Monday, March 30, 2009

Triple Brush beasts

A superb shot of 47843 + 47853 (D1733, the XP64 loco) passing Sutton Park old station on 19th March 2009 with a stock move to Long Marston. Another Class 47 can be seen on the rear of the train !!

Many thanks to the Flying Ferret for this fine view.

Photo copyright MS.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Three Peaks

These three shots were taken at Walsall between 1969-1972.

Class 44 number D6 "Whernside" (later re-numbered 44006) is seen standing at the peg at the end of platform 2 with a train of coal for either Bescot or Aston Windsor Street. Surprisingly the engine was withdrawn as early as 1977 and cut up by March of that year. The 10 Class 44 "Peaks" were amongst the earliest BR diesel-electric locomotives to enter service, in the late 1950s.

Class 45 number 49 "The Manchester Regiment" (45039) is seen heading for Park Street tunnel along the middle road between platforms 1 and 2. Behind the engine is an old-fashioned brake tender wagon, these were used to generate extra train brakeforce. This loco was scrapped in April 1983.

The final photograph shows Class 45 no. 111 (great number!) with 9L18, a train of hoppers possibly for Spring Vale. This train has two brake tenders... Re-numbered to 45129 the loco survived in service until June 1987, finally being cut up at Vic Berry's scrapyard at Leicester by the end of 1988. Note the long-gone Priory Hotel in the upper background of this shot.

Copyright photo's by PP Newell.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Derailment on the Walsall Wood

I was recently loaned these two excellent cuttings showing a locomotive "down the bank" along the Walsall Wood branch just past Leighswood Road, Aldridge, in late August 1960. The loco number was 44333, a 1926-built Kerr, Stuart &Co. Fowler class 4F engine, allocated to Saltley shed at that time. It looks as though the loco was pointing towards Aldridge (or at least it was before becoming derailed !). The driver and fireman can be seen standing near the train in the photographs. The cause of the derailment was thought to have been due to vandals placing objects across the line.

The locomotive was rescued by the Saltley breakdown crane and towed to Aldridge yard on 28th August. A few days later a class 9F loco towed 44333 away for repair (at Derby?). The 4F was returned to service and lasted until May 1964 before withdrawal. The loco was scrapped at Rotherham by the end of that year.

The houses visible in the background are on Leighswood Avenue, and the white rooftops to the right belonged to what was the Musgrove and Green factory in Leighswood Grove.

Surprisingly this railway embankment still exists, although the tracks were lifted circa 1969 and the open aspect has now gone with factory units and light industry lining the foot of the bank on both sides. A reasonable view of it can be had from the end of Merchants Way (just past the council tip), the embankment then runs roughly parallel to Brickyard Road before coming to an abrupt end opposite the now-closed Amtrak depot on Northgate Way.

The Walsall Wood branch line closed completely circa 1965, but a few hundred yards of track at the Aldridge end was retained as a shunt neck until around 1969.

Thanks to Pete for additional details regarding the locomotive.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A4 on tour...

Another view of Saturday's charter from Kidderminster to Lincoln hauled by 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley. Seen here passing Pleck Junction.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blue "Hoover"

An amazing photograph taken in the early 1970s showing BR blue-liveried Class 50 number 416 paused at platform one of Walsall station on a train of tanks, as a member of the station staff looks on. The train was 6L63 from Brunswick (Liverpool) to Bromford Bridge (Esso). The Bromford depot still receives trains of tanks from Eastleigh, usually a train of around twenty 30-tonne tanks (TTA's) per week.

Although the 50 Class 50s were based only 50 miles away at Crewe they were rarely seen or photographed in the West Midlands (but see the Newton Road blog archives for a couple of my shots of the class on Trent Valley diversions).

Photo copyright PP Newell.

Blue Brush

Former Brush Class 47 number 47329, now rebuilt into Class 57 number 57010 is seen with an empty stock move from Crewe on Thursday 12th March at Hardwick Wood.

The 6 blue DRS cars were being moved to Eastleigh.

Blue "Tug"

Still wearing her Mainline blue livery, 60044 is seen with the Ironbridge - Lindsey tanks (6Z96), also on Thursday 12th March 2009 (which is unusual as the tanks normally run on a Wednesday).

Blue Pullman on test

A rare shot of one of the shiny new Blue Pullman sets at Aldridge in 1959. The Pullmans were built at the Metropolitan Cammel works in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, and were "road tested" across the Sutton Park line, running to Lichfield Road Junction and back.

Almost forerunners of the 1970s HST designs, 2 Pullman units went into service on the LMR (6-car sets, as shown here) and 3 units on the WR (8-car sets) in 1960.

Photo by PP Newell.

Blue Streak

Great shots of 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley seen streaking round the curves heading towards Streetly and Sutton Park, with the charter tour from Kidderminster to Lincoln. Saturday 14th March 2009.

Photo's by Nick Broome.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Streaking Across The Park

60007 Sir Nigel Gresley passes The Lime Pits, Rushall working The Railway Touring Company's 'The Severn Valley Limited'. The A4 was working the first leg of the tour between Kidderminster (SVR) and Lincoln.