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…

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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.

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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.

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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.