Water mystery

First published in Letters by

I don’t have an issue with J.Beisly’s letter on the efficiency of steam locomotives (December 26) but what intrigues me is the accompanying photo of a Black 5 loco taking on water at Grosvenor Terrace.

On long-haul journeys water troughs were placed between the rails in order for the engine to take on water without having to stop on its run. As there are no such provisions at Grosvenor Terrace, how was water supplied, a line-side water bowser?

If the loco had stopped at York station (half a mile away) why didn’t it get topped up there? Maybe one of your knowledgeable enthusiasts could supply the answer.

David J.Wilde, Acomb, York.

Comments (2)

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1:02pm Mon 31 Dec 12

sparkseffect says...

Locos can't top up at York Station any more - 25,000 volt overhead power lines would make it too dangerous. More than one loco fireman was killed in the 1960s
(in the North West) when climbing onto the tender and forgetting the overhead wires were there. The loco would have to detach from the train and go into non-electrified sidings to take water, and York Station is too busy to leave the train in a platform while that happens. Water troughs were placed on the main lines - there were some at Eryholme, north of York - for non-stop expresses, but would be impractical these days, so water bowsers - even fire engines sometimes - are used instead.
Locos can't top up at York Station any more - 25,000 volt overhead power lines would make it too dangerous. More than one loco fireman was killed in the 1960s (in the North West) when climbing onto the tender and forgetting the overhead wires were there. The loco would have to detach from the train and go into non-electrified sidings to take water, and York Station is too busy to leave the train in a platform while that happens. Water troughs were placed on the main lines - there were some at Eryholme, north of York - for non-stop expresses, but would be impractical these days, so water bowsers - even fire engines sometimes - are used instead. sparkseffect
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Mon 31 Dec 12

pedalling paul says...

The water supply comes from a standpipe just inside York Hospital grounds.
There's an orange pipe under both tracks which a hose extension passes through. That allows northbound steam trains to take on water without affecting southound Transpennine services.
York station has a steam loco water supply at the side of platform 11, but as Scarborough services cannot access the branch from there, they have to water at Bootham instead.
The water supply comes from a standpipe just inside York Hospital grounds. There's an orange pipe under both tracks which a hose extension passes through. That allows northbound steam trains to take on water without affecting southound Transpennine services. York station has a steam loco water supply at the side of platform 11, but as Scarborough services cannot access the branch from there, they have to water at Bootham instead. pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

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