Three Victorian Films: Six Trains

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Three Victorian Films: Six Trains

Post by rdb » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:50 pm

As it’s Christmas, I thought I’d share these three Victorian films I found at the British Film Institute. If you haven’t seen them yet, you’re in for a treat. They show six very different trains, at three widely separated locations, but all made within the two year period 1897-9. I’ve tried to identify the carriages etc, though there’s probably more work to be done, particularly regarding the foreign vehicles.

I've supplied URLs, but if they don't work, go directly to, and search the name of the film maker in the 'free' section.

Charles Goodwin Norton, 1897, at Bushey. ... 897-online

1. Down Through Passenger Train, headed by a Cauliflower. The formation consists of 8 6-wheeled carriages, with a Brake Van at either end, 2 Trucks and 2 Horse Boxes: BV/T/CX/T/T/CL/CX/C/T/CCT/BV/HB/CCT/HB.
In more detail, we have:
30’6 flat-sided Brake Van
30’1 Third (P106,D297)
30’1 Luggage Composite (P79,D297)
30’1 Third (P106,D297)
30’1 Third (P106,D297)
32’ Lavatory Composite (P62)
32’ Luggage Composite (P76,D191)
32’ Coupe Composite (P70)
30’1 Third (P106,D297)
21’ Covered Carriage Truck (P142)
30’1 Brake Van (P125,D385)
Horse Box (Foreign)
21’ Combination Truck (P140)
19’6 Horse Box (P151)

2. Up Through Mineral Train of 36 wagons, headed by a very clean Coal Tank:
2 Open wagons (D2)
4 PO wagons (the last marked ‘Lofthouse Colliery’)
2 PO wagons (with diagonal insignia)
Open wagon (D2)
4 PO wagons
2 MR coal wagons
PO wagon (marked ‘Pelsill’)
2 MR coal wagons
PO wagon (marked ‘Owen’)
PO coke wagon with rails
PO wagon
Open wagon with sheet (D1?)
Open wagon (D2)
5 Open wagons (D1), with what looks like pig iron.
Open wagon with sheet (D4?)
PO wagon (marked ‘Lilleshall’)
Open wagon with sheet (D2?)
5 PO wagons
10 Ton Brake Van (D16)

3. Down Suburban Train to Watford, headed by 5’6 Tank No1451 (built in May 1897, so brand new). The train is a Euston Watford Set of 50’ bogie carriages, which must also be new. The formation is BT(6)/T(8)/C(tttffff)/F(7)/C(ffffsss)/BS(6): these were ‘classified’ trains, with firsts in the middle, thirds at one end, seconds at the other (Euston) end. The number of the Brake Third can just be made out: it is T.620, so this is Set No3. More details of these carriages may be found in Millard and Tattershall.

W.K.L. Dickson, 1898, at Menai Bridge. ... e-over-the

4. The Down Irish Day Mail entering the Britannia Bridge, headed by a ‘Dreadnought’ Webb Compound. The train contains a mix of bogie, radial, and six-wheel carriages: the formation is BV/PV/CL/CL/TK/DS/BSL/TPO/CL/CL/BV.
In more detail, we have
32’ Brake Van (P121)
30’1 Parcel Van (D425)
42’ Lavatory Tri-Composite (P52,D159), built 1893, bogies
42’ Lavatory Luggage Composite (P55/56, D165), built 1886-9, radial
50’ Corridor Third (D268), built 1898, so new: carrying (illegible) nameboard
34’ Dining Saloon (P15,D46), built 1882, 8’6 wide, now running on bogies
42’ Lavatory Brake Second (P92), built 1884 for Irish Mail, radial
32’ Travelling Post Office (P163), built 1885 (possibly No22)
33’ Lavatory Composite (P61,D168), built 1882-84
42’ Lavatory Tri-Composite (P185,D154), built 1896, on bogies
30’1 Brake Van (P125,D385)
According to G.P. Neele, the ‘Luncheon Car’ was introduced on the 11.30am Irish Day Mail in 1895. It was only for use by first class passengers, who must have travelled in it for the whole journey. Third Class passengers were admitted to the Irish Mail from 1st April 1897. The very untidy formation is probably a reflection of this. It is particularly unusual for the TPO to be marshalled in the middle of the train.

5, An Up Local Train, headed by a beautifully turned out SDX. The carriages are all on six wheels, and the formation is LV/BV/CX/CX/T/CX/CX/BV/HB/CX/T/BV
Luggage Van (Foreign)
30’6 flat-sided Brake Van
32’ Luggage Tri-Composite (P76,D191)
30’1 Luggage Tri-Composite (P79,D197)
30’1 Third (P106,D297)
32’ Luggage Tri-Composite (P76,D191)
32’ Luggage Composite (P72,D195): these were very rare, only 5 built: FFXSS: ogee headstock
30’1 Brake Van (P125,D385)
19’6 Horse Box (P151)
32’ Luggage Tri-Composite (P76,D191)
30’6 Third (ogee headstock)
30’1 Brake Van (P125,D385)
The leading vehicle is a curiousity: it is well ventilated and may be a Meat or Fish Van. Unfortunately it is also very dirty and the writing on it is illegible. It seems likely that the last three vehicles (possibly four) were added at Gaerwen.

William Henry Youdale, 1899, at Cockermouth. ... 899-online

6. Down Local Passenger Train (with stationary Coke Wagons behind it on the up line), headed by 4’6 Tank Engine 2515 (built in 1884). The train consists of a 19’6 Horse Box (No376), a 19’ CCT (No269) and Whitehaven District Set of five six-wheeled carriages, BT(1)/T/C(fffs)/C(ssttt)/BT(1). The leading Brake Third is No3959, so this is Set No8. These sets consisted of carriages on wooden underframes, built originally by Bore in the early 1870s, but rebuilt by Park. The bodies thus display all the usual Park features, such as the raised bolection moldings, and square headstocks. BT.3959 began life as a 30’ Luggage Composite C.1245 in 1873, rebuilt as a single compartment 30’ Brake Third BT.1959 c.1887, and supplemented in 1897.

It's very unfortunate that the film stops before the train pulls out of the station. Even so, the period detail is remarkable: the neat exchange of tablets is particularly nice.

David Bond
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Re: Three Victorian Films: Six Trains

Post by David Bond » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:23 am

Wow - just wow.

First its a big thank you for sharing the films, and second its an even bigger thankyou for all the hard work that you have done in sharing the films.

I wonder if we could share these at the AGM. Must read the terms of use.

Many many thanks


David Bond
Posts: 421
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Re: Three Victorian Films: Six Trains

Post by David Bond » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:12 pm

A video which has been seen before I believe but is always worth a watch. Entitled North Wales, England: The Land of Castles and Waterfalls, this video captures ... 907-online

So can we identify:
The locomotive hauling the permanent way train (1:35)
The Locomotive and carriages of the passenger train at 1:42.
The locomotive and carriages of The Irish Mail at 2:14
The Locomotive and carriages of the local passenger at 2:35 and also the van diagram
The Locomotive travelling bunker first and carriages at 5:10
The double header at 6:50 heading into the Britannia Bridge
The locomotive and carriages on the train emerging from Britannia Bridge at 7:15

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Re: Three Victorian Films: Six Trains

Post by stephenweston » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:48 pm

Well done rdb! A remarkable effort to identify everything
Worth a paragraph in the Journal to make sure everyone gets to see them?

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Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Three Victorian Films: Six Trains

Post by timbirch » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:28 pm

Others are better qualified than I to identify the rolling stock. However, I believe the following to be the less obvious locations:
1.40 Llandulas station from a down train. Llandulas viaduct is just beyond the platforms
1.50 Penmaenrhos tunnel western portal
2.35 Dolwyddelan station approaches. The train is a down one to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The loading bank on the right was for slate traffic. The camera is at the up end of the island platform and the track underneath it is the up loop.

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