Archive for the ‘Trains’ Category

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3650 is a representative of the class 57 shunting engine, which operated on the Great Western Railway. It was built at Swindon in 1939 and worked through to 1963 when it was sold to Stephenson Clarke Ltd to work on a colliery in South Wales. It was purchased from there by a member of the Great Western Society in 1969 and was transferred first to Hereford and then to Didcot. Restoration took nearly 20 years but it was finally returned to working order in 2008.

These small shunting engines were among the commonest on the railway. 863 class 57 engines were built in total and like the diesel class 08 shunter which I featured a few days ago they formed the invisible work horses which kept the railways running.

4771 Green Arrow

Posted: March 29, 2019 in Trains
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4771 Green Arrow was built is in 1936 for the London and North Eastern Railway at Doncaster. It is a V2 class engine, designed by Nigel Gresley and was designed for express freight and passenger trains. It was withdrawn from service in 1962 and restored at Doncaster immediately afterwards. it moved around a number of storage depots before being returned to working order in 1972 and finding a permanent home at Carnforth the following year.

It was withdrawn from service in 2008 and is now at the National Railway Museum in York, awaiting an overhaul to return it to mainline working order.

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GWR King class 6023 King Edward II in steam at Didcot Railway Centre

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4468 Mallard was built at Doncaster in 1938. The A4 class was designed for the North-Eastern Railway by Sir Nigel Gresley to pull high speed express trains. Mallard remained in service until 1963 working the route between London and Edinburgh. Mallard is the holder of the record for the fastest steam train in the world at 125.88 MPH. This record was achieved on 3rd July 1938 on the Stoke bank section of the east coast line near Grantham. It was a risky business as a curve occurred in the line just beyond the Stoke bank and the engine needed to break heavily to ensure it remained on the rails, During this the engine overheated (a problem that had been foreseen) and the engine had to be removed from service for repairs. Mallard also took part in the 1948 Locomotive exchange trials when locos from different regions of the newly formed BR were trialed on routes they did not usually run. Mallard hauled a train from London Waterloo to Salisbury but failed following the run and was removed from the trial. Mallard also pulled the last Steam hailed flagship ‘Elizabethan’ express from London to Edinburgh on 8th September 1961.

In the 1980s the engine was restored to working order and after being used for a number of years for pulling railtours become part of the static collection at the National Railway Museum, firstly at York (till 2008) then at Shildon (2008-2010) and subsequently back at York.

The plaque on Mallard commemorating the Stoke bank record

The plaque on Mallard commemorating the Stoke bank record

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LSWR M7 No 245

Posted: December 10, 2018 in History, Trains
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The M7 class locomotive came into service in 1897 and was primarily used on the London Network of the London and South Western Railway (LWSR). In all 105 engines were built between 1897 and 1911. In later years they became common on branch lines as other newer locomotives replaced them on suburban passenger services.

Loco 245 is one of the original 1897 batch. It was withdrawn from service in 1962.

The M7’s were withdrawn from service starting in 1957 and by 1964 there were no more running on network lines. Two survive in preservation No 245, which is in the National Railway Collection and No 53 on the Swanage Railway.

A fistful of A4

Posted: November 30, 2018 in Trains
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Any regular reader will not be surprised that before very long in my look back to my early days on the blog, I would start waxing lyrical about Gresley A4’s. Well, they are the best steam locomotives ever built! This collection of action shoots was first posted in April 2013. Was it really 5 years ago that all 5 remaining A4’s were together at York? Time flies.

A collection of A4 tweets. Will be wonderful to see 5 together at NRM York later in the year

Gladstone

Posted: November 26, 2018 in History, Trains
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Gladstone was built at Brighton works in 1882 and saw service on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway until 1927. It is the last surviving engine of its type with the driving wheels at the front of the locomotive. It was designed to haul express trains on the London to Brighton line. 

When it finished service it was purchased by the Stephenson Locomotive Society and was exhibited at the LNER museum at York. In 1959 it was given to the British Transport Commission as part of the national collection and is now on display at the National Railway Museum in York. 

Class 08 064

Posted: November 19, 2018 in History, Trains
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Class 08 locomotives were a common sight on UK railways being the standard shunter engine of their time. They now form the most commonly preserved class of locomotive due to their great functionality as a shunter for moving other stock around yards. They were produced between 1953 and 1962 and in total, almost 1000 engines were produced. It was estimated in 2011, 50 years after the last one was built, that over 100 class 08 engines were still in active service on industrial or national rail sites across the country plus many more on heritage lines.

BR 1037 (D3079;08064) was built at Darlington in 1953 and now forms part of the National Railway Collection at York, alongside its sister locomotive 08911, an example of an engine modified by reducing the height of the bodywork for use on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Railway in South Wales.

Agecroft No1

Posted: November 12, 2018 in Trains, Transport, UK, York
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Agecroft No 1 was one of three locomotives built in 1948 in Newcastle to shunt wagons at Agecroft Power Station. It remained in service until 1980 when it passed into private ownership. It was bought by the Science Museum at Manchester in 2009 and is now at the National railway Museum in York.

On the day I visited it was hauling a brake van, giving rides to visitors.

So often we concentrate on the big passenger express locomotives but there were hundreds, if not thousands, of engines, like Agecroft that drove our industry during the steam era and are part of that history.

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Class 47 – ‘Prince William’ – 2004. Science Museum Group Collection © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Class 47 No798 was built at Crewe and entered into service in 1965 and was employed on a wide variety of duties including heavy freight and express passenger services. It regularly pulled the Royal Train during its working life. It was originally without a name until August 1985 when it was named ‘Firefly’. It was renamed ‘Prince William’ in 1995. It was presented by its owners EWS Railways to the Science Museum collection when it was withdrawn from service.

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47798 ‘Prince William’ at National Railway Museum, York