East London junction named Gasworks Junction

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grumpyxch

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Does anyone know of a junction called Gasworks Junction where the North London Railway had a connection to the London & Blackwall Railway (L&BR [the Fenchurch Street line] became leased by Great Eastern, then absorbed into LNER at Grouping [I understand]). This would have been in the area of Bow or Poplar or thereabouts. There is a junction called Gas Factory Junction on the L&BR in Bow, but this is where the L&BR connected to the western end of the London Tilbury & Southend Railway direct line to Barking, and it still exists, but I don't know if there was ever a connection at this point to the NLR (the NLR is, or at least was, until the 1960's when the NLR line here closed, fairly close to Gas Factory Jct). Could it be that there was a connection at Gas Factory Junction to the NLR, but the NLR called it Gasworks Junction while the L&BR called it Gas Factory Junction? There is always the possibility that Gasworks Junction was just a typing mistake by someone putting railway information on Wikipedia, when they actually meant Gas Factory Junction.

My thanks for any help
 
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Roger1973

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There's a 1914 Railway Clearing House map of the Bow area on Wikimedia

It's not as clear as it could be, but the Ian Allan printed version of the 1935 RCH map is clearer (although can't find it online) and shows Gas Works Junction and Gas Factory Junction as two separate junctions.

GWJ being the point where (if you're approaching from the south west through Burdett Road Station) a train would either fork right and end up heading north towards Bow (NLR) Station or fork left towards Bow Road (GER) Station

GFJ being the point slightly further north up the GER line, where (again coming from the south west) trains could fork right to join the LTS towards Bromley (by Bow) Station or continue towards Bow Road (GER)

On this 1897 OS map, Gas Factory Junction is marked, but at the point that the RCH map marks as Gas Works Junction. The one marked on RCH map as Gas Factory Junction would be the one about at the south end of Wellington Road South.
 

DerekC

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I was about to post pretty much the same as @Roger1973. There were clearly two junctions close together and adjacent to the gas works, one from the L&BR Bow Extension to the NLL and then, a couple of hundred yards further north, one to the LT&S. The naming seems almost designed to confuse!
 

Gloster

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Roger1973’s comments seem to tally with the information in the fourth edition of the London Railway Atlas (Brown, 2015).
 

grumpyxch

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There's a 1914 Railway Clearing House map of the Bow area on Wikimedia

It's not as clear as it could be, but the Ian Allan printed version of the 1935 RCH map is clearer (although can't find it online) and shows Gas Works Junction and Gas Factory Junction as two separate junctions.

GWJ being the point where (if you're approaching from the south west through Burdett Road Station) a train would either fork right and end up heading north towards Bow (NLR) Station or fork left towards Bow Road (GER) Station

GFJ being the point slightly further north up the GER line, where (again coming from the south west) trains could fork right to join the LTS towards Bromley (by Bow) Station or continue towards Bow Road (GER)

On this 1897 OS map, Gas Factory Junction is marked, but at the point that the RCH map marks as Gas Works Junction. The one marked on RCH map as Gas Factory Junction would be the one about at the south end of Wellington Road South.
That is brilliant! Do you have a print of the 1935 map? If you do, can you scan the relevant part, and then send the scan to me, please? Mind you, I'm new to this forum, and I don't know if that is possible to email me. Is it allowed?

My thanks to you and the other two members who confirmed what you said

Regards
grumpyxch
 

etr221

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My interpretation (of a complex network), having also looked at the 'GER Diagrammtic Map of System' is that:
  • On the GER (London & Blackwall Bow Extension Line) there were - in order from Burdett Road Stn (at TQ 3674 8180) - after 26ch Bow South Junction (3711 8222) with the NLR, another 3 ch Bow North Jn giving access to Bow Road Goods (GER), another 7 ch Gas Factory Junction (3720 8236), still extant, with the LTS line to Bromley-by-Bow, Paistow and Barking - all these three being controlled by one signalbox 'Gas Factory Junction', but I think closest to Bow South Jn, and essentially one large set of points/trackwork, rather than being distinct junctions - and then on to Bow Road (GER) psgr station.
  • On the NLR line, from GER Bow South Jn, after 4ch Gas Works Junction (3716 8226) giving access from the Gas Works [also controlled by the GER Gas Factory Junction SB], then another 33 chains on to junction with the NLR 'main line' from Poplar immediately south of Bow NLR station
  • The 'up' line physical connection for Bow South Junction appears to have been adjacent to Burdett Road Station (i.e. separate up line between Gas Factory Jn and Burdett Road SBs)
(Figures are National Grid References off the NLS maps)
You have 4 seperate junctions within a couple of hundred yards!

There were NLR passenger services between Fenchurch Street and Bow (NLR)[and beyond]
 

Taunton

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The connection from the North London line at Bow round to the Fenchurch Street line remained in use for freight into the early 1960s, after the LTS electric services started there, and I recall photos in magazines of Devons Road-based Class 20s (not called that then!) in their early days on transfer freights there. Approaching Fenchurch Street there were a whole series of goods depots on either side of the line for the main line railway companies, such as Royal Mint Street for the Great Northern, who accessed them over this line. These depots all closed down quite rapidly in the 1950s-early 60s as the adjacent docks, which was their purpose, were closed. Don't know when the passenger service was withdrawn, likely some time around WW1 as electric trams took over so much of the local inner London custom.

Incidentally the line from Stepney into Fenchurch Street, including the latter terminus, did not belong to the Great Eastern. It was built by the London & Blackwall Railway, who very nearly merged with the North London, who had been using the curve we discuss to give them a City of London terminus at Fenchurch Street, before Broad Street was built. In later Victorian times the L&B was leased for operation to the Great Eastern instead, but continued to be an independent company behind the scenes and having the running powers contracts for all the main line companies into their goods depots, taking the lease money and its' directors declaring dividends with it, until the 1923 grouping, when because of the GE lease it was rolled into LNER ownership.
 
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grumpyxch

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My interpretation (of a complex network), having also looked at the 'GER Diagrammtic Map of System' is that:
  • On the GER (London & Blackwall Bow Extension Line) there were - in order from Burdett Road Stn (at TQ 3674 8180) - after 26ch Bow South Junction (3711 8222) with the NLR, another 3 ch Bow North Jn giving access to Bow Road Goods (GER), another 7 ch Gas Factory Junction (3720 8236), still extant, with the LTS line to Bromley-by-Bow, Paistow and Barking - all these three being controlled by one signalbox 'Gas Factory Junction', but I think closest to Bow South Jn, and essentially one large set of points/trackwork, rather than being distinct junctions - and then on to Bow Road (GER) psgr station.
  • On the NLR line, from GER Bow South Jn, after 4ch Gas Works Junction (3716 8226) giving access from the Gas Works [also controlled by the GER Gas Factory Junction SB], then another 33 chains on to junction with the NLR 'main line' from Poplar immediately south of Bow NLR station
  • The 'up' line physical connection for Bow South Junction appears to have been adjacent to Burdett Road Station (i.e. separate up line between Gas Factory Jn and Burdett Road SBs)
(Figures are National Grid References off the NLS maps)
You have 4 seperate junctions within a couple of hundred yards!

There were NLR passenger services between Fenchurch Street and Bow (NLR)[and beyond]
Thankyou for such detailed info. I knew about the NLR passengers into Fenchurch Street. That lasted until Broad Street opened. Is that GER Diagramatic Map visible on the web? I would like to take a look if I can because in this search I have found that the connection between the L&BER and the GER the junction is called Bow Junction (they like using Bow round that way). Also there may have been a connection to the GER at this Bow Junction (though that may have been someone getting confused with the names of what you call Bow South Junction). On the other hand, it may be me misunderstanding where they meant when they referred to Bow Jct. Its certainly a tangled mess round there.
 

Gloster

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The London Railway Atlas shows two Bow Junction. The first, opened 1849, is where the single line that is still in use leaves the Great Eastern mainline and curves round to Gas Factory Junction. The second was on the North London Railway Poplar line roughly at the south end of the existing Bow Church station and was the start of the curve round to what, I think, was Gasworks Junction. This was open 1851 to 1967.
 

etr221

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Thankyou for such detailed info. I knew about the NLR passengers into Fenchurch Street. That lasted until Broad Street opened. Is that GER Diagramatic Map visible on the web? I would like to take a look if I can because in this search I have found that the connection between the L&BER and the GER the junction is called Bow Junction (they like using Bow round that way). Also there may have been a connection to the GER at this Bow Junction (though that may have been someone getting confused with the names of what you call Bow South Junction). On the other hand, it may be me misunderstanding where they meant when they referred to Bow Jct. Its certainly a tangled mess round there.
The GER Diagrammatic Map - I have a printed copy - it (1919 edition) was published by the Great Eastern Railway Society, don't know if it's on line or otherwise available from them.

Bow Junction on the GER is where the L&BBE joins the GE mainline (from Liverpool Street) beyond Bow Road (at TQ 3740 8320). On the RCH 1914 diagram (linked above) identified as 'Fenchurch St Line Jn'

Bow South and North Jns are named as such on the RCH 1935 map; on the 1914 diagram are "Junc GE & NL" and "Junc" respectively, on west side of line. "Junc" on the east side of line thereabouts is 'Gasworks Jn'. On the NLR the junction just north of (their) Bow Stn was 'Tilbury Line Junction' (Tilbury line was separate tracks through Bow Stn, and round to the east, to Bromley Jn on the LTS); the junction just south of the station was (their) Bow Jn, for curve round to join the GER at (their) Bow South Jn (just beyond Gas Works Jn on the NLR)

'Tilbury Line Jn' is roughly where nowadays the DLR leaves the trace of the NLR to curve up and round to run alongside the GE L&BBE line.
 

Roger1973

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That is brilliant! Do you have a print of the 1935 map? If you do, can you scan the relevant part, and then send the scan to me, please? Mind you, I'm new to this forum, and I don't know if that is possible to email me. Is it allowed?

I'm not sure what the rules are here about such things, but (someone else) has put it on flickr

Having blown that up to maximum resolution, I'm less sure than I was yesterday, and think the junction I described as Gas Works Junction was Bow South Junction - not sure if it wasn't the junction for the line up to Bow Road Goods.
 

Taunton

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Local stuff to our house.

Looking at old OS maps, the NLR junction is described as Gas Factory Junction in the 19th Century, but has become Gas Works Junction by the 20th. Either the OS surveyors got it wrong (by no means unknown), or there was some rearrangement.

Incidentally, the freight spur into the gasworks itself, quite extensive, on the south side of the running lines, only connected into the NLR approach, and did not cross them to the GE approach. Which probably suited coal deliveries coming from the north.

I wonder if Gas Works Junction is actually the meeting point between the NLR and the GER, which the linked map shows is 4 chains before the physical junction, with the latter being called Bow South Junction. This would fit in with it being the place where the tracks from the NLR actually turned off into the gasworks. It was also common for such end-on meeting points to be called junctions.
 

Gloster

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A search for Fenchurch on the Railways Archive site produces an 1886 accident at Gas Factory Junction. This suggests that the points for the divergence of the North London and the Tilbury lines from the Great Eastern were 217 yards apart and both worked from Gas Factory Box.
 

etr221

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The problem you have here is that the GER's 'Gas Factory Junction' Signal Box controlled - manually - within a length of 10-15 chains (200-300 yards) what was on the ground one set of point work (worked by one or two signal men), but which on the railway map (as produced by the RCH) had four separate junctions, with lines belonging to three railway companies.

In which case, yes, from the 1935 map, it does seem that Gas Works Junction was the 'junction' between NLR and GER.
No.

The RCH 1935 map is - as linked, and when zoomed in - the clearest, but - compared to the 1914 Junction diagram - has had the branch (no more than a twig, and on the ground more like a couple of sidings) off the NLR into the gas works removed. But the junction remains, labelled as 'Gas Works Junc.' And the 4 chains on to where it (LMS/NLR spur from Bow Station) joined the GE (then LNER) - at (Bow) South Junction [1] - are still marked as LMS (ex NLR). Which for RCH purposes (which I think meant railway commercial ones - it was the LMS that got that 4 chains worth of revenue (for which they probably had to pay the LNER something for the signal box, etc.)) was how they were regarded. What that meant in terms of ownership and maintenance (and remembering they seem to have been controlled by an LNER(GER) signal box) I don't know. And it is only by looking at the large scale railway estate maps (showing what they owned), and the associated agreements that you will be able to come to a definitive answer.

The various large scale OS maps, on the NLS website, show what the surveyors saw on the ground, but it is very difficult to work out quite which points correspond to which junction on the RCH map, or where the railway property boundary was.

[1] Looking more closely at the 1935 map, what I referred to before as Bow South and Bow North Junctions are jointly marked as Bow Junctions, with the more southerly (where the LMS joined the LNER line) as 'South Junc.' and the more northerly (for the line into Bow Road Goods) just as 'Jn.' What - if anything - the LNER p'way and signalling departments called them is again something requiring inspection of the appropriate records!
 

grumpyxch

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The problem you have here is that the GER's 'Gas Factory Junction' Signal Box controlled - manually - within a length of 10-15 chains (200-300 yards) what was on the ground one set of point work (worked by one or two signal men), but which on the railway map (as produced by the RCH) had four separate junctions, with lines belonging to three railway companies.


No.

The RCH 1935 map is - as linked, and when zoomed in - the clearest, but - compared to the 1914 Junction diagram - has had the branch (no more than a twig, and on the ground more like a couple of sidings) off the NLR into the gas works removed. But the junction remains, labelled as 'Gas Works Junc.' And the 4 chains on to where it (LMS/NLR spur from Bow Station) joined the GE (then LNER) - at (Bow) South Junction [1] - are still marked as LMS (ex NLR). Which for RCH purposes (which I think meant railway commercial ones - it was the LMS that got that 4 chains worth of revenue (for which they probably had to pay the LNER something for the signal box, etc.)) was how they were regarded. What that meant in terms of ownership and maintenance (and remembering they seem to have been controlled by an LNER(GER) signal box) I don't know. And it is only by looking at the large scale railway estate maps (showing what they owned), and the associated agreements that you will be able to come to a definitive answer.

The various large scale OS maps, on the NLS website, show what the surveyors saw on the ground, but it is very difficult to work out quite which points correspond to which junction on the RCH map, or where the railway property boundary was.

[1] Looking more closely at the 1935 map, what I referred to before as Bow South and Bow North Junctions are jointly marked as Bow Junctions, with the more southerly (where the LMS joined the LNER line) as 'South Junc.' and the more northerly (for the line into Bow Road Goods) just as 'Jn.' What - if anything - the LNER p'way and signalling departments called them is again something requiring inspection of the appropriate records!
Forgive my ignorance but what is 'NLS website'? It's the NLS bit that I don't understand.
 

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racyrich

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Interesting. the NLS map suggests the gasworks sidings are on an embankment all the way to the building they enter. I always wondered how they could possibly reach ground level there in such a short space.
So that building must have some coal drops or suchlike in it.

I'd never noticed in any photos I've seen before that the branch to Bow Goods came off the GER line immediately north of the NLR junction. The picture in the relevant Middleton book show the goods line branching off the NLR northbound track. It must have been moved at some stage.
 

grumpyxch

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... or, you may prefer https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=17&lat=51.52286&lon=-0.02526&layers=163&b=7 - zoom in or out, pan around and change mapping for different scale and date to get a feel of what was there, then or later.
My thanks to nlogax for his map, but particularly to you because the zoom feature is proving so useful. I've been wandering around a lot of east London looking at the detail. I'm beginning to think that in the late 1890's all of those three junctions were called Gas Factory Junction as they were so close together, the branch to the NLR being built first so the signal box was built next to it. Then when the 1935 Diagram-type map of these junctions needed to separate these junctions for clarity, someone may have decided to give each of these connections their own name for the diagram, and put the Gas Factory name by the wrong one (the LTS one) - but that is just me guessing so I could be wrong. However, having the one name to cover all three branches would explain why, when two of the branches had gone the Gas Factory Junction name remained attached to the remaining junction that had been the furthest of the three from the box.
 

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You can also look at old-maps.co.uk - it's a bit more tricky to use than NLS and doesn't zoom in so close (unless you pay) but it has a larger selection of differently dated 1:2500 maps, which can be quite useful in tracking the development of track layouts over time.
 

Roger1973

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The RCH 1935 map is - as linked, and when zoomed in - the clearest, but - compared to the 1914 Junction diagram - has had the branch (no more than a twig, and on the ground more like a couple of sidings) off the NLR into the gas works removed. But the junction remains, labelled as 'Gas Works Junc.'

That makes more sense.

The line in to the gasworks appears still to have been there post-1945 if the OS map is to be believed - would I be right in thinking the RCH only showed the bit that was railway company property and not the bit that was owned by the gas works?
 

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The line in to the gasworks appears still to have been there post-1945 if the OS map is to be believed - would I be right in thinking the RCH only showed the bit that was railway company property and not the bit that was owned by the gas works?
I believe that was usually the case, although there were exceptions.
 

Taunton

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There must have been a considerable gradient for inbound NLR trains to pass under the LT&S line, and then rise up in only a few hundred yards to make the connection with it on its viaduct. This is where the gasworks sidings diverged, probably staying more on the level.

If you look at this Google street view here, from the east side of the LT&S line today : London, England - Google Maps you will find on the left the green skew bridge, now contains a narrow road but was the single track entry into the GER goods yard. To the right is where the NLR line passed underneath, which has been fully rebuilt, in brick, with the three pink-painted doors to the arches underneath. Looking at the other side of the railway shows this was a skew as well, almost as acute as the goods yard one.
 

DerekC

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And directly under the camera and crossing under the LT&S more or less where the NLL link did, are the Crossrail tunnels, heading for the Pudding Mill Lane portal.
 
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