Unusual banking engines

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alexl92

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Just wondered if there are any instances of 'unusual' engines being used for Banking duties in the steam era? For example, I know pannier tanks were quite common in BR days, and the LMS and LNER obviously built dedicated locomotives for particular locations, but are there examples of say, a Coronation class or an A1 being used as bankers, or industrials borrowed to bank trains on the mainline or anything else out of the ordinary?
Pictures or videos would be ace but all contributions are welcome!
 
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Gloster

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I think that the Southern used to use anything available to get trains up the bank from Exeter St David’s to Central. Some of the Meldon stone workings required two or three bankers and these could be a right mixture.
 

Harvester

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I remember seeing a photograph of an A4 (think it was 60031), banking a standard class 5 on a Glasgow to Dundee train up the bank after leaving Buchanan Street. The A4 was banking tender first having brought in the stock as an arrival.
 

hexagon789

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I remember seeing a photograph of an A4 (think it was 60031), banking a standard class 5 on a Glasgow to Dundee train up the bank after leaving Buchanan Street. The A4 was banking tender first having brought in the stock as an arrival.
There's a photo on Flickr of an A4 taking the 9.5am Glasgow-Inverness out of Buchanan Street (it worked the train as far as Perth where the more usual pair of I think 27s took over). What is more noteable is the banker - another A4! Must see if I can locate that picture and link it here. I think it was 1964 the year.
 

Taunton

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I think that the Southern used to use anything available to get trains up the bank from Exeter St David’s to Central. Some of the Meldon stone workings required two or three bankers and these could be a right mixture.
Just to pull up on the gradient up to Exeter Central being something unique - it was 1 in 37, and the Southern indeed made a right palaver of it, special bankers, trains stalled, etc.

Just along the way however on the GWR main line is Dainton Bank, between Newton Abbot and Totnes, a couple of miles at 1 in 36, which Castles etc would take in their stride. Sure there was an assisting loco at Newton Abbot for trains over a certain size, if requested, but many crews just accepted it. And signal stops halfway up were by no means unknown.
 

furnessvale

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I can give you an unusual banker. Preston station about 1966. A black 5 on a mixed goods is routed through (old) platform one immediately followed by a 3 x 3 car BRCW DMU for Blackpool. It is a wet day and the freight slips to a stand on the bank leaving the station (quite normal). The block behind the freight is now occupied by the DMU and without further ado the DMU is called forward to bank the freight out, with passengers hanging out of the DMU windows cheering.

All viewed from my office window at Ladywell House. As a civil engineer it didn't bother me but I wonder what the traffic management made of it.
 

billh

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Did the DMU bring anything to the party? Perhaps a lot of noise and spinning wheels? I can't imagine there being much TE at the rail and only slightly more than 0 MPH.
Still a rare event though.
 

furnessvale

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Did the DMU bring anything to the party? Perhaps a lot of noise and spinning wheels? I can't imagine there being much TE at the rail and only slightly more than 0 MPH.
Still a rare event though.
Hi Bob,
Being 9 cars it brought enough to get the stalled freight over the hill.

In wet weather, virtually every freight slipped to a stand on the through lines. The following freight would bank him out until he in turn slipped to a stand and awaited the next freight, ad infinitum. Why that freight went on platform 1 I don't know but the result was inevitable.
 

PHILIPE

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There was a unique 0-10-0 known as "Big Bertha" or by some "Big Emma" built specially in 1919 for banking up the Lickey and which was withdrawn in 1956. In the final steam days up to 4 x GWR 94xx Pannier Tanks were used
 

Peter C

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There was a unique 0-10-0 known as "Big Bertha" or by some "Big Emma" built specially in 1919 for banking up the Lickey and which was withdrawn in 1956. In the final steam days up to 4 x GWR 94xx Pannier Tanks were used
I believe the 94xx tanks were featured on 'Railway Roundabout' at some point - if it wasn't them, it was some very interesting footage of several engines on banking duties.

-Peter
 

Taunton

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At Glasgow Queen Street if a Met-Cam dmu had one engine out it was required to be banked in the rear up the steep 1 in 36 gradient through the tunnel out of the station. So if there was engine trouble leaving Stirling or wherever a message was sent and a loco came down ahead from Eastfield to do so. This applied whether it was now going to form an outbound service, or (more likely) just head up to Eastfield for attention.

It had traditionally been normal for the ECS from incoming expresses there to be banked up to Eastfield, the pilot loco in front and the incoming train loco going tender first. Same approach carried on into diesel days.
 

Speed43125

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I'm aware of a Great Western Modified Hall being drafted in to replace a class 37, very late in Steam days, to help on the Lickey
 

Deepgreen

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Not the steam era as known by all, but a steam working - from London Victoria with 60163 'Tornado' at the head and 70000 'Britannia' banking. As the caption mentions, this was the 2012 'Cathedrals Explorer' and Victoria was only a reversal stop en route, hence the steam loco at each end. Making the occasion even more unusual was the presence of 35028 'Clan Line' on a VSOE working at the same time on Grosvenor Bridge, giving three steam locos on the bridge at the same time.


At Glasgow Queen Street if a Met-Cam dmu had one engine out it was required to be banked in the rear up the steep 1 in 36 gradient through the tunnel out of the station. So if there was engine trouble leaving Stirling or wherever a message was sent and a loco came down ahead from Eastfield to do so. This applied whether it was now going to form an outbound service, or (more likely) just head up to Eastfield for attention.
Cowlairs bank is 1 in 45, but still a challenge given the standing start and the damp environment.
 

PHILIPE

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At Glasgow Queen Street if a Met-Cam dmu had one engine out it was required to be banked in the rear up the steep 1 in 36 gradient through the tunnel out of the station. So if there was engine trouble leaving Stirling or wherever a message was sent and a loco came down ahead from Eastfield to do so. This applied whether it was now going to form an outbound service, or (more likely) just head up to Eastfield for attention.

It had traditionally been normal for the ECS from incoming expresses there to be banked up to Eastfield, the pilot loco in front and the incoming train loco going tender first. Same approach carried on into diesel days.


I recall being on a Glasgow (Queen St) to Inverness once when the incoming loco was required to work the train forward so we reversed the train round the Cowlairs triangle, detached the loco for Eastfield, and causing approx 10 minutes delay
 
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Deepgreen

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Neither the UK nor the 'steam era' but this event was quite remarkable (all the more so given it's 'modern era'):
 
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Master Cutler

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There was a unique 0-10-0 known as "Big Bertha" or by some "Big Emma" built specially in 1919 for banking up the Lickey and which was withdrawn in 1956. In the final steam days up to 4 x GWR 94xx Pannier Tanks were used
Interesting engine Philippe, built for this banking work and spent all of its life on the 3 miles serving the 1 in 37 Lickey Bank.
The only one of its 2290 class.
 

Richard Scott

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Did the DMU bring anything to the party? Perhaps a lot of noise and spinning wheels? I can't imagine there being much TE at the rail and only slightly more than 0 MPH.
Still a rare event though.
If put them in second gear then unlikely they'll slip but won't do fluid flywheels any good if prolonged power application.
 

ChiefPlanner

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There was a vicious climb from the easily pronounced Pwllyrhebog Incline in South Wales which was a combination of cable haulage and normal steam working - a pair of specially built 0-6-0 tankies , line was in the Tonypandy area and served some awkwardly placed collieries well up the mountain. I think colliery rationalisation sorted it out. Must have been quite a sight to see in operation.
 

CW2

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At Glasgow Queen Street before the introduction of push-pull 47s on the Aberdeen services, during daytime most long-distance trains inward formed the next departure on the same route outward e.g. arrival from Aberdeen forms the next departure to Aberdeen. Therefore it was main line type 4 traction at both ends going up the hill, so nothing rare. The exceptions were those peak hour services to Perth / Dundee / Arbroath which would have a 27 or 37 on the front, and whatever loco was on Eastfield pilot duties on the rear. Usually that was a 26, 27, or 37, but very occasionally a single class 20 would be turned out.

As PHILIPE mentions above, on occasions due to shortage of locos the incoming loco would be required to work the outgoing train, so the pilot loco would lead up the bank and take a left turn at Cowlairs, so the train would do two sides of the Cowlairs triangle.
 

Gloster

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There was a vicious climb from the easily pronounced Pwllyrhebog Incline in South Wales which was a combination of cable haulage and normal steam working - a pair of specially built 0-6-0 tankies , line was in the Tonypandy area and served some awkwardly placed collieries well up the mountain. I think colliery rationalisation sorted it out. Must have been quite a sight to see in operation.
Class H 0-6-0T 141 to 143 were built by Kitsons in 1884 for the Taff Vale Railway; they became GWR 792 to 794, but were renumbered 193 to 195 in 1946. They were withdrawn in 1951 to 1953 following the closure of the incline and two were sold to the National Coal Board. Around 1916 Class M1 151, a 0-6-2T (Kitson/1885) was also modified to work on the incline, remaining there until withdrawn in 1930 as GWR 552. Thereafter the haulage attachment was fitted to Class N 486 (0-6-2T), 2750 and 7722 (both 0-6-0PT).

The incline started with half a mile at 1 in 13, followed by a mile and a quarter at 1 in 29 or 30. The haulage gear worked on the counterbalance principle: descending loaded wagons pulled the empty ones up via a rope that ran around a drum at the top; the locos also pushed the wagons from below and were attached to the rope. The main differences of the locos’ design was larger wheels to clear the haulage gear and a specially shaped firebox.

Source: The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Part 10, Absorbed Engines 1922-1947 (RCTS, 1966).
 

73001

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Did the DMU bring anything to the party? Perhaps a lot of noise and spinning wheels? I can't imagine there being much TE at the rail and only slightly more than 0 MPH.
Still a rare event though.
That's a bit mean on the DMU; 1800hp and 12 driving axles is quite a big difference even if it doesn't have a great amount of tractive effort. Slightly off topic, didn't someone use a 104 to rescue a failed freight train at Preston as well but coming down the line from Lancaster direction but it was used more to provide brakes than momentum?
 

ChiefPlanner

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Class H 0-6-0T 141 to 143 were built by Kitsons in 1884 for the Taff Vale Railway; they became GWR 792 to 794, but were renumbered 193 to 195 in 1946. They were withdrawn in 1951 to 1953 following the closure of the incline and two were sold to the National Coal Board. Around 1916 Class M1 151, a 0-6-2T (Kitson/1885) was also modified to work on the incline, remaining there until withdrawn in 1930 as GWR 552. Thereafter the haulage attachment was fitted to Class N 486 (0-6-2T), 2750 and 7722 (both 0-6-0PT).

The incline started with half a mile at 1 in 13, followed by a mile and a quarter at 1 in 29 or 30. The haulage gear worked on the counterbalance principle: descending loaded wagons pulled the empty ones up via a rope that ran around a drum at the top; the locos also pushed the wagons from below and were attached to the rope. The main differences of the locos’ design was larger wheels to clear the haulage gear and a specially shaped firebox.

Source: The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Part 10, Absorbed Engines 1922-1947 (RCTS, 1966).

Excellent - thanks so much. Well researched !
 

theageofthetra

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Class H 0-6-0T 141 to 143 were built by Kitsons in 1884 for the Taff Vale Railway; they became GWR 792 to 794, but were renumbered 193 to 195 in 1946. They were withdrawn in 1951 to 1953 following the closure of the incline and two were sold to the National Coal Board. Around 1916 Class M1 151, a 0-6-2T (Kitson/1885) was also modified to work on the incline, remaining there until withdrawn in 1930 as GWR 552. Thereafter the haulage attachment was fitted to Class N 486 (0-6-2T), 2750 and 7722 (both 0-6-0PT).

The incline started with half a mile at 1 in 13, followed by a mile and a quarter at 1 in 29 or 30. The haulage gear worked on the counterbalance principle: descending loaded wagons pulled the empty ones up via a rope that ran around a drum at the top; the locos also pushed the wagons from below and were attached to the rope. The main differences of the locos’ design was larger wheels to clear the haulage gear and a specially shaped firebox.

Source: The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Part 10, Absorbed Engines 1922-1947 (RCTS, 1966).
Any pictures or film of this in operation?
 

Taunton

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Any pictures or film of this in operation?
Search for "Pwllyrhebog incline"

 

theageofthetra

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There was an article in Railway Bylines about the Pwllyrhebog Incline with quite a few photos:


Scroll down to find the issue number.
Looks a fascinating system. Thanks

Were small shunters ever used to assist? 08/09 etc? I'm convinced that the Tonbridge one assisted an EMU that was struggling with arcing in snow up to High Brooms?
 
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