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London  &  Birmingham  Railway

Rail Album for railway and other photographs

Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    LBR Plaque (this page) 

This etched copper plaque is titled "The London & Birmingham Railway Coaches 1837". It was bought second-hand many years ago and its origins are unknown.

Line 1 item 1. The locomotive is something of a mystery, as it appears there were no locomotives of this type, an 0-2-2 of Stephenson design, on the LBR. It looks similar to the "Northumbrian" of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway.

Line 1 item 2. This early first class passenger carriage appears to be effectively three stage coach bodies mounted on a railway frame. As with stagecoaches, the luggage was placed on the roof..

Line 1 item3. Another first class carriage. The spokes on the wheels of the first class carriages in this train are depicted as being straight, very unlike the spokes depicted on the wheels of the second class carriages.

Line 1 item 4. Those who wished to take their road coach with them for use at the other end of the rail journey travelled in their own coach loaded onto a carriage truck, which consisted of a carriage chassis. The etching does not appear to show any method of securing the coach to the carriage truck for the journey.

Line 2 item 1. This second class carriage looks externally to be similar to the first class carriages, so the difference between the classes was presumably in the upholstery.

Line 2 item 2. This second class carriage appears to be a development beyond the concept of mounting three road coach bodies on a railway chassis. The permanently open windows may have been desirable on hot summer days, but would have been uncomfortable at other times.


Line 2 item 3. This is another second class carriage that appears to be a development beyond early designs based upon stagecoach technology. The second class coaches are depicted as having wheels with a type of split spoke that is similar to a flower leaf, as opped to the first class coaches that were shown with wheels that had straight spokes. 

Line 2 item 4. This second class coach afforded fresh air and had a roof to keep off rain. As with the other carriages and wagons making up the train, the vehicles all appear to have no brakes.



Line 3 item 1. This flat wagon is well loaded, but the securing rope looks loose. 


Line 3 item 2. Another well loaded flat wagon. The tarpaulin may have been badly applied or this may be artistic license in order to show the wagon's load. 



Line 3 item 3. Another well loaded flat wagon. A load of barrels on a flat wagon. The role of the person sitting on the load is unknown. The wheels depicted on the goods wagons in the train all appear to be of the split spoke type.


Line 3 item 4. This view shows us that cattle were transported on the London & Birmingham Railway from the earliest times. It is not clear from the etching how the cattle were loaded into the wagon or unloaded.



Line 3 item 5. A double deck sheep wagon. The etching does not show a door for use when loading or unloading the wagon.

Line 3 item . The animals loaded into this wagon appear to be sheep. The etching ends at this point, so it is not known if a brake wagon was used as the last vehicle in the train.

Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    LBR Plaque (this page) 

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©  Greg Martin 2017