The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society


No.160 - Summer 2012

Committee Briefs

Eurotunnel Profits
Our French correspondent, Pierre Collins reports that after 26 years of losses, Eurotunnel has its first bottom-line profit (£9m).  However its debts still cost £177m in annual interest payments.
Eurotunnel expects a boost in summer 2012 with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics and is bringing back into service a shuttle mothballed in 2004 to create extra capacity while trains will run at a higher top speed of 100mph.  It may also buy 3 cross-channel vessels from collapsed ferry firm SeaFrance.
On the downside, it is expected that from July mobile phone users will be able to receive a signal throughout the Channel Tunnel, 250ft below the sea bed to enable passengers to make the call “Am in the Channel Tunnel”.

Going Dutch (Abellio)
State-owned Dutch Railways has taken over the East Anglia Franchise under the name Greater Anglia.

 Leicester Power Signalbox Closed
As part of the gradual rationalisation of signal boxes towards a time when all signalling will be controlled from 14 regional operating centres, Leicester box has closed.  The former Leicester routes are controlled from Derby as far as West Hampstead and will eventually extend as far south as the centre core of the Thameslink tunnels.

DRS Sellafield Specials
Early 2012 saw DRS running a daily service between Carlisle and Barrow via Sellafield, on a trial basis mainly for workers at the Sellafield nuclear site.  The four-coach trains left Carlisle at 06.15 each morning, with the return working leaving Sellafield for Carlisle at 16.48.

HS2 Progress Report
The timetable for HS2 is currently:
·  2017 Construction starts on Phase 1 between London and Birmingham
·  2026 Phase 1 opens
·  2014 Consultation on best route for Phase 2 to Manchester, Heathrow and Leeds
·  2033 Phase 2 opens
It is likely 2 fleets of trains will be required one fleet built to “European” structure gauge for HS2 Phase 1 and one compatible fleet to fit the more restrictive British main line gauge for services on Phase 2 (and services extending beyond Birmingham on Phase 1).
The HS2 station at Birmingham will be at Curzon Street and share an entrance with Moor Street station, with walking time to New Street station estimated at 8 minutes.

Foreign Franchises – Update
Franchises awarded to overseas operators and their subsidiaries are:
·  Germany DB (Arriva DB Regio) – Arriva Trains Wales (Arriva), Chiltern Railways (DB Regio), CrossCountry (Arriva), London Overground (DB Regio with Hong Kong Mass Transit Railways Corp)
·  France SNCF (Keolis, Govia/Go-Ahead) – First TransPennine Express (Keolis/First Group), London Midland (Govia/ Go-Ahead), South Eastern (Govia/ Go-Ahead), Southern/Gatwick Express (Govia/ Go-Ahead)
·  Netherlands Sporwegen (Abelio) – Great Anglia (Abelio), Merseyrail (Abelio/Serco), Northern Rail (Abelio/Serco)
Also Abelio has been short listed along with SNCF for the WCML.

New Desiros Approved
Enlargement of the London Midland and First TransPennine Express fleets by 80 Siemens Class 350 vehicles has been agreed.  The Class 350/3 (London Midland) and 350/4 (TPE) will enter service in December 2014.
The 40 TPE vehicles will be used on the Manchester to Scotland following the electrification of the line between Manchester and the WCML, with existing diesel units cascaded to other routes.  Ardwick depot will be electrified.
Twelve LM vehicles will trigger a cascade to provide additional capacity on the Cross City line in Birmingham.  Frequency between Birmingham and Redditch will be increased from 2 to 3 per hour and electric services from Birmingham New Street to a relocated Bromsgrove station should start in May 2015.  The other 28 vehicles will be used on outer suburban services to Euston.
Trains will have a maximum speed of 110mph.

Midland Metro Expansion
Approval has been granted on an extension to Midland Metro from Snow Hill station through Birmingham city centre to New Street, together with a new fleet of trams, with CAF the preferred bidder (Spanish).

DB Schenker Expanding into Poland
DB Schenker Rail is planning to introduce a second weekly rail service between Britain and Poland in September.

Diamond Jubilee
67026 has been repainted in silver livery for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and named “Diamond Jubilee” by the Queen at Manchester Victoria.  The loco will be used with Royal Train locos 67005/006 to haul the Royal Train to Jubilee events.

International Freight into London
The first High Speed freight train to run on HS1 to St Pancras International arrived on 21 March.  The TGV style parcels train, able to carry 120 tonnes of cargo ran from Lyon-St Exupery airport via Paris GDG airport.  Just as when a DB ICE passenger train staged a ceremonial arrival in October 2010, the unit did not arrive under its own power on this test and demonstration.

Return of Fishguard & Goodwick
Our Welsh correspondent, Rhys Collins, tells us of the “re-opening” of Fishguard & Goodwick station.  The station was a terminus until an extension to Fishguard Harbour opened in 1906.  It closed in April 1964 but the harbour station was always intended for ferry passengers and is some distance from Fishguard itself.

Pendolino on ECML?
A Class 390 Pendolino successfully ran a trial from Edinburgh to Kings Cross in March, without its tilt mechanism enabled.  Speculation remains about commissioning a new 11-car Pendolino to run in passenger service between Kings Cross and Edinburgh for 9 months, starting in July 2011.

Highlands Trains Secure
The Scottish Government has decided to continue direct cross-border trains linking England and the Highlands after 2014 following objections to a proposal that ECML trains terminate at Edinburgh.

Name for Record Breaking Class 91
Class 91, 91110, was due to be named “Battle of Britain Memorial Flight” by Carol Vorderman at NRM Railfest on 2 June.  91110 achieved a UK national speed record for electric trains at Stoke Bank on 17 September 1989, a record still held.  The loco will also carry a pair of “oak leaf” cast iron plates, in similar style to those carried by “Mallard”, the world’s fastest steam loco.

Ticket Office Closures
Plans are developing for a substantial ticket office closure programme at smaller stations.  This has Government support as Ruth Harper of DfT is very agreeable that the initiative is seen to come from Train Operating Companies, whilst the Government has already decided to approve an application from London Midland (although the DfT is now back-tracking on this).  675 Category E stations are set to lose their ticket offices under the McNulty report.

Midland Main Line – Did You Know
There is nowhere on the Midland route where 125mph running is permitted for the InterCity 125s or Meridians.

Andy Dalby Memorial Slide Competition
The Andy Dalby Memorial Slide Competition was held on 2nd May 2012 with a total of 59 slides entered.  The result was as follows:
1st  Rhys Jones    92212 on the Great Central Railway approaching Quorn & Woodhouse working the 15.30 Loughborough / Leicester North
2nd  Glyn Gossan    GWR Collett 3205 on the South Devon Railway at Riverford working the 15.00 Totnes Riverside / Buckfastleigh
3rd  Glyn Gossan    GWR Prairie 1369 on the South Devon Railway at Riverford working the 15.00 Buckfastleigh / Totnes Riverside
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to Nick Dalby who presented the prizes.

Blackpool Tram News
The new upgraded system was officially opened on Tuesday 3rd April by transport minister Norman Baker MP onboard Flexity tram 008.
The following day was the first day of public service with 006 undertaking the first run on the 05.00 Starr Gate / Fleetwood.  Unfortunately on the return run (05.55 Ex Fleetwood) 006 derailed on the curve from Bold Street into the Esplanade at Fleetwood Ferry due to wind blown sand covering the tracks.  The tram was rerailed around 09.00 and service resumed as the track gang tried manfully to keep the tracks clear in a north easterly gale blowing off Morecambe Bay.
At the moment the new trams are only running to a 20 minute service, this is due to the delayed construction of the new sub-station at Fleetwood Ferry which is needed as the Flexities consume far more power than the old cars.  Until this is switched in only one tram at a time is allowed from Fishermans Walk down the relaid street track through the town down to the ferry with movements controlled by a railway style token system.
With the opening of the new system the tram fleet has been split into three operating fleets as so:-
(Based at Starr Gate depot)
Flexities 001 – 016.
(For now based at Rigby Road but may move to SG)
Balloon Double Deckers rebuilt with widened platforms / power doors to access the new platform stops 700/707/709/711*/713/718/719*/720/724 (*being modified in depot).
(Based at Rigby Road)
"Heritage" fleet
As of Easter the fleet consists of the following trams but others may be added later in the season: Boats 600/604, Open top Balloon 706 "Princess Alice", 1930s liveried Balloon 717, Blackpool & Fleetwood "Box" car 40, Blackpool Standard 147, Bolton 66 plus the 3 Illuminated cars 733/734 (Western Train), F736 (Frigate) and 737 (Trawler).
Trams in store which may be added to the C Fleet:- Boat 602, Brush car 631, Centenary car 648, Coronation car 660 and Trailer sets 672/682 and 675/685.
Trams in store as reserve or for possible rebuild:- Balloons 701/723.
As of 23rd May only Flexities 015 and 016 are still to be delivered from Bautzen although the lorry which delivered 014 on Friday 11th May took back 002 the following day as a return load.  The tram which has only been used for a couple of hours in passenger use and has mainly been used on driver training and is believed to be returning to repair major faults under warranty.
As for the old fleet Brush car 630 was launched into service at Crich on 12th May and restored boat car 607 was due to enter service on a special seaside themed event at the museum on the jubilee weekend.
The last unwanted Balloon car, number 721, left Blackpool for the final time in early March for a new life with the NORTH EASTERN ELECTRICAL TRACTION TRUST.
Any members wanting a trip to the Fylde coast for a ride on the old trams, the Heritage service runs at weekends / bank holidays until the school summer holiday when it runs daily.  Two trams are normally rostered and, circumstances / weather permitting, are rotated over the weekend.  As the service is officially classed as a tour and cannot access the new platform stops only 4 stops are used.  These are - PLEASURE BEACH, NORTH PIER, CABIN and BISPHAM and the service runs every half hour from PB to LITTLE BISPHAM. Further details are available on the BLACKPOOL TRANSPORT website.


Sheffield Railwayana Auctions
At the Sheffield Railwayana Auction held at the Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Gateway Centre on 10th March 2012 the following locomotive nameplates all sold for £6,000 or more:
·  LOCO NAMEPLATE: “LADY OF THE LAKE” carried by Whale LNWR “Experiment” Class 4-6-0 built at Crewe in October 1906 and withdrawn on 7 December 1929.  They were an extended version of Whale’s “Precursor” Class 4-4-0s with slightly smaller driving wheels.  Its name was removed in December 1928 because of the duplication with Royal Scot 6149.  Under the LNWR it bore the numbers 4623 and 1989 and under the LMS 5468.  All of the class entered LMS stock in 1923 and the final example lasted until 1935.  It seems highly likely that the name has associations with Vivienne, the mistress of Merlin in the Arthurian legends, or Ellen Douglas in Sir Walter Scott’s poem of that name in which case the lake would be Loch Katrine - £11,500
LOCO NAMEPLATE: “HONEYWAY” carried by Thompson A2/3 Class 4-6-2 Pacific built at Doncaster and ex-works on 1st February 1947.  It spent most of its career at Haymarket but in its later days moved to St. Margaret’s and finally to York although this latter allocation may simply have been a paper exercise as it was withdrawn almost immediately (on 18th December 1962) and sent to Doncaster Works for scrapping.  The racehorse “Honeyway” was the winner of the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1946 - £11,000
·  LOCO NAMEPLATE: “FRESHFORD MANOR” carried by Collett GWR Manor Class 4-6-0 No. 7813 built at Swindon in January 1939.  Its first allocation was Wolverhampton Oxley but post-1948 it could be found at Newton Abbot, Truro and Reading.  It was withdrawn in May 1965 from Didcot.  Freshford is a village in the Avon valley six miles south-east of Bath - £10,000
·  LOCO NAMEPLATE: “PRIVATE E SYKES V.C.” carried by the Fowler three-cylinder LMS “Patriot” class 6P 4-6-0 firstly numbered 6015 and then 5537 (later BR 45537) built at Crewe in July 1933.  Allocations in BR days included Preston, Carlisle Upperby, Rugby and finally Nuneaton from where it was withdrawn in June 1962.  Ernest Sykes was an employee of the LNWR/LMS and undertook various jobs on the railway including platelayer, ticket collector and guard.  He became a member of the 27th (S) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and was awarded the VC in 1917 for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in France.  He died on 3 August 1949 aged 64.  (Note - this name was originally borne by a Claughton 4-6-0 LMS No. 5976).  Only two VC holders were commemorated by the LMS in the naming of locomotives – Private E Sykes VC and Private W Wood VC.  One example of each plate was presented by BR to Alnwick Castle where they can still be seen - £10,200
·  LOCO NAMEPLATE: GOLDEN FLEECE” carried by Gresley design LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 Pacific built at Doncaster works in 1937 and originally numbered 4495 later becoming 30 and then 60030 in BR days.  It was ex-works on 30th August 1937 and bore the name “GREAT SNIPE” but only for a short while because less than a month later on 25th September it was renamed “GOLDEN FLEECE”.  It received its new name as it was intended it should haul the new ‘West Riding Limited’ between Kings Cross and Bradford, so it and the loco “Golden Shuttle” received names connected to the wool trade.  Initially allocated to Doncaster “Golden Fleece” then spent its time between King’s Cross and Grantham sheds.  It was an early casualty being withdrawn on 29th December 1962 and scrapped almost immediately at Doncaster Works - £30,000
·  LOCO NAMEPLATE: “EASTHAM GRANGE” carried by Collett GWR Grange Class 4-6-0 No. 6835 built at Swindon in September 1937.  First shed allocation was Wolverhampton Oxley.  By August 1950 it was at Banbury but then moved to Chester and on to Bristol St. Philip's Marsh from where it was withdrawn in May 1963 for scrap.  Eastham Grange is situated near Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire - £8,000

The Isle of Man Steam Railway
by Paul Slater
A watery sun shone on 3ft. gauge 2-4-0T no. 11 “Maitland” awaiting departure from Douglas with the 10.10 train to Port Erin.  “Maitland” looked very attractive in its crimson livery, its big brass dome Polished and shining.  The train was composed of vintage stock; I had difficulty, first in finding a door-handle that wasn't too stiff to turn, and then in opening one of the old-fashioned drop windows without crushing the end of my finger, but at last I was comfortably installed in the train.
Departure time came, and soon "Maitland" got its train under way.  I glimpsed an ex-County Donegal railcar set in the station sidings and a green-liveried 2-4-0T in the engine-shed, then we were climbing away through woods on the outskirts of Douglas, a loud and vigorous exhaust beat coming from the locomotive in front.
The line led on, through undulating farmland, to a minor summit.  There was a glimpse of the sea, and a rocky bay, and then the train was curving down to its first stop, Port Soderick.  Soon I heard the locomotive hard at work again as the line turned inland and climbed.  At the next stop, Santon, “Maitland” detached the leading vehicle of its train and shunted it into one of the station sidings, while in another siding I noticed the frames of 2-4-0T no. 7 “Tynwald”.
From the timetable I deduced that at the next station, Ballasalla, my train would pass the 10.15 from Port Erin, and I was at the window ready to take a photograph; sure enough, the 10.15 was already waiting, headed by 2-4-0T no. 12 “Hutchinson” in blue livery and also with a shining brass dome, working bunker-first towards Douglas.  The Douglas train departed first, then mine quickly pulled out in the opposite direction, and we were on our way again.
Next stop was Castletown, the old capital of the island, where a fine avenue of trees lined the railway beyond the station.  The railway swung inland to Colby, and then approached the sea again at Port St. Mary.  The station at Port St. Mary, with a tall prehistoric standing stone in the adjacent field, stands by a level crossing outside the town.  From Port St. Mary it was only a few minutes ride across a narrow neck of land to Port Erin, the end of the line.  "Maitland" was uncoupled, and I walked out of the station into the town.  The journey from Douglas to Port Erin was 15½ miles; my longest ever ride behind narrow-gauge steam.
I admired the picturesque view from the promenade at Port Erin, had a coffee, and then visited the railway museum adjacent to the station.  As well as old carriages, and many photographs and small items, there were three locomotives in the museum: green-liveried 2-4-0T no. 1 “Sutherland”, 2-4-0T no. 16 “Mannin” in crimson, the latest and largest of the island's steam locomotives, and 0-6-0T no. 4 “Caledonia” in the red livery of the Manx Northern Railway, whose line ran from St. John's to Ramsey and has now been abandoned.  2-4-0T no. 9 “Douglas” was stored in an annexe to the museum.
I left the museum, had lunch in a bar overlooking the bay, then walked on the beach.  The weather, although pleasant, was not quite good enough to tempt me to swim, but it was an ideal day for walking and admiring the scenery.  From the top of the low cliff to the south of the bay there was a splendid view of the beach and the promenade and the hills to the north, a white-sailed yacht in the bay completing the picture, and a mass of flowering fuchsia bushes making a beautiful foreground.
I returned to the station.  “Maitland” had departed for Douglas at 12.05, but “Hutchinson”, which “Maitland” had crossed at Castleton, had arrived with the 11.45 from Douglas and was now getting ready to depart with the 14.15.  I rode the mile or so to Port St. Mary and alighted, walking down to the beach and the fishing harbour. Port Erin faces west, but Port St. Mary faces south-east; the isthmus of land between them widens to form the southern tip of the island.
At the station, I watched “Maitland” coming in over the level crossing with the 14.15 from Douglas, which had passed “Hutchinson” at Ballasalla.  After a walk back into Port St. Mary for some tea, I was at the station again in good time to catch the last train of the day back to Douglas, the 16.15 from Port Erin; “Maitland” steamed in bunker-first with its rake of ancient carriages, lit by the warm afternoon sun under the row of tall trees which adjoined Port St. Mary station.
The sun shone during my journey back to Douglas, and I enjoyed the ride.  At Ballasalla we crossed “Hutchinson” returning to Port Erin with the 16.15 from Douglas, and then we made our way over the summits, past the view of the sea at Port Soderick, and so back to my starting-point.

Pennine Observer Notes

Eastern Region

Recent sightings at Doncaster have been:

Feb 23    67029 Thunderbird

    66105, 66035, 66230, 66701 Intermodal

    66563, 66956 Freightliners

    66084 Gypsum

    66176, 66705, 66513, 66704, 66551, 66711,     66149, 66744 Coal

    66055, 60054 Stone

    66037 Limestone empties

    66047 Rails

    466018 and 466037 outside Wabtec

Mar 1    67019 Thunderbird

    57601 in Wabtec

    66094 Rails

    66538, 66418 Freightliners

    66020 Light engine

    66093, 66198, 66730 Intermodal

    66201 Gypsum

    66037 Stone

    66035/66006 t.and t. Sand

    66549, 66207, 66040, 66108, 66129, 66077,     66706-708, 66744, 66746, 66741, Coal

Mar 7    66006 and 66010 on mineral trains

    08676 shunting

    66951+66507 light engine

    66186 and 66230 in yards

    66070 in depot

Mar 8    67019 Thunderbird

    66716/66739 Biomass

    60063 Rails

    66556, 66542 Freightliners

    66174/66156, 66741 Intermodal

    66116 Gypsum

    66164 Stone

    66050, 66077, 66550, 66561, 66708, 66709,    66714, 66725,66730, 66733, 66740, 66742     Coal

    66102 Light engine

Mar 15  67019 Thunderbird

    66705 JNAs

    66116/66137 Rails

    66536, 66571 Freightliners

    66057/66177, 66732 Intermodal

    66175 Gypsum

    66086 Sand

    66250, 66063 Stone

    66719, 66730, 66714, 66711, 66712, 66513,     66527, 66102, 66089, 66039, 66084 Coal

    466025 outside Wabtec

    66129 Light engine

Mar 22  67019 Thunderbird

    66030 Rails

    66504, 66592 Freightliners

    66108/66018, 66723 Intermodal

    66192 Gypsum

    66092 Stone

    66071 Sand

    66526, 66544, 66043, 66089, 66122, 66124,     66176, 66708, 66711, 66712, 66719, 66737,     66739 Coal

Mar 29  37685 Wabtec testing Mark IV coaching stock

    67024 Standby

    66954, 66416, 66592 Freightliners

    66162/66021, 66712 Intermodal

    66953, 66034, 66115, 31601 Light engines

    66144/66183 Doncaster Decoy - Toton

    66175 Gypsum

    Deltic 55022 dragging Class 40 D335

    60163 'Tornado' Kings Cross - York charter

    66085 Stone

    66087, 66622 Empty limestone

    66107 Warrington Enterprise

    66168, 66005, 66093, 66140, 66187, 66707,     66719, 66728, 66723, 66739, 66740 Coal

Apr 5    67024 Standby

    37261/31233 West Yard

    66102/66065, 66137, 66706 Intermodal

    66017 Rails

    66539, 66517 Freightliners

    67026/67006 Royal Train

    66125 Gypsum

    66110 Stone

    66109 Limestone

    66071 Sand

    66603/66607 Light engines

    66092, 66070, 66158, 66168, 66197, 66548, 66717, 66719, 66729, 66738, 6670 Coal

Apr 11    66077 and 66177 on mineral trains

    66139 on container train

    66733 on coal train

    66413 and 66598 in yards

    66011, 66043, 66076 in depot

Apr 19    67019 Stand by

    67014 Wabtec

    66074 Rails

    66720/66727 Biomass

    66565, 66566/66504 Freightliners

    66158, 66631, 66730 Inter modal

    66005 Gypsum

    66092 empty MBAs

    66736 Slurry

    66099 Engineers

    66714, 66554, 66117 Light engines

    67005/67028 Test train

    66084 Stone

    66143, 66067, 66741 Coal

Apr 26    66567, 66541 Freightliners

    66728/66730 Biomass

    66169, 66132, 66732 Intermodal

    66117, 66091 Stone

    66703 Slurry

    66115 Gypsum

    66067 Engineers

    66118, 66085, 66561, 66093, 66088, 66706     Coal

    66089 MBAs

May 3    67019 Stand by

    67014 West Yard

    66418, 66956 Freightliners

    66722 Intermodal

    47749 Wabtec

    66139/66071 Rails

    66047 Gypsum

    66171 Light engine

    66142 Sand

    660057, 66186 Stone

    66120, 66719, 66519, 66034, 66732, 66527  Coal

May 10  67024 Stand by

    47749 West Yard

May 10  67014 Wabtec

    66591, 66562 Freightliners

    66249, 66018 Rails

    66701, 66039 Intermodal

    66008 Gypsum

    66143 Limestone

    66071 Sand

    66138, 66728, 66732, 66547, 66733, 66730  Coal

    60163 ‘Tornado’ Colchester - York charter

    66035 Aggregates

May 17  67024 Stand by

    66139, 66066, 66738 Intermodal

    47804/47826 empty West Coast stock returning to Carnforth

    66519, 66011 Light engines

    66101 Gypsum

    66502, 66539 Freightliners

    66710/66735 Tyne Yard to Decoy

    66074 Limestone empties

    60059 Stone

    66249 Rails

    66732/66745 Biomass

    66550, 66548, 66003, 66005, 66090, 66703, 66707, 66712, 66716, 66721, 66724 Coal

    66165 Sand

    320303 Wabtec

(A broken rail at Joan Croft Junction increased today’s sightings with some freight being diverted through the station.)

May 19  66010 on Plasmor train

    66143 on p.w. train

    66561/620/531/599 light engine

    66037 and 66077 in depot

    67024 stand by

May 24  67024 Stand by

    66138, 66139, 66723 Intermodal

    66502, 66540 Freightliners

    66014 Engineers

    66134 Stone

    66124 Sand

    66701, 66714, 66198, 66744 Coal

    321363 West Yard

Recent sightings on the Gainsborough – Barnetby line have been:

Mar 1    66090, 66124, 66701, 66706 and 66746 on coal trains

Mar 2    66003, 66090, 66193, 66706, 66709 and 66746 on coal trains

Mar 3    66003, 66061 and 66090 on coal trains

    66727 on goods train

Mar 5    66061, 66124, 66134, 66139, 66709, 66714, 66730 and 66742 on coal trains

Mar 6    66003, 66061, 66124, 66193, 66709, 66714 and 66725 on coal trains

    66708 on goods train

Mar 8    66003, 66061, 66124, 66193, 66709, 66714 and 66726 on coal trains

Mar 9    66096, 66709, 66714 and 66725 on coal  trains

Mar 10  66091, 66193 and 66725 on coal trains

    66723 on goods train

Mar 12  66003, 66067, 66149, 66705 and 66711 on coal trains

Mar 13  66067, 66149, 66193, 66567 and 66710 on coal trains

    66723 on goods train

    66719 light engine

Mar 14  66087, 66149, 66193 and 66712 on coal trains

    66736 on goods train

Mar 15  66087, 66712 and 66730 on coal train

Mar 16  66084, 66087, 66708, 66710-712 and 66730 on coal trains

Mar 20  66003, 66107, 66197, 66708, 66711 and 66712 on coal trains

    66707 on goods train

Mar 23  66003, 66040, 66118, 66197 and 66712coal trains

    66711 light engine

Mar 26  66092, 66118, 66128, 66197 and 66707 on coal trains

Mar 27  66003, 66092, 66116, 66118, 66156, 66193, 66197 and 66740 on coal trains

Mar 29  66092, 66116, 66174, 66192, 66197 and  66707 on coal trains

Mar 30  66092, 66116, 66128, 66192, 66197, 6707 and 66709 on coal trains

Apr 2    66041, 66116, 66192 and 66717 on coal trains

Apr 3    66043, 66116, 66717 and 66739 on coal trains

Apr 4    66168, 66192 and 66717 on coal trains

Apr 5    66011, 66015, 66140, 66717 and 66738 on  coal trains

Apr 6    66011, 66015, 66070, 66118, 66158 and 66713 on coal trains

Apr 10    66011, 66149, 66200, 66705, 66708 and 66742 on coal trains

Apr 11    66068 and 66705 on coal trains

    66737 on goods train

Apr 12    66708, 66733, 66742 and 66744 on coal trains

    66736 on goods train

Apr 13    66068, 66075, 66149, 66733, 66742 and 66744 on coal trains

Apr 14    66075, 66088 and 66733 on coal trains

Apr 16    66068 and 66149 on coal trains

    66729 on goods train

Apr 18    66068 and 6079 on coal trains

    66736 on goods train

Apr 19    66075, 66132, 66250 and 66717 on coal trains

Apr 23    66012, 66035, 66068 and 66706 on coal trains

    66703 on goods train

Apr 24    66012, 66068, 66118, 66128 and 66706 on coal trains

Apr 25    66012, 66070, 66093, 66128 and 66706 on coal trains, 66703 on goods train

Apr 26    66128, 66207, 66706 and 66707 on coal trains

Apr 27    66175, 66706 and 66707+66742 on coal trains

    66718 and 66727 light engines

Apr 30    66012, 66068, 66088, 66128 and 66728 on coal trains

May 1    66012, 66128, 66152 and 66728 on coal trains

May 2    66055, 66068 and 66088 on coal trains

May 3    66068 and 66728 on coal trains

    66707 on goods train

May 4    66058, 66097, 66175 and 66726 on coal trains

    66713 on goods train

May 7    66068, 66128 and 66728 on coal trains

    66148 on oil train

May 8    66065, 66148, 66527 and 66728 on coal trains

May 9    60007 on oil train

    66148, 66204 and 66706 on coal trains

May 10  66069 on oil train

    66706 on coal train

May 11  66706, 66728 and 66733 on coal trains

    66720 on goods train

May 15  66034, 66121 and 66712 on coal trains

May 16  66025, 66034 and 66712 on coal trains

May 17  66005, 66198 and 66712 on coal trains

May 18  66003, 66034, 66198 and 66712 on coal trains

    66730 on goods train

Other recent sightings have been:

Feb 15    66704 on coal train at Askern

Feb 25    66514 on coal train and 66168/148/143 light engine at Hatfield and Stainforth

Feb 29    66109 on goods train and 66849 on coal train at Swinton

Mar 10  60011 on oil train, 66006 on steel train,  66124, 66419, 66549, 66561 and 66709 on     coal trains and 66725 light engine

Mar 21  66014 and 66849 on coal trains at Swinton

Mar 28  66567+66593 on container train at Retford

    66116 on coal train at Worksop

    66613 on tanker train at Kiveton Bridge

Apr 28    66118, 66527 and 66599 on coal trains and 66204 on goods train at Hatfield and Stainforth

May 5    66027 on goods train, 66136 on coal train and 60007 light engine at Swinton

May 19  66003/109/204/184 light engine at Retford

Locos seen at Immingham on 31 March were 66018, 66207, 66507, 66559, 66528, 66707, 66725, 66957 and 08711.  On the same day 08888 was at Scunthorpe.

Locos noted at Peterborough on 20 April were 20142, 20217, 66712, 66718, 66723 and 66732.

Locos seen at Peterborough on 28 April were 20901, 20905, 66719, 66717, 66728, 66712, 66703, 66746, 66740, 66719, 66726 and 66708.

Locos noted at Scunthorpe on 12 May were 66016, 66050, 66213, 66058, 66184, 66136 and 66043.

Locos seen at Peterborough on 19 May were 66115, 66099, 66101, 66047, 66713, 66714, 66721, 66735, 66738 and 66746.

Western Region

57603 worked the Paddington – Penzance sleeper on 19 April after 57605 had brought in the empty stock.

Locos seen at Westbury on 5 May were 66061, 66571, 59001, 59201, 59206 and 59208.  On the same day at Didcot were 66013, 66077, 66053, 66097, 66017, 66167 and 66129.

Midland Region

Locos seen at Crewe Gresty Bridge on 17 March were 20315, 37259, 37601, 37603 and 57010.  On the same day at Crewe Basford Hall Yard were 37606, 37610, 47816, 66118, 66152, 66413, 66415, 66418, 66423, 66501, 66508, 66516, 66539, 66551, 66569, 66599, 66602, 66603, 70003, 70005, 70013, 70014, 86627, 86637, 86639, 90043, 90045 and 90047 and at Leeds Midland Road were 66525, 66543, 66545, 66545, 66552, 66559, 66957, 70004, 70010, 70015 and 70016.

90049 was noted on 23 March working the 15.03 Euston – New Street and 16.50 return services.

Locos noted at Crewe Gresty Bridge on 21 April were 20315, 57007, 57008 and 66432.  On the same day at Crewe Basford Hall Yard were 37601, 60059, 66016, 66027, 66082, 66142, 66161, 66422, 66517, 66526, 66532, 66542, 66544, 66556, 66564, 66572, 66595, 66953, 70016, 86609, 86610, 86613, 86622 and 90044 and at Leeds Midland Road were 66420, 66504, 66522, 66524, 66529, 66536 and 66554.

Locos seen at Derby Research Centre on 6 May were 31233, 37668, 37609, 97301, 97302 and 97304.  On the same day at Saltley were 66501, 66567, 66589 and 66564 and at Burton on Trent were 37679, 37227 and 73134.

Locos noted at Derby on 19 May were 20227/142 top and tail with 20901/905 with new Bombardier Derby built “S” underground stock (coach numbers 21111/22111/23111/24111/24112/23112/22112/21112); closely followed by DRS 37608/038 top and tailing Network Rail test train.

Scottish Region

Locos seen at Edinburgh Waverley on 26 April were 67024, 90021 stabled, 67017 on 2G13 17.08 Edinburgh/Edinburgh (Fife Circle) and 67016 on 2L69 17.21 Edinburgh / Cardenden

Southern Region

Locos noted at Eastleigh on 11 April were 60039, 66065, 66091, 66141, 73205, 73206, 57302, 57304, 57306 and 57310.

Locos seen at Millbrook on 5 May were 66536, 6666538, 66547, 66543, 66591, 70001, 70008, 70002 and 70019.  On the same day 66183 was at Southampton Dock and at Eastleigh Works were 66105, 08495, 57306, 57009, 07007 and 66534.

Railtours and Charter Trains

Locos seen on railtours and charters have been:

Feb 25    (“The Tyne Tees Rambler”) 66238 and 66030

Mar 31  (“The Immingham Centenary Preview”) 66117 and 66056

Apr 14    (“The Olive Branch No. 2”) 66063 and 66138

Apr 21    (seen passing Crewe) 47826 and 47851

May 5    (“The Hampshire Hotchpotch”) 20308, 20312 and 37409

May 20  (Kings Cross – Durham charter) 90039 and 67026

Preserved Railway

Locos used at the West Somerset Railway Steam Gala on 17 March were 70000, 7828, 1450, 80072, 88, 6960, 5553, 3850 and 9351.

Locos working at the Severn Valley Railway Spring Steam Gala on 24 March were 42968, 47406, 4464, 828, 43106, 7812, 69023, 1744 and 5164.

Locos used at the Great Central Railway 1960s Steam Gala on 31 March were 22, 4953 ‘Pitchford Hall’, 46521, 47406, 48624, 63601 and 78019.

Locos working at the Barrow Hill Fab Four Steam Gala on 13-15 April were 1310, 1744, 4464 “Bittern”, 60163 “Tornado”, 61994 “The Great Marquess”, 68030, 69023 “Joem” and “Sir Berkeley”.  Diesel shunter 03066 also worked some brake van rides on the Sunday.

Locos used at the Bodmin & Wenford Spring Steam Gala on 20 April were 30587, 552 W24 (from Isle of Wight) and 4247.

Locos working at the Appleby Frodingham Railway Preservation Society Diesel Weekend on 12 May were 1, High Line 3, 80, D2128, D2853, 07012, 08737 and “Arnold Machin”.  Also seen in the Scunthorpe Steelworks were 44, 45, 70, 71, 74, 75, 92, 93, 94 and 95 on internal goods trains, 81 in depot and 63 stored.

Locos used at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Rail Ale Festival on 18 May were steam 68030 and diesel 03066.

Locos working at the Nene Valley Railway Diesel Gala on 19 May were 55019, 66746, 56312, 31601, 31602, 31108, 47812 and D9529 replaced by D9520 after the first run.

Egyptian Diary (New Feature)

I have visited Luxor station twice, first on 31st January and again today (29th February).  It’s quite a busy station on the main line between Cairo and Aswan.  Trains are about 12 or so carriages in length including sleepers and also 4 coach local trains, all loco hauled.  It is standard gauge with lower quadrant mechanical signalling.  Locos noted on the 31st January were  3107, 3146 on Cairo trains, 3246 on Aswan train, in the shed and yard 3137, 3118, 3940, 3941, 3944, 3987 and 3970 on local train.  The Class 31s Co-Co built by Henschel 1983, Class 39s Bo-Bo are GM Hood units.  Noted on 29th Feb were 3969 on local train, shed and yard 3099, 3058, 3102, 3132, 3924, 3940, 3982, 3984, 21xx.  The Class 21s are akin to class 66s.  Also vintage coaches including clerestory coach.  I was invited into the signal box on the station platform today and hopefully a shed visit beckons soon.
The last 3 months have flown by, and it’s getting warmer its 40 today (23rd May).  I forgot to mention there is a sugar cane railway not far from where we live; we can see it in the distance, its 2ft gauge.  I have been to the station twice since I last reported.  On Sat 31st March quite a few locos on shed, 2410, 2463, 2104, 2137, 3211; 3944, 3103 around the station, 3924 on local train, 3206 train from Cairo terminated and 2158 on Aswan train  This is the first (66) I have seen working.  Also I just missed a freight passing through the station as I arrived; it was a tank train with a guards van.  The guards van something like the bogied southern ones.  I did manage to visit the shed on this occasion, it was a matter of just walking down these steps from the platform across the tracks and into the shed, no body said anything, had to give a back hander to someone but I don’t think he worked for the railway.  The next visit on Mon 30th April, a different kettle of fish this one, first off a sand storm was blowing, and then while sheltering behind a pillar on the platform, a contingent of 14 soldiers with riot sticks appeared, didn’t know whether to go now or stick it out, but you know the urge you want to see the locos, anyway I stayed sheltering.  Then a train arrived from the north, it was a convict train, coaching stock the same livery as normal but with bars and shutters at the windows, so that was the reason for the military.  I did get questioned by the tourist police, had a chat and showed him my photos of British locos (he seemed very interested).  The locos noted 3173 station, 3253, 3982 shed, 3924, 3940 local south bound trains, 3062 on the convict train.  So hopefully the next visit will be a bit more relaxed and another trip around the shed would be good.  The station has a good feeling, plenty of interesting people, trolleys of newspapers on the platform, and a good old fashioned buffet with hot water geyser on the counter.  The Class 24xxs are new locos, I will get more info on them for the next mag.

Best regards, Steve (Egyptian correspondent) 

Trip to London
The following were seen on a trip to London on 12th April 2012:

Doncaster Station: 66133, 67030

Doncaster Yards: 08405, 66148, 66413, 66200

Peterborough: 66702/707/723/727/737/739/741

Peterborough to Kings Cross: 313040/043/047/051/056/

  063/022, 317339/341/343/348, 365501/504/523

Hornsey: 313062, 317338/342/344, 319438,   321402/405/415, 365522/527/541

Kings Cross: 317348, 365508/513/515/529/535, 67019

St. Pancras International: 395016/027/028,   373019/020/209/210

St. Pancras Thameslink: 319004/009/362/366/374/385/434/453

Kentish Town: 319363/382/437

West Hampstead N.L.L.: 378207/226, 92026

Brondsbury Park: 378201

Willesden High Level: 378203/204/206/211/213/216/217/220-222/225/227/228/230

Willesden Depot: 378205/208-210/212/214/215/229/231/

  232/234, 86101/47425/87002/86701/09007, 172104,   168214

Euston - Watford service: 378202/218/219/223/224/257

Willesden (passing): 350101/102/105/107/116/118/120/122/124/125, 350235/238/242/244/249/253/257/

  263, 59002/101/202, 66002/502/542/710/737/741/746, 86607/610, 90041/047/048, 390002/006/008-  011/016/018/021-024/039/040/043/044/047/049/050/053/055

Camden Junction: 66117

Gospel Oak: 172003

Highbury & Islington: 378147/151, 66130

Canonbury: 378140

Dalston Junction: 378136/142

Hoxton: 378141

Shoreditch High Street: 378152

Whitechapel: 378135

Canada Water: 378154

Surrey Quays: 378144/148/151/256

New Cross Gate Depot: 378132/152

New Cross Gate Station: 378136/137/139/150, 377135/143/152/317/323/326/403/409/428/432/461/518/522

London Bridge: 171728/729/801/802/803/804/805,   376001-003/006-013/015/017-036,   319384/424/426/428/443/449/450/451/457,   375310/606/608/609/611/612/623-625/628/704/706/710-714/805/807/809/813/819/820/823/826/830/901-905/907-910/912-915/917/919-924/926/927,   377106/131/133/136/151/155/301/305/308/310-  314/317/319-321/323/325-327/401/403/407/411/13/417/431/432/435/437/438/444/446/466/470,   377502/503/512/515/516, 442402/409/410/411,   456003/006/007/009-011/013/015/018/022, 465003-  012/014/016/018-023/025-027/029-031/034/035/038-044/046/047/049/050/151-154/156-160/164/166/167/169-172/174/175/177/178/180/183-185/187-190/193/195-197/235/236/239/240/243/244/247/248-250, 465901/902/904/905/908/910/914/915/920/921/924/926-930/931/933/466001/005/007/009/011/012/016/020/023/028/029/031/033-  035/041/043

Blackfriars: 319373

Farringdon: 319012/364

St. Pancras Thameslink: 319002/219/369/370/372/379/382/384/421/425-427/435/436/442/449/452


Pennine Quiz No. 148

Railway Stamps

 Answer the following questions which are all about postage stamps.  The first 14 questions are based on Great Britain stamps and the rest on other countries (but they all feature British locos).

1  Which anniversary was commemorated on the 1980   railway stamps?

2  Which loco was included on the 1980 railway   stamps?

3  Which train was on the 22p stamp in the 1984   railway set?

4  Which train was on the 31p stamp in the 1984   railway set?

5  Which engine was on the 25p stamp in the 1994   railway set?

6  Which engine was on the 41p stamp in the 1994   railway set?

7  Which loco type was on the 28p stamp in the 2003   railway set?

8  Which location was on the 42p stamp in the 2003   railway set?

9  Which loco type was on the 47p stamp in the 2003   railway set?

10  Which location was on the 68p stamp in the 2003   railway set?

11  Which railway tunnel appears in the 2006 set issued   to commemorate Brunel’s birth?

12  What value stamp does it appear on?

13  Which loco types were on the 1st stamps in the 2010   railway set?

14  Which loco types were on the 67p stamps in the   2010 railway set?

15  Which loco type and name feature on the 1984 2c   stamps from Saint Vincent?

16  Which loco type and name feature on the 1984 50c   stamps from Tuvalu?

17  Which loco type and name feature on the 1986 75c   stamps from Saint Lucia?

18  Which loco type and name feature on the 1983 55c   stamps from Nevis?

19  Which loco type and name feature on the 1986 45c   stamps from Nevis?

20  Which loco type and name feature on the 1983 25c   stamps from Saint Vincent?

21  Which anniversary was commemorated on the 1973   Isle of Man railway set?

22  Which anniversary was commemorated on the 1993   Isle of Man railway set?

23  Which anniversary was commemorated on the 1995   Isle of Man railway set?

24  Which engines appear on the 27p and 57p stamps in   the 2004 Isle of Man railway set?

25  Which engines appear on the 61p and 90p stamps in   the 2004 Isle of Man railway set?

Pennine Quiz No. 147

The Answers

 1  61357 Earl Roberts of Kandahar

2  62657 Sir Berkeley Sheffield

3  60109 Hermit

4  61652 Darlington

5  61628 Harewood House

6  60047 Donovan

7  62770 The Puckeridge

8  60847 St Peters School York AD 627

9  60027 Merlin

10  65216 Byng

11  61482 Immingham

12  62422 Caleb Balderstone

13  61656 Leeds United

14  62735 Westmorland

15  62727 The Quorn

16  62467 Glenfinnan

17  61189 Sir William Gray

18  61244 Strang Steel

19  61621 Hatfield House

20  60048 Doncaster

21  60130 Kestrel

22  60160 Auld Reekie

23  61018 Gnu

24  61379 Mayflower

25  62663 Prince Albert

The Winner
Congratulations to the winner – John Dewing and thanks to Ian Shenton for the quiz.

Pennine Meetings 2012
Meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Wednesday 20th June 2012
John Foreman ‘Travels home and Abroad’

Wednesday 4th July 2012
Berni McDonugh

Wednesday 18th July 2012
Chris Theaker ‘Trains and Trams across Europe’

Wednesday 1st August 2012
John Law ‘South of the Thames’

Wednesday 15th August 2012
Geoff Warnes

Wednesday 5th September 2012
Robin Havenhand
“Diesels down the Decades”

Wednesday 19th September 2012
David Bladen

I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Geoff Bambrough, David Bladen, Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Ken King, Steve Payne, John Sanderson, Ian Shenton, Robin Skinner, Paul Slater and Martin Stocks.

Next Issue
The Autumn 2012 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on 19th September would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by no later than Monday 20th August - THANK YOU.  If you can, please email your contributions to

 East Coast: In Control
John Heaton FCILT
King’s Cross station concourse is teeming with passengers.  It is 17.00 and the evening peak is in full swing but regular travellers realise there are problems brewing.  The departure board is peppered with ‘being prepared’ signs where it should display ‘boarding’.  Suddenly a platform number appears and there is a stampede towards the ticket barriers.
The East Coast turnround team has been working flat out to convert a flight of late arrivals into punctual return workings, led tonight by Duncan Clark.  They can be permitted just a few seconds of satisfaction before heading off to their next task.
But 188miles away in a building that looks like a B&Q warehouse, at the end of the car park sandwiched between York station platform 11 and the National Railway Museum a higher power is at work orchestrating the response to these events.
Having joined East Coast duty operations manager and career railwayman Robin Skinner at 16.00, it was possible to observe this situation develop.  There had been more than the usual number of incidents, most of them beyond East Coast’s direct control, during the early afternoon.  Up trains had been delayed by a cow on the line at Skelton Bridge and there was some speculation that it must have been more like a goat to reach the line where it did.  A queue of up trains had formed until the animal could be cajoled away, and there would be repercussions.
1Y86 14.01 York-King’s Cross had incurred a 17½min late start pumping off a defective parking brake (those on HSTs are wound off) and then waiting for the rightaway against the tide of down trains.  Due into London at 16.43, its important back-working, 1S26 17.00 to Edinburgh, was now in jeopardy.
1E15 09.52 Aberdeen to King’s Cross was 36½min late having suffered from a signalling problem at Stonehaven and then the bovine incursion.  Booked into London at 16.51 for 1D24 17.33 King’s Cross to Harrogate, the dominoes were beginning to tumble.
‘Stepping up’ one set to work an earlier return is the normal tactic, but there are limits, especially in the evening peak when planned turnrounds are tight to minimise platform occupation.
The rolling stock controller is responsible for ensuring suitable stock is in position to work every timetabled service, also ensuring there is a balance with maintenance requirements.  East Coast operational flexibility is constrained by the concentration of electric set repairs at Bounds Green and diesel at Craigentinny.  A servicing role is performed at Neville Hill, Heaton and Aberdeen.  If depot capacity is exceeded, the following day’s performance will suffer and it is a key objective to start the next day properly.  Compromise is inevitable.
An HST is booked off repair at Craigentinny this afternoon and will work empty to Heaton for the following morning so there is a surplus at Newcastle.  Plans are in hand to crew the Class 91 set working 1N21 14.30 King’s Cross to Newcastle back to Bounds Green to balance the sets.
East Coast normally conducts such moves in the late evening to avoid overnight engineering work, often ad hoc possessions that keep emergency temporary speed restrictions to a minimum.
Robin Skinner has the benefit of a Control Centre of the Future (CCF) screen on which he can view signalling diagrams that show the precise location of every train.  He has worked at King’s Cross and knows the need for speedy decisions that will keep the concourse crowds moving.  The need to step up for the 17.00 departure is going to be solved by using the set in Platform 0 that has arrived from Inverness.  Duncan Clark’s team had intended to prepare it for 1D26 18.03 King’s Cross - Skipton because the set is required at Leeds to exchange its locomotive with one from Doncaster Works.
There is still some unease concerning the problematic parking brake on 1Y86 when it reaches London, but there is worse news to come.  The set has been running in reverse with locomotive No. 91129 at the south end and it has been found to have a plastic bin liner wrapped round its pantograph.  It has been allocated to work 1N27 17.30 King’s Cross to Newcastle but maintenance controller Craig Sellers doubts its fitness to travel back north.  The King’s Cross fitter is known for his positive approach but he remains reluctant to recommend the move unless the bag is removed.  In this technological age, he is able to transmit a photograph of it to the maintenance controller.
Lowering and raising the pantograph has no effect.  The binliner looks to be wound too tightly but it would be a brave and possibly foolhardy manager who would risk bringing down the wires to save a cancellation.  An overhead line isolation is needed but the nearest team is attending to another plastic bag, this time fouling the overhead line sixteen miles away at Welham Green.  In response to a quizzical eyebrow, Robin says that flying plastic is a problem when high winds follow a dry spell.
East Coast control shares the building with representatives of other operating companies and also Network Rail.  Robin discusses the issue directly with the NR chief who estimates it will take at least an hour for the isolation team to reach King’s Cross.  In the evening peak, who knows just how long?  Robin offers to stop a train to pick them up but NR refuses on the grounds of the equipment that has to be transported.  An observer might be tempted to criticise the lack of resident isolation staff at the terminus but, if extra teams are created for possibilities rather than probabilities, economic viability can soon be undermined.
1A36 14.45 Leeds-King’s Cross is booked to arrive at 16.55.  Since passengers for 1S26 (the 17.00) are still on the concourse, it is sensible to earmark it for this departure, which leaves 13min late.  1A36 will have been tanked at Leeds so will not need water, saving a few precious minutes.  The opposite equation applies to 1E15, booked back with 1D24 (the 17.33) which will require tanking after the journey from Aberdeen and any temptation to skimp this would be counter-productive.
East Coast has adopted a policy of early decision making rather than betting on a solution being found sometime in the future.  One train has to be cancelled and the candidates are 1N27 (the 17.30) and 1D25 17.49 King’s Cross -Leeds.  What are the respective loadings?  How much overcrowding will occur to other services?  How much delay will occur to passengers?  What extra stops are needed?
There is a further complication because the loco heading for Doncaster Works via Leeds will end up in Newcastle if the 17.49 is cancelled.  The Control has access to seat reservation figures and predictions of actual loadings and these show that there are 292 reservations on 1N27 and 196 on 1D25.  Moreover, 1D25 is going to be late away as the Aberdeen will not arrive until 17.27, so the 17.49 passengers will be split between the 17.33 and 18.03.  Rolling stock controller Clive Casling suggests that the Doncaster Works move can be postponed, so the decision is taken to run the 17.30.
Crew controller Eddie Walker, information controller Micky Jacques and catering controller Kinga Bogdanowicz deal with the implications, the 17.49 buffet staff dividing their numbers to reinforce both the 17.33 and 18.03.  A contingency plan exists to authorise an extra Retford stop in the 18.03, to provide for otherwise inconvenienced customers.
Carl Ellis, the remaining member of the East Coast team, embedded within the phalanx of NR Control desks, deals with delay attribution and liaises with signal centres in an attempt to keep East Coast trains within 10min of advertised time, their Public Performance Measure.
Even as staff at King’s Cross begin to implement the new plan, York Control is looking at the consequences.  Cancellation of the 17.49 will leave 1A52 20.45 Leeds to King’s Cross uncovered, a train that will no doubt form the last service to many onward destinations. Salvation is at hand.  The stock off 1N21 will now run empty from Newcastle to Leeds instead of Bounds Green and will work 1A52.  With the binliner pantograph set eventually going to the depot this will also balance the workload and safeguard the morning situation.
Then, just as arrangements have been finalised, a message is received that No. 91129 is thought to be fit to run.  Robin toys for a moment with reinstating the 17.49.  The key issue is, of course, customer convenience but reinstatement at this stage will achieve little and alteration would risk confusion.  In any case, the original cancellation reasons - the plastic bag and parking brake - have not been fully resolved so he sticks with the original decision.
In the meantime, there is a railway to manage north of Potters Bar.  1S11 10.00 King’s Cross to Aberdeen is running 29min late between Montrose and Stonehaven, as a result of a dragging brake on 1S09 09.00 King’s Cross- Edinburgh at Welham Green this morning.
Robin is about to ask stations to do what they can to make a few seconds up on 1S11 when there is a message that a drug addict has threatened a female passenger.  There is further disorder at Newcastle where frustrations seem to have boiled over, causing someone to damage the barrier line.
It is easy to review late running trains as the computer screens colour-code all East Coast trains.  There are four categories, blue for over 30min late, red for 9min to 30min, yellow for 4min to 8min and green for 3min and under.
1S20 14.00 King’s Cross - Aberdeen is code red, running 18min late approaching Edinburgh.  Robin watches its progress on CCF and remarks that it has at least avoided following a North Berwick stopper.  6E30 15.41 Dalzell-Lackenby is loitering in the Monktonhall Jct area but is regulated to allow 1S20 to cross its path unchecked.
The duty operations manager makes two calls.  The first is to station staff asking them to save some time on the 7 min station allowance, but they have to load catering modules for the morning because nothing more than emergency rations are kept at Aberdeen.  The second call is made to Edinburgh box to request priority over 1L01 18.41 Edinburgh to Perth which looks like preceding the HST over the Forth Bridge and into Fife.
At integrated electronic control centres such as Edinburgh, CCF shows every detail, even whether the train-ready-to-start indicator has been pressed.  1L01 beats 1S20 to the button but the signal does not clear.  Robin’s plea has been heeded by the signallers (although there might have been other reasons of course) and 1S20 leaves first, its passengers having made their Perth connection.  1S20 is now 14min late with a relatively clear road and 1L01 departs 9min late.
Looking back at earlier events, Robin sees that 1S20 14.00 King’s Cross - Aberdeen had been held to follow a Hull Trains service from Retford, which in turn had clashed with a Leeds intermodal.  It has been suggested that this might have been a scheduling error, which is referred for further scrutiny tomorrow.
The computer can also make an estimate of a train’s projected arrival time although this is relatively unsophisticated and amounts to a simple removal of timetabling allowances, which results in optimistic predictions.
Robin takes a look at Peterborough on CCF where the blue-code 1Y38 14.25 Newcastle - King’s Cross is 31min late with 1A40 16.15 Leeds - King’s Cross also late.  This combination is threatening late starts to the 19.00 and 19.03 from London.
Time is often lost through Peterborough where theory and reality routinely part company, mainly due to control approach from the north being exacerbated by signal overlaps being occupied by First Capital Connect trains using Platform 3.  Parallel departures from Nos 2 and 3 sometimes cause East Coast trains to use the slow line to Fletton Jct, which also loses time.  Today, 1Y86 (14.01 from York) even suffered the indignity of an FCC service overtaking while it waited on the slow line.
The proposed new platform on the up main line might not necessarily help as up ‘runners’ might be delayed by stoppers or the stoppers might lose more time by being diverted to No. 2 if timed into the new up main platform.
East Coast has had two sets running in reverse today and it had been arranged for 1S22 15.00 King’s Cross -Glasgow Central to be rectified by using the High Level Bridge at Newcastle.  This would not normally be done if PPM is likely to be jeopardised.  There is a suggestion that Newcastle signallers might think this is an unnecessary indulgence but it is not just about first class ticket holders having a shorter walk at King’s Cross, the whole operation, such as where to stand for seat reservations, is predicated on standard formations.
However, 1S22 has had a set swap and is using a set with its loco leading.  There is a call from the driver asking if it is still going to use the High Level Bridge and this is interpreted as a subtle reminder to ensure Newcastle box knows the booked route is now required.
There is an investigation in hand concerning a door being discovered ‘on the catch’ leaving Stevenage.  The guard and station staff do not think the door was used during the stop so the King’s Cross station manager has been asked to examine CCTV footage of its departure.
One of the major problems in achieving an ‘absolute right time’ railway is chasing down minor delays.  The TRUST monitoring system does not require explanations for delays of 2min or lower and most delays are within this ‘sub-threshold’ category.  Above the threshold, NR has attributed a 3min delay between Retford and Newark to the driver.  You do not have to be a rail professional to know that the true cause will be anything but this.  A call to the Newcastle driver reveals a red-to-green aspect at Grove Road level crossing.
That morning, I had travelled from Newcastle to London on the up Flying Scotsman and had less success in pinpointing delay.  From arriving at Newcastle 2½min late, punctuality had deteriorated to 4½min at Ferryhill in ½min increments and the TRUST report had no explanation to offer.  When the train later encountered a slow line diversion to allow staff to work alongside the dragging brake on 1S09, PPM was lost.  On a railway that runs around 155 trains per day, each late train reduces PPM by 0.65 per cent, whereas suburban railways can reach PPM with many more delayed trains.
East Coast must be commended for allowing their operation to be examined in such detail, but it is clear that managing director Karen Boswell and operations director Danny Williams were rightly confident that the professionalism of their staff would be evident, even in adverse conditions.
The shift has been hectic, and there will be more events still to come.  As media relations manager John Gelson and I prepare to take our leave, Robin Skinner takes an urgent phone call.  As if to emphasise how train operators are a hostage to fortune for events both inside and outside their control, Robin is told that a member of the public has reported seeing someone acting strangely on St. George’s Road Bridge, north of Doncaster station.
With British Transport Police and the NR mobile operations manager on their way, a decision has been taken to continue running trains normally.  As readers of this magazine (and its contributors!) will appreciate, if trains were to be stopped whenever someone peered at trains over a bridge parapet PPM would never be met. 

This article appeared in the Practise and Performance section of the January 2012 issue of The Railway Magazine and is printed here with their kind permission (performance tables and related text have been omitted).

Quick Guide to Arabic Number 

٠ = 0    ١ = 1    ٢ = 2    ٣ = 3    ٤ = 4

٥ = 5    ٦ = 6    ٧ = 7    ٨ = 8    ٩ = 9

This photo, taken by David Bladen, shows one of Blackpool’s new Bombardier Flexity 2 trams undergoing testing at the equally new Starr Gate depot on the 21st of February 2012