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Monday, 31 May 2010

Earlestown and Bank Quay in the 1980's

A few weeks ago I was handed an album containing photographs from the 1980's covering the lines in Wigan, St Helens, Liverpool and Warrington. I was immediately struck by the numbers of class 56s in use at the time on these lines, especially during the middle of that decade. The album was forwarded by Ken Saunders who used a Pentax SLR camera to take the photographs. I have copied four of his pictures taken at the stations at Warrington Bank Quay and Earlestown for this final May post (31st May 2010) but the quality has suffered a little, as a result.

The first pic is of class 45, 45117, rounding the curve at Earlestown Station heading passenger stock on 9th September 1985.

The second pic shows a coal train out of Parkside Colliery headed by class 56, 56071, taken at Bank Quay Station on 12th June 1986.

The third shot is again from Bank Quay and features three locomotives, 2 x class 20s, 20045 and 20053, double-headed, and a class 47, 47198 (D1848). This pic was also taken on 12th June 1986.

The final pic from Ken's album, taken on 15th August 1986, shows class 56, 56099, storming through Earlestown Station with a tank freight working.
If you have any pictures of historical value such as these, please forward them to me. The educational/historical content of the blog is increasing, and it is all the better for it.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Along Other Lines (21) - Red Bank

For newer viewers or in case you have forgotten, 'Along Other Lines' features pics/info etc., that refer to lines in 'close proximity' to the Winwick lines.

The first two pics in today's post (29th May 2010) were taken moments apart as two trains passed one another. Photographer Ken Young took pic number one then turned his camera in the opposite direction to take pic number two as the second train was approaching him before the first one had cleared.

The first pic shows EWS (DBS) class 92, 92019 Wagner on a recent, morning container working, Stobart/Tesco (date not forwarded). Almost immediately Freightliner class 66, 66557 was photographed as the two trains passed each other. This locomotive was on heavy haul, coal duty.

The third pic in this post is from young Cory Wilcock and again features the southbound 'Royal Scot' railtour headed by Stanier 4-6-2 6233 Duchess of Sutherland. The locomotive is currently liveried in Ivatt lined black before her boiler ticket expires - a more familiar livery will be applied next year. Cory chose to take a close up of the locomotive as the rake of coaches behind was unfortunately of mixed liveries. The 'Special' was a Carlisle - Crewe working. Cory's pic was also taken at Red Bank on 22nd May 2010.

Friday, 28 May 2010

A 56 and 2 x 66s

In this post, 28th May 2010, I am using two pics from the father and son duo, Chris and Cory Wilcock, both taken at Winwick Junction on 22nd May 2010.

Chris's shot is of EWS (DBS) class 66, 66020 heading the scrap wagons from Sheffield coming off the Earlestown branch.

Cory's pic is of Colas Rail class 56, 56312 Artemis double-heading with EWS (DBS) class 66, 66148, on a 'Pathfinder Tour' rounding the curve on the mainline at the same junction. Not at all bad for a ten-year-old Cory - keep them coming.

The final pic in this post, taken on 27th May 2010, was contributed by Ken Young. The pic shows Freightliner class 66 in Aggregate Industries blue livery, 66623, Bill Bolsover (chair of AI) representing Bardon Aggregates. The latter is one of the UK's largest quarrying companies with over seventy aggregates operations. Crushed rock, sand and gravel, and recycled and secondary aggregates are among the products.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Class 87s for Bulgaria

Due to pressure from the high number of contributions, this 26th May 2010 post again follows quickly in the footsteps of the previous post. The post comprises three pictures from Alan Rigby and a fourth from John Smith featuring class 87 locomotives, all destined for Bulgaria.

In 1997 when Virgin Trains took over the franchise on the WCML the class 87/0 locomotives were transferred to Porterbrook, a railway stock company, who leased them back to Virgin. However, the advent of the Pendolino units rendered most of the fleet redundant in the UK from around 2005. Porterbrook intensified the search for disposal. In 2006 enquiries were made by the Bulgarian Railway Company, through a third party, about the feasibilty of using redundant, British class 87 electric locomotives in Bulgaria. As a result 87012 and 87019, both with requested modications, were sent to that country for appraisal in December of the same year. Following successful trials a further twenty-five, class 87 locomotives were purchased on behalf of the BRC. In the same way that the two successfully appraised locomotives had been treated, modifications / refurbishment of the twenty-five was carried out by Electric Traction Services Ltd., (ETS) at Long Marston followed by live testing at Crewe. Locomotives were exported in stages over the period 2008-2010.

Two of Alan's pics, taken on 13th June 2008, show grey-liveried locomotives sporting text and numbers, 87008-9 and 87007-1, awaiting dispatch to Bulgaria. A third pic shows the text in close up. All pics were taken in Arpley Yard. A fourth pic, taken by John Smith on the same day at Arpley, shows class 87, 87026-1 in full green and yellow livery of the Bulgarian Railway Company.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Along Other Lines (20) - Golborne and Warrington

Three pictures comprise this post (25th May 2010) which follows on rapidly from yesterday's post because of the high volume of contributions - fantastic.

The first two pics are from Glenn Oakley and both were taken on the same day at Golborne, just up the WCML from Winwick. The date was 22nd May 2010. The third pic is from Jeff Nicholls taken on 24th May 2010 south of Bank Quay over the Mersey.

Colas (ex Hanson Traction) Class 56, 56312 Artemis is shown double-heading a southbound Pathfinder Tour, 'The Scenic Settler' with EWS (DBS) class 66, 66148. The tour started at Bristol Temple Meads headed by 66148 to Birmingham New Street where 56312 was added for the journey to Carlisle. The same locos were used for the return journies. The passenger stock was named as DBS.
The class 56 is an interesting class of BR co-co diesel locomotives constructed between 1976 and 1983. The first sixty were built by Brush Traction with half being assembled (rather poorly) from imported parts at the company's Romanian subsidiary. The final seventy-five were constructed by BREL in Doncaster and Crewe.

Stanier 'Pacific' 6233 Duchess of Sutherland was photographed an hour or so later at the same location heading the northbound 'Royal Scot' railtour from Crewe to Carlisle. WCRC class 47, 47245 was on the tail. Several people have forwarded photographs of the 'Scenic Settler' and 'Royal Scot' railtours - I will use them in the near future but please be patient.

The third and final pic in this post features the East Lancashire Railway's 'Deltic' class 55, 55022 Royal Scots Grey. The locomotive is shown heading south to Barrow Hill after picking up a rake of blue and grey Mk II coaches from Arpley Yard. The locomotive is booked for the Retro Railtours 'Deltic Retro Scot 2' railtour of 31st May 2010, working from Stockport to Edinburgh and return.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Three from Three

Photographs from Alan Rigby, Jeff Nicholls and John Smith, three regular contributors, are featured in this post, 24th May 2010.

Alan's pic shows GBRf class 66, 66703 Doncaster PSB 1981-2002, heading the well-photographed gypsum freight working on 9th March 2010.

Freightliner class 70, 70006, is featured in Jeff's pic, northbound, heading empty coal hoppers from Fiddlers Ferry P.S. on 19th May 2010. The locomotive had taken over from 70002 at Arpley Yard.

John's shot is another recent one taken on 21st May 2010. Ian Riley's class 5, ('Black 5') 4-6-0 44871, is shown with its support coach on a Bury-Southall run. The locomotive was purchased by Ian on 20th September 2006. There is another 'Black 5' in the Riley stable, 45407 The Lancashire Fusillier.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Hogwarts Express

For Harry Potter fans this post (22nd May 2010) is a must. The famous 'Hogwarts Express' is featured photographed separately on the 20th May 2010 by John Smith and Glenn Oakley, as it steamed through Winwick. At the head, as seen in the movies, was GWR 'Hall' class 4-6-0 5972, Olton Hall, masquerading in maroon livery, as Hogwarts Castle. The train was moving to the southwest, to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway for The 'Cotswold Festival of Steam GWR 175 Celebration' (29th May - 6th June).
Johns pic shows the whole train.

Glenn's pic, left, shows the uniqe locomotive in close up. 5972 was built in 1937 and withdrawn from service in December 1963. She resided at Dai Woodham's famous scrapyard at Barry until her sale in May 1981 to Procor (UK) Ltd. She is currently owned by the West Coast Railway Company based at Carnforth. When operating as Hogwarts Castle 5972 carries a headboard incorporating the Hogwarts School crest.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

'The East Lancs Crusader'

The three pics today (20th May 2010) are from regular contributors, John Smith, Andy Appleton and Glenn Oakley.

John's pic is of the 2009 Rawtenstall - Aberystwyth - Rawtenstall railtour headed by class 40, 40145 East Lancashire Railway (resident at the ELR). The railtour was named 'The East Lancs Crusader' and was composed of virgin stock with a single 'blood and custard' carriage at the tail. The locomotive was built at the Vulcan Foundry and came into service on 17th May 1961 as D345. She was withdrawn from service, after suffering accidental damage, in June 1983 and purchased by the ELR at Bury in February 1984. Winwick Junction was the location, 13th June 2009, the date.

A second classic diesel is shown next. D1015 Western Champion was photographed light engine through Winwick on 25th June 2007 by Andy Appleton. This diesel-hydraulic locomotive was built at Swindon in 1963 and emerged in golden ochre livery. She remained in this livery until November 1965 when a maroon livery was applied. In November 1968 she changed livery again, this time to BR blue and was withdrawn from service in December 1976. She is owned by the Diesel Traction Group.

Glenn's pic features two DRS class 57s, 57004 and 57xxx travelling double-headed, light engine through Winwick, northbound, on 9th April 2010. An EWS (DBS) class 60, 60xxx is pictured on the slow line behind.

The black 'Duchess' is through Winwick again on Saturday - check the times in the steam rail info link beside the blog, right-hand side.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Logs by Rail

For this post (17th May 2010) I am trying something a little different and offering some interesting information about one of our more popular trains.

For Winwick enthusiasts, one of the most photographed freight workings is 'the logs', the Carlisle - Chirk timber train that normally speeds through at around 1700hrs. In addition, recently, the mid afternoon scene has been enhanced with a reverse working involving empty timber wagons.

Colas Rail were engaged in 2007 to facilitate the whole rail operation from the railhead just outside Carlisle to a bona-fide siding at the Kronospan factory at Chirk, North Wales, approximately 170 miles away. Although it is a regular rail working this timber accounts for less than 10% of Kronospan's total timber requirement - chipboard, MDF and sawn timber are just three of the end products. The timber is sourced from Southern Scotland and Northern England with much of it priced according to market forces.

Locomotives engaged in this working over the past 12 months have been mainly class 57s or 66s but class 47s have also been seen. And, not only Colas locomotives have been used; others, DRS mainly, have been leased from alternative sources. Wagons used are KFA box units with the sides and roofs removed; they are modified with movable stancheons (up to 14) to support the timber load.

I have added three photographs of the train. The first, above, shows class 57, 57313, in Arriva blue livery taken on 23rd October 2009, on a loaded timber working.

The second pic is of class 66, 66843, in Colas livery taken on 23rd Apil 2010, on another loaded logs train.

The final pic was taken on the same day, 23rd April 2010, and features class 66, 66434, in Fastline livery approaching a red light on the up slow line, on an empty logs working.
Note Jeff Nicholls' shot in the previous post where a class 47 is double-heading with a class 66 on a loaded logs run.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Another Four from Four

We have another four pics from four different workers today (16th May 2010) including a fine archive shot.

The first pic is from David Wood. Freightliner class 66, 66957 is shown heading a southbound coal train on 11th May 2010.

The second pic is from Jeff Nicholls and features double heading Colas locomotives on the popular logs train. Class 47, 47739 Robin of Templecombe and class 66, 66843 were photographed on 10th May 2010.

Our next pic is from Eddie Bellass; this is the first shot on the blog to show a snow plough. Taken in December 1965 a class 8F 2-8-0 is featured, with snow plough, heading north through Winwick Quay.

The final pic for today is from John Smith. A WCRC class 33, 33207, Jim Martin, heads north with a WCRC passenger stock move on 3rd September 2007.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Maroon or Black Duchess?

Todays post (13th May 2010) features two photographs of the same steam locomotive. They were taken by two regular contributors, from almost the same spot. The dates were five years apart, however.
The first is from Eddie Bellas taken on 17th May 2005. Stanier 'Pacific' 6233, Duchess of Sutherland, in LMS maroon livery, is shown steaming, southbound, through Winwick Junction on a railtour. The locomotive is sporting the distinctive, tartan-inspired 'Royal Scot' headboard and the carriages are BR maroon stock.

The second photograph, for direct comparison, is of the same locomotive painted in temporary, lined black livery before a major overhaul next year. The 'love it or hate it' wartime livery was applied at Butterley and the locomotive was presented to an admiring public on 6th March 2010. In John Smith's pic, also taken at Winwick Junction, the locomotive is heading 'The Citadel Express' railtour, comprising a mixed rake of passenger coaches, on 8th May 2010. The route was Crewe - Shap - Carlisle and return. For the record I think the locomotive looks fantastic in black - comments below please.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Volcanic Ash and The Royal Mail

The photographs keep rolling in - many thanks to everyone who contributes. Your efforts are keenly anticipated and much appreciated. For the 11th May 2010 post I am adding a pic from each of three regular contributors.

The first pic is from Glenn Oakley. When the volcanic ash cloud from Eyjafjallajokull in central, southern Iceland caused havoc in the aviation industry (and continues to do so) one of the businesses affected was the Royal Mail. As a result more mail was sent by rail. Glenn's pic shows a long, twelve unit, mail train of class 325 emus taken on the 20th April 2010.

The second pic is another gem from Eddie Bellass. EWS class 56, 56081 is shown crossing Winwick Junction, southbound, on 21st June 2003.

The final pic in this post is from Jeff Nicholls and features a recent, empty passenger stock move. The locomotive is WCRC class 37, 37516 and the date, 7th May 2010.

Don't forget to use the links beside the blog at the right hand side if you require info on loco or charter train movements, want to read a good rail mag or website on line, or purchase some model railway equipment at discounted prices.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Double-heading Class 92s

Another four pics from four different contributors for 9th May 2010.

The first features double-heading EWS (DBS) class 92s from Jeff Nicholls. Taken on 7th May 2010 - the pair 92031 The Institute of Logistics and Transport and 92003 Beethoven - worked the morning Tesco container train, northbound, which has become quite popular with photographers.

The second pic is from Alan Rigby. Virgin Class 57, 57307 Thunderbirds, Lady Penelope, is shown heading Virgin passenger stock but the date is not known.

A Geoff Monks' pic is next, taken on 8th April 2010. EWS (DBS) class 90, 90041 is pictured on a Mossend - Hams Hall container working with plenty of empty spaces.

The fourth and final pic in this post is from Andy Appleton and features EWS class 67, 67029 on a Blackburn - Arpley Yard cargo vans working on 3rd September 2007. As a point of interest the badge/logo showing the English lion, Welsh dragon and Scottish stag was designed by Tom Connell. Tom entered a competition in 1996 run by RAIL Magazine in conjunction with EWS to design a new company logo. His design was selected from over 1200 entries. On 14th January 1997 Tom was invited to the Toton Depot to enveil the new logo on the cabsides of class 58, 58037. The latter locomotive was, therefore, the first to carry the new EWS logo.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Along Other Lines (19) - More 1960's Pics.

More of Eddie Bellass's superb archive photographs feature in today's post (8th May 2010) along with a pic from Winwick regular Ken Young.

The first shot of Eddie's is a classic shot of a local steam shed c1962. The Dallam MPD was popular with train buffs for many years and this pic encapsulates the atmosphere of the shed on a typical Sunday morning; you can almost smell the hot oil and clinker. How many diffent locos can you identify?

Eddie's second pic is of a new diesel locomotive on delivery from the Vulcan Foundry in Earlestown in December 1966. ED6012 is rounding the curve at Earlestown Station on its way to Doncaster.

The shot from Ken Young shows the 'Great Britain III' steam charter of 8th April 2010. We have featured this 'Special' in previous posts but this pic was taken at an entirely different location whilst in close proximity to the Winwick line. The spot was south of Bank Quay Station across the Mersey bridge. The double-heading locomotives were Stanier 'black 5', 44871 and BR 'Standard' class 7, 70013, Oliver Cromwell.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Another First-time Contributor

Four more pics in today's post; one each from three previous contibutors and another from first-time contributor Chris Sutcliffe. Chris is the fourth FTC over the past couple of weeks.

Chris has been to Winwick on several occasions. He photographed DRS (with Colas logos) class 57, 57002, working empty KFA timber wagons northwards on a Chirk - Carlisle run on 23rd March 2010.

John Smith sent in the next shot. D.B. Schenker class 60, 60040 The Territorial Army Centenary is featured on a Fiddlers Ferry - Liverpool Bulk Terminal coal (empties) working on 14th April 2009.

The next shot is from Andy Appleton and shows a class 31, 31190, on a Network Rail Instruments Train (with another class 31 at the rear) passing class 175 dmu, 175011 on 21st August 2006.

Today's final pic is from Eddie Bellas. Bulleid, 'West Country/Battle of Britain' class 'Pacific' 34067, Tangmere, is shown scorching through Winwick on 28th June 2003 with the 'Pines Express'.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Train with 5 Locomotives

Today, 2nd May 2010, we welcome another first-time contributor to our blog, Alan Sherratt. Alan is one of the Winwick regulars although he travels much further afield as his flickr entries prove.

Alan's first shot is a fantastic one featuring a very unusual train headed by five, yes five locomotives. The train originated from the sidings at Earlestown with the extra 4 locomotives added at Warrington. The working was Warrington - Carlisle which took in the Settle & Carlisle line. The locomotives pictured are EWS (DBS) class 66s - 66004, 66109, 66149, 66153 and 66070. The pic was dated 1st May 2010 - yesterday.

The second shot of Alan's is more straight forward and shows Colas class 47, 47749 Demelza, working empty, bogie container wagons on a Carlisle- Washwood Heath working on 26th April 2010.

His third pic features the 'POLICE' named and liveried class 47, 47829 double heading with a Virgin liveried class 87 on a Euston - Liverpool 'drag' via Earlestown. The passenger stock is also Virgin liveried. This pic is dated 18th April 2004.

For more of Alan's pics visit