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Withdrawn in 1994, 6300 was initially preserved at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway before moving to Ruddington but has since moved again, to the Barry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 – 43238, the ‘Flying Tomato’

43238-2020072743238
Beeston Station, July 2020

Former London North Eastern Railway (LNER) High Speed Train (HST) power car 42238 leads train 1B48, the 13.45 Saturdays and Sundays Excepted (SSuX) East Midlands Railway (EMR) service from Nottingham to London St Pancras International through Beeston on 27 July 2020.

I was under the impression that EMR were replacing their fleet of HSTs with those withdrawn by LNER in 2019 as the LNER fleet was more compliant with the 2020 disability access regulations but so far I’ve only seen the former LNER power cars being used with EMR trailers…

For the record, 43305 was on the rear of this service.