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RAIL EXPRESS No. 213 FEBRUARY 2014 £4.25

D&E FIles: Polybulk wagons Bachmann Class 40 review Heljan railbus released Deltics: Building a legend

32 pages of models

It ran in Bri tain – but

what on earth is it?

Essential reading for today’s rail enthusiast

First new Colas ‘70s’ arrive DBS POOL CODES A full list of the reallocated loco fleet


DRS ‘68s’ will be next!

Past, present & future of this important franchise


Issue No. 213 February 2014

ONE of the more unusual workings of 2013 occurred almost at the end, when blue Class 20 No. 20142 hauled East Midlands Trains ‘Meridian’ No. 222101 from Bombardier’s Crofton depot (near Wakefield) to Derby Etches Park on December 19. The combo is seen at Crofton ahead of its 5Z20/13.30 departure. Harry Savage



The first two new Class 70s for Colas arrive and the first ‘68’ for DRS will be next; preserved No. 37401 returns to traffic as classmate No. 37403 is brought back to life; DBS reorganises its loco pools; TPE ‘Desiros’ enter service; GBRf hire in an ‘87’ and a pair of ‘86s’ for short term cover.


Looking at the past, present and future of this important franchise, which has seen passenger numbers more than double since 1996.


Images from this North Lincolnshire Junction, where the winter sun complements perhaps the finest remaining array of semaphore signals.

26 0 TO 60: CLASS 67

How does the solid Type 5 loco fair in our new feature looking at performance off the mark?


Class 08 charters; passenger service; Irish help.


Looking back to February news from the past.


The marvellous ‘Micheline’ was a bold attempt at using rubber tyres on rails in Britain.

MODELLING Including a look at the venerable Polybulk wagons in the D&E Files section.


Two more repaints into DBS red.


Behind the scenes on the Uxbridge specials as LU’s 150th anniversary year ends.


UK Rail Leasing moves in to Leicester depot; Class 73 goes green; Colas fleet expands.


A full list of where every stored loco is held .





Wolverton Works 175 and Loco Review 2014. Looking ahead to what’s in store for 2014, plus a railtour traction review of 2013.


The Bluebell hires in a DMU for winter; 4-CEP to be ‘de-furbished’; Class 50s move to Eastleigh.

Our class by class loco review for December.

Class 456s stay on at Southern until new ‘377/6’ deliveries completed; plus DMU/EMU round-up.


A focus on the original Carnforth charter fleet.

MAIN COVER IMAGE: Colas Class 70s Nos. 70803 and 70805 in the US on December 9, on their way to the docks for shipping to Britain. The ship arrived at Seaforth, Merseyside, on January 4 where the locos were held pending commissioning. Greg McDonnell


DBS launches its own new biomass carrier.


‘Santa specials’ deliver GM haulage.

Editor’s comment

Paul Bickerdyke

PRINT & DISTRIBUTION Newstrade & distribution

Rail Express Editor

COMAG, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QE.



HE Christmas and New Year period was marked by some atrocious weather, as wind, rain and floods hit many parts of Britain. This inevitably effected the railways – not least for passengers trying to get home for Christmas before the network shut down – as trees were blown onto lines, and rivers washed away or covered tracks in many places. The disruption continued well into January, and a snapshot as this issue went to press revealed that weather-related events were still affecting services across the country, including those operated by Northern, South West Trains, First Great Western, and CrossCountry. There was some lasting damage too, in particular at Liss in Hampshire and Ockley in Surrey where floods had washed away tracks. The line at Liss was repaired by January 5 in time for the main ‘back to work day’, but that at Ockley (between Horsham and Dorking) was expected to remain closed into February. Commendably, Network Rail and the train operators worked together to ensure that passengers could still get home for Christmas. Emergency timetables were issued on many main lines, restricting maximum speeds to 50mph to mitigate potential damage caused by the high winds. Ticketing restrictions were lifted such that passengers could use any train to make their journey, even if they’d booked on to specific services. I’m sure most people were just happy to get to their

01895 433600 Printed by William Gibbons and Sons, Wolverhampton Published The third Thursday of every month

destination at all. And there’s no doubt that travelling by train is much safer than braving the roads in such weather conditions. Engineers defy the weather Christmas is always a key time on the railways for engineering work. Once the last trains have run on Christmas Eve, there is then a clear two days across most of the network before anything runs again, allowing Network Rail to complete upgrades and improvements without effecting services. This year the poor weather could have scuppered all that, especially with the inevitable drain on resources needed to clear tracks of debris and make good any damage. But despite everything, much progress was still made on a range of improvement projects across the country. At Peterborough, for example, new platforms and signalling have been commissioned to remove a bottleneck and separate east-west passenger and freight trains from those running north-south. Pre-electrification work at Manchester Victoria saw 400m of track lowered; a bridge was installed at Ipswich for the new avoiding line to the north; and new signalling was installed between Gainsborough and Lincoln. All this and more represented another £100m being pumped into the network, complementing the money being spent on new trains and locos now coming into service. Paul Bickerdyke

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Simon Bendall Editor Rail Express Modeller Power by the Hour Shunter Spot Name Game Spectrum

David Rapson Powerscene

Christopher Westcott LU World (with Piers Connor)

Next advertising deadline February 7, 2014 Next issue February 20, 2014 ISSN No 1362 234X ©Mortons Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

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Editor Paul Bickerdyke

Tel: 01507 529540 Editorial address Rail Express Magazine, Mortons Media Group Ltd, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6LZ Member of the Professional Publishers Association

David Russell Preservation Railtours Unitary Authority Coach Compartment

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‘37/4’ started for first time in preservation SRPS machine moves a step closer towards main line return. By David Russell THE restoration of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s Type 3 No. 37403 took a major leap forward on December 8 when its power unit was fired up for the first time since the loco was acquired. The power unit, which was refitted in August 2012, had previously undergone a two year refurbishment. The loco is being restored to main line condition with a view to using it on SRPS charters with the Scottish Thirty Seven Group’s No. 37025 Inverness TMD. No. 37403 arrived at Bo’ness in November 2008 after being acquired from the liquidators of Bedale Railway Engines. It is part of the SRPS core collection, which represents rolling stock connected with Scotland’s railway heritage. Work can now be focused on restoring No. 37403 following the return to traffic of classmate No. 37401, which has been repainted in large logo

blue livery and renamed Mary Queen of Scots – a name it previously carried from 1985 to 1999. The Class 37/4 sub-fleet was used on passenger services from their introduction in 1985 until the Fort William sleeper went over to Class 67 haulage in 2006. No. 37403 last ran in 2000 and spent several years in store at Margam before it was put up for sale. ■ 37413 PuT uP FoR SALE: Former Bo’ness stablemate No. 37413, which moved to Nemesis Rail at Burton for storage in 2011, has recently been put up for sale by its owner. It could become the second Class 37/4 to change hands in a matter of weeks, following the recently reported sale of No. 37421 to Colas Rail, along with Nos. 37116/175 and 37219. There are currently six preserved Class 37/4s (see table), including two locos at the Churnet Valley that have yet to undergo any restoration and No. 37401, which is still owned by DRS. For more preservation news, see pages 34-36.

preServeD claSS 37/4s Number Livery Status Location 37401 LLB OP Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway 37403 GR UR Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway 37407 TR SU Churnet Valley Railway 37413 EWS FS Nemesis Rail, Burton 37418 LLB UR East Lancashire Railway 37424 TR SU Churnet Valley Railway Livery codes: EWS – English Welsh & Scottish Railway; GR – BR green; LLB – large logo blue; TR – TransRail. Status codes: FS – for sale; oP – operational (loco is on loan from DRS to SRPS and could be recalled for main line use); Su – stored unserviceable, uR – under repair

DRS-owned No. 37401 Mary Queen of Scots returned to traffic at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway at the end of December sporting large logo blue livery. It is seen approaching Bo’ness on December 29 with Nos. 47643 and 56312 at the rear. Longannet Power Station is in the background on the other side of the Firth of Forth. Jack Prentice

8 RAIL EXPRESS February 2014

DBS reorganises its entire loco allocation By Simon Bendall THE New Year period saw DB Schenker completely reorganise its locomotive pool allocations, the changes taking place over the course of several days either side of January 1. As a result, the DBS fleet is no longer divided up on a sector basis, bringing an end to a practice that began in December 2006. It should also mean the weekly shuffling of Class 66s between pools is now a thing of the past. The pool allocations have returned to how they used to be before the 2006 change, with what

could be termed a ‘general’ pool for many classes and then further pool codes to highlight certain characteristics or duties. In many cases, the fourth letter of the pool code now denotes the depot allocation, namely C – Crewe Electric, T – Toton, M – Merehead, A – Alizay (France) and P – Poznan (Poland). Notably, the Class 59/2 fleet is now formally allocated to Mendip Rail’s Merehead depot rather than Toton, reflecting where the vast majority of maintenance on these locos is carried out. The table below shows the allocations as of January 5.

New DB ScheNker pool allocatioNS WAAC – Class 67, Crewe Electric 67005/6/14-6/9/21/2/4/6/8 WABC – Class 67 RETB fitted, Crewe Electric 67004/7/9/11/30 WACC – Class 67 Chiltern Railways, Crewe Electric 67008/10/2/3/7/8/23/5 WAWC – Class 67 Arriva Trains Wales, Crewe Electric 67001/2/29 WBAT – Class 66, Toton 66001-9/12-21/3-5/7/30/1/4/5/7/ 9/40/3/4/6/7/50/1/3/4/60/1/3/ 5-70/4-91/3-8, 66115-22/4-9/31-3/ 5-45/7-52/4-6/8/60-2/4/5/7-72/4/ 5/7/81-8/92-4/7-9, 66200/1/4/6/7/ 13/21/30/2/8/50 WBBT – Class 66 RETB fitted, Toton 66099, 66100-4/6-8/10-4 WBLT – Class 66 Lickey bankers, Toton 66055-9 WCAT – Class 60 Standard fuel range, Toton 60001/19/24/39/40/4/5/62/3/5/ 6/74/9/99, 60100 WCBT – Class 60 Extended fuel range, Toton 60007/10/1/5/7/20/54/9/71/91/2 WDAM – Class 59, Merehead 59201/2/4-6 WEAC – Class 90, Crewe Electric 90018-21/4/6/9/34-6/9 WEDC – Class 90 DRS hire, Crewe Electric 90028 WFAC – Class 92, Crewe Electric 92002/5/11/24/9/37/9 WFBC – Class 92 HS1 equipped, Crewe Electric 92003/15/6/31/6/42 WFCC – Class 92 DRS hire, Crewe Electric 92030/41 WGEA – Class 66 Euro Cargo Rail, Alizay (France) 66010/22/6/8/9/32/3/6/8/42/5/ 9/52/62/4/71-3, 66123/79/90/1/5, 66202/3/5/8-12/4-9/22-6/8/9/ 31/3-6/9-47/9 WGEE – Class 92 Eastern Europe 92001/12/25/7/34

WGEP – Class 66 Poland, Poznan 66146/53/7/9/63/6/73/8/80/9/96, 66220/7/37/48 WQAA – Stored locomotives, Group 1A 59203, 60035/49, 66011/41/92, 66105/9/30/4/76, 67003/20/7 WQAB – Stored locomotives, Group 1B 92009 WQBA – Stored locomotives, Group 2 08495, 08500/67/78, 08706/35/7/8/57/84, 08802/4/65, 08922/39/93-5, 60003-6/8/9/12/4/8/22/3/5/7/ 30-2/4/6/7/42/3/50-3/7/8/60/4/ 7-70/2/3/5/7/8/80-4/6/8-90/3/4/ 7/8, 60500, 90017/22/3/5/7/30-3/7/8/40, 92004/7/8/13/7/9/22/6/35 WQCA – Stored locomotives, Group 3 08580/93, 08630/53, 08701/9/11, 08877/86 09006, 58001/4-7/9-13/8/21-3/5-7/32-6/ 8-40/2/6/8-50 WQDA – Stored locomotives, Group 4 58008/17/44, 60002/13/21/6/8/9/33/8/41/6-8/ 55/6/61/76/85/7/95/6, 66048 WSGC – Class 08/09 GSM-R fitted, Crewe Electric 08405, 08904, 09201 WSRC – Class 08/09 Remote control fitted, Crewe Electric 08605/32/76, 08879/88 WSSC – Class 08/09, Crewe Electric 08428, 08623/33, 08703/42/52/82/ 99, 08907, 09106 WSXX – Class 08/09, Internal use 08480, 08714, 08824

NEW PooL CoDES CuRRENTLy WITHouT AN ALLoCATIoN WBFA – Class 66 Euro Cargo Rail, uK use WBRT – Class 66 RHTT WBTT – Class 66 RHTT Tripcock fitted WFDC – Class 92 HS1 equipped DRS hire


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No. 70803 is taken off the ship Atlantic Concert at Seaforth on January 4. Terry Eyres

First new Colas ‘70s’ arrive in Britain US-built locomotives Nos. 70803 and 70805 are unloaded at Seaforth Docks just after New Year. THE first two of nine new General Electric Class 70s being built for Colas Rail landed in Britain on January 4. Nos. 70803 and 70805 were unloaded from the RoRo/container ship Atlantic Concert at Seaforth Docks, Merseyside. The pair began their journey from GE’s factory in Erie, Pennsylvania, on

December 9. They travelled by rail to the docks on flat wagons, before being loaded on to road carriers for transport on the ship. The vessel made its last port of call in Halifax, Canada, on December 29. They were due to be moved to Rugby for commissioning on January 8.

Colas has yet to confirm what work they will be used on, but speculation centres around new biomass traffic, timber trains to Chirk, or NDS infrastructure work. The fleet of 10 locos will be completed by Turkish-built loco No. 70801 (the former No. 70099).

This was repainted from its former green livery into Colas’ yellow and orange house colours in early January. The next loco to leave the GE factory was No. 70804, which was observed en route travelling from the US factory to the docks on Sunday, January 5.

... and DRS Class 68 due by the end of January THE first DRS Class 68 should arrive in Britain later this month, with No. 68002 expected to arrive by boat at Southampton around January 21.

No. 68001 is painted a neutral livery while on test at Velim in the Czech Republic

Class doyen No. 68001 is still on test at the Velim facility in the Czech Republic, while Nos. 68003 and 68004 are reported as almost complete. The fleet of 15 ‘68s’ is being built by Vossloh in Valencia, Spain, based on its Euro Light loco redesigned for the UK loading gauge. No. 68001 is being tested to confirm the haulage capability, high speed performance and braking performance, and is being monitored by engineers from DRS, Vossloh, Caterpillar and ABB. The new locos will be delivered in DRS Compass livery, although No. 68001 is still in unbranded white. It will be repainted when it returns to Valencia before its turn to be despatched to the UK. The mixed traffic locos are rated at 3800hp, making them the most powerful diesel in Britain since the prototype 4000hp No. HS4000 Kestrel in the 1960s. They have a top speed

No. 68002 shows off its DRS blue livery at the factory in Valencia on December 10. DRS

of 100mph and have an electric train supply for working passenger trains. The fleet will be based at Gresty

Bridge, Crewe, from where the locos will be commissioned and then maintained once in service.

February 2014 RAIL EXPRESS 9

Franchise Focus SouTh WeST TraiNS’ fleeT Type Class 158/8 2-car Class 159 3-car Class 159/1 3-car Class 444 5-car Class 450 4-car

Built Bombardier Derby converted at Wabtec Doncaster in 2007 Bombardier Derby as Class 158 converted at Rosyth dockyard 1993 Bombardier Derby as Class 158 converted at Wabtec Doncaster 2007 Siemens Siemens

Number 11 22 8 45 127

Build date 1989-92 1992 1992 2004 2006

Class 450/5 4-car Class 455/7 4-car

Siemens converted at Bournemouth depot for high density use BREL York sets include one former Class 508 car built 1980

28 43

2006 1985

Class 455/8 4-car Class 455/9 4-car Class 456 2-car From Dec 2013 Class 458 4-car Conversion to Class 458/5 5-car taking place


28 20 24

1984 1985 1991

Miles per casualty* 60,326 103,722 107,389 57,621 52,181 All Class 450 types n/a 48,072 All Class 455 types n/a n/a 25,037

Alstom Washwood Heath Fleet to be enhanced to 36 5-car sets using surplus Class 460 vehicles




6 1

1938 1967

Not available Not applicable

Class 483 2-car Metro-Cammell as LUL stock converted for Island Line use in 1990 Class 73 English Electric Electro-diesel *Moving Annual Average to August 2013

❮ services currently formed of pairs of 4-

car Class 455s to run as 10-car trains made up of 4+4+2 sets. The switch-over to a standardised fleet of longer trains in the future will be achieved by re-opening the international platforms at Waterloo, which is scheduled to take place by 2019. The first – and easiest to reuse – platform, No. 20, is already available for use as required, with timetabled use

due to commence later this year. Further rolling stock will still be required, and it is expected that 130 additional vehicles will be added to the fleet in a similar timescale to the provision of additional capacity at Waterloo. The new franchise contract in 2007 included a decision to stop using the Class 442 Wessex electric sets and retain the Alstom-built Class 458 fleet with a concentrated effort to improve

reliability. The changes also saw Class 450 Siemens stock transferred to Portsmouth line services, which was not seen as ideal by many passengers on this long-distance commuter route given the high density 3+2 seating configuration. From a train engineering standpoint, SWT heads the table of reliability for both electric and diesel types. The Class 458 units are now proving to be the EMU with the least

Outer suburban services, and more controversially some of the main line workings to Portsmouth, are in the hands of Class 450 ‘Desiros’. Both this class and the ‘444s’ are serviced by the manufacturer Siemens at the Northam depot near Southampton. On March 26, 2011, No. 450125 arrives at Portsmouth Harbour with a working from Waterloo.

20 raiL eXPress February 2014

Franchise Focus

Although trains from Waterloo once served destinations in North Devon and Cornwall, Exeter is now the furthest west they go. With loco-hauled days long gone, DMU No. 159003 leaves Exeter Central for Waterloo on May 5, 2006. Exeter Central is now catching up with Exeter St Davids on the Great Western route in terms of passenger numbers.

The short Brockenhurst to Lymington Pier is famous as the last ever steam-hauled branchline and also the last ever to use slamdoor EMUs. SWT retained a pair of specially adapted three-car Class 421 ‘CIGs’ for use on the branch until May 22, 2010 – five years after ‘slammers’ had disappeared elsewhere. On the last day crowds wait to board No. 421497 Freshwater at Brockenhurst. Both it and sister No. 421498 Farringford have been preserved.

miles per casualty on the network. So far as the DMUs are concerned, SWT’s Class 158s clock up 60,000 miles per casualty and more than 100,000 for the technically similar Class 159s. No other operator records more than 9000 miles per casualty for Class 158s, and the bottom of the table Northern suffers a defect at an average periodicity of 5000 miles. Salisbury depot has consistently been a high performer and much has been achieved across the fleet by monitoring traction performance so that breakdowns can be anticipated before they occur. However, SWT continues to employ a Class 73 electrodiesel for train rescue and other ad hoc duties.

throughput, aided by the high degree of modularity, enabling prompt component replacement. Each EMU visits Northam once every three weeks, and the four maintenance tracks can accommodate up to eight units at a time, operating around the clock, seven days a week. All trains are equipped with transponders, and strategically located readers keep track of where each unit is within the depot. Under Siemens’ ‘Full Service Concept’, the planning and execution of all maintenance activities is undertaken for a fixed price, including the supply of spares and other materials. This approach keeps risks involved with maintenance and depot personnel with the supplier, and gives the train operator a defined cost for the entire contract term. The manufacturer assumes responsibility for guaranteeing availability, planning and administration, and covers the costs of buying and stocking spare parts and replacement modules. Wimbledon retains responsibility for the maintenance of electric units

Before DMUs took over main line services to Salisbury and Exeter, loco-hauled ruled the roost through a succession of Classes 42, 33, 50 and 47 until the end in 1993. On a dreary February 27, 1988, Network SouthEast liveried Class 50 No. 50005 Collingwood waits the off at Basingstoke with an Exeter bound train.

SWT heads the league table for reliability of its diesel and electric units.

Depot Facilities

Northam was built by Siemens in 2002 as part of a 20-year maintenance contract to support the ‘Desiro’ fleet of Class 444 and Class 450 units. It is located south of St Denys station, approximately one mile from Southampton Central. The facility is designed for rapid

From 2009 SWT began running through trains between Waterloo and Bristol Temple Meads via Salisbury. No. 159105 stands at the west end of Bristol on August 9, 2008, with a service to Waterloo.

February 2014 raiL eXPress 21



■ FEBRUARY 29 was the final day of electric operation of the Newcastle Quayside branch on Tyneside. ES1 Class electric locos Nos. 26500 and 26501 had been built by the LNER in 1904 with pantograph and third-rail shoe collectors to work the steeply graded mile-long branch. They were replaced by diesel shunters from March 3.


No. 26500 parked outside Heaton Shed, one of the two 640hp electric 0-4+4-0 locos for use on the Quayside Branch in Newcastle. Ben Brooksbank



■ BR invited its freight and operating departments to submit a specification for a diesel-electric locomotive of 4000hp or more that was suitable for hauling fast freights. The Chief Mechanical & Electrical Engineering department would then be asked to design a locomotive to meet this specification with a view to inviting tenders for construction. Back in 1970, BR’s chief engineer T C B Miller outlined plans for a 4500hp Co-Co loco using two 2250hp HST engines. This idea was later dropped when it was proposed instead that future freights could be handled by locos displaced by the introduction of HSTs. However, the delay in bringing HSTs into service, combined with the possibility of a rise in freight traffic, led to the reconsideration of the powerful fast freight loco idea – which ultimately never came to pass. ■ PETERBOROUGH Development Corporation purchased five miles of the Nene Valley Line from British Rail for £61,000. The corporation then signed an agreement with the Peterborough Railway Society giving permission to use the track as a prelude to the formation of the Nene Valley Railway for regular steam services. The society’s part was to raise £25,000 to buy carriages, repair existing locos and carry out repairs to enable an application for a Light Railway Order. ■ THE station building in Dartmouth, which is unique in that it never had any trains but was the terminal building for the formerly railway-owned ferry service to Kingswear, was sold by Dartmouth Council. It was proposed to be knocked down and the site used for shops and offices, but fortunately this never happened and the building remains to this day.

The former station building at Dartmouth, which stands on the opposite side of the River Dart to the railway it served at Kingswear.

28 RAIL EXPRESS February 2014


■ THE first of three BRE-Leyland demonstration railbuses – a metre-gauge two-car unit painted red, white and blue – left Britain by sea for Thailand on February 6. Built as an ‘economy’ version of the Class 141 railbuses being built for British Rail, it had longitudinal seats for 120 passengers with room for another 140 standing. The vehicles were built using a Leyland National bus body mounted on a fabricated steel four-wheel underframe built at British Rail Engineering Limited in Derby. One of the two cars was powered, the second was a driving trailer. Power was supplied by a Leyland TL11 150 horsepower diesel engine driving one axle through a fully automated gearbox. After evaluation in Thailand, the unit was due to move to Malaysia and then Indonesia. BRE-Leyland was hopeful of orders, as British Leyland then dominated the bus market in South-East Asia. BREL in Derby was also constructing two standard-gauge single car railbuses for demonstration use in the USA and Europe. The USA model was air conditioned and more luxuriously appointed than the ‘economy’ design. The cabs at each end were centrally placed, with passenger doors at each side to enable the driver to take fares from passengers boarding at either side. It was expected to be demonstrated first on Rhode Island before moving to San Francisco. ■ APPROVAL was given by the Secretary of State for Transport for BR to build 150 Class 142 lightweight diesel multiple units. They had a bus-type body on a two-axle underframe. He also authorised 100 Class 150 medium-weight DMUs cars. BR planned to replace all of its ageing fleet of around 2000 DMUs with the 140 and 150 series units over the subsequent few years.



■ THE 10th General Motors-built Class 59 No. 59201, owned by National Power, arrived in England on February 18. The loco was built and tested at the GM factory in London, Ontario (Canada), in the last quarter of 1993. The loco was painted in Trafalgar blue and light grey, with a base body band of red and white. It was shipped from Halifax, Nova Scotia, on board the cargo freighter Haskerland via Bermuda and Spain before sailing to Hull. There were a number of differences with the earlier National Power version. It was the first to have North American style knuckle couplers, although it also carried emergency screw couplings. The damping system was modified to allow 75mph running, while an updated cab features electronic slow speed control and goods/passenger brake timing equipment. No. 59201 was hauled from Hull to ABB York Carriage Works for commissioning. Its first public outing was on March 3 when it was named Vale of York inside the National Railway Museum. It then went to Derby for BR acceptance tests and Doncaster for staff training. Following tests and training, the loco moved to the National Power depot at Ferrybridge to operate two return trips per weekday from Buxton and Drax Power Station.



■ EWS chose two Class 67s to work on royal duties and replace the recently withdrawn ‘47s’ Nos. 47798 and 47799. The first was No. 67005 Queen’s Messenger, which was unveiled at Toton on February 18 in royal plum livery. The other loco was the then unnamed No. 67006, which was still to be reliveried. Displaced from Royal Train duties by Class 67s, Class 47 No. 47798 Prince William is now part of the ■ FOUR track maintenance National Collection at the NRM in York. workers were killed when a permanent way trolley ran away downhill for four miles at Scout Green, Cumbria, on the West Coast Main Line. The trolley reached speeds of 40mph before it hit the group of workers without warning. The trolley was found to have inoperative brakes. ■ THE first Class 222 ‘Meridian’ arrived in Britain and began a series of commissioning tests on February 9. Four-car set No. 222008 arrived by sea and was taken by road to Bombardier’s site in Crofton, near Wakefield. Testing began with a route north to Darlington, then south to Cricklewood and back to the depot via the Erewash valley. ■ FIRST North Western introduced a loco-hauled diagram to cover for two Class 158s transferred to TransPennine Express. The first day of operation was February 3, when No. 31602 Chimaera worked top-and-tail with No. 31468 Hydra on the 06.40 St Annes to Greenbank and 16.12 Greenbank to Blackpool North.

Modern TracTion dinosaurs

The ‘Micheline’ Type 9 on show at Coventry in April 1932. The driver’s cap has an LMS badge on it. Nineveh Road Collection

The marvellous ‘Micheline’

This rubber-tyred ‘bus on rails’ was trialled by the LMS as far back as 1932, and was a forerunner of the modern DMU. The idea didn’t catch on in Britain at the time, but proved popular elsewhere in the world. THIS remarkable machine was developed in the early 1930s by the French tyre firm Michelin as a potential new outlet for its products. It featured special pneumatic tyres that improved grip and reduced noise compared with metal wheels on metal rails, while its petrol engine offered reduced operating costs and higher speeds over the then dominant steam technology. The first ‘Micheline’ railbus, known as a Type 9, was tested by the London Midland & Scottish Railway in 1932 between Bletchley and Oxford. It was basically a road coach on rails, with 10 pneumatic-tyred wheels on three axles at the front and two at the rear. The vehicle weighed five tons when A close-up of the inflated rubber tyres. The tyre had an inner wooden hoop, and the wheel a metal flange, to prevent derailments.

empty and could seat 24 passengers. It was powered by a 27hp Panhard and Levassor petrol engine, with a clutch and four-speed gearbox driving the front four wheels. A reversing lever allowed all four gears to be used in either direction. Drum brakes were provided on all 10 wheels. The rubber tyres had detachable metal flanges to keep them on the rails. They were inflated to 85lb per sq in, but had a wooden hoop built in to prevent derailing in case of punctures. It was claimed a tyre could be changed in five minutes if necessary. The inflated tyres were also quieter and absorbed most of the jolts from the track. This meant the vehicle’s body could be more lightly built, allowing faster acceleration and saving on fuel costs. The ‘Micheline’ could hit 60mph in one minute 45 seconds, and then stop again within 210ft. The petrol consumption was rated at 12mpg. A report from the LMS test runs said: “Easily the most outstanding feature about the run was the silence; there was no ‘clicking’ as the wheels ran over the joints in the track. The engine and gearbox produced no sound audible to the passengers; apart

from the speedometer the sole impression of speed could be gained from objects beside the line.” However, railbuses of this type did not catch on in Britain. For one thing it was incompatible with the raised platforms at stations. The rubber wheels had more drag than metal, which meant higher fuel consumption when compared like for like. It also had 10 wheels, where four metal ones might have sufficed. And, despite claims of 20,000 miles between punctures, having to stop and change a wheel was a definite disadvantage. Although Britain’s railways were reluctant to embrace the ‘Micheline’, it did prove popular elsewhere. Nine

In this shot, the size of a railbus can be seen relative to a conventional steam loco. Its lower height meant the railbus was incompatible with normal station platforms.

similar vehicles in France clocked up a total of one million miles by the mid1930s. Further developments saw bigger and more powerful types built and used abroad. For example, the Type 23 launched in 1936 had a 400hp engine and could seat 96 passengers. The idea of a ‘bus on rail’ was revisited again over the years. In the early 1980s, it lead to the development of the ‘Pacer’ DMUs still in use today, while pneumatic tyres are used on metro systems in places such as Paris, Montreal, Tokyo and Mexico City.

February 2014 raiL eXPress 29


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Need for HS2 greater than ever as rail demand continues to rise

Objectors need to look at the bigger picture as the potential benefits more than double the project’s costs. By ‘industry Witness’ THE HS2 project has gained momentum with the publication of a Parliamentary Bill to enact the necessary legislation for the construction of phase one of the route between London Euston and Birmingham Curzon Street. At the start of January, the outgoing Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins took charge, and he stressed that there must be political consensus to allow an early start to construction if services are to be introduced in 2026. Public debate got off to a poor start when benefits of the scheme focussed on journey time savings between the major conurbations served. Although there is undoubtedly some economic gain in speeding up services to cities in the north, the fundamental business case is that without new lines the UK rail system will run out of trunk route capacity. The most recent statistics show that passenger numbers grew by 3.5% in 2012 to reach 1543 million annual journeys, and studies by Network Rail suggest this number will double over the next 30 years. Where this demand will emerge is significant, because it is forecast that inter-urban flows outside of London – where rail currently has a low market share – will generate the largest increase in passenger numbers. Passengers and operators will want faster, higher quality services than can currently be operated within the

pathing constraints brought about by longer distance InterCity style trains running with limited stops at a prospective speed of 140mph. The freight paths necessary to serve the market for intermodal traffic from expanding ports at London Gateway and Felixstowe will also be constrained if more capacity cannot be created on the West Coast Main Line. One major question is what will happen if nothing is done. It is likely even the most ardent opponent of new high speed routes will recognise that future demand for rail cannot be indefinitely catered for by the measures we are seeing at present, such as greater station capacity, grade separation, longer trains and reduced signalling headways. It can also be argued that ever greater levels of utilisation have impacted on the regulatory aspiration to achieve a public performance measure of 91% (trains arriving within 10 minutes of their scheduled time) for longer distance operations. This has been eased to 88% in the years to 2019 as a reality check that reflects the many occasions when infrastructure failures and operational issues have resulted in the performance measure dropping below 80%. The routeing options for a new line are limited if it is accepted there must be a central London station, connection with HS1, and connectivity with Heathrow airport. It inevitably means a route through the populous Chiltern

towns, and this is where the most vocal opposition has been expressed. A big effort has been made to mitigate the environmental intrusion by increasing the amount of line in tunnel, which is now greater in length than for Crossrail. That is part of the reason why estimates have escalated to £43 billion for the two phases of construction that include the route extensions to Leeds and Manchester. In addition the rolling stock will cost £7.5 billion. It has been suggested that the former Great Central Railway trackbed offers an attractive alternative to the proposed route. But in reality that is no longer possible considering how much of the formation has been lost in city centres such as Nottingham and Leicester. This is one of the reasons why the option of an East Midlands parkway station built on railway land at Toton is preferred, which will provide a Light Rail connection to Nottingham City Centre.


Economic opposition to the line has been expressed in the belief that faster journey times and improved connectivity between the West Midlands, North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire will simply suck more activity into London and the South East. There is some evidence that this has happened in mainland Europe. Spain is quoted as a specific example, with Madrid gaining at the expense of population centres such as Seville. But

HS2 promoters have drawn attention to the very different circumstances that apply in the UK, where a significant increase in population of close to nine million people is expected by 2037. It is clear that London and the South East cannot accommodate numbers on this scale, and that good transport access to alternative urban centres will be a must to prevent severe economic overheating, in particular the price of houses and business premises. The HS2 benefit-cost ratio, despite the high project cost, is in fact quite good at 2.3, which is a lot better than the case originally made for building the M25 for example. Forecasting can only make generalised predictions and for a scheme of this magnitude it is really a question of vision about the future prosperity of the country. Lord Heseltine, who is credited with the redevelopment of the London Docklands, is quoted as saying that the project should be seen as more a question of belief than mathematics and that when the regeneration of East London started no one was able to predict the successful result. We have been investing in transport schemes since the Second World War with motorways, the Channel Tunnel and its high speed rail link (HS1) – and currently there are the Thameslink and Crossrail projects. So what is being proposed should be seen as a continuation of national infrastructure investment to serve the needs of a growing population.

CEP driving coaches to be returned to original condition THE EPB Preservation Group’s two driving motor coaches from 4-CEP EMU No. 7105 have been taken to Eastleigh Works to be ‘de-furbished’. The vehicles were hauled by West Coast Railway’s Type 3 No. 33029 Glen Loy as the 5Z02 working from Stewarts Lane depot in South London, where they had been taken by road from their base on the East Kent Railway just before Christmas. The plan is to return them to asbuilt condition followed by a repaint into BR green livery. See page 34 for more details. Nick Hair

10 RAIL EXPRESS February 2014


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in brief BoMBArDIEr loSES £350m lU SIgNAllINg coNTrAcT

First of the fleet No. 350401 at Preston for the official launch on December 12 before taking guests to Manchester. Alongside is TransPennine Express No. 185143 on a Manchester to Edinburgh service. These DMUs will be cascaded to other TPE workings when the full ‘Desiro’ timetable begins in May. Pictures by Chris Milner unless stated

After the official launch, No. 350401 ran up to Scotland and made a first appearance for the class at Edinburgh Waverley, where it is pictured on the evening of December 12. Jonathan McGurk

Inside the first class area of No. 350401. There are 19 seats in a 2+1 arrangement.

There are 191 standard class seats arranged as 2+2.

Class 350/4 enter service First of the new TransPennine Express EMUs started work at the end of 2013. A PAIR of Class 350/4 ‘Desiros’ worked in passenger service for the first time on December 30. Nos. 350401+350403 worked the 1S35/07.15 Manchester PiccadillyGlasgow Central and 1M96/11.09 return. They access the West Coast Main Line from Manchester over the newly electrified Chat Moss route via Eccles. Earlier in the month, the first unit No. 350401 was officially launched with a run from Manchester to Preston and back on December 12. It then headed up to Scotland later that day, making a debut for the class at

Edinburgh Waverley. The fleet of 10 EMUs represents a £60 million investment in rolling stock for services between north west England and Scotland. They will be phased into service between now and May when all 10 are due to be delivered. A new hourly timetable will then be introduced with 15 return services a day between Manchester Airport and Glasgow/Edinburgh, which is claimed to be an increase in capacity of 80%. Journey time for each will be around 3hr 30min – which is about 10 minutes faster than current diesel services via Bolton.

The trains have been financed and leased through Angel Trains. Key features include a top speed of 110mph, greater luggage capacity and a carbon footprint reduction of around 35% compared to diesel units. Each four-car unit has 210 seats of which 19 are in first class. Standard class has a 2+2 seating arrangement and first class is 2+1. They have been fitted with three toilets, which is one more than the similar Class 350/2 version. Electrification of the Chat Moss route is phase one of a £400 million programme of electrification across the North West.

Further Northern routes to be evaluated for electrification By ‘Industry Witness’ THE first phase of the £400 million North West electrification programme connecting Manchester to the West Coast Main Line via Eccles was energised for public use on December 12. There is now a progressive programme to complete wiring that will connect Liverpool, Wigan, Blackpool and suburban routes in the Manchester area by December 2016. A further electrification project has been authorised in the North West with approval of a £37 million

proposal to upgrade the route serving Bolton and Wigan via Lostock Junction, which is scheduled for completion in December 2017 and aimed at replacing ageing ‘Pacer’ DMUS. Then, just before Christmas, the Government announced it was setting up a task force to consider more investment in electrified infrastructure covering routes in the North of England. This includes the privately funded scheme promoted by Hull Trains, which is intended to allow the operation of 125mph electric services between

Hull and London King’s Cross by December 2016. Other routes include Leeds-Harrogate-York, Sheffield-Leeds, DoncasterManchester, Northallerton-Middlesbrough and lines between Chester and Warrington/Crewe. The Government has suggested that despite the use of private capital proposed by Hull Trains, agreement to this proposal and other prospective routes will not be made before 2019 when the next financial control period starts.

TrANSPorT for london has cancelled a £350 million contract for new signalling equipment from Bombardier. The deal was to upgrade signalling on the circle, District, Hammersmith & city and Metropolitan lines to allow a higher frequency service. But two years after the contract was awarded, Bombardier said its signalling system was incompatible with london Underground’s existing infrastructure. The contract will now be retendered, but Tfl is confident it can still be finished on schedule by 2018, although it may now cost more. Bombardier is expected to receive between £80-85 million for its work to date, which includes installing a control centre and surveying work. • Meanwhile Bombardier passed a milestone on December 12 when the 1000th ‘S’ Stock vehicle for london Underground was completed at its factory in Derby. Trains of eight and seven cars have been built to replace older trains on the sub-surface lines, which total 40% of lU’s network. If placed end to end, the 1000 vehicles are said to stretch for more than 10 miles.

ToUr MArkS S&c rEPrIEvE

THE Friends of the Settle-carlisle line is running a special train on April 11 to mark 25 years since the line was reprieved from closure. The Friends was originally formed to fight closure of the route in the 1980s, but is now one of the country’s largest user groups. The train will be supplied by DrS and will feature three class 37s and up to nine Mk.2s. It will leave leeds around 10.00 calling at Shipley, Skipton, Settle, Appleby and arriving in carlisle at 13.00. The return will depart around 14.20 for a 17.00 arrival in leeds. Tickets will be priced at £50.


PATHFINDEr has announced three new tours in February that follow on from each other. First up is the ‘curried goyt’ on the 21st, which is an evening tour around the Manchester area finishing in crewe. This is followed by the ‘red rose kipper’, which runs overnight to destinations including Windermere. Then on the 22nd is the ‘clay Box’ around the Midlands. Traction will be a pair of DrS ‘37s’.

FIrST ‘voyAgEr’ AT WokINg?

ENgINEErINg works between Basingstoke and reading, combined with a landslip at liss, meant that an empty ‘voyager’ movement to reading had to travel via Woking on December 29 in what is believed to be a first for the class. Nos. 221131+220003 ran as 5M30/07.05 from Eastleigh to reading via Basingstoke, Woking (reverse) and guildford (reverse).


THE North yorkshire Moors railway (NyMr) announced the death of the ‘Father of the railway’ Tom Salmon and his wife Erica at christmas. Tom and Erica were lifelong supporters and volunteers of the NyMr, and without Tom’s vision the NyMr would not be as it is today as it was he that called the first meeting of the preservation society to his house in 1967. “The volunteers and staff of the NyMr could not be more grateful for all they both have done for the railway,” said Philip Benham, the railway’s general manager.

February 2014 RAIL EXPRESS 11

Rail Express - February 2014 - Sample Edition  
Rail Express - February 2014 - Sample Edition  

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