A Famous Train of the LNER
Up Leeds and Harrogate Pullman emerging from Hadley Wood Tunnel.
GRADUALLY the Pullman car is spreading its influence over the continent of Europe. One day it may corne into use as universally on this side of the Atlantic as it is in the United States and Canada, where every long-
It was on the Great Eastern Railway, during the regime of its American General Manager -
The experiment was an immediate success. The “Harrogate Pullman” thus came into being, and the palatial train of umber and cream cars became a familiar sight on the Great Northern main line. Shortly after this the working of the train was extended to Newcastle.
This alteration took the “Harrogate Pullman” over a section of the LMS lines, from Shaftholme Junction, just north of Doncaster to Knottingley, after which followed some most tortuous travelling with many curves and severe slowings. not to mention steep gradients, past Ferrybridge, Burton Salmon, Church Fenton and Tadcaster up to Harrogate. As compared with the 165 minutes allowed the train to passing Doncaster, 156 miles from King’s Cross, the difficulties of the next 42¾ miles entailed an allowance of no less than 58 minutes, and 3 minutes less on the up journey. Needless to say, the up time of 3 hours, 40 minutes thus instituted on the up working between Harrogate and King’s Cross was by far the fastest ever known between the Yorkshire spa and London. An extension of the journey at the northward end was brought into force at the same time, a Pullman train of the LNER for the first time crossing the Border and bringing up in the capital city of Edinburgh. To celebrate this change the name was changed to the “Harrogate and Edinburgh Pullman”.
But what about Leeds and Bradford? From this time forward they had their own independent service. The Sheffield train was diverted to Leeds instead, leaving London just ahead of the Edinburgh train, the two departures from London being at 11.10 and 11.20 a.m. To give a quicker service to Bradford, the “West Riding Pullman”, as this new train was called, stopped first at Wakefield, instead of Leeds, and from Wakefield two Pullmans were run direct to Bradford and from there on to Halifax, so that four important West Riding cities thus came into possession of their own express Pullman service to and from London. In each case, too, the times instituted to and from London were considerably faster than those by any other train, either of the LNE, or the LMS companies, so that the passenger obtained exceptional speed as well as exceptional comfort in exchange for the supplementary Pullman fare demanded.
And now, from the beginning of last month, a new and very important rearrangement of the two trains has taken place. The only drawback has been the slowing of the best time from London to Harrogate by 17 minutes, and the best time up by 19 minutes. But by way of compensation Leeds has now two Pullman expresses daily in each direction to and from town in the splendid time of 3 hours 25 minutes, two of them non-
The down Scottish Pullman express -
Meanwhile the “West Riding Pullman” is altered on its down journey from the morning to the afternoon, leaving London at
4.45 p.m. and arriving at Leeds at 8.16 p.m, after which it is run forward to Harrogate. Thus Harrogate and Leeds have now a morning and evening Pullman service both ways. Another advantage of this rearrangement is that it enables one train to do the return “West Riding” trip each day, arriving at King’s Cross at 3 p.m. and going down at 4.45 p.m.
The up “West Riding”, in order to maintain a time of 3 hours, 25 minutes from Leeds to King’s Cross, inclusive of a stop at Wakefield to attach the Halifax and Bradford portion, is now booked to make the fastest long -
Several types of locomotives have been tried on these high-
When Mr. H. A, Ivatt built his pioneer “Atlantics” for the Great Northern Railway, in 1898, they were the first engines of this wheel arrangement to be introduced into the country. His earliest batch had small boilers, but in 1902 there appeared No.
remains, and in every other respect the locomotives are practically as first built.
There are two unusual engines of the class, however, which frequently take their turn in the Pullman “link”. One is No. 3279, which Mr. Ivatt rebuilt experimentally with four cylinders instead of two. This engine is easily recognisable as the only LNER “Atlantic” with outside Walschaerts valve-
The idea is to give a “boost” at starting, when it is most wanted, and then to cut out the booster cylinders, so that they may not prove a drain on the boiler steam supply, nor oppose frictional resistance at high speeds. By successful remodelling, the booster engine on No. 4419 has been arranged so that it can be cut in and out at speeds as high as 25 miles an hour or so, which makes it available on steep gradients as well as at starting. No. 4419 is also recognisable as being the only “Atlantic” to boast a large cab, with high roof and side-
The maximum load laid down for the Pullman workings, on account of their high booked speeds, is one of eight cars, which makes a total of a little over 330 tons. You may wonder why the “Pacific” engines are not employed on such important trains, especially as by their use loads might be increased; but there are one or two weak bridges between Doncaster and Leeds, and until they have been replaced the “Pacifics” are barred. But in all probability a “Pacific” will be awaiting us at Leeds, to take us forward on our journey from there.
The usual formation of the train on leaving King’s Cross is a third-
The “Queen of Scots Pullman” Car Express entering Central Station, Newcastle-
We have travelled previously over a great part of the route, both on the north-
From Hatfield to Peterborough the timetable allows 56 minutes for the 58¾ miles, and of this distance the 27 miles from Hitchin to Huntingdon are booked to be covered in 24 minutes, at an average of 67½ m.p.h. It is quite possible that we shall cut this time and attain a speed of 80 miles per hour or over on the tempting downhill stretch past Three Counties and Arlesey. Water is taken from the troughs at Langley, near Stevenage, and the next opportunity is not until Werrington Junction, some three miles beyond Peterborough. The sharp curve through Peterborough Station entails a reduction of speed to 15 or 20 miles an hour. For the next 29 miles to Grantham the time allowed is 33 minutes because, after a level stretch past Tallington to Essendine, the engine has to climb for 12 miles to the summit at Stoke Box, largely up grades of 1 in 200 and 1 in 178. Stoke is exactly 100 miles from King’s Cross, and with its 420 ft of altitude is the highest point on the route, south of Leeds.
More “galloping” now lies ahead. Threading the short Stoke Tunnel, we are through Grantham five minutes later, having taken 114 minutes over the 105½ miles from London. The next 50½ miles to Doncaster must be covered in 51 minutes, including the short climbs over the summits at Markham, beyond Tuxford, and Piper’s Wood, after Bawtry. On this stretch we take water twice, from troughs in the Trent Valley, beyond Newark, and at Scrooby, the village distinguished by having been the home of the “Pilgrim Fathers” before their departure for America. Two interesting railway features on this section are the level crossings at Newark and Retford over the LMS and LNE (Great Central Section) Nottingham to Lincoln and Sheffield to Grimsby lines. As the old Midland Company was the first in the field in the former cause, the LMS signal-
At Doncaster we slow for the second time, in order to leave the East Coast main line for the West Riding direction. Between here and Leeds there are some heavy grades. From Adwick to beyond South Elmsall (160-
As at Wellington Station of the LMS in Leeds, so here at Central our train is now reversed, and we shall pass our engine for the north-
The “Queen of Scots” about to leave King’s Cross. 4-
Leaving at 3.20 p.m, we have in the next nine miles to drop all but 300 ft, first for 1½ miles as steeply as 1 in 66, and for three miles from Wormald Green at 1 in 133, so that 14 minutes prove ample for the 11½ miles from Harrogate to passing Ripon. A level run onward brings us to Northallerton, where we rise to rejoin, at reduced speed, the East Coast main line, which we left at Shaftholme Junction, 58 miles farther south. It is interesting to note that our detour has added only 11 miles to the journey.
Water is taken from Wiske Moor troughs, just beyond Northallerton, and at 4.7 p.m. we reach Darlington, the 39½ miles from Harrogate having taken 47 minutes. Two minutes suffice at Darlington, during which time the astonishing contrast may be noted between the “Pacific”-
During the seven-
Then comes the severe descent -
At Edinburgh we exchange our “Pacific”, possibly for one of the big “Director” 4-
Glasgow Railway managed to preserve, as far as the Northern suburbs of Glasgow, a course that is to all intents and purposes perfectly flat throughout. This is in striking contrast to the tremendous grades of the rival LMS route, which takes a location further to the south.
Leaving Edinburgh at 7.42 p.m, our engine maintains across Scotland an average rate of round about 60 miles an hour, and despite a stop at Falkirk, and a couple of slowings for colliery pitfalls, we approach Cowlairs, 46 miles from Waverley, at about 8.38 or 8.39 p.m. The ample margin left for the last 1¼ miles is on account of the precipitous drop at 1 in 42 through the tunnels into Queen Street terminus, which has to be taken at the most cautious speed. Until well into the present century, descending trains were all provided with special “brake-
So, at a quarter to nine in the evening, having covered 451 miles from King’s Cross, the “Queen of Scots” stops in Queen Street Station, Glasgow, her beautiful cars imparting an unusual touch of brightness to that deep-
A recent photograph of the up “Queen of Scots” near Hadley Wood. Engine No. 4461.
[From The Meccano Magazine, June 1928]