Just 'click' the thumbnails for a fullpage image! (1280 +827 nominal)
Another class that isn't quite finished on the National Network.Colas and BAR use is sparodic though plus several preserved and many held in reserve by DBS for Continental Contracts.
Determined to avoid the certain crowds at the usual well known vantage points between Westbury and Warminster because currently I do not want to get a dose of Coronavirus I opted for this shot here at Heytesbury for '6Z91' the 15:15 from Westbury to Southampton Up yard carrying old ballast for recycling.Needless to say I was completely alone here at this little used location. So here are 56091 'Driver Wayne Gaskell' and 56103 with their rake of brand new JNA boxes running at a fair old lick.Sadly after Boris's total coronavirus lockdown no more shots of this working this week will be possible which is a huge pity as the weather is set to be sunny for the next few days--What can you do?---------23 march 2020--------
A very workstained 56090 probably from RHTT-duties brings up the rear of '6C97' the 05:15 from Whiteland to Westbury empty CWT.Desperate lighting indeed but how often these days do you see a Class-56 at Westbury?. It is actually on hire to GBRf whilst all GBRf's available local loco's are involved in a big engineering job on the Barnstable line.Later on it went to Eastleigh on a rather late '6O41'!
..31 october 2019..
So here is the pair of 56's 56091 & 56103 with '6Z91' from Westbury (15:24 off) going down to Southampton Up Yard.This working today had to have a breather at Salisbury for an hour to allow the loco's to cool down after they had overheated in the high temperatures during their efforts to raise this 1800-ton train up and over the Upton Scudamore Incline nr Warminster.Even a Class-59 struggles quite hard on that gradient! They are viewed at Test Lane in Redbridge by now running well over an hour behind booked time.I was very pleased they made it this far!
..27 june 2019..
At first though to be a 6 weeks contract this working '6Z91' between Westbury and Southampton Up Yard looks like it has ended after just 4 days due to a lack of crushed ballast to transport! Thankfully I managed this shot on day-3 of the pair DCR 56's 56091/56103 powering up the Upton Scudamore Incline with its fully loaded set of about 17 boxes! How many years has it been since 56's worked stone trains away from Westbury----Decades for sure!
..26 june 2019---
The returning '6Z90' the 07:49 from Southampton Up Yard to Westbury rumbles through Warminster with its string on empties Boxes.56091 leading on this occasion with 56103 in behind.
..26 june 2019..
You could here this pair of 56's 56091&56103 coming a mile away! Upton Scudamore Bank is a severe test for even Class-59's but this old pair managed it in fine style! The train being the 15:24 from Westbury down to Southampton Up Yard '6Z91 carry processed spent ballast.
..25 june 2019..
DCR-Freight's 56103&56091 with'6Z90' the late running 07:49 from Southamptom Up Yard to Westbury downs down the Upton Scudamore Incline here at Dilton Marsh.Shame about the lighting,its supposed to be summer!
..25 june 2019..
Today a new flow commenced using DCR Class-56's from Westbury (15:24 off) down to Southamptom Up Yard running as '6Z91'.Here it is passing Scratchbury Hill nr Heytesbury in the Wylye Valley.The loco's are 56103 leading with 56091 inside.Things are certainly looking up for various new flows around Westbury..
..24 june 2019..
56081 sits 'off duty' at Dove Holes Quarry at peak Forest awaiting its next turn of duty.behind can be seen the piles of aggregate that gets loaded into trains for distribution and beyond that some of the heavy equipment needed to process the stuff.
..6 april 2019..
The next day of my visit to Chapel en le Frith dawned bright and clear and after a family trip to Chesterfield there was just enough time to nip back down to Dole Holes and grab a couple of shots of the still stationary Class-56 shunter there. Here is 56081 sitting quite peacefully awaiting its next duties.The other one assigned duties here shunting 56098 c/w Large Logo arrows was well out of reach up in the Quarry.
..6 april 2019..
The RHTT with 56105 and 56096 sits in what remains of the once extensive Horton Road sidings/depot here in Gloucester having just completed the previous evenings duties.Next trip starts at 22:37 this evening.Whilst here the loco's will be fuelled and the RHTT filled with water and the necessary chemicals for tonights duty.This shot taken from the other end of the 2000ft long platform here at Gloucester. Quite a brisk walk from the far end where I pictured it running in from S-Wales!
..10 october 2018..
A rather wider shot of the arrival of RHTT '3S33' from Cheltenham via Severn Tunnel Junction at Gloucester.56105 leads with 56096 on the back.On arrival they ran into Horton Yard here in Gloucester to refuel and refill the RHTT section with its chemicals and water ready for the next tour of duty that evening.
..10 october 2018..
The now very workstained pairing of 56105 and 56096 pass slowly through the centre track at Gloucester nearing journys end for todays RHTT duty.This leg from Cheltenham (11:05 off) to Gloucester via Newport (Although it often reverses at Severn Tunnel Junction) being '3S33'.Pictured at one end of Gloucester platform which is the 2nd longest in the entire country at 2000ft.Colchester is about 60ft longer incidentally!
..10 october 2018,,
Colas has this year entrusted the operation of the Gloucester based RHTT to a pair of Class-56's.Here they are 56096 leading with 56105 on the rear running down through Ashchurch on '3S32' the 03:45 Shrewsbury to Cheltenham Lansdown Sidings leg of todays duty.
..10 october 2018..
The freshly reliveried 56103 now wearing the latest variant of DCR colours today operated '6X73' the 12:39 from Westbury over to Cardiff-Canton as an STP working moving the Railvac-No 5 (7095150055).Here it is approaching Oldfield Park in Bath Spa.Given that locations for this working at this time of year are pretty difficult to find this shot of the end of Oldfield Park Station Platform although a pretty tight squeeze just about fitted the subject! ----7 october 2018----
This pair of 'Colas' Class-56's stand in the holding-sidings at Westbury awaiting their call to duty on engineering workings over the xmas holidays.They came down L/E from Washwood Heath yesterday.Whilst 56087's paint is somewhat faded after several years use 56302 looks much smarter,even quite shiny!.Note also the logo styling has now been changed slightly on the cadsides.
..22 december 2016..
Having forgot to take my 'real' camera with me this 'poor-effort' was taken using a Sony-Experia Smart Phone purely as a record shot you understand!...This is 56302 and 56087 running as '0V56' from Washwood Heath in Birmingham to Westbury bringing this pair down in all probability for use over the Xmas period on various Colas engineering workings out of that base..Viewed crossing the Bristol-Avon nr Bath Spa station.
..21 december 2016..
'3S34' the crippled RHTT moves slowly away from Eckington with 56104 leading and 56105 on the back.Apparantly 56105 was the cause of the failure that resulted in it going into Ashchurch Loop a few miles south and becoming a complete failure.Word is that Class-66's are taking over from today on this duty because Colas have probably run out of servicable 56's!
..7 november 2016..
The Gloucester based RHTT '3S34' rolls slowly past Eckington Loop having become something of a failure shortly after leaving Worcester.Apparantly the rear loco 56105 being the culprit.I would think it has suffered some kind of brake failure hence the rather slow progress! It was parked a few miles further south in Ashchurch loop for over 10 hours before it was eventually dragged back to its base at Horton Road-Gloucester.
..7 november 2016..
Having watched this working creep through Croome Perry and in fact stop mid-section in the distance the chase was on to get ahead of it for a second bite of this rather unwell cherry! So here is '3S34' with 56104 leading with 56105 on the back moving slowly past Eckington Loop.It got as far as Ashchurch where it remained until rescued just before midnight!
..7 november 2016..
The slow moving '3S34' with 56104 leading and 56105 on the rear passes the woods at Croome Perry almost silently as it freewheels through at a speed of no more than 15mph.It became evident later that it was to be failure and after creeping down to Ashchurch languised in the loop there until rescued 10 hours later.Replacements for these loco's are mooted to be 66's when it restarts.Perhaps this was the final '56' run on this RHTT?
..7 november 2016..
56104 with 56105 emerges out from under the darkened overbridge at Croome Perry Wood with an already very late '3S34' the overnight RHTT that operates out of Horton Road-Gloucester.Earlier 56105's partner 56078 was removed at Worcester due to severe wheel-flats whilst 56105 carried on single handed until its replacement arrived from Washwood Heath.The complete train was now over an hour late when it appeared here but obviously all was not well.In fact it stopped for a while at Eckington a mile or so further south.Eventually it limped into Ashchurch Loop and declared a complete failure.10 hours later at midnight it was rescued and dragged to Gloucester.Apparantly 56105 was the culprit and at a guess the problem was a brake failure.A Pity!
..7 november 2016..
Horton Road's long abandoned old depot plays host to '3S33' with 56078 and 56302 for the duration of the RHTT leaf busting season.The attendant tanker being there to top up the water-tanks of the Treatment-Train.Presumably when needed diesel fuel can be supplied from a road tanker as well when necessary.Viewed off the long long platform of Gloucester Station.
21 october 2016..
After the 'early running' disaster further north it was dicided to try for a park-up shot of '3S33' with 56078/56302 at Gloucester on th remains of the old Horton Road Depot.Even after less than a week of 'jetting' these two Colas-56's are now looking well and truly filthy.At least there was a brief glimmer of weak sunshine to aid some much needed contrast!
..21 october 2016..
Todays '3S33' RHTT from Swindon to Gloucester arrived here south of Eckington a huge 106 minutes early having missed out the Brant-Green to King's Norton section of its allocated route.Hence a special trip to Croome- Perry Wood was totally scuppered.If fact I was lucky to obtain even this grab-type shot with effectively just 5 minutes notice of its impending passing! Anyway here are 56303 'Peco' along with 56078 going south towards Gloucester-Horton Road on that RHTT.Not what was planned but not too bad considering the circumstances!
..21 october 2016..
A nice working to fill in a Sunday morning was this one '6X54' the 09:03 from Plymouth coming up to Westbury.56078 was making an appearance here at Frome hauling the RailVac No-4.The sun was in and out very quickly due to the fast moving clouds.Luckily a rather large patch of cloud cleared literally a couple of seconds before this working reached this spot.It wasn't hanging about either probably doing over 50mph! Most freights that pass this spot are doing more like 25!
..25 september 2016..
Not quite the shot I had planned for but 'Sod's Law' and a bunch of cloudiness ensured that this was as good as it got sun-wise.So here are 56312/56081 powering up the straight towards Cheltenham here at Badgeworth working '6Z34' the 09:10 away from Cardiff-Tidal to Leicester Sdg's.
..02 july 2016..
Double-56's today on '6Z34' the 09:10 from Cardiff-Tidal going to Leicester Sidings with its rake of empty scrap wagons.Romanian 56312(formally 56003) along with 56081 are seen charging through Undy in S-Wales heading north.A somewhat tense time was had worrying about the ever encrouching clouds and speculation surrounding various small patches of blue sky.However all was well in the end and it duly appeared in full lighting with no background shadows.Thank goodness for that! The ever increasing Severn Bridge toll (Now £6:60P) was for once good value to money....The chase was then on to picture it again at Badgeworth nr Cheltenham.That however didn't have a happy ending but at least we tried!
..02 july 2016..
So there I was clinging to a very precariously wedged folding ladder on an extreemly slippery muddy slope in a thunderstorm getting very wet under a leaden sky wondering what the hell I was doing! Thankfully 30 minutes later the rain stopped and the sun made a brief but successful appearence which coincided with the passing of this working '6Z35' which was incidentally by now running nearly 3 hours ahead of its booked schedule.So here is DCR-Grid 56081 with its load of scrap bound for Cardiff-Tidal-TC from Leicester-LIP (11:00 off) skirting the River Severn at Purton. Suddenly it all seemed worth it!
..25 june 2016..
56098 in Railfreight-Grey colours named 'Lost Boys 68-88' is no stranger to the Bristol area having passed through several times in the last few months on Kilmarnock to Plymouth-Laira Stock movements.However it is still nice to inspect it close up.It now looks pretty immaculate for a working machine considering it was originally withdrawn from UK service way back in 2005.
..02 may 2016..
After 56103 on '6Z34' from Cardiff-Tidal to Chaddeston had passed me at Llandevenny it was fairly obvious it was going to pause at Severn Tunnel -Junction to allow some other passenger working an uninterrupted passage.So the chase was on and I manged to arrive here at STJ with about a minute to spare! Again not a particularly bright scene but the 'fertis' colours certainly allow the loco to stand out well!
..29 february 2016..
Grid' 56103 formerly named 'Stora' a few years ago now operates under the 'British American Railway Services' or BARS for short banner.It has been returned to working order after quite a few years being stored after a stint in France on hire to 'Fertis'.The loco still retains that livery now minus the fertis logo's. Here it is pictured coming off the Llandevenny Flyover line in S-Wales with '6Z34' the empty scrap box wagons working from Cardiff-Tidal (09:46 off) going up to Chaddeston nr Derby.A characterful loco that makes a pleasant change from the almost constant diet of todays GM's! albeit in less that perfect lighting.
..29 february 2016..
Rail Operations Group's 56098 now named 'Lost Boys 68-88' and wearing a Large-Logo Big-Arrow was partnered with 56301 as it powers through Magor with a FGW/GWR refurbished HST stock move from Kilmarnock (02:29 off) going down to Laira in Plymouth.The load being Barrier-6330/HST-set 'OC55' and another Barrier-6338.
..30 january 2016..
With a friendly wave from the driver 56312 (formally Loadhaul-56003) runs down through Filton Abbey Wood heading for Bristol Barton Hill-WRD from Washwood Heath (09:40 off) as '0Z56'.It is probably going to do a Chiltern Coach move in the next few days up to London from Barton Hill.This loco carries quite a long name 'Jeremiah Dixon Son of County Durham Surveyor of the Mason-Dixon Line-U.S.A'.
..28 january 2016..
Old-Stager 'Grid' 56103 soldiers on working for 'DCR' still wearing the remains of the old 'Fertis' colours it wore when it was on french infrastructure duty quite a few years ago.Here is it seen passing the long closed site of Waddeston Station with '6Z57' the 10:06 from Calvert going to Wembley having delivered a load of spoil for landfill.In the distance can just be made out the railway preservation site for the Buckingham Railway Centre. No luck with the lighting here this morning despite the forecast being for a clear and frosty morning!
..13 january 2016..
Today in the usual incredibly dire conditions the 'Rail Operations Group' worked a train returning refurbished HST-stock to Laira-TMD from Kilmarnock in Scotland.It departed that foreign land at 02:12 and had taken over eight hours to get this far, S Liberty Lane-Footbridge situated just west of Bristol Freightliner Depot.Power was provided by a revitalized 56098 with preserved and operational ex-Fastline 56301.Note the temporarily stored liner-flats parked just outside the securely locked gates of the Liner-Depot.All in the name of keeping the local riff-raff out of the valuable container boxes!
..12 december 2015..
This view at Catholme looking south is pretty cluttered but still just about affords a reasonable view,albeit in this case a little bit backlit.Only because the subject was a Colas Class-56 did I bother.So here is 56302 heading for Boston Docks on '6E07' from Washwood Heath (14:50 off)to collect another load of imported steel products.
..31 july 2015..
Now this working caused a ripple of excitement until it finally put in its appearance neatly coinciding with a big black cloud! No matter! Grid-56081 on hire to DCR works '6Z35' from Chaddeston nr Derby to Cardiff-Tidal with a load of scrap metal.Maximum tele plus a generous crop produced this barely acceptable shot that is included purely for completeness of my visit here to Elford.Needless to say the long long walk back to the car was strangely very quiet!
..31 july 2015..
'0Z52' was originally diagrammed to go directly from Derby to Eastleigh via the Limpley Stoke Valley on the 28th-June.As Class-50's are not allowed on this route due to clearance issues at Dundus Aquaduct is was no surprise when it was diverted after Bristol to Taunton for an overnight halt instead.The pair recommenced their journey to Eastleigh-Arlington-ZG from Taunton a couple of days later.So here is DCR's 56303 dragging 50021 'Rodney' past Masters Crossing nr Fairwood on the approach to Westbury.
..30 june 2015..
Colas have again given a pair of 56's a go on '6V62' the 12:01 from Tilbury-Riverside(Colas) returning empty steel carriers to Llanwern Exchange sidings.This is due to that company now favouring the use of their growing stud of Class-60's on Log Trains.So here are the revitalised pairing of 56103 and 56078 rolling through Baulking in the glowing sunshine.There was relief all round after it had passed in the clear as the previous working of note,a GBRf stone working was well and truly 'done' by a slow moving large fluffy cloud!
..13 may 2015..
The recently very busy 'Grid' pairing 56103/56078 today were used on '6V54' the 08:35 from Chirk-Khronospan to Teigngrace hauling the empty log-carriers down in readiness to return fully loaded later in the week.Here seen passing the site of the once extensive carriage sidings here at Malago-Vale in the western suburbs of Bristol.
..10 march 2015..
Typically after a week of pretty much unbroken sunshine when an interesting working is scheduled to pass through my local area the clouds roll in and I have to content myself with a basic 'record' shot. So here is a nice pair of Colas Type-5's 56078 and 56105 thrashing up the Upton-Scudamore Incline at a great rate of knots (Certainly much faster than the preceeding FGW-158 passenger service) with an admittedly light load of an empty CWR-train. The working is '6C30' the 08:55 from Fenny Compton going to Eastleigh East yard after an overnight engineering drop of CWR.
..08 march 2015..
Ex-Fastline 56301 eases through the centre track at Swindon with '5Z34' which was delivering a freshly repainted Mk-3 coach to Wembley. Due to the train we were travelling on from Westbury to Swindon failing at Dauntsey due to loss of coolant our arrival here left us no time to get 'sunside' for this working which was held at Wootton-Bassett to allow us to pass.
..19 december 2014..
Today a L/E movement took place running as '0Z56' fron Eastleigh-East Yd (11:00 off) going to Bristol Barton Hill-WRD.Why? Will probably become in a few days.It is seen here getting away from Westbury after a brief pause whilst a Merehead to Wootton-Bassett Stone working cleared the section towards Trowbridge. This loco 56301 still retains the remains of the 'Fastline' colours used by Jarvis-Rail until it went into receivership and was wound up in March-2010.Incidentally this loco had a £700,000 overhaul in 2005 so is probably the best '56' still running!
..15 december 2014..
Climax of todays sunny visit to the Didcot area was the passing of '6V62',the 11:20 from Tilbury-Riverside taking empty steel wagons back to Llanwern.Now normally a '60' turn but due to unavailability a pair of 56's was used instead.Hence the very full gallery of photographers here at Denchworth to picture its passing in superb winter light. So this is 56078 in tandem with 56096 rolling up the loop towards a percieved stop at Challow.In fact it halted for barely a minute with nothing overtaking it whatsoever.So all those chasers hoping to beat it to Shrivenham had no chance! Me? after the very busy day we had had was ready just for a coffee and a Deli of the day!
..06 december 2014..
With the days now getting quite short it was decided to go to White-Watham nr Maidenhead for an earlier shot of '6V62' the 11:20 empty Steel from Tilbury-Riverside(Colas) to Llanwern Exchange Sidings in S-Wales.Naturally another small bank of cloud in an otherwise full blue sky ruined that shot so a 55 mile chase to here at South Marston nr Swindon was undertaken.We arrived here with about a minute to spare and after stumbling through a hedgerow managed to grab this shot.Concerns about long shadows and trackside bushes led to this rather badly composed picture,the compensation was at least it was in the clear albeit low sun. So here is that working '6V62' with today unusually Grid-56087 instead of the now regular Colas-60. Nice to see one of these let loose again on the London to S-Wales mainline again!
..29 november 2014..
DCR's 56311 passes Southamptom-Central Car-Park with '6Z34',the 10:30 from Totton-Yard going to Chaddeston nr Derby with a short rake of loaded 'PNA-s'.The sun just managing to burst through the cloadbase for about 15 seconds allowing this pretty acceptable shot.The Rail-Vac Top n Tailed with 2 x 56's was expected so a single loco plus just wagons was a nice surprise!
..22 august 2014..
Just occasionally Colas has sufficient faith to allow a single '56' to operate the '6V62' service all the way from Tilbury (11:22 off) across to Llanwern in S-Wales. Here is 56302 with '6V62' making good time passing Shrivenham with its long load of empty steel carriers.As usual the sun failed to completely behave itself but there was suffucient sunlight peering through the patchy clouds to allow a fairly decent shot.
..20 august 2014..
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth a second 'pull-back' shot of '6V62' at Chipping-Sodbury was grabbed because I may not see this working again in the sun for months! Here are 56113 and 56087 and its rake of empty 'IHA-s' having just exited the tunnel into the massively re-engineered cutting there.Not long before this location goes the same way as the rest of this line,re-electrification.
..16 august 2014..
As usual the saturday '6V62' from Tilbury-Riverside going to Llanwern Exchange Sidings skipped its booked stop in Hullavington Loop.Thankfully because of that it arrived at Chipping Sodbury co-inciding with a nice blue patch in the mainly clouded sky.So here (at last) after many months of trying is that working with a pair of 'Grids' 56113/56087 hauling their long train of 'IHA-s' in decent light.
..16 august 2014..
The main reason for making the 100 mile+ round trip to this location at Shrivenham was for yet another attempt at shooting this working,'6V62' the 11:20 from Tilbury-Riverside to Llanwern empty steel in some sort of decent light.Well today met with partial success as 56113/56087 with its long train thudded through running pretty much to time.Considering the skies above I was very lucky indeed given conditions elsewhere in the south!
..09 august 2014..
Barely 3 minutes after the previous FGW service had passed, this working was heard to be approaching the Foot Crossing at White Horse Business Park nr Trowbridge with much horn blowing. So here is DCR's Grid 56303 working '5Z34' the 14:54 from Wembley moving Chiltern-Railways Mk-3 Coach 12607 to Bristol Barton Hill for repair work. It can be seen that this coach has already been modified with automatic-doors and no window droplights.
..02 august 2014..
Colas's 56113 gets away from Pilning-Loop with '6V62' from Tilbury going to Llanwern.-----26 july 2014-----
Although this train has been running now for many months I have managed very few pictures of it in sunshine.Extreme lateness,lack of train crew,derailments or just plain caped.Either way sunny shots are pretty rare (For me anyway).However today after the mid-week fiasco with 60087 things finally came together as can be seen here at Pilning-Loops.56113 with '6V62' after a short pause to allow an HST to overtake gets away from Pilning with its short train of just 11 empty steel bogies.Coming from Tilbury and going to Llanwern just few miles the other side of the Severn-Tunnel.
..26 july 2014..
Typically the main event of the day appeared under the darkest cloud! Here is the Tilbury-Riverside to Llanwern Exchange Siding empty steel '6V62' with its now quite regular pair of 'Grids' thumping past Steventon Road Crossing just west of Didcot.After at least 4 or 5 attempts at this working I have yet to succeed in picturing it in decent light.Today 56105 and 56113 were in charge.It won't be long before the recently refurbished 'Colas-60-s' take over this duty.Indeed one is already on its way to S-Wales for crew training purposes so time is kinda running out!
..19 july 2014..
'6V62' the 11:20 from Tilbury(Riverside) to Llanwern Exchange Sidings thuds out of Chipping Sodbury Tunnel about 50 minutes early (Another example of Saturday freight running early).This one headed by 56105 and 56113 omitted its booked prolonged stop in Hullavington Loop.Shame it wasn't 10 minutes earlier still then it would have been in bright sun and not just the weak apology for it you see here!
..12 july 2014..
Type-5 56113 in all its Colas finery thumps down through Badminton with '6V62' the empty steel carrier 11:22 departure from Tilbury-Riverside (Colas) bound for Llanwern Exchange Sidings.No obvious delays today,no lack of crew at Ripple-Lane,no protracted wait at Acton and a steady run up the Top-Road from Swindon.A good job too as the light was getting rather straight when it finally appeared about 30 minutes down on booked time.
..11 june 2014..
As this movement '5Z56' had to make a reversal at Westbury to continue onwards to Eastleigh from Yeovil-Junction (09:10 off) sufficient time was available to make a 20 mile dash down the Wylye-Valley for another attempt at this working. So here is 56303 (This time with the logo at the front of the loco) approaching Wylye at Townend Farm Crossing making good time running about 8 minutes behind '6O41'.
..02 june 2014..
After spending the previous weekend on display at the Yeovil Railway Centre DCR's 56303 is seen returning from Yeovil-Junction going to Eastleigh-TRSMD with a Schenker/EWS owned Mk-1 coach-BCC21268 in tow running as '5Z56'.Here it is seen passing Clink nr Frome,naturally in typical UK summer conditions!
..02 june 2014..
The former 'Fastline' 56302, now firmly part of the Colas active fleet thuds past Bourton with '6V62' the 11:12 from Tilbury going to Llanwern with its train of empty steel carriers.This shot alone was worth the 100 mile round trip on my little 250 Honda.There is nothing like combining two hobbies into one for an even more pleasurable day! Click HERE to see this motorcycle I have owned for over 30 years and restored about 8 years ago into the machine you see here.
..16 april 2014..
With most the photographers in the 8 strong gallery firing away like machine guns taking about 10 shots each on their mainly EOS cameras I quietly squeezed off just two images,this and the one shown below. Anyway here is 56302 again about to dip under the inner Newport relief road and enter Newport Docks .It is on '6Z43' from Llanwern Steel Works.Picturing workings on this little used spur from ADJ makes for a pleasant experience compared with the usual mainline stuff normally available.
..08 march 2014..
The 11:35 from Llanwern rolls slowly down the short branch from Alexandra Dock Junction to the dockside in Newport.This working '6Z43' is conveying steel for export presumably.Colas managed to win this short contract and supplied 56302 today to do the job.A total of three trips from Llanwern to the docks were completed in all today,this one being the first.
..08 march 2014..
'6Z42' from Newport Docks travels the short distance to Llanwern is seen passing East Usk Junction in Newport hauled by 56302.Shame about the lack of full sun.The wagons used on this short-term contract were taken from store at Long-Marston.They are the older style steel-hoods but still do the job very adequately, as does this loco percieved as life expired about a decade ago by EWS!
..08 march 2014..
This is almost certainly the only time this working '6V51' from Exeter-Riverside going to Chirk-Kronospan consisting of 19 log wagons hauled today by 56302 will be routed this way.For sure the route down to Exeter via Bridgewater will be open for traffic again by the time this working (If ever) is due to run again. So here is that 'Grid' powering along behind the White-Horse Business Park in Trowbridge now running pretty much to time after a late departure from Exeter.The hour long halt at Taunton was skipped,that certainly helped! Regretfully as usual for me where Colas workings are concerned the light was dire requiring 800@F3.2 at 800ASA.I dont get much luck with this Companies workings.In the 6 months since they have started to appear in strength around Westbury out of many attempts I have only managed a couple of shots in full sun.Ridiculous considering I live so local to all this perceived action!
..06 march 2014..
Todays top working through our local area was the 05:40 from Chirk-Kronospan to Exeter-Riverside empty log-train. Running as '6V54'.The well known 'App' RealTimeTrains had this as running via Bridgewater but that was obviously wrong.The burning question was would it go via Swindon (reversal) or through the Limpley Stoke Valley where a restriction at Dundus Aqueduct prevents Freightliners from passing this way? Well as it happened it did come via Dundas so made good time.Here it is powering out of Westbury with Colas 56302 looking very much at home in this area as it did 15 years ago in another life.
..05 march 2014..
56302 with its light load of one set of five MRA side-tippers thuds up through Frome on the avoiding-line with '6Z29' from Exeter going to Westbury. Three days running now this has been 'Grid' powered and three days running the light has been incredibly dull.Too many interesting workings at the moment around Westbury to miss,hence quite a few dull pictures this month!
..19 february 2014..
56302 hauls newbie 70801 into the up-yard at Westbury after its arrival from Eastleigh.56302 was to remain here whilst 70801 after a break of about an hour continued on the Bristol-Barton Hill taking another pair of 56's (56113/56094) with it.Westbury certainly seems to be becoming the Colas main base in the South.Where else can you now see 47's/56's/66's and 70's all from the same Company!
..17 february 2014..
Now that 56's are seemingly quite common around Westbury again after a short break of about 24 years! you would think as a local, getting a shot or two of these engines in sunshine would be quite easy.Well actually its not,in fact I haven't managed one yet in 3 months of trying! So this dull one will have to do for now. Here is the ex-Fastline 56302 running into Westbury with '6Z29' from Exeter.A short rake of 4-wheelers MHA-type. Click HERE to see it when it was a 'Fastline' locomotive 7 years ago.
..17 february 2014..
Colas Grid-Pair 56113 and 56094 rolls slowly to a halt at Westbury as they arrive with '6Z29' from Exeter-Riverside. Train consist was made up of all 'MRA-s'.
..17 february 2014..
After yesterdays superb sunlight it was too much to expect a couple of hours of sun on the next morning to picture 56078 on '6C51' the 08:35 from Totnes to Westbury infrastructure CWR-train working.Well the light was well and truly dire requiring 800asa and 500th @ F2 on a 35mm prime lens to have any chance of a semi-decent dull picture.Thankfully as 56078 is still in mint condition paintwise it didn't turn out too bad considering. Here it is approaching Westbury at Fairwood near the Junction.
..12 january 2014..
The 56078/56113 combo thuds along the Frome avoider going to Exeter from Westbury regretfully in pitiful lighting conditions.The train '6Z26' was over 3 hours late departing.If it had left on time I would have still been in bed!
..10 january 2014.
The latest returnee under the 'Colas' banner 56078 along with 56113 (presumably as insurance) runs past Styles Hill Footbridge in Frome with a 206 minute late '6Z26' hauling a long rake of fully loaded MRA-Sidetippers.Upon their return to Westbury later in the day from Exeter the pair did a repeat performance.You have to hand it to the Colas Management they are certainly keen to get the work done! This loco was one of the final pair of 56's to remain in service under EWS ownership.It then served for several years with 'Fertis' in France.It is now back where it belongs--On UK metals working for a living! The best bit is that it is doing in my local area!
..10 january 2014..
Local 'Colas' resident 56113 commences its second trip of the morning from Westbury to Exeter.Unfortunately the light failed at the vital moment and this crop of a full tele-shot was the best I could manage.Tomorrow I believe will see a repeat of todays diagrams.Lets hope for a better bit of brightness!......The working was '6Z28' with a load of side-tippers.Fairwood again the location.
..09 january 2014..
56113 the Colas-Grid that seems to be permanantly working off of Westbury at the moment (No complaints!) passes Arn-Hill with '6Z29' from Eastleigh going to Westbury with a mix of IOA's &JNA's.This should have run yesterday but due to a problem with the wagons was delayed until today.Still musn't grumble as I managed it in a patch of bright sunlight albeit a bit backlit. If it had run to time yesterday my trip a further 14 miles down the Wylye-Valley would have produced a full sun shot with brightness on the nose.....Ah-Well!
03 january 2014..
Colas's 56113 powers through Bruton with '6Z29' from Newton-Abbot going to Westbury with a loaded CWR-Set.At the time of passing Bruton Station this working was running 120 minutes early!
..10 december 2013..
The 09:00 from Chirk-Kronospan to Baglan-Bay empty log wagons ran today in readiness for another loaded train of logs to be transported there for processing into mdf/chipboard-etc. Colas-Grid 56094 was looking good in the sunshine as it passed Long Dyke-Junction in Cardiff with its long but lightweight train.Note the track on the right.This little used line actually goes past the Cardiff Rod Mill and Splott-Junction into the southern end of 'Tidal' sidings.Probably retained for emergency use if the normal exit via Pengham is unavailable.
..23 november 2013..
At last a shot of the latest plaything working for Colas-Rail albeit in dire lighting requiring the need for an 800asa setting on the camera. 56113 powers up the Bruton-Incline passing the town of the same name with a CWR-set.Today it was running with a nice clear exhaust.Typically this class was always very smoky shortly after start-up and also for the first few miles,this one being no exception! The working seen here is the 12:06 off Newton Abbot-Hackney yard going up to Westbury,running as '6Z29'.
..05 november 2013..
Due to '6Z91' departing Briton-Ferry about 10 minute early and waiting for its booked path after an HST had gone by a fast drive of just 12 miles brought us to Margam-Knuckle with about a minute or so to spare before 56094 passed us there.Here the 'Grid' makes a fine sight powering by at full-line speed with its fairly lengthy train of loaded logs going to Chirk.
..10 october 2013..
Colas's 56094 moves slowly out of Briton-Ferry Yard ready to take the mainline east towards Newport and then via the Welsh-Marches to Chirk.This working is still listed as '6Z51' although it has now run regularly for over a year.
..10 october 2013..
Next photograph pictured today required a journey of over 100 miles from Standish to Briton-Ferry in West-Wales to see the departure from the yard there of Colas 56094 with a very well loaded '6Z51' from Baglan Bay going to Chirk-Kronespan.Here it is drawing away from the yard proper up to the departure signal ready to follow a FGW HST from Swansea going to Paddington.
..10 october 2013..
The big bonus-ball tonight was another working from Long-Marston to Totton-Yard nr Southampton.This one '6Z56' brought yet another '56' to the seemingly established local 'heritage' line up through Dilton Marsh towards Salisbury. Here is DC-Rly's 56303 in DCR-Green with its light load of just six ex-Railtrack green 'PNA' type 4-wheelers,some of which were loaded with ballast attacking Upton-Scudamore Incline with gusto passing me faster than even a '158' passenger service normally does.Considering the appalling lighting conditions (firstname.lastname@example.org at 800ASA) the shot was a not bad effort. These 'PNA' wagons 3754/3792/3771/3758/3791 and 3789 may well be the only ones still in use.These were partially refurbished at Long Marston before coming south. ..01 october 2013..
This working '6Z56' from Long-Marston going to Totton nr Southampton with a few bogie-boxes for storage there is probably 56312's first work on the Network since gaining a repaint into the new metallic-grey DCR livery.It has also gained a rather long-winded name 'Jeremiah Dixon-Son of County Durham-Surveyor of the Mason Dixon Line USA' displayed on nicely cast nameplates + a plaque. The gleaming locomotive is seen powering up the Upton-Scudamore Incline at Old-Dilton at a not insignificant rate.No wonder it was already nearly 2 hours ahead of schedule as it passed this location.In reality it will probably photograph much better when the very shiny black bogies have weathered down just a trifle.Still musn't grumble,at least the sun was out! ..20 september 2013..
Yet another working involving 'heritage' traction today graced the Westbury to Salisbury route.This time it was 56312,the former 56003 coming from Long-Marston going to Totton (Not Toton) nr Southampton with a short rake of wagons for temporary storage there in connection with a new DCR contract on the Wessex Route of Network Rail for use with the RailVac machine. It was listed as '6Z56' and actually passed this location at Old-Dilton south of Westbury nearly 2 hours ahead of schedule! The sun played ball and appeared seconds before it arrived and departed afterwards just as quickly.If it had run the to time this area was bathed in dullness at that time.
..20 september 2013..
With 56087 making its appearence on '6Z30' the chance of a 2nd 'Pull-Back' shot was not to be missed.Here is the more panoramic view of 56087 powering past Arn-Hill with its load of 4-wheel ballast wagons and a couple of 'Osprey' type flats.The evening shadows may be long but the low sun angle certainly enhances the side lighting on this albeit somewhat backlit shot.Anyway like it or lump it beggers can't be choosers.
..16 september 2013..
So here we have history kind of repeating itself.A Class-56 thudding up the Upton-Scudamore Incline with a train load of aggregate/ballast.Only the brash livery of the current owners of the locomotive 56087 gives away the date.Colas-56087 that has acquitted itself well since returning to service from scrap condition working mainly logs trains. Today it tried its hand at Infrastructure work off Westbury heading for Eastleigh on '6Z30'.This is the newly won Contract for 'Colas' requiring a loco to be based at Westbury pretty much permanantly.It is seen here at Arn-Hill approaching Warminster sounding as only a '56' under load does!
..16 september 2013..
The 'Colas' owned 56087 reposes in the short loco-loop adjacent to the platform at Westbury Station.With a little patience the sun duly appeared sufficiently to obtain a nice portrait of this engine.Its hard to believe that it is now over twenty years since this class was replaced here by Class-59's and the local depot closed. Its amazing one of these locomotives would again be working booked freight off of Westbury. We live in strange times Freight-wise in this Country!
..16 september 2013..
Fun today down our way involving '0Z29' from Hackney yard at Newton-Abbot up to Westbury.This was 66596 and somewhere between Somerton and Castle-Cary suffered a major 'Brain Fart' resulting it being a total failure.Ironically it was on hire to 'Colas' at the time!Thus blocking the 'up' mainline completely.The following HST service,the 12:55 from Plymouth to Paddington was given the job of clearing the line by pushing the deadshed as far as East Somerset Junction.56087 was scrambled from Westbury to recover the Fred from there.Here it is seen powering back up through Clink nr Frome heading for Westbury.The delayed HST (Now over 2 hours late) followed at speed a few minutes later.All this interest took place in slashing rain and minimal lighting conditions.Welcome back a Class-56 on regular and irregular duties out of Westbury.
..13 september 2013..
The Chirk-Kronospan to Bagan Bay empty-logs runs past Long-Dyke Junction in Cardiff. Here is one of the few places where an unobstructed view of this working can be had at this time of year.The shadows 'just' clearing the freight line sufficiently not to cast too many shadows.56094 was looking very smart as it thudded past.------23 november 2013-----
75 minutes and over 50 miles later after picturing it at Pilning (Below) I found myself at Taunton on the 40-steps footbridge awaiting the arrival of '6Z52' with 56094 in charge.My poor little Honda got a right-roasting getting here particularly the last few miles threading through the heavy traffic in Taunton Town itself.Just as it was approaching me through the Station a phone-call from Home informed me that I had a central-heating pipe leak and water was running out of a light-fitting in the kitchen.Naturally I waited for the '56' to pass and then I gave my Honda 'another' hammering to get home (another 50 miles) in a level hour to sort that lot out.Whoever said Retirement was easy????????
..05 june 2013..
A second bite at this working '6Z52' at Pilning just 'had to be' taken.56094 thuds through a rather tidy looking Pilning station heading for Tiegngrace in Devon.A little bit 'head-on' but just about acceptable (Beggers can't be choosers).In fact I liked it so much I climbed onto my little restored 250-RSA Honda (Click HERE to view nice it is now -Only 33 years old!) and blasted down the M5 for another go at it at Taunton!
..05 june 2013..
Colas-Grid 56094 lays down an incredible trail of heat-haze as it screams away from the Severn-Tunnel up the gradient towards Pilning where this shot was recorded.The wagons were empty and are going to Tiegngrace nr Newton-Abbot to be loaded with cut-logs for a trip back up to Chirk-Kronospan.The working was running as '6Z52'.
..05 june 2013..
56091 storms past a gallery of photographers here at Culham just north of the station there.This train '6Z92' from Didcot-PS to Calvert is due to finish on or about the 14th of this month (End of contract).Although we had no problems this evening,the next day the Farmer/Landowner visited this spot just prior to the '56' being due and threw everybody off the land in no uncertain terms.As usual an odd visitor is tolerated but when the hordes arrive the 'Nimby' syndrome kicks in! I won't be back that for sure!
..04 june 2013..
The return working '6Z92', the 18:10 from Didcot going to Calvert thumps up through Culham speading a few tons of its load of fine dusty flyash out of its rake of loaded Monster-Boxes.The camera certainly went straight back into the bag before it got to me! I also held my breath for about 30 seconds until all that dust had blown away! 56091 was again on the duty and will probably remain so until the end of next week,the 14th of June being the mooted end for the contract.
..04 june 2013..
Another bite at the DCR-Grid 56091 still wearing most of the 'Fertis' livery (less the logo's) it sported from when it did duty in France on an Infrastructure contract a couple of years ago.Amazingly after that it was laid aside and set to be scrapped.Thankfully DCR realised there was plenty of life left in these old dogs and has rescued several several and returned them to full active use. This superb study of it passing the flowering Hawthorn in the freshly cleared out cutting just west of Islip is 'for me' probably the best vantage point on the entire route from Calvert down to Didcot-PS.The working is of coarse '6Z91' using MBA's to transport the flyash for disposal at Calvert.The wagons are of coarse empty on this journey going south.Note the old concrete gradient post indicating this point is some kind on summit!.Of coarse before the recent vegatation clearance it would have been lost in the undergrowth!
..04 june 2013..
Fertis liveried 56091 thuds round the curve away from Islip with '6Z91' the 10:53 from Calvert going to Didcot-PS. Going to collect more flyash for disposal.This working is soon the end as the supply of flyash for disposal is now nearly exhausted from the now closed Didcot-A PS...It was nice whilst it lasted and noteworthy how reliable these older machines have been.A couple of failures but nothing out of the ordinary......Excellent!
..04 june 2013..
Well,what can I say! We drove all the way to here at Pilning from Home (40 miles) in full sunshine with blue skies stretching out before us over the Severn Estuary.Within minutes of arrival clouds began to appear in the distance.Naturally their arrival coincided with '6Z53',the loaded logs coming up from Teigngrace in Devon going for processing at Chirk-Kronospan.Of coarse the attraction of this train is the booked Class-56 operated by 'Colas'. Today it was 56094's turn.Plenty of detail in the brightish conditions but not what the doctor ordered! Another couple of gallons of unleaded wasted!
..31 may 2013..
A recent returnee from the jaws of the scrapman is 56091 now working to DCR and retaining the colours of the 'Fertis' livery from when it was working in France a few years ago.Here the healthy sounding 'grid' heads north past Hinksey-yard in Oxford with yet another load of flyash from the now regretfully closed Didcot coal fired-PS.The working is of coarse '6Z92' going to Calvert (18:10 off Didcot- PS) to use the load as landfill.Not much dust from this load,that to me indicates the flyash is now damp and so nearing the end of the stockpile?
..22 may 2013..
This working '6C71' had been in the system for several days and when 56087 turned up at Westbury it was then known that it was actually going to happen! Here is Colas 56087 thumping past Crookwood on the B&H east of Lavington just a few seconds before the light died for the evening.It actually departed Westbury at 19:27 and is going to Maidenhead taking a CWR-train there for a rail-drop.A quite significant picture this as it is possibly over 20 years since a '56' has gone towards London on the B&H with a bona-fida freight train.We live in interesting times!
..15 may 2013..
The DCR Green Machine 56303 passes Mill Lane level crossing at Islip with '6Z91' the 10:53 from Calvert going to Didcot-PS for more flyash for disposal.A very fraught morning.Firstly my 600 Suzuki wouldn't start so I had to resort to a smaller 250 Honda to get here from home,about 80 miles and it was also a close run thing with the gathering clouds but managed a fairly decent sun shot.Unlike most of the rest of the day which sunwise turned out to be pretty cruddy losing several interesting workings in the process!
..30 april 2013..
The next attempt at something in sunny conditions was '6Z51' from Baglan Bay going to Chick-Kronospan with a load of logs for processing into various grades of chipboard.This is actually my first shot of a loaded wood train since they started running quite recently in the south.Colas-Returnee 56105 still looking very smart was in charge as it passes Miskin west of Cardiff with its well loaded train.
..27 april 2013..
'Grid' 56105 at Malago-Vale on '6Z52',the empty log-carriers going to Teigngrace from Chirk. No sun today regretfully but thats how it is usually in this cloud ridden country we live in.This is my first sighting of 56105 since its re-commisioning after many years being dumped waiting for the call to be scrapped.Full marks to Colas who after 5 satisfactory years running discarded ex-EWS 47's realised that 56's were a good cheap realistic alternative to expensive leased GM-66's.
..10 april 2013..
Colas liveried 56105 powers away from Bristol passing Malago-Vale with '6Z52' from Chirk-Kronospan going to Teigngrace nr Newton-Abbot dragging the empty log-wagons that will be loaded there.
..10 april 2013..
DCR's green 56303 was in charge of '6Z91' today from Calvert going to Didcot-PS to load up with more Flyash for disposal.Note the stream of fine ash trailing back off the open boxes as it powers down past Hinksey-South in Oxford.Even the gang of NR workmen seem mildly interested as this locomotive from another era roars by!
..05 march 2013..
Its a dirty job but somebody has to do it! I hope nobody has got washing out adjacent to the railway line in Oxford today.It will probably end up dirtier than when it was pegged out after the passage of 56303 on '6Z91' with this rake of empty dusty boxes coming from Calvert going to Didcot-PS.Here it is seen passing the southern throat of Hinksey Freight Yard in Oxford.Whilst waiting for this working to pass a local 'PC-Plod' appeared and wittered on about Terrorism and Suicide because we looked suspicious standing on a pavement next to a bridge in broad daylight? I think he was quite disappointed when he realised we were White,Normal,Sober and not on Drugs!...........
..05 march 2013..
The reason for the visit to South-Wales today was to picture this working from Cardiff-Tidal going up to Chaddesten nr Derby of 56312 with its long rake of empty scrap boxes.The train '6Z69' was over 90 minutes late departing but as it was approaching thankfully the sun was quite bright.However sods-law dictated a poxy 170-DMU passed just at the wrong moment.We must have seen about 10 GM's here in the previous 3 hours and none were affected by the passing traffic.Oh-Well life goes on! The guy I was with nearly had an aneurysm he was so wound up!
..04 march 2013..
From the seemingly tidy scene pictured in the previous shot the real truth about this location at Islip is revealed with the obligitory zoom-pullback shot since the train was only travelling at about 30mph.Because of the ongoing work here by Contractors and Railtrack to clear trees and bushes lineside the basecamp is cluttered with junk,ranging fromTrailers,Skips,Cabledrums, Old rails and Concrete-Sleepers.What a mess resembling a Traveller Site! Anyway here is 56311 again with its train of empty MBA's going to Didcot-PS from Calvert for a refill.Working is '6Z91'
..15 february 2013..
DCR's 56311 makes a fine sight approaching Islip with '6Z91' from Calvert going down to Didcot-PS.Quite a long train of Monster-Boxes 'MBA-s' to be refilled in the PS with flyash-residue.Amazingly these wagons once had the same livery as the GM-66's ten years ago!
..15 february 2013..
I make no apologies for a 2nd bite at this 'Cherry'. One of the few advantages of using a Zoom type lens is the ability to grab a 2nd slightly different shot providing the target is not moving too fast. Anyway here is that 2nd 'Grab' shot of '6Z91' from Calvert going to Didcot-PS with the green-grid 56303 in charge of its long rake of empty Monster-Boxes.Now I've cracked the basic record shot here at Hinksey-Yard nr Oxford next time (If there is one), I can afford to try somewhere else a little more challenging.
..15 january 2013..
It being a 170 mile round trip to Oxford from Frome I have waited until a reasonably clear forecast before making an attempt at picturing this working.Happily it all worked out well and it appeared bang on time in a nice clear spell avoiding the few floaters that were about. So here is the DCR owned 56303 in that companies green colour scheme dragging its long rake of empty 'MBA' bogies from Calvert down to Didcot-PS for another load of Flyash for disposal.The working reports as '6Z91'.I suppose most of the locals have done this to death because today there was surprisingly just three people with camera's at the ready. At least I was one of them! ..15 january 2013..
A bit of a teleshot of 56094 on the '6Z53' Logs just as the sun was fading at Pilning.-----31 may 2013-----
56301 comes off Foxhall-Junction and is seen entering the MGR-Loop for Didcot Power- Station with '6Z91' from Calvert.These empties will be loaded with the PS bi-product 'Flyash' for movement to Calvert.Sadly this Loop here will fall into complete disuse when the Coal section of this Station is closed in March-2013,and they call that progress.I know what I call it but it is unrepeatable here!
..11 december 2012..
Former 'Fastline' and now nominally preserved 56301 has been used lately on '6Z91/6Z92' between Calvert and Didcot transporting Flyash away from the Power-Station there.This is a substitute for 56312 that suffered a failure last week.Here is seen the incoming empties from Calvert passing Didcot-North Junction with it quite long rake of MBA's.Regretfully conditions were dire today but having committed to the journey I had to just make the best of it! Use of 800asa and a 500th at f2.8 just about managed a reasonable rendition of the working. God! I hate the Winter and the unreliable BBC weather service!
..11 december 2012..
Since 1/2 decent workings are pretty thin on the ground particularly in decent light a 2nd 'pull back' was taken of the 'Colas' 56094 as it sped past Parson Street in Bristol with th empty logs going to Teigngrace from Chirk.'6Z52' was the code for this working.I was fairly surprised it actually ran because reports coming out of Devon indicated the branch line from Newton-Abbot was pretty much washed away in the recent floods.It appears that Network-Rail have actually got their finger out and done a quick repair job....Credit where credits due if that is the case!
..05 december 2012..
The 'Colas' duty from Teigngrace to Chirk-Kronospan has restarted after a break due to severe flooding in Devon causing much damage to the rail infrastructure. Here is seen the 'down' empties working '6Z52' with the log carriers ready for a loaded run north later.This being a regular '56' working since its introduction and it was a sunny day for a change a trip to Parson Street in the City of Bristol was undertaken to picture this working.Thankfully the shadows here were just about acceptable,the dreaded cloud held off and it ran to time! An immaculate looking 56094 was not hanging about as it emerged from the shadows coming round the curve near the site of the old Malago-Vale carriage sidings,long removed and replaced with housing. ..05 december 2012..
56087 making plenty of smoke and noise heads away from Pilning at Cattybrook with '6Z52' from Chirk going to Teigngrace.This is the 2nd 56 that 'Colas' has recommissioned and to date both seem to be working quite reliably and with little fuss.Kinda makes a mockery of EWS/Schenkers attitude to older UK traction looking at the crap state of most of the their 66/67 fleet these days!
..07 november 2012..
The 2nd 'Class-56 to get a renewed lease of life with 'Colas' in 56087.Here it is seen in the weak sunlight approaching Cattybrook with '6Z52' from Chirk Kronospan (07:29 off) going to Teigngrace with the empty log wagons in readiness to return north fully loaded.
..07 november 2012..
After standing in the pouring rain for about 20 minutes thankfully the skies cleared in time to picture this working in full sunlight.Here is the 08:14 from Chirk going to Teigngrace nr Newton-Abbot to collect a trainload of logs.This new working by 'Colas Rail Freight' significantly uses a refurbished 56094.Amazing when you realise this loco was deemed fit only for scrap by its previous 'short sighted' owners DBS. The working is seen passing Malago-Vale in the western suburbs of Bristol.
..17 october 2012..
56094 which has been recently returned to service by 'Colas' is now spreading its wings and has headed south from its base at Washwood Heath to take up work operating Log trains in S-Wales and possibly Devon.Here the still shiny 'Grid' is seen taking some new log carriers from Gloucester to Barry probably for further storage.This working was '6Z30' and luckily was allowed to run on the 'fast' down the 4-track between Newport and Cardiff. Almost certainly you will never see these wagons looking this clean and smart ever again.A fairly unique combination.
..18 september 2012..
56094 pictured at full tele (about 170 mm in 35 mm terms) then heavily cropped to generate some impact making about 300mm in all.This shows off the lines of 56094 superbly not to mention the immaculate wagons as well.Who would have thought all those years after EWS had abandoned and dumped the 56-class that they would have made such a comeback as they are now enjoying.Train is '6Z30' from Gloucester going to Barry with new wagons for further storage.Seen on the four-track at Coedkernew going west.
..18 september 2012..
Running as '0Z30' from Cardiff and going to Gloucester to collect a set of Log wagons for delivery to Barry 56094 speeds east at Coedkernew looking very at home in an area where 20 years ago dozens of engines of this class passed by every day!
..18 september 2012..
Final shot of the day (26th) was the returning Boston to Washwood Heath Steel '6M08'.Attenborough station was chosen as it seemed a good compromise considering the weakness of the late evening sun.Literally a minute after we arrived it could be seen approaching down the long straight towards us from Beeston.Travelling at about the same speed as a following EMT-HST 56094 was not hanging about!
..26 july 2012..
Basically the reason for the trip to the East Midlands was to record this locomotive on its current regular booked working.Thankfully that ambition was achieved! Here is recent returnee 56094 in the latest version of 'Colas' livery passing Chelleston with '6E07' from Washwood Heath in Birmingham going to Boston on the East Coast with a train of SNCF type swb steel hoods.Although reported nearly 20 minutes late at Water-Orton it was pretty much on time here nearly catching us out.But it all turned out ok!!!!!!
..26 july 2012..
Train of the day inconveniently appeared pretty much as the sun had decided to hide itself behind thin cloud hence a brightish but not special shot of the Colas-56 returning from Boston with its Steel train '6M08'.Here is 56094 at Catholme in the fading light.We had actually left to go elsewhere but a phone call confirmed we would be unable to get where we had planned so a quick about-turn meant we had no option but to come here again.
..25 july 2012..
One of the targets for this foray north was this train '6E07' from Washwood Heath going to Boston.The attraction being the use of one of the recently reactivated 56's now on the books of Colas with more to follow.Here the still immaculate 56094 is seen thudding past Barrow-on-Trent heading east with its load of 10 sncf-style steel hoods.Not good lighting but still worth a picture! ..25 july 2012..
DCR operated 56311 runs through Magor in the final/final dregs of the days sunlight with '6Z56' from Shipley going to Cardiff-Tidal with a load of shredded scrap to be recycled in the Celsa-Steelworks nearby.
..25 may 2012..
Having delivered an ex-Virgin Mk-3 to Bristol Barton Hill Depot for refurbishment 56312 wasted no time in commencing its return journey bringing with it the freshly repainted Mk-3a 12124 in Blue/Grey and sporting 'Chiltern railways logo's.This working was '5Z57' and is seen approaching Filton Abbey Wood running about 30 minutes early returning to Wembley. Note- To see this Mk-3 prior to repaint being delivered by 31601 ClickHERE ..21 may 2012..
56312 in its 'Railfest' livery runs down past Filton Abbey Wood in Bristol going to Barton Hill with Mk-3 coach 12054 for refurbishment.Nice to see this old Romanian-56 going so well.Not bad for an ex-scapyard rescue target!----21 may 2012----
The former 56003 now running as 56312 somewhat despoiled with its childlike advertising livery (Roll on July) clatters the points at Filton Abbey Wood in Bristol with '5Z56' delivering a single Mk-3 coach number 12054 to Barton Hill Depot for repainting for Chiltern-Railways.This came from Wembley so is probably a West-Coast 'left-over'.
..21 may 2012..
Class-56 combo 56312 and 56302 whines past Badgeworth (Both under Power) with an extra working from Burton-Wetmore Sidings going to Cardiff-Tidal with a well loaded train of box wagons full of shredded steel.56312 until recently was purple and named 'Artimes' but now kind of matches it classmate 56311 in grey with full yellow ends.Now running as a mobile advertising hoarding extolling the virtues of 'RailFest 2012' from 2nd to 12th of June at the NRM at York.
..26 march 2012..
'6Z23' from Burngullow going up to Burton on Trent passes Gossington going well heading north with its load of ten 'TEA' china-clay slurry tanks.56302 was leading with 47375 along for the ride.Nice to hear the whine of a 56 alternator again!
..08 march 2012..
On the 30th of November last year this combination of 47375 and 57302 ran an almost identical working '6Z23' from Burngullow up to Burton-Wetmore Sidings. So amazingly that 'never to be repeated' working was repeated today but this time 56302 was leading.Regretfully the light was nowhere near as good but being an interesting train had to be done.Today we tried our luck at Flax-Bourton just west of Bristol.Here the train of ten 'TEA' slurry tanks is seen passing the old closed but regularly maintained fuel-depot there. All tracks and sidings still in situ apart from the mainline pointwork.
..08 march 2012..
Why is it that when something interesting happens in our area invariably the lighting conditions are poor to downright bad! Such a day was today when DCR operated 56302,a former FastLine-Freight Fifty-Six was booked on this Wembley-Yard to Cardiff-Canton wagon move '6Z56'.Looking and sounding great, the '56' thumped past me in the gloom at Acton-Turville going well.Things could be looking up for this class of traction with the news that 'Colas' have taken four examples on with a view to returning them to active freight service in the near future.
..27 february 2012..
47375 and 56302 power onwards north under 40-steps footbridge at Taunton with '6Z23' delivering 14 'TEA-Bullits' to Burton from Burngullow.Almost certainly the first and last time a 47/56 combination will pass this way on this type of wagon working.I am still in shock it all happened with the sun shining! Cheers Big-G...............
..30 november 2011..
Having missed these wagons when they went to Burngullow two years ago for storage hauled by D1015 I was mighty pleased to be able to capture them coming north again heading for Burton-WS (Wetmore Sidings) to be worked on to re-enter service.Not quite so sensational as the down working but still almost the 'Working of the Year' in this area. Re-activated 47375 with 'Fastline' 56302 along for insurance powers through Taunton with '6Z23' running over 30 minute early.Load being 14 'not-so' Silver--Bullits 'TEA-s' that were used for China-Clay slurry.I believe these are being re-activated to improve the loadings on the Irvine-Dollands-Moor/Europe flow.
..30 november 2011..
56311/56312 run down past Lympsham with '1Z80' going to Cornwall for the Maisy-Day celebrations.
..26 june 2010..
56311 stands at Westerleigh Sidings in readiness to move a Track M/C from there to London area next day.
..14 march 2009..
Going to Thamesport from Birch-Coppice is seen '4O90' hauled by Fastline liveried 56303.Location is Lea-Marston.This was a brief return for regular mainline work for a small batch (3) of this once numerous class.Now in 2011 Fastline no longer exists (It went into liquidation),the working has ceased and 56303 is now stored. It was nice whilst it lasted!
.. 23 october 2007..
56302 in 'Fastline'colours comes off the Birch-Coppice branch at Kingsbury with '4O90' going to Thamesport with this well loaded Intermodel service.Note plenty of activity in the reception sidings for the now famous scrapyard here due to it breaking many-many ex-mainline diesels and still does in 2011.
.. 21 march 2007..
Loadhaul liveried 56003 was still in the same external condition as when it was purchased from Booth's Scrapyard in Rotherham.Apart from a bogie fire (evidence of which is still visible) it was in complete condition and easily repairable. Here it is seen in double harness with 'JB' 73129 heading a Cheltenham bound service at Hailes Abbey on the G&W Rly.After 4 years in preservation 56003 was sold back into the Industry and is now renumbered 56312 and is still seeing regular use on the mainline in 2013.
..24 september 2005..
The recently withdrawn (02/2004) 56062 heads a line up at Margam-Depot of surplus EW&S assets.Behind are 37413/37248 and 37428.Directly behind my photographic vantage point was the Green-Celebrity 37403. Sadly a visit again 4 years later found this 56 looking very much worse for wear,all windows smashed with many parts removed.It went for scrap and departed completely in 2010. I don't blame the vandals that wrecked it here at Margam but I do the Company which has no real idea how to treat its assets! 37403 and 37413 are now on the Bo'ness&Kinneal Rly in Scotland being restored,37248 is operational on the G&W-Rly but 37428 is now destined for scrap having been discarded by its seeming savious DRS.
..23 january 2005..
Wearing a very clean Loadhaul Livery 56102 thuds through Melton Ross with '6V31' (MX-Q) from Immingham going all the way to Swansea-Burrows with empty coal hoppers.Amazingly within a fortnight this loco was taken out of service and after languishing around until September 2010 (7 years later) finally was disposed of at EMR-Hartlepool.
..16 september 2003..
Transrail-Grey 56033 'Shotton Paper Mill' powers through Barnetby bound for Lindsey with some discharged fuel-tanks.Sadly this loco was withdrawn 2 weeks after this shot was taken and survived until 2010 when it was cut at EMR-Kingsbury.
..16 september 2003..
Here is the returning 'Worksop Riviera' tour '1Z57' coming back from Paignton and heading for Worksop.A pair of Loadhaul 56's are seen thudding up Ashley Bank in the northern outskirts of Bristol at Lockleaze.The engines were 56118 and 56107.We had to dodge a hail of stones and rubbish to get this shot.This footbridge in 2012 is now totally caged to keep the local cretins from doing the same to passing trains! Another good location gone but not forgotten.
..02 august 2003..
I havn't a clue how this engine 56006 in BR-Blue got to Westbury but a shot of it leaving for Newport -ADJ on the morning departmental working '6B65' was not to be missed.Spot chosen is Bradford-on-Avon where the line passes over the river just after BoA Station.Certainly the last time this engine ever came our way.Though long withdrawn it looks to have a possible future in preservation at Barrow-Hill though at this time (March 2012) it is actually owned by a scrap merchant!
..01 july 2003..
A superb looking 56102 in Loadhaul colours brings an early morning Slab-Train from Margam through Cardiff at Pellett Street heading for Llanwern. Despite looking in very servicable condition it was removed from Capital-Stock and stored in September,just 3 month later.It never worked again and was disposed of at EMR-Hartlepool in September 2010,seven years later.
..21 june 2003..
Wearing the excellent 'Loadhaul' livery 56083 heads away from Wrawby-Junction with an empty MGR-set returning to Swansea-Burrows from Immingham running as '6V31' MX-Q.This line away from the Barnetby area goes via Lincoln.Regretfully this superb bracket-signal as well as the box behind it are now demolished.
..23 april 2003..
A westbound loaded coal with the old MGR HAA type hoppers passes Knabbs Bridge at Melton Ross with 56133 in charge.The scar on the flank is where the nameplate 'Crewe Locomotive Works' once lived.It lasted in traffic until Feb 2004.Finally getting the chop at EMR-Kingsbury in early 2012.Unlike many of its classmates it was never selected for duty in France with Fertis either!
..23 april 2003..
Here is the '6D66' 13:13 Immingham to Doncaster Enterprise/Feeder service today conveying a load of steel slab ingots.A pair of 56's graced this service and it is seen passing Melton-Ross heading west.Loadhaul 56074 formally named 'Kellingley Colliery' was leading with EWS 56117 tucked inside.Both went to France wearing the Fertis colours in the years after they were taken out of service in the UK. 74 is now in EMR-Kingsbury with an uncertain future whilst 117 is at Burton-on-Trent either for UK re-use or export to Hungary. ..15 february 2003..
This Railtour ran under the name of 'The Walsall Concerto'.The outward leg for '1Z27' was from Finsbury Park to Nuneaton via Gloucester and Bescot.The first leg used 56104 which was replaced at Gloucester by a pair of 37's.Here the working is seen pretty much running to time passing Langley Burrell just east of Chippenham.Today 56104 lies at EMR-Kingsbury nominally sold for scrap but may just get bought for reuse as 56's seem to be back in favour with a few private operators.
..04 january 2003..
Rubber Headlighted Romanian 56027 in unbranded Loadhaul-Livery (The only one ever) passes Middlesborough going to Tees-Yard from Skinningrove '11:28' off,running as '6F27'.We sacrificed a day on the Boulby Branch for this shot since it was seen heading east in the early morning...What goes up must come down! Around there anyway.And it did!
..11 september 2002..
56078 passes South Bank nr Middlesborough with a morning Boulby to Middlesborough-Goods potash train.This would have to reverse at Tees-Yard to gain access to the unloading point.This loco went on to become a semi celebrity after it gained Large-Logo Livery.It later went to France working for Fertis and in Jan-2013 is awaiting a new lease of life having been bought by Boden-Rail at Washwood-Heath for further re-use in this country.
..11 september 2002..
56041 passes Tremorfa-Works as it approaches Splott-Junction on its way to Cardiff Docks with a trainload of clayballs from Llanwern.These to be used on the construction of the 'Bay' project there. ..
..24 april 1999..
Blue 56004 passes Miskin with the afternoon Margam to Llanwern tripper carrying steel billets for processing into coils.This loco was a firm favourite but that didn't stop it getting withdrawn in April-1999.After languishing around until July-2006 it was finally turned into scrap at C F Booth's in Rotherham.
..18 july 1998..
Crewe built 56044 'Cardiff Canton' get an eastbound loaded coal train from Grange-Sidings underway as it snakes out of Margam Yard probably going to Llanwern.The shot was taken from a spot just adjacent to the then operational Margam Depot.All that exists now is a flattened scar on the landscape.The access road we were stood on is now blocked off with about 10 tons of rubble,probably from the old Depot!.This Transrail-56 is now no more.It went to 56-heaven in Sepember 2007 in Rotherham.
..16 june 1998..
'Grid' 56120 ambles past the tumbled down farmhouse at Llangewydd which is west of Bridgend with a loaded coal working with a full uniforn set of hooded HAA's.No Freightmaster or RTT in those days so the working remains unknown.
..16 june 1998..
Transrail's 56044 'Cardiff Canton' thumps past Coedkernew with a hooded steel working going west.44 lasted until December/2000,a victim of the mass influix of new GM's from the USA.Finally reduced to scrap at Booth's in Rotherham in September/2007. Where was 'Colas' then when we needed them??????????????
..09 may 1998..
56092 makes its way down the slow-line at Marshfield between Newport and Cardiff with a short set of Tiphook-canvas hooded steel carriers.This loco became a victim of the mass-cull in 1999 when the country was flooded with new GM-66's.It had the misfortune of going to Wigan-CRDC so inevitably did not last very long,getting the chop in July 2001.
..19 july 1997..
With its welsh title 'The Garw Guru' this tour '1Z27' speeds past Green Lane on the 4-track west of Newport heading for its next destination,Aberthaw.A long train this with the train engine from Paddington as far as Newport 47741 tagged on the back as a drawback/shunt engine.
..05 april 1997..
'The Magistrates Association' 56086 c/w Transrail Big-T livery grinds north at Heamies Farm nr Norton-Bridge on the WCML with a load of coal from Oxcroft Colliery going (I believe) to Oakleigh. HAA wagons are now part of history as is 56086 which was withdrawn in 1999.It hung on until 2013 before getting finally scrapped.
..14 february 1997..
Transrail's 56119 runs past Somerton at East Usk Junction in Newport heading east with a long rake of hooded HAA coal hoppers. In the intervening 17 years since this picture was taken all the semaphore signals and the Signal-Box here at East Usk have gone.The HAA coal hoppers have been consigned to history and although a few 56's continue in service this particular example ended its existence at EMR-Attercliffe in Jan-2011.Freight still passes this location but far fewer trains than in the late 1990's.
..06 march 1997..
56022 was built by Electroputre in Craiova, Romania, and was released into traffic during May 1977 allocated to Tinsley Depot.Here it is seen at Westbury whilst working out of the local aggregate quarries.It lasted another eleven years before becoming surplus to requirements.Finally going for scrap at EMR-Kingsbury in February 2012.The small boy in the foreground was my 8 year old son.He is now in his thirties and still around unlike the 56!
Ex-Works 56049 and 47468 stand outside the main workshops at Crewe after having major, or in the case of the 47 just remedial work after a failure being done. Today in 2013, 26 years later 56049 awaits scrapping at EMR-Kingsbury after a career that included a spell in France in Fertis-Livery.The 47 actually died in 1995 at the same place,by then it was renumbered as 47300.
..04 july 1987..
59002 on test gets away from Westbury assisted by 56055 and 56031.The trailing load was 4000 tons.This was the first loaded test for the then brand new and untried 59.A slice of railway history as GM products have now completely changed the UK Freight scene due mainly to 59's. Over 27 years later these machines still give sterling service and far exceeded their reliability targets after settling down in service. This shot was taken from the window of the Westbury-PowerBox and as I was the only one there, a unique view of this historic departure from Westbury.