Latest updates (most recent first)
New photos added on Wednesday 10th January 2024. Specials at Hamstead...
Tuesday 9th January 2024 was forecast to be a day of full winter sun, and turned out to be one. Moreover there were three trains of interest
pathed through Hamstead around the middle of the day, meaning that it was worth braving the cold for a chance of multiple shots in nice light.
The first of these trains was 6Z76 Kidderminster (SVR) - Walton Old Jct, seen here passing Hamstead at 11:08. The consist is two RailAdventure
HST power cars, two barrier wagons, and 20142+20007 on the rear. They were off to move Class 777 units from Warrington to Kirkdale depot,
before returning to Kidderminster on the morning of the 10th. I'd expected this to be top-and-tailed by pairs of HST power cars, and was a bit
annoyed when seeing the 20s that they weren't on the front.
The second train was a 6Z43 Chaddesden - Acton, due past around 11:34, but sadly this path wasn't used. Instead the train ran as 6Z56 via the
MML, with 56301 at the head. Shame, as I'd rather fancied that shot, it would have been perfectly lit at this spot with light just on the nose.
The third train did appear, and this was 37800 atop 5Q76 Allerton - Newport Docks, seen here at 12:31. The units behind the 37
were 319385 and 319372, both off for scrap. Several similar trains from Allerton had run in the previous weeks, as well as a couple from Northampton
also conveying 319s to Newport for disposal. It's odd seeing trains in superficially good nick going to the breakers, all my memories of such
trains involved rolling stock that had been lying around for ages, and was visibly wrecked or robbed for spares. I doubt anyone who didn't already
know and saw this train would be able to guess its purpose.
New photos added on Sunday 19th November 2023. Oldies again...
This shot was taken on the morning of Sunday 22nd September 1996 while 37505 and 37520 were standing in a possession at Spetchley. The locos
were on the south end of a ballast/spoil train on the up line.
47360 leads 6M72, the St Blazey - Cliffe Vale clay, through Horseley Heath at 09:26 on Tuesday 12th July 1988. Horseley Heath is half way
between Dudley Port and Great Bridge, and there will be a tram stop alongside the bridge from which this photo was taken on the Dudley extension
to the Midland Metro.
New photos added on Saturday 18th November 2023. Oldies...
Unfortunately the details for this shot are missing, likely in a lost notebook from 1989, giving a rough estimate of the probable date.
With no number on the front of the loco its identity also remains unknown, but the train and location are easy to nail. It's 6V69, the
evening Wednesbury - Cardiff steel empties, seen approaching Kingswinford Jct, Brierley Hill. The photo was taken from Moor St bridge.
No date for this shot either, and it may have been taken on the same day as the 37 above. This is 47256 just south of Round Oak with
6V70 Cliffe Vale - St Blazey. The tower above the rear of the loco is the fire station.
86233 heads north through Bescot at 13:40 on Sunday 10th November 1996. The train went unidentified but as this was a Sunday it was
likely a scheduled diversion off the Stour Valley, and the seven coach formation suggests a cross-country service. Not a livery I
care much for.
New photos added on Wednesday 11th August 2023. Trams at Wolverhampton station...
Tram 54 crosses Wolverhampton's inner ring road as it approaches the railway station. The long-delayed diversion of the tram route
had finally opened on Sunday 17th September 2023 and this shot was taken on the morning of Tuesday 10th October. The service was
only just recovering from earlier disruption, rush hour traffic congestion on the Bilston Road led to significant delays and northbound
trams being turned short at Priestfield with no service to Wolverhampton. Trams run on battery power for about 450 yards between the
penultimate stop outside the bus station on Pipers Row, which is a little way around the corner behind the building to the left.
Tram 39 has just crossed the inner ring road and is negotiating the reverse curves on the approach to Wolverhampton station. This
shot was taken on the morning of Tuesday 10th October 2023.
Tram 39 leaves Wolverhampton station on the morning of Tuesday 10th October 2023. The station entrance is to the left of the tram,
and the single platform tram stop is around the corner to the right, about 50 yards away.
New photo added on Tuesday 3rd October 2023...
37884 leads a 5Q08 Long Marston - Kilmarnock unit drag through Bescot at 12:29 on Tuesday 3rd October 2023. In tow is 769922, formerly
319422, converted to tri-mode (diesel, third-rail and overhead electric) for GWR but never used by them. Hence the green livery. This was
the second such unit to make this move, the same loco took 769959 north on Monday 25th September. Both moves ran via Bromsgrove, New St
New photos added on Tuesday 8th August 2023...
25213 leaves the Hooton branch at Helsby with a tank train from Ellesmere Port on Tuesday 12th August 1986. This is a colour slide
converted to black and white.
56053 leaves Bescot with a 6Z11 steel train for Round Oak. It's just emerged from under the M6 and started the climb around Bescot Curve.
The first four wagons are vans, but most of this train consisted of steel coil on flar-rack containers loaded on intermodal wagons. The
photo was taken at 15:18 on Friday 19th March 1993, and this was the last southbound train (and indeed the last southbound
movement of any kind) on the line before it closed.
New photos added on Thursday 3rd August 2023...
40143 is stabled at Newton Heath in this shot, taken in the spring of 1981. Likely taken on the same Saturday as the pic of 76040
This late 1986 shot shows 20123 preparing to leave Wednesbury with spoil empties, probably to Bescot. It still sports its Motherwell
salmon logo, having not long been re-allocated to Bescot. Its stay in England would be brief as it was withdrawn in April 1987. The
spoil sidings are to the left of the loco, and the gantry crane at the steel terminal is visible in the distance to the right.
Everything in this view is long gone of course, but there are still railway sidings here as it's the land on which the Midland
Metro depot stands. A camera in this spot today would be on the depot access roadway at the south east end of the site, looking
along the main stabling sidings from the buffer stops end.
New photos added on Wednesday 2nd August 2023...
76040 is the main subject of this shot taken at Reddish depot in March/April 1981. With no surviving notes available the date is from
the slide mount, and the loco number derived from the fact that a 4 is just visible in the number on the original scan, together with
the unique pattern of rust patches on the yellow front. The latter match other shots of 76040 readily available online. Although 76040
and its neighbour are on an unelectrified siding 040 lasted until the end, which came in July of the same year.
20145 and 20009 are on the climb from Great Bridge to Dudley with 6M51 Scunthorpe - Brierley Hill. This shot was taken at 10:20 on
Monday 31st October 1988, with the train about to pass over the old main line of the Birmingham canal. It's quite late in the day
for a Class 20 to still sport a cabside logo I think.
New photo added on Monday 17th July 2023...
37405 arrives at Bescot with crane DRK81612 and its three runner wagons. This was a 6Z32 working from Rugby, and was photographed at 15:47 on
Monday 17th July 2023. The loco had earlier run light engine from Coleham to Rugby, and with the Trent Valley line blocked by engineering work
it was booked to return to Bescot via Coventry and Aston. In the event it was 30L off Rugby and ran via Coventry, Nuneaton and Water Orton.
The loco then returned light engine to Coleham a couple of hours later. This loco is owned by HNRL and was on hire to Colas in lieu of
unavailable Class 97/3s, hence being based in Shrewsbury. HNRL's orange livery doesn't look out of place with the Colas-liveried wagons, and
I much prefer this simpler colour scheme to Colas's own yellow/orange effort where the lines of the livery don't follow those of the loco.
New photos added on Tuesday 6th June 2023. More 69s...
69002 leads 3Q98 Toton - Coleham into Bescot at 14:57 on Monday 5th June 2023. 69005 was on the rear of this train, which
was due to recess at Bescot for a couple of hours before proceeding to Shrewsbury. In the event it arrived 30 minutes early and
departed 100 minutes early. The weedkilling ensemble was off to spray the Central Wales and Cambrian lines over subsequent nights.
And here's 69005 trailing on the rear as 3Q98 runs into the Up Loop. This is my favourite of the various liveries carried
by Class 69s.
New photos added on Friday 2nd June 2023. More trams, and a 69...
Trams 27 and 51 cross at Lodge Road, West Bromwich. This shot was taken at 15:46 on Saturday 27th May 2023. 27 is on the left,
and heading south towards Birmingham. It had returned to traffic on the 19th of May after its "crackgate" repairs. 51 is
heading north. It was delivered to Wednesbury in March 2023, and had entered traffic for the first time on the 11th of May.
Tram 24 heads south from Dudley St at 16:05 on Saturday 27th May 2023. Not many trams with white replacement body panels
have been seen in traffic in spring 2023, most of the repaired Urbos 3s have had blue vinyls applied. However there were two
unvinyled trams out on this day, 24 here, and 29.
69001 arrives at an ever-verdant Bescot as 0Z78 from Tonbridge. Note the vegetation which has reached three-quarters of the way
up the catenary upright to the left of the loco. This photo was taken at 14:42 on Friday 2nd June 2023.
New photos added on Sunday 28th May 2023. Some trams, and a bus...
Wolverhampton-allocated 4632 swings around the stands at Wednesbury Bus Station while working a route 79 service on
the afternoon of Friday 28th April 2023.
Tram 53 passes the central campus of Sandwell College as it leaves West Bromwich for Birmingham. This shot was taken at 15:38
on Saturday 27th May 2023, at which time 53 had been in traffic for about one month.
Tram 45 leaves Dudley Street for Birmingham at 16:16 on the same afternoon. The bodyside advert is for the City of Birmingham
Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and was the only all-over ad carried by a WMM tram at this time. This may explain why tram 45 was
often in traffic during the early summer. A lineside path runs all the way through West Bromwich, from Black Lake to
The Hawthorns. The two-thirds of a mile stretch from Dudley St to Lodge Road is in a tree-lined cutting, and on a
warm sunny day like this is a surprisingly pleasant walk given that it runs entirely through urban West Bromwich. The
cutting and vegetation provides a lot of insulation from traffic noise, allowing the birdsong to dominate. A different
environment at night however, as the path is unlit.
Tram 42 is seen between Black Lake and Dudley St at 16:22, again on Saturday 27th May 2023. This tram carries a bodyside advert for
something called "Personalised gummy vitamins", a health food product that looks a bit like a fruit pastille. Along
with tram 45 and its all-over CBSO advert this was the only other WMM tram carrying ad vinyls when this photo was taken.
New photos added on Wednesday 26th April 2023...
D7535 (25185) stabled at Buckfastleigh on the afternoon of Friday 21st April 2023.
On the same day D3721 (09010) was shunting the shed yard at Buckfastleigh, as was Class 04 D2271. The Class 09 is in plain black
and carried no numbers at this time. Similarly the Class 04 was also un-numbered, but in faded green.
Not working on this afternoon were 33002 and D2246, photographed from Buckfastleigh platform.
800017 running with an exposed coupling draws into St Austell at 14:45 on Sunday 25th April 2023. It was forming 2U26, the 13:49
Penzance - Cardiff.
New photo added on Thursday 13th April 2023...
69003 and 69006 left Longport on the afternoon of Thursday 13th April 2023. 0G69 is seen here approaching Bescot at 15:00, somewhat
earlier than booked.
New photos added on Monday 10th April 2023...
Statfold Barn held their second annual model railway exhibition over the weekend of 1st and 2nd April 2023. An excellent event,
just like the first one in 2022. This is Statfold Jct signalbox, with the signaller waiting to give a token to the driver of a
departing train at 13:45 on Sunday 2nd.
Hunslet built 0-4-0 "Statfold" tails the shuttle train on the approach to the Statfold Barn terminus station. On the left number 11,
"Fiji" waits to reverse onto its next service. "Statfold" dates from 2005, while "Fiji" is a 1912 Hudswell Clarke loco that worked
at the Lautoka sugar mill (in Fiji). The photo was taken at 13:58 on Sunday 2nd.
Burton and Ashby tram number 14 stands outside its shed while reversing direction. The signals on the adjacent lines control the
approach to the Statfold terminus station. This shot was taken at 14:28 on Sunday 2nd.
Midland Metro trams stabled on Wednesbury depot on the afternoon of Friday 7th April 2023. The town centre is in the background, with
St Bart's church spire visible on the central horizon.
New photos added on Sunday 9th April 2023...
2023 Easter holiday trains at the Chasewater Railway were formed of Hunslet 0-6-0DH BNFL number 6 and a motley collection of brakevans.
This loco was donated to the Chasewater Railway by BNFL Sellafield in October 2022, after it had been replaced by a Clayton CBD80 hybrid
battery/diesel Bo-Bo. This is the 11:35 Chasetown - Brownhills, seen approaching Norton Lakeside at 11:46 on Saturday 8th April.
The next service was the 12:15 off Brownhills, seen here approaching Chasewater Heaths at 12:28.
The return working of the 12:15 was the 12:40 Chasetown - Brownhills, photographed just south of Chasewater Heaths at 12:50.
New photo added on Tuesday 15th November 2022...
On Tuesday 1st November 2022 37418 ran light engine from Derby to Bescot, where it collected one vehicle from a new weedkiller
train and took it back to the RTC. It returned on Tuesday 15th November, bringing that wagon back I presume because it ran as
6Z65. This time it returned to Derby RTC with several vehicles, running as 6Z66 and seen here leaving Bescot at 15:01.
New photo added on Tuesday 8th November 2022...
LSL's Class 20s, D8096 and D8107, took steam loco Mayflower from Crewe to Kidderminster on Saturday 29th October 2022. It spent a week at the
SVR for tests before the same pair of 20s returned to take it back to Crewe. That 5Z61 return working took place on Tuesday 8th November,
and is seen passing Bescot at 12:24.
New photos added on Sunday 28th August 2022...
The South Staffs railway alignment running through Great Bridge. This photo was taken in August 2022 as construction
work was underway on the Metro line from Wednesbury to Dudley. The camera is directly above the spot on which Eagle
Crossing signalbox once stood, and is pointing south west towards Dudley. In the foreground are two bridges over the
Walsall canal. To the left is the original bridge over which a connection into Great Bridge yard once ran. A plastic
injection moulding company's property now stands on that site, their large green and white building can be glimpsed beyond
the tree line. To the right is the new bridge, installed in May 2021 with some fanfare as the first new bridge to be
installed as part of the Metro project. This bridge is one of three replacement structures taking
the Metro alignment over various canals. All are of a similar design and built from concrete and metal,
the latter painted black. All three have walkways along both parapets, reached from the trackbed via steps. In the background
the railway goes under New Road, and a new deck was also being installed on this bridge at this time.
The view from Eagle Crossing towards Golds Hill, as seen in late August 2022. The signalbox was just below and behind the
camera, and Eagle Lane is directly below. The South Staffs alignment is delineated by road cones as it heads north east
towards Golds Hill in the middle distance. Cashmore's scrapyard was on the right of the trackbed, just beyond where the
line curves away to the left. Another 500 or so yards beyond that are the white chimneys of the MQP asphalt plant in Wednesbury.