Whistlers perform the King’s Cross Shuffle

Two Class 40s (as yet unidentified) are performing the shunting manoeuvre required to get from the King's Cross fuelling point to the platform roads. The date is some time in 1973.

Two Class 40s (as yet unidentified) are performing the shunting manoeuvre required to get from the King’s Cross fuelling point to the platform roads. The date is some time in 1972/3.

The King’s Cross Shuffle

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!

Bog-Crates in 1970s East Anglia

A Class 105 DMU (also known as Bog-Crates) departs from Stowmarket towards Ipswich on the 29th June 1978.

A Class 105 DMU (also known as Bog-Crates) departs from Stowmarket towards Ipswich on the 29th June 1978.

Bog-Crates and Semaphores

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.

 

Twilight of the Class 90 Locomotives in East Anglia

Newspaper associated Class 90s, 90011 ‘East Anglia Daily Times: Suffolk & Proud’ (left) and 90002 ‘Eastern Daily Press: 1870-2010, Serving Norfolk for 140 years’ (right) await their departures from Norwich on 18th February 2017. 90011 was working the 13.00 1P39 to Ingatestone, and 90002 worked the 13.30 1P41 to Colchester. Trains were running no further than Ingatestone due to engineering work between there and London Liverpool Street.

Enjoy the Class 90 locomotives while you can…

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:

Date: Saturday 18th February 2017
Loco: 90002 ‘Eastern Daily Press: 1870-2010, Serving Norfolk for 140 years’
Coaching Stock: 11068/11101/10414/12151/12111/12137/12115/12093/12032
DVT: 82103
Weather: Dry

DistanceLocation Elapsed time Speed (mph)
0.00Diss Station 00:000
0.92Palgrave LC 01:3066.2
3.56Mellis LC 03:2691.6
3.79Beecroft (Wright's) LC 03:3493.6
3.91Rectory Rd LC 03:3994.3
6.84Gislingham LC 05:25101
9.49Cow Creek LC 07:0199.3
11.01Wassicks LC 07:56100.5
12.00Haughley Junction 08:3199.7
13.89Regent Street LC 09:4098.9
14.40Stowmarket Station 09:5998.4
17.17Gypsy Lane LC 11:39100.1
17.89Needham Market Station 12:06100.7
19.71Baylam LC 13:11100.3
20.81Barham Sidings 13:52100.6
21.41Claydon LC 14:1575.6
24.52Europa Junction 19:0641.9
25.46East Suffolk Junction 20:2238.4
26.25Ipswich Station22:070

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:

The Speed Graph of the Class 90 run between Diss and Norwich by 90002 on the 1P41 13.48 Diss-Ipswich service win 18th February 2017.

The Speed Graph of the Class 90 run between Diss and Norwich by 90002 on the 1P41 13.48 Diss-Ipswich service win 18th February 2017.

The Altitude Graph of the Class 90 run between Diss and Norwich by 90002 on the 1P41 13.48 Diss-Ipswich service win 18th February 2017.

The Altitude Graph of the Class 90 run between Diss and Norwich by 90002 on the 1P41 13.48 Diss-Ipswich service win 18th February 2017.

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 Driver of Class 90 90002 steps onto the footplate to ready for departure with 1P41 13.30 Norwich to Liverpool Street on 18th February 2017.

The Driver of Class 90 90002 steps onto the footplate to ready for departure with 1P41 13.30 Norwich to Liverpool Street on 18th February 2017.

 

40 years ago the Westerns’ reign ended

A crisp spring Sunday in 1973 sees a Western Class 52 diesel hydraulic idle off Brunel’s superb Saltash bridge as it heads the daily Penzance to Kensington milk train out of Cornwall into Devon and along the sinuous section of the GWR on the way to Plymouth and beyond.

A crisp spring Sunday in 1973 sees a Western Class 52 diesel hydraulic idle off Brunel’s superb Saltash bridge as it heads the daily Penzance to Kensington milk train out of Cornwall into Devon and along the sinuous section of the GWR on the way to Plymouth and beyond.

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!

 

Class 40 D200 Photo-call, when and where?

Class 40 40122 sits at Warrington Bank Quay station with a rail tour.....

EE Class 40, 40122 (as D200), sits at Warrington Bank Quay station with a railtour…..

Warrington Photo-call for Class 40 Pioneer

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.

There will be many more photographs of Class 40s available to purchase at Lineside Photographics in the coming months. The Class 40 Preservation Society (CFPS)  owns and runs three Class 40s (40106, 40135 and 40145).

Paddington Hoovers at rest after 600 mile journey

Class 50s 50050 'Fearless' and 50007 'Sir Edward Elgar' sit at the platform ends at Paddington with the 'The 50 Terminator' Pathfinders Railtour on 26th March 1994.

Class 50s 50050 ‘Fearless’ and 50007 ‘Sir Edward Elgar’ sit at the platform ends at London Paddington station with the ‘The 50 Terminator’ Pathfinders Railtour on 26th March 1994.

Hoovers at Paddington after a 600-mile Railtour

On 24th March 1994, Class 50s 50007 ‘Sir Edward Elgar’ and 50050 ‘Fearless’ hauled the Pathfinders Tours ‘The 50 Terminator’ from London Waterloo station to Yeovil, then on to Exeter St. Davids. From there the train made its way to Penzance before returning to London Paddington station via Exeter and Westbury.

The railtour was the last Class 50 hauled train on British Rail, and it saw them travel over the routes which were the last ones that saw regular Class 50 haulage at the end of their operational time BR.

The outward leg saw them travel from London Waterloo to Exeter St. Davids via Salisbury and Yeovil. After running round the coaching stock the locomotives then worked the train to Penzance where the locomotives were re-fuelled. They then took the train from Penzance to London Paddington via Newbury; arriving back in London a little before midnight. The mileage travelled was close to 600 miles, not bad if you were a ‘Hoover’ basher!

Both 50007 and 50050 are now preserved, and registered for mainline running. This photograph will be added to the Railtours collection soon to be uploaded to the Lineside Photographics website

It all started in the North West

English Electric built Type 5 417 (later 50017) has just passed Mossley Hill on the outskirts of Liverpool with the 11:00 1V83 Liverpool Lime Street to Plymouth service some time in the early 1970s.

When introduced in the late 1960s the Class 50s were used as temporarily to haul services over the non-electrified lines during the electrification of the route north from Crewe to Glasgow. Once the electrification work was completed in 1974 the locomotives were introduced on the Great Western routes from Paddington, themselves ousting the Diesel Hydraulic ‘Westerns’ by 1977.

The introduction of the High Speed Trains to the Great Western saw some of the Class 50s moved to work the London Waterloo to Salisbury and Exeter services, as well as to some of the Birmingham and Oxford services from Paddington.

Due to reliability issues the class were refurbished at Doncaster works between 1979 the 1984. Withdrawal came some ten years after this work was completed, although 18 of the original total of 50 locomotives were preserved.

 

Bullied Pacific locomotives scrapped too early?

Re-built Bullied Merchant Navy Pacific locomotives 35015 'Rotterdam Lloyd' and 35012 'Union Castle' both await their fate at Nine Elms Shed some time in 1964. BR Standard Class 5 73086 'The Green Knight' sits simmers next to them; her fate was still another two years away.

Re-built Bullied Merchant Navy Pacific locomotives 35015 ‘Rotterdam Lloyd’ and 35012 ‘Union Castle’ both await their fate at Nine Elms Shed some time in 1964. BR Standard Class 5 73086 ‘The Green Knight’ sits simmers next to them; her fate was still another two years away.

Bullied Locos scrapped before their time, and at what cost?

Bullied Merchant Navy Pacific locomotives 35015 ‘Rotterdam Lloyd’ and 35002 ‘Union Castle’ were both withdrawn from service with British Railways in early 1964 (possibly the w/e 23rd February). These were the first of the MN Class to be withdrawn, potentially due to them requiring an intermediate overhaul which was deemed too expensive given the impending end of steam some 3 years hence. I find this a strange decision (like so many around this time) given that both locomotives had been re-built less than 6 years earlier; so effectively had many years of service left.

The Modernisation Plan of 1955 seemed to drive every decision thereafter; that, and the accountants struggling to justify spending money on steam locomotives when diesel and electric traction was the ‘future’. Given that the some MN duties were taken over by the Warship locomotives, which themselves were only to last in service for a little over 10 years, highlights the lack of planning that seemed to go on in the implementation of the 1955 Plan.

I’d love to look at the costs of these rebuilds and compare to the new build of diesels to see how close the valuations were. It would also be interesting to look at the day-to-day running costs of steam vs. diesel at this time. If anybody can help with that information or knows where to find then please get in touch.

The BR Standard Class 5 73086 ‘The Green Knight’ lasted another two years after this photograph was taken, but this meant that it only spent 11 years in service itself. The ironic thing is that this locomotive was built after the release of the Modernisation Plan by British Railways in 1955!

The Nine Elms website

In tracking down the location and date of the photograph, I came across a fantastic website dedicated to Nine Elms Shed. A brilliant archive of memories about the railwaymen and operation of the shed. Give it a visit, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Unknown location we need help on!

An unidentified Class 47 powers a fully loaded car transporter train at an unknown location. Nice photo though!

An unidentified Class 47 powers a fully loaded car transporter train at an unknown location. Nice photo though!

Unknown, Unknown and Unknown!

Every now and then you come across a photograph and think – ‘I like that!’ Looking for images to support an article I am writing for my new magazine (more about that soon….), I came across this negative. The only thing that was in the description was – ‘Class 47’; everything else was unknown.

So given the number of amazing people out there on FaceBook and Twitter, I thought it was worth another go at seeing whether anybody can recognise the  location and possibly the train.

My guess is that this is either a train of Ford or Vauxhall cars some time in the late 1970s. Now that would mean that they cars have come from a UK factory in Essex or Merseyside possibly, or maybe the Midlands if the cars are in fact from the Birmingham area…. See what I mean about unknowns!

If I was pushed I would guess that because of the hills in the background that this is possibly in the Yorkshire or Lancashire area. The train appears to be joining the lines on the far left and is climbing an incline from a line that disappears to the right. Not much help, but I am sure some ex-railwaymen or folks interested in signalling may recognise the junction layout.

So any help in reducing the number of unknowns would be most gratefully received!

This begs the question, do you have to know everything about a photograph to like it? I ask myself that regularly as I plough through my old slides trying to remember when it was taken, or what the train was. I rarely took notes, and most were thrown out when I left home.

If I had my time again I would have taken more photographs and taken better notes; and most importantly of all insisted to my Mum that they were important!

Updates to recent posts on the Lineside Photographics Blog

Its always great to get constructive feedback on our posts, and more importantly to gain additional information on the photographs as well. Using FaceBook and Twitter is a great way of getting in touch with ex-railwaymen and enthusiasts who are far more knowledgeable than myself!

Our last two posts raise some questions about locations, dates and services, so its nice to be able to put up another post with some updates to the accompanying information relating to the photographs.

Please feel free to add any additional information about posts on the Blog, or any photographs available to buy at Lineside Photographics.

A Rural Deltic

Class 55 Deltic, 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' arrives at Gainsborough Lea Road station during ECML diversions some time in 1981.

Class 55 Deltic, 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' arrives at Gainsborough Lea Road station during ECML diversions some time in 1981.

This image was posted without any information on the location, train or date. Well thanks to some folks on Facebook I can say that the train is a northbound express from King's Cross which is arriving at Gainsborough Lea Road station where passengers for Retford will take another connecting train. 

I hope to be able to identify the possible date some time in the future, but the nose markings on 55019 date the photograph to 1981, the last year of the loco's service with British Rail.

A WD in Darlington

WD 2-8-0 90149 of Mexborough shed (41F) sits at Darlington Works presumably after some attention. The date is Tuesday 19th November 1963, and judging by the shadows it appears to have been taken during an organised shed visit!

WD 2-8-0 90149 of Mexborough shed (41F) sits at Darlington Works presumably after some attention. The date is Tuesday 19th November 1963, and judging by the shadows it appears to have been taken during an organised shed visit!

After yesterday's posting of the WD 90149, which I had been photographed at Darlington Shed, local folks have identified the photograph as being taken on the roads used to steam locomotives recently out shopped from Darlington North Road works. 

I have still to confirm the date as 23rd November 1963, so if this doesn't match up I'll let folks know!

Its always nice to get more information about our photographs, so if you can provide any information please get in touch.

An afternoon at Darlington North Road Works in November 1963

WD 2-8-0 90149 of Mexborough shed (41F) sits at Darlington Shed presumably after some attention at Darlington works. The date is Tuesday 19th November 1963, and judging by the shadows it appears to have been taken during an organised shed visit!

WD 2-8-0 90149 of Mexborough shed (41F) sits at Darlington Shed presumably after some attention at Darlington North Road Works. The date is Tuesday 19th November 1963, and judging by the shadows it appears to have been taken during an organised shed visit!

Photography at Steam Sheds

There are countless images of steam locomotives at sheds around the country. Images such as this WD at Darlington, were taken by many enthusiasts and photographers to record the everyday workings of a steam shed. Darlington shed was somewhat different due to the Darlington Works maintaining locomotives from all over the Eastern Region, so visitors from afar would often attract spotters and photographers.

I like this photograph for many reasons. The rundown appearance of the WD is only brightened by the newly painted smokebox numberplate and shed plate. I need to check my WD reference book to ensure the date matches those of the maintenance records for 90149.

What I really like about the photograph are the little cameos spread around the picture. The first is the line is the line of shadows thrown by the photographers onto the trackwork in the late afternoon sunshine. There must be at least 10 shadows, each one offering the photographer a different shot of the same scene. Secondly, the wagon containing the kindling wood for starting fires, transferred from the wagon by a hand cart. The buildings behind the loco don’t appear to cater for locomotives anymore, appearing to be too small to allow a loco inside (do you know any different?).

Finally, the locomotive itself offers an insight into the state of British Railways in November 1963. Steam had already been ousted south of Peterborough on the East Coast Main Line (some two months earlier), but freight engines were still the mainstay of freight trains in the Midlands and Yorkshire. 90149 would end its days at Langwith Junction in Nottinghamshire, being withdrawn in January 1966, some 22 years after being built to help the war effort in June 1943. No effort has been made to even clean the engine after its works visit, and I assume that the smokebox id’s were only renewed to help identify the loco from others in the works.

The fact that this locomotive was kept working seems, to me at least, to raise questions about the Modernisation Plan, and especially its implementation.

More on that thought it further posts!