Archive for the ‘UK Mainline’ Category

87002 on Charter Duty, 7 October

Some rare available special train mileage was on offer on 7 October, with Pathfinder operating a Euston – Glasgow and return charter booked for a ETL 86/87 (“86 requested”) to Crewe for a pair of dobs forward. Around a week before solid quotes of the seven being planned for the electric leg saw some part fares organised and an early start for a couple of desperate soles heading to Crewe.

Morning job done after just about keeping to a tight largely FL path, ‘002 drops into the Shrewsbury bays at Crewe.  I’m fairly sure the last one I saw in here for a Class 1 was 87013 back in June 2005 on its famous outing just after Virgin had declared “never again” but then proceeded to send a skoda to Llandudno Jn and dump it there! Crewe really didn’t have much to offer for twelve hours on a cold and wet Saturday so I jumped off to potter around Manchester for the day. The tour participants had 50007 & 50049 to Glasgow – amazing both these and my ‘hippo’ managed to avoid collapsing somewhere!

The return wasn’t booked off Crewe until 20.54 and once the 50s had been detached many bailed off for faster options back home, which meant we were able to grab a bay in the leading TSO for a decent run back behind ‘002 to the blocks. Despite a slower two track railway path this was an enjoyable run with just one slow section around Kings Langley catching yellows behind a unit which was well ahead by the time we left Watford for an unhindered last run into Euston.

There might not have been many there for the seven, but its inclusion certainly put some extra pounds in Pathfinder’s pocket vice the 86, after all if you like cans ‘259 does plenty so a seven is surely a better bet…

Posted November 8, 2017 by redcow87015 in Class 87s, UK Mainline

Chiltern Distractions…

Been a particularly crap week or so at work, so a bit of escapism to top up the 68 mileage which has been pushed aside somewhat for the last few months.

Working the first of the evening commuters, 68013 is in charge of the 1615 Marylebone – Kidderminster seen here at Snow Hill in the last light on 19th October


A welcome development with the May 2017 timetable was the second Saturday diagram also gaining a daytime round trip, 68011 is seen here at Marylebone having brought the 1555 down from Moor St. This turn makes a more soicable move with options other than the previously available out-and-back or bust from the London end. The classic bashers platform photo is from 21 October!

Posted October 22, 2017 by redcow87015 in UK Mainline

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87002: Sleepers 2015

With a new sleeper franchise starting in April 2015, the GBRf traction provision included ETL’s 87002 (and some cans) for ‘ECS’ duties at Euston with 92s booked to work the main trains. Thats interesting we thought, bound to be some oppurtunities for the drawback to Wembley and maybe the odd escape when 92s blow up. Well, that was the theory. It turned out enough 92s did even make the start line however 3 EWS 90s were hired in to cover.

Easter – ECML Diversion Drawbacks

Over Easter the WCML was blocked as you’d expect, so on Easter Friday a few of us duly booked on the down Inverness (1S25) with a fair bit of trepidation. In it to win it and all that – its fair to say there was a bit of tension as we walked down the platform at Euston after viewing an unwelcome 90021 as train loco.

But we were in for ‘002 up Camden Bank for the first time since 2006, and the short and sweet few miles up to Wembley Yard was fine by us! After a few hours in the bar car and a slow move back to London the next morning that was that, in the book and job done. ‘002 worked at least another evening and a couple of morning trips into Euston, but by no means all.

April – the 92s give up

It didn’t exactly take long… Tues 15 April and many hours late 87002 worked S25 forward from Willesden No 7 – the Wednesday was not my most productive day at work after managing to book pieces for the return 1M16 that night and some rather liberal use of the F2 button on tops! It had to be covered – as “who knew when the next chance would be”…?

Friday was the answer! Now on arriving Saturday morning at Euston, the gen started to filter through it was possibly going to be more than a four night wander. by now zero 92s were serviceable, although 92033 would re-appear the next week. ‘002 however, stayed out on a solid S25 Sun/Tue/Thu returning on M16 the next night. Into week 2, then week 3, then there was a big working on the horizon for week 4…

May Day – some new track

Another Bank Holiday, another set of WCML moleworks. Stafford area this time, so S25 on the Sunday night was being routed via Manchester and the newly electrified route of Castlefield, Eccles, Chat Moss and Golbourne Jn. Totally new track for the class, so we decided early in the week to book in the hope 002 stayed out. It did, and many hours were spent in the bar car heading north!

May – how long would this go on for?

With no solid gen on 90/92 availability but knowing it couldn’t surely last too much longer, we took another trip out on the night of the 8th, only cranks on the train this time… The driver did suggest that next week wasn’t looking likely and we overtook 92018 heading south in the morning. It turned out we made a good call to bother – Sunday night saw a skoda on 1S25 so game over – for now at least?!

87002 had worked S25/M16 solidly from the night of 15 April to the morning of 9 May, without missing a beat, not bad at all…

Posted May 9, 2015 by redcow87015 in Class 87s, UK, UK Mainline

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A few UK phots

Some photos from 2013 so far involving a few tours and other bits…

Posted April 29, 2013 by redcow87015 in Class 25s, UK, UK Mainline, UK Preservation

VWC 87s – the very very end, 1G21 and 1B05 Autumn 2006

As the nice people at fotopic have recovered some of my old phots, and the fact that I’m too lazy to re-format them, here is a selection of low-res phots of the very, very end of Virgin West Coast 87 action in the Autumn of 2006.

From the 4th September until 6th October 87006 held sway, giving way to 002 from the 10th October past rumoured demises in November and early December until the 22nd and even managed a few extra daytime runs into the bargain…

1G21 1651 Euston – Birmingham

1B05 1900 Birmingham – Euston

A frequent Rugby-New St-Cov evening move might not have been the most exciting but with a small crowd of sociable regulars, reliable (by WCML standarsds) running, tight timings and all the right noises from up front made it an enjoyable few months or so… All the more so after the rather disastrous month or so earlier in the year which had looked like such a low ebb for the class to go out on, but the 22nd December turned out to be a very enjoyable and very understated farewell.


But still, as 1B05 stormed past Willesden that last night 87012 and 87019 were visible through the fog awaiting passage to Bulgaria and opening a whole new chapter in the classes history…

Posted December 3, 2012 by redcow87015 in Class 87s, UK, UK Mainline

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87s September 2012 – Bulgaria and the UK

September 2012 – 87s in Bulgaria and the UK. With UK Railtours having advertised some rare use of 87002 in late September we had a bit of re-planning to do as that week we had down for Bulgaria. A quick re-hash later and we flew back from Varna the day before the tour so went from ‘026 and ‘033 one day to ‘002 the next!


We arrived on Friday 21st Sep, and had barely stocked up on provision at Sofia when 87028 rolled through light engine onto the shed. Subsequent enquiries suggest that this had worked an oil train from Ruse Raz to Sofia Sever.

On the Eastern Coast, Razdelna remains busy for BZK. We managed to phot a daily departure for Ruse shortly after 10.00, which consisted of 87026&87033 on empty fertiliser flats Tuesday, 87026&87033 (&87012 tail) on empty boxes Wednesday and  (87012 tail) on three tanks Thursday. The return working was believed to arrive around 20.00 with another train or two coming and going overnight (to/from Pirdop).

Our move was to catch the 0650 local out of Varna to Razdelna, which happened to be the traincrews pass move, to watch the shunting and prepping of the train. After an hour or so after running around taking lots of photos there, we double-backed to Poveljano and then Sindel on the morning Varna – Ruse which the BZK service would then follow. A plus twenty or so then it was back to Varna and RA the beach!

After photting ‘033 at Sindel on Thursday we were almost straight to Varna Aiport and back to Gatwick for an enjoyable run down the East Coast to York on 87002…

Posted October 5, 2012 by redcow87015 in Bulgaria, Class 87s, Euro Nedding, UK Mainline

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EE Stuff, Spring 2012

Been confined to the UK for a while (boo!) so here is some English Electric from earlier in the year…

Mid Norfolk Gala

Easter Scottish Tour

EDs at London Bridge

Posted September 6, 2012 by redcow87015 in UK, UK Mainline, UK Preservation

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87 phots from 2004

A selection of ‘seven’ phots from 2004…

By 2004 the end of the 87s on WCML duties was well in sight – the year should have seen full 390 service with the 125mph September timetable introduction although this had already slipped into 2005. On 1st January the class already on borrowed time with 87005, 009, 011, 017, 018, 020, 027, 034 and 035 stored at the start of the year and many others would fall by the wayside as further Pendo’s entered service.

Until September all WCML destinations still saw hauled trains although trips to Manchester were becoming fewer and fewer, luckily crew restrictions meant the diagrams were as solid as the WCML can provide which increased the ability to plan moves without getting stuffed by the tilting junk. Most of the year saw major engineering blockades with the Trent Valley shut most weekends and further periods of Milton Keynes or , even worse, Northampton – Euston blockades. September saw the hauled trains only booked on Euston-West Mids workings, this concentration led to an Indian Summer with all Birmingham workings hauled and up to twelve sets attempting to keep to 125mph timings with much fast running as a result!  As the year drew to close more and more turns went over to Pendos, an engineering blockade over Christmas however saw the hauled sets kicked out for a last hurrah on Trent Valley turns. Three machines worked over 150,000 miles during the year – 87002, 019 and 021 – not bad at all for a class being run down!

December 31st saw just 87001, 87002, 87004, 87010, 87012, 87019,  87030 & 87033 survive into 2005 with all other class members withdrawn…

Many Thanks to Mssrs “87009”, “87031” and “Blacksmoke” for their gen…

TGV-Post at St Pancras

TGV-Poste Set 951 at St Pancras in connection with a test of some description involving a postal run to/from Lyon, although dragged by a pair of Eurotunnel MaK diesels from, presumably, Calais.

As I was conveniently en-route to a meeting in Derby grabbed a few phots of it stabled in the morning.

Posted March 21, 2012 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, France, UK, UK Mainline

Recent Phots 14th September

Some recent stuff, West Somerset, Sarah Siddons and a London Bridge Goyle

For full detailed descriptions please see individual photo pages – only added brief captions here.


Posted September 14, 2011 by redcow87015 in Class 25s, UK, UK Mainline, UK Preservation