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  • Mystery Number 214 – supplied by Ted Talbot

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    This is a very faded picture of a Coal Tank at Glasson Dock. What does anyone know about train services to Glasson Dock? The engine is obviously a ‘Coal Tank’ but what about the carriages? Also what is happening and when was the photo taken ? Any other information you can give about the engine and surroundings ?

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  • Mike Williams — 16-Oct-2016 9.07 PM
    Perhaps I may have a punt at this one, knowing that our President will correct me if I get it wrong.
    The first two carriages have rounded ends to the headstocks, outside hornguides and they are higher than the third and fourth vehicles. I therefore suggest that the first two are 30ft 1in and third and fourth are 32ft.
    However, the first has flat-fronted axleboxes rather than the “Jubilee” pattern, (which I assume date from the Jubilee of 1897) but the lower steps are said to have been removed from 1901, which suggests this carriage (and not the others) has had them removed but not yet received new axlebox covers.
    The train is typical and consists of the 30ft 1in Brake Third, two 32ft Luggage Composites and another 30ft 1in Brake Third at the other end. The first carriage is perhaps a strengthener.
    As for the date, soon after 1901. But how does that date square with the engine having no coal rails (I think) and no centre lamp socket?
    How’s that so far, Philip?
    Philip Millard — 17-Oct-2016 8.37 AM
    I agree 100% with Mike’s comments.
    30ft 1in stock was a bit modern for the Glasson Dock branch. In 1906 there were two train sets diagrammed, both made up of three 32ft 0in supplementary coaches BT/C/BT.
    Chris Stockton — 21-Oct-2016 2.34 PM
    In 1915 the service consisted of four trains in each direction on Monday to Saturday (no Sunday service). Departures from Lancaster were at 0800, 0920, 1205 and 1645 with a journey time of ten minutes to Glasson Dock. Return journeys were at 0835, 1015, 1305 (SO), 1315(NS) and 1740. The standard journey time was again ten minutes but for some reason the 1305 was given 12 and the 1740 15.
    The really unusual thing is the service received by the sole intermediate station at Conder Green. If I am reading the timetable correctly it appears that all Glasson Dock bound trains would call on request to set down passengers only, but that the 0835 and 1015 from Glasson Dock called there on Saturday only as did the 1305(SO) whilst the 1315 (NS) and 1740 did not stop on any day! Not a service pattern designed to attract passengers I would suggest.
    Pete Skellon — 24-Oct-2016 4.13 PM
    Regarding the Coal Tank I can add that the position of the tool box on the bunker, the anti-vaccuum valve fitted to the front valve chest cover, and lack of centre lamp socket indicates the date to be somewhere between the late 1890s and 1903. So with Mike’s suggestion that the coaches are post 1901 then a likely date could be 1901-1903. Do we know the engine number?
    John Alsop — 24-Oct-2016 8.37 PM
    The loco is probably 771.
    Thanks for the less faded version.
    Reg Instone — 26-Oct-2016 11.07 PM
    I have the WTT for May 1903. The line was worked by TS&T, but in fact OEIS would have sufficed in normal circumstances, as there was never booked to be more than one train at a time on the line.
    The four passenger trips left Lancaster as follows:
    8. 0 - return 8.35
    9.20 - return 10.15
    12/5 - return 1/15
    4/45 - return 5/50
    Most were booked as a 10 minute journey, but the 8.0, 12/5 and 5/50 journeys were booked for 15. The last-mentioned two were "mixed" though. Conder Green was served only on Saturdays for passengers to and from Lancaster market. No details of coach working are available for this date (none before 1913?). Based on the A & D times at Lancaster, they could have interworked with the Morecambe service, but no train sets would be saved had this been the case, and on the whole I think it unlikely.
    I would have thought that 1 or 2 coaches would normally be adequate for the meagre traffic on this line. The train in the picture with 5 (or 6?) coaches seems to me most likely to be some sort of excursion or other special train. You always have to ask "why was this picture taken? Was it a special occasion?"
    Philip Millard — 27-Oct-2016 8.06 AM
    As the normal branch set was three coaches BT/C/BT I think we can assume that this was some special excursion or similar working. Exactly what or why is lost in the mists of time.
    Glasson is still a thriving port handling over 150,000 tonnes of cargo annually and is still used today all year round by cargo ships and pleasure craft alike.
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