Welcome to the Lickey Incline blog devoted to the celebration of the railway and in particular the great days of steam trains both standard and narrow gauge, on the railways of Britain.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Bryngwyn Branch - another railway line with severe gradients

Bryngwyn Branch Book
A new book by Dave Southern and the late John Keylock and published by The Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group describes the history,  operation and closure of the Bryngwyn branch and its development into today's slate trail.

The Bryngwyn "branch" was the main line under the original North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways Act of Parliament.

Within a matter of two years, it had been relegated to a branch despite generating more revenue from slate traffic than the new main line. Named after an adjacent farm, there are a number of villages in walking distance. However, its main function was for the slate traffic arriving from the incline, at Bryngwyn.

From this isolated terminus, the cable-worked double track Incline led up to a point known as Drumhead (at Fron Heulog), where the tramways from the quarries converged.  More here


Friday, November 07, 2014

A Lifetime with Locomotives, Roland C.Bond - Railway Autobiography

Roland BondA thoroughly recommended  autobiography with 84 illustrations, by Roland C Bond one of the last Chief Mechanical Engineers and who was at the centre of the changeover from steam to diesel and electric power. A fascinating study of the triumphs, traumas and failures of British railways locomotive engineering and motive power development between  during his career.
Forward by E S Cox who was the Executive Officer for Design on the former Railways Executive and who worked with two other former LMS men - Robert Riddles and Roland C. Bond to design and develop the fleet of British Railways Standard Steam locomotives. This book is an excellent companion to Cox's own autobiography Locomotive Panorama and his book British Railways Standard Steam Locomotives both published by Ian Allan; also worth  a read is Riddles' biography The Last Steam Locomotive Engineer: R A Riddles  by Colonel  H C B Rogers.                                
Roland Curling Bond (5 May 1903 – 20 December 1980) held senior locomotive engineering posts in the LMS and became Chief Mechanical Engineer under British Railways. Born in Ipswich in 1903, he was educated at Tonbridge School and became interested in railways when staying in Yarmouth during the Great War. .
Bond joined the Midland Railway in 1920, which in 1923 became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. He was an apprentice under Henry Fowler and took up a post as Assistant Works Manager at the Vulcan Foundry. In 1931 Bond returned to the LMS, becoming an Assistant Works Superintendent at Horwich and later Assistant Works Superintendent at Crewe. In 1939, he was sent to Scotland as acting Mechanical and Electrical Engineer but in 1941, moved back to Crewe to become Works Superintendent involved in managing locomotive and munitions work.
On the formation of the Railway Executive in 1948, Bond was appointed Chief Officer (Locomotive Construction and Maintenance), reporting to Robin Riddles, who was Member of the Railway Executive for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. In 1953, Bond became Chief Mechanical Engineer, BR Central Staff and later in 1965 General Manager, BR Workshops. He retired in 1970 and died in 1980, aged 77.