Working the Jazz

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locojoe
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Working the Jazz

Post by locojoe » Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:59 pm

The Jazz service as some people called some of the suburban services out of Liverpool Street was a very slick operation. Although things did get a bit hectic at times at Liverpool St during the rush hour AM and PM. On arrival the fireman would uncouple the train and another engine would couple on the other end. Usually after a couple of minutes the train would leave.
we would then take our engine to the dock at the end of the platform.

We would wait in the dock untill our train arrived the other fireman would uncouple. As soon as we got the dodd (ground signal, at Kings Cross we called them dollys) off we would back onto the train and couple up. Sometimes there would only be ten minutes or less between our arrival and departure. The first train am from Liverpool Street was not worked by an Enfield crew I think Stratford sent a light engine to work it. The last train for Enfield would leave Liverpool Street about 12-15 AM and the last engine would run home light.

Our normal days work would be three round trips, thats sixty miles with more than eighty station stops. As well as all that we had to prepare and dispose of the engine. So some people think local work was easy, but there was nothing easy working the Jazz.
Alan

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richard
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Post by richard » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:01 pm

If I remember correctly, 'The Jazz' was one of the most intensive services in the world. Even today, Liverpool Street must be one of the busiest stations?


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locojoe
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The Jazz Service

Post by locojoe » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:02 pm

I worked on the Enfield to Liverpool Street trains for a few years, this was sometimes known as the Jazz Service. I know a lot of members know all about it but for members who don't know much about it here is a brief explanation.
The Jazz Service was designed for the very busy commuter services to the North East suburbs of London, on the branch line services to Enfield, Wood Street Walthamstow and Chingford from Liverpool Street.

Turn arounds at each end of the service needed to be quick as any delay in releasing a locomotive could delay the whole timetable.The Jazz service, as it became known greatly reduced the overcrowding on the line without the need for electrification.

At Enfield the normal train consisted of 5 coaches called quintart set, a full train was 10 coaches. Full trains were used during peak periods and on matchdays when Spurs played at home as White Hart Lane was one of the stations on our run.We were allowed 31 mins to cover 10 miles with 14 stops with a normal train a full train was allowed 38 mins.
Alan
Ex fireman Enfield & Kings Cross.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
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Post by Andrew Craig-Bennett » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:34 am

Thanks, Alan.

Can you tell us more about how you kept these schedules - I've read that the regulator was open pretty much all the time - much have been hard work firing?

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locojoe
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JAZZ

Post by locojoe » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:42 am

Hi Andrew
The schedules on the Liverpool Street - Enfield services were very tightly timed but doing the job day in and day out it became easy to maintain them.
The N7 0-6-2Ts were very good powerful little engines with good acceleration. Being fitted with Westinghouse air brakes also helped as they worked much quicker than vacuum brakes.
Another thing was that most drivers would let the firemen do some of the driving so that made life a little easier. Braking was left until the last possible minute so this meant running into the stations very fast, you had to be careful not to overshoot the end of the platform.
My usual method of firing made the job much easier I used the box of lumps method. At Enfield on N7s coaling of the locos was done by hand. Men were employed to load engines by hand, it was very hard work and most of the loaders were very strong muscular men. A box of lumps as we called it was to more than half fill the firebox with lumps of coal,this was nearly enough to take us to Liverpool St. and back without doing much firing. So when we got back to Enfield our bunker was nearly full, and we would then take another box of lumps. A box of lumps was the method used by many crews and I never heard of any problems like having to throw a large fire out.If you had a box of lumps by the time you reached Liverpool St.it was really well alight,what we used to do was let the water level get very low so we could use the injector to keep the engine quiet.[no blowing off].

Sometimes when on early trains before the coalmen arrived, me and my driver would pull up next to the coal wagon where I would get in the wagon and pass lumps of coal to him and he would make up a big fire. The firing shovel was placed on the edge of the waggon and a lump of coal placed on it. If you had a driver like this it made the job much easier.
Alan.
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Post by CVR1865 » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:20 pm

Ever since the jazz trains and the grouping, it is to the best of my knowledge that the old GER network has suffered from very little investment. Is this possibly because the jazz service was so good that despite the electrification in the 80's there has been very little to do to make things run quicker on the suburban routes around Liverpool Street?

Even today the OHE is old and some dates from the 40's is it because the lines have become victims of there own success.

Richard, OTTOMH, Liverpool Street is London's busiest terminus.

Simon
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rob
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Post by rob » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:22 pm

Locojoe,thanks for posts like this,gives us young'unsish some insight into the real thing! I was in Liverpool St. a few times and it was difficult to imagine it full of smoke and steam,Clauds,B's 17 and 12,Buckjumper family and N7's.Don't suppose Network whoever do a TimeTravel Pass!?

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locojoe
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Post by locojoe » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:25 pm

Hi Rob I'm glad you find my reminiscences interesting. Yes Liverpool Street was a smokey grimy place during my time on BR. Not like todays spic & span stations with their highly polished floors and electronic destination boards. I visited Liverpool Street a couple of years ago and did'nt recognise it. Although footplate work was hard we nearly always had a bit of a laugh.
When we left Liverpool St.with a local train for Enfield,we would always be in the slow road.Sometimes we ran fast to Hackney Downs. Now and then another train would leave at the same time as us but they would be on the fast road also going through Hackney Downs,this sometimes resulted in a bit of a race.
Alan
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badwolf
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working the jazz

Post by badwolf » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:36 pm

Wasn`t the jazz in the `old mans gang` or has time confused me

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Post by HonestTom » Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:07 pm

I understand that no less than three Railway Series stories have been based on incidents involving the Jazz service.

The first involves Thomas the Tank Engine (then a station pilot) collecting the coaches, but accidentally being left coupled to the train when it started.

The second involves Thomas taking a passenger train, but setting off without being coupled to the coaches.

The third involves Thomas being sent to the Works for repair, and returning with a stiff brake, the result of which is that he runs off without his driver or fireman, eventually being stopped by a gallant Inspector making a leap into his cab as he passes a station. It sounds like the Jazz was quite an eventful service...

One thing that's puzzled me, though, is how it got its name. I've heard two accounts. One says that it was because the door handles were brightly coloured. The other says that it was because the exhaust sounded "syncopated". Speaking from a layman's perspective, I think the latter explanation sounds a little unlikely. If "Jazz" was a nickname applied to all N7s, then maybe, but for one specific service? I could be wrong, of course, I'm just making a semi-educated guess here.
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Post by richard » Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:35 pm

The latter explanation sounds like a confusion with the "Jazzers" - a nickname for the K3s. These were one of the first locomotives to use Gresley's conjugated valve gear. This had a syncopated beat:

http://www.lner.info/locos/K/k3k5.shtml

(also contrast with the K1s which were known as "Ragtimers")


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locojoe
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'jazz trains'

Post by locojoe » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:43 pm

The 'jazz trains' carried more passengers in the rush hour than any other railway in the country. The early "Jazz Trains" were so called, because they had brightly coloured coach doors to differentiate between firstand second classes to help speed up loading. The first class coaches had a bright yellow stripe on the roofline and the second class a bright blue one
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CVR1865
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Post by CVR1865 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:40 pm

Part of my dissertation has been to look at passenger numbers through Liverpool St:

1957: 60,000,000 per year
2006: 141,000,000 per year

That's passengers who travel from, to or pass through the station as part of their journey. I can testify to the fact that in the morning and evening peak the place is a constant blur of activity, people everywhere and the station very full.
don't forget about the Great Eastern Railway

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Post by richard » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:43 pm

Do you have the figures for the early 20th century? This is when Liverpool Street got its reputation. It would be an interesting comparison to today!

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Post by CVR1865 » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:17 pm

Richard

There was no national statistics for rail use in them far of days of 1920, however the GER did a census of the routes Liv st to Chingford and Liv st to Enfield before they introduced the service. On the up 7.40am to Chingford 1,022 passengers would alight at the terminus. From Enfield the 7.30am deposited 1,167 into the city.

the evening rush saw 1,241 leave Liv st at 6.05 for Chingford and the 6.17 to Enfield carried 979.

The improvements for the Jazz service meant that 51 trains could depart Liverpool St in the peak hours. In practice this meant that 20,350 seats were available on the suburban lines out of Liv st. So in 1924 280, 000 passengers a day were moving through the street and 40,000 an hour in the peak hours.

Simon
don't forget about the Great Eastern Railway

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