What happened on this day…

Taken from our huge The Railway Magazine archive, check out what featured on this day a century ago, what headlined our issue 20 years ago, and more!

100 years ago: A Marylebone to Beaconsfield train leaves London behind Great Central Railway’s superheated 4-6-2T No. 24 (later LNER/BR class ‘A5’). KACR NUNN

100 YEARS AGO | March 1919

The first ten of a large order for ‘Prince of Wales’ class engines will shortly be in service on the London and North Western Railway, Nos. 28, 263, 295, 391, 740, 805, 863, 940, 1196 and 1546. They replace shunting engines of the Special Tank class now numbered in the 3,000 list. All the above engines will be turned out without names.

These, it is understood, will be added later. Two Belgian 0-6-0 locomotives are also undergoing repairs at Crewe.


Possibilities for the East London Railway as part of a through line for north and south traffic were suggested by Lord Claud Hamilton to the shareholders of the company at the recent annual meeting.

At present the East London has a physical connection for through traffic purposes with the South Eastern and Chatham and the Brighton lines. In a northerly direction, however, the East London virtually ends, so far as through traffic is concerned at Spitalfields, where there is a hoist belonging to the Great Eastern Railway.

But there is in existence a double line tunnel from Spitalfields running up towards the GER Cambridge main line. A very small sum and a very few engineering difficulties would enable this tunnel to be extended allowing through trains to run from the north of Scotland over the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Line right through to the sea coast without change of carriage.


50 YEARS AGO | March 1969

Approval has been given by the Minister of Transport to a British Railways Board programme of construction of 600 Mark IIb locomotive-hauled passenger coaches at a total cost of £14.5million, spread over the years 1969-71.

Basically similar to the Mark IIa stock of 1967, the principal improvement on the Mark IIb is larger access doors, partially wrapped around the curved end of the vehicle. The coaches are being built at Derby Workshops.


January 26 was the last day of service for the Ryde Pier Tramway. The driving ends of the line’s Drewry cars were decorated with wreaths while the seaward ends were draped with BR flags to mark the occasion. A group has been formed to preserve Drewry diesel car No.2.


With the merging of the traction interests of the English Electric Co. Ltd. and Associated Electrical Industries Limited into English Electric-AEI Traction Limited, comes the news that no more main line locomotives will be built at Vulcan Works, Newton-le-Willows, Lancs. Established in 1832 as Charles Tayleur & Company, Vulcan Foundry has been building railway locomotives since 1833, when it turned out an 0-4-0 named Tayleur.


20 YEARS AGO | March 1999

Railtrack is being accused of ‘double standards’ over a controversial attempt it is allegedly making to ban ‘heritage’ traction on scheduled services. At the end of January, the Cardiff Valley Railway Company was told by Railtrack of concerns it had over the use of privately owned Class 50 No. 50031 Hood on a peak-hours Rhymney Valley diagram.

Safety director Rod Muttram said he was concerned about an ‘increasing trend in the use of heritage rail vehicles on scheduled passenger services’.


The first of a fleet of 30 EWS Class 67s, designed expressly for high-speed van and passenger traffic with a top speed of 125mph, is nearing completion at Alstom’s factory near Valencia, southern Spain. No. 67001 – which will be named Millennium when delivered to Britain in May – is due to arrive via the Channel Tunnel, followed shortly afterwards by No. 67002.


The first of the eight-car Class 460 streamlined EMUs for the revised Victoria-Gatwick Airport service was delivered to Stewarts Lane depot from builders Alstom in Washwood Heath on January 26.

The set, with its distinctive bullet nose cone removed, was marshalled between two ex-NSE barrier coaches and hauled by EWS International Class 47 No. 47286.

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