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London Transport panniers in the late '60s.

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Vilma, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Vilma

    Vilma New Member

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    Hello all, I wonder if anybody can shed light on a very dim memory, either to confirm it or to tell me I'm making it up.

    From 1968 I went to a school that bordered the District Line between Elm Park and Hornchurch.

    I am convinced that several times I saw LT panniers heading for Upminster late in the evening and once I tried to drop a handful of grassy soil down the chimney from an overbridge late one night. I seem to remember a grown-up telling me they were going to Upminster tip but I can't recall Upminster having one.

    This must have been somewhere around 1968/9 as they were withdrawn in the early '70s. I even have a poor 8mm cine film of the last train at Farringdon before we all went to Neasden.

    So, am I making this up? Did the panniers ever do fairly regular runs to Upminster? It must have been a fair run without water...

    Memory clarification would be much appreciated!
     
  2. OldChap

    OldChap Member

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    In a word, maybe :)

    For full details see Page 8 of http://www.mdrs.org.uk/documents/donkey133.pdf

    "The regular duties undertaken by the panniers were hauling engineering trains on the sub surface lines working as far afield as Aylesbury in the west (even though Metropolitan passenger services had been cut back to Amersham in 1961 LT engineers trains still ventured there until 1967) to Upminster in the east, transfer freights between LT and BR at Kensington Olympia, shunting at Lillie Bridge and Neasden Depots, transfer freight between Lillie Bridge and Acton Works which took them onto the Hounslow and the Ealing Common-Rayners Lane branches of the Piccadilly Line."
     
  3. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    Look out for the book "Red panniers" Marvellous read and gorgeous pictures.
     
  4. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    Long after the electrification of the LTSR, some operational water cranes were kept between Upminster and Barking. I think one near Upminster lasted well into this century although I assume it didn't work that late.
     
  5. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    There is one still there - I passed that way a few weeks ago.
     
  6. Vilma

    Vilma New Member

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    Well, I bought the Red Panniers book, an excellent read and recommended. Some amazing pictures and I can even see myself in one of the 'last day' pictures taking my poor cine film at Farringdon!

    Anyway, I couldn't have been dreaming since there us a report of a run to Upminster in September 1968. So, it definitely happened!

    Thanks for the suggestions and the recommendation of that book. Otherwise I wouldn't have confirmation.

    NatPres, fount of all knowledge!
     
  7. Coldgunner

    Coldgunner New Member

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    Daft question, but was the juice switched off when the loco's were running over the lines or are they sufficiently isolated from the 3rd and 4th rail to not be an issue?
     
  8. clinker

    clinker New Member

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    Around 1968 Dad came home one night and said that He'd heard a 'Ghost Train' ( these sort of reports weren't that uncommon in those days). It seems that He'd visited His old mate Dick, Who had a motorcycle shop near Upminster Bridge station, They'd chatted til very late, and when Dad left the shop He heard a steam loco pulling away. Back then the fount of all East London steam knowledge was Stratford driver Gordon Wells, who We recently lost, We saw Gordon at Ardleigh House, Romford MEC a few days later, Who confirmed the existance of London Transports Red Panniers, and told of some of the unofficial runs that He'd done on them. So there is no doubt that they ran into Upminster back then.
     
  9. clinker

    clinker New Member

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    Should have seen this before, the very reason for running steam on maintenance trains was that the electricity was turned off.
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The Panniers were used on much more than maintenance trains, though. To answer the original question, no the electricity didn't have to be switched off.
     
  11. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    ... and to this day is not switched off for the occasional ‘Steam on the Met’ type events.
     
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  12. Vilma

    Vilma New Member

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    You know, I think I knew that motorcycle shop. If it's the same one it was almost under the over bridge at Upminster Bridge station and opposite the Bridge House, now the Windmill Tavern.

    Seem to think it was called Mares, or similar. Now a beauty bar, if it's the same one. I think it closed in the middle '90s, quite late. Dealt in old British bikes and side cars, I seem to recall.

    Blimey!
     
  13. clinker

    clinker New Member

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    Yes, that's the one, old Dick Mares, He'd been quite a privateer in His earlier days, built His own grasstrack/scrambles/trials outfits, My Dad passengered on 'Leaping Lena' (inter Norton with BSA piston and a main jet that you could drop 3 Swan Vestas down with their heads on) in the first Sidecar Scramble meeting, Radar Hill, Woodham Ferrers in about 1954, I think Dad ended up on a charge off AWOL and Self Inflicted Injury as a result.
     
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  14. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Really? That tale sounds a bit rich to me...
     
  15. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    :D
     
  16. clinker

    clinker New Member

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    Running on dope, 3 miles to the gallon, but it's how quick you burnt that gallon that mattered, Well that's what I was told.
     
  17. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant New Member

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    Having watched videos of 9466 on Steam on the Met, I have to wonder out loud why the 57xxs were the choice when the 944xxs were newer?
     
  18. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    The 57s had better route availability with a smaller cab.
     
  19. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    I know that 9466 ran on the surface sections on Steam on the Met, but has it actually done the Circle Line?

    Clearances vary on different parts of the LUL system. I do recall that the handrail on the low arc cabroof of 7715 had deep gouges from contact with tunnel roofs.

    Of course it may just have been that BR couldn't justify selling off the 94xx yet as they were so new, whereas the 57xx were a lot older (7715 I believe was a 1929 loco?)
     
  20. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant New Member

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    I knew there had to be a good reason for it, thanks!
     

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