Water Troughs For Non Stop Steam Running

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SteveP29

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Watching Rory McGrath's Best of British Engineering this afternoon, with the segment about Mallard, they mentioned the non- stop journey to Scotland from London.
Obviously I've seen in more detailed programmes the water troughs that used to replenish the water tank in steam engines.

What I'd like to know is, where were these water troughs? Obviously there's no need for them now, so they've all been removed, so I can't find any evidence on the likes of Google Earth of where they used to be.
 
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Welshman

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All of the Great Railway Companies except the Southern had water troughs.
The Southern Railway consisted of mainly comparitively shorter workings, and they also had a programme of 3rd-rail electrification, making water troughs obviously unecessary.

The LNWR even had water troughs inside the Standedge tunnel, as that was the only level stretch between Manchester and Leeds.

On the former GN main line, the water-troughs were at:-

Lucker - south of Lucker station, between Berwick and Newcastle;
Wiske Moor - between Danby Wiske and Northallerton;
Scrooby - south of Doncaster, between Bawtry and Scrooby;
Muskham - just north of Newark;
Werrington - just north of Werriongton Junction , Peterborough; and
Langley - south of Stevenage, just north of the Hertford loop.
 

Class172

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On the Settle and Carlisle add-on for Trainz I have it shows water troughs being near to Garsdale - was this true?
 

Welshman

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Yes, indeed.
There were water troughs in the section north of Rise Hill tunnel and south of Garsdale Junction.
Obviously they found a level stretch of the S & C!
 

driver9000

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There were hundreds around the network in steam days. Off the top of my head I can think of:

Dillicar on the WCML
Lea Lane between Preston and Salwick on the Fylde line

No doubt others will come to mind.
 

driver9000

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Near Burscough Junction there are small concrete squares in the four foot for a few hundred yards evenly space out. I'm told these were the bases for troughs.
 

John55

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There were in 1922 a total of 57 water troughs in the UK. They were mainly fitted on busy main lines which had many trains running long distances without stopping. This did include the many overnight fast goods trains as well as the passenger trains.

There would be no question of water troughs on a bridge as the area around water troughs would be continuously saturated in water and lead to accelerated corrosion on an iron & steel structure like that at Runcorn.

I am told that even 40 years after most were removed problems still occur with the formation at the sites of water trough sites due to the saturation the ground received over 100 odd years of steam locos picking up and spraying water around.

The nearest water troughs to Runcorn were just west of Ditton (Jcn). The troughs near Burscough were just south of Rufford station just a couple of miles north of Burscough. Strangely there was a set at Hoscar on the Southport - Wigan line which must be the closest set of troughs in the country at 2 miles apart but on different lines!

These details can be found in the Ian Allan pre-grouping Atlass and Gazetteer.
 

jon0844

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So the original Mallard needed water all the way along the route, while the 'new' Mallards spray water (well, not quite water) all over people because the retention tanks aren't emptied frequently enough.

Wow, how things change!
 

RichmondCommu

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So the original Mallard needed water all the way along the route, while the 'new' Mallards spray water (well, not quite water) all over people because the retention tanks aren't emptied frequently enough.

Wow, how things change!
Different country / network but I remember standing on the platform at Juan les Pins and being sprayed! Not nice on a hot August afternoon whilst wearing shorts! Suffice to say my girlfriend now wife was not impressed! This would have been around 1988 and I doubt that Corail stock had retention tanks at that time so that was an interesting take on the "Golden Shower".
 

jopsuk

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I wonder if any engineers ever considered, even for just a short time befpore realising it was probably unworkable, coming up with a way of transfering coal to trains at speed?
 

Hydro

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I've seen a picture of a 40 (or D2xx as it would have been?) picking up water from a trough, presumably for the boiler?
 

Welshman

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I wonder if any engineers ever considered, even for just a short time befpore realising it was probably unworkable, coming up with a way of transfering coal to trains at speed?
They probably wished they could, but that would have involved double-manning the firemen, as transferring the contents of one tender-load into the firebox would have been the limit per shift for most people!

Regarding the water-troughs, am I the only one, as part of my mis-spent youth, to have stood by the open window in the vestibule of the carriage immediately behind the engine, enjoying the sounds and smells and failing to take note of the approaching water-troughs, and consequently receiving an unplanned soaking? Happy days.

There's a lovely scene in one of the old "Dads Army" videos, where Captain Mainwaring and his gallant troop line-up near a railway line [somewhere on the East Coast main line, as the engine involved is an A4] to show loyalty to their passing King in the Royal Train, and Fraser's last-minute warning they are adjacent the water-troughs is ignored!
 

dggar

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If my memory serves me correctly, the last water troughs were at/near Aber, between Bangor and Llanfairfechan. Dunno when they were dismantled.
If my memory serves me correctly these were the first troughs to be installed to allow non stop running between Chester & Holyhead for the Irish Mail train
 

jopsuk

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They probably wished they could, but that would have involved double-manning the firemen, as transferring the contents of one tender-load into the firebox would have been the limit per shift for most people!
Autostokers! I know that generally these weren't very good, but if we're talking about on-the-move coaling, surely they could have beeb sorted?
 

Trog

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On the Dads Army theme I remember being told by an old boy in one of the local gangs that years before when he was young and green. His gang had been sent from the branch they normally worked on to help clear ice from Castlethorpe Troughs. When trains came through the rest of the gang were climbing the side of the cutting instead of just standing in the cess like they normally would have done and he was still doing.

After a couple of trains had come through he found out why, as a train dipped the trough, and he had to spend the rest of the shift working while soaked with icy water.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I am told that even 40 years after most were removed problems still occur with the formation at the sites of water trough sites due to the saturation the ground received over 100 odd years of steam locos picking up and spraying water around.

It is more likely that these areas having no gradient, are difficult to drain.
Also the troughs would originally have been in a slight dip as the track was made to rise slightly at each end to stop water running out of the ends of the trough. If this feature still remains the natural drainage of such a section will be further reduced.

You could still see the dip in the tracks at Parkfield Road north of Rugby, along with the remains of some of the posts that held the trough end marker lights in the late 1990's, but they were all erased by the WCRM project.
 

Captain Speaking

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There may have been no troughs on bridges, but there was at least one set in a tunnel - Standedge on the Manchester - Leeds line. It was the only level section suitable!
 

Aictos

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They probably wished they could, but that would have involved double-manning the firemen, as transferring the contents of one tender-load into the firebox would have been the limit per shift for most people!

Regarding the water-troughs, am I the only one, as part of my mis-spent youth, to have stood by the open window in the vestibule of the carriage immediately behind the engine, enjoying the sounds and smells and failing to take note of the approaching water-troughs, and consequently receiving an unplanned soaking? Happy days.

There's a lovely scene in one of the old "Dads Army" videos, where Captain Mainwaring and his gallant troop line-up near a railway line [somewhere on the East Coast main line, as the engine involved is an A4] to show loyalty to their passing King in the Royal Train, and Fraser's last-minute warning they are adjacent the water-troughs is ignored!
Actually it was in the third episode of the sixth series of Dads Army titled The Royal Train with outdoor scenes being filmed between Sheringham and Holt on the North Norfolk Railway.

Private Pike not Frazer explains to Private Walker what the water troughs are for, Pike then loudly tries to warn Captain Mainwaring that they're all going to get wet. Captain Mainwaring then sharply rebukes Private Pike by saying a drop of water won't hurt!

The clip of the Royal Train was actually stock footage featuring a LNER Class A4 on a section of mainline near Glasgow.

As a long term fan of the show and having watched this episode many many times, I do know what I am talking about.
 

John55

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"It is more likely that these areas having no gradient, are difficult to drain.
Also the troughs would originally have been in a slight dip as the track was made to rise slightly at each end to stop water running out of the ends of the trough. If this feature still remains the natural drainage of such a section will be further reduced."

Railways are not in general drained by natural drainage but use dedicated installed drainage to remove water from the track and formation. The most important factor in maintaining good track is draining the formation well. The people who designed, constructed and maintained water troughs would ensure the sites were suitably protected ( to prevent ballast washout etc) and drained (by installing plenty of drains). I am sure when first installed in the 19th Century hard lessons were quickly learned about drainage. A flat railway is not a badly drained railway unless it is not built and maintained correctly.

The difficulty is that every time a train took water some would be spilled out onto the track. If the train was doing 35 mph and the fireman was spot on with the operation of he scoop there might be a few hundred gallons escape but if doing 70 and the fireman didn't get it right there might well be several thousand gallons distributed over the adjacent track and surroundings. This will not always end up where it is supposed to go hence the saturated ground.
 

D1009

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Was there a proposal about 20 years ago to rebuild the troughs at Garsdale so that the Cumbrian Mountain Express wouldn't need to stop for water ?

Do preserved steam engines still have the scoops fitted ?
 

Captain Speaking

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There was an April 1st spoof last year about a company that had developed plastic demountable water troughs that could be deployed if a steam special is to run, then dismantled and re-used elsewhere for another steam special!
 

Welshman

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Actually it was in the third episode of the sixth series of Dads Army titled The Royal Train with outdoor scenes being filmed between Sheringham and Holt on the North Norfolk Railway.

Private Pike not Frazer explains to Private Walker what the water troughs are for, Pike then loudly tries to warn Captain Mainwaring that they're all going to get wet. Captain Mainwaring then sharply rebukes Private Pike by saying a drop of water won't hurt!

The clip of the Royal Train was actually stock footage featuring a LNER Class A4 on a section of mainline near Glasgow.

As a long term fan of the show and having watched this episode many many times, I do know what I am talking about.
Ooops!
Do I get half a point for getting the name of the programme right? :D
 
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