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LMS Route: Rugby to Tamworth

Tamworth Station: lnwr_tam1261

LNWR 2-4-0 Improved Precedent No 1676 'The Nile' is seen standing at the up platform on a up semi-fast express service circa 1901

LNWR 2-4-0 Improved Precedent No 1676 'The Nile' is seen standing at the up platform on a up semi-fast express service circa 1901. Philip Millard writes "There appears to be no centre lamp socket on the front buffer beam, if so the date is before 1903. 'The Nile' is of course named after the Battle of The Nile of 1798 in when Horatio Nelson annihilated a French fleet".

Philip continues, "According to Baxter's "British Locomotive Catalogue" No 1676 'The Nile' was a Renewed Precedent Class 2-4-0 (Large Jumbo) locomotive. Built in May 1891 as Crewe works No 3197 (the number of locomotives produced at Crewe since the beginning) it was scrapped in September 1906 and replaced by an 'Experiment' 4-6-0 locomotive. The name 'The Nile' was re-used on a Prince of Wales Class 4-6-0 in 1916".

Ted Talbot writes, "....several features of the engine and tender enable the date to be determined more precisely at an earlier period. Firstly, so far as I can see from the computer screen, the engine has no centre lamp socket on the bufferbeam. This fitting was required from 1st February 1903, when the LNWR, along with most other companies, adopted the Railway Clearing House head lamp codes. So the date must be before that. Secondly, another early feature is the stanchion by the tool box on the front of the tender. This supported the communication cord on its way to the second whistle on the cab roof. This system was done away with over time in the early twentieth century but had certainly gone by the post-war period. Thirdly, coal rails were first fitted to tenders in May 1895, so the date must be after that. In fact, The Nile was scrapped in September 1906".

Ted continues, "Incidentally, some writers on LNWR locomotive history have used lurid language about the scrapping of the Webb three-cylinder compounds – ‘the slaughter of the Webb compounds’ and even ‘the slaughter of the innocents’ – but in fact all the Problems and Jumbos that were scrapped before the Great War were newer engines than the compounds. Finally, two more points: in view of the head lamp code, the train is likely to be an up express, rather than a Stafford to Rugby local, and LNWR engines were only coded by the LMS as ‘1P’ or whatever after the Grouping".

Philip comments, "As the Harrison cord train alarm system seems be not in use (no cord visible), I would suggest that the date is after 1900, and as Ted says before 1903. So 1901-2 in fact. As the train has stopped at Tamworth (which did not enjoy a very frequent service), but the lamps indicate "express", I would suggest that the train is a "semi-fast", i.e. intermediate between all stations and non-stop. In 1922 there was a 1150 train from Stafford to Rugby, calling at Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth and Atherstone. Could this be the 1902 equivalent?