On This Day… A couple of oddities at Ruddington

Nine years ago I visited the Great Central Railway – Nottingham (GCRN) at Ruddington and was intrigued by a couple of strange railway vehicles…

Laboratory 1, RDB 975000-20120715bLaboratory 1, RDB 975000
Ruddington, Great Central Railway – Nottingham, 15 July 2012

RDB 975000 (Laboratory 1) was converted from a British Railways Mk.1 Restaurant Second Open (RSO) in 1970 by the Research & Development Department at the Railway Technical Centre (RTC) at Derby for use as a high speed dynamics laboratory.

The lowered section of roof could be fitted with a pantograph (used to collect power from overhead lines) which could then be observed in operation through the windows in the roof visible in the image below.

Laboratory 1, RDB 975000-20120715aLaboratory 1, RDB 975000
Ruddington, Great Central Railway – Nottingham, 15 July 2012

After lying out of use at Derby for many years RDB 975000 entered preservation at Ruddington in May 2011 but was scrapped in November 2013.

Observation Saloon 6300 HEBRIDEAN-20120715Observation Saloon 6300 HEBRIDEAN
Ruddington, Great Central Railway – Nottingham, 15 July 2012

6300 HEBRIDEAN was built as Class 101 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory (DTCL) 56356 in 1958 but converted in 1987 for use as a locomotive-hauled observation saloon on the Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh ‘Hebridean’ services.

Withdrawn in 1994, 6300 was initially preserved at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway before moving to Ruddington but has since moved again, to the Barry Tourist Railway.

Spotted Yesterday – In 15 minutes on the Erewash Valley Line

A 15-minute pause during a stroll in the Erewash Valley (near the site of the Former Shipley Gate station) yesterday produced the following…

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Erewash Valley Line, 4 January 2021

Freightliner’s 66514 heading 6M73, the 10.50 departmental service from Doncaster Up Decoy to Toton North Yard.

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Erewash Valley Line, 4 January 2021

195009, working 1Y15, the 11.09 Sundays excepted (SuX) Northern service from Leeds to Nottingham.

The class 195s seem to have finally taken over from class 158s on this route, I’ve seen a few but this is the first time I’ve photographed one.

60010 & 66207-2021010460010 & 66207
Erewash Valley Line, 4 January 2021

DB Cargo UK’s 60010 and 66207 passing with 0F54, the 12.05 light engine move from Belmont Down Yard to Toton T.M.D.

I didn’t hang about any longer, the leaden sky soon produced rain…

Spotted Last Night – At Matlock

Last night I made a pre-Lockdown 2.0 trip out to photograph the local Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT) having determined that said train stopped at Matlock Station for 45 minutes… plenty of time to set up a tripod and capture a few images.

But as we know ‘the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley’ and 66114 and 66111 only paused for a moment before heading into the darkness north of the station to make room for…

156401-20201103156401
Matlock, 3 November 2020

East Midlands Railway’s 156401, working 2A72, the 22.19 (SSuX) service from Derby. After pausing for a couple of minutes 156401 departed with train 2A79, the 22.56 to Nottingham.

Once 156401 had left the single-track branch at Ambergate Junction, 66111 and 66114 reappeared but again only paused briefly before continuing on their way.

66111-2020110366111 (plus 66114 out of sight at the rear)
Matlock, 3 November 2020

The two DB Cargo (UK) locos ‘top and tailed’ the RHTT vehicles and last night their route began at Toton Depot at 21.22 and took in Derby, Matlock, Leicester, Kettering, Nottingham and Newark Castle before finishing at Stapleford & Sandiacre at 04.06.

The RHTTs remove autumn leaf fall from the rails with high pressure water jets and can also apply an ‘adhesion modifier’ to help train wheels grip the rail… Vital for safety!

On This Day – Strathclyde PTE-liveried Multiple Units

15 years ago today I was driving from Balerno (a suburb of Edinburgh) to Banavie in the Scottish Highlands and had decided to stop at as many railway stations as I could get away with before my wife got fed up with my antics! 😁

Curriehill, on the Shotts line, was first and after a couple of minutes 156437 (allocated to Corkerhill Depot in Glasgow) put in an appearance on the 09.26 First ScotRail service from Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Central.

156437-20050903156437
Curriehill station, 3 September 2005

The station opened on 5 October 1987 and stands on the site of the Caledonian Railway’s ‘Currie Hill’ station which was closed by British Railways on 2 April 1951.

Next was Balloch, another newish station, and I arrived to find 320302 (allocated to Glasgow Shields Road Depot) waiting to depart with the 11.38 First ScotRail service to Drumgelloch.

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Balloch station, 3 September 2005

The ‘new’ Strathclyde PTE carmine and cream livery is more obvious in this pic and to my eye looks far more ‘railway-like’ than most post-privatisation liveries. It finally disappeared from the national network in December 2019 following withdrawal of the Class 314 electric multiple units.

Balloch station opened on 24 April 1988 and replaced the former Balloch Central station which closed the previous day and had been situated on the other side of the busy Balloch Road. The building just visible in the background is the former station building, now a tourist information centre.

I’ve just checked with the excellent trainlogger website and both units are still in service with ScotRail, wearing the current Saltire blue livery.

Multiple Unit Monday – A Wickham in Wales

Class 109 DTCL E56171-20140816D.Wickham & Co. Ltd. DTCL E56171 & DMBS E50416
Carrog Station, Llangollen Railway, August 2014

This two-car diesel multiple unit (DMU) was built by D.Wickham & Co. Ltd. of Ware, Hertfordshire in 1957 and was one of five such sets allocated to branch line services in East Anglia.

As more and more branch lines closed in the 1960s these Wickham sets were deemed surplus to requirements and were withdrawn from service. Two were exported to Trinidad, two were scrapped but the fifth (E56171 and E50416, later renumbered TDB975006 and TDB975005) was converted into a saloon (complete with kitchen facilities) for use by the General Manager of British Rail’s Eastern Region, remaining in use until 1980.

Eventually preserved by the Llangollen Railcars group the unit was restored at the Midland Railway-Butterley thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant and it returned to service in 2004.

Class 109 DTCL interior-20140816Interior of DTCL E56171
Carrog Station, Llangollen Railway, August 2014

The beautifully restored interiors are a very comfortable and stylish way to travel and the large windows give a fantastic view of the Denbighshire countryside that the Llangollen Railway passes through.

The Wickham sets were withdrawn before TOPS* classification was applied but they were allocated Class 109 by British Rail.

*The TOPS computer system for managing locomotives and rolling stock is something I’ll be going into more detail about in a future post.

On This Day – Barbies at Edinburgh Waverley

Seven years ago today I was returning home from a short break in Scotland’s capital city (travelling by train of course).

Having arrived at Edinburgh Waverley station a little early I had time to take a few photos…

90019 was stabled in the former Motorail bays at the eastern end of the station and was due to work that evening’s Caledonian Sleeper service to London Euston.

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Edinburgh Waverley station, 6 June 2013

The imposing structure in the background is St Andrew’s House, the headquarters building of the Scottish Government that stands on the site of the former Calton Jail.

At the other end of the station was 158711.

158711-20130606158711
Edinburgh Waverley station, 6 June 2013

The Balmoral Hotel (formerly the North British Station Hotel) dominates the skyline. Built by the North British Railway (NBR) the hotel opened 15 October 1902. The hotel’s clock has always been set three minutes fast to ensure that the people of Edinburgh wouldn’t miss their trains. The only day that the clock runs on time is on 31 December (Hogmanay) for the city’s New Year celebrations.

I didn’t make any notes as to the service 158711 was operating but as a unit allocated to Inverness depot it’s reasonable to assume that Inverness was its next destination.

Both 90019 and 158711 are carrying the ‘First ScotRail’ colour scheme that enthusiasts soon dubbed ‘Barbie livery’, presumably thanks to the bright pink stripe!