What’s in a name?

The trends of my naming conventions are rough but follow a sort of convention. This is meant to reflect changing attitudes and preferences in the management of the NWR, and how they want to present themselves.

I’ve added notes below in italics to explain the thinking behind each era.

Passenger/Mixed traffic locos

Manx/Sudrian authors, poets, notable historical figures – mainly locos that were there when the NWR was formed 1915-1920
e.g. Edward Faragher, Thomas Allen
*William Montagu is the exception to this, having arrived in 1931. Maybe it took the name of a scrapped loco?

The newly formed NWR, providing at long last a fixed link to mainland England, wanted to establish itself as devotedly Sudrian and to not represent ‘mainland control’ over the island, which has always been fiercely resisted. As such, locos present in 1915 were often named after local Manx and Sudrian heroes and notable people.

Sudrian legendary figures – 1920s-1930s
e.g. Thorkell, Sigrid, Godred Crovan, Thorfinn the Mighty

Similarly, the NWR wanted to celebrate Sodor and Man’s history and legendary tales.

Contemporary Sudrians – 1930s-1940s
e.g.Sir Albert Regaby, Rebecca Qualtrough,
*Colonel Henry Regaby is an exception, the loco having been named in 1915, however the second loco continued the tradition in 1935

During the 1930s, the depression hit. There was a need to remind the populace that people such as themselves could make a difference, and not just characters from legend. The war brought a renewed sense of national pride and a will to celebrate the efforts and sacrifice of local people.

Sudrian Icons (buildings, landmarks etc,) – 1950s
e.g. Suddery Cathedral

The post-war period was marked by a will to build a new society, and the management very much wanted to be a part of this, while retaining a sense of Sudric Pride.

Goods locos (most railways did not name goods locos, but this one does, and it lines them out!)

Warships built at Barrow – large locos
e.g. Revenge, Illustrious, Triumph

Courting business from Vickers-Armstrong, the NWR was a railway born in the fires of war and owed its existence to it.

Submarines built at Barrow – small locos
e.g. Perseus, Proteus

Electric locos (1500v DC working the Peel Godred line)

Sudrian geographical features – 1920s-1930s

e.g. Corloey, Dubbhyn Moar

Peel Godred had long been neglected and naming the locos after local landmarks which in turn gave the railway the hydro-electricity it needed seemed an obvious choice!


This is something of a work in progress, but since it’s likely to be a work in progress for a long time, I’m going to post about it now and update later.

I’ve long wanted to map out ‘my’ NWR, and various places along the route, to work out what kind of traffic sources and destinations I have, and plan my timetables and traffic requirements appropriately.

Which leads me to this – a map of ‘my’ Tidmouth. If it looks familiar, that’s because the basis for it is an old map of Southampton, mirrored and turned on its side. That’s why a lot of the writing is still back to front….

The big NWR station is visible in the centre right, with the NWR main line striking out towards Knapford in a cutting. The loco sheds are at the station throat, next to the school!
Opposite the sheds, the docks branch curves away to the exchange sidings. Goods trains are brought in here, where a Tidmouth Docks Authority loco will take over, though some trains like the boat connections work straight through from the quayside.
To the West of the station (and accessed via a tunnel underneath) is the gas works. The West Sodor Power and Gas Co.’s little engines can be seen fussing around here. The spur to the hydroelectric generating station carries on up the valley.
South of the Inner Dock stands the imposing bulk of Slugworth’s Chocolate Factory, a major employer in Lower Tidmouth.
To the East, ‘Ocean Dock’ is built on the site of National Shipyard (North) No.1, which in itself was a big part of the line’s expansion during WW1. Now it services transatlantic passenger liners and the ferries to Ireland and the Isle of Man (which formerly docked at Kirk Ronan).
The Arlesburgh branch carries on to the North, over the River Tid. The bridge here has a weight restriction, barring bigger locos from the line. Upper Tidmouth has a small station serving the locals, who like to think of themselves as being on the ‘correct’ side of the river.

Anyway I hope you enjoy this little excursion into cartography!

Here’s Southampton for reference:

Timetables and Traffic Requirements

A theme of this alternate fictional universe is to give things reasons to exist. I’ve changed a lot from the Reverend’s version, as I wanted to backdate the opening of the main Sudrian railways and give the island a chance to industrialise rapidly at the beginning of the 20th Century.

A big part of any railway is the traffic demands, these will guide what kind and amount of stock the line should have on its books.

For ‘fun’, I’ve begun to devise timetables for the NWR main line and the branches. This will tell me how many trains need to be run per day, and thus how many locomotives, coaching sets etc. are required.

The period I have chosen is high summer in the mid-late 1950s. Steam is still king (and the NWR remains un-nationalised here due to some complicated legal gubbins I won’t go in to here. The IoMR remained privately owned long after 1947 so there!).

I so far have been working on these services:

Main Line (Express) – Tidmouth-Barrow non stop (with 3 services departing from the ship terminal at the docks)


Main Line (Stopping) – Tidmouth – Carnforth. One of these sets gets reassigned to an express trip.

Brendam Branch – Wellsworth – Brendam (but with 3 return trips per day to Tidmouth)

Ffarquhar Branch – Knapford – Ffarquhar (with quarry workers train and one direct service to Tidmouth to connect with the Wild Nor’Wester)

The Peel Godred, Kirk Ronan and Norramby branch lines still need to be worked out.

For each service I’ve worked out the distance, average speed over that distance, and dwell time in stations to give me the overall travel time.
The complicated bit is trying to work out how to connect services. For example, can people from town A get to town C in a decent time if they have to change trains at junction B?

The other thing that this tells me is the type of loco required, and how many of them.
Main Line (Express) – class 5-8
4 train sets
Main Line (Stopping) – class 3-5
7 train sets
Brendam Branch – class 1-3
2 train sets
Ffarquhar Branch – class 1-3
2 train sets (1 passenger, 1 quarry workers) + railcar

We can assume that each ‘set’ requires a loco. Plus a spare should be kept on the books for each group, assuming something will be undergoing maintenance.

These locos are solely passenger or mixed traffic, goods locos are another matter. I’ll need to take a look into the industries we need to serve and work out traffic requirements on that front….