73004 stands in Bescot Up Yard on Sunday 5th May 1990. This was an Open Day - for a full list of the exhibits see the caption for
26036 which was also present. Naturally EDs were incredibly rare beasties in the West Midlands, although
I've managed to see seventeen different examples at Bescot, almost all in the post-privatisation era. They are: 73001 73002 73004
73006 73104 73105 73107 73128 73131 73132 73133 73134 73136 73212 (ex 73102), 73213 (ex 73112), 73952 (ex 73113) and 73965 (ex 73121).
The JA pairing of E6006 and E6005 run-round the stock of the 09:15 Oxenhope - Keighley, before working the 10:00 return service. This
picture was taken at 09:59 on Saturday 18th June 2005, the first day of the Keighley & Worth Valley railway's diesel weekend.
The same pairing of E6006 and E6005 worked the 12:20 Keighley - Oxenhope on Saturday 18th June 2005. The train is seen here emerging
from Mytholmes tunnel just south of Haworth. This shot was taken at 12:49, with the train running about 15 minutes late, as most
trains were on this day.
An 0Z51 Crewe - Lydney - Eastleigh loco convoy ran on Thursday 22nd May 2014. It was hauled by 66732, and conveyed 31466, 73001 and 73006.
The 31 and 73001 were returning to Lydney. 73006 had been purchased out of preservation by GBRf, and was bound for Eastleigh and an
eventual return to the main line. Rather unusually 0Z51 was routed via Bescot and Kidderminster, such trains go via Walsall and Camp
Hill as a rule. The convoy rolled to a stand at SB4668 around 13:08, and when the peg came off at around 13:15 there was still faint
sunshine as 0Z51 ran into Bescot UDG Loop (there was a coal train in the Up Loop). In the event 0Z51 appears to have been diverted via
New St and Bromsgrove, after which it was terminated at Gloucester. 31466 and 73001 were left at Gloucester, with 66732 and 73006
returning to Crewe via Camp Hill and Walsall.
The reflections in the bodyside of 73106 indicate that there were at least two 33s along with two 73s stabled at Ashford station on
this day in the summer of 1981.
73107 and 73141 bring up the rear of 1Z44 Crewe - Paddington as it restarts from a stop in the platform at Bescot.
50007 (a.k.a. 50006) and 50049 (a.k.a. 50011) were on the front. This shot was taken at 16:37 on Sunday 23rd September
2018, with the sun just re-appearing in time for what ended up as something of a grab shot. 73141 is the eighteenth
different Class 73 I've seen at Bescot, something that seemed inconceivable back in the mid-1970s when I started keeping
a record of these things.
73128 departs from Brownhills at 16:10 on Saturday 30th April 2005. The motley collection of stock includes three DMU cars, a
wagon and a brake-van.
73128 only did a couple of trips at the Chasewater Diesel Gala on Saturday 20th October 2007, and this is the second one. The
late-running 13:25 from Brownhills leaves Chasewater Heaths at 13:56. There aren't usable many photo spots on this line, partly
because it's not very long and partly because about half of it runs through trees and somewhat unattractive scrub. In the middle
of the day the best opportunites are around Chasewater Heaths station, and there are only really a handful of spots. Later in the
afternoon there are well-lit shots at the ends of the line, Church St and Brownhills West.
Another view of 73128 at the 2007 Chasewater Diesel Gala. This shot was taken at 13:09 and shows a Brownhills bound train approaching
Chasewater Heaths station. Just the one lamp-post cloned out here.
73129 and D8137 lead a southbound GWSR train near Hailes on Saturday 5th April 2008.
An unidentified 73 arrives at Brighton on a parcels train in this 1979 shot. Meanwhile 73130 stands on the adjacent track - waiting to
back onto the vans and, if I recall correctly, take some of them out towards Lewes. My arrival at Brighton on this occasion had been
via an Adex, hauled by 33064 south of Mitre Bridge Jct. Adexes from the Birmingham area to the Central and South-Eastern divisions of
the Southern Region were always great fun. Traction was inevitably an AC electric, usually a "Roarer", to Mitre Bridge (Willesden) -
for a Crompton on the Southern. The best bits were the pootle around the south London suburbs - especially on the return which would
generally occur around 18:30-19:30 when the local stations were still fairly busy with homebound commuters.
73133 and 73105 pass Bescot at 14:06 on Monday 18th November 1996. This was an Eastleigh road-learning trip, and the EDs returned south
via Walsall and Sutton Park. 73105 was already "dud" for Bescot, having appeared on at least one previous turn (Thursday 7th
November, with 73134).
33108 and 73136 propel a 4TC set away from Kidderminster at 09:03 on Sunday 20th May 2018. This was the 09:00 to Bridgnorth.
73134 and 73105 leave Bescot at 14:43 on Thursday 7th November 1996. One of a series of road-learning trips for
Eastleigh drivers familiarising themselves with routes in the West Midlands during the autumn of that year. This
one had arrived via New St, and I presume Soho bank. They had a bit of a fester in the UDG Loop behind the station,
before returning south via Sutton Park.
In London on Friday 2nd September 2011, primarily to see the Toulouse Lautrec/Jane Avril exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery.
I'd deliberately picked a sunny day, but had no fixed plan about what to do after seeing the paintings. In the event I was on
Westminster Bridge when I noticed a gen message giving the afternoon diagram for a 73-hauled test train around south-east London. A brisk
walk to Waterloo East got me to a train heading in the right direction, but where to go? A dim memory of seeing a shot taken at Lewisham
many years ago made me think that might be worth a try. 1Q45 failed to appear at the appointed time, but when a down train from the St
Johns direction came to a stand just short of the junction for no obvious reason I thought something might be afoot. Sure enough the test
train appeared over the Nunhead line viaduct at 14:49, about eight minutes late. Not knowing what the locos were I was well chuffed to see
73201 leading, with yellow 73138 on the rear.
1Q45 was due to run via Charlton and Slade Green, before heading back to Lewisham via Eltham. I had time to try and find a spot for the
return run, and with the blue ED still going to be on the front it was a shot I was keen to do. The problem was that I hadn't the first
clue about usable locations on the Eltham line, never having attempted a photo anywhere in the vicinity. The A-Z suggested that the light
might be optimal around Kidbrooke, so I headed in that direction on the 15:02 from Lewisham. Unfortunately the railway hereabouts is in
the usual suburban combination of cutting and tree-tunnel, and it didn't look promising. However having bailed at Kidbrooke, more in hope
than expectation, I found a short break in the tree-line just east of the station. Any chance of a wide shot was knackered by the fact
that new houses are being built alongside the south side of the railway, so I had to make do with a shot off the platform end. 73201 had
recovered some time and was running a couple of minutes early when photographed at 15:31. In the circumstances I considered this a result.
73208 passes Clapham Jct at 17:36 on Tuesday 7th June 2005. The train is 1D71, the 17:30 Victoria - Gatwick Airport. No route code
displayed, it should be "20".
In the early hours of 10th August 2012 two track machines collided inside an engineer's possession near Arley on the Whitacre Jct to
Nuneaton line. The damaged track machines were subsequently moved to Whitacre Junction. One of these machines, DR77002, was
scheduled to go to the Plasser works at West Ealing in the early hours of Wednesday August 29th. Rather surprisingly GBRf
used electro-diesels 73208 and 73212 for this job. The EDs worked north from Eastleigh to Whitacre Jct in the early hours of Tuesday
28th August, and stabled in the loop at Whitacre all that day. In this shot a Class 170 passes by at 12:10 while forming 1K13 11:52
New St to Leicester.
73952 and 73951 pass Bescot at 14:05 on Monday 16th May 2016. This was an 0Z01 Derby RTC - Kidderminster move, the locos
heading for the diesel gala at the Severn Valley Railway. Both these EDs had visited Bescot before. 73952 was towed from
Derby to Kidderminster by 97304 on Monday 4th May 2015, for tests on the SVR. 73951 (as 73104) partnered 33202 on an
Eastleigh - Crewe move, which took place on Saturday 21st March 1998. They'd gone north to collect Class 442 2416.
The loco number is partly hidden by the cab handrail, but I'm fairly sure this is 76003, photographed at Reddish
in the autumn of 1978. This was the original E26036, renumbered to 76036 and then 76003 when it swapped identities
with the original E26003/76003. I can only date the picture because I also took shots of collision-damaged 40044 which was also
on the depot at this time. Reddish was always a joy to visit, never refused there, and always plenty of 76s of course.
How I wish I had my time again. Instead of rushing around to grab the loco numbers and dash off a handful of photos
using the FP4 film I happened to have in my camera at the time, I'd have used K64 and photographed everything, waiting
for the best light on what seems to have been a day of intermittent sunshine.
76011 and an unidentified classmate head an eastbound MGR off Dinting viaduct. This shot was taken in autumn 1979.
Converted to black and white from a Kodachrome 64 transparency.
76022 at Reddish depot, complete with the British Railways lion and wheel logo that it carried to the end. This shot dates
from autumn 1980.
This was also taken in autumn 1979, and shows 76025 and 76016 drawing into the Manchester platform at Godley Jct. They were about to
reverse back onto the eastbound loop line (the dummy to the right of the locos is already off, and the crossover points are reversed).
To the best of my recall these two were about to collect some MGR empties which were standing on the up goods loop behind the signalbox.
I presume that the Class 47 visible in the distance near Hattersley station had detached from that same wagon set - but I don't
really remember. What I do remember is that the 76s had come to a stand immediately behind the dummy, but had then been waved
further along into the platform by the signalman (the box window is still open). Whether he did this for my benefit I can't be
sure, but it certainly made it easier for me to take the photograph. Godley Junction station was renamed Godley East in 1986
when a new station was built in Godley, and it closed completely in 1995. Converted to black and white from a Kodachrome 64
76035 and 76037 head west through a very wet Dinting in this shot which was taken circa October 1979. These were air-brake only
locos. 76037 had started life as E26037 but 76035 was previously E26018 and later 76018. It was one of eight renumbered in 1976/77
when nine locos were fitted with air-brakes and multi-working equipment, the purpose being to keep the air-only locos in a single number block
(76031-76039). This required six locos to swap identities (76003/036 76050/038 76048/039) while two took the numbers of locos
which had been withdrawn some years previously (76018 to 76035 and 76044 to 76031). The other four air-only conversions retained
their historic identities (76032/033/034/037).
A pretty grim day in autumn 1982, and a Class 81 heads south through Bescot station.
A Roarer on Mk1s at this time suggests some sort of special, or maybe an ECS, but I don't have any details
and can't read the loco number off the original scan.
82003 stands in the Storage Sidings at Bescot one sunny day during the early summer of 1980. This was Bescot's regular stabling spot
for electric locos in the 1970s. Nowadays there are so few locos around that no designated stabling point is required. They're simply
left on the depot, or at random locations in the yards, between duties.
84003 stabled at Kingmoor. My favourite class of roarers.
Another one in Bescot Down Storage Sidings, this time a shot of 84010 taken in autumn 1979. Note the cooling towers of Birchills Power
Station visible above the left-hand cab. Work on re-modelling this part of the down side of Bescot Yard started in January 2004 and
continued throughout that year. The new arrangement provides two long sidings.
84010 was shunting 6S73 Dover - Dundee in Bescot Down Storage Sidings when this photo was taken.
And a third one in Bescot Down Storage Sidings. 85010 is parked next to a classmate in this 1980 shot.
86220 was waiting to work a cross-country train to the north-west when seen at New St in this shot from the spring of 1980. The rail
blue livery is often regarded as being rather boring, but it was infinitely superior to any of the liveries that this class would
subsequently carry (of which there are several examples below).
86401 rounds the curve between Tipton and Coseley at 18:11 on Friday 26th May 1989. I believe the train was 1G37 16:20 Euston -
Wolverhampton, due here at 18:06. The exact location is the overbridge at Central Drive, Tipton - a spot which has long since become
86402 arrives at Birmingham International with 1A46, the 09:40 Pwllheli - Euston, on the afternoon of
Saturday 27th May 1989. My notes are ambiguous with regard to the time of this shot, but it looks like
the train was running the thick end of an hour late - not unusual for a summer Saturday Cambrian train.
In January 1989 I took another shot of 86402, and remarked "blue loco!" in my notebook, which seems to
confirm my memory that this was one of the later electrics to retain BR blue livery. It would become
86602, and lose its blue livery in favour of Railfreight grey, by the end of the year.
86426 leads a northbound express past Dudley Port at 16:35 on Sunday 11th September 1988. The loco was painted in a version
of the original 1960s livery for AC electrics, and carried its old number under the secondman's windows. My notebook suggests
this may have been the 14:00 Euston - Wolverhampton, but a question mark tells me that I wasn't sure. The photo was taken from
the corner of the Dudley Port Jn footbridge over the Birmingham Main Line canal, at the point where the Netherton Tunnel branch
heads off to the south west.
86430 approaches Dudley Port on a sunny autumn day, Saturday 29th October 1988. I didn't record any details about the train, but given the
coaching stock and the time (12.32) it's probably the 12.18 Wolverhampton - Euston. I never cared for any version of the Inter City livery,
and this one was no exception - but the battered paintwork on this loco at least adds a little character. Just visible to the left of the
train is Watery Lane crossing box. At the time it controlled the foot crossing at Watery Lane and the level crossing at Owen St (Tipton),
the latter being monitored via CCTV.
86637 and 86613 approach Bescot with a southbound liner at 12:36 on Saturday 12th November 2005. E3130 (86637) and E3128 (86613) were both new
to traffic in late 1965. And both were still working for Freightliner in 2017, over 51 years after they were built.
87002 propels a southbound express through Hamstead at 12:32 on Saturday 19th February 2005. Trent Valley trains were running via
the Grand Junction line, the normal arrangement on a winter weekend. What marked out this particular winter was the
almost complete takeover of West Coast expresses by Pendolinos. Three hours at Hamstead on this day produced just two loco-hauled
passenger trains, the other was also a southbound train which passed at 13:20.
87012 pauses at Birmingham International whilst propelling 1B43, the 13:30 New St - Euston. This shot was taken at 13:42 on Saturday
19th March 2005.
87012 heads through the Warwickshire countryside between Dordon and Grendon with the 1S96 Willesden - Shieldmuir mail at 18:34 on Thursday
8th June 2006. With the power cars of Class 325 units being re-instated to traffic Class 87s were shortly to cease making regular
appearances hauling these trains. At the end of December 2006 this loco and classmate 87019 (see below) were despatched via the Channel
Tunnel for use in Bulgaria.
1S96 again, at the same location but from a different angle. This shot was taken at 18:36 on Wednesday 10th May 2006, when 87019 was the loco
in charge. The shot of 87012 (above) was taken from the footbridge in the background.
The remaining operational Class 87s in Britain were due to be withdrawn on 31st December 2007, as they weren't fitted with
OTMR technology. With this in mind a farewell tour was due to run from Birmingham International to
Glasgow and back on Saturday 29th December. Sadly things didn't work out as planned. Falling out of bed around 09:15 I learned that
the tour had yet to start. The train was still at Oxley with faults on some of the carriages, and the prospective passengers from
International and New St had travelled to Wolverhampton by service train to meet the tour there. Further messages revealed that the train
would go round the houses via Soho to see if the stock problems could be fixed. This ECS working left Oxley just before 10:00 and ran
anti-clockwise via Soho and Bescot. In the event problems with the central door locking weren't soluble and the train was finally
cancelled while standing in the platform at Wolverhampton, after which it returned to Oxley. Unsure how much time was available I
had to settle for the nearest spot to cover the ECS working, and got lucky. 5Z86 Oxley - Oxley is seen passing Bescot at 10:32 with
just 7½ miles to go before the curtain fell on Class 87 haulage in the UK. In later years the preserved 87002 would work a
number of charters. Thanks to GWOT for posting the ECS move.
87101 stands at Carlisle in this shot from May 1980. Not much of a day by the look of it.
This poorly documented shot was taken in the late 1980s. The unidentified Class 90 is arriving back at Bescot
with a crew-training trip formed from a long set of bogie vans. A regular job at the time, if memory serves
me correctly, but this is the only photo I have.
90018 heads north through Dudley Port with a New St - Manchester service. At this time the loco-hauled train should have
formed 1H00, the 12:48 New St - Manchester. However on Thursday 23rd March 2006, it didn't appear until 14:01 and I assume it
was forming the 1H01 13:48 service instead. Services on the Stour Valley route had been severely disrupted during the morning,
due to a body being found on the line near Galton Bridge. This might explain why the 90 was on a different diagram from the one
90130 has a dead 90133 in tow as it passes Slindon with 6M86 Dover - Crewe. 90130 was in SNCF livery at this time, one of three in
the colours of various European railways. This shot was taken at 16:50 on Tuesday 19th September 1995. I'd been to North Wales after
37s, but set off home early due to poor weather. The light improved south of Chester so I diverted to Slindon to see what I might pick
up there. In addition to 6M86 I had a pair of 86s on 4M54 Tilbury - Crewe (at 17:21) and 47356 on 6K65 Longport - Crewe via Stafford
90044 runs alongside the Coventry Canal near Ansty. The train is 4M88 Felixstowe - Crewe, seen at 15:44 on Wednesday 22nd
90045 was in the new Freightliner "Powerhaul" livery on Thursday 21st April 2011, when it was working Euston - New St services
with the Pretendolino coaching stock. In this shot the 90 is propelling away from Birmingham International at 16:57, with the late-running
and re-platformed 16:30 New St - Euston.
When I arrived at Hamstead at 12.30 on Wednesday 1st November 2006 Stour Valley trains were being diverted via the Grand Junction route and
the line was alive with multiple units. Slotting 6G62 Daventry - Bescot into this melee wouldn't have been easy, but it appeared near
enough on time at 12:44, with 92001 at the head of the usual long rake of Cargowaggons. This is one of only two 92s that carried EWS
livery, and in 2013 it was exported by DBS for use in Bulgaria.
92002 leads a rake of vans through Kensington Olympia at 14:32 on Thursday 9th September 2004. The train is believed to be 6B53, the
14:33 Wembley to Dollands Moor, and thereafter the Channel Tunnel. I much prefer the platform-end shot at Olympia since the new flats
have been built on the east side of the station, especially since most of those flats were adorned with white satellite dishes.
Monday 9th June 2008 was a glorious summer's day, so I took the afternoon off work with no fixed objective in mind. The first opportunity
that came my way was the 6A42 Warrington - Wembley Enterprise, seen here approaching Bescot at 14:39. This is a little later than
normal I believe, partly because it had to negotiate a busier than usual Grand Junction. A lot of Stour Valley trains were being diverted
via Bescot due to signalling trouble caused by a cable theft at Tipton. After a brief stop on the approach A42 ran into the Up &
Down Goods loop, rather than going into the yard for a traffic stop. This train had been forecast to convey three Class 87s en route
from Crewe for further use in Bulgaria, but it didn't happen. Fortunately 90039 was tucked inside train engine 92030, providing
some variety in the consist.