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Welcome to the September/ October issue of TRACTION.


When you think of coal trains probably the last place you would expect for there to be significant activity would be in the ‘Garden of England’, Kent. However, as David Hayes shows in his article about Kent coal traffic in the 1970s, there were significant numbers of such trains to be seen south of the Thames.


Moving to the opposite end of Britain, in his feature ‘Highland Flings’, Glen Batten recalls many journeys in Scotland, especially on the lines in the Highlands.


For a short time in the late ‘sixties and early ‘seventies British Rail dispensed with the D prefix on its locomotive numbers. Colour-Rail’s photo feature shows the English Electric Type 3s in those final years before TOPS renumbering changed the type’s identity to Class 37.


In this issue we also feature coal traffic of a very different type to that seen in Kent. On the south bank of the River Tyne the National Coal Board operated a most unusual electrified line from the mines near South Shields down to the staithes by the river. Colin Boocock was fortunate enough to be given a guided tour of the line and describe the fascinating system that he found.


Open days have always been a favourite among railway enthusiasts and one of the most successful was that at Eastleigh Works in May 2009 to celebrate 100 years of the works. Tom Braund was blessed with excellent lighting conditions for photography and recorded the event on film.


One of the Trans-Pennine routes that is often overlooked by enthusiasts is Calder Valley line between Mirfield and Todmorden. However, it has experienced a wide variety of traffic over the years and Gavin Morrison, living close by, has recorded much of this and has selected a few of his images for TRACTION.


In his article 'Dad, where's Toton?', Steve Randall confesses that his first attempt to see some of the large locomotive allocation of this depot ended in failure as he travelled to Totton near Southampton, instead of Toton on the outskirts of Nottingham! Nevertheless a short time afterwards he was able to visit the East Midland’s depot and was rewarded with rich pickings for his notebook.


The days of the ARC stone trains to Wolverton for the new town building work at Milton Keynes are remembered by Nick Ross together with details of the changes in motive power and wagons recorded over a twenty year period.


Turning now to TRACTION MODELLING much of this section is given over to the superb West Coast Main Line (Southern Section) layout that Andy Armitage has built in N Scale. It is a truly impressive achievement and, to do the layout justice, we have split the article into two parts with the second half appearing in the next issue. Regular readers will be familiar with Andy’s articles about working at Euston signal box in recent issues of TRACTION, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that the line near Watford Junction and Harrow & Wealdstone is the subject of the layout.


In our review section we look at the superb new Bachmann Class 90 which would, of course, be very much at home on a 4mm scale version of the west Coast Main Line. Dapol’s new Bogie Bolster E is another example of the superb quality of freight wagons that are now being released.



Stephen Rabone Editor

Edited by steverabone
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