Glasgow to Fort William in 1942

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by Kluseau, 30 Apr 2015.

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  1. Kluseau

    Kluseau New Member

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    As background to a work of fiction, I am trying to uncover information about rail services from Glasgow to Fort William in October 1942. I've been unable to find anything online, and though I suspect that Bradshaws was published during the war (is this correct?), have not been able to work out where I might be able to refer to the then current edition. Any pointers would be most appreciated!
     
  2. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    The LNER K4 2-6-0s were handling the principal passenger services

    http://www.lner.info/locos/K/k4.shtml

    The minimalist service, basically a very early morning and a mid-afternoon service from Glasgow, with one or two extras only during the high summer season (and possibly not in wartime) remained pretty much the same for years, before, during and after WW2. Here's 1949. With the steep gradients and often heavy loads, double-heading was common.

    http://www.timetableworld.com/image_viewer.php?id=4&section_id=1120
     
    Last edited: 1 May 2015
  3. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There's a novelty, a restaurant car between Glasgow and Fort William. Do they even have a trolley these days?
     
  4. me123

    me123 Established Member

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    Yes, on most services. A handful don't (mostly shorter runs though) - most if not all of the full length runs have catering for some or all of the journey.
     
  5. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    The LNER 1946 summer timetable just shows 2 trains each way**, with the portion from Kings Cross running on Friday nights only, returning to Kings Cross on Mondays only. In addition to the K4s, Class K2 2-6-0 and D34 4-4-0 were probably also involved in the workings.

    Glasgow Queen St. dep. 05:50 and 15:46
    Fort William 10:14/10:29 and 20:25/20:40 (Reverse / change loco / detach Fort William portion)
    Mallaig arr. 12:08 and 22:18

    Return
    Mallaig dep. 07:35 and 13:00
    Fort William 09:19/09:32 and 14:44/14:56
    Glasgow Queen St. arr 14:14 & 19:32

    In addition there was one short working each way between Fort William (dep. 16:50) and Mallaig (dep. 17:42).


    Mallaig dep.
     
  6. Kluseau

    Kluseau New Member

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    Thank you, this is all very helpful.:D
     
  7. oldman

    oldman Member

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    During the War the West Highlands were used for training commandos, SOE etc and there were severe restrictions on people travelling in the area. I don't know if that included the Fort William line, but it certainly affected the Mallaig extension.
     
  8. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    Despite the very thin service, there was considerable signalling along the line and the majority of stations had passing loops and signalboxes. You can notice that the summer Saturdays duplicate of the early morning train from Glasgow preceded it by quite a short interval, requiring short signal sections. In addition, the principal freight service left Glasgow at about 01.00, running through the night and being the first service which opened up the signalboxes. This was a notably arduous turn on winter nights through the mountain snows.

    I think the ex-NBR D34 "Glen" 4-4-0s had pretty much been replaced by WW2 by more powerful LNER designs, but there was an Ian Allan enthusiasts' excursion about 1960 at the end of their lives which took the last two of them, double headed, back up the West Highland line, probably for the last time.
     
  9. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Fort William shed allocation in December 1947 was
    K2:7
    K4:2
    D34:2
    J36:1

    Eastfield provide locos from the Glasgow end, and had a wide variety of locos, including 14 x K2, 3 x K4 and 14 x D34.
     
    Last edited: 2 May 2015
  10. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    That was the complete set of five K4s, LNER Nos. 1993-6/8. They had been built specifically for the line in the late 1930s, notably powerful with 3 cylinders and a high-pressure 225 lb boiler, 2-6-0 and not 2-6-2 to keep all the nose-up thrust of the engine when under power on the driving wheels (I shan't say that Gresley had learned this from Swindon :) ), all of which aided them getting up the steep gradients, despite which with summertime (and doubtless wartime) loads they would be double-headed, likely by their older and less powerful brethren K2s. The K4s had some quite grand names of Highland Chieftains from the area they served.

    The two D34s left at Fort Bill doubtless spent their time on the Mallaig extension, likely including the school trains inward from Mallaig in the morning and returning late afternoon.

    The K4s would work through from Glasgow to The Fort, a considerable journey for a relatively small loco, normally taking water at Crianlarich and maybe elsewhere along the way as well. The crews didn't generally go through, but exchanged along the way to return to their home base within a shift, though they could never be quite sure where the meet would be.
     
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