Spotted Yesterday – 66715 VALOUR – IN MEMORY OF ALL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY

66715-2021112266715 VALOUR – IN MEMORY OF ALL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY
Alrewas, 22 November 2021

Spotted yesterday, GB Railfreight’s 66715 VALOUR – IN MEMORY OF ALL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY approaching Alrewas level crossing with train 4F62, the 12.58 intermodal service from East Midlands Gateway to Seaforth Container Terminal.

The locomotive’s name is rather appropriate as the National Memorial Arboretum is only a few hundred yards east of where I was standing…

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!

Spotted Yesterday – 170404 and 170395

170404 & 170395-20211025170404 & 170395
Tweedbank, 25 October 2021

Spotted yesterday at Tweedbank Station on the Borders Railway in Scotland, a pair of ScotRail class 170 ‘Turbostar’ diesel multiple units.

170404 was originally built for ScotRail services whereas 170395 (which had arrived with train 2T78, the 11.25 (SSuX) service from Edinburgh) was built for Hull Trains, entering service in March 2004, only to be replaced in May 2005 by class 222 ‘Pioneer’ diesel-electric multiple units (themselves now in service with East Midlands Railway).

There can’t be many three-car DMUs currently in service in the UK that have worked into two capital cities but 170395 is one of them, working into London King’s Cross with Hull Trains and Edinburgh with ScotRail.

From the Archives – Welford and Kilworth Platform Shelter

Last week I spent a couple of days chugging along the Grand Union Canal on a narrow boat, setting off from North Kilworth Marina in Leicestershire. Whilst looking at our route on the Ordnance Survey map I noticed a dismantled railway line immediately west of the marina and naturally (for me anyway) I did a little research and discovered there had been a station nearby…

Welford and Kilworth platform shelter (ERM)-20130525Welford and Kilworth platform shelter
Electric Railway Museum, 25 May 2013

Welford and Kilworth station, on the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) line from Rugby to Stamford, opened on 1 May 1950 and had an uneventful existence until closure on 6 June 1966 and although the main station buildings were demolished, the down (Stamford-bound) platform shelter (dating from 1878) survived and ended up on display at the Electric Railway Museum at Coventry (where the above photo was taken during an open day in 2013.)

Sadly the museum was forced to close in 2017 but most, if not all the exhibits were found new homes and I believe the shelter ended up at the Battlefield Line.

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 – 43274 and 43102

Spotted yesterday at Nottingham Station, having arrived with train 1D48, the 15.34 (SSuX) East Midlands Railway service from London St Pancras International…

43274-20210430a43274
Nottingham, 30 April 2021

and…

43102 (43302)-20210430a43102 The Journey Shrinker
Nottingham, 30 April 2021

EMR’s High Speed Trains are due for withdrawal in the next couple of weeks so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to photograph the two ‘celebrity-liveried’ power cars on the same train.

43274 (the former 43074, b.1977) is the only power car to wear EMR’s purple livery whilst 43102 (actually 43302, b.1978) has been repainted into the British Rail InterCity ‘Swallow’ livery it carried when it set the world speed record for a diesel train of 148.5mph on 1 November 1987.

43102 (nameplate)-20210430The Journey Shrinker nameplate (43102)
Nottingham, 30 April 2021

43102 and 43274 returned to St Pancras with train 1B69, the 17.45 SSuX service, departing Nottingham to a chorus of camera shutters firing!

Spotted Today – 37116

37116-2021040337116
Breaston, 3 April 2021

Spotted today, 37116 (the former D6816, built in 1963 by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows) passing Breaston (between Long Eaton and Spondon stations) with train 3M03, the 10.52 Colas Rail/Network Rail test train from Dollands Moor Sidings to Derby R.T.C.

The five coach train was made up of Brake Force Runner 96604, Generator Van 6262, Brake Coach 9810, Ultrasonic Test Coach 999606 and Driving Trailer Coach 9702 and was (at this point) running 42 minutes early in spite of having departed Dollands Moor 40 minutes late!

From the Archives – In Dublin’s Fair City…

It being St Patrick’s Day today I thought I’d raid my archives and post a few pics taken during a trip to Dublin that Dad and I took way back in 2004.

An early flight and a quick bus journey got us to Dublin Connolly station/Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile by mid-morning and we spent some time photographing the Irish Rail/Iarnród Éireann diesel locos that were pottering about…

Iarnród Éireann 141 class Bo-Bo DE 156-20040630Iarnród Éireann 141 class Bo-Bo Diesel Electric 156
Dublin Connolly station/Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile, 30 June 2004

Locomotive shed at Dublin Connolly/Stáisún Uí Chonghaile-20040630The locomotive shed at Dublin Connolly station/Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile, 30 June 2004

Then a tip-off from a member of station staff led us around the corner to see this…

LMS (NCC) class WT 2-6-4T No.4-20040630LMS (NCC) class WT 2-6-4T No.4, 30 June 2004

No.4, a Class WT 2-6-4T, was built at Derby in 1947 for the London Midland & Scottish Railway’s Northern Counties Committee. Preserved by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland No.4 was (and still is) regularly in use on special trains on the main line.

A less friendly member of staff then told us to ‘clear off!’ so we had a ride down the coast to Greystones station/Stáisiún na Clocha Liatha on a class 2800 DMU (returning on the Dublin Area Rapid Transit unit seen below).

Greystones station/Stáisiún na Clocha Liatha-20040630Greystones station/Stáisiún na Clocha Liatha with DART 8510 class 8614 heading for Howth in the platform, 30 June 2004

A dash back across Dublin gave us enough time to take a few photos at Heuston station/Stáisiún Heuston (and enjoy a pint of Guinness!) before our flight home.

Iarnród Éireann 201 class Co-Co DE 234-20040630Iarnród Éireann 201 class Co-Co Diesel Electric 234 RIVER AHERLOW/ABHAINN NA HEATHARLAÍ
Dublin Hueston station/Stáisiún Heuston, 30 June 2004

Sláinte!

On St. David’s Day – The Great Little Trains of Wales (Trenau Bach Arbennig Cymru)

Or two of them at least!

2013 saw me pay visits to the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (W&LLR) and the Talyllyn Railway (TR), two of the eleven ‘Great Little Trains of Wales’.

Opened in 1903 the 2ft 6in gauge W&LLR has its headquarters at Llanfair Caereinion in Powys and still operates services with the original locomotives built by Beyer, Peacock & Co Ltd in 1902.

BP 0-6-0T No.823 (works no.3497 of 1902)-20130720Beyer, Peacock & Co Ltd 0-6-0T No.823 COUNTESS
Llanfair Caereinion, W&LLR, 20 July 2013

Great Western Railway-liveried No.823 COUNTESS is seen taking on coal at Llanfair Caereinion, in the background are the three replica R.Y. Pickering & Co Ltd carriages built by the Ffestiniog Railway‘s Boston Lodge works between 2004 and 2010, the original W&LLR carriages having been scrapped in 1931.

BP 0-6-0T No.822 (works no.3496 of 1902)-20130720Beyer, Peacock & Co Ltd 0-6-0T No.822 THE EARL
Sylfaen Halt, W&LLR, 20 July 2013

no.822 THE EARL is seen approaching Sylfaen Halt with a Welshpool Raven Square-Llanfair Caereinion service. The locomotives were named in honour of The Earl and Countess of Powys as the Earl supported the building of the railway. THE COUNTESS had its name shortened to just COUNTESS by the Great Western Railway (GWR) who absorbed the W&LLR in 1923.


The 2ft 3in gauge Talyllyn Railway was opened in 1865 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn on the coast and despite becoming incredibly run-down was never closed, becoming the first heritage railway in the world in 1951.

The TR also uses its original locomotives (amongst others) and on the day I visited No.1 TALYLLYN (built by Fletcher Jennings & Co in 1865) was photographed running round the 12:45 service to Tywyn Wharf at Nant Gwernol at the eastern end of the line.

FJ 0-4-2ST No.1 (works no.42 of 1865)-20130816Fletcher Jennings & Co 0-4-2ST No.1 TALYLLYN
Nant Gwernol, TR, 16 August 2013

Also in operation was Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co Ltd 0-4-0WT No.6 DOUGLAS (works no.1431 of 1918). The ‘Modified E Class’ locomotive was built for the railway serving RAF Calshot in Hampshire. The locomotive was donated to the Talyllyn Railway in 1953, regauged from 2ft gauge and named after Douglas Abelson, who donated it.

AB 0-4-0WT No.1 (works no.1431 of 1918)-20130816Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co Ltd 0-4-0WT No.6 DOUGLAS
Tywyn, TR, 16 August 2013

Both railways are on my ‘to be revisited’ list and both are accepting donations to help them survive COVID-19 enforced shut-downs, please support them if you can…

Spotted Today – 66789 British Rail 1948-1997

66789-2021022666789 British Rail 1948-1997
Alfreton Tunnel, 26 February 2021

Spotted today, during my daily exercise… 66789 British Rail 1948-1997 exiting Alfreton Tunnel with train 0O01, the 10.50 light engine move from Doncaster Down Decoy Yard to Eastleigh East Yard.

Previously numbered 66250, the loco was one of a batch sold by DB Cargo UK to GB Railfreight (GBRf) in 2017 and now carries British Rail’s ‘large logo’ blue livery.

The 840 yard long Alfreton (New) Tunnel was completed in 1901 by the Midland Railway (MR) when the line here was quadrupled, the new tunnel being used for the fast lines with the old tunnel being relegated to freight traffic on the slow lines.