Features 14 Class 67 on the Locals In Practice & Performance, John Heaton tries out the locomotive-hauled trains around Bristol and Edinburgh.
22 ‘Santa’ in Steam There are seasonal steam services on virtually every steam line this year. We tell you where.
27 A Day Return to Lithuania Cliff Thomas meets James Waite, who has made a speciality of seeing how far he can get on day trips from the UK. So far he has ‘hopped’ over to places as far afield as Latvia and Lithuania!
30 50 Not Out December marks the 50th anniversary of D6700. Paul Bickerdyke looks at the key moments of this popular English Electric class.
43 Dai Woodham’s ‘scrap’ book Using previously-unseen family snaps lent by the widow of Barry scrapyard boss Dai Woodham, Roger Hardingham completes the yard’s story.
46 Panorama Bird’s Eye Special A very special Panorama this month – they’re all shots of stations and depots taken from the air!
PRACTICE & PERFORMANCE
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Class 67s on the locals Locomotive-hauled local trains have returned temporarily to the Bristol and Edinburgh areas. @E>D >;7JED <9?BJ
tries them out
CLASS 67 No. 67019 presents a fine sight as it enters the magnificent trainshed at Bristol Temple Meads, heading a string of Mk 2 air-conditioned coaches bound for South Wales. On the rear is dead No. 67020, making it the equivalent of a seven-coach load.
Passengers at first need some persuasion to board as it does not match their mental image of First Great Western’s 12.21 stopping train to Cardiff, but I need no second bidding from FGW driver-trainer Melanie Ruiz to climb up into the cab of the locomotive and meet DB Schenker driver Steven Potts for the first of a three-leg journey kindly arranged by FGW operations director Kevin Gale in conjunction with DBS driver-manager Keith Taggert.
A signal clears to green but it is not ours, as a Colas Class 47 passes through the middle road with D6737 in tow, bound for the Severn Valley and then Norfolk. It looks as though our departure will be delayed but we leave just a few seconds late, although on a yellow signal. HjgZ"[ddiZY
Our train is allowed 3min pathing before Narroways Hill Jct to allow the 11.54 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads to cross the junction. The unit is 1min late at Stapleton Road, presumably having been held for the light locomotives, which have now run clear of us. This looks like pragmatic regulating as we pass Narroways Hill Jct on time but at only 18mph. Steven Potts pushes forward the power handle to its eighth and final notch and the loco-hauled train accelerates sure-footedly up to 61mph on the 1-in-75 gradient. I suggest to Steve that there is no other current diesel locomotive that would manage this. He looks at me sceptically. “Passenger?” he asks, rhetorically.
He is clearly confident that his staple DBS freight Class 66s could do the same.
Single-manned locomotive working is cumbersome at platforms on the right-hand side of the train, such as Filton Abbey Wood, so Steve alights to get a good view. However, internal door-locking has removed any danger from last-minute passengers joining or alighting while the driver resumes his seat.
Driver Potts explains that he has to depress a button to engage notch 8, an innovation designed to make drivers think about fuel economy before doing so. On normal DBS work, he would probably use it only when demanded by either the gradient or late running. The Patchway to Severn Tunnel Jct section through Britain’s longest domestic main line rail tunnel is one of the classic runs to undertake in the cab and this is the first time I have traversed it in a passenger train (see Table 1). First we encounter the single- bore Patchway Old Tunnel, which we enter at 60mph, emerging 37sec later at 76mph. Steve shuts off power and allows the gravity of the 1-in-68 bank to accelerate the train to 86½mph, easing to 83½mph on the level stretch before Pilning station, as we descend onto the River Severn flood plain. Next comes the 4mile 484yd Severn Tunnel itself, taken at the regulation 75mph.
The Class 67 headlights make a feeble impression on the inky interior as we press against a wall of darkness. Eventually a blue
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14 U The Railway Magazine U December 2010
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light comes into view giving 400 metres’ warning of the lowest point of the descent. Then a pair of blue lights marks 40 metres from the start of the climb out of the tunnel and I hear the driver notch up to full power, followed by the engine’s powerful response. The ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is higher in my field of vision than I expect as few tunnel exits are at a 1-in-90 inclination and we emerge at 75mph.
‘Non-HST’ category trains are then limited to a maximum of 75mph all the way to Cardiff – a restriction that is presumably justified by braking curves and there is no concession available for our unusual formation. We are routed to platform 1 at Newport while the 08.05 Holyhead-Cardiff, formed by No. 175111, precedes us on the down main. On departure, we take the down relief line at 60mph before a signal check into an occupied platform at Cardiff behind No. 175111. After a long wait, we are eventually signalled across the layout to the ‘brickyard’ siding on the up side opposite Canton depot. Steve Potts shuts down No. 67019 and transfers to the east end
The world’s longest-running railway series, established 1901
of the train to start up No. 67020.
There is time to pause and reflect on a recent conversation at FGW headquarters with head of train planning Andrew Pennington and diagram expert Shaun Flynn concerning the cascade of rolling stock that will ultimately render the two loco and coaches sets redundant. The current Great Western franchise combines the pre-existing Paddington-based high-speed services with Thames Trains and West Country local operations. Bidding was based on a Department for Transport specification that was beyond parsimonious. It is necessary only to say that Portsmouth- Cardiff services were based on two-car operation to prove that opinion.
Direct action in the form of a fares strike by Bristol commuters ensued, attracting widespread media coverage, and it was not long before additional resources were drafted in. Although this took the unwelcome form of Class 142s, with their attendant shortcomings, they did at least have wheels (albeit only half the desirable quota) and seats.
Further pressure on capacity came from changes to the Cross Country franchise that withdrew cover for some important Bristol commuter flows and left a peak Plymouth departure unresourced. This was then compounded by the introduction of SWT’s hourly Exeter-Waterloo timetable, which utilised the units that had previously been employed west of Exeter, causing a major impact in the
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December 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ15
SUPERPOWER: Class 67 loco-hauled – p14
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MOST rail enthusiasts think of a day-trip as a charter train excursion or perhaps a visit to a nearby heritage line. Not James Waite. He is quite likely to wake up in the morning and say to wife Margaret. “The weather forecast looks good . . . let’s pop over to Lithuania for a few hours!”
In addition to such forays to the Russian border, the last couple of years have seen James’s gricing list include day-trips to railways in Latvia, Albania, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Denmark.
With the increase in cheap European flights and brief foreign business trips, James feels that his hobby outings to foreign railways are an extension of what he does professionally as a solicitor. “I quite often combine a professional trip with a railway one,” he says. “By arranging the meeting at the airport, it leaves me time for more important things!”
The key is cheap air fares. Explains James: “Ryanair and Easyjet may be criticised by some people, but they are a godsend for this kind of jaunt. I can do some trips for 10 to £15 – it costs more to park the car at Stansted for the day!” I^bZ"hVk^c\ i^eh
The Internet age has also helped tremen- dously. The fact that national railways now put their details and timetables on websites, the ability to book flights and hire cars on-line, plus the ability to work out the course of a line, the lie of the land and the best photo locations on Google Earth before leaving home, have all changed the way we live and enabled James to pursue his extraordinary hobby.
Living in Windsor, he is handy for Heathrow and only an hour’s drive from Luton and Stansted, so crack-of-dawn starts mean that
A day return to
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numerous day-trips are possible. Once in his host country, every minute counts, so, to save precious time, he sits as close to the front of the plane as possible. “Many of the airports (especially those used by Ryanair) are small provincial places which have only one or two immigration officers on duty and it can take the best part of an hour to clear a full plane,” he says. “By getting off first, you’re at the front of the queue.
Packed lunches, plenty of bottled water and very large scale maps brought from the UK ensure that no stops are required once on the road, apart from the odd call of nature!
Among the locations visited on the ‘whistle-stop’ tours are the Mollibahn, the
You’ve heard of ‘supercommuters’, well we’ve found a ‘super daytripper’. 9B?<< J>EC7I meets James Waite
Rotterdam steam tramway and Utrecht railway museum in Holland, the Bruckhausen-Vilsen line and Frankfurt Feldbahn Museum in Germany, the Hedelands Railway in Denmark, the national railway museums of Spain, Italy and Slovenia, the Budapest ‘Children’s Railway’ in Hungary and a main line seam special in Lithuania.
He’s also done the Tertitten line and Hamar museum in Norway (“on different trips; you can’t do them both in one day,” he adds.)
For the more adventurous ‘outings’, James often travels alone. In Portugal last year, for instance, he turned up at a military base in Tancos without an appointment and asked to see their Decauville locomotives. The soldier
December 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ27
DAY TRIPPER: Jetting off – p27
CLASS 37 GOLDEN JUBILEE
In December, the pioneer Class 37 No. D6700 reaches its half-century. F7KB 8?9A;H:OA; takes a look at some of the key moments in the history of the locomotive and the class generally
CLASS 37s are without doubt one of the most successful diesel locomotives born out of the British Railways Modernisation Plan of the 1950s. These medium-powered locos were intended for mixed-traffic use and over the last 50 years have more than lived up to that role, handling all types of freight and passenger duties in all parts of the network. And that gutsy, go-any- where, do-anything ability has made them firm favourites with operators and enthusiasts alike. Perhaps a key to the success of the English Electric (EE) Type 3s, as they were first known, is that they were not a brand new design but drew on the experience of locomotives already
30 U The Railway Magazine U December 2010
in service. The EE 12CSVT engine was a de-rated (1,750hp) version of that used in a similar type of loco EE had built for use in East Africa. Internally, many of the components were based on those used in the company’s Type 4 (Class 40) then in production. And the Co-Co bogies were to become a company standard type, interchangeable with those used by the later Classes 55 and 50.
First off the production line at the Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows, Lancs, was No. D6700, which was released into traffic on December 2, 1960 in BR green livery with a light grey roof, red bufferbeams and black undergear. A further 308 examples were to be
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built in variously-sized batches over the next five years, the first 118 with nose-end gangway doors and split-headcode box (Phase 1 type) and the rest with sealed nose-end and central four-character headcode box (Phase 2).
The doyen of the class was allocated new to Stratford MPD, in east London, where it was put to work on freight and passenger turns on the former Great Eastern lines. Amongst other duties, the pioneer loco and its sisters some- times substituted for their larger Type 4 cousins on expresses between London and Norwich – schedules they could just about keep if given a clear run – and, in December 1960, D6700 was noted working trains between Liverpool Street, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
Then, on January 6, 1961, it had its first passenger working on the Cambridge route when it was taken off a test train in the Stansted area to rescue the up ‘Fenman’, which had failed behind Brush Type 2 (Class 31) No. 5665. Three days later, D6700 had its first official working on the line, hauling the 5.56pm Liverpool Street-Cambridge and 9.20pm return – a working that heralded a 20-year-plus association with the class on that route.
By the summer of 1961, EE Type 3s had replaced ‘Britannia’ Pacifics on the Harwich- Liverpool Central boat train – first as far as Sheffield Victoria, then later through to
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Manchester Piccadilly, becoming the only daytime diesels diagrammed over the electrified Woodhead route. D6700 was noted on that working several times.
Then, from the late-1960s, BR began rolling out its new corporate image and No. 6700 duly received a new livery of standard BR blue with full yellow ends in June 1969.
TOPS renumbering, under which EE Type 3s became Class 37s, began in the early-1970s. They were largely renumbered in order; thus D6701-6999 became 37001-299 and the final nine locos in the fleet (which had carried the
BR’s Eastern and North Eastern Regions were the first to receive EE Type 3s, but eventually they were to spread all over the country and, during the next 30 years, D6700’s allocations illustrated this with spells at Eastern Region depots such as Stratford and Thornaby; on the Scottish Region at Haymarket, on the Western at Cardiff Canton and on the London Midland at Toton.
numbers D6600-6608) became 37300-308. However, D6700 presented a problem as 37.000 would not have been a computer-recognisable set of digits under TOPS. Tagging it on at the end as 37309 would also not have been ideal as it was a Phase 1 loco and
‘D6700 was sent to Derby Research Centre in January 1968 to become a test-bed for push-pull equipment’
An interesting period was a threemonth allocation in January 1968 to Derby Research Centre, where it became a test-bed for push-pull equipment for possible use on Edinburgh-Glasgow shuttles. In the event, the scheme was aban- doned in favour of using two BRCW Type 2s (Class 27s) in top-and-tail formation.
After the end of steam on BR in August 1968, D6700, in common with other diesels, had the ‘D’ prefix dropped from its identity.
would thus have been out of sequence.
The solution came as there was a gap in the numbers due to the fact that Phase 2 loco No. D6983 had been written off in a collision in December 1965. Thus D6819 (the first of the Phase 2 locos) became 37283 (rather than 37119), allowing D6700 to take the identity of 37119 in February 1974.
Towards the end of the 1970s and into
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December 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ31
GOLDEN JUBILEE: ‘Growlers’ at 50 – p30
December 2010 • The Railway Magazine • 5