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Barrow crossings

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 1:10 pm
by Graham Tipple
Please can someone tell me how wide barrow crossings were? In other words, how long the planks between the tracks were? Thanks, Graham

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Mon May 04, 2020 8:30 am
by Jim Summers
That's an interesting one, Graham, and I don't have the answer. I can say that they were not specified in the BoT Requirements and Recommendations.

As a guess, I'd say the width of a platform barrow plus half as much again, but I hope someone might know better.

JimS

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Mon May 04, 2020 5:27 pm
by MIKEWILLIAMS
Which begs the obvious question, Jim, "how wide is a barrow?" There seems to be a quite inexplicable lack of photographs of crossings taken from directly above. The nearest I've found is this scan from a MRN front cover of the north end of Strathyre, which looks to be about 6ft. There are several oblique photos in Railways of Strathearn (e.g pp. 64/5) which look to be roughly the same.
Scan_20200504.jpg
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And when we've stopped agonising over this, can we then please worry about the foot crossings that often appeared in the middle of the platforrm length to aid porters getting about the station? These were much narrower - see Strathearn book p.274

Best

Mike

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Mon May 04, 2020 8:59 pm
by John Paton
Hello Mike,

I have struggled to find any station plan that includes a barrow crossing from which a dimension could be taken. I attach a few photos of C&O examples - but these were passenger crossings as the stations did not have footbridges. Perhaps you could work out the width from the rail chair spacing. I see that the Strathyre photo shows a staff foot crossing, and this appears in 1960s photos. This seems to be something of a rarity - I see small steps in some photos but between them staff just crossed the track.

John

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Mon May 04, 2020 10:00 pm
by jimwatt2mm
I'd estimate that these ones mostly span over 4 sleeper spaces so, assuming 2'6" sleeper spacing, that would make them 6ft wide. Assuming that the two sleepers furthest from the track in the Kentallen photo are full length 9ft ones, the crossing timbers are about 2/3rds of that.

Jim W

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 12:47 am
by Dave Lochrie
At first reading I thought they must be 9 foot maximum, being cut from re-purposed sleepers, but the Strathyre and Kentallen show that some are half round profile, at least in the 6 foot long, so probably not ex-sleepers after all. Jim's calculation would appear correct, and note the angled chamfer cut onto the edge.
The answer to the width of the standard Caledonian large 2-wheel barrow is 30". The most common 4 wheel type in use was 42" wide but these were rare outside of the large Termini. C& O stations had there own exclusive large 2 wheel design, and I have not yet established the dimensions of this yet.

Mike, have you been able to work out the date the timber mid-platform foot crossing was added as I can't see it in any off the Caledonian era photos?
In the eary days a couple of steps and some raised ballast seemed to have sufficed.
Strathyre-17.jpg
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But in case you establish you do need to include it, here it is being demonstrated at a later date.
Strathyre-19.jpg
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Dave L

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 3:30 pm
by Graham Tipple
Well thanks to y'all for such an informative group of answers. I'm always amazed at the breadth and depth of knowledge among the members. Do we have any photos of the special barrow used on the C&O mentioned by Dave Lochrie?

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 5:01 pm
by MIKEWILLIAMS
Aha!

South end of Balquhidder from Fryer's book. I reckon the J Watt calculation is right.

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Best

Mike

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 7:13 pm
by John Paton
Looking through CR days photos of C&O stations it is obvious that photographers were not interested in luggage barrows! I don't know if the rather indistinct barrows in these photos are the special ones mentioned by Dave, but they are all I can find.
John

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 7:26 pm
by John Paton
... and some more.

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 7:51 pm
by dunalastairv
The barrows in the first four pictures are the C. & O. ones. If you look in 'L.M.S. Lineside, Vol 2' there's a close up of one at Loch Awe, mouldering away in the grass. It was there until quite late - but it's not there now.

Michael.

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 10:43 am
by MIKEWILLIAMS
Why isn't it there, Michael? Did you buy it?

Best

Mike

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 1:02 pm
by Graham Tipple
Thanks, folks. The photos are so helpful and not just on barrows. I'm still amazed at the resources you all have. Best wishes and keep safe, Graham

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 3:35 pm
by dunalastairv
Oh, Michael! I would have done so, trust me, but by the time I got there it had simply gone...

Best, Michael.

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 10:16 am
by MIKEWILLIAMS
As a sort of answer to David's question about the date that the foot crossing was introduced at Strathyre, the furthest back I can take it is the Lens of Sutton photo in Fryer's book, which was taken in "The Thirties." Perhaps it was one of the wondrous innovations introduced at the Grouping by the LMS.

Best

Mike

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 4:32 pm
by John Paton
Mike,

There is something going across the tracks in this CR-era photo, but it may just be a shoulder of ballast. A footstool is there though.

John

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 8:23 pm
by jimwatt2mm
Looks more like a ballast shoulder to me as it has sloping edges, a 'granular' appearance and is below rail level right across. Definitely not boarded IMHO.

Jim

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:14 am
by MIKEWILLIAMS
Thanks John

I agree with Jim, it's ballast. I hadn't seen this picture before and it's fascinating. It looks to have been taken in the immediate pre-WW1 period. Have you any clue as to its origin or date?
  • the fountain is playing, either because a train is expected, or for the photographer's benefit
  • there's a chocolate machine by the booking office building on the right
  • the rockeries have some sort of finial on them; one is obviously pinched off a signal and some of the others look like the terra-cotta items used at the end of roof pitches - see them on the Ballachulish extension buildings
  • I love the porter leaning nonchalantly with what appears to be a shunting pole!
Best

Mike

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 1:40 pm
by Graham Tipple
On the above photo, what is at the base of some of the oil lamp posts? Is it concrete cast inside an oil drum as a mould? Or something else. I was wondering how to model the lamps found against platform fences when they are on an island platform. Are the bases above typical of solutions to that issue? The rockeries are a wonderful idea. They remind us of the differences in what constitutes beauty in gardening and how the past is a foreign country. Growing up in Harrogate, I was very aware of old photos of the gardens in town that showed just such idiosyncratic gardening features.

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 3:32 pm
by dunalastairv
Hi Graham,

I've seen several images showing the gardens at Strathyre and in my opinion the bases of the lamp posts are large pottery drainage pipes, presumably filled with concrete, and then painted up to match the rest of the displays. This is the only place I've ever seen this arrangement and I assume they date from the time after the main station building burnt down. The lamp cases themselves are the extra large Caley type, normally containing a paraffin tank with two burners and glasses to give maximum lumens! The lampmen called these 'Caley double-burners'. I have one in my collection, complete with the vessel, and they are rather large and insubstantial, which is why very few survive. I've also just acquired one of those early and large signal finials, seen in the rockery, and will write a short article about this for a forthcoming TTL.

Best wishes, Michael.

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 12:52 am
by Dave Lochrie
Looking at several of the pictures of Strathyre, I am sure that the plant pots are probably terracotta plant pots sporting various paint finishes. There is a definite top to bottom taper you would not get on drainage pipes. Those on the platform at Callander, do, however appear to be drainage pipes.
Amendment- I now suspect only the earlier tubs seen alongside the first timber station building were tapered plant pots, the later ones are parallel sided as Michael suggested.
Mr John Sutherland, the Station Master at Strathyre for most of the Caledonian period, along with his wife, seems to have been very resourceful in his approach to gardening. Presumably he would score well in the annual awards?

Graham I have quite a few more Strathyre pictures which are worth sharing, especially as Mike is building a model of the station, but rather than continuing to hijack your Barrow Crossing topic, would you mind if I start a new topic? John Paton has correctly provided pictures of the C&O's unique style of platform barrow. There has been some previous speculation about how it was used, and it was suggested it was called a "box shute". These 2 pictures show a good view of one behind the buffers at Ballachulish in Caledonian days, and Michael's on that got away at Loch Awe, which is useful in showing some construction detail.
Ballachulish C&O Barrow,jpg.jpg
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C&O Box-shute.jpg
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Michael, I think I sent you a PM about 6 weeks ago, are you still on the same email as when we were last in contact?
Is this the lamp you have acquired? Fixed to a length of rail, fixed in one of the pots (note the scotch derrick painted white behind). I am sure this is a post-Caledonian picture, but the station label is still Caledonian.
Strathyre 23.jpg
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Dave L

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 9:20 am
by dunalastairv
Hello David,

I haven't had a PM from you at all but do please get in touch via the normal e-mail you have, which is still current. That is exactly the picture of the C. & O. 'box-shute' at Loch Awe I was taking about and it's the one reproduced in "LMS Lineside, Vol 2". If I'd been around at that time I would definitely have tried to save it. I do have three examples of the platform lamp you illustrate at Strathyre, all slightly different, but these are not the ones shown in the gardens by the fountain, which are much larger and fixed to battens, whereas the type you illustrate were held on a patent cast-iron bracket, made by Bulpitt's in Birmingham usually, so they could be lifted off and stored when not in use. I'll photograph them both and send you images via e-mail, but there's no point in my trying to send them direct to the Forum as I can never get that system to work!

I agree we are a long way from 'barrow crossings' now and should perhaps have a new thread called 'Strathyre Station gardens'.

Best wishes, Michael.

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 6:44 pm
by Graham Tipple
Hi Michael (dunalastairv), I'm more than happy for you to start a new thread. It's been great how one thing has led onto another. Graham

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 7:37 pm
by John Paton
Hi Michael,

I'd like to see your photos - and I'm sure the other 100s who are viewing this thread would too! Perhaps if you let us know your problem we can help you attach them.
The biggest problem usually is that the size of the original image is too large to attach. I compress images using "paint.net" which can be downloaded free. Remember to 'Save As' and rename the file so that your original remains at its full size.

Best wishes,

John

Re: Barrow crossings

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 11:20 pm
by jimwatt2mm
If you're using Windows 10, then Microsoft Office Picture Manager has a resize function which makes it easy to get them to the correct size. PM me if you would like me to take you through the straightforward process.

Jim W