Spotted Today – 47749 and 47727

47749 & 47727-2020052247749 & 47727
Erewash Valley Line, May 2020

47749 CITY OF TRURO and 47727 Edinburgh Castle/Caisteal Dhùn Eideann approach the site of Shipley Gate station on the Erewash Valley Line on 22 May 2020 as train 0Z47, the 16.03 light engine move from Worksop Down Yard to Leicester Depot. At this point they were running over three hours early!

47749 was built at Crewe Works and entered service in February 1965 as D1660. The ‘CITY OF TRURO’ name was bestowed upon it at Truro station on 8 June 1965 by Dr. Mabel Andrews, Mayor of Truro and the name was retained until 13 October 1988.

Between 1988 and 2016 three other names were carried at various times; ‘Resplendent’ (12 October 1991-October 1995), ‘Atlantic College’ (23 November 1995-?) and ‘Demelza’ (20 September 2007-?). The ‘CITY OF TRURO’ name was restored at Bristol St. Philip’s Marsh Depot open day on 30 April 2016.

47727 was also built at Crewe and entered service in October 1964 as D1629. ‘Edinburgh Castle/Caisteal Dhùn Eideann’ is the locomotive’s fifth name, the previous ones being ‘The Gloucestershire Regiment’ (1 July 1990-November 1993), ‘Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’ (11 October 1994-?), ‘Castell Caeffili/Caerphilly Castle’ (December 2002-?) and ‘Rebecca’ (20 September 2007-?)

Industrial Action – A pair from Pilkington’s…

A recent search for something else entirely turned up a forgotten folder of images taken at the Nene Valley Railway in April 2008 and amongst them was this little tyke.

Yorkshire Engine Co Ltd 0-4-0DE 'DONCASTER' (works no.2654 of 1957)-20080407Yorkshire Engine Co Ltd 0-4-0DE ‘DONCASTER’ (works no.2654 of 1957)
Wansford Station, Nene Valley Railway, April 2008

‘DONCASTER’ is a Yorkshire Engine Co Ltd (YE) 0-4-0 Diesel Electric locomotive that was built in 1957 as works no.2654. One of five such locos supplied new to glass manufacturer Pilkington Brothers Ltd of St. Helens, Merseyside, no.2654 was rendered redundant by new plant in 1984 and sold to the Doncaster & District Railway Preservation Society who moved it to what was then the Sandtoft Transport Centre in Lincolnshire (now The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft).

Sold again to the Yorkshire Engine Group, the loco moved to the Nene Valley Railway for rebuilding, which included the fitting of a 250hp engine to replace the original 200hp example.

The name ‘Pilkington’ clanged a great big bell in the dusty recesses of my memory and after much searching I turned up this image, taken at the Llangollen Railway in 2014.

Yorkshire Engine Co Ltd 0-4-0DE 'PILKINGTON' (works no.2782 of 1960)-20140816Yorkshire Engine Co Ltd 0-4-0DE ‘PILKINGTON’ (works no.2782 of 1960)
Llangollen Station, August 2014

‘PILKINGTON’ is another of the five YE 0-4-0DE locos supplied to Pilkington Brothers Ltd and like no.2654 was a casualty of modernisation at St Helens. Built in 1960 as works no.2782 it originally carried the name ‘QUEENBOROUGH’ but was renamed after it was donated to the Llangollen Railway.

‘COWLEY HILL’ (works no.2687 of 1958), another of the five St Helens’ locos also made it into preservation but was sold to T.J. Thomson, Stockton-on-Tees, for scrap from the Telford Steam Railway in May 2010.

I believe that ‘DONCASTER’ is now in the care of the Industrial Diesel Railway Preservation Group who intend restoring it to working order.

Signal Box Safari – South Tynedale Railway

To me, no structure screams ‘RAILWAY!’ more than a signal box…

Old station buildings get converted to houses, goods and locomotive sheds are often unrecognisable in their new roles as factories or warehouses but a signal box rarely ends up looking like anything other than… well… a signal box.

I try to photograph them wherever they crop up, there are still many to be found on the national network and heritage lines occasionally build new ones. The South Tynedale Railway (STR) is one such line.

The STR extended their 2ft gauge line to a new northern terminus at Slaggyford in 2017 and needed a signal box to control the station’s signals and level crossing but the original North Eastern Railway (NER) box had been demolished in the 1960s.

… So the STR built a very convincing replica of the original NER type N2 structure that contains a 28-lever frame obtained from Battersby signal box (which closed in August 1989) on the Esk Valley Line that runs from Middlesbrough to Whitby.

Slaggyford Signal Box-20181026Slaggyford Signal Box
South Tynedale Railway, October 2018

Alston, at the southern end of the STR, boasts a 1915-vintage signal box, but not one original to the location…

Alston Signal Box-20181026Alston Signal Box
South Tynedale Railway, October 2018

Alston signal box is a North Eastern Railway (NER) type S5 structure that originally stood at Ainderby on what is now the Wensleydale Railway in North Yorkshire.

Rebuilt at Alston in 1991 (on a new brick base) the box contains a 21-lever McKenzie & Holland frame, part of which came from Leeming Bar (also on the Wensleydale Railway).

The South Tynedale Railway has also had to suspend operations due to the Covid-19 situation and are currently appealing for donations to help support the railway until such time as they can run trains again.

On the Narrow Gauge – Talyllyn Railway Anniversary

A very quick post today…

On 14 May 1951, the Talyllyn Railway (Rheilffordd Talyllyn) re-opened under the control of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society with trains running between Wharf and Rhydyronen stations.

FJ 0-4-2ST TALYLLYN (works no.42 of 1865)-20130816Fletcher Jennings & Co. 0-4-2ST TALYLLYN (works no.42 of 1865)
Tywyn Wharf station, Talyllyn Railway (Rheilffordd Talyllyn), August 2013

The 2ft 3in gauge railway is currently closed due to the Covid-19 situation and like many heritage lines they are appealing for funds to help the railway survive. If you can, please make a donation here.

The Talyllyn Railway is one of 11 heritage lines that make up the Great Little Trains of Wales (Trenau Bach Arbennig Cymru).

On the Narrow Gauge – ‘Z’ is for… ZM32

From my last post’s ‘A’ for ‘Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd.’ all the way to the other end of the alphabet today!

Sorting through many years worth of digital images at the moment and I came across pics from two visits (in 2009 and 2011) to the Steeple Grange Light Railway (SGLR) near Wirksworth in Derbyshire.

RH 4wDM ZM32 'HORWICH' (works no.416214 of 1957)-20090531Ruston & Hornsby Ltd 18in gauge 4wDM ZM32 ‘HORWICH’ (works no.416214 of 1957)
Steeple Grange Light Railway, May 2009

ZM32 has called the SGLR home since 1997 and is one of a very small number of narrow gauge locomotives that were owned and operated by British Railway (BR).

The Ruston & Hornsby Ltd. 20hp LAT class diesel loco (works no.416214 of 1957) was supplied new to the former Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s (L&YR) Horwich Locomotive Works for use on the extensive 18in gauge system there (where eight 0-4-0ST steam locos had previously been employed). It worked there until 1965 after which it went into store (following a failed attempt to export it to British Honduras).

Purchased by R.P. Morris in 1971, ZM32 was restored and re-gauged (to 2ft) and operated at Gloddfa Ganol, a working quarry and tourist attraction in Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales before finally moving to the SGLR where it has been re-gauged (again) to 18in, named ‘HORWICH’ and painted into BR lined green livery.

RH 4wDM ZM32 'HORWICH' (works no.416214 of 1957)-20110710Ruston & Hornsby Ltd 18in gauge 4wDM ZM32 ‘HORWICH’ (works no.416214 of 1957)
Steeple Grange Light Railway, July 2011

‘HORWICH’ is often in charge of passenger trains on the 1 in 27 gradient ‘Killer’s Branch’ at the SGLR.

Industrial Action – Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. 0-4-0DH No.482 of 1963

Flicking through the June 2020 issue of Railways Illustrated magazine I was saddened to read of the planned closure of Wabtec® Rail Scotland’s Kilmarnock Works.

The history of Wabtec® Rail Scotland can be traced all the way back to 1840 when Andrew Barclay (born in 1814) went into business with Thomas McCulloch to manufacture mill shafts in Kilmarnock. Further business ventures followed (including locomotive building on a limited scale) and in 1892 Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. set up shop at Caledonia Works in the town.

Andrew Barclay was acquired by the Hunslet Group in 1972 and became Hunslet-Barclay. The company changed hands in 2007, becoming Brush-Barclay as part of the FKI Group, and in 2011 Brush-Barclay and Brush Traction and were acquired by the American Wabtec Corporation.

I visited Kilmarnock in October 2019 and was pleased to spot Wabtec’s resident diesel shunter as my train from Stranraer arrived, the works now being located beside Kilmarnock station on the site of the old goods yard.

Knowing (after consulting the Industrial Railway Society’s 18EL book) that the locomotive was in fact a product of Caledonia Works, an 0-4-0 diesel hydraulic dating from 1963 (works no.482) I was keen to get a photograph but that proved impossible from any public vantage point so I cheekily paid a call to Wabtec’s office and asked if it was possible to visit the site.

AB 0-4-0DH (works no.482 of 1963)-20191031aAndrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. 0-4-0DH (works no.482 of 1963)
Wabtec® Rail Scotland, Kilmarnock, October 2019

I was pleasantly surprised to be granted brief access and was escorted over to the locomotive by a member of staff (whose name I sadly didn’t make a note of) and allowed to take a few photos.

AB worksplate (no.482 of 1963)-20191031Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. worksplate (no.482 of 1963)
Wabtec® Rail Scotland, Kilmarnock, October 2019

AB 0-4-0DH (works no.482 of 1963)-20191031bAndrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. 0-4-0DH (works no.482 of 1963)
Wabtec® Rail Scotland, Kilmarnock, October 2019

No.482 was supplied new to the Scottish Gas Board’s Granton Works near Edinburgh where it became ‘GRANTON No.1’ but by 1971 it had ‘joined up’ and moved to the Ministry of Defence Air Force Department’s depot at Chilmark in Wiltshire where there was an extensive railway system, both standard and narrow gauge.

By January 1986 No.482 had moved the short distance to the M.o.D. depot at Dinton but in 1989, due to the winding down of activities at both Dinton and Chilmark, it had returned north of the border, to Hunslet-Barclay Ltd.

Upon leaving Wabtec’s site I spotted this across the road…

Caledonia Works offices-20191031Caledonia Works offices

Part of the original ‘Caledonia Works’ now converted to rather swish-looking apartments and also home to another Andrew Barclay product, an 0-4-0 saddle tank named ‘DRAKE’ (works no.2086 of 1940) displayed inside the offices on the ground floor.

AB 0-4-0ST 'DRAKE' (works no.2086 of 1940)-20191031Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. 0-4-0ST ‘DRAKE’ (works no.2086 of 1940)
The Klin Group, Kilmarnock

I’m sure I’ve got a better image of ‘DRAKE’ somewhere, taken a few years ago… I must dig it out!

An introduction…

Like many, my interest in railways began in childhood. That interest has waxed and waned over the years and although I’m not as able to get out and about as I once was I still enjoy travelling by train whenever possible, on both the national network and heritage lines.

I’m interested in pretty much anything rail-related and enjoy piecing together small snippets of information from all manner of sources to (hopefully) create posts that someone, somewhere, might find interesting…

A lot of my posts will be historical in nature, especially with the current travel restrictions in place and many will feature the less glamorous aspects of the railway scene as that tends to be what interests me most of all…