Sunday, 24 April 2011

Platform equipment

There was a time when passenger trains carried a lot of stuff apart from just the passengers. Usually these loads - railway parcels traffic, milk churns, mail bags and animals such as dogs being transported - were parked on the platform awaiting the arrival of the train and went into the guards van. But sometimes special kinds of traffic needed an extra vehicle - in rural Westmorland and Yorkshire perhaps a separate van for milk.

I was just looking through some of my own collections and I realise that I can find very few pictures of the selection of carts, barrows and trolleys used on Stations along the Stainmore line for this work. I don't know where they 'lived' at Kirkby Stephen - near the electric lift perhaps - but at 'Barney' there was quite a collection of this equipment kept near the West Bay under the roof awning.

Porters moving light loads for passengers or to the guards van typically used a two wheel barrow, but for bigger loads four wheel carts were required and at country stations like Bowes they were loaded in the afternoon with milk churns by local farmers. There were all standard designs and I think probably most of the equipment used locally dated from pre-1923 North Eastern Railway days, if not even from Stockton and Darlington times.

Do you have any photos of local stations with this kind of item lurking in the background? If so I would love to see them!

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