B.R.(WR)

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Mickey

B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:10 pm

The view looking east towards London from the footbridge at Southall station as a Warship diesel-hydraulic working the Down Torbay Express thunders through the station possibly about 1959 with Southall steam shed seen in the distance.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... ksbank.jpg

A great but slightly out of focus action shot of no.4093 Dunster Castle storming along at the head of a mixed goods train probably during the early 1960s.

http://www.miac.org.uk/images/4093abbotswood.jpg

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:35 pm

A Hawksworth 2-cylinder 'County class' mixed traffic 4-6-0 County of Dorset was one of 30 members of the class turned out by the GWR between 1945-1947 with this particular loco being seen in lined out black mixed traffic livery and with a early B.R. emblem on it's tender. This particular loco entered traffic in February 1946 and was withdrawn in July 1964 with none of the 30 members of the class being preserved and all going for scrap.

https://www.railadvent.co.uk/wp-content ... ksbank.jpg

JASd17
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Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by JASd17 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:22 pm

Hi Mickey,

The original link gives more information for the Warship, a Ben Brooksbank photo, who is sadly no longer with us.

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2397416

For those not familiar with geograph.org.uk it can be a very useful resource. Not perhaps in the league of https://maps.nls.uk/os/index.html, but good all the same.

John

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:47 pm

Hi John.

Thanks for the extra information about the Southall photograph and also about Ben Brooksbank which I am sad to hear that he passed away as I have noticed recently a number of B.R.(WR) photographs being credited to him.

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:27 pm

On the West London line at the south end of Kensington Olympia station in 1968 with a nice shot of a ex GWR pannier tank that was one of around a dozen panniers that was bought by London Transport from the Western Region of B.R. and used mainly on Engineering trains on the LT and also on the 'Watford tip workings' between the late 1950s and 1971. I presume the train originated from the London Transport Lillie Bridge depot not far from Kensington Olympia station and situated to the south of Kensington Olympia station.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... a_1968.jpg

Still on the West London line at Kensington Olympia station in 1968 with a Southern Region type 3 Crompton or a latter day class 33 diesel. The signal box in the picture was Kensington South Main (Kensington North Main signal box was logically at the north end of Kensington Olympia station) with both boxes being of LNWR heritage although during the B.R. era of the 1960s the West London line came under the control of the Western Region so there was a curious mix of different signalling in existence at Kensington Olympia station with WR lower quadrant signals being used at the south end of the station controlled by Kensington South Main box and with LMR upper quadrant signals being used at the north end of the station controlled by Kensington North Main box.

In August of 1970 I visited Kensington South Main box one Saturday afternoon when the signalman who was on duty looked down from one of the open box windows and invited me to 'come up and have a look around'.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... a_1968.jpg

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:39 pm

There are one or two people who come on here that know a little bit about the boxes on the West London line anyway just for there interest the signalman who was on duty that Saturday afternoon back in August of 1970 I remember him telling me that he was a signalman at Luton South box at one time on the Midland main line out of St Pancras if that rings any (block) bells?.

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StevieG
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Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by StevieG » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:06 pm

IIRC both of those Kensington boxes also had GW lever frames Mickey.
But I couldn't say about what was in the former Middle box that closed, I think, sometime in the 1950s
BZOH

/
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Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:47 pm

Yes you are 100% correct Stevie regarding both Kensington South Main & Kensington North Main boxes both having GW lever frames. I thought it was an interesting place with it's strange mixture of WR lower quadrant signals at the south end of the station and LMR upper quadrant signals at the north end of the station plus there was the Motor Rail depot at the station as well under the control of Kensington North Main box.

The entrance to Kensington South Main box was from the District line bay platform where you went down two or three steps and then entered the box through a wooden door where you then climbed up an internal staircase to the top where it brought you out onto the operating floor. The large lever frame was at the back of the box facing westwards away from the running lines outside and I believe from memory the block instruments or some of them were WR blocks?. There was still a fair bit of freight traffic that passed through the station even in 1970 and from vague memory even on a Saturday afternoon there appeared to be a small number of coal/coke trains heading south towards the Southern Region hauled by Southern Region class 73 electro diesels I recall.

Later on during the early 1980s from looking at several photographs of the area that I have seen it appears that the layout at Kensington Olympia was 'rationalised' like many other locations were around the late 1970s & early 1980s and a number of signal arms at Kensington South Main were removed also I remember that the box came on the B.R. vacancy list sometime around 1983/84 with a regular position being advertised but it was a bit of a strange backwater of a place by then and I clearly remember travelling down towards Kensington North Main at night in the cab of a loco circa 1979 and ALL of Kensington North Main's semaphore signals were unlit including a large bracket signal close to North Main box that carried Kensington North Main's home signal(s) for the Up through line and also the Up through to Up platform line along with Kensington South Main's distant signals plus various other running line signals and a number of ground disc signals at Kensington North Main that were all blank and unlit??.

I think Kensington South Main along with Kensington North Main closed sometime around 1984/85 with that area being absorbed into part of Victoria PSB located at Clapham Junction.

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thesignalman
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Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by thesignalman » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:39 pm

All three boxes had LNWR frames at birth. Middle retained its original frame until abolition in 1958. That was the date that South Main received a new WR frame, to take over the crossovers previously worked by Middle.

North Main is recorded as receiving its "new" frame in 1956, which was apparently second-hand from the Penarth area, near Cardiff. I wonder if that date should really be 1966 when significant changes at that end of the station occurred - read on.

The grand layout and complex signalling would have faded into nearly nothing if it wasn't for the opening of the Motorail terminal at Kensington in 1966. Between then and closure in 1988, the place had its very busy moments, utilising all of the layout for running round, shunting and combining of vans and pasenger coaches. Most departing trains chugged their way to Mitre Bridge Junction behind Type 2 locomotives for a loco change to electric power.

I travelled to Scotland that way a couple of times. If you didn't book a sleeper, you had a first class compartment to yourself with blankets supplied - who needed more?

A gentleman who I used to work with at Finchley Road and Camden Road Junction boxes used to work at Middle box. It was an overhead gantry box and the easiest way to empty the elsan toilet was to empty it into an empty wagon train as it passed. Unfortunately one day the train was a little shorter than expected and the gaurd was standing at the front of his brake.

Another story comes from an ex-fireman I know - if they had a too large lump of coal they used to drop it over into to Thames off Chelsea Bridge. One day, when they looked down to watch the splash they noticed a police launch in the line of fire. They hastily took their heads in and continued on their sedate journey across the bridge with a rag held over the engine number . . .

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: http://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling photographs: http://shop.studio433.co.uk/

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:49 am

I vaguely recall seeing by peeping over a brick wall Viaduct Junction s/box in 1970 which appeared from vague memory to be a B.R.(WR) 1950s/60s built modern structure that was situated beside the Up line heading towards Kensington Olympia between North Pole Junction & Kensington North Main boxes. On another website it states that Viaduct Junction box closed in 1975 .

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:02 am

The 'Kenny Belle' hauled by a B.R. standard tank and hauling a small rake of 'block ender' suburban coaches is seen departing Kensington Olympia station for the short run to Clapham Junction. This steam hauled service was reputed to have been the very last steam hauled passenger service operating in the London area finishing in 1967.

http://svsfilm.com/nineelms/kenny2.jpg

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:03 pm

True tales from the never world... part 3.

"The West London line at the end of the 1970s must have employed either a lazy lampman or B.R. was sold some dodgy signal lamp oil because if you was to ride on the front of a loco along the route between Mitre Bridge Junction & Latchmere Junction after dark back then you would find that most of the semaphore signals along that route were usually unlit with probably the worse place being at Kensington North Main which it wasn't unusual to find virtually all that box semaphore signals and ground signals being unlit".

Kensington North Main possibly in 1978.
http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/k/ke ... mpia10.jpg

Another photograph of Kensington North Main possibly in 1976 and of note are both the Up and Down Through lines running signals being sited on the right-hand side of the running lines instead of the more usual left-hand side and also part of the Kensington Motor Rail terminal is seen on the left of the photograph.
http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/k/ke ... mpia14.jpg

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thesignalman
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Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by thesignalman » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:49 am

Mickey wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:49 am
I vaguely recall seeing by peeping over a brick wall Viaduct Junction s/box in 1970 which appeared from vague memory to be a B.R.(WR) 1950s/60s built modern structure that was situated beside the Up line heading towards Kensington Olympia between North Pole Junction & Kensington North Main boxes. On another website it states that Viaduct Junction box closed in 1975 .
Yes indeed, the fifth(!) box on this site came second-hand from Windsor & Eton in 1969 (where it had been erected in 1963), and closed 1975 as you say. A possible myth that was around in the mid-1970s was that it made the journey by helicopter - I have never been able to substantiate or disprove this.

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: http://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling photographs: http://shop.studio433.co.uk/

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:24 am

thesignalman wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:49 am
Yes indeed, the fifth(!) box on this site came second-hand from Windsor & Eton in 1969 (where it had been erected in 1963), and closed 1975 as you say. A possible myth that was around in the mid-1970s was that it made the journey by helicopter - I have never been able to substantiate or disprove this.
Interesting information and confirmation John about Viaduct Junction box. Sometimes you see things once only many years earlier in this case Viaduct Junction box and you wonder to yourself years later if you really saw it especially as there doesn't appear to be any photographs that I have come across of the box possibly because there wasn't a station where the box was located plus it was only there for about six years before closing. As I previously posted I vaguely remember one day around 1970 being in the Kensington Olympia area and peeping over a brick wall of a bridge that crossed the West London line and seeing Viaduct Junction box in the near distance which was a modern B.R.(WR) structure standing beside the Up line coming from North Pole Junction and heading towards Kensington Olympia station anyway it wasn't until 1979 that I re-visited the West London line and the Kensington Olympia area again and of course by then Viaduct Junction box had been closed and dismantled several years earlier in 1975.

Mickey

Re: B.R.(WR)

Post by Mickey » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:00 pm

One of the various GWR designs of Siphon vans designed mainly to transport milk churns from the many west of England dairies up to London but later on they were used more as ordinary parcel vans in trains by the Western Region of B.R.. The example shown below is a Siphon G van.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 1037_b.jpg

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