Newcastle east end diamond crossings - archive film

Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

ainsworth74

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
22,010
Location
Redcar
They were stunning pieces of infrastructure weren't they? Must have been an absolute nightmare to look after though day to day. Guess thinking about it would be the stuff of nightmares for modern track maintenance workers :lol:
 

DGH 1

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
145
Location
County Durham
When my dad worked for British rail (and British Railways before that) on the north Eastern region, he always referred to this as the 'manganese crossing'. I was always fascinated by its complexity when ever we travelled over it.
 
Last edited:

nlogax

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
1,822
What a thing to see. All the more impressive when you remember the large amount of third rail that was woven throughout the crossings. I’m always amazed by how trackwork at complex junctions and station throats ‘flowed’ in days gone by. It all looked highly bespoke and beautifully engineered. A wider view of that area as an example.

B5DD12B6-F2C7-4697-A2A4-684BB13BD91A.jpeg

These days everything looks like it’s been put together using Hornby track packs. I understand the need for rationalised track plans with fewer slips, concrete sleepers and flat bottomed rails but scenes like the above look like a lost art.
 
Last edited:

DGH 1

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
145
Location
County Durham
What a thing to see. All the more impressive when you remember the large amount of third rail that was woven throughout the crossings. I’m always amazed by how trackwork at complex junctions and station throats ‘flowed’ in days gone by. It all looked highly bespoke and beautifully engineered. A wider view of that area as an example.

View attachment 80124

These days everything looks like it’s been put together using Hornsby track packs. I understand the need for rationalised track plans with fewer slips, concrete sleepers and flat bottomed rails but scenes like the above look like a lost art.
I love that picture and i never tire of seeing the old photo's of how it used to be, I agree with everything you say in your post and personally i think Newcastle lost a lot of its character when it was all rationalised and electrified.
 

alistairlees

Established Member
Joined
29 Dec 2016
Messages
1,735

DGH 1

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
145
Location
County Durham
I agree it seems to flow. This one at Cannon Street from 1937 also seems absurdly complex to modern eyes:
That's another work of art and to think there were no computers or other modern gadgets that we all take for granted now, just brain power, skill and a lot of hard work
 

BrianW

Member
Joined
22 Mar 2017
Messages
114
Terrific- and of course terrifying re Health and Safety; I guess there will have been injuries. Makes Kings Cross plans look a piece of cake!
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,890
Location
Airedale
Great film. I wonder how long it all took? Diversions aplenty I'm sure, but no bustitutions I bet !!!
I would guess a weekend for Newcastle, because no signalling work was involved and it was like-for-like, but Cannon Street was closed for a fair period with wholesale changes to the layout. I suspect that photo dates from 1926 rather than 1937 - only half the layout is electrified and it all looks brand new.
 

Elecman

Established Member
Joined
31 Dec 2013
Messages
2,024
Location
Lancashire
Just realised the live 3rd rail is platform side of the 4 foot rather than the outside as in modern practice
 

ian1944

Member
Joined
13 Dec 2012
Messages
300
Location
North Berwick
Some of the action with the swinging sections being craned in looks like a synchronised ballet. Presumably the sweeping brush was an essential bit of kit.
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,890
Location
Airedale
Thats odd, i hadn't realised either till you've just pointed it out.I wonder why they did it that way.
I wonder if they thought it would be safer for workers on the track? And falling off the platform edge you would probably miss it?
BTW I notice the length of the 3rd-rail gap on the South Shields route: you couldn't run a solo 2-car!
 

Ploughman

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2010
Messages
2,474
Location
Near where the 3 ridings meet
I would guess a weekend for Newcastle, because no signalling work was involved and it was like-for-like, but Cannon Street was closed for a fair period with wholesale changes to the layout. I suspect that photo dates from 1926 rather than 1937 - only half the layout is electrified and it all looks brand new.
I seem to recall seeing that the renewal actually took place over 3 weekends with the mains reconnected for the week and the Bridge lines left with a gap.
Was it possible to divert Sunderland services the other way round?
In the video it does look like a wide gap of about 6ft was left at the end of play on a couple of shots.
 

trebor79

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2018
Messages
1,580
Thats odd, i hadn't realised either till you've just pointed it out.I wonder why they did it that way.
I wonder if they thought it would be safer for workers on the track?
That's my guess. Perhaps loco hauled local services on the non-electrified routes also used those platforms. Presumably the fireman would go between the loco and coaches to couple up, and that's easier done from the track level rather than platform.
 

MotCO

Member
Joined
25 Aug 2014
Messages
1,079
The film looks like chaos, but somehow it all came together (and hopefully with no bits left over!)

And not a single hi-vis in sight. :D :D
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,890
Location
Airedale
I seem to recall seeing that the renewal actually took place over 3 weekends with the mains reconnected for the week and the Bridge lines left with a gap.
Was it possible to divert Sunderland services the other way round?
It was, and still is - but not electrified, so no good for the South Tynesides.
 

xotGD

Established Member
Joined
4 Feb 2017
Messages
2,884
That's my guess. Perhaps loco hauled local services on the non-electrified routes also used those platforms. Presumably the fireman would go between the loco and coaches to couple up, and that's easier done from the track level rather than platform.
The photo upthread shows a Class 24 in platform 4, so it looks like your hypothesis could be correct.
 

MoleStation

Member
Joined
1 Aug 2018
Messages
28
Location
Gateshead
Brilliant footage. I think the original diamond crossings were assembled near to where the mail centre is on the Team Valley, in between that line and the ECML, then transported over to Newcastle.

Though I don't know why George Orwell is driving that 'thing' at 2mins 30....
 

DGH 1

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
145
Location
County Durham
I wonder if they thought it would be safer for workers on the track? And falling off the platform edge you would probably miss it?
BTW I notice the length of the 3rd-rail gap on the South Shields route: you couldn't run a solo 2-car!
Didn't they have a single parcels unit forerunner to the class 419 mlv, i wonder how that operated?.
 

DGH 1

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
145
Location
County Durham
That's my guess. Perhaps loco hauled local services on the non-electrified routes also used those platforms. Presumably the fireman would go between the loco and coaches to couple up, and that's easier done from the track level rather than platform.
You could be right on that, we can't leave the wheeltappers out though.
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,890
Location
Airedale
Didn't they have a single parcels unit forerunner to the class 419 mlv, i wonder how that operated?.
Don't know - but I've quickly found a photo of a South Tyneside 2-car set running solo, so I have perhaps exaggerated the problem. They had a large van area, did the ex-LNER parcels units operate to South Shields I wonder?
 

DGH 1

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
145
Location
County Durham
Don't know - but I've quickly found a photo of a South Tyneside 2-car set running solo, so I have perhaps exaggerated the problem. They had a large van area, did the ex-LNER parcels units operate to South Shields I wonder?
I read somewhere that apparently the large van area was partly for fish traffic and also the amount of prams being carried, i don't know if they had more new parents on that line during the period than anywhere else or what. I'm not sure if the parcel unit ran to South Shields but i believe when it was dispensed with it was sent over to the merseyrail system.
 

Top