LEFT: 46 046 brings train 1G16, the 10:12 arrival from Huddersfield, over the crossovers from the middle roads and into the north end of platform 8. The stock went forward for stabling at Malton, before form the 18:31 to Doncaster and, later on, the 20:30 to Newcastle. Earlier that day, 46 046 had arrived at York at 07:25 from Newcastle. A group of passengers, probably from a Hartlepool train, cross the footbridge and head for the racecourse. Fortunately, as can be seen from their dress, it was a pleasant summer’s day.
the slightly tongue-in-cheek head code of “HF”, for Holy Father! Whilst the Pope only had this one journey by train, truly enormous numbers of special services were organised by the various BR Regions to cater for passengers travelling to the various venues.
On the London Midland Region, events took place at Wembley, Coventry, Liverpool and Manchester. Original plans for over 750 additional services were, in the event, scaled back slightly, for reasons explained later. Highlights included a 24 hour ten minute service on the Manchester to Bury line, and the replacement of DMU services on the Manchester to Blackpool line by a half hourly locomotive hauled service. On the Western Region, over 200 extra trains ran to Cardiff, including over 60 locomotive hauled trains from all over Wales and the West Country. In Scotland, specials also ran to Glasgow and Edinburgh, whilst the Southern Region organised additional services to Canterbury.
However, it is to the Eastern Region, and the trains organised to take passengers to the event held at York Racecourse, that I wish to
LocoMoTIvE HAuLED sErvIcEs
LocoMoTIvE HAuLED sErvIcEs
In order to describe the locomotive and carriage workings in a meaningful way, they are listed in the order that each appeared for the first time that morning. The train reporting numbers used for all the additional trains were in the series 1G01 to 1G99. Paper labels were attached to the carriage windows at each end of all the rakes, making identification of each train relatively easy for staff, and railway enthusiasts!
The first special of the morning was the eleven-carriage IG06, the 02:49 arrival from Leeds,
appearing behind 45 038 from Tinsley depot, before heading off into the night empty stock to Morpeth. My memory tells me that this train was very lightly loaded, not surprisingly given the early departure from Leeds. It was back from Morpeth at 09:07, and then went south to Rotherham before returning loaded three hours later arriving at 12:08. The stock was then stabled at Clifton carriage sidings until its return working to Sheffield at 18:28.
The next train to arrive wasn’t until 03:40, when a Gateshead 47 473 ran in from Newcastle at the head of 1G38, a seven-carriage air braked set normally used on the Trans Pennine route. It quickly departed empty for Huddersfield, returning loaded at 06:14. The locomotive and carriages then took up their normal timetabled working to Scarborough. Later that morning they headed west on 1M62 to Liverpool.
Three quarters of an hour later, at 04:26, a similar working ran in with Gateshead’s 47 446 powering 1G35 from Newcastle. This time the empty stock went south to Sheffield, before bringing passengers back to York. The train then set off for Scarborough as a service train, before returning on 1M58 to Liverpool.
Next to roll in from the south was 46 023, a Gateshead locomotive, on IG18, the 04:49 arrival from Rotherham, with a relatively short train of just 6 carriages. Now coded as 5G18 the train headed north to Darlington, before returning to York at 08:04. The empty carriages returned south to Nunnery carriage sidings in Sheffield before bringing a third loaded train back to York. 46 023 now took its train back to Darlington where the stock was cleaned and stabled. For the evening working a replacement locomotive, 46047, brought the empty carriages back to York before heading loaded to Chesterfield.
The first of many class 31s to be seen was Stratford depot’s 31 138, which ran in on the 05:15 arrival from Middlesbrough, a rake of 6 vacuum braked carriages. A quick run south and reversal at Rotherham Masborough saw 31 138 back in York at 08:11 before taking up its normal turn on a York to Scarborough service.
Yet another special was formed of the stock and locomotive off a Trans Pennine service. This time it was 47 409’s turn to run in under York station’s arched roof at the front of the 06:05 arrival from Newcastle. Train 1G34 was made up of a rake of 7 air braked Mark II carriages. An empty stock run to Hull and another quick turn round found the train back in York at 09:16 ready to take up the stock’s regular York to Scarborough service, before forming 1M63 to Liverpool.
6 TrAcTIoN 197 May/June 2011 RIGHT: This photograph sums up the sheer volume of traffic to be seen at York on this day. 46 023 stands at the south end of platform 9 with 1G18, the 08:04 from Darlington, which it is about to head off empty stock to Sheffield Nunnery carriage sidings. Running through the Down middle road is Stratford depot’s 31 160 on 1G26, the 08:21 arrival from Hull, which will go to Malton to stable. In between can be glimpsed 31 166 at the head of the 08:18 from Middlesbrough, train 1G28, which will head empty stock to Doncaster before collecting another load of passengers. As can be seen, the train spotters were out in force by now!
turn for the rest of this article. When news broke that Pope John Paul II was to visit Britain and visit York, not far from where I live, I approached the editor of Modern Railways magazine to ask if an article about the event would be of interest. He immediately suggested I approach the Eastern Region’s Public Relations Department for further details.
As a result, early in 1982, I found myself being briefed by one of their senior operations staff. The planning had already begun with three members of the Eastern Region’s planning department hard at work full time. The original operational concept that was developed, was for a “cross-York” system of trains, starting very early in the morning, probably from about 01:00. For example, a train would pick up passengers in West Yorkshire and take them to York, before running empty stock to stations in the North East. Here it would reverse and bring another load back to York, before heading south again for another load back to York. It would then head north again for yet another loaded run back to York. A similar operation would take place in the evening. In theory, each train set would be able to make four loaded journeys both before and after the event.
Initially, great difficulty was experienced in obtaining firm details of the number of passengers likely to travel from each parish. This wasn’t helped by the possibility that the entire visit might have to be cancelled because of the Falklands War. It was felt in some quarters that a Papal visit might not be appropriate when Britain was at war with Argentina. Because of this, it was only shortly before the visit that it was finally confirmed as going ahead.
In the end, the Eastern Region planning department came up with an elegant solution to the problem of how many passengers were likely to travel. They consulted the attendance registers for Sunday Mass at each parish and produced a hypothetical model of where, and in what numbers, there was likely to be a demand. Eventually, the plans were finalised and I was invited back to York to discuss the day in greater detail. The only major change to the original plans was that the number of expected passengers, now finalised with the parishes, was slightly lower than expected. In the majority of cases, the first leg of each train set’s itinerary was cut. However, the same number of vehicles and locomotives would be used.
On a purely personal note, the complementary first class tickets that were supplied gave my wife, our two very young
Another train from Teesside, the 06:15 1G34 from Redcar, found Haymarket’s 47 001 working an unexpected duty far from home. The stock was then taken to Sheffield to use on 1G32 back to York. This changing of head codes from one working to another was a feature of some services, although most sets of carriages retained the same reporting number all day. Once back at York at 09:05 the carriages were stabled at York Clifton carriage depot until the evening. 47 001 then did a loaded working at 19:10 to Huddersfield via Wakefield Kirkgate before returning with the 22:00 Newcastle service.
Almost all the carriage stock used on the day came from the Eastern Region’s own resources, but the one outsider was a London Midland Region eightcarriage Mark 2 air-conditioned set, spare on a Bank Holiday from its usual duties on the Sheffield to St. Pancras route. The train, 1G19, arrived from Rotherham at 06:34 behind Toton depot’s 45 114, before heading north empty to Redcar. 45 114 returned to York arriving back at 09:43 where it stabled in Dringhouses Up Yard until working the 17:22 Newcastle train and finally came back to York for the 22:07 to Sheffield.
An eight-carriage set of Mark 1 vehicles, headed by 31 268, arrived from Huddersfield at 06:50, having travelled via Wakefield Kirkgate and carrying 1G23 window stickers. The empty stock ran to Newcastle where, I believe, it reversed by running over both the High Level Bridge and The King Edward Bridge to reach Durham, where it picked up passengers. The loaded train returned to York, arriving at 10:16. The stock was then stabled on the York station engine line. At 16:20 the train still with 31 268, but
ABOVE: The major problem British Rail faced on the day was how to handle the 30,000 passengers after the end of the event. The method chosen was to marshal passengers into queues for the various destinations. Passengers were split first of all into queues for the north, west and south and then into more detailed destination groups. This photograph shows the five queues for destinations in the North East, Scotland and the Yorkshire coast. Fortunately, the weather was sunny and dry as passengers, inevitably, faced long waits.