Abeautifully produced railway book with rare and previously unseen images of the county has been released.
East Midlands Steam 1950-1966, by Peter Tuffrey, presents the twilight years of steam traction in the area with nearly 200 colour and black-and-white images.
Composed of just over 6,000 square miles of land, the East Midlands enjoyed a diverse system of railways in the days of steam.
These routes ranged from the main lines connecting the north and south of Britain to small branches, as well as cross-country and local lines.
As well as Northamptonshire, the book covers Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.
In addition to the cities which appear – Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, and Nottingham – a number of large towns are included, such as Chesterfield, Grantham, Kettering, Loughborough, Mansfield, Northampton and Wellingborough.
With lines formerly operated by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway and London & North Eastern Railway, many locomotives of these companies are present, alongside the Standard Classes of British Railways.
With a rich industrial heritage in the region, a number of privately owned locomotives appear at work on several sites, such as collieries, quarries and power stations.
The publishers say: "The East Midlands was a busy and exciting place for steam enthusiasts to observe and record locomotives at work.
"In doing so, a wonderful era of British history has been captured. This collection has been assembled to celebrate those distant days."
5. IRCHESTER IRONSTONE QUARRY
Two Irchester Ironstone Quarry locomotives are at the weighbridge on September 15, 1965. On the left is Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST no. 9 and right is Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns 0-4-0ST Holwell No. 30. Both were recent additions to the fleet arriving from Cargo Fleet Ironworks and Holwell Ironworks respectively. Photograph by Hugh Ballantyne courtesy Rail Photoprints.
Just after the Second World War, H.G. Ivatt decided to develop Stanier’s Class 5 design in order to improve maintenance practices and reliability. One feature introduced on 20 locomotives was poppet valves and Caprotti rotary cam valve gear. This had distinct advantages over piston valves, such as a much reduced rate of wear and greater accuracy when setting valve events. Though successful, and perpetuated on some BR Standard Class 5s, the valves and valve gear did not see widespread use, especially with the onset of dieselisation. Class 5 no. 44744 was built at Crewe Works in July 1948 and was Caprotti-fitted to withdrawal in November 1963. The engine is shunting at Northampton in late July 1963. Photograph courtesy Rail Photoprints.
BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 no. 73020 is on the West Coast Main Line at Roade with a southbound express from Northampton to Euston on July 22, 1953. The locomotive had entered traffic from Derby Works in October 1951 and sent to Chester. From there, the engine was to move on to Shrewsbury, Swindon, Weymouth and Guildford before withdrawal in July 1967. Photograph courtesy Rail Photoprints.
8. WELLINGBOROUGH SHED
The ten Franco-Crosti boilered BR Standard Class 9Fs were concentrated at Wellingborough shed to work on the coal traffic to and from Brent sidings, London. Crews at the depot soon found working with the locomotives to be disagreeable owing to the side-mounted chimney. Despite modifications, the problem was such that conversion to use a standard boiler became the only option. This process became drawn out and the Franco-Crosti engines were often stored out of service at Wellingborough and this is the case here for no. 92021, which covered the period of a year between April 1959 and 1960, with conversion taking place at Crewe Works by June 1960. Photograph by Bill Reed.