LONDON & SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY EXPRESS PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVE, No. 415
DESIGNED BY Mr. D. DRUMMOND, M.INST,C.E.
The South Western -
It was the shipowners of Southampton who put the company afloat. Seeing in 1830 what the Liverpool & Manchester was likely to do for the shipping of Liverpool, they talked matters over together, and in April 1831 there appeared the prospectus of -
Had the route been direct much money would have been saved, but it went almost due west from Woking to Basingstoke, with the intention of throwing off a branch to Bristol, and this aroused the hostility of the Great Western people, who did their best to prove the embankments so huge and the gradients so steep that the line could never be made or worked. The engineer was Francis Giles, who had surveyed for Rennie’s Portsmouth canal, and who when the Liverpool & Manchester Bill was before Parliament gave evidence that “No engineer in his senses would go through Chat Moss if he wanted to make a railway from Liverpool to Manchester”. When the Southampton Bill was before the House the Great Western called George Stephenson on their side, who promptly had his revenge with “No engineer in his senses would go through Basingstoke if he wanted to make a railway from London to Southampton!” But as Giles had been mistaken, so was “Old George”.
THE MAIN LINE DEPARTURE PLATFORMS AT WATERLOO
Giles had to get through the Hampshire ridge, and he ran the line at so high a level to avoid as many long tunnels as he could. The earthworks were tremendous for those days, sixteen million cubic yards of them, and there were difficulties of many kinds, not the least being that the work had been let out to small contractors, who obtained payments on account and cleared off as soon as the contract ceased to pay them. There was practically no progress, and matters came to a crisis. Many of the shareholders were Lancashire men, -
The terminus was at Nine Elms, the present goods yard; so placed by the bank of the river as to secure a share of the barge-
Meanwhile work was in progress on the way to Shapley Heath, now Winchfield, and at the other end between Southampton and Winchester. Beyond Woking the task was heavy owing to the cuttings and embankments, and beyond Farnborough there was Fleet Pond to be crossed along the sandbank faced with turf, thatched with hazels, pinned with willows, and edged with chalk. The line still rising went on to its summit level at Litchfield, 392 ft, and then ran down through the tunnels and under the canal to Basingstoke. In June 1839 trains began to run from London to Basingstoke and from Southampton to Winchester, a coach ride filling up the gap until May 1840, when the first train ran through to Southampton. The works had cost over two millions, more than double Giles’s estimate, much of it raised by issuing the £50 shares at half price.
THE 10.45 A.M. DOWN PLYMOUTH EXPRESS, NEAR WILTON, IN CHARGE OF No. 457
The first branch was to Gosport from Bishopstoke, now Eastleigh. This was easily arranged. Portsmouth wanted a railway, but would have nothing to do with anything bearing the detested name of the rival port. At the same time it was evident that a branch from the existing line would give much cheaper access to London than an independent one all the way that would cost a fortune in legal expenses to get sanctioned by Parliament. Could nothing be done? “Is it our name only you object to?” asked the Southampton directors. “That is all”. “Well, then, that can be settled at once. Instead of the London & Southampton we will call our line the London & South Western”. And the Portsmouth people were delighted, the Gosport branch was made, and the railway took the name we know it by.
It might be called the recreation line, for what with its nine racecourses, and the Thames boating and reviews and sundries, it makes more out of sport and pleasure than any other. And it began early. The first chairman was Sir John Easthope, a successful stockbroker, proprietor of The Morning Chronicle, etc, whose breezy, interfering ways were quite a feature of all the small stations on the road to Weybridge, where he lived. As he added racing to his other interests there was nothing surprising in the new railway announcing that on the Derby Day, eighteen days after the opening, eight trains would run from Nine Elms to Kingston -
BASINGSTOKE — THE JUNCTION OF THE TWO MAIN ROUTES
Thus the Gosport branch was the first to be opened, the next being that to Guildford, bought from another company who were going to lay it with wooden rails. The next was that to Richmond, afterwards extended to Windsor, which was reached in December 1849. This branch went off just before the first cutting, now known as Clapham Cutting; and in making this cutting, springs were dug into which flooded the excavation, and, to work the pumps for clearing it, the engineer built the windmill which still stands, without its arms, overlooking Wandsworth Common.
A new station was built near Falcon Lane, taking the place of the so-
The last was the most costly and best of all, though it was only two and a quarter miles in length and the outlay nearly two millions, the station being no other than Waterloo, so named from its main entrance in the Waterloo Road. The well-
THE NEW SOUTH STATION AT WATERLOO
Waterloo Station now covers twenty-
Trains no longer go from London to Salisbury by way of Eastleigh, but direct from Basingstoke, and the main line is fairly straight all the way to Exeter. North of it the spurs are to Windsor, Wokingham, and Bulford; south of it the branches lead down, with many intercrossings, to Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, and Dorchester. Beyond Salisbury the southerly branches serve the coast again between Lyme Regis and Exmouth, and from Exeter goes the great curve round the beautiful country of Dartmoor to Plymouth, throwing off the picturesque roads to Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Torrington, Bude, and Padstow. Altogether just over 1000 miles of track, every mile carrying on the average 66,000 passengers a year.
The great feature of the system is the way in which the branches loop up with other branches, or end in communication with other systems so as to provide alternative routes and through routes for passengers and merchandise. There are less than a couple of dozen loose ends that do not form a junction with some other line; and of these more than half have their terminus on the coast; three of them, Hampton Court, Shepperton, and Windsor, end on the banks of the Thames; and two, Bisley and Bulford, are for military purposes.
The South Western is our most important military line. It skirts the Channel, and has more military stations on it than any other. It connects the three great naval stations, Portsmouth, Portland, and Plymouth, with the two great camps, and serves as many garrison towns as it does cathedral cities. The road it jointly owns with the Brighton into Portsmouth is the only one in the country that passes through a rampart. And, owing to the concentration of the troopships at Southampton, it carries every British soldier that goes or returns on foreign service.
FOUR CYLINDER EXPRESS PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVE, No. 720
On the Channel the seaside towns it serves are Southsea and those of the Isle of Wight; Lee, Lymington, and Bournemouth; Poole, Swanage, and Weymouth; Lyme Regis, Seaton, and Sidmouth; Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth. North Cornwall it claims for its own. From Bude, the nearest Atlantic port to London, it runs the coach rides northward to Clovelly and southwards to Boscastle that excel all others. From Clovelly downwards is the rockiest, healthiest coast in England. Along it is the real blue water, for the nearest over-
The history of the line in the west is that of a sixty years’ war with the Great Western. As the champion of the standard gauge in the south, the broad-
TANK ENGINE No. 59 -
What the South Western intended to do was clearly shown in 1846, when it took shares in the Sutton harbour at Plymouth, which was not reached until forty-
The most noteworthy of the links towards it was the Salisbury & Yeovil, which when the first sod was cut in April 1856 had a bank balance of £4. 2s. 4d. With many a struggle, frequently with no idea where the next £500 was coming from, it paid for the work of almost all kinds with shares at a greater and greater discount, until the cost, half a million, was somehow met; and then it was opened, worked by the South Western for half its gross receipts. When the Yeovil & Exeter was opened this 50 per cent, became 42½ for twenty-
The South Western owes a good deal to “running powers”. It crosses the Great Western at Exeter on nearly a mile and a half of the competing line. It gets into Plymouth on over two and a half miles of the Great Western, into Weymouth on nearly seven miles of the Great Western, into Reading on nearly seven miles of the South Eastern & Chatham, and into Portsmouth, by the direct route, on nearly four miles of the Brighton (from Havant to Port Creek). These are all triumphs of its diplomacy, but perhaps the smartest thing it did was the purchase of the line to Midhurst, by which it stopped the advance of the Brighton to Southampton.
DEPARTURE OF AN AMERICAN LINER FROM SOUTHAMPTON DOCKS
Southampton, the pleasantest of our larger ports, is the real heart of the South Western and the main cause of its prosperity, for it means goods, and no railway company can thrive without goods. When the London & Southampton was launched the dock scheme was undertaken by another company, who began by building what is known as the Outer Dock. Before that dock was opened the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, and the Peninsular & Oriental, had begun business, and made Southampton their headquarters, and in 1847 steamers from Bremen, owned in New York, began to call in, these being the predecessors of the North German Lloyd, a company formed at Bremen in 1856, which has all along made Southampton its English port of call. In 1845 the South Western Steam Navigation Company purchased the Channel Island boats, which had up to then been running from Weymouth, and transferred them to Southampton, adding a service to Havre. In 1862 the South Western took over this company, thereby increasing its interest in the docks, and the successors of these old paddle boats continue both services and are among the best that cross the Channel. It was the trade with the Channel Islands, still worked from the Outer Dock, that led to the subsequent developments, though the business done in the carriage of passengers and merchandise brought by the ocean-
For instance, in 1853 there started the Union Steam Collier Company, with a view to supplying coal to the vessels frequenting the port; but during the Crimean War the P. & O. fleet were taken up as transports, and the Union boats were put on to trade with the Levant in their place until they were in turn secured for transport purposes. When the war was over employment had to be found for these boats, which, as the Union Steamship Company, endeavoured to open a trade with South America, and in 1857 left the South American trade for the South African, owing to the company obtaining the mail contract to the Cape. The same year the Bremen steamers having found it pay them to call at Southampton, the opposition line from Hamburg, the Hamburg-
The man was ready for the hour. In 1885 Sir Charles Scotter, then Goods Manager of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire, had been appointed General Manager of the London & South Western. He had begun his career with the M. S. & L. at Hull, and he had risen to have the management of Grimsby; and no man in the country knew more about docks, and what could be done with them when they were owned by a raihvay company. Little wonder, then, that in 1886 the South Western subscribed a quarter of a million to the dock company’s capital account for the extensions to be put in hand, and that six years afterwards the railway company should become the sole owners of the property with a view to the greater developments that are still going on.
A SMART AND USEFUL LOCOMOTIVE, No. 736
Southampton is fortunate in its position in the middle of the south coast, under eighty miles from the capital, and about half as much again from the Welsh coalfield and the manufacturing towns of the Midlands. Across the mouth of the estuary lies the Isle of Wight, acting as a huge breakwater, favouring it, like a few other places in the world, with a double tide. As the tide runs up Channel it sends off a branch at the Needles into the Solent, and proceeding along the south of the island it sends another branch into Spithead about a couple of hours later; the main tide, in fact, which reaches Southampton Water from the east before the one from the west has had time to get out. Thus there are four tides a day, and as there is water enough for all ships at all times, and the anchorage is excellent and well sheltered, the port requires not basins but graving-
The business largely lies along the outer wall, and the quayage is great, the docks being traversed by over thirty miles of railway; and the outfit of steam, hydraulic, and electric appliances for hauling and lifting is unusually large, for three-
The oldest trade of the port is that in wine, and the amount is now enormous; the newest trade is that in chilled provisions, and the cold storage accommodation of 2,000,000 cubic feet is the largest in the country. This cold storage business is a most interesting feature, for the meat is not loaded into covered wagons, but direct into road vans with their shafts taken off, and their wheels lashed to iron rails on double carriage trucks. A train of these carts, each taking thirty-
A GUARD OF THE SOUTH WESTERN
What with the many liners now using the port, and the troopers and smaller fry, there is always plenty of shipping about, and many steamers mean much coal; and Southampton handles coal in a way of its own. The only storage is in lighters, so that it is ready to be towed to the ships as soon as ordered. Along the river fronts of the coal barge docks runs a narrow jetty, where the cranes lift the coal out of the colliers a couple of tons at a time and swing it across into the lighters waiting on the other side in such numbers that 14,000 tons of coal may be afloat at once, there being lighterage capacity for no less than 20,000.
Another of the Southampton sights is the Prince of Wales graving-
The Midhurst branch goes off at Petersfield on the Portsmouth Direct, which has an interesting history. It was made by Brassey for an independent company, a line of heavy gradients with its summit at Haslemere, 460 ft. above the Waterloo level, to join up with the South Western at Godalming and with the Brighton at Havant, and was ready for opening in January 1858, but the owners had made no preparations for working it, and had provided no rolling stock, hoping that one of these companies would take it over. The Brighton people would not undertake the task, as it was a competing route to Portsmouth, to which they had been running for eleven years; and the South Western declined, as it would interfere with their agreement with the Brighton. Then the owners obtained parliamentary sanction for a junction with the South Eastern at Shalford, hoping that that company would come to the rescue, but received the same reply, that prior arrangements with the Brighton precluded any such working of an opposition line. One way out of the difficulty seemed to be to continue the Portsmouth Direct to Portsmouth, which led to the proposal of another Portsmouth terminus at Landport. This did not suit either the Brighton or the South Western, and at last the South Western were persuaded to take a perpetual lease of the line at a rental of £18,000 a year and risk a war.
LONDON & SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY COMPOSITE CORRIDOR CARRIAGE NO. 859
The Brighton at once accepted the challenge. It was on the 1st of January 1859 that the first South Western train attempted to run on to the Brighton metals at Havant. It was to reach there at 10 a.m, but expecting trouble it came at 7 a.m, a train specially manned with 100 platelayers under the command of the secretary of the company, who on his arrival found the rails taken up at the junction and an engine with its wheels chained and padlocked down to the rails at the crossing. A fight began between the rival roughs; the Brighton men were driven back and held at bay, while the South Westerners made good the track, filed through the chains, moved the Brighton engine off and brought their own train on to the metals. But while they were busy in front their opponents were as busy behind, and when the South Westerners advanced they found that rails had been removed farther on, so that progress was impossible. And so the Waterloo men returned to fight the battle with legal weapons that proved so efficient that on the 24th of the month they triumphantly rode into Portsmouth on the metals of the discomfited Brightonians, who forthwith began a war of rates and fares which did nothing beyond causing them a loss of £80,000.
One of the best moves made by the South Western was the leasing of the Somerset & Dorset in conjunction with the Midland. By this Bournemouth obtained the direct route to the north, by which it has profited so much, and the joint companies not only obtained access through Glastonbury to Wells, Burnham, and Bridgwater, but a short communication between each other’s territory. The Somerset & Dorset affords a remarkable instance of development since it ceased to be local and became linked up into a main road. The broad-
In 1865 the Southwestern took over a group of broad-
THE VESTIBULE TRAIN WORKING IN THE PLYMOUTH DISTRICT
The most difficult working on the Southwestern is that on the Ilfracombe branch, which was made by an independent company after many adventures. It cost only £130,000, and has more heavy gradients and difficult curves than any other stretch of fifteen miles. It begins with a rise, and falls a little only to rise again, and ends in a two-
The Meldon viaduct and the Honiton tunnel (1353 yards, the longest on the line) are the two most conspicuous engineering works, if we except the embankments, which do not appeal so much to the traveller. In the making of the line gradients were not worried about overmuch, and were generally taken as they came. Hence the South Western is more undulating than it might have been had the cost of working it been borne more in mind. Some of the inclines are very long, as shown by the distances between the gradient-
These boards, it may be as well to say, which are on the down-
LONDON & SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY COAT OF ARMS
The South Western is a great line, and has extended far beyond the five towns whose arms figure in its coat of arms, London, Salisbury, Winchester (with the lions and castles), Southampton (with the roses), and Portsmouth. It has always been faster than the others working south of the Thames, indeed in 1847 it was running the fastest train in the world, the Southampton express, which did the 78 miles in 105 minutes including the stop at Basingstoke. Its first locomotive superintendent was John V. Gooch, the brother of the Great Western Gooch, who was just as eager for speed; and this Southampton train was worked by one of his first engines which had 7 ft. wheels, the largest then in use on the standard gauge.
When he left the South Western for the Eastern Counties he was succeeded by James Beattie, who did away with the use of coke as a fuel and in 1855 built the Canute, the first engine to burn coal. In his “smoke-
Beattie, who was carriage superintendent before he took charge of the engine department, was the first to make railway wheels of wood and iron. Wooden wheels had been tried before, as in the case of the Kilmarnock engine, but the combination was a novelty and it was a success, one set of his wheels running 75,000 miles before being returned to the lathe. This was about six years before the invention of Mansell’s wheel, now generally used for passenger carriages.
GOODS ENGINE No. 691 (WITH CONICAL FRONT)
The Mansell wheel is built up of sixteen segments 3½-
That the wheels of the engine are balanced everybody knows, but it is not everybody who is aware that the wheels of the carriage are treated in a similar way, or that an unbalanced wheel has a tendency to revolve about its centre of gravity instead of the centre of its axle, and soon develops flat sections on its tread. The balancing of a wheel is not difficult. The pair of wheels on their axle are placed on bearings mounted on leaf springs, and spun round by a pulley for three minutes beneath two markers of chalk fixed so as to just touch the top of the tyres, and by the appearance of the chalk line they take the character of their running can be seen. If they do not run true a small plate of iron of the necessary weight is screwed on to their inside face, and this is altered after trial until the wheel is as it should be. Everything is done to build the wheel so that it requires no balancing, even the segments are weighed separately before being fitted together, but as a rule about 10 per cent, have to carry for life a balance weight of a pound or so.
Another invention of Beattie’s was his buffing apparatus, which had elliptical springs of steel separated by layers of flannel placed between a series of blocks working in the under-
A COMFORTABLE SLEEPING BERTH ON THE PLYMOUTH MAIL
When Mr. William Adams became chief mechanical engineer he designed over a dozen classes of engines for the line, the best known being the powerful 85-
The steam blast, insignificant as it may seem, is the secret of the locomotive, and it was discovered by Richard Trevithick in building his first railway engine. Not caring to part with his waste steam until it had done a little more work, he used it for heating the feed-
The last big 85 in. of the Adams design was No. 686, put on the rail in 1895, for in August of that year Mr. Dugald Drummond became chief at Nine Elms. No. 686, the last of the Adams engines, was the last with a number plate of raised figures on a red ground; No. 242, the first of the Drummond engines, was the first with a beaded rim round the chimney, like all that followed. The most noteworthy of these was No. 720, completed in 1897, the first of five others (369-
THE APPROACH TO CLAPHAM JUNCTION (FROM THE LONDON END)
In 1905 another class of 4-
The reader is doubtless aware that in the ordinary locomotive boiler the water surrounds the tubes, while in the firebox-
Like the Lancashire & Yorkshire, the South Western uses dwarf locomotives for its rail motor-
IN THE ERECTING SHOP AT NINE ELMS
Placing an engine on its wheels.
All these engines were built at Nine Elms. For half a century or more these works had been doomed, but something always happened to delay the inevitable. So definite was the notice to quit that the men used to be warned on engagement against taking houses or lodgings for long periods, and yet things lingered on in the old style until the shift to Eastleigh became a standing joke. Even the removal thither of the carriage works failed to convince people that Nine Elms would one day cease from engine-
From the removal of the carriage-
The South Western owns about 750 engines and nearly 19,000 carriages and wagons, and it runs nearly 20,000,000 miles a year, three-
THE “FAMILY COACH” OR INVALID CARRIAGE
It has a fleet of eighteen vessels of its own, and has a half share in the Ryde boats from Portsmouth and Stokes Bay, the other half being held by the Brighton company. Two of its small boats do the service from Lymington to Yarmouth at the west end of the Isle of Wight, where, at each port, there are special slipways to provide for motor-
It was the South Western that gave the first trial to automatic signalling, the section of line being between Andover and Grateley on the main road to Salisbury. On that 6½ miles the apparatus began to work on the 20th of April 1902, the first to attract attention of several systems now developing so fast that the old signal-
Who invented signalling is not clear, but it began with the hat and umbrella, and officially with the red necktie. That red neckerchief has done much good work in its time both by day and night, for at night it has been stretched over a lamp and given warning of danger to a train that was running into the scene of an accident. Once, according to Williams, a red pocket-
INTERIOR OF THE FAMILY CARRIAGE
Night signals seem to have begun with the tallow candle stuck in his window by a Stockton & Darlington stationmaster when he had a passenger waiting for the train. When the Liverpool & Manchester opened in 1830 the candle had got into a lamp and the necktie had become a flag. Four years afterwards the flag and lamp had mounted a post 5 ft. high; and in the course of the next three years the post had grown to 12 ft, the flag had become a disk, and the lamp had red glass in one of its panels. These disks, which were adopted because the flag always blew to leeward and the wind did not always blow from one direction, were turned parallel to the line for all clear, as a rule, but in some cases they were hinged at the top so that they could be worked like a lid.
Many of the railway companies have a few of their old signals kept as curiosities. At Gloucester the Great Western has quite a collection. In these the cross-
In 1841 there was erected at New Cross the first semaphore used on a railway. The only originality was in the application, for close by on Telegraph Hill was one of the series of semaphores communicating with Dover. These were the old telegraphs for which the word -
INTERIOR OF VESTIBULE TRAIN USED IN THE PLYMOUTH DISTRICT
Just as the capstan signal was worked by a lever at the base, so was the semaphore. There were no leading wires, and the man had to be at his post, in both senses, when the arm was raised or lowered. This, however, did not last long, for on the North British a certain porter was given two signals to look after, and to save himself the trouble of walking from one to the other he brought along a pulley and some wire, and hanging a broken chair on to the lever as a counterweight, he fastened one end of the wire to the lever, passed the other through the pulley, and worked the signal comfortably from his hut. It was a simple thing, such as a boy would have thought of, but it started railway signalling as we know it, and that hut at Meadowbank was the first signal-
At many junctions the signalman was also pointsman, his duty being to move the sliding guide-
For some time the semaphore arm was worked in three positions; at the horizontal for danger, half-
THE NEW STATION AT FARNBOROUGH
The lamp is clear glass, the so-
The ordinary signals are the home and the distant, the home having a square end, the distant having a swallowtail. The distant is cautionary only. A driver must not pass a home signal which is at danger, but when a distant is against him it means he must get his engine well in hand so as to be able to stop at the home if required. Another swallow-
ARRIVAL OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MAIL AT WATERLOO
The South Western suffers more than most lines from fog, owing to its large suburban traffic in the Thames valley. In one year it has exploded nearly 120,000 fog-
Foggers are platelayers disguised in a thick overcoat. As their ordinary work cannot be carried on with safety in foggy weather, for in clear weather they are always busy examining the track or keeping it in repair, a man to every mile of single line, they go home, which is generally in electrical communication with the nearest signal-
When the arm of the signal rises to danger the fogman clips a detonator on to the rail so that the engine wheel will explode it by pressure. When the arm falls the detonator is picked up and the train passes without a report. Usually there are two detonators in case one should miss fire; but the code differs on different lines, though on all the danger lies in silence and not in the report which shows that the fogger is awake and doing his duty.
MELDON VIADUCT -
The signal itself is a large button built up of four parts, a dome of sheet iron, a base of tinplate, an anvil of malleable iron, and a clip of lead. The dome is stamped out of a 2¼-
Automatic signalling may be said to have begun in the fog, the fogging system being evidently too primitive to last for ever. First came inventions for lessening the danger of the fogman’s occupation when he has to look after several roads and the fog is so thick as to make it difficult to make sure of the number of lines stepped over; for in many cases signals are exploded uselessly owing to the danger in attempting to pick them off when they are not wanted. One of these inventions, Woodhead’s, came into use in 1891; in this, by means of a lever and connecting layers, two signals are placed ten yards apart on the lines, and withdrawn if the semaphore arm is down when the train approaches.
Other inventors tried to solve the difficulty on the principle of the bell instead of the knocker. In the old days the noise was made at the gate to call the attention of the servants, in fact to give the summons where they were required; and all the neighbourhood heard. In these days we ring an electric bell, and give the summons where the servants are waiting to receive it; and only those hear whose business it is to hear. So with regard to signals in fogs. Why not inform those on the engine instead of every one in the train? Why not do away with the explosion on the line and give the signal on the engine? This led to giving the signal on the engine at all times, whether foggy or not; in other words, to audible signalling; and audible signalling, as the phrase is understood, is necessarily automatic.
ROYAL MAIL S.S. ALBERTA OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS SERVICE
From Our Home Railways by W J Gordon, published 1910]