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Author Topic: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway  (Read 30780 times)

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Offline Longpockets

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2018, 19:47:59 »
I believe currently Canterbury City Council is looking for a new home for Invicta. Its relocation is being considered to the following sites Whitstable Museum, The Beany, Whitstable Harbour and The Poor Priests Hospital in Canterbury.

I visited Whitstable Museum on Friday and it currently has reduced size Invicta on display which was made a few years ago. There was a notice by it asking for help in showing what the various levers did, not sure if they are still looking for help on this. I thought I railway members might be able to help.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2015, 06:55:25 »
Thank you Scoop. Very interesting article.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline scoop

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2015, 23:22:38 »
Published in the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 08 May 1920 was a 90th anniversary article that quotes an earlier article appearing in "The Railway Magazine in 1907".   


The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway was laid out with gradients almost unique in their steepness, necessitating the major portion of the line being worked by stationary engines.  At Canterbury the terminus was situated in North Lane, whence the railway rises in a perfectly straight line on gradients ranging between 1 in 41 and 1 in 56, to the summit of Tyler Hill, a distance of 3,300 yards.
On this section is the Tyler Hill tunnel which the proprietors were so anxious to have.  This peculiar little tunnel may be termed the principal engineering feature of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway: it is half a mile long, and was constructed in four different sections, each of varying guage.  The working face evidently started at the Whitstable side of Tyler Hill, since it advances towards Canterbury each section becomes larger than the preceeding one.  The first three are the usual egg shape but the final section, i.e., at the Canterbury or south end, has perpendicular instead of bow walls, and is the largest of the four.  In the very early days the Canterbury end of the tunnel was closed at night-time by wicket gates, and the rides upon which the gates were hung are still to be seen in the brickwork.  The bore of the tunnel is unusually small-specially constructed rolling stock having to be used for the present day passenger service over the line; and it is not generally known that this tunnel enjoys the distinction of being the first railway tunnel opened in the world.
At the top of the steep bank from Canterbury there stood two 25.h.p. stationary engines for winding the trains up the incline.  From where the first engine house stood the line is straight and practically level for the next mile to Clowes Wood summit, where there were two fixed engines of the same type and h.p. as those at the previous stage.  The line then descends at 1 in 28 and 1 in 31 for the next mile to a place called Bogshole, so named owing to the once spongy condition of the ground in the vicinity, which was a constant source of trouble during the early days of the railway, as whenever wet weather set in the track invariably subsided with sometimes consequent cessations of traffic for a whole day, and even longer.  At Bogshole commences the South Street level, which continues for a mile to the top of Church Street bank, whence the line again falls for half a mile at 1 in 57, the remaining half mile to Whitstable being almost a level.
Just below the top of Church Street bank is situated the only public road bridge on the railway.  This is a narrow brick arch spanning Church Street, and stands today in its original form, notwithstanding the several but fruitless efforts of the local traction engine drivers to affect its displacement with their ponderous machines.


The railway was available for public traffic on the following day, the 4th.  The company had decided to work their own line, and the traffic arrangements afford much amusing reading.  Trains left each terminus at the hour, passing one anoother at Clowes Wood, where there was a loop for the purpose, and trains for the accomodation of goods traffic were occasionally run, not much business being done in the latter respect, however, owing to the incomplete state of the harbour from which much was anticipated by way of seabourne goods which would be loaded inton trucks from the ships and taken over the railway to Canterbury, thus making the latter city a distributing centre of East Kent, and materially adding to its importance.  Atone period, no less than three methods of traction were in vogue, namely, a locomotive, two stationary engines, and the very primitive method of horses.  For the first year or two the process of going to Whitstable from Canterbury was thus: Canterbury to Tyler Hill summit, the fixed engine at the latter station drew the trains up the incline to itself; the Clowes Wood engine next drew the trains over the mile  of virtually level ground; when the unhooking of the ropes at Clowes Wood engine station had been performed, the train was given a start and ran down the steep decline of 1 in 28 and 1 in 31 to Bogshole by gravity, taking with it the rope for the next up journey; at Bogshole the little locomotive "Invicta" was attached, and drew the train over the final two miles into Whitstable.  After its very early days the locomotive was found to be too weak to climb the Church Street bank of 1 in 57 on the return journey, so a stationary engine of 15 h.p. was erected at the top of the bank to draw the trains up the hill, leaving the "Invicta" only the South Street level of one mile to work.
Horses were used at different times to haul trains between Tyler Hill and Clowes Wood engine stations, also-after the abandonment of the "Invicta" altogether as a tractive power-for a short time on the South Street level.  This arrangement lasted only a short while, a rope being attached to the Church Street engine for working the South Street level, and ropes being again used on the Tyler Hill level, and the railway continued to be worked solely by stationary engine power until the affiliation of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway with the South-Eastern Railway in 1846.  The hooking and unhooking of the ropes generally fell to the lot of the guard or brakesman, who also issued the tickets en route.  The time taken for the completion of the entire journey of six miles was about one hour.

A most interesting object connected with the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is the ancient locomotive "Invicta" the only locomotive ever possessed by the old Company.  This antique engine has a history of its own, and it is therefore necessary to devote a rather large amount of space to it.  The "Invicta" was built to the designs of the late Mr. Stephenson at his world-renowned works in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and is the immediate successor to his famous "Rocket," being No. 12 on the engine builders books, the "Rocket" being No. 11.  Brough to Whitstable by sea, and delivered to the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway Company in February, 1830, the "Invicta" originally had four coupled wheels 4ft. in diameter, and two inclined outside cylinders 10in. by 8in. driving onto the rear axle, with a boiler 8ft. long by 3ft. 3in. in diameter, and similar to the "Rocket" maltitubular, the number of tubes therein being twenty-five of 3in. diameter.  Attached to the boiler was a rectangular firebox giving a grate area of 6ft.  The working steam pressure of the boiler was 40lb. to the square inch, and the total heating surface 192 sq. ft., obtained as follows: tubes 157 sq. ft. and firebox 39 sq.ft.  The regulator and levers controlling the machine were placed about midway on the left-hand side of the boiler, to which was fixed a footboard 3ft. by 1ft. 3in. for the accomodation of the driver.  The stoking was performed by another man from the tender.  The weight of the locomotive in working order, exclusive of tender, was 6 tons 5 cwt.
In the above form the little locomotive worked successfully for about eight years whin in about 1838 some person conceived the retrogresive idea of adding an additional ring to the boiler, removing the firebox, and substituting for the tubes a single 20ft. flue.  This idea, unfortunately for the "Invicta" and the railway company, was carried into effect, with the consequence that the locomotive in its new condition failed to make steam, and shortly afterwards had to be abondoned altogether as a means of tractive power, and was placed in a shed at the North Lane terminus, where it remained until taken into safe-keeping by the South-Eastern Railway in the 'forties.' So its working career ended.  The "Invicta's" driver was a Northumbrian named Forster, who returned to the North and drove for many years on the Stockton and Darlington line.

Offline Nemo

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2015, 12:18:27 »
Oh; in fact words from Mr Cabrey survive: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q6VDAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=Thomas+Cabrey+canterbury&source=bl&ots=DthQTnyfVr&sig=1pgoS3U5LGLgYnEgB5_K9awu104&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0fTZVPnoJs3haJSnguAG&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAw.  In addition, there appears to be a 1930 book by a RB Fellows on the construction, opening and working.

Offline Nemo

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2015, 20:46:31 »
Despite the lovely comment on the C&W's closure in Titfield Thunderbolt, there is (according to the National Archives) a fair bit of material in Canterbury Cathedral Archives.  The NA itself (themselves?) includes evidence from Thomas Cabrey, civil engineer and C&W superintendent, on the use of locomotive and stationary steam engines - given in connection with the 1835 GWR Bill.

Offline conan

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2015, 20:11:54 »
I was going through my old bookmarks and rediscovered this website .Among a lot of fascinating information was this

http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/tunnels/gallery/tylerhill.html
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2013, 18:21:04 »
Many years ago I took a black and white photo of the remains of the brickwork and pond where I think the nearest winding engine to Canterbury was.  It was just over the back of the university about half mile from the tunnel.

Will try to find it.

JW

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 13:18:17 »
Right: Tyler Hill Engine House to Canterbury North Lane Station = 2 miles, Tyler Hill Engine House to Clowes Wood Engine House 1 1/2miles, Clowes Wood Engine House to Bogshole 1 1/2 miles, Bogshole to Thanet Way Bridge (approximate location of winding engine as true location is unknown) 1 mile, Thanet Way Bridge to Whitstable Harbour 1 mile (approx). The last winding engine was added after the line was built due to Invicta not having enough power to haul a good load up the incline. Invicta worked the Harbour incline for about six months before the last winding engine was added then she was confined to the Southstreet - Bogshole section.

The inclines were graded thus; Canterbury - Tyler Hill 1 in 46 to 1 in 56, Tyler Hill - Clowes Wood had a 7 foot rise in 1 1/2 miles, Clowes Wood - Bogshole had a maximum grade of 1 in 28, Thanet Way Bridge - Harbour 1 in 50.

These were, in any book, severe grades and my admiration for the drivers of the little R1 0-6-0t's that worked the line in later years has grown immensely. As the Clowes Wood - Bogshole incline was the steepest of the three I would guess that the engine there worked that incline only. The Tyler Hill - Canterbury was longer but less steep and as the section between Tyler Hill and Clowes Wood was more or less level it would make sense that the Tyler Hill engine work that as well.

I have been through my books and can find nothing on the working of this line with rope. The only book that has any details is the LCGB 1830 - 1980 Pictorial Survey, the above figures come from that source. No one has any details of the Winding Engines or the working thereof. The whole line seems to have been built in a similar way to the Coal lines around Newcastle, the Tanfield line and the Bowes Incline come to mind (both still extant), this is logical as the Engineer for the C & W was none other than George Stephenson and he built what he knew (apart from St Stephens Hill Tunnel). The only thing I have read about the working of the Tyler Hill Incline is that there was a rudimentary signalling system that was not as reliable as needed so the trains were allowed to run back against the rope to tell the Winding Engine Driver when to start.

I would like to know more about this first line in Kent but there is very little extant. Most books seem to be re-writes of what has already been printed with a few new pictures every time. This was a fascinating line, the nearest other line was the Surrey Iron Railway and this was a horse drawn plateway dating from 1803 and already out of date when the C & W was built 27 years later. The irony is that one section of the Surrey Iron Railway is still in use by the Croydon Tram system. The next line we had in Kent was the London and Greenwich, well the eastern half from Bermondsy to Greenwich, and that is still in use. Yet this pioneer of a railway, not built for mineral extraction, quite the reverse in fact, is all but forgotten. This line pioneered the issue of season tickets and passenger haulage. This line pushed the development of loco traction as it was seen that the Winding Engines were too slow and expensive to run. If not for this line then Stirling of the SER would not have built the little R class (later re-boilered and listed as R1) that became synonymous with this line and the Folkestone Harbour branch.

I'm wittering again....... Sorry.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline mikeb

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 11:15:46 »
The second winding engine was at Clowes Wood and although all has gone, the pond for cooling? water is still there. It is a ten minute walk from the Clowes Wood car park.

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 10:40:25 »
I believe that what we have here is part of the condensing gear for the engine. When built they would still be running at something between 15 and 30 psi and the condenser would be a big part of the engine. I have just looked at the pics of the flywheel again. This definitely had direct drive and two cranks. As these are set at 90 deg it would be self starting, a single cylinder would need barring round to a starting position. What we have are the remains of a two cylinder high speed beam engine. The preserved engine at Bredgar is a single cylinder of similar size to this one.

There is a lot written about the railway but there is very little seen about the winding gear. This line had some very long pulls for the length. I believe that there was a winding house in Tyler Hill Woods and another just outside of Whitstable. The Tyler Hill engine pulled from Canterbury over the hills to Bogshole where Invicta ran to Southstreet before another winding engine let the rake down to the Harbour. The line was about 7 miles long and six were on the rope, just one mile either loco or horse drawn. This was astounding and would need a very powerful engine at Tyler Hill, she had to work five miles of rope and pulleys as well as the rakes of trucks on each end, these would provide a little balance but not much.

Good pic JW. Thanks.

S4.
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Offline JohnWalker

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2013, 21:57:39 »
Just found the photo I took of what I think are part of the beam engine from the C&W railway. 

I contacted the council and the Canterbury Archaeological Society.  They are very aware of this item but don't have the funds or the room to store it safely.  In addition to this part and the flywheel there are some other parts stored.

I made a few suggestions on how it could be displayed but I doubt anything will come of it in the near future.

A chap called Charles Lambie, who recently restored the Westgate Towers Museum and old Police Station, was very interested and was going to take up the cause.  Unfortunately, he passed away a few weeks after we discussed it via email so I doubt if it's gone any further.

This is such an important part of the area's history, I can't believe it's being left to rot.  It was still in place a couple of weeks back when I looked.

JW

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2011, 00:00:54 »
I'm wondering if this engine, seeing the two cranks I am thinking a double beam engine, was at sometime fitted with Woolfe compound gear. That would be a second high pressure cylinder fitted to work halfway along the beam. I would pay good money to see this set restored................

The beam engine in this link appears to have a similar flywheel - it's been preserved - Thomas Horn Beam engine at the Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway in Kent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Horn_Beam_Engine.JPG

John

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2011, 19:15:19 »
I'm wondering if this engine, seeing the two cranks I am thinking a double beam engine, was at sometime fitted with Woolfe compound gear. That would be a second high pressure cylinder fitted to work halfway along the beam. I would pay good money to see this set restored................
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Offline JohnWalker

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2011, 18:57:53 »
Update:

I'm informed that the main cylinder is in safe storage.  The large square item I've seen with two cylinders is the valve chest. It's cast iron and is about 2ft x 3ft and about 2ft 6ins high.  The main chest is rivetted.   It's still there today so safe at the moment.

John

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2011, 19:32:04 »
Sorry to disappoint but the cylinder block aint there. This was as of half an hour ago. It was about two feet six high and about eighteen inches in diameter with the square valve box on one side. It vanished abot two years ago and I was wondering if it was removed for some reason or whether the local itinerant scrap dealers had it away one night. That said it must have weighed in the region of about a ton......

How strange but it was still there yesterday. In amongst weeds behind the right hand building.  Unless of course the item I'm seeing isn't part of it.  Your description seems to fit though.   Will take a photo tomorrow for identification.

I feel that if it is from the engine it should be displayed in the Canterbury Museum along with the Invicta and other Crab and Winkle items.  (before it does get taken by a scrap dealer.

Cheers
John

 

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