The Tottenham Express
The new season is still someway away so I thought I'd take the opportunity to slip in some stories to help the time pass from the pending tray. Today we go back the golden age of travel and the steam train.
So if you have a few moments, all aboard.
Two train engines have carried the name Tottenham Hotspur.’ The first was named at Walthamstow station in May 1937. The original plan was we would get an engine (no 2871) but a last minute problem meant it was not ready and its predecessor (2870) was rushed into place. This had been already been christened Manchester City but some quick swopping of plates allowed the engine to be renamed.
The engines had been built at the Robert Stephenson and Co. Ltd, in Darlington. In total of 25 were named after football teams. These proved very popular with railway train spotters and football fans alike. All of them were apple green and carried a board indicting its team. In its earliest days it was on the London to Manchester run.
Although hard workers they were not too popular with the footplate crews and it was withdrawn from service and streamlined before it returned to work on the London to Norwich route. At that point 2870 was renamed ‘The City of London.’ Leaving Spurs without a train carrying its name for several months.
Then in January 1938 the Tottenham ‘name plates’ were transferred to a second locomotive, one of the B17 class that was then carrying the title ‘Thoresby Park’ and had been built in 1931.
In August the company renumbered their engines and “Tottenham Hotspur’ became no 1630. I mention this as the images can be very confusing for us not railway buffs. It then changed again when the railways were nationalized to 61630 and became a darker Brunswick Green, having been painted black during the war. These engines were designed by Herbert Gresley, who also designed two of the most famous trains, The Flying Scotsman and The Mallard.
As electric and diesel saw an end to steam trains the locomotive spent its last days working in Lincolnshire before being withdrawn from service in August 1958 and a year later was broken up.
The name plates were presented to the club and until the redevelopment of White Hart Lane were on display in the stadium. They will I expect return to view when the new stadium and museum are completed.
I must thank my friend from years back who supplied endless technical data from how much coal it carried through to the best working temperature for the boiler.
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