King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

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Seagull
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Seagull » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:39 am

60048 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:41 pm
Was that image in the old dock at King's Cross then? I really must try and find a KX track plan for 1930s / 1950s period. I'll have a search through this forum, as I am assuming somebody must have posted one sometime.
Yes that is in the Milk Dock as it was described.

For a track plan you should find this link useful - https://maps.nls.uk/geo/find/#zoom=15&l ... 28,-0.1245

Click on the second map of the 9 results (Surveyed 1952 Published 1953) and look for Battle Bridge Road next to the gas holders.
Alongside Culross Buildings is a single track. Next are a pair of tracks - these are where the two vans are standing with the open doors.
The darker grey shading on the map shows the extent of the platform canopy.
The cars drove in from Cheney Road through an entrance approximately opposite Wellers Court.


Alan
Last edited by Seagull on Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Seagull
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Seagull » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:07 pm

StevieG wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:54 pm
My apologies Alan - proof enough of their start.
Perhaps the services from Holloway occured with the launch of Motorail proper.
No apologies expected or required :)

I think you are right that the Motorail services proper did actually start at Holloway - though again I have no idea exactly when.

There are more pictures in the sequence 10443238 to 10443244 which suggest that the vans are the long wheelbase CCTs constucted from 1938 onwards. I'll leave it to the real experts to comment on that though!

In 10443242 the man is wearing a band on his sleeve which I think says Car Sleeper Limited - though I'm guessing at the first word.
It looks to me like it was either just a few vans attached to the sleeper services or maybe a sort of early trial.
The Milk Yard as it was at that stage would have been too cluttered to handle many cars.

I can understand why they eventually moved the services back to KX though as most of the customers would have been confused by taking their car to Holloway to leave from KX. Plus the perceived chore of the journey from Holloway back to KX to get the train.

Alan
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Mickey
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Mickey » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:00 am

I am not sure if these facts are correct but I believe I read that during WW2 20+ coach length trains headed by A4 locos were started from Kings Cross and that from a standing start these extra long expresses would take somewhere between 30-40 minutes to pass through Finsbury Park is that correct?.

A 20+ coach train standing in platform no.10 would I presume stretch well into Gasworks tunnel with the train loco standing possibly beyond the Grand Union canal 'dip' inside Gasworks tunnel which would in turn make starting a train of that length after the driver had received the 'right away' from the guard a job in it's self no doubt with loco coal smoke blowing back through the tunnel all the while and I presume there may have been senior station staff out on the track in the throat area relaying the guard's right away forward to the driver inside Gasworks tunnel?.

A standing start for a A4 from inside Gasworks tunnel no doubt had the welcomed assistance of a N2 that had brought the empty coaching stock in from Hornsey giving the train a push in the rear at least until the end of platform no.10 but a standing start for the A4 was on a rising gradient from inside Gasworks tunnel and would mean climbing on a rising gradient on through Belle Isle, Copenhagen tunnel, Holloway South Down and up the 'Holloway bank' passed Holloway North Down until reaching the level just beyond Holloway North Down box and then heading towards Finsbury Park.

60048
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by 60048 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:39 am

Guys,
Thanks for all the responses, and Alan, thanks for the map link. I have seen those NLS maps before, but when I go onto the core website I can never navigate my way to where you ended up!!

Mickey, 20+ coach expresses in wartime must have been horrendous for the crews in Gasworks, both waiting the right away, and during the start. They must have been so relieved to burst out of Copenhagen Tunnel! Surely such operations would have been few and far between however, as it would have blocked the entire station throat?

Rich
Rich

Interested in all LNER (the original, not modern one!) pre-grouping, pre-Nationalisation and under BR)

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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Mickey » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:33 am

A train with 20 or 20+ coaches on behind the tender departing from platform no.10 heading out onto the Down main no.1 line with the train loco I would presume standing beyond the Regents canal 'dip' inside Gasworks tunnel and may well have been possibly have been standing midway into Gasworks tunnel and obviously standing on a rising gradient would have blocked ALL the main line departure platforms for any trains waiting to depart out onto the Down main no.2 line and on through Gasworks tunnel (the western tunnel) although the west side departures out of the suburban platforms nos.11-15 and platform no.16 the 'hotel curve' would have still be all right to use for those departing trains heading onto the Down slow line through the west side tunnel as well. On the Up side arrivals trains coming along the Up fast line through Belle could still continue along the Up fast line through Gasworks tunnel (the eastern tunnel) and would have still been able to access platforms nos.1,2, 4 & 5 east side arrival platforms also Up trains that were routed off the Up fast line in Belle Isle and onto the Up relief line and on through Gasworks tunnel (the central tunnel) could still access platforms 6,7 & 9 as well although no local or semi-fast trains would be able to access the west side suburban arrival platforms nos.11-15 or light engines heading for the Milk dock and ultimately onto Passenger loco.

People were pretty hardy back in those days and just got on with there work although standing on the footplate of a loco waiting departure inside Gasworks tunnel with the locos coal smoke blowing down along the loco and train couldn't have been a pleasant experience all the same.

Some of the following is part speculation on my part as there is no evidence that I know of this actually happening although I use to witness main line departures from the main line platforms at Kings Cross back in the early 1970s with loco hauled trains at that time so some of this is probably correct anyway I am presuming to start a train of that length of 20 or 20+ coaches in length from platform no.10 it may have gone something like this?. Immediately before departure time a small number of porters (platform staff) would have ensured that all the carriage doors were closed and would then have been blowing there whistles and giving the train guard the all right signal (arm raised) to start the train. The train guard would have then given the 'right away' either by his green flag or hand lamp forward where I presume senior station staff would have relayed the 'right away' forward beyond the end of platform no.10 to the entrance of Gasworks tunnel where (I am now presuming?) the guards 'right way' may have been relayed to a front guard and the driver by the blowing on a hand held whistle by a railwaymen at the entrance to Gasworks tunnel to alert the front guard and the driver plus showing a green hand lamp forward into Gasworks tunnel for the driver to start the train BUT that is speculation on my part and is not a fact. Obviously an A4 with 20 or 20+ coaches fully loaded on behind the tender from a standing start on a rising gradient would have taken sometime to 'get underway' even with the help of an N2 pushing at the rear of the train for a short distance followed by the climb up through Belle Isle to the top of the 'Holloway bank' before the more level section on the run into and through Finsbury Park was reached although there was a slight climb again through Finsbury Park station to just beyond Harringay West station which all took time from a standing start inside Gasworks tunnel.

The signalling?.

With a very long train that extended over the end of platform no.10 and on into Gasworks tunnel obviously all the 'running signals' out of platform no.10 and on into Gasworks tunnel would have still shown red so obviously the train would still have to be signalled forward from Kings Cross box to Copenhagen Junction box in the normal way and 'put on the block' (that's a signalman's term) but all the departure signals would have remained at red because the train would have been standing across all of the track circuits so I am not sure how that was dealt with by the operating department?. Obviously I would have thought once the train had been accepted by Copenhagen Junction box a message I presume must have come from someone in Kings Cross box to most probably a senior railwayman on platform no.10 that the train was "all right to depart" and who would have informed the train guard on platform no.10 BUT again that is just my assumption and the short answer is I don't actually know how it was done?.
Last edited by Mickey on Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John Palmer
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by John Palmer » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:25 pm

The report on the February 1945 accident at Kings Cross at https://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/docum ... ss1945.pdf contains some interesting detail on arrangements for working long trains out of the station but unfortunately doesn't help with arrangements for signalling the departure. Judging by the starting position of the 17-coach train involved in the accident as shown in the diagram at the end of the report, I estimate that a 20-coach train's locomotive might have stood about fifty feet short of the south portal of Gasworks Tunnel, and as such had a distance of about 100 feet to cover before reaching the foot of the dip beneath the canal. That may have been of some help in getting the train under way, but in the case of the 1945 accident it would seem that a combination of defective sanders, poor choice of cut-off setting and new rails on Down Main No. 1 combined to bring about disaster.

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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Mickey » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:46 pm

I had a re-think about starting a 20 or 20+ coach train out of platform no.10 and routeing it via the Down main no.1 line (which I have amended on my original post to now say Down main no.2 line) which on reflection I would have thought it would have made a lot more sense routeing it along the Down main no.2 line because for a left-hand driven loco such as a A4 and most of the A3s the driver could have looked back down along the train (through the locos coal smoke?) and possibly have seen the entrance to Gasworks tunnel but more importantly presuming if there was a front train guard he could have given the driver the relayed 'right away' from the train that he himself would have received possibly if there was a railwayman standing at the entrance to Gasworks tunnel and standing beside the Down slow line with a whistle and a hand lamp relaying the 'right away' forward from seeing it himself further back towards the end of platform no.10 plus also it would be better all around if a train of a considerable length of 20 or 20+ coaches started from the Down main no.2 line rather than starting from the Down main no.1 line I would have thought?.

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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by thegreenhowards » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:42 am

Regarding the car carrying services, the overnight service, The Car Sleeper Limited started in 1956 and left from Kings Cross being loaded in the Milk Dock area beyond platform 15. When the day service started, later in the 1950s (The Anglo Scottish Car Carrier), it loaded from Holloway, and I think the passengers would have got on there as well.

Regards

Andy

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