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Pannier Tanks
on the
Southern Region

 

A train on the railway tracks

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Pannier tank no.4672 on empty stock work at Clapham Junction

On Wednesday, 23rd December 1959 view northward from Platform 8, with the extensive Carriage Depot off to the left and Collett '8750' class 0-6-0PT No. 4672 (built March 1944, withdrawn July 1963). Behind can be glimpsed a BR Standard 4-6-0.

Ben Brooksbank (Geograph)

 

 

Ex. Western Region Pannier Tanks probably first appeared on the Southern Region's shed list with the February 1958 regional boundary changes, which transferred Weymouth shed into Southern control. At the time of the boundary change the Pannier Tank's main duties surrounded the Weymouth tramway (passenger and freight) as well as freight along the Portland branch.

The February 1958 regional boundary changes also saw Yeovil Pen Mill moving to Southern control. Yeovil Pen Mill shed (71H formerly 82E) was closed in January 1959 with its seven class 5700 Pannier Tanks being transferred to Yeovil Town (72C). It was not without a certain irony that following the December 1962 regional boundary changes Yeovil Town became a Western Region depot (83E).

The 1958 boundary changes resulted in the Southern acquiring some twenty pannier tanks split between thirteen mixed classes (1366, 1400 & 5700) at Weymouth, seven (57XX) at Yeovil, at least three (57XX) at Bath (Green Park) and at least two (57XX) at Templecombe. Those used at Weymouth under BR(S) included 1367, 1368, 1369, 3737 with 3671, 3733, 4656, 8745, 9732, 9754, 9760 & 9764 amongst those at Yeovil Town, 3681, 3742 & 3758 at Bath (Green Park) and 9651 & 4631 at Templecombe.

Following their transfer to the Western Region, Bath Green Park (1958), Templecombe (1958), Exmouth Junction (December 1962) and Yeovil Junction (December 1962) all received allocations of Pannier Tanks.

In 1959 and 1960 Pannier Tanks were transferred on the Southern Region's South Western and South Eastern Divisions; initially at Dover and Nine Elms sheds. Whilst at Dover the locomotives worked the Folkestone Harbour Branch; those at Nine Elms undertook empty stock workings between Clapham Yard and Waterloo station.

The Southern Region had withdrawn Pannier Tank no.4686 in August 1959 but then acquired no.3633 from Danygraig (87C) in April 1960.

Around the end of 1963 Nine Elms (70A) replaced all its Pannier Tanks with BR Standard Class '3' Prairie tank engines, cascaded down from the both Midland and North Eastern Regions. The Southern Region already had an allocation BR Standard Class '3' Prairie tank engines at Eastleigh (71A) and until its transfer to the Western Region, Exmouth Junction (72A).

BR Standard Class '3' tank engines

With the arrival of the BR Standard '3' tanks at Nine Elms (70A) some of the Southern Region's Pannier Tanks were redeployed further out into South Western Division territory. The transfer of the lines west of Salisbury to the Western Region resulted in some of the former 'Nine Elms' Pannier Tanks returning to the Western.

 

 

Pannier Tanks at Dover (73H)

Pannier Tanks arrived at Dover (73H) in January 1959, operating from Dover 's sub-shed at Folkestone Junction on the Folkestone Harbour branch. The purpose of this move was to replace the aging 'R1' Class six-coupled tank engines whose design dated back to 1888.

However, the 'Folkestone' Pannier Tanks only lasted until the latter part of 1961. In September 1961 re-allocation began with two locomotives leaving for the South Western Division whilst 4631 remained on the Eastern Division albeit at Stewarts Lane (73A). The remaining Pannier Tanks were transferred to the South Western Division in November 1961.

Folkestone Harbour's boat trains moved to electric multiple unit operation from the 18th June 1962.

 

 

 

Pannier Tanks at Nine Elms (70A)

During 1959 a number of Western Region Class 5700 Pannier Tanks were allocated to Nine Elms. It is understood that no.9770 (formerly of 83D Laira) was the first, having initially been trialled on the Folkestone Harbour branch. Further Pannier Tank arrivals were all ex-Welsh based locomotives. The intention of this move was to replace some of the ageing LSWR Drummond Class M7 0-4-4T tank engines.

It appears that the Pannier Tanks did not endear themselves to the great majority of the 70A Nine Elms footplate crews who described them as rather soul-less locomotives being 'uncomfortable and particularly awkward in every aspect'. However, their capability and strength was acknowledged being able to hauling (with relative ease) twelve or thirteen bogies on the empty stock workings between Clapham Yard and Waterloo .

Vacuum Pressure

With the arrival of the Pannier Tanks came a number of incidents of dragging brakes on trains departing from Waterloo . This was found to be as a consequence of the twenty-five inches of vacuum that the Western Region used. Basically, Pannier Tanks would leave the in-bound empty stock at Waterloo with more that the prescribed twenty-one inches of vacuum. This in turn meant the out-bound train-engine was unable to fully release the brakes as the vacuum left in the coaching stock reservoirs was greater than the vacuum the train-engine was trying to create in the brake pipe.

It was not uncommon for trains with dragging brakes to be halted to enable staff to pull the reservoir 'release strings' so as to reduce the excess reservoir vacuum along the train. With the cause soon identified reservoir 'release strings' were regularly pulled on empty stock whilst it stood at Waterloo . In addition, the Pannier Tank's vacuum limiter valves and pumps were attended to.

BR Standard Class '3' tank engines

Around the end of 1963, Nine Elms' Pannier Tank engines were replaced by Swindon-built BR Standard Class '3' Prairie tank engines which gained far greater acceptance amongst Nine Elms' drivers.

 

A train on the railway tracks

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Pannier tank no.4681 on an empty stock at Clapham Junction

View northward, towards Waterloo with the West London Extension line curving away behind. On Wednesday, 23rd December 1959 '8750' class No. 4681 (built November 1944, withdrawn December 1963) arrives on an ecs from Waterloo.

Before passing under Clapham 'A' signalbox (with its wartime steel roof), the train would have been drawn through the carriage-washing plant near West London Junction.

Ben Brooksbank (Geograph)

 

 

Pannier Tanks allocated to
Nine Elms and Dover

The following thirteen Pannier Tanks have been identified as being transferred onto the Southern Region and allocated to Nine Elms and Dover . However, please note that this list (and dates) is not exhaustive.

 

3633

Transferred April 1960 from Danycraig (87C) to Dover (73H). Reallocated to Nine Elms (70A) during October 1961 and recorded as in service there in March 1962. No.3633 was reallocated to Gloucester (85B) during October 1963.

4601

Transferred January 1959 to Dover (73H) but may have been moved to Nine Elms (70A) in November 1961.

4610

Transferred January 1959 from Barry (88C) to Dover (73H). No.4610 was recorded as operating on the Folkestone Harbour branch on 31st May 1961. By January 1962 it was being used at Nine Elms (70A).

4616

Transferred January 1959 to Dover (73H). However, by September 1961 it had been moved to Basingstoke (70D).

4626

Transferred January 1959 to Dover (73H). No.4626 was recorded as operating on the Folkestone Harbour branch on 31st May 1961. In November 1961 it was reallocated to Salisbury (72B).

Of all the Pannier Tanks transferred onto the Southern Region no. 4626 survived the longest, being withdrawn from Salisbury (72B) in March 1964.

4630

Transferred January 1959 to Dover (73H). However, by November 1961 it had been moved to Salisbury (72B).

4631

Transferred January 1959 to Dover (73H). However, by November 1961 it had been reallocated to Stewart's Lane (73A) before reaching Templecombe (83G) in 1965 (by then a Western Region shed).

4634

Formerly based at Cardiff Cathays (88A) probably moved to Nine Elms (70A) in 1959 and certainly used there between January 1960 and May 1962

4672

Formerly a Barry (88C) engine, no.4672 probably moved to Nine Elms (70A) in 1959 and certainly used there between January 1962 to May /June 1964 (when it was observed as condemned).

No. 4672 was produced in 4mm model form (Black late-crest) by Bachmann (Catalogue no.32-202).

4681

Formerly a Duffryn Yard (87B) engine, no.4681 was certainly in use at Nine Elms (70A) during July 1960.

4692

Formerly a Barry (88C) engine, no.4692 probably moved to Nine Elms (70A) in 1959 and certainly used there between January 1960 and November 1961. It was photographed on the Folkestone Harbour branch on 13th August 1959.

4698

Formerly a Cardiff Cathays (88A) engine, no.4698 probably moved to Nine Elms (70A) in 1959 and certainly used there between March 1960 and August 1963.

9770

Formerly a Laira (83D) engine, no.9770 was trialled on the Folkestone Harbour Branch before arrival at Nine Elms (70A) probably in 1959. Certainly, it was used there between January 1960 and June 1963. During July 1963 it moved to Bath Green Park.

 

 

A picture containing train, track, outdoor, sky

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Yeovil Town Station, Yard and Locomotive Shed

View NE, towards Yeovil Pen Mill (Great Western to left) and Yeovil Junction (Southern Railway, to right). Joint SR and GW station, served by SR branch trains from Yeovil Junction and by GW trains from Yeovil Pen Mill - Taunton (behind camera).

On Tuesday, 21st April 1964 a GW 64XX 0-6-0 Pannier tank stands in the foreground; on the Shed can be discerned three SR Bulleid Light Pacifics and two SR 2-6-0s.

The passenger service from Taunton ceased on 5th April 64, from Yeovil Junction on 3rd October 1966, goods was handled here until 6th May 1968.

Ben Brooksbank (Geograph)

 

Copyright Colin Watts & photographs as stated

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