Chuffs, Puffs & Whistles

The Ribble Pilot - Articles & Features from the railway journals
  1. Preston – Visiting The City

    Preston has the distinction of becoming England’s 50th city. There are many attractions in Preston such as Harris Museum, Preston Guild, Preston Market, Town Hall, Fishergate, Avenham Park, Miller Park, Preston Minster, St Walburge, Winckley Square, Cenotaph, Museum of Lancashire, Preston Marina, River Ribble, Deepdale Stadium, Ribble Steam Railway Museum, County Hall, Corn Exchange, Guildhall … Continue reading
  2. Camping Coaches

    Camping coaches were offered by many railway companies in the United Kingdom as accommodation for holidaymakers in rural or coastal areas. The coaches were old passenger vehicles no longer suitable for use in trains, which were converted to provide basic sleeping and living space at static locations. Many of the coaches would be removed from … Continue reading
  3. The Manchester “Club” Trains

    A Famous Train of the LMS Such are the modest dimensions of these islands on which we live that most of our biggest cities are within tolerably easy reach of the sea. The result is that very many commercial people took advantage of this accessibility by carrying on their business in their respective cities, but … Continue reading
  4. The Fall and Rise of The Class 60

    In 2017 the Class 60 locomotive had become the mainstay of haulage on the bitumen tankers in and out of Preston Dock. The Class 60 arose from the arrival, and subsequent success, of the Class 59 locomotive. With a haulage capacity and reliability superior to the Class 31, 37 and 47 locomotives in sector service … Continue reading
  5. Preston’s former public tramways

    With the 2017 announcement of the start of trials for a new tramway for Preston, it may be of interest to look into Preston’s trams of times gone by. Horse drawn tramways were in force in Preston from 1879 and were a very successful form of public transport in their time. The main drawbacks of using … Continue reading
  6. 60th Anniversary of closure: Whittingham Hospital Railway

    The Whittingham Hospital Railway (W.H.R.) was a private light railway operated by Lancashire County Council to serve Whittingham lunatic asylum. Opened in 1889, it carried goods and passengers between Grimsargh on the Preston and Longridge Railway and the hospital grounds. It closed to all traffic in 1957. The asylum was built in 1873 and enlarged … Continue reading
  7. Merryweather & Sons

    Merryweather & Sons of Clapham, later Greenwich, London, were builders of steam fire engines and steam tram engines. The founder was Moses Merryweather (1791–1872) of Clapham, who was joined by his son Richard Moses (1839–1877). The Merryweathers worked with the engineer Edward Field to fit his design of a vertical boiler onto a horse-drawn platform. … Continue reading
  8. Dropping Balls to Tell Time

    Everyday, at five minutes to one, a bright orange ball on the roof of Flamsteed House at Greenwich’s Old Observatory in London, slides half-way up a pole. At two minutes to one, it rises all the way to the top. At exactly one PM, the ball falls with a dull thud. Anyone who is looking … Continue reading
  9. Free Ride to the Asylum

    Some called it ‘Little Annie, some called it ‘The Nurses’ special’ and to some it was ‘Sylum Billy. It was possibly the strangest little railway in Britain, a single track just over one and a half miles long, on which a wheezy old steam locomotive would haul coal, provisions, staff and patients to the country’s … Continue reading
  10. Bitumen Trains – The Story So Far

    The 6M32 (loaded) and 6E32 (empty) bitumen trains between Lindsey Oil Refinery and Preston Docks always attract attention as they cross the country from coast to coast – not least because it is one of the few regular freight workings over the Copy Pit line. Just two days before Christmas 2004, the mothballed Preston Docks … Continue reading

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