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Bromsgrove 1961

The outstanding feature  of the year was the increasing use of Royal Scot and Patriot engines on Birmingham to Bristol workings. The transfer of a considerable number of these locomotives to Trafford Park, Derby, and Saltley, as they were displaced by dieselization elsewhere ensured that 1961 was to be the halycon year for their use through Bromsgrove. Bearing in mind their almost total absence from the line prior to 1959 it was an amazing  transformation in  the motive  power scene.

The engines reallocated were: to 9E  Trafford  Park (Manchester) in January 1961

45540  'Sir Robert Turnbull'

46106  'Gordon Highlander'

46122 'Royal Ulster Rifleman'

46137 'The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)'

46141 'The North Staffordshire Regiment'

46143  'The South Staffordshire Regiment'   

46153 'The Royal Dragoon'

46158 'The Royal Regiment'

to 17A Derby in June 1961:

46100 'Royal Scot'

46106 'Gordon Highlander'

46118 'Royal Welsh Fusiler'

46137 'The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)'   

To 21A Saltley in June 1961:

45532 'Illustrious'

45540 'Sir Robert Turnbull'

46103 'Royal Scots Fusiler'

46122 'Royal Ulster Rifleman'   

46123 'Royal Irish Fusiler'

46141 'The North Staffordshire Regiment' 

46157 'The Royal Artilleryman'

46160 'Queen Victoria's Rifleman'

46162 'Queens Westminster Rifleman'


Patriots on passenger trains

January was fairly uneventful except for the use of an un-rebuilt Patriot 45503 'The Royal Leicestershire Regiment (from 12B Carlisle Upperby) on a Sheffield to Bristol service on Thursday 7th January, arriving Bristol at 1523. These un-rebuilt engines were still comparatively rare at Bristol. However, the other event was really quite notable, being the first known appearance of an English Electric Type 4 (now Class 40) number D253 from York shed (later renumbered 40053) on Saturday 9th January. It was noted at Cheltenham on the 1248 York to Bristol service, which, as previously noted, was a train likely to produce unusual locomotives. On a more mundane front Fairburn 2-6-4T 42067 (from 1E Bletchley) was observed working between Birmingham New Street and Worcester in mid January, the normal engines being the Fowler side window tanks at Saltley). By February the Royal Scots at Trafford Park were appearing regularly on the 1243 Newcastle to Bristol, some observation being:

Saturday 13th February  

45540 'Sir Robert Turnbull'

Tuesday 16th February  

46141 'The North Staffordshire Regiment'

Monday 15th February     

46122 'Royal Ulster Rifleman'

Monday 22nd February     

46137 'The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)'

while  the 1745 Gloucester to Bristol stopping train was in the hands of:

Tuesday 16th February  

46137 'The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)'

Wednesday 17th February  

46122 'Royal Ulster Rifleman'

Saturday 20th February    

46122 'Royal Ulster Rifleman'

46137 was noted on the southbound 'The Pines Express' on Wednesday 24th February, returning north on the 2215  Bath to Derby parcels. March turned out to be  rather more interesting with a number of unusual  locomotive workings. The Trafford  Park Scots continued to appear on the 1243 Newcastle to Bristol, although on Thursday 3rd March a stranger was 46126 'Royal Army Service Corps'  (1A Willesden). On Thursday 10th  March 45427 (from 24L Carnforth),worked a  special perishables from Glasgow to Bristol, whilst on the same day unrebuilt  Patriot 45516 'The Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment' (8B Warrington)  headed the 2219  Class  C  Nottingham to Bristol, returning  north next day on the 1455  Bristol to York Class C freight. On Sunday 13th March brand new Peak diesel D21arrived at Saltley for crew training, a  sign of things to come. Then the middle of March came some particularly notable locomotive workings :

Friday 18th March  

45730 'Ocean' (12A  Carlisle Kingmoor) 0840 Bristol to Sheffield

Saturday 19th March  

70014 'Iron Duke' (26A Newton Heath) 1320 Bristol to York

Monday 21st March     

70014  'Iron Duke' (again)  arriving at Bath on the southbound 'Pines Express', probably the  first visit  of a Britannia class to Bath

Monday 21st March     

92026 (Crosti type 9F) passing  Bromsgrove, being noted at Bath Green Park on 30th March

Thursday 24th March     

92175 (36A  Doncaster) 02.37  York to Bristol  Class  C and 0725 Westerleigh to Toton Class  E next day (25th March)


Former LNER locomotives invade

April was to be no less interesting with the use of former LNER K3 Class 61894 (from 40E Colwick) on the 0120  Gloucester to Washwood Heath freight on Wednesday 6th  April, having  been noted in South Wales the previous  day, after arriving at  Milford  Haven on a special ammunition train  from Leadenhall. Various former War Department locomotives passed through Bromsgrove on  freight duties, including 90259 (40E Colwick) on Friday 8th April, 90471 (41D  Canklow) on Sunday 10th April, and 90012 (55E Normanton) on Sunday 17th  April. Further developments on the  diesel front were  taking place with the arrival at Bristol of D93 for crew training (on Sunday 10th April). On Tuesday 12th April  there was a nice variety in motive power with 44899 (12A Carlisle  Kingmoor) 61158 (36A  Doncaster) on a Worksop to Gloucester excursion 70020 'Mercury' (86C Cardiff  Canton) on  a Porthcaw to Bourneville special to Cadburys 70020 carried the  special 'Cadbury' headboard on the smokebox, and was in  immaculate condition. Noted passing Bromsgrove on Wednesday 13th April as 9F 92203 now  preserved at the North Norfolk Railway.


Royal Scots become regulars

The Royal Scots were quite regular now, but  some unexpected visitors were 46112  'Sherwood Forester' (16A Nottingham) on a Trains  Illustrated special  rail  tour returning from Swindon to Leicester via Gloucester on Monday 11th April, and 46113 'Cameronian' (55A Leeds) on our old friend the 1243 Newcastle to Bristol on Sunday 17th April, appearing again two days later on the 1310  Bristol to Sheffield. The general motive power scene continued to be mixed with most of the locomotive  classes associated with the post war operation of the line still in evidence. The  following month of May was somewhat less eventful with the main visitors being Tuesday 3rd May 41242 (82F Bath)

Friday 13th May  

45522 'Prestatyn' (14B Kentish Town) on  the north bound 'Pines Express'

Sunday 22nd May  

45558 'Manitoba' (26F Patricroft)

Friday 27th May     

45041 (8C Speke Junction)

The passing through Bromsgrove of the  Ivatt 2-6-2 tank  engine 41242 was interesting a few of these were shedded at Bristol or Bath for  working local  services and  made an appearance at Bromsgrove only infrequently when  en-route to works  or in the course of transfer. However, this lull in activity was followed b  three months of considerable interest during the main period of the  summer holiday traffic.


Peak diesels arrive

The Peak diesels had been employed on crew training  duties (as already mentioned), D93 for instance being employed at Bristol  from  the middle of April onwards on Bristol Gloucester locals and ECS workings, whilst D89 was similarly employed at Saltley since early April (when it presumably took  over from D21) until the middle of August, when  D28 was used instead. From the  commencement of the summer timetable type 4 diesels were rostered for the  following duties along the Birmingham to Bristol route:

0740 Bristol to Bradford,  1248 York to Bristol, 1905 Newcastle to Bristol,  2015      Bristol to Derby parcels (2033 on Saturdays). The 0740 Bristol to Bradford duty  was noted being hauled by D17 on Sunday 12th June (and the next two days) and by D37 on Friday 24th June (the latter being banked up Lickey by pannier 9486 (85A Worcester), whilst the 1248 York to Bristol was headed b: Monday 13th  June - D102, Tuesday 14th June - D68, Wednesday 15th June - D88, Thursday 16th June - D71, Friday 17th June D92, Sunday 19th June – D88 and Monday 20th June – D98

The allocation of Peaks at Bristol by this time was :

June - D17,  D77,  D86, D88 and D93

August D34 D68 D77 D86 and D90

Various other examples passing Bromsgrove during this period,  precise workings  unknown, were:

Friday 17th June:  D30 and D92

Friday 24th June: D31

Sunday 26th June: D14

Friday 1st July: D19, D74 and D77

Wednesday 6th July: D32 and D68

Friday 8th July: D77, D86, D94 and D103

Friday 22nd July: D77, D86, D94, D103 and  D34 on the down 'Devonian'


Whilst diesels arrive some trains are still steam hauled

The number of  diesel locomotives in use gradually increased and later in the  year trials were held on the Lickey incline on unbanked  trains, but more of  that  later. One thing was clear -  the diesels had come to stay, and the days of steam  were numbered. However, for the  moment steam was still the dominant form of motive power. The now familiar Royal Scots were regular performers on the  main expresses, 30 appearances being recorded at Bristol during June Examples  were:

On the 'Devonian' :

Friday 10th June  

46137 'The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)'     and 46157 northbound  leaving  Bristol

Friday 17th June  

46130 southbound

Wednesday 22nd June     

46137 'The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)'  southbound

Friday 24th June     

46123  'Royal Irish Fusiler' southbound

Friday 1st July     

46125 southbound

Friday 19th August

46112 southbound

On the 1243 Newcastle to Bristol service:

Thursday 9th June  

46106 'Gordon Highlander'

Sunday 12th June  

46162 'Queens Westminster Rifleman'

Monday 13th June     

46100 ' Royal Scot'

Tuesday 14th June     

45540 'Sir Robert Turnbull'

Thursday 16th June     

46137  'The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)'

On the 'Pines Express':

Friday 10th June  

46100 'Royal Scot' northbound

Monday 27th June  

46150 southbound  (from 6J Holyhead)

Various other members of the Royal Scot class were noted passing Bromsgrove  during  the  summer,  not  always  the  regular 17A Derby or21A  Saltley engines,   some  examples being:

Saturday 18th June  

46148 'The Manchester Regiment' (41C  Millhouses) 1320  Bristol to York

Thursday 23rd June  

46159  'The Royal Air Force (1A Willesden) and 46161 'Kings Own' (24K Preston Walsall to Weston Super-Mare  excursion

Saturday 25th June     

46150 'The Life Guardsman' (6J  Holyhead)  0925 Derby to Bristol

Thursday 28th July    

46145 'The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding)' (55A  Leeds)

Friday 29th July     

46101 'Royal Scotts Grey' (1A Willesden) 1015 Teignmouth to Bradford  and 46130 'The West Yorkshire Reigiment'  (55A  Leeds)

Saturday 30th July     

46145 'The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding)' (55A  Leeds)

Tuesday 9th August     

46113 'CAameronian'  (55A Leeds)

Tuesday 30th August     

46117 'Welsh Guardsman' (55A Leeds)


Jubilee locomotives are still in use

Of course the main line passenger work  continued to be shared with Jubilee and Class 5 locomotives, with many of the old familiar engines in use as well as  the summer foreign visitors from further a field. The Jubilees, just like any previous summer,  were  present in large numbers, some noted in the period June to August being :

45562 'Alberta', 45569 'Tasmanina' 45656 'Cochrane', 45572 'Eire' 45660 'Rooks', 45577 'Bwngal', 45675 'Hardy, 45602 'British Honduras', 45685 'Barfleur, 45608  'Gibraltar', 45699 'Galatea', 45639 'Raleigh,  45739 'Ulster', 45566 'Queensland',  45659 'Drake', 45570 'New Ealand, 45662  'Kempenfelt', 45573 'Newfoundland', 45683 'Hogue', 45579 'Punjab', 45690' Leander', 45607 'Fiji', 45725 'Repulse' 45626 'Seychelles', 45654 'Hood'

Meanwhile some less familiar Jubilee visitors were appearing now and again. The  original 45552 'Silver Jubilee' (5A Crewe) was seen passing Bromsgrove on the Friday 10th June, while 45650 'Blake' (15C Leicester Midland) also passed on the Friday 17th June, and 45624 'St Helena' (1A Willesden) appeared on the Friday 29th July. A further trio were evident in August:

Tuesday 9th August  

45709 'Implacable' (5B Crewe South) Walsall to  Weston-Super-Mare excursion

Wednesday 10th August  

45670 'Howard of Effingham' (2A  Rugby Rugby to Weston-Super-Mare excursion

Sunday 28th August     

45646 'Napier' (55C Farnley Junction) passing Bromsgrove


Unusual locomotives in the summer

The summer months were bound to bring unusual and unexpected engines to  the  Birmingham to Bristol route, including former LNER engines. To give a flavour of  what it was like some of the more notable visitors are  listed  below (passing  Bromsgrove, unless otherwise stated),  followed by some lists of Saturday  observations at Bromsgrove in June and July:            

Friday 10th June  

44984 (14D Neasdon)

Friday 17th June  

75007 (81F  Oxford)

Friday 24th June     

42925 (1A Willesden), 61049 (50A York) and 73052 (82F  Bath)

Wednesday 29th June     

3204 (85A Worcester) at Stoke Works on pick up  freight and 42969 (6C  Birkenhead)

Friday 1st July  

45317 (12B  Carlisle Upperby)

Friday 8th July  

44672 (12A Carlisle  Kingmoor), 45138 (12A Carlisle  Kingmoor) and 73052 (82F Bath)

Monday 11th July  

2234 (85A  Worcester) at Stoke  Works on a pick up  freight and 92027 (Crosti) (15A Wellingborough)

Tuesday 12th July  

2234 (85A  Worcester) at  Stoke Works on a pick up  freight and 42810 (1A  Willesden)

Friday 15th July  

73047 (82F  Bath)

Friday 22nd July  

44688 (14B Kentish  Town)  1358  Bristol to Newcastle,  45238 (14A  Cricklewood) 1245  Bristol to Sheffield and 61167 (41F  Mexborough) 1150  Bristol to Leeds

Thursday 28th July  

90545 (40E  Colwick)

Friday 29th July  

44900 (12A  Carlisle  Kingmoor)

Thursday 4th August  

70044 'Earl Haig' (55A  Leeds)

Tuesday 9th August  

90391 (41D Canklow)

Wednesday 10th August  

44823 (26B Agecroft) and 45060 (5D Stoke) 28

Thursday 11th August  

44274 (55D  Royston)

Friday 12th August  

44745 (Caprotti) (27A  Bank  Hall),  45220 (26A  Newton  Heath) and 61155 (41A  Sheffield Darnell) the latter on Paignton to Congleton relief

Sunday 14th August  

61002 'Impala' (50A York) relief northbound 'Devonian'

Monday 15th August  

53809 (82F  Bath) Somerset & Dorset 2-8-0  en route to or from  Derby Works

Sunday 28th August  

45352 (26F Patricroft)


Observations at Bromsgrove on Saturday 24th June

D31, 42422, 42903, 42925, 43041, 43924, 44168, 44571, 44663, 44664, 44776, 44841, 44853, 44918, 44920, 44966, 44984, 45006, 45186, 45269, 45270, 45447, 45569 'Tasmania', 45572 'Eire', 45576 'Bombay,  45594' Bhopal', 45598 'Basutoland' , 45607 'Fiji', 45608 'Gibaltar,  45627' Sierra Leone' , 45648 'Wemyss, 45662 'Kempenfelt', 45683 'Hogue', 46106 'Gordon Highlander', 46118 'Royal Welsh Fuslier' , 46123 'Royal Irish Fusiler', 46157 ''The Royal Artilleryman' , 46162 ''Queens Westminster Rifleman',  46163 'Civil Service Rifleman' 48109,  48700, 61049, 73052, 73171, 75004 and 92155


Observations at Bromsgrove on Saturday 1st July

D19, D86,  D90 , D93, D104,43036, 43049, 44160,  44165, 44213, 44688, 44775, 44810, 44825, 44841, 44856, 44981, 45006, 45260, 45260, 45265, 45268, 45272, 45317, 45569, 45570, 45576, 45579, 45594, 45602, 45607 'FIJI',  45626 'SEYCHELLES',  45627 ' Sierra Leone,  45654 'Hood',  45660 'Rooke',  45685 'Barfleur', 46125 '3rd  Carabinner',  46137 'The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)' , 46160 ' Queen Victoria's Rifleman', 48315,  48388,  73000, 73023, 73046, 73138, 75002, 75004, 75023, 92056, 92150 and 92155


Observations at Bromsgrove on Saturday 15th July

D77, 42922, 43507, 43680, 44663, 44852, 44920, 44981, 44934, 45032, 45040, 45042, 45519 'Lady Godiva', 45532 'Illustrious', 45557  'New Brunswick', 45561   'Saskatchewain', 45566  'Queensland', 45568  'Western Austrialia', 45579  'Punjab', 45614  'Leeward Island', 45656  'Cochrane', 46100 'Royal Scot', 46137 ''The Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire)' 46145 'The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding)',  46151 'The Royal Horse Guardsman', 48681, 73016, 73047, 75009, 75027, 92137 and 92214


Unusual locomotives in September

The remaining part of the year was rather less frenetic. September was,  however, to  bring  two  former GWR visitors in the shape of 2-8-0 freight  engine 3823 (81F Oxford) on Sunday 4th September, and Hall Class 4928 'Gatacre Hall' (88A Cardiff  East  Dock)  on Monday 19th September. Over the remaining years of steam through Bromsgrove former GWR locomotives would become gradually more  regular visitors, but  in 1961 they were still unexpected. Other September  visitors  were Jubilee 45574 'India' (from as  far afield as 24E Blackpool) on Monday 12th  September, and Scot 46152 'The Kings Dragoon Guardsman' (from 6G Llandudno  Junction) on the northbound 'Pines Express’ on Friday 23rd September in place of a failed diesel.


Tests of diesels without bankers

The  main  events  of  September  were  the  trials  on  the  incline  of unbanked  trains on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st September, to see if the long standing requirements to bank trains over the Lickey incline could be changed with the use of diesel traction. Up to then there  were statutory restrictions on the working  of  passenger  trains up  the Lickey Incline without rear end  assistance  and  these  must  be  repealed  before  present practices  can  be  changed. It had been made  obvious,  both  that  the  BR/Sulzer Type 4s could comfortably  negotiate the  bank without  help  on  the  normal express  train  formations.  The Western  Region  wanted  to  eliminate  the  expense  of providing  bankers. On Tuesday 20th September tests  were  carried out with  BR/Sulzer Type 4 D40 and a load of 16 coaches  including dynamometer  car. Except for the dynamometer  car, the train was exclusively empty stock, because of the restriction on  unassisted passenger train working; however, the load was increased from the 12  bogies usual on this route to simulate a complement of passengers and luggage. A test was made from a standing start to the south of Bromsgrove station,   another from a start at the station, and a third with a  'flying  start'  from a  point some  distance to the south. On  each  occasion the test was trailed up  the  hill at 30-50 yards distance by the 2-10-0  banker, No. 92234, apparently to simplify coping  with possible  breakaways and to test the  strength of couplings under the  maximum force to which they will be  subjected if unassisted climbs became the  normal  practice  with  Type 4  traction. After  each  climb the 2-10-0  headed  test  train and Type 4  back down the hill to Bromsgrove. D40 appeared to  emerge with resounding success from the test, which included several  stops  and  re-starts  on  the bank  itself; the climbs took 6-8  minutes, according to  the  point  of  commencement. Next  morning  similar trials  were  conducted  with  freight  stock and  again the diesel  performed  well. By October, all Class  A  trains  between  Birmingham  and  Bristol were scheduled for diesel haulage,   although steam  usage  continued  to  occur  quite  often, particularly on the 1243  Newcastle to Bristol,  the 1415  Bristol to York,  and 'The Pines'  express  in both  directions. The  Peak  diesels  also  took  over  several  fitted  freight  diagrams  from Sunday 6th November  onwards.       


Unusual trains to end the year

Royal  Scot 46164 'The Artists Rifleman'  arrived at Bristol on Thursday 6th October with the southbound  'Devonian', while Jubilee 45614  'Leeward Islands' headed  the  southbound  'The Pines' express on Friday 14th  October. On Wednesday 26th October 9F 92231 (which  had  acted  as  temporary Lickey  banker during 1959) hauled an oil train from Fawley up the  Lickey, banked by 47276, 92234  and an identified pannier tank, whilst two days later an unusual  engine passing  through Bromsgrove was former GWR 6833 'Calcott Grange' (88A Cardiff East Dock). On Thursday 3rd November Her Majesty The Queen Mother  visited Lickey Grange School for the  Blind, arriving  at  Bromsgrove station by rail at 1110 on special train X03. During the remainder of the year notable events were:

Tuesday 22nd November  

61072 (50A York)  passing  Bromsgrove

Monday 19th December  

71000 'Duke of Gloucester' working  the 1645 Stourbridge Junction to Kidderminster and the 1950 Worcester to Burton parcels via Droitwich and  Stourbridge (this  appears to be the nearest  this  unique locomotive got  to  Bromsgrove)

Friday 23rd December     

70044 'Earl Haig' on the 1025 Sheffield to Bristol. 

Monday 26th December     

61820 (41C Millhouses) on 1243 Newcastle to Bristol  as  far as  Birmingham, and probably  through  to  Bristol, another one of the rare visits by a K3 class engine