Perth Harbour Branch

Any aspect related to the structures and equipment on the Caledonian Railway Company.
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Dave Lochrie
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:38 pm

Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

INTRODUCTION
I have a scrapbook mentality, even more so in the digital age (though it is now 23 years since I bought my first Apple Macintosh computer). I collect information often on a project, even though there may be no actual project! Many of these are incomplete in as much as they don't contain enough information to constitute a good TTL article, but I figure that by posting an incomplete "picture" on the forum, enough additional info might materialise, and they may become someone else's project. I'm not even sure that this is the correct subject area, because I am confident that this one is so obscure that even John Paton won't be posting structure drawings, because there were few if any pure railway structures. A check on GOOGLE shows you can trace the first part of the branch from the junction at Friarton as a line of trees between Manson Crescent and the back of the Harbour Industrial Area. Comparison suggests that no structures remain from the 1880's photo, at least the harbour is still in commercial use, with the entire harbour now dredged and with additional wharfage. The size of the vessels being handled has increased as well.
Perth Harbour looking South.jpg
Perth Harbour looking South.jpg (145.28 KiB) Viewed 20240 times
Modellers like unusual prototypes and goods only lines are always popular subjects (especially if someone has just written a book which positively encourages the construction of more wagons) and the Perth Harbour Branch has always seemed a good subject. One of the usual sources of information regarding unusual working arrangements The Appendix to the Working Time Table is puzzlingly blank for a branch which involved at least one reversal of train direction and ran for over half its length on public or private roads and serving a range of private sidings (whereas the extension to the Perth Gasworks and the Friarton Manure Works which are clearly worked separately, do have specific instructions). The Branch was worked by Train Staff (black) from Friarton Box. The branch is best described as an inverted letter "Y", the lower left leg connecting to the sidings at the south end of Friarton Up Yard, with the switchback on Shore Road (the site of the earlier Perth Harbour), and the right-hand leg running south again onto the new harbourside, connecting with a number of private sidings along the way
Branch Plan 1901.jpg
Branch Plan 1901.jpg (173.82 KiB) Viewed 20240 times
The Branch was opened by The Scottish Central in 1852, did not close until 16th May 1968, and has recently been the subject of a feasablity study http://www.sustaccess.org/.../FINAL_REP ... udy.%20pdffor possible re-opening!
I'll look at the route and development, and apply Mike Williams techniques from TTL113 to identify the sources of traffic, and hope that somewhere along the way someone will be able to give an insight into how the branch was worked. I don't have any evidence to support this but the original track layout seems to suggest that a certain amount of horse-haulage was originally intended.
MASTER SHOT 1.jpg
MASTER SHOT 1.jpg (180.29 KiB) Viewed 20240 times
Dave L
Last edited by Dave Lochrie on Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Some more pictures, "Perth from Edinburgh Road" is one of those locations ("Oban from Pulpit Hill" -24ish, "Perth from Barnhill" -30+), which became obligatory locations for successive postcard photographers
Perth from Edinburgh Rd -colour 1910.jpg
Perth from Edinburgh Rd -colour 1910.jpg (167.7 KiB) Viewed 20239 times
I'm not too good on sailing craft, is this a 3-masted brig? I'm sure someone with a nautical background Alan F,Tony B or Roger will put me right. Answering my own question, the vessel is a Barque. None of the 72 vessels still registered with Perth as their home port in around 1885 were of this type, all being 2-masted ships, mostly Sloops and Schooners with a few Brigs
Looking East across Perth Harbour.jpg
Looking East across Perth Harbour.jpg (136.79 KiB) Viewed 20239 times
Back on more familiar (solid) ground, CR No 1265 was the regular branch engine prior to the grouping.
CR 0-4-0 Tnk No 1265 used on Perth Harbour Branch.jpg
CR 0-4-0 Tnk No 1265 used on Perth Harbour Branch.jpg (192.09 KiB) Viewed 20239 times
There is a photo in the Angus Railway Group's Steam Album, Volume 3 -Perthshire showing NBR C Class No786, with the gas storage tank behind, posed with crew, shunter and another staff member with collar and tie (crossing pilot?). Again there is no mention in the WTT re specific access times, so if the NB had running powers how was access determined, first come gets the train staff? According to the Caledonian 1904 Mineral TT Perth (South) Goods Nos 1 & 2 cover the Harbour Branch in two, 12 hour shifts, No1 specifically "makes run to harbour at 9.0am" , but No3 "Earls Dyke Shunting" is also rostered to cover the branch on it's 7.0am to 7.0pm shift. Branch opening times are quoted in the Appendix to the WTT as according to Traffic, and I presume tide times may have some impact on traffic timings.
There is a 1959 picture taken by D. McKerchar, a few yards further south of the NBR shot, showing ex CR 782 Class, No56347 shunting open wagons, with a line of vans visible on the loop http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5291/5579 ... 1d69_z.jpg.


Dave L
Last edited by Dave Lochrie on Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Operation of The Perth Harbour Branch.
Although the 1915 Appendix to the Working Time Table have no special instructions for working the branch, it appears that crews collected the train staff from the signalman at Friarton Box with the locomotive at the front end, the train standing in the loop behind the box (not present in the photo because it had not been constructed at the time of the picture, the box itself must have been fairly new at the time of the photograph as the earlier telegraph box is still in existence on the down side of the line). The train would have vered right and descended the branch, falling at 1:88 towards the River Tay. There was a loop just before the trailing junction to the New Harbour. From this point the branch moved onto a public road and this must have required a flagman as the train moved on to switchback section on Lime Shore between the South Inch and the Tay on what was the location of Perth's second harbour.
PHB 1864-1.jpg
PHB 1864-1.jpg (148.94 KiB) Viewed 20177 times
The 1864 Map shows there was originally a loop and siding on the riverside wharf at this point. The points changed the loco now reversed direction along the harbour access road. In 1901 each of the private sidings had a facing connection into succesive yards to the east of the harbour line. The only other loop was near the end of the wharf, so logic suggests incoming wagons would have been left in the loop on the "main line" while the loco continued down the harbour line to collect outgoing traffic from the various private sidings and the wharf itself, these could be drawn back to the switchback, and then propelled back "up" to the other side of the loop (brakes pinned) and then repeat the shunting with the incoming wagons.
Operation on The P H B.jpg
Operation on The P H B.jpg (152.49 KiB) Viewed 20177 times
Some Questions:
Why no Special Instructions for working the Branch? There are instructions for the Friarton Branch, which was effectively an extension on the other end of Friarton Up Loop.
Am I correct in interpreting both th 1864 and 1901 OS maps as showing 2 gates across both the road and rail at the start of the public road section, what use would they serve at this location? If they were locked across the line (and unlocked by the trains taff) they would only be opened to road traffic at the same time as rail traffic, so they would not have operated as a regular crossing, leading to my conclusion that at least one flagman would have been essential (if nothing else the BoT must have had rules applicable)
Does the fact that the Harbour was owned by the Town Council from about 1854, have any impact (ie not a public road)?
Would the train from Friarton Loop have needed a brake van?

Next installment looks at the traffic on the branch.

Dave L
Crossing Gates.jpg
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Just to answer one of my own questions, closer inspection of the 1864 1st Edition map confirms that the gates do in fact show a level crossing, because as the engine draws its train from the loop onto the road it crosses from one side of the road to the other (because the old wharf alongside the Tay was on the east side of the road but access line and the "new" harbour is on the west side) and again as it reverses direction to propel onto the harbour line proper it crosses back to the other side. This still doesn't explaim how the gates are operated but they must have been split in such a way as to halt road traffic whilst permitting the train to cross diagonally and back again, a job which I'm still sure would have been done by two flagmen.There is no further evidence of this on either of the later 2nd edition 25 inch maps.
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Traffic on the Perth Harbour Branch -1.

At the time the branch was opened the main industrial activity was shipbuilding with some half-dozen or more shipyards with slipways facing out to the Tay, both the original (2nd) quayside on Lime Shore and the New Harbour were in private ownership and their profitability was effected by the arrival of the SCR. The outcome of this was that in 1854 the harbour was taken over by Perth Town Council, who concentrated all futher investment and development on the New Harbour.

Traffic via the Harbour
Perth's main overseas trade was with northern Europe and the Baltic, "the principal imports are Baltic timber, coals, cement, slates, oilcake, and artificial manure; and the principal exports are potatoes, grain, and timber".
Perth tried to establish links with North America, but could never compete with the west coast ports. The Tay was too shallow for big ships, and growing competition from the railways reduced the importance of coastal and river craft.
Also absent due to it's location further north than the main coalfields was the Baltic traffic importing timber for pitprops and returning with coal. So mostly open wagons.
Shipbuilding
In the 18th and 19th centuries, shipbuilding was a significant part of Perth's economy. Timber was floated down river from north Perthshire to the many small shipyards on the banks of the Tay. Amongst the vessels launched at Perth were sloops, smacks, brigantines and schooners.
By the late 19th century, ships were increasingly built of iron, and Perth's shipyards went into decline. The last big sailing ship built in Perth was the Ballinbreich Castle, launched in 1879. The steamship Bertha, launched in 1896, was one of the last products of the Perth yards.
Timber Yards & Sawmills.
As the shipyards closed the skilled labour and equipment were re-deployed in the timber trade, probably primarily in construction. Opens for shorter lengths and probably swivel wagons for felled tomber in and standard 24ft planks out.
Slaughterhouse and Cold Store
Adjacent to the northernmost part of the branch stood the original Perth slaughterhouse. As there appears to be no bank for unloading livestock at this point, animals must have been unloaded at facilities elsewhere and driven around or across the South Inch, or more likely via the cattle market (strange that the slaughterhouse was not located there). Enlargement of the photo of the the Friarton end of the branch does show 4 cattle wagons standing on one of the sidings parallel to the branch, behind a line of 6 open wagons standing in the Brick and Tile Factory Siding, which is nowhere near any other cattle dock, so it may be a possibility (a moveable wooden ramp perhaps?). Outbond would use Meat Vans and it is possible this may have been loaded on the branch, but again no facilites and no evidence.
Oil Cake and Manure
The inbound raw materials were seed, and vegetable oil (plus manure), not sure how oil cakes were despatched probably boxed in sheeted opens.
Glass Manufacture
There were a number of glass works in Perth but 2 of these were locted on the harbour branch. Tomey & Sons, Tay Glass Works was set-up on Shore Road in 1850. In 1896 another local glass manufacturer, John Moncrieff (who's main site was adjacent to Perth North Goods Yard) leased a 32 acre plot of land at the lower harbour from Perth Town Council. As well as bottle manufacture both these companies were to specialise in the manufacture of gauge glasses, John Moncrieff's "Perth" and "Unific" Brands were to become leading brands worldwide. In 1919 Moncrieff's bought out Tomey & Sons.
Glass requires sand (a portion of which could be dreged locally) and coal in bulk, the finished products being despatched in cases packed in straw, either in open wagons or in vans
Perth Adverts.jpg
Perth Adverts.jpg (188.1 KiB) Viewed 20133 times
Ink Works
In 1900 John Moncrieff acquired the ink production division of John Todd & Co, the production of which was incorporated onto the new harbour site. Again traffic mostly in open wagons.
Gas Works
This one might seem obvious (coal/coke inbound and tar products out) but the site was merely a storage site with 2 gasometers, the Perth Gas Commissioners main production site was on the Friarton Branch (running south-east from the signal box) The gas must have been piped to the storage tanks. Considering the fuss made by the Council about the Scottish Central encroaching on The South Inch (Peter Marshall's The Scottish Central Railway) it seemed hypocritical to squeeze in a couple of 100ft gasometers.
There was also the Burgh Electric Light Station shown on the 1901 map but I haven't found any information on this, was electricity generated here?

It isn't possible to identify the exact site used by each company. OS maps rarely give this kind of commercial information and the absense of street numbers leaves site identification from Leslie's Postal Directory pretty difficult , but as a rough guide the attached extract lists the businesses from north to south, and comparison with the maps allows a few fixed markers such as the Glass Works, Customs House and The Hospital.
Kelly's Perth Harbour.jpg
Kelly's Perth Harbour.jpg (133.42 KiB) Viewed 20133 times
The Caledonian's 1915 List of Private sidings does enable us to identify the location of each of the 4 rail-connected Companies.
CR 1915Goods Stations & Sidings Extract.jpg
CR 1915Goods Stations & Sidings Extract.jpg (145.55 KiB) Viewed 20133 times
In any case I'm not an Industrial Archaeolegist (I'm not sure I can even spell it), my interest was in identifying the different rail traffic sources along the branch to the level that a modeller could work with.(Modellers do seem to be attracted to subjects combining rail and water, this subject would be ideal for a 7mm minimum space, goods only layout)

Dave L
Sorry about the limited actual railway content in this post
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Traffic on the Perth Harbour Branch -2

From an elargement of this c.1880's picture I have counted at least 24 wagons on the branch plus the rail-mounted crane, there are no locomotives present, and the last crew have left something of a shunting puzzle behind. Apart from 1 van and 2 mineral wagons , not CR outside framed, all of the wagons are low-sided goods vehicles between 2 and 4 planks high. I haven't picked out any flat or bolster wagons, which might have been expected given the number of timber yards.
Wagon Count.jpg
Wagon Count.jpg (110.74 KiB) Viewed 20081 times
I mentioned in the last posting about the possible use of cattle wagons on the branch and closer enlargement of the point at which the Harbour Branch veres away from Friarton Up Yard, confirms that 4 cattle wagons are present, but that the photo and the 1901 OS map also show a short cattle dock. The likely route for livestock on their last journey, would be through the underbridge, just beyond the Brick and Tile Works and down the footpath on the route of what is now Friarton Road to Shore Road. The 6 wagons in front (1 open and 5 mineral) are sat in the Brick and Tile Works siding, the Harbour Branch is the middle track.
Friarton.jpg
Friarton.jpg (90.97 KiB) Viewed 20081 times
Other locomotives noted on the branch in the 1890's and into the 20th Century, included CR Nos 500, 0-6-0ST and ex Solway Junction, 0-4-2WT, No541
CR No500 Poutau Listing.jpg
CR No500 Poutau Listing.jpg (96.85 KiB) Viewed 20081 times

Dave L
Barry Rhys
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Barry Rhys »

Dave, you've obviously spent a lot of time peering at views of the harbour. So I guess you know very well that three of the overall views above appear to have been taken within a couple of minutes, or maybe even parts of minutes, of each other. The three shots concerned all show exactly the same wagons in the same positions, boats, everything...except:

In your Introduction post (Feb 26th) the photo MASTER SHOT 1.jpg shows the rail-mounted crane approximately level with the stranded boats in the harbour at the left, and the branch devoid of life;

The Traffic on the Perth Harbour Branch -2 post (Mar 12th) photo Wagon Count.jpg shows the crane in the same position; but now a bloke has appeared immediately above the wagons on No.2 siding;

In Operation of The Perth Harbour Branch (Mar 4th) the photo Operation on The P H B.jpg definitely shows that the bloke has crossed over the line beyond No.2 siding turnout; but now the rail-mounted crane is moving towards him and has crossed No.3 siding turnout.

I wonder, do you have any further evidence of this bloke's actions? Is the crane following him? Has he just crossed the line for a wee... dram perhaps? Possibly through further magnification you may be able to recognise his clothing and deduce his occupation?

As you may guess, I'm not very busy in the office today...

By the way, the rest of these posts are fascinating. I didn't realise that gas holders may exist distant from the gasworks - that certainly opens up modelling options. I notice that the gas holders are shown on the 1901 branch plan and are very visible on the 1910 colour postcard; but are absent on the 1864 map (probably not really surprisingly, from a state of technology viewpoint), and I can't actually make them out on any of the 3 above photos. You mention that the photos are from the 1880s - do you know when the gasometers were built?

Neil
Half Welsh, 100% Yorkshireman
emckeng
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by emckeng »

Gas Holders.
I have trawled through the British Newspaper Archive looking for reports on these. Reports in the Dundee Courier show that the first gas-holder at "The Shore" was built in 1890 whilst the second at the "Upper Harbour" was completed in June 1897 with a "turning on" ceremony held on Wednesday 16 June. I presume that "The Shore" and " Upper Harbour" are the same site. Clearly most of the photographs posted by Dave Lochrie pre-date 1890.

Ed. McKenna
jim mac
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by jim mac »

A photograph promised by Charles Davidson has just been received, which shows Perth Harbour from a slightly different angle
Perth Harbour.jpg
Perth Harbour.jpg (139.01 KiB) Viewed 20031 times
below is a selective enlargement of the lower right corner with an interesting array of wagons
wagons at Perth.jpg
wagons at Perth.jpg (213.17 KiB) Viewed 20031 times
note the line to Dundee crossing the river at the top of the pictures.
jim mac
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Neil,
I had assumed (wrongly) that all 3 pictures were identical, but you are right the crane has moved (and the man) and with no other means of propulsion visible would imply that it is self-propelled steam crane (no trace of steam). Evidence for this will probably lie within Perth Harbour & Navagation Commisioners Minutes held by Perth & Kinross Libraries.They also hold the early minutes of the Perth Gas Commisioners.

Perth was an early adopter of coal gas for town lighting. The 1860 OS maps show both the original Scott Street Works and the "New Gas Works" on Blackfriars Wynd, and neither sites were rail connected. The Scott Street site http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/28 ... +gasworks/ continued in use after the opening of the new New Gasworks at Friarton on the 26th April 1901. Eddie has filled in the opening dates of the 2 Shore Road gas-holders as 1890 & 1897 and as both of these precede the opening of Friarton, these must have been in use for storage of gas produced at Scott Street, again piped to Shore Road.
Perth c.1920.jpg
Perth c.1920.jpg (144.57 KiB) Viewed 19999 times
The wagons on the Charles Davidson picture posted by Jim Mac are in the sidings to the Friarton site. The attached postcard shows wagons at this point, and the development of the quayside on the western side of the harbour puts both of these as post WW1 (note the increase in the density of industry alongside the branch, compared to earlier photos) In addition to CR, NB, G&SW and a GC mineral wagon there are also several private trader/ owner wagons. I haven't matched any of these yet but 7 of them are the same 12/16 ton drop door pattern with a prominent 2 digit number on the lower left-hand side body side, I can't make out the small name on 2 lines of 6-9inch, but the most likely operator would be Perth Gas Commisioners, lettered
PERTH CORPORATION
GAS DEPARTMENT
this doesn't match the only photo I have seen of these, which were lettered Perth Corporation Gas Department on a single row along the entire length of the wagon (and supposedly painted dark green) but this may have been a later style. And I think a drawing appeared in either Model Railway News at some point.
Perth_Gas.jpg
Perth_Gas.jpg (82.89 KiB) Viewed 19999 times
The list, by Alan Simpson in TTL No 62 (from RHP BR/CAL/4/134) shows Perth Gas Commisioners had 40 wagons registered on the Caledonian in 1909.

Dave L
emckeng
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by emckeng »

Jim Macintosh has kindly provided me with enlargements of selected parts of the Charles Davidson photograph to feed my habit on traders' wagons. It is possible to identify at least nine PERTH CORPORATION GAS DEPARTMENT wagons. These are all 12T capacity side & end door wagons from the batch Nos 61 to 80 built by Hurst Nelson in 1925. There is still white paint on the wheel rims of these wagons suggesting that they were relatively new at the time of the photograph. The two traders' wagons in the centre of the photograph are Hamilton McCulloch Ltd, Home Farm Colliery, Hamilton a firm that went into liquidation in 1927. The wagon at the extreme left of the view is difficult to identify but if I were forced to guess I would say that it is William Barr & Sons Ltd, Allanton Colliery, Hamilton which closed on Whitsunday 1928. I would date the photograph to c1926 and it is interesting to note the absence of any wagons with LM or LNER markings. The wagons are standing on the sidings of Friarton Gas Works. I cannot answer Dave''s conundrum re the Perth Gas Department wagon livery. Wagons built in 1938 carried the same livery as those in the photograph so the green & white confection posted by Dave does not represent a later style. If I am correct in my assumption as to the source of Dave's green wagon then I strongly suspect it to be fictitious, but am prepared to be persuaded otherwise.

Ed. McKenna
charles d
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by charles d »

There is a date on the back of the photo but I won't quote this from memory - Jim - can you assist post AGM

Thanks

Charles d
jasp
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by jasp »

A fascinating thread, especially for me, living (for the moment) nearby.
A question arises:
Given that Leith was a Hanseatic port and Aberdeen is said to have had Hanseatic connections, I wonder why, with its trade with the Baltic, Perth does not appear to have Hanseatic connections, similarly with Dundee.
Could it be that Perth was too small a port?
Jim P
dumb buffer
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by dumb buffer »

Wikipedia is your friend! It seems the Hanseatic league was focussed on an axis Baltic / Low Countries / English Channel. Although they had bases in Leith and Aberdeen these were fairly peripheral. Perth would always have had a problem with seagoing ships until the advent of steam tugs to get them up the river, and although ports in Fife had a thriving trade with Europe, I doubt if Perth had much foreign trade before the mid 1800's, and the Hanseatic League fell apart in the early 1600's. The present Harbour dates from the mid 1800's as does some deepening of the river.

Allan F
jim mac
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by jim mac »

There is a date on the back of the photo but I won't quote this from memory - Jim - can you assist post AGM
Apologies for the slow response, the date is August 1925; among the other information on the back of the print is a number of stamps "Kupfertiefdruck" each with a different reference number. Kupfertiefdruck is a new name to me, does anyone else have photographs stamped with this name.

jim mac
JimG
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by JimG »

jim mac wrote: Apologies for the slow response, the date is August 1925; among the other information on the back of the print is a number of stamps "Kupfertiefdruck" each with a different reference number. Kupfertiefdruck is a new name to me, does anyone else have photographs stamped with this name.
Jim

German for photogravure print

http://www.dict.cc/german-english/Kupfertiefdruck.html

Jim.
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Thanks Ed, I too was suspicious of the green wagon livery (though with no real grounds), I had tried to track down the original article which I'm now sure was a 1970's copy of Model Railway Constructor (possibly by Peter Matthews) but with an odd selection of wagons selected (or created) to make best use of the fairly rare colour page, would have been too boring if they were all grey or red oxide.
I'll keep looking, but can I ask about another apocryphal/ suspect livery for which I have been unable to trace any factual evidence -The Alloa Coal Company yellow wagons? I know that Alloa CC were never commited to any particular colour having seen specs for grey and red oxide finish, but surely no one would have been foolish enough to paint a coal wagon in primrose yellow. I used to suspect that someone may have mis-interpreted a wagon in varnished pine but I don't find that theory much more credible today. If it does originate from the OO printed card wagon sides of the 1950's, was it an act of imagination or had someone based the model on one of the 1/12th models that coal merchants used to have on their office or shop windows? -I can remember such a wagon paired with a similar scale dray and horse, in the Glasgow Road, shopfront of, and liveried for J Lyons & Sons at the entrance to Lacy Street Yard at Paisley East on the Paisley and Barrhead District Railway (separate post on this line in prepartion).


Dave L
Sorry for hi-jacking my own post
Alistair Maclean
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Alistair Maclean »

There is so much in this series of posts, it really calls to ne put together into a True Line article. Please can someone put all this together into an article. It wouldn't need much as long as I can get good quality or high res photos. I'm thinking TTL122 so no rush as the deadline is end of August.

Alistair
emckeng
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by emckeng »

To answer, in a fashion, Dave Lochrie's query about the Alloa Coal Co Ltd wagon livery I too have long been suspicious of the purported yellow livery. I have examined many ( but clearly not enough) photographs of ACC wagons and have yet to see one which has the merest suggestion of being yellow. The theory that the idea might have originated in a photograph of an unpainted but varnished body is a new one on me but I can certainly see that such a livery could result in someone thinking that it was yellow. It is, I think, established fact that the unpainted but varnished style was being touted by Hurst Nelson c1905 but only I suspect on sample wagons. I seriously doubt if any wagons went into traffic in such a livery. All of which is a rather long-winded way of saying that I ha'e ma doobts.

With regard to the Perth Gas Dept wagons some further research ( but not yet in the Gas Dept archives) has revealed that certainly up to 1921, and probably later, the Gas Dept wagons were on long term hire from Hurst Nelson Ltd and their hire fleet livery was black. It appears that the Gas Dept could not purchase its own wagons without exceeding its borrowing powers, hence the need to hire.

On another, not unrelated matter, I came across a newspaper report of an accident at Aberdeen in 1899 which involved a loaded tank wagon of Perth Gas Works. Since at that time Perth Gas Works was still at Scott Street and had no rail connection how was the tank wagon loaded? Was there a loading point at Princes Street with a piped connection to the Gas Works?

regards,

Ed. McKenna
MIKEWILLIAMS
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

It is, I think, established fact that the unpainted but varnished style was being touted by Hurst Nelson c1905 but only I suspect on sample wagons. I seriously doubt if any wagons went into traffic in such a livery. All of which is a rather long-winded way of saying that I ha'e ma doobts.

Ed, Pickering built some road metal wagons for Lanarkshire County Council in 1897 to card order 2186. They were unpainted and protected by one coat of gold size, followed by two of coach varnish - black iron work and lettering.

Best

Mike
Dave John
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave John »

An excellent thread , some very atmospheric pictures there.

I think the general view from the hillside in Dave Ls first post is a cropped from a George Washington Wilson photograph.

George Washington Wilson and the Scottish Railways, Durie and Mellor, ISBN 0 9507909 3 1 reproduces it in full. Well worth getting a copy if you see one.
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

The dubious green Perth Corporation Gas Department illustration has been uncovered. As I thought it came from a very early colour edition August 1973 of Model Railway Constructor, and accompanied an article by D L Smith on hand lettering PO wagons, however on checking I notice in the credits that the illustrations were created by Portman Studios? I'm no expert on English POs but at least two, Rocketts and Benbow, seem to match other sources (not that any are quoted with the drawings), but as the details of each wagon are drawn separately, it is being suggested that not only is the PCGDept 12 Ton wagon No17 green but it has no side doors and end doors at both ends!
PCGDept No17.jpg
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Still if only to complete the fiction I attach the image with an appropriate warning!

Dave L
Last edited by Dave Lochrie on Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
charles d
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:30 pm

Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by charles d »

I have a poor photocopy of a Hurst Nelson print - HMRS reference T26.19 which shows PCGD No 61. This wagon is a 1923 RCH 7 plank wagon with side and one end door. The copy is too poor to pick up whether or not bottom door opening gear is present. There is some writing on the left hand end of the copy which may be livery information.

None of the above lends credence to the MRC illustration but Hull Corporation Electricity Department did have wagons with two end doors only - see photo in MRJ 12 as built and MRJ 15 in 1950s condition. Such wagons, and also probably wagons with the more usual one end door would need to be emptied by tippler but I imagine this was fairly standard equipment for a gas works or power station

charles d
Dave Lochrie
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:38 pm

Re: Perth Harbour Branch

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Perth Harbour 5'2%22, 2-4-0 Shunting.jpg
Perth Harbour 5'2%22, 2-4-0 Shunting.jpg (108.21 KiB) Viewed 16786 times
I have had this photo of an unidentified 5'2", 2-4-0 confirmed as shunting in the harbour switchback section of the Perth Harbour Branch, I'll try to use the earler info to identify the exact spot but the loco has come down the branch tender first, reversing on the Lime Shore to access the harbour proper. The other shot shows a much busier harbour from the South with the tide fully in.
High Tide at Perth Harbour.jpg
High Tide at Perth Harbour.jpg (118.85 KiB) Viewed 16786 times
Dave L
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