This fascinating photograph by Peter Collins shows two ladies deep in conversation as they walk towards Clapham Junction station from the adjacent Carriage Sidings. I know its a long shot, but does anybody recognise them, or possibly know what role they had with the railways. The photograph was taken sometime in the early 1970s.
The GUV parcels van will be working a postal or newspaper train later in the day from Waterloo, possibly hauled by E6007. The TC set behind the ‘ED’ is a familiar site; but what is intriguing are the two Buffet cars in a rake off coaches seen on the right of the photograph.
Given the photo is of Clapham carriage Sidings this isn’t unusual in itself, but did any of the Boat Trains run from Waterloo have two adjacent Buffet cars in the formation?
Anybody who can help identify the two ladies or their possible job, or who can yield information on the 2-Buffet train formation please contact us using the form below or via Social Media
An evocative photograph by Peter Collins taken at Crewe in the early 1970s. Class 86 Electric E3167 (later 86007, 86407 and now currently operational as 86607) awaits departure amongst the trollies with working 1A28, a southbound express to London; but can anybody tell me the actual service?
I’m a little rusty when it comes to West Coast electrification and without a Working Timetable I don’t know if this is an Anglo-Scottish service or one from Liverpool or Manchester.
In addition to the service I’ve also slightly enlarged both the driver and the trainspotter, so if you can identify either of them I would also appreciate it. I believe the photo to have been taken in 1971-1973, but cannot give a more precise date than that. The spotter has a pen and piece of paper in hand, and is maybe looking use one of the empty trollies as a seat for the next few minutes.
Many things have changed since the photograph was taken; the complete lack of trollies at stations these days, the removal of flagstones on platforms and of course the lack of any parcels traffic on stations. The only surprise is that the locomotive is still operational with Freightliner running as 86607. What I wouldn’t give now for such a scene at Crewe or any station these days. The bland trains stand at a bland station, and more often than not the spotters are over 50!
Please use the form below to contact us if you know the service, or can identify the driver or spotter.
This fabulous shot shows Class 37 ‘Syphon’ 6744 (later 37044) in what appears to be a fresh coat of BR Blue paint, next to a BR Green Class 31 inside one of Stratford’s maintenance sheds. Peter’s notes seem to suggest that this photo was taken in the early 1970s; but looking at the excellent Class 37 Locomotive Group website, I am beginning to doubt the dates being this late, so I’m hoping somebody may be able to help me.
According to the C37LG 6744 received it’s first coat of BR Blue some time in August 1969. It was Dual-Brake fitted in September 1969, but I am unsure where this work would have taken place. There looks to be an awful lot of pipes at the front of 6744 in the picture, but not being an expert maybe somebody can help me out. The bodywork, bogies and pipe valves all look to be be freshly painted so it does seem to be ex-works. The loco is still sporting frost grills over the radiator vents, so maybe this helps identify the date too?
The final piece of the puzzle is that the loco is still sporting a March shed code (also showing 31B), so this puts the date before September 1973 when the loco moved to Stratford shed.
So, can anybody help me narrow down the date between August ’69 and September ’73? Also can anybody tell me where the nicknames ‘Syphon’ – for 37s, and ‘Peds’ – for 31s came from? If you can help with either then please contact me using the form below.
As we revealed in our last post we are pleased to showcase photographs from the renowned railway photographer, John Stiles; but at least initially we will be concentrating on John’s renewed passion for military aviation and vintage transport. Our first featured photograph is of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Avro Lancaster PA474 ‘City of Lincoln’. This fabulous night-time shot was taken at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire in 2012.
The photograph re-lives the routine that Lancasters and other aircraft of Bomber Command would go through during the Second World War when night-time raids on Germany were a regular occurance. As it happens, PA474 never took part in any bombing raids as it was built after VE day, rolling off the production line at Vickers Armstrong Broughton factory at Hawarden Airfield, Chester on 31 May 1945. It was being prepared to be shipped to Japan when the war ended in the Far East too!
After use in photo reconnaissance work in South Africa, and various roles in experimental aerofoil designs the aircraft was reprieved from being used as a static exhibit by Wing Commander D’Arcy, the Commanding Officer of 44 Squadron (then flying Vulcans at RAF Waddington) in 1965. Having been flown to Waddington it was found that the aircraft was in sound condition and over the following eight years the aircraft was restored back to it’s original condition, joining the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in 1973. (For more information please visit the BBMF website.)
The photograph is now available to buy as either an A4 or A3 print, or as a Digital Download. We do offer Wall Mounted products too, contact us through the Form below for further details, and we will see how we can help meet your requirements.
On Monday 19th June 2017, I had decided to use the clear summer skies to photograph the diverted freights through Stockport; by 11am I had already realised it was possibly a bit too hot as temperatures were already approaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Having decided to find shade as much as possible, I managed to get this decent shot along with a few more. Class 70 ‘Slugs’ are a rare breed on the stretch of line between Slade Junction and Wilmslow, but with all freight being diverted from their normal route via the Styal line due to some issues with pointwork at the junctions feeding Manchester Airport, they are currently seen several times a day.
The 4L90 service is scheduled for a 1275 tonne train, so when only 4 wagons turned up I managed to get a decent composition as the driver opened up for the quick sprint towards Stockport. I’m not sure whether this is a normal load for this Monday Only (MO) train, but I might have to see if I can catch it again soon.
I’ll put some more photos in another post soon, but thought this one deserved to be seen on its own!
Another fine Peter Collins’ photograph shows two Class 40s performing the King’s Cross Shuffle between the fuel stabling point and the platforms. This complex manoeuvre was necessary due to the cramped layout of the stabling point just to the west of the station throat by the Gasworks Tunnel.
The furthest locomotive is standing at the north end of Platform 16 (or 14 depending on the date of the photo). This platform was for Northbound services between Moorgate and the Hertfordshire suburbs; the Southbound trains using the York Road station on the far east of the King’s Cross complex. The Moorgate services were diverted away from the King’s Cross station to use the Northern City Line in November 1976, and the Platform seen here was closed in 1977 as part of the construction works for the electrification of the suburban routes out of King’s Cross. The stabling point was closed in May 1979, with locomotives subsequently being serviced at Finsbury Park Depot to the north.
Whilst both locos have disc head-codes, the loco in the platform sports the new BR Blue livery, although still with pre-TOPS number, whereas the loco in the foreground is painted in BR Green and has a pre-TOPS number.
The train shed of St. Pancras Station forms a fine backdrop to the photograph. Whilst this scene is unchanged since steam days at King’s Cross nearly all of it has been swept away (including probably the locomotives) during the station’s modernisation and rationalisation. Whilst steam had ended in 1963, some ten years previously, many of the operating practices were still in place at this time, and one can imagine two A1 Pacifics in place of the Type 4s just as easily!
I started trainspotting in East Anglia in 1976; a hobby that started with the purchase of an Ian Allan Combined Volume after seeing Deltic 55006 ‘Fife and Forfar Yeomanry’ on a King’s Cross to Edinburgh express at a Northumberland Level Crossing. My normal spotting, however, was of ‘Bog-Crates’ in sleepy Suffolk.
Living only 200 yards away from the Cambridge/Ely to Ipswich railway line I had a good starting point for ‘cops’! My local station, Thurston, had been a manned station until January 1967, and until 1976 still had a coal train tripped from Bury St. Edmunds by the station pilot (normally a Class 08 shunter). Having a goods yard, Thurston also had a signal-box, which controlled the local semaphore signals.
The Ipswich-Cambridge trains were operated by Class 101 or Class 105 DMUs, although a notable exception was a train which started at Liverpool Street at 4am and made its way back to London via Ipswich and Cambridge. The DMUs were affectionately called ‘Bog-Crates’, a name I used but to this day I have no idea where it came from; other than the fact that the units were showing their age and had a toilet!
The picture above was taken by an Oldham photographer who visited East Anglia in the mid-late 1970s. The slide it is from has the processing date as July 1978, but no details of the date or service. In the deepest recesses of my memory I remembered that the at this time DMUs often displayed the day and date in the window of the unit, and this photo shows 29 and ‘Thurs’. Sure enough, the 29th June 1978 was indeed a Thursday, so I had the date of when the photo was taken.
All the photo shows is that the destination is Ipswich, but it is also displaying a ’64’ in the window; so is this the route, or something else? Can anybody answer this question? For a little help another photo shows the same ’64’ and a destination of Leicester, also on a Class 105 DMU, but not the same one.
If anybody can help then please drop me a line below.
I’ve become a little disillusioned with the traction scene on the UK railways for a number of years. The decline of heritage traction coincided with the move to multiple units. The Voyagers and Pendolinos introduced by Virgin are charecterless, and in the case of the Voyagers are uncomfortable, cramped and seriously lacking in baggage storage. Thankfully, The Greater Anglia Class 90 locomotives still offer an opportunity for loco-hauled travel.
It look like the move towards soulless travel will continue with Greater Anglia’s move to a total Multiple Unit based fleet, and the introduction of the Hitachi trains on Great Western and East Coast franchises. This leaves only Trans Pennine Express buying locomotives and coaches (offering some degree of flexibility) for future loco-hauled travel.
The Class 90s currently offer the only full Inter-City loco hauled service between London and Norwich, so whilst it lasts and whenever possible I will be trying to travel behind and photograph the fleet.
Similarly the HSTs and Class 91s are soon to be relegated from regular travel, so again I will be trying to get haulage and photos of as many as possible before the onward march of “tubes” continues.
Photo Bashing/Timing Project
As part of the project to capture the last days of regular locomotive hauled travel I will also try and produce logs of journeys. Whilst travelling on an Anglia Ranger Plus ticket on 18th February I stumbled across and App for the iPhone called SpeedTracker. For £3.99 the app will produce logs of journeys including data output for speed, distance, altitude and time. In addition it also provides an accuracy figure based upon the GPS signal.
Having discovered the App late in the day, I only the had to use it on a journey between Diss and Ipswich, and the log of the journey follows below:
Using Microsoft Excel (which I am no expert in) I have also managed to generate a Speed and Altitude graph for the run as below:
As can be seen from the log and graphs, the Class 90 had no problem in accelerating away from Diss and continuing to do so despite climbing. 100mph was reached and sustained for most of the journey with a slight slowing for the bends approaching Stowmarket. Unfortunately, the high speed running was interrupted by a Signal Check near milepost 73 near Barham Sidings. I suspect that it was due to a preceding container train, but from then on the journey was somewhat slow!
I hope to undertake more runs and will be bringing these to the blog as and when I can.
I would be interested in any comments people may have on these posts, and whether they are interested or not really bothered!
The Westerns were withdrawn on 28th February 1977, 40 years ago!
The Diesel Hydraulic Westerns were withdrawn 40 years ago today. They had developed a following somewhat similar to steam engines that had been withdrawn only 10 years earlier, and were the first of the express diesel engines to be superseded by the High Speed Train (HST).
I’m not sure I ever saw a Western before withdrawal, as the Deltics were my thing living in East Anglia; but I’ve got a soft spot for them having seen them in preservation. They seemed to rekindle the spirit of trainspotting and railway enthusiasm which had died somewhat after steam, probably because like steam engines they were kept in a decrepid state towards the end of their working lives.
Peter Hutchinson managed to take some evocative shots of the class when they still held sway on the Western Region, and his shots will be uploaded soon to the Lineside Photographics website.
Peter’s shot of this Western heading the daily milk train out of Cornwall towards London embodies everything about the Western Region; Brunel’s iconic Saltash Bridge, the Western Region’s decision to go it alone with diesel-hydraulic traction and a milk train. Whilst the bridge still stands, and some Westerns were preserved, the milk train is from a bygone age, replaced by articulated lorries.
The Westerns really started the new-age of enthusiasts ‘bashing’ trains, the Deltics quickly followed and then it was the Class 40s and Class 37s which seemed to be the last of the old-guard of BR diesels with a cult following. Oh for it to be 1977 again!
EE Class 40 pioneer 40122 (painted as D200) sits at Warrington Bank Quay station (I think) with a railtour. Those are the only details I have for this photograph so I am hoping that somebody recognises themselves or was involved with the tour so that I can get some more details!
The fervour and adulation surrounding the withdrawal of the Class 40s seemed to surpass the EE Class 55 Deltic locomotives at times, and as this photograph shows the Whistler fans spanned the age groups. As the numbers of locomotives dwindled so the fans grew in numbers, and as the class seemed to be concentrated on services in and around the north-west of England, memories of 1968 (and all that) must have been re-kindled!
If you can help with any information on the railtour, date and confirmation of location then I would appreciate it.