STRONGER THAN YOU THINK!
On reading the article on ‘Jellicoe Specials’ (SR486), I was prompted to dig out an old book, North Eastern Engineman (D. Bradford Barton, 1980) in which the memoirs of driver Syd Midgley are summarised by author P.W.B. Semmens.
There is reference to the-then new ‘T3’ (later ‘Q7’) 0-8-0s being used on post-First World War mineral trains and how their great
power allowed heavier trains to be taken on when compared to other 0‑8‑0 types.
Crews had to be careful not to take on longer trains than sidings could accommodate, and reference is made to this happening on one occasion when a 107‑wagon train refused to fit into a siding designed for 90 wagons, leaving the rear end of the train on the main line.
The guard had failed to count the wagons at the last collection and the crew attributed the extra drag to cold and stiff axle grease in the newly added wagons.
A lesser engine’s struggle with such a train would have been self‑evident and indicative of a problem, but the sheer muscle of the ‘T3’ masked the situation to all concerned!
David Hanmer, by email