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 In the January/ February 2020 issue of TRACTION  issue we look in detail at a type of freight traffic that has declined considerably over the last twenty years, that of chemicals from the numerous industrial plants on Teesside. David Hayes has researched the history of these once numerous flows of traffic, whilst David Ratcliffe portrays some of the variety of tanker wagons used.


Towards the end of the life of the Class 25s, a batch of 12 of the type were placed in a sub-class and designated Class 25/9. Sadly, the traffic that they were intended for in the north west of England didn’t materialise but G.P. Butler photographed each locomotive before they were withdrawn so we can present a portrait of an entire class.


Moving north to Ayrshire Stuart Fowler’s photographs show some of the variety of liveries that the Class 37s carried over the last fifteen years.


Mick Humphrys, now a ‘Pendolino’ and ‘Voyager’ driver, starts a two-part feature about his early years in the cab driving the Class 81 to 85 locomotives on the West Coast Main Line. Another railwayman, Ian Buck, looks at the Class 117 and 121 DMUs that were based at Bletchley depot and worked on a variety of services in the south east of England.


Elliot Hopewell begins a series of articles about his early life as a railway enthusiast starting during his teenage years based in the Lincoln area.


One of the less glamorous types of mainline diesel, the Class 31, is the subject of Gavin Morrison’s photo feature when, during the Rail Blue era, they were to be found on a variety of types of train from expresses through to the humblest of freight trains.


In the 1990s Colin Boocock became very involved in charities working in Romania so it was perhaps inevitable that he would turn his attention to its fascinating railways. In his latest article he describes the changes since the end of the communist regime, some for the better and others not.


In TRACTION MODELLING we feature two contrasting 4mm scale layouts, Reevy Road is a large layout built by the Bradford Model Railway Club and set in Yorkshire, whilst Minories GN is a much smaller layout inspired by the Metropolitan Widened Lines in London.



TRA255 cover.jpg

Edited by steverabone
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Picked up my saved copy from local newsagents. Very good edition. Shame all 17 photos of DMUs (pages 45-48) have been reproduced back to front.  Any chance of uploading corrected images on this thread please?

Edited by cravensdmufan
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Other than as stated above a cracking issue 

I've only read the bit about early electric locos and the Teesside chemical article 

In relation to the latter the author mentioned the emergency kits issued to traincrew on the HCN trains, these were always sealed so we couldn't see in them but it was always rumoured that it wasn't an antidote but something to stop your body rotting that would be administered by emergency services personnel wearing similar clothing to space suits. 

Whether this was true we shall probably never know but the railway moved this lethal cargo safely for many years and thankfully they were never required 

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IIRC the HCN trains between Grangemouth and Haverton Hill ran as 8X98 and 8X99. They were closely monitored by Glasgow Control and there was always a feeling of relief when the Up train passed safely onto the Eastern Region !

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We'd like to apologise for the problem with some of the images of the DMUs being reversed. This was caused by a glitch  in the computer program we use which has reversed some of the images. A search on Google reveals that this is a known issue but one we've not had before at Traction. Unfortunately being DMUs it wasn't immediately obvious that the photos had been flipped and this was missed during the final proof reading.


We intend to correct the digital edition but there is obviously nothing we can do about the print version of course!


Thanks to those who have added extra info about the HCN trains.

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