Stephen rabone Editor tel: 07794 773697 e-mail: email@example.com edi torial postal address: 120 Churchill Road, Middlesbrough TS6 9NS
Regular Contributors: colin boocock paul a. Lunn
It’s been interesting reading the emails and letters that I’ve received about the “new” TRACTION with the overwhelming number of them being positive. However, one comment stood out and that was, “I’m not sure that you’ll get away with using photographs of GM Class 66s and 67s.”
This set me thinking about the issue of what is “classic” traction on Britain’s railways today. A glance through the pages of the early issues of T RACTION reveals photos of brand new Class 92s and the relatively young Class 56 and 60s. In 1994 the youngest Class 56 was 11 years old; in 2011 the last Class 66 and 67 to be built is also the same age…
As Paul Lunn, our modelling contributor, said to me, “When does a locomotive type become “classic?” Already the Class 66 story has gone through several stages, with locomotives changing liv eries, ownership and number. It’s just like the old days of BR and the varieties of Class 37 and 47! Of course BR didn’t ship some of its fleet off to mainland Europe, re-livery and modify them, and then return some to Britain to work here again. DB Schenker has, of course, done precisely that with some of its Class 66s.
A few days ago I was in Fort William and saw what are now, I would argue, the two “cl assic” We st Highland Line passenger locomotives. At the platform was No. 67 011 on the sleeper to Euston, whilst in a siding was West Coast Railway’s No. 37 685, waiting to take over the ‘Royal Scotsman’ tour train on its journey along the Mallaig line. I would suggest that the Class 67 is a worthy successor to the ‘37’ on the ‘Sleepers’. The chance to travel on this train, in the seating coach that is add ed for the Edinburgh to Fort William section of the journey, should be on every “haulage” enthusiast’s ‘must do’ list.
One of the things I used to enjoy about the West Highland Line was when the driver ‘opened up’ the Class 37 and you heard that incredible sound. Today, of course, the Class 156s dominate the line, as they have now done for over 20 years. Aren’t these unglamorous, but reliable, DMUs just a s much “classic” traction as the Class 37s? Next t ime you’re on the West Highland Line, open one of the windows and listen to the roar of the Cummins engines as the train climbs out of Tyndrum to the County March summit. It’s not only behind locomotives where you can experience sustained ‘thrash’….
So, the answer to the question about whether you can expect to see, from time to time, Class 66s and 67s in T RACTION is that, the present soon becomes history and we should remember that we always regret what has gone. One day, I promise you, enthusiasts will be raising the money for the Class 66 Preservation Society!
As usual in this issue we have a variety of articles to suit all tastes. There are two features about those short distance locomotive hauled secondary trains that we used to find all over Britain. Class 27s take us from Edinburgh to Dundee, whilst the Cambridge Buffet Expresses linked Kings Cross with the University City.
Looking further back in time Colin Boocock relates the somewhat puzzling story of Gas Turbine traction – a real dead end indeed.
Visits to locomotive works were a regular feature on many enthusiasts’ calendars but few of us were lucky enough to have Crewe Works virtually to oursel ves as Steve Morris did. Two other railwaymen, Chris Trerise and Bill Davies, relate their experiences working around Haselmere and out of St. Pancras.
The Settle and Carlisle is a favourite line for many of us, but the chance of a brake van trip was a privilege few experienced, unlike Michael Ellis who even managed to take some friends with him. David J. Hayes concludes his detailed look at the demise of the Speedlink freight network.
The revised style of TRACTION’s modelling section seems to be proving popular with its mixture of content of interest to both the modeller and the prototype enthusiast. In this issue Paul Lunn takes us back to pre-electrification days at York with an ambitious N Gauge layout idea, all backed up with a fascinating collection of photographs from the camera of David Wharton. P aul also takes a detailed look at the often-neglected subject of buffer stops. Finally, Jeff Nicholls looks at the latest O Scale model from Heljan, the Class 26. If ever there was a model that should spark off a plethora of Highland layouts this has to be it. Now where could I find space for a condensed version of Kyle of Lochalsh?
Out and Back _Page 48
In TRACTION MODELLING Paul Lunn looks in detail at modelling York in N Gauge in the days before electrification. On the 5th
April 1969 EE Type 3 No. 6737 awaits departure with 1H89 to Hull. As this train conveyed significant mail and parcels traffic it was a locomotive hauled, rather than DMU service. David Wharton
On and off the footplate _Page 14
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