King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

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60048
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King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by 60048 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:40 pm

Hi all,
Part of me says this must have come up in the past but i’ve searched Google and not found an answer, so....

Kings Cross has the small loco depot by the tunnel and top shed. I understand that top shed was the main depot etc, but a couple of questions.

How was KX loco used (was it local tanks or non Top Shed based locos) from the 1930s through to the end of steam?

For locos running out to Top Shed were they dispatched always on the slow line or could they go fast line to Belle Isle? Presumably locos coming back to KX used which ever route was free?

Were KX tunnels bi-directional or did each of the three portals have a specific designation?

Any help would be appreciated.

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

Post by Mickey » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:50 pm

1. I presume you are referring to 'Passenger loco' which closed around 1979 or 1980.

2. From what I remember during the late 1960s through until about the first half of 1977 trains could access the Down south London line goods at the north end of Gasworks tunnel either off the Down slow line or Down main/fast no.1 line but they couldn't access the Down south London line goods via the Down fast/main no.2 line as there was a fixed diamond crossing at the north end of Gasworks tunnel in Down fast/main no.2 line and just beyond the fixed diamond crossing the Down fast/main no.2 line either fed into the Down slow line or into the Down fast line in Belle Isle.

3. No none of the running lines through Gasworks tunnels three tunnels were bi-directional that only came about after the track layout was substantially altered between the platform ends and Gasworks tunnel the 'throat' area as it's called after about the second half of 1977 onwards.

Down slow line.
Down fast/main no.2 line.

Down fast/main no.1 line.
Up relief line. Many Up express trains would be routed onto the Up relief line at the south end of Belle Isle just north of Gasworks tunnel to gain entry into the main line platforms especially platforms nos.5-10 also many of the semi-fast trains coming Up from Cambridge, Royston & Hitchin and heading for platforms nos.11 & 12 on the west side suburban station which had slightly longer platforms than platforms nos.13-15 would also be routed onto the Up relief line at the south end of Belle Isle along with all the local passenger services coming Up from Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield & Hertford North to gain entry to the shorter west side suburban station platforms nos.13-15 as well as light engines heading for the Milk dock and then heading onto Passenger loco.

Up fast line. Many Up express trains heading Up platforms nos.1-4 on the east side arrival platforms would usually be routed straight along the Up fast line through Belle Isle but not always I believe some Up expresses could arrive Up platforms nos.1-4 via the Up relief line if needs required them to.

Up slow line. The Up slow line would either go via York Way station at Kings Cross and the 'City & Widen lines' towards Moorgate or trains could access no.1 platform at Kings Cross via the Up slow line if they needed to but I don't think it was a usual move for trains heading 'up no.1 platform' to be signalled along the Up slow line through Belle Isle as I believe they would more usually have been signalled along the Up fast line.

60048
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by 60048 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:37 pm

Micky,
Thank you, that is fascinating! Much appreciated.

Rich
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by silverfox » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:39 pm

Rich

IIRC the top top shed!! was used mostly in steam days for non KX locos on short turn arounds. Caol and water was available
without the track plan in front of me. all locos used to drop back into the old car train/milk dock? that was to the west of the Sub platform with accompanying flange squealing

60048
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by 60048 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:50 pm

By ‘top’, top shed, I presume you mean bottom shed, adjacent to Gasworks Tunnel alongside the Cross?

The old car train dock, was that where the London-Edinburgh car carriers were loaded?

Rich
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Mickey » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:19 pm

All local stopping passenger trains that would terminate in one of the west side suburban platforms nos.11-15 (renumbered 9-13 in mid 1972) would either be 'turned out' along the Up fast line at Finsbury Park No.4 or at Holloway North Up or at Holloway South Up boxes so they could then be routed onto the Up relief line at the south end of Belle Isle so as to access the west side suburban platforms. Conversely and I am partly guessing this some Up expresses would or could be 'turned in' along the Up slow line at Holloway South Up if they were terminating in the east side arrival platforms nos.1-4 especially if a train was already standing on the Up fast to Up relief line in Belle Isle and of course they in turn after running along the Up slow line from Holloway South Up would be 'turned out' from the Up slow to Up fast line at the south end of Belle Isle so as to access anyone of the east side arrival platforms nos.1-4.

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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Seagull » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:35 pm

60048 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:50 pm
By ‘top’, top shed, I presume you mean bottom shed, adjacent to Gasworks Tunnel alongside the Cross?
Yes he does - it was usually referred to as Passenger Loco or sometimes Bottom Shed (as in bottom of the hill).

It was normally only used for locomotives requiring a quick turnaround. The N2s would top up coal and water, the bigger engines would probably only use the turntable and maybe the water column. The coal hoist had a limited capacity and would have been slow to fill an empty pacific tender, though some locos probably did use it for topping up to make sure they had enough to get home.
60048 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:50 pm
The old car train dock, was that where the London-Edinburgh car carriers were loaded?
It was used for car carriers from the 1950s to about the end of the 1980s. Before that it was known as the Milk Dock or Milk Yard.

There is a book Great Nothern Railway Engine Sheds Vol. 1 which shows a layout diagram of the Passenger Loco.
If you do a Google search for 'Kings Cross passenger loco' you will get some useful hits.

Alan
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by StevieG » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:13 am

Seagull wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:35 pm
It was used for car carriers from the 1950s to about the end of the 1980s. Before that it was known as the Milk Dock or Milk Yard.
Note sure how certain that 1950s date is.
During the early times of ECML car+passenger-carrying, at least some of the trains commenced from the old cattle dock on the east side of the line off Caledonian Road at Holloway for a few years, their starts controlled by Holloway South Up signal box and travelling Down the Up Coal line by specially augmented signalling to North Up box where they crossed right over to the Down lines and away.
I had thought that none started from King's Cross until their operation from Holloway ended, but can't be certain about that or when it was.
BZOH

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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Mickey » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:18 am

I remember during the early/mid 1970s one of the duties of either 0S01 (1-shunt) or 0S02 (2-shunt) both the Kings Cross station pilot locos (0S01 was usually a Brush class 31 & 0S02 was usually a 350hp diesel shunter) was after the overnight scotch sleeping car expresses had arrived up Platform no.1 & platform no.2 on the east side arrival platforms it was the usual custom to take off the rear of each of the trains a couple of GUVs that carried any road motor vehicles in them and bring them over to behind the Milk dock for unloading with this procedure usually taking place around 07:00-07:30hrs in the morning.

As for the reverse procedure with loading any road motor vehicles into the GUVs and then attaching them to the corresponding previous evenings Down Kings Cross-Aberdeen overnight sleepers I am not entirely sure how that was done thinking about it now?. Usually all the ECS trains that originated from either Bounds Green or Hornsey carriage sidings were already fully formed when they arrived in 'the cross' unless the GUVs carrying any road motor vehicles were loaded on in the Milk dock and then attached to the front of the train standing in the platform before the loco was attached??.

Nearly some 50 years later it is sometimes a bit difficult to remember some of the minor aspects of train workings back then.

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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by 60048 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:07 pm

Thanks Micky,
Well your doing better than me at remembering - I wasn't born until 1978!!! One of the reasons why people documenting what happened on forums such as this is so important for future record. Thanks for taking the time, everyone's replies have been really useful.

Cheers
Rich
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Seagull » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:39 pm

StevieG wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:13 am
Note sure how certain that 1950s date is.
I admit neither was I :?

I had a good look through various books and the internet and nothing I found gave a date for the start of the services from KX.

However I did find this link https://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/res ... e=10443241 and the picture is dated 1955 which ties in with the vehicle and the dress of the people. Unfortunately the rolling stock and locomotive are too indistinct to identify.

Alan
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60048
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by 60048 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:41 pm

Seagull wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:39 pm
StevieG wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:13 am
Note sure how certain that 1950s date is.
I admit neither was I :?

I had a good look through various books and the internet and nothing I found gave a date for the start of the services from KX.

However I did find this link https://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/res ... e=10443241 and the picture is dated 1955 which ties in with the vehicle and the dress of the people. Unfortunately the rolling stock and locomotive are too indistinct to identify.

Alan
Alan,
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!

Rich
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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by Majormagna » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:02 pm

Seagull wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:39 pm
...the picture is dated 1955 which ties in with the vehicle and the dress of the people. Unfortunately the rolling stock and locomotive are too indistinct to identify.
Well the loco is most certainly an ex-GNR 0-6-2T, either an N1 or N2, but yes, deciphering the number is certainly impossible!
Moors Bound

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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by silverfox » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:44 pm

The Vehicle is a Daimler Conquest Century ( and if it is 1955) a Mk 1

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Re: King’s Cross 1930s-1960s

Post by StevieG » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:54 pm

Seagull wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:39 pm
StevieG wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:13 am
Note sure how certain that 1950s date is.
I admit neither was I :?

I had a good look through various books and the internet and nothing I found gave a date for the start of the services from KX.

However I did find this link https://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/res ... e=10443241 and the picture is dated 1955 which ties in with the vehicle and the dress of the people. Unfortunately the rolling stock and locomotive are too indistinct to identify.

Alan
My apologies Alan - proof enough of their start.
Perhaps the services from Holloway occured with the launch of Motorail proper.
BZOH

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