these threads that my last post epitomises a key difference between a railway nerd and the rest of humanity. Those who don't understand these things are moved by the emotional messages that trains can be used to represent, as in the filmlet of the song by Al Stewart that @KarlLB posted a link to. A true railway nerd, instead of hearing and being moved by the song, is watching for what sort of engine is appearing - that filmlet being impaired for him (usually him) by the number of unrelated parts of the world the images have been collected from.

    The difference between a railway nerd and everyone else, is that a railway nerd is a person who thinks:-
    • Brief Encounter is spoilt by all the love interest, and
    • Edinburgh Castle is a fantastic backdrop for a station.

  • Enoch wrote: »
    Second Post

    I think I've commented before on these threads that my last post epitomises a key difference between a railway nerd and the rest of humanity. Those who don't understand these things are moved by the emotional messages that trains can be used to represent, as in the filmlet of the song by Al Stewart that @KarlLB posted a link to. A true railway nerd, instead of hearing and being moved by the song, is watching for what sort of engine is appearing - that filmlet being impaired for him (usually him) by the number of unrelated parts of the world the images have been collected from.

    The difference between a railway nerd and everyone else, is that a railway nerd is a person who thinks:-
    • Brief Encounter is spoilt by all the love interest, and
    • Edinburgh Castle is a fantastic backdrop for a station.

    A true train nerd would (as my late father did) get hung up on the reference to the narrow Russian gauge, given that the Russian gauge was in fact wider.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    A true train nerd would (as my late father did) get hung up on the reference to the narrow Russian gauge, given that the Russian gauge was in fact wider.
    I agree. I did, but thought I might have heard wrong and wasn't going to go back to check.

  • A true train nerd gets hung up on seeing a train of Mk 1 BR carriages (and, even worse, a BR standard locomotive) appearing in a film purportedly set in the 1930s.
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    edited November 2023
    Thinking of trains, I cannot help thinking of how they were used to efficiently transport countless millions to the German death camps.

    I think of that every time one of those collections of windowless old freight carriages or empty cattle truck type things (note technical terms there) passes by. Always gives me the shivers.

    Though I discovered recently that the Anhalter Bahnhof in Berlin was a starting point for transporting Jews to Theresienstadt and was unusual in that the train was a regular passenger train, of which a couple of standard third-class carriages were reserved for Jews, who were almost all older people, while the rest was business as usual for Berlin travellers. Theresienstadt was a transit camp and on arrival the Jewish "passengers" would be decanted and often sent on elsewhere in somewhat nastier transport like cattle wagons.

    The Anhalter Bahnhof was bombed so badly in 1943 that that put paid to it being used for anything other than a handful of local trains and that was discontinued. What's left today is basically just a large arch which is now a memorial site.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited November 2023
    Thinking of trains, I cannot help thinking of how they were used to efficiently transport countless millions to the German death camps.

    Hence my link

    What became of the innocence
    They had in childhood games?
    Painted red or blue
    When I was young they all had names.
    Who'll remember the ones who only rode in them to die?
    All their lives are just a smudge of smoke against the sky.


    I've almost covered this live once or twice but I keep on breaking down practicing it.
  • My Father in Law was a true train nerd. He had a store at the Grand Central Station in New York many years ago. He would commute into the city from New Jersy and would take the train out to the shores on summer weekends.

    When we lived in South Dakota, he would take the train to a nearby station in Minnesota. Then when we moved to Mississippi, he would take the train to Birmingham, Alabama.
    Once he drove out with us to my parents in Idaho, but then went to Vancouver BC to take the Canadian train to Windsor.

    Myself, my train experience has been limited primarily because of the nature of railroads in the US. A friend and I took a train from Southern Idaho to Ft. Wayne, IN in 1969. This was before Amtrak, so we had to take three different lines to get there. Union Pacific to Iowa City. Rock Island to Chicago. Pennsyvannia Rail to Ft. Wayne. Of the three lines, the Rock Island was the worst. The cars and the line just were not maintained very well. Then too, while we were delivered to Ft. Wayne, IN, our luggage was delivered to Ft Worth, Texas. It took another three days for the luggage to be reunited with us.

    The other time I took a train was the Pioneer which went from Salt Lake City to Portland. It was a Union Pacific line. I boarded at Pocatello, Idaho in the middle of the night and arrived in Portland midafternoon the next day. Two days later, I returned to Pocatello on the Portland Rose. I departed Portland midmorning and arrived in Pocatello at midnight.

    Living in Pocatello, we could hear both the northwest bound (Pioneer) train coming in late at night, and the southeastern train (Portland Rose) also approaching from the other direction. They crossed in Pocatello around midnight. When I returned to Pocatello, I had left a Volkswagen at the station. It had a loud exhaust, so my wife could hear the VW start up and then me drive to our place. I think the whole town heard the car that night.

    Not too long ago, my granddaughter, age 4, insisted her Dad take her on a train ride to see her new cousin in Tacoma, WA. They live in Portland and took the train from there. After the weekend, they returned by train. She is like her great grandfather when it comes to trains.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited November 2023
    Your grand-daughter is lucky in that Amtrak Cascades is a "proper" service with several trains each way each day.
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx
    When I was a youth, the only time I travelled on trains was to football matches. There were 3 special trains travelling from Stourbridge junction to the Hawthorns Halt in West Bromwich. They were all steam trains. There seemed to be less trains doing the return journey because I often had to be in a goods carriage at the rear,

    I am mainly interested in railway architecture.
  • Railway architecture is a fascinating subject in its own right.

    Much was lost, of course, with the mass closures of the late 20th century, but a goodly number of attractive buildings remain in use, often sensitively restored or adapted.

    Do you have a particular favourite station, or other building, @Telford ?
  • I remember meeting a pair of Australian railroad buffs. I was in Essex, Montana, described to me as the last whistle stop in the AMTRAK system. All that is there is a hotel (built, back in the day, to house the crew building the railway) and a huge switching yard. Two men were there with fancy cameras taking delight in every detail. As I recall, one of them told me that in Australia, railroad buffs were regarded less favorably than axe murderers. (I am not sure I believe that.)
  • edited November 2023
    This might be a nice place to share that I met a couple of older blokes on Friday, who had founded a firm called Dorothea Restorations back in the 70s to work on industrial engines and locos etc. In retirement they are still at it, and amongst other things are in the process of building a 2' gauge steam tram, using a cut-down boiler which was scrapped from the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway and a tram body which originally saw service in Halifax. I had a great time meeting them - they are downsizing a bit and donated some things to our museum, including a 16 foot (!) steel rule made in Salford for a manufacturer of spinning mules.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    I think @Barnabas_Aus's Australian engine might have been a Great Central 2-8-0, LNER O4.

    The Railway Operating Division ordered large numbers of these in the 1st World War. It sold some after the 1st World War to a mining company in New South Wales, where I think they remained in use until not all that long ago and 2 or 3 may still survive but not capable of being safely steamed. Others were sold elsewhere, including the LNWR and later more to the LMS, the GWR. The majority to sold back to the LNER. The LMS ones did not last all that long, but some of the GWR ones were still around into the late 1950s. Some of the LNER lasted through almost until the end of steam and one has been preserved and has worked in this century.

    The War Department requisitioned some of the LNER engines again in the 2nd World War and sent them to the Middle East. None of those returned but some were in use there well after the war.

    You are correct @Enoch. The loco is ROD 2004, the last of the group of five built at the GCR Gorton Works in 1918, the last to be sent to France, and the last to come back. There was a long-standing rumour that it hauled Marshal Foch's train to the signing of the instrument of surrender, but this has been disproved. It has been cosmetically restored to its WW1 livery, as the company sold all of the copper boiler tubes for scrap before donating the loco for preservation. The other two remaining locos are at our kindred museum on the Far North Coast of NSW.
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx
    Railway architecture is a fascinating subject in its own right.

    Much was lost, of course, with the mass closures of the late 20th century, but a goodly number of attractive buildings remain in use, often sensitively restored or adapted.

    Do you have a particular favourite station, or other building, @Telford ?
    I love the viaducts in Wolverhampton. I am a big fan of the old Wolverhampton Low Level station. Not used for trains but restored. It was the most northerly broad-gauge station on the GWR network.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolverhampton_Low_Level_railway_station


    I am also fond of the new Galton Bridge station in Sandwell which serves two lines at different levels. It also gives excellent views of the very famous Galton Bridge the brainchild of a equally famous Scottish engineer.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galton_Bridge

  • Always had a liking for the Ouse Valley Viaduct which was visible from my grandparents' house

    On a side note, 2025 will be the 200th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway arguably the first public railway to use steam locomotives. A great great grandfather according to a family story was a schoolboy on the opening day train. Family investigation shows he was in the right place, Darlington, at the right time, autumn 1825, but, a death in his extended family in that town the night before makes it unlikely he was on the train.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Difficult to choose any single favourite railway structure, St Pancras, Paddington, York, Newcastle, Temple Meads - there are so many, particularly when one starts to spread one's eyes more widely to look at some of the smaller ones. I could say that some of the old companies that built them, the GWR, the Midland, the North Eastern for example were consistently better than some of the others. LNWR ones all seemed a bit ramshackle and disorganised, with odd platforms shoved in in funny places. The old Euston, once one got behind its famous and much lamented Doric arch was a mess. Crewe, not much better, without even any imposing entrance. As for the Great Northern, it may be something to do with their yellow bricks but I can't think of any of their stations - and that includes their London terminus - that didn't look as though it was run up on the cheap.
  • Telford wrote: »
    Railway architecture is a fascinating subject in its own right.

    Much was lost, of course, with the mass closures of the late 20th century, but a goodly number of attractive buildings remain in use, often sensitively restored or adapted.

    Do you have a particular favourite station, or other building, @Telford ?
    I love the viaducts in Wolverhampton. I am a big fan of the old Wolverhampton Low Level station. Not used for trains but restored. It was the most northerly broad-gauge station on the GWR network.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolverhampton_Low_Level_railway_station


    I am also fond of the new Galton Bridge station in Sandwell which serves two lines at different levels. It also gives excellent views of the very famous Galton Bridge the brainchild of a equally famous Scottish engineer.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galton_Bridge

    Thank you - yes, Wolverhampton LL is indeed a handsome building, and I'm glad it is still in existence.

    Modern railway architecture can be a bit stark. My local station (a new build which replaced an older station some distance away) is basically a glass box labelled *Our Town Station*, making no concession whatever to the Georgian (and older) buildings in the nearby High Street. It is, therefore, a very honest structure IYSWIM.
    Enoch wrote: »
    Difficult to choose any single favourite railway structure, St Pancras, Paddington, York, Newcastle, Temple Meads - there are so many, particularly when one starts to spread one's eyes more widely to look at some of the smaller ones. I could say that some of the old companies that built them, the GWR, the Midland, the North Eastern for example were consistently better than some of the others. LNWR ones all seemed a bit ramshackle and disorganised, with odd platforms shoved in in funny places. The old Euston, once one got behind its famous and much lamented Doric arch was a mess. Crewe, not much better, without even any imposing entrance. As for the Great Northern, it may be something to do with their yellow bricks but I can't think of any of their stations - and that includes their London terminus - that didn't look as though it was run up on the cheap.

    The old South Eastern Railway was noted for its cheap wooden buildings - but a few are actually still in use (albeit mostly minus their brick chimneys!).

    https://rainhamrailenthusiast.com/2022/04/23/along-the-railway-line-south-east-mainline-pluckley-railway-station/
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    Ah, Rainham. The station is notable for having a Platform 0.
  • :lol:

    At which No Train is standing...

    Actually, it was added some time ago to accommodate the Thameslink services which start and terminate here, so it is in regular use.

    Presumably, They thought calling it Platform 3, as it's next to Platform 1 (for up trains towards London - Platform 2 is on the down side, for trains heading away from London) - would be too confusing for the passengers customers clients...

    BTW, this is Rainham in Kent, not the Essex one.
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    Actually, it was added some time ago to accommodate the Thameslink services which start and terminate here, so it is in regular use.

    Interesting. I don't remember seeing any Thameslink services while there, but I don't doubt your word. I used to get the Javelins back to St Pancras. Lovely trains.

  • The services operated by Govia Thameslink (hourly, I think) began in May 2018.

    Agreed re the Javelins on HS1 services - plenty of room for those of us with Long Knees!
  • Your grand-daughter is lucky in that Amtrak Cascades is a "proper" service with several trains each way each day.

    Aye, that is true. She wanted to go on the train ride because her pre-school had been discussing train travel. She had been on several metro trains previously, so she had been familiar with the concept.
  • Cardiff Central (among others) has a platform ), which I've used.

    Some of the other platforms have their numbers rendered in glazed tiles so it would have been difficult to change them.
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    The services operated by Govia Thameslink (hourly, I think) began in May 2018.

    Agreed re the Javelins on HS1 services - plenty of room for those of us with Long Knees!

    Oh, I made my last journey to/from Kent in 2017, so wouldn't have seen them.
  • DardaDarda Shipmate
    Combining railway & remembrance themes,
    GWR staff who died in war honoured at West Somerset Railway
  • SpikeSpike Ecclesiantics & MW Host, Admin Emeritus
    West Croydon has platforms 1, 3 and 4 but no platform 2
  • For many years Whitby had only Platform 2.
  • Who stole all these platforms? Is Outrage!
  • SpikeSpike Ecclesiantics & MW Host, Admin Emeritus
    For many years Whitby had only Platform 2.

    That must be where the West Croydon one went
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited November 2023
    :lol:

    But...who stole all Whitby's platforms?

    (Seriously, though, did West Croydon's disappear when They built the tramway?)
  • SpikeSpike Ecclesiantics & MW Host, Admin Emeritus

    (Seriously, though, did West Croydon's disappear when They built the tramway?)

    That’s pretty much it. Platform 2 was the terminus for the West Croydon - Wimbledon line. When that service stopped running to be replaced by the tram, the tracks were pulled up and Platform 3 was extended in its place
  • Ah - of course. That curious little section of the *Southern Electric*, with (originally) its trains made up of bits and pieces of old LBSCR overhead AC electric coaches!

    The Southern Railway really didn't like throwing anything away which might be of use somewhere else...
  • If you like stations, as I do, there are plenty of good books. I found John Betjeman's beautifully illustrated "London's Historic Railway Stations" for pennies in a library discard sale, and actually spent good money on Steven Parissien's excellent "Station to Station" that portrays some of the world's best stations.

    If I have a favourite station, it may be Glasgow Queen Street, not because it is particularly splendid - it isn't - but because it takes me almost anywhere I really want to go, including Oban, which has one of the worst designed modern stations you will ever find - much too small, with hardly any shelter for a wet day, and what looks like an animal fence to stop you getting on a train until the last minute.
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx
    Wolverhampton has 6 platforms but platforms 5 and 6 are not for trains that travel through the station. Most of it has recently been rebuilt.
  • Wesley JWesley J Circus Host
    Would any of you knowledgeable railophile Ladies and Gentlemen agree with the conclusions from the following link?

    The subject is: Why such short wheel-base wagons on BR till the 1970s [...]?

    Link to the rmweb.co.uk forum.

    Thank you, all! :)
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    Re station architecture, might anyone be interested in some stunning 1930s Russian metro designs? Someone just passed this on to me (the London Tube could learn a few things from these...).
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Something that thread doesn't seem to have been away of, is that with unfitted freight operation, I'd wonder whether it's either possible or practical to pin down bogie wagons when this was necessary?

  • Wesley J wrote: »
    Would any of you knowledgeable railophile Ladies and Gentlemen agree with the conclusions from the following link?

    The subject is: Why such short wheel-base wagons on BR till the 1970s [...]?

    Link to the rmweb.co.uk forum.

    Thank you, all! :)
    I think Fat Controller is pretty much on the mark, although the LNER (at least) did try some large bogie mineral wagons in the 1930s.What perhaps is more surprising is the continued construction into the 1960s of 4-wheel wagons, admittedly of longer wheelbase, for higher-speed work - eg "Blue Spot" fish wagons. This was at a time when the behaviour of such wagons at speed, especially on long-welded rails, was not well understood. The Thirst accident of 1967, involving cement wagons, fatalities an the destruction of DP2, made people sit up and think!

  • Opposite Our House in the Town of my Youth was the local railway coal yard, and I can remember seeing a couple of the workers moving a coal wagon by hand to get it in the right place on the siding for removal, having unloaded it first!
  • The continuedexistence of wagon turntables on some sidings might also have been a consideration'
  • Definitely, but did they last into the 60s? Possibly in some yards and depots they did.

    Incidentally (and irrelevantly) the lovely little Corris Railway doesn't have wagon turntables but did install a traverser last year to aid in running-round.
  • Here's an interesting article on wagon turntables, which (as @Baptist Trainfan suggests) did indeed survive into the 1950s and 60s, mostly in industrial/dockside locations.

    Nota Bene - the article is marked as Not Secure, so link to it at your own risk...
    http://igg.org.uk/rail/2-track/02track2.htm
  • Wesley JWesley J Circus Host
    edited November 2023
    What about this - check the date! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ9DrerydpM
    Fascinating! Good find! :smile:

    And now, what about this video here? The Railway Vicar! :smiley:
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited November 2023
    Rev Teddy Boston was a friend of Rev W Awdry (of Thomas the Tank Engine fame, as enny fule kno), and appears in some of Awdry's books as The Fat Clergyman - Awdry himself being The Thin Clergyman!

    Rev Boston's famous 2-foot gauge railway in his Rectory garden at Cadeby continued to exist for nearly twenty years after his premature death in 1986 (he was only 62), being looked after by his widow and friends, the Diocese allowing Mrs Boston to carry on living in the house.

    Here is a picture of the two Clergymen:

    http://www.nuneatonhistory.com/uploads/1/8/6/8/18680466/9377127_orig.jpg
  • ETA:

    Here's a short article about the Cadeby Light Railway itself:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadeby_Light_Railway
  • Of course there have been other railway Vicars, eg Bishop Eric Treacy (photographer who died on Appleby station) and Peter Denny ("Buckingham" model railway).
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