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Bromsgrove 1966

Last year of Steam locomotive workings at Bromsgrove

This was the year when the last steam working (other than preserved locomotive movements) took place through Bromsgrove, and of course this overshadowed all other events.

New methods of requesting banking assistance is introduced

At the beginning of January new right away signal  indicators came  into  use  at  Bromsgrove South to advise the banker drivers when to start. Instead of the traditional whistle signals between the train and banking engines, the driver of the train locomotive advised the Bromsgrove station signalman that he was ready to proceed, and the right away signal would be given to the bankers by the signalman.  

Former LNER B1s at Bromsgrove

February brought two B1 locomotives to the Gloucester area. On 2nd February 61173  (56A Wakefield) passed southbound through Bromsgrove on a special York to Severn Tunnel freight, returning light engine the next day. On 13th February 61013 'Topi' (also 56A Wakefield) passed Worcester on a southbound coal train to Gloucester.

Plans to closed Blackwell and stoke Works stations are outlined

Late in the month the Bromsgrove Passenger Action Committee was making representations to British Railways about the proposed cuts in services for Bromsgrove. Unfortunately, no one would listen and on 25th March, BR issued a public notice detailing their intentions as from 18th April. They were complete closure of Blackwell and Stoke Works stations to all  passenger traffic cutback in services at Bromsgrove  to one train in each direction each day, the 0757 to  Birmingham in the morning and the 1735 from Birmingham arriving Bromsgrove 1759 in the afternoon.

More use of steam locomotives

An  increase  in  steam hauled freight, mainly coal  trains, the majority on  Sunday mornings or at night  during the week. Predictably at this stage of the run down of the steam engine fleet, the locomotive's observed were Black 5s, Stanier 8Fs, or Standard 9F's. One exception  was  the  visit at Gloucester on 14th June of  B1 61199 (50A York) which worked in with  a steel train via Bromsgrove; after a quick turn round  it took  out a freight from Gloucester Barnwood to Worcester.

Usual Class 37 bankers are replaced

The type 3 bankers at Bromsgrove were recalled to Cardiff at the beginning of June for bogie and axle examination, being replaced by D6850/D6899/D6929/D6989.

More steam workings

An unidentified Black 5 was noted passing Bromsgrove on a Sunday evening banana train during June. The end of steam was by now very close. During the middle of July Black 5 44919 (2B Oxley) was in the Gloucester area. On 16th July it was noted at Lydney on a ballast train, then on the next day it left Gloucester on a Wareham to Ellesmere Port oil train; however, it developed a fault at Worcester and had to limp light engine to Oxley, probably via Stourbridge Junction.

More Hymek trials

Further banking trials with Hymek engines took place at Bromsgrove at the end of July.  

Last BR Steam working at Bromsgrove

In the first two weeks of August steam was noticeable  by  its absence, but on 13 August Black 5 45493(2D Banbury) worked into Gloucester with a pigeon van  empties, was noted at Horton Road shed, and later  in the day returned light engine to Saltley. As this light engine movement would almost certainly cause it to pass through Bromsgrove, it appears that 45493 holds the distinction of being the last steam engine in BR service to visit Bromsgrove.  

Oil terminal is built at Bromsgrove

During what was left of the year the only items of interest were the building of the petrol tanks and  oil storage tanks at the new distribution depot in  Station  Approach, Bromsgrove, with of course the rail road line. The first train delivery, a 500 ton block train from Plymouth, arrived on 15th December.

Closure of Bromsgrove station

At the meeting of the Bromsgrove Passenger Action  Committee with British Rail on 21st October. The BR view was that an improved service (over the one train each way per day) was impossible and their belief was that Bromsgrove Station should really be closed completely.