The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society
No.135 - Spring 2006
Annual General Meeting
A successful AGM was held at the Salutation on 15 January 2006, attended by 20 members.
As a result of the AGM, the Committee for 2006 will remain unchanged.
One of the highlights of 2005 was our visit to Barrow Hill. A number of members also enjoyed visits to the museum at Doncaster Grammar School, courtesy of Tony Peart (see photo on back page and ‘team photo’ on page 10). Unfortunately 2005 also saw the passing of Jack Davis.
Ideas for visits in 2006 included:
· Appleby / Frodingham Steel Works
· Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
· Barrow Hill
· North Yorkshire Moors Railway
· D Doncaster Grammar School Museum
Further details will be included in future editions of Trans Pennine.
The Committee would also like to thank the Management of the Salutation for the superb complimentary buffet laid on at the end of the meeting.
Renewal of Membership Fees
We would like to thank all those members who have renewed their subscription to the Pennine Railway Society for 2006. It is not too late to rejoin. Simply send your cheque for £5, payable to the Pennine Railway Society, to Tony Caddick, our Membership Secretary, at the address shown at the front of the magazine. By return you will receive a free 2006 PRS pocket diary.
For those of you who are not rejoining, this will be the final magazine you will receive. In these circumstances we thank you for your past support and hope you may consider rejoining the Pennine at some future date.
Robin has produced an excellent programme of social events for 2006. Come and join us on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month at The Salutation, South Parade, Doncaster (approx 12 minutes walk from Doncaster Station). Meetings start at 8.00pm.
We have a well-furnished private function room, and all are welcome. Bring a friend along too.
Make it a date - Wednesdays at 8.
A list of our Spring events is shown elsewhere in the magazine.
This year, again, the Shield was contested by only two teams and the Pennine Railway Society came out on top after closely beating the Dore Loco Society in both rounds.
Subject to confirmation, we will again be visiting Barrow Hill in 2006. The date set aside is Monday 3 July for our private visit.
Our friends from FAST (Felix and Sheffield Transport) will be asked to provide a preserved bus for those travelling from Doncaster and the Sheffield area.
Further details will follow.
Barrow Hill 2006
The planned events at Barrow Hill Roundhouse for 2006 are:
Fri/Sat May 19th & 20th - Rail Ale Festival
Sat/Sun 8th & 9th July - Diesel Gala
Sat/Sun 9th & 10th September - Special event being planned
Sat/Sun 21st & 22nd October - Steam Event based around two B1s plus a B12
December 10th & 17th - Santa Steam Trains
Eurostar carried 71% of all passengers between London and Paris and 64% between London and Brussels last year, carrying 7.5m passengers. Punctuality shows 86.3% of its trains arrive on time.
2006 sales are expected to increase by association with the novel The Da Vinci Code, set in Paris. Eurostar is co-marketing the film version. In addition, as part of a tie-up with Germany’s Deutsche Bahn for the World Cup, football fans will be able to reach England’s game in Cologne in 5 hours.
Under new powers given to the Police, our hobby is under threat.
Latest “please move on sir” was issued to a bus spotter at Park Lane Interchange, Tyne and Wear.
Will our own Sooty’s collar be next to be felt?
Grand Central has been given the green light to take up scarce train paths on the ECML and run services between Sunderland and London from 2007.
Applications to the Office of Rail Regulation for GNER to run additional trains to Leeds and Grand Central to serve Bradford have been turned down.
New Grand Central trains will also serve York, Thirsk, Northallerton, Eaglescliffe (for Teesside) and Hartlepool. The company plans to use new, five coach, Class 222 trains, capable of 125mph operation.
ORR has also told EWS that until Network Rail has completed the route utilisation strategy for the ECML, no more freight trains can be accommodated.
Gatwick Express Under Threat
Gatwick Express services are under threat of withdrawal following proposals from the former SRA to allow for commuter trains stopping at more stations, as part of the Brighton line utilisation study.
Airports operator BAA has come up with a scheme to save the Gatwick Express and provide more capacity on the Brighton line.
The National Railway Museum has been given approval to build a Yorkshire equivalent of the London Eye on its site on London Road.
The photo on the front cover was taken by Chris Theaker. It shows 31271 at Williton on a Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service in May 2005.
Continuing on from last year we will be reprinting items that have appeared in previous editions of Trans Pennine. In this edition, the items reproduced originally appeared in magazine 47 (March 1984).
Shoddy: GNER on the Wrong Track
(from the Daily Mirror, 4 January)
As of this week it will be cheaper to take a flight to the South of France than travel by GNER to Newcastle from London.
The inflation busting 8.8 per cent hike in fares is, we’re told, necessary if the service is to be improved.
This, apparently, means faster trains, improved travel information and better facilities. In other words a complete reversal of the second-rate transport currently on offer.
Let me give you an example. My mother booked a
rail ticket this Christmas believing it to be a first-class return.
It was not. Her departure from London to Newcastle was delayed by
one hour and due to “technical problems” she was forced to change
trains - no assistance offered to the elderly with heavy luggage.
On the coldest day of the year the three-hour journey was bereft of buffet or trolley service.
And on her arrival at Newcastle the GNER representative I’d been assured (no less than three times) would assist her from the train failed to materialise in the event, my 78-year-old mum and suitcase were delivered safely down the ice-covered steps and on to a slippery platform, thanks to a kind passenger who took the time and patience that GNER customer service operatives were clearly unable to spare.
South of France, anyone?
From Trainee to Employee - More tales of my early career…
You may recall from my last article that I had been a BR Graduate Engineer Trainee for around a year. I had to make my selection of “where next”: would it be the Railway Technical Centre or would it be a BR region somewhere? To be honest, I could not see myself as a Tech Centre person, so a region it would be.
In those days, the Director of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering had a manager in charge of graduate career development, who had all the necessary connections to fit trainees in to the organisation. I had an interview with him and expressed an interest in going to a depot post, preferably one with electric traction. That was how I ended up at Selhurst Depot, on the Southern Region!
I still remember my first day at Selhurst - it was a big place. Apart from the expanse of open sidings, there were various sheds. The Inspection Shed was almost new, and looked after the running maintenance side of things. The “home” allocation was a mixture of SR design 2- and 4-EPB units, along with some Class 455 units. Diesel interest centred on the DEMU fleet, mainly 3-car sets of classes 205 and 207, but with the four car “Hastings” set in green livery and a full six car “Hastings” in Blue/Grey! These had gravitated from recently-closed St Leonard’s shed. There was also a selection of Class 09 shunters around.
The Paint Shop had a regular throughput of work. At the time I started, there were still 4-CEP units being painted in the much-loved “Jaffa Cake” livery, the onward march of Chris Green’s NSE livery had not quite reached that part of the world, but it didn’t take long!
The Repair Shop was the place full of big mechanical and electrical bits. If a motor or Wheelset, or even an engine, needed changed, this was where it would end up. Likewise, crash repairs and vehicle conversions could be done here. Adjoining the Repair Shop was the Cleaning Shed, which had once served as the Inspection Shed, before they had the new, state of the art place built at the other end of the site.
My first project at Selhurst was to sort out the random collection of spare parts known as the Inspection Shed stores. When the new building had opened, all of the stuff from the old Inspection Shed had been moved up there and put on shelves, but there was no logic to which parts were where, and the night shift could never find anything! Another reason for my project was to make room for things - not only had Selhurst just gained an allocation of DEMU's, but on the Friday afternoon at the end of my first week there, brand new 319002 glided into the Selhurst end of No 7 road, to serve as the training unit for the fleet of 59 other units that was on the way.
The local trains to Selhurst were a random mix of modern 455s and aged EPBs. As I still had my “all stations” pass, I was able to enjoy a selection of “track-bashing” trips, while trying to “spot” all manner of unseen SR stock. All in the need of “research”, you understand; well, the Southern Region was so different from other parts of BR!
Once I had got the Inspection Shed stores in some form of order, my next major project was the infamous Sandite unit conversion. As you may know, Sandite is a gooey mess spread on the rails in the leaf fall season. Typical SR Sandite trains were retired EMUs with the necessary hoppers and pumps added; very much good old SR technology. My Sandite cars were different, though. Although they were 2-EPB driving trailers (ex Tyneside!), they were to run with “modern” EMU stock, so needed different couplers, totally rewiring and new cab controls. In theory, one of these could couple to the front of, say, a 319 and control it. For on-board power, there was a diesel alternator set. We started to build these contraptions (there were two of them ADB 977578/9) in 1988 and by the time I left the SR in mid 1989 they were still not quite finished. There was a lot of delay waiting for bits of it to be designed and for the parts to arrive before we could build it. I did get useful experience in reading electrical schematics and wiring diagrams though.
Apart from that job, other little jobs included a bit of work on wheelskate usage; purely for research, I got a ride in a 73/0 (on a skate) towed by another 73/0 from Stewart’s Lane to Selhurst, while another trip was on a 4-VEP being skated there from Brighton.
On occasions, I was able to act as a sort of deputy supervisor in the paint shop, which gave a useful insight into how slam doors were overhauled and set-up, there being a lot of these doors on a 4-EPB.
The Repair Shop was, by the very nature of the work it did, one of the more interesting places to be. There were unusual jobs in there from time to time. Locomotive 33023 had suffered a fire on the underframe and damage to the paint work. I was able to get permission for a few tweaks on the livery, such as a light grey roof, red buffer beams and, for a few days, white cab window surrounds.
There was no traction power in the repair shop, so if an EMU was coming in it would coast and when it was finished one of the overhead cranes would hook on to the solebars and propel it out far enough until the front end shoegear was on the juice rail. Apparently, on one occasion, the driver who came to move the unit thought it did not feel right, so went back to check and found the overhead crane still attached. If he had just driven away…
One night, the night shift pushed a 4-CIG unit out of the repair shop and into the side of a Class 101 DMU; the latter was a three car set parked in a two car siding. Selhurst got the job of doing the body repairs and as the resident DMU enthusiast I was enrolled to help moving the thing into the Repair Shop, also to lead a raiding party to Old Oak Common to get parts off a scrap vehicle.
The Paint Shop painters had a break from the steady flow of EMUs going into NSE colours when they had a 73/0 to paint in a special shade of blue. When they applied the name, “Mid Hants - Watercress Line” from memory, there was the excitement of drilling the mounting holes and hoping they missed any pipes and wiring! Also on a Mid Hants theme, their “wine and dine” train came to Selhurst for an overhaul to main line standards. Some years later, I would enjoy many rides on that particular train on its home line. The Repair Shop also did some work for the Orient Express, admittedly only on a “Baggage Car”, a Mark 1 GUV that they modified to have buckeye couplers.
A Southern oddity was the “MLV” - the Motorised Luggage Van. These single cars were notable for their traction batteries, to enable operation on the dock lines, away from the juice rail. 9004 was the first one to gain Royal Mail red livery, as applied to TPO stock, and the Repair Shop painters were well on with the next, 9001, when the first was involved in the “Great Purley Train Robbery”. The thieves only got away with some old newspapers, but it was deemed that this livery sent out a “please raid me” message. As a consequence, 9001 was soon painted in NSE colours with 9004 following soon after, but only when the painters could get the yellow stripes off the side - they had varnished them too well!
Well known author and former railwayman Dick Hardy was honoured by having 09012 named after him. The overhaul and painting into “Executive” livery was done in the Repair Shop; initially it did not want to work properly, only being able to give reduced power. It was me that coined the name “Sick Dick”.
A notable SR DEMU was Class 205 set 1111. This had been refurbished and had additional wiring to enable it to run in multiple with almost everything on the SR, probably even the Mess Room kettle. It came to the Paint Shop one Friday for a “quickie” repaint from Blue/Grey into NSE colours over the weekend. Wrong. It was only the paint that was holding the body together, so off to the Repair Shop for some medication. Its former depot, St Leonards, is right by the sea and only one side of the unit was actually rusty! The centre trailer had obviously been turned relative to the other cars at some point, though, as it was rusty on the other side.
Occasionally, I would get out and about. Someone in Network South East initiated the “NSE Fleet Audit”, where every train had to be checked for things such as seat colours and type of No Smoking labels, amongst other things. I was assigned to track down all the Selhurst 319s and 455s. Paid trainspotting! One of the Class 73s was to be named with a Portsmouth theme and above the nameplates there were to be plaques with an HMS Victory theme. A firm in York made these, and I was sent to fetch them. A tough job…
Following a derailment at Norwood Junction station the Brighton 75 ton steam crane was in attendance. After restoring order, it seems that the propelling move to get the Brighton crane onto the down slow line at Selhurst station had run through the trap points and its tool van ended up teetering over part of the depot. It was propped up on the retaining wall below it and the adjacent main line could return to somewhere closer to line speed pending the big steam crane rescuing its own support vehicle!
Many years ago, the Italian model railway manufacturer Lima employed a man to visit railway locations to take pictures of locomotives for future models, and to illustrate the catalogue. He was a useful man to know, as on one visit he came bearing gifts for me, like a Class 47 in large logo blue, and one of the first ever Class 40 models in the country!
As the on-site Graduate Trainee, I was usually roped-in to serve as tour guide. One party of primary school children were aghast when I informed them that most of the brown stuff on the underside of the 4-VEP carriage up on the stands was actually poo. On two successive days, I had parties of Norwegian students to take around; on the second day we were in the Inspection Shed and I was asked “Do you ever have accidents”. Two seconds later we were confronted by the doors off the Selhurst end of number 2 road lying on the ground and a Class 09 shunter with slivers of door coloured paint on the buffers. Ooops.
A friend of mine was into destination blinds, headcode boxes and the like and I arranged permission to remove an SR two-digit route number blind unit from a scrap “Hastings” DEMU at Norwood Junction. On the long walk back to my office, I carried the tools while Robert and his mate carried the large aluminium casting with the blind mechanism.
A very special guest at Selhurst Repair Shop was my favourite Deltic, “Royal Scots Grey”, for a traction motor change. The overhead crane was only really for EMUs, so the loco was craned and jacked almost simultaneously, for a successful repair. This loco had been painted two-tone green at Doncaster Works a few years before, but the paint had bubbled almost immediately. Investigation found various blobs of filler and scrunched up pages of the local Donny newspaper. Our top welder set about applying metal patches, and the Repair Shop painters did a top quality repaint. At the time, “Gordon Highlander” was secreted in the Asbestos Shop, this too benefiting from the Selhurst paint brush. One Saturday morning, I even came in specially to assist the “D9000” people tinker with their locomotives. Many years later, I was able to have a couple of rides in the rear cab of 9000 at three figure speeds on the ECML, thanks to their generosity!
To conclude, just a little note about Selhurst cottage industries plc. When certain notable people retired from the railway, they were given gifts in the form of a model train stuffed and mounted on a plinth. With my interest in model railways, I was volunteered to do some of these. One of the vehicle builders did a nice line in varnished wooden plinths, which I would then take home and attach track and trains to. My largest effort was a section of double track with a couple of derailed wagons and a 75 ton crane poised above ready to lift. In those days, I had a classic car that I used to take to shows, and my show plaques were attached to a varnished wooden board, another Selhurst product! The presence of “Royal Scots Grey” in the Repair Shop was convenient as it allowed the Fibreglass Shop chargehand to make a lovely GRP replica nameplate for my collection.
Although there were good times at Selhurst, this was tempered with a succession of rail strikes at that time, but
far worse, the disastrous train crashes at Clapham Junction and Purley.
By the time I left the Southern Region in mid 1989, I had got a “proper” job as a Senior Technical Officer, but it was time to move onwards and upwards, to a railway with electric power in the air.
In The Rain to Leuven
In Belgium on another short winter break, I decided to go to Leuven, an industrial and University City to the east of Brussels. In previous years I had enjoyed fine weather on these November trips abroad, but this time the “Pride of York” arrived at Zeebrugge on a dark, wet morning, and Bruges was shrouded in murk and drizzle.
I travelled to Leuven on one of the hourly push-pull expresses which link Ostend and Eupen. Beyond Ghent, the country became more undulating, the railway running in places over viaducts and through cuttings. Fields and woods and villages passed by in the rain. The display at the end of the carriage announcing the next stop and imminent arrival at a station appeared in French as well as Flemish as we approached Brussels. There seemed to be more buildings around the South station than when I was last here over ten years ago, and as well as many locomotive-hauled passenger trains and multiple-units I noticed diesel locomotives 5316 and 5320 on repair trains, and I got my first sight of a Thalys, 4303 - these are a new series of French High Speed Trains or TGVs, in dark red livery.
A suburban train of double-deck carriages, with a blue-and-yellow electric locomotive at each end, ran almost neck-and-neck with my train on the multiple track from the South station, into the tunnel to the Central station, and out into the open again, among tall new buildings, to the North station.
Beyond Brussels I was in unfamiliar territory. I looked with interest at the many locomotives outside Schaarbeek depot – blue-and-yellow electrics, yellow-and-green diesels, and dark green diesel-hydraulic shunters. Soon my train was out in the country again. The display informing passengers that the next stop was Leuven appeared only in Flemish now that the bilingual capital of’ Belgium was behind us. The first German High Speed Train or ICE I had ever seen passed in the other direction, and I saw diesels 5311 and 6277 on repair trains at Nossegem.
My train ran on, through a succession of stations; villages and small towns were separated by short stretches of attractive countryside. It was still raining. We overtook diesel-hydraulic shunter 7336, named “Mexico”, on a long train of empty wagons and soon the display announced arrival at Leuven and the train was slowing down. Near the line I saw the Stella Artois brewery with the horn symbol which appears above the name of Leuven on every can of Stella.
It was raining quite hard when I alighted at Leuven, where a stylish new overall roof contrasts with the classical station buildings. I photographed three electric locomotives departing in quick succession - 2745 on a train of double-deck carriages bound for Brussels, 1320 at the rear of the express I had just got off, and 1353 at the head of a similar train in the other direction, destination Ostend. I went into the station buffet to have a coffee and give the rain a chance to ease off; I was interested to see pictures of a 2-8-2 steam locomotive on the partition between the buffet and the station concourse. I checked the timetable, decided that I ought to be back at the station for the half-past two train to Ostend, and then set off past an imposing war memorial for an exploration of Leuven.
In spite of the rain, which sometimes dwindled to a light drizzle and for brief periods stopped altogether, I enjoyed my walk around Leuven. It has many fine buildings, and while I was there it was crowded with students on foot or riding bicycles. Many of the picturesque old houses carry a stone plaque with a sword and a flaming torch and the date 1914 to show that they had to be rebuilt after being destroyed by fire during the First World War. The chief glory of Leuven must be its fantastically ornate fifteenth-century Stadhuis or Town Hall, and I also thought the modern University Library with its tall belfry tower in traditional style very attractive. I ate a light lunch in one of the many cafes and bars around the old market place, where a typical students’ landlady makes an unusual subject for a bronze sculpture; I enjoyed an omelette and two glasses of Stella as well an opportunity to get out of the rain and change my film.
I had time for another coffee at the station buffet before going on to the platform for the Ostend train, which drew in behind the same locomotive that had propelled me on my journey to Leuven, 1320; 1312 was on an express for Eupen, 2121 was on a double-deck local train, and while I was in the buffet I had seen Thalys 4303 run through without stopping.
I enjoyed the ride back to Bruges through a gloomy grey afternoon; it took an-hour and a half with stops. I was interested to see a train of Netherlands Railways stock at Brussels as well as 1190 and 1191 in the red-and-yellow livery reserved for the dual-voltage locomotives which operate the Brussels service; Thalys 4331 made a simultaneous departure from the South station with my express, and I got a good look at it as the two trains ran parallel. The clouds were finally breaking as I arrived back at Bruges, and I had time for a little exploration, and to photograph some of the city’s tall towers and spires, before I had to catch the bus to the ferry terminal.
In Defence of Train Spotting
Not so much a hobby as a way of life - how train spotting built up a head of steam in popularity
You see them haunting railway stations, shadowy
figures at the end of the platform, clutching a notebook and a Bic
biro. They may even be wearing an anorak. But it’s not compulsory.
These few uphold the once-proud hobby of train spotting, which, in its hey-day, was enjoyed by thousands of people, of all ages. For those of us lucky enough to be around through the l930s to the 1960s, when steam locomotion reached its zenith, it was an exciting (yes, really) and virtually cost-free pastime.
Exciting may seem the wrong word for a hobby that involves watching a train go by and recording the number or name of the locomotive in a little book. But if that loco was unusual it became exciting.
I lived within easy reach of the LMS line from Bristol and the South West to the North East via Birmingham and Derby. You soon got to know the timetable and what type of locomotive to expect at the head of each train, identifying their home ‘shed’ by the code on the smokebox door.
The sudden appearance of an engine from, say, a remote Scottish shed on a train in the south engendered just as much excitement as a rare migrant bird would cause a birdwatcher.
But this is only part of the story. It is difficult to explain to those not bitten by the bug how exciting the whole railway scene was, especially when steam ruled.
Railway writer Colin Garratt sums it up: “During summer time the familiar train spotting places on main lines would attract hundreds of people; grass was worn off the embankment and we sat on hard dusty patches - a grandstand to one of the finest unfolding dramas of all rime. As in great sport, the thrill of the unexpected loomed behind every quiet moment; thirty classes might be seen on one day and from these any rarity could pass. I remember once when a rare Scottish ‘Jubilee’ worked southwards through Rugby; 150 enthusiasts cheered wildly from the trackside; pens, notebooks and sandwiches flew into the air amid uninhibited enthusiasm.’
With the advent of the railways came train spotters and, by the 1930s a number of periodicals catered for the ever-growing interest in railways.
The ultimate (and almost impossible to achieve aim of serious spotters was to see every British locomotive, or at least those of a particular company. While recording every engine they saw, many spotters concentrated on ‘copping’ every member of just one or two classes of their favourite company - such as the Jubilee Class or the Royal Scots of the LMS (numbering respectively 191 and 71) - all of which bore names.
However, first you needed a list of the locomotives you could expect to see and, to most schoolboys in those early days, this meant copying from a mate’s list, often perpetuating all sorts of errors and misspellings. Fortunately, in 1942, a gentleman by the name of Ian Allan (destined to become the ‘patron saint’ of train spotters) published a small booklet listing all the locomotives currently on the stock of the Southern Railway. This was so successful that similar ‘ABCs’ for each of the other three companies soon followed, and so was launched the publishing house that still appears to lead the field in relation to most forms of transport.
For as little as 1/6d, you could obtain a complete listing of the numbers and (where applicable) names of the locomotives current on the stock of the relevant company (or, following nationalisation in 1948, the region of British Railways that you favoured) with many photographs, dimensions, dates, designers and a wealth of other information.
The Ian Allan Locospotters Club soon followed and by the early 1950s it boasted more than 100,000 members, with branches across the country. In 1959, membership cost 1/3d, which included a badge. Members were encouraged to honour and promote the code of good ‘spottership’ as laid down in the club rules, the main points of which were not to cause hindrance to railway employees or trespass on railway property. By joining a local branch you could take part in organised visits to the more distant loco sheds, sometimes several in a day, thus ‘legalising’ the clandestine visits that many keen spotters were tempted to make in order to ‘complete’ a class of locomotive, which often entailed running the gauntlet of the shed foreman.
From early 1946 Ian Allen helpfully published Trains Illustrated, which enabled spotters to keep their ABC up to date. Post-war paper shortages meant it was on an occasional basis at first but it soon turned monthly, with updates of locomotives withdrawn, new ones introduced and transfers of locos between depots or sheds, as well as articles and information on excursions and special events.
Many spotters became very knowledgeable about their favourite subject and some even developed their hobby into lifelong careers as railway writers and photographers.
So popular did the hobby become in the 1950s that there were inevitable clashes with the railway authorities. For example, the station at Tamworth, where the former LMS line from the West of England to the North East crosses over the West Coast mainline from Euston, was placed out of bounds to spotters for a time because hundreds would gather there at weekends, and no doubt there was a tiny minority (obviously non-members)) who failed to honour the spotters’ code. The following poem headed ‘With apologies to Kipling’ (by M.B.) appeared in Trains Illustrated issue No.4, and admirably sums up what was expected of all spotters:
If you can sit for hours on draughty stations,
With Job-like patience till the trains go through;
If you can put behind you all temptations,
To cross the line and get a ‘better view’;
If you con wait and not get tired by waiting,
Or, being shouted at, not answer bock,
Or being hated, not give way to hating,
And slyly try to ‘trespass on the track’;
If you can brave the righteous wrath of porters,
And still observe the rulings of the game;
If you can take a hand with those ‘defaulters’,
And keep your schoolboy honour, just the same;
If you can fill each unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds worth of ‘spotting’ done,
Yours is the world and everything that’s in it,
And, what is more, you’ll be a ‘spotter’, son.
In the 1960s came dieselisation, electrification and the inevitable demise of steam… and the number of spotters. How could train spotting compete with rock and roll?
But railways still have a fascination - evidenced by the
number of serious clubs and societies that exist, many dating back to pre-grouping days. Today’s flourishing preservations scene has introduced new generations to the subject, and even caters for the desires of would-be engine drivers (myself included) by offering steam locomotive driving courses on most preserved lines.
If you can’t spot ‘em, join ‘em!
This article is reproduced from the January 2006 issue of Best of British, a monthly magazine available from newsagents and on subscription. Please visit www.bestofbritishmag.co.uk or call 01778 342814 for further information.
No 30 TODAY’S RAILWAYS ‘UK’
In Robin’s Review No 17 (Trans Pennine 120) I reviewed Entrain the Platform 5 publication for the British railway enthusiast. Then I said “launching Entrain was a bold move on behalf of Platform 5”. Four years and 48 issues down the line Peter Fox and his team at Platform 5 have decided to review their magazine publications. From issue 49 the magazine Entrain is renamed Today’s Railways ‘UK’ and Today’s Railways is renamed Today’s Railways ‘Europe’. This should remove any confusion as to what Today’s Railways is about, as nobody was really sure about the name Entrain.
Today’s Railways ‘UK’ (Formerly Entrain) is now on edition 50 (February 2006), the cover price is £3.50p and one years subscription is £42.00 for 76 pages in full colour.
The magazine is divided into regulars and features.
Regulars starts with the editorial page Train of Thought mainly written by Peter Fox but Alan Yearsley and Robert Prichard also contribute. News is excellent and consists of 15 pages of bite size chunks, one page of Irish news, and 5 pages of probably the best light rail news available in a British rail enthusiast’s publication. Portfolio is the up to date picture section. There are four pages of half one-page photographs. ‘Mail train’ is the letters page, then two more pages of pictures ‘Blast from the Past’. 15 pages of Rolling Stock news all again in excellent bite size chunks with photographs followed by one page of stock news edited by Robert Prichard. Four pages of Heritage news and 3 pages of Special traffic notice (STN) an excellent title for the railtours section. There is then a further page covering Railtours Diary. Towards the end of Regulars we have reviews, an integral part of any magazine, followed by a new title ‘Grumpy Old Man’ the back page of the magazine in which Peter Fox gives you his opinion on all things railway and other wise.
Features include two excellent articles. The first ‘Connecting London’ is nine pages divided into three sections:
1. Cross London capacity boost,
2. Extending the East London Line,
3. DLR Airport Line.
The other article is ‘Larkhall rejoins the railway Network’ an excellent article on the latest development in Scotland.
There are 5 and 2 half pages of adverts and all bar one is in house Platform 5 advertising.
VERDICT: Today’s Railways UK is an excellent magazine well laid out with some excellent photography, articles news and opinion. The new title will certainly do it no harm in the Railway Enthusiasts readership stakes. The other advantage to changing the title is should the market go belly up merging the two titles back into Today’s Railways would not be too difficult.
If like me you have ever had a conversation with Peter Fox on a train in a Pub or on the end of Platform 5 at Sheffield Midland you will know that the tailpiece section ‘Grumpy Old Man’ has the potential to be a very good and entertaining column. I recommend you go out and buy it!
DW - Since Robin wrote this review issue 51 (March 2006) has been published and the features in this edition are What next for new services on ECML?, The “4 VEP” story and British Railways Class 02.
Ode to the Privatised Railway
By Glyn Gossan
This is the failed train crossing the border
Signs on the doors, toilets out of order
Ran out of water on arrival at Crewe
Punters sat crossed legged, what can they do
The start of the journey, everything’s fine
Well, due out 8.50, departed at nine
Gliding up Camden and onward through Watford
Already an announcement, buffets out of hot food
Traffic is standing on the M1
But the train forges on at over the ton
With a sudden lurch something’s clearly not right
As she grinds to a halt at a red light
Another announcement, Crewe’s got a backlog
Somebody’s mobile rings, oh no, not crazy frog
The silent coach is silent no more
The guilty party’s mobile is hurled to the floor
Someone’s taken exception to the wretched tune
And everyone else hopes they’ll be home soon
By Preston, the situation gets steadily worse
Damned Pendolinos, like riding a horse
The air con’s packed up, given up the ghost
And all the punters start to roast
Over the border, slowly she goes
Time of arrival at Glasgow, God only knows
The border is crossed, and the worst is over
It’s taken that long it could have come from Dover
The driver checks all is clear on the line
What a surprise, she’s way behind time
At last arriving at Glasgow after what seemed a week
Everyone’s desperate, only wanting a leek
Pendolinos may be stylish and nifty
Just give me Mark Two’s and a pair of Fifties!!
Pennine Observer Notes
Recent sightings at Hykeham have been:
Jan 3 60083 on coal train
Jan 9 60004 on oil train
Jan 10 60080 on oil train
Jan 12 60040 on oil train
Jan 16 60040 on oil train
Jan 19 60052 on oil train
66121 on coal train
Jan 23 60053 on oil train
66717 on container train
Jan 26 66710 on ballast train
66715 on container train
Jan 31 66037 on coal train
66228 and 66710 on container trains
Recent sightings at Lincoln have been:
Jan 6 60068+60086 light engine
Jan 11 60019 on oil train
Jan 13 66199 on coal train
Jan 25 66007 on coal train
Feb 1 60078 and 66620 on oil trains
Other recent sightings have been:
Jan 5 08633, 66039 and 66226 at Worksop
Jan 7 66028 on coal train at Gainsborough Central
Jan 14 60071 on goods train and 66162 on coal train at Leeds
Jan 25 66581 on coal train at Gainsborough Lea Road
Jan 28 86901 and 86902 at York
Jan 31 D1916 in newly painted green livery light engine at Swinton, probably going back to Midland Railway, Butterley
Feb 4 66542 on container train at Retford
Feb 7 66565 on a rake of pw bogies between Hykeham and Boultham
Locos noted at Doncaster on 29 November were 66195, 66110, 66221, 66163, 66217, 66025, 66053, 66524, 66605, 66199, 66185, 66566, 66575, 66066, 66222, 66183, 66541, 67019, 67022, 60064, 60059, 60062, 60048, 60008, 60022, 60092 and 60019.
Seen at Lincoln on 3 December were 158785, 150213, 153364/158780, 156401, 158898/792, 156451, 153334/156405, 144005, 156414, 144003, 156411, 153333/383 and 66609 plus all the market specials listed in the Railtour section.
Locos seen at Doncaster on 7 January were 66023, 66039, 66063, 66509, 66554 and 67003.
Locos noted at Doncaster on 12 January were 66192, 66239, 66560, 66544, 66116, 66163, 66122, 66113, 66569, 66195, 66132, 66065, 66052, 66570, 66605, 67018, 60009, 60017, 60059 and 60060.
Locos noted on the 10.03 Manchester Picc to Holyhead and 13.20 return have been 57310 (Jan 19), 57302 (Jan 20) and 57316 (Jan 31).
Locos seen on the 10.24 Manchester Picc to Birmingham New St and 12.48 return have been 90022 (Nov 18), 90035 (Dec 9), 90028 (Dec 13), 90039 (Jan 20) and 90027 (Jan 31, Feb 1 and 7).
The 14.24 Manchester to Birmingham service was top and tailed by 90040 and 90037 on 22 November and 90034 worked the 14.48 Birmingham to Manchester on 9 December.
Locos seen on the 09.00 Euston to Holyhead from Crewe have been 57303 (Jan 19) and 57312 (Jan 20).
Locos noted at Crewe on 7 December were 57009, 57302, 57314, 57316, 67020, 66401, 66402, 66410, 66005, 66514, 66522, 66523, 66529, 66539, 66544, 66546, 66568, 66555, 66601, 92011, 92028, 92030, 92042, 90017 and 90046. Also seen were 150280, 153311/327/354/364, 158824/827/
833/845/852/853, 220008, 221114/121/123/127/128/130/
133/142, 175004/101/107, 323224/227/228/230/232/233, 325005/013/021, 350101/104/107/121/122/125/128, 390010/012/013/015/016/018/022/024/025/028/029/032/
Locos noted at Warrington on 20 January were 92041, 60057, 60088, 60091, 60092, 67016, 67023, 66132, 66196 and 66242.
Railtours and Charter Trains
Locos seen working on railtours and charters have been:
Oct 15 (1Z55 06:07 Doncaster to Salisbury)
47826 and 47851
(1Z60 06:33 St Albans to Alnmouth) 67029
Oct 22 (1Z60 07:18 Kings Cross to Carlisle)
90027 (to York)
Oct 29 (Scarborough to Hellifield, Carnforth & Skipton) 47826, 57601 and steam 48151
Nov 5 (1Z54 0622 Cleethorpes to Blackpool North) 47826 and 57601
(The Tees Rail Tour) 37416 and 37417
Nov 19 (Preston to Cambridge) 57601 and 47854
(Guild & Docker) 37416 and 60042
Nov 26 (1Z38 06:40 Morpeth to Kings Cross) 90027
(1Z50 07:58 Kings Cross to York) 90028
(1Z52 06:25 West Ruislip to York) D1015
Dec 3 (1Z60 05:40 Stevenage to Edinburgh)
47826 and 33025
(1Z48 05:49 King Cross to Edinburgh) 67028
(1Z60 10:18 Kings Cross to Lincoln 70+ late) 67005
(1Z51 06:05 Norwich to Skipton 18 early) 47703 and 47832
(1Z44 06:15 Kings Cross to York 95+ late) A4 60009
(1Z27 06:50 Swindon to Lincoln 70+ late) 67017
(Victoria to Lincoln Northern Belle)
67013 and 66004
(Nottingham to Lincoln shuttles)
47851 and 57601
Dec 10 (The Holly and The Ivy) 92019, 66052, 60055, 66702, 66952, 66157 and 92038
(1Z42 06:40 Scarborough to Carlisle)
47826 and 57601
(1Z40 06:28 Cleethorpes to Edinburgh 60+late) 47703 and 47832
(1Z67 07:30 Gloucester to York)
67015 and 67002
(1Z60 09:05 Tyseley to York) 5MT 45305
(1Z92 05:13 Watford to Lincoln 60+late) 66702
The tour from Hendon to York, due to be hauled by A4 60009 was cancelled on the day due to ‘an incident’ on the ECS to Hendon.
Dec 17 (1Z55 Hendon to York 90+ late) A4 60009
Dec 28 (1Z45 09:22 Derby to York) 55019
Dec 29 (1Z45 06.56 Bedford to Carlisle)
47851 and 47826
Dec 30 (The Cumbrian Choppers)
20305, 20307, 20311, 20315 and 67013
Jan 28 (Past Time Rail) 67005 and steam 45407
Working at the Great Central Railway on 4 February were 5199, D8098 and DMU 51427/50321.
Unusual Workings seen by Andy Dalby
Fri December 23 2005
20311, 20313, 20314 and 20315 seen heading north along the ECML working 6Z40 Stowmarket to York Works, the stock being several sets of water canon wagons. The class 20’s were working top and tail, a pair of locos on each end but I was unable to identify which locos in which pair. Thanks go to Andy Haigh for supplying the loco numbers.
Sat December 31 2005
91101 on the 07:00 Kings Cross to Glasgow service hit an object on the ECML south of Decoy yard, Doncaster. The said object then bounced under the train causing damage to the brake system, bringing the train to a halt. After some emergency repairs the train arrived in Doncaster (platform 4) where it was terminated over 90 minutes late. Passengers were transferred to the 09:00 Kings Cross to Glasgow which arrived in platform 8, but not before all of them had to walk down the train to exit via the DVT due to the door release system being out of order. 67017 appeared off the shed and ran over to the south end of platform 4 ready to take the loco and stock back to Bounds Green. Sources said the object was a piece of metal, which they had recovered but were unable to say where it had come from or if it had come off another service. Having to leave the station before the ECS went I cannot confirm if 67017 worked the ECS or its time of departure.
Interesting story from Andy Dalby
On December 3 whilst waiting at Newark Castle station for the first of the Nottingham to Lincoln loco hauled sets an amusing notice appeared on the information screen and it said, (word for word)
Train services on all routes via Lincoln Central are being disrupted due to large passenger flow to the Christmas Market at Lincoln Central.
Engineers are working as fast as possible to restore services to normal. Delays can be expected.”
This shows Central Trains think that passengers ARE a disrupting influence on the railway but what exactly engineers can I could I did do to restore services to normal is any-ones guess!!!!
Pennine Quiz No. 123
The answers to all the questions are the relevant loco number(s) and withdrawal date (month/year).
1. The first Class 20 to be withdrawn.
2. The first Class 24 to be withdrawn.
3. The last Class 24 to be withdrawn
4. The first Class 25 to be withdrawn.
5. The first TOPS numbered Class 25 to be withdrawn.
6. The first Class 26 to be withdrawn.
7. The first TOPS numbered Class 26 to be withdrawn.
8. The first Class 27 to be withdrawn.
9. The first TOPS numbered Class 27 to be withdrawn.
10. The first Class 31 to be withdrawn.
11. The first Class 33 to be withdrawn.
12. The first TOPS numbered Class 33 to be withdrawn.
13. The first 2 Class 35s to be withdrawn.
14. The first Class 37 to be withdrawn.
15. The first TOPS numbered Class 37 to be withdrawn.
16. The first Class 40 to be withdrawn.
17. The first Class 42 to be withdrawn.
18. The first Class 44 to be withdrawn.
19. The first Class 45 to be withdrawn.
20. The first Class 46 to be withdrawn.
21. The first Class 47 to be withdrawn.
22. The first TOPS numbered Class 47 to be withdrawn.
23. The first Class 50 to be withdrawn.
24. The first 2 Class 52s to be withdrawn.
25. The first 2 Class 55s to be withdrawn.
26. The first Class 56 to be withdrawn.
27. The first Class 70 to be withdrawn.
28. The first Class 73 to be withdrawn.
29. The first TOPS numbered Class 73 to be withdrawn.
30. The first Class 74 to be withdrawn.
31. The first Class 81 to be withdrawn.
32. The first TOPS numbered Class 81 to be withdrawn.
33. The first Class 82 to be withdrawn.
34. The last Class 82 to be withdrawn.
35. The first Class 83 to be withdrawn.
36. The first 2 Class 84s to be withdrawn.
37. The first Class 85 to be withdrawn.
38. The last Class 85 to be withdrawn.
39. The first 2 Class 86s to be withdrawn.
40. The first Class 87 to be withdrawn.
Pennine Meetings 2006
All meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Wednesday 15th March 2006
Wednesday 5th April 2006
‘50 Years of Photography’
Wednesday 19th April 2006
“Canklow to Cape Town”
Wednesday 3rd May 2006
PENNINE SLIDE QUIZ.
Wednesday 17th May 2006
Wednesday 7th June 2006
Wednesday 21st June 2006
Wednesday 5th July 2006
Robin Skinner / Tony Caddick
I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Tony Caddick, Gerry Collins, Andy Dalby, John Dewing, Glyn Gossan, Eddie Knorn, John Sanderson, Robin Skinner, Paul Slater and Chris Theaker for the photo on the front cover.
I would also like to thank the “Best of British” magazine for allowing me to reprint the “In Defence of Trains Spotting” article.
The Summer 2006 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on 21st June. Would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by Wednesday 24th May - THANK YOU. Remember, you can email your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pennine Quiz No. 122
Cross Number Puzzle Answers
Pennine Quiz No. 122
1st Stuart Earl
2nd John Dewing
3rd Malcolm Bell
I received 6 correct entries, so the result was decided by drawing names out of a hat.
South Yorkshire Railways 1970-84
(from magazine 47)
Part II 1971
Again during 1971 Trans-Pennine services from Sheffield to Manchester hit the headlines with the derailment of the 18.09 Manchester Piccadilly - St. Pancras in Totley Tunnel on May 24th 1971 as a result of a broken rail. The train, which consisted of 9 vehicles, was hauled by Class 45 no. 71 (45049) ‘The Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales own)’ - nothing to do with a certain well-known Rotherham hostelry. The accident happened approx. 1 mile into the tunnel on the up line from Grindleford. Only two passengers were taken to hospital and the rest were transferred to Chesterfield by DMU some three hours later, after attempts to reach them from the Grindleford end of the tunnel with a DMU proved fruitless. It is interesting to note that the Inspecting Officer, Major P.M. Oliver, drew attention in his report to the increase in broken rails found in Totley Tunnel, following transfer of express services between Sheffield and Manchester from the Woodhead route in January 1970.
Although not booked to stop in South Yorkshire, the Manchester to London St. Pancras services had been running via the Hope Valley route and the Dore West Junction, Dore South Junction curve since the closure of the Midland Main line, between Matlock - Peak Forest/Buxton Junction, in the summer of 1968. The line is now the subject of the Peak Railway Society’s major project at Matlock. The service in 1971 consisted of four services from Manchester Piccadilly to London St. Pancras at 08.01, 12.00, 16.16, 18.09 and five services from St. Pancras to Manchester at 06.50, 08.35, 12.30, 16.18 and 18.25. Also at certain times of the day DMUs ran from Nottingham/Derby to Manchester. The service was a far cry from the almost hourly service provided in the early 1960s. This services like the Paddington to Birmingham Snow Hill was a victim of the West Coast Electrification.
Services from Manchester Piccadilly to London St. Pancras via the Hope Valley line and Dore curve on weekdays lasted until 30th April 1977. The service had by then been reduced to one train in each direction (06.50 from St. Pancras and 18.06 from Manchester Piccadilly) and although with a journey time of over four hours they could hardly be described as Inter-City they nevertheless provided a very vital and necessary link between the East Midlands and Manchester which today is provided by the Nottingham - Glasgow services. Unusually the Sunday service on this route lasted until 16th May 1982, with two trains in each direction running into Sheffield Midland and running round, rather than using Dore curve.
Two Golden Rail Promotional trains ran from Sheffield to Bournemouth on March 27th and April 4th 1971 hauled by (guess what) Class 47 no. 1575 (41A) ‘City of Sheffield’!! The Merrymaker era hadn’t really got into full swing in 1971, but 1575 was already getting in plenty of practice. As many long-standing enthusiasts in South Yorkshire will remember, 1575 worked the majority of Sheffield Merrymakers in the mid 1970s (now no. 47455 of Crewe Diesel Depot).
It is interesting to look at some of the fares charged by BR in 1971: -
2nd class Day Returns - Sheffield - London £3.40
Doncaster - London £3.50
Sheffield - Leeds £0.60
Doncaster - Leeds £0.55
Doncaster - Manchester £1.30
Sheffield - Manchester £0.90
Sheffield - Doncaster £0.40
(A pound was worth a lot of money in those days!!)
Over on the East Coast Main Line, after successful trials in March ‘71, Mark IID air-conditioned stock was slowly being introduced on the Newcastle and Scottish services out of Kings Cross. So the beloved ‘coffin’ is thirteen years old now - older than the Pennine Railway Society! Meanwhile things weren’t quite as rosy as has been made out on the ECML, with the Deltics going through a bad patch of availability and Class 40, 45 and 47 being pressed into working services normally worked by Class 55s. One such instance was on April 10th 1971 when 9010 failed at Doncaster on the 8 o’clock out of Kings Cross to be relieved by 1868, an Immingham ‘duff’.
Early in the year the Sheffield resignalling scheme was announced, stage one would replace 17 existing boxes between Tapton Junction - Sheffield Midland - Brightside Junction.
Also in 1971 Sheffield regained a daily through service to Edinburgh, having lost the ‘Waverley’ in 1968. This new train ran from Paignton to Edinburgh leaving Paignton at 07.10, Sheffield at 13.23 and arrival in Edinburgh was at 18.11. In the other direction the train left Edinburgh at 09.40, arrived in Sheffield at 14.40 and Paignton at 20.35. The route to Edinburgh was not via the Settle and Carlisle but via York and the ECML. This train was, of course, the forerunner of the present Dundee - Penzance and Plymouth - Dundee services. When the train was introduced it was heralded as covering the longest daily journey in Britain, without touching London, 521½ miles!!
Is today’s 07.44 Dundee - Penzance IC125 at 698½ miles the longest daily journey in Britain without touching London? Well it’s longer than the Clansman at 567¾!!
A Sailor’s Tale
(from magazine 47)
Port Stanley Hbr.
New Year’s greetings to you all from this far flung corner of the Empire - pity they didn’t fling it a bit further, then nobody would have found it! Those of you who thought it vaguely amusing when details of my next trip came through, will no doubt be delighted to hear of the great lengths Southern Region went to in preventing me from getting any more lines in the book.
I thought that I would write under the name ‘NIMBUS’ as I have been given the title of Principal Observing Officer for the Met. Office this voyage: this only means that I get to write the Met. reports. Things got off to a good start this voyage, when I discovered that a single to Portsmouth Harbour was valid via Brum and Bristol (the lengths some people will go to in order to avoid trams!), so we had a dose of friend Sutton’s four-car jalopies on the 06.50 ex-Cleethorpes, but had had enough by Rotherham so baled there in favour of the 08.20 Leeds - Birmingham New St. which duly arrived behind 45033 (steam heat Mr Micklethwaite!).
Had a reasonable run to Brum, where we had to wait the arrival of the 09.20 Liverpool - Penzance that went forward behind 50002, actually needed that. Things were going to plan so far, however we were getting nearer the sun so anything could happen - at least Birmingham was an across the platform job, unlike Bristol which was a down and up job - a real riot with all my seagoing gear. However, we managed to secure the first compo behind 33005 on the 12.05 Cardiff - Portsmouth Harbour.
Things still going O.K. until Salisbury, where we were held for a late running Exeter - Waterloo that arrived behind an unidentified 33. The guard hadn’t been able to understand why anyone should wish to sit behind an engine making so much noise - told him it was handy for the barriers at Portsmouth, but I don’t think he believed me. I was prepared to forgive him as he was sporting a Deltic badge, which is until he started on about Gods Wonky Railway, which just goes to prove that you can’t have good taste in everything.
After leaving Salisbury we were stopped, awaiting a late running Hoover to clear the junction - the more I see these things the more I am convinced Wattsey has his priorities wrong, she won’t wait forever Andrew!! Things got even worse after this and eventual arrival was eons late. I took a taxi to the ship as it was lying on the far side of the Naval Dockyard, only to discover that the bloke I was relieving wasn’t expecting me so hadn’t packed. It only took a short while longer to discover something more disturbing - there was no heat, steam, EH or otherwise. Quick look in the Bible and find a move.
It wasn’t long before I had a chance to try the move, the next night in fact (7th December). The move involved taking the 20.20 P.Hbr. - Cardiff to Southampton for, in theory, a +10 into the 19.15 Bristol - P.Hbr. It seemed alright on paper as it was 45 minutes for 26 miles, easy when you’re used to 3300h.p. Well we made it, just, with 33007 out and 33057 back and all for £1.50 with the Journey Club card, didn’t need either but had an interesting run back, must have been an ex FP driver. The next attempt was on the Friday (9th Dec.). I had to score a Class 33 soon - famous last words. The outward one was alright, 33024, but had a dreadful run so was beginning to flap a bit. Good job its single line through the tunnel 'cos once we were on that we should be home and dry. As we emerged from the tunnel there was no sign of my return train so there was plenty of time to amble across the platforms from where I could view 33024 departing. I was rather startled to observe the guard removing the tail lamp - I know it was a poor run but surely the lamp wasn’t weighing it down. I was further surprised to see the loco uncouple and run off into the night, which left me with the sight of a 73 in the bay crewed up and ready for the off. Don’t panic - look at things in a logical way, that’s all very well to say, but at that moment a pair of 33s rumbled through on a container train as a light engine shot up the far side of the Cardiff train. The container train vanished - hell, so had the 73. More panic as I tried to sort it all out and a Waterloo bound EMU crossed my line of sight, as yet another light engine did the reverse of the previous move. I was now in total confusion as the light engine backed onto the Cardiff train and closer inspection revealed it to be - 33024.
I couldn’t figure out what was going on, but the Cardiff was still waiting to leave, various EMUs came and went and it then occurred to me that there hadn’t been sight nor sound of my train. Fatal mistake coming up - ask the bloke on the ticket barrier about the Portsmouth train. I was then directed to a three-car unit. When I told him it was the loco hauled service from Bristol that I wanted he looked at me as though I was making it all up. Further pointless conversation was prevented by a station announcement to the effect that the train arriving conveyed passengers from Bristol, snag was it was arriving from the Eastleigh direction and it was a Waterloo - Bournemouth type EMU. But, they were correct, because my train had been diverted at Romsey to Eastleigh. I think the expression is bowled! Well and truly bowled as it happens because as it is a Friday, I haven’t been able to use my Journey Club card. Eventually we discover that, in theory, there should be a Weston-Super-Mare to Portsmouth Hbr. working in the offing, which does eventually roll up behind 33002, again not required as I once had it from Salisbury to Waterloo substituting for a failed Hoover. Lord knows when we will get back to Pompey, but I’m beginning to think of giving up this lark as I have only scored one out of five. Still, tomorrow is another day!
As it happens it wasn’t tomorrow when I next ventured forth, but I managed to scrounge the whole of Sunday off, reckoning
it was time to go further a field. I decided to go to Salisbury. My decision was influenced by various factors, including having been told that the Hoovers were being taken off the run when the January supplement came into force and I haven’t any photos of them on the Southern. It was a nice clear day so I hoped to get some good results. Of course the price to pay for such a clear day was that it was blooming cold so I hoped that the buffets were open.
Come Sunday I walked down to the station after breakfast in order to catch the 09.15 to Cardiff, 33024 again but it was a good run to Salisbury where things started to deviate from the plan - it was still clear but the buffet was closed for staff training. Surely the best way to go about training staff, would be to have them serve somebody!
Obviously a change of plan was called for, I’d never been from Waterloo to Exeter throughout with a Hoover so it seemed to be the best bet - to the ticket office where I obtained a day return to Waterloo and one to Exeter. The idea was to go to London first as I had already done Exeter - Waterloo in one go before but not the other way around (although I once did Salisbury - Exeter with D7039 + D819, but that is another story).
So I photographed 50023 arriving on a Waterloo - Exeter. My train arrived behind 50050, which of course I didn’t need. No problem I thought, I’ll nip down to the buffet, yes you’ve guessed, it was shut. On arrival at Waterloo I just about made C Jones Fast Food Emporium before expiring, although I’m not sure if I felt any better on leaving, but at least I wasn’t hungry. A glance at the departure board revealed that I must have misread the Bible but there was no great panic and I took a seat behind 50007 - correct, I didn’t want that one either! We duly arrived in Exeter having seen 50040 on the Penzance - Waterloo and 33005 on the Taunton - Portsmouth on the way.
There was just time to visit the buffet at Exeter before reboarding the train, hauled once again by 50007 (no prizes for guessing what my highest mileage Hoover is). I baled at Salisbury in time to see 50030 (which I do need) and 33033 on 19.15 PH - CDF. The fester was enlivened somewhat by a lively exchange between an elderly farm labourer from deepest Dorset and the driver who was taking 50030 forward. The gist of the argument was that BR are losing money because the locks on the toilets don’t function, so people are using the facilities for free - as this exchange was carried out down the full length of the platform you could hardly miss it. The gentleman concerned was a staunch supporter of Mrs Thatcher (fine woman Mr Capstick!) the driver wasn’t so all too soon our hero boarded his train and departed holding forth about there being no toilet paper in the station toilets along the line. The next arrival was the train I had been waiting for, which had 33023 in charge. It was worthwhile as I needed it but not worthwhile as it arrived packed out and I had to stand.
Monday 12th brought about a fresh challenge, the 2nd Officer talked the Ch. Officer into being Duty Officer so we departed on a pub-crawl around Hamble, where he lives, first checking that a 33 hauled service stopped there. He deposited me at the end of the footpath leading to the station at around 22.30, which in theory was 8 minutes before the train was due and then roared off into the night. On reaching the platforms I began to wonder if somebody had been having me on, it was deserted with no sign of a timetable, booking office or owt and the station appeared to have been built miles from the village. I suppose they thought it better to build it nearer the railway! Soon it became dark, very cold and very quiet, so, as you do on these occasions, I began to explore. The waiting room, such as it was, was either being demolished or was still under construction, but it seemed a real home from home as there was a reference to the Tizer-Baron and also to Tony Smith (from Sheffield). Departure time came and went but from what I’d seat already nobody seemed over bothered by the timetable. Just as I was starting to give up hope the first sounds of a hard working (?) 33 were heard carried on the wind. It was some time before the train actually came into view and even then I wasn’t convinced that it was going to stop but it did, not before I’d contemplated putting my hand out though.
The guard appeared bemused by the fact that somebody was actually alighting from his train (19.35 W.S.M. - Portsmouth), but obviously couldn’t cope with somebody getting on as well as I didn’t see him for the rest of the journey. At the terminus I got a closer look at the engine, 33025 ‘Sultan’ that was required. I took some photos of it the day ‘Tulyar’ went to Eastleigh but it was not looking so good today with one nameplate and both crests missing. I wasn’t looking so good either because I was relieved of £2 at the barrier as payment for a single journey of 18 miles - I must be used to SYPTE fares.
As I was D/O for the next night I had to stay on board but Wednesday night (14th) saw me off on the standard move once again - walk to the station, cup of tea and a Mars bar (thank you Glynn) and off to the front ‘compo’. I did well with 33035 outwards, only I managed to miss the +10 by 9 minutes as the train turned into an all stations job, unfortunately I didn’t discover this until after we left Fareham, which happened to be the first stop of my returning train. However, all was not lost as I used to dock in Southampton regularly on the South American run and hopefully they hadn’t moved the pubs. Wonders will never cease. I found the place I was looking for quite quickly so I had time for two pints of 6X before I had to dash back to the station. Things were really going well as we got 33011 - another line in the book - on the 19.35 ex-W.S.M.
Somehow the duty roster got slightly out of sync so I ended up with Friday night off again, so, although I couldn’t use my J.C. card I still elected to do the move. I really needed to make the connection this time as I had arranged to meet the other officers in a pub at 10. It was a wrong move as I ended up with 33007 again on the way out and 33116 back. The only redeeming feature was that we reached Southampton on time so I made the connection. After a few (?) pints of ‘Admirals’ in the George life didn’t seem so bad, so it was around the corner to the chippy where I was suddenly sobered by the sight of the bloke in front of me being presented with a bill for £3127.60 for fish and chips twice. I was still trying to work out what a bag of chips would cost at these rates when the cashier admitted to having made a mistake - sighs of relief all round!
Sailing day was Monday and with the actual loading completed on Saturday there was still time to make another attempt at the move on Sunday night. I even remembered to check the Sunday timetable. With my cup of tea and Mars bar safely obtained I was wandering round to number 5 when I realised that the ‘bagpipe’/4TC on the 20.08 to Reading was required. 33115 was one of my last ones so I did the mileage move to Portsmouth and Southsea - took longer to write than to ride. I
felt pretty pleased with myself but the smile was soon removed at the sight of my train, 20.15 to Bristol, rounding the bend as it was formed of 33107/4TC 420 which I didn’t need. Matters weren’t helped any when I discovered that I could have taken 33115 at least to Fareham. It’s a long fester at Southampton on a Sunday so there was plenty of time to nip up to the ‘Painted Wagon’ for a few jars of 6X.
Back to the station for the 19.55 ex-Bristol, where to my horror I discovered it was formed by E1127 - starting from Southampton. I didn’t take the Bible with me - I was sure the M.O.D. Police on the gate would understand what I was up to - so I didn’t know if there was another one behind it. In the end I decided to go (albeit with a blanket over my head). Lord only knows where the proper train was, but an insight into the state of play was revealed by the ‘electronic scoreboard’, which reckoned the train would be calling at Crewe and Runcorn. (Reminds me of the famous hand at Midland.)
Monday (19th) dawned and with the ship ready for sea and the Pilot on the bridge, word filtered through from below - the crew refused to sail the ship. Sailing was put back to 07.00 on Tuesday and as the Chief and 2nd Officers weren’t too bothered about going ashore I wandered off to the station. 33028 out and 33108 back and although I didn’t need either, 33028 confirmed my belief that it is one of the better ones. So ended my railway travels for 1983 scoring 6 in 17 attempts, now I am looking forward to seeing our Treasurer staggering down the steps at Sheffield Midland on a Summer Saturday morning - wonder if this year we will get any better excuses than (1) It’s all Biggs’s fault or (2) Duff Ale!!
See you all sometime – NIMBUS (Chris Nicholson)