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Rail Express|March 2021
Our authoritative class-by-class review of newsworthy locomotive workings.
David Rapson

CLASS 20

ENGLISH Electric Type 1 No. D8007 entered traffic in September 1957 and now in its 64th year (as No. 20007) it can still be found out on the network. On January 4, Nos. 20007+20142 crossed over the West Coast route at Tamworth (High Level) forming the 0Z20/13.30 Butterley (Midland Railway Centre) to Kings Norton On-Track Plant Depot and next day ran to Wolverhampton and back via Sutton Park.

Meanwhile another pair of Type 1s took to the main line on January 5 when the Locomotive Services’ duo of Nos. 20107+20096 ran light from Carlisle Wapping to Crewe HS. At Golborne Junction, the ‘20s’ were routed via Earlestown to Winwick Junction instead of via the direct (1864) route and thus passed the site of Vulcan Foundry where many of the type were constructed, although Nos. 20107+20096 were both from a batch built at Darlington.

CLASS 37

ALTHOUGH No. 97301 (formerly 37100) of the four-strong QETS (Network Rail pool) has been at Loram, Derby since July 2020, its three companions extended their operational sphere during the first weeks of the new year.

Having accompanied No. 97303 (37178) from Derby to Machynlleth and Aberystwyth early on January 5, and to Pwllheli the following morning, No. 97304 (37217) set off from Derby during the evening of January 11, with a test train bound for Middleton Towers and then Cambridge. Next up was a trip from Cambridge to Cromer and Sheringham the latter reached at 02.25 on January 13. That night, No. 97304 departed from Norwich for Colchester via Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and the East Suffolk line, remaining in the Anglian Region until heading back to Derby on January 16.

Meanwhile, No. 97302 (37170) was reported powering the 3Z17/08.55 Stafford-Derby RTC on January 9 and, during the early hours of January 23, ventured to Mexborough, Goole, Grantham and Nottingham with a Doncaster to Derby test trip.

Nos. 37401 and 37402 formed the 7Z37/12.21 Tonbridge-AshfordTonbridge snowplough run on January 6 at either end of Nos. ADB965211/237. Once back in East Anglia, No. 37402 took tamping machine No. DR73115 from Stowmarket to Parkeston (January 21) before the two large-logo blue Type 3s were reunited to handle the 6P01/21.28 Whitemoor-Harwich International engineers’ train late on January 23. With Nos. 37425+37422 moving from Crewe to Norwich on January 28, Nos. 37401+37402 then ran light from Crewe Gresty Bridge to Carlisle Kingmoor the following day.

No. 37716 took Railvac No. 5 from Toton to Millerhill on January 8 and, amongst several other duties, covered the 6Z20/09.58 York Works-Doncaster Up Decoy and the 12.53 return on January 26.

When No. 66740 failed at Spean Bridge on January 4 in extremely cold and snowy conditions, West Coast Railways’ Type 3 No. 37516 on weather standby was sent to collect the wagons off the 6E45/08.07 Fort William-North Blyth and haul them back to Fort William.

Nos. 37669+37706 were paired to move crane No. ADRC96710 (due for export) on the 6Z30/10.38 Wigan TMD-Burton Wetmore on January 13. Leaving Burton that day was bi-mode ‘Flex’ unit No. 769930, which was hauled away to Reading by No. 37884, the locomotive then returning to collect No. 769946 similarly destined the following day. No. 37884 was also used to move EMUs Nos. 317514+317653 from Ilford to Eastleigh on January 21 passing Virginia Water at 16.48.

The Colas Railfreight duo of Nos. 37116 and 37219 covered much ground on test train duties at the start of the year having initially travelled north to Wick on January 6, returning there two days later. During the afternoon of January 17, the pair reached Saltburn in the course of a test run from Derby to Heaton, and late on January 21 they were noted at North Berwick prior to heading for Tweedbank and Milngavie during the early hours of the next day. Later on January 22, Nos. 37116 and 37219 visited Wemyss Bay and Gourock going on to Ardrossan Harbour and Largs after midnight before traversing the Cumbrian coast route on January 28, thence going overnight to Windermere, Morecambe and Blackpool South.

CLASS 43

ENGINEERING work in Leicester on a snowy Sunday (January 24) resulted in half a dozen Midland main line HST services being diverted via Melton Mowbray and Corby. Power cars Nos. 43238 and 43251 covered two round trips starting with the 10.08 Nottingham-St Pancras and, after a round trip from London to Sheffield, did the 1F74/20.40 St Pancras-Leeds. Meanwhile the 1C43/10.50 Leeds-St Pancras and 1D46/15.14 St PancrasNottingham were powered by Nos. 43257 and 43310.

The New Measurement Train made one of its occasional visits to Anglesey on January 28 (with power cars Nos. 43013 and 43014) forming the 1Q30/10.55 Derby RTC-Crewe CSFL via Holyhead and Liverpool Lime Street.

CLASS 47

WITH no passenger work available during lockdown, and little likelihood of any in the immediate future, the disposal of coaching stock and transfer of old and new electric units has kept a handful of Brush Type 4s in gainful employment. January 14 found GBRf examples Nos. 47739 and 47727 ‘top and tailing’ a rake of eight redundant HST trailers (latterly East Midlands NL53 set and before that LNER EC53) on the 5Z48/08.30 Gascoigne WoodNewport Docks. Another compilation of nine coaches destined for Sims Metals at Newport was hauled through Chesterfield on the morning of January 28 by Rail Operations Group Type 4 No. 47813.

In addition to being paired up with a Class 56 stablemate (see Class 56 section), No. 47727 found time to move a pair of Class 360 electric units from Cricklewood to Ferme Park on January 11, while No. 47739 was similarly employed seven days later.

On January 19 No. 47739 hauled sets Nos. 360107+360116 as the 5Q22/10.00 Ilford-Cricklewood, and later went forward to King’s Heath depot at Northampton. The two ‘47s’ were back together on January 22 taking an ‘Aventra’ EMU from Derby Litchurch Lane to Wembley Yard. Then No. 47727 was employed swapping Class 360s between Cricklewood and Ferme Park on January 25, and hauling set No. 360102 past Gospel Oak next day forming the 5Q06/11.04 Northampton-Cricklewood.

CLASS 56

GBRf grey No. 56081 has become a regular performer on stock transfers since its first involvement on December 11. On January 5, it accompanied No. 47727 on the 5Q12/12.55 WorksopDerby Litchurch Lane moving ‘Aventra’ EMU No. 720527. Next day the pair passed Mansfield Woodhouse at 13.15 with EMU No. 720521 on the same working. January 7 found Nos. 56081 and 47727 taking another ‘Aventra’ unit from Litchurch Lane to Wolverton via Corby and Woburn Sands. After a break of a little over two weeks, the Class 56 teamed up with No. 47739 on further moves between Wolverton and Derby.

Colas No. 56105 hauled the 6C87/08.00 Dewsbury-Doncaster Belmont on January 10 prior to ‘top and tailing’ the 6C83 20.30 DoncasterKing’s Cross with No. 56302 the following night. The pair remained at the London terminus until soon after midday on January 12.

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