THE MIDLAND RAILWAY
|Carriage and Wagon Drawing Project|
|Andy Boothman writes...|
Possibly the largest collection within the Study Centre is the estimated 4,000 or so drawings for Carriages & Wagons, mainly built at the Litchurch Lane Works by the Midland Railway and its immediate successor, the London Midland & Scottish Railway.
The task to catalogue these drawings was re-initiated around 2009, and over half have now been listed. It is slow work, as the older drawings are often very fragile and having been rolled up for many years they do not unroll easily!
A 400dpi version of this drawing can be downloaded here, but be warned, it is a 13Mb file.
But simply producing a catalogue is not particularly useful to anyone requiring drawings to aid the restoration of full-size rolling stock or to build a model. Two other sources of information are invaluable; these are the Carriage & Wagon Drawing Register and the Lot & Diagram List.
The Drawing Register was commenced in 1873, with drawing No.1 being ?Block Plan of New Works?. A consecutive number sequence was used right through until 1927 - the final drawing being No. 6701. As drawing No.1 shows, this register did not just cover carriages and wagons; it also included road vehicles both horse-drawn and motorised, hand barrows and carts, office furniture, works buildings, social buildings (such as a Sports Pavilion at Cricklewood), special machines & tools, and equipment for new ports such as Heysham. The complete register has now been transcribed into a spreadsheet and the next task will be to categorise each entry so that the data can be filtered easily.
Most carriages & wagons were built in 'Lots' ? each Lot being for as few as one vehicle of a particular type up to several thousand. The MR lot list started at Lot 1 and reached Lot 993 in 1922, after which the LMS again used lots starting from 1 ? so it is easy to catch out the unwary! Each MR lot was entered into a register with a date, a brief description and a drawing number. e.g. Lot 945, Qty 100, Drg No. 5098, Date 27 Jan 1920
Vehicles were also classified by a 'Diagram' number, these being collected together in the Diagram book. The 'Diagram' showed a pictorial outline of the vehicle with some key dimensions and occasionally some notes, but this information cannot be relied upon as often variants were built that were allocated to the same diagram but differed from the details given. As a consequence, the precise definition of which Lots (or part Lots) were built to which Diagram is not always possible, but the latest information has been combined into the Lot & Diagram List (another spreadsheet) and this will continue to be refined following any future research.
By merging and filtering all this data we will be able to: Determine the completeness of our collection of carriage and wagon drawings. Compare with MR drawing collections held elsewhere (e.g. the National Railway Museum or SERCO) to see what gaps they fill. Support researchers to find not only the General Arrangement drawings but also relevant detail drawings for their chosen prototype.
The other major aim is to make high quality scans of the entire collection so that they will be easily available to researchers who do not need to access the original material, and to provide a backup in case of disaster. This will require significant investment in equipment for which funding options are being investigated. Please contact the Study Centre Co-ordinator at the addresses below if you may be able to help in some way.
web site is
maintained by Dave Harris, the Study Centre Coordinator
Midland Railway Study Centre
Silk Mill Lane, off Full Street, Derby, DE1 3AF
Tel: 01283 702689
Page last updated: 02JUN2012