LNER B1's on the Western Region

Devonian
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Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:09 pm

LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by Devonian » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:57 pm

Apologies if this has been answered before. I know that LNER B1's were a regular site in the Bristol area in the 1960's, especially on Summer Saturdays. Does anybody know how far south they penetrated?

the green mile
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by the green mile » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:33 am

To the best of my knowledge, Temple Meads and Barrow Road....unless anyone knows differently. Frequently seen on shed on Saturdays circa 1964.
Wish I'd held onto my Abc's. I don't recall seeing a B1 anywhere else so I could have quoted actual numbers. 61394 seems to ring a bell.

Roy

Robin Summerhill
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by Robin Summerhill » Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:32 pm

Living as I did a stone’s throw from the MR main line at Staple Hill in those days, I saw a number ofB1a on the route and not just on summer Saturdays. The first one I ever saw, probably in the autumn of 1962, was 61033 entering Staple Hill tunnel on a Bristol-bound freight.

61167 and 61169 were regular visitors. As I have mentioned many times o n here, unusual engines such as B1s on Barrow Road usually went back north on the 0840 Sheffield. Looking at what records I had that have survived, it appears that most of them came from Mexborough or Canklow depots, which suggested to me that they were on specials or diesel substitute workings from Sheffield.

It was standard practice for engines to be changed at Bristol in those days, partially a layover from pre-nationalisation days when Bristol was an outpost of the LMS. Engines coming down from the Midland line sometimes worked through to Weston, but it would be highly exceptional indeed for them to go any further.

I have a feeling I read somewhere about a B1 getting to Weston but I have no evidence to back that up.

Andy Kirkham
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by Andy Kirkham » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:00 pm

In the book Steam Around Bristol (Mark Warburton's photos presented by Gerry Nichols) the caption on page 25 reads "On Saturday, 22 August 1964 unusual motive power for a Bristol to Weston-super-Mare stopping train is 'B1' Class 4-6-0 No 61061 of Canklow shed.

Devonian
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by Devonian » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:31 pm

I have a copy of a photo of 61153 passing through Nailsea, but the thing which intrigues me is a story a late friend told me of seeing one passing Cogload Box on a Summer Saturday heading for Bristol.

Devonian
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by Devonian » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:37 pm

Further to my last post I have come across a note of 61251 working from Exeter to Bristol on 7th July 1948 during the Locomotive Exchanges.

Robin Summerhill
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by Robin Summerhill » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:30 am

I didn’t realise that you were including locomotive exchange trials. There are a plethora of unusual workings in that subject!

As regards “normal” unusual workings, I initially took your report of a B1 passing Cogload with a huge dollop of salt. “It just wouldn’t happen” thought I; “locomotives coming off the Midland line would have been serviced at Barrow Road (even if they did get to Weston!), and the two GWR depots of Bath Road and St Phillips Marsh would have covered all work west of Bristol”

However, then I started thinking along different lines. When St Phillips Marsh was open it had regular visitors from Woodford Halse on the GC, normally WD 7Fs. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that a B1 had worked in from Woodford on a Friday, or had been stopped for repairs when it arrived, and in a time of motive power shortage SPM could have purloined it for a run further west.

If anybody else can suggest another logical reason why a B1 should be seen at Taunton I’d be very interested to read it.

Devonian
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by Devonian » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:57 am

You are quite correct Robin my original post did relate to Summer Saturday's in the 60's and the reference to the Locomotive Exchanges is a little off piste!

Am I correct in thinking that traction knowledge was not the issue in those days so if a Western crew were prepared to drive and fire it a B1 could in theory have ended up anywhere subject to route restrictions and an ER Shedmaster screaming down the phone "where's my b****y engine?!

Robin Summerhill
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by Robin Summerhill » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:19 pm

Devonian wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:57 am
Am I correct in thinking that traction knowledge was not the issue in those days so if a Western crew were prepared to drive and fire it a B1 could in theory have ended up anywhere subject to route restrictions and an ER Shedmaster screaming down the phone "where's my b****y engine?!
Traction kowledge did not exist in steam days. Footplate staff were required to take whatever was given fir them. Within reason of course - if the engine was unsuitable for the job it was given then the crew would be in a position to argue.

Colin Forse, late of this world and this forum, told a tale on here of being told to pilot a North & West expres to Hereford with an unsuitable tank engine to save finding a separate [ath for it, and his driver refused on safety grounds.

As regards depots chasing wandering engines, things wer different back then. Whilst an enigine would be allocated to a rostered diagran, there were often faurly long layover times between indivdual legs (which is when most of the engine-pinching took place) and locomotives were ore likely to be stopped for repairs whilstaway from their home depot than they are now. In truth pre-TOPS no-one could ever be 100% sure when thy would see thwir engines again once they left the depot :mrgreen:

22A
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Re: LNER B1's on the Western Region

Post by 22A » Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:00 pm

This link was filmed between 1960 & 1964 at Paddington.
1' 40" in shows a B1 arriving with a rake of LNER coaches. Which working was this, or is it an excursion?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qY7kg49qIM

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