The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society


1974 - 2004

No. 128 - Summer 2004


Committee Briefs




Members Slide Competition


The members slide competition was held on 3 March ant the winning entries were:


1st         Glenn Williamson

             Class 60 at Hayfield Lakes, Auckley on the G.M. Binliner

2nd        Neil Taylor

             75006 – Bulgarian narrow gauge at Dolene

3rd        Andy Dalby

             56038 on 6N30 Scunthorpe/Tees Yard at Mauds Bridge, Thorne


Midland Railway Centre


There are still places available for the trip to Butterley for Sunday Lunch on 3rd October.  If you wish to go and you have not already booked, complete the booking form from the last magazine and return to Chris Tyas as soon as possible.


Barrow Hill Roundhouse


The guided trip of the Barrow Hill Roundhouse on Tuesday 22nd June has been confirmed and will start at 19.00.  A preserved bus will leave Doncaster at 18.00 approx. (N.B. it will not be calling at Sheffield).  Please contact Robin Skinner if you wish to go on the guided trip.


30th Anniversary


As part of the Society’s 30th celebrations we are reprinting, in the magazines produced this year, items that have appeared in previous editions of Trans Pennine.  In this edition, the items reproduced originally appeared in magazines 14 (May 1977), 19 (February 1978) and 25 (Feb 79).


Trains and Trams in Antwerp


Paul Slater

















Chris and I didn’t have a summer holiday in 2003, and the short break I’d planned for the autumn had to be postponed; it was February before I finally got my holiday, a mini-cruise to Belgium at the low winter rates with P & O Ferries.  I was up on deck as the “Pride of Bruges” nosed into its berth at Zeebrugge: the morning sun was low and golden in the sky, silhouetting the great dockside cranes, and the cold north wind which had been blowing when we left Hull was now an icy gale.

The sun shone brightly during the bus-ride into Bruges, but while I waited on the station platform for one of the hourly semi-fast trains to Antwerp, grey clouds rolled in on the bitter wind: I looked dubiously at the sky, wondering if it was going to snow, but in fact the weather stayed fine, and I enjoyed the train-ride very much.  Antwerp is about seventy miles from Bruges, and the journey took approximately an hour and a half, with seven intermediate stops.  At Ghent the line to Antwerp diverged from the main line to Brussels over which I had travelled some years previously, and I was now in a part of Belgium I had never seen, which gave the journey an extra interest.

The sun was shining brilliantly again by the time my train moved over a long viaduct decorated with dozens of ornamental stone turrets and arrived at the magnificent Antwerp Central station.  The huge arched roof of iron and glass reminded me a little of St. Pancras, and the great Gothic entrance hall was reminiscent of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington.  The station looked very bright and clean, with the sun shining through the great roof: I took photographs of trains in this imposing setting, had a coffee in the grandiose Golden Crown bar, and admired the massive excavation in the centre of the station where new underground lines are being built.  Most trains which use Antwerp Central are electric multiple-units, but the train on which I had arrived was powered by electric locomotive no. 1352 in silver-grey livery, and a train for Brussels composed of double-deck carriages was topped and tailed by two older electric locomotives in blue-and-yellow livery, nos. 2736 and 2742: I had noticed diesel shunter no. 7721 with a train of ballast wagons in the station approaches.

Having misunderstood the relevant passage in a guide-book, and misread the directional signs at the station, I failed to find the tram I intended to ride into the city centre.  Instead, I found myself standing on a platform in the middle of a busy street nearby; many trams were stopping here, but I did not know which one I wanted.  Antwerp was a new city for me, and I could not recognise any names on the diagrams displayed on the platform.  I asked a friendly-looking girl; she understood where I wanted to go, and pointed in the general direction, but could not tell me which tram I wanted.  She suggested I asked a driver: but, unlike the drivers of the trams in Ghent which I used on my previous trip to Belgium, the drivers of the Antwerp trams were in glassed-in cabs and did not seem to have ticket machines or be in a position to welcome inquiries from travellers.  I do not speak Flemish, the local language.  Further along the platform, I found a map.  The line from the Central Station to the Groenplaats, for the Cathedral and historic quarter, was shown as a pre-Metro, whereas the lines passing the platform where I now stood were shown as tramlines.  One line was indicated as running close to the historic quarter, to an area named as Melkmarkt, and I had already seen a tram with Melkmarkt on its destination blind; soon another one came, I got on, and away it went.  I did not like to speak to the driver, and I could not understand the ticket machine in the tram; there had been no machine on the platform.  I held some euro coins ready in case the opportunity to buy a ticket came, and looked out at the streets of Antwerp.  Progress was slow at first, across major roads and intersections, and then the tram dived down a narrow street and speeded up.  It was an unusual ride; I did not really know where I was going, or how I would cope if I was challenged for riding without paying.  My intention was to keep a look-out for anything that suggested I was near my destination, and soon I spotted first the tall spire of the Cathedral and then, down a narrow side-street, an imposing building in a sunlit square; I guessed that this was where I wanted to be.  By the time I could alight, the tram had turned two right-angle bends and was heading back down another narrow street parallel to the one I had travelled along before.  I walked towards the sunlit square I had seen, and soon I was in the Grote Markt, the historic heart of Antwerp.

I spent some time walking around the area, admiring the many picturesque old buildings.  The sun shone brightly, and the historic quarter looked beautiful, but the wind had knives in it, and a visit to one of the area’s many restaurants, cafes and bars seemed attractive.  I did not want much to eat, as I’d had a big breakfast on the ship and would have a good dinner when I was back on board: I found a bar that advertised soup and bread, and went in.  The soup and bread were very welcome, so was a glass of Belgian lager and the chance to sit down in the warm and change my film.

After lunch, I walked the short distance to the Groenplaats, a large square which gave me a very good view of the Cathedral with its tall, ornate spire.  It was half-past one, and I felt I should start making my way back to the Central Station; the trains for Bruges departed at half-past the hour, and the half-past two train would get me back in plenty of time for the connecting bus to the “Pride of Bruges”, which

sailed from Zeebrugge at seven o’clock, whereas to wait for the half-past three train would, I felt, be cutting it rather fine.  I could try and find my way on foot back to the station, or I could go to where I had got off the Melkmarkt tram, or I could investigate the underground station at the southern end of the Groenplaats.  I tried the underground station; there were several escalators leading down off a subterranean hall but no map and no mention of the Central Station.  I saw an information desk, and sought advice of the young lady there.  She said that for a single ticket to the Central Station I should ask the driver.  I should go down the escalator in the far corner of the hall and when I asked what number tram I wanted, she said that any would do.  I went down the escalator to a platform; again, no directions, no map, and no ticket machine that I could understand.  A tram soon came, in fact two trams coupled together to form a little train; this was the pre-Metro trams running on an underground railway  The driver didn’t look as if he wanted to sell tickets, and the first tram was full, so I got on the second one of the pair.  Again, I had my euro coins ready, but never bought a ticket.  After two stops I began to wonder where I was going, as I had no clue underground; the third stop was Diamond and Central Station, and I thankfully alighted.  It was a long way up to the station, along corridors and up two escalators, but at last I was in the daylight again.  After a brief exploration of the local shops, I caught the two-thirty train to Ostend, hauled by electric locomotive no. 1345; Bruges would be its last stop before the terminus, and I would have an hour there before catching my bus, time to do a little sightseeing and to buy the Belgian chocolates which I’d failed to get in Antwerp, the gift shops in Antwerp seeming to specialise in diamonds, not chocolates.

The train stopped at Berchem station, which serves the through line carrying expresses between Brussels and Amsterdam and by-passing Antwerp Central; the next stop was Antwerp South, a modern-looking four-platform station situated in a cutting.  At the next stop, St. Niklaas, there were sidings with one or two electric multiple-units stabled, and I saw locomotive no. 1352 again, propelling a semi-fast to Antwerp.  The winter afternoon was bright, with intermittent sunshine, and I enjoyed the ride back to Ghent and then along the more familiar main line to Bruges.























Men of the Iron Road?


Martin Hall


















Some time ago an old railwayman I was talking to used a turn of phrase during a conversation we were having about shunters.  He referred to them as being "the men of the iron road" due to the physically hard nature of the work they undertook, and the often very unpleasant environment (weather wise) in which they did it.

It was a comment which has stayed with me for some time, particularly as my grandfather, a railwayman for over 50 years, spent some 35 of those as a shunter.

Add to that the fact that as a guard on the Severn Valley Railway, I was passed to be a shunter (although my experience of the hands on side was fairly limited) I was curious to find out more.

So, I put my name down on the list of shunters to be rostered as "Traffic Shunters" at Kidderminster, where I am based.  Their duties are largely to do with passenger stock as opposed to goods (the latter being grandfather's stock in trade).  It probably goes without saying that after a few turns that old railwayman's comments began to be a reality as I experienced (at first hand) the "lot" of a shunter.

Let me take you through a day's experience which I encountered one hot Saturday in August 2002.

I arrived at Kidderminster at 8.30, booked on and immediately read through the day's Traffic Notice (a document which sets out the key features of the day and as far as shunters are concerned, details what shunts actually need to be undertaken).  The notice depicted a fairly easy day, moving a couple of rakes of coaches around the station in the morning and then the same again later that afternoon.

The problem with Traffic Notices, as I have discovered, is that they are subject to change and one should always check there aren't any changes you should be aware of.  This is done by going to the signal box where there is a fax machine to which the Traffic Manager will fax any late changes the night before.

On this particular occasion, a lengthy fax awaited me with instructions to not only venture into the carriage shed in order to move stock but also to take stock to Bewdley and once there, shunt the down yard reforming no less than three loose coupled goods trains which were needed in preparation of our September Gala.

As I mentioned earlier, it was a hot August day and by the time I had read the amendments (around 9.30) heat mirages were already beginning to shimmer up from the rails outside the box.

So, the first thing was to get the carriage shed open.  Step one, sign out the keys from the signal box (train register).  These keys open the carriage shed itself and also un-padlock the point clips in the yard.  Being in possession of the keys also means that you become the "Person In Charge Of Yard" which means that no movements can take place into, out of or within the yard/carriage shed without your express permission.  It is important, therefore, to ensure that the signalman counter signs the train register, as his acknowledgment that you are now in charge of the yard and he must seek your permission with regard to such movements.

It's then a question of walking to the carriage shed (a distance of about a quarter of a mile from the signal box).  Walking is something that shunters to an awful lot of, whether its walking from the station to the signal box to the yard and then back again or walking around a set of coaches they are going to move (in order to ensure that all is correctly coupled together and no scotches have been left under any wheels).  In all, I reckon a shunter must cover at least 5 miles in an average turn of duty.

Once at the shed the routine is to open up starting with the shed first (which involves entering through a side door, de-activating the intruder alarm and then heaving open the large rolling doors over each of the "roads".  Next, un-clip the points which are always clipped in such away to divert any vehicles which may enter the yard down either of the two "roads" which do not enter the carriage shed itself.  Finally, give a plunge "release" in the cabinet at the throat of the yard as this will enable the signalman to turn the points and allow entrance or exit.  This procedure is always carried out in this sequence of shed-points-plunge (with the reverse applicable to closing up) as it avoids the possibility of anyone finding themselves in a position where they have allowed a train to enter the yard, with the road set for the shed, before they have managed to actually open the rolling doors.  Something of an interesting predicament to find yourself in I'd think you would agree.

The vehicle we are looking for was a Travelling Post Office ("TPO") and fortunately, it is stood on one of the roads at the front of the carriage shed so there was no need to start moving other stuff in order to get at it.  This is not always the case and there have been occasions where I have spent over an hour "digging" something out.

I arrange for our loco, class 08 (D3022) to enter the yard and once "hooked on" we move to the station, run round, and are in position for departure in the direction of Bewdley.  As we do not have a brake van with us, I connect up the vacuum pipes in order that the TPO becomes "braked".  I also carry out a brake test to ensure that the brakes on the TPO actually work as I wouldn't want to find myself in a scenario in which the TPO becomes uncoupled from the loco whilst, we are in the section, and runs away.

As we are taking a train into "open country" (i.e. beyond station limits) a guard is required and I switch to "guard mode". I nip back to our mess room and collect my guard’s bag containing flags, bardic and rules books.  I also sign out a canister of detonators (you must always be equipped and in this scenario that means being prepared for the need to protect the train in the event of an accident or failure).  As our single TPO does constitute a train, I ensure that there is a red lamp on the back (to furnish evidence to signalmen that the train is complete) and fill out a journal form on to which I enter the details of the loco, the TPO the drivers name, my name, the weight of the train, confirmation that I have examined the train and carried out a brake test.  I also log the departure time from Kidderminster and the arrival time at Bewdley.  The journal is then sent to the guard’s inspectorate as an official log of the train’s very existence.  It is a legal document which can be called upon as evidence, should there be a need for an enquiry following any incident or mishap which may befall us.

The journey to Bewdley takes just over 12 minutes and riding in the cab of the loco I take the opportunity to sit down and have a breather.  By now its quarter past eleven and the temperature is still rising.

At Bewdley, we are routed into the down yard and the signalman at the south box advises us that the TPO should be placed in the cattle dock.  So, once in the yard it's a question of uncoupling the loco, having it run round (which also needs the cooperation of the signalman in the north box) and then coupling up once again and propelling into the cattle dock.  The latter move requires very careful attention as the clearance between TPO and cattle dock platform is very tight on the slight curve in the cattle dock, so we literally creep back, inch by inch.

Once in position I scotch the TPO to ensure it cannot move once we have uncoupled and moved away.  I then turn my attention to the goods wagons.

There are nearly 20 stood in one of the roads and there are three brake vans interspersed in them.  I have a list of the order in which they should finish up but the first task is to find out what order they are currently in so its out with pen and paper and take a walk along the line of wagons, noting their respective numbers.  Next it's a question of working out the moves you need to do in order to get the wagons in the correct order.  So long as you have at least two roads to work with, which we have on this occasion, you can do anything, given time.  I always struggle to work out the most time efficient means of doing the job when I reach this stage as there is quite a knack to seeing the overall picture and limiting the number of moves you have to do.  However, I am a great believer in the saying "plan your shunt and shunt your plan".  In other words, decide upon the order in which you are going to do things and stick to it.  If you allow someone else to dictate things and make last minute changes, there is a real risk you will loose the plot, so to speak, and end up becoming totally confused or "stitching your self up" in shunting parlance.

Having decided upon my game plan, I set about the task, controlling the movements from the ground and giving hand signals to my driver, as appropriate (move away-stop-set back- slow down-stop-going under- move away??) and so it continues for four hours.  As our moves take us repeatedly out of the yard and onto the running lines, we have to stop every so often in order to let service trains pass.

At the end of it all, the goods trains have been formed and I

drag myself up onto the loco and flop down in the second man's seat for the journey (as a light engine) back to Kidderminster, where we arrive at a little after four.

Signing the detonators back in and booking off, I reflect on what has been a fairly interesting 8 hour day.  I have a few aches and pains and am really quite tired.  The thought passes through my mind that for Grandfather, this was all in a days work and unlike me he would repeat the process the following day, and that day after that, and the day after that, something which he managed to do until well into his sixties.  When I consider further the conditions he had to do it in, particularly during the war years in blackouts and air raids, you realise that these men were made of stern stuff and earned the title "men of the iron road".












“Wartime Woodhead” Steam over the Woodhead line in the Second World War is by Kenneth Oldham OBE and available for £11.95 from Irwell Press Ltd. 76 pages of black and white prints in paperback.

The book falls perfectly into what the Irwell Press do exceedingly well with their monthly magazine British Railways Illustrated, and that is illustrate the heyday of Black and White photography on Britain’s railways no where else it that atmosphere so correctly portrayed.

Whilst the book is mainly about the Second world war the scene is set in the late 1930s and carries on to the opening of the new Woodhead tunnel on 3rd June 1954 (Fifty years ago as you read this article).

Kenneth Oldham grew up in the area and taught at a Secondary Modern school nearby.  Kenneth lived in the eastern suburbs of Manchester so the book starts at Manchester London Road and concentrates on the eastern end of the route from there up to Woodhead.

Manchester London road is very different from the Piccadilly of today and looks at the fierce competition between the LMS and LNER for London traffic.

Then there were three main routes from Manchester to London all competing with each other.  London Road station was divided into two the LNER having one side with its service via Woodhead, Sheffield Victoria and The Great Central Main Line to London Marylebone.

The other half of London Road was LMS and from there ran the service to London Euston via either Stoke or Crewe.  What a site it must have been to see an A1 Pacific pulling out of one side of the station for London Marylebone as a Royal Scot or Patriot starts a train to London Euston from the adjacent side!

The other main route to London was also LMS via the Midland route from Manchester Central (now the G-MEX centre) to London St Pancras.

Kenneth Oldham also joined his Father on Fisherman’s specials early on a Sunday morning.  Something that was very common in the Manchester and Sheffield areas, right up to the 1950s.

Throughout the period of this book he took photographs of a railway scene which today is practically unrecognisable.  As a pupil at Hyde Grammar school he made more use of his camera and notebook than his football boots as one nice little story in the book relates to him photographing A1 pacific Victor Wild passing the school sports ground with the 2.20 p.m. Manchester – Marylebone express. I think the other team scored whilst he was doing this!

Taking pictures during the war was not easy as in the early years of World War 2 when invasion by the Germans was a distinct possibility, people doing normal things on a railway station or by the lineside was treated with high suspicion.

This only adds to the value of this excellent collection of Black and White photos.

The book also shows a lot of photographs where Woodhead electrification work is clearly taking place with posts up here and there.

The work was started before the Second World War but delayed by the war and finally finished in 1954 which is where the book finishes with 26020 hauling the first electric train through Woodshed Tunnel on 3rd June 1954.


VERDICT: An excellent period piece full of atmosphere showing how interesting the railway east of Manchester was during the war.

It also depicts a period when the Woodhead was clearly one of Britain’s mainline railways with a very bright future, (or so we thought).  If you like atmosphere then this one is for you.



Pennine Quiz No. 116


Ian Shenton





1. Who was the speed recorder when City of Truro made the record breaking run in 1904?

2. Which was the last LMS Duchess to have the streamlining removed?

3. Which 3 works were the LMS Royal Scots built at?

4. How many named locos did the Great Eastern Railway have?

5. The Great Northern Railway had 3 named locos what were there numbers and names?

6. What was the length of the Jersey Railway (Channel Islands) and which two places did it run between?

7. Between which two points did the Martin Mill Military Railway run?

8. Where were the original works of the Great North of Scotland Railway?

9. Which works built the carriages and wagons for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway?

10. Which preserved railway has a loco named Sherpa?

11. Extract from depot directory “After about 1 mile turn right into Morris Street and a drive leads to the depot, which depot?

12. This depot is on Stratmore Road about 2 miles, which depot?

13. Was this ex. L&LSWR loco from the TV show Open all hours?

14. What was the name ex. LNWR loco No. 58010?

15. Which railway had the initials GCP&BVR&T?

16. At which London station did The Highwayman terminate?

17. What name is carried by preserved standard 75014?

18. How many platforms did Blackpool Central station have when it closed?

19. What was the name of the station at the end of the branch line from Heathfield (GWR)?

20. Who built the diesel loco No 11104?

21. What is the length of Kinghorn Tunnel?

22. What is the American name for water troughs?

23. Which loco depot had its entrance on Ninevah Road?

24. Who was the Chief Inspecting Officer of the railway inspectorate in 1969?

25. Which was the 1st loco to leave Woodhams Barry scrapyard for perseveration?



Pennine Quiz No. 115


The Answers




1. Liberia

2. 47298

3. 45029

4. E3046 or E3055

5. 47261

6. Hall Road on Liverpool – Southport line on L&Y railway on 27th July 1905

7. 1956 (on 6th March)

8. 4-4-2

9. 35

10. 92220 Evening Star

11 86A

12. 7013 Bristol Castle

13. 2-8-2

14. Earl or Dukedog

15. 90 mph

16. Doncaster

17. 1966

18. Staffordshire Voyager

19. 47337

20. 90041

21. 2nd January 1967

22. Garsdale (just south of)

23. 83012

24. Sheffield Victoria site

25. 8301



Pennine Quiz No. 115


The Winners


Joint 1st Martin Bell and Ken King

3rd John Dewing


Congratulations to all the winners


Pennine Observer Notes


Eastern Region







Recent sightings at Lincoln have been:

Mar 4 60097 on tanks

Mar 11 60048

Mar 24 60039 on coal train

Mar 26 66612 on oil train

Mar 31 66607 on oil train

Apr 2 66088 on coal train

Apr 7 66180 on coal train

Apr 14 66182 on coal train

Apr 16 60026 on oil train, 66045 on coal train, 66710 on goods train

Apr 23 66077 on coal train

Apr 30 66618 on oil train

Recent sightings at Hykeham have been:

Mar 4 66165 light engine, 66608 on oil train

Mar 15 60049 and 66027 on goods trains

Mar 16 66608 on oil train, 67021 light engine

Mar 18 66100 on goods train

Mar 23 66706 on ballast train

Mar 29 66701 on ballast train

Mar 30 66161 on coal train

Apr 1 66701 on ballast train

Apr 5 60042 on oil train

The following were seen at Frickley (between Thurnscoe and Moorthorpe):

Apr 9 66103 on goods train

May 1 60016 and 60064 on goods trains, 60067 on steel train, 66547+66558 light engine

Other recent sightings have been:

Feb 17 66137 stabled at Peterborough

Mar 1 66097 on coal train at Holton-Le-Moor

Mar 6 60033 and 66148 on goods trains at Swinton, also 60099 on steel train

Mar 13 60011 on goods train at Church Fenton

Mar 16 66611 on tank train at Grantham, also 66707 and 57010 light engine

Mar 26 66064 on engineers train at Boston

Apr 7 66707 on ballast train at Gainsborough Lea Road

Apr 17 66193 on goods train at Godnow Bridge

Apr 28 66175 on oil train at Keadby

Apr 29 66096 on coal train at Saxilby

Seen working Anglia services on 1 March were 90018, 90020, 86230, 86217, 86238, 86250, 86227, 86215 and 86223.  On the same day 86209, 90016, 90017 and 37684 were noted at Norwich Crown Point and 57004, 57007, 57008, 47316, 47370, 66137, 86501, 86426, 86609, 86615, 86622, 86639, 86628, 66532, 66538, 66540, 66567 and 66568 at Ipswich and 66021, 66184, 66191, 56018, 66701, 66702, 66704, 66714, 73204 and 73207 at Peterborough.

Noted at Eaton Lane Crossing on 2 March were 66135 on

freightliner, 66706 light engine and 67029 on mail train.

Seen at Worksop on 3 March were 56078, 60094, 66002, 66050 and 66112.

Noted working Anglia services on 27 March were 86217, 86215, 86227, 86242, 86223, 90017, 90018 and 90031.  Also noted were 86209, 47200, 86246 and 86250 at Norwich Crown Point; 86610, 86638, 86627, 86602, 86605, 86426, 66571, 66573, 66537, 66540, 66605, 66572, 57003, 57006 90043, 47270 and 47316 at Ipswich; 08528, 56059, 66701, 66704, 66713, 66705, 73205 and 73207 at Peterborough.

Seen working Anglia services on 7 May were 86242, 90019, 90007, 90029, 90020, 90039, 90021, 86232, 86260, 86218 and 86246.

Noted working Anglia services on 10 May were 90020, 90024, 90029, 90021, 90018 and 90007.

Seen working Anglia services on 21/22 May were 86218, 86242, 86246, 86227, 90024, 90018, 86230 and 86234.


Western Region


Locos seen on the Penzance – Paddington sleepers have been 57603 (12 March), 57602 (27 March), 47832 (7 and 21 May) and 57604 (9 May).  57604 was on the Paddington – Penzance sleeper on 7 May).  08645 was the shunter at Plymouth for the sleeper coach in March and 08641 in May.

Noted at Plymouth on 27 March were 66100, 66163 and 66098.

Seen at Westbury on 21 May were 08526, 66034, 66227, 66162, 59101, 60054 and 31454.


Midland Region


Noted at Birmingham New Street on 19 February were 87021, 90010 and 390034.

Seen at Carlisle on 12 March were 60018, 60021, 66042, 66106, 37259 and 20308.  On the same day 66152, 66228, 66513, 66519, 47828, 57303 and 57312 were noted at Rugby and 92018, 90007, 66026, 66159, 66172, 66193 and 67022 were in the Wembley/Willesden area.

On the following day 57305, 57309, 87002, 87035, 87005, 66015, 66193, 66231, 67028, 92023, 92016, 92033 and 90007 were noted in the Wembley/Willesden area; 66508, 66513, 66519, 66563, 92014, 57311 and 66605 at Rugby; 56058, 92022, 92039, 37203 and 37669 at Bescot; 37229, 37259, 37602, 37611, 37609, 20904 and 20312 at Carlisle.

Noted working various Virgin WCML services on 18 March were 90009, 87012, 87029, 87031, 87001 and 90001.  On the same day 67018, 66189, 66196 and 47828 were seen at Stoke.

Noted at Rugby on 26 March were 66028, 66171, 66099, 66509, 66601, 57302 and 47840.  On the same day 87005, 87007, 87008, 87021, 87023, 90007, 90008, 92028, 66066, 66090, 66198 and 66224 were noted in the Wembley/Willesden area.

Seen working various Virgin WCML services on 16 April were 90008, 87015, 87033, 87023, 87013, 87002 and 90037 on the Inverness/Aberdeen sleeper.  On the same day 31468/459 were on the 15.49 Chester / Blackpool North service.

Railtours and Charter Trains


Locos seen working on recent railtours and charters have been:

Mar 13 (Kings Cross – Scarborough charter) 61264

Mar 26 (Northern Belle) 67023

Mar 31 (Twilight Grids) 56115 and 56078

Apr 17 (Minstering Monk) 47150, 60096, 66612/66618, 66552, 92004 and 66563


Preserved Railways


Locos working at the Great Central Railway 1960s Gala on 27 March were D1705, 4141 and 63601 on passenger trains and D123 and D5830 on freight.

Locos used at the North Yorkshire Moor Railway Diesel Gala on 24 April were D5061, D7628, 08856, D4018, 37197, 37261, 50007, 50033, 44004 and 45133.

Steam engines working passenger and freight services on 3 May at the Midland Railway Centre Vintage Weekend were 7671, 47357 and 1163 “Whitehead”.

Locos working at the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala on 8 May were 66716, 33048, D6566, 33207, 33103, 59103, D9526, 37419, D7017, 03119 (which failed), D3462 and steam 7820.  59204 hauled a railtour from London.

Locos used at the Mid Hants Railway Steam Gala on 22 May were D444, 33108, 45060, 33103, 47355, 33021, 73104, 73139 and thumper unit 205025.



A Pre Christmas Bash 1988


Chris Tyas


I have recently been looking back through some old moves books, and some old diaries and this is just a four-day bash that I did prior to the Christmas holidays.


MONDAY 19/12/88

Found me at Doncaster heading for York via Selby alas in those days I never wrote down DMU numbers but there is a P for Pacer so I would assume it would have been a 142 or a 144.  From York I had 47488 on 1M53 the 06.15 Newcastle - Liverpool to Leeds; then 47654 on 1O11 the 06.57 Newcastle - Poole from Leeds to Birmingham.  I then had 86435 new on 1G24 09.40 Euston - Wolverhampton to Wolverhampton; then 86228 to Crewe on 1S85 07.07 Plymouth – Glasgow; then 86405 new back to Wolverhampton on 1V50 08.50 Glasgow – Penzance.  Next I had another new 86418 to Birmingham which was replaced by 47438 to Bristol TM. on 1V53 additional.  I then had 47658 to Taunton on 1V54 13.25 Liverpool – Plymouth; where I had a walk to the Mail Coach for a pint before heading back north with 47665 on 1M79 17.00 Plymouth - Birmingham to New Street; then I had 86209 new on 1G46 20.10 Euston - Wolverhampton, and then on to Crewe with 47655 on 1M31 17.19 Folkestone - Liverpool.


TUESDAY 20/12/88

Began with 86250 on 1S79 the 21.00 Euston - Aberdeen to Mossend; then 37411 on 1Y01 03.47 Fort William portion to Stirling.  I then had 47460 to Glasgow QS. on 1T04 23.40 from Inverness, where I rejoined 1Y01 with 37422 to Tyndrum Upper; from where I walked down the hill to Tyndrum Lower to wait for 37406 on 1T12 back to Glasgow on the 08.10 from Oban. From there I had 47703 on 1O22 11.30 Glasgow QS. - Edinburgh, to Haymarket; then I had 43080 + 43051 to Newcastle on 1E09 Aberdeen - Kings X.  Next I had 47434 to Darlington on 1M76 14.20 Newcastle - Liverpool, where I retired for liquid refreshment at the Ostler, before catching 47591 on 1M28 15.27 Darlington - Liverpool back to Doncaster, for the final round of the Pennine shield at the Taps.


WEDNESDAY 21/12/88

After a night at home in bed I set off from Doncaster to Leeds catching a Pacer on a local stopping service, from Leeds.  I caught 47639 on 1M43 10.45 Leeds - Carlisle, travelling with an old friend of the society, Martin Ramsden better known as Sid.  When we got to Carlisle we retired to the Friars Tavern before I went forward to Glasgow with 85019 new on 1Z10 a Euston - Glasgow additional as we stopped at Lockerbie I never thought what carnage the town would be put through only a few hours later that day, when a Pan Am Boeing 747 exploded above the town killing all on board and many others on the ground.  Upon arrival in Glasgow I walked from Central station to Queen Street where I travelled on 1A67 17.25 Glasgow - Aberdeen to Aberdeen, where I went to the Tap Room for a pint of Caledonian 80/-.  I was just ordering my pint when there was a news flash on the TV telling about the events unfolding at Lockerbie, it was only then that I remembered that the young enthusiast I had been talking to on 1A67 had said he came from Lockerbie.  From Aberdeen I had 47460 on 1H37 21.00 to Inverness.  When I arrived in Inverness I ran into the young lad again who was also doing the overnight back to Glasgow and when I told him about what had happened at Lockerbie he thought I was pulling his leg but on arrival in Glasgow and seeing the newspaper headlines he realised it was true.


THURSDAY 22/12/88

From Inverness I had 47597 on 1T04 23.40 Wednesday to Glasgow Queen Street.  I then had 37422 to Tyndrum Upper on 1Y01 03.47 Mossend – Fort William, before walking down the hill to Tyndrum Lower for 37402 new to Helensburgh Upper on 1T12 08.10 Oban - Glasgow Q.S.  Next I had 37424 back north to Garelochead on 1Y21 10.15 Glasgow Q.S. - Fort William.  From Garelochead I had 37423 new + 37407 to Glasgow on 1T18 08.40 Fort William - Glasgow Q.S.; from Glasgow I had 47717 on 1O26 12.30 Glasgow Q S - Edinburgh to Falkirk High, then I had 47703 back to Glasgow on 1O25 12.30 Edinburgh - Glasgow Q.S., then I had 47704 new on 1A61 13.25 Glasgow - Aberdeen to Stirling.  Then I had a DMU back to Edinburgh where I had 47569 new to Haymarket on 1H21 15.25 Edinburgh -Inverness, for 47710 new back to Edinburgh on 1O36 15.00 Glasgow -Edinburgh, then back to Haymarket with the same engine on 1O39 16.00 Edinburgh -Glasgow, before having 47703 back to Edinburgh on 1O38 the 15.30 from Glasgow, then it was time to head back home to Doncaster with 47435 on 1E89 additional Edinburgh -Kings X. where I retired to the White Swan for a few beers. Over the four day’s I covered a total of 2,480 miles, and had 11 new engines to underline.



Pennine Meetings 2004


All meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.


Wednesday 7th July 2004

Tony Caddick


Wednesday 21st July 2004

Chris Tyas.


Wednesday 4th August 2004

Ian Waller


Wednesday 18th August 2004

Trefor Evans


Wednesday September 1st 2004

John Law


Wednesday September 15th 2004

Robin Patrick

“Roade to York”


Wednesday October 6th 2004



Wednesday October 20th 2004

Glen Williamson





I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Andy Barclay, Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Martin Hall, Steve Payne, John Sanderson, Ian Shenton, Paul Slater, Robin Skinner and Chris Tyas.  The photos of Antwerp were supplied by Chris Theaker.  The train is a Class 13 loco on the Antwerp / Ostend circuit arriving at Antwerp Berchem station and the tram is passing Antwerp Ost railway station .


Next Issue


The Autumn 2004 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on 15th September.  Would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by Monday 23rd August – THANK YOU.  Remember, you can email your contributions to david@whitlam145.freeserve.co.uk.


Loco Hauled Trains - Summer 2004


There are plenty of loco hauled trains to observe and do this summer but make the most of them as they might not be around this time next year.  The following operate on a Monday to Friday, with a mixture of diesel traction with the following types been used, class 31s, class 37/4, class 47/8 and class 67 locomotives.


Arriva Trains Northern.


0758 Knaresborough to Leeds

0947 Leeds to Carlisle

1333 Carlisle to Leeds

1743 Leeds to Knaresborough


Arriva Trains Wales


0659 Rhymney to Radyr

0719 Rhymney to Cardiff

0740 Rhymney to Cardiff

#1650 Cardiff to Rhymney (# see notes below#)

1711 Cardiff to Rhymney

17.47 Cardiff to Rhymney

#Between 19th July and 3rd September comes from Fishguard Harbour#


Between 19th July and 3rd September the following trains will run.

1048 Cardiff to Fishguard Harbour

1335 Fishguard Harbour to Rhymney


Wessex Trains


0828 Bristol TM to Weymouth

1100 Weymouth to Bristol TM

1428 Bristol TM to Weymouth (FO)

1718 Weymouth to Bristol TM (FO)

1252 Bristol TM to Brighton

1657 Brighton to Cardiff

2250 Cardiff to Bristol TM


Virgin West Coast

The following are diesel hauled between Crewe Holyhead Crewe with electric traction Crewe Euston Crewe.


0835 Euston to Holyhead

1725 Euston to Holyhead

1905 Euston to Holyhead

0527 Holyhead to Euston

0920 Holyhead to Euston

1323 Holyhead to Euston


First North Western


0719 Blackpool to Manchester Victoria

1706 Manchester Victoria to Blackpool


One Anglia


The Following are booked to be diesel hauled throughout between 12th July and 3rd September due to engineering works in the Ipswich area, and will run from Norwich to London Liverpool Street via Cambridge.


0630 Norwich to London Liverpool St

1147 London Liverpool St to Norwich

1212 Norwich to London Liverpool St

1727 London Liverpool St to Norwich




The Edinburgh to North Berwick service is now Class 90 loco and coaches.


Summer Saturdays 2004


Arriva Trains Northern


0906 York to Carlisle

1532 Carlisle to York


Wessex Trains


0858 Bristol TM to Weymouth

1156 Weymouth to Bristol TM

1428 Bristol TM to Weymouth

1722 Weymouth to Bristol TM


The following trains run between 10th July and 28th August.

0920 Westbury to Weymouth

1625 Weymouth to Westbury.


Virgin West Coast

The following are diesel hauled between Crewe Holyhead Crewe with electric traction Crewe Euston Crewe.


0800 Euston to Holyhead

1720 Euston to Holyhead

0520 Holyhead to Euston

0920 Holyhead to Euston

1323 Holyhead to Euston


Virgin Cross Country

The following operate between 3rd July to 4th September 2004.


0708 York to Paignton

0951 Preston to Paignton

0843 Paignton to Preston

0905 Paignton to Newcastle


Arriva Trains Wales


0911 Rhymney to Fishguard Harbour

1335 Fishguard Harbour to Rhymney


0708 Rhymney to Cardiff

0859 Cardiff to Rhymney

1015 Rhymney to Cardiff

1159 Cardiff to Rhymney


1315 Rhymney to Cardiff

1459 Cardiff to Rhymney

1615 Rhymney to Cardiff

1759 Cardiff to Rhymney

1915 Rhymney to Cardiff

2105 Cardiff to Rhymney


0801 Rhymney to Cardiff

0959 Cardiff to Rhymney

1114 Rhymney to Cardiff

1259 Cardiff to Rhymney

1415 Rhymney to Cardiff

1559 Cardiff to Rhymney

1715 Rhymney to Cardiff

1905 Cardiff to Rhymney

2020 Rhymney to Cardiff

2210 Cardiff to Rhymney


The following at the time of writing these notes was showing to be loco hauled but could be operated by DMU's.


1059 Cardiff to Rhymney

1215 Rhymney to Cardiff

1359 Cardiff to Rhymney

1515 Rhymney to Cardiff

2005 Cardiff to Rhymney


One Anglia

The following are booked to be diesel hauled throughout between 17th July and 4th September due to engineering works in the Ipswich area, and will run from Norwich to London Liverpool Street via Cambridge.

0751 Norwich to London Liverpool St

1044 Yarmouth to London Liverpool St

1124 London Liverpool St to Yarmouth

1815 London Liverpool St Norwich


Summer Sundays 2004


Virgin West Coast

The following are diesel hauled between Crewe Holyhead Crewe with electric traction Rugby Crewe Euston Crewe.


1118 Rugby to Holyhead

1620 Euston to Holyhead

1820 Euston to Holyhead

1345 Holyhead to Euston

1610 Holyhead to Euston


One Anglia

The following are booked to be diesel hauled throughout between 11th July and 5th September due to engineering works in the Ipswich area and will run from Norwich to London Liverpool Street via Cambridge.

0845 Norwich to London Liverpool St

1437 Norwich to London Liverpool St

1827 London Liverpool St to Norwich





HST operated trains over branch lines – Summer Saturdays 2004


First Great Western


0740 Swansea to Pembroke Docks

1007 Pembroke Docks to London Paddington

0930 London Paddington Pembroke Docks

1505 Pembroke Docks to London Paddington

0855 Plymouth to Newquay

1115 Newquay to London Paddington

1106 London Paddington to Newquay

1650 Newquay to London Paddington


Virgin Cross Country

Virgin XC are hiring three HST sets for ten summer Saturday starting on Saturday 3rd July to Saturday 4th September.  The most interesting is the hiring of a GNER HST set and 2 ex Virgin West coast sets which are going to be allocated to Neville Hill Leeds depot.


0725 York to Paignton

1415 Paignton to Manchester Piccadilly

0635 Manchester Piccadilly to Newquay

1420 Newquay to Manchester Piccadilly


GNER set will do ecs Neville Hill to Plymouth then do 0706 Plymouth to Newquay and 0925 Newquay to Newcastle.


Midland Main Line service to Manchester Piccadilly


Other HST to note is that the St Pancras to Manchester Piccadilly via the Hope Valley line is going to operate until September 26th 2004 then the service should cease to operate after that date.  The Monday to Friday trains are hourly from Manchester at the following times 0534, 0747, 0847, 0947, 1047, 1147, 1247, 1347, 1447, 1547, 1647, 1847 and 1947.  The following 2 services will operate as dated services 0647 and the 1747 will operate on Monday 24th May to Friday 28th May, Monday 31st May, Monday 28th June, Friday 2nd July and from Monday 30th August to Friday 3rd September 2004.  The service from St Pancras is hourly at the following times 0700, 0800, 0900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1500, 1614, 1728, 1800, 1900 and 2100.  The 1400 departure will operate on the following dates Monday 24th May to Friday 28th May, Monday 31st May, Monday 28th June to Friday 2nd July and from Monday 30th August to Friday 3rd September 2004.  The Saturday service from Manchester are as follows 0547, 0645, 0745, 0847, 0947, 1047, 1147, 1247, 1347, 1447, 1547, 1647, 1747 and 1847.  The Saturday service from St Pancras are as follows 0700, 0800, 0900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000.  The Sunday service from Manchester are as follows 1230, 1449, 1549, 1649, 1749 and 1849.  The Sunday service from St Pancras are as follows 1445, 1545, 1645, 1745, 1845 and 1950.  On Monday to Friday from 26th July all day Saturday and all day Sunday trains are diverted by Marple and do not call at Stockport.



(from magazine 14)


Eastern Region


Unusual sightings at Doncaster in March included 47090, “Vulcan” on a freight on 26th March, and 44009 “Snowdon” on a train of coal empties on 3lst March.  On 6th April Landore Class 37, 37308 was awaiting entry to Doncaster Plant and Class 40s, 40002/196 were noted passing through the station light engine.

A return Rotherham United Footex was noted awaiting departure from Chesterfield on 9th April, the 11 coach train hauled by 47295.  On l0th April 56001/6/7 were seen at Shirebrook MPD.  Apparently other Class 56 locos had recently been stabled at Shirebrook but all have had trouble with the cab heating blowing cold only.

On Easter Monday 11th April a Mexborough-Belle Vue excursion was in the charge of 40069 (GD).  Other specials noted that day included a Chesterfield-Bridlington behind 37091, and a Banbury-Scarborough was hauled by 45003(T0).

Crewe based Class 25, 25055 was a rare visitor to Lincoln on 13th April hauling freight.

Class 56, 56011 was noted at Darnall on l5th April working a commissioning trial train, 4X3l, 10.00 Broughton Lane-Peterborough West Yard.  The train consisted of Pullman Car E330 and 12 BBA's (air-braked bogie bolsters) loaded with rails.  On the same day sister engines 56023/4 were noted undergoing maintenance in Darnall diesel depot.

The Kings Cross-Cleethorpes services seem to have their share of troubles.  On l3th April the 08.30 from Kings Cross arrived at Lincoln 20 minutes late headed by 40050 and 47546.  The return working, the 12.56

ex-Cleethorpes was still hauled by the same pair, with both locomotives working.  On l8th April the same train was headed by 31423 which also powered the 17.16 ex-Kings Cross.

A points failure at Aldwarke Junction on 8th April blocked the Rotherham Masborough-Mexborough line and the 17.15 C1eethorpes-Sheffield ran via Rotherham Central and Woodburn Junction but did not set down in Rotherham.

Foreign Brush 47, 47080 “Titan” passed Doncaster with a car train on l6th April.  On the same day 55004 failed at Retford whilst working the 08.00 Kings Cross—Edinburgh and was replaced by 47363 which worked as far as Doncaster where an unidentified Deltic took over.  Departure from Doncaster was 73 minutes late.

Canton Class 47, 47248 was noted on York MPD on l6th April, whilst 40l00 (HM), 3710l (MR), 08864 (ex-Wath), were sighted on Thornaby depot, and green Class 47, 47195 was on Gateshead between turns on a West Ham football special.  Later the same day Longsight Class 40, 40120 was noted at Peterborough.

On 20th April 56003 was noted at Tinsley being shunted on the top shed by a Class 31, whilst 56012 worked onto the running shed under its own power.  BR's latest imports 56025/6 were noted at Lincoln on 22nd April towed by 31259 en-route from Harwich to Tinsley.  The two 56s stayed overnight in Lincoln.

Although not as well known as Crewe or Doncaster, the old GER Works at Stratford deal with a wide variety of motive power as well as a few industrial shunters.  In the Works on 23rd April were 03047, 08958, 31014/122/179/257, 37060, 46042, 47064/165/255/287/407/493.  Noted on the depot on the same day were 08230/232/241/269/408/409/440/442/527/541/547/552/554/627/863/957/958, 03009/081, 40l13, 31002/3/4/5/7/12/3/5/7.

Converted Class 08, TDB966508 formerly D3035 of 6D Shrewsbury fitted with miniature snow ploughs appears to be a permanent fixture at Lincoln East Holmes Yard where it has been for more than a year.


London Midland Region


One of the last remaining Class 24s, 24133 was seen on a freight at Trent Junction at 22.30 on l5th March.  The station pilot at Manchester Piccadilly on 28th March was 40082.  Other 40s noted that day were 40079/108 at Stockport Edgeley, 40116 at Ashburys and 40135 at Buxton.  Gloucester RC&W Parcels Unit M55988 was on a Manchester Piccadilly-Buxton service on 28th March.

Green Class 47, 47365 was spotted at Small Heath on 2nd April on a freight working.  Class 24, 24047 was noted working at Winsford Salt Sidings on l3th April whilst 24063/91 were seen working through Crewe station and 24036/73/80/84/87 were on the Crewe South scrap road.

HST 253022 was noted on Crewe diesel shed yard on l3th April, and 98 locomotives were in evidence in the Works including 47088 “Samson” and 47076 “City of Truro”, and 40043 was being cut up.

West Coast electrics 81001/2, 86008/20/1 were noted working Aston Villa specials to Manchester for the Football League Cup Final, Second Replay on l3th April.

On 23rd April 44004/8 were noted at Toton whilst EMU 313001 was a most unusual sighting in the sidings at Loughborough, presumably on its way to Derby for attention.


Western Region


A number of Class 25s have been noted working the Crewe-Cardiff services.  On 26th.March 25055/6 were in action, as was 25219 on l3th April.  Immingham Class 47, 47306 was on Cardiff Canton depot on 26th March along with 47078 “Sir Daniel Gooch”, 4708l “Odin” and 47087 “Cyclops”.


A Doncaster-Plymouth excursion on 11th April was headed by 47044, whilst a Mexborough-Paignton “Merrymaker” was hauled by 47173.

Canton Class 08s, 08353/4 were on duty at Cadoxton and Dinas Powis respectively on l2th April.

We cannot let Western news pass by without a report on a Class 52.  On 22nd April Pennine members visiting Old Oak Common had the pleasure of seeing D1022 “Western Sentinel” on the depot, although it was minus name and number plates and most of the cab fittings.  Also on the depot was 47091 “Thor”


SULZER FINALES - 21st and 28th January 1978 

(from magazine 19)


Jon Davis


‘Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun’, but what kind of nut gets up at 4.30 on a winters morning and travels from Sheffield to Nottingham - to catch a train which passes within half a mile of his home?

After meeting on Sheffield Midland our party of seven - minus one (still sleeping) embark on an uneventful Class 45 journey to Brian Clough land.  This sixty minute trundle is followed by a vain search for breakfast - (a bus inspector explained that Nottingham closes at weekends).

After being mobbed by fanatical ‘gricers’ D9 ‘SNOWDON’ departs on the dot at 08.15 , disc end forward and sporting freshly painted yellow nose, red buffer beam and silver lettered nameplates.  Snowy Chesterfield is reached on time and our sleeping beauty Paul is waiting on the platform.  Our magnificent seven complete we leave the town of the crooked spire and weave around South Yorkshire via Beighton, Darnall, Shepcote Lane, Tinsley, Rotherham Masborough, Aldwarke Jcn., Mexborough Curve and Stairfoot (why didn’t they call this trip ‘Barnsley the hard way’?).

What is 56005 doing in the bay at Barnsley Station? asks Mr. Prat of Lenton.  Another five action packed minutes and his question is answered.  After a signal check in the station our 2300 hp ‘Peak’ almost welds itself to the icy rails in a spectacular but futile attempt to conquer the incline up to Summer Lane.  To much cheering and clicking of camera shutters, hero of the hour, 56005 buffers up to the rear of our train and proceeds to push loco, coaches and all with an apparent lack of effort.  (Mrs. Burke of Spondon enquires of the guard ‘Why is it taking so long to reach Derby?’)

After a photo stop at Penistone (all the town must have turned out) we ventured on towards Stockport via Woodhead, Guide Bridge and Reddish South.  Then on past the Jodrell Bank Saucers and along the sinking railway to that jumble of track known as Crewe where ordinary passengers and a Police dog watched in amazement as swarms of enthusiasts descended upon 44009.

The next stage of our journey was double-headed by 24133 (to provide train heating) and D8 ‘PENYGHENT’ for the 25 minute run to Chester and lunch.  During the lunch break Chester MPD took on the appearance of a market place with scores of spotters (or is it nutters?) milling about.  Back to the train and we pass Wrexham and 24087 on Croes Newydd depot.

Forging south passed well named places like Preesgweene we are well in front of time as we take the avoiding line past Shrewsbury Station and head towards the beautiful Black Country, through Wolverhampton, Walsall, Lichfield City and onto the Midland at Wichnor Jcn, from where we travel via Burton, Stenson Jcn and Castle Donnington.  The train crew’s shift is up before we reach Nottingham so a new crew take over at Lock Lane Crossing near Trent for the 10 minute run to Nottingham Midland where we arrive more than 10 minutes early anyway.

We say goodbye to D8 then it’s off home for a few drinks and a smile (or 15) at the Sheffield Utd. football result.  Was the LNER loco of this name really 505151?

Seven days later it’s up before the crack of dawn again and off to Sheffield Midland and the chance to kill two birds with one stone - the last Class 24 haulage and a winter trip on the Vale of Rheidol line.  This time we must travel by road to meet the train at Wolverhampton H.L. owing to a total lack of return trains in the evening.  Paul our sleeping beauty gets up late and rushes down to inform us he cannot make the trip.  This leaves us with one car and 7 travellers – 2 BR employees had to travel by rail and eventually arrived home at 11.00 the following morning.

After a 2-hour road journey through driving rain and floods we breakfasted in Wolverhampton (a much easier task than in Nottingham) and waited among a crowd of ‘Wolves’ football types for our train.  Stood nearby was 87008 resplendent with its ‘City of Liverpool’ nameplates.  The two Class 24 locomotives which took over the train at Birmingham New Street (after electric haulage from Euston) were experiencing difficulties with the multiple working equipment by Wolverhampton.  The locos in question were 24133 (again) and 24087.

24087 soon disgraced itself by catching fire near Oxley Carriage Sidings.

After this mishap we sped (well moved) towards Wales passing Canton 47, 47256 near Telford.  This machine now sports a diabolical all-over green livery with white BR ‘barbed wire’ emblems.  Next comes a photo stop at Wellington where most people swarm around the locos (making photos impossible) and a few others seek refreshment from a Nestles machine.  After this short pause we go West to Shrewsbury where a rumoured relief loco is not in evidence.  We amble on past 08470 in Hookagate P.W yard, through wet Welshpool, nought-degree Newtown and cold Caersws to torrential Talerddig where we are passed by an eastbound DMU, then we speed down the 1:52 ‘house side’ to Llanbrynmair and down a ruling gradient of 1:163 to Machynlleth.

 Our train splits at Machynlleth, 6 coaches going forward to Towyn (for the Talyllyn Railway), the other 7 vehicles visiting Aberystwyth.  We lucky Aberystwyth passengers are taken charge of by 24087 (with assistance from 25165) for the short run to our standard gauge destination.

After sampling ‘Seven Up’ (drink) from Sainsbury’s, we were hoping for ‘Seven Up’ (OWAIN GLYNDWR) to Devils Bridge, but as always we have to make do with old faithful No.9 ‘PRINCE OF WALES’, ’LLEWELYN’, the other of BR’s steam locomotive fleet (Class 98 to all you mod-singers) is undergoing maintenance in Swindon Works.  Considering the time of year and the wet weather our train seemed rather heavy for our 76 year old hero and sure enough the ‘Prince’ is soon struggling to find his feet.  By Capel Bangor the fireman is stood on the front throwing sand onto the track and by Nantyronen our ascent has become a farce.  Here our loco takes a rest and our party takes brandy (cheers Big Roger) before another 30 minutes of sheer folly ends in the driver ‘throwing in the towel’ at Aberffrwd - apparently the planned photograph run past was cancelled as BR could not guarantee the train keeping still as we ran past it.

Mr. A. Wright-Herbert of Twickenham was complaining bitterly to the guard - we hadn’t even reached Devils Bridge yet - and according to his timetable we should have departed from there 10 minutes ago.  After taking coal and water at Aberffrwd we began the painfully slow process of being propelled back down to Aberystwyth by No.9 arriving just 15 minutes before main-line departure time - just time for a quick dash to the shops to buy crisps, drink, and an Unsworth’s pork pie for the return journey.

Back on the train and a close inspection of our V. of R. tickets revealed the heading ‘Farewell to Class 44 Railtour’ - a rare motive power indeed for this gauge line.  But we were back to standard gauge now - and more failures as we stand 50 minutes outside Machynlleth station with the brakes jammed on.  24087 is determined to be awkward - after trying to go out in a blaze of glory in the morning she now decides to pack up altogether and ends up being dumped on Machynlleth shed. Off again for an incident-free run back to the Black Country (except for a buffet attendant dropping all the plates).

Talking of buffets - the 35p toasted sandwiches available on the train were cheap at twice the price.  Back in Wolverhampton there’s just time for a quick drink and a bag of chips, and then it’s back to the car (with a bag of that West Midlands delicacies -pork scratchings) for the journey home.




(from magazine 25)


Jon Davis


Faced with the problems of hauling heavy mineral trains from South Yorkshire to Lancashire (quite often four steam locomotives were needed to work up the 1 in 40 Wentworth Bank) and the impossible task of finding men to work a signal box inside one of the foul tunnels at Woodhead, The Great Central Railway made investigations into the merits of electrification of a short section of the route.  This idea was extended by the LNER. and after many years consideration, contracts were placed in 1938/39 for electrification work to begin.

A new Bo-Bo locomotive was built at Doncaster Works in 1940-41 and tested on Manchester South Junction & Altrincham line, which used the same system (1,500 volts D.C. overhead) as the proposed Pennine Scheme.

By the time construction work was stopped by the War, an almost farcical piece of miss-management had come to light.  Steelwork for the overhead contact system had reached the western portals of Woodhead Tunnels, the engineers realised there was far too little overhead clearance for the wires to pass through!

After the War, the locomotive (now renumbered from 6701 to 6000) ran extensive trials in Holland, where it clocked up half-a-million kilometres, including both passenger and freight work.  On freight duties, 6000 often handled trains of up to 1,750 tons.  Being British, the loco soon picked up the nickname of “Tommy” and after its return to England, was officially named “Tommy” at London Liverpool Street Station on 30th. June 1952.

Construction work resumed in 1949 and new tunnels were built at Woodhead (3 miles 66 yards of electrically lit masterpiece) and at Thurgoland (a short single track bore).

By this time, the estimated cost of the Pennine Scheme was £10,877,000, made up as follows:

Electrical engineering work £6,745,000

Civil engineering work £1,590,000

Signal & Telecommunication work £1,513,000

Mechanical engineering work £1,020,000

Work started in 1950 on the construction of 58 Bo-Bo (E.M.1) & 7 Co-Co (E.M.2) locomotives at BR Gorton; although an ex-North Eastern electric, which was rebuilt by the LNER., for use as a banker at Worsborough, never saw the line and in fact ended its days shunting Ilford Yard.  It was originally planned to build 88 locomotives.

An Electric Control Station was built at Penistone and energy (at 33 Kv.) obtained at Aldam & Neepsend (from Yorkshire Electricity Board) & Gorton Substation (from North Western Electricity Board).  These sources are interlinked in case of emergency.  In all 11 substations and 12 track-sectioning cabins were built.

Three Motive Power Depots were built - Darnall, Reddish and Wath, although Darnall in fact became a diesel shed, with the electrics being stabled at Rotherwood Sidings.  Electric locos are also stabled at Guide Bridge.


Woodhead New Tunnel (the third longest on B.R.) was opened for freight traffic in 1951, but passenger trains were steam hauled through the old tunnels for three more years, until the E.M.2 express locomotives were completed.

Woodhead New Tunnel was officially opened on 3rd June 1954 and the first passenger trains ran on 14th September the same year, when Sheffield Victoria Station was “bedecked with flowers and bunting”.

The seven E.M.2 locos (named after Greek Goddesses) and the thirteen named E.M.1 mixed-traffic locos (all but “Tommy” taking names of Greek Gods, once carried by M.S. & L. steam locos which worked the Woodhead Route) were fitted with steam heating boilers, “Tommy” also having electric train heating.  The freight-only locos had a cast-iron weight in place of the boiler, to keep the correct balance.

All locos were fitted with regenerative braking, which reverses the function of the traction motors, the effect being that a train travelling downhill actually generates power back into the overhead system.  If too much power is regenerated, the circuit is tripped-out, so its use is restricted and Regeneration Resistors were installed in the substations at Strafford Crossing, Barnsley Junction, Gorton and Wharncliffe Wood.  By 1957, rheostatic braking (effective at slower speeds than the regenerative. brake) had been fitted to the E.M.1s and 30 of this class are now fitted with air brakes for working in multiple on heavy trains.  Locos are also fitted with “clear-call” telephones (which use the centenary) for communication between train-locos and bankers on Worsborough Bank.

Suburban services from Manchester Piccadilly (formerly London Road) to Glossop and Hadfleld are operated by EMU's, normally working in three car sets.  Other services earmarked for electrification, but never getting an electric railway, were Manchester Piccadilly to New Mills Central and Hayfield and the short branch off this line to Rose Hill, Marple.

The Woodhead Route served extensive and contrasting yards on both sides of the Pennines; the first marshalling yard in the World at Wath, Rotherwood and a modern, huge white-elephant at Tinsley, in the East and Mottram and Dewsnap in the West.  When the hazardous (and thankfully departed) task of chasing was being pursued at Mottram, to avoid confusion, because of the similarity of some number sounds (the control tower contacted the chasers by “Tannoy”), certain roads in the yard were given code names: No. 5 was known as “Ordsall Lane”, No. 11 as “Deansgate” and No. 16 as “Adam”.  The extension of electrification from Woodburn Junction and Darnall West to Broughton Lane (British Oxygen Co.) and Tinsley Marshalling Yard, in the mid 60s, was the last line to be electrified with the D.C. system.

Apart from “Tommy” the most famous locomotive to be employed on the Woodhead Route was probably E.M.1 No. 26020 (the only un-named E.M.1 to be fitted with train heating).  26020 was exhibited at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and worked the first train through Woodhead New Tunnel in 1954.  It was used in a number of publicity photographs by B.R.  In 1978, it was restored in its original black livery by BREL. at Doncaster Plant and is now preserved in the National Railway Museum, at York.

By the late ‘50s, B.R. seemed to be losing interest in the scheme.  The passenger extension from Reddish to Manchester Central and the electrification from Rotherwood to Whitemoor Yard (March) never saw the light of day.  The only apparent work carried out on the Whitemoor line was the construction of a new footbridge at Worksop Station, with ample headroom for catenary.

The passenger stations at Wadsley Bridge (for Sheffield Wednesday FC.), Oughtibridge, Deepcar and Wortley were closed on l5th June 1959, although Wadsley Bridge is still in use as an excursion station.  Closure of Woodhead Station followed in 1964.  The last passenger train to traverse the Worsborough Branch was RCTS's “Great Central Rail Tour”, from Waterloo to Marylebone, on l3th August 1966.

With the new power classifications, in preparation for the Total Operations Processing System, Class E.M.1 became Class 76 and Class E.M.2 became Class 77, although the E.M.2s never carried their new numbers.

Services from Sheffield Victoria on almost all its routes except Woodhead, were suspended in 1966, with the Lincolnshire trains, the “Master Cutler” and the “Sheffield Pullman” diverted to Sheffield Midland.  This was only the beginning, there now followed one of the bitterest fights in the history of Britain’s railways.

The fight began in January 1967, when B.R. posted “Withdrawal of Railway Passenger Services” notices, for the closure of the Woodhead Route and all its remaining stations, on 5th June 1967.  500 objections were received from Penistone alone, but B.R. was determined.  The battle went on long after the closure date, the Manchester suburban service was eventually saved, but B.R. would not relent, Woodhead was doomed!  October 1968 saw the withdrawal of the E.M.2s and trains were reduced to five bogies, with ridiculous speed restrictions enforced to slow down the service.

The seven E.M.2s and “Tommy” were stored out of use at Bury MPD., until in November 1969, the entire Class 77 was bought by the Netherlands State Railways.  Also in 1969, “Tommy” saw a brief return to service, before being cut-up in Crewe Works.

The closure notices were posted once again, the new date being 4th January 1970, although a new service was to be introduced from Sheffield via Penistone to Huddersfield.  This time it was the end, for Sheffield Victoria and Dunford Bridge stations and the Woodhead Passenger service, the line going down fighting, with enthusiasts staging a sit-in at Manchester Piccadilly, because the last train was cancelled after a derailment.  Eventually the train did run and reached Sheffield Victoria at 00.45 on Monday 5th January 1970, behind E26057 “Ulysses”.

One of the reasons given for closure, was the need to increase freight traffic, but since 1970 the volume of freight using the line has been steadily reduced and the future of the freight service and the Huddersfield-Penistone-Sheffield Midland passenger service hangs in the balance.

Over in Holland, the remaining six E.M.2s (E .27005 “Minerva” was cannibalised for spares) are still going strong and working some of the top expresses, in a country where railwaymen and not mindless bureaucrats run the railways.