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Shunters on Branch Lines


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Hello,

 

What are some examples of Class 08s and/or Class 09s working on branch lines (short branch lines) to move wagons from a yard on a mainline to a customer (Any era)? Could one pull this off in a modern setting (EWS era)? Say for instance large Class 37s, 60s, and 66s were not permitted on a branch line, would it be somewhat realistic to see a shunter taking all or part of a train to its final destination? 

 

Thank you,

David Montoya

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Yes it's perfectly feasible and there are several locations around the country that did this that I've seen in books and videos. There were even some 08's with cut down roofs because of a low bridge on one branch that only they could access. There were examples at docks where the 08's worked internal traffic from exchange sidings and you could do it with colleries too as many of them had extensive lines connecting their sites and exchange sidings. No doubt others will be able to name the locations and give more detail.

Put a weight restriction on the line to exclude mainline locos and away you go ;)

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Say for instance large Class 37s, 60s, and 66s were not permitted on a branch line, would it be somewhat realistic to see a shunter taking all or part of a train to its final destination? 

This renders the whole flow uneconomic in most cases these days, sadly.

 

However I can give a few present day examples:

 

Ketton cement works to the nearby exchange sidings

Hope cement works to Earles sidings, although this tends to use class 20s rahter than shunt locos.

Trafford Park to Barton Dock, this uses a couple of 09s at present, although the train is being diverted to another terminal in the Manchester area after this weeked, which removes the need to use shunting locos.

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The 08s only have a top speed of 19mph but the similar 09s were fitted with different gearing to allow for a higher top speed so they could be used for trip working. In recent years some 08s have been converted to 09s.

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The cut-down 08s were used on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley line, between Cwmmawr Disposal Point and Coedbach Washery (about ten miles). Prior to the re-opening of the line from Kidwelly, trains from Burry Port had been worked by three or more 03s, also with cut-down cabs.

Other trip workings covered by shunters in more recent times have included Llanwern steelworks to either Alexander Dock Junction or the Uskmouth branch, both of which included a brief sprint down the South Wales mainline- some 09s were dedicated to this.

In Scotland, the Markinch branch used an 08 to work china-clay wagons from the main line exchange sidings to Tullis Russell's paper mill at Auchmuty.

The Newcastle area used to have a number of trips worked by 03s; one of the longest was that covering Dunston and Blaydon, which ran for part of its main-line run with wagons both in front and behind the loco.

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Back in the mid 90's a Class 08 and brake van (to convey the guard) would travel from Gillingham (Kent) to the Sheerness branch where it would conduct trip workings between Sheerness Steel Works and Ridham Dock conveying scrap metal wagonloads. This was deemed to be a more efficient use of motive power rather than the usual class 33 which it may have been for the journey between the 2 venues but was a pain in the neck for the traincrew as the return journey back to Gillingham could take 3-4 times as long as the light engine move!!

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After the demise of steam, over a remaining high mileage of rural freight-only branches, the standard 350hp shunter was frequently the staple motive power.  Those were the days when BR still had common carrier obligations, but it's one of the facets of the 'Transition Era' that makes it so attractive.

 

Here's action on the truncated Greenlaw branch in 1965, I doubt you'll match this scenically with a Gronk and a freight!

http://www.railbrit....te.php?id=27760

 
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The cut-down 08s were used on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley line, between Cwmmawr Disposal Point and Coedbach Washery (about ten miles). Prior to the re-opening of the line from Kidwelly, trains from Burry Port had been worked by three or more 03s, also with cut-down cabs.

As http://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/br0809/e33cd867e and several other adjacent photos
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In the Leeds area there used to be a trip from Hunslet yard to Farnley junction then down the branch to take steel to the Dunlop and Ranken works.  The branch closed some time in the late 80's and the works are are now a housing development.

 

Jamie

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From the EWS era I can think of some traffic flows in the Plymouth area worked by 08s.

From Tavistock Junction 08s were used to collect china clay loaded from ECC Marsh Mills.

08s also worked from Tavistrock Junction to the Cattewater branch delivering tank cars of bitumen,

and later the same branch also saw 08s used to collect scrap loaded by EMR.

 

As others have said though the economics of keeping a pilot loco (and possibly another driver) 

for a small part of the journey often make the traffic uneconomic.

Sometimes the freight traffic is still handled by rail but improvements are made to the

track on the branch, or private siding, to enable the main line loco to carry out all the shunting. 

 

cheers

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As the OP says, he's after EWS/privatisation era examples of which 40044 gives some good examples.

 

Not an 08/09, but a Sentinel is often used in Preston Docks to move the bitumen tanks to/from the exchange sidings near Strand Road to the Lanstar Works. How fortunate that Hornby are doing the Sentinel..... although it'll need a few mods to look like Enterprise  http://www.ribblesteam.org.uk/index.php/stock/99-enterprise

 

Cheers,

Mick

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After the demise of steam, over a remaining high mileage of rural freight-only branches, the standard 350hp shunter was frequently the staple motive power.  Those were the days when BR still had common carrier obligations, but it's one of the facets of the 'Transition Era' that makes it so attractive.

 

Here's action on the truncated Greenlaw branch in 1965, I doubt you'll match this scenically with a Gronk and a freight!

http://www.railbrit....te.php?id=27760

 

BR lost its Common Carrier status prior to the demise of steam. 

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Long before the privatisation era, I recall during 1968/69 a daily trip working from Long Dyke / Newtown Yard, Cardiff to Radyr Yard.

.

The diagrammed power appeared to be a (now) Cl.08 shunter which would throb loudly as it dragged up to 50SLU past my school classroom.

.

During late 1969 this trip would frequently be operated by officially withdrawn Cl.14 ('nine-fivers')kept operational by Canton staff prior to the locos being sold into industrial use.

.

The attachment, taken from a 1975-1976 WTT shows the daily routine of a different Cardiff area trip working, that of 9E76 operated by a Canton Cl.08 outbased at Radyr Yard.

.

For those unfamiliar with the area, Penarth Curve formed part of a triangle of lines to the south west of Canton DMU and carriage depot. Penarth Curve North box being close to Ninian Park Halt, and from here 9E76 would service Canton TMD also Virgil St. coal yard and Wiggins Teape Ely Paper Mill.

.

The Ferry Road Branch left the Cardiff - Cogan line at Grangetown and served several oil depots, a scrap yard,gas works and wagon works that constructed pointwork for BR.

.

A few years earlier, this had been the domain of the 'North Curve Pilot' - 9H57, aagain a Cl.14 (nine-fiver) duty.

 

Another example of a lost age.

.

Brian R

9E76 030576-031076-in detail.xls

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Until a few years ago the trip from St Blazey to Par docks was operated by one of the depots 08 shunters. Also one of the last workings in the area to include a brakevan. Now its operated by 66s. In the same area but a little earlier (ended 1992) was the trip from St Blazey to Ponts Mill clay works, which was a mile or so along the Newquay branch. This was usually propelled by an 08 due to the lack of run round, and often loaded to only a few wagons.

Even further back (but still firmly in the BR blue era) a scenario very similar to the one asked for by the OP was the Wenford Bridge trip. The little mineral line from Boscarne Junction to Wenford was only suitable for 08. However the small engines could only manage 8 loaded clay wagons on the way back from Boscarne to Wenford. So if there was a large load the usual practice was for engine, wagons and brake van to travel from St Blazey to Wenford. Then the 08 would take the loaded wagons as far as Boscarne Juntion where a 25 or 37 (depending on period) would take over leaving the 08 and brakeman to work back to St Blazey. This involved the 08 running along the Cornish mainline between Par and Bodmin Road, a fair distance. The working also involved a total of 9 run rounds, so no wonder it took all day!

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Long before the privatisation era, I recall during 1968/69 a daily trip working from Long Dyke / Newtown Yard, Cardiff to Radyr Yard.

.

The diagrammed power appeared to be a (now) Cl.08 shunter which would throb loudly as it dragged up to 50SLU past my school classroom.

.

During late 1969 this trip would frequently be operated by officially withdrawn Cl.14 ('nine-fivers')kept operational by Canton staff prior to the locos being sold into industrial use.

.

The attachment, taken from a 1975-1976 WTT shows the daily routine of a different Cardiff area trip working, that of 9E76 operated by a Canton Cl.08 outbased at Radyr Yard.

.

For those unfamiliar with the area, Penarth Curve formed part of a triangle of lines to the south west of Canton DMU and carriage depot. Penarth Curve North box being close to Ninian Park Halt, and from here 9E76 would service Canton TMD also Virgil St. coal yard and Wiggins Teape Ely Paper Mill.

.

The Ferry Road Branch left the Cardiff - Cogan line at Grangetown and served several oil depots, a scrap yard,gas works and wagon works that constructed pointwork for BR.

.

A few years earlier, this had been the domain of the 'North Curve Pilot' - 9H57, aagain a Cl.14 (nine-fiver) duty.

 

Another example of a lost age.

.

Brian R

 E76 was not a popular job - mainly because it was considered too slow and not a good ride on a 350 of course for the Driver while the Guards didn't like it because of all the shunting that could be involved.

 

I've an idea the Treforest Estate trip from Radyr might also have been a 350 turn at some time and it was definitely worked by the 95XX when they were in the area.

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Mike

.....

In 1967 there were three turns off Radyr for Canton 'nine-fivers' - (i) Aber Junction tripper - (ii) Cathays, Gabalfa Coal Yard and Stanton & Staveley (Mynachdy Road) - (iii)Treforest, Pontypridd & Maritime Colliery, so I expect this one shunted Treforest Trading Estate and Treforest coal yard. If the turn lasted after May 1969 it would have gone over to a 350.

..........

Treforest Estate had formerly been served by Abercynon shed, using a handful of BR 16XX panniers that were transferred later to Radyr.

..........

At the same time another three 'nine-fivers' worked off Canton, two of which also served Radyr (a) Barry & Radyr (b) Newtown/Long Dyke, Ely Paper Mill & Radyr © Penarth Town & Penarth Cement Works.

..........

Other Canton examples were outstationed at Abercynon, Aberdare x2, Barry and Treherbert.

..........

Brian

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Class 08s were used on the Wednesbury - Bilston trip to service the Norton's scrapyard. The "branch" was actually the old Great Western main line from Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level, which had been singled, then reduced in status to a siding from Wednesbury to Bilston.

 

This photo from Andy Williams' brilliant website shows a class 20 performing the task of propelling the loads back from Bilston to Wednesbury - because there were no run round facilities at Bilston.

 

http://www.bescot.plus.com/trains/20097_Bilston/

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Again, not on a branch line, but a trip working from - I assume - Llanwern steel works passing through Newport station behind 09015 -15/10/2005. Earlier in the day I saw a class 60 leave the works with an easterly-bound steel train, but I guess only a shunter would be required to take a working from the works down to the docks(?) or ADJ yard, a distance of only a few miles.

 

post-6831-0-23571100-1356701225.jpeg

 

 

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Again, not on a branch line, but a trip working from - I assume - Llanwern steel works passing through Newport station behind 09015 -15/10/2005. Earlier in the day I saw a class 60 leave the works with an easterly-bound steel train, but I guess only a shunter would be required to take a working from the works down to the docks(?) or ADJ yard, a distance of only a few miles.

 

I think you are right there, it looks like a trip from Llanwern to Newport Docks.

In this, rare, instance I don't think there was any weight or clearance restriction to prevent a larger loco doing the job.

It's just that the move can be more cheaply done within the hours of the booked trip/pilot loco (probably 9E01)

which spent it's day making shunts and moves as required in the Newport area,

 

 

cheers

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I can't post the pic for copyright reasons, but I have one of an 03 on a booked passenger train in the early 60s. A regular Saturday working for RAF personnel from Henlow Camp to Hitchin.

Beat that one.....!

 

Stewart

I have that one in a book somewhere.

 

How about 03's on the Weymouth Quay boat train?

Complete with bell.... http://www.flickr.com/photos/hoover29/8188121189/in/pool-1742935@N23

 

Cheers,

Mick

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