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Very rare working on Merseyrail


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  • RMweb Gold

Sunday 23 January 2011 saw the Liverpool loop blocked, trains were reversing at Birkenhead Central (Chester/Ellesmere Port), Bidston (West Kirby), New Brighton was shut and bustituted.

 

I decided to capture some of the workings, and later in the day there were two ballasts booked, one into the loop and one off the loop, via Birkenhead Central, what made this very unusual is they were booked in amongst the passenger service, which was operating at 15 minute frequency, ballasts have peviously only worked when the line is fully blocked, or when the passenger service has ceased for the night.

 

Birkenhead Central

508115 on 2Y10, 11:05, Birkenhead Central - Ellesmere Port

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508128 on 2R13, 10:35, Chester - Birkenhead Central

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507028 on 2Y11, 11:35, Birkenhead Central - Ellesmere Port

The best I could get to show a unit crossing over, the crossover was directly under the bridge (Mollington Street, now there's a name ;) ) and the wall has corrugated iron which raises it's height to about 8'6", with my mini steps I could get a shot over the top but to look down I could only take it blind. The blades of the points are just in front of the train.

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A general view of the shed (oou) area.

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Off to Bidston, hoping they were using the reversing siding, sadly this was not the case :angry:

Mersyerail have increased the frequency of their Chester services, the service is now even better B)

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Arrived just as this shunted into the station to form

508114 on 2W18, 12:02, Bidston - West Kirby

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The Borderlands express arrived.

150257 on 2F72, 11:11, Wrexham Central - Bidston

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and readied for departure

150257 on 2J73, 12:27, Bidston - Wrexham Central

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507024 on 2B08, 12:01, West Kirby - Bidston

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Signal ML576, the villain, I was hoping for the sub to clear, but no, the main was used instead :(

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507024 on 2W20, 12:32, Bidston - West Kirby waiting to shunt back into the station, after the Wrexham service had departed.

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which it did, just as the bus replacement for the service from Liverpool arrived, several passengers had a long wait at Bidston, this was very poor regulation.

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The unit then ran back to form it's service.

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The next train arrives from West Kirby and disgorges passenges for the bus.

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and once again reverses using the main, I half expected the siding to be used whilst I was not able to get a photo of the signal.

508114 on 2W22, 13:02, Bidston - West Kirby

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Collected my lad from his football and headed to the outskirts of Chester to try and catch a ballast, missed it by a few minutes because of a crash on the M53, but the ballast we were really after was reported the right side of where we were so we weren't too bothered.

 

We positioned ourselves at Guilden Sutton so we could get back to the motorway quickly and then head back to Rock Ferry to get the ballast, when it turned up of course, first some other traffic...

 

175105 on 1H84, 13:36, Chester - Manchester Piccadilly via Warrington Bank Quay

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The bridge in the background carried the old GC line from Mickle Trafford - Dee Marsh Junction (now a foot/cycle path)

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Some diversions over the CLC to Northwich and then the Middlewich line to Sandbach, and back to Crewe, this is one I managed to catch

221117 on 1A43, 13:39, Chester - London Euston diverted (via Middlewich) due to engineering works at Beeston Castle.

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The voyager would "get the feather" just under the bridge, and head over towards Mouldsworth Junction and the CLC through Delamere.

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An unexpected bonus, a hippo !

 

175111 on 5Z76, 13:22, Longsight - Chester Traincare ECS

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And an even bigger and more unexpected bonus.

57315 on ????,??:?? Longsight - Holyhead light engine

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And then "my" ballast rolled into view

66053 and 66060 on 6L53, 12:40, Crewe Basford Hall - Birkenhead Central via Middlewich/Northwich

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Now the ace to Rock Ferry was on ...

The ballast was booked at 14:50, we arrived at 14:48 - the passenger it was following was running a few minutes late.

508111 on 2R28, 14:24, Ellesmere Port - Birkenhead Central

It's sequential mate, 508110, is parked in platform 4.

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And the ballast followed, slightly late but running, an infrastructure in the middle of the passenger service

66053 and 66060 on 6L53, 12:40, Crewe Basford Hall - Birkenhead Central via Middlewich/Northwich

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507023 on 2C32, 14:50, Birkenhead Central - Chester

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After a short break, during which my 17 year son had a bath, Xmas has come around again very quickly :lol: and back to Birkenhead Central, there was a ballast due out at 16:00, this passed but I was convinced I could hear a 66 and even more convinced that I could see reflected headlights at the platform ends, my lad only reasserted his belief that I had "lost it"

 

507028 on 2Y20, 16:05, Birkenhead Central - Ellesmere Port

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Another unit arrived and then the unmistakeable sound of a 66 whistle could be heard and the ballast rolled into view.

 

66125 and 66250 on 6L52, 16:00, Birkenhead Central - Crewe Basford Hall via Middlewich/Northwich

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All in all a good day.

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  • RMweb Gold

Great photos as usual Dave.

Thanks for taking the time to share them.

Regards

John

 

Cheers John - it was very dark when the ballast came out of Birkenhead Central, 30s @ F4 type dark, but the power of digital, press and hold shutter, click, click, click, click, click etc - and hope for a success, I am pleased with the results given the conditions, especially as I was very uncomfortable stretching over the top of the fence, whilst on tip toes on a ladder :blink:

 

More ballasts at Chester this Sunday (30/01) but nothing booked to the Wirral yet.

 

Hopefully see you soon ?

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Excellent pictures as ever Dave, but when your unexpected bonus is a class 57 then you know there aint a lot to see out of the ordinary on the railways these days.

 

When I was younger, a class 24 or 37 on the Fallowfield loop trip workings, a Peak on a Cleveland-Trafford Park Freightliner or a 31 at Victoria were the bonus workings, best of all a Deltic on a eastbound Trans Pennine up Miles Platting Bank. In fact I can remember when the only ETH 47s at Victoria were on the Glasgow trains, blimey I must be getting old. :(

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Excellent pictures as ever Dave, but when your unexpected bonus is a class 57 then you know there aint a lot to see out of the ordinary on the railways these days.

 

When I was younger, a class 24 or 37 on the Fallowfield loop trip workings, a Peak on a Cleveland-Trafford Park Freightliner or a 31 at Victoria were the bonus workings, best of all a Deltic on a eastbound Trans Pennine up Miles Platting Bank. In fact I can remember when the only ETH 47s at Victoria were on the Glasgow trains, blimey I must be getting old. :(

 

Only as old as me :lol: - when I was younger I could go to my local line (through Rock Ferry) and see 40s, 25s, 24s, 47s, freight, DMUs now all that happens, apart from the very very odd occasion is 507s and 508s trundle up and down, with an MPV a few times per week, saying that I still enjoy being out and about, and photograph everything, I even go to Hooton once every couple of months just to photograph 507s/508s.

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Good to see the current scene on that side of the Mersey. The "reversing siding" at Bidston is the mortal remains of the former passenger route (from Wrexham) to New Brighton, I believe. Now the service terminates at Bidston in order to keep it to a two-unit operation

several passengers had a long wait at Bidston, this was very poor regulation.
has sadly been my experience of the service on every occasion I have used that connection. The Wrexham goes on time irrespective of where its advertised connection might be and how long (up to 2 hours) the poor souls connecting might have to wait.
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Good to see the current scene on that side of the Mersey. The "reversing siding" at Bidston is the mortal remains of the former passenger route (from Wrexham) to New Brighton, I believe.

 

Strictly speaking it's the remains of the chord from Bidston West Junction (controlled by Dee Jcn post 1937 and Merseyrail IECC post 1994. The passenger service was to Seacombe, then New Brighton, then Birkenhead North, then Bidston.

 

hth

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Hi dave, cracking set of pics; just goes to show what you can miss when you're doing other things like decorating the living room :angry:

 

has sadly been my experience of the service on every occasion I have used that connection. The Wrexham goes on time irrespective of where its advertised connection might be and how long (up to 2 hours) the poor souls connecting might have to wait.

 

I often suggest to my colleagues in the Merseyrail Electrics Control that, when they cancel a train, that in order to empathise with the disappointed passengers, the controller cancelling the train should go and stand outside the building for the equivalent length of time of the delay (especially when its cold and raining). Their reply, while fulfilling the requirement of "coming to a clear understanding," is not usually repeatable.

 

There is an agreement that the 1743 ish (I don't know the exact time - I only signal them!) monday to friday has a 5 minute hold if the connection is running late. The other trains go on time; the signaller would "get the delay" if he held it without permission.

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Hi dave, cracking set of pics; just goes to show what you can miss when you're doing other things like decorating the living room :angry:

 

Yes, but photographing trains would bring the wrath of poppy down on you !

 

I often suggest to my colleagues in the Merseyrail Electrics Control that, when they cancel a train, that in order to empathise with the disappointed passengers, the controller cancelling the train should go and stand outside the building for the equivalent length of time of the delay (especially when its cold and raining). Their reply, while fulfilling the requirement of "coming to a clear understanding," is not usually repeatable.

 

Succinct and colloquial no doubt :lol:

 

There is an agreement that the 1743 ish (I don't know the exact time - I only signal them!) monday to friday has a 5 minute hold if the connection is running late. The other trains go on time; the signaller would "get the delay" if he held it without permission.

 

That would be 2J71, 17:45, Bidston - Wrexham Central :)

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Dave, I can remember Mollington St depot, even visited it on occasions, and seeing that kind of traction in there !

 

And my local station Lime St was a haven for some superb traction at one time !

 

Sadly all gone, why do times have to change ? :(

 

Regards,

 

Graham.

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  • 1 year later...
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Typical, and them being local to me too. :-(

Well that will teach me for not monitoring this thread won't it?

 

I've been out this last couple of weeks photographing not only the changing face of the 507's and 508's, that the slowly changing infrastructure.

 

Now they've taken down the footbridge at Birkenhead North to replace it with a monstrosity, how long before rice lane etc lose theirs?

 

Anyway, I'll keep popping back for some gen, but if anyone has info of loco hauled stuff up this way please PM me and I'll go and get some pictures and share them here.

Cheers

Dave

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