Discussion:
Almost Terminal: Marylebone’s Brush With Destruction
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Recliner
2019-03-09 21:11:02 UTC
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London Reconnections has an article reminding us of the one-time proposals
to convert not just the GCR line into Marylebone, but also a number of
other inner London lines into roads. Luckily, none happened:

<https://www.londonreconnections.com/2014/near-terminal-case-saving-marylebone-rail-road-conversion/>
Graeme Wall
2019-03-09 22:21:54 UTC
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Post by Recliner
London Reconnections has an article reminding us of the one-time proposals
to convert not just the GCR line into Marylebone, but also a number of
<https://www.londonreconnections.com/2014/near-terminal-case-saving-marylebone-rail-road-conversion/>
Chap called Peter Hall wanted to convert the line from Guidea Park into
Liverpool Street into a bus lane in the late 60s.
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read.
Theo
2019-03-10 09:33:38 UTC
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Post by Recliner
London Reconnections has an article reminding us of the one-time proposals
to convert not just the GCR line into Marylebone, but also a number of
That article is a little old, but just to note the conversionists are still
at it:

http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/sites/default/files/Wolfson%202017%20web.pdf

Theo
Guy Gorton
2019-03-10 09:46:22 UTC
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On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 21:11:02 -0000 (UTC), Recliner
Post by Recliner
London Reconnections has an article reminding us of the one-time proposals
to convert not just the GCR line into Marylebone, but also a number of
<https://www.londonreconnections.com/2014/near-terminal-case-saving-marylebone-rail-road-conversion/>
I have not read it all but have found a reference to the Marylebone
Traveller's Association of whose committee I was an active member.
Fascinating fight for survival of our line. I lived in Gerrards Cross
and still do but, at 91, do not use the railway much any more..

Guy Gorton
Recliner
2019-03-10 10:07:10 UTC
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Post by Guy Gorton
On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 21:11:02 -0000 (UTC), Recliner
Post by Recliner
London Reconnections has an article reminding us of the one-time proposals
to convert not just the GCR line into Marylebone, but also a number of
<https://www.londonreconnections.com/2014/near-terminal-case-saving-marylebone-rail-road-conversion/>
I have not read it all but have found a reference to the Marylebone
Traveller's Association of whose committee I was an active member.
Fascinating fight for survival of our line. I lived in Gerrards Cross
and still do but, at 91, do not use the railway much any more..
Yes, thank you and well done for helping keep the line open.

Who could have believed in those dark days how the line would be thriving a
few decades in the future, with more platforms and trains than ever before?
Robin9
2019-03-10 10:23:08 UTC
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I remember The Economist magazine in the 1960s propagatin
the idea that the North Line London through Islington and
Camden should be converted into an inner ring road. That
magazine had a real bee in its bonnet about converting rails
to roads


--
Robin9
John Williamson
2019-03-10 13:30:05 UTC
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I remember The Economist magazine in the 1960s propagating
the idea that the North Line London through Islington and
Camden should be converted into an inner ring road. That
magazine had a real bee in its bonnet about converting rails
to roads.
In the 1960's roads, especially motorways and dual carriageway trunk
roads were seen as the future of transport, replacing the old fashioned,
worn out and irrelevant railways.

The Economist were not by any means the only press organ promoting the
conversion.

It was an echo of the earlier conversion of many canals into railways....
--
Tciao for Now!

John.
Roland Perry
2019-03-10 14:19:29 UTC
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Post by John Williamson
I remember The Economist magazine in the 1960s propagating
the idea that the North Line London through Islington and
Camden should be converted into an inner ring road. That
magazine had a real bee in its bonnet about converting rails
to roads.
In the 1960's roads, especially motorways and dual carriageway trunk
roads were seen as the future of transport, replacing the old
fashioned, worn out and irrelevant railways.
The Economist were not by any means the only press organ promoting the
conversion.
Indeed, the almost criminal lack of 40yrs hindsight was shared by many.
Post by John Williamson
It was an echo of the earlier conversion of many canals into railways....
Were very many converted, rather than paralleled by, and pushed towards
obsolescence?

Contour canals would be real pain to convert to a railways, as would
later 'straighter line' ones with flights of locks too steep for a
train, and of course most of the tunnels would be too small bore.
--
Roland Perry
John Williamson
2019-03-10 15:12:47 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
Post by John Williamson
It was an echo of the earlier conversion of many canals into railways....
Were very many converted, rather than paralleled by, and pushed towards
obsolescence?
Probably more paralleled and bypassed, thinking about it, as they were
bought by the railway companies to remove competition. I think that most
of the sales went through after the railway had been built.

There is still one canal tunnel in Kent where the railway was installed
next to the canal after the railway bought the canal, and it remains
there. They are currently working to re-open the canal to navigation,
leaving the railway in place.
Post by Roland Perry
Contour canals would be real pain to convert to a railways, as would
later 'straighter line' ones with flights of locks too steep for a
train, and of course most of the tunnels would be too small bore.
Is it cheaper to expand an existing tunnel bore or start from scratch?
--
Tciao for Now!

John.
Roland Perry
2019-03-10 16:24:16 UTC
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Post by John Williamson
Post by Roland Perry
Contour canals would be real pain to convert to a railways, as would
later 'straighter line' ones with flights of locks too steep for a
train, and of course most of the tunnels would be too small bore.
Is it cheaper to expand an existing tunnel bore or start from scratch?
Probably depends on the geology.
--
Roland Perry
Basil Jet
2019-03-11 09:32:52 UTC
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Post by John Williamson
There is still one canal tunnel in Kent where the railway was installed
next to the canal after the railway bought the canal, and it remains
there. They are currently working to re-open the canal to navigation,
leaving the railway in place.
Surely they'd have to single track the railway if they were reinstating
the canal?
https://www.kentrail.org.uk/Higham.htm
--
Basil Jet - Current favourite song...
Spratleys Japs - Hands (Marc Riley session)

John Williamson
2019-03-11 10:50:33 UTC
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Post by Basil Jet
Post by John Williamson
There is still one canal tunnel in Kent where the railway was
installed next to the canal after the railway bought the canal, and it
remains there. They are currently working to re-open the canal to
navigation, leaving the railway in place.
Surely they'd have to single track the railway if they were reinstating
the canal?
https://www.kentrail.org.uk/Higham.htm
I was working from memory when reinstating the tunnel was asked for. The
canal restoration group are silent about where the canal will end now,
citing studies that are in progress.
--
Tciao for Now!

John.
Ian Clifton
2019-03-11 15:50:11 UTC
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Post by Basil Jet
Post by John Williamson
There is still one canal tunnel in Kent where the railway was
installed next to the canal after the railway bought the canal, and
it remains there. They are currently working to re-open the canal to
navigation, leaving the railway in place.
Surely they'd have to single track the railway if they were
reinstating the canal?
https://www.kentrail.org.uk/Higham.htm
Perhaps they could haul the canal boats through the tunnel in large
tanks of water loaded onto flat cars, an inversion of the rail ferry
idea.
--
Ian ◎
Graeme Wall
2019-03-11 16:10:51 UTC
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Post by Ian Clifton
Post by Basil Jet
Post by John Williamson
There is still one canal tunnel in Kent where the railway was
installed next to the canal after the railway bought the canal, and
it remains there. They are currently working to re-open the canal to
navigation, leaving the railway in place.
Surely they'd have to single track the railway if they were
reinstating the canal?
https://www.kentrail.org.uk/Higham.htm
Perhaps they could haul the canal boats through the tunnel in large
tanks of water loaded onto flat cars, an inversion of the rail ferry
idea.
Isn't that basically what inclined planes do?
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read.
Nick Leverton
2019-03-11 12:30:43 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
Post by John Williamson
I remember The Economist magazine in the 1960s propagating
the idea that the North Line London through Islington and
Camden should be converted into an inner ring road. That
magazine had a real bee in its bonnet about converting rails
to roads.
In the 1960's roads, especially motorways and dual carriageway trunk
roads were seen as the future of transport, replacing the old
fashioned, worn out and irrelevant railways.
...snips...
Post by Roland Perry
Post by John Williamson
It was an echo of the earlier conversion of many canals into railways....
Were very many converted, rather than paralleled by, and pushed towards
obsolescence?
The Uttoxeter Canal (a branch of a branch of the Trent and Mersey)
was abandoned and re-built as a railway by the North Staffordshire, if
that counts as conversion. The remainder of the Caldon branch of the
T&M was retained but part of it had to be diverted to make room for the
new railway line between Consall and Froghall.

I recall reading of other railways which had very wet trackbeds due to
being built on top of canals, but don't remember details I'm afraid.

Nick
--
"The Internet, a sort of ersatz counterfeit of real life"
-- Janet Street-Porter, BBC2, 19th March 1996
Marland
2019-03-12 18:01:09 UTC
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Post by Nick Leverton
Post by Roland Perry
Post by John Williamson
I remember The Economist magazine in the 1960s propagating
the idea that the North Line London through Islington and
Camden should be converted into an inner ring road. That
magazine had a real bee in its bonnet about converting rails
to roads.
In the 1960's roads, especially motorways and dual carriageway trunk
roads were seen as the future of transport, replacing the old
fashioned, worn out and irrelevant railways.
...snips...
Post by Roland Perry
Post by John Williamson
It was an echo of the earlier conversion of many canals into railways....
Were very many converted, rather than paralleled by, and pushed towards
obsolescence?
The Uttoxeter Canal (a branch of a branch of the Trent and Mersey)
was abandoned and re-built as a railway by the North Staffordshire, if
that counts as conversion. The remainder of the Caldon branch of the
T&M was retained but part of it had to be diverted to make room for the
new railway line between Consall and Froghall.
I recall reading of other railways which had very wet trackbeds due to
being built on top of canals, but don't remember details I'm afraid.
Nick
The former railway from Romsey to Andover used a lot of the former Andover
canal,
The line to Torrington likewise used most of the route of the Rolle canal
to the town,
parts of the North Somerset Canal ended up under became the GWR and
Somerset and Dorset respectively.

Paisley canal branch has a clue in its name and took over a former canal
route.

There will be others.

GH
Basil Jet
2019-03-14 13:23:42 UTC
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Post by Marland
The former railway from Romsey to Andover used a lot of the former Andover
canal,
The line to Torrington likewise used most of the route of the Rolle canal
to the town,
parts of the North Somerset Canal ended up under became the GWR and
Somerset and Dorset respectively.
Paisley canal branch has a clue in its name and took over a former canal
route.
There will be others.
The railway from London Victoria to the Thames is a converted canal.
Also the London Bridge to Croydon mainline is nearly all converted canal
south of Surrey Canal Road (which is a canal that was converted to a
road, and still had rings set into the pavement for tying up barges 20
years ago, although it all looks new build on Google Streetview now).
--
Basil Jet - Current favourite song...
Spratleys Japs - Hands (Marc Riley session)
http://youtu.be/PTFmVrE1WAc
bob
2019-03-12 18:00:32 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
Post by John Williamson
I remember The Economist magazine in the 1960s propagating
the idea that the North Line London through Islington and
Camden should be converted into an inner ring road. That
magazine had a real bee in its bonnet about converting rails
to roads.
In the 1960's roads, especially motorways and dual carriageway trunk
roads were seen as the future of transport, replacing the old
fashioned, worn out and irrelevant railways.
The Economist were not by any means the only press organ promoting the
conversion.
Indeed, the almost criminal lack of 40yrs hindsight was shared by many.
Post by John Williamson
It was an echo of the earlier conversion of many canals into railways....
Were very many converted, rather than paralleled by, and pushed towards
obsolescence?
Contour canals would be real pain to convert to a railways, as would
later 'straighter line' ones with flights of locks too steep for a
train, and of course most of the tunnels would be too small bore.
I went to a talk given by a Subterranea Brittanica guy once where he was
touting their then-new database of all railway and canal tunnels, and I
asked how they categorised tunnels that had been converted from canal to
railway use. He said the only example in the UK is Higham/Strood (Built as
a single tunnel but a mid-tunnel collapse resulted in two separate
tunnels).

Robin
Basil Jet
2019-03-14 12:31:14 UTC
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Post by bob
Post by Roland Perry
Post by John Williamson
I remember The Economist magazine in the 1960s propagating
the idea that the North Line London through Islington and
Camden should be converted into an inner ring road. That
magazine had a real bee in its bonnet about converting rails
to roads.
In the 1960's roads, especially motorways and dual carriageway trunk
roads were seen as the future of transport, replacing the old
fashioned, worn out and irrelevant railways.
The Economist were not by any means the only press organ promoting the
conversion.
Indeed, the almost criminal lack of 40yrs hindsight was shared by many.
Post by John Williamson
It was an echo of the earlier conversion of many canals into railways....
Were very many converted, rather than paralleled by, and pushed towards
obsolescence?
Contour canals would be real pain to convert to a railways, as would
later 'straighter line' ones with flights of locks too steep for a
train, and of course most of the tunnels would be too small bore.
I went to a talk given by a Subterranea Brittanica guy once where he was
touting their then-new database of all railway and canal tunnels, and I
asked how they categorised tunnels that had been converted from canal to
railway use. He said the only example in the UK is Higham/Strood (Built as
a single tunnel but a mid-tunnel collapse resulted in two separate
tunnels).
Why was the tunnel built? Would a lock on either side not have been
cheaper? Is it because there is no stream available to feed what would
be a highpoint of the canal? Would not pumping water up from the Medway
still have been cheaper than digging a tunnel? Is any canal fed by pumping?
--
Basil Jet - Current favourite song...
Spratleys Japs - Hands (Marc Riley session)
http://youtu.be/PTFmVrE1WAc
Roland Perry
2019-03-14 15:09:41 UTC
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Post by Basil Jet
Is any canal fed by pumping?
The Kennet and Avon is probably the most well known, but there are
others:

<https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/caring-for-our-heritage/
heritage-team-blog/heritage-team/pumping-stations>
--
Roland Perry
Basil Jet
2019-03-14 16:31:58 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
Post by Basil Jet
Is any canal fed by pumping?
<https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/caring-for-our-heritage/
heritage-team-blog/heritage-team/pumping-stations>
Thanks. What I meant to ask was were any canals planned to use pumps, as
opposed to having pumps retro-fitted when water supply disappointed.
--
Basil Jet - Current favourite song...
Spratleys Japs - Hands (Marc Riley session)
http://youtu.be/PTFmVrE1WAc
Roland Perry
2019-03-14 20:51:40 UTC
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Post by Basil Jet
Post by Basil Jet
Is any canal fed by pumping?
<https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/caring-for-our-heritag>>e/
heritage-team-blog/heritage-team/pumping-stations>
Thanks. What I meant to ask was were any canals planned to use pumps,
as opposed to having pumps retro-fitted when water supply disappointed.
From wikipedia, re K&A:

"The canal opened in 1810 after 16 years of construction. Major
structures included the Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts, the Bruce Tunnel
under Savernake Forest, and the pumping stations at Claverton and
Crofton, needed to overcome water supply problems."
--
Roland Perry
Recliner
2019-03-14 21:10:40 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
Post by Basil Jet
Post by Basil Jet
Is any canal fed by pumping?
<https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/caring-for-our-heritag>>e/
heritage-team-blog/heritage-team/pumping-stations>
Thanks. What I meant to ask was were any canals planned to use pumps,
as opposed to having pumps retro-fitted when water supply disappointed.
"The canal opened in 1810 after 16 years of construction. Major
structures included the Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts, the Bruce Tunnel
under Savernake Forest, and the pumping stations at Claverton and
Crofton, needed to overcome water supply problems."
Presumably the pumps were steam-powered?
Graeme Wall
2019-03-14 21:26:15 UTC
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Post by Recliner
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Basil Jet
Post by Basil Jet
Is any canal fed by pumping?
<https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/caring-for-our-heritag>>e/
heritage-team-blog/heritage-team/pumping-stations>
Thanks. What I meant to ask was were any canals planned to use pumps,
as opposed to having pumps retro-fitted when water supply disappointed.
"The canal opened in 1810 after 16 years of construction. Major
structures included the Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts, the Bruce Tunnel
under Savernake Forest, and the pumping stations at Claverton and
Crofton, needed to overcome water supply problems."
Presumably the pumps were steam-powered?
The one at Crofton still is.
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read.
Basil Jet
2019-03-14 22:10:56 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
Post by Basil Jet
Post by Basil Jet
Is any canal fed by pumping?
 The Kennet and Avon is probably the most well known, but there are
<https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/caring-for-our-heritag>>e/
heritage-team-blog/heritage-team/pumping-stations>
Thanks. What I meant to ask was were any canals planned to use pumps,
as opposed to having pumps retro-fitted when water supply disappointed.
"The canal opened in 1810 after 16 years of construction. Major
structures included the Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts, the Bruce Tunnel
under Savernake Forest, and the pumping stations at Claverton and
Crofton, needed to overcome water supply problems."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claverton_Pumping_Station

"The pumping station was built between 1809 and 1813 to overcome water
supply problems"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crofton_Pumping_Station

"It contains an operational Boulton & Watt steam engine dating from 1812"

So they both seem to have been afterthoughts whose construction started
around or after the canal opening. The water usage of a canal depends on
how often the locks are operated, so maybe the canal was planned to have
less traffic than ended up using it.

I'm still not sure if any canal was actually planned with pumping, or
why the Strood tunnel was built at all. Although the Thames and Medway
Canal was built to compete against the journey around the Hoo Peninsula,
so journey time will have been more of an issue than with most canals.
--
Basil Jet - Current favourite song...
Spratleys Japs - Hands (Marc Riley session)
http://youtu.be/PTFmVrE1WAc
Roland Perry
2019-03-15 06:54:52 UTC
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Post by Basil Jet
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Basil Jet
Thanks. What I meant to ask was were any canals planned to use
pumps, as opposed to having pumps retro-fitted when water supply
disappointed.
"The canal opened in 1810 after 16 years of construction. Major
structures included the Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts, the Bruce
Tunnel under Savernake Forest, and the pumping stations at Claverton
and Crofton, needed to overcome water supply problems."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claverton_Pumping_Station
"The pumping station was built between 1809 and 1813 to overcome water
supply problems"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crofton_Pumping_Station
"It contains an operational Boulton & Watt steam engine dating from 1812"
But you've overlooked:

The pumping station was built between 1807 and 1809 in time for
the opening of the canal in 1810.
Post by Basil Jet
So they both seem to have been afterthoughts whose construction started
around or after the canal opening.
https://www.croftonbeamengines.org/our-history/

The first design of the Kennet & Avon canal by the distinguished
Scottish civil engineer, John Rennie, called for a 4.5 km (2.5
mile) tunnel between the Wiltshire villages of Crofton and
Burbage but, in those days, tunnelling was a very expensive and
uncertain process and a cheaper alternative was sought.

This involved raising the summit level of the canal and
constructing a much shorter tunnel. However, this new summit was
12 m (40 ft) higher than any reliable local, natural water
source and so a pumping station was needed at Crofton to keep it
topped-up. Crofton Pumping Station was built in 1807 and started
work soon after.

The first engine installed in the Engine House at Crofton was a
second hand Boulton and Watt, purchased in 1802 from the West
India Dock Company. This engine had a 90 cm (36 inch) diameter
steam piston and a 2.5 m (8 foot) stroke. It had a wooden beam
and worked a 66 cm (26 inch) diameter lift pump. It arrived at
Crofton in 1807, and was at work by 1809.

The Engine House was designed to accommodate two engines and a
second Boulton and Watt was ordered in 1810 and was installed
and working by 1812...
Post by Basil Jet
The water usage of a canal depends on how often the locks are operated,
so maybe the canal was planned to have less traffic than ended up using
it.
Or, as it turns out, not.
--
Roland Perry
Basil Jet
2019-03-15 12:53:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Basil Jet
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Basil Jet
Thanks. What I meant to ask was were any canals planned to use
pumps, as opposed to having pumps retro-fitted when water supply
disappointed.
"The canal opened in 1810 after 16 years of construction. Major
structures included the Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts, the Bruce
Tunnel under Savernake Forest, and the pumping stations at Claverton
and Crofton, needed to overcome water supply problems."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claverton_Pumping_Station
"The pumping station was built between 1809 and 1813 to overcome water
supply problems"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crofton_Pumping_Station
"It contains an operational Boulton & Watt steam engine dating from 1812"
The pumping station was built between 1807 and 1809 in time for
the opening of the canal in 1810.
Post by Basil Jet
So they both seem to have been afterthoughts whose construction started
around or after the canal opening.
https://www.croftonbeamengines.org/our-history/
The first design of the Kennet & Avon canal by the distinguished
Scottish civil engineer, John Rennie, called for a 4.5 km (2.5
mile) tunnel between the Wiltshire villages of Crofton and
Burbage but, in those days, tunnelling was a very expensive and
uncertain process and a cheaper alternative was sought.
This involved raising the summit level of the canal and
constructing a much shorter tunnel. However, this new summit was
12 m (40 ft) higher than any reliable local, natural water
source and so a pumping station was needed at Crofton to keep it
topped-up. Crofton Pumping Station was built in 1807 and started
work soon after.
The first engine installed in the Engine House at Crofton was a
second hand Boulton and Watt, purchased in 1802 from the West
India Dock Company. This engine had a 90 cm (36 inch) diameter
steam piston and a 2.5 m (8 foot) stroke. It had a wooden beam
and worked a 66 cm (26 inch) diameter lift pump. It arrived at
Crofton in 1807, and was at work by 1809.
The Engine House was designed to accommodate two engines and a
second Boulton and Watt was ordered in 1810 and was installed
and working by 1812...
Post by Basil Jet
The water usage of a canal depends on how often the locks are operated,
so maybe the canal was planned to have less traffic than ended up using
it.
Or, as it turns out, not.
Thanks.
--
Basil Jet - Current favourite song...
Spratleys Japs - Hands (Marc Riley session)
http://youtu.be/PTFmVrE1WAc
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