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Rowington Junction and Water Troughs

GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Route: Lapworth to Henley in Arden Branch Line

Rowington water troughs were opened on both the up and down main line on 1st October 1899 to facilitate non-stop running of express trains between London and Birmingham. The first water troughs had been introduced on the Great Western Railway a few years previously. To work they required a specially designed scoop to be fitted under the tender of the locomotive, which could be lowered into the water trough by the fireman and the forward motion of the train would then force water into the scoop and up a pipe into the tender. The end of the pipe is above the maximum water level and just above it is an inverted dish to deflect the water down into the tender tank. Vents allow air to be displaced and an indicator shows the level in the tender tank. The site at Rowington had all the necessary requirements for a water trough; a long level and straight section of track without any obstacles, such as level crossings in the vicinity, an ample supply of good quality water, which did not require continuous pumping and also adequate site drainage, because it was inevitable that quantities of water would be splashed during the operation. The water troughs at Rowington were fairly typical of Great Western Railway arrangements.

They were 560 yards long; constructed in the standard method by the use of ten foot lengths of galvanised steel plate 18 inches wide by 6 inches deep. The troughs were supported 4 inches above the sleepers, which meant that with the standard 5 inch water depth in the trough the water’s surface was 1.5 inches above the rail level. As it was not possible to end the troughs with a stop, as this would present a potential obstruction to the scoop, the track was slightly inclined at each end with a gradient of 1 in 360 over 60 yards. Special free draining ballast was specified to reduce the deterioration of the permanent way. The water was fed from a 40,000 gallon supply tank at the lineside and multiple pipes supplied the water troughs via bottom entry points. The multiple entry points reduced the wave created when an engine was scooping up water and also ensured that the water in the troughs was replenished quickly. A sophisticated float arrangement controlled the flow from the tank to ensure that the water level in the trough was maintained at the correct level.

Robert Ferris

Rowington Junction and the branch to Henley in Arden

View of Rowington Junction looking towards Leamington Spa with the signal box controlling the branch to Henley on the right
Ref: gwrrj264
P Hopkins
Looking towards Leamington Spa with the signal box controlling the branch to Henley on the right
Close up showing the junction in greater detail including PW huts and the signalbox which controlled the Henley-in-Arden branch
Ref: gwrrj264a
P Hopkins
Close up showing the junction in greater detail including Permanent Way huts and the branch signal box
Close up showing the long line of crippled wagons which were stored on the branch after the cessation of services on 1st January 1915
Ref: gwrrj264b
P Hopkins
Close up showing the long line of crippled wagons which were stored on the branch after 1st January 1915
Looking along the branch towards Henley in Arden and Rowington Junction Signal Box with a PW hut on the left
Ref: gwrrj2774
Rowington Records
Looking along the branch towards Henley in Arden and Rowington Junction Signal Box with a PW hut on the left
Close up showing the brick built PW hut and the lean-to store and Rowington Junction Signal Box
Ref: gwrrj2774a
Rowington Records
Close up showing the brick built PW hut and the lean-to store and Rowington Junction Signal Box

An unidentified King Class locomotive passes Rowington Junction with a down express on 3rd March 1961
Ref: gwrrj2772
R King
An unidentified King Class locomotive passes Rowington Junction with a down express on 3rd March 1961
An unidentified ex-GWR 4-6-0 locomotive passes Rowington Junction with a southbound freight service on 3rd March 1961
Ref: gwrrj2773
R King
An unidentified ex-GWR 4-6-0 locomotive passes Rowington Junction on a southbound freight on 3rd March 1961
Ex-LMS 0-6-0 Class 4F No 44219 is seen departing the former branch line at Rowington Junction
Ref: gwrrj2771
Rowington Records
Ex-LMS 0-6-0 Class 4F No 44219 is seen departing the former branch line at Rowington Junction
A posed photograph of the workmen who worked maintaining the lines around Rowington Junction Signal Box
Ref: gwrrj1936
Rowington Parish Records
A posed photograph of the workmen who worked maintaining the lines around Rowington Junction Signal Box
A gang of platelayers are seen at work on the main line near to Rowington Junction Signal Box in 1950
Ref: gwrrj2780
Rowington Records
A gang of platelayers are seen at work on the main line near to Rowington Junction Signal Box in 1950

An elevated view of the original Henley in Arden branch line looking in the direction of Henley in Arden after the track had been lifted
Ref: gwrrj260
P Hopkins
Elevated view of the original branch line looking in the direction of Henley in Arden after the track had been lifted
GWR Banana Van converted from a 10 ton covered Wagon telegraph code 'Mink' stored at Rowington Junction
Ref: gwrrj2765
P Garland
GWR Banana Van converted from a 10 ton covered Wagon telegraph code 'Mink' stored at Rowington Junction
An unidentified King Class locomotive passes Rowington Junction with a down express on 3rd March 1961
Ref: gwrrj2772
R King
An unidentified King Class locomotive passes Rowington Junction with a down express on 3rd March 1961
A low resolution version ofthe Signalling Diagram for Rowington Junction Signal Box in 1912
Ref: gwrrj2248
SRS
A low resolution version ofthe Signalling Diagram for Rowington Junction Signal Box in 1912

Rowington Troughs

An unknown ex-LMS 4-6-0 Class 5 passes Rowington Troughs on a southbound passenger service on 17th July 1965
Ref: gwrrj2321
C Gorton
An unknown ex-LMS 4-6-0 Class 5 passes Rowington Troughs on a southbound passenger service
BR 40xx ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0 No 7029 ‘Clun Castle’ with the 1:10 pm Paddington to Wolverhampton  Low Level express
Ref: gwrrj2239
M Mensing
BR 40xx Class 4-6-0 No 7029 ‘Clun Castle’ with the 1:10 pm Paddington to Wolverhampton Low Level express
View looking towards Hatton from the bridge carrying the Rowington to Lowsonford footpath in May 1961
Ref: gwrrj2237
R King
View looking towards Hatton from the bridge carrying the Rowington to Lowsonford footpath in May 1961
GWR 4-6-0 Saint class No 2937 'Clevedon Court' is seen a down express passing the 40,000 gallon supply tank as it picks up water at speed
Ref: gwrrj262
P Hopkins
GWR 4-6-0 Saint class No 2937 'Clevedon Court' passes the 40,000 gallon supply tank as it picks up water at speed
An unknown Great Western Railway 29xx 'Saint' class 4-6-0 with class A headcode on a down express circa 1910
Ref: gwrrj2240
PM Perkins
An unknown Great Western Railway 29xx 'Saint' class 4-6-0 with class A headcode on a down express circa 1910

Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 5099 'Compton Castle' picks up water whilst on the 2:10pm Paddington to Birkenhead
Ref: gwrrj1776
M Mensing
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 5099 'Compton Castle' picks up water whilst on the 2:10pm Paddington to Birkenhead
A view of the water troughs looking north towards Birmingham from the occupation bridge with the junction in the background
Ref: gwrrj1477
R King
The water troughs looking towards Birmingham from the occupation bridge with the junction in the background
A GWR 4-2-2 Dean Single on a Birmingham express service is seen picking up water as it passes a P&W gang
Ref: gwrrj1476
GM Perkins
A GWR 4-2-2 Dean Single on a Birmingham express service is seen picking up water as it passes a P&W gang
GWR 60xx Class 4-6-0 No 6017 'King Edward VI' with class A headcode on a down express to Snow Hill in 1920’s
Ref: gwrrj2241
P Hopkins
GWR 60xx Class 4-6-0 No 6017 'King Edward VI' with class A headcode on a down express to Snow Hill in 1920s
GWR 40xx Class 4-6-0 No4041 'Prince of Wales' with class A headcode on a four coach up express in 1920s
Ref: gwrrj2242
PB Whitehouse
GWR 40xx Class 4-6-0 No4041 'Prince of Wales' with class A headcode on a four coach up express in 1920s

GWR 40xx 'Star' class 4-6-0 No 4043 'Prince Henry' with class A headcode on a down express in 1920s
Ref: gwrrj2243
PB Whitehouse
GWR 40xx 'Star' Class 4-6-0 No 4043 'Prince Henry' with class A headcode on a down express in 1920s
GWR 4-6-0 29xx 'Saint' class No 2902 'Lady of the Lake' with an A headcode on an up express picking up water from Rowington troughs in the 1920s
Ref: gwrrj2246
Anon
GWR 4-6-0 29xx 'Saint' class No 2902 'Lady of the Lake' on an up express picking up water from Rowington troughs
GWR 4-6-0 Saint class No 2928 'Saint Sebastian' is seen at the head of an up express having just taken on water at Rowington troughs
Ref: gwrrj263
P Hopkins
GWR 4-6-0 No 2928 'Saint Sebastian' at the head of an up express having just taken on water at Rowington troughs
Great Western Railway 2-6-0 43xx class mogul No.4320, with a class H ‘through freight’ train, drenches the first wagon and the permanent way
Ref: gwrrj1478
Anon
GWR 2-6-0 mogul No 4320, with a class H ‘through freight’ train, drenches the first wagon and the permanent way
GWR 36xx Class 2-4-2T No 3606 is seen passing over Rowington Troughs on an up local passenger service
Ref: gwrrj2157
J Alsop
GWR 36xx Class 2-4-2T No 3606 is seen passing over Rowington Troughs on an up local passenger service

An unknown GWR 4-4-0 County Class locomotive passes over Rowington troughs on an up service
Ref: gwrrj2160a
BPC
An unknown GWR 4-4-0 County Class locomotive passes over Rowington troughs on an up service
GWR 28xx Class 2-8-0 No 2879 is seen passing by Rowington trough's water tank whilst at the head of  an up goods service
Ref: gwrjj2220
J Alsop
GWR 28xx Class 2-8-0 No 2879 passes by Rowington trough's water tank at the head of an up goods service
Great Western Railway 2-6-0 43xx class mogul No 6385 picking up water as it heads north with a rake of ex-SECR stock in 1933
Ref: gwrrj1479
BPC
GWR 2-6-0 43xx class mogul No 6385 picking up water as it heads north with a rake of ex-SECR stock in 1933
GWR 3150 Class 2-6-2T No 3186, with a horsebox behind the bunker, is seen passing over Rowington Troughs
Ref: gwrrj2158
J Alsop
GWR 3150 Class 2-6-2T No 3186, with a horsebox behind the bunker, is seen passing over Rowington Troughs
An unknown GWR 4-4-0 County Class locomotive passes over Rowington troughs on an up service
Ref: gwrrj2160
BPC
An unknown GWR 4-4-0 County Class locomotive passes over Rowington troughs on an up service

GWR 36xx class 2-4-2T No 3627 with a class B headcode denoting an ordinary stopping passenger train
Ref: gwrrj2156
J Alsop
GWR 36xx class 2-4-2T No 3627 with a class B headcode denoting an ordinary stopping passenger train
GWR 4-6-0 Saint class No 2928 'Saint Sebastian' is seen at the head of an up express having just taken on water at Rowington troughs
Ref: gwrrj1480
HG Tidy
GWR 0-6-0 No 2378 picking up water at Rowington troughs with a down class H 'through freight' train
GWR 0-6-0 322 class locomotive No 354 heads a northbound local freight train over the Rowington troughs circa 1925
Ref: gwrrj1773
HG Tidy
GWR 0-6-0 322 class locomotive No 354 heads a northbound local freight train over the Rowington troughs
GWR 2-6-0 No No 6385 heads a train of ex-SERC coaching stock on a down service starting from the Kent coast
Ref: gwrrj1937
BPC
GWR 2-6-0 No No 6385 heads a train of ex-SERC coaching stock on a down service starting from the Kent coast
Great Western Railway 43xx class 2-6-0 No5317 steams over Rowington toughs with a class H headcode
Ref: gwrrj2155
J Alsop
Great Western Railway 43xx class 2-6-0 No 5317 steams over Rowington toughs with a class H headcode

GWR 4-6-0 Saint class No 2977 'Robertson' is seen on a Birkenhead to Paddington service as it picks up water at Rowington Troughs
Ref: gwrrj261
P Hopkins
GWR 4-6-0 Saint class No 2977 'Robertson' is seen on a Birkenhead to Paddington service as it picks up water
GWR 2-6-0 43xx class No 6314 is seen picking up water whilst at the head of an up Snow Hill to Oxford parcels service
Ref: gwrrj1443
Anon
GWR 2-6-0 No 6314 is seen picking up water whilst at the head of an up Snow Hill to Oxford parcels service
GWR 51xx Prairie tank 2-6-2T No 5184 on an ordinary train from Leamington Spa to Wolverhampton in 1920s
Ref: gwrrj2244
PB Whitehouse
GWR 51xx Prairie tank 2-6-2T No 5184 on an ordinary train from Leamington Spa to Wolverhampton in 1920s
Great Western Railway 60xx (King) class 4-6-0 No 6000 ‘King George V’ scoops up water from the troughs
Ref: gwrrj1774
HG Tidy
Great Western Railway 60xx (King) class 4-6-0 No 6000 ‘King George V’ scoops up water from the troughs
An unknown Great Western Railway 4-6-0 four cylinder 40xx 'Star' class locomotive with a modest five coach up-express
Ref: gwrrj1775
HG Tidy
An unknown GWR 4-6-0 four cylinder 40xx 'Star' class locomotive with a modest five coach up-express

Ex-LMS 4-6-0 No 44810 is seen on a Class F working whilst picking up water at Rowington Troughs
Ref: gwrrj2770
Anon
Ex-LMS 4-6-0 No 44810 is seen on a Class F working whilst picking up water at Rowington Troughs
GWR 4-6-0 49xx 'Hall' class No. 4902 'Aldenham Hall' on a seven coach express
Ref: gwrrj1471
B Hicks
BR 2-10-0 9F No 92007 is on a Wolverhampton to Swindon 'Enparts' train carrying parts for works and shed repairs
BR Standard Class 9 2-10-0 No 92218 is seen passing over Rowington troughs with an up through freight
Ref: gwrrj2159
R Postill
BR Standard Class 9 2-10-0 No 92218 is seen passing over Rowington troughs with an up through freight
British Railways Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 No 92068 picks up water at the head of a Class F express freight service
Ref: gwrrj2236
Anon
BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 No 92068 picks up water at the head of a Class F express freight service
An unidentified ex-GWR 4-6-0 King Class locomotive is seen picking up water at Rowington Troughs circa 1960
Ref: gwrrj2776
Rowington Records
An unidentified ex-GWR 4-6-0 King Class locomotive is seen picking up water at Rowington Troughs circa 1960

An unidentified ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall Class locomotive is seen on a Class B working when picking up water
Ref: gwrrj2778
Rowington Records
An unidentified ex-GWR 4-6-0 Hall Class locomotive is seen on a Class B working when picking up water
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6879 'Overton Grange' is seen passing through Rowington on an express service circa 1960
Ref: gwrrj2779
Rowington Records
Ex-GWR 4-6-0 No 6879 'Overton Grange' is seen passing through Rowington on an express service circa 1960
GWR 4-6-0 No 2924 'St Helena' is seen approaching Rowington Junction with an express service circa 1910
Ref: gwrrj2775
GM Perkins
GWR 4-6-0 No 2924 'St Helena' is seen approaching Rowington Junction with an express service circa 1910
GWR 4-6-0 49xx 'Hall' class No. 4902 'Aldenham Hall' on a seven coach express
Ref: gwrrj2245
PB Whitehouse
GWR 29xx 'Saint' Class 4-6-0 No 2936 'Cefntilla Court' with a through Hastings to Birkenhead express
GWR 4-6-0 King class No 6003 'King George IV' picks up water whilst at the head of the down Paddington to Birkenhead service
Ref: gwrrj1004
Anon
GWR 4-6-0 No 6003 'King George IV' picks up water at the head of a Paddington to Birkenhead service

GWR 2-8-0 28xx class No 2878 is seen working hard near Rowington Junction as it climbs towards Birmingham Snow Hill
Ref: gwrrj259
P Hopkins
GWR 2-8-0 No 2878 is seen working hard near Rowington Junction as it climbs towards Birmingham Snow Hill