Local Goods on the main line

petermeyer
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Local Goods on the main line

Postby petermeyer » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:47 pm

This picture is the down local goods from Shrewsbury to Hereford collecting an empty coal wagon and a "foreign" wagon from the yard at Berrington & Eye. I have assumed that the foreign wagon would have have been exchanged at Hereford where the Midland had connections though there might have been other arrangements. (I have since painted the solebars and underframe on the Morris & Hollway wagon!). The Morris & Hollway wagon is returning empty south either to Hereford or the colliery from whence they got their coal.

IMG_0159.jpg


This thread was prompted by a discussion about branch line operations which caused my to revisit the Working Timetable for 1912 for the North to West LNWR/GWR joint line. As can be seen from the photo, it is an area of operation that I am currently contemplating. In 1912 1505 was a Shrewsbury engine but I would have thought tender engines would have been used on local goods over such a distance (50 miles)

The line had 4 local goods trains each day except Sunday, 2 in each direction, one for each company. Only the GWR trains were timetabled with enough time (15 mins) to do work in the yard. The down LNWR train was even CR (call as required). So I am working on the basis that only the GWR locos worked the yard at least in that direction.

Prompted by a comment from Noel on the other thread, I checked and the LNWR local goods crossed at Wooferton at 12:05 (the next station towards Shrewsbury) where the crews could have exchanged.

The GWR up local goods left Barton as Engine and Van at 06:25 and Hereford Barrs Court at 07:00. It ran as "express goods" to Leominster and did not arrive at Shrewsbury Coton Hill until 15:55 (if on time!). Despite that, 4 intermediate stations are listed as Station Truck purposes only.

It was common practice for shunting in the smaller wayside country stations (like Berrington & Eye) to occupy the main line. So in the picture above the train has been left with goods van at the platform to which it will return with the empties. The working timetable does bear this out. A couple of years ago I met with a gentleman who had worked the signalbox until closure and he confirmed this is how it worked with the train "split" which implies the empties were put in the middle.

I have become engrossed with the workings of the yard probably to justify building the turnouts for the yard entries but given that 98% of the trains never used them, it seems out of proportion. I must get on and finish some coaches.

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Noel
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby Noel » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:16 am

petermeyer wrote:I have assumed that the foreign wagon would have have been exchanged at Hereford where the Midland had connections


Reasonable; the main consideration is whether or not it is an RCH recognised transfer point, which I would have thought it would be.

petermeyer wrote:In 1912 1505 was a Shrewsbury engine but I would have thought tender engines would have been used on local goods over such a distance (50 miles)


It depends on what water supplies were available en route. The GW was quite willing to use tank engines for such jobs, provided they were within the loco's capacity and water was available. You could check what water was available at intermediate stations.

petermeyer wrote: The Morris & Hollway wagon is returning empty south either to Hereford or the colliery from whence they got their coal.


Coal merchants used their wagons as temporary stores on occasion, but an empty wagon was earning no money, got in the way, and, if in a mileage siding [rather than a private siding] might attract charges depending on the deal with the railway company. The presence of the wagon at Berrington & Eye implies that M & H operated there, which in turn implies an office of some sort. So, once the wagon was empty, it would normally be sent somewhere for another load, probably on instructions from Head Office [such as it was]. These were, after all, the days when you could post a letter in the morning and get the response in the afternoon. Where it was sent is not straightforward. Many coal merchants dealt with coal factors [an agency] and would send the wagon wherever gave the best deal each time [and others would manage this themselves]. Its destination would also be affected by what sort of coal was required that time, and of what grade - all coals are not equal - so it might have a regular route, or it might be sent anywhere in the country.

The North and West line was fairly busy, so shunting with stock on the main must have taken place in a significant gap between more important trains, which in turn probably means that the goods spent time sitting in various sidings on the way, waiting for another gap, hence the time taken.
Regards
Noel

petermeyer
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby petermeyer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:34 am

Noel wrote:
You could check what water was available at intermediate stations.


There was water at Leominster and Church Stretton according to photos I have briefly looked at also probably at Craven Arms and Ludlow so no problem there.

Noel wrote:
so shunting with stock on the main must have taken place in a significant gap between more important trains, which in turn probably means that the goods spent time sitting in various sidings on the way, waiting for another gap


Yes the down local goods was to shunt out of the way at the next up station, Leominster, for the following passenger train to pass. Similarly the up local goods was to shunt out of the way at the next station down, Wooferton, for a fast LNWR goods to pass. There are other shunt locations specified in the WTT.

petermeyer
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby petermeyer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:19 pm

The presence of the wagon at Berrington & Eye implies that M & H operated there, which in turn implies an office of some sort. So, once the wagon was empty, it would normally be sent somewhere for another load, probably on instructions from Head Office [such as it was].


M&H was a Hereford coal merchant. I have no evidence of them delivering coal to Berrington & Eye but they could have had an office there. There are some outbuildings on the o/s map that are off scene on my layout.

I do have a photo of other Hereford based coal merchants' wagons in the yard namely Blake and South Wales Coal Company. So I have assumed that coal for B&E was supplied by Hereford coal merchants as per the photo:

Berrington_and_Eye_1932_full.jpg


Berrington_and_Eye_1932_2.jpg


blake.jpg


According to Keith Turton, Blake took over South Wales Coal Company between 1912 and 1918 but probably retained the livery. Despite the name, coal supplies for SWC came from Highley Colliery in Shropshire, the Forest of Dean, Leicestershire; and Red Ash and Elled. Therefore the company's wagons ranged far.

I can find no more about Blake (apart from a drawing) but Morris & Holloway dealt regularly with sales agents Evans Reid & Co of Cardiff, so empties would have gone south.

My source told me that the signalman was also the local coal merchant and employed a guy with a horse and cart to deliver coal around the village. His house was just up the lane; it's been pointed out to me.

martin goodall
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby martin goodall » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:03 pm

The source of coal would be influenced to a significant extent by the relative proximity of a coalfield that could supply coal of the type required. Local coal merchants would deal mainly in household and general use coal. In a large part of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, local merchants usually obtained their coal from the Warwickshire coalfield, so you would see colliery wagons in local goods yards in this area from collieries such as Kingsbury, Coventry, Newdigate, Exhall and various other Warwickshire collieries, as well as sending their own wagons (if they owned or hired any themselves – not all coal merchants did) to collect the coal from one or other of the Warwickshire collieries. The wagons of coal factors and colliery agents (such as Stevens & Co [‘Stevco’] of Oxford and Marriott of Witney) could also be seen in various coal yards in this area.

Steam coal and gas coal (the latter being very bituminous and delivered as quite small coal suitable for use in gas retorts) would probably come from other coalfields. For example, wagons carrying gas coal from J & G Wells’ Eckington colliery were to be seen delivering gas coal to several gasworks in Bucks, Berks and Oxon.

Anthracite, a particularly pure and clean-burning coal used in food processing, malting, brewing etc, would come from the western side of the South Wales coalfield (in and around the Swansea Valley).

I don’t know the position in the Worcestershire, Shropshire and Herefordshire area, but similar considerations would no doubt apply.

philip-griffiths
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby philip-griffiths » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:12 pm

You will need coal trains heading north too. I don’t have my LNWR WTT to hand for the N&W route - it also includes the MTA and Sirhowy.

Tredegar wagons have been photographed all over the north of England. The company supplied high quality steam coal and as it was served by the LNWR there was a willing partner to move their wagons north via Abergavenny. So you could have full trains of Tredegar wagons.

Typical BBC type caveat - other South Wales coal companies also supplied coal north over the N&W.

Regards.

petermeyer
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby petermeyer » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:03 am

Thanks Guys,

I do have some Tredegar wagons painted and lettered in the WIP pile at the moment whilst I prepare the Brassmasters underframes (Roberts in this instance).

Returning to the issue of Local Goods on the main line with both up and down trains. This is important to me because most of the day (and night) on my layout there would be some form of wagon in the one siding. One would assume that the vast majority of time it would be coal. For this reason, whilst the local goods were one of the least frequent traffic on the line, it does impact on my build programme. And being stationary on the layout, they are highly visible. So, taking the scenario that loaded coal wagons came North from Hereford on the Up local in the morning (09:10 dep) as read:

1) I have assumed the train engine would have removed any empties from the siding before putting in any new loaded coal wagons

2) Was it compulsory for a local train to take away any empty Private Owner or foreign wagons even if it meant moving further away from their ultimate return destination, so did the Up train take away the empty wagons or...

3) ...up to now I have worked on the basis that the morning Up local goods would have put the empties back in the siding for the Down local goods to collect and take South in the afternoon (14:10 dep).

This would mean that throughout most of the day the siding would be occupied by loaded and empty wagons. This has visual impact on the layout and the amount of detail to which the wagons are finished.

Peter

philip-griffiths
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby philip-griffiths » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:41 am

Any other pictures of the yard that would give ideas of coal merchants etc?

To be honest I have not seen many pictures of merchants coal wagons south of Hereford. I’m in England at present. Will look through the books on my return.

petermeyer
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby petermeyer » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:02 am

Berrington & Eye was particularly camera shy. This is one of only two photos I have showing wagons in the yard. The other shows a stone wagon which I think was there whilst the platforms were being raised in the early 1900's.

Berrington & Eye is (was) North of Hereford. On the Shrewsbury to Hereford, Up was in the direction of Shrewsbury as that was the route to London. Church Stretton had its own coal merchant at the station there could well have been others on the line. It is possible some coal came "down" from the North but the only evidence I have, in the picture dated 1932, is that it came up from Hereford.

The other issue I have is sourcing coal wagons. The Blake transfers used to be produced by Modelmaster and I acquired 2 sets. Morris & Holloway is a pre-lettered Slaters wagon. The South Wales Coal Company on the other hand represents quite a challenging livery and is only available as a RTR 1923 RCH type so no use to me. At the moment I am not minded to hand letter PO wagons. I do have all the Keith Turton Private Owner Wagon books that covers these.

martin goodall
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby martin goodall » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:58 am

My understanding is that the question posed related to the working of the local pick-up goods train, calling at all stations to drop and collect wagons. On a main line there would, of course, have been through goods trains passing the station without stopping. Coal going to more distant destinations would marshalled in one of these through trains, so that the only coal wagons conveyed by the pick-up goods would be those for stations served by this particular pick-up goods train.

Through goods trains would work to a particular destination (marshalling yard), and the wagons would then be sorted out into those going on another through goods train to a more distant main yard, and those that would be worked to their destination locally (within a range of perhaps 20 or 30 miles maximum, depending on the scheduling of the particular pick-up goods train). This could involve, say, a wagon of coal passing through Station X on a through freight train, and then being worked back to Station X later on the local pick-up goods (depending on where the nearest main yard / marshalling yard was located). Goods was not invariably carried in a forward direction, if it was more convenient to carry it beyond its destination and then work it back to the receiving station.

Don’t forget the Station Truck (sometimes more than one) which would be included in the pick-up goods train to carry small consignments which were too small to make up a wagon load, and which would be put out at the various stations at which the pick-up goods called. Station Trucks worked on timetabled rosters to cover the system. The movement of small consignments might involve their transhipment more than once on their journey, and there were Tranships Wagon workings on some lines for this purpose. The converse service to the Station Truck was the Pick-up Truck, which would collect small consignments from stations at which the pick-up goods train was booked to call. The Station Truck could be either a van or a sheeted open, and need not necessarily have been one of the home company’s wagons (provided it was a common user wagon).

On a main line, a pick-up goods could be quite a long train, maybe 30 wagons or more. A branch pick-up goods might be somewhat shorter, although it depended on the traffic pattern on the line in question - for example I believe the branch goods train on the Fairford branch could load up to 30 wagons, much of the traffic being to or from Witney, the busiest station on the branch, although traffic was much lighter for stations beyond Witney.

As suggested in recent replies, available photos (if any) will probably be the best guide to the sort of traffic that might have been delivered and collected locally, and the wagons used to carry that traffic.

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Noel
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby Noel » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:47 pm

petermeyer wrote:So, taking the scenario that loaded coal wagons came North from Hereford on the Up local in the morning (09:10 dep) as read:

1) I have assumed the train engine would have removed any empties from the siding before putting in any new loaded coal wagons

2) Was it compulsory for a local train to take away any empty Private Owner or foreign wagons even if it meant moving further away from their ultimate return destination, so did the Up train take away the empty wagons or...

3) ...up to now I have worked on the basis that the morning Up local goods would have put the empties back in the siding for the Down local goods to collect and take South in the afternoon (14:10 dep).

This would mean that throughout most of the day the siding would be occupied by loaded and empty wagons. This has visual impact on the layout and the amount of detail to which the wagons are finished.


Berrington and Eye has no means of running round a train, so this limits the operational possibilities https://maps.nls.uk/view/120894781. Only southbound trains can access the siding, so it has to be shunted by that train. [In theory a wagon or two could be run round by using the line in front of the livestock pens, but this would take some time and block both main lines, so is not very efficient unless for something very urgent.] However, urgent traffic can be left in front of the cattle pens by the northbound train for subsequent movement by the southbound train or the station staff [one horse or a couple of men can move a wagon] and the same process can be done in reverse; it is not likely to be a regular happening here, in my view. Livestock traffic can be accessed directly from both directions, so before starting the guard of the northbound train would probably get instructions to make a special stop if there was northbound livestock traffic. Empties would be removed by the southbound train, and have to be collected before you can put deliveries in the siding, or they get blocked in :D .

Both the starting point and the termination point of a stopping goods train would be sorting yards. The train would start with just deliveries, and end with just empties and outbound traffic, which the receiving yard would then sort and send on. In general, stopping goods trains would normally work only stations which were accessible in the direction they were travelling, skipping any which were not and leaving them for the train going the other way. There might, as suggested, be rare occasions when something urgent had to be delivered by the 'wrong' train, and larger stations could usually be accessed by trains in both directions, and might have an intermediate sorting yard, at which trains in both directions might exchange traffic.
Regards
Noel

petermeyer
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Re: Local Goods on the main line

Postby petermeyer » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:15 pm

Thanks for the insight Noel and I was coming to the same conclusion.

Having dragged myself through the Working Time Table there were exceptions where a North bound goods could drop an empty wagon off at Berrington & Eye but the Yard Foreman at Hereford had to inform his counterpart at Leominster in advance so that the working could be regulated properly. This was obviously not a regular occurrence being addressed in the WTT.

So out of the 90 odd trains that ran through the station on a weekday, only one entered the yard.


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