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Shunting at Ditton (and anywhere else without OHLE)


lankyphil
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Right, the haulage company I work for has a new steel aluminium hauling contract. Aluminium ingots get sent out to somewhere in Germany by train, rolled into coils, then sent back to Widnes (Ditton Foundry Lane). They get lifted of the train on big pallets and we deliver them to Warrington.

 

This is the train http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/H90607/2014/04/29/advanced It's a load of IWAs and a 92.

 

Now when I was planned on it a week or two ago, we were hooking up to our trailers in our yard under the Widnes Viaduct when the train came across the bridge, 92 hauled.

 

15 mins later, we rolled into the yard at Ditton Foundry Lane https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.3557748,-2.761306,17z and parked up. Now obviously, there's no wires in the sidings. Then train then started to back in, the 92 with it's pan down, being pushed by a 66.

 

Where did the 66 come from?

 

The only thing I could think of was that it comes light from Warrington? But I can't find any mention of it in Realtime Trains?

 

Why not just have it diesel hauled in the first place?

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Why not just have it diesel hauled in the first place?

 

Can't come through the tunnel diesel hauled, so it needs both, at least this way it makes the most of the electric traction and the diesel can stay local and do something else useful once it's shunted...

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This train runs virtually all the way from Germany under the wires; it's only that final journey into the yard which is diesel-hauled. It's the sort of job a 'final mile' electro-diesel would be ideal for- the new Class 88, for example. At least this diesel only has to travel a short distance to carry out the task; SNCF send a 61xxx all the way from Longeau or Lens once a week to put the stock from the VSOE through the carriage washer at Calais, a round trip of a couple of hundred miles.

This train must have left Frethun just after I passed on my way to work, as it was there at 21:15. Looking at the times, it seems to have been planned to recess in Crewe somewhere; until then, it had run about 30 minutes early, but suddenly, it's almost two hours early...

At one time, there'd have been at least one diesel shunter stationed in the area, there being jobs to be covered at Tanhouse Lane cement terminal, Ditton sleeper works, the BOC terminal at Foundry Lane and doubtless elsewhere; sadly, those days are gone.

A question; how big are those out-bound ingots? A piece in one of the mags suggested 36t, which seems improbably large for a piece of aluminium- are there actually several smaller ones per wagon?

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Hmmm. I'd have thought that it would have been just as easy to run into Warrington and swap traction there. But then that would include an extra reversal. So no advantage.

 

Was on the job again today, it was yesterdays train, apparently it broke down on the continent and didn't turn up yesterday. So we were sat waiting (We were told it would be in at 0930. Bright spark thought of looking on real time trains, and seen it had been sitting at Crewe for 3 hours http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O94889/2014/04/30/advanced) and I saw a 66 roll past towards Ditton on the old CLC? line (the Fiddlers Ferry line) so I guess it must have come from Warrington.

 

There's a 350 at the car terminal (Ford) in Speke now, but that does seem to have got very busy recently. Having said that, it might be covering the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood too?

 

Don't know the exact weight of the ingots, however, there's normally 2 loaded per wagon. I don't know the max payload for a wagon, but the trucks that are bringing them in are only carrying one at a time, so I'm going to guess at around 26-28ton?

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Hmmm. I'd have thought that it would have been just as easy to run into Warrington and swap traction there. But then that would include an extra reversal. So no advantage.

 

Was on the job again today, it was yesterdays train, apparently it broke down on the continent and didn't turn up yesterday. So we were sat waiting (We were told it would be in at 0930. Bright spark thought of looking on real time trains, and seen it had been sitting at Crewe for 3 hours http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O94889/2014/04/30/advanced) and I saw a 66 roll past towards Ditton on the old CLC? line (the Fiddlers Ferry line) so I guess it must have come from Warrington.

 

There's a 350 at the car terminal (Ford) in Speke now, but that does seem to have got very busy recently. Having said that, it might be covering the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood too?

 

Don't know the exact weight of the ingots, however, there's normally 2 loaded per wagon. I don't know the max payload for a wagon, but the trucks that are bringing them in are only carrying one at a time, so I'm going to guess at around 26-28ton?

It can get very confusing as to which day's train is which- on the Tunnel itself, we add 500 to the train identity if the train is more than 12h late (so 4426 becomes 4926, for example) What happens when three days' trains arrive together, I've yet to discover.

The 350 at Speke might be the wrong company's (Freightliner, perhaps)- time was when Speke would have had several dozen shunters, covering the docks, Speke yard, the Freightliner terminal and so on.

The wagons have a payload of about 65t, so your figures for the ingot weights would seem to be correct.

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The Ford terminal shunter is for GBRf, they have the Halewood train now, so no use to DB with the channel Tunnel train.

Sorry to digress a little here, what does the aluminium leave the yard in, a standard 45' curtainsider?

 

jo

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It can get very confusing as to which day's train is which- on the Tunnel itself, we add 500 to the train identity if the train is more than 12h late (so 4426 becomes 4926, for example) What happens when three days' trains arrive together, I've yet to discover.

The 350 at Speke might be the wrong company's (Freightliner, perhaps)- time was when Speke would have had several dozen shunters, covering the docks, Speke yard, the Freightliner terminal and so on.

The wagons have a payload of about 65t, so your figures for the ingot weights would seem to be correct.

Latterly the shunters were allocated to Allerton TMD, certainly from 1988 Speke had no loco allocations and was just a stabling point for the Ford Halewood trains and the coal/container (just container after about 1994) from Garston docks. Was there an allocation to Speke after the depot closed?

 

Mark

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The Ford terminal shunter is for GBRf, they have the Halewood train now, so no use to DB with the channel Tunnel train.

Sorry to digress a little here, what does the aluminium leave the yard in, a standard 45' curtainsider?

 

jo

 

Are you sure about GBRF? 2 or 3 car trains passed by while we were waiting, all DBS 66 hauled. (TBH, our yard is under the viaduct onto the Runcorn Bridge and I've never noticed a GBRF on cars? Unless it's happened very recently).

 

The ingots come from Latchford on a flatbed but the rolled coils that come off the train go in a curtainsider as they have to be kept dry.

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I believe the situation at present is that GBRf have the Ford contract, but Jaguar-Landrover (who now operate Halewood) are still a DBS client. If GBRf have a shunter, it is presumably hired-in (and possibly not main-line registered) as I don't think they have any of their own. 

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The shunter at Ford's place is a HNRC EE 350 (Cl 08). Come to think of it, the DBS car trains I saw yesterday, 1 was empty and the other had Land Rover Freelanders on it...

 

Asked one of the lads loading the ingots onto the train, they weigh in at 28 tons. (Which given that I tared off at 16 ton yesterday, must make the lads bringing them over from Latchford close to MGW, even with the ingots being on a flatbed...)

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What are the reasons why this traffic could not be handled at Warrington Dallam?

It might be down to who owns the terminal, and who the contract is with. The name 'Stobart' comes to mind.

Also, I believe Dallam has been out of use for a decade, which would mean that points leading into it would have to be recommissioned, leading to delays in starting the service, and not inconsiderable extra expense.

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It might be down to who owns the terminal, and who the contract is with. The name 'Stobart' comes to mind.

 

Correct... Ditton Foundry lane Sidings are in Stobarts Fleet/Decom yard.

Edited by lankyphil
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It might be down to who owns the terminal, and who the contract is with. The name 'Stobart' comes to mind.

Also, I believe Dallam has been out of use for a decade, which would mean that points leading into it would have to be recommissioned, leading to delays in starting the service, and not inconsiderable extra expense.

Dallam FD is still in use for stabling On-track plant. It's a bit awkward to get in/out of there at times due to Royal Mail trains using the RMT or stabled in there.

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  • 1 year later...

Arpley.

 

 

 

The loco usually runs light from Arpley to Ditton, it can run over the WCML via Hartford junction or via Crewe or over the old SH&RG Railway line that runs from Arpley to Ditton past Fiddlers ferry power station, check RealTime trains for which way it runs on the day as it changes, it can arrive just before the foundry train or several hours before, I think that depends on the links as there seems to be no other reason for its arrival times.

 

Ditton low level line was not built by the CLC, thats further north, (its the one with Hunts cross and Widnes stations on it) it was built by a the St Helens & Runcorn Gap railway but as with all but the CLC route it was purchased by the mighty LNWR because they wanted access to the line that has West Allerton and Liverpool South parkway on it to join up to Edge hill station to put the London trains out faster (thus making the Liverpool spur of the WCML from Weaver junction to Lime street).

 

Speke hasnt had any locos for many a long year, they were stabled in Allerton TMD for a while, or they sometimes stood in the old sidings at Speke waiting but never stabled there, the sidings fell out of regular use at least 25 years ago but Im sure its more than that as I remember them ripping them all up, Allerton TMD fell out of use as a stabling point a long time ago too, I remember when it was busy sending locos to do shunts, but over the years it changed, it was doing wheels for years but now its a TMD and stabling point for Northern DMU and EMU fleet.

Nothing but Liners use Garston FLT, it used to get all manner of locos diesel and electrics.

 

GBRf have the Ford contract and use the old Silcock express site thats next to Speke Hall road., DBSr have the Jaguar contract which is the Halewood plant.

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GBRf have the Ford contract and use the old Silcock express site thats next to Speke Hall road., DBSr have the Jaguar contract which is the Halewood plant.

GBRf have the Dagenham - Garston contract, however DBS do still run into Garston car terminal with a thrice-weekly (MWFO) train from Southampton.

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Would I be right in thinking that "main line" locos are now preferred for this sort of shunting work partly because fewer and fewer drivers these days have the necessary experience to drive an 08? 

 

Not really, it's a few days training to learn how to drive an 08. I was passed out on them last year. Mainline locos do shunting work because it's deemed to be more economical having a loco work a train to a terminal, do the necessary shunting and then work a train out. Garston FLT is one example of electric locos doing shunting.

 

Going back to the OP, the Ditton train is now 66-hauled from either Wembley or Dollands Moor, so the 'shunt loco' from/to Arpley is no longer required.

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Not really, it's a few days training to learn how to drive an 08. I was passed out on them last year. Mainline locos do shunting work because it's deemed to be more economical having a loco work a train to a terminal, do the necessary shunting and then work a train out. Garston FLT is one example of electric locos doing shunting.

 

Going back to the OP, the Ditton train is now 66-hauled from either Wembley or Dollands Moor, so the 'shunt loco' from/to Arpley is no longer required.

That's interesting, thanks. Anyone able to hazard a guess as to the proportion of freight drivers passed for 08s?

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GBRf have the Dagenham - Garston contract, however DBS do still run into Garston car terminal with a thrice-weekly (MWFO) train from Southampton.

 

Garston? The only thing in Garston is the Freightliner terminal (FLT Garston)

Do you mean the car load/unload lines in Speke?

 

Not really, it's a few days training to learn how to drive an 08. I was passed out on them last year. Mainline locos do shunting work because it's deemed to be more economical having a loco work a train to a terminal, do the necessary shunting and then work a train out. Garston FLT is one example of electric locos doing shunting.

 

Going back to the OP, the Ditton train is now 66-hauled from either Wembley or Dollands Moor, so the 'shunt loco' from/to Arpley is no longer required.

 

08's are used when needed still, getting passed out on an 08 isnt a problem if its needed but in most cases like said above you can usually use a mainline loco like a 66 to shunt and then go on with some other working so it becomes uneconomical to have an 08 unless the yard needs a lot of shunting.

 

I wouldnt like to challenge your knowledge on the "new" motive power from the south but I would like to know if it is always the case that it is 66 motive power as there are still bookings for a light DBSr loco to run from Arpley to Ditton, I dont know if its old booking not dropped or if they are still needed up there, if what you say stands for all metal trains to the foundry why do they need a light loco run from Arpley to Ditton?

 

That's interesting, thanks. Anyone able to hazard a guess as to the proportion of freight drivers passed for 08s?

 

I wouldnt have the first clue. You train on them as a yard shunter.

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Garston? The only thing in Garston is the Freightliner terminal (FLT Garston)

Do you mean the car load/unload lines in Speke?

That's the very place, which seems to be referred to these days (in RTT, and other places) as Garston car terminal.

 

 

I wouldnt like to challenge your knowledge on the "new" motive power from the south but I would like to know if it is always the case that it is 66 motive power as there are still bookings for a light DBSr loco to run from Arpley to Ditton, I dont know if its old booking not dropped or if they are still needed up there, if what you say stands for all metal trains to the foundry why do they need a light loco run from Arpley to Ditton?

It's been booked for a diesel for some months and I'm not aware of any electric substitutes in the meantime. Most likely the paths were in the system until and they haven't been removed yet, or it's the loco running to/from Arpley for fuel. Edited by 40044
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