History Podcasts

North Railway of France - History

North Railway of France - History


Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Nord-Pas-de-Calais (French pronunciation: [nɔʁ pɑ d(ə) kalɛ] ( listen ) ) is a former administrative region of France. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region Hauts-de-France. [2] It consisted of the departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais. Nord-Pas-de-Calais borders the English Channel (west), the North Sea (northwest), Belgium (north and east) and Picardy (south). The majority of the region was once part of the historical (Southern) Netherlands, but gradually became part of France between 1477 and 1678, particularly during the reign of king Louis XIV. The historical French provinces that preceded Nord-Pas-de-Calais are Artois, French Flanders, French Hainaut and (partially) Picardy. These provincial designations are still frequently used by the inhabitants.

With its 330.8 people per km 2 on just over 12,414 km 2 , it is a densely populated region, having some 4.1 million inhabitants, 7% of France's total population, making it the fourth most populous region in the country, 83% of whom live in urban communities. Its administrative centre and largest city is Lille. The second largest city is Calais, which serves as a major continental economic/transportation hub with Dover of Great Britain 42 kilometres (26 mi) away this makes Nord-Pas-de-Calais the closest continental European connection to the island of Great Britain. Other major towns include Valenciennes, Lens, Douai, Béthune, Dunkirk, Maubeuge, Boulogne, Arras, Cambrai and Saint-Omer. The region is featured in numerous films, including Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis.


Railroad History & Preservation - USA & Canada

American Steam Railroad Preservation Association - Nonprofit educational organization dedicated to preserving, displaying, and operating historic railroad equipment, including Frisco steam locomotive # 1352

American Time Table and Train Order System, The - History of the telegraph's key role in a uniquely North American system of railway operation

Amtrak Historical Society - Preserving the history of Amtrak

Association of Railway Museums - Leads in the advancement of railway heritage through education and advocacy

Auctions on eBay - 100,000+ collectibles and railroadiana items including vintage ads, maps, timetables, tickets, stock certificates, watches, clocks, signs, lanterns, utensils, locks, apparel, and more

Birney Safety Car Museum - History, photos, and models of the Birney single-truck trolley developed in the 1910s

Bridgehunter.com - Database of historic bridges and tunnels throughout the United States

Bridges, Stations & Tunnels - Guide to the earliest, longest, highest, and largest railroad structures

Budd-RDC.org - Photos, history, and current operating information about Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs)

Canada By Rail - Organization of Canadian tourist railways, museums, historical societies, rail tour operators, historic rail stations, and heritage sites

Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA) - Preservation and dissemination of information concerning railway heritage in Canada, with many divisions organizing their own meetings, projects, and activities

Canadian Railway Music - List of Canadian railway music including classical, folk, and country songs

Canadian Street Railways - History of street railways and interurban electric railways in Canada

Carknocker Railroad Stories - Stories and photos by railway carmen

Carolwood Pacific Historical Society - Dedicated to preserving the personal railroad legacy of Walt Disney

Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum - History of the Transcontinental Railroad and the linking the Central and Union Pacific Railroads on May 10, 1869 at Promontory Summit, Utah

Chapel Cars of America - About thirteen churches-on-rails that followed the railroads west from 1890 to the 1940s and brought the gospel and sacraments to the people living along the tracks

Classic Streamliners - Articles and photos celebrating vintage passenger trains, private railcars, train travel, tourist railroads, and more

Conrail Cabins & Cabooses - Exchange information about Conrail's fleet of cabins and cabooses

Corporate History of Railroads in North America - Corporate (family) charts for researching a particular family or individual names of railroads

Dan's Wigwag Site - History, photos, and locations of surviving wigwag flagman grade crossing signals throughout the US

Danger Ahead: Historic Railway Disasters - An investigation of significant railway accidents from the earliest days of rail transportation to the present

Diesels From Schenectady - Devoted to Alcos both past and present with photos and information

Driving the Last Spike - History from the Museum of the City of San Francisco

Early Railroads - Records and firsts for railroad construction and operation in the U.S. and worldwide

F40PH Preservation Society - Preserves history and artifacts related to Amtrak's F40PH diesel locomotives

Fallen Flags and Other Railroad Photos - Extensive photo galleries from fallen flags throughout North America

FallnFlags - Pre Burlington Northern locomotive photos, especilly covering the Great Northern Railroad includes Great Northern Sky Blue and Orange paint schemes, Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland and Seattle, and Burlington

Forgotten Railways - Ongoing project to research, trace, and map railroad abandonments

Friends of the Burlington Northern Railroad - Historical society focused on the BN and BNSF

Geared Steam Locomotive Works - Preserving and promoting information on North American built geared steam locomotives including Shay, Heisler, Climax, Byers, Gilbert, Dunkirk, Willamette, Davenport, Baldwin, Bell, and more

International Society for the Preservation of Women in Railroading - Traveling exhibit provides an educational look into the world of women railroaders

Iron & Steel Industry Special Interest Group - Group for those interested in the railways of steelworks and also the steelworks themselves both prototype fans and modelers are welcome

John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library - Special library within the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis

Johnson Farebox Company - History and photos of Johnson and Cleveland fareboxes found in many trolleys, streetcars, and buses until the 1960s

Locomotive Records - Guide to the earliest, fastest, heaviest, largest, and most powerful steam locomotives

Logging Railroads of North America - List of all known logging railroad operations in North America

Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society - Devoted to the activities of the MNLPS, owners and operators of MN Class loco 35028 "Clan line"

Merci Train - Photos and history of the 49-car train filled with gifts, given by France to the USA in 1948

Mike's Railway History - Extensive history of world railways to the mid 1930's by Michael Irlam

Multimodalways Railroad Archives - Collection of scanned maps, track charts, and various documents from past and present North American railroads

National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) - Official site of the US national historical organization

North American Railcar Operators Association - Dedicated to the preservation and safe, legal operation of railroad equipment, historically used in the maintenance of way

North American Railroad Family Trees - Chronology of North American Railroad predecessors

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association - Dedicated to preserving the history of America's first northern transcontinental railroad

Old Time Trains - Preserving Canadian railway heritage with articles, stories, photographs, and more

Pacific Railway Act, The - An 1862 act to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean

PCC Car - Not So Standard - History and photos of PCC cars

PCC Cars - Photos and information about PCC cars by Gerard Scheltens

Pennsy Railcar Restorations LLC - Provides on-site and off-site consulting for railcar acquisition, transportation, and restoration

Preserved North American Electric Railway Cars Roster - Searchable database of preserved North American electric railway cars with car specifications, ownership history, and photos

Pullman Library - Over a million drawings, original specifications, correspondence, photos, and documentation pertaining to Pullman and Pullman-Standard passenger and freight cars Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois

Railroad and Streetcar Historical Markers - List of railroad-related roadside and other permanent markers with text, photos, maps, detailed location information, and commentary

Railroad Car History - Publishes electronic books on railroad cars and related subjects

Railroad Evangelistic Association - Non-denominational, non-partisan Christian railroad fellowship

RailRoad Genealogical Society - Dedicated to locating, compiling, and preserving every record pertaining to the employees of America's historic railroads

Railroad Heritage Blog - Covers both modern and vintage railroading, with equipment walk-arounds, vintage photos, and preservation news

Railroad Maps Archive - Historic railroad maps from throughout the USA, available free from the University of Alabama

Railroad Maps Collection - Over 600 railroad maps from 1828-1900 from the Library of Congress archives

Railroad Nicknames - Guide to nicknames given to past and present North American railroads

Railroad Police - Promotes the history of railroad policing

Railroad Signal Site - Detailed photos and descriptions of searchlight, colorlight, wig wag, and gyralight railroad signals

Railroad Signaling and Communications - Photos and information about a variety of railroad signals and communications equipment

Railroad Station Historical Society, Inc - Compilations of extant railroad / railway structures in U.S. and Canada, historical research on depots, references on railroad structures, and more

Railroad Station Home Page, The - Devoted to the architecture and history of railroad stations around the world

Railroad Stories - Collection of railroad stories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Railroad.net - Dozens of railfan forums, postcards, prototype photo gallery, and more

RailroadRob.net - Old railroad postcards and documents, history of the streetcar service in Grand Rapids MI, and a guide to hotels and resorts of special interest to railfans and rail travelers

Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - Promotes research and encourages the preservation of documentation pertinent to business history, finance, labor history, biography, and technology

Railway Mail Service - History of mail delivery by rail, from the USPS

Railway Preservation News - Online journal of railway history and preservation, edited by Bob Yarger

Railways in Music - History of railways in music, by Philip Scowcroft

Railways of Canada Archives - Preserving Canadian railway history with dozens of articles and photos

RailwaySurgery.org - Preserves the history of railway surgeons and hospitals, and educates the public about their work and contributions to medicine

Rare Map Collection - Historic railroad maps available online from the University of Georgia

Record Railroad Routes - Guide to the highest, steepest, and longest railroad grades worldwide

Richard Leonard's Rail Archive - Photos and commentary about steam locomotives operating in the 1950s on North American railroads including the CB&Q, CPR, GTW, IC, NKP, NYC, and UP

Richard's Parlor Car - Devoted to the history of various North American Passenger cars, mostly Canadian, CNR, CPR, and some American

Richard's Planet Sleeping-Car - Historical information and data on various sleeping and parlor cars operated by Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and Pullman in Canada, the US, and Mexico

RRSignal.com - Information and photos of signals, CTC equipment, relays, and more

Semaphores.com - Extensive list of living and museum semaphores, photos, semaphore history, and more

Slim Rails - Photos and information about narrow gauge railroads including Carson & Colorado, Durango & Silverton, East Tennessee & Western North Carolina, and East Broad Top

St. Nicholas Mountain - One of six tall-window observation cars built by American Car & Foundry for the Mid-Century Empire Builder, now undergoing restoration for private railcar journeys

Steam in the Americas - Covers the prospects for working and near-working steam in the Americas, as well as highlighting some preserved steam locomotives and relics

SteamLocomotive.com - Extensive guide to surviving steam locomotives in North America, including engines presently operating and under restoration

Streamliner Memories - Railroad brochures, ads, timetables, menus, and tickets from the 1950s and 60s

Streamliner Schedules - Schedules of the streamliners from the mid-1930s to the late 1960s

Tap Lines - Offers scanned railroad books for historians and modelers including official guides, equipment registers, and locomotive builders lists on CD and DVD

Technical Society for Rail Operations Safety & Signaling - Focus on safety and signaling includes listing of railway names, wreck/incident info, and historic info on signaling and grade crossings

The Birney Car - Online book with rosters and history of streetcars by state

The Caboose Page - Photos of cabooses and information on their use

The Diesel Shop - Comprehensive source for motive power rosters and first generation locomotives

The Yard Limit: American Diesel Switchers - Spotter's guide, photo gallery, news, and more

Train Movies - Guide to more than 130 classic train movies, many now rare and out-of-print, including details about filming locations and featured railroads, stations, and equipment

Train Records - Guide to the fastest, longest, and heaviest trains in U.S. and world history

Train Wrecks - Guide to the earliest, deadliest, and strangest train wrecks, crashes, derailments, and accidents

Transcontinental Railroad, The - History of the leaders, founders, and workers on the Central Pacific Railroad

Transportation Planning and Train Dispatching - Historical and technical information about train dispatching, planning, and management

Trolley Cars Dot Com - Restoration projects, preservation, and more

True Story Of Casey Jones, The - Published in "Erie Railroad Magazine" (April 1928)

Union Pacific Historical Society - Preservation of the history of the Union Pacific Railroad from its beginning in 1862 to the operation as it is today

Union Pacific History & Photos - History of the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad, historic railroad equipment, and photos

Vagel Keller's Industrial Heritage Homepage - Historical and modeling info about America's coal, iron & steel, and railroad industries


North Railway of France - History

    (d-maps.com)
  • Atlas des colonies françaises, protectorats et territories sous mandat de la France, 1934 (G. Grandidier)
  • Atlas historique de la France depuis César jusqu’à nos jours (Auguste Longnon, 1907) Collection (Library of Congress) (American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection) (David Rumsey Map Collection) (WHKMLA) (Gallica - Bibliothèque nationale de France) (Columbia University) (oldmapsonline.org)
    (Putzgers Historischer Weltatlas, 1923) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (R. Lane Poole, Historical Atlas of Modern Europe, c.1900) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (R. Lane Poole, Historical Atlas of Modern Europe, c.1900) (Putzgers Historischer Weltatlas, 1905)
  • France about 1035 (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (R. Lane Poole, Historical Atlas. c.1900) (R. Lane Poole, Historical Atlas. c.1900) (Droysens. 1886) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926)
  • France in the Thirteenth Century (R. Lane Poole, Historical Atlas of Modern Europe, c.1900) (R. Lane Poole, Historical Atlas of Modern Europe, c.1900) (R. Lane Poole, Historical Atlas of Modern Europe, c.1900) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (Muir’s Historical Atlas, 1911) (Robert Labberton, New Historical Atlas and General History, 1886) (R. Labberton, New Historical Atlas. 1886) (Muir’s Historical Atlas, 1911) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1911) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (Robert Labberton, New Historical Atlas and General History, 1886) (Charles Colbeck, The Public Schools Historical Atlas, 1905)
  • La France en 1461 (à la mort de Charles VII) (Mirot, Manuel de géographie historique de la France, 1947) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (The British Library) (Robert Labberton, New Historical Atlas and General History, 1886) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Muir’s Historical Atlas, 1911) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Lane Poole, Historical Atlas of Modern Europe, c.1900) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (J. Bartholomew, A Literary & Historical Atlas of Europe, 1910) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (Robert Labberton, New Historical Atlas. 1886) (Robert Labberton, New Historical Atlas. 1886) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (William Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1926) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge. 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (Droysens Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas, 1886) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912) (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)

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Atlas of France

La République française à la suite d'un long processus d'évolution étalé sur près de 2 000 ans d’histoire, est un État d’Europe dont le territoire métropolitain est situé en Europe de l’Ouest. La France est – parmi tous les grands États européens – le plus anciennement constitué, autour d’un domaine royal initialement centré sur l’Île-de-France, sa capitale étant Paris.

França es un país de l'Euròpa occidentala, es la pàtria del pòble francés e forma un estat. França es, demèst totes los grands Estats europencs, lo mai ancianament constituat, a l'entorn d'un domeni reial inicialament centrat sus l'Illa-de-França, que sa capitala istorica e culturala es uèi París.

La República Francesa, és un estat d'Europa el territori metropolità del qual és situat en l'Europa de l'oest. França és - dins el conjunt dels països més grans d'Europa - el més antigament constituit, a l'entorn d'un domini reial inicialment centrat en l'illa de França, la seva capital és París. Catalunya-nord esdevé francesa el 1659 amb el tractat dels Pirineus (Tractat no oficial perquè no ha estat mai aprovat per les Corts Catalanes de Barcelona).

Frankriich isch e Land, wo im weschtliche Europa leit. Es het ebbis meh wie sächzig Millione Ywohner un isch 543.965 km² groß un 's isch nooch Russland und dr Ukraine es dritt gröscht Land fun Europa. Es Elsass isch e Stickel fun Frankriich un d'r Sproch, wo mer spricht, isch Elsässerditsch.

The French Republic is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in Western Europe and which also comprises various overseas islands and territories located in other continents. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. France is bordered by ► Belgium (► Flanders and ► Wallonia), ► Luxembourg, ► Germany, ► Switzerland, ► Italy (with ► Aosta Valley), ► Monaco, ► Andorra, and ► Spain (with ► Catalonia, ► Navarre and ► Basque Country. In some of its overseas departments, France also shares land borders with ► Brazil, ► Suriname, and ► Sint Maarten (a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands). France is also linked to the ► United Kingdom via the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel.
France includes also the overseas regions/departments of ► Guadeloupe, ► French Guiana, ► Martinique, and ► Réunion, the overseas collectivity/region of ► Corsica, as well as ► French Polynesia, overseas country, ► New Caledonia, entity sui generis, ► Mayotte, departemental collectivity, and the other overseas collectivities of ► Saint-Barthélemy, ► Saint-Martin, ► Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, ► Wallis and Futuna as well as the uninhabited territories of ► Clipperton Island and the ► French Southern and Antarctic Lands.


Railroaders in Olive Drab: The Military Railway Service in WWII

In July 1861, Confederate Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston dramatically demonstrated the importance of railroads in modern warfare when he moved 12,000 troops by rail from Piedmont Station (now Delaplane), Virginia, to Manassas Junction, a distance of about fifty miles, to reinforce the Confederate forces assembled southwest of Washington, DC. The move took only about one-third the time it would have taken for the troops to cover that distance by marching, and they arrived ready to fight. The reinforcements surprised the Union forces and contributed to the rebel victory on 21 July at the First Battle of Bull Run. It was but the first effort to transport large numbers of soldiers during the Civil War by rail. Railroads were so important that the War Department organized the U.S. Military Railroads and the Railroad Construction Corps to repair, operate, and maintain rail lines as the Union Army moved into Confederate territory. Both organizations relied heavily on experienced railroad executives and engineers who were commissioned as volunteer officers and worked under the supervision of the Quartermaster General of the Union Army, Major General Montgomery C. Meigs.

The concept of commissioning experienced railroad men into the Army continued in World War I under the auspices of the Military Railway Service (MRS) operated by the Corps of Engineers. Regular Army colonels commanded engineer regiments organized as railroad units. Professional railroaders commissioned as lieutenant colonels served as the regimental executive officer. Between World Wars I and II, the Corps of Engineers determined that the regiment was not the best organization for operating railroads. Engineer Reserve officers who were railroad men in their civilian careers helped design appropriate units for military rail operations. They decided to use the lowest organizational element of American railroads, divisions, as the basis of the new organization. In a railroad division, a superintendent had the responsibility to maintain mainline tracks, sidings, terminals, shops, and structures required to operate trains over a designated section of rail line. The division also maintained and operated the locomotives and cars. Professional railroaders and Army engineers designed a railway operating battalion that mirrored the functions of the civilian railroad division.

The mission of a railway operating battalion was to manage and maintain a designated section of a military railway in a theater of operations. Unlike civilian railroads, however, the battalions also had to be prepared to destroy the line it operated. In general, a railway operating battalion could maintain and operate between ninety and 150 miles of single-track railroad, although its actual area of responsibility in wartime depended on the military situation. When conducting rail operations in friendly areas or occupied territory, the battalion used local civilian technical and skilled railway employees to augment its capabilities, but they had to be supervised by military personnel to safeguard against possible sabotage. It also presented challenges to the English-speaking American soldier-railroaders who were not always familiar with how other countries operated their railways.

The organization of a railway operating battalion paralleled a typical Army battalion with a headquarters company and three or four lettered companies. Each company had a unique organization with specific capabilities corresponding to the organization of a civilian railroad division. Headquarters company dispatched trains, supplies, and signals. Company A repaired and maintained track and associated equipment such as switches, bridges, water tanks, signal equipment, and buildings. The company had two platoons, one for bridge and building maintenance and one to maintain track. Company B operated the roundhouse and repaired and maintained rolling stock—locomotives and cars. It also had two platoons, one to repair locomotives, the other to repair cars. Locomotives and railway cars were not assigned to the battalion but moved through the entire railway system as needed. Company C was the largest unit in the battalion with two platoons, each of which had twenty-five crews to operate trains, yards, and stations in the battalion’s area of responsibility. In areas of the world where there were large numbers of electric trains, such as Europe, a Company D could be added to the battalion to maintain the electrical supply system.

Not only did the battalion organization reflect the civilian railroad division, the table of organization correlated military positions to their civilian counterparts. The battalion commander, a lieutenant colonel, was equivalent to a division superintendent in a commercial railroad. The company commanders, all captains, equated to their counterparts in civilian railroads: a division engineer commanded Company A, a master mechanic commanded Company B, and a trainmaster commanded Company C. Platoon leaders had similar designated civilian specialties. Many of the enlisted soldiers were experienced railroad men who performed essentially the same jobs in the Army as they did in their civilian professions. While the emphasis was on railroading, the soldiers attended basic combat training and the battalions all conducted disciplinary, physical, combat, and technical training in accordance with appropriate Army field manuals.

To find and train officers and men for the new battalions, the Corps of Engineers developed an Affiliation Plan whereby commercial railroads in the United States sponsored specific units in the MRS. Under the plan, a commercial railroad nominated officers based on their technical duties. After passing a physical examination, they were commissioned as Reserve officers in the Army and assigned to appropriate positions in the battalion sponsored by the railroad to provide a cadre of professional railroad men.

The next higher headquarters for a railway operating battalion was a railway grand division that corresponded to the office of a general superintendent in a civilian railroad and oversaw the operations of several divisions. A grand division typically included three or four operating battalions, a shop battalion, and a base depot company. Shop battalions handled major repairs, construction, and overhaul of equipment while the base depot company provided supplies. Theaters of operations with more than one grand division established an MRS headquarters.

On 18 June 1941, the Army organized the 711th Railway Operating Battalion, the first of its kind, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Unlike other railway operating battalions, it did not have a civilian company sponsoring it. The intent was to rotate officers and enlisted men through the battalion for short tours of duty for training. Officers from ten different American railroads staffed the battalion, and a cadre of twenty-eight enlisted men came from the Engineer School Detachment at Fort Belvoir. Several hundred men with railroad experience were also assigned from the Engineer Replacement Center on the post. Within forty-eight days of activation, the battalion had rehabilitated the long-neglected four-and-a-half mile Quartermaster railroad that served the post. The work included replacing thousands of ties, repairing several bridges, and installing twenty culverts. Its next assignment was a bit more challenging.

The battalion moved to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, in August 1941, where it began work on a training facility for railway operating battalions as they were called to active duty. Work began using rented earthmoving equipment operated by soldiers in the 711th until Army equipment became available. The first track was laid in September, and in October, the 91st and 93d Engineer Battalions, both manned by African American soldiers, arrived to assist with the construction. More than 6,000 troops worked on the line. During the course of building the railroad, the 98th, 383d, and 331st Engineer Battalions, as well as several dump truck companies, worked on the project. On 11 July 1942, a “golden spike” ceremony marked the completion of fifty miles of grading and track laying between Camp Claiborne and Fort Polk. Known as the C&P Railroad for Claiborne and Polk, trainees called it the “Crime and Punishment” or the “Worst Railroad on Earth” because it was built on unstable ground, making derailments common. To make the training more realistic, the twenty-five bridges along the line were periodically blown up so maintenance teams from the battalions in training could rebuild them. The C&P included rail yards at each end of the line and engine-house facilities at Camp Claiborne. The telegraph and telephone line used to dispatch trains was erected by the 26th Signal Construction Battalion. Rolling stock included nine oil burning locomotives and almost 100 cars, including coaches, gondolas, boxcars, flatcars, refrigerator cars, and cabooses.

After the United States entered World War II in December 1941, the Army activated additional railway operating battalions under the Affiliation Plan. In March 1942, the 727th Railway Operating Battalion, sponsored by the Southern Railway Company, became the first battalion to be activated after the war began, followed in April by the 713th, affiliated with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company. Most of the officers and many of the enlisted men were experienced railroaders, but the new battalions included men drawn from Army training centers who needed to be trained. The newly organized battalions also had to learn how to operate efficiently as units, so the War Department contracted with commercial railroads to provide on-the-job training. For example, an Army train crew would accompany a train manned by civilians to learn operating rules and railroad techniques. The same procedure was followed for other specialties in the battalion with soldiers working alongside their civilian counterparts to learn the basics of railroading. The 713th trained on the Santa Fe line near Clovis, New Mexico, while the 727th went to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, to train on the Southern Railroad between Meridian, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana. When the 730th Railway Operating Battalion was activated in May, its sponsoring company, the Pennsylvania Railroad, trained the unit on its line near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

As the war effort increased, the War Department activated additional railway units including grand divisions to coordinate operations in overseas theaters of operations and shop battalions to support the operating battalions. In November 1942, the Transportation Corps assumed responsibility for the MRS. During World War II, the MRS operated in every theater of operations where there were American forces. At its peak, it included eleven grand divisions, thirty-three railway operating battalions, and eleven railway shop battalions. A variety of engineer, signal, and military police units provided support to the railroaders.

In September 1942, a detachment of men from the 713th and 727th Railway Operating Battalions became the first soldier railroaders to deploy outside the contiguous United States when they left Clovis, New Mexico, to assume operations of the White Pass and Yukon Railroad in Alaska. In November, the unit was designated the 770th Railway Operating Detachment. In December, two railway operating battalions deployed to theaters overseas. The 711th, which built the C&P Railroad in Louisiana, went to Iran while the 727th headed for North Africa.

The 711th Railway Operating Battalion arrived in Khorramshahr, Iran, a port city on the Persian Gulf, and began operations in January 1943 making up trains and moving them out of the port before taking responsibility for sections of the line. The 711th was joined by the 730th Railway Operating Battalion (Pennsylvania Railroad) and two shop battalions, the 754th (Southern Pacific Company) and 762d (American Locomotive Company, Baldwin Locomotive Company, Electro-Motive Corporation) Railway Shop Battalions. The 702d Railway Grand Division, staffed mainly by railroad men from the Union Pacific Railroad, coordinated the operations of the four battalions in operating the Iranian State Railway which carried three out of five tons of Lend-Lease material shipped to the Soviet Union through the Persian Corridor during World War II. Although the railway operating battalions were designed to operate ninety to 150 miles of line, in Iran the 711th operated 388 miles, and the 730th 289 miles. Creation of the 1st Provisional Railway Operating Battalion, later designated the 791st Railway Operating Battalion, by taking men from the battalions already in Iran plus personnel from other units in the command who had prewar railroad experience, helped reduce the distances. The new unit took over a 221-mile stretch of mountainous country, leaving the 711th with 258 miles and the 730th with 198, still more than the doctrinal guidelines.

During the time the MRS operated the Iranian State Railway, it handled more than four million long tons of freight. In addition to the freight, special passenger trains carried 16,000 Iranian military personnel, 14,000 Polish war refugees, 40,000 British troops, and 15,000 Russian ex-prisoners of war. During the Muslim holy days from 22 February to 21 April 1944, 21,000 pilgrims traveled on trains operated by the MRS. The last American soldier railroaders left Iran in July 1945.

When the Americans and British began planning for an invasion of North Africa, logisticians estimated that it would require thirty-four trains a day to move 5,000 tons a month from the ports of debarkation at Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers to keep Allied forces supplied. The MRS deployed five operating and two shop battalions to keep the required supplies moving. The first railway operating battalion, the 727th, arrived in Africa in December 1942. In January 1943, the 701st Railway Grand Division, sponsored by the New York Central Railroad, was activated at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. After a brief training period in St. Paul monitoring troop trains and studying car records and other documents in the Twin City terminals, the headquarters traveled by train to New York where it boarded the USS Orizaba as part of the Allied forces bound for North Africa. By May, the 701st was in Casablanca where it coordinated the work of three railway operating battalions, the 715th (Illinois Central Railroad), 719th (Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company), and 759th (Missouri Pacific Railroad).

Railroading in North Africa proved to be a challenge. Trains were operated by British, French, and American crews assisted by Arab civilians. With a variety of languages among the railroaders, the crew often used hand signals, although that was not always a solution. For example, the U.S. signal for “go” or “highball it” in railroad terms meant “stop!” in the French system used in North Africa. Another quirk was that French locomotives in North Africa did not have seats for engineers or firemen as American ones did, so crews had to stand for hours on end while they were underway.

In spite of the difficulties, the MRS was moving about 90,000 tons of freight a week by June 1943. At its peak the MRS operated 1,905 miles of railway in North Africa. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, impressed with the work of the soldier-railroaders, wrote that “When we went into North Africa the railway could deliver a maximum of 900 tons of supplies…Yankee energy and modern American methods of operation…increased the daily tonnage to 3000.”

After freeing North Africa from German occupation the Allies’ next move was to Sicily, and MRS personnel went with them. Three days after the initial landings on 10 July 1943 the 727th Railway Operating Battalion went ashore at Licata, Sicily, and immediately began work on the Sicilian railway. Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr. later wrote that the battalion “organized national rail workers, located equipment, had steam up, and made a reconnaissance of the rail lines four hours after landing.” In its first twenty-four hours of operations, the 727th moved 400 tons of supplies forward to the 3d Infantry Division. By the third day it was moving 800 tons. During the campaign in Sicily, the 727th operated 1,373 miles of railway using 300 locomotives and 3,500 freight cars that carried an average of 3,400 tons a day to supply Seventh Army.

On 9 September 1943, the Allies made their first landing on the European mainland at Salerno, Italy. After encountering heavy German resistance, they spent the rest of the month building up men and supplies in the beachhead in preparation for an offensive to capture the port city of Naples. Three days after the first Allied troops entered Naples, the advance party of the 703d Railway Grand Division (Atlantic Coast Railroad Company) reached the port only to find that the combination of Allied bombing and German demolition had left the rail yard in shambles. Technical Sergeant Louis L. Russel of the 713th Railway Operating Battalion described the scene on Wednesday 6 October: “Charred and twisted cars were strewn around haphazardly, with lengths of rail cross ties still attached, pointing toward the sky.” It was a mess, but the next day, First Lieutenant R.H. Anderson, a yardmaster from Newton, Kansas, was optimistic when he said, “I believe we can get a train out of this by Sunday.” With everybody in the battalion, including conductors, engineers, and firemen working to clear the debris, Anderson proved correct. On Saturday, a test train consisting of an old Italian locomotive pushing five cars moved four miles out of the yard. Four days later, six trains moving an average of 450 tons each, rolled to the forward railhead.

With the rail yard back in operation, Naples became the primary port for supplying Fifth Army. From January through September 1944, an average of 136,567 tons of freight a month moved out of Naples by rail. By July 1944, all of the MRS troops that had been in North Africa were in Italy operating 2,478 miles of railway with an average of 250 military trains a day in addition to civilian passenger and freight service. Fifth Army commander Lieutenant General Mark Clark recognized the contributions of the soldier-railroaders in Italy when he presented them with a plaque in 1944 that read in part: “The services performed by the Allied Force Military Railway Service have contributed materially to the military operation of the Fifth Army.”

At the same time Allied forces were fighting in North Africa and Italy, they began to build up forces in England for an invasion of France. In July 1942, the MRS organized the 761st Transportation Company at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, with men taken from the 713th, 727th, and 730th Railway Operating Battalions. In September, the company deployed to Scotland where it operated the Melbourne Military Railway and provided switching service to depots being established by American forces. The first railway operating battalion to arrive in England was the 729th (New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company) in July 1943. By June 1944, when Allied forces landed at Normandy, the MRS had two grand divisions, three operating battalions, and four shop battalions in England. While in England, the American railroaders conducted technical training, prepared American steam and diesel locomotives for use on the continent, and assembled prefabricated railcars shipped from the United States. They also operated sections of the British rail system that carried American troops and supplies.

As in Italy, railroads and yards were prime targets for Allied bombers in the months before the landings in Normandy, France. Two years of bombing raids had destroyed railroad facilities and twisted tracks into extraordinary shapes. Eleven days after the Allies landed on 6 June 1944, a small detachment of MRS troops arrived to assess the railroad facilities in the beachhead, estimate damage to rails and yards, and locate available locomotives. Using a Jeep equipped with flanged wheels, the detachment surveyed the lines from the landing area to the port of Cherbourg. On 2 July, the 729th Railway Operating Battalion arrived in Normandy and took over operations at the Cherbourg terminals. Assisted by French engine crews and volunteers, the American railroaders repaired roundhouses, shop buildings, engines, and rolling stock while Army engineers cleared the rail line from Cherbourg to Carentan. Nine days after arriving in France, the 729th operated the first passenger train between the two cities.

The 720th Railway Operating Battalion (Chicago and North Western Railway) arrived in France on 15 July and began to rehabilitate and operate approximately sixty-two miles of track between Bayeux and Lisieux. Three days later, the 757th Railway Shop Battalion (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad) went to work at Cherbourg. In August, another three operating battalions and two more shop battalions arrived. By the end of the month, the MRS was operating 1,006 miles of track and had carried 29,450 passengers on 251 trains and moved 136,169 tons of military freight on 991 trains.

On 15 August, the Allies landed in southern France. One of the goals of that operation was to open the ports of Toulon and Marseilles and establish a southern line of communications to augment the flow of equipment and supplies to the Allied armies in Europe. MRS troops supporting the operation came from Italy. Two of the most experienced operating battalions, the 713th and 727th, deployed to Marseilles and began operations at the end of August. Unlike the situations in Italy and northern France, the ports were not heavily damaged by Allied bombing or German demolitions. In October, the MRS operated 1,897 trains hauling 640,561 tons of freight in support of the Sixth Army Group. General Jacob Devers, commanding the army group, commended MRS troops when he wrote: “I want to send my congratulations to you and your splendid achievement in opening and maintaining the railroad system in southern France since the invasion of our forces.”

Grand divisions, operating battalions, and shop battalions continued to deploy to both northern and southern France to support the Allied forces rolling into Germany. As new battalions arrived, the ones already on the continent moved forward behind the advancing armies. In March 1945, the 729th, the first operating battalion to arrive in France, began transporting rail and construction material to Army engineers building a bridge over the Rhine River at Wesel, Germany. On 9 April, the 720th operated the first train across the new bridge. In its first thirty days of operation, 273,141 tons of freight moved east across the bridge while another 403,656 tons and 309,000 displaced persons moved west.

In May 1945, when the war in Europe ended, the MRS included seven grand divisions, twenty-four operating battalions, seven shop battalions, and a variety of depot and maintenance units as well as eight battalions and two separate companies of military police. Between D-Day at Normandy and V-E Day, MRS loaded and moved more than eighteen million tons of military freight. On 7 June 1945, American railroaders were operating 1,937 locomotives, 34,588 freight cars, and 25,150 miles of track in western Europe. Demobilization of railway units began shortly after V-E Day. The largest contingent of American soldier railroaders was in western Europe with more than 26,600 officers and enlisted men serving there by the end of the war. The last MRS unit, the 716th Railway Operating Battalion (Southern Pacific Company) left Europe in February 1946.

In addition to Europe and North Africa, MRS units operated railroads in India, Burma, and the Philippine Islands. Railway units in India supported construction of the Ledo Road and the airfield used for the airlift over the Himalaya Mountains that provided logistical support to the Chinese. They also supported British and the American forces fighting the Japanese in Burma. The 705th Railway Grand Division (Southern Pacific Company) oversaw military rail operations in India and Burma. The division, along with five railway operating battalions, the 721st (New York Central Railroad), 725th (Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Company), 726th (Wabash Railroad Company), 745th (Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad), and 748th (Texas and Pacific Railway company) all sailed from Los Angeles aboard the SS Mariposa in December 1943. After thirty-one days at sea they arrived at Bombay, India, in January 1944 to begin operation of sections of the Bengal and Assam Railway.

In India, each of the five operating battalions managed an average of 133 miles of railway. By implementing American techniques, the tonnage carried by the Bengal and Assam Railway increased forty-six percent in the first twenty-six days after the MRS took over. Compared to American railroads, the Indian system was relatively primitive. A unique aspect of railroading in India was the use of elephants to switch cars when locomotives were not available. India also had little in the way of telegraph, telephone, or signal communications. American railroaders installed modern communications equipment to coordinate the increased train movements. They also added 100 miles of double track to facilitate traffic flow. The improvements paid off. Between February 1944 and September 1945, the MRS moved 6,217,143 tons of freight and operated 5,559 passenger trains. The last American railway units left India in October 1945.

There were no requirements for railway units in the Pacific Theater until the Allies reached the Philippine Islands in late 1944. Shortly after the amphibious landings on the island of Luzon in January 1945, a company of MRS troops arrived on the island and began to rehabilitate the rail lines so they could operate the Manila Railway Company. The railroad was in terrible condition due to lack of maintenance, American bombing, and Japanese destruction. While Army engineers rebuilt bridges along the rail line, railway troops repaired locomotives and railcars. The Manila Railway Company had about 712 miles of track on Luzon, but the American forces used only 234 of them designated the Luzon Military Railway. The first train on the line ran on 19 January for a distance of about thirty miles. Because there was no coal the locomotives burned driftwood, pulpwood, and coconut hulls.

Railway supplies began to reach Luzon in February, including locomotives, cars, shop machines, and track material. Eventually fifty-three American-built locomotives and 990 cars reached the island. Several mobile railway workshops deployed to Luzon in March, and in April, two operating battalions, the 737th (New York Central) and the 749th (New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad Company) arrived to operate sections of the Luzon Military Railway. By October, MRS troops in the Philippines reached its peak strength of 3,200 officers and enlisted men and 6,010 civilians. Between 1 June and 31 December, they operated a total of 7,410 trains with 48,131 cars. The Army returned control of the Luzon Military Railway back to the Manila Railway Company on 1 January 1946, and the last MRS personnel left the Philippines three months later.

The Military Railway Service was a remarkable team effort made possible by the Affiliation Program the Army and American railroaders developed in the 1930s and implemented as the clouds of global war appeared on the horizon. During World War II the service operated and maintained railroads in Europe, North Africa, Asia, and the Pacific that totaled more than 22,000 miles. Some 43,500 soldier-railroaders, most of whom brought years of experience with them, served in the Army in every theater of operations moving personnel and freight, often under enemy fire and through extreme weather conditions. Their efforts proved vital to the Allied victory.


2000-present day

Metros and monorails are thriving within cities. Online ticketing system started in 2000’s and is one of the major ways of booking train ticket, today. 4.5 billion km was additionally covered in just ten years (2001-2010). Now, the train tracks cover more than 120,000 km of area in India and special amenities like Wi-Fi, customer information system, ergogenic designs and green technologies have taken Indian Railways to the next level.

Recent developments of railway system include technological amenities in unreserved class, high horsepower electric locomotive, GPS based passenger information system, sliding doors, private catering services and many others. (Source)

There is always a next step for Indian Railway. By 2019, more than 7000 stations around the world would receive free Wi-Fi service. The technology team is diving deep into finding greener source of powers.


Wheelchairs

Most, if not all, TGV trains have dedicated spaces for wheelchairs, however, they are all located in the first class cars. But fear not, the price is that of second class, so you’ll not be paying extra to travel with a wheelchair. There’s even space for 2 fellow travellers, and the wheelchair area is located close to the wheelchair-accessible toilets.

Almost all stations in France are now fully equipped to accommodate wheelchairs, including ramps and elevators. But it’s important and highly recommendable that you notify the railroad that you are planning to travel with a wheelchair.


North Railway of France - History

  • 600 - The colony of Massalia is founded by the Ancient Greeks. This would later become the city of Marseille, the oldest city in France.
  • 400 - Celtic tribes begin to settle in the region.
  • 122 - Southeastern France (called Provence) is taken over by the Roman Republic.
  • 52 - Julius Caesar conquers Gaul (most of modern day France).




The Storming of the Bastille


Napoleon is Defeated in Russia

Brief Overview of the History of France

The land that today makes up the country of France has been settled for thousands of years. In 600 BC, a portion of the Greek Empire settled in Southern France and founded the city that is today Marseille, the oldest city in France. At the same time, Celtic Gauls were becoming prominent in other areas of France. The Gauls would sack the city of Rome in 390 BC. Later, the Romans would conquer Gaul and the area would become a productive part of the Roman Empire until the 4th century.


In the 4th century, the Franks, which is where the name France comes from, began to take power. In 768 Charlemagne united the Franks and began to expand the kingdom. He was named the Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope and is today considered the founder of both the French and German monarchies. The French monarchy would continue to be a great power in Europe for the next 1000 years.

In 1792, the French Republic was proclaimed by the French Revolution. This didn't last long, however, as Napoleon grabbed power and made himself Emperor. He then proceeded to conquer most of Europe. Napoleon was later defeated and in 1870 the Third Republic was declared.

France suffered greatly in both World War I and World War II. During World War II France was defeated and occupied by the Germans. Allied forces liberated the country in 1944 after four years of German rule. A new constitution was set up by Charles de Gaulle and the Fourth Republic was formed.


“Cock o’ the North”

COMPETITION is always stimulating. There is no question that the competition of other forms of transport has stirred the locomotive engineers considerably. Diesel rail- cars, for example, have established a new mode of high speed transport on rails. Electrification, where traffic conditions are sufficiently dense to warrant the heavy expenditure involved, has been carried out on an extensive scale. Competition from outside the railways, on the roads, and in the air has to be fought unceasingly.

But “King Coal” is determined to hold his own. On a thermal efficiency basis the steam locomotive of traditional design does not rank very high. Even in the best conditions, not much more than seven per cent of the heat units developed by the burning of the coal on the locomotive fire- grate is turned into useful work in moving the locomotive and its train.

There are, as previously explained, many reasons to account for this figure. The use of the exhaust steam to furnish a draught for the fire necessarily means that power for the purpose must be thrown to waste out of the chimney, whereas in a stationary power- station the steam would be condensed, and its heat, at least, would be trapped. Similarly the limitations imposed in length and diameter on the locomotive boiler involve the loss up the chimney of much of the heat from the fire.

Some years ago the locomotive engineers of the Paris- Orleans Railway of France made an exhaustive study of all the features of locomotive design which have a bearing on efficiency. Their study concentrated on the “flow” of the steam from the time it left the boiler until the moment of its rejection, as exhaust, from the chimney. It was realized that much could be done by the use of larger and more direct steam- pipes and passages, and of improved inlet and exhaust valves to the cylinders, to facilitate that flow. Measures could also be taken to speed up the circulation of the water in the boiler, and this would increase the capacity to raise steam.

An existing “Pacific” locomotive was rebuilt in the Paris- Orleans workshops at Tours to embody the results of this research. The effect was startling. The reconditioned engine, though weighing no more than one of the London and North Eastern “Pacifics”, created new standards of combined speed and weight haulage on what was already a very speedy line. It was proved that trains weighing over 800 tons could be hauled not merely to scheduled time but well within it.

HERALD OF A NEW ORDER. The striking appearance of the great LNER locomotive is indicative of the revolutionary changes in design that she embodies. The “Cock o’ the North” was the first eight- coupled locomotive built for express passenger service in Great Britain.

A series of these earlier “Pacifics” was reconditioned, and the next experiment was to convert another “Pacific” to the 4- 8- 0 wheel arrangement, with a similar boiler, cylinders, and valves, for working over the extremely difficult route through Central France from Vierzon (to which point the trains are worked electrically from Paris) to Toulouse. Again the results were successful.

These developments attracted attention all over France. Other French railways followed suit, and as some of the Paris- Orleans steam locomotive stock was becoming superfluous, owing to the extension of main line electrification from Paris to Tours as well as Vierzon, the Paris- Orleans rebuilt many more of its “Pacifics” for transfer to the Nord and the Est Companies. The news of these Paris- Orleans transformations spread to England when the London and North Eastern Railway was about to build new locomotives for service over the heavily- graded east coast main line between Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

This is one of the most difficult main routes, from the locomotive point of view, in Great Britain. Gradients as steep as 1 in 70 abound. There are also numerous sharp curves demanding reductions of speed, most of them at the beginning of long adverse gradients so that the drivers are compelled to slow down severely just when they are in most need of the impetus for the climb that follows.

THE LEADING DIMENSIONS of this 110- ton locomotive, as given in these diagrams were supplied by the courtesy of the LNER Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Department.

From Inverkeithing, for example, after slowing round the curve to twenty miles an hour, drivers of south- bound trains have an ascent for two miles at 1 in 70 on to the Forth Bridge, and north- bound trains face a similar, though shorter, grade up to Dalgetty.

From every intermediate stop, also, the trains have to accelerate up steep gradients, in some cases, indeed - as in both directions from Arbroath and Montrose, and southwards from Aberdeen - long and arduous climbs. The consequence has been that most of the heavy modern East Coast expresses have needed “double- heading” - that is, the provision of an assistant locomotive - over this section. The new type of engine had to be sufficiently powerful to obviate this.

It was decided that to give an increased tractive force to enable the engines to get away more rapidly from these frequent stops and slowings, and also to move these heavy trains at higher speeds up the banks, the driving wheels should be reduced in diameter from the 6 ft 8 in of the “Pacifics” to 6 ft 2 in, and the diameter of the cylinders increased from the 19 in of the high- pressure “Pacifics” to 21 in. The next essential was to provide greater adhesion, so that this increased power might be transmitted to the rails without slipping, and the decision was made to use eight- coupled instead of six- coupled driving wheels.

These points are important, as “Cock o’ the North” was not designed, as has been widely supposed, for high- speed long- distance running, but for the difficult conditions of the Edinburgh- Aberdeen route. It was the first eight- coupled locomotive built for express passenger service in Great Britain.

However desirable it might have been to provide the engine with a leading four- wheeled bogie, the increased length would have made it necessary to replace the turntables along the route by tables of larger diameter. It was not thought necessary to incur this additional expense, and the locomotive was therefore designed, like the “Moguls”, with a two- wheeled radial truck at the leading end. Another pair of wheels at the rear end carries the immense firebox, and the wheel arrangement of the engine is thus the 2- 8- 2, or “ikado” type, as it is generally known.

Examination of the internal economy of the “Cock o’ the North” shows that the designer of this notable locomotive - Mr. H. N. Gresley, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNER, - has adapted to British conditions certain of the principles which proved so effective on the Paris- Orleans Railway, and has incorporated them in the engine.

THE TENDER contains an automatic water pickup apparatus (shown dotted) to the left of the coal- space.

HEAD- ON DIMENSIONS should be compared with the fine view of this locomotive shown below.

The fine sectional picture of the engine, which appears below, reveals what a mass of detail has been crowded within the smooth external casing of the locomotive. It also shows the difficulties experienced by the designer of the modern locomotive in compressing, within the narrow limits of the British loading gauge, all the working parts of an engine capable of exerting over 2,000 hp on the draw- bar of it train.

The magnificent centre- spread to this photogravure supplement: a fine broadside photograph of No.2001 and a corresponding sectioned cut- away drawing of the locomotive. In addition to the explanatory tabs, there are a further 52 numbered items, each identified by the key in the top right hand corner of the centre- spread.

At a working pressure of 220 lb per sq in, steam passes from the boiler through a series of long narrow slots up into a cavity of pressed steel, which has been riveted on to the top of the boiler at the rear of the dome. From the regulator the steam passes into a main steam- pipe having the unusually large diameter of 7 in. The next stage of its journey is through a 43- element superheater, from which it is led down to the cylinders.

Large poppet- valves of 8- in diameter admit the steam to the cylinders, and 9- in valves are provided for the exhaust the valves are worked by a rotary cam arrangement, instead of the ordinary Walschaerts valve- motion.

The last stage of the journey of the steam is into a blast pipe which branches into two, leading up to a double chimney which has three telescopic sections from the bottom to the top, and is known as the “K.C.” blast- pipe, after its designer, Monsieur K. Chapelon [ sic ], of the Paris- Orleans Railway.

All these arrangements so facilitate the passage of the steam that the engine is capable of doing high- speed work with heavy trains at no more than ten per cent cut- off - that is to say, steam is admitted for one- tenth of the stroke only, and for the remaining nine- tenths does its work by expansion.

FACTS AND FIGURES OF THE “COCK O' THE NORTH”. Cylinders (three) diameter 21in stroke 26 in. Driving wheels, diameter 6 ft 2 in. Heating surface, tubes and flues, 2,477 sq ft firebox, 237 sq ft superheater, 776.5 sq ft total, 3,490.5 sq ft. Firegrate area, 50 sq ft. Working pressure, per sq in, 220 lb. Tractive effort (at 85 per cent working pressure), 43,460 lb. Adhesion weight, 80½ tons. Weight of engine (in working order) 110¼ tons. Coal capacity of tender, 8 tons. Water, 5,000 gals. Weight of engine and tender, 165½ tons. Length of engine and tender (overall), 73 ft 8½ in.

One result of this ultra- short cut- off working is that the pressure at which the steam is finally exhausted is very low, and there would be a tendency for it to drift along the top level of the boiler and obscure the front windows of the driver’s cab, were special precautions not taken to prevent this. It is here that the external casing at the front end of the engine, with its wings on either side of the smoke- box, serves both as streamlining and also to make a strong up- current of ail when the engine is running at speed, which lifts the exhaust steam from the double chimney, and carries it well clear of the cab.

The cab- front also is V- shaped, to assist in the streamlining effect, but, despite the enormous size of the boiler, there is an excellent look- out ahead. Inside the external boiler casing there is found another aid to efficiency in the feed- water heater, of the A.C.F.I. type, which uses some of the exhaust steam in order to heat up the feed- water on its way from the tender into the boiler. This means that less heat is required inside the boiler to convert the feed- water into steam.

A novelty is provided in the shape of a chime whistle in front of the chimney, which was the only convenient place in which it could be put. The tender is of the standard LNER eight- wheeled type. “Cock o’ the North” is the heaviest locomotive built, up to the time of writing, for passenger service in Great Britain, and weighs 110¼ tons in running trim with the tender the total weight is 165½ tons.

Shortly after the “Cock o’ the North” had emerged from Doncaster Works, a test run was made, with a train weighing 650 tons, from King’s Cross to Barkstone, just beyond Grantham, and back. The long gradient to Stoke Summit, partly at 1 in 200 and partly at 1 in 178, was surmounted at an average speed of a mile- a- minute for the whole distance, and without speed at any time falling below 56 miles an hour. The engine developed at the draw- bar the hitherto unprecedented figure for Great Britain of 2,090 hp.

Whether we like it or not, locomotive fashions are fast altering. Both internally and externally revolutionary changes are being made, and from recent developments - of which the “Cock o’ the North” is only one example - it is clear that we must accustom ourselves to locomotives unlike those which have become familiar.

Those who lament the radical external changes in locomotive design sometimes forget that higher and even higher speeds are being called for in this hurrying age. The greater the speed the more potent is the resistance of the air through which the vehicle passes. Streamlining has become essential for all vehicles designed for rapid motion, and we must expect, therefore, that streamlining should be extended to the steam locomotives of the future. It is not the aim of the designer merely to obtain higher speeds. If he can lessen the resistance at high speeds coal consumption will be reduced, and efficiency will be increased proportionately. The “Cock o’ the North” is one of the heralds of the new order of things in the locomotive world.

FROM THE FRONT the feature of the “Cock o’ the North” that chiefly interests the layman is the pair of side- plates, curving upwards to form “shoulders”. The object of these side- plates is to aid visibility from the cab- windows when the engine is running. Owing to the shape of the side- plates a strong current of air sweeps upwards, carrying the exhaust steam and smoke with it clear of the cab- windows.