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Full report and technical spec inside...






80 • The Railway Magazine • April 2014



Editor: Nick Pigott Deputy editor: Chris Milner Designers: Tim Pipes and Rosie Ward Reprographics: Jonathan Schofield Publisher: Tim Hartley Editorial assistant: Sarah Wilkinson Sub-editor: Nigel Devereux Chief correspondent: Phil Marsh Steam News: Cliff Thomas Classic Traction: Peter Nicholson Operations News: Ashley Butlin Metro News: Paul Bickerdyke World News: Keith Fender By post: The Railway Magazine, Mortons Media Group, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6JR Tel: 01507 529589 Fax: 01507 528980 Email: © 2014 Mortons Media ISSN 0033-8923


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Accepted photographs and articles will be paid for upon publication. Items we cannot use will be returned if accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope, and contributors wishing material returned by registered or recorded delivery must clearly state so and enclose sufficient postage. In common with practice on other rail periodicals, all material is sent or returned at the contributor’s own risk and neither The Railway Magazine, the editor, the staff nor Mortons Media Ltd can be held responsible for loss or damage, howsoever caused. The opinions expressed in The RM are not necessarily those of the editor or staff. This periodical must not, without the written consent of the publishers first being given, be lent, sold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or, in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or annexed to or as part of any publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever.

This issue was published on April 2, 2014. The next will be on sale on May 7, 2014.

Our role in piecing together Britain’s railway history


VERY day, archaeologists unearth bones, fossils, flints and suchlike that tell us more and more about our past. Historical researchers perform a similar role in society and the results often require the history books to be rewritten. Such a situation has recently arisen with regard to a significant piece of railway history. Our Christmas issue last year carried a feature article on a somewhat jinxed locomotive, Class 40 No. D326, which had been involved in numerous accidents and incidents, not the least of which was the Great Train Robbery on August 8, 1963. Our article dealt mainly with a crash in which D326 had been involved eight months earlier when it ran into the back of another train near Crewe on Boxing Day 1962. Sadly, the accident was a fatal one, but the loco’s damage was repairable and it duly returned to traffic. Every book and magazine article on the


Editor’s Comment

subject the article’s author was able to find quotes D326 as the engine involved in both that and the train robbery outrage – even websites compiled by various Class 40 enthusiast groups state it as fact – and so the record books would have remained for ever and a day if it had not been for The Railway Magazine’s ability to extend into all the nooks and crannies of the railway fraternity. For, living in retirement in deepest Kent is a former Crewe fitter by the name of Allan Baker, who just happened to have been involved in the recovery of the Boxing Day crash locomotive in 1962 – and who had kept records to show that it had not been D326 at all, but a member of the same class, D215 Aquitania. It would have been easy for Mr Baker to have shrugged his shoulders, muttered something about useless modern research and turned the page. If he had, the wrong information would have remained in the record books for ever, for it is a pretty safe bet that he is the last man alive with

this information. Instead, he sat down and wrote to me. On receiving his letter, I had an awkward decision to make. Do I admit to the world that The RM, with its hard-won reputation as a journal of record, has been guilty of purveying false information and risk the ridicule that might follow, or do I just keep quiet and hope nobody else notices?! After all, the information has been wrong all this time so who would be the wiser? That’s not how we work, though. So after discussing it with the author, Fraser Pithie, who had written the article in good faith and was mortified to feel he had been misled in his research by false records, I decided it was best to come clean and present this as a positive rather than a negative. Mr Baker’s letter is therefore printed on page 33 of this issue. I also feel it is a salutary tale of how easy it is for duff information to be a) disseminated and b) perpetuated. To the non-cognoscenti, this all might seem like a lot of fuss over something as trivial as a number, but to railway historians, it is of major significance and – just as archaeologists whose unexpected finds enable them to piece together other important parts of the historical jigsaw – we are delighted to have been able to play our part in putting the record straight on this long-standing error. Thank you, Mr Baker.


HE speed with which an entire section of railway infrastructure has been rebuilt from scratch at Riviera Terrace in Dawlish is breathtaking and reflects enormous credit on everyone involved. It just goes to show what is possible when humans are faced with adversity.


EGARDLESS of whether you feel it is an act of commercial expediency, Hitachi’s vote of confidence in the UK is splendid after so many years of trainbuilding adversity (see page 6), but the news that two operations – the Bowes Railway and Poland’s Wolsztyn daily steam service – are in trouble should sadden all enthusiasts. If there is anything any reader can do to help save these two operations (both unique in their own way) please do so.


April 2014 • The Railway Magazine • 3


April 2014. No. 1,357. Vol 160. A journal of record since 1897

Headline News

On the cover

MAIN IMAGE: Former LSWR T9, the only pre-Grouping 4-4-0 running in BR livery, pilots No. 34070 Manston away from Corfe Castle during a charter on the Swanage Railway on March 17. PETER ZABEK

Colas Class 70s on Dawlish repair work. See p6.

Dawlish line set for April reopening; HS2 report recommends extension to Crewe; Apology over level crossing failings; FGW to cut first class seating;Wolsztyn operation under threat; Ipswich chord opens; Hitachi moves European HQ to London.

INSET 1: Tamper No. 75406 – first train on the Dawlish sea wall. PETER UPTON INSET 2: New e320 ‘Eurostar’set No. 4007 at Temple Mills. PAUL BIGLAND

Track Record The Railway Magazine’s monthly news digest 78 Traction Portfolio

82 Classic Traction 86 Railtours

Main line steam more reliable than some DMUs; GB7 tour - 11 locos, three countries, nine days; A look at main line’s future.

91 Network

Limited services restart through Bridgwater; Evergreen 3 contract awarded; Record rise in station retail sales.

94 Narrow Gauge

Waterloo International to have greater use. See page 75.

64 Steam & Heritage

Sir Nigel Gresley misses North Norfolk gala; Whitby platform cost doubles; £4million lottery bid by Didcot.

72 Steam Portfolio 74 Traction & Stock

New Class 70s in traffic; Class 90 in DRS colours; Row over Class 170s offered to Chiltern; Class 458/5s in service.

77 Traction Update

Scrapped, sold, renumbered, repainted? Full details here.

Fijian loco restored at Statfold; Katy revivial for‘Ratty’event

96 Miniature 98 World

First TGVs scrapped; Latest Shinkensen in service; Bangladesh railways in transition.

101 Metro

Crowds test Edinburgh trams; Sheffield marks 20 years.

103 Operations

News from the train and freight operating companies.


The Railway Magazine’s audited circulation of 37,853 copies per month makes it by far the

25 All Change

This month, a look at how Kirkby Stephen East has changed.

33 Readers’Platform 36 Location Our location this month is the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick-upon-Tweed.

38 Subscriptions Offer 42 100Years Ago What The RM was reporting 20, 50 and 100 years ago.

44 Reviews

A selection of the latest book reviews.

46 Multiple Aspects 46 Railways in Parliament.

The Direct Rail Services depot at Gresty Bridge, Crewe, is one of the few locations in Britain generating the sort of diesel locomotive atmosphere once so common in BR days. On March 11, the line-up included Nos. 37610, 37611, 66303, 47838, 47790 and 68002. NICK PIGOTT

Location: Where to take the best railway photographs - p36

56 Panorama

Our regular showcase for creative railway photography.

108 Meetings Details of railway society meetings near you.

109 Heritage Diary

A comprehensive listing of dates when heritage railways and steam centres will be open.

113 Reader Services 114 Prize Crossword and Where Is It?

UK’S TOPSELLING RAIL TITLE! Subscribe today and save money on every issue. Call 01507 529529 or see page 38 for our latest offers

Features 14 The Class 68s

26 Many a Slip...

Chris Milner takes a close look at the brand new DRS Class 68 locomotive that is poised to make an impact on Britain’s rapidly burgeoning freight network.

For this month’s Practice & Performance, Keith Farr looks at the early years of slip coach operation, something that would be forbidden on today’s railway.

18 Up for the ‘Cop’! In the first of a two-part feature, we take a look at the story of football specials, which provided many locomotive enthusiasts with rare inter-Regional sightings.

NEW ARRIVAL: A lookatthe VosslohClass68loco-p14

40 The P2 Man Our December issue feature on Gresley P2 Mikados mentioned the fact that hardly anyone alive today can recall seeing such a loco in action. Thanks to The RM, such a man has been traced and we are delighted to print his story and pictures.

EVERYONE’S A WINNER: The story of football specials - p18

42 Ten minutes, ten questions

Steve Knight puts the spotlight on South West Trains managing director Tim Shoveller.

48 Back-to-front locomotives

Robert Humm concludes his analysis of steam locos with a forward cab by looking at those produced for North American railways.

60 Heritage Motorways!

A light-hearted look at a future preservation idea, with the benefit of a crystal ball.

SLIPPING UP : Slip coach operation - p26

April 2014 • The Railway Magazine • 5

The sleek lines of No. 68002 are evident as it noses out of DRS’s Crewe Gresty Bridge shed in the morning sun of March 11. Pictures by CHRIS MILNER unless stated.


e first of a fleet of 15 Class 68 locomotives is undergoing testing and certification. In March, e Railway Magazine was invited to the Direct Rail Services depot at Crewe to examine the 3,800hp Vossloh-built diesel-electric in detail. Chris Milner reports.


HE introduction of the Class 68 to the national network by Direct Rail Services (DRS) represents a bold step for the company. Although Class 66s have become the staple motive power for intermodal traffic and other duties in Britain since the late 1990s, they are pure freight locomotives and their 75mph maximum gearing means they are unsuited to passenger work, apart from occasional charters. DRS and its engineers felt that Classes 66, 67 and 70 didn’t fit their plans, so decided to buy new. This decision is not really a surprise when the average age of the company’s fleet is taken into account, for when its relatively small batch of Class 66/4s and 66/3s are taken out of the equation, the average age is not far off half a century... all being products of the British Railways modernisation plan. Its Class 20s belong to a type introduced as long ago as 1957, its Class 37s and 47s date from the 1960s, and even its Class 57s are Class 47 rebuilds. Most have, of course, been extensively refurbished over the years and undergone a degree of modernisation, but while they have very successfully filled a gap for DRS,

14 • The Railway Magazine • April 2014

they remain outdated by today’s standards. The 68s, on the other hand, represent the very latest in global diesel locomotive design. Financed by Beacon Rail Leasing, they are the first Vossloh-built locos to run on the British main line system and, being mixed traffic locos with 100mph capabilities, are almost certain to result in reduced freight schedules.

“Much work has had to be done to make the locos compatible with the UK loading gauge” They are based on the ‘Eurolight’ design, which was created for the European market and introduced in 2010 by Vossloh España. A link with Britain already exists, for the 68s are being built in the same factory at Albuixech, Valencia, in which Alstom manufactured the Class 67s. Vossloh bought the factory off Alstom in 2005. Like the 67s, the 68s are Bo-Bos, but

Vossloh has also developed a Co-Co version of the ‘Eurolight’ for the Asian market, providing a sub-20 tonne axle-loading. The British version is known as the ‘UK Light’ and its 85-tonne weight gives it an axle-loading of 21.4 tonnes. Much work has had to be done to make the UK locos compatible with the smaller British loading gauge. DRS project engineer Tony Bush and his team have worked closely with Vossloh engineers, adapting not only the bodyshell but the internal components. The result of the redesign is an attractive and well-proportioned machine which, in the opinion of many who have already seen it, has greater aesthetic appeal than the chunkierlooking Class 70. Completed last summer, No. 68001 underwent initial tests in Spain before being despatched to the Velim test circuit, in the Czech Republic, for more extensive testing. Those tests confirmed its haulage capabilities, high-speed performance and braking characteristics, with close monitoring by engineers from Vossloh, DRS, ABB and Caterpillar (the latter the builder of its power unit). It also provided opportunities to fine-tune

TRACTION PROFILE the software on the loco, as well as establishing fuel economy figures. Early indications from DRS are that the 68s will be economical performers. Data obtained from the tests is being examined by Vossloh and, along with any problems discovered, will be fed back into the production line environment for the remainder of the build. On some of the occasions that No. 68001 has been on test at Velim, it has been doubleheading with a standard ‘Eurolight’ loco, and comparison of the sizes (see photo on next page) makes one appreciate the difficult task that faced the design teams to slim down the body and maintain the crash-worthiness aspects of the cab structure. In addition to the Velim results, data gained from two ‘Eurolights’ working in Europe (one in Italy, one in Germany) will help create a better understanding of the locos. On completion of the tests, No. 68001 will return to Valencia to be checked over and will then be vinyled before shipping to the UK. The second loco, No. 68002, is the one examined by The RM at DRS’s Crewe Gresty Bridge depot on March 11 (see overleaf for technical details). It had been due to arrive in the UK in October 2013, but the schedule slipped and it didn’t arrive at Southampton docks until January 17.


DRS confirmed during The RM visit that Nos. 68003 and 68004 have now been completed and that they are being run through final checks, before shipping to an as-yet unspecified UK port for onward movement to DRS’s other main depot, at Carlisle Kingmoor. The operator says it intends the new locos to work intermodal trains and charters where extensive high-speed running is required. A company spokesman said its new assets will be ‘sweated’ to gain maximum value from them and and that he doesn’t expect them to “pootle around” at 65-70mph max, although it is possible that they could see use on heavy ballast workings as part of Network Rail’s national delivery contract. At present, that has not been confirmed. It is very unlikely that Class 68s will be seen on nuclear traffic as DRS feels this would not represent efficient use of such large locomotives. A restricting factor is that the 68s cannot work

A rear three-quarter view of No. 68002 showing its nameplate.

in multiple with any other class, so two would be needed on such trains, in case of failure. DRS also holds the contract for the ‘Northern Belle’ land cruises, but no decision has yet been made on whether one of the new fleet will be turned out in the “Belle’s” brown & cream Pullman-style livery, as DRS feels it would be inappropriate for such a liveried-loco to work freight trains. (It is also likely that the firm’s accountants would ask questions if it stood idle at the end of scenic routes for too long!) This does not preclude one-off railtours, however, and the first is due to take place on July 19 when a Class 68 will haul a Pathfinder special from Eastleigh to Crewe for DRS’s Gresty Bridge charity open day. There have been unconfirmed suggestions that an unnamed passenger TOC might sub-lease a number of Class 68s to evaluate their performance ahead of a possible order of its own. In February, No. 68002 undertook several high-speed runs on the West Coast Main Line

(and visited Derby, too) as part of its certification process, but on March 14 it was moved from Crewe to Eastleigh Works for alternator attention, so there will be a further wait before it hauls its first revenue-earning train. DRS would not be drawn on which members of its existing fleet might be withdrawn once all the new locos have been delivered by the autumn, but some Class 20s, 37s and possibly 47s are coming up for expensive repairs and could be casualties. DRS does, however, indicate that its 66s will be retained and at some point in the future, will undergo major examination at the new ElectroMotive depot at Doncaster Roberts Road. Hinting at further interesting traction developments, DRS managing director Neil McNicholas commented: “The Class 68 is just the first component of a wider fleet strategy designed to ensure that we can offer clients the most efficient and flexible service well into the future.”

On No. 68002’s first day of testing on the main line, February 4, it ran with DBS Class 90 No. 90020 on a trailing load of 11 bogies from Crewe to Carlisle and is seen at speed near Bradley, north of Wigan. MICK LANGTON

April 2014 • The Railway Magazine • 15



Following last month’s introduction and European survey, Robert Humm concludes our review of the ‘Cab-Forward’ design by looking at its development in the United States.


HE earliest – and certainly most elusive – ‘cab-forward’ design we have discovered in the United States was not a steam locomotive, but a compressed-air powered 2-4-0, put into service experimentally on the 2nd Avenue line of the New York Elevated Railroad in 1881/82. Designed by Robert Hardie, chief engineer of the Pneumatic Tramway Engine Co, it was built by industrial locomotive supplier H K Porter. Its air supply at 600lb per sq in was carried in three cylinders behind a spacious enclosed cab. In the days before railway electrification, compressed-air seemed to have been the answer to at least some of the ferocious opposition of New Yorkers to the elevated railway – the noise, cinders, smoke and dirt generated by the frequent passage of ‘Forney’ 0-4-4 tank engines. In December 1881, the New York Times reported successful trials of the air locomotive, in which well-loaded trains ran from 127th Street to South Ferry in 42 minutes. Nevertheless, the experiment was shortlived. Perhaps it was the limited eight-mile capacity of the air cylinders or the cost of the compression equipment at the recharge points. The Forneys soldiered on until displaced by the electrification of the “El” in 1903/04, although Porter continued to supply compressed-air locomotives for use in mines, explosives factories, dockyards and food processing plants until the 1920s.

Above: First in America... the New York Elevated Railroad’s compressed-air cab-forward, built by H K Porter in 1881. ROBERT HUMM COLLECTION. Right: “The Freak”... 4-4-0 No. 21 Thomas Stetson undergoing tests at the North Pacific Coast Railroad’s Sausalito workshops in 1901.

48 • The Railway Magazine • April 2014

The next experiment took place on the opposite side of the continent in the shape of a small home-built 4-4-0 for the North Pacific Coast Railroad, in California. This 3ft gauge line, completed in 1876, ran from Sausalito, on the San Francisco Bay, to Cazadero on the Russian River. Its business was the haulage of redwood lumber and farm produce. In the mid-1890s, the railroad lost one of its conventional 4-4-0s, No. 5, in an accident. This provided the opportunity for the master mechanic of the company, William J Thomas,

“It was branded a freak... yet it inspired the most successful cab-forwards of all” to carry out an experiment. He renovated the chassis of No. 5 and mounted on it a new marine-type water-tube boiler, but in reverse order: the smokebox was at the coupled end, while the firebox and cab were located above the front truck. The tender consisted of a bogie flat wagon on which were mounted two circular tanks – one for water and the other for oil-fuel. How the oil was fed from the ‘tender’ to the firebox is not recorded. This rebuild appeared from the Sausalito shops in 1901, bearing the number 21 and

PART 2 North America named Thomas Stetson. It was not a success. There was too little weight on the driving wheels and too much on the leading truck. Access to the footplate was awkward and the oil-burners were defective. According to one witness, “the fire boomed and roared like a blast furnace and flames flared from open seams in the burner box”. Nicknamed “The Freak”, the loco was generally disliked by crews as they felt trapped in its cab, and it was withdrawn by 1905. No. 21 was gone, but not forgotten. It was the direct progenitor of the most successful and longest-lived of all the cab-forward types – the Southern Pacific’s cab-in-front Mallets. How they evolved, as something of an act of desperation by the SP’s locomotive department, has captured the imagination of railway aficionados everywhere. The main line of the SP from Oakland, California, to Promontory, Utah, was the western half of the original Overland Route, completed in 1869. Built over a period of six years, the line across the Sierras is a fearsome combination of long, steep gradients, sharp curves, and harsh winter conditions. Between Roseville, 18 miles east of Sacramento, and the summit of the Donner Pass, near Norden, the line climbs 6,832ft in 85 miles, with gradients as steep as 1-in-41. From the summit, the line drops 2,500ft in the 55 miles to Reno, Nevada. On the west slope there were 25 tunnels, and another 14 on the east. In addition, there were 37 miles of wooden snow sheds. Even the

The very last ‘cab-forward’ built, No. 4294, is also the sole survivor, preserved in excellent external condition at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. This AC-12 class 4-8-8-2 locomotive was outshopped by Baldwin in March 1944 and worked on Southern Pacific metals for exactly 12 years before withdrawal. CAL STATE MUSEUM

turntable and locomotive tracks at Norden were roofed over. Freight traffic on the line had been handled by 2-8-0s and 4-8-0s of modest dimensions, but the rapidly increasing California fruit and vegetable industry, much of whose products were sent east in plodding freight trains at an average of 10-12mph, called for a

substantial overhaul of the route, including doubling. A decision was taken to move straight from 2-8-0s to compound Mallet 2-8-8-2s of more than twice the power, the first two of which, numbered 4000 and 4001, were delivered by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in April 1909. Given the classification MC-1

(Mallet Consolidation), they were the first of the Mallet articulated type to be designed for main line service (as opposed to banking or shunting). On the first trial trip over ‘The Hill’ with a train of more than 1,000 tons, No. 4000 performed well, but a serious problem

A June 1946 view of Class AC-11 No. 4263 on the San Joaquin Valley line between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, California. The train is near Lang, where the route across Tehachapi summit was completed in September 1876. ROBERT HUMM COLLECTION

April 2014 • The Railway Magazine • 49

Heavenly bodies: The use of a 30-second exposure has captured the stars in this January 25 night shot of the Strathspey Railway’s Class 117 DMU, bathed in eerie blue lighting. SYLVIE HARRINGTON

The graceful lines of LSWR T9 4-4-0 No. 30120 are captured against the setting sun during a visit to the Swanage Railway on March 13. JOHN TITLOW

TransPennine DMU No. 185145 crosses Arnside viaduct on November 5, 2011, with the 14.00 Manchester Airport-Barrow-in-Furness service. ROB FRANCE

56 • The Railway Magazine • April 2014

Even after the hundreds of thousands (perhaps even millions) of published railway photographs over the past century and more, it is still possible, with a bit of thought, to find an original or rarely seen viewpoint. This is Shap sidings, where DRS Type 5 No. 66433 is waiting to leave with the 15.20 ballast working to Carlisle Yard on February 10. A ninecar ‘Pendolino’ tilts as it rushes past on the way to London. ROBERT FRANCE

GWR Large Prairie No. 4141 at North Weald on November 29, 2013, with the 18.00 service to Ongar, carrying passengers to the Ongar Christmas lights festivites. STUART CHAPMAN

April 2014 • The Railway Magazine • 57

Traction Portfolio Track Record

Vaguely reminiscent of East Midlands freight in the 1970s, a Type 1 pairing of DRS Nos. 20309 and 20312 passes Gateforth, west of Selby, with 6T65 11.20 Wincobank to Doncaster Decoy via Milford on February 16. The pair had spent the night on an engineers’ possession in the Barnsley area. ANDY MASON

Having collected stored JSA wagons from Long Marston, Colas Rail No. 47727 Rebecca storms through Norton, Worcestershire, with 6Z47, the 11.05 Long Marston-Llanwern exchange sidings move on February 26. JACK JONES

The failure of Colas Class 66 No. 66848, while working empty coal hoppers from Ratcliffe power station to Avonmouth on March 19, led to Europhoenix Class 56 No. 56096 being scrambled to rescue the train. It is seen leaving the Elford loop for Landor St Jct where the train was terminated. Colas has taken the 56 on hire, and this was its first duty. RICHARD NORRIS

78 • The Railway Magazine • April 2014

‘Super 60’ No. 60059 passes Gossington, south of Standish Junction, with the 05.04 Robeston-Westerleigh loaded oil train on March 1. RON WESTWATER

Network Rail ERTMS-fitted Type 3s Nos. 97304 and 97302 pass Buttington, near Welshpool, with 6W70 10.42 Bescot-Talerdigg autoballasters on February 22. TERRY EYRES

April 2014 • The Railway Magazine • 79

The Railway Magazine - April 2014 - Sample Issue  

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