About this image
View south from the minor-road bridge in Westhouses village. An 'Austerity' class heavy-freight engine, no. 90254, has a clear road and hurries through on a 'down' (i.e. northbound) class 8 freight-train. This engine was based at Wakefield (Yorkshire). The track occupied by the train, and that parallel on its left, are the 'slow' lines. Between these tracks and beside the waggon carrying pipes: the prominent, dark structure looks like the back view of a type of shunting signal known as 'ground disc' signals. Here several have been arranged vertically. To the right of the train the gas-lit platforms of the station straddle the 'fast' lines. On the left, curving into the photograph is the branch line from Blackwell Colliery, which also gave access to Westhouses shed, the shed yard being just out of the picture. Traffic leaving the branch line could be directed onto either of two routes, depending which of the 'splitting' signals (i.e. two signals placed on one main post) was used. Their tubular-steel construction may be contrasted with the older, square-section timber-post of the signal on the right. In the distance the back of a diesel-hauled coal train disappears eastwards. Note: 1) these 2-8-0 Austerity (AKA 'WD') class engines' were designed to be robust, easily maintained and inexpensive to build, because they were for use in Europe in the aftermath of World War 2. 2) The position of the oil lamps' on the front of the engine indicate the class of train. 3) 'class 8 freight' : meaning the engine and (at the back) the brake van are the only sources of braking for the train.