5 thoughts on “Class K1 leaving Billingham Station c1966

  1. As this is a steam working it mus be pre 1967 and a time when ICI were using around 2 million tons of coal to feed their own power station and for use in a number of processes. They were also shipping 750 thousand tons products such as fertiliser and cement.Other traffic through Billingham Junction included steel for the shipyards, steel, wood and magnestite from Hartlepool and coal moving south. At the same time the 4 lines from Norton reduced to 2 at Billingham Station.It was a busy place. The branch was classified as goods only as there were no scheduled passenger trains.
    Traffic to and from the Hartlepool direction using the Haverton branch had to go under the Davis bridge where the loco would run around and head back to the junction.This manouever required crossing to the opposite track at least twice.Once either on the 4 line track or the signal box and once at the junction. There are photos of 3 or 4 locos “stacked” on the 4 line slow track waiting to run around and move off.To minimise delay in both directions a special working allowed allowed trains to enter the branch linesector and moving forward until the driver had sight of the train in front. This stacked the trains until they were cleared to Port Clarence or the ICI
    Much of the traffic was carried on unbraked wagons (hand brake only) which mandated the goods van to be at the opposite end to the engine. As this would have caused further delays shunting the van to the rear a further dispensation was in place that allowed the brake van at the “wrong” end.
    Similar arrangements were in place at one or two of the large pits.
    Sometimes, when a loco was held at the station box waiting to complete the run around, a kindly driver would let small trainspotters on to the platform for a close up of the cab (and a little bit of warmth). Happy days.


    • if you mean that drivers were allowed to enter the loops between billingham and norton station then yes drivers were allowed under a sub signal to enter the occupied loop lines,as these were no block lines, but the branch from number 34 home board at billingham to belasis, belasis to haverton station and haverton station to haverton south was absolute block and therefore the section ahead was one train only and no other train would be allowed to follow until the preceding train had passed the home signal of the box in advance with tail light complete and train out of section received as regards the branch line in the sectional appendix applicable throughout the sixties and later passenger trains were allowed on to the branch as far as bells bank foot and also through the beck branch to north shore as all these lines were signalled absolute block or single line by electric token i have posted various photos of passengers using these lines on many an occasion i also have the relevant sectional appendix collected during my 50 years as a signalman and signal manager many of which were spent on this branch line, if you are getting confused and are calling the loops between billingham and norton station branch lines then as these were no block lines then passengers would not use these lines without special dispensation and a absolute block conversion ticket being issued but these were the goods loops i have posted a photo on this site of the royal train being marshalled on the up loop.


  2. From memory coal trains, in particular, via Hartlepool would run engine first under the bridge where the loco would run round the the train and attached to the guards van. The loco would then pull the train back trough the station on the “wrong” side then cross to the the left and go on to the Haverton branch. As the Haverton branch was goods only trains were allowed have the guards van at the loco end and could proceed as long as the driver could see any train in front.


    • paul the haverton branch to port clarence and the haverton branch to haverton south and through the beck branch to north shore were all worked under absolute block and therefore passenger trains could use these lines and quite frequently did, when there were diversions as it was absolute block they would not proceed until the section ahead was clear, trains without a goods van were allowed to proceed to both south grids and east grid but as the move to north tees power was a propelling movement the guards van had to be at the front


  3. looks to be heading into the branch where it would proceed to haverton station signal box, the engine and van would go forward and loose shunt the van into the haverton south branch, the engine would then return to the load draw forward and then propel the load onto the van and then propel the load onto north tees power station, the engine and van would then usually return back to billingham via the loop to belasis this move would most certainly not be allowed now but in those days happened several times a shift.


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