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Class 57 (All types No-Heat and Heat)
A conversion from the older Class-47. Most currently on the Mainline,used by FGW,Virgin,DRS and West-Coast and quite recently (2012) Network-Rail acquired a few but by 2014 have passed them on the either West Coast Railways or Direct Rail Services.,
Today I used my old pushbike for solitary exercise with a 3-mile return trip from my home to here at a deserted Berkley Marsh.A pair of sleeper-stock movements with one from Reading to Penzance and another the other way were timed to pass here within 45 minutes of each other which was quite convenient given the current restrictions we are all living under currently. So here is the GWR celebrity 57604 'Pendennis Castle' with six sleeper-stock carriages working '5Z79' the 09:15 from Reading TrainCare Depot to Penzance (Long Rock}) T&RSMD.Seen at Berkley Marsh going west------14 april 2020---------
The Northern-Belle train set is seen across a field of ripening wheat returning to Birmingham International from Weymouth (departed-17:32 as '1Z16') at Berkley Marsh nr Frome.57314 was leading whilst the far more photogenic 57601 'Windsor Castle' in Pullman colours was tagged on the rear.A thankfully nice sunny evening to record this complete train in good lighting.I took time away from the gripping Cricket World Cup Final for this shot---Amazingly England won after an unbelievable 'tie' then a 'super-over' high pressure shot out!
..14 july 2019..
The original 'Purple Ronnie' 57601 now named 'Windsor Castle' has undergone quite a few livery changes since it became part of the West Coast Rly's fleet since 2003.Currently it it in Pullman type colours for use on the Northern-Belle train set as seen here at Styles Hill in Frome working '1Z14' the 09:18 from Coventry going down to Weymouth for the day.57316 was unseen at the rear of this train.
..14 july 2019..
Here is a Norwich (07:30 off) to Bristol-Temple Meads excursion running as '1Z25' using the Northern Belle coaching stock.57313 led with 57601 tagged on the rear.Here seen passing the now almost total dereliction that used to be the Thingley Junction MOD sidings.They are still rail connected but now just a simple siding.Most of the trackwork including a run-round loop were removed fairly recently.
..1 june 2019..
'5A40' passes Master's Crossing nr Fairwood with 57604 leading the previous evenings failed Sleeper.Tagged on the rear was 57603 'Tintagel Castle' in the now universal GWR-Green.At least it has cast alloy GWR logo's to break up the blandness of it all!
..14 may 2019..
The previous evenings Sleeper service from Penzance to Paddington that was cancelled due to the failure of 57603 is pictured passing Fairwood nr Westbury with the next-day positioning move up to Reading T&R.S.M.D.This ran as '5A40' the 09:15 from Penzance.57604 'Pendennis Castle' doing the job with the errant 57603 'Tintagel Castle' tagged on the rear.It is very unusual to catch one of these 'failed' Sleeper moves in the sun! Usually it is dark,dull and dank!
..14 may 2019..
By some miracle the sun popped out at the last second to enable this shot of '1Z35' to be recorded at Heywood Village nr Westbury.WC-Rly's 57313 & 57314 were working the Northern Belle on a Luncheon Tour from Paddington (depart at 12:05) back to Paddington via Swindon and Melksham.Arrival back in London at 16:40--Just in time for Tea!
..16 september 2018..
Today a 'Northern-Belle' ran from Norwich (07:25 off) to Bristol-Temple Meads running as '1Z46'.Here it is at Thingley-Junction passing the old yard there that is still unbelievably rail conected! 57314 leads with an unseen 57313 on the back of the 'Belle' coaching stock.
..23 june 2018..
Three generations of Inter-City Travel stand together in the terminus at Penzance.57605 'Totnes Casle' that had just brought in '1C99' the Sleeper from Paddington,43180 which is on the rear of '1L79' about to depart for Paddington and 220031 also about to leave going to Glasgow as '1S47'.
..6 june 2018..
With its 40 minute layover here at Exeter St Davids there was plenty of time to grab a few shots of '1C99' the Night-Riviera Sleeper Train in the deserted platform 4.After all it was 03:45 in the morning.Tonight 57605 'Totnes Castle' was doing the honours.It departed Paddington at 23:45 with a planned arrival time in Penzance of 07:55.The carriages on this train was certainly way more comfortable than the 2 1/2 hrs we had to endure in the waiting room prior to its arrival!
..6 june 2018..
57605 'Totnes Castle' stands in Exeter St Davids with '1C99' the 23:45 Night-Riviera from Paddington to Penzance Sleeper.The slack schedule requires for it to stop here for 40 minutes and a further 30m at Plymouth to allow an 07:55 arrival in Penzance.The time of this shot was 03:45 in the morning.No hardship really as I was travelling down to Penzance on it when it departed.
..6 june 2018..
The original 'Purple-Ronnie' 57601 now wearing the dirge-maroon of West Coast Rly's runs down through Berkley Marsh nr Frome with '1Z30' the 11:05 from Bromsgrove to Taunton Northern-Belle.57313 was on the back ready to do the next leg towards Bristol after the Taunton reversal. The lighting was somewhat harse as this working was over an hour later than booked due to a delayed departure from Bromsgrove.
..27 may 2018..
I though I would give this recently cleared-out location here at 'The Avenue' in Bradford-on-Avon a try for this railtour '1Z94' the 06:10 away from Derby going to Bath-Spa.No doubt for the punters to visit the now well known Xmas-Market now in full swing there.WCRly's 57313 is seen leading the Statesman Train with an unseen 47804 on the rear.The shot is slightly marred by the mottled lighting but at least this location has the sun lighting the front-end! I quite liked it anyway!
..25 november 2017..
As usual when the previous evenings 'Sleeper' failed to run and then next day runs ECS in readiness for that evenings attempt at running the service the lighting conditions are rather dire and dull.Anyway here is '5C99' the 10:28 from Old Oak Common running empty down to Long Rock at Penzance in readiness for tonights service back to London. GWR's 57602 'Restormel Castle' c/w aluminuim badges passes Great Cheverell on the B&H going west,the load being eight carriages including the sleepers in the consist.
..21 november 2017..
57303 which leads this Northern-Belle Excursion '1Z76' from Liverpool Lime Street (06:39 off) to Bristol-TM is now well out of sight at the head of the train in Oldfield park Station..However 57301 'Goliath' sat on the rear in readiness to work the return train still made a quite nice subject albeit a GAW as it passed. The Bath Goods Loop in the foreground balancing up the shot nicely.
..26 august 2017..
57303 'Pride of Carlisle' heads '1Z76' the Northern-Belle with 57301 on the rear away from Bath Spa with the 06:39 from Liverpool Lime Street to Bristol-Temple Meads.Viewed approaching Oldfield Park which is in the western suburbs of Bath. Nice to see a pair of 57's on this working instead of a couple of 'all-invasive' 68's.
..26 august 2017..
West Coast Rly's today operated this long distance tour '1Z47' from Plymouth going all the way up to Saltburn-by-the Sea which is quite near to Middlesbrough.It carried the headboard 'The Saltburn Pilgrim'.Again the lighting was somewhat mediocre but that's life! 57315 was leading with 57313 playing 'tail-end charlie'.The working is seen approaching Westbury at Fairwood.
..3 july 2017..
West Coast Railway's pairing 57314&57601 speeds past the idyllic setting of Whittlesea between Peterborough and March.They were working '5Z57' which until 30 minutes earlier was nominally 5Z63'.Oddly it ran anyway just 30 minutes later than originally arranged.It was booked as the 12:35 off Ely Reception to Carnforth-Steamtown returning there as an ECS. This was a pretty memorable day due to the unbroken sunshine from dawn to dusk..Something which is a quite rare happening in this country these days.
..8 april 2017..
In stark contrast to earlier in the week today required 1600 iso setting to have any chance of stopping the action on the mainline.Here we have the Northern Belle which today has reverted to Class-57 haulage instead of the 68's we had a few weeks ago.Both the 'Belle' liveried versions 57305 (leading) and 57312 were in use today.It was running as '1Z12' the 06:45 from Derby going to Bath & Bristol-TM.Here viewed through the gloom passing Thingley west of Chippenham.
..7 october 2016..
'5Z70' the 17:30 from Laira T&R.S.M.D going to Paddington to form tonights Sleeper back down to Penzance passes Berkley Marsh right on the cusp of sunset with the shadows visible over the top of the train,the sun was that low! 57605 'Totnes Castle' in GWR-Green along with a mixture of 'dynamic-lines' and 'sludge' sleepers doing the duty.
..09 august 2016..
With just a tinge of weak sunlight 57313 working '1Z65' the returning 'Salisbury Cathedrals Express' passes Norton Bavant in the Wylye Valley not long after departing Salisbury returning to Carnforth at 16:12.57316 which led on the outward journey was now having a free ride home tagged on to the rear.
..21 june 2016..
West Coast-Rly's 57316 hauls '1Z63' The Salisbury Catherdrals Express' past Westbury going to Salisbury (obviously) from Carnforth.57313 was on the rear.Having departed there at 05:42 and arriving there at 14:20 just 2 hours before the return journey commenced.This hardly giving the passengers barely enough time to grab a cup of coffee let along visit the Catherdal!
..21 june 2016..
DRS's 57301 'Goliath' runs across Newton-St-Loe meadows with '1Z69' the 12:16 'Northern-Belle' from Cardiff going to Gloucester.Lighting was absolutely dire---640th@F4 using 3200asa so shot is understandable a tad grainy.Well I was in the area anyway for the Belmond Pullman so 'why not?'. Northern-Belle liveried 57305 was tagged on the rear but from this distance looks more like an extra coach!
..02 december 2015..
Final train of the day for me and after standing around on the bridge at Chipping Sodbury for nearly 5-hours to be quite honest couldn't come soon enough! This is '1Z33' the last of the three LCHS's from Paddington to Cardiff for the Rugby today.This one left London at 14:35.The pair of loco's involved, DRS's 57310 and 57306 c/w all its stock had somehow/somewhere reversed since yesterday when 57306 was leading. Here viewed emerging from the tunnel at Chipping Sodbury as the shadows have visibly started to lengthen given the time of year. 57310 used to be 47831 'Bolton Wanderer' and when it became a Virgin-Thunderbird was named as 'Kyrano'.Now under DRS ownership it carries the name 'Pride of Cumbria'.
..02 october 2015..
DRS pairing of 57306/57310 worked '1Z31' today from Paddington to Cardiff.This 'extra' departed at 11:55 albeit about 15 minutes late.However by the time it passed Acton-Turville it was actually a few minutes ahead of schedule.This scratch set of coaching stock was a mixed bag of Virgin, Anglia and 'The Great Britain' Mk-2 carriages.
..01 october 2015
After '1Z09' had run past us at Pengham a quick dash about 3/4 mile closer to Cardiff through a maze of narrow sidestreets led us to Long Dyke Junction where we were able to pictices the ECS from '1Z09' now listed as '5Z09' as it tracvelled back to Pengham for stabling prior to the evening return duty to Paddington. 57306,this time on the rear with 57310 leading passes this former junction at Long Dyke.It is now disconnected so the return loop/second entrance to the Rod-Mill/Docks area is no more.
..19 september 2015..
Here is the DRS operated '1Z09' the 09:12 from Paddington going to Cardiff for the big Rugby Match.57306 was leading whilst 57310 was on the back.The train is made up of mainly 'The Great Briton' stock plus one 'Anglia' and four rather faded ex-Virgin coaches.Viewed passing Pengham just a few minutes from the destination.All in full sun as well---amazing!!!!!!!! Note the freight parked up in the yard for the weekend-------annoyingly it had the GBRf 'AI' liveried 66711 on it but was completely in accessable for photography!
..19 september 2015..
For once a daylight run of Sleeper-Stock was not due to an engine or stock failure.This time this working was an operational positioning move to get this train up to Paddington for tonights service.The reason being another set was coming down to Plymouth to operate the next London bound train.Apparantly that set is composed of all new GWR-Green coaches and is subject to some kind of publicity launch.So here is '5Z40' booked as the 09:20 off Penzance T&R.S.M.D going to Paddington.Stand-In power hired from DRS 57303 'Pride of Carlisle' doing the honours.The 57/3-Sleeper combo is viewed passing Fairwood on the approach to Westbury where it used the avoiding line instead of going via the station.(Thanks to 'TM' for the information on this)
..12 september 2015..
This is the returning ECS from Eastleigh-Arlington heading back to Bournemouth as '5Z39' (14:44 off Eastleigh) in readiness for the return journey back to Chester as '1Z39' with the pair of 37's leading.Note the carriages are now reversed with the old Anglia/Virgin stock now next to the 57.So here is 57307 'Lady Penelope' passing Totton Yard looking very smart indeed.Cloud cover was by now (15:25) becoming quite a problem but somehow the shot was made barely 90 seconds before the sun was gone for the rest of the day! Also worthy of note is the fact that 57307 is now the only 57/3 still to retain its original 'Thunderbird Theme' nameplates.
..22 august 2015..
After '1Z37' had arrived at Bournemouth from Chester the 'tail-end charlie' locomotive 57307 'Lady Penelope' had the job of working the ECS back to Eastleigh-Arlington for turning and servicing.This job being '5Z38' the 12:53 off Bournemouth.Here seen passing Southampton-Maritime amazingly still in full sunshine! Note the livery applied to 57307 to commemorate 20 years of DRS operations.This was recently applied at the Carlisle-Kingmoor Open-Day on July-18th.
..22 august 2015..
This is '1Z70' the 07:47 Excusion from Euston going to Birmingham-International for the Test Match at Edgbaston.DRS's 57301 'Goliath' was on the back-end as it swept round the curves going north at Old Linslade.
..31 july 2015..
Today an excursion was laid on from Euston up to Birmingham-International '1Z70' to people wishing to go to the Cricket 3rd Test Match between England and Australia.Leading is DRS's 57305 in 'Northern Belle' colours whilst on the rear of the train-set was 57301.Amazingly England won the Test Match (On the 3rd day!!!!!) and it was all over by Lunch-Time so the punters on this working saw very little cricket and had quite a long wait for their return train home! Seen at Old Linslade nort of Leighton Buzzard.
..31 july 2015..
Last evenings failed Up-Sleeper ran this morning as '5A40' the 07:35 from Plymouth to OOC-H.S.T.D to get the stock to London for tonights attempt at running the 'Down' service.Here is 'Hire-In' 57303 'Pride of Carlisle' with its 7-piece sleeper-set passing Clink nr Frome.Such a pity the sun wasn't available as the angle here would have been just about perfect!.Note the dirge-green leading coach '10594' giving us a grim fore-taste of the new projected corporate livery style for FGW to go with the forthcoming electrification.
..23 july 2015..
The returning leg of the Ely to Paignton Excursion '1Z47' powers past Blatchbridge nr Frome in somewhat less sunny conditions than the down-leg this morning.Thankfully 57316 in its former 'Arriva-Trains-Wales' blue livery was leading as it sped past at full line speed of over 80mph.The dirgy 57315 was sleeping on the rear!
..18 july 2015..
This working '1Z44' is billed as 'The English Riviera Statesman' which departed Ely at 05:41 destined for Paignton.WC-Rly's were the operator with 57315 in the usual sludge-brown livery leading with an unseen 56316 tagged on the rear for the return leg.The train is viewed passing a very green Upton Noble in a nice patch of full sun with clouds gathering all around.
..18 july 2015..
Here is '1Z60' the Ladies-Day Excursion from Manchester-Victoria (07:15 off) going to the Ascot Races.The Northern-Belle Set being operated by a pair of blue 57's No's 57306 and 57310.The train is seen in somewhat harsh midday midsummer light here as it passes Moreton east of Didcot.However as things panned out the expected superior evening shot of the return at Culham turned out to be a failure due to a rogue cloud so this is better than nowt!
..18 june 2015..
57313 still looks rather grubby even though WC-Rly's has had a considerable period of time not running any workings due to its temporary banning order.I would have though a couple of hours per loco giving them a good clean would have at least helped their now very tarnished image! Anyway here is '1Z61' the returning --Steam tour that wasn't--.57313 was leading with 57315 somewhat hidden on the rear.That loco did the morning leg from London-Victoria to Minehead.57313 was now doing the return (17:15 off).It is seen speeding through Clink nr Frome running pretty much to time.The lighting being somewhat 'off the front' but still worthy of a shot!
..28 may 2015..
Here is my first sight of a West Coast Railways worked Railtour since the infamous ban after the Wootton-Bassett SPAD Incident.Although the Company can now again operate trains it is being watched very closely for correct operational proceedures. So here is '1Z60' the 08:45 from London-Victoria to Minehead which was supposed to be worked by A4-Pacific 60007.However it turned out to be diesel hauled all the way for some reason.This is it passing Clink Road Junction with 57315 in charge.The train was booked into Frome for a brief halt of 12 minutes before proceeding so was going quite slowly here which was lucky as the cloud shadows only cleared seconds before the shutter was pressed!
..28 may 2015..
The 'Northern-Belle' running as '1Z10' the 16:46 from Bath-Spa returning to Liverpool Lime Street passes over the 'Floating Harbour' at Feeder Road in the City of Bristol,known in railway circles as North Somerset Junction.57312 'Solway Princess' was leading for the short run from Bath into Bristol-TM.Upon picking up passengers there it would continue north with 57306 in charge having reversed direction there.That loco being on the other end of this train.By now the glorious sunshine that the BBC had yet again failed to predict accurately had finally gone with just a faint brief glimmer rescueing this picture.As usual the following 'Colas-60 hauled '6V62' passed in the dull as it has here on several other occasions!
..23 may 2015..
DRS's 57312 'Solway Princess' wearing its dedicated 'Northern-belle' livery heads the ECS '5Z09' the 12:45 from Bath-Spa to Bedminster through the valley at Newton St Loe under the watchful gaze of the Tudor Mansion of Kelston Park.57306 was bringing up the rear having hauled the working into Bath less than thirty minutes earlier.
..23 may 2015..
After the 07:38 from Liverpool to Bath-Spa 'Northern-Belle' had discharged its passengers at journeys end it then formed '5Z09' from there to Bedminster in Bristol for stabling until its return later that afternoon.Here it is heading back towards Bristol, this time with 'Belle' liveried 57312 leading its eleven coach train and 57306 on the rear.Viewed across the valley at Newton-St-Loe.
..23 may 2015..
'1Z08' the 07:38 from Liverpool Lime Street to Bath-Spa passes Worlds End Lane nr Saltford.Todays DRS operated Northern-Belle being headed by 57306.Another member of the class 57312 was on the back but is out of sight here due to ever growing vegetation.Note the 'frost-bag' still in place protecting the coupling arrangement from dirt-n-grime that was fitted years ago when these locomotives were used as 'thunderbird' recovery traction for Pendolino's on the WCML.Although these loco's can still be called upon in an emergency this arrangement is now largely redundant.
..23 may 2015..
The Northern-Belle today operated from London-Victoria to Bath running as ''1Z10' departing at 09:40.After allowing its passengers to leave the train at Bath Spa it then ran as '5Z11 leaving that station at 12:47.Here it is seen barely a mile down the line passing Bath Goods Loop heading ECS to Bristol-Bedminster.DRS 57305 'Northern Princess' in matching livery to the coaching stock being in charge.Just visible on the rear is 57312.
..04 may 2015..
Stepping Stone Lane just west of Shrivenham Station was chosen as the spot to picture the returning '1Z58' Rail-Tour The 'Great Western Express' on the return leg from Oxford (15:53 off) back up to Hooton which is actually near Ellesmere-Port quite close to Liverpool. 56301'Goliath' was again leading with the still invisible 57310 somewhere in the distance.Note the fast receeding HST going towards London.That briefly caused a bit of a panic but luckily was going so fast as to not cause a serious problem.
..11 april 2015..
Regretfully being unfamiliar with this area of the countryside resulted in a shot of this Railtour which is in reality rather 'head-on'.This location at Moreton in Marsh-Gloucestershire as a known good shot appeared on paper to be just about OK.Thankfully '1Z57' The 'Great Western Express' from Hooton (07:20 off) going to Oxford was running bang on time or the result would have been much worse!. The lead loco was 57301 whilst an invisible 57310 was somewhere on the rear.
..11 april 2015..
Yesterday evenings 'Sleeper' from Penzance to Paddington yet again failed,this time before it even departed Penzance due to issues with the locomotive 57306.Hence a daylight '5Z70' ran from Long Rock (Washer) up to Old Oak Common-HSTD to get the stock to London for another attempt to run tonight.This was hauled by Mock-GWR 57604 'Pendennis Castle' with failed 57306 behind.It is seen at an incredibly dull (It is never sunny when this impromptu working happens!) Fairwood Woods Foot-Xing heading east.Amazingly it actually got to OOC without any further mishaps!
..23 march 2015..
First-Great Western Sleepers Service between Paddington and Penzance must be just about the most unreliable service in the country! Not a week goes by without yet another failure en-route or just plain failing to run. Customers must really love spending a long long night in some cramped cattle-truck style aircraft style seat in a replacement HST instead of having a comfortable nights sleep in a warm berth!!!!!! Anyway here is the latest 'Cancelled Sleeper' on its repositioning move from Penzance-T&RSMD up to Old Oak Common-HSTD due to 57612 'Solway Princess' being a failure before it even left the depot at Long-Rock. Doing the drag on this occasion as '5A40' was 57602 'Restormel Castle'.It is seen on the Westbury Avoiding Line at Bemeridge Farm. Amazingly it actually got to OOC without further mishap! I think FGW should seriously look at taking over the soon to be redundant Chiltern-Railways Class-67's.These 57/6's really are now something of a joke,either that or the Staff at OOC and Long-Rock need to drastically improve their skills concerning these Class-57 locomotives!
..02 february 2015..
57310 'Pride of Cumbia' passes Great Cheverell on the B&H with the previous evenings failed 'Night-Sleeper' which ran today as an ECS departing Plymouth at 12:55 going to Paddington.---------24 november 2014---------
About the only thing that is regular about the FGW Night-Sleeper workings is the number of times it seems to fail,often leaving distressed customers standing on cold station platforms in the middle of the night wearing just pyjamas! Here is yet another 'Sleeper-Rescue' locomotive,this time 57603'Tintagel Castle' running as '0Z79' from Old Oak Common down to Exeter-Riverside to collect last nights failure,57310 and train and take it down to Penzance. Although RTT failed to show this working was actually in progress it turned up here passing Frome about the time predicted.
..27 november 2014..
Yet again the Night-Sleeper failed to reach London due to a failure so the stock was required to run ECS the next day.Just for once it actually passed locally in sunshine so a fairly nice, albeit backlit shot was obtained.Here is 'Hire-In' 57310 'Pride of Cumbria' with its Sleeper-ECS running as '5A40' the 10:55 from Plymouth to Paddington.It is seen passing Great Cheverell mysteriously only travelling for some reason at less than 30mph.By this time it was running about 25 minutes behind schedule.
..24 november 2014..
Here is yet another overnight Sleeper that failed to run as advertised due to a defect of some sort. So here's the ECS from Penzance (Long Rock) 10:40 off, going up to Old Oak Common as '5Z70' with a rather smart looking DRS 57310 dragging failed 57604 and sleeper stock up through Berkley-Marsh nr Frome.It continued via the Westbury Avoiding Line and then on up the B&H towards the Capital. As usual when this working operates the light was dire requiring the use of 1000ASA to capture the action in the dullness.Not too bad considering!
..27 september 2014..
57604 'Pendennis Castle' pulls away from Dawlish with '2C51' the 17:50 from Exeter going to Penzance.I was lucky enough to 'borrow' a chair from a nearby Hut thus enabling me to gain sufficient height and reach to produce this reasonable unobstructed shot of the 57's departure.With so many 'Plane Spotting Nobs' hanging over the palisade fencing in front of me, without that very valuable plastic chair this picture wouldn't have been possible!
..23 august 2014..
FGW's flagship locomotive 57604 was todays choice to operate the summer saturday loco-hauled service from Par in Cornwall to Exeter and then back to Penzance in the evening running as '2C51' the 17:50 off Exeter St Davids.Here it is seen departing Dawlish after a delayed halt there that lasted over 5 minutes instead of the booked 2 due to the massed crowds trying to cram aboard after the end of the Airday here.That was a bit of a worry as although the skies were pretty clear you never know when a stray floater will ruin it! As can be seen alls well that ends well!
..23 august 2014..
Today 'NENTA' ran a tour from Norwich down to Plymouth.Here is the return '1Z46' that departed there at 16:47.Leading (As it did on the outward journey) is 57315 whilst 47804 formed a backup on the rear.Notice a wispful Steve King looking helplessly up as this working passed.With the tall palisade fencing and all the Plane Spotters milling around getting a decent position for a shot was rather difficult.I was lucky.I sneaked a chair out of an open Hut nearby which gave me a valuable extra couple of feet height!
..23 august 2014..
The 11:25 from Par going to Exeter St Davids '2E75' has for this years summer been Loco & Coaches using the day coaches off the Sleeper train that is parked up at Plymouth over the weekend.Here is 57604 'Pendennis Castle' in its unique mock GWR-livery passing Dawlish heading for Exeter.You may be wondering why? there are so many people crowded onto Dawlish Beach.Well today was the annual Air-Day with many classic aeroplanes on show in the air above the bay.The star attraction was the only two airworthy Lancaster-Bombers in the whole world doing a demonstration later that afternoon..To see those iconic machines from later on that day click HERE.
..23 august 2014..
'1Z86' the much hyped Railtour from Eastleigh to Crewe for the DRS-Depot Open Day failed the produce the expected Class-68 due to technical difficulties.Personally the appearence of a couple of 57/0's was actually preferable. So here is that tour from the south powering away from the Westbury Pick-Up with 57009/57008 in charge.Moments before its arrival at Westbury the rain was sheeting down in Monsoon conditions.No sun but sufficiently bright to be grateful for that!
..19 july 2014..
57305 in its appealing shade of yellow heads '3A40' an impromtu ECS to get the Sleeper stock down to Penzance for tonights service.Apparantly the Air-Conditioning failed last night hence the working was cancelled. It ran from Old Oak Common albeit somewhat later than originally posted.It is seen here passing Clink nr Frome going well.The tele-shot was forced upon me by the lack of sun in the foreground naturally until 10 seconds after it had passed....The usual story!
..18 july 2014..
Here is the ECS for the much anticipated 'Caterpillar Cat' Railtour tomorrow from Eastleigh up to Crewe because it was advertised to mark the debut of the new Class-68 into passenger service.However due to technical difficulties affecting the entire class this pair of Class-57's was the hurried replacements.That in itself being quite a rare event! So here is the ECS '5Z85' the 08:45 from Crewe to Eastleigh Trmsd passing Arn-Hill nr Warminster with its motley collection of scratch 'Railtour' Stock,57008 was leading with 57009 inside.
..18 july 2014..
DRS 57004 rolls slowly into Eastleigh as '0Z69' from Willesden in readiness to take a couple for Nuclear-Flask Carriers northwards later in the day to Crewe.Behind it was 158887 on '2R34' the 09:56 from Salisbury going to Romsey,seen taking the Chandler-Ford line to Romsey.
..12 june 2014..
57604 'Pendennis Castle' in mock GWR livery c/w brass name and numberplates rolls past South Moreton east of Didcot with an '0Z57' from Old Oak Common going to Derby for some reason.No sunshine but the interest here is not the loco but the yard behind with its ever increasing stockpile of gantrys and OHLE infrastructure being prepared for that upcoming project.Like it or not its coming!!!!!!!!!!
..13 november 2013..
As I was travelling home from Southampton back to Frome I decided to try and pictue the returning Railtour '1Z54' from Bristol-TM going to Sheffield via Salisbury and Basingstoke.Due to the alignment of the tracks in the Wylye-Valley and the time of day a 'Going Away Shot' was just about the only option.With less than 10 minutes before it was due (57601 leading and this loco 57315 on the rear) I found this occupation xing near Hanging Langford with sufficient gaps in the bushes and shrubs to make a reasonable shot.A quite pleasing result considering the train was doing over 60 mph when it passed and you only have a split second to actuate the button......Thank goodness it was 57315 on the back,at least this recently repainted loco has a bit of gloss to it unlike most of the rest of the Durge-Dull WC-Rly fleet!
..04 september 2013..
Damery seemed like a nice place to picture this Railtour 'The Statesman' from Crewe (06:15 off) going to Kingswear.Full sun,clear skies etc etc, what could go wrong ? Easy------ a DMU failed between Cheltenham and Gloucester thus delaying this working and every other southbound train for nearly a hour.Thus when it finally arrived here the sun had crept round so the light was pretty much getting head on.That coupled with the shite non-reflective light sucking WC-Rly livery worn by the lead loco 57315 and the out of sight 47786 on the rear seen here on '1Z47' turned what could have been a really good shot into something else,oh yes and the sun dipped slightly as well just to rub salt into the already open wounds!
..31 august 2013..
Kings Sutton was the scene of my next attempt at capturing a shot of the Pretendolino-Set in use on diversions via the Chiltern Line due to the WCML being closed today south of Birmingham.Happily the sun played ball and a decent shot was had. Here is 57302 'Chad Varah' on '1Z16' from Euston (16:04 off) going to Birmingham-International..I never seem to get much luck at this place even though,as its a 200 mile round trip from home to get there I tend to plan trips on percieved sunny days.At least today it payed off!
..25 august 2013..
After a patient 150 minutes wait at Fritswell the Pretendolino operated by 57304/57302 '1Z07' duly re-appeared this time heading for Euston from Birmingham International (12:46 off).Hopes were high for a spot of sunshine as the weather was certainly improving but luck wasn't on our side,Oh-well!..Here is 57304 'Pride of Cheshire'' with DVT 82126 behind and 57304 on the back.Certainly worth a shot due to the rarity of the working!
..25 august 2013..
Today due to the WCML being shut for engineering work substitute diesel services were being operated out of Euston via the Chiltern Line to Birmingham-International.One of these services was using the famous pretendolino set of Mk-3 carriages+DVT-82126.Interestingly the power for this set was being provided by a pair of ex-Virgin 57/3's now operated by DRS. So that was a sight not to be missed! The longish trip north from Bristol was undertaken.,albeit in pretty poor lighting. Here is 57302 'Chad Varah' leading that trainset speeding north through Fritswell south of Anyho Junction with '1Z04' the 10:04 from Euston going to Birmingham-International. ..25 august 2013..
The ex-Virgin Thunderbirds 57315 and 57316 that formally worked for some considerable time for Arriva-Trains Wales on the Holyhead to Cardiff services are now under the wing of 'West Coast Railways'.Until now thankfully still in the previous operators colours.Here is '1Z81' from Newport (05:00 off) going to Canterbury running as the 'Golden Arrow Statesman'.It is seen slowing for a pickup stop at Didcot-Parkway Station.This working was delayed near Royal Wootton Bassett by an overnight signalling cable theft in that area.All trains were being hand signalled through,hence the delay.
..08 june 2013..
Freightliner have lately been running '6Z30' from Westbury down to Eastleigh due to their increased involvement with infrastructure work in that location.Amazingly today due to unavailability of a FL engine 57305 was used! It came up from Eastleigh 'light engine' specially to work this back.Typically it appeared under the final cloud of the day after which they all disappeared as they do in the evenings! Picture shown just to prove it actually happened! Here is Network-Rail's 57305 wearing a rather fetching yellow' A-Line Skirt' making very short shrift of climbing Upton-Scudamore Incline with a few older 4-wheelers carrying spent ballast in tow.It may happen again,anything is possible.Its just a pity the man upstairs had a jumper over his head this time around! ..30 april 2013..
57604 'Pendennis Castle' had a rare run in daylight today as it hauled '5Z70' from Penzance going to Old Oak Common H.S.T.D.This being due to the Sleeper-Service failing to run last night.Movement was needed to get the stock to London for tonights service to Cornwall.Not that some of the passengers would get any sleep anyway,one of the coaching stock had a quite serious wheel-flat producing a nice banging noise several times a second! This shot despite its backlit nature shows the ECS passing Westbury on the avoiding-line at Fairwood.
..18 march 2013..
Network-Rail's new 'Big-Idea' for the 3rd-rail lines in the south is the 'Snow-Train'.Basically it is a de-icer unit that sprays the 3rd-rail with a fluid to remove and prevent too much ice forming thus preventing efficient current pick-up on the EMU's.Here are Yellow Perils 57312 and 57303 T&T the two bogie wagons that contain the spray equipment.This working '8Y87' has just departed Eastleigh going initially to Southampton then according to a man on the bridge then up to Wimbledon in London before coming back to Eastleigh.The camera settings of 500th@f4 at 800asa.Note how bright all the lights are! Kinda says it all about the conditions!
..19 january 2013..
Once again the Up-Sleeper from Penzance to Paddington failed shortly after departing Penzance.Here the defective locomotive 57603 (which ground to a halt from an apparant serious electrical malfunction) and stock are being dragged up to OOC by 57605 as '5C99' the next morning (Departing Long-Rock at Penzance at 10:12).I bet the passengers were not very happy being ejected from their nice cosy sleeper berths to suffer 'aircraft style seating' in their substitute HST-Set for something like 8 hours! I hope they get their money back plus more besides----poor sods! The working is seen passing Frome in the usual lighting conditions when these ECS's run-----Dire!
..07 august 2012..
A 2nd shot of 57007 at Stenson-Junction with '4E38' Ditton going to Tees Dock.This area around Willington now looks pretty desolate and overgrown now the Power-Station is long closed and demolished (Except the cooling towers).Note the signal still in place that once used to control the MGR's that fed this now trackless installation.
..26 july 2012..
Not long after the 'Sinfin-Tanks' had passed this new working appeared.Ex-Freightliner 57007 doing what it was originally built for but now doing it with DRS! A fresh flow from Ditton to Tees Dock '4E38' transporting containers looking to be well loaded as well passes Stenson-Junction heading north.
..26 july 2012..
Another day in the sunless paradise that in Southern-England! An interesting daylight run away from Cornwall for dedicated 'sleeper' engine 57604.Today it was used to haul a couple of Class-43 power-cars from Londons-Old Oak Common down to Laira at Plymouth.Here 57604 in its mock GWR livery c/w brass name and numberplates is seen dragging 43037 and 43144 on '0Z77' past Clink-Junction nr Frome running about 15 minutes ahead of time.
..18 july 2012..
57009 and 57007 with just one Nuclear Flask wagon in tow passes Coalpit-Heath on '6M67',the regular flow of spent fuelrods from Bridgewater going initially to Crewe then on to Sellafield.
..28 may 2012..
A quick 'zoom-in' produced this bonus shot of 57312/73136 departing Corfe-Castle nicely complimented by the Field a Oil-Seed-Rape in the distant background.
..12 may 2012..
Unmistakeable 57312 and 73136 power away from Corfe-Castle.This 'very-yellow' scene greatly enhanced by the late afternoon sunshine as the clouds that were in the majority for most of the afternoon were beginning to disperse.
..12 may 2012..
Top-Banana 57312 and its little 'translator' buddy 73136 heads away from Swanage for yet another trundle up the line to Norden.Every cloud has a silver-lining and due to the locomotive shortages there was plenty of chances to picture this 'shy' yellow locomotive as well as the other performers of coarse!
..12 may 2012..
Mega-Tele plus a generous 'crop' was needed to beat the fast moving shadows as 57312/73136 crept into view here at Victoria Road.Ten yards further on and the 'Big Yellow Banana' was completely overcast.Check out the previous shot of 33111 to see just how long this tele-shot was!.
..12 may 2012..
The most interesting diesel to attend this years gale was 57312.This Class 47 rebuild as a 57 was until recently employed as a 'Thunderbird' for Virgin on the WCML.However ownership has now passed to Network-Rail and the locomotive has an easy time of it mainly spending its time parked up at Eastleigh.Looking very bright in Banana-Yellow it is seen in tandem with 'JB' 73136,a very late addition to the weekends line-up.Unfortunately it was destined to spend most of its time being used purely as a translater vehicle enabling 57312 to operate vacuum braked stock due to it being air brakes only.Seen at Corfe-Common heading for Swanage (Where else?). Note the quickly manufactured 'The Shambles' headboard.
..12 may 2012..
The Big Yellow Banana! 57312,this time with 33111 acting as the brake-interface passes Woodyhyde going northwards towards Corfe-Castle.
..11 may 2012..
NR-57312 and compulsary parner 33111 approach the A351 Victoria Avenue Roadbridge heading for Swanage. This engine has no facility to operate the vacuum brakes being rebuilt as air brake only. Hence the need for a 2nd engine to act as a translator to enable it to work these trains.Obviously it will not do any solo work during this Gale because of this reason.
..11 may 2012..
Ex-Virgin Thunderbird 57312 originally named 'The Hood' now sports 'Network-Rail' Yellow.Here it is partnered with long preserved D5401 powering away from Harmons-Cross with a working from Norden going to Swanage.Viewed departing the station there past the site of a recent small land-slip.
..11 may 2012..
'1V31' the 05:32 departure from Holyhead going to Cardiff is seen at Duffryn or if you like the welsh name Heol Pont-Y-Cw-Cw !!! 57315,one of the two branded ATW Class 57's being in charge today.I believe these engines will be finishing on these duties at the end of March when Blue Class 67's and DVT's take over.
..06 march 2012..
57312 with the 'part-snow-train' along with its little 'JB' friend 73208 runs through Royal-Wootton Basset on its return run from Bristol-SFM back down to Eastleigh.Today running as'5D66'.This is the site of the local station that was closed in 1965.Apart from a passing loop in the distance on the Bristol route the whole place is largely dereliction and decay. For all you wagon freaks out there the two 'Snow' bogie bolster units are 709594001-8 and 709594012-5.
..23 february 2012..
57312 formally named 'The Hood' when it was a Virgin T-Bird passes Acton-Turville going to Bristol-SFM from Eastleigh.'JB' 73208 was hanging on the rear presumably as a 'DVT' for shunt purposes.Running as '5Z66' I believe the purpose of the visit was for some wheel-turning to be done on the lathe there due to severe wheel-flats on the running wheels somewhere!
..22 february 2012..
This working '1V31' departs from Holyhead at 05:32 and goes to Cardiff,taking over 4 hours for the journey.Soon to be replaced 57314 passes Coedkernew between Newport and Cardiff running pretty much on time.
..27 january 2012..
57312 in new Network-Rail colours. I watched this arrive at the North yard at Eastleigh being drawn by the yet to be treated 57310.Minutes before it had left the Works so this is its first movement on the main network.57312 was formally named as 'The Hood' and 57310,also now denamed though still in 'T-bird' colours was 'Kyrano''.
..22 october 2011..
1st look at the newly reliveried 57312,now that it is a Network-Rail Asset.Looks to be a very thorough repaint and was very shiny.
..22 october 2011..
An interesting vista looking over the Yard here at Eastleigh.With FL 66562 on '4O07' from Leeds slowing to pass through the Station running 436 minutes late! Ex-Virgin 57310 is seen taking the newly repainted Network-Rail 57312 into the yard.Meanwhile 66172 stands ready to take an Inter-Model down to Southampton-Western Docks.
..22 october 2011..
Former WCML Thunderbird now branded as Arriva Trains Wales 57315 runs past Duffryn shortly after departing Newport on the final leg to Cardiff with '1V31' from Holyhead having departed there at 05:32.
..30 september 2011..
The 14:38 from Holyhead bound for Euston hauled by 57307 creeps slowly away from the Terminus there.This is a now unique working of a 'Thunderbird' dragging a Pendolino reporting as '1A55' for the return working.Diesel will go as far as Crewe then 390023 will continue on its own to London. ..13 august 2011..
Here is a close-up look at the complicated looking arrangement that is a 'Dellner-Coupling' in the deployed position on 57307.Picture recorded as the engine is backing onto and coupling with 390023 at Holyhead using the other end coupler.This 'front-end' one will be placed in the vertical parked position prior to departure. ..13 august 2011..
Pink nameplated 'Lady Penelope' 57307 seen slowly running round its coach-formation,Pendolino 390023 in readiness for the return working '1A55' to Euston from here at Holyhead.The '57' will of coarse come off at Crewe and the Pendo will then continue on its own to the Capital. Note the Dellner-Coupling still in the deployed position from where it had brought the working in a few minutes earlier.It will of coarse be stowed in the raised-park position before departure,(See shot leaving 90 minutes later). ..13 august 2011..
This 'SO' drag from Crewe '1D83',the 08:50 from Euston to Holyhead is now the only time each week that a Pendolino gets hauled in passenger service away from the 'wires'.Used I think as a weekly refresher on how to couple/uncouple a Thunderbird to these 390-type Units.The Dellner type Coupling being somewhat unique and at times troublesome! Here is 57307 'Lady Penelope' hauling 390023 on the approaches to the Terminus at Holyhead. ..13 august 2011..
Former Virgin Thunderbird 57314 now rides the rails working for the Arriva Company on the Welsh-Assemby sponsored LCHS from Holyhead to Cardiff and return.Here the 16:15 off Cardiff to Holyhead speeds up past a now heavily bushed-up Ponthir north of Newport.Usual luck for today prevailed and after standing there in full sun for 15 mins a cloud appeared over our shoulder just at the vital moment.Some work in P-Shop involving heavy cropping and wands/layers etc just about rescued the shot from the cutting-room floor but it could have been so-so much better! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! ..09 august 2011..
The former 'Freightliner Pioneer' 57001 now hauls Passengers instead of Containers since reinstatement to use at the end of april/2011.Here seen powering 'The Royal Scotsman' as '1Z30' the 14:59 from Bath to Oxford.With 37685-DOR the working is seen passing the site of Corsham Station just east of the less glamorous end of Box Tunnel. ..12 july 2011..
Now having another lease of life with the 'Brown-Team' 57001 approaches Westbury with the ECS from Bath-Spa to Westbury '5Z29'.This positioning move merely to get the train-set out of the way until it is time to re-collect the passengers for the next leg of their tour up to Oxford. ..12 july 2011..
With the Mayflower in full bloom here at Norton-Bavant in the Wylye-Valley the '0Z56' convoy heading for Swanage passes by.57601,WC-Rly leads ex-Fastline 56301,ex-EWS 37503,ex-BR 55009(D9009) and another ex-BR D1062.A pretty colourful sight spanning either side of the BR-Blue era. ..05 may 2011..
Such was the speed of this convoy '0Z56' that I was able to grab a logish 'tele' shot whilst it was adjacent to the flowery hawthorn bushes.The main event being the shot taken about 1.5 seconds later (See above).The 170mm telephoto 'in 35mm terms' certainly accentuates the Rape-Field and the row of Farm-Cottages in the middle distance.67601 with 56301/37503/55009 and D1062.Effectively producing a completely differant picture. ..05 may 2011..
The Gala event of the year for Diesel fans is without doubt the one held at Swanage.Always a good selection of preserved visitors for the customers to drool over.Convoy for this years event originally included 33035 but that failed en-route from Kidderminster and was sidelined.However the rest made it hauled by the former 'Purple-Ronnie' 57601 now regretfully saddled with this WC-Rly colour scheme! Loco's behind it were 56301/37503/55009 and D1062.Shot taken at Bradford-on-Avon Station of '0Z56' running about 10 early at this stage.This lot certainly confused the 'normals' on the platforms used to 150's and 158's! ..05 may 2011..
Arriva liveried 57315 crosses the Usk River bridge at Newport whilst heading northward with the afternoon train from Cardiff going to Holyhead. ..04 march 2011..
As things turned out this was definitely the final-final LCHS on the Bristol to Weymouth summer service.To mark to occasion FGW to their credit made an effort and produced the Flagship of the small fleet retained to operate the Sleeper services down to Cornwall from London.This is of coarse 57604 'Pendennis Castle' in mock GWR colours. Here is the returning service '2V67' from Weymouth to Bristol on that last day approaching Thornford south of Yeovil with its reinforced by one coach for the day rake of 5 carriages.Amazingly somebody had found the small circular 'Sand and Cycle Explorer' Headboard and gave it one last trip to the coast!
..04 september 2010..
Billed as the final-final LCHS on the Bristol to Weymouth route ever! (Just like last year!) Special Loco rostered to perform this duty was FGW Celeb 57604 in GWR-Green.Looking really quite nice as it passes Thornford in Dorset on the return evening run back to Bristol '2V67'.Not much room for 'normals' on this one!
..04 september 2010..
Virgin-Thunderbird 57309 'Brains' eases away from Bristol Temple-Meads with the '2Y10' service from Bristol-Parkway going to Weston-S-Mare.Strangely from there to Taunton is would run as an ECS to position itself for the 11:00 from there to Cardiff. These days just three years later 57309 runs in DRS colours and has been renamed 'Pride of Crewe' and LCHS on this route is a thing of the past.
..23 june 2010..
A bit of an oddball this.The 10:10 ecs from Weston-S-Mare down to Taunton running as '5Y10'. In passenger service to WSM and again from Taunton returning north.It is probably due to no Guard being available for this leg!. Anyway here is T-Bird 57305 with another T-Bird 57308 just visible on the back (T&T) shortly after departing Weston at Sunnyside Road Footbridge heading south.
..03 june 2010..
An 'Indian Summer' for UK built LCHS around Bristol. Here is '2C79' the 14:00 off Cardiff going to Taunton.For a while these 57's were used but regretfully reliability was so poor eventually they were replaced with 67's. Here 57306/57305 ease away from Weston-s Mare going to Taunton..
..28 may 2010..
The 14:00 from Cardiff to Taunton was for a time in the summer of 2010 hauled by Top-n-Tail Virgin 57/3's.Nice while it lasted but reliability got so bad, service was eventually given over to 67's for the remainder of the season.In 2011 no LCHS were used probably due to the nightmare that was the 57's! Anyway here 57305 'John Tracy' and 57306 'Jeff Tracy' sandwiching 4 Anglia liveried mk-2's speeding past Lympsham south of Weston-S Mare heading for Taunton. Interestingly in 2011 both these machines have been re-leased to Network-Rail for Winter-de-icing duties.The Red/Grey livery being replaced by all-over Yellow!
.. 27 may 2010..
Now in 2011 a distant memory! The LCHS service, the 14:00 from Cardiff to Taunton pauses at Patchway in the northern suburbs of Bristol.57302 leads with sister 57309 DOR.Shortly after this month was out reliability of these 57's became such a problem they were replaced by 67's.After that the service ran like clockwork but it still ceased at the end of the summer timetable.In 2011 this working is now often as not a 2-car class 150 DMU. Progress? I think not! ..21 april 2010..
'Brains' 57309 heads the 10:00 away from Taunton heading for Cardiff (2U14) with 57302 'Virgil Tracy' DOR.Seen passing Creech-St-Michael.
..20 april 2010..
57305/57309 emerge up the incline from Patchway Tunnel on the approach to the station of Patchway.Working was the 14:00 off Cardiff going to Taunton. ..05 march 2010..
The 14:00 from Cardiff to Taunton '2C79' with 57305 and 57309-DOR passes the site of the once extensive Malago-Vale carriage sidings west of Bedminster in the outskirts of Bristol.Unfortunately there was not too much GO! associated with these particular Thunderbirds! ..02 march 2010..
Former Virgin T-Bird 57313 now in plain 'Arriva' blue speeds up through Ponthir shortly after departing Newport on the 16:15 from Cardiff to Holyhead.Amazingly 2 years later this loco is still operating this train and is shortly to be joined by another 'set' operated by re-liveried 67's also in this plain blue colour scheme. ..02 june 2009..
Former Freightliner 57009 is now working for DRS on much less arduous duties. here it is seen rounding the band at Great-Cheverell taking some track machine plant from Eastleigh to Frome.It was running as '6Z01'.In the 5 years since this picture was recorded those sidings at Frome have been lifted.
..13 may 2008..
Within days of going on lease to 'Fragonset' 57005 was put straight to work still wearing its 'Freightliner' branding.Here it is returning to Gloucester with the 13:25 off Yeovil-Junc '5Z70' with 31452 and coach '9500' in tow.Shown approaching Westbury at Fairwood. ..30 january 2008..
Newly acquired from Freightliner by Advenza 57005 was pressed into service still running in its old owners colours.Here it is on a stock-move from Gloucester to Yeovil running as '5Z69' passing Berkley-Marsh past yet another location now destroyed by an ugly cabin&mast. ..30 january 2008..
The original 'Body-Snatcher' 57601 now working for West Coast-Rly's heads the 'Green Express' Charter '1Z24' returning home to Wakefield from Salisbury.In the distance can just be glimpsed 47851 DOR.The train is seen passing Arn-Hill just north of Warminster in the Wylye-Valley.
..15 september 2007..
57605 'Totnes Castle' passes Fairwood Junction nr Westbury with an ECS of 'day' Mk-2's.Coming from Plymouth it was bound for Old Oak Common.No RTT in those days so actual working a bit of a mystery.Note 'First' group's first attempt at a green livery was applied to the loco and stock.You would have thought the management would have learnt their lesson then about this rather dull livery but no! 10 years later something similar is being tried again to the stock for the new GWR branded franchise!
..21 january 2006..
Shortly after it was delivered fresh from rebuild at Brush-Works Loughborough the immaculate 57604 was given a test run to Plymouth and return from Old Oak Common-Depot.The working '5Z32' complete with 47832 along for insurance is viewed leaving Westbury at Fairwood.A stop being made there no doubt to check all was well with 57604 before proceeding further west.At this time the numbers were just painted on and no names had yet been bestowed.This loco of coarse in 2010 emerged in mock GWR livery c/w brass name and numberplates! Click HERE to see that incarnation.
..26 february 2004..
The recent conversion of 47807 into 57304 is seen dragging 90006 plus a DVT-set from Wolverhampton going to Euston.This location at Coleshill. Now in 2012 has a station at this very spot! The Diesel would come off at Nuneaton where the '90' would take over under the wires.These 'Drags' were operated every weekend whilst the WCML upgrade was in progress north of Nuneaton.Note also that 57304 had yet to receive its Dellner-Coupling fitment to be used for hauling Pendolinos in the event of a failure.Hence the name 'Thunderbirds' for the class.
..03 august 2003..
Prototype Class57 number 57601 rebuilt from 47825 'Thomas Telford' stands in Bristol-TM after arrival from Paddington on an evening express.
..08 december 2002..
The 'Purple-Monster' 57601 in as built condition motors up through Frome's Clink with '1A34' from Plymouth going up to Paddington. Although (To Me) it seemed to be breaking down all the time the 'powers-that-be' considered it to be a success so a further 20 57/6's rebuilds were commissioned from redundant 47's,20 for Virgin and 4 more for FGW.This one ended up being passed on the WC-Rly's and in 2013 is still in active service.