Monday, December 31, 2007

Industrial outlook for 2008

An attempt to recreate one of those 1960s smoky scrap metal landscapes that once seemed to litter the West Midlands (and many other UK areas).
37059 + 37218 drift past Saltley with a test train from Derby, December 2007.

Nocturnal Monarch Raging...

Half a dozen steam enthusiasts turned out to witness ex-GWR loco 6024 King Edward I storming past Wylde Green over the Sutton Park line on Saturday night, with a Bescot-bound express charter train. Two blurry video grabs enclosed, utilising only the nearby street lighting for illumination...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Rare Grid Shot

A very rare shot of a Class 56 in daylight on the Up Walsall line. This working usual runs under the cover of night but due to earlier problems it was retimed and ran as the 13:00 Bletchley to Birch Coppice on Friday 21st December 2007. 56302 Wilson Walshe powers across the foot crossing at Streetly Gate heading for Birch Coppice.

Photo taken by I Jennings

Monday, December 24, 2007

One last look...

I caught 37422 sitting at the peg at Ryecroft on the last day of November, with one of the final Birch Coppice to Bescot workings, before the service was discontinued.
Amazingly, Class 37s are still appearing at Bescot, whether EWS ones on local freight trips, DRS examples on flask or light engine moves, or WCRC-owned engines on ECS trains passing through.
Long may these 40+ year old British-built English Electric loco's continue to run...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tractor To Toton

37405 powers up through the Lime Pits at Rushall while working 6D44 Bescot to Toton this afternoon.

Video taken by The Guru

Monday, December 17, 2007


Phill's excellent photo of GWR loco 4965 Rood Ashton Hall at Walsall on Saturday's charter tour.
This loco was partially rebuilt using parts from another GWR Hall at Swindon Works in the early 1960s, and has made frequent appearances at Walsall in the last few years.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More Birch Coppice Memories

As a reminder of what we'll miss, 37417 Richard Trevithick pulls away from Birch Coppice and heads for Kingsbury and Bescot with 6G42 on Wednesday 17th October 2007.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A glow in the west...

With fire in her belly GWR engine no. 4965 Rood Ashton Hall makes light work of the incline from Ryecroft to Aldridge with a short load of 7 coaches returning from Chester to Tyseley earlier this evening.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Birch Coppice Memories.

As the Bescot - Birch Coppice trip sadly ended this week here is a reminder of happier times as 37667 Meldon Quarry centenary hauls 6G42 over Pleck Junction towards Bescot Downside.

37s were permanently associated with the Birch Coppice, they always seemed to make a comeback, despite the Class 67s being regular power for the service. Lets not forget the Class 56s that often worked the trip before EWS took them out of traffic in 2004.

Thanks for the memories...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The final cut

The last ever trip from Birch Coppice trundles Bescotwards past Aldridge today behind loco 66199, having cleared out the terminal of wagons.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Post Haste To Bescot

After being delayed by a points failure at Water Orton, the driver on 67004 is in a rush to get back to Bescot on 6G45 from Toton. The 'skip' is captured at Streetly Gate on Friday 7th December 2007.

R.E.M. (Rapid Engine Movement)

60062 powering through Streetly Gate heading for Washwood Heath on Friday 7th December 2007.

Out Of The Blue

66425 powers through Streetly Gate working 4Z86 on Friday 7th December 2007. The loco is currently on hire to Freightliner from DRS.

Sutton Park Shed

66175 makes its way through Sutton Park old station on Friday 7th December 2007.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Aldridge tanks

60062 rumbles up the incline towards Aldridge with a long train of empty tanks for Lindsey (Immingham), on Saturday November 17th.
An earlier photo of the same train can be seen on the Newton Rd blog post of the same date.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Solitary bombing raid

In this virtual night-shot, single loco 37229 runs past Aldridge with 3 empty barrier-type wagons this evening. The PFA wagons are of a different type to the normal sorts that journey to Berkeley Power Station, numbers DRSL 92721/30/79 if anyone is interested.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The 'Grid' at Walsall

56303 heads for Park St tunnel at Walsall this afternoon in a rather cluttered photo. The many factories that once lined the railway on the right hand side have long since gone, as have another pair of tracks which used to run along the left side of the picture towards Ryecroft Jn.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

End of the 'Coppice ?

Thanks to a tip-off from Josh I was able to get a snap of 37422 returning to Bescot just after midday with 4 empties from Birch Coppice. The train is seen here dropping down towards Rushall where there is currently a 20mph restriction.
According to rumours currently circulating the Birch Coppice trip finishes in a couple of weeks time, so get it while you can !

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Three at 43

3 interesting moves seen yesterday morning at the 43 milepost in the Hardwick woods.
First up was "Tractor" 37410 ALUMINIUM 100 'giving it some' with the Birch Coppice trip from Bescot.
Secondly, Bardon's blue beast 66623 BILL BOLSOVER appeared on a train of return MGR empties.
The third train was a stock move from Oxley to Long Marston behind "Crompton" 33103 SWORDFISH, which was dragging Electric loco 86223 NORWICH UNION in faded Anglia colours, and a rake of 7 coaches for storage.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Your daily dosage

...of 37410's outing to Birch Coppice (almost a permanent fixture for the last two weeks !).
The outwards run was a light engine move seen at Wylde Green, the return trip comprised just 3 vans and is pictured at the Bescot foot crossing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hardwick horn

37410 passes the nearby Hardwick Arms pub on her way back light to Bescot at midday today, the driver sounding the horn for the crossing just further ahead.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Pannier Pic

Phill's excellent night shot of ex-GWR 0-6-0 PT engine 9466 at Walsall from Saturday 3rd November.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


56301 and 37410 power-up across Sutton Park yesterday with their respective trains.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Car

Single-car unit number 153371 seen leaving Pleck Jn with the Wolverhampton to Walsall shuttle service.

Friday, November 9, 2007

It's all around

37410 has been hanging around Bescot for most of this week, usually plodding along on the Birch Coppice trip with a very sedate driver at the controls unwilling to extend the beast, but on Thursday she was able to stretch her legs by taking a raft of ferrywagons to Long Marston with a different traincrew in charge. The second photo shows the loco working hard up the incline from Ryecroft with it's lengthy train to LM, the others show various Birch Coppice trip moves including Friday's light loco run.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Road To Nowhere

Here's another couple of abandoned wagons at Sutton Park. They were dumped in the former siding after developing a hot axle box. The siding has since been removed leaving the wagons on an isolated piece of track.

Photo by I Jennings

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Out of the shadows (2)

The menacing form of 37410 bursts under Thornhill Rd bridge this morning, and is later seen approaching Water Orton with the return twin-sets from Birch Coppice.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Steam Tour

Get your camera's oiled in readiness for the next steam tour over the 'Park, which runs on Saturday 24/11/2007, and is 1Z36 Tyseley to Chester hauled by Vintage Trains (Tyseley) veteran loco 4965 Rood Ashton Hall.....

... and here's the beast seen in the mizzling rain near Walmley this morning, 24th Nov., running around 10 minutes late but on course to make up a lot of time at the rate she was going... !  The loco is framed by bridge no. 22 "The Big Span".


"Tug" loco 60065 adds a sparkle to today's dullness as she heads home to Tunstead with the cement empties from Walsall.
Shortly afterwards came a sudden downpour which for once missed me !
ps can someone out there in NetworkRailLand please get these trackside trees removed ?

Birch Coppice Trip

This ever-interesting trip was supposed to be worked by 37417 from Bescot this morning, but in the event 37410 appeared running around an hour late. Here it is passing through a gloomy Sutton Park with a long outwards train, then returning through Penns with a considerably shorter load.

6P21 Crewe - Mountsorrel

66586 rustles the leaves at Sutton Park this morning...

Wagon Wheels

Just approaching the Chester Road bridge are three wagons dumped at the side of the line after a collision between two ballast trains during an engineering possession a few years ago. They are usually hidden behind the trees but can be seen at this time of the year.

Photo taken by I Jennings

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Dark Matter

GWR 0-6-0 PT No.9466 passes Aldridge last night on her return to Tyseley. Thanks to Josh for the video upload which my system won't allow...

Steaming beyond Sutton - Additional Tour Images

Thanks to Paul for this view of 9466 speeding past Bilbrook Station, and to Ian for the superb views of Ironbridge Power Station from the train.

Steaming into Sutton (1) - Daybreak at St Andrews

With yesterday's much-anticipated Pannier Tank mainline tour in mind I finished my night turn at work and made my way over to St Andrews Jn to see the first leg of this Tyseley Steam Trust-organised charter.
The Tour was worked throughout by restored GWR 0-6-0 PT number 9466.
The first leg of the tour ran from Tyseley to Birch Coppice (more unusual route haulage for the line-bashers). In retrospect I should have gone further north to Saltley or Water Orton for a shot as the engine would have been working hard, here the train merely coasted down to Landor St Jn despite some enthusiastic flailing from the end window of the first coach....
Then it was off home for a couple of hours and some breakfast, leaving the train to it's machinations down on the Birch Coppice branch line.