Class 57 locomotives
57001 heads north through Hamstead with an unidentified liner. This shot was taken at 13:19 on Saturday 19th February 2005.
57003 powers 4L93 Lawley St - Felixstowe away from Whitacre Jct at 11:02 on Wednesday 21st March 2007. Wednesbury's finest at the controls.
57005 passes Dosthill, between Kingsbury and Tamworth, with a 6Z95 Cardiff - Stockton empty scrap train. This picture was taken at
16:51 on Saturday 23rd May 2009.
57006 accelerates away from Whitacre Jct with a fully-laden 4L93 Lawley St - Felixstowe freightliner. This shot was taken at 10:27 on
Friday 2nd March 2007, from the then rather muddy footpath which parallels the line east of the junction. In March it's difficult to
find a spot where no shadows fall on the loco - this shot is better in April or May when the sun is higher and the shadows less prominent.
Subsequently acquired by Advenza, 57006 takes the 6Z72 Stockton - Cardiff scrap through Spetchley at 17:15 on Tuesday 13th May 2008.
57007 and 57003 pass Summerfield, on the southern outskirts of Kidderminster, at 18:23 on Thursday 3rd June 2011. The train is 6M67
Bridgwater - Crewe, running a bit later than I expected after a long recess at Worcester.
57011 has 57004 dead-inside on 4O29 Trafford Park - Southampton, seen here passing Bescot station at 14.52 on Saturday 2nd October 2004.
This train had gone AWOL, having been reported past Stafford about 1½ hours earlier. The normal running time from Stafford to
Bescot is about 30 mins, so it had obviously been looped en-route, likely at Rickerscote.
The sun was out for no more than 45 seconds, but 6Z96 Crewe - Toton timed its arrival to perfection, having got a clear run into Bescot
on Friday 21st March 2014. 57011 and 57008 were leading ten HQA ballast hoppers when photographed at 13:30. On this occasion the train
terminated at Bescot, with the locos returning light engine to Crewe at about 15:15.
57301 hauls a rake of Coalfish up the hill through Hardwick Wood, Streetly, at 14:54 on Wednesday 15th April 2015. The train is 6Z96 Crewe - Toton,
which on this occasion had omitted its Bescot traffic stop, waiting time on the Darlaston Jct - Pleck Jct chord before picking up its normal path
through Walsall. A silver birch has been digitally axed from this view.
57302 has 90002 dead inside while heading the diverted 1G19 Euston -Wolverhampton towards Saltley Viaduct. This photo
was taken at 10:14 on Saturday 12th July 2003. 57302 had taken 1A17 08:19 Wolverhampton - Euston to Nuneaton,
with 47749 following on 1A23 09:19 Wolverhampton - Euston.
Wolverhampton - Euston trains were diverted via Nuneaton on Sunday 8th June 2008, and they also ran via Bescot rather than the Stour
Valley. As in 2007 the loco-hauled set made an appearance on 1G09, the 11:56 Euston - Wolverhampton, with 90020 provided as the train
engine. In 2007 it usually returned south on 1B22, the 16:12 from Wolverhampton, but on this day B22 was a Pendo. Instead the Mk3s formed 1B23
17:12 Wolverhampton - Euston, with 57302 providing the power as far as Nuneaton. It's seen here passing Saltley Viaduct at 17:52.
57305 passes Washwood Heath Sidings No 1 box with a Wolverhampton - Nuneaton Pendo drag on Saturday 1st July 2006. This shot was taken at 10:35
and I believe the train is the late running 1B21 09:18 Wolverhampton - Euston (about 45 down). The brown and white building in the background
is the Kappa SSK factory, which re-cycles paper into industrial packaging. Behind that are the flats around Duddeston.
57305 arrives at Bescot with 6Z96 from Crewe, in a shot taken at 14:22 on Monday 28th September 2015. On this occasion the train terminated at Bescot,
returning direct to Crewe. This was one of the last appearances of Class 57s on Z96/Z97. 305 did this train again on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th,
but their time was nearly up once 68s started to appear. I didn't know what was working the train before going out for this photo, so the appearance
of a Northern Belle liveried 57 was a nice surprise.
57307 heads 1A78 14:14 Holyhead - Euston past Ffynnongroyw at 15:23 on Thursday 4th October 2007.
57308 passes Whitacre Jct with 1B48, the 12:05 Wolverhampton - Euston, diverted via Nuneaton due to engineering work on the Coventry
route. This picture was taken at 12:53 on Monday 28th August 2006, a day of sunny intervals and dark clouds. Thankfully the ugly lamp posts
have since been removed.
57309 leaves Bescot with 6D95 to Toton. This photo was taken at 14:46 on Tuesday 26th February 2019, when the load
included ten autoballasters and six JNA/MLA/IEAs. Just visible on the back was a single green-carded BYA steel wagon,
very unusual in an NDS train in my experience.
The River Tame runs along the north-east side of Bescot yard, but crosses to the south side of the railway just before it passes
under the motorway near Newton Road. Bridge 21 takes the railway over the river, and the picture shows 57310 heading 1B22, the 16:12
off Wolverhampton - Euston, crossing the river at 16:24 on Sunday 29th June 2008.
At this remove I can't remember the exact nature of the engineering work on Sunday 29th August 2004, but trains from the north were
being diesel-hauled into Stafford, and terminating there. 57312 worked 1A57 14:15 Liverpool-Stafford, with an 87 dead on the rear
(014 I think). It then ran round before returning as 1F19 16:45 Stafford-Liverpool. This shot was taken at 16:19.
57312 approaches Coseley with 1B22, the 16.18 Wolverhampton - Euston. This shot was taken at 16.26 on Sunday 21st August 2005, when
Euston trains were being dragged between Wolverhampton and Nuneaton.
57313 coasts into Birmingham New St with 1B38, the 12:18 Wolverhampton - Euston. This shot was taken at 12:45 on Saturday 2nd April
2005, the first day of a new season of Nuneaton "drags". New St is pretty useless for photos, but this shot from the end
of platform 4B is one of the very few available.
57313 again, now in unbranded blue livery and working the "WAG" express, a train run on behalf of the Welsh Assembly.
The 16:15 Cardiff - Holyhead is seen here passing Stokesay, just south of Craven Arms, at 17:49 on Monday 1st June 2009.
The following day, Tuesday 2nd June 2009, 57313 is seen again working the 16:15 from Cardiff. Here it is passing Craven Arms at 17:50.
A new season of Wolverhampton - Nuneaton drags commenced on Saturday 7th July 2007. As ever staple fare was Class 57s hauling Pendolinos, but
for a short period the loco-hauled standby set was sometimes turned out for a single Euston - Wolverhampton and return working on Sundays.
On 8th July 90031 duly worked 1G09/1B22, the 11:56 from Euston and 16:18 back. 57313 was used to drag both these trains north of Nuneaton,
and this photo shows 1B22 passing Spring Vale, just north of Coseley, at 16:24. The picture was taken from the relatively new bridge which
takes the Black Country Route over both the canal and the railway. Many years ago, on what may as well have been another planet, Bilston
steelworks would have dominated the background to this scene.
57314 bursts under Sandy Lane bridge at the south end of Bescot yard with 1B22, the 16:12 Wolverhampton - Euston. This shot
was taken from the northbound platform at Tame Bridge station at 16:25 on Sunday 15th June 2008. The location is more properly
referred to as Newton Jct, and the shadows top and bottom are courtesy of the A4031 Walsall - West Bromwich road.
57314 again, this time in a much nicer spot, approaching Abergele with 1D22 Euston - Holyhead. This picture was taken at 12:01 on
Friday 24th October 2008, and I was very lucky with the light. The sun appeared at about the time the loco was two train lengths
from me, and had gone again by the time the back of the train had cleared the footbridge. The North Wales railway in a
single frame: sea, sunshine, semaphores and caravans.
WCRC acquired 57313, 57314, 57315 and 57316 in January 2013. Here 57314 heads a 5Z86 Carnforth - Banbury ECS past Bescot at 13:41
on Thursday 16th October 2014. 57316 was on the rear.
57316 passes Dorrington with 1V31 Holyhead - Cardiff at 08:24 on Wednesday 24th June 2009.
The return working of the previous photo, 1W91 Cardiff - Holyhead, heading north away from Craven Arms at 17:43 on Wednesday 24th June 2009.
57316 is still in charge.
By the time this photo was taken 57316 had been acquired by WCRC. On Sunday 9th June 2013 it led a 5Z89 Pengam (Cardiff) - Carnforth ECS,
with 57315 trailing on the rear. This ensemble had worked a Newport - Canterbury charter on the previous day. The ECS was routed
through Brum via Selly Oak, New St and Aston, and ran near enough to time. 57316 is framed in the aqueduct of the Tame Valley canal
on the approach to Tame Bridge at 16:23.
57601 climbs towards Bloxwich with a 2Z01 Stafford - Crewe inspection saloon working on Thursday 29th June 2006. This train had visited the Chiltern
line and Oxford during the day. Its return north saw it routed through New St, Bescot and Cannock, and is seen here at Leamore, just south of Bloxwich.
It was due at 16:45 but didn't appear until 17:37.
57601 trails on the rear of an ECS passing Bordesley Jct. The train had come from Tyseley, and subsequently formed 1T66, the 09:42 New St
- Cheltenham relief train. This service ran between Tuesday 13th and Friday 16th March 2007, providing extra capacity for the
Cheltenham Festival race meeting. This shot was taken at 09:27 on Friday 16th May 2007.
57601 heads a 1Z75 Kidderminster - Carlisle on Wednesday 1st May 2013. This train picked up at Walsall and Cannock amongst other
places. It started on time, but lost 20 minutes or so between Stourbridge Jct and Rowley Regis, and was about 25 minutes late off
Cannock. This shot was taken just north of Cannock station at 08:33. Prior to electrification it had the potential to be a decent
spot, but trees on a small embankment to the left cast problematic shadows. I knew that 47854 and 57601 were working this train,
and was hoping that the 47 would lead. It's a stiff climb heading north, and the train is starting away from Cannock station. The
47 would surely have produced more impressive clag, but you can see the exhaust from 57601.