This “Gallery” is a miscellaneous collection of images of significant railway related events or firsts – or just stuff that interests me for the sharing.
The Funeral Train of George VI
The King passed away in his sleep at the age of 56 on 6 February 1952 after 16 years on the throne.
His funeral service was held at Westminster Abbey on the 15’th February. From there the coffin was taken to Paddington where the train left for Windsor at 1220. The coffin was then escorted to Windsor Castle. After a brief service in St George’s Chapel there was two minutes’ silence at 1400 to mark the final passing of the war-time monarch.
These 2 shots were taken on 15’th February 1952 just east of Slough. The train is seen here approaching Slough on the main line. The branch to Windsor deviates at Slough. The King was buried in Windsor Castle.
The locomotive used to haul the funeral train was number 4082 Windsor Castle. However this was a deception. When King George VI died number 4082 was in Swindon works for repairs. To keep with tradition the number of 4082 together with the name of Windsor Castle and the commemorative plaques were transferred to engine 7013 Bristol Castle to haul the funeral train.
Note the lonely line side policeman with his own thoughts at the literal passing of his dead King. The dull weather and rain casting an appropriate mood.
Aldersgate and Barbican Underground Station
This underground station on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines of London Underground is now know as “Barbican“, but went by this former name between 1923 and 1968. These 3 photographs show the demolition of the station roof circa 1955. Following severe bomb damage in 1941 the upper floors had already been removed.
Diesel Multiple Units (DMU’S)
Some photos of brand new units of various classes, some on test runs.
All Wickham DMU’s were tested on this Buntingford Branch which was close to the factory.
The unit is not carrying any numbers but must be E50415 & E56170. Only 5 twin car sets were ever manufactured and only that set was complete by this date. This first set was exhibited at a modern transport show at Battersea, London 28-30’th June 1957. Although the power car (E50415) was complete the trailer car (E56170) was shown in skeletal form to demonstrate its mode of construction. Following the exhibition the unit was returned to the Wickham works at Ware for completion. It was delivered to British Railways, Stratford on the 8’th August. The recorded date of this photo thus suggests a test run from the factory just prior to release to BR. It was eventually exported to Trinidad. [I am grateful to Evan Green-Hughes of the Llangollen Railway for this historic information. The only preserved Wickham DMU set is based there.
Precursor – Class 126. 17/6/1957.
Gloucester Central Station. 5.05pm ex Bromsgrove. First day of service. The leading car is W79094. This was one of 5 power cars later overhauled and exported to Liberia for use by the Liberian-American-Swedish Minerals Company (LAMCO) for staff trains. This class of DMU spent most of its life in Scotland with a change in the number prefix to Sc. These early (79xxx) units didn’t actually survive to receive a TOPS class allocation but were the forerunners of the slightly later (5xxxx numbered) class 126. Examples are preserved on the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.
Class 104. 29/3/1957. Cleobury Mortimer.The lead car adjacent to the signal box is M50420 and displays “Wolverhampton LL” (Lower Level). Judging by the number of official looking chaps looking over the unit this is probably a test run.
This first Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company set is composed of M50424 (at front in image to the right), M59132 & M50420.
Class 101. 17/10/1956 Metropolitan-Cammell, Saltley, Birmingham. Units 1 & 2 of 4 car sets about to leave for delivery to Newcastle.
Class 101. 50158 and 50152 at Sutton Park station on 28/11/1956. As this location is not far from the Saltley works where the unit was manufactured this may be a test run.
Class 101: 50150 brand new on 27/11/1956 with close up shots of engine.
Class 101: 50145 at Saltley on 1/11/1956 Close up shots of under body spotlessly clean new engine and transmission equipment.
Dick Kerr Works
Preston, 18’th May 1956.
A brand new English Electric 2000hp diesel electric locomotive, number 1222, emerges from the works for export to Rhodesia Railways. Numbers 1200-1222 of this DE2 class were manufactured here and numbers 1223-1234 by the sister works of Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows. The external appearance of these locomotives is very similar to the later British Railways class 40’s. Indeed 9, including 1222, were re-engined in 1982 using reconditioned engines from withdraw British Railways Class 40 locos.
Alstom Transport now occupies the site of Dick Kerr works in Preston. In their reception lobby is a photographic display of the history of the works. This includes an image showing this very same locomotive, with these export adverting panels, nearing completion in the main assembly shop. Also in the works at this time and visible in the background of the photo was the prototype British Railway “Deltic” locomotive.
East Didsbury, 9’th July 1959.
A photo shoot in the sidings next to East Didsbury station. East Didsbury is on the Styal line south of Manchester. Present are pioneer 25 kV a.c. overhead electric Class 80 locomotive number E1000, the first of the Class 303 Glasgow area 3-car units (later know as the “Blue Trains”) and the first London Tilbury and Southend Class 302, unit number 201.
E1000 was originally built as a gas-turbine by Metropolitan-Vickers in 1952 and in that guise was numbered 18100 and operated by BR Western Region until made redundant in 1958. It was then converted to a.c. electric and released back to traffic in autumn 1958 to provide for crew training ahead of the arrival of the production locomotives (the E3xxx series, classes 81-85). These trials were conducted in the Styal area and on the Manchester – Crewe line. It only carried the number E1000 for a relatively short period thereafter becoming E2001.
The photographers seem particularly interested in the pantograph equipment. The photos left and centre are of this on unit 201. Note, what I assume is, the official British Railways camera unit van in the centre picture. The common feature of all three of these types of rolling stock is the 25kV system they operate. Driving trailer number 75033 from unit 201 is preserved at Mangapps Farm Railway Museum.
Polmadie Motive Power Depot – Three Road Coaling Tower
The passing locomotive in 72003 “Clan Fraser”. The scene is undated but this engine was withdrawn at the end of 1962. It was based at Polmadie (66A). The locomotive in the background under the coaling tower is a Royal Scot.
R.C.T.S. (London Branch) – Marylebone to Broad Street – Railtour
Three photos of this tour. Ex GNR/LNER class N1 0-6-2T number 69481 started the tour at Marlyebone, departing at around 1415, and is also seen at Kensington Olympia. The tour was scheduled to finish at Broad Street at 1835. At that time of year it would be dark in London the sun having set around 1719; the clocks had been put back the weekend before. The third image shows Stanier Black 5 blowing off in the dark so was probably the engine used on the final phase of the tour. I am not sure of the location of this photo. It may be Kentish Town as the tour was scheduled for a stop there and 45277 was allocated to that shed. It may have just backed onto the train hence the blowing off. The crowd of enthusiasts huddled by the engine suggests that something is going on. If that is the location then the train is running late as it is well dark and the scheduled arrival/departure for Kentish Town was 1708/1713.
Six Bells Junction is an excellent website for information on past rail tours. The link below is for this tour and provides the itinerary. However on this occasion (at the time of writing this) their entry for this tour has errors. The link is:
They show a photo of 69481 in day light claiming that this shows the train just arrived back at Broad Street. The image actually shows the train at Kensington Olympia – compare the bare platform awning supports in my photo here with theirs. 69481 does appear to have started the tour and not 69441 as they claim. By the time of the end of the trip darkness had fallen and 45277 heads the train by then.
Great Western Railway – Maliphant Sidings, Swansea as at 1883.
The Armstrong Lift for The Waterloo & City Line stock. Adjacent to Waterloo Station.
As the line had no connection to any other line, nor any ground level section, it was necessary to provide a hoist to raise the underground rolling stock to ground level in order to get them out for maintenance. Photo undated but probably late 1950’s. The lift was lost with the building of the International platforms to Waterloo Station.
Camelon Viaduct, Falkirk. By identifying the location on old OS maps I believe the line in the foreground passing under the viaduct gave access to nearly Chemical Works and Camelon Colliery.
Royal visit by train to Southampton Docks – 28/7/1948
On Wednesday 28th July King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret traveled by train from London to Southampton Docks to look over the ship RMS Queen Elizabeth. The photos and details below show the Lord Nelson Class locomotive Number 30864 “Sir Martin Frobisher” and crew at Southampton Docks, having worked the train down from Waterloo, and its departure on the return leg. The very next day the King opened the 1948 London Olympics.
Nine Elms crew: Driver Hawkins, Fireman Trayfoot and Motive Power Inspector A. Langdon.