Pick-Up Goods Trains

Timetables, traffic, industries served, operational issues

Pick-Up Goods Trains

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:22 pm

Does anyone know of a good book on the above topic?
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Re: Pick-Up Goods Trains

Postby Noel » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:02 pm

I don't think that there is a book, good or bad, specifically about this subject. Certainly, as a modeller with an interest in freight traffic and train operation, I am not aware of one. There are specialist books still in print [I think] on both GWR and LNER goods services, both of which I would expect cover the topic, along with other freight operations of the companies in question. As with much of the steam railway, little would have changed operationally for such trains between the 1880s and the mid-1960s, so the post-grouping era narrative may still be useful, and the GWR ones will probably include at least some pre-grouping material. I can't offer any advice beyond this, as I don't own any of these books other than the GW ones on goods depots and cartage.

Possibly the most likely to be a useful starting point in providing a general background is R J Essery "Freight Train Operation for the Railway Modeller", which I have looked at, but don't own a copy of, as I felt it was too generalised to add enough to my knowledge to make it worth buying. This is not intended as a criticism, just an indication that I have other books which cover similar areas. Otherwise, having an interest in the topic myself, I may be able to help if you have specific questions.
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Re: Pick-Up Goods Trains

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:33 pm

Hi Noel

Many thanks for you comments and for your kind offer to help with specific questions.

So here goes:

I'm planning a layout based on Pontypridd (Barry) station together with Pwllgwaun Goods Yard. I was therefore trying to work out how the goods service would have operated. The yard at Pwllgwaun faces Up whereas the yards at Efail Isaf, Creigiau and Wenvoe face Down the line. This led to my thinking the following:

The main pick-up train would have left Barry Goods Shed and run to Pwllgwaun non-stop (see below re Cadoxton). There, it would have reversed into the yard. I have a couple of difficulties at this point. Given that the train would have headed out on the Down line, how would the brake van been put at the other end of the train and how would the locomotive been able to run round?

It then makes sense to me that, at the three stations to the south of Pontypridd, this is the direction in which the drop-off pick-up operation took place. It's also clear that these three stations served centres of low population therefore it is hard to see that there was much traffic on this run, with the exception of Barry - Pontypridd; Pwllgwaun had its own shed which was extended later in its life during Barry days.

There was also a goods yard at Cadoxton which from its location and direction would suggest that it was a stop on the Up run to Pwllgwaun.

I must confess to being a bit lazy as I haven't dug out my working timetable for the Barry Railway as I cannot remember where I left it. It would certainly help with some of the above questions.
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Re: Pick-Up Goods Trains

Postby Noel » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:08 pm

A lot of your questions can only be answered by the WTT really, as they are specific to this line. However, some general comments:

As you suggest, the train would probably have been operated out and back from the southern end [assuming the shed at Trehafod was only there to provide locos for the full train load coal traffic ex-TVR and return empties] and the intermediate goods yards would only be shunted once per trip, either on the outward or return legs, according to the direction they faced, but not both. The start/end point though would be more likely to be a sorting or exchange yard, rather than a goods depot, unless the two were on the same site. The train would have to collect traffic from other lines and companies, and deliver traffic going the other way, at some point. If the exchange sidings were in an intermediate location, then the train might start from Barry Goods, and stop on the way north [and/or south] to exchange traffic outbound from the Barry system and collect the inbound traffic. Equally, the goods yard at Barry may have been worked by a transfer from the local sorting yard, rather than by the train to Pwllgwaun. Only the WTT will answer that one, I think.

There was a loop on the headshunt at Pwllgwaun, which would permit reversal of the train, plus a trailing crossover by means of a single slip on the yard access, so the train could be propelled out onto the wrong line for departure and cross to the right line by means of the slip [layout from R A Cooke section 46B].

The awkward location is St. Fagans. It appears from the 25in maps of the locations that it was possible to run round on the running lines at both locations, so the train could visit on the down journey, run round, return to Tyn-y-Caeau Junction, run round again, and proceed southward. Again, only the WTT will confirm [or not] if this is what actually happened.
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