Another in my quest for information of the workings of the Midland Railway coal depots at West Kensington and Kensington High Street. Both closed to traffic in the mid 1960s, dates vary according to different sources, but basically the unfitted goods trains were steam hauled from Cricklewood using LMS "Jinty" tank locos via the Dudden Hill branch to South Acton, then round the now lifted Gunnersbury Triangle to West Kensington, using the lifted double junction just west of the station, on the site of what is now Ashbury House, and onto the coal depot that is now a housing estate.
Other trains ran via the same route and on through Earls Court to platform4 at High Streett, then a double shuffle up the incline to the coal depot, the site now occupied by a hotel. From track plans I've seen there's no apparent run-round at High Street so I'm still baffled as to how the loco would run round its train to go back to Cricklewood. The answer may be in a pre-1965 District Line local instructions book or if anyone has a British Railways Midland section "Working Over" book for the London area, that may have the answer. The working time ables would be handy as well as these would show the paths available, usually early morning or after the morning peak for eastbound trains and early afternoon for the westbound empties.
Maybe any ex High Street signalmen from that era would remember?
WTT No. 85 18/6/1962 shows Mon-Fri arrivals at West Kensington at 5.23am RR, 10.32am (suspended Tues and Thurs) and 11.31am RR. Return journeys are at 10.29am RR, 12.13pm RR, and 3.58pm (suspended Tues and Thurs). Arrivals at High Street 9.59am and 1.22pm RR. Return 2.23pm (Tues and Thurs only) and 3.23pm RR.
On Saturday arrive West Kensington at 5.36am RR and 10.32am (suspended), return 10.27am RR. There is no other return working shown. Arrival at High Street 9.36am, return 3.9pm.
WTT No.89 7/9/1964 shows the West Kensington journeys in approximately the same timings but the High Street workings have ceased. There is no reference in the WTTs concerning the working of freight trains.
I recall once seeing a Jinty propelling its train from platform 4 at High Street up to the higher level. It must be remembered that in those days platform 4 was hidden from the other platforms by advertisement hordings. In 1964 I was on the westbound platform at Turnham Green when a train returning to Brent went through. On another occasion i was on a District Line train between Turnham Green and Gunnersbury and saw a plume of steam on the north side of the triangle heading east. I also once saw a Jinty shunting below in Hammersmith & Chiswick (Goods) from a District Line train.
Were the Jinty engines fitted with trip cock apperatus for working over the LT lines?
Not according to the track plans I've seen, using the NLS large-scale maps of the are which have pretty accurate track plans. Unless good old gravity and horses were used for certain shunting moves. I can't see a second loco being based there to shunt the yard and assist with the run-round, it simply wouldn't have made common sence despite railway modellers wanting to provide locos everywhere for every purpose!
Which is why I'm still trying to find local working instructions for this yard and the West Kensigton coal depot which also seemed to lack a run-round facility!
Cricklewood had a small number of Jintys trip-cock fitted for working over the DR. From what I've heard they were put in the "own" position but rarely cut in. the reason being the train does not have continuous brakes, so the application of the "emergency" steam brake on the loco would result in a very rough ride for the guard rather than a gentle application of the brake to buffer up the wagons. There was a picture published recently of an LMS 8F 2-8-0 shunting the yard at Hammersmith & Chiswick! 1965 or 66 I think. It seemed a bit of a big engine for a dozen or so wagons.