Infrastructure was a key component of wartime logistics: aiding the movement of personnel, weaponry, post and supplies. This fed in not only to conflict aims and needs but to more personal needs; the postal service boosted morale by giving troops a vital link to their loved ones. Engineers were crucial to infrastructure, by creating the supply lines on which the armed forces depended on.

Gun Wagons
The railways were important during the War for supply line reasons including the redistribution of munitions and heavy arms, as well as of troops, medical staff and general supplies. Both the Great Western (GWR) and Midland Railways (MR) used specific gun wagons for the moving of guns.

The GWR used Pollen B wagon sets 48979-48982, 48999-48900 to carry 12-inch BL guns Marks 8-10 for the moving of heavy guns, 45-58 tons. The MR used wagon set 9696 carrying 12, 13.5, 14, and 15 inch guns, these were even heavier at 67-97 tons. Technical drawings for both companies include side elevations showing basic dimensions, weights, and axle loads. Guns were moved both within Britain and on the Continent to position them for battle or strategic defence. The largest artillery was actually held by the Royal Navy for their dreadnaughts, the 'monster' guns moved by MR were most likely for this purpose.

Of course, dreadnaughts were not an option on the Front, but their guns were deployed against the concrete fortified German positions near the Somme and along the Hindenburg line. At first they put the gun on a wheel mount and attempted to secure it in place; advanced recoil mechanisms allowed for some success but deployment was still slow and cumbersome. The guns were moved by a tractor, this was slow and carried the risk of enemy capture.

Rail presented the perfect transport and firing platform for land-based naval ordnance. The gun could be moved relatively quickly along the rail system and the recoil could be dispersed by allowing the carriage to hurtle down the tracks (sometimes up to 100 feet). In some cases, a piece of curved siding was actually used to aim the gun. These guns could fire up to thirty miles and were capable of reaching far into the enemy’s rear positions. The culmination of the rail gun was the massive French Schneider 520mm howitzer. The shells this gun fired were over 24 inches in diameter and weighed 3,100 pounds. They were fused in such a way as to allow the shell to penetrate its target before detonation. Luckily for all involved, the war ended before they could be brought into service.

As well as rail becoming a platform for the direct deployment of guns, it was also used to transport guns and weapons of all sizes to where they were required. Entrenched lines meant that routes and workflow methods could be honed. As the Engineers Office charts of the South East & Chatham Railway show, they had to plan which lines were suitable for the carrying of which rolling stock and weaponry- the sheer weight of the haul being a prime consideration because of the risk collapse to the lines.

Book 1, Great Central Railway

Book 1, Great Central Railway

by User Not Found | 24 Jul, 2014


Leave a comment
  1. seo expert | May 23, 2018
    Let our content engine write product descriptions for your ecommerce store. online product description generator
  2. polarddesos90 | May 22, 2018
    I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises bitcoin dice game
  3. Indiadesign | May 20, 2018
    That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good marketing agency in bangalore
  4. deews | May 20, 2018

    Webdesign was really pleased to have found this article. We would appreciate it if you would be posting more on this subject. If you have any time left maybe you can visit our website:

  5. daniyal157 | May 20, 2018
    A round of applause for your blog.Really many thanks! Fantastic.I think this can be a actual good blog. Really Great.I actually benefit from the blog.Really thank you! Really Cool.Really informative post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.Thank you for the article. Actually Cool.Thanks so much for the article.Thanks Again. Want more.Great, thanks for sharing that website article.Thanks Again. Cool.Fantastic blog post.Really thank you! Cool.Really enjoy you discussing this post.Really looking forward to study more. Awesome.Watch sun tv live online
  6. digitinc | May 20, 2018
    Thank you very much for sharing this very useful information, I am very happy to have found this information that I have been looking for. Odessa Tıp Üniversitesi
  7. FARHAN MALIK | May 19, 2018
    Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. tools review
  8. Junaid Ganji | May 19, 2018
    Really like this post specially <a href="">dewa jobs</a> topic Really looking towards read more. Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.
  9. DANIYAL157 | May 19, 2018
    Significant thanks for the website article.Really thank you! Much obliged.Enjoyed just of your blog article. Significantly obliged.I actually take pleasure in the blog.Really looking towards read more. Hold writing.Thanks for discussing, this can be a excellent article.Really getting excited about study more. Really Great.Awesome article.Really getting excited about study more. Keep writing.Im obliged for the website post.Really thanks! Awesome.Great article. Cool.fhow does your garden mow
  10. FARHAN MALIK | May 19, 2018
    That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck. mobile advertising
  11. Devidmiller5060 | May 19, 2018
    Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site. emagrecimento saudavel
  12. sohail khatri | May 19, 2018
    A great content material as well as great layout. Your website deserves all of the positive feedback it’s been getting. I will be back soon for further quality contents. How to earn money with website
  13. Window washing residential Houston | May 19, 2018
    Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. Buy Bitcoin
  14. daniyal157 | May 19, 2018
    This really is one awesome blog.Really thank you! Cool.Say, you got a wonderful blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.Awesome article post. Significantly obliged.Awesome report post.Much thanks again. Significantly obliged.Idrees
  15. jamsbond | May 19, 2018
    Thanks for your post. I’ve been thinking about writing a very comparable post over the last couple of weeks. I’ll probably keep it short and sweet and link  to this instead if thats cool. Thanks.test accessoires
  16. UKTVNOW | May 18, 2018
  17. OliverDoyle | May 18, 2018
    There's good news for every person who loves to play great arcade recreations,  bomberman 64 game is accessible on PC now. This vintage labyrinth based game would can now be played without an emulator. You can not miss the opportunity to play this game right now!
  18. blue sky golf | May 18, 2018
    Lahore Escort Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff...I think you've made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work. cheap auto insurance baltimore
  19. sohail khatri | May 18, 2018
    You have a real talent for writing unique content.  I like how you think and the way you express your views in this article.  I am impressed by your writing style a lot. Thanks for making my experience more beautiful. turismo casablanca marrocos
  20. spamesr boi | May 17, 2018
     This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good workCayman Islands Accounting Services
  21. muhammad AK | May 17, 2018
  22. cheap ssl certificates | May 17, 2018
    Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. buy cannabis online without medical card
  23. digitinc | May 16, 2018
    All the details are in this post is very interesting and brilliant and I am glad to see this post.
  24. muhammad AK | May 16, 2018
    Machos Gracias for your blog. Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
  25. Gogy | May 16, 2018
    I have a fondness for your post. I think that you are very smart and knowledgeable. Your articles contain so much insight and information. They help me when I need to solve problems. Thank you for sharing what you knowPop-Pop Candies gogy 2 Hobin Rood frivgame
  26. polarddesos90 | May 16, 2018
    Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site. Veja aqui
  27. deews | May 15, 2018

    commercial flour mill

    Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.

  28. jamsbond | May 15, 2018
    That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck.mindfulness
  29. anosh alassi | May 15, 2018
    تعتبر شركات مكافحة حشرات بالرياض من اكبر شركات مكافحة الحشرات بشهادة عملائنا من الشركات التي استحوذت علي الصدارة في مجالات خدمة مكافحة الحشرات وايضا رش المبيدات ,وخاصة بالرياض حيث تعد  شركات رش مبيدات بالرياض اولي الشركات التي تقدم خدمات المكافحة ورش المبيدات فلدينا ستتعرف علي مدي اهتمامنا بتلك الخدمات وكيفية القضاء علي الحشرات بشكل نهائي وفعال مع ضمان عدم عودتها مرة اخري كما اننا نمتلك احدث طرق المكافحة لمواكبة العصر وتقديم كل ما هو جديد فأن المميزات التي تقدمها شركة الشعلة لعملائها الكرام لا تعطيها العديد من الشركات في شركات مكافحة البق بالرياض ورش المبيدات فأن اعتمادنا الاول والاخير علي احدث الادوات والاجهزة التكنولوجية والمعدات الحديثة استنادا الي الاستعانة بامهر العمالة المدربة والمتخصصة في تقديم كافة الخدمات ولاستخدام تلك الادوات والتعامل مع مواد الرش المستخدمة بحرص شديد والتي تكون اكثر فاعلية علي الحشرات ولكن في نفس الوقت امنة علي حياة الانسان وليس لها اي تأثير سلبي فنحن نعتمد علي افضل المواد الصديقة للبيئة والتي لا تضر بصحة الانسان فسوف نعرض لكم بعض المبيدات التي تستخدمها شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض : شركات مكافحة الصراصير بالرياض اولا : تستخدم شركتنا المبيدات التي تقوم بطرد الحشرات وذلك يتم من خلال نشرها في كافة ارجاء المكان واكثر الاماكن المتواجد بها الحشرات فهي تعمل نفور الحشرات بسبب رائحتها النفاذة والقوية ومن امثلة تلك  المبيدات النفتالين وزيت الكافور . شركات مكافحة الفئران بالرياض ثانيا: استخدام المبيدات الجاذبة للحشرات وتكون تلك المبيدات تتمثل في شكل مواد طبيعية تعمل علي جذب الحشرات اليها ليتم اصطيادها بشكل سهل وسريع والقضاء عليها بشكل فعال ونهائي ثالثا : هناك ايضا اقوي انواع المبيدات وهي المبيدات السامة التي تؤدي الي تسمم وموت الحشرات بشكل نهائي ويتم ذلك من خلال استنشاق او لمس هذة المبيدات وحينها يتم القضاء علي الحشرات بشكل نهائي مع ضمان عدم عودتها مرة اخري . مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض رابعا : وايضا تستخدم شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض المبيدات العضوية ويتم ذلك عن طريق خلطها مع المواد العضوية وتتميز تلك المبيدات بانها تستهدف الحشرات بعينها استهداف كلي ويتم ذلك من خلال تناول الحشرات لتلك المبيدات العضوية للقضاء عليها فور تناولها . شركات مكافحة الوزغ بالرياض لا تترد عملينا العزيز في التواصل معنا والتعرف علي ارخص الاسعار المقدمة من شركات مكافحة حمام بالرياضوالحصول علي اقوي العروض المقدمة من شركة الشعلة فنحن نتميز بأحتلال المرتبة الاولي والتميز في تقديم خدماتنا علي اكمل وجه وفي احسن صورة ممكنة فنحن نقدم احدث التقنيات واحدث الادوات التي تقتل الحشرات بشكل نهائي وفعال كما توفر شركتنا افضل العمالة المدربة والمتخصصة في مجالات المكافحة ورش المبيدات فنحن جاهزين للرد علي جميع استفساراتكم في اي وقت لتوفير حياة افضل خالية من اي قلق من تواجد الحشرات بأي مكان .
  30. sohail khatri | May 15, 2018
    Yes, I am entirely agreed with this article, and I just want say that this article is very helpful and enlightening. I also have some precious piece of concerned info !!!!!!Thanks. forinamouti cricket Guruji
  31. muhammad AK | May 15, 2018
    Thanks so much for the blog. Thanks Again. Much obliged.hidradenitis suppurativa vitamin c
  32. digitinc | May 14, 2018
    Great post. I am glad to see this post. All the info are very informative and useful for us, thanks and keep it up! Kiev Tıp Üniversitesi
  33. adnankhatri | May 14, 2018
    A voyance en ligne  is easy to find when you need to meet a fortune teller able to speak to you about your future. To the 0892 22 20 33, a voyance pas cher is always available. You can talk to a true fortune-teller and ask here all you want to know. She will use tarot cards, cristal ball, pendulum and more to help you and give you the answers. This is a voyance sans attente, for everyone who need it.
  34. jamsbond | May 14, 2018
    That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck.fifa world cup live, world cup live
  35. SSTV | May 14, 2018
    Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Ukrayna Kiev Üniversitesi
  36. Email (optional | May 14, 2018
    The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday announced the official results of 2018 Senate elections. here
  37. sohail khatri | May 14, 2018
    iSmartSafe home security systems are DIY, self-controlled and self-monitored wireless home security systems with no monthly fees and no contracts required. The systems are the most advanced home security systems in the current market with WiFi and Cellular double connection built-in. Home Security cameras and video doorbell are also available in iSmartSafe. The systems can be easily expanded and customized. Wireless Home security Camera
  38. daniyal157 | May 14, 2018
    Fantastic blog post.Really many thanks! Cool.Really appreciate you sharing this post.Really getting excited about read more. Awesome.Im obliged for the article.Really thank you! Great.Thanks for the blog article.Much thanks again., awesome article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.I really enjoy the article. Awesome.Looking forward to reading more. Great article post.Thanks Again. Great.I truly appreciate this article. Much obliged.Netflix Help
  39. muhammad AK | May 14, 2018
    I value the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.comprar seguidores instagram
  40. adilkhatri | May 14, 2018
    we are proud to present you our advanced and highly specific online medical symptom checker,  The clinic online
  41. daniyal157 | May 13, 2018
    Really liked this short article post. Cool.Thank you for the blog.Really many thanks! Fantastic.Thank you very for you personally post. Hold writing.I cannot thanks enough for the blog.Really thanks! Fantastic.I appreciate you discussing this website post.Really looking forward to study more. sewing machine and embroidery combined
  42. sohail khatri | May 13, 2018
    Wow, What an Outstanding post. I found this too much informatics. It is what I was seeking for. I would like to recommend you that please keep sharing such type of info.If possible, Thanks. ΚΛΕΙΔΑΡΙΕΣ ΑΣΦΑΛΕΙΑΣ ΠΡΟΣΦΟΡΕΣ
  43. deews | May 13, 2018

    Broward SEO company

    This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck.

  44. daniyal157 | May 13, 2018
    Awesome post.Really getting excited about study more. Want more.como conseguir seguidores no instagram
  45. adilkhatri | May 12, 2018
    I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site,I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles.  Garo Kassabian
  46. adilkhatri | May 12, 2018
    This is in like way an OK post which I extremely invigorating examining. It isn't each day that I have the likelihood to see something like this..  inspiring art
  47. adilkhatri | May 12, 2018
    Effectively, the article is really the best point on this registry related issue. I fit in with your decisions and will energetically anticipate your next updates.  Ophthalmology Nashville
  48. Avast Support | May 12, 2018
    Avast Antivirus is a world-renowned name in the field of internet security and antivirus. Avast services are available for almost all the computing device in the market and secure them against the critical virus, spyware, malware, Trojan files and ransomware AVAST SUPPORT
  49. Avast Support | May 12, 2018
    Avast Antivirus is a world-renowned name in the field of internet security and antivirus. Avast services are available for almost all the computing device in the market and secure them against the critical virus, spyware, malware, Trojan files and ransomware AVAST SUPPORT
  50. crazybrotees | May 12, 2018
    This is a very good post which I really enjoy reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.crazybrotees

    Leave a comment

    Drawings and charts for the movement of guns on British railways.

    British Pathe film, Giant Gun on the Railway 1914-1918.


    Electrical Engineering Departments were first created by the Admiralty in 1903; Charles Henry Wordingham was made Superintending Electrical Engineer with two Assistants of whom William McClelland was one, the quotes are his. Electrical Engineers were appointed at each Dockyard. The war brought with it challenges for the fitting and maintenance of the fleet:

    “Early in the 1914-18 War, Admiral Sir Percy Scott, a well-known gunnery expert, walked into my room one morning, and, with his pencil drew on my blotting pad, an outline of a ship saying, “that’s the hull, that’s the tower; that’s the control room below; we want to control all turret guns from the top; if that is shot away, we then control from the room below; if that becomes flooded or damaged, we then control from a certain turret; any damaged parts must be capable of being isolated quickly with switch-over arrangements. Now McClelland, how long will it take to wire 30 first line ships at sea, the ships to remain at an hour’s notice for action?"

    McClelland's response was ignored, he was given 6 months and told to make arrangements to get the dockyard workmen to the Fleet. When the Fleet went to sea, the workmen often went with them; some were in action and were specially commended by the Commander in Chief.

    HMS Invincible, the fast Battle-Cruiser was urgently needed. She was under refit, her guns removed, and electrically she was nearly stripped. The extent of the electrical work involved was such that the Electrical Engineering Department could not complete the ship concurrently with other departments. Labour was not available in the dockyards. "The First Sea Lord said that, if it were a question of men, we should get them where we liked and how we liked, paying what was necessary, and if anyone say ‘nay’, that person should be referred to him, but without any doubt whatsoever, the ship must leave on the date given"He attached heavy penalties for any individual or Department failing to meet targets. Adverts were placed and over 200 men were found in a few days. Invincible left the dockyard on time; in the Falklands, she arrived just in time to catch and sink the German ships, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. "Thus the Electrical Engineering Departments got through the 1914-1918 War, by sheer hard work and determination".

    New designs of ships, new construction and maintenance seemed unending; senior staff were engaged with all sorts of new electrical problems almost daily, they were much worried by the constant pressure and over-work. As an indication of the magnitude of the tasks, the number of electrical refits of ships was 48,630; the organisation for that one item, with its enormous supplies of materials, electrical machinery, and equipment from all over the country, had to be created without any previous experience of prolonged war in a comparatively new industry. The smooth and rapid expansion was made possible by the recruitment of suitable junior officers from the dockyards, who worked very efficiently.

    Sir Oswyn Murray Letter P1
    Letter to McClelland from Sir Oswyn Murray, Permanent Secretary of the Admiralty (the head of the Admiralty Civil Service in 1917) regarding his war work.


    Engineers played a vital role in moving troops, supplies and equipment. At the beginning of the War, the British Army did not have specialist material for building heavy bridges, nor the technical intelligence to be able to work out what might be required. The earliest forms of equipment bridging were based on pontoons which continued to be useful carrying guns and light equipment across rivers but the introduction of mechanical transport resulted in a large increase of axle load and the need to develop bridges to take heavier loads.

    The first need for heavy bridges was over the River Aisne on 13 September 1914, when the retreating German army destroyed the Pont Saint Waast leaving the allies unable to follow. The Royal Engineers built several pontoon bridges over the next few weeks followed by a heavy wooden girder bridge, the Pont des Anglais, at Sousson. The bridge was built under enemy fire and using any available materials including floorboards from local houses; it took too long to build resulting in a demand for steel spans to be sent.

      The first British equipment bridge was called the Inglis Portable Military Bridge (Light Type) invented by Sir Charles Inglis. Although the spans were invented in 1909 whilst Inglis was involved with the Cambridge University Officer Training Corps, they were first used as a self-contained portable bridge during WWI. Inglis was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1914; in1916 he was put in charge of bridge design and supply at the War Office. The first Inglis bridge consisted of pyramidal bays 8ft square created by 8ft long steel tubes connected by specially designed fittings, not unlike modern scaffolding.  It was designed to carry infantry in single file over a 120ft span and was easily transported  requiring little specialist training to construct.  At the first demonstration in France, a 108ft span was thrown across a canal in 13 minutes by an untrained party of Army Service Corps. On 28 September 1918 200 sappers from the Royal Engineers built a 108 ft span bridge over the Canal du Nord at Marquion in twelve and a half construction hours over several days whilst under fire.

      Although the Inglis Bridge was the best military bridge of the time, being fast to construct and carrying heavy loads, its tubular steel construction made it expensive and slow to manufacture. The Hopkins Bridge designed by Captain Hopkins, Royal Engineers, was a cheaper alternative. This bridge used conventional steel girders bolted together but the bolts meant construction was much slower than the Inglis. This meant that when speed was an issue, an Inglis bridge was often built which was then later replaced by a Hopkins bridge allowing the Inglis bridge to be re-used. The Hopkins bridge was designed to carry tanks. It consisted of steel Warren trusses and could be made in spans of multiples of 15ft. It was successful and a lorry bridge was designed, it was still at the experimental stage in 1918.

      The main disadvantage of girder bridges such as the Inglis and Hopkins was that they were not very adaptable; resulting in them often being stronger and heavier than required.  This problem led to the design of the Martel box girder bridge in 1925 which was used in the Second World War. These latter developments were as a direct result of engineers work from 1914 onwards.

      WWI Hopkins road bridge213
      Line drawing with technical details, Hopkins.

      Hopkins road bridge
      Hopkins road bridge being placed during the war.

      120ft Hopkins Bridge at Arques
      120ft Hopkins Bridge in use during the war at Arques.

      ​'Giant Gun on Railway' film, British Pathe Archive.


      Gun wagon charts/drawings, IMechE Archive.

      McClelland letter and portrait, IET Archive.

      Hopkins Bridge images, ICE Archive.