Railway wooden fences

Joined
30 Dec 2018
Messages
10,638
Reaction score
1,436
Country
United Kingdom
Just visiting the NYM Railways and I wondered why their wooden fences, in common with all older railway property - have the normally vertical timber of fences at an angle?
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
30 Jun 2008
Messages
14,676
Reaction score
1,501
Location
Suffolk
Country
United Kingdom
By 'at an angle' which way is the angle? I.E. leaning right/left or forward/backward towards platform/pavement?
 
Joined
30 Jun 2008
Messages
14,676
Reaction score
1,501
Location
Suffolk
Country
United Kingdom
Shot in the dar; To allow rain water to drop off the underside/run down the upper side more effectively?
.Or maybe because they found it more aesthetically pleasing to the eye?

In short, I don't really know and Google hasn't helped. ;)
 
Joined
3 Sep 2006
Messages
35,905
Reaction score
4,970
Location
West Mids
Country
United Kingdom
It may well be just a design intent to harmonise all station or railway ownership. But it does give a more "pointy" top to the fence, without needing to cut the pales.
 
Joined
3 Nov 2006
Messages
26,580
Reaction score
2,811
Location
Bedfordshire
Country
United Kingdom
upload_2021-8-15_10-51-31.png
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
30 Jun 2008
Messages
14,676
Reaction score
1,501
Location
Suffolk
Country
United Kingdom
Seeing that convinces me it is a deliberate design to be pleasing on the eye.
 
Joined
3 Nov 2006
Messages
26,580
Reaction score
2,811
Location
Bedfordshire
Country
United Kingdom
From the depths of my memory I seem to recall that inclined pales were ( are) used on fixed fencing and vertical pales were ( are ) used on gates.
 
Joined
3 Sep 2006
Messages
35,905
Reaction score
4,970
Location
West Mids
Country
United Kingdom
Another thing that comes to mind is that by angling the pales you can have a fence at different heights without needing to cut the pales - so perhaps where a 6' fence may be too high as in that photo.
 
Joined
30 Sep 2011
Messages
7,864
Reaction score
1,699
Location
Lancashire
Country
United Kingdom
One of the guys we had with us last year had worked on railway maintenancefor Network Rail - so I rang him up and asked him. He told me that square crosscutting the pales to length (in the workshop) is faster (= cheaper) than making two cuts to get a point, that the pales being angled means that the connection to the rails make to the fence is more wind, weather and vandal resistant and that the pales always arrive on site pressure treated and cut to length in packs, so cutting them would leave a rot access as well as the noise of sawing annoying the bejaysus out of local residents (bearing in mind that most repairs on the railway are carried out between 10pm and 6am).

Of course that might just be BS...
 
Joined
30 Dec 2018
Messages
10,638
Reaction score
1,436
Country
United Kingdom
One of the guys we had with us last year had worked on railway maintenancefor Network Rail - so I rang him up and asked him. He told me that square crosscutting the pales to length (in the workshop) is faster (= cheaper) than making two cuts to get a point, that the pales being angled means that the connection to the rails make to the fence is more wind, weather and vandal resistant and that the pales always arrive on site pressure treated and cut to length in packs, so cutting them would leave a rot access as well as the noise of sawing annoying the bejaysus out of local residents (bearing in mind that most repairs on the railway are carried out between 10pm and 6am).

Of course that might just be BS...

That sounds like the probably answer.
 
Joined
15 Jun 2021
Messages
1,963
Reaction score
452
Location
Wales
Country
United Kingdom
The slanted fencing was the Midland Railway house style (later incorporated into the LMS) and only used in prominent places such as stations. The boards were usually cut from cleaned up recovered sleepers.
I'm afraid I can't tell you why the LMS used this style, but it was a big part of the visual identity that differentiated them from the other members of the 'Big Four' (GWR had a pretty standard straight wooden picket fence, whereas SR were pioneers in precast concrete fencing).
 
Last edited:
Sponsored Links
Top