The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society


No. 129 - Autumn 2004


1974 - 2004


Committee Briefs


30th Anniversary Celebrations




Barrow Hill

As part of the Society’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, a successful evening visit to Barrow Hill was held on 22 June 2004.  Thanks to officials at Barrow Hill for allowing our exclusive visit, to the Felix Preservation Group for transport to and from Doncaster and to Robin for organising the event.



We now look forward to our visit to Butterley and the Midland Railway Centre on Sunday 3rd October for lunch on the dining train.  If you still want to book for this, contact Chris Tyas.  Full details are also shown on our website – please visit it.  The website address is shown within the details of our Committee members.

The bus to Butterley will depart Doncaster from West Street bus stop opposite the Railway Hotel at approximately 10 a.m. or after the arrival of the first train from Hull.  Then we will be making a pick up in the Sheffield area possibly at Crystal Peaks at around 10.30 to 10.45 (arrangements for this pick up can be made with Chris Tyas or Ian Jones, our driver for the day, nearer the date).  Hopefully we should be back in Doncaster no later than 7 p.m. on the return journey giving plenty of time for onward train connections.  Please contact Chris Tyas if you intend travelling on the bus.  We look forward to seeing you all there.


Trans Pennine

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 35 (March 1981), 36 (June 1981) and 37 (September 1981).


Social Evenings


With the darker evenings already upon us, we would like to remind members of the quality programme of events Robin has arranged for the autumn at the Salutation in Doncaster.  These social evenings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month, starting at 20.00.

Your attention is drawn in particular to the Pennine Slide Competition on 6th October (bring along 4 of your best slides for judging), an evening with Les Nixon on 17th November and the final of the Pennine Shield on 15th December.  There is also a members’ slide night on 1st December – bring along any of your slides to entertain us.

A full programme of events is shown elsewhere in this magazine.


Virgin may lose Cross Country


Virgin Rail’s bid to extend its Cross Country franchise to 2012 appears to have failed as the Strategic Rail Authority ruled out its bid on value-for-money grounds.

Virgin now hopes that it will be successful in an open competitive bid.


The Grand Midland Hotel


The Grade 1 listed Gothic style former Grand Midland Hotel, built between 1868 and 1876 to designs by Sir George Gilbert Scott for the Midland Railway Company, at St. Pancras, has had a £10m facelift to its façade.  Plans have now been submitted for a Marriott Hotel on the first four floors and luxury flats on the top two, built by Manhattan Loft Corporation.

The hotel closed in 1935 but was used as offices until the 1980s.  Paul Sutton tells us that since then it has been favoured as a haunt for photographers and film directors looking for atmospheric and unusual locations.  He remembers that the Spice Girls, in April 1996, shot their first video, “Wannabe”, at that very location.

Perhaps, when the Hotel re-opens, we can have a Society event to London, staying overnight there.  Over to you, Robin.


Moose Proof


W & J Tods of Crewkerne has developed a moose-proof device to help a Swedish rail company.  The detachable nose-cone protector is fitted onto the front of trains on the Arlanda Express Airport rail link in Stockholm to act as an impact-absorber, repelling the moose without injuring them, and preventing damage to the trains.

A contract for 20 of the nose-cones has been secured.


SRA to be Scrapped


The Government is to scrap its once much-vaunted Strategic Rail Authority.  The Transport Secretary will now run the railways directly from Whitehall, taking key decisions about strategy, funding and performance targets.  Day-to-day responsibility for track, timetables and running a reliable service will pass to a beefed-up Network Rail.

Though this move stops short of full-scale re-nationalisation, few doubt that the Transport Dept has taken on the mantle of Britain’s new “fat controller”.

Key proposals on the Government’s plans to streamline the railways include:

Control: the Government is abolishing the SRA.  Strategy, performance targets and funding will be dictated by the Transport Secretary and civil servants

· Trains: a reduced number of train companies will work to much tighter rules, with no power over timetables or extra services.  Rules that let operators claim millions of pounds in compensation for delays have been “simplified”.

· Regulations: Office of Rail Regulation takes responsibility for rail safety from Health and Safety Executive.

· Network: network Rail keeps responsibility for tracks, maintenance, timetables and punctuality.  It can now refuse any extra services planned by train operators.

· Devolution: More power to fund and plan services given to London Mayor, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly.  Regional Rail Passenger Councils to be replaced with one national body.


Pendolino Record


A Virgin Pendolino has run the 115 miles from Birmingham New Street to Euston in a record 84 minutes.  From late September, after track upgrade work is completed, the fastest scheduled time for the run will be 81 minutes.

An HST is being used on Mondays to Friday on Euston – Manchester services to give extra cover while Pendolinos are being modified (the tilting is causing havoc in the working of the WCs).


Euro 2004


The number of passengers using Eurostar increased by 20% in the first half of the year, to 3,406,698.  The volume of rail freight transported through the tunnel reached 978,717, an increase of 15%.  Revenue from Shuttle Services fell by 6% to £137m compared with the first half of 2003.

However the financial situation of Eurotunnel, the operator of the Channel Tunnel, remains “worrying” although the future of the Tunnel is not in doubt.


Northern Franchise


The Serco-NedRailways consortium has been chosen by the SRA as the preferred bidder ahead of existing operators First North Western and Arriva Trains Northern to run inter-urban and commuter services in an area stretching from Liverpool to Hull and Stafford to Newcastle.  The two companies in the consortium already work together in the Merseyrail franchise.  Serco also operates the Docklands Light Railway and Manchester Metrolink.

First holds the Trans-Pennine and Hull Trains operations and is the preferred bidder for the Scotland franchise.


St. Pancras Interim


From 13 September 2004 the tunnel route between Kentish Town and Kings Cross Thameslink is being closed for 7 months for a £40m “box” to be built to house a new Thameslink station.  This means the interim station will be dealing with an additional 20,000 passengers arriving every weekday during the three-hour morning peak.  All Thameslink trains from Bedford will terminate there.  Trains from the south will terminate at Kings Cross Thameslink station.

During the closure trains will not stop at West Hampstead or Kentish Town because the London Underground cannot cope with such increased numbers.  There will be no Thameslink services to Moorgate.


Black Future for Washwood


150 years of train building at Washwood Heath, Birmingham will end in September when the Pendolino production line comes to an end.  Alstom have decided to close the plant.

Although the company has won a £100m contract building trains for London Underground, these will now be built in Barcelona.


East Coast Franchise


Virgin has withdrawn its bid for the East Coast franchise whilst EWS has submitted a late bid.  Other bidders for the franchise, to run for seven years from May 2005, are existing operators GNER and First Group.  EWS has joined the bid launched by Danish State Railways.


Allington Chord


Work has started on the 450 metres Allington Chord near Grantham, which will allow Central Trains’ services between Nottingham and Sleaford via Grantham to be able to avoid using the ECML.  Barkston chord and the “east” signalbox controlling the junction will be removed.




Freightliner’s Class 66, 66576 has been named “Hamburg Süd Advantage” to mark the movement of the German carrier’s 200,000th container by rail in Britain.


EWS to Lease Locos to France


EWS has won a two year contract to provide the French rail infrastructure company Fertis with up to 40 locos to haul ballast trains during the construction of the new TGV Est line between Paris and Strasburg.  Up to 14 Class 58s and 25 Class 56s will be based at ST. Hilaire (near Reims), Ocquerre and Pagny (both near Metz).



The Great Orme Tramway


Paul Slater

















The highlight of a holiday in Deganwy in 1956, when I was twelve years old, was a ride on the Snowdon Mountain Railway with my parents and brother, but I remember being fascinated also by a ride on a funicular from Llandudno up to the summit of the Great Orme.  More recently, my wife and I hoped to travel on the funicular, but for various reasons we never managed it.  At last, on a sunny spring day in 2004, during a weekend when we were staying with a friend in Cheshire, we had a ride on the Great Orme Tramway, to give the funicular its proper name.

The tramway operates in two sections, each of which is single track with a passing loop at the mid-way point.  Our journey began at Victoria station, the lower terminus, situated among hotels, pubs and guest houses.  The trams are named after Welsh saints, and the one which my wife and I and our friend boarded at the start of our ride was “St. Silio”.  From Victoria station the line climbs steeply, up a narrow walled lane, across a street, and then alongside a road.  A cable-operated tramway on a public road is unique in Britain, and it was a great novelty to be climbing slowly up the steep streets out of the town, with a fine view beginning to spread out below us.  The descending tram, “St. Tudno”, passed us in the loop, then our tram negotiated a double bend past the last houses and up on to the grassland on top of the Great Orme.  The gradient eased a little, and then we were arriving at Halfway station.  We had to walk through the building to the upper section of the tramway.  The Halfway station contains displays on the history and operation of the funicular, and also houses the winding machinery.

We rode to the summit on “St. Seiriol”, passing “St. Trillo” in the loop, and getting a good view of the cable cars, much more modern than the funicular, which run parallel to it.  The line runs across open grassland, using low embankments and shallow cuttings, and the gradients are less steep than on the lower section.  There was time for a walk to the breezy top of the headland to admire the view, and for me to take photographs of the trams in their upland setting.  When the trams are moving, the cables running over the wheels placed at intervals in the centre of the track make an unusual and distinctive noise.

We returned to the Halfway station on “St. Trillo” to visit the ancient copper mines situated on the hillside a little below the funicular.  Dating from the Bronze Age, these have recently been opened to the public, and are reckoned to be a major prehistoric site.  Tours underground are self-guided; we had to put on hard hats, and then descended a path to the mouth of a narrow tunnel.  Inside were a few lamps and several display boards pointing out features of interest; the mine can be considered a very early example of industrial archaeology, or can simply be enjoyed as an unusual experience.

I was not altogether sorry to emerge from the tunnel, which was very low and narrow in places; I found it distinctly claustrophobic.  More of the mine can be observed in the open; some distance away, on the skyline, the trams on the upper section of the funicular passed, the noise of the running cables carrying clearly.

There was time to ask questions of a resident archaeologist, and to browse in the gift shop with its beautiful selection of coloured stones, and then we had to toil up the path to the Halfway station to catch the last tram of the day down to Llandudno.  The noise of the machinery and the cables reassured us that the funicular was running: soon “St. Silio” appeared, climbing up from the town, and before long we were descending through the streets and lanes to Victoria station, passing “St. Tudno” in the loop, and our visit to the Great Orme was over.

A week or so later, I watched two videos featuring scenic rail journeys in Wales.  Both of them include short sequences shot on the Great Orme Tramway, so I was able to see the funicular in action again; from these videos, I learned that the tramway was built in 1902-1903.  I also looked in my old Ian Allan ABC of British Railways locomotives, my engine-number book from when I was a boy train spotter in the l950s.  The book listed only engines and units which belonged to the nationalised system, but I knew I had added a few privately-owned locomotives, and sure enough when I looked inside the front cover of my old combined volume ABC there were “Prince”, “Taliesin” and “Moelwyn” from the Ffestiniog Railway as well as “Edward Thomas”, “Douglas” and “Talyllyn” from the Talyllyn Railway and some industrial shunters; the narrow-gauge engines were “spotted” during a holiday in Wales in 1960.  A note I had written referred me to the end of the Southern Electric section, where I had added 5 “John Hampden” and 8 “Sherlock Holmes” from the Metropolitan Railway, and also to the end of the London Midland Region section.  Here I found numbers I had written in after that holiday in Deganwy in 1956: 2 “Enid”, 3 “Wyddfa”, 5 ‘Moel Siabod” and 8 “Eryri” from the Snowdon Mountain Railway, and the numbers of the great Orme trams.  They did not carry names then, but the numbers - 4, 5, 6 and 7 - were the same as the ones I saw in 2004.  I am glad that, after all these years, I finally managed to have another ride on the Great Orme funicular.


Photos (taken by Chris Tyas)

Car 6 at Halfway Station

Car 7 seen climbing the Great Orme












No 25 First Generation DMUs


With the passing of the Metro Cammell sets working the services from Manchester Piccadilly to Marple and Romily last December, the only conventional DMUs left on Britain's main line railway is one bubble car working for Chiltern and the odd departmental vehicle.

First generation DMUs were largely the result of the 1955 BR modernisation plan and were designed to replace steam in every way on all non electrified passenger services except Inter City services and other long distance cross country services.  This in the late 1950s was most.

At the time we absolutely loathed them giving them allsorts of names including bog car, which if you got on one in poor internal and mechanical condition, it was a good description.

The services they were introduced ranged from the Stourbridge town car, all the little branch lines, some of which are now long gone, like Hull to Hornsea.  Main commuter routes into St Pancras, Paddington, Marylebone and Kings Cross.  Urban services around Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.  The Cardiff Valleys.  Most of us can well remember the Lincoln based Derby Heavy weights which were the main stay of services in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, right up to the cream Della cream TRANS – PENNINE units which operated Hull to Liverpool at first via Leeds and then later they were put onto the South Trans-Pennine services via Doncaster and Sheffield with the Swindon built INTER-CITY 124 units.

My first memories are of Green Derby Heavy weight units working Sheffield - Nottingham Erewash Valley services at Dore and Totley in the early 1960s.  One of the first pairs I recorded was 50017+56017.

First Generation DMUs is part of the Ian Allen British Railway Pictorial series.  The publication is paperback consisting of 80 pages of black and white photos.  The cover is colour.  It lists the numbers and details of all the first generation DMUs.

It concentrates very heavily on Southern, Western and Scottish areas and only just skims the surface with the

Eastern and North Eastern.  There is only one picture of a Derby Heavyweight and that is on Lincoln diesel depot, which incidentally is now a Lincolnshire Road Car Garage.

Nevertheless there are some very nostalgic shots covering the period 1955 to about 1967 the period they were painted green; pre that horrible first BR blue.


VERDICT: Some excellent black and white photos of an era when the railway was still characteristically a steam railway, so the nostalgia is all there.  However if you are looking for pictures of green units in South Yorkshire or Lincolnshire forget it!



Pennine Quiz No. 117


Andy Barclay








Which stations did these named / Pullman trains operate between on a Monday to Friday from April 18th 1966 to 5th March 1967.  (You can gain extra points by giving all the appropriate portions.)

































Pennine Quiz No. 116


The Answers






1. C. Rous-Marten

2. 46243

3.   1. North British Queens Park works Glasgow
       2. North British Hyde Park works Glasgow
       3. Derby works

4. 3

5. 1. 990 Henry Oakley

2. 1470 Great Northern

3. 1471 Sir Fredrick Banbury

6. 7.5 Miles, St.Helier and Corbiere

7. Dover and Deal

8. Kittybrewster

9. Lancing

10. Fairbourne and Barmouth Steam Railway

11. Wigan Springs Branch

12. Thornton Junction

13. 30102 Granville

14. Sirocco

15. Giants Causeway, Portrush & Bush Valley Railway & Tramway

16. Finsbury Park

17. Braveheart

18. 14

19. Moreton Hampstead

20. Hibberd & Co

21. 235yds

22. Trackpans

23. Holbeck

24. Col. J.R.H. Robertson

25. 43924



Pennine Quiz No. 116


The Winners


1st John Dewing

2nd Ken King

3rd Paul Slater


Congratulations to all the winners.



Pennine Observer Notes










Eastern Region


Recent sightings at Hykeham have been:

June 14 66131 on coal train

66703 hauling 27000, 31271, 56006 and 84001

June 17 66123 on goods train

66201 on freightliner

66208 and 66234 on coal trains

June 28 60002 on coal train

60022 on oil train

66242 light engine

66713 on ballast train

Recent sightings at Eaton Lane Crossing have been:

June 8 66019 on coal train

66087 on sand train

66219 on car transporters

66504 on freightliner

June 15 66014 on goods train

66111 on sand train

67008 on ecs

Other recent sightings have been:

April 15 66039 at Holton-Le-Moor

April 27 66169 and 66081 at North Muskham

May 5 66056 at Lincoln

May 18 60080 at Holton-Le-Moor

June 5 66014 on cement train at Claypole

June 12 60034 on oil train and 66022 on goods train at Crowle

June 15 66531 on coal train at Welham

66046 at Hubberts Bridge

June 19 60040 on iron ore train and 66058 on coal train at Barnetby

June 26 60014 on oil train and 60092 on iron ore train at Ulceby

June 28 66136 light engine at Saxilby

July 7 60047, 60052 and 66111 on coal trains, 66072 on goods train, 66151 on steel train and 67019 light engine at Temple Hirst Junction

July 8 60057 at Lincoln

July 9 66210 at Lincoln

July 14 66092 on coal train and 66611 on oil train at Lincoln

July 16 66030 on coal train at Lincoln

July 17 60068 on goods train, 66203 on steel train and 66556 and 66562 on coal train at Swinton

July 26 66174 at Holton-Le-Moor

July 29 D2112 at Boston

Seen at Barnetby on 7 April were 60008, 60042, 60045, 60076, 60082, 60085, 66020, 66165, 66182, 66223, 66239, 66240, 66246 and 66618.

Noted at Ipswich on 12 June were 90041, 90042, 86609, 86501, 86628, 86627, 66568, 66537, 66501, 66533, 66558, 57011, 47303, 47270 and 47358.  On the same day 86227, 86246, 90019, 90031, 90040, 90004, 90018, 90003 and 90021 were on Liverpool Street - Norwich services and 86209, 86260, 86234 and 47200 were on Norwich Crown Point. 

Noted at Worksop on 3 July were 08824, 60025, 60080, 66047, 66088, 66171 and 66192.  On the same day 45112, 47703 and 47709 were stabled at Derby.

Seen at Toton on 10 July were 08414, 08635, 08683, 08703, 08711, 08896, 08910, 08912, 08942, 37065, 37230, 37375, 37668, 47702, 47742, 47758, 47766, 47777, 47781, 47789, 58003, 58008, 58014, 58019, 58023, 58036, 58046, 56061, 60002, 60017, 60052, 60059, 60066, 60093, 66003, 66011, 66081, 66085, 66132, 66146, 66153, 66233, 66238, 66952 and 67030

Locos working at Scunthorpe Steel Works on 10 July were steam locomotive 3138 “Hutnik” on steelworks tour train, banked to Frodingham platform by diesel “Arnold Machin”, steam locomotive 1438 on steelworks brake-van tour, Corus locomotives 73 and 80 on train of molten iron from the blast furnaces, 66002 in steelworks exchange sidings and 66147 on coal train

Noted at Peterborough on 31 July were 66712, 66713, 66717, 60054, 66006, 66030, 66121, 66136, 66195 and 66250.


Western Region


Noted at Westbury on 12 June were 59204, 08947, 60050, 66025, 66136, 31454 and 31128.

Seen at Bristol on 1 July were 66527 and 66548.  On the same day 59205, 60046 and 66139 were noted at Westbury.

Working the 14.28 Bristol - Weymouth on 9 July were 31454 and 31128.

Working the 08.28 Bristol - Weymouth on 15 July were 31452 and 31601.

On 16 July, 47811 dragged a failed and empty HST from Exeter to Laira.

Noted at Acton on 31 July were 08652, 59202, 59204, 59206, 60099, 60082, 60094, 60004, 60056, 66248 and 66246.


Midland Region


Locos noted in a 90 minute spell at Crewe on 28 July were 47810, 47816, 47851, 57301, 66027, 66235, 66502, 66523, 87004, 87015, 87029, 87035, 90008, 90014, 90015, 90027, 92024 and 92043.

Seen at Willesden on 31 July were 57302, 87001, 87030, 87031, 87005, 87016, 87026, 87025 and 87027.  Also noted at Wembley were 08798, 08844, 66212, 66167, 66037, 66150, 08918, 90036, 90027, 90040, 66714, 92033, 67003 and 67022.


Southern Region


Noted at Dollands Moor on 31 July were 66090, 92003, 92001, 92012, 92030, 92023, 92031, 92011 and 92039.  On the same day 73204 and 73205 were at Tonbridge and 73208 was working on the Gatwick Express.


Cross Country


The following holiday trains are hauled by Class 67 locos on Summer Saturdays (3 July to 4 September):

1V15 07.08 York to Paignton

1V19 09.51 Preston to Paignton

1M89 08.43 Paignton to Newcastle

1E99 09.05 Paignton to Newcastle

Locos noted on these services have been:

3 July 67027 (1V15), 67002 (1V19), 67016 (1M89) and 67029 (1E99)

10 July 67019 (1V15), 67015 (1V19), 67002 (1M89) and 67013 (1E99)

17 July 67010 (1V15), 67028 (1V19), 67012 (1M89) and 67029 (1E99)

24 July             67003 (1V15), 67001 (1V19 Warrington to  Crewe only),   67002 (1M89) and 67005   (1E99)

31 July             67021 (1V15), 67014 (1V19), 67027 (1M89)  and 67001 (1E99 to Wakefield were it failed and was replaced by 66162 to Newcastle)

7 Aug                 67006 (1V15), 67002 (1V19), 67014 (1M89) and 67010 (1E99)

14 Aug             67001 (1V15), 67015, (1V19), 67005 (1M89)  and 67003 (1E99)

21 Aug             67018 (1V15), 67005 (1V19), 67022 (1M89) and 67026 (1E99)

28 Aug 67003 (1V15), 67015 (1V19), 67018 (1M89) and 67016 (1E99)


Railtours and Charter Trains


Locos seen working on recent railtours and charters have been:

June 2 (Hertfordshire Railtours charter) 5972 “Olton Hall”

June 19 (S.R.P.S. to Scarborough) 66006, 67010 and 67024

(Past Time Rail) 67015, 90019 and 90037

June 26 (Steamy Affairs Northampton to Newcastle charter) 67025, 67029, 67019 and steam 60009

(North West Railtours) 66007 and 66160

July 10 (Green Express) 57601 and 47854

(Norwich to Okehampton charter) 47703 and 47355

July 24 (Manchester to Stamford Northern Belle) 67020

July 31 (The Moorlander) 37689/37669, 66555, 92033 and 66714

Aug 14 (Pride of Nation) 67022

Aug 25 (Nottingham to Edinburgh Northern Belle) 67014 (see the next magazine to see which committee member had an enjoyable day out)


Preserved Railways


Working the “Dartmoor Pony” (Okehampton to Meldon) on 13 June was 08937.

Locos used at the Keighley and Worth Valley Diesel Gala on 19 June were 37259, 37670, 47701, 33030, 31271, D832, D5054, D2511 and 25059.

47716 and 73134 top and tailed the Okehampton to Meldon Quarry shuttles on 10 July.

Locos working at the Barrow Hill Diesel Gala on 10 July were 66552, 33202, 73119, 73138, D2868, D2853, 03066, D2302 and 12082.

Working on the Plym Valley Railway on 11 July was ancient shunter 13002 (D3002) dragging a DMU on shuttles between Marsh Mills and Worlds End.

Locos used at the East Lancs Diesel Gala on 11 July were D1041, 33117, 40145, 50007, 45135, 37087, 47769, 37611, 3721, 66558, 66565, 31271, 45041 and D5600.

Working Minehead to Bishops Lydyeard services at the West Somerset Railway on 13 July were steam locos 5553 and 7820 (NB connecting bus from Taunton Railway Station to Lethbridge Arms, Bishops Lydyeard was a double decker!).

On 14 July GWR steam loco 5526 was working at the South Devon Railway and 5552 was working at Bodmin and Wenford railway (NB connecting FREE bus from Buckfastleigh station to the town is a vintage open topper!).



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 September 15th 2004

Robin Patrick

“Roade to York”


Wednesday October 6th 2004



Wednesday October 20th 2004

Glen Williamson


Wednesday November 3rd 2004

Kevin Downes


Wednesday November 17th 2004

Les Nixon

40 Years of Photography Part 3


Wednesday December 1st 2004



Wednesday December 15th 2004



Provisional Pennine Shield Dates

1st Round Thursday 25th Nov.

2nd Round Wednesday 1st Dec.

Final Wednesday 15th Dec.





I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Andy Barclay, John Dewing, Phil Lowis, Steve Payne, John Sanderson, Chris and Paul Slater, Robin Skinner, Chris Theaker and Chris Tyas (who supplied the Great Orme photos).


Next Issue


The Winter 2004 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on 15th December.  Would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by Friday 26th November – THANK YOU.  Remember, you can email your contributions to



The Last Executive

(from magazine 35)


Tony Caddick


On Saturday 3rd January 1981 the Deltic hauled “Hull Executive” ran for the last time, being replaced on the following Monday by HST units.  The occasion was tinged with sadness for the many admirers of the class as the realisation dawned that this was probably the last titled express that these magnificent machines would haul.  The 14.05 all stations to York is hardly as glamorous as the “Flying Scotsman” and other famous express trains which the Deltics have graced in the past.

The “Hull Executive” itself was introduced in May 1978 as a replacement for the “Hull Pullman” and was diagrammed for a Deltic on the Up journey only.  However in May 1979 and the advent of the full ECML-HST timetable both Up and Down workings were diagrammed and speeded up.  In fact the 17.05 departure from Kings Cross achieved fame as the fastest loco-hauled service on BR, taking the record from the WCML “Electric Scots”.  The basis for this claim was the 91 minutes schedule for the 138.6 miles from Kings Cross to Retford - an average speed of 91.4mph.  For the first week of the new service Finsbury Park MPD always seemed to trust their own favourite racehorse for the down working, 55003 “MELD” resplendent in its new modified livery with the addition of a locomotive headboard.  Unfortunately the headboard was only carried for the first week of the service.

In October 1979 the high speed gallop was slowed a little when a stop was inserted at Newark to be followed in May 1980 timetable by the easing of the schedule by a further 4 minutes.  This had the effect of making the train a far easier proposition than in May 1979 and as a result more Class 47s began to appear than before with the Deltic being held behind as power for the tightly timed 18,05 to York.  Despite this, as by this time the class was mainly used on semi-fast and overnight services, the two trains still gave admirers of the class an opportunity for some prolonged high speed haulage.

It had been common knowledge that the “Hull Executive” would be the first of the Hull services to be allocated Hosts and this was originally scheduled to take place in October but due to late deliveries and trouble with power cars the date was put back to January 1981.  So to the fateful last week of Deltic hauled Executives, and below is a list of the workings and locomotives involved:

DATE UP (1A04) DOWN (1D04)

Monday 29 December 1980 55021 55015

Tuesday 30 December 1980 55011 55015

Wednesday 31 December 1980 55017 55005

Thursday 1 January 1981 NO SERVICE 55005

Friday 2 January 1981 55019 55015

Saturday 3 January 1981 55002 55007
Thankfully the authorities saw fit to reintroduce the locomotive headboard and this was carried on all workings except on No.21 on the Monday morning and No.5 on New Year’s Day.  On Monday’s down working 55015 “TULYAR’ was stopped at Hitchin and both engines promptly closed down.  After a 20 minute delay “TULYAR” proceeded on only one engine.  Doncaster was reached over 30 minutes late and arrival in Hull itself was 58 minutes late.  However the trouble was cured because the following day 55015 was again provided for the down working but this time recorded punctual arrivals at both Doncaster and Hull.

On the Friday (the last official titled Executive since the Saturday working does not carry the title according to the timetable), “TULYAR” was again provided for the down working.  As well as carrying the headboard the loco also carried a wreath and was the subject of much attention by ordinary passengers, especially at Hull where a large crowd of admirers gathered around the locomotive.

So to the Saturday morning, as arrival time approached all eyes were trained towards the North Bridge at Doncaster to see which beast would haul the last up working.  Then, as if to spoil the occasion a hurried announcement came over the station PA to the effect that the arrival would be delayed due to the failure of a proceeding train.  After what seemed an age the familiar bulk of a Class 40 appeared with a large yellow nose and white cabs behind doing all the work.  Another racehorse for the job we thought?  No, as if by magic, the NRM green Deltic, 55002 had appeared from Scotland during the night to do the honours.  After the failed Whistler 40003 had been removed by 08745, we departed for the South some 40 minutes late covering the Vine Hotel in the customary haze of exhaust.

The journey to Kings Cross passed without further incident and on arrival in the Capital many photographs were taken before “K.O.Y.L.I.” darkened the new roof at The Cross with her departure for Finsbury Park.  After watching 55021 arrive on 1A08, the 08.05 ex-York, we were left to speculate on Finsbury Park’s choice for the last working.

After experiencing an uninspired run behind 47466 on the 12.25 Paddington-Plymouth to Reading and an extremely fast return behind “Hoover” Class 50, 50050 “FEARLESS” on the 11.40 Worcester-Paddington, we returned to Kings Cross in time to see “K.O.Y.L.I.” make a spectacular departure on 1L44, the 16.05 to York.

It was always expected that 55003 “MELD” would haul the last working.  “MELD” always seemed to receive special attention from the staff of Finsbury Park depot, but this was not to be, the loco being withdrawn on 30/12/80 at York MPD.

As departure time approached numerous tripods were being set up in readiness for the historic event, but even at 16.55 no engine was in sight.  Horrible thoughts of a Class 47 and the ensuing riot were dismissed as a familiar pair of eyes and a large

yellow nose, again with white cabs, appeared from the gloom of Gasworks Tunnel.  Surely not “TULYAR” again?, “BALLYMOSS”?, even “MELD” reprieved at the eleventh hour?  No, it was Finsbury Park’s new favourite racehorse 55007 “PINZA” looking immaculate after some individual attention.  Just time for a few hurried photos and then into the obligatory first coach to again encounter all the same familiar faces.

At 17.05 to the accompaniment of many flash guns we roared into Gasworks Tunnel, accelerating past Finsbury Park before racing northwards.  “PINZA” performed immaculately and all arrival times were bettered until at 20.00 we cruised carefully into Paragon Station at Hull.  As if to remind us of the impending event, the HST for the Monday morning service was already in position.  The size of the crowd at Paragon seemed to surprise the station staff, but all concerned were very co-operative and “PINZA” was able to be photographed without too much difficulty.

The last Executive also brought to an end another unusual Deltic working, 1D62, the 21.00 Hull-Doncaster.  On weekdays this is formed of two MK 1 coaches plus vans but on Saturdays no vans are carried.  The engine rostered for the working is the engine off the Down Executive and needless to say, “PINZA” performed some spectacular acceleration on such a heavy and demanding train!

So the Deltic hauled “Hull Executive” is now railway history, to be followed by other main Hull workings in a few months time when no doubt “MELD” will be joined by a few more of its sisters on a single ticket to the Doncaster Works graveyard.  With BR in its current financial straight jacket all the class will probably be withdrawn by the Summer of 1982 after which the railway and the ECML in particular will seem a lot less interesting to many enthusiasts.


The first HST “Hull Executive” left on time at 07.10 on Monday 5th January 1981 after a champagne send-off from the Lady-Mayoress of the City.  The train, composed of new power cars 43153 and 43154, reached the Capital in the fastest ever time of 2 hrs 37 mins, 4 minutes early.



West Highland Tour - April 17-19 1981

(from magazine 36)


Gerry Collins


The PRS party were accommodated in the luxury of the 11th coach, complete with table cloths and tables laid for dinner, not a lot of heating, and very dim lighting.  But being a bright moonlit night, we were able to see the passing countryside very well.

As the train was travelling north of Glasgow, emergency hampers were carried and it wasn’t so far out of Leeds that blankets were being issued as the boiler of our loco - 40060 was now defunct.  However, standby lighting and heating was provided by Pipe Puffer Collins.

After being held outside Carlisle, we eventually arrived in the station where much discussion ensued as to what loco would take us onto Cowlairs.  An electric unit was suggested, but our Chairman pointed out that none had a boiler.  After some delay, 47469 ETH was coupled up and I think the driver realised our discomfort and went flat out up and over Beattock to Mossend Yard where there was a wait for a crew change.

At Cowlairs 27112/102 took over and at Craigendoran, the start of the West Highland Line, dawn had broken.  Through the night, some members slept (especially one when over Beattock, items from the dinner table crashed to the floor, but PB slept through it all).  Robin woke at intervals to ask “E H” which was nothing to do with a Depot Code.

27112/102 worked hard up the gradients, and at Corrour, 37112 was waiting in the loop, light engine, for us to pass.  The scenery was magnificent and so was the weather and the steam had got through to our coach.

Arrival at Fort William was on time at 08.20 and we headed for a good breakfast at MacTavish’s Kitchen.

Back at the station the 11th coach had been uncoupled, and 37085 hauled us onto the West Highland Extension past the stabling point where 27036/42, 37027/108 were standing.  37085 worked very hard on the gradients, especially on the 1 in 42 to Beasdale.  At Arisaig, we had to wait the arrival of the Mallaig train headed by 27041 into the loop before proceeding onto to Morar where the second man had to open the crossing gates.

At Mallaig, our loco spent much time running round the train which had to split into two parts.

On the return 37108 was passed at the Arisaig loop, and a stop was made at Glenfinnan for passengers to detrain and explore.  Continuing, we crossed the Glenfinnan Viaduct, and nearer Fort William by Loch Eil, Robin threatened Ben Nevis with his camera! (To judge who won, come along to our member’s slide shows).

At Mallaig Junction, the 16.25 from Fort William was waiting for us to come off the single line.

After our evening meal we left Fort William at 18.35 back in the 11th. coach, but now next to the loco.  At Tulloch we had to wait a little time for the 16.25 ex Glasgow Queen Street to arrive into the station, headed by 37027, and then at Corrour, 37112 light engine was waiting for us to pass.

Daylight was now fading as was the vitality of the few PRS members who hadn’t seen fit to sleep since leaving Doncaster.  However we woke at Cowlairs to see 40173 attached to our train for the journey to Carlisle, where 26014 was working.  40015 Aquitania was attached to bring us home via Holbeck, Methley Jcn., Knottingley (where 56005/30/32/3 were stabled), Shaftholme Junction to Doncaster.


The PRS members who ventured north on the trip were somewhat surprised to read reports in local and even some national papers of the grievous discomforts suffered by some passengers on the train.  Comments ranged from ‘8 hours on a frozen train’ to demands for refunds.  Thankfully some rational people saw fit to redress the balance by making their feelings known to the respective editors in what was plainly another example of BR bashing by the Press.



The Royal Awayday

(from magazine 37)


By 55015


On Wednesday July 29th HRH Prince Charles married the blushing bride Lady Diana Spencer (HA), and the whole country watched the event either live or on TV.  Well, at least that is what should have happened, but some wonderful person at BR Eastern Region headquarters thought otherwise.  Why not induce the few hundred (?) people not interested in the event onto the railway by offering a £2 ticket for the day which despite some limits on its use still covered a wide area.

Determined to put my day’s holiday to good use I purchased such a ticket and made for the 07.59 DMU from Mexborough to Doncaster.  Not really knowing how many bargain hunters, anti-Royalists, bashers, etc. would be out for the day, I was a little perturbed when the usual 2 Car DMU rolled in 5 minutes late strengthened to 4 Cars and still bursting at the seams.  Cleethorpes must be a popular destination I thought as we swayed on, London commuter-like to Doncaster.  On arrival I looked across to platform 4 and was amazed at the football match type crowd awaiting the 08.23 to Aberdeen, and on looking across to platforms 1 and 3 a similar crowd was waiting.

Now I know that ‘Deltics’ are very popular machines but surely all these people didn’t require 55017 ‘The Durham Light Infantry’ for haulage.  But sure enough they all piled on and away we went.  After picking up similar sized mobs at Selby and York the train now seemed to be carrying about 4 times the available capacity, and Northwards we went, the Guard (sensible chap) deciding not to ‘grip’.  Berwick, the Northern extremity of the ticket has never seen a crowd like it according to the station staff as the hordes of humanity detrained and left train 1S12 almost empty for its onward journey to Aberdeen.

I, along with most of the other enthusiasts then returned South on the next train, (a Deltic of course) and proceeded to travel on full and overflowing trains for the rest of the day.  On returning home even the 21.20 DMU from Doncaster which normally carries the proverbial 3 men and a dog was full to capacity.  The News that night then showed pictures of the happy couple boarding their train, hauled by 73142 ‘Broadlands’ (obviously required for haulage).  If the Eastern Region has got over the shock yet, I hope they see fit to introduce another such ticket on the next big Royal event, and then we can enjoy again another ‘Royal Awayday’.



Confessions of a Lady Trainspotter

(from magazine 37)


Linda Bladen


I am writing this as I approach the first anniversary of my initiation into the predominantly male pastime of trainspotting (I use this term although I am told again and again that ‘we are railway enthusiasts not trainspotters’).

During the last year I have learnt a whole new language including such words as haulage, bashing, bogies and cabbing and I have come to recognise Deltics, Duffs, Whistlers and Peaks to name but a few.  I have also realised that trainspotters aren’t necessarily small boys who spend their pocket money sitting on their local station platforms collecting numbers at weekends; they are full grown men who spend their hard earned cash on All Line Railrovers so they can sit on distant platforms collecting numbers on their holidays.

I would never have dreamt this time last year that I would be seen racing up and down platforms (much to the obvious amusement of many a BR Guard) or that I would travel the country hanging out of train windows, all because I couldn’t bear to miss a number.

I have now come to expect funny looks from male spotters when I swap details or from Guides when being shown around some depot and more than one passenger has received a caustic reply when praising my husband for training (no pun intended) me to write down ‘his’ numbers.

Finally, following a recent trip around Donny Works, I took a long, slow look at myself and realised that if running around taking pictures of locos in an attempt to take the slide competition by storm, as well as taking numbers, is a sign of being one of that peculiar breed, then I confess - I’m a ‘Trainspotter’.


Woodhead - The Final Hours

(from magazine 37)




Even on Friday 17th July 1981 it still seemed incredible to believe that the last hours of the Woodhead rail link were upon us.  The Manchester-Sheffield-Wath (MSW) electrified system had had so many narrow escapes in the preceding months that a peaceful, planned closure seemed unlikely.

After the drama of the accidents at Dinting in March and Hadfield in April, there followed action by the rail unions leading to the reprieve of the line from closure from lst June to 20th July and then with little over a week to go it seemed that nature had brought a premature end.  On 9th July a freak rainstorm in the Longdendale Valley had caused a landslip over the track between Crowden and Torside.  Local BR management deemed that the line should not be repaired yet amazingly the BRB over-ruled this decision, the line was repaired and normal operations resumed for the final week.

Rumours were rife in February 1981 that the Class 76 locomotives would be replaced by diesels before closure and such stories continued to circulate into the final week.  On this last afternoon I was informed by a contact in Sheaf House that all Bo-Bo's had been diagrammed to Guide Bridge and so there would be no more electric-hauled trains worked by Rotherwood or Wath men, but Guide Bridge crews were expected to work normally during the evening and night.  The unknown factor being whether or not Class 76 operation would continue to the end.  It was with this knowledge that my wife and I set off for our last session of watching trains over Woodhead.  We decided to go to the most convenient parking place at the heart of the MSW, Dunford Bridge.  Here a fine view is afforded into the Eastern portal of the Woodhead tunnel and of the stretch of track through Dunford station and away curving Eastwards towards Hazelhead.

We arrived at Dunford at 19.45 with the sunshine we had encountered driving through Sheffield having given way to more gloomy conditions with black clouds threatening over the other side of the Pennines.  What a surprise it was to find about 30 cars parked in the disused station yard around the Dunford West signalbox.  As expected enthusiasts had been out in force throughout the day but as I parked a number were leaving and I soon discovered that there was a general belief that with all Bo+Bo's west of the Pennines, all remaining trains would be diesel-hauled.

Having spent a considerable number of evenings at various locations along the line during the past few months it was not surprising that I should see someone I knew amongst the large number of ‘spectators’ present.  He told me that the last train had been at 16.45, a Westbound MGR hauled by 76010 + 76016.  This had been followed by a couple of light electrics, 76051 at 17.35 and 76022 some 15 minutes later.  A power failure earlier in the afternoon had necessitated halting all traffic at either end of the tunnel and obliging drivers had allowed a number of enthusiasts to undertake the journey of a lifetime in the cab of a Class 76 through the tunnel.

Ironically we had not been at Dunford for 10 minutes when there was word from the box that an ‘Up train’ was ‘on line’.  There was a frenzy of activity as photographers moved to vantage points.  What, I wondered would be the motive power?  The next five minutes seemed endless as I peered into the tunnel.  Eventually two white lights became visible and the lack of sound indicated that it was electric haulage, but it was approaching very slowly and it was 20.11 when 2x76s emerged from the darkness heading the Trafford Park - Parkeston Quay (6E85) ‘Speedlink’.  They stopped momentarily and then crawled into the station and halted by the box.  Cameras clicked as 76014 + 76006 stood with a train of long vans, small tankers and empty car transporters.  The driver was receiving instructions to proceed, but with the passing of this train normal working was to be resumed with the effects of the power failure cleared.  The train left at 20.15.

It was then a matter of waiting in increasingly dismal conditions as the cloud cover thickened.  Although one or two cars arrived more departed and so gradually ranks began to thin.  Patience was rewarded at 21.00 when a shout from the signalbox said that another ‘Up train’ was en route, and in a sharp shower 76016 + 76010 raced through at 21.28 with 8E73 Dewsnap-Tinsley mixed freight.

Soon there was news of another ‘Up train’ due although it was too dark for photographs, but there was still sufficient twilight to see clearly and the lights of the box illuminated the scene.  At 21.50 76007 + 76012 came out of the tunnel with 32 empty HAA hoppers on a special Fiddlers Ferry - Mansfield/Shirebrook (6Z81).

There was still a fair number of enthusiasts around the box but numbers could not compare with those now enjoying themselves in the nearby ‘Stanhope Arms’ which stands on the Southern side of the station overlooking the line.  Patrons had been arriving throughout the evening and I gathered that a local hunt was holding a dinner, so no doubt making this one of the last social occasions of the year.  With a friendly signalman I was able to ascertain that no more trains were due and so we took the opportunity of calling in the ‘Stanhope’.  The lights and laughter contrasted sharply with the gloom of the railway.

Our stay was brief and by the time we had returned the Down signal had turned to green to herald the approach of the first Westbound train for over 5 hours.  With darkness almost total it was necessary to take advantage of the bright light shining from the box over the line in order to read the locomotive numbers and determine the type of wagons on the train.  There was the unmistakable purr of a diesel as it battled against the gradient as 47411 appeared with a Freightliner of 15 vehicles at 22.27 on 4Z63, a Stourton - Garston ‘extra’.

Before long, the Down signal again turned to green and at 22.50 76006 + 76014 eased past with 6M46 Barnsley Jcn. - Fiddlers Ferry consisting of the usual 30 HAA hoppers.  The signalman called out that this was Woodhead’s last MGR train as it was scheduled to leave Barnsley Jcn. at 03.44.  We returned to sit in the car.  A few enthusiasts had returned to the yard after

visiting the ‘Stanhope’ but gradually cars began to depart as there was no sign of further activity on the line.  Looking Eastwards down the line one could only see blackness yet the valley would at times be dominated by the sound of bawdy singing from the ‘Stanhope’.  The local hunt was in fine voice and songs such as ‘De yu ken John Peel’ were thumped out over this sad, isolated spot.  Nevertheless, the irony of the situation was soon forgotten as the Down signal returned to green and the regular diesel - hauled Freightliner 4M55 Newcastle - Trafford Park approached.  Its 2 x Class 37s were not making such heavy weather of the climb as I had seen on occasions in the past.  The leading loco had its horn sounded as it swept past at 23.54, with 37064 + 37094 conveying 20 vehicles.

Midnight arrived and there was news of a pair of light engines following the Freightliner.  Within moments their lights were visible, as they slowly approached the box, with the signal still red as the Freightliner had still not cleared Torside, the next manned signalbox to the West.  Electrics 76012 + 76007 halted nearby at 00.03, but a minute later the road ahead cleared and they continued their journey towards the light of the tunnel.

The general air temperature had increased during the past hour, but this few degrees of extra warmth brought the first signs of the old enemy of these desolate parts, the fly.  Fortunately at 00.20 76010 + 76016 rattled through the old station with 23 mineral wagons on 6M10 Tinsley - Warrington.  So, yet again there was a situation of no electrics on the Eastern side of ‘the hill’.  However there was hardly time to dwell on the point as at 00.28 76028 swept through the arc of light coming from the box as it gathered speed in the descent towards Sheffield heading a train of 30 mineral wagons on 8E43 Dee Marsh - Tinsley.

The burst of activity was over and we returned to the car for what was to be the longest wait of the night.  The ‘Stanhope’ was closed and the few enthusiasts had dwindled to ourselves, a man from Leeds who had now parked next to us, another man who was parked someway down the yard and a youth from Stoke-on-Trent who had travelled by motorbike and had settled in the signalbox for the night.  Towards 02.15 I decided to pay my first visit of the night to the Dunford West signalbox.  Signalman Mathers was busily explaining the workings of the box to the motorcyclist and I listened as he referred to the box’s diagram which covered the track from Dunford East westwards to a point 1002 yards inside the tunnel.

Suddenly a bell rang and Mr. Mathers announced that 6E80 was on its way, this being the Ince – Barton-on-Humber anhydrous ammonia tanker train.  This had made national news last April when one of the tankers had overturned in Hadfield station and fears of leakage of this lethal chemical necessitated the evacuation of nearby residents.  At 02.55 76014 + 76006 burst from the darkness with a train of 7 tankers which were separated from the locomotives and guards van by a long flat truck at each end.  Soon another train was offered by Torside, the return Trafford Park - Newcastle Freightliner, 4E71 and at 03.11 47341 passed with 20 vehicles.  Once again the waiting was brief as Mr. Mathers signalled 8M26 Tinsley - Warrington and at 03.18 76028 rounded the curve with a train of mineral wagons.

On returning to the signalbox Mr. Mathers informed me that another train was on its way from Torside, 6Z82.  Mr. Mathers commented on all the additional trains which had run in the past couple of weeks, referring to these ‘Z’ trains as ‘Zebras’.  Soon 56063 (or at least that is what we thought it was) hurtled through at 03.23 with a train of 32 empty MAA hoppers.  This frenzy of activity had not ended as there was already news from Huddersfield Jcn. of another Westbound train, 6M27 Immingham - Runcorn.  I knew from ‘inside information’ that this train would be diesel-hauled, worked by Rotherwood men, as Bo+Bo's were no longer available to them.  Soon 37219 came to a halt by the box at 03.33 with the Down signal still showing red as the previous train had not cleared Torside.  The crew stared in amazement at the sight of a group of people standing by the line at this time in a morning.  Soon the lined cleared and the train, consisting of 11 ICI tankers moved off into the night.

For the first time in an hour nothing was ‘on line’, but soon Torside offered another ‘Zebra’, 6Z64 Garston - Mansfield.  The first signs of dawn were already in the eastern sky as 47381 charged past at 04.01 with a train of 30 MBA hopper wagons.

Back in the box, Mr. Mathers gathered reports from Control that the end was nearing with only one more train scheduled, 6M62 Parkeston Quay - Edge Hill ‘Speedlink’ referred to as the ‘car man’ as it usually contained transporters with imported cars amongst its mixed traffic.  This would presumably be hauled by 76006 + 76014 as they were the only electrics on this side of the Pennines.  Mr. Mathers speculated that the train would leave Rotherwood at any time, reaching Dunford at around 05.00.  The most intriguing question was whether this would be the last train or whether the final working would be 37219 returning light engine to Rotherwood.

At 04.20 we heard that 6M62 was on its way, and some 15 minutes later knew it would be the last train for information from the Manchester Division was that 37219 on 6M27 had still not reached Guide Bridge as it had suffered engine failure.  Daylight was almost fully established when at 04.45 a bell rang and the train was offered by Huddersfield Junction.  It was accepted and similarly offered to and accepted by Torside and then the Down signal went to green for the last time.  At 05.02 bells rang to say the historic train had now entered the section of line controlled by Dunford West Signalbox.  It was time to take up a suitable position to watch the last train enter the Woodhead Tunnel.  The sky in the east was pink in colour with sunrise only moments away as the lights of the leading locomotive came into view.  As the train approached the Dunford box the driver gave a long blast on the horn. I glanced at my watch, (it was 05.08½) and then 76006 + 76014 swept through the platforms at a fairly fast speed with their train of Polybulk vans, small tankers, Ferrywagon containers and long vans.  Within seconds it had gone.  We dashed to watch the tail lamp move away in the tunnel but it was soon to be lost as the first rays of sunlight fell on to the portal.

We walked back to the box to thank Mr. Mathers for his hospitality.  He was busily going through the procedure to close the box and at 05.16 he turned off the tunnel lights.  We drove away from the station yard towards the main Woodhead road, the sun was now high in the sky and it was promising to be another pleasant summer day.  Yet for Dunford no day would ever be the same again with the last train now gone, and similarly by this time (about 05.35) the last train would have passed through the Longdendale Valley.  The Woodhead route had closed and Class 76 operation had ended.