Page 10 of 15
During the first five years of its existence, four locomotives sufficed to handle the traffic on the Furness Railway. During this period the line only extended from Kirby-in-Furness and Dalton-in-Furness to Piel Pier. No regular passenger service was provided when the line was first opened. Of the first four engines, two were built in 1844 and used for the construction of the line. Numbered 1 and 2 they were both 0-4-0 tender engines of the famous "Bury" type and constructed by MESSRS. BURY, Curtis and Kennedy, of Liverpool. Two more, numbered 3 and 4 were delivered in 1846. They came by boat from Liverpool to Piel.
Unfortunately, no drawings exist of No 1 and 2, but it is known that they were almost identical with Nos. 3 and 4, except for having 13 in. cylinders and 80 lbs. pressure. Neither engine had any claim to fame. No. 1 had her fire-box badly burned at Carnforth in 1866, owing to the fire having been lit with an empty boiler. she was then broken up. No. 2 was sold to a colliery in Northumberland in 1871, and no more was heard of her.
Nos. 3 and 4 both survived down to 1900, having a life of 54 years. In that year No. 4 was broken up; but it was decided to preserve her sister, always known affectionately as "Old Copper Nob, " on account of her dome fire-box with its polished copper casing. "Copper Nob" was duly installed in a gigantic "glass case" at the south end of Barrow Central down platform. Here she remained, except for a trip to the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924/25, until 1941 when her glass case was rudely shattered by the attentions of the Luftwaffe. She was then removed to the safety of Crewe Works, where she has so far remained.
Some fairly extensive details of these famous "Bury" engines will be of interest.
Both had inside cylinders 14x24 in. with slide valves between. The steam ports were 1 1/4: wide and the exhaust 3x10 1/2 inches long. Each cylinder had a separate casing with individual exhaust pipes converging into one.
The four-coupled wheels were 4 ft. 9 in. dia., the centres being of wrought iron, with cast-iron bosses. The iron tyres were secured to the rims by inch bolts. The main bearings were 5 1/4 ins. dia. and 7 ins. long, and the crank pins were 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 in.
The frames, which were of rectangular section, and of the bar type, had the upper and lower members united by pedestals. Gun-metal axle-boxes were fitted. The curved link type motion had the eccentric rods coupled direct, with crossed rods and links suspended from the bottom. The sheaves were cast-iron, with gun-metal eccentric strips. Double gib and cotters secured the brasses of the connecting rods, which were round, with forked ends.
With the exception of the fire-box, both engines had boiler plates of Low Moor iron. The boiler barrels were made up with three rings, consisting of two plates 7/8" thick. The back ring was flared back to join the domed fire-box casing. No less than eight plates were used for this fire-box crown.
The copper fire-box, made up of four plates, nine-sixteenths of an inch thick, was semi-circular in plan, with a curved crown. The tube plate was 3/4 " thick. The crown plate was supported by four solid roof-bars of wrought iron, secured by one inch rivets and connected to the outer shell by eight sling-stays which were 1 1/2 in. dia. The sides of the fire-box were stayed throughout with copper stays which were screwed into both plates and riveted over. The front tube plate, which was 5/8" thick, was attached to the boiler barrel by two gusset stays. The brass tubes were 2 1/2 " external diameter.
The dome contained the equilibrium regulator valve, with a 4" dia. main steam pipe to the cylinders. Salter spring balance safety valves, with springs adjusted to 110 lbs. per square inch, were mounted on the dome. The valves were 2 1/2 dia. Both engines had tenders with a water capacity of 1,000 gallons. The underframes of these tenders were constructed entirely of oak. The tender wheels had a diameter of 3 ft. 1 1/2 in. They were of cast-iron with wrought-iron tyres. Each locomotive had an iron-plate smoke box; iron chimney with copper top; total heating surface of 854 sq. ft. ; a grate area of 9 sq. ft. and a weight of 19 tons in working order. With tender included, the weight was 32 tons 8 cwt.
As already stated, both No. 3 and 4 had long lives, but as old age crept on them and train weights increased, they had to be relegated to lighter duties. Their last days were spent on shunting duties at Barrow Docks. Both were great favourites with MR. MASON, Locomotive Superintendent of the Furness Railway, for nearly 50 years down to 1896.
It is related that on one occasion a driver from Moor Row shed brought his engine into Barrow Shops for some heavy repairs. On arrival at Barrrow, all engines had to be inspected in person by MR. MASON, and if a speck of dirt was found on any part (motion included,) there was trouble for the engine crew. Present day railway companies might do well to ponder over that state of affairs.
After MR. MASON'S inspection of this particular engine from Moor Row (which came up to scratch for the occasion,) the Locomotive Superintendent went into the shops with the Moor Row man. Among the engines in for repair was one of the "Copper Nob's." Turning to the Moor Row driver, MR. MASON said: -
"How would one of those do for you, Jack?" Knowing the severe gradients on the Cleator section, the driver replied: "Oh, MR. MASON, that engine would be no use on the Cleator line."
He soon had cause to regret his answer, for MR. MASON promptly treated him to a long lecture on what the "Copper Nobs" had done, and were still capable of doing.
The footplate of these veterans was no place for a weakling. Cabs were never fitted to them, and on account of their domed fire-boxes weather-boards could not be fitted.
Since they had no foot-framing it was impossible for anyone to get from the footplate to the front buffer-beam while the engine was in motion. Thus when No. 3 was stationed at Corkickle shed and working regularly through the Whitehaven tunnel, the fireman had to make the trip sitting on the front buffer-beam. He did this in order to drop sand down the sanding pipe at the front-end, as no sanding gear was fitted. Incidentally, the sand was usually wet and must have been pretty ineffectual on the greasy tunnel rails. Anyone who has made a foot-plate journey through a single-track tunnel of any length on a modern locomotive will appreciate what those buffer-beam rides on a "Copper Nob" must have involved.
By 1851 the increasing iron ore traffic would seem to have kept the four Bury engines fully occupied and the next two engines which appeared that year were a pair of 2-2-2 well tanks, obviously ordered for passenger work. They were supplied by Sharp Brothers, of Manchester, and had cylinders 14x18 in., driving wheels 5 ft. 6 in. dia., and 120 lbs. working pressure. Heating surface was 135 sq. ft. and grate area 9 sq. ft. Their well tanks held 500 gallons of water and the total weight in working order was 30 tons. Numbered 5 and 6, both little locomotives were scrapped in 1873.
During 1851 the main line was being pushed on towards Ulverston from Lindal and mineral traffic was showing further increases. It was thus imperative to further augment the locomotive stud. Pinning their faith to the "Bury" design, the company ordered further 0-4-0 tender engines of this type; this time from MESSRS. FAIRBAIRN & SONS, of Manchester. These engines were not delivered until 1854 and were numbered 7 to 10 inclusive. They had cylinders 15x24 in. and coupled wheels 4 ft. 6 in. dia. The valves were placed on top of the cylinders, the motion being worked by rocking shafts. Heating surface was 940 sq. ft. Otherwise these engines were similar to Nos. 1 to 4. With their 1,000 gallon tenders they weighed 36 tons. Two of this batch of locomotives were eventually sold to Barrow Haematite Steel Company who converted them into saddle tanks for shunting in the works. At least one has survived down to 1946.
By 1857 the working of the Ulverston & Lancaster Railway had been taken over and 150,000 passengers, as well as 440,000 tons of ore, were now being handled annually. Thus more engines were called for once again, and two more well tanks, identical to Nos. 5 and 6, were supplied by Sharp Brothers. Numbered 11 and 12, they had a short life, compared with their sisters. No. 11 was sold back to her makers, now Sharp, Stewart & Co., in 1875. No. 12, which eventually became 12A, was sold about the same time to the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway. This locomotive killer her fireman on the Coniston branch shortly after her arrival from the makers. The circumstances of the accident which illustrates very well the haphazard working methods employed in those early days, are worth relating.
No. 12 was working a passenger train from Foxfield Junction to Coniston. She had her usual train behind her, and a box van attached in front. This box van was to be detached at Broughton, where the goods siding faced Foxfield, and this was apparently the normal working method for dealing with inwards goods traffic for Broughton yard. In the meantime, the Whitehaven & Furness Junction 2-2-2 well tank "Oberon" had left Broughton, light for Foxfield. Her driver and fireman saw No. 12 and her train approaching and realised that the crew of the latter could not see them on account of the box van attached in front of the engine. They flung their locomotive into reverse and jumped off the footplate. This action didn't prevent "Oberon" colliding with the box van which was smashed to atoms. Unfortunately, the fireman of No. 12 had been riding on the front buffer-beam in order to detach the box van at Broughton: he was killed outright. Meanwhile, "Oberon," whose regulator had been pushed wide open when her crew put her in reverse, disentangled herself from the wreckage of the box van and set off back towards Broughton. The resource of the porter at that station saved the situation. He opened the level crossing gates and let "oberon" run up the long incline of 1 in 49 towards Torver. She finally came to a stop between the latter station and Woodlands through lack of steam.
In 1864 two more well tanks were delivered, and a further four in 1866. Sharp, Stewart & Co., were again the suppliers and the numbers allocated were 21,22, and 34 to 37. these six locomotives differed from the first batch of well tanks in having outside frames and cylinders 15x18 in. dia. They all proved well designed and economical little machines. Heavier train loads were responsible for their eventual relegation to branch working. No 21 was sold to the South Shields, Marsden and Whitburn Colliery Railway in 1896, and 22 to a Wigan firm in the same year.
Sharp, Stewart also supplied two four-coupled 0-4-0 saddle tanks for shunting at Barrow Docks in 1864. They had cylinders 16x 24 in.: 4 feet diameter wheels; 120 lbs. pressure; 669 square feet of heating surface and weighed 24 tons 10 cwt. in working order. They were numbered 23 and 24. The same firm also provided 0-4-0 tender engines, cwt. in working order No. 27 and 28. They were similar to the earlier FARIBAIRN design.
Ten more 0-4-0 goods engines were also supplied between 1858 and 1862 by MESSRS. FAIRBAIRNS. They were numbered 13 to 20; 25 and 26. These locomotives had foot, instead of bar frames. They were gradually disposed of to the Barrow steelworks of MESSRS. SCHNEIDER and HANNAY.
In 1866 appeared the first of the 16 in. cylinder 0-6-0 goods tender engines which were to remain the standard mineral locomotive of the company for nearly 45 years. Known affectionately as "SHARPIES," these sturdy little engines were all supplied by MESSRS. SHARP, Stewart and Co. In fact the latter company supplied all the Furness locomotives from 1866 down to 1899, and mostly from their own standard designs. There were nine "Sharpies"in the first batch which had the following dimensions: Wheels, 4 ft. 6 1/2 in. diameter; in the first batch which had the following dimensions: Wheels, 4 ft. 6 1/2 in. diameter; cylinders, 16x24 in.; working pressure, 120 lbs.; tractive effort, 8,360 lbs. With their four-wheeled tenders they turned the scale at 50 tons 10 cwt. in working order. The first batch numbered 29 to 33 and 38 to 41.
Nine engines were taken over from the Whitehaven & Furness Junction railway in 1866. They are described in Chapter IV. They were numbered 42 to 50 in the Furness list. Only one, No. 42, "Lonsdale," had a long career with her new owners. She was re-built pretty extensively and eventually became F.R. No. 66 and finally received the number 12003 from the L.M.S. in 1923.
By 1866 the heavy gradients up each side of Lindal Bank (3 1/2 miles of collar work from Plumpton Junction northbound, and 5 1/2 miles from Askam southbound) were setting an almost impossible task for the existing locomotives as the train loads steadily increased. Banking was already in force on both inclines, but engines specially designed for the job were badly needed. In 1867 this want was supplied by the arrival of the "Neddies." These were a new class of 0-6-0 banking tank supplied by Sharp, Stewart. Two were delivered in 1867, two more in 1871, and a further pair in 1873. The "Neddies" had cylinders, 18x24 ins.; 140 lbs. pressure; and coupled wheels, 4 ft. 7 1/2 ins. dia. They had long side tanks running the full length of the boiler and carrying 1,000 gallons of water and weighed 44 tons 14 cwt. They were numbered 51, 52, 58,69, 82, and 83. No. 51 and 52 did not have a very long life, but the other four, after being replaced on Lindal Bank by heavier bankers in the early nineteen hundreds, did a long spell of work on the heavily graded lines in the Cleator district and on the Cleator & Workington Railway.
During the 19141918 War there were usually a couple of "Neddies" stationed at Moor Row Shed. The L.M.S. re-numbered them 11549 to 11552. MR. PETTIGREW fitted them with new boilers after 1896.
Down to 1870 the little 2-2-2 well tanks had been struggling manfully to cope with the rapidly increasing passenger traffic. They did their best, but time-keeping was almost impossible.
Their lot was made less arduous in 1870 when Sharp, Stewart supplied the first four of a series of 2-4-0 tender engines with 16x20 in. cylinders and 120 lbs. working pressure. Coupled wheels were 5 ft. 6 in. dia. These engines received the numbers 1 and 2 (taken over from the first two "Copper Nobs" and now scrapped,) and 57 and 58.
Three 0-6-0 saddle tanks were supplied this year by Manning, Wardle & Co., of Leeds, for Barrow Docks.
These new 2-4-0's were destined to be the standard passenger engine on the Furness Railway for the next 25 years and the class ultimately grew to 18 locomotives. Nos. 47 and 48 appeared in 1872, taking the numbers of two little W. & F.J. 2-2-2 well tanks. Six more were also delivered in the same year, numbered 70 to 75 inclusive. A final batch of four were built and delivered in 1882.
Even after the appearance in 1896 of the first 4-4-0 type, the days of the 2-4-0's were not over. In 1891 seven of them were converted into 2-4-2 tanks and sent to replace a number of the veteran 2-2-2 well tanks which were then struggling valiantly, but pretty ineffectively, with trains on the various branch lines which had also greatly increased in weight. As these engines were rebuilt they had lengthened frames and 1,000 gallon side-tanks fitted. In this form most of them survived down to 1918. Not unnaturally their last duties were on the Cleator district "joint lines" and on the C. W. Railway. Nos. 47, 48 and 70 to 75 were the ones to be rebuilt as tanks. Two of this 2-4-0 class survived in their original form (apart from the fitting of steel boilers and a few other refinements) down to the 1923 grouping. They were 44A and 45A. One of them received its L.M.S. number (10002.)
Returning to goods engines, the first band of 16 in "Sharpies" received re-inforcements in 1871. A further 18 of this class were put into traffic that year. They received the number 17 to 21, 43, 53, to 56, 59 to 65, and 67. Nos. 17 to 21 replaced a batch of 0-4-0 goods engines and a 2-2-2 tank which were disposed of to the Barrow Steel Company. No. 43 took over the number carried by ex-W. & F. J. 0-6-0 "King Lear" which was scrapped. A further dozen "Sharpies: came along in 1873 and were numbered as follows: 25 and 26, 76 to 79, 80, 81, and 84 to 87. The original Nos. 25 and 26 (Two more 0-4-0's) were sold. Yet another half-dozen were delivered in 1875 and numbered 88 to 93. This brought the class up to 45 examples.
Two new 0-4-0 dock shunting tanks were put to work in 1875. They differed from earlier examples in having the dome over the centre of the boiler instead of the firebox.
As related in Chapter VII the locomotives of the Whitehaven, Cleator & Egremont Railway were taken over in 1878. they were re-numbered 98 to 113. All had long careers, mainly on their :home ground," except No. 108 (W. C. & E. No. 12,"Marron") and No. 113 (W. C. & E. NO. 3, "Victoria".) The former was scrapped in 1904 and the latter sold in 1897.
The last eight "Sharpies" were delivered in 1881 and were allocated Nos. 114 to 119, 49 and 50. The latter did not actually go into traffic until 1882 and took the numbers formerly carried by two W. & F. J. 2-2-2 tanks which were sold.
As already stated, the last 2-4-0 passenger engines came out in 1882. They took their numbers (44 and 45) from the W. & F. J. 0-4-2's, "Mars" and "Sirius" which were broken up. Two further 0-6-0's had been ordered in 1882 and were to be numbered 121 and 122, but immediately after delivery they were re-sold to the Liverpool, Southport and Preston Junction Railway.
During the next eight years (1882-1890) no more new locomotives were put into traffic, but by 1890 the passenger department had fresh needs to be satisfied. The new and improved "boat trans" from the Midland Railway to Barrow Docks called for something "bigger and better" to haul them. The result was the appearance in 1891 of the first Furness -4-4-0. The class, which was given the nickname of "Seagull," had cylinders, 17x24 in.; driving wheels, 5 ft. 7 1/2 in. dia.; and 140 lbs. pressure. The heating surface was 1,040 sq. ft., and the total weight with tender, 60 tons 10 cwt. The numbers allocated were 120 to 123.
A larger version of the "Seagulls" came out in 1896 and comprised six locomotives. In this class the diameter of the cylinders was increased to 18 inches, the stroke remaining the same. Driving wheels were also larger (6 ft. dia.) and the heating surface rose to 1,208 sq. ft. Numbered 32 to 37 these 4-4-0's turned the scale at 69 tons 10 cwt., with tender. The original Nos. 32 to 37 (two "Sharpies" and four 2-2-2- tanks) were cut up.
This brings us down to the end of the first 50 years of the Furness Railway locomotive history. As will be seen, train weights were still going up steadily and the call for bigger and more powerful engines was as insistent as ever. The new bogie passenger locomotives were the answer to the latter department's needs, but the requirements of the goods and mineral traffic were even greater and more urgent. By the close of the 19th Century the little "Sharpies, " with their 16 in. cylinders were being taxed beyond their powers to deal with the loads they were rostered to haul. In Chapter XII we shall see how their relief was eventually supplied.
|Morland Parish Registers|
|Cumberland Parish Registers - Marriages|
|Stanwix Parish Registers|
|The Armorial Bearings of the City of Carlisle|
|Stray CUMBERLAND Baptisms|