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Races to the North
In summer 1888 the West Coast companies (LNWR and Caledonian RailwayExplain 'Caledonian Railway (CR)') raced the East Coast companies (Great Northern, North Eastern Rly) from London to Edinburgh. A treaty that Autumn forbade racing to Edinburgh but in 1894 the Forth Bridge was opened so racing broke out again in summer 1895, this time to Aberdeen. It was a very exciting event, reported in all the newspapers and subject of much betting. The West Coast won every night but was pipped to the post on the penultimate night, when both trains were offered at the same moment to Kinnaber Junction, where the two lines came together north of Montrose. The Caledonian signalman allowed the east coast train through first. Finally the West Coast won yet again on the last night — the occasion of Hardwicke’s famous Crewe-Carlisle run
Rack and Pinion
Rack and pinion drive converts rotary motion into linear motion (or vice versa) by a toothed wheel engaging a matching rack. Some very early locomotives used this system before it was realised that, except on very steep gradients, the weight of the locomotive provided adequate adhesion. But the system is necessary on some mountain railways.
Radial Axle
Axles designed to move laterally entering a curve in an effort to reduce the flangeExplain 'Flange' and rail wear incurred with rigid axles. The design was used on carriages before bogiesExplain 'Bogie' became the norm, especially the 42ft 8-wheel carriages of the 1880/1890s or on the leading or trailing carrying axles of a locomotive. The idea was first tried successfully by W.B. Adams of the London & South Western Railway in 1863 and was subsequently taken up by F.W. WebbExplain 'Webb, Francis William (1836—1906)' and others. The axle could be guided by either curved axle boxes, as in the original Adams design, or by a curved transverse frame as in Webb’s design.
Radial axle-boxes
Arrangement used on certain locomotives and carriages where the axle-boxes are fixed in curved guides and given limited radial sideways movement so as to provide some flexibility and enable the vehicle to negotiate curves smoothly.
Radial Chassis
The underframe of a vehicle fitted with radial axleboxes.
Radial Shed
See Round HouseExplain 'Roundhouse'.
Radius Link
An oscillating link in the Walschaerts valve-gear.
Radius Rod
A rod in the Walschaerts, Gooch and Allan straight-link valve-gears.
Rail Motor
The steam forerunner of the diesel rail car — a passenger carriage with a steam engine incorporated into it. In LNWR rail motors the engine was not immediately apparent, as it was inside the coachwork.
Railway Clearing House (RCH)
An office in which the mutual claims of the different railways for through tickets and freights are settled.
Railway Housing
At the end of 1913 the LNWR owned no fewer than 9,022 dwelling houses or cottages, far more than any other railway company in Britain. In those days before mass council house construction this probably made the LNWR the largest landlord in the country, possibly in the world. War conditions meant that construction of dwellings virtually ceased after 1915 , and the widespread provision of municipal council housing estates from 1919 onwards made further new railway property mostly unnecessary.
Railway Operating Division
A division of the British Army Royal Engineers, largely recruited from railway companies, which controlled and operated standard and narrow gauge railways behind British fronts in France, Belgium, Greece, Egypt and Russia during the First World War. Formed in 1915.
Railway Village
Most railway cottages were spread around the system in small groups of any number from one to ten, but there were several locations (excluding the three railway towns of CreweExplain 'Crewe Works', EarlestownExplain 'Earlestown' and WolvertonExplain 'Wolverton' where the main workshopsExplain 'Workshop' were located) where there were much larger concentrations, sometimes forming a distinct railway village comprising several terraces. Examples include Willesden, Saltney Ferry, Patricroft, Bangor, Carnforth and Oxenholme. Some of these dwellings still survive.
Rainhill Trials
A competition held in 1829 to determine the best means of propulsion on the soon-to-be-completed Liverpool and Manchester RailwayExplain 'Liverpool & Manchester Railway (LMR)' . Famously won by George Stephenson’sExplain 'Stephenson, George (1781—1848)' locomotiveExplain 'Locomotive' “Rocket”.
Ramsbottom, John (1814—1897)
Locomotive superintendentExplain 'Locomotive Superintendent' on the Manchester & BirminghamExplain 'Manchester & Birmingham Railway (MBR)' (1842-46), of the NE division of the LNWR (1846-57) and of the LNWR (1857-71). Inventor of the Ramsbottom-type safety valveExplain 'Safety Valve', and pioneer of water pick-up troughsExplain 'Water Trough'.
Railway Correspondence & Travel Society (RCTS)
Founded in 1928, it is one of the largest British societies for railway enthusiasts, primarily catering for those interested in the fine detail of day-to-day operations. Publishes the monthly Railway Observer and very detailed and well-regarded locomotive histories. Affectionately known as ‘The Royal Corps of Train Spotters’
Refrigerator Van
Covered insulated (double skinned) goods vanExplain 'Goods Van' intended for the conveyance of dead meat under refrigeration. In former days this was achieved simply by loading boxes or barrels filled with water ice in with the meat, but later vehicles incorporated tanks which were filled with dry ice via hatches in the roof. Refrigerator vans were mainly found on longer journies such as Scotland to London, and there were a large number in the West Coast Joint StockExplain 'WCJS – West Coast Joint Stock' fleet.
Refuge (1)
A sidingExplain 'Siding' or loopExplain 'Loop' which is used to store a train for a short period so that it can be overtaken by a more important train.
Refuge (2)
A small recess in a wall inside a railway tunnel into which a person can stand when a train is passing.
Renown Locomotive Class
In 1908 Whale began converting Webb’s “Jubilee”Explain 'Jubilee 4-4-0 Locomotive Class' class into two-cylinder simple engines, by taking off the outside cylindersExplain 'Cylinder', lining up the inside cylinders to 18½ inches and fitting “Alfred the Great”Explain 'Alfred the Great Locomotive Class' boilers and Precursor-styleExplain 'Precursor 4-4-0 Locomotive Class (2)' cabs — in effect making them into smaller “Precursors”. The first of these conversions was to 1918 “Renown”, which gave its name to the whole class. Though these conversions went ahead quite slowly, almost all “Jubilees” and most “Benbows”Explain 'Benbow Locomotive Class' were eventually converted.
Reversing Gear
A mechanism to affect the phasing of the valve operations. This allows regulation of the expansion of steam in the cylinders by adjusting the cut-off pointExplain 'Cut-Off (1)' (where steam is prevented from entering the cylinder), and therefore how much work the steam provides. The same mechanism is used to change the direction the locomotive moves. On the LNWR the mechanism was mainly operated by a RamsbottomExplain 'Ramsbottom, John (1814—1897)' Reversing ScrewExplain 'Screw Reverse' which required many turns to change direction (very hard work when shunting!). Only later was the Lever ReverseExplain 'Lever Reverse' introduced by Bowen CookeExplain 'Bowen Cooke, Charles J (1859—1920)', much to the drivers’Explain 'Driver' relief.
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