A Famous Train of the LMS
One of the LMS 3-
IT is said that, at the time of the “Races to Scotland”, in 1888 and 1895, when the East and West Coast companies were straining every nerve to beat each other, first to Edinburgh and Glasgow and then to Aberdeen, the Midland route to Scotland became unexpectedly popular. Nervous old ladies found a sudden preference for Midland travel because the longer overall times of the Midland inferred lower average speeds. “It is so much safer,” they said! They little knew that even then the maximum speeds of the Midland trains were very often as high as those achieved by their racing neighbours, the heavier gradients and longer distance covered by the Midland easily explaining the necessity. So it is to-
To start with, the 9.50 a.m. from St. Pancras -
Despite the extra time involved, however, the Midland route is still a favourite with many travellers. At the time when the railways were grouped together it was freely prophesied that Scotch expresses would cease to run from St. Pancras to Edinburgh and Glasgow. But all the intermediate towns and cities have to be considered, for these trains convey passengers from London to Leicester, Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford, as well as from the same towns to Carlisle and Scotland. To those to whom scenery is a more important consideration than time the Midland route will always appeal, because it is, without question, the most scenically attractive of all the three ways to Scotland.
So it is still possible, fortunately, to go to St. Pancras and take a ticket for Glasgow, and somewhere about half-
As terminal stations go, St. Pancras is small. It has only seven platforms in all, but most of the trains from the northern suburbs dive downward to join the Metropolitan line for Moorgate, so that St. Pancras has little more than main line trains to deal with. It is the one great roof span that is the chief internal feature of the station. Actually the trains are up in the roof, the main ties of which pass completely under the platforms. The major part of the building is a vast storage for the beer produced at Burton-
The limited size of the station is typical of the train service. Light passenger trains and locomotives of moderate weight and power have always been the ruling principle on the Midland. No 4-
However, we shall find our train well within the one-
We shall find our train marshalled, from the rear, in this order -
Restaurant car fashions have undergone a considerable change on the LMS system during recent years. On all the chief trains it is now the practice to use an independent bogie kitchen car, containing kitchen and pantry, with accommodation for the restaurant car staff, but none for passengers. The latter travel in the beautiful open saloon cars that flank the kitchen on both sides. These are now quite a standard feature on the LMS, and are so popular that a second open third-
Our engine, of course, is a three-
Exterior view of LMS Kitchen Car.
This is not to say that the Midland compounds are the most powerful engines on the LMS system: far from it. When first they appeared on the Western division -
The “tare”, or empty weight of our train to-
If you were on the footplate, you would be interested to notice that our driver only opens his regulator a very little way on starting. The secret of the Deeley regulator is that in this position, known as the “first port”, a small opening on the back of the regulator takes high-
In common with all the Northern lines, the Midland has to climb out of the Thames Valley. The Midland climb is in three distinct stages. First of all there are 4½ miles up, largely through tunnels, steepening from 1 in 182 to 1 in 162, nearly to Cricklewood. From here we get a sharp drop of a couple of miles to the point where we cross the southern arm of the sheet of water known as the “Welsh Harp”. Just beyond Hendon, which we pass at a shade under 60 miles an hour, there begins a five-
Now there is a glorious “racing-
The gradients now steepen. For six miles from Bedford there are undulations, in the course of which we get our first replenishment of the tender water supply, from Oakley track-
Another nasty climb begins at mile-
This run of 99 miles is the longest non-
Our engine probably will work through to Leeds -
To Chesterfield, the twisted spire of whose parish church is a singular and very prominent object on the left of the line, the 47 miles from Leicester require an hour; for the next 50 miles, to Leeds, we have 58 minutes allowed. By taking the direct line from Chesterfield down to Rotherham we miss Sheffield -
A fresh three-
Down Midland Scotch Express near Mill Hill. It should be noticed that compound No. 1046 has “borrowed” No. 1109’s tender!
In covering the 28½ miles from Hellifield to Ais Gill we shall do well if we take no more than 41 minutes, maintaining 35 miles an hour or so up the 1 in 100 climb to Blea Moor.
Now we have a swift run down to the Westmorland county town of Appleby, not more than 17 minutes being needed for the 17½-
There is more wonderful scenery on the way down from Appleby to Carlisle, first of all on the left, where Helvellyn, Skiddaw and other Lake District mountains come into view, and then on the right, where we overlook the sinuous course of the River Eden, flowing between sandstone cliffs far below. On reaching the Border city of Carlisle -
Off comes our compound, and on comes yet a third, for the remainder of the journey to Glasgow. Three engines thus divide up between them the 424½-
Little space remains in which to describe the rest of the journey, but it is of unfailing interest. For the 33 miles of undulating grades to Dumfries we are allowed 44 minutes, but within the compass of this time may be required to stop and set down passengers at the mid-
After Dumfries comes some stiff climbing, although the old Glasgow and South Western main line falls far short in maximum altitude of the neighbouring Caledonian 1,015 ft at Beattock. Still, there is not much intermission in ascending between the 29½ and the 57th mile out of Carlisle -
Much the steepest grades of the journey occur in the final 24 miles between Kilmarnock and Glasgow, where we may need pilot assistance. The climb from Kilmarnock to Dunlop includes 1½ miles at 1 in 87 and two miles at 1 in 75; and from the other side of the flat “table-
Since these lines were written, announcement has been made that the 9.50 a.m. express from St. Pancras to Glasgow is to run on an accelerated timing throughout the winter, the arrival time at St Enoch’s Station in Glasgow being at 7 p.m, instead of at 7.6 p.m. Details of the speeding-