A little fun: Can we identify this tender?

Discussion in 'Talk' started by Heather Kay, 14 November 2017 at 08:11.

  1. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    A friend of mine collects transport-related large format photos and post cards, scans them and posts them on Flickr. He shared an image of a weed-killing train, formed of superannuated loco tenders. I wondered if it was possible to identify the original company and tender from the image.

    Happily, it's a plate from a book called "The Permanent Way - Britain's Railroads in the Making", published after the Second World War. Here it is:


    My inclination is towards the East. Those buffers look LNER-ish. The blurry coaches on the left don't help, though there's a hint of a two-colour livery. So, let's open it to the wider WT Brain and see if we can work out some details.
  2. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Personally I would have said it was Great Western.. Probably Collett.

    Compton castle likes this.
  3. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Agreed about company, the tender is a GWR 3000 or 3500 type. If the photo is circa mid 1930s or late 1940s (WT specialist on fashion step forward please) then by Churchward rather than Collett.
  4. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I can see where you are coming from. However, there's no flare below the side sheet. Also, why use basically new tenders in this job?
  5. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I was just think you're absolutely right Heather, but if you look closely you can just about see the flare..

    Sorry Graham. You're absolutely right, Churchward intended.

    JB B
  6. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    It was the axlebox cover that alerted me, so I had a quick shufti at a model of a Dukedog, and that clinched it!

    Can we have some more teasers please Heather?!

  7. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Churchward makes more sense. I still can't make out much of a flare.

    A little further information, from the text in the book: the tenders appear to have been 2,500 gallon ones. Three were used, plus a 2000 gallon tank wagon.

    I have considered Fowler, and I'm also thinking something from the Southern. Then again, it could be GWR. My guess is there must be other images of this assemblage somewhere. They wouldn't take one photo of it, and it's obviously posed.

    Edit: Peter's clinched it. I hadn't spotted the axlebox cover. Well done!
  8. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    mickoo and daifly like this.
  9. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    Thanks to Heather I have now found another photo resource - the link above is to the sales outlet for prints (run by Media Storehouse) of the
    STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon:


    Although quite how one accesses this photo resource from the main page has so far eluded me!
    Edit: Ah, here:

    Picture Library

    I noted when visiting the Guild of Railway Artists exhibition at Kidderminster in September a whole bunch of folk busy digitising stuff. If all archives are doing this, then before long we may have a much bigger online resource available to us.
  10. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Hehe, I came at it from t'other end...

    The GWR weed-killing trains were, I think, the only ones to routinely have open controls actually mounted on the water carriers themselves. The Southern had their experimental set in this way, but it ended up running with modified PMV vans eventually.

    Here's pictures of (one of) the GWR set(s):
    Last edited: 14 November 2017 at 11:22
  11. Ian@StEnochs

    Ian@StEnochs Western Thunderer


    The 5 Scottish line Societies have been busy cataloguing and digitising their collections with a view to getting them online for a couple of years now. It’s amazing what is turning up in the background of pictures. Sometimes there can be more of interest there than the main subject.

    Can I ask if anyone is viewing GWR pictures taken circa 1914-18 to look out for any signs of the 8 G&SWR locos which were loaned for the duration of the war please? I already know of two views but hope there might be more.

    Dog Star likes this.
  12. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    I recollect sending details of where these loan engines were allocated - details from GWR Engine Registers. If you can put that information with your request then that may help people... no sense looking in photos of Laira if the engines were in the northern division.
  13. bogusman

    bogusman Western Thunderer

    Ahh wasn't health and safety great in bygone days. Very nice photo's though.
  14. Joe's Garage

    Joe's Garage Active Member

    I have been looking at this photo too and the chairs give a clue as to which line it was, 2 bolt chairs?? On a similar note weed control is not something regularly done now I presume especially on the Spanish lines, I was at one of the main stations between Barcelona and Tarragona over half-term and the weeds were really taking over!! Shame I didn't have a camera at that time.
  15. John K

    John K Western Thunderer

    It would probably be much more frightening if we knew what they were spraying.
    The modern herbicides didn't appear until the 1940s. Before that it was sulphuric acid, sodium chlorate or arsenical compounds.
    I wouldn't want to be standing on that platform without a modern respirator.
    John K
    A quick edit for the ex-LMS weedkiller train seen in 1949. Not too much H&S here either.
    Last edited: 14 November 2017 at 13:45
  16. Ian@StEnochs

    Ian@StEnochs Western Thunderer


    You are correct I should have given more info so here goes. Four locos were allocated to Southall and three to Swindon. They are recorded being there from 1917 until 1919. All were 0-6-0 tender locos similar in size to the Dean Goods. I have a picture of one loco inside Old Oak loco shed and another reputedly taken at Didcot but there is nothing visible in the later picture to accurately identify the location. I don’t know enough about the GWR diagrams to work out where they might have been used from these depots but all 7 were vacuum fitted and were effectively mixed traffic locos on the G&SWR.

  17. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    On the second photo in Steph’s post, there are some pipes? leading down to the horns of the vehicle with a cab.

    Anybody know, or prepared to hazard a guess as to their purpose?