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Bromsgrove 1972

Pullman visits Bromsgrove

The first visitor of note was an 8 car Blue Pullman train which was used on the Saturday 15th January for a Bristol to Leeds football charter special, these sets being unusual in the Midlands since the Birmingham Pullman service had been withdrawn. The only other event of interest in the early part of the year was Hymek 7050 assisting a failed peak 157 (to be 46020) into New Street on Thursday 10th February on the Paignton to Edinburgh service.

More Western hauled trains at Bromsgrove

Western class locomotives were still much in evidence. On Saturday 15th April Western 1041 'Western Prince' arrived at Birmingham New Street with the 1055 Plymouth to Manchester train, whilst 1068 'Western Reliance' was at Bromsgrove on Friday 28th April with a steel train. On Thursday 27th April Class 37 6720 (to be 37 020) of March shed passed Bromsgrove northbound on oil empties, the bankers this day being Hymeks 7001/7094/7100.

North East - South West route trains revised

From Monday 1st May there were major timetable changes on the North East - South West route following track improvements between Birmingham and Bristol. The 0800 Bristol to Newcastle was for example now scheduled for 5 hours 30 minutes, the fastest ever.

Even more Western hauled trains at Bromsgrove

On Saturday 13th May 1013 'Western Ranger' (now preserved on the Severn Valley Railway) worked the 0815 Paignton to Liverpool service as far as Birmingham New Street returning on the 1420 Birmingham New Street to Bristol service. A week later 1008 'Western Harrier' arrived at Derby on a train the at ran trough Bromsgrove returning southbound on the 0900 Derby to Birmingham service. Another visitor to Derby was 1017 'Western Warror' which worked through on the Saturday 10th June with the Saturday only 0945 Paignton to Derby service. The previous day 1036 'Western Emperor' travelled even further a field, reaching Nottingham with exhibition train from Plymouth for the Confederation of British Industry.

During the main holiday months, some of the more interesting workings were :

Wednesday 26th February  

1524 (to be 47004) was used on British Rail Holiday Preview Special from Leeds to Weston-super-Mare. The train passed through Bromsgrove at 1058 and 1906

Saturday 11th March 11 (to be 45122) worked the British Rail Mystery Excursion from Manchester Piccadilly to Exeter between Birmingham and Exeter and return 

Monday 3rd July

7077 towing failed 64 'Coldstream Guardman' (to be 45045) into Birmingham New Street with the 0830 Plymouth to Leeds service.

Monday 10th July

1971 (to be 47270) of Haymarket shed worked the 1615 Bristol to Newcastle service

Friday 14th July

1050 'Western Ruler' worked the Fridays only 1120 Newquay to Leeds service as far as Derby

Sunday 16th August

6978 (to be 37278) of Landore shed worked the 1615 Bristol to  Newcastle service as far as Derby

Thursday 20th August

6880 (to be 37180) worked the 1640 Hereford to  Birmingham service and returned on the 1958 Birmingham to Worcester service.

Tuesday 25th August

1019 'Western Challenger' worked the Fridays only 1745 Penzance to Manchester service as far as Birmingham New StreetIt then returned on the 26th on the 1048 Manchester to Paignton service taking over at Birmingham New Street station.

Wednesday 26th August

1038 'Western Soverign' worked the 0815 Paignton to Liverpool service as far as Birmingham New Street station. It was banked over the Lickey Incline by 7055 and 7100.

Thursday 27th August

1748 (to be 47155) worked the LNER Society special London to Barry railtour, which returned via the Lickey Incline

Saturday 2nd September

1043 'Western Duke' worked a train from the West of England to Birmingham via Bromsgrove

Saturday 23rd September

1979 (to be 47277) of Knottingley shed worked the 1030 Paignton to Leeds train

End of Hymek banking in October

October signified the end of the Hymek diesel-hydraulics on banking duty at Bromsgrove, a task they had performed since August 1967. The bankers on 16th October were 7075/7095, but on Monday 23rd October Class 37 6910 (to be 37210) of Landore shed arrived to take over. This move was obviously in preparation for the controlled withdrawal of the Hymek locomotives.

Last Warship at Bromsgrove 

An interesting event was the use of Warship 821 'Greyhound' on a special van train to Washwood Heath. Bearing in mind all the four remaining Class 42 Warships were officially withdrawn on Monday 4th December, this visit by 821 'Greyhound' was almost certainly the last recorded passage of a locomotive class that was never very common at Bromsgrove. (Warships were only seen at Bromsgrove from early 1968 onwards and withdrawals were gathering pace through 1971 and 1972). 

Unusual visitors at Bromsgrove  

A rare visitor was noted on Tuesday 5th December when Class 40 317 (to be 40117) passed through Birmingham (and Bromsgrove) on a Guide Bridge to Bristol parcels service. Then on Wednesday 22nd December the pioneer Western 1000 'Western Enterprise' worked the 1224 Manchester to Bristol from Birmingham New Street  having worked in earlier from Paddington. On Tuesday 14th November with the 0553 Port Clarence oil train to Bromsgrove was worked by Class 37 6770 (to be 37070) of  Gateshead shed

A448 Bromsgrove Highway bridge is installed  

An extra bridge on the incline was installed in June for the new A448 Bromsgrove to Redditch dual carriageway road. A ready-made bridge was used that was was placed on prepared supports and the ground was then dug away underneath, thereby enabling keeping rail traffic disruption to a minimum.



Extracts from the Blackwell Train Register

The following as based on locomotives recorded in the train register at Blackwell Signal Box between  Monday 28th February and Monday 23rd October and are relating to southbound freight trains that required the brakes to be pinned down before descending the Lickey incline.

There was a good mixture of Peaks, Classes 20, 25, 31, 37 and 47

OnIy one Class 24 was recorded 5041 (to be 24051), on Sunday 30th April passing at 1022 on a working to Radyr

Only two Class 40s were noted, 315 (to be 40115) also on Sunday 30th April, and 340 (to be 40140) on Saturday 10th June passing at 0500 on a Normanby Park to Severn Tunnel Junction working

A total of three Westerns were noted :

Saturday 30th March

1069 'Western Vanguard' operated a Birmingham New Street to Gloucester special working, passing through Bromsgrove at 0812.

Sunday 31st March

1024 'Western Huntsman' worked a Birmingham New Street to Newport special working, passing through Bromsgrove at 1100.

Saturday 2nd September

1043 'Western Duke' worked the Normanby Park to Severn Tunnel Junction freight train, passing at 1535.

No Hymeks were recorded after 20 April - up to that point they had been almost daily visitors, as can be list below:

Monday 6th March

7080 / 7091

Tuesday 7th March

7011 / 7085 & 7080 / 7091

Wednesday 8th March

7080 / 7091

Thursday 9th March

7011 / 7085 & 7080 / 7091

Friday 10th March

7080 / 7091

Tuesday 14th March

7011 / 7094

Wednesday 15th March

7011 / 7094 & 7080 / 7091

Thursday 16th March

7080 / 7091

Friday 17th March

7082 / 7095

Saturday 18th March

7080 / 7091

Wednesday 20th March

7080 / 7087 & 7082 / 7095

Friday 22nd March

7082 / 7095

Saturday 23rd March

7096 / 7097

Monday 25th March

7079 / 7088

Wednesday 27th March

7005 / 7032 & 7092 / 7099

Thursday 28th March

7008 / 7032

Tuesday 4th April

7005 / 7032

Saturday 8th April


Thursday 13th April


Wednesday 15th April


Other locomotive workings of interest, in date order, were :

Tuesday 14th March

5609 (to be 31186), 5824 (to be 31415), 5843 (to be 31309),       6972 (to be 37275)

Tuesday 21st March

6604 (to be 37304)

Friday 28th April

6876 (to be 37176)

Sunday 30th April

5809 (to be 31279)

Thursday 11th May

6826 (to be 37226 )

Friday 16th June

5668 (to be 31249), 6975 (to be 37275)

Saturday 8th July

5179 (to be 25029), 7519 (to be 25169)

Friday 14th July

6867 (to be 37167)

Thursday 20th July

6863 (to be 37163)

Wednesday 2nd August

6868 (to be 37168)

Tuesday 9th October

7572 (to be 25222), 8163 (to be 20163), 7614 (to be 25264),  8188 (to be 20188)

Friday 12th October

5151 (to be 25001), 7649 (to be 25299)

Saturday 13th October

8088 (to be 20088), 8174 (to be 20174)

Tuesday 17th October

6871 (to be 37171) , 8015 (to be 20015), 8150 (to be 20150)

Thursday 19th October

5828 (to be 31295), 8142 (to be 20142), 8145 (to be 20145)

Friday 20th October

5687 (to be 31259)

Saturday 21st October

8064 (to be 20064), 8191 (to be 20191), 8112 (to be 20112),    8137 (to be 20137), 8196 (to be 20196), 8003 (to be 20003)

Monday 23rd October

6902 (to be 37202)

These were in addition to the regular appearances of Peaks and Class 47's

In the first ten working days of March 1972, the average number of such trains requiring brake pinning at Blackwell was 5 trains per day.