Class 33 locomotives
The driver of 33008 and 33026 puts on the power and accelerates his train away from Stourbridge North Jct. The train is a Bristol -
Carlisle charter, the "Crompton Crusader", and it's seen here approaching Lye at 10:27 on Sunday 30th July 1995. Maybe it
was due to weekend engineering work, but this train was routed via Shrewsbury rather than Stafford. So after taking this photo I
headed off to Admaston, just west of Wellington, to try for a second shot. I beat the train comfortably because it didn't reach
Admaston until 11:55, but in the event that second shot wasn't as good as this first one.
33029 and E6005 had just detached from the stock forming the 16:45 Keighley - Oxenhope and were running down the loop at Oxenhope
when this shot was taken at 17:43 on Saturday 18th June 2005.
33029 and 33207 head 1Z60, a Peterborough - Aberystwyth charter, past Sutton Bridge Jct at 10:07 on Friday 31st March 2006. This isn't a
very original location to do a Cambrian special, but it proved to be a good choice on a day of intermittent sunny periods, as the picture
testifies. Only seven photographers on the bridge too, I expected a bigger gallery even though it was a normal weekday. Rain and high tides
around the Dovey estuary meant it was touch and go whether the train would actually reach Aberystwyth, or get terminated at Machynlleth
instead. In the end it did reach the coast.
After encountering a hot box while en route to the 2011 Swanage diesel weekend, 33035 was dumped at Soho EMU depot for a few weeks.
This shot was taken on the afternoon of Saturday 14th May 2011, and shows the loco parked around the back of the depot. It was eventually
taken to Washwood Heath for repairs.
For a while around 1980 the Northfleet - Handsworth cement train was booked for a pair of Class 33s. It ran via Oxford, Leamington,
Coventry, Aston, Soho and Langley Green. At Langley Green the locos ran-round for the final leg up the branch to Handsworth, which was
then a freight-only single track, but is now the main line from Stourbridge to Snow Hill. This photo was taken on the evening of Wednesday
18th June 1980, and shows 33056+33048 taking fuel at Bescot. It wasn't normal practise for the 33s off the cement to visit Bescot, and this
is the only time I remember it happening. The photo was originally a colour slide, but looks better converted to monochrome.
33057 and 33019 storm away from Moreton-in-Marsh at 17:36 on Saturday 29th July 1995. This was the "Honey Monster" railtour,
which had visited Kineton and Long Marston MOD. 47348 was also used on this tour and was at the rear of the train here. This is the
only photo I've ever taken at Moreton-in-Marsh, on what was my one and only visit to the place.
Saturday morning at the Glos & Warks diesel weekend. Plenty of sun on the M5 driving down, but lots of cloud in Gloucestershire
during the morning. This is D6575 (33057) passing Southam Lane bridge on the approach to Cheltenham Racecourse. It's hauling 2C53,
the 09:30 Toddington - Cheltenham, and was photographed at 10:04 on Saturday 30th July 2016.
33058 passes Sidcup at 13:58 on Wednesday 22nd August 1990. I believe the train is 7V79, the afternoon Angerstein - Paddington
33102 arrives at Cheddleton with the 14:47 from Leek Brook Jct. This shot was taken at 14:46 on Tuesday 31st August 2004, so the train was
running a few minutes early (an early start doesn't matter as passengers can't board or alight at Leek Brook). Cheddleton is on the
Churnet Valley Railway, which runs over the old Oakamoor freight branch from Leek Brook
at the north end to Froghall at the south. On this day 33102 and its four maroon Mk 1s was the only train in use, operating five round trips.
Although it's a pleasant enough ride the railway doesn't offer many photographic opportunities, even at the stations. Cheddleton provides the
best options. The railway has a couple of signalboxes and a quite a few semaphores, but on my visit none were in use, the crossing-keeper at
Cheddleton using flags to indicate that trains could proceed.
33108 heads south through Kensington Olympia at 14:51 on Tuesday 20th August 1991. I didn't manage to identify this train, although it would almost certainly
have originated at Willesden. I was very lucky to get the shot, having made my way from Sidcup (see earlier shot). I stepped off a District line train just in
time to see the Crompton in the distance. In other circumstances I'd have gone to the north end of the platform and included the semaphores in the picture.
33108 worked the 14:24 Kidderminster - Bridgnorth on Saturday 6th October 2012, and like most northbound through trains
during the diesel gala it used used the back road around platform 3. Shadows are very much a problem around Bewdley station
in October, but the train drew up with its nose in the sun. This shot was taken at 14:36.
33108 arrives at Kidderminster with the 08:34 from Bewdley, formed of the 4TC set. This shot was taken at 08:44 on Sunday 20th May 2018.
33116 propels 4-TC 407 out of Portsmouth Harbour. I've got no firm date for this shot but it was taken in April or May of 1980, and from
memory I'm pretty sure that it was a service to Reading. I also suspect that it was taken on a Sunday because I seem to recall that direct
trains between Reading and Portsmouth only ran on Sundays at this time.
33202 and 33207 pass Bescot with 1Z36 Clapham Junction - Carlisle, the "Eden Serpent" railtour, on Saturday 8th November 1986.
This was my first sighting of 207 at Bescot, but 202 had visited before, on Wednesday 7th February 1979. I can still vaguely remember
that cold dull winter's day in 1979. For some reason I wasn't at work, and went to Brum on the train around lunchtime. Although I no
longer have my records I do remember seeing an amazing variety of locos at Bescot that day. Representatives of all the regular classes
were present, including one of every AC electric class (81-87) bar one. If I recall correctly no Class 87 appeared, which was unusual.
There was definitely a Class 44 present on the regular morning train from Toton, along with the more common Peaks. But the real reason
I remember this day was that both 33104 and 33202 visited Bescot, on separate workings. Plenty have appeared in pairs, but this was the
only day I ever saw two appear independently.
Nearly 20 years after the shot above, and 33202 is pictured in almost exactly the same spot at Bescot. This time it has 33103 for
company as it heads north in pouring rain at 12.02 on Saturday 10th September 2005. The train is a 1Z48 charter from
Salisbury to Crewe, run in connection with an Open Weekend at Crewe Works. It was actually booked to run via Washwood Heath,
Sutton Park and Walsall, but in the event it was diverted from St Andrews Jct to run via Birmingham New St, Soho and Bescot. This was
due to signalling problems which had closed the line through Washwood Heath and Water Orton, but the diversion also helped the
very late-running train make up a little time. The delay had apparently been caused by problems with 33103 earlier in the day. I got
soaked taking this photo, but the wonders of digital photography produced quite a good result in the circumstances.
Thanks to IM for updates on the progress and routing of this train.
33202 again, this time passing the site of Hicks Lodge opencast site, just east of Moira, with a 5Z33 Coalville - Derby ECS formed of the
FM Rail "Green Train". This shot was taken at 12:43 on Thursday 21st September 2006, a gorgeous day in the Midlands. A
permanent way gang was working in the area when I arrived, and the track hereabouts looks to be in good order, despite the very
light traffic on this stretch of line. Thanks to TM and Phil Grain for info on this train.
33208+33116 head south through Middlewich on some rusty looking rails. This shot was taken at 16:36 on Sunday 21st August 1994,
and the train is a Crewe - Chester - Northwich - Crewe railtour. This circular tour used the locos and stock off a Euston - Crewe
charter run in connection with the Crewe Rail Fair.
33209 arrives at Birmingham International with 1M23 Poole - Manchester Piccadilly. The original loco
had failed somewhere on the Southern Region, and the train was running 65 minutes late when photographed
at 20:00 on Monday 11th July 1988. 209 only had a few months left, it was withdrawn after a shunting
accident damaged the corner of one of its cabs during the following autumn.