LONDON BRIGHTON & SOUTH COAST RAILWAY EXPRESS PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVE, No. 38
DESIGNED BY Mr. D. EARLE MARSH, M.INST,C.E.
THE Brighton Railway was projected by Sir John Rennie, and it took him nine years to get the scheme adopted. The airy reference to it in his autobiography lets in a flood of light on the way in which many of our railways came about. “I will now”, says he, “revert to 1826, the time when I was asked my opinion as to the value of railways, and I said in the most decided terms to Lord Lowther that, I thought very highly of them, that they must succeed and eventually supersede every other mode of transport for passengers and goods. Being quite convinced of this, with which opinion my brother George cordially agreed, I set about projecting lines to those places where I thought they were most applicable”.
There were engineer’s lines and contractor’s lines, and the Brighton was an engineer’s line. “Another important line”, says Rennie, “which I proposed at this time was one between London and Brighton”. With his assistants, Grantham and Jago, he surveyed the route, placed his terminus at Kennington Park, ran to Croydon through Clapham and Streatham, and then went straight away much as the line goes now to the upper end of Brighton. Further, he started Vignoles on a survey from Nine Elms through Dorking, Horsham, and Shoreham, and to this added a western branch along the coast to Portsmouth with a view to continuing to Southampton and Bristol; and when ready with his plans he got together his board, who issued the prospectus of The Surrey, Sussex, Hants, Wilts & Somerset Railway Company, which failed to make headway until it cut off its extremities and changed its name.
Brighton in those days was growing fast, and a railway to it was an obvious project, but this ambitious proposal of Rennie’s did nothing beyond provoking opposition schemes, which were mutually destructive year after year, until in 1836 there were more than half a dozen routes for Parliament to decide upon. These were Rennie’s, which had been slightly modified and considerably curtailed; Palmer’s, which went through Woldingham, Oxted, and Lindfield, because he proposed to go on to Dover; that, or rather those, by Joseph Gibbs, which went from London Bridge through Croydon, southwards; that by Vignoles, which went from the Elephant through Croydon, Merstham, and West Grinstead; Cundy’s, which went from St. George’s Fields through Mitcham and West Grinstead; and Robert Stephenson’s, which went from the Wimbledon Station on the London & Southampton Railway through Epsom, Mickleham, Dorking, Horsham, and Shoreham, that is Shoreham-
These were soon reduced to two. Gibbs did not comply with standing orders, and his Bill came to early grief; Cundy’s board engaged in disputes about the chairmanship until it was too late to proceed; the Vignoles route fell out ostensibly for want of funds; and Palmer’s was laughed out owing to its five miles of tunnels and enormous cuttings, some of them 120 ft. deep. Thus the contest remained between Rennie and Stephenson. Rennie’s, being the first in the field, took the shortest road. Stephenson’s line was eight miles longer, but it was by far the easier, its gradients varying from 1 in 1221 to 1 in 327, and it was practically the same line that now goes from Epsom to Shoreham. Rennie, who never lost an opportunity of sneering at the Stephensons, was much disturbed about this line, and in his evidence complained that his plans -
Fortunately Rennie had, after much effort, secured the support of the Brighton people, and Stephenson’s line went through properties between Epsom and Box Hill owned by persons of influence who resisted it to the utmost, while the Gibbs lines were so placed that an arrangement could be made with their projectors if necessary. And these projectors were the London & Croydon Company.
The Croydon Canal, dating from 1801, branched off from the Grand Surrey near what is now Southwark Park, and ran south for about nine miles through New Cross to its basin on which West Croydon Station now stands. It had twenty-
THE BUFFET CAR OF THE SOUTHERN BELLE
The first engineer was William Cubitt, who seeing that Rennie would secure a share in the Croydon traffic promptly encouraged a rival scheme. Here was a line in the making -
The Brighton battle created much stir, but the end of it all was that nothing was done in 1836, Stephenson’s Bill being passed by the Commons but thrown out by the Lords, and in 1837 Captain Alderson was appointed by the Parliamentary Committee to inquire into these Brighton matters generally; and he reported in favour of Rennie’s route with alterations not at all agreeable to Rennie. Thus it came about that in 1837 the Act was passed by which the Surrey, Sussex and so on Railway, with exactly the same directorate as at first, became the London & Brighton, with branches to Lewes, Newhaven, and Shoreham, and instead of beginning at Kennington Common, that is the present Park, it had to start from Jolly Sailor on the London & Croydon. Further, it had to buy up that extension of the old Surrey Iron Railway known as the Croydon, Merstham, & Godstone, which ran south from Croydon along Smitham Bottom, a few of the stone sleepers of which may still be found among the local curbstones.
There was yet another and much more serious complication, due to the South Eastern Company having obtained their Act in 1836 empowering them to lay their line from Redstone Hill, that is Redhill, through the Weald by Tonbridge to Dover. To give them communication with London the Brighton Company had to make the whole of the line, 12 miles 5 chains, from Jolly Sailor to Redhill, and then hand over the southern half of it to the South Eastern, who were to pay for that half with an addition of 5 per cent, the sum eventually paid being £340,000. And so, when the Brighton opened throughout on the 21st of September 1841, the train started from London Bridge on London & Greenwich metals; at Corbett’s Lane it ran on to London & Croydon metals; at Jolly Sailor it got on to its own line; six miles south of that, at Coulsdon, it ran on to South Eastern metals, and it was not until it left the junction at Redhill that it had any chance of going as it pleased.
To add to the trouble there were gauge difficulties. George Stephenson in planning the Liverpool & Manchester had arranged for a 4 ft. 8½-
GOODS ENGINE NO. 301
In 1810 George Medhurst, a most ingenious man of whom few have heard, though to him all are indebted as being the inventor of the weights and scales used in every retail shop, issued A New Method of Conveying Letters and Goods with Great Certainty and Rapidity by Air, in which he proposed to convey goods, large or small, through tunnels by means of compressed air; and later on he published two more pamphlets on the same subject. Really he covered all the ground of the subsequent patents on the matter, though he does not seem to have put any of his suggestions into practice. He describes an airtight tunnel with carriages on rails within it, either driven by compressed air or sucked by a vacuum, as patented by Vallance, and also a smaller tunnel with a piston-
In 1840 Samuel Clegg, the gas engineer, and Joseph Samuda, the shipbuilder, brought out their Atmospheric Railway project. Clegg invented the valve, and Samuda built the plant and found the money. In June of that year they obtained the temporary use of a portion of the then unfinished West London Railway near Wormwood Scrubbs, where they laid a tube of 9-
In this the tube was laid between the rails, firmly secured to sleepers embedded in the road. On the top of the tube was a continuous opening, with vertical cheeks along it forming a trough for the valve, which was made of thick leather enclosed between thin iron plates and protected by a hinged iron lid in 5 ft. lengths. The interior of the tube was lined with a composition to keep the piston air-
A BRIGHTON GUARD
The system worked very well for a time on the Kingstown & Dalkey, while the valve was new. Brunel went over to Ireland to see the thing at work, and was so well satisfied that he started the South Devon with it; and in 1845 the London & Croydon adopted it between Forest Hill and West Croydon. They laid it with 15-
In July 1846, the year the atmospheric experiment was abandoned, the London & Croydon and the London & Brighton were amalgamated and became the London, Brighton, & South Coast, the south coast lines having then been extended to Hastings in one direction and to Chichester in the other. In the following year the western line was opened to Portsmouth, and the three extremities of the system had been reached. In December the Newhaven branch was opened, and the Brighton started its cross-
The Crystal Palace was opened in 1854, and to it the branch was run from Sydenham, which began working on the 10th of June in that year, then the only means of access by railway. The continuation of that branch to New Wandsworth opened on the 1st of December 1856; on the 29th of March 1858 the line was opened to Battersea, afterwards Battersea Pier, a passenger station, like New Wandsworth, that no longer exists; two years afterwards it reached Pimlico, and soon after that it was at Victoria. Pimlico has gone, like many other stations, for there is no company that has made more changes in its stations and their names. Dartmouth Arms became Forest Hill; Jolly Sailor, Norwood Junction; Godstone Road, Caterham Junction and now Purley; Greyhound Lane, on the line from Croydon to Balham, opened in 1862, has become Streatham Common. Yapton, between Barnham and Ford, has gone; so has Woodgate, between Chichester and Ford; so has old Littlehampton, between Angmering and Ford; so has Keymer Junction, and quite a number of old stations have been absorbed in new ones, the last and largest being Victoria.
A COMPOSITE CARRIAGE
In 1847 the branch was opened from Croydon to Epsom. This went on to Leatherhead in 1859. Meanwhile Horsham had been reached through Three Bridges in 1848; from Horsham to Petworth had been opened in 1859, and from Hardham Junction, near Pulborough, to Ford in 1863. From Petworth to Midhurst the connection was made in 1866, but the endeavour to reach Southampton having failed, the line was run south from there to Chichester in 1881 to form the western boundary. All that remained to be done on this side was to join up between Leatherhead and Horsham in 1867, and the company obtained their Mid-
In 1865 the line was opened from Sutton to Epsom Downs. This gave the company a route to the Derby, etc., up to then a monopoly of the South Western, and it went right on to the course, an improvement of which the public were not slow to take advantage. Seven other racecourses are on the Brighton system, Lewes, Lingfield, Plumpton, Gatwick, Brighton, Portsmouth, and Goodwood, so that the racing folks, and the horses, add an appreciable item to its revenue.
The line to Guildford from Horsham through Cranleigh was also opened in 1865. On the other side the route to Eastbourne started with the line from Eastbourne to Hailsham as far back as 1849, and the line from Lewes to Uckfield nine years later. These joined at Redgate Mill in 1880, the Uckfield and Groombridge line having been completed in 1868. The next step was to connect Groombridge with Oxted, the Oxted & Croydon being the joint property of the Brighton and the South Eastern. Thus the system serves Surrey and Sussex with just a little strip of Kent and a corner of Hampshire; and you are told by its coat of arms that its chief towns are London, Hastings (the Cinque Port), Portsmouth (with the moon and star), and Brighton (the two dolphins), which is in the county of Sussex (the shield of martlets on which the inescutcheon of Brighton is borne).
THE VICTORIA TO BRIGHTON EXPRESS AT FULL SPEED
It starts in Middlesex, at Victoria, and its trains have run for brief periods into Cannon Street and into Paddington, and they also appear north of the Thames under a partnership in a railway that has no shareholders, no loans or debentures, and publishes no accounts. In 1836 there was incorporated the Birmingham, Bristol & Thames Junction Railway from Harlesden Green to the Kensington Canal, which entered the Thames at Chelsea Creek. The engineer and projector was William Hosking, and it was his intention to continue the line east from Kensington Crescent to Knightsbridge as the terminus, and south to Wandsworth so as to join up the North Western, Great Western, and South Western. On its way from Harlesden it ran under the Regent’s canal to cross the Great Western on the level, and the arch by which it did so, now blocked up, can be seen on the right hand as you leave Paddington, just as you pass under the West London Railway bridge.
After a precarious infancy it became the property, in 1840, of the Great Western and North Western, who used it as their link between north and west. They did away with the level crossing, and brought the line over the canal and over the railway and made a junction with the Great Western metals on the south side; and they changed its cumbrous name to The West London. As no one cared about the part south of the junction, there was no hurry in finishing the line, and it became a stock subject for Punch to print paragraphs about, and came in useful for the atmospheric trials and similar things. In 1863 it was completed to Addison Road to meet the West London Extension that went on from there with the mixed gauge to Clapham Junction.
Of this line the North Western owns a third of the capital, the Great Western a third, the South Western a sixth, and the Brighton a sixth; and there is no rolling stock, the West London being, officially, worked by the Extension which is worked by the owners. The Brighton was the company most interested in the matter, as they had no other route across the Thames, while the South Western could get across more conveniently farther up, and the other companies were a long time finding out what could be done with this useful link, though they put certain restrictions on their junior partners.
Through the Thames Tunnel (that is the old tunnel of the Brunels) runs the East London, by which the Brighton also crosses the river. This line is leased to the Great Eastern, the Brighton, the South Eastern & Chatham, and the Underground, and the reason of all this is coals. It is down the lift at Whitechapel and through the tunnel that the coals come south. People who complain about the expenses of the Brighton forget that it runs to no coalfield and pays for the freight of all the fuel it uses, which means that it has to pay maybe half a sovereign a ton more than the north-
It has its ports, of course, but they are not large. The most important of these is Newhaven; Shoreham is in a small way; Littlehampton, from which the company’s steamers used to go to the Channel Islands and Honfleur, does but little trade; and Portsmouth is mainly used for communication with the Isle of Wight. At one time something was to be done with Langston Harbour, the trains being run on to the Carrier and ferried across Spithead to Bembridge, but that clumsy-
The Brighton is what most people think a railway ought to be. Its passenger element is predominant, and its goods trains and coal trains do not obtrusively interfere with its passenger service. In merchandise traffic the public take no interest, and will not understand its importance to the company’s welfare; and nearly all the talk is of passenger engines, passenger trains, and passenger fares.
It depends, then, on its passengers, and it really does its best for them; and the way it brings its patrons into London and distributes them in the evening to the country places it has encouraged throughout its territory by means of its season-
The revenue from the Brighton season tickets averages £643 for each of the 487 miles of its system. How it comes to be possessed of such a mileage, considering that the distance from Victoria to Brighton is 50 miles 52 chains, and from London Bridge only 21 chains more, is rather a puzzle, until it is remembered that it has no less than seven outlets to the south coast, ten coastal termini, and a road right across the middle from Tunbridge Wells to Guildford. The main line is the easiest south of London, rising to Merstham, dropping to Horley, rising to Balcombe, dropping to cross the Ouse viaduct and rising to the Clayton tunnel, the longest grades being 1 in 264. Out of the fifty miles it rises generally for thirty with a few short lengths that are rather steep, the worst being the 1 in 64 for three-
THE 60 FT. TURNTABLE AT VICTORIA
The old troubles due to the South Eastern using the same track to Redhill were done away with when the new line was made from South Croydon to Earlswood, a pretty piece of engineering with its substantial bridges and deep cuttings and the new Merstham tunnel of 2113 yards, 283 yards longer than the old one though not the longest on the line. Two tunnels, both of the same length, 2266 yards, are a little longer, these being Oxted and Clayton, the latter of which was lighted by gas until the accident there in 1861, to which we owe the introduction of lights into railway carriages. The widening of the line to Croydon has also had a good effect on the running, which will be still further improved by the changes at Clapham Junction to clear the way for the full operation of the new methods introduced in the transformation of Victoria.
Old Victoria, with its wonderful arrangement by which every line seemed to cross every other line, covered 8½ acres; the new Victoria covers nearly 16. It is 320 ft. wide, 1500 ft. long, and has miles of platform. In its making the features that will be best remembered were the driving of the piles over the old circulating area, 1200 pine balks 14-
The lofty, well-
As is the fashion nowadays, there is a clock-
ON THE WAY TO THE SOUTH COAST
With platforms of such length, and three sets of rails between them in the outer half, the eighteen trains thus accommodated can be worked in and out without delay. The thirteen lines become five outside the station and over the Grosvenor Bridge, which used to be the widest we had, and has been further widened by the Brighton on one side and the Chatham on the other. The fifth line is a carriage and engine road from the sheds, and soon after the bridge is crossed the roads become the standard four.
When Mr. C. L. Morgan was planning the new station, which took seven years to complete and cost over a million of money, the statistics he collected showed that the greatest number of trains dealt with in a day was 700, that the old station was used by 18 millions of people in a year, of whom 58,474 passed through in the twenty-
THE SOUTH SIGNAL BOX AT VICTORIA
This is on Sykes’s electro-
All the passenger roads have electrical fouling bars distributed in such a way that every train standing in the station must be on one or more of them, and these control the signals for opening or closing the road, a novel feature being the movable diamond crossings worked from the South Box, the movements of which are also detected by the signals. In each box is a plan of the station, and there is also an indicator with a double row of miniature arms, nine in a row, the upper arms being for the inner station, the lower arms for the outer. The inner home signals have distants below them, and if the road is full up, both work, if only half the road is engaged, the upper one is down. The signals have what is known as a red banner carried on a disk with an opal glass at the back, behind which is an oil-
THE ELEVATED ELECTRIC -
Having adopted electricity for signalling, the Brighton proceeded to introduce electrical working for its trains, and began the electrification of the South London. This meant the special equipment within the station of five platform lines and two through roads; and the installation all the nine miles to London Bridge of the overhead system on a new sort of support, an undertaking of some difficulty owing to the low bridges and the curved tunnels at Denmark Hill, and the nature of the embankments, some of which had to have piles driven in to give a firm foundation.
The conductor, a heavy, grooved, solid half-
The current comes to Queen’s Road Station from the London Electric Supply at Deptford, and is certainly treated with respect, for never before were such precautions taken to switch it off at any accidental attempt to get near it. Even in the coaches the secret cupboard is only accessible to the railwaymen when all high-
How smart the Brighton can be is shown by that excellent train the Southern Belle, designed complete to be “the most luxurious train in the world”. Here are seven cars, built by the Pullman company, each car 63 ft. 10-
PULLMAN CAR “DUCHESS OF NORFOLK”, LONDON BRIGHTON & SOUTH COAST RAILWAY
The same can be said of the 8.45 out of Brighton, which is not so richly decorated but just as good for the average man; and it is a noteworthy train, for it was the first on which breakfast was served, the car on the down journey being used for afternoon tea; and that is going back some years, the Brighton having begun to run Pullman cars in 1879. This 8.45 train weighs 336¾ tons, made up as follows: first-
Let us take No. 21. It weighs 73 tons. Thus the 8.45 with engine complete weighs 422 tons. These tanks are the heaviest engines on the line; the Atlantics that usually work the Southern Belle weigh 67 tons, that is 96½ tons with the 29½-
The “Grosvenor” 2-
The first two engines used by the Brighton company were the Merstham and Coulsdon, and they weighed when empty 12½ tons. Of them and their successors the story is told in detail in that excellent work The Locomotives of the London, Brighton, & South Coast Railway, in which there seems to be a record of every one from the beginning to 1893, not at all an easy task considering the bewildering way in which names and numbers were shifted about. The London & Croydon list, which was soon cut short by the amalgamation, went back to 1838 with the Surrey, Sussex, and Kent, all, however, of 12½ tons. Up to 1849 the Brighton engines were lagged with polished mahogany and bound with brass, or the lagging was plain wood painted red and green in alternate stripes; up to 1870 those that were not polished were painted Brunswick green banded with black and thinly lined with white, the frames being crimson; then they were painted gamboge, and now they are umber brown.
Of some of the old engines there are interesting stories. No. 82, for instance, on the 6th of June 1851 was running down the incline between Falmer and Lewes when it ran off the line at the Newmarket Arch, and, dragging two carriages with it, fell into the bridle-
No. 79, one of the same class, had a curious adventure in October 1859. At five o’clock in the dark morning she was in the shed at Petworth, when, the fire having been put in two hours before, she had 15 lb. of steam. The cleaner wanted to move the engine to clean certain parts he could not get at in the position she was placed, and he went out to ask the fireman, who was resting in a hut close by, to do this. As he came back he heard the beat of an engine, and, thinking another one was coming, ran back to the fireman to tell him he need not mind, as the newcomer could do what was wanted. The fireman, however, was just starting, and the two returned to the shed to find that the engine had disappeared! Looking along the line they caught sight of the steam; and they ran off in chase. The engine was moving so slowly that they nearly caught her, the cleaner getting his hand on the buffer when he fell from exhaustion. The fireman collapsed when close behind; and No. 79 went on her way, gaining speed as she went for 17½ miles, crashing through three sets of gates at level crossings and carrying off pieces of them on the buffer beam. Fortunately a cleaner from Horsham who was walking down the line saw the engine approaching, and thinking from the wreckage on the buffers that something was wrong, watched to see who was on the footplate. Finding nobody, he jumped onto her as she passed and shut off the steam just in time to prevent any further damage being done.
A POWERFUL 10-
These engines belonged to a class of twelve supplied by Sharp, Roberts & Co. in 1847 and 1848, the company building none of its own until 1852. The older ones were most miscellaneous. Four were built by the Rennies; seven were built by Bury; three came from the Fairbairns; one, from J. G. Bodmer, had two pistons to each cylinder which worked simultaneously in opposite directions; four came from the Hawthorns; four long boilers came from Jones & Potts; thirty from Sharp; a dozen from Hackworth, which had inside boxes for the driving wheels and outside boxes for the leaders and trailers, being the predecessors of the Jenny Linds; and nine came from E. B. Wilson.
The first superintendent to produce a home-
When Mr. Craven was succeeded by Mr. Stroudley in 1871, he is said to have left behind him no less than seventy-
These terriers had 4-
A BUSY SCENE. THE APPROACH TO THE TERMINUS AT LONDON BRIDGE
Meanwhile he had started his 6-
On Mr. Stroudley’s death in December 1889 Mr. Billinton took his place, and soon began to design engines more suitable for the heavier traffic, all of them easily known, as, unlike the Stroudleys, they have no copper caps on their chimneys. In 1891 came the tanks with four wheels coupled and the trailing bogie, the heating surface being 1203, the weight 48 tons 9 cwt, and the pressure 160; then came the six wheels coupled, 0-
That the Brighton engines are fitted with the Westinghouse brake everybody knows by the pumping that goes on while they are at rest in a station. The donkey-
The Westinghouse brake is used among others by the Caledonian, the Great Eastern, the Great North of Scotland, the London, Tilbury & Southend, the North British, the North Eastern and the Chatham section of the South-
This works on the opposite principle, though it is not quite true that no pump is used, for a few of the companies work a pump off the cross-
LONDON BRIGHTON & SOUTH COAST RAILWAY COAT OF ARMS
Brakes have been many and strange. At one time the guard rode outside on an unprotected seat at the back of the carriage, and applied the brake by turning on a hand-
The battle of the brakes was almost as strenuous as that of the gauges, but things have now settled down into quietude with the two we have described sharing the country between them. What the state of affairs used to be may be gathered from the fact that in 1884 the Royal train was fitted with three systems of brakes to ensure its safety on the different lines on which it ran to the north.
Besides the brake-
Under the carriages there is another kind of cylinder which must not be mistaken for that of the brake apparatus. This is the holder for the oil-
When the Board of Trade required carriages to be lighted as they passed through tunnels, the system first adopted was to stop the train at the nearest station to the tunnel and hang an oil-
Among these was lighting by electricity, first adopted by the Brighton line. Its great advantage to the company is that it pays by not being used; that is to say it can be switched on or off as required, instead of being burnt all the time like oil or gas, though there is a new pressure system for gas by which the consumption can be reduced to that of only the pilot light if desired. In working the electric light a dynamo is run, not on the engine, as in America, but from the axle of the guard’s van, and this charges an accumulator from which the current is supplied to the lamps, the control being in the hands of the guard; and the cables form another loop between the carriages. The drawback to any system of continuous lighting is the making up and breaking up of trains to suit the varying traffic, but this has been much reduced by the introduction of the system of set-
From the set-
ELECTRIC SIGNALS AT VICTORIA
The Brighton was the first railway company to run into Portsmouth, the old South Western way being to Gosport and across the harbour by ferry. In 1848 the South Western opened a new route by way of Fareham to Cosham and, coming round by the north, obtained access over the Brighton metals across Port Creek and through the rampart. All went well until the Portsmouth Direct project ended in a proposal to have another way in, which pleased nobody and really forced the South Western to take over the line, a proceeding which led to the battle of Havant and caused ill-
Of the Brighton company’s twenty terminal stations the next largest to Victoria is Brighton, where the locomotive and carriage works are, the wagon works being at Lancing. London Bridge covers eight acres, a quarter of an acre less, and is the headquarters of the line. It is an old station, or rather the representative of an old station, for it was the terminus of the London & Croydon, the shed which was the first terminus of the London & Greenwich, where the band played the passengers in during December 1838, having been on the Tooley Street side. Enlarged in 1850, and rebuilt fourteen years afterwards, it is conveniently arranged for those who know it, and will be more convenient still when the indicator arrives.
The business it does in the morning is enormous, and the busy time lasts longer than at most stations owing to the numbers of long-
Rastrick’s Viaduct across the Valley of the Ouse
The nearest important junction is Croydon, where the City and West End lines meet, and the North Western and Great Eastern and East London trains run in with the passengers for the Continent from the north of the Thames; but the largest is Lewes, where six lines meet and the route to Paris goes off to the coast.
Newhaven is a town made by the wind, for the big storm of 1570 turned away the River Ouse from its old outlet at Seaford into its present mouth under Burrow Head. It is the nearest Channel port to London, being only fifty-
The harbour, though the property of a separate company, is the chief port of the line, the headquarters of its maritime interests, from which the excellent steamers, owned jointly by the Brighton company and the French State Railways, take you across the Channel at over twenty knots, the two turbines, Dieppe and Brighton, travelling at twenty-