NBR Trivia

  • The NBR had 123 route miles in England (Cumberland & Northumberland). The only English railway to cross the border was the NER and then only by a few miles (towards Kelso).
  • The NBR did not work any train south of Berwick on the ECML, apart from a brief period in the 1890s. All the East Coast expresses were worked by the NER between Waverley and Berwick.
  • The NBR did work trains into Newcastle but over the Border Union line from Riccarton.
  • In the early years, a Crampton locomotive was obtained. Before running a royal train (Queen Victoria), it was finished in a tartan livery.
  • Although the NBR was the largest Scottish railway, it was not as profitable as the Caledonian.
  • The Wheatley 4-4-0 number 224 which had gone to the bottom of the Tay in the bridge disaster, was raised, repaired and ran for some years afterwards. It was affectionately known as "The Diver" by the running staff.
  • The coaching stock included a couple of prison carriages for transfer of felons to Peterhead gaol.
  • The Port Carlisle Railway had a horse drawn Dandy cart to provide a passenger service between Carlisle and Port Carlisle. This was perpetuated by the NBR until 1914.
  • The name board on Tulloch station (WHR) read "Tulloch for Kingussie". Kingussie was over 30 miles away on the Highland Railway main line!
  • The NBR instituted a number of named trains such as "The Fife Coast Express". The headboard design was adopted by the LNER & later BR.
  • For some years, there were through coaches run between Aberdeen and Penzance, 785 or 795 miles depending on route. The longest through workings in the UK.

Tay Bridge Trivia

  • The second Tay Bridge (viaduct) is 10,711 feet long.
  • There are 81 piers, 82 spans plus approach brick arches north and south.
  • The widest spans over the shipping lane are 245 feet long and 77 feet above high water.

Forth Bridge Trivia

  • The bridge was essentially a joint railway (NBR, NER, GNR & MR).
  • The height of the towers which support the cantilevers is 330 feet.
  • Each cantilever is 680 feet wide.
  • The spans between the cantilevers 350 feet wide.
  • There is 150 feet clearance at high water.
  • The southern approach viaduct is of 10 spans of 168 feet plus 4 arches of 66 feet.
  • The northern approach viaduct is of 5 spans of 168 feet plus 3 arches of 66 feet.
  • The main bridge is 5349 feet 6 inches long.
  • The total bridge including the approaches is just over 1� miles long.
  • The weight of the bridge is 72,250 tons.
  • There were about 8 million rivets used in the construction.
  • During a heavy shower, the weight of the bridge can increase by 100 tons in a few minutes.
  • There were 56 fatalities during construction.

Statistics (at 31st December 1922)

Route mileage: 1,378 miles
Track mileage: 2,765 miles
Locomotive stock: 1,075
Passenger vehicle: 3,576
Freight vehicles: 55,806
Service vehicles: 3,164
Employees: 29,518
Annual ticket sales: 32,090,716 (incl. season tickets)
Annual Tonnages:
General merchandise: 5,011,426 tons
Coal & coke: 18,739,108 tons
Other minerals: 4,064,845 tons
Livestock: 2,654,951 head
Annual gross receipts: £10,344,039
Annual net receipts: £2,441,170



Thank you to Richard Barron for the above information.