Facts about the LNER (Wonder Book of Railways 14th ed)

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index

A chapter about the London and North Eastern Railway with useful facts and statistics, from 14th edition of The Wonder Book of Railways (undated, but circa ~1925):


    Not quite so big as the London Midland and Scottish Railway, but coming a very close second, the London and North Eastern Railway goes far to justify its alternative title, the "London and Nearly Everywhere" Railway. Like its great competitor, its lines extend into most parts of England and Scotland, and to some extent into Wales also, and the principal difference is that it has no lines in Ireland. Against the West Coast steamer services of the LMS and its Goole and Tilbury steamers to the Continent, the L.N.E.R. has its very important Continental connections via Harwich and Grimsby (served by its own steamships,) and to Russia, Germany and Scandinavia from Hull and Newcastle, etc. It shares with the LMS the steamer services on the Firth of Clyde and on Loch Lomond, and while reference has been made to the LMS reaching the East Coast (primarily the preserve of the L.N.E.R.) the L.N.E.R. reaches the West Coast at Liverpool, Chester and Southport, Silloth, and in the Glasgow district and by the West Highland line. In Scotland, indeed, from Glasgow northwards, the L.N.E.R. becomes to a great extent a "West Coast" line, While continuing to be essentially an "East Coast" line from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and northwards as far as Elgin.

    From London the L.N.E.R. has no fewer than four main routes South of York :— Great Eastern to Ipswich, thence to Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Cromer ; Great Eastern to Cambridge, Hunstanton, or north to Lincoln ; Great Northern to Doncaster, thence to York and Hull ; and Great Central to Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield and beyond. North of York there are the direct routes to Newcastle and Scotland; the coast line to Stockton, the Hartlepools and Sunderland ; and the more or less pleasure lines to Scarborough and Whitby, together with branches up the Yorkshire "dales" and across the Pennines (the "backbone of England") to Tebay, Penrith, Carlisle, etc. There are also the important Leeds, Bradford, Hull and Harrogate branches.

    From Newcastle radiate the coast lines to South Shields and to North Shields, Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and Cullercoats, Monkseaton, Blyth and Newbiggin, while the main line runs near the coast–frequently in sight of it and of the open sea—via Morpeth and Alnmouth to Tweedmouth and Berwick. Thence it continues along the romantic Berwickshire coast to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, where the Company owns the second largest station (Waverley) in the British Isles.

    From Edinburgh the London and North Eastern Railway divides its activities. To the west the Edinburgh and Glasgow line gives access to Glasgow, where the L.N.E.R. has a large network of lines, and thus to Craigendoran (for its Clyde steamer services), and onwards via that wonderful mountain line, the West Highland, to Fort William and Mallaig. North of Edinburgh, L.N.E.R. trains cross the world famous Forth Bridge to obtain access to Perth (for connecting up with the Highland section of the LMSR) and the Fifeshire coast and mineral lines, or to cut across the "Kingdom of Fife" to the Tay Bridge (the world’s longest viaduct) and so to Dundee.

    Beyond Dundee the London and North Eastern route is again a coast line for many miles through Arbroath and Montrose, after which, at Kinnaber Junction, its trains use 40 miles of LMS track, much of it closely following the picturesque coast, to reach the Granite City. At Aberdeen it connects with what used to be the Great North of Scotland Railway, including the beautiful Deeside line to Ballater (for Balmoral and Braemar), and the northern lines to Elgin and Lossiemouth (two routes), Macduff, Banff, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Cruden Bay, Craigellachie and Boat of Garten, etc.

    Thus, while the LMSR operates through trains or through coaches all the way from London to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Oban, etc., the L.N.E.R. has corresponding trains (sometimes in competition and having the shorter routes to Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen) from London through to these towns, also to Fort William, Glasgow, Lossiemouth, Inverness, etc. It is also a party to through working arrangements which bring its vehicles to Plymouth and Penzance in the South-west, and to Southampton ; while it has, on its own account, Leeds-Glasgow trains and Glasgow-Harwich and Scarborough through coaches.

    Besides the Anglo-Scottish trains the London and North Eastern is a party to through services from Liverpool and Manchester to Scarborough, Newcastle, Hull, etc., and to through expresses from London and from Grimsby, Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Harwich, etc., across to Liverpool, with connections to Chester and Southport via the Chester Lines Committee's system.

    With over 7,000 miles of railway, the London and North Eastern serves many of the great colliery and industrial districts. In the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, Lincoln, York, Durham, Northumberland, Berwick, Haddington, Edinburgh, Fife and Aberdeen, it is usually the principal if not the only railway, and for traffic between London, Ipswich, Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Cromer, Cambridge, Peterborough, Lincoln, Doncaster, Hull, York, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Leicester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, etc., it provides either the shortest and in some cases the fastest services, or its distances and times are equal to or only slightly less favourable than those given by other routes. The L.N.E.R. also has good services between many of the towns named, as also to and from and between the numerous holiday and tourist areas it serves.

    Included in the London and North Eastern Railway are the old North Eastern (one of the four biggest railways before grouping), the Great Northern, the Great Central, the Great Eastern and the North British Railways, together with the Great North of Scotland and the Hull and Barnsley, besides several smaller lines. To operate its traffic about 7,400 steam locomotives and 20,000 coaching and 280,000 freight vehicles are required, together with electric stock and motor road vehicles. There are also twenty-two cross-channel steamers and about twenty smaller vessels. The L.N.E.R. is an extensive owner of important docks, hotels, etc., and has quite a number of the largest stations in Great Britain, notably Liverpool Street and King's Cross in London; York, Newcastle (Central), Waverley (Edinburgh) and a share in the Aberdeen Joint.

    Engines which previously belonged to the component railways had their numbers increased by : Great Northern, 3,000 ; Great Central, 5,000 ; Great Eastern, 7,000 ; and North British, 9,000. North Eastern engines kept their old numbers, and Great North of Scotland were included in the Great Central series. There are now, however, many new engines working in all districts with numbers taken from old engines now scrapped or which were vacant.

    Principal express engines are now painted Great Northern "green," but other passenger tender engines, together with tank and goods engines, are painted black. Passenger carriages are not painted but of varnished teak, with gold lettering and lining in Great Northern style.

    Goods vehicles are in several colours, grey, chocolate, brown, blue, etc., according to the type of duty – coal, meat, fruit – for which they are designed, usually with the letters N.E. only, instead of L.N.E.R.

— -, The Railway "Big Six", The Wonder Book of Railways, 14th edition

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