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Bromsgrove 1967

Saltley Shed closes to steam 

On Monday 6th March 1967, Saltley Shed (2E) was finally closed to steam, and The Pines Express, which from September 1962 had run to Bournemouth via Oxford, ceased  running altogether.

Diesel locomotive tests on the Lickey Incline 

Meanwhile, tests were being carried out on the Lickey Incline involving diesel locomotives. These tests were  to  study the use of Hymek Type 3 engines  on  banking duties and the performance of a Western class diesel-hydraulic fitted  with modified bogies. The Hymek test took place on 8th March when D7007  banked a freight train of specified load hauled by a Brush type 4. The next day  D1050 'Western Ruler' worked a number of unassisted trains with eight coaches  and the Swindon dynamometer car. Steam was still well in evidence at this time on freight and parcels workings.

Steam locomotive workings in the area 

Steam locomotives that were recorded working through Cheltenham during March were: 48477 (2A Tyseley), 44944 and 45006 (Both 2B Oxley), 45308 and 92247 (Both 2D Banbury) , 48375 (2E Saltley), 48131 (5D Stoke), 92104 (8H Birkenhead), 48254 and 48367 (16F Burton) and 92205 (50A York)

At Gloucester on Thursday 30th March, three Stanier 8F's including 48672 were active in the south yard. The next day consecutive southbound freights through Cheltenham were headed by 48638 (16G Westhouses) and 92013 (2D Banbury).  

On 30th  April,  Black 5 44710 (2D Banbury)  arrived  at  Gloucester with a pigeon  special, whilst parcel trains working passed Cheltenham were :- 7th  May 44762 (2A Tyseley), 14th May 45331 (2D Banbury)  and 15th May 45331 again Other  steam  engines  observed  at  Cheltenham  in  late  April/beginning  May were: 44872 (2D  Banbury) , 48064 16F Burton), 48056 (16F Burton),  48646 (2E Saltley), 48266 (16F Burton),  48651 (16F Burton), 48339 (2E Saltley), 48690 16F Burton),and 48501 (9F  Heaton Mersey).

Interesting diesel locomotive workings 

During April and May there were a few interesting diesel workings, with English  Electric Type 4 D314 working a Coventry to Weston Super Mare excursion throughout on Easter Monday, Class 31 D5530 heading  a Washwood Heath to Worcester(and return) freight on Thursday 25th May, and  Brush type 4 D1723  requiring three type 3 bankers up the  Lickey on the same date when hauling a  load of over 60 wagons.

Extra trains stopping at Bromsgrove

In late April the local Transport Users Consultative Committee announced that there would be extra stopping trains at Bromsgrove. Instead of just one up and down train the Monday to Friday 1705 from Birmingham would also stop at Bromsgrove at 1725, and on Saturdays the 1125 from Worcester Shrub Hill would stop at Bromsgrove as well.

Hymeks replace Class 37s as bankers

From Augus the Type 3 (Class 37)bankers, which had monopolised the duty since their introduction in 1964, were scheduled to be replaced by the Hymek diesel hydraulic types, crew-training being planned to start on Tuesday 29th August. The first engine to be reported at Bromsgrove was D7011. It was reported that the first gears would be permanently disengaged for banking work. Certainly these locomotives were established by November, as failures were being reported, as  many as three in one week. D7021 was noted at Bromsgrove with snow ploughs fitted. Whilst all this was happening, NBL Warship Class D855 'Triumph' was on crew training duties between Bristol and Gloucester.

Another crash at Bromsgrove

Right at the end of the year Bromsgrove Station was the scene of a rail crash that closed all lines for 20 hours. On the evening of Friday 24th November,28 steel coal wagons on a southbound freight train heading from a Birmingham goods depot to South Wales became derailed on the slow (platform) line in Bromsgrove station. Over 200 yards of track as torn up and considerable damage done to the edge of the platform. Fortunately no-one was hurt and passengers were conveyed subsequently from Barnt Green to Bromsgrove by bus. Over 40 men using heavy lifting equipment and a steam crane were employed through Friday night and Saturday morning clearing up the debris. The main lines were open again by late afternoon on Saturday but the slow platform line was out of use for some while. The cause of the accident seemed unclear at the time one theory was that when the train brakes were applied as it was entering the station laden wagons over-ran others that were  empty. Another possibility was that the train simply ran away.

Last BR steam working in the area

As an aside for 1967, on  the evening of Wednesday 6th January Ivatt Class 2 46454 arived at Gloucester on a freight off the Honeybourne line returning north light-engine almost immediately. This must have been the last working steam locomotive to visit Gloucester, but it is not known whether it travelled north via Worcester and Stourbridge or Bromsgrove.