Locomotive at

Ratho Station

Peter Clark and Locomotive

Banksmen on the Union Canal

Reproduced with acknowledgement to Bill Hall, Leith, Edinburgh


Enlarge this picture

   Banksmen on the Union Canal


Locomotive at Ratho Station

Thank you to Bill Hall, Leith, Edinburgh, for allowing me to reproduce this photograph of a locomotive at Ratho Station.  This was amongst a collection of photos taken in and around Ratho that Bill has sent to me.

Bill wrote:

"Here is a photograph of my Great Grand Uncle, Peter Clark, and a locomotive at Ratho Station.

Bill Hall, Leith, Edinburgh,:  May 24, 2010


1.  Which of the two men in this photo is Peter Clark?

2.  How close to Ratho Station was this photo taken?

3.  What else is known about this locomotive?

If you know the answers to any of these questions, please email me.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  June 4, 2010


Reply to Question 1

Question 1. 

1.  Which of the two men in this photo is Peter Clark?


I've just noticed that there is a blue cross above the head of the railway worker on the right, so I assume that he is Peter Clark.

Peter Stubbs:  June 5, 2010


Replies to Question 3

Question 3. 

3.  What else is known about this locomotive?



David Bain wrote:

"I can't find a matching photograph, but by descriptions it could be a Holmes-designed 0-6-0 goods engine of the NBR from about 1862.

Some of these 0-6-0s were built at St Margaret's but I can't be sure of the number on the cabside plate, so this may or may not be one of them.

Alternatively there may be someone out there who really knows the subject!"

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  June 5, 2010



David King wrote:

"I believe that this locomotive is not Holmes-designed.  Matthew Holmes did not become a locomotive superintendent until 1882, and this locomotive is a good deal older, I think.  1860s could well be right.

At a guess, it is an Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway engine, possibly built for them by a contractor.   The E & G Railway owned the line from Edinburgh to Glasgow (Queen Street) which passed through Ratho, and was taken over by the North British Railway in 1865."

David King subsequently wrote

"I have now enlarged the photo and it appears to be lettered NBR on the tender.  Therefore, the picture was taken in 1865 or later if my reading of the photo is correct."

David King, Trinity, Edinburgh:  June 6, 2010 (two emails)



David Bain replied:

"David King is right.  It was a typo on my part, I'm afraid.
I typed Holmes but should have typed Hurst."

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  June 7, 2010



Euan Cameron replied, giving more details about the loco in this photo:

Banksmen on the Union Canal

Euan wrote

Loco Features

"This is one of sixteen 0-6-0 locos from Robert Stephenson & Co. delivered to the North British Railway between 1862 and 1864.  They arrived during the superintendency of William Hurst, as one of your correspondents suggested.

They had approximately 5' 0" diameter wheels at the unusual spacing of 7' 1" + 6' 8". They had deeply slotted mainframes, with a long front overhang (5 3 to the rear of the front bufferbeam); to the rear of the trailing axle the mainframes were quite short, at 2 10 (estimated). 

The cylinders were 15 x 24 with vertical slide valves between the bores.  The solid splashers had a thin line of brass beading on the outer edge.

The boilers had a raised firebox with a large circular cover on the crown, on which the whistle and steam keys were set, similar to the pattern later used by Matthew Holmes.

The domes on the middle of the boiler barrel had brass covers with bell-mouthed open tops. Tall chimneys tapered inwards towards the top and had broad copper caps.

The weatherboard was a flat vertical sheet with a small raised curved area, on which the pressure gauge was fitted."

Loco Number

"The photo on your website is believed to show No. 169 after it was renumbered 864 around 1895.  It was Stephenson's Works no. 1462, built December 1862.

It was renumbered 169A in 1886 and 864 in the general renumbering of duplicate engines in 1895.  It was withdrawn a few years later, around 1898.

Date of Photo

"If the details associated with another print of this photo in my collection are correct, then this picture can be dated fairly precisely to the mid-1890s.

The locomotive is near the end of its working existence and has been barely altered at all, except that the original bell-mouthed brass dome first fitted has been replaced with one of Thomas Wheatley's design, and the chimney is of the stovepipe variety also favoured by Wheatley."

Euan Cameron, New York, New York, USA:  January 1, 2012



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