LEFT: An eight-car rake of Metro-Cammell DMUs, headed by power car 51554, runs into one of the south end bay platforms on service 1G60, the 06:36 departure from Ilkley.
LOWER: One of the three Class 08 shunting locomotives on station pilot duties was 08 339, here seen drawing out the stock of 1G21, the 08:34 arrival from Rotherham, from platform 16. The carriages were stabled in Queen Street sidings on the east side of the station until their return working at 16:40 to Sheffield.
children and myself our first experience of travelling first class. My wife recently reminded me that we got rather unwelcoming looks when we took our seats with our three and five year old daughters; however, they behaved impeccably! As well as the tickets, British Rail also offered me a free breakfast in the Station Hotel on the morning of the Pope’s visit but I declined this: I’d much rather be on the platforms watching the special trains than eating breakfast!
So the great day arrived and I set off, late on Sunday evening, knowing that I had an extremely long and tiring day ahead. From Darlington, 47 103, hauling an overnight Edinburgh to Kings Cross service, took me to York, arriving just before 01:00. There were still nearly two hours before the first special arrived but, in those days, York at night was a busy station. In just two hours, no less than 15 train movements were seen. Almost all were hauled by Class 47s; 47/4 locomotives on the Mark 3 equipped sleeping car services, or steam heat 47/0 locomotives on the trains needing steam heating. As well as nine overnight East Coast services, two northbound newspaper trains stopped, one from London to Newcastle behind a 47/0 and the other from Manchester to York hauled by a 45/0. Additional vans had been attached to these now coded 1G09, departed for Huddersfield, again running via Wakefield.
Passengers from the Barnsley area, were carried on 1G13, the 07:06 arrival from Chapeltown, which was a nine-carriage set pulled by 45 022 of Tinsley depot. After arrival at York the empty stock continued north to pick up passengers at Newcastle. On arrival back at York at 10:33, the stock was stabled at York Clifton Up Goods line. Although my notes don’t confirm this, I believe this train was pulled back to Clifton by one of the three 08 shunting locomotives on duty that day. The return working to Chapeltown, still with 45 022, was at 18:48 but running as train 1G49.
The next train into York was one of the heaviest of the day, loading to thirteen carriages and pulled by 40 087, based at Longsight depot. The 07:15 from Middlesbrough ran as train 1G30 and made no less than four loaded runs during the day. The second leg of its day was to Hull and return, arriving back at York at 10:21. The stock was then stabled in Clifton sidings before being used on an evening service to Huddersfield. Here there is an inconsistency with the Working Timetable I was supplied with. The stock was scheduled to depart at 18:06, but it appears that Control decided to use a shorter eightcarriage formation, intended for the 18:39 departure, instead. The thirteen-carriage set was then used to take the later 18:39. I wasn’t able to discover why this happened, but my suspicion is that the number of passengers in the Huddersfield queue was insufficient to warrant using the longer train, so it was held back to cater for an anticipated later surge of passengers. 40 087 returned to York later in the evening, to take north the 21:15 to Newcastle.
A Finsbury Park locomotive, 31 202, was the next to appear pulling a ten-carriage train, 1G12, the 07:16 arrival from Hull. The empty stock headed north to Newcastle, from where it returned at 10.57, now running as 1G22. The stock was stabled in York Holgate loops until the 16:53 departure for Newcastle. To finish the day, the
31 brought the stock back to York for the 20:20 to Doncaster.
One of Gateshead’s locomotives, 46 046, came south from Newcastle at 07:25 powering the eleven-carriage 1G16. The empties then ran to Huddersfield before returning loaded to York, arriving at 10:12. The train then ran empty stock to Malton for stabling, until its evening working from York at 18:31 to Doncaster. Finally, the 46 returned empty stock to York and left northwards at 20:30 for its home city.
Another Toton locomotive, 45 042, was used to pull the seven-carriage 1G27 from Huddersfield via Wakefield Kirkgate service, due into York at
8 TRACTION 197 May/June 2011 RIGHT: 31 268 stands in one of the south end bay platforms ready to depart, at 16:20, with the first of the afternoon additional trains, 1G09 to Huddersfield. Due to the over-running of the event at the racecourse, this train and 1G37 to Newcastle, seen on the left at platform 15, ran very lightly loaded. 31 268 had put in two more appearances earlier in the day on the 06:50 arrival from Huddersfield and the 10:16 from Durham.
LOWER: At 09:50 47 318 arrives, at the head of a nine-carriage rake of Mark 1s, with 1G06 from Sheffield. After stabling at Clifton carriage sidings, this locomotive managed no less than three loaded runs in the evening; the 17:36 to Huddersfield, the 20:40 to Newcastle and 23:50 back to Sheffield.
trains to cater for the expected extra demand for newspapers in York.
For the rest of this article I intend to look in detail at how British Rail organised the conveyance of about 30,000 passengers to York on Monday 31st May 1982. It was an event the like of which had never been seen at York before and, almost certainly, was the last time that so many special locomotive hauled trains could be seen from the platforms of one station. The sheer scale of planning and organisation in terms of locomotive and carriage stock provision, staffing, cleaning and catering was truly enormous. Virtually every spare locomotive hauled carriage on the Eastern Region was used, whilst one official said to me of the staffing, “Anybody who wants a job can have one.”
Probably the most difficult part of the day’s operation would come, not in the delivering of passengers to York in the morning, but organising their return in the late afternoon and early evening. Much thought and effort went into this part of the planning. York Racecourse
07:41. The carriages were then shunted round to the Fruit Dock siding at the south end of the station, until they were needed for the 16:31 to Hull. Later in the evening, 45 042 brought back the empty stock from Hull to form the 20:00 to Newcastle via Hartlepool and Sunderland and it is believed also to have formed the 00:15 to Chesterfield
Just before eight o’clock 47 375, one of Tinsley’s locomotives, more usually used to working freight trains, pulled in on the 07:49 1G29 from Chesterfield, formed of eight carriages. It went north empty stock to Saltburn, to pick up passengers from the string of local stations on this Teesside branch. Once back at York, at
11:20, the stock was also placed in the Fruit Dock sidings until the 18:18 working to Hull. However, 47 375 was replaced by 40085 for the two evening runs, the second one after the train’s return from Hull being the 21:20 to Newcastle.
Another Scottish locomotive, 40 158 from Haymarket depot, brought in an eight-carriage service from Huddersfield via Wakefield Kirkgate at 08:08. One of the 08 shunting locomotives moved the stock across to the Queen Street carriage sidings. As explained earlier, the stock off this service had been scheduled to operate the 18:39 train to Huddersfield, but was actually used to form the 18:06, again being pulled by
40158. The final run of the day for the set was empty back from Huddersfield and then the 21:45 via the Durham Coast Line to Newcastle.
A ten-carriage train 1G08, powered by a Healey Mills locomotive 40 085, arrived at 08:08 from Newcastle via the Durham Coast Line. It then ran empty to Hull for the return loaded working, arriving back at 11:16. The stock was stabled at York Clifton sidings, whilst the locomotive went to York depot and later worked the 18:18 to Hull. For the evening trips of 1G08, 47 375 was used, leaving at 17:30 for Hull and, finally, bringing the empty stock back to Clifton carriage sidings at 20:32
A Thornaby depot locomotive, 31 166, was used for the nine-carriage set of 1G28. This train managed four loaded trips, the first being the arrival from Middlesbrough at 08:18. Heading south to Doncaster, and after a quick reversal there, the train was back at York at 10:00. The 31 took the carriages to Clifton carriage sidings, before resuming its duties on the 17:05 to Sheffield. Finally, the set worked the 20:12 to Newcastle.
Probably the least demanding of the day’s workings was the eight-carriage 1G26 08:21 arrival from Hull behind Stratford’s 31 160. The empty stock was taken to Malton, where it stabled until its return working to Hull leaving York at 19:37.