Midland Railway distances

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by euryalus, 6 Nov 2019.

  1. euryalus

    euryalus Member

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    I have been looking at the 1947 and 1970 LMS/LMR timetables and have noted various differences in terms of distances. For example. the distance from St Pancras and Sheffield is given as 128.5 miles in both tables, but in 1947 the distance from London to Chesterfield was said to be 146 miles, as opposed to 152.5 miles in 1970. I assume that this is something to do with the present route, which is presumably via Derby and Belper for most services?
     
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  3. Andy R. A.

    Andy R. A. Member

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    Would've been a mis-print surely ? St. Pancras to Sheffield via the most direct route via the Erewash Valley is 158.5 miles ?
     
  4. euryalus

    euryalus Member

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    Sorry, my mistake; London to Sheffield is shown as 164.75 miles in the 1970 BR timetable.
     
  5. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    I'm sure it used to be listed as 158 1/2 in some old timetables, and I always assumed (or maybe read) that was via the Erewash - but I was never sure if it meant Erewash - Nottingham - Manton or Erewash - Trent - Leicester.

    This is presumably via Leicester and Derby?
     
  6. Andy R. A.

    Andy R. A. Member

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    164.75 miles would've been the shortest route between St. Pancras and Sheffield via Derby in the 1970 BR Passenger Timetable, as all the St. Pancras to Sheffield services ran either via Derby, or reversing at Nottingham. The distance via Nottingham (reverse) was a fraction over 166 miles. In the late 1960s, before the Melton Junction to Nottingham (via Widmerpool) route closed the distance from St. Pancras to Sheffield via Corby and Nottingham was just a fraction shorter than via Derby at about 163 miles.
    In May 1973 a number of St. Pancras to Sheffield services reverted to using the direct route from Trent Junction via Toton (158.5 miles). This coincided with the opening of Alfreton & Mansfield Parkway station, giving a slightly quicker time to/from there by avoiding the reversal at Nottingham.
    DOWN SERVICES
    1E78 1025 St. Pancras to Sheffield
    1E72 1620 St. Pancras to Sheffield
    1E65 1805 St. Pancras to Sheffield
    UP SERVICES
    1M04 0715 Sheffield to St. Pancras
    1M11 0745 Sheffield to St. Pancras
    1M13 0830 Sheffield to St. Pancras
    1M79 1500 Sheffield to St. Pancras.
    1M88 1645 Sheffield to St. Pancras.

    I was lucky enough to have a cab ride in June 1973 (a Saturday) on 1E78 going down, and 1M79 coming back. (I have the detailed log of the running somewhere in my files). The return run was made more interesting in that because of Engineering Works at Market Harborough, which started at midday we stopped at Loughborough instead of Leicester, then took the North to East chord at Syston to travel via Melton Mowbray and Corby, making the distance 169.5 miles.
     
    Last edited: 6 Nov 2019
  7. euryalus

    euryalus Member

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    The 128.5 miles mentioned in my initial post was of course from St Pancras to Derby (not Sheffield!) The 1947 timetable quotes the distance from London to Derby as 158.5, where the corresponding figure in the 1970 BR timetable is 164.75 miles. This must reflect the present-day route via Derby.
     
  8. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    The reprints of the Midland Railway system maps may be of interest if anyone wants detailed mileage info. for Midland Railway routes
    See (at Amazon):

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midland-Ra...way+system+maps&qid=1573083084&s=books&sr=1-2

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midland-Ra...way+system+maps&qid=1573083302&s=books&sr=1-3

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midland-Ra...way+system+maps&qid=1573083343&s=books&sr=1-6

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midland-Ra...way+system+maps&qid=1573083393&s=books&sr=1-4

    The series also includes LTSR, M&GNR , S&DR routes, and some routes over which MR had running powers. .
     
  9. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Thanks for that.

    Interesting. I missed, or had forgotten those changes. However, both the up and down Cutler had been diverted via the Erewash earlier than 73. In 71, I think it was. They had previously run through Derby non-stop.

    Going slightly OT - That's very interesting. I used the Midland regularly 1969-75, and on Sundays we were frequently sent via Manton, but always routed into Leicester, then reverse. I never, ever went via the east-north curve at Syston, and I have long wondered why not - after all, by omitting Leicester and stopping at Loughborough (then, eg using a shuttle to Leicester) you would be able to pick up a chunk of lost time caused by the Manton diversion. I assumed this was the practice because of crew changes at Leicester.
     
  10. Andy R. A.

    Andy R. A. Member

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    The run with 1M79 on this occasion was the only time I came across a 'booked' diversion avoiding Leicester. A number of other times I sampled the diversions via Corby the crew diagrams were much the same with the normal workings, with the crew changeovers being Nottingham or Derby. I only had one where the crew changeover point was at Leicester.
    Most of the time I think the reason for the reversal at Leicester was that it was considered a major population centre and best not avoided ?
    Going back to the trip on 1M79 (1500 off Sheffield) I found the log of the run. The normal arrival time was 1741 into St. Pancras, but in the Special Traffic Notice this had been altered to arrive at 1810 because of the diversion via Corby. It turned out to be a very fast run with Wellingborough to St. Pancras covered in just 47.5 minutes with clear signals all the way, and running into St. Pancras at 1750, just nine minutes later than the normal time via Leicester. (Load was only 8 coaches) At that time the general line speed was 60mph Syston to Melton Junction, 75mph Melton Junction to Manton Junction, and 60 mph Manton Junction to Kettering, with these limits being carefully observed. Maximum speed during the run was 92mph passing Mill Hill Broadway.
     
  11. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    I'm pretty sure there were sometimes crew changes at Leicester on the semi-fasts at least.

    Yup, I suppose that has to be the main reason.

    That appears to me to be an astonishing example of really focused driving. OK, it was only 8 carriages, and this would have been before the Mk 2D/Es arrived (so not using ETH, I'd assume?) but nonetheless, 47.5 mins for the 65 miles from Wellingboro equates to an average pass to stop speed of 82 mph. To achieve that, the driver must have had the needle at the 90 mph mark from about MP 58 all the way to Silkstream Jcn, barring the 80 mph restrictions through Kettering, Luton and St Albans. He didn't go over 90 mph through Sharnbrook?

    For various reasons, I didn't do the up journey from Leicester to St Pancras non-stop very often, and when I did, I was usually relaxing or my mind on something else. I don't know what the WTT schedules were, but I would have thought the very best you could normally expect Wellingborough - St Pancras pass to stop at the time would have been about 50 mins, and more normally in the 52-54 min range, given that there would usually have been one 20 mph TSR to negotiate within the London division.
     
  12. Andy R. A.

    Andy R. A. Member

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    This was before ETH appeared on the Midland Lines, the steam heating wasn't in use as it was in June. The Loco on this occasion was Peak no. 84 'Royal Corps of Transport'. The stock was still vacuum braked Mark 1s, although there were a couple of the earlier Mark 2a vehicles in the train. My notes show that Sharnbrook summit was cleared at 72 mph and from there the speed was maintained in the high 80s or 'on the mark' of 90 or just fractionally over for most of the way (apart from brief slowings for the restrictions you mentioned) until braking at Hendon for what was then the inner London area restriction of 75mph. Fortunately on this occasion there were no TSRs to put a dent in the running. Although I had recorded other trips at the time when the speed was 90+ (including one of 107mph at Loughborough in the Down direction) this particular run stood out for the sustained high speeds on some of the undulating gradients on the Midland.
     

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