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LMS Route: Rugby to Wolverhampton

LMS Route: Birmingham-Soho-Perry Barr-Birmingham

Winson Green Station: lnwrwg3415

A 1902 OS Map showing Winson Green station, the junction with the Soho line and the carriage sidings

A 1902 OS Map showing Winson Green station, the junction with the Soho line and the carriage sidings. The reference to 'Gauging Station' by the carriage sidings is relevant only to the canal, it was a means of ensuring narrow boats paid the correct fee for the load they were carrying. The fee for using the canals was dependent on the type of cargo and its weight. Each boat had to have four gauging plates fitted to the hull at the 'corners' of the boat - bow and stern at each side - indicating a measurement point and a boat serial number. The boat was calibrated by measuring the height of the gunwales above water level at each corner with the boat unladen and then measured again when known weights had been loaded into the boat from an overhead gantry. These measurements were logged in toll-keeper's tables and copies sent to every toll office within the boat's trading range. At toll offices if a toll collector suspected an incorrect waybill (declared cargo) the height of the four corners of the boat were checked with a gauging stick and averaged to allow for uneven cargo loading. That boat's entry in the gauging table was used to determine the cargo weight. The toll fee was worked out from the weight and cargo type. The fitting and calibration of gauging plates was done at a gauging station or indexing station. On the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line the Smethwick Gauging Station near the Engine Arm Aqueduct was on an island, with a covered gantry in a centre channel where boats were loaded with weights, plated and calibrated. The channels either side allowed two-way traffic and possibly the collection of tolls. The buildings and equipment were demolished in the 1940s.