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Bromsgrove 1975

The High Speed Train arrives at Bromsgrove

The year began with a visit by the prototype high speed train (HST) numbered 252001, which arrived in Bromsgrove on test on Wednesday 29 January.

The story was covered in the local newspaper :

The prototype of the new British Rail High Speed Train stopped at Bromsgrove on Wednesday. It arrived at the station at 1122 and did a standing start up the 1 in 37 Lickey Incline on its way to Blackwell.

Further instrumentation tests are being carried out, together with the training of crews, catering and maintenance staff before its intended introduction into passenger service in the Western Region in March.

The 27 production HST's now being built should enter service between London and South Wales from next year, at an average speed of 87 mph and a top cruising speed of 125 mph.

The train, which came from Bristol, returned to Cheltenham after stopping at Blackwell. It then returned and went straight through to Birmingham New Street station.

Amongst the regular diet of Brush 4s and Peak locomotives, the visits of Western diesel hydraulic types still provide considerable interest.

Some of these visitors in the early part of the year were : 

Saturday 15th February

1037 'Western Empress' worked the Saturday only 0740 Penzance to Liverpool diagram as far as to Birmingham New Street station.

Monday 3rd March

1052 'Western Viceroy' worked a Severn Tunnel Junction to Tinsley freight as far as Derby 

Thursday 27th March

1065 'Western Consort' worked a Plymouth to Liverpool relief train as far as Birmingham New Street station.

Saturday 29th March

1052 'Western Viceroy' (again) worked through to Derby on the Western Sunset railtour from Plymouth and return (up via Stratford upon Avon and returning via Bromsgrove.

Sunday 27th April

1023 'Western Fusiler' that is now preserved as part of the National Collection and 1057 'Western Ambassador' worked the Paddington - Bristol - Bromsgrove - Birmingham New Street station - Didcot - Paddington Western Enterprise railtour.

Other interesting events were also taking place. The 0740 Penzance to Liverpool diagram, involving a return working with the 1320 Liverpool to Plymouth, was worked by Class 50 locomotives on a number of occasions, some examples being

Friday 21st March 50043; Saturday 22nd  March 50011; Saturday 10th May 50013 and Thursday 14th August 50049 (now preserved on the Severn Valley Railway)

Based on observations made beside the Lickey Incline in the Vigo Bridge area between March and June the following locomotives were seen on the line

Besides numerous Class 45, 46 and 47 locomotives the following were observed

20010, 20038, 20060, 20063, 20167 (still in Green livery), 20168, 20173, 20187, 25025, 25030, 25040, 25051 & 25053 (working the Royal Train down the incline), 25065, 25077, 25081, 25084, 25106, 25118, 25120, 25121, 25126, 25132, 25135, 25136, 25159, 25160, 25164, 25189, 25203, 25207, 25211, 25251, 25298, 31109, 31115, 31120, 31134, 31144, 31167, 31195, 31205, 31213, 31232, 31244, 31274, 31299, 31306, 31323, 37165, 37209, 37215, 37299, 40143, 50011, 50030, 50038, 50047, 50050, 1030 & 1072

Bankers seen on the incline

25029, 37138, 37159, 37186, 37206, 37210, 37229, 37236, 37253, 37258, 37291, 37292, 37294 (now preserved on the Ongar Railway), 37295, 37296 & 37298  

During these observations class 09 shunter 09024 was seen going down the incline in a freight train returning to it's home depot following an overhaul at Derby works

Locomotives on the Redditch Stone Trains

During the 1970's the ARC stone terminal at Redditch received regular deliveries of stone from their  Tytherington Quarry in Gloucestershire. These trains ran up the Lickey Incline and to avoid running the train around to gain access to the Redditch branch they ran via the Camp Hill line through New Street Station and back via the West Suburban line so that they could run straight onto the Redditch branch. Here are a few of the locomotives used on the morning train with the reporting number 6M31.  

Tuesday 29th July


Saturday 16th August

25084 / 25122

Saturday 2nd August

25122 / 25189

Friday 22nd August


Saturday 9th August

25160 / 25167

Saturday 29th November


Here are a few of the locomotives used on the afternoon return train with the reporting number 6V45

Tuesday 5th August

25122 / 25130  

Friday 8th August

25122 / 25130

Thursday 7th August

25160 / 25167


Class 40 diesels appear at Bromsgrove : 

A few appearances by class 40 locomotives were also noted. On Wednesday 26th March a southbound freight was noted passing Cheltenham behind 40059 on Saturday 10th May. The 0830 Manchester to Swansea was worked forward from Birmingham New Street station by 40011 'Mauretania'. On Saturday 5th July a southbound cement train was hauled through Bromsgrove by 40032 'Empress of Canada'. Another visit of this class took place later in the year on Thursday 25th September when 40081 arrived late at Bristol on the 0808 Newcastle to Bristol having perhaps replaced a failed engine en-route.

During the summer months a few unusual locomotive workings occurred when locomotive availability was stretched :  

Saturday 15th February

1037 'Western Empress' worked the 0740 Penzance to Liverpool diagram as far as Birmingham New Street station

Saturday 26th May

1013 'Western Ranger' (now preserved on the Severn Valley Railway) was used on a day excursion from Carlisle to Weston-super-Mare 1013 worked the special in both direction between Birmingham New Street station via Bromsgrove to Weston super Mare.

Saturday 16th August

1037 'Western Empress' passed southbound on an empty china clay working  being noted at Bromsgrove about 0830. These trains usually ran via Kidderminster.  

Saturday 16th August

47372 hauled a northbound train through Bromsgrove

Tuesday 19th August

37207 hauled the 1423 Manchester to Cardiff service from Birmingham New Street station.

Wednesday 20th August

37224 hauled the 1423 Manchester to Cardiff service from Birmingham New Street station.

Thursday 4th September

1026 'Western Centurton' arrived at Derby pulling a defective Class 45 locomotive. 

End of the Devonian and Cornishman

The one other event of the year was a rather sad one as from the start of the Summer timetables on Monday 5th May, the railway authorities decided to discard the titles of The Devonian and The Cornishman. The reason given was that these trains fell short of current standards and therefore did not warrant the publicity of titles. The Cornishman had only operated on the Birmingham New Street station to Gloucester via Bromsgrove route since 1962, but The Devonian had been a regular sight at Bromsgrove since 1927 so its demise was a very sad moment.

Hereford & Worcester County Council first plan to re-instate the second Bromsgrove Platform

On a brighter note a five year plan put forward by the Hereford & Worcester County Council entitled the Transport Policy Programme, incorporated a proposal to spend 50,000 at Bromsgrove on reinstatement of the second platform (This would take until 1989 to actually be built).