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quite in the opposite direction, for, when travelling on American
engines at speeds of over 80 miles an hour, the drivers, although well
sheltered and provided with a comfortable seat, performed their duties
with the greatest care and efficiency. Indeed, there can be no question
that a driver placed in a convenient sheltered cab is far more likely to
give attention to work than a man wet through with rain and snow and
half frozen.

To give an idea of the power of the new Midland engines, of which
" No. 2501 " was the first to be sent from the Baldwin works, it is only
necessary to say that there are two cylinders of 18 inches diameter
by 24 inches stroke, and six coupled wheels of 5 feet diameter. In
those dimensions there is nothing very surprising, but when we come
to consider the boiler the facts unroll themselves. The heating surface
of the fire-box is 125 square feet; of the tubes, 1,247 square feet; total,
1,372 square feet ; and the boiler working pressure is 160 Ibs. per square


inch. The tenders are of the American pattern, placed upon two
four-wheeled bogies, and carry nearly 4,000 gallons of water. One
very important point about these engines is that they are built to
" standard " patterns. If an accident should occur or a part become
broken, it is only necessary to telegraph or write to America giving the
name and number of the part required, and it will be sent over to
England in less time and at less cost than it could be made here. The
total weight of engine and tender loaded is 80 tons 3 cwt. 14 Ibs.

The Schenectady engines are essentially of the same type, but they
are 7,000 Ibs. heavier and have a six-wheeled tender practically of the
English pattern.



WHEN the Midland Company was formed and had been in
working operation for a year, its rolling stock consisted of
282 carriages and 1,256 wagons, and their weights were as follows :

First-class carriages, 4 tons 10 cwt, composite, 4 tons 5 cwt. ; second-
class, 4 tons ; third class, 4 tons 1 2 cwt. ; trucks, 3 tons ; wagons, 3 tons
5 cwt.

That was the state of affairs in 1845. In 1900 there were 295 first-
class carriages, 952 composite, 2,000 third-class, 109 post-office vans,
467 horse-boxes, 620 passenger vans, or a total of 4,989 vehicles for
passenger traffic, while there were 118,182 wagons, etc., for goods
traffic, or a total of 123,171 rolling-stock vehicles. The early carriages
ran on four wheels, and were short in length and very low in the roof ;
whereas now the latest carriages are 60 feet long, exclusive of the
buffers, run on two bogies with six wheels each, and weigh 24 tons for
for ordinary vehicles and 32 tons each for dining cars.

There are also corridor carriages, which have been largely introduced
on the Midland system ; but at present the question as to the rolling
stock of the future remains in a very unsettled condition, and is a
source of great thought and anxiety to all concerned, although it is
pretty clear that corridor cars are in time destined to become almost
universal. A road through a train from one end to the other is to
many persons a great source of comfort combined with a feeling of
additional safety, and where this is so passengers are attracted. On
the other hand, there are still those who have a distinct preference for
the compartment system, and who avoid the corridor trains as far as
possible. There are those who long for the sociability of the corridor
carriage, and there are others who prefer to rest, sleep, write, smoke,
or be accompanied by their wives and families in a compartment by

With a view to meeting the convenience and the comfort of all



parties the Midland give equal facilities to both systems ; but certainly
corridor carriages can only come into general use very gradually, as it
would be a very serious thing for railway companies to bring about
a sudden change, because many of the older class of carriages could
not be converted into the new system, which moreover gives less
passenger-carrying capacity and less seating room per carriage. It also
increases the proportion of dead weight in a train to the paying load
in a ratio which has already seriously taxed the locomotive power on
all railways.

Whatever kind of carriage may be the vehicle of the future, there
is no doubt that the best-paying carriage, as far as the shareholders are
concerned, is what is known as the six-wheeled one of five compart-
ments, which gives sitting accommodation for fifty third-class passengers,
and the weight is only about 12 tons. This return of 45. 2d. per
mile (of the carriage filled) is the best on the Midland system in
proportion to the total weight carried.

But perhaps the greatest advancement in the way of promoting the
comfort of third-class passengers was when the Midland announced
in 1875 tnat tne y would in future have all their third-class carriages
provided with cushioned seats. It is difficult, if not impossible, at this
time of day to picture the varied feelings which were aroused by a
change of this apparently simple character. It was said to be an unfair
attack on the second class of other companies ; an undue pampering of
the working classes and of the third-class passenger generally ; to all of
which Mr. E. S. Ellis, the then Chairman of the Company, replied that
the third class were the best paying customers, and that they were
entitled to this consideration. That this view was a sound one is
evidenced by the fact that the change has been almost universally
adopted, greatly to the public advantage.

At this period there was a considerable quantity of Midland rolling
stock, which had been in use for a long time, in third-class carriages
open from end to end, having straight backs to the seats ; and when
this cushioning of all third-class carriages was resolved upon these old
carriages were taken off the line and broken up.

A railway carriage has an enormously long life, if it does not get out
of date, and that is all the greater reason why coaches which are being
built should be of the latest design and character. The wheels and
bogies upon which the Midland carriages rest can be renewed or
replaced within a few hours from time to time as required, and it is
upon these working parts that the main portion of the strain rests;
and the bodies of the carriages being kept well painted and upholstered
from time to time will last for many decades.


The adoption of the bogie system not only gives greater ease in
travelling, especially in rounding sharp curves and the crossing of
junctions, but it equalises the strain and diminishes the jar com-
municated to the body of the vehicle, and through it to the passengers ;
and this reduction of shock extends the life and durability of the
carriage itself.

The adoption likewise of what is known as the Mansell wheel,
composed of wooden segments, compressed by hydraulic pressure and
secured most strongly by bolts and rings, instead of iron spokes, also
tends to promote silent and smooth running, and thus to preserve the
carriage. There are likewise a number of other technical details, into
which it is unnecessary to enter.

(Paris Exhibition, 1889).

In regard to wagons, the English form of wagon remains very much
what it was in 1832. The only difference substantially is in the
size, which is increased, and the weight and carrying capacity from
3 tons to 8 or 10 tons, which is now the usual load. The other
changes are of a trifling character, with the single exception of the
substitution of spring buffers (in a great number of instances and in
all modern Midland wagons for the solid wooden ones), which are of
great advantage in lessening the jar during shunting operations or in
stopping a train.

There has been no subject more debated, nor one in which the
English system has been more called in question, than that of the size
and construction of English goods wagons. It is true that the pro-
portion of dead weight to the paying load is far greater in England
than in America and in other countries which use the long bogie


wagons for heavy weights and great loads. A modern English wagon
to carry 10 tons of goods or minerals weighs 5 tons 10 cwt. (dead
weight) ; whereas one of the large American wagons, weighing 9 tons,
would carry 30 or 35 tons of goods as one load. But the system of
short wagons has grown up with the whole system of British railways,
and forms an integral part of it ; and an attempt to alter it would
be so vast an undertaking that, except in very special instances, it
would be almost out of the question even to consider it. However
much advantage there might be derived, the alteration could not be
made under existing circumstances ; it would involve such gigantic
alterations and so great sacrifices that it could not possibly pay.

To begin with, the colliery companies construct large numbers of
their sidings at pits with turntables, which are only just large enough to
turn the present four-wheeled wagon ; their weighing machines are only
long enough to weigh the same sized wagon ; the coal drops at the great
coal depots in London and elsewhere can only deal with the present
wagons ; the turntables at docks and wharfs, the lifts in goods sheds, the
turntables and lifts at breweries and brewery sidings, and, in fact, on
the premises of every class of trader using wagons all over the country,
are only adapted for existing wagons. So that all these various
companies and individuals have large vested interests in the main-
tenance of the present size of wagon, and the general adoption of any
other would be strenuously resented. Thus, although in itself an
apparently simple question, it is impossible to say what the con-
sequences or the cost would be involved in any alteration.

There are many small stations which only require a small quantity of
traffic, and to send a wagon capable of carrying 30 tons and only
conveying 3 or 4 tons of goods would be a most extravagant arrange-
ment. Of course, it is true that for carrying long lengths of timber or
immense quantities of coal from one given point to another where
there are suitable arrangements at each end for dealing with it a great
saving of locomotive power would be effected. Whatever may be the
ultimate outcome of the discussion of this important question, British
railway companies do not see their way to carry out this change at
present, and in order to make any alteration pay a constant stream of
heavy traffic must be assured.

The Midland are doing their utmost to secure all reasonable
advantages to traders by largely increasing the supply of "covered"
goods wagons, or what the Americans call "box cars," which are
far more satisfactory for the conveyance of goods than the ordinary
open wagon covered with a sheet. Not only do they hold a greater
quantity of paying load, but there is no danger of damage to goods


through sheets being defective, neither is there any risk of fire owing to
sparks from the engine.

The process of carriage construction is briefly as follows : Two
longitudinals, known as " sole bars," form the sides of the main under-
frame of the vehicle, upon which is afterwards to rest the inclosing
superstructure, or body of the carriage. The ends of each of these
" sole bars " are strongly attached to each other by the two headstocks,
or ends of the under-frame, and the whole strongly stayed together.
This, with the various stays and struts, makes an extremely strong and
rigid frame, capable of resisting strains in all directions, and forms the
foundation, so to speak, of the carriage, and is complete in itself. In
the largest carriages the staying is most elaborate, and is accomplished
by means of tension bars, or tie-rods, which, when properly adjusted,
give great strength and rigidity to the structure.

The body of the carriage in which passengers travel is quite a
separate part and is also complete in itself. The floor of the carriage
is next put together, and corner and intermediate door and window
pillars or uprights are fixed, and bars or ribs are adjusted to support
the roof. The whole is then inclosed inside and out with panelling
of the most suitable timber. The whole of the woodwork is of the
strongest and best possible character and is all prepared by special
machinery for each part. The doors are then fixed in position, the
window-glass is fixed, and the body of the carriage is then placed
on the under-frame, to which it is firmly secured and bolted. Then
the whole structure is lifted by cranes, and the wheels or bogies, as
the case may be, are secured in position.

The structure is now complete in its skeleton, and the seats having
been fixed, the painters, decorators, and upholsterers commence their
important work, for the embellishment of a Midland carriage is now of
an elaborate and costly character.

The selection of woods and panellings for internal decorative pur-
poses has become a work of art, and the Midland have always a very
valuable stock of the most costly woods for the purpose at the Derby
works. The carriages having thus been constructed and fitted in-
ternally, the continuous brake apparatus and the hot-water pipes are
fitted for conveying hot water from the boiler of the engine to the
carriages in winter; special appliances for dining cars or lavatory
purposes are put in; spring buffers, couplings, etc., are fixed, and
the painting and varnishing, and the crest of the Midland having
been emblazoned on the doors of the first-class compartments, the
carriage is sent out into active service.

In addition to building carriages for their own system exclusively,


the Midland also construct some of the joint stock used in conjunction
with other railways, and particularly for Scottish traffic in conjunction
with the North British and Glasgow and South Western Railways.

It is not too much to say that the latest productions from the
Midland carriage works at Derby are really the highest examples
of the coachbuilders art, and are models of utility, beauty, and

The carriage and wagon works occupy a site between the Midland
line to Birmingham and the turnpike road to London, 86 acres in
extent, of which 24 are covered by buildings which are supplied with
the latest and most useful machinery for all purposes.

In addition to the office at the entrance, there are seven main
buildings and three timber store sheds, all widely separated from
each other for safety in case of fire. Over 3,500 workmen are
employed, and the belts driving the whole of the machinery in all
the buildings run under the floors, which are thus left clear for the
operations of the workmen.

Of these seven main buildings the dimensions are as follows :


Wagon shop . . 320 x 200

Carriage shop . . . 400 x 200

Carriage painting . . . 400 x 300

Trimming, finishing, and sewing shops . 400 x 300

Sawmill . . 320x200

Fitting, machine, wheel-lathes, and wood-wheel shops, 220 x 200
feet; smithy, with over 100 rows of hearths, spring shop, bolt and
wheel shop, 220 x 200 feet; and general stores, iron and brass foundry,
etc., 220 x 200 feet. The buildings are all of one storey, and they are
admirably lighted and ventilated; and there are over 12 miles of
sidings connecting them with each other and with the various lines
of the Company.



THE general scheme of the administration of the Midland Railway
Company is clearly illustrated in the chart on page 259.

The administration of a great line of railway like the Midland system
is, as a matter of necessity, somewhat complicated ; but when clearly
explained it will be found that the whole has been reduced by division
and subdivision into what may be termed simple elements in branches
and departments. Supreme central control is, of course, a sine qua non
in all matters involving general policy or principles, and while a great
measure of local control is permitted on what are recognised lines of
dealing either with the ordinary passenger or goods traffic and the
arrangement of the staff, yet everything has to be reported to head-
quarters at Derby to be there properly recorded and confirmed. The
system of management in general is a combination of the utmost
possible freedom of action within clearly defined limits to those in
authority at the various centres, consistent with all matters involving
questions of policy or matters of vital importance raising questions of
principle being submitted to the chief officials and the directors of
the Company at headquarters.

But while this may be true as a general statement of fact, it ought to
be pointed out that while small matters can be safely left with local
representatives and local authority, the utmost vigilance and supervision
is constantly being exercised by the chief officials to keep in the very
closest touch with all matters concerning the branches of the service or
the departments with which they are connected.

Every matter, whether ordinary or extraordinary, has, as a matter of
fact, to be reported to headquarters either by an ordinary return or by
a special report, and dealt with by the heads of departments according
to the requirements of the case.

s 257








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Primarily the whole control of the system is vested by the pro-
prietors or shareholders in a body of fifteen directors, of whom four
retire annually.

The following is a complete list of those gentlemen who have held
the office of director on the Midland system from 1844 to 1901 :

George Hudson. William Longsdon.

John Ellis. W. P. Price.

Samuel Beale. J. F. Bell.

Joseph Holdsvvorth. William Hannay.

W. E. Hutchinson. E. S. Ellis.

Josiah Lewis. Sir James Allport.

Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart. Timothy Kenrick.

William Murgatroyd. C. H. Jones.

W. L. Newton. . Richard Birkin.

Abel Peyton. George Hounsfield.

John Taylor. Sir M. W. Thompson, Bart.

Charles Tee. G. B. Lloyd.

John Waddingham. J. W. Cropper.

Samuel Waters.* Sir Joseph Whitworth.

Henry Youle. Grosvenor Hodgkinson

George Byng Paget. Hugh Mason.

Sir Isaac Morley. Michael Biddulph.

Sir Joseph Paxton. Robert Rankin.

E. H. Barwell. Lord Burton.

William Beverley. W. L. Beale.

Francis Carbutt. Sir W. Coddington, Bart., M.P.

John Mercer. John Noble.

William Smith (Sheffield).


Sir Ernest Paget, Bart. G. Behrens.

Charles Thomas. J. W. Oxley.

W. U. Heygate. The Rt. Hon. Lord Belper.

Sir F. T. Mappin, Bart., M.P. The Rt. Hon. Lord Farrer.

H. T. Hodgson. J. C. Carter.

L. R. Starkey. W. H. Hodges.

R. A. Allison, M.P. C. Booth, junr.

Sir Henry Wiggin, Bart.

The directors themselves appoint from their own number their own
chairman and vice-chairman, and they have also the power of appoint-
ing the whole of the officials and staff necessary for the working of
the line. Indeed, it is expressly stated that there is always a right of
appeal on the part of any servant of the Company to the directors by
way of memorial through the head of the department concerned. By
this means the directors retain very large general powers in their own
hands, but as a matter of fact the general working and management of

* The name of Samuel Waters is given in the Midland Railways Consolidation
Act, 1844, as one of the first directors of the Company, but there is no record of his
ever having attended a Board meeting.


all departments is vested in a sub-committee of directors acting in con-
junction with the responsible head of the department.

The directors meet weekly for the transaction of the ordinary busi-
ness of the Company ; but in addition to this the Board of Directors
is split up into seven important and several subsidiary sub-committees,
the principal sub-committees being Traffic, Finance, Locomotive, Way
and Works, Carriage and Wagon, Stores, Hotels and Refreshment-
rooms. Further, there is a General Purposes Committee, which con-
sists of the whole Board of Directors. This General Purposes Com-
mittee's functions are very important, as they decide as to the carrying
out of new works, the provision of increased rolling stock or machinery
involving capital outlay exceeding ^100, and also the acquisition and
disposal of lands and property. The nature of the business dealt with
by the other sub-committees is sufficiently indicated by their titles. The
minutes of each of these sub-committees are submitted to and con-
firmed by the Board, and are not generally considered to be operative
until they have been approved by the Board of Directors.

The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Company are ex ojficio
members of all Midland committees, and they are also representatives
to the Railway Companies Association ; and all directors who have
seats in either House of Parliament are members of the Parliamentary
Committee of the Railway Companies Association. A representative
director is also elected as a delegate to attend the committees of
the Railway Clearing House and also the Irish Railway Clearing

The duties of the directors are also further largely increased by
representing the interests of the Midland Railway Company on the
joint committees responsible for the management and working of the
various railways of which the Midland Company is joint owner, or in
which it has more or less large sums of money invested.

In this way directors of the Midland Company are appointed to
serve in conjunction with the representatives of other lines on the
following joint committees :

Ashby and Nuneaton, and Enderby\ Jointly owned with London and
branch f North Western.

Bristol joint station and line, Clifton"\
and Bristol, Bristol Port Railway I

and pier, Severn and Wye and 1- Jointly owned with Great Western.
Severn Bridge, Berkeley branch,
Great Malvern extension. J

{Jointly owned with the London and
North Western, Caledonian, and
Glasgow and South Western.


Carlisle, Dentonholme goods station.-!

Cheshire Lines.

Forth Bridge.

Furness and Midland.
Midland and Great Northern.

Norfolk and Suffolk. {

Normanton Station.
North and South Western Junction. |
Tottenham and Forest Gate.

Tottenham and Hampstead Junction.

Otley and Ilkley, Swinton and/
Knottingley. I

Port Patrick and Wigtownshire Rail- }
way ; also Larne and Stranraer /
steamboats. )

ShefBeld and Midland.


Somerset and Dorset.

Jointly owned with the Glasgow
and South Western and North

Jointly owned with the Great Central
and Great Northern.

Jointly with the Great Northern,
North Eastern, and North British.

Jointly owned with Furness.

Online LibraryClement Edwin StrettonThe history of the Midland railway → online text (page 22 of 36)