oldpway.info Details of:

"Railway Engineers' Association. Standardization of Permanent Way Rail Joints."
By Alexander Ross.

opwID Ross_1905
Type REA report
Date 2 June 1905
Status In 1974, one copy of the report and one set of the drawings were kept in a drawer in the Permanent Way Drawing Office (PWDO) of the British Rail Eastern Region (BR ER) Chief Civil Engineer (CCE), in Hudson House, York. The report had been sent to Mr W. J. Cudworth by Mr A. Ross. The drawings set had 48 drawings; it was missing the Hull & Barnsley drawing (no.19), the three North Eastern Railway drawings (nos.32-34) and the Burt, Boulton & Haywood patent joint drawing (un-numbered).
Ernest Bate was given permission to make copies of these in 1974.
The whereabouts of those BR ER CCE PWDO items is now unknown; they may be lost or destroyed.
The NRM library has one set of the drawings, which is catalogued as library book E3/86X and contains all 53 drawings. The NRM drawings are not the same set as was in the BR ER CCE PWDO (the hand watercolouring is different). The NRM set is probably Mr. Ross's set, because it includes the 53rd un-numbered drawing, which is not listed on the index page drawings. The NRM does not have a copy of the report (except scans sent to the NRM by Ernest Bate).
oldpway has (a) photocopy of the report that was in BR ER CCE PWDO in 1974, (b) photographs of all drawings that were in BR ER CCE PWDO in 1974, (c) scans of some drawings in NRM library book E3/86X.
Copyright For the purposes of copyright, this report is a "literary work", previously unpublished, by known author (A. Ross) who died on 3 Feb 1923 (age 77). The original owner of the copyright was the Great Northern Railway, for whom A. Ross worked. The copyright ownership passed through successive railway companies to British Railways Board (Residuary) Ltd., and is now assigned to the Crown.
The report will remain in copyright until 31 Dec 2039, but it is now public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence version 3.0 (OGL v3.0). It is used on the oldpway website within the terms and conditions of OGL v3.0 and can be used by anyone else within the terms and conditions of OGL v3.0. OGL v3.0 is on-line on the National Archives website at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/, with a copy of OGL v3.0 on oldpway at copyright/OGL_v3_0.pdf. The drawings are also subject to OGL v3.0, as explained in Details of Ross_1905_drawings.
Availability Report on-line; Read report (6MB).
Drawings on-line, see Ross_1905_drawings and Details of drawings. Most of the drawings are scanned from Ernest Bate's 1974 photos. A few are from the NRM.
Origin The report and drawings were prepared/compiled by Alexander Ross (i.e. by his GNR permanent way drawing office), who was Chairman of the Committee. It appears that 7 copies of the report and the drawings were printed. The report has the printing mark "G.N. A 144--75-5-05" at the bottom of page 9. One set was probably retained by Mr Ross and the other 6 sets were sent to the other committee members who were:
Mr. J. Bell, Chief Engineer, North British Railway.
Mr. W.J. Cudworth, Chief Engineer, Southern Division of North Eastern Railway.
Mr A. Gordon. (Who was he? Please contact oldpway if you know.)
Mr W. Melville, Chief Engineer, Glasgow & South Western Railway.
Mr. E.B. Thornhill, Chief Engineer, London & North Western Railway.
Mr. W.B. Worthington, Chief Engineer, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.
Pages 9 foolscap pages.
Followed by set of 53 watercoloured drawings.
Description On 27 January 1905, the Railway Engineers' Association (REA) set up a committee to consider the standardization of rail joints. This report, dated 2 June 1905, details the initial findings of the committee, including comments on rail joints from the companies consulted, a summary of the findings, defects of current joints, suggested improvements and conclusions.
It includes 53 drawings, as listed in Ross_1905_drawings, which show the joints, fishplates and chairs in use by many British railway companies in 1905, and also joints suggested by inventors.
For a list of the companies included see Ross_1905_drawings.
In 1904, the Engineering Standards Committee (ESC) of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) had designed the first standard British sections for bull-head railway rails. The ESC became the British Engineering Standards Association (in 1918) and then the British Standards Institution (in 1931). Drawing 52 of the REA report shows the designs for fishplates and fishbolts for 85lbs "BS" to 100lbs "BS" rails that the ESC had suggested in May 1904 to suit the new British Standard ("BS") rails.
Author notes Chief Engineer, Great Northern Railway
Notes The report file is large because it is a grey-scale scan from an old poor photocopy of an old worn document. A facsimile of the report, with a smaller file size and clean printing, will be made when time permits.
There is a lot of useful information on drawing 2 (and NRM version), which is a summary of the design details of the joints used by the companies who contributed to the report.