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London & North Western Railway Society
Glossary for the LNWR Society

Glossary Results for Word "Water Column"

Water Column A large cast-iron column fitted with a delivery hose (often called ‘The Bag’) and control valve wheel, to enable locomotives to take on water. Water columns were provided at engine sheds and at most important stations along the line, as steam engines consumed a great deal of water and required frequent replenishment. Variants included a “parachute water column” which had a cylindrical storage tank positioned on top, and a “water crane” which was a water column with an extension arm which could be swung to one side. Another pattern was a brick built structure with a cast-iron water storage tank over. These were provided where the water supply was uncertain. Locomotive water was invariably pumped from springs, ponds, canals or rivers, and not from purified drinking water mains.