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MidlandRed

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  1. Great to see the nostalgic info in this thread - it really takes you back to the era. Regarding W55001, I recorded it at Bristol Temple Meads as a passenger unit (in BFYE) in April 1968 and then at Cardiff Canton as DB975073 on 21/7/69. I knew it was previously W55001 because you could see the number through the paint at that time! Any visit to the West Country for an outsider truly was like visiting a different railway in 1967/8 - during a two week holiday at Teignmouth in the summer of 1967, no Peaks were recorded and only a couple of class 47s - everything (passenger wise) was in the hands of Westerns, Warships, D63xx (class 2 trains), or DMUs. No Hymeks either (though I had seen one or two of them in Cornwall in 1965). For a West Midlands based trainspotter, this was absolute heaven - although we had started to see exotic NBL Warships when they were allocated to the Birmingham New St to Paddington passenger services from 1967 - they only lasted about a year on those services but were regulars at both Tyseley and Bescot (some got allocated to D02 temporarily - possibly for crew training?) - and running light to and from them. It was quite a shocking sight to see a couple of class 43s at Old Oak Common with nameplates missing and withdrawn (1969 I think - some of the withdrawals got reinstated for a while). 1971 appears to have been the subject of a significant redeployment of ‘standard’ motive power to replace not only Warships, D63xx and Hymeks on the WR - but also class 29 and 17 in Scotland. My information at the time came from Railway Magazine - there was also Modern Railways though that contained a proportion of very technical articles! I seem to recall Railway World to be quite steam orientated though. The main fact with motive power changes was it was often a couple of months in arrears (owing to the publication delay) so it was often a case of fingers crossed you’re in time if chasing specific items. If only I’d known about the RCTS Railway Observer at the time - we did get good info via the magazine of the loco society we joined in mid teens - some of their organised shed bash extravaganzas were sometimes a little hair raising looking back - not least the coach journeys in between each shed!!! I vividly recall on a London area trip, Hither Green (and Stewarts Lane) providing the dubious new attraction of 3rd rail electric lines to avoid treading on…and being confronted with the grounded body of 15213 next to the entrance road (vehicular) at Hither Green.
  2. Per the RCTS book on the 9F, in March 1960 an investigation was carried out into indifferent steaming of 9Fs on the ER and NER - although the outcome was not traced it is thought likely the main cause was excessive wear of piston and valve rings, piston heads and cylinder barrels (possibly resulting from the main use of the ER locos on fast fitted freight work - the NER Tyne Dock locos we’re found, along with the Bidston trio and Lickey loco to demonstrate a tube plate fracture issue - possibly resulting from their pattern of use). So is it possible this period coincided with the displacement of Pacifics from passenger work by diesels (although some were simply withdrawn), thus making more of them available for freight, and also with performance issues of (some) of the 9Fs involved? The ER/NER fleet were showing availability of 80% earlier in their lives so perhaps they were not in the best of health at this later stage? The double chimney issue is also commented on - indeed the reason the 9F and other standard designs had single blast pipes is they were designed to operate at relatively low combustion rates - even for the grate size of the 9F (40.2 sq ft). The double chimney is almost inevitably a less effective draught producer when output is lower - so for a given rate of steam production up to 60 mph, a double chimney provides only marginally more power at the pistons than a carefully designed single chimney design to match operating conditions. It’s interesting the Swindon build of 9Fs included double chimneys - although their justification appears fairly marginal from the test results and the Geisel unit (92250 experimentally fitted) was ruled out for reason of not value for money in terms of the level of improved performance at around the same time. No doubt the double chimney fitted 9Fs were at home on passenger services, however! And possibly on stiff gradients (hence at home on the S and D).
  3. Presuming the date is correct, D401 had orange MU fittings from 1968. So presumably there was a mixture.
  4. Thanks for the info - I’ll look out for the book - sounds good.
  5. Great to see these very early photos of the D4xx - for anyone visiting Crewe post 1967/68 these were a major feature, the Anglo-Scottish trains changing locos electric/diesel and vice versa at Crewe. Nice to see the cab fronts uncluttered with multiple working equipment but what I hadn’t appreciated, and is visible from these photos, is they appear to have been built with blanking plates covering the areas to allow its future fitting. Which begs the question why it wasn’t fitted from the start? I can’t remember what date double heading of class 50s was introduced across Shap but presumably this enabled a speed up of services in advance of electrification - 5500 hp being available - and multiple working.
  6. Superb photos in this thread. However I was amazed to see D2377 in one of the photos as I wasn’t aware diesels had been used on the CHPR. Does anyone have any details of when this occurred - was it a trial - or were there additional diesels used as well - it appears a number of D23xx was allocated to 16C along with D2377 at this time?
  7. I don’t recall (too young before it started to be demolished) but clearly having Queens Drive running down the middle of it, with normal traffic including bus services using it in the late 50s, would have made matters more difficult. I would imagine it had announcements. I think Snow Hill had announcements also and also those pointer destination signs? Amazing the amount of mundane everyday one forgets (in my case even the interior decor of a standard WCML early mk 2 coach - which I experienced on numerous occasions in the 60s).
  8. Beckenham Hill - sorry (and corrected)! Hilarious because it’s a stop on Thameslink, also served from Bromley S!
  9. Whilst we are talking of the Victoria/Ramsgate/Dover line, in these days of automated announcements, it is amusing sometimes at Bromley South, on the fairly regular occasions a pair of the four platforms (serving in order from the south side, up stopping + Thameslink; down stopping + Thameslink; up fast and down fast) is taken out of use - usually owing to points issues or signalling issues at Bickey/St Mary Cray or Shortlands junctions, either side of Bromley South. This means that all trains use one platform in the up and one down direction - and in the morning peak trains have to be shuttled through the one up platform etc. The station control office takes over the announcements, and attempts to make people aware of the first and second trains to arrive - only to find that a 66 hauled freight appears instead, or the signallers have put a fast through in front of the Orpington/Victoria stopper or the next Thameslink!! The contradiction of the announcements and the guys shouting out on the platform is a scene to behold. In these circumstances I’ve got on a Thameslink towards London Bridge which firmly showed on its interior PIS (visible in duplicate in each carriage in front of you) that it is out of service…… The fun is only increased when the changes are intermittent, seeing hordes of people rushing over the footbridges, only to have to come back when the signallers change their mind at the last minute and the Dover arrives at platform 4 as normal!!! I guess the difference between Bromley South, which is a very busy station, and say East Croydon (busier but larger) is that all this confusion can be seen going on from one vantage point!! There are instances when the wrong destination has been input into the automated system - a fairly recent example was a new semi fast service placed in the schedule at 0905 at Bromley South - starting from Swanley, it stopped at St Mary Cray, Bromley S, Beckenham Junction, Penge East, Herne Hill and Victoria - however the announcement stated Beckenham Hill (on a completely different line), and continued the whole time I used the train!! There are still occasions when driver announcements (on driver only trains) can be very amusing - one evening peak journey in a packed Networker 8 car unit stopped at Shortlands and disgorged, amongst the regular clientele, several gentlemen dressed in rather flamboyant drag outfits including sparkly sequinned leather shorts - whilst these people tottered down the platform on high heels, amongst the regular commuters, the driver announced to the train passengers that the fashion theme for this evening is tiaras, leather and sparkles!!!
  10. No problem - it did me initially, as did A289 which is Wainscott Northern Bypass, Medway Tunnel and Gillingham Northern link - apart from Ito Way (Gillingham) which passes under the Victoria-Ramsgate/Dover line the route doesn’t get close to any other railway! However the A228 is a field (on a gradient) away from the Victoria-Rochester for some distance near the M2 and HS1 over bridges.
  11. The Victoria line passes by the north side of the village of Cuxton, shortly after passing under the M2 and HS1 bridges and the A228. It’s all uphill from crossing the Medway Valley line near Strood towards Sole Street, so any arcing caused by snow or ice would have a good chance of causing problems on that length.
  12. I recall at Birmingham New Street they had a number of ‘live’ announcers rather than electronic announcements. I recall particularly that one of them used the announce the ex Western Region Snow Hill trains as calling at Kidderminister, in a very regional accent!! (As opposed to Kidderminster).
  13. As you say, it’s weathered extremely badly if it’s a repaint. I’m minded to think it’s had an fye applied and lost it’s D, with the new numbers spaced out over the extent of the cab panel width. There appears to be a patch of normal colour where the numbers are applied. Perhaps they were able to peel off the old transfers? Would be interesting to see a photo of the whole side of 5389 in this era. An extraordinary photo for liveries really - three different styles, and almost 50 yrs ago!!
  14. D5389 and D5026 got repaints in the same style as the new build D7660. The spec for numbers was that they were to align with the gap in the double arrow symbol - based on loco numbers under the second man’s cab windows, the arrows under the driver’s windows are placed quite high so the numbers align with the gap - however the inboard numbers seem unreasonably far inboard!! I wonder if this was to match those on the new 25s, which had the large grille behind the cab door at one end? Subsequent new 25s got arrows on all four cabs, and fye from D7662 - the new 25s had the arrows placed high on the cab side to avoid the works plate (moved to the cab door for the last few built).
  15. I suspect 5389’s paint may be suffering (WR hydraulic style) from a combination of being nearly 5 yrs old and reasonably regular trips since being in Scotland through the carriage washing plant (possibly after no such attention on the LMR) - thus having patches of primer or bleached paint showing through the blue. I would imagine it originally had that ‘eggshell’ finish used at the start of the blue repaint era, which looked shabby quite quickly - it must have looked pretty tatty, especially in colour. . Great Scottish trip 26/27 photos btw.
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