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Bromsgrove 1958

At the beginning of February the Birmingham to Bristol route south of milepost 52 1/4 (between Barnt Green and Blackwell) was transferred from the London Midland Region the Western Region, as part of a wide ranging revision of boundaries. Accordingly Bromsgrove shed was recoded from 21C to 85F. The 'change of ownership' was quickly apparent with the use of former freight locomotives 7235 and then 5226 on banking work from April and May (Aside from this however, motive power remained relatively unchanged, except for a visit by Jubilee 45670 'Howard of Effingham' (8A Edge Hill on Friday 14th February hauling Liverpool to Bristol troop train.


Locomotives used in April and May

April and May brought, unusually, a number of Patriot engines to the line:

Thursday 3rd April  

45546 'Fleetwood'  (5A  Crewe)  arrived  at  Bath with  the  southbound  'Pines Express'

Tuesday 8th April  

45546 again, 0926 Leeds to Bristol relief throughout

Wednesday 9th April     

45546 again 0835 Bristol to York as far as Sheffield

Thursday 10th April  

45546 again: 1029 Birmingham to Gloucester stopper

Saturday 10th May  

45538  'Giggleswick' (24K  Preston) M924 18 coach  return  pigeon  special, banked  by 92079 and 8400

Saturday 10th May  

45538  'Giggleswick' (24K  Preston) M924 18 coach  return  pigeon  special, banked  by 92079 and 8400

Sunday 23rd May  

was Whitsun - 45500 'Patriot' (12B Carlisle Upperby) at Bristol after hauling a Carlisle to Worcester pigeon special and 45549 (12B) also  on  a  pigeon  special to  Bristol 38  'Giggleswick' (24K Preston) M924 18 coach  return  pigeon  special, banked  by 92079 and 8400

Monday 24th May  

45514 'Holyhead' (1B  Camden!) at Bristol on an unspecified working


Strangers at Bromsgrove

In between these visits a few other  strangers appeared beginning with 45234 (26B Agecroft) which arrived at Bristol on Thursday 3rd April hauling a Hull to Paignton relief,  whilst eight days later 45112 (12A Carlisle Kingmoor) arrived at Bath on the  southbound 'Pines Express'. Ivatt 2-6-0 46443 (17A  Derby), now preserved on the  Severn  Valley, was on a  evening Birmingham to Redditch stopping  train on Sunday 20th April. Another visitor to Bath was Crewe based Jubilee 45703 'Thunderer' which turned up with a pigeon special on Saturday 10th May. Kentish Town (14B) Jubilee 45612  'Jamacia' was also off its usual territory arriving at  Bristol on Thursday 5th June  pulling  surprisingly a stopping train from Gloucester. Whilst on the subject of stopping  trains the Saltley Ivatt 2-6-0 types (430xx  series) were at  this  time working  through  to Bristol,  but  at least one example is recorded  of Fairburn 2-6-4T 42186 operating this  turn (0700  Birmingham to Bristol  and 1715 return working). The beginning of June brought the first visit of a B1 locomotive on a  service working (ie not an excursion or special working) when 61151 41A  Sheffield  Darnell)  headed the 1322 Derby to Bristol via Worcester. The engine was  on Bristol  Barrow Road  shed next day before returning north in the evening on a parcels train.


9F's on Passenger trains

The use of Class 9F freight  engines  on  summer holiday traffic continued with, for  example, the  following  employed on Saturday 14th June:

92139 (21A Saltley)  

0635  Walsall to Kingswear. When 92139 returned in  the  afternoon it  was pulling 18 coaches and needed  the  banking  assistance of  both 92079 and 8403.

92138 (15A Wellingborough)   

0640 Leicester to Paignton

92137 (21A Saltley)

0800 Derby to Bristol


Holiday traffic at Bromsgrove

By now the holiday traffic was  in full swing, and during July and August the  usual collection of foreign, interesting engines  travelled the route to  Bristol:

Wednesday 2nd July  

61374 (40B  Immingham) arrived at Bristol with an excursion for the  Royal Show

Friday 4th July  

45730 'Ocean' (68A  Carlisle  Kingmoor)  appeared at Westerleigh yard  with  a fast  freight, thereafter travelling  light to Bristol Barrow Road Shed. In  the evening it returned north with a horsebox special

Saturday19th July     

45561 'Saskatchewan' (14B Kentish  Town)  arrived Bristol on  the  westbound  'Devonian', returning north on the 1925 to Newcastle. This  engine  had  for years been a regular at  Bristol,  but was now rather unusual.  45591  'Udaipur' (5A Crewe) noted  leaving Bath on  the 1045 to Liverpool

Saturday 26th July  

45615  'Malay States' (also of 4B) headed the 0730 Newcastle to Paignton into Bristol 45154 'The Lanarkshire Yeomaniry' (26A Newton Heath) arrived  Bristol  on the 0743 Nottingham to Plymouth, returning north on the 1440 Bristol to Nottingham 


Unusual locomotives at Bromsgrove

There were of course only four named Stanier Black '5'  locomotives (45154/56/57/58) and for many years they were shedded in Scotland.  Even when  two of them moved to Manchester in 1957 they were very rare in the Midlands,  and this trip of 45154 to Bristol was the only known is it of one of these named  locomotives through Bromsgrove, although 45154 was  'around' for a few days at  the time, working various  services up and down before vanishing again.  Further  surprises were in store for August, in particular the first recorded visit of a former LNER K3 locomotive. On Sunday August 3rd Black '5' 44758 (from 5A Crewe) hauled a Coventry to Weston-Super-Mare  excursion, while on Saturday August 9th, two visitor  of note were: Stanier 2-6-0 42956 (5B Crewe South) heading the north bound  'Pines Express' through Bromsgrove Patriot 45533 'Lord Rathmore' (8A Edgehill) with  a northbound 19-van pigeon special, stopping at Worcester to attach 44520 as  pilot Then on Wednesday 13th August K3 61925 (from 36A Doncaster) was  observed heading an unidentified train through Churchdown (near Gloucester)  in  he  evening. It remained in the area for some while because it was on Gloucester shed on Sunday 24th August, and next day piloted Jubilee 45725 'Repulse' on the 0830  Cardiff to Newcastle.

 Other visitors of interest during the month were:

Saturday 23rd August  

45293 (12B Carlisle Upperby)1550 Bristol to Bradford 45623 'Palestine' (5A Crewe) 2015 Bristol to York

Saturday 30th August    

45422 84G Shrewsbury) 0740 Sunderland to Bristol 92153 (18A  Toton) 1355 Bristol to Newcastle.


New locomotives at Bromsgrove

The only other interesting development was the transfer in mid-November of  three unrebuilt  Patriots  to 82E Bristol  Barrow Road. They were 45504 'Royal Signals', 45506 'The Royal Pioneer Corps', and 45519 'Lady Godiva', and ensured this class would be seen regularly on Bristol to Birmingham services, although 45519 had been seen so many times at Bristol in the 1950's that it almost seemed like a  local engine any way. In addition, Standard Class 4 locomotives 75004/21/22 were moved to Bristol and 75009/23 to Gloucester to replace the  ageing compounds and 2P engines on the Birmingham to Bristol stopping trains The changing motive power scene, together with the visits of 45154 and 61925 had made 1958 a year to remember. Aside from the traffic front there were a number of other interesting railway 'events' during the year.


Bromsgrove locomotives in the works   

On Friday 2nd May the fire brigade was called out in the early hours to a fire in a100 ton stack of timber (old deal boards from wagons) at the wagon works. Relief crews from Redditch and Worcester had to be brought in to assist.


Train services withdrawn

Then in late June the Western Region of  British Railways announced that as from Monday 30th June a number of the more lightly loaded and loss making passenger train services will be withdrawn details can be  obtained from local  stations'. The lack of any protest or follow up reports in the local press suggests this move was  accepted by the community. The local newspaper noted on Saturday 12th July that 25 years earlier in 1933 the lines between Bromsgrove and Stoke Works were quadrupled and a new coaling stage completed at the banking locomotive stabling point.


Barnt Green station gets an award

The announcements for the best kept  station on the Birmingham District of  the Midland  Region (including Bromsgrove) were announced on Saturday 20th September, with  Barnt Green receiving a commendation. It received a similar award in the cleanliness and tidiness competition.


Fire at Bromsgrove wagon works

On Tuesday 23rd December 'an engine  failure  at  Blackwell added to  British  Railways difficulties in dense fog during  the evening. The breakdown delayed  trains between Birmingham, Worcester and the West Country from 1800 until  about 2000, the 1807 express to Bristol being two hours late.