Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Outlook bright...

Ex-Class 37 now Network Rail Departmental Class 97 97304 rolls through Ryecroft and Aldridge on a training run today. No sun required when photting this engine....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

323 In the snow....

323201 passes Pleck Junction heading for Walsall while working the 2A25 1220 Wolves to Walsall via New Street early in the afternoon of 5 January. It is hard to believe the 323s are 16 years old now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

37s on test

A Serco track recording train seen on the 5th January 2009, with 37259 leading and 37605 at the rear.

Photo one shows the train passing a snow-less Burton (Nick Broome). The second shot sees the set heading away from Aldridge towards Walsall. The final two shots were taken at Streetly Gate by the Flying Ferret.

The train was recording throughout North Wales up to Machynlleth, and returned to Derby a couple of days later.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Watling Street Station

Some shots from the former Brownhills Watling Street station site.

Photo 1. Looking across the Chester Road along the trackbed towards Walsall Wood.

Photo 2. Old wooden sleeper used as steps ?

Photo 3. Looking north along the trackbed towards Watling Street and Chasewater. Part of the old trackbed about half a mile further on forms the now preserved Chasewater Light Railway line.

Photo's 4 and 5 show the retaining wall alongside the former station. The station and trackbed were significantly higher than the surrounding Brownhills Common and had to be shored up with this brick wall. To see a photo of the station and more shots of this wall from below please refer to the "Rail Around Birmingham" website.

Chester Road bridge

The Aldridge-Brownhills branch crossed the Chester Road at Brownhills via this bridge (no.26), again only one abutment remains (on the north side). The station here was known as Brownhills Watling Street (Watling St. itself is a few hundred yards away).
The bridge wall doesn't seem very high here, so I would guess the top part has been removed, or the height of the road level increased.
The first shot shows what was probably the entrance to the former station, now gated.

Bridge remains

Towards the northern end of the Aldridge-Walsall Wood-Brownhills branch the line passed over yet another road named Coppice Lane, this one just off the Chester Road at Brownhills. For some reason only one bridge abutment remains, and it's surprising how high it seemed after having clambered up to the top...