67436 with RCTS Tour at Hartford & Greenbank
Taken in 1953, this photograph shows Eastern Region Class C13 Push-pull fitted 4-4-2T 67436 halted in Hartford & Greenbank station, Cheshire. The RCTS sign shows that this a Railway and Travel Correspondents Society excursion.
Introduced in 1903, the C13 (GCR Class 9K) was Robinson's first suburban tank design; and is usually considered to be one of his most successful designs. The C13 was based on Pollitt's F2 2-4-2T design, but with a longer firebox and a longer smokebox. The firebox was also deeper, and the boiler lengthened slightly. A total of forty locomotives were built in four batches between 1903 and 1905, and all of these survived to enter British Railways service in 1948. After the end of 1938, all of the C13s had been provided with superheaters and converted to the LNER 13ft loading gauge. In 1933, six C13s (including 67436 shown here) were fitted for operating push-pull auto trains with the GCR mechanical system. These were soon altered to the LNER's own vacuum system, and two further C13s were converted in 1941. Withdrawals started in 1952, and were finished in 1960 with the withdrawal of No. 67417 from Gorton. Unfortunately none of these elegant “Atlantics” were preserved.
Greenbank (formerly Hartford and Greenbank) railway station serves the village of Hartford, Cheshire as well as The Castle area of Northwich, Cheshire. It was built by the West Cheshire Railway, a constituent of the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) and opened to passengers on 22 June 1870. The CLC continued to operate both goods and passenger services from the station, unaffected by the the railway grouping of 1923, until the railway nationalisation of 1948.
The station name was Hartford and Greenbank until 7 May 1973 when British Railways renamed the station Greenbank, to avoid confusion with the nearby Hartford station. Greenbank was served by CLC trains from Manchester Central via Northwich to Chester Northgate railway station. From the closure of Northgate station on 6 October 1969, trains from Greenbank were diverted to Chester railway station, previously Chester General.
The RCTS is Britain's leading organisation for people interested in all aspects of railways past, present and future and is highly regarded by both professional railway people and enthusiasts, a position it has held since its formation over 75 years ago. It has local branches all over the United Kingdom and frequently runs special excursions for its members, such as this one, 55 years ago.
Photo © The Step Back Through Time Collection
Text courtesy of Peter Langsdale
Picture added on 12 December 2008