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St. Helens Railway
Opened in 1832/3 between collieries at St Helens and Runcorn Gap (now Widnes) on the River Mersey, crossing and connecting with the Liverpool & Manchester RailwayExplain 'Liverpool & Manchester Railway (LMR)'. Amalgamated with the Sankey Brook Navigation as the St Helens Canal & Railway in 1845. Was extended from Runcorn Gap westward to Garston Dock in 1852, and eastward to Warrington (Arpley) in 1853/4 - and from St Helens north-west to Rainford in 1858. Warrington to Garston line leased to the LNWR in 1860; whole railway absorbed by the LNWR in 1864.
Stable
Stables were required at many locations to house the company’s horses. Some had only 2 or 4 stalls, but in the cities large buildings provided accommodation for up to 400 horses on several floors, reached by inclined roadways. Horse hospitals were also provided for sick and injured animals, with treatment prescribed by qualified vets. A convalescent home in the country was also provided. Auxiliary departments at large stable blocks included shoeing forges and harness-making workshops. Provender sacks and nosebags were among the other articles required, and the provision of large quantities of fodder and bedding, and the removal and disposal of manure, were important activities.
Staff
An object which is the token of authority to drive a train over one section of a single trackExplain 'Single Track'. The staff is carried in the driver’s cab and therefore reduces the chance of two trains being dispatched in opposite directions along the same line.
Stanchion
A removeable vertical iron or steel bar held in a socket on a load support bolster Explain 'Bolster' or wagon side to prevent the load sliding sideways off the wagon.
Stanchion Trolley
An open freight wagon fitted with bolstersExplain 'Bolster' on which the load is carried clear of the floor to facilitate loading and unloading. These vehicles are normally equipped with removable stanchions Explain 'Stanchion' to control side-to-side movement of the load.
Standard Gauge
The UK standard gauge is 4 foot 8½ inches. Anything wider is referred to as broad gaugeExplain 'Broad Gauge', and anything narrower as narrow gaugeExplain 'Narrow Gauge'.
Stanier, Sir William (1876—1965)
Chief Mechanical EngineerExplain 'CME' at Crewe WorksExplain 'Crewe Works' for London, Midland & Scottish RailwayExplain 'London Midland & Scottish (LMS)' (1932–1944).
Starting Signal
A fixed (i.e. not hand or flag) signalExplain 'Signal' positioned in advanceExplain 'In-Advance' of a signal boxExplain 'Signal Box' or station and capable of displaying the indication “On”Explain 'On (Signal)' (stop or danger) and “Off”Explain 'Off (Signal)' permitting access to the section ahead.
Station Master
The official in charge of a Railway Station.
Station Master's House
At most stations a house was provided for the Station Master and his family. These were normally larger and better appointed than the cottages provided to house artisans and other non-supervisory staff, and in some cases were located at the end of a terrace of cottage-type dwellings. Others formed part of the station buildings. Similar houses were often provided for other supervisory staff such as shed foremanExplain 'Shed Foreman' or goods agentExplain 'Goods Agent'. Many still survive, albeit mostly modernised and often substantially altered, and/or converted to other uses.
Station Pilot
A locomotive used for various duties in and around a station i.e. shuntingExplain 'Shunting'.
Stationary Engine
Both the Liverpool and ManchesterExplain 'Liverpool & Manchester Railway (LMR)' and the London and Birmingham RailwaysExplain 'London & Birmingham Railway (LBR)' had banksExplain 'Bank' out of their terminus stations — the L&M from Crown StreetExplain 'Crown Street, Liverpool', Liverpool (and later Lime StreetExplain 'Lime Street, Liverpool') to Edge HillExplain 'Edge Hill, Liverpool' and the L&B from Euston to CamdenExplain 'Camden, London'. Because of doubts as to whether locomotives would be able to cope with the gradients, trains were first hauled up the banks (and restrained from running away down them) by “stationary engine” winches, in engine housesExplain 'Engine House' at Edge Hill and Camden.
Steam Brake
A form of brake which is applied by using the pressure of steam in a locomotive’s boiler. Such brakes usually work only on the locomotive and its tender, and are usually very powerful, but their efficiency falls away as boiler pressure drops and of course when an engine is moved ‘dead’ such as in a locomotive yard, the brake will not work at all.
Steam Chest
An area within the cylinder block of a locomotiveExplain 'Locomotive' where steam collects prior to being admitted into the cylinder(s)Explain 'Cylinder' by operation of the valve(s)Explain 'Valves'.
Steam Heating
A means by which steam from a locomotive boiler is fed via a pipe along the length of a passenger train and into heaters within those carriages to warm the passengers. Introduced by the LNWR in 1897 although foot warmersExplain 'Foot Warmers' continued to be used for the next twenty years. At first steam heating was supplied by high pressure steam (around 60 psiExplain 'PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)') but as this was potentially dangerous in case of leakage this was quickly replaced by the Westinghouse atmospheric system in which the steam pipes and radiators were not under pressure.
Stephenson, George (1781—1848)
British steam pioneer and mining engineer, designer of the miner’s safety lamp and mining engines. Later, the engineer of the Hetton Colliery, Stockton & DarlingtonExplain 'Stockton & Darlington Railway (SDR)', Liverpool & ManchesterExplain 'Liverpool & Manchester Railway (LMR)', Leicester & SwanningtonExplain 'Leicester & Swannington Railway (LSR)', Birmingham & DerbyExplain 'Birmingham & Derby Railway (BDR)', North MidlandExplain 'North Midland Railway (NMR)' and Manchester & LeedsExplain 'Manchester & Leeds Railway (MLR)' Railways between 1819 and 1840. Established an engineering works in Newcastle in 1823, Robert Stephenson & Co.
Stephenson, Robert (1803—1859)
Son of George, Railway engineer. Designed the “Rocket”, winner of the RainhillExplain 'Rainhill Trials' prize in 1829. Engineer of the London & Birmingham RailwayExplain 'London & Birmingham Railway (LBR)', and designer of numerous bridges, including the Britannia bridge over the Menai Strait and the high-level bridge at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Stephenson’s Valve Gear
A steam-engine valve-gearExplain 'Valve Gear' which is usually located between the main framesExplain 'Frame' of a locomotive. Motion is taken from two eccentricsExplain 'Eccentric' secured to one of the driving axlesExplain 'Drive Axle'. From these, two rods (the eccentric rodsExplain 'Eccentric Rod') are connected to either end of a link (the expansion linkExplain 'Expansion Link'), which is thus oscillated. Movement of the valve spindleExplain 'Valve Spindle' is taken from a die blockExplain 'Die Block' which is free to slide within the expansion link. Reversal is carried out by moving the expansion link bodily, so that the die block takes up a new position at the other end of its slide.
Stevenson, Francis (1827—1902)
Engineer on London & BirminghamExplain 'London & Birmingham Railway (LBR)' railway. 1843 became manager of engineering staff. 1886 appointed Chief Engineer of the LNWR. Stevenson was a lover of nature and of old buildings and always strove to blend his works into the landscape.
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