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Apple green Peppercorn Pacifics for Barrow Hill’s LNER extravaganza
A SIGHT not seen for six decades – the pairing of two apple green Peppercorn Pacifics – will be one of the highlights of a huge extravaganza being staged at Barrow Hill Roundhouse on April 4/5. The other will be the first meeting of an A1, an A2 and two A4s for the first time since 1965. “Whoever would have thought when we first got the madcap idea of trying to save the roundhouse 20 years ago – before anyone had even heard of an A1 rebuild – that such things would one day be possible?” Barrow Hill saviour Mervyn Allcock told The RM in February. “This is what preservation is all about,” he said. “When I was in the depths of despair wondering whether we’d ever overcome the obstacles to save this unique locoshed, I was driven on by thoughts that one day we might be able to stage events like this. Now
my dream’s about to come true.” Mervyn believes the roundhouse’s ‘LNER II gala’ will be “the greatest gathering of restored LNER motive power ever assembled since the end of BR steam.” “Bringing the four big locos together will re-create the heyday of the East Coast Pacifics for a new generation of steam fans,” he enthused. “I felt that last August’s ‘Rail Power’ event would be impossible to beat, but, although financially risky, the chance to secure a visit by Tornado in apple green was irresistible.” In addition to the A1 and A2 Pacifics, there will be A4s No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley and 60009 Union of South Africa. Locos in steam will therefore comprise the two ‘Streaks’, the newlybuilt No. 60163 Tornado, NRM-owned Great Central-based Robinson 04 2-8-0 No. 63601, GER N7 0-6-2T No. 69621
from the North Norfolk Railway and Andy Booth’s Peckett 0-6-0ST No. 2000. Other LNER locos present will be A2 No. 60532 Blue Peter, ex-GC ‘Director’ 4-4-0 No. 506 Butler-Henderson and ex-GE J17 0-6-0 No. 8217. For good measure, the organisers are also throwing in ‘Black Five’ No. 45110 and MR 1F 0-6-0T No. 41708. A bonus will be the sight of a large number of preserved and stored main line diesel locomotives in the yards at Barrow Hill. Talks in progress as we closed for press were expected to result in yet another LNER loco joining the operational visitors. The repainting of Blue Peter in 1948style apple green was only announced shortly before The RM closed for press and is exciting for two reasons – firstly because that’s the livery it was delivered in by BR when brand new, and secondly because it will provide nostalgia for
many younger steam enthusiasts who remember it in that colour at Dinting shed in the 1970 (although then it was as LNER No. 532 whereas this year it will be the more authentic BR No. 60532 to match the A1). The visit of Tornado also provides the opportunity to spend a day firing and driving the new Peppercorn masterpiece. Dates available are between March 30 and April 2, the cost being £550. For latest event news, see www.barrowhill.org
Top left: Apple green Pacific – 1: The A1 storms towards Stoke tunnel, south of Grantham, on its historic first journey from Darlington to King’s Cross on February 7. PAUL WRIGHT
Top right: Apple green Pacific – 2: How the A2 looked last time it was in apple green. Note the difference in shades.
Harrington gets the hump A NEW type of temporary platform has been devised to save the expense of raising platform heights permanently at little-used halts and stations. The innovation, nicknamed ‘the hump’, is made of reinforced glass-reinforced plastic. It is built off-site in sections and can be adjusted to suit height and length. A prototype is pictured in use at Harrington station, Cumbria, and if the trial is successful, other stations could be ‘getting the hump’.
Virgin bids for Shrewsbury service By Tony Miles
VIRGIN Trains has submitted proposals to Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation for a new direct service between Shrewsbury and London Euston. If approved, the TOC plans to introduce a twice-daily service on weekdays and Saturdays with one train on Sundays. The proposal was submitted to NR on the last day for bids for paths in the December 2009 timetable. An additional proposal would see the first and last leg of the diagram running as a passenger train
from and to Crewe via Wrexham. The plan is to operate the service with a four-car Class 221 ‘Super Voyager’ via Wellington, Telford Central, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Coleshill Parkway and Nuneaton, using the Sutton Park line, which is currently freight-only. This would go some way to making up for some of the off-peak Pendolino services Nuneaton lost in the casting of the VHF timetable. Virgin is also proposing to start calling at Nantwich, Whitchurch and Wem, subject to verification of platform lengths at Wem and Whitchurch. The
two additional services via Wrexham would also call at Gobowen. The unit would stable overnight at the L&NWR depot at Crewe. The proposals are subject to ORR approval. Should permission be granted by the ORR, and also if Arriva Trains Wales is given permission to introduce its proposed service between Aberystwyth and Euston, then three operators are likely to end up offering a spread of nine trains a day between Shrewsbury and the capital. For much of the present decade, there were none!
Station kissing ban is ‘tongue in cheek’ A NATIONAL media story about ‘no kissing’ zones at Virgin Trains’ Warrington Bank Quay station ended up being reported around the world. The idea of the smooching ban was to prevent morning peak hold-ups as husbands dropped wives off at the station, and vice versa. It was intended as a bit of fun by the
local Chamber of Commerce and Virgin entered into the spirit of it by erecting signs (see picture). What the world’s press failed to report is that the perpetrators of the ban weren’t being killjoys, for they had also established a special ‘kissing zone’ in the short-stay car park, away from the drop-off area,
where the canoodling won’t hold up traffic. “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story,” as tabloid journalists would say! VT press office Steven Knight said. “Our passengers can still create the romance of the railways with a long lingering kiss. It seems some of them have been ‘kissing and telling!’” he joked. The ‘no kissing’ zone sign erected at Warrington. PA
April 2009 • The Railway Magazine • 13