On This Day… Nottingham Express Transit

Six years ago today I spent a few hours travelling around the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) system, visiting the second phase routes to Toton Lane and Clifton South that had opened a few months earlier.

First up was a trip to Toton Lane on one of the original Bombardier Incentro trams, 209 Sidney Standard (named after the former president of the Beeston Road (cycling) Club and proprieter of a bike shop in Beeston for 27 years).

The trip back to Nottingham railway station was on one of the newer Alstom Citadis trams, 217 Carl Froch (named after the super-middleweight boxer born in Nottingham in 1977).

Bombardier Incentro Five-section Bo-2-Bo Tram 209 & Alstom Citadis 402 Five-section Bo-2-Bo Tram 217-20151125Bombardier Incentro Five-section Bo-2-Bo Tram 209 & Alstom Citadis 402 Five-section Bo-2-Bo Tram 217
Toton Lane, 25 November 2015

The trip to Clifton South was completed in two stages, Alstom Citadis, 234 George Africanus (named after a West African former slave who became a successful entrepreneur in Nottingham in the 1780s) taking me as far as Clifton Centre and classmate 235 David Clarke (named after the former ice hockey player and captain of the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey team) from Clifton Centre to Clifton South.

Alstom Citadis 402 Five-section Bo-2-Bo Tram 235-20151125Alstom Citadis 402 Five-section Bo-2-Bo Tram 235
Clifton South, 25 November 2015

Another pair of Citadis trams, 226 and 236 Sat Bains (named after the chef/proprieter of Restaurant Sat Bains) transported me back to first Nottingham railway station and then Beeston… for dinner with wifey!

On This Day… The Great Gathering

Eight years ago today I spent an enjoyable couple of hours at the National Railway Museum (NRM) photographing all six preserved London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) class A4 locomotives at ‘The Great Gathering

The Great Gathering-20131111e60007 SIR NIGEL GRESLEY & 60008 DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
National Railway Museum, 11 November 2013

Gathering all six A4s together was no mean feat, although four of the locos were located in the United Kingdom, 60008 DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER was housed in the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin and 4489 DOMINION OF CANADA was in the Canadian Railway Museum in Montreal!

The Great Gathering-20131111g60009 UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, 4464 BITTERN, 4468 MALLARD & 4489 DOMINION OF CANADA
National Railway Museum, 11 November 2013

I did manage to get all six locos in one image (just) but the distortion caused by the wide-angle lens used makes 60007 and 4489 look twice as wide as the others so you’ll have to make do with two separate pics!

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.

On This Day… 47540

13 years ago today I was driving up to Bedale in North Yorkshire (if memory serves I was going to collect a model railway baseboard from White Rose Modelworks) and I decided to stop off en route to have a better look at something I’d spotted when driving down the A1 a few months earlier…

What I’d spotted was a number of railway carriages seemingly dumped in a field.

What I’d thought was a field turned out to be the remnants of Sinderby railway station, on the former Harrogate to Northallerton line opened by the Leeds Northern Railway in 1852.

The station had closed to passengers in 1962, to goods in 1963 and the line had closed completely in 1967 with the station site being taken over by Seward Agricultural Supplies.

In 2002 the site also became home to a number of British Rail Mk.2 carriages pending restoration, and a little later, this…

47540-2007120547540 The Institution of Civil Engineers
The former Sinderby Station, December 2007

47540 The Institution of Civil Engineers was withdrawn in November 2002 and had arrived at Sinderby the following September and was now looking very much the worse for wear.

47540 was built at Brush Traction in Loughborough and entered service in March 1964 as D1723 at Bristol Bath Road Depot (82A). Renumbering under the TOPS scheme followed in October 1974 and again (to 47975) in August 1990. 47975 was named The Institution of Civil Engineers without ceremony at Crewe Diesel Depot (CD) on 2 September 1991 and the name was retained when the loco was renumbered back to 47540 in December 1995.

The site was partially cleared in 2009, prior to the widening of the A1 road and the six carriages I recorded (and possibly others) were moved to Dalton Industrial Estate near Thirsk for storage. Most were later scrapped.

47540 had a brief period of storage at Heanor Haulage’s site in Langley Mill before moving back to Yorkshire, taking up residence at the Wensleydale Railway where its condition deteriorated further until it was sent for scrap at T.J.Thomson of Stockton in March 2016.

In the image below (dating from 2010) 47540 is just visible (in the centre), dumped at the end of a siding at Leeming Bar station.

Leeming Bar station, Wensleydale Railway-2010090947540
Leeming Bar Station, 9 September 2010

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.

320302-20050903320302
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.

On This Day… Night Riviera

57604-2014080657604 PENDENNIS CASTLE
Exeter St David’s station, 6 August 2014

Six years ago today I was staying in Exeter and decided to have a bash at photographing the First Great Western ‘Night Riviera’ sleeper service as it paused at St David’s station at around 1am.

57604 ‘PENDENNIS CASTLE’ (looking splendid in Great Western Railway livery) had departed from Penzance bang on time at 21.45 and would eventually arrive at London Paddington at 05.01 with its seven coach train.

57604 is one of four class 57/6 locos converted from class 47s (47209 in this case) in 2004 for use on the sleeper service between London, Devon and Cornwall and still carries the special livery that was applied in 2010 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Great Western Railway (GWR) being incorporated.

On This Day – Grand Train, Paris

Four years ago today I was travelling back to the UK from Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire in central France and took the opportunity of a few hours between trains in Paris to visit the ‘Grand Train’ exhibition at the former La Chapelle locomotive depot.

Le dépôt de La Chappelle was opened by La Compagnie des chemins de fer du Nord (CF du Nord) in 1845 and served the railways north of Paris for almost 167 years until closure in January 2013.

Occupying a prime spot in central Paris the site was put up for sale by the Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF) but the depot was to welcome trains once more before the developers moved in…

From 30 April to 16 October 2016 the depot played host to not only a number of historic railway related exhibits but also restaurants and bars, a bookstore, a number of markets and best of all, entry was free!

These are just a few of the many photos I took that day…

SNCF class BB 9300 109301, class A1AA1A 68500 668523 & class CC 72000 472029-20160618SNCF class BB 9300 109301, class A1AA1A 68500 668523 & class CC 72000 472029

SNCF 230.D.9 (CF du Nord 230 3.521)-20160618SNCF 230.D.9 (CF du Nord 230 3.521)

The only steam locomotive on display… built in 1908 by the Compagnie des chemins de fer du Nord.

Grand Train map-20160618‘vous êtes ici’

SNCF class X 52100 Autorail X 52103-20160618bSNCF class X 52100 Autorail X 52103

SNCF TGV Sud-Est power cars 23113 & 23114-20160618SNCF TGV Sud-Est power cars 23113 & 23114

The legendary Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV), these two power cars belong to one of the eight-car two-voltage ‘Sud-Est’ sets (57).

SNCF class BB 9200 9291-20160618cSNCF class BB 9200 9291

This class BB 9200 loco is one of the two 250km/h high speed variants used on the ‘Capitole’ service between Paris and Toulouse. The red ‘Capitole’ livery led to the locos being given the nickname ‘BB rouge’.

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.

90019-2013060690019
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!