Locomotive Performance

Climbing the Lickey Incline

 
My first visits to the Lickey Incline would have been in the early 1950's. Probably 1951 or 1952. Banking duties were in the hands of the 0-10-0 "Big Bertha" and a small fleet of 0-6-0 Jinty  tank engines. There was also the LNER Beyer-Garratt, though I never saw it. It's spell on the Lickey was short lived. Big Bertha remained until withdrawal in 1956, and the Jinty tank engines were replaced a little later by ex Western Region class 84xx Pannier tanks. 

But it was not until 31st December 1954, that I travelled up and down the Incline. The down came first, on 45660 Rooke from from Birmingham New Street to Cheltenham Spa. There was, I believe, a 27mph speed restriction down the incline, which was rarely observed. Coming off the 1 in 37 at Bromsgrove station was quite a sensation. In the afternoon, I returned from Cheltenham Spa on 45561 Saskatchewan, and much to my disappointment, we had a pair of Jinty 0-6-0T's assisting up the bank. In fact I was never banked by "Big Bertha". My next run came in July 1955, when I returned from Gloucester Eastgate to Birmingham New Street on the Devonian with 45663 Jervis.  A few months later, in December 1955, I had Compound 4-4-0 no 40932 on a Worcester to Birmingham stopper. Then nothing until 1958, when I had three Black 5 climbs within a six week spell. 44815, 44662, and 44819. Finally, a Jubilee climb with 45649 Hawkins in April 1960.

In March 1955, trials were made on the incline with Jubilee 45554 Ontario, and Black 5 no 44776. The Jubilee had 8 coaches, including Dynamometer Car, making 252 tons, and the Black 5 one coach less, making 222 tons. From a start at Stoke Works Junction, both locomotives climbed the incline without assistance. A second test included stops on the incline. Both locomotives had difficulty restarting. 44776 succeeded at the second attempt, but 45554 was unable to restart. As a result of these tests, banking arrangement on the Lickey Incline remained as they were.

The tables below show the detailed timings and average speeds of my seven climbs. 

 
JUBILEE CLASS 4-6-0: 
 
Loco no

45561

45663

45649

Loco name

Saskatchewan

Jervis

Hawkins

Train working

2.15 Bristol

Devonian

5.00 Bristol

Load no coaches

11

10

10+1v

Load tons Tare/full

335/360

346/365

362/400

 Date

31/12/1954

7/9/1955

19/4/1960

  
min/sec mph min/sec mph min/sec mph
Bromsgrove South 00.00 00.00 00.00
Bromsgrove 01.06 01.05 01.05
mp 55 01.25 01.30 01.27.2
mp 55 02.17  17.3 02.12.2  21.3 02.06.2  23.1
mp 54 03.09  17.3 03.00.6  18.6 02.51.3  20.0
mp 54 04.01  17.3 03.53.3  19.3 03.43.8  17.1
mp 54 04.56  16.4 04.47.4  16.6 04.38.6  16.6
mp 54 05.51  16.4 05.43.9  15.9 05.32.8  16.4
mp 53 06.46  16.4 06.41.3  15.7 06.25.3  17.1
mp 53 07.42  16.1 07.37.8  15.9 07.17.9  17.1
mp 53 (Blackwell) pass 08.39  15.8 08.33.2  16.2 08.13.7  16.1
  
Banker(s)

2 LM 0-6-0T

2 LM 0-6-0T

2 GW 0-6-0PT

 
Time mp 55 to 53

07.14

07.03.2

06.46.5

Avge speed mp 55 to 53

16.6 mph 

17.0 mph 

17.7 mph

 
 
 
CLASS 5MT 4-6-0 and COMPOUND CLASS 4P 4-4-0:
 
Loco no

44815

44662

44819

40932

Train working

4.45 Bristol

7.20 Bristol

7.25 Bristol

2.57 Worcs SH

Load no coaches

10

5+5v

6+5v

5

Load tons Tare/full

333/355

309/325

325/340

155/160

 Date

26/4/1958

4/6/1958

9/6/1958

6/12/1955

  
min/sec mph min/sec mph min/sec mph min/sec mph
Bromsgrove South 00.00 00.00 00.00
Bromsgrove 00.52 01.01 00.58 00.00     Start
mp 55 01.12.7 01.24.0 01.21.3 00.46.3
mp 55 01.47.4  25.9 02.03.8  22.6 02.03.3  21.4 01.43.7  15.7
mp 54 02.26.6  23.0 02.49.8  19.6 02.48.8  19.8 02.35.0  17.5
mp 54 03.07.3  22.1 03.38.1  18.6 03.32.8  20.5 03.28.1  16.9
mp 54 03.48.6  21.8 04.27.8  18.1 04.14.8  21.4 04.21.2  16.9
mp 54 04.30.6  21.4 05.19.8  17.3 04.54.6  22.6 05.13.3  17.3
mp 53 05.12.7  21.4 06.12.2  17.2 05.33.8  22.9 06.02.1  18.4
mp 53 05.54.7  21.4 07.01.7  18.2 06.11.0  24.2 06.50.8  18.5
mp 53 (Blackwell) pass 06.37.7  20.9 07.50.0  18.6 06.49.8  23.2 07.39.0  18.7
  
Banker(s)

1 LM 0-6-0T &

2 GW 0-6-0PT

2 GW 0-6-0PT

1 LM 0-6-0T

  1 GW 0-6-0PT
  
Time mp 55 to 53

05.25.0

06.26.0

05.38.5

06.52.7

Avge speed mp 55 to 53

22.1 mph 

18.7 mph 

21.3 mph

17.4 mph

 
Doug Landau has kindly calculated the EDHP's for each climb, commencing at mp 55 and finishing at mp 53.The results are shown below:
 
Loco

EDHP

 

44815 (2 bankers)

2059

 

44819 (2 bankers)

2042

 

45649 Hawkins (2 bankers)

1681

 

44662 (2 bankers)

1638

 

45561 Saskatchewan (2 bankers)

1606

 

45663 Jervis (2 bankers)

1577

 

40932 (1 banker)

1139

 

 

It was the two Black 5' that impressed. Both 44815 and 44819 were Derby (17A) engines. 44662 seemed less strong on the banks, but had reached 83 mph earlier in the journey. All of the trains were running to time. Perhaps the Jubilee's would have been a little more lively had they been late.

It is evident from the above, and from observations I made beside the Lickey in the 1950's and early 1960's, that many of the drivers tended to take things relatively easy up the 1 in 37, and let the Bankers do more than their fair share of the work. Sensible, I suppose, particularly if the the train loco was working through to Sheffield, Leeds, or York.

 

 Gradient Profile scanned from my 1954 Log book