Railway system in the 50's

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DaveNewcastle

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I believe the best remover of stains from the grubby and sooty railways in the 1950's was bleach, though the most widely bought products were probably Persil, Daz and Tide: "Persil removes tough stains like grease, oil, blood"
And yes, many railway distances were measured in yards as well as chains and miles.

I don't suppose that's what you wanted to know, though!!

As Nym has suggested, there are scores of books written about the last decades of steam in the UK and I see them frequently in second hand auctions, bookshops and bric-a-back shops in huge quantities, many of them well illustrated.
 

Wyvern

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You can get an idea of the sort of rolling stock etc that was around by looking at Wikimedia Commons "Category:History of rail transport in the United Kingdom by year" and looking at each in the 50s in turn
 

PaxVobiscum

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If DaveN's answer on stains didn't help, perhaps knowing that the most common stanes on the 1950's railway would be 2" granite ballast chips might :)

But you surely can't have meant either of these. I'm intrigued by the "stains and yards" - tell us more, please.
 
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jopsuk

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Sorry I was ment to say Just wonderd if anybody could tell me how the rail system was run for trains and yards in the 1950's for steam.
You might get better responses if you think a buit more about what you're asking- you're still asking a very broad, general question. Ask a number of focused, specific questions (in this thread- don't go starting twenty new threads!) and you may get more help. "How the rail system was run" could cover everything from Government level down to cleaning.
 

Cherry_Picker

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You might get better responses if you think a buit more about what you're asking- you're still asking a very broad, general question. Ask a number of focused, specific questions (in this thread- don't go starting twenty new threads!) and you may get more help. "How the rail system was run" could cover everything from Government level down to cleaning.
Indeed. At the moment the question just reads like "can you do my homework for me please?" The question is too vague for a sensible answer.
 

Requeststop

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I believe the best remover of stains from the grubby and sooty railways in the 1950's was bleach, though the most widely bought products were probably Persil, Daz and Tide: "Persil removes tough stains like grease, oil, blood"
And yes, many railway distances were measured in yards as well as chains and miles.

I don't suppose that's what you wanted to know, though!!

As Nym has suggested, there are scores of books written about the last decades of steam in the UK and I see them frequently in second hand auctions, bookshops and bric-a-back shops in huge quantities, many of them well illustrated.
You forgot OMO! without the H in front.

For lines etc used in the 50's I use the excellent British Railway Atlas of 1955 www.ianallenpublishing.com very clear indeed. many goods freight amd loco sheds included.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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You forgot OMO! without the H in front.

For lines etc used in the 50's I use the excellent British Railway Atlas of 1955 www.ianallenpublishing.com very clear indeed. many goods freight amd loco sheds included.
There is also the British Railways Atlas 1947 published by Ian Allen Publishing that is in hardback and was re-published in 2011. I picked up my copy from the Ian Allen bookshop on Manchester Piccadilly station approach.
 

caliwag

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In terms of the 50s, in my opinion, Trains Illustrated magazine came into its own and of course remodelled itself as Modern Railways in the early 60s. By then it had started to run articles on the Modernisation plan...hump yards replacing lots of yards based on the pre '48 companies etc. Of course by the early 60s, as has been mentioned elsewhere, many lines had closed, even before Beeching.

The series of articles 'Resorts for Railfans' ran throughout the fifties (I have a list somewhere if interested) but they were all fascinating for spotters and people curious about operations...changing engines, adding and removing restaurant cars and vans, etc to say nothing of trip freights etc.

The TI annual is a good resource too, often running articles about small dedicated lines, special workings, specific industrial complexes etc.(Burton ale system springs to mind!) Now of course, Bylines, Backtrack, BR Illustrated etc delve further. It always amazes me where all the superb, unseen photos of such high quality are found.

So browse a second-hand magazine store/shop...preserved railways will have them to raise funds but the KWVR, vintage carriage trust one at Ingrow near Keighley is brilliant, reasonably priced and very well organised: TIs back to the very early 50s, Railway Observer (superb journal) back to the 40s and of course Railway magazine and World to way back when. They also have most Backtracks, Bylines etc...so

Happy browsing...take a list of wants.

Jim
 

Johnmallard

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To Jim
Thank you for you very helpfull answer. I am also very interest the resorts for railfans, would like to vist some of them on my little 125.
best wishes
John
 

caliwag

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HaHa...just clocked some of vids on your You Tube site, good stuff fella, including your goodself ploughing forward driving a growler!

When they had the York West end sidings ripped up and parked the odd loco in the Hull bay, you'd have loved driver's attempt to start a 37: in the train shed of course. He must've spent a full 5 minutes with attendent spluttering, whining and blue smoke trying to get it to 'take'.

I didn't film it (too old to fight with all that technology) but he was still trying when I caught the XC 125. Kids were shouting 'look at the train Daddy' and I honestly think some of the real old un;s thought it was going to blow up by the way they were moving away!! LOL.

Keep filming. York and Doncaster were both 'Resorts for Railfans'...Doncaster, October 1951 and York must be between Sept 53 and June 54...mine's missing.
 

Johnmallard

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To Jim
Thanks very much for looking at my youtube channel.
Driving the growler was great fun, just wish I could do it more often.
Also thanks you for giving me so very interesting information about york west sidings.
I just wonder if you know anywhere that I can get relieable information about the 50's railway.And how the railway where generaly run.
Many thanks and best wishes
John
 

caliwag

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Hi John,

In terms of operations and changes across the fifties (a lot happened across the decade, I suppose just like any 20th century decade, but coming out of the second world war it was inevitable that things would change rapidly. The last BR steam loco was built in 1960 with industrials still being produced into the 70s. Given that there was a lot of life in the post-war built locos, it was policy change and image that lead to their early demise.

One of the best sources, from an insider, is 'I tried to run a railway' by Gerard Fiennes (around £12+ P+P on ABE Books) which charts Gerard's views of railway management, his frustrations and achievements, post war until 1967 when he was unceramoniously sacked for his 'bean spilling'.

He also wrote articles for the new 'Modern Railways' which I assume formed the nub of the book. To further your reading, I have just grabbed, randomly, November 1962 MR from my 'library'...contents include...'British Railway Workshops in the Future', 'The London Midland's £4m Marshalling Yard at Carlisle', 'Operating economies on the WR's Birmingham Division' and 'The Southern's Continental Freight Depot at Hither green'+ a photo feature of new boxes at Cathcart and York.

Incidentally Fiennes was responsible for pushing forward the commissioning of the first batch of class 40s for the GE speed up.

As mentioned above, unless you can be a bit more specific about your 50s interests, I can only generalise, but there is a lot of retrospective stuff out there...in books and journals to say nothing of the 'Memories of x' type of book. Mind you I Know a few retired railwaymen who after a few beers are more than happy to regale you with amusing tales...twas a very different railway then. I keep saying to them 'you should publish that stuff' Even recordings would be very valuable!

Good luck. Jim
 

Johnmallard

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Hello Jim
My main interest on the 50's railway are the following:
being an engine driver of steam
being an Signalman
and the civul enginers side of the railway

hope this helps

Good luck
John
 

caliwag

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Hi John,

I contributed to a thread on here:

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=53837

the book is still available for around £20 inc postage on ABE Books.co.uk...a lot I know, well I cannot afford it.

The offer stands for your goodself if you want photocopies of the TI articles. There are quite a few, with challenging answers from readers and drivers. But even if you to ferret through the VCT collection in Ingrow, it would set you back £20-£30 for the mags. Well worth a browse though.

Incidentally they have taken delivery of a Growler at KWVR...part of permanent stock I understand. Go and learn to drive it...haha.
 

caliwag

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Sorry there John, VCT is the Vintage carrriage trust (VCT), based at the Keighley and Worth Valley railway in Ingrow yard. There is a museum there and a great book and mag store. Defo worth breaking the journey for.
 

caliwag

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OK John, I have some photocopies of the 1956 articles by Toram Beg, an article by G Fiennes (of I tried to Run a Railway) fame, and the Lincoln and Doncaster 'Resorts for Railfans' if you are interested.

PM me an address please.

Best regards, Jim
 

Wyvern

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THe link to the British Trasport Films video reminds me that they made a large number of very good films, some advertising but others staff instruction in the late fifties and sixties.

Some have been collected into video discs by the British Film Institute, many others have been republished under licence by other companies.

Also many (possibly pirated) are published on You Tube Try putting "british railways 1950s" into Google, then select videos if you wish..

The railway of the early sixties was not much different to the fifties. It only really began to change in the late sixties, particularlyafter Dr.Beeching.

Portrait of an Engineer - British Railways in the 1950's

Produced in 1954, this film depicts a typical day of production engineer Ted Wilson who has spent 30 years working at the Vulcan Foundry (located at Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire). At this time the foundry was building both steam and electric locomotives for Britain and other countries.

You'll see the inner workings of the foundry, including the large machines in operation.
British Railways 1950s Beulah_Library_Roll_F8-6_http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7658055099908861057
 
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caliwag

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Yes, very interesting Wyvern. I did wonder why I'd never come across that instructional video. Superb stuff. Could do a definitive list of the goodies.
 

Johnmallard

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To Wyvern
Vrey interest video there. Leant alot just by whatching this video.

many thanks
John.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Hi All.

If every body has any more information that they would like to share about the 50's railway systeam.
Any help is welcome.
many thanks
JOHN
 
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