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Tender first running - Original Pictures - Debate

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Hurricane, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Hurricane

    Hurricane Active Member

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    I came across the picture below and it struck me as unusual being a tender first working and made me ponder how common was tender first running?

    Birchington on Sea is a long way from any station where trains would have commenced or terminated; I believe the closest to be Faversham (maybe Whitstable) so was this a regular or unusual working?

    The debate I am having was tender first working as uncommon as photographs seem to show, or was it just like today less likely to be photographed?

    My idea is that this thread could be a place to publish photos of tender first working to discuss/debate how much it actually happened.

    Birchington-on-Sea_railway_station.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Tender first working of goods trains was quite common, especially where a reversal was required on route. Looking at your photos, though, I wonder if it was such an event. Unless he is hiding, there is no fireman. Is it possible that he was coupling up preparatory to a shunting movement, especially as there is a brake van at this end of the train. (There might be one at the other end as well, I can't decide.) Having said that, I can't work out what logical sequence of movements would have taken place beforehand.
     
  3. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Active Member

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    Are you sure there's no fireman on that photo? It's not at all clear but I think he is stood just to the left of the brake handle, facing the driver.

    The coach at the far end of the train is a brake too, with side duckets.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    There is also someone walking back down the train, though I tend to agree with @pmh_74 that there is a fireman on the loco. (And on the subject of another thread - look at the coal...) As to why it is tender first - I don't know the specific circumstances.

    As @Hurricane asked for photos, here's one just to prove that class 7 pacifics ran tender-first on single track branch lines with two coach trains ;)

    It's "Taw Valley" on the 8.44 Hailsham to Eastbourne on 31/05/1963. Apparently that was a regular filling-in turn for a Bulleid Pacific. I think the duty involved an early morning service to Eastbourne where the loco was turned ready for a return to London - it then did a branch service to Hailsham (facing forward) and return (tender first) before taking a mid-morning service back to London.

    fullsizeoutput_ef9.jpeg

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  5. OldChap

    OldChap Member

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    Interesting photo, but what I find most interesting is the fantastic rake of coaches :)

    Anyway tender first running - Here is the ill fated 48518 (The ex-Barry 10 8F that was broken up) in 1963:
    [​IMG]
    Picture Source: http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwrchg1065.htm

    Or perhaps a couple of WD 2-8-0 smokebox to smokebox...

    [​IMG]

    Picture Source:http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lner/gcct1.htm

    Or more WD:
    [​IMG]
    Picture Source: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/673/20936506126_aa98093db8_b.jpg

    Or Bulleid 34088 on a Royal Train...

    [​IMG]
    Picture Source:http://mikemorant.smugmug.com/keyword/royal train/
     
  6. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    A crew would always turn an engine to be chimney first for the bulk of the journey if at all possible. I recall a story of an engine running light tender first from Warrington to Springs Branch shed. They were routed up Vulcan Bank, and on arrival at Earlestown No.1 and were routed east, the driver stopped and insisted that he be sent up the western fork of the triangle so he would be right way around from that point on. Despite a major row between him and the bobby, he got his way. He had about eight miles to go at that point!
     
  7. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    I'm no expert, but here are a few observations:

    I can remember pick-up goods in the 50s and 60s in the Shipley area using J39s, Fowler 4Fs, Ivatt 43xxx and BR 77xxx. The engine would not be turned for the return journey. Also recall J27s and Q6s being worked in either direction.

    In most cases the tender would be suitable for reverse working, i.e. giving the crew a view of track and signals ahead. Some tenders, e.g. the 43xxx and 77xxx tenders, appear to have been designed for reverse working, i.e. they had cut outs and tender cabs to improve visibility whilst providing some shelter from weather and coal dust.

    I wonder what regulations and restrictions the railways had on tender-first working? The crew of an A4 or Duke of Gloucester must have to lean right out of their cabs to get a view of where they were going when in reverse. Clearly this was permitted for light engine movements at low speed, but there must have been some restrictions on what one of these engines could do in reverse.

    WC/BB seem to be the only pacifics that regularly worked passenger trains in reverse. Their tenders were cut back to improve visibility, and I guess the speeds were moderate.

    Interesting that the Clans and some of the Britannias had tenders that appeared to be designed for tender-first working.
     
  8. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    A pedant writes: is it more correct to refer to 48518 as an 8F, or as an O6 class?
     
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  9. weltrol

    weltrol Member

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    Bidston-Shotwick iron ore trains ran tender first on the return leg. Although triangles existed at both ends (Dee Marsh Junctions and Bidston junctions), the passenger traffic at the Bidston end did not allow sufficient time for the locos ( 9Fs in my younger days...) to turn.
     
  10. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    It was an 06 during its LNER ownership, but an 8F for most of its life west of the Pennines!
     
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  11. Hurricane

    Hurricane Active Member

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    Tom,

    If you zoom in on the photo, I am fairly sure that I have identified two people in the cab. Although the person on the right seems to be in rather extravagant dress?

    Agree the coal in the tender does appear to be more dust than anything else! I would not want to be that crew after 20 miles going tender first!
    cab.jpg
     
  12. Hurricane

    Hurricane Active Member

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    Tom good picture, if that combination was to run at a gala people would be moaning!

    Interestingly that loco doesn't appear to have disks or lamps on the tender... how unusual was that?
     
  13. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about it the SDJT 7F's spent their early career having to run tender first between (Evercreech & Bath?) because the turntable was too short
     
  14. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    And then, when that turntable was out of action, ran light to Mangotsfield triangle to turn!
     
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  15. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Active Member

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    The main reason that these trains ran back tender first was that the crews were on bonus payments for getting extra trainloads of ore from Bidston Dock to Shotwick Sidings & it was in their interest to get back to Bidston to collect another loaded train as soon as possible.

    Bob.
     
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  16. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    I thought that it was built by the LNER, but never in their stock, thus not an O6.
     
  17. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm...

    From the Engine Record Card, it was built at Doncaster on 24th August 1944. Its first noted allocation on the LMS was Derby, but the next line states 'On loan to LNER', but no date. The next line says 'On loan to Central Division' (i.e. LMS) and is dated 19/4/47. According to 'Stanier 8Fs at Work' (Alan Wilkinson (1986) Ian Allan Ltd) 8511-25 (no LNER numbers) were allocated to Gorton - 5, Heaton -4, Thornton Jct - 4, Doncaster - 1, March - 1.

    So it seems this series was built by the LNER for the LMS and then immediately loaned back to the LNER, which would have then classed them as 06!
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Amazing how the prospect of an extra few bob can put the problems of swirling coal dust into perspective!

    Tom
     
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  19. marshall5

    marshall5 Active Member

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    Was there a speed restriction on tender first working as there is now? Could there, however, be a more simple answer to the original question in that most railway photographers preferred a 3/4 front, smokebox first piccie?
    Ray.
     
  20. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    "Locomotives of the LNER" implies that the 60 locos built by the LNER for the LMS weren't included in Class O6 even when on loan to the LNER. They didn't receive LNER numbers. Class O6 proper only consisted of the 68 8Fs owned by the LNER.

    The only mention of allocation of 8518 in the green book is that its batch's first shed was Doncaster, and that they were regularly seen operating Doncaster-Whitemoor freights via Grimsby. I would suggest that any allocation to Derby prior to going on loan would have been on paper only: the green book is clear that all of the LMS-owned locos were considered "on loan" as soon as they entered traffic.
     

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