And yet another mystery photograph

Any aspect related to the structures and equipment on the Caledonian Railway Company.
Posts: 272
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by JimG »

There was a fair bit of interest on Western Thunder amounting to two pages of messages but with no answer to the mystery until I let them know that John Paton had cracked it onj tghis forum. However one of the members, Martin Shaw, came up with this response today and I copy it with his permission. :-

Last night for some bed time reading I picked up The St Andrews Railway which has one or two interesting bits relating to the photo. Leuchars Old was originally a wayside station on the Edinburgh, Perth & Dundee Rly, opened in 1848, it gained a bay for the St Andrews service in the late 1850s. The book records the rebuilding of the footbridge in 1859, could that date the photo, personally I don't think so but later photos show a pretty standard cast iron footbridge and there appears some evidence of that beneath the timber.

Secondly the late Ed Nicoll provided a diagram of the signalling in 1927, the signal in the photo, No 4 the up home has gained a lower fixed distant arm, the up distant for Leuchars North which opened in 1878, coincident with the Tay Bridge and the new route via St Fort. This is also confirmed by later photos where it is identifiable. From a signalling perspective the diagram doesn't show a fixed distant under the starting signal, which in more modern terms I would expect, however the important point is that in the original photo there is no distant arm which could place the picture pre 1878. I have no idea how punctilious the NBR were with these matters, I suspect like most railway companies, spending money was to be avoided at all costs, and it may be that it wasn't until the Regulation of the Railways Act of 1889 that the NB were pushed into action.

In summary the picture is Leuchars Old looking north, possibly in 1859, probably before 1878, likely pre 1890. Fascinating stuff these railways.


Jim G.
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by WCML55.68 »


Im sure everyone will have thoroughly enjoyed both input and watching this unfold, and well done again to John Paton who presumably spent hours or days studying maps to reach a conclusion. Is there a tale to tell?
I know Ive thoroughly enjoyed the research Ive done into the forthcoming Harthope over the last few years and the production of plans etc. And still photos and other things are coming to light.

I wonder if an online or TTL Christmas Quiz, perhaps a collection of single questions from several contributors, or a Crossword might be an idea with a wee bottle of Glenfiddich, or voucher to purchase?, as a prize to the winner? Im sure both would go down well!!

Regards P.
Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by Jim Summers »

Now there is a suggestion which the Committee will consider.

This may be an opportunity to say that of course the Committee has been evaluating how we should go forward in these trying times, and I have written a piece thereon in the forthcoming TTL. It is at the printers now, and incorporates a treat.

John Paton
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

I didn't actually spend that much time on it! Thinking about NB stations with level crossings at the platform ends narrows the field considerably. In my initial search I forgot about Leuchars Old. It was only as a last resort when WCML55.68 presented further evidence that it could be NB that I looked over my copy of Ian Allan's "Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer" and I saw it - then the "St Andrews Railway" by Andrew Hajducki provided the photo evidence.
Posts: 198
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by WCML55.68 »

Well you must have an incredible knowledge of the network. Very impressive, I can already feel my bottle of Glenfiddich getting out of reach! :roll:
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