No.29 - p203-205


For  the  record . . . .

Tenders invited for:-

"Construction of a mineral branch railway near Muirkirk. Plans and specifications at Ironworks, Muirkirk."

("Iron" 18th March 1892).


"Construction of a mineral branch railway near Auchinleck Station, in length about 700 lineal yards. Specification and plans at Lugar Ironworks Office."

("Iron", 8th April 1892. - KPP)

    Tottenham and Forest Gate Railway. " . . . . The contract amount is 264,422, exclusive of station buildings. Nearly 1,000 hands are engaged on the works, together with four locomotives and a number of steam cranes . . . . The contractors are Messrs. Lucas & Aird, whose agent on the works is Mr Henry Turner. The line was commenced in August last year . . . [and it] is anticipated that the line will be open for traffic within a year from the present time,"     (Iron, 16th September 1892. - KPP)

    "A commencement has recently been made in the establishment at Darlington of new works for the building and repairing of railway contractors' locomotives, wagons and miscellaneous plant, Mr John F. Wake, of Darlington, having purchased 60 acres of land on the Geneva estate, one and a-half miles south of Darlington, and having a boundary of half.a-mile on the main line of the North Eastern Railway. Various types of conveying plant for collieries and excavations and steam cranes will also be dealt with."

("Colliery Guardian", 1st July 1910 - KPP)

    "A Steam Mono-Railway. Yet another mono-rail train, this time controlled by a steam-propelled gyroscope, which may appeal to same people, who prefer steam to electricity. This latest method of mono-rail train propulsion is the invention of His Excellency Pierre Schelowsky, Governor of the Russian province of Kostroma. A demonstration of the machine, which was the first time the invention had been shown in public, was given by means of a model in a London Hotel early in May. Naturally the system is somewhat similar to that of other mono-rails. There is the same single rail fastened to the shortened sleepers, and on this the whole of the model train, composed of engine, coaches, and gyroscopic apparatus was balanced. . . . . It is claimed by the inventor that by the use of what may be called the counterbalancing apparatus it is possible to run the gyroscope in air instead of in [a] vacuum, and that as its rate of revolution is slow and need be only a fourth or fifth of that necessary in other gyroscopes a considerable saving of power is effected."

    (This extract from the June 1910 issue of The Railway and Travel Monthly appears to refer to the same invention mentioned on page 130 of Unusual Railways (Muller, 1958) although there the inventor's name has been anglicised to Peter Schilovsky. Bassett Lowke made the working model to the inventor's designs, in which the gyroscope was housed in the tender of a steam locomotive of Great Northern Railway outline.

    Reference to Kerr Stuart records shows that a full size prototype was contemplated but not constructed. Works number 1209 is a blank in the Kerr Stuart list although it was allotted to a 12in by 15in cylindered monorail engine ordered on 11th January 1911 by Pierre Schilowsky, Kostroma, Russia, for delivery in July 1911. Kerr Stuart's London office recorded it as "1 Engine for Gyro Monorail Train. To Drawings & particulars discussed with His Excellency yesterday [11th January 1911] at Stoke." The use of the word "engine" (rather than Kerr Stuart's normal "Iocomotive") indicates that only the engine unit and not the complete locomotive was to be built by Kerr Stuart. Special gear wheels were ordered from Andre Citroen & Co and in March 1911 "Capt. Eckford tells us His Excellency approves of the Ball and Roller Bearings by Hoffman. " Kerr Stuart records make a final reference on 6th May 1911: "Capt. Eckford says H.E. is delighted with the designs you have made. He agrees with Mr. Kidd in every respect and has given up the idea of driving the turbine by steam & accepts unconditionally Mr. Kidd's suggestions with regard to the electric drive."

    Unusual Railways mentions that a 20-mile line from Petrograd on the Schilovsky principle was planned in 1921-1922, but work ceased in 1923 through lack of capital. Mr J.H. Price told me in 1960 that the only other Russian monorail he knew of was a demonstration line at Garchina, near Petrograd. Electrically worked, this was constructed about 1902 in similar style to the now universally famous Wuppertal Suspended Railway which was opened in 1901. - KPP)

    "What appears to be an outrage was perpetrated at the Consett Iron Company's Works on Saturday morning. As a precaution against damage to plant and property, the company has set apart a locomotive and van with a patrol party to travel around the works, and this was standing whilst the patrol party were reconnoitring. It is stated that someone lighted up and stoked another engine standing outside the firm's sheds at Templetown, and after getting the steam up, set it running amain along the metals until it ran into the patrol locomotive. The force of the impact derailed both engines, which were seriously damaged. Happily, the patrol party escaped without injury."   (Locomotive News and Railway Notes, 25th May 1921. MJO)

    "Immunity from Collisions. - We think it should be placed on record that Mr. Henry L. Simmons, of Wicks, in the County of Jefferson, Montana, U.S.A., has been granted a patent for an appliance which he claims would give, not only immunity from collisions, but would also do away with the necessity of passing places on single lines. Briefly, he proposes to fit an inclined plane at each end of the train. Up these planes and along the top of the carriages and engine, rails are to be laid so that the trains would run over the top of each other. Apparently, the trains would arrange between themselves which of them would go on the top, but in any case it is to be hoped that they would not attempt these covering operations in a tunnel".    ("The Railway Engineer", January 1896.- KPP)

    "On FRIDAY the ninth of February at eleven o' clock the Central Electricity Board's 160 megawatt power station at Huncoat received its last train of coal from Huncoat Colliery [Lancs] which is ceasing production. The event marked 16 years of association between the power station and the colliery. During this time the pit has supplied some three and a half million tons of coal to the power station over a half-mile long railway, built in 1952 to serve the station. The last train was pulled by a power station locomotive and a colliery locomotive coupled together, with Mr Geoffrey W Garth, the station superintendent, on one and Mr James Clegg, colliery manager, on the other."    (Colliery Engineering, March 1968. - KPP)

    "THE BOARD OF TRADE have recently confirmed the Harrington and Lowca Light Railway Order, 1913, made by the Light Railway Commissioners, authorising the acquisition, reconstruction and working for passenger traffic as a light railway under the Light Railways Act, 1896, of the existing mineral railway from the Harrington Collieries at Lowca to Harrington, Cumberland."   ("The Locomotive Magazine," June 14th, 1913 - KPP)

    "The Parla Kimedi Light Railway. - The railway, which is being constructed at the cost of the Rajah, is to connect the town of Paria Kimedi with Naupada, the nearest station on the East Coast Railway [of India]. It follows as far as possible the existing roads. The gauge is 2ft. 6ins., [and the] total length of the line is 24.63 miles. At Naupada [there will be] an engine shed with ashpit for one engine. The engine shed of Paria Kimedi will have room for two engines and be provided with a well and tank. No engine-changing stations are necessary. Paria Kimedi will be the headquarters for engines, which will run out to Naupada and return with the first train. The engines were designed and made by the Brush Electrical Engineering Company, of Loughborough, England. They have cylinders 13" x 18". They work to 140lbs. pressure of steam and are very powerful, as they ought to be with so much 1 in 100 to get over."  (Selected extracts from "The Railway Engineer," November and December 1899, which quotes from "The Indian and Eastern Engineer". In all its wealth of detail this two-part article does not state the number of locomotives employed on the railway - only that they cost 66,399 rupees. They are not mentioned in our copy of the Brush list, which is largely incomplete owing to a fire at the Brush works years ago. Can any reader add to our knowledge of these locomotives? - KPP)

    "MESSRS DICK, KERR & CO., LIMITED, have purchased and taken over from Messrs. Hartley, Arnoux & Fannirig, of Stoke-on-Trent, that portion of their business relating to Railway and Tramway Plant, and have also arranged with Mr. Hartley to undertake the management of Kilmarnock works, which are being considerably extended, and special appliances for Manufacturing on a large scale, portable railways, rolling stock, turntables, water tanks, &c., are being laid down."    ("The Railway Engineer", December 1890. KPP)