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Train crew query: Dundee-Oban excursion 1929?

Posted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 4:31 pm
by IanT
My interest was piqued a few weeks ago by a post on the Crieff Lines Facebook page describing the above excursion. The ensuing discussion veered round to the loco crew arrangements. I have no expertise to comment but wonder if a member of this forum has?
I have copied the relevant discussion below, the full (public) post can be viewed here:

Jim McDonell:
David, It must have needed a bit of planning to work a train all the way from Dundee to Oban. I am largely speculating but Dundee men would know the way to Perth where the engine was changed. Perth men would know the way to Balquhidder and presumably Balquhidder shed would then provide a conductor to Oban. I should think it was a single engine from Perth to Oban because Balquhidder shed had an 0-6-0 for piloting heavy trains up Glenogle (banking not permitted). It would make a long day for Perth men unless they were relieved somewhere.

David Ferguson:
Jim, possible change of crew at Crianlarich Lower? Be good if someone in the know could enlighten us? I believe even today Queen Street crews sometimes change at Ardlui or Crianlarich.

David, there was not a Caley or LMS shed at Crianlarich. Perhaps a Balquhidder crew might have worked the train to Oban and back rather than conduct it. The Perth men might then have gone on to Oban as passengers or spent the day in the Balquhidder Hotel bar.

David, I am still mulling over how that train was crewed from Balquhidder to Oban and back. You did say that there were also 2 specials run from Glasgow to Oban on that same day. Is it possible that Glasgow or Stirling men would have travelled on the cushions to Balquhidder on one of these trains so they could crew the Dundee to Oban train.

Jim, sorry for the delay replying. I got the Glasgow info from the John Thomas book on Callander & Oban, but it doesn’t mention anything re crewing.

Re: Train crew query: Dundee-Oban excursion 1929?

Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 3:45 pm
by Keith Fenwick
Given that the Oban line was worked by locos designed for that route, it is unlikely that a loco from Perth would have worked through to Oban. More likely that the loco was changed at Balquhidder, although the length of the stop there would have jus about allowed a loco to turn. I doubt if many drivers were employed there, with only an 0-6-0 for piloting and a tank for the Crieff line. Most likely a loco came light from Stirling. The only water stop shown is Taynuilt but one would have been necessary if a loco ran through from Perth.

As an aside, the turntable was Balquhidder was difficult to turn by 1961. I was there when a Black Five came off an up freight and did my 14 year old best to help turn it.

Re: Train crew query: Dundee-Oban excursion 1929?

Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 4:53 pm
by IanT
Many thanks Keith.
I'll pass that on to the Crieff Lines group.
That's a great story about assisting on the turntable!