All images remain copyright of Peter Mullen and must not be reproduced without written permission. Thanks go to Steve Griffiths, Iain Chalmers, Pete Westwater and John Whyte for assistance in identifying locations.

All photographs are available as unframed 12" x 8" prints at 15.00GBP including UK postage.

I am always interested in purchasing collections of North British Railway negatives from pre-grouping through to the final days of British Railways

Previous NBR Drummond Abbotsford at Edinburgh Waverley c1890-1895 - ©PM NBR / LNER / BR D34 62477 Glen Dochart at Eastfield (July 1959) - ©PM NBR / LNER / BR J37 64558 at Eastfield (17th-July 1963) - ©PM NBR / LNER / BR J36 65217 French at Grangemouth (11th June 1962) - ©PM Next
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Main Image
NBR Drummond Abbotsford at Edinburgh Waverley c1890-1895 - ©PM
An absolute gem of a shot taken at the east end of Edinburgh Waverley. The picture itself of a Drummond ‘Abbotsford’ class is captured from a ‘Magic Lantern’ slide (which is a positive image rather than the traditional negative). The quality of the picture is absolutely exquisite and very clearly shows not just the lining on the locomotive but also the darker style colour around the border. The ends of the rear toolbox for example show the lining to be a rectangular panel rather than following the profile of the end panels. We can see the works plate on the cab side sheet although the number itself if not clear. Similarly, the detail on the Ashbury passenger brake van (second batch) is equally clear – particularly the curvature on the top of the guard’s ducket, the lamp covers on the roof, the grab rail on the top of the coach roof end and the cable running along the top of the coach side and then down onto the top of the tender and into the locomotive cab. Prior to the mid 1880’s the works plate was attached to the coupling rod splasher but at this time (c1885) Holmes moved it to the middle of the wheel splasher (as on the photograph). From the mid 1890’s (when the NB crest was placed on the splasher), the works plate then moved back to the coupling rod splashers (c1895). The suggestion is therefore that the photograph was probably taken c1890 and no later than c1895. The locomotive itself is one of the final four Abbotsfords, Nos. 490-493, built at Cowlairs between the very end of 1878 and (mostly) into 1879. These were distinguished from the first eight by the locomotive brakes, which on 490-3 were located between the driving wheels and driven by a vertical cylinder acting on cams which forced the brakes out against the wheels. That meant that for these four locomotives the Westinghouse system brake operated on locomotive, tender and train together, rather than the locomotive having a separate steam brake as on the first eight made by Neilsons. The first eight engines had external tie bars for the brakes running outside the driving wheels, which are very noticeable by their absence in this photo. The final four Abbotsfords were named St Boswells (490), Dalhousie (491), Newcastleton (492) and Netherby (493). Thanks to Ian Terrell and Euan Cameron for this information. Given that the locomotive is at the east end of the station it is possible that it is about to work a train over the Waverley route to Carlisle. Although the Nestle’s brand name is clearly displayed in the background (NESTLE’s SWISS MILK), the advertising was in fact for milk and not chocolate (which was not discovered until 1904).


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