picture 1 picture 2 picture 3 picture 4 picture 5 picture 6 picture 7 picture 8 picture 9 picture 10 picture 11


Bromsgrove 1976

Class 50 diesels become more common than Western diesels

In the early part of the year the absence of the Western locomotives was noticeable. Withdrawals are well underway and the workings of these locomotives tended to be south of Gloucester. Any engine which found its way onto a South West North East service was normally taken off at Gloucester.

By comparison the English Electric class 50s were becoming much more common. 50042 (now preserved on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway) arrived at Birmingham New Street station on Saturday 6th March at the head of the 0920 Bristol to Edinburgh/Glasgow train. Whilst 50026 (now also preserved) turned up on Friday 12th March with the 0630 from Plymouth returning west from Birmingham New Street station on the 1023 from Manchester train. On Friday 6th August this latter roster was worked by 50002 (now preserved at the South Devon Railway).

Western diesels on specials at Bromsgrove

An indication of the decline in numbers of the Western diesel hydraulics was apparent by this time, because as enthusiasts interest mounted special railtours were organised. One such example occurred on Saturday 22nd May when 1013 'Western Ranger' (now preserved on the Severn Valley Railway), worked a portion of a special from Birmingham New Street station to Western Super Mare and back which started and finished in Carlisle. 1013 'Western Ranger' return on the west on the Merchant Venturer  6000 LA railtour to Bristol. A more conventional visitor was made by 1015 'Western Champion' (now preserved on the Severn Valley Railway) on Saturday 12th June, heading the 0805 Penzance to Liverpool train as far as Birmingham New Street station, returning latter on the 1321 Liverpool to Plymouth train. 1009 'Western Invader' arrived at Birmingham New Street station on the 1115 Plymouth to Manchester train on Friday 16th July. On Saturday 13th November 1013 Western Ranger' hauled a northbound passenger train through Bromsgrove.

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  

Saturday 24th January 25038 / 25325
Saturday 31st January 47335
Saturday 14th February 47473
Saturday 21st February 25038 / 25187
Saturday 22nd May 47323
Saturday 21st August 47080
Thursday 11th September 25252 / 25280
Thursday 23rd October 47506
Thursday 15th November 47334

Class 44 Peaks return to Bromsgrove

In between all these Western locomotive visits, one of the original Peaks (class 44) 44009 'Snowdon' was noted passing Cheltenham on a freight towards Gloucester on Tuesday 22nd June.  A few weeks later the same engine was noted on a northbound freight at Blackwell. Throughout their lives these engines (D1-D10, later 44001-10) were infrequent visitors to Bromsgrove.

Class 50 diesels are used for banking at Bromsgrove

July was to bring a brief and interesting change in the banking engines at Bromsgrove. The usual Class 37s being replaced by a class 50 provided by Worcester shed. The three recorded instances this took place; Wednesday 14th July 50023;  Friday 30th July 50037 and Sunday 10th October - 50013 (replaced latter that day by 37289)

Bromsgrove railway tombstones are restored

AIso in July, British Rail workmen restored the famous Bromsgrove railway tombstones, a job they did about every five years.

During the remainder of the year the events of interest were as follows :

Saturday 10th April

47215 worked a special British Rail Mystery Excursion with the reporting number 1Z69 from Retford to Gloucester in both directions over the Lickey Incline.  

Saturday 17th April

47060 worked an 11 coach special with the reporting number 1Z64 from Plymouth to Spalding in both directions over the Lickey Incline.  

Saturday 25th September

Gresley buffet car W9135E (bui1t in 1937) made its last Western Region revenue earning run before its transfer to Scotland on a Weston Super Mare Liverpool football excursion. (The Coach is now preserved carrying it's original LNER number 650 as part of the National Collection).  

Saturday 16th October

An HST was noted descending the Lickey Incline at about the normal service train speed. Also on the same day 45052 worked northbound over the Lickey Incline with a British Rail Merrymaker trip from Plymouth to Blackpool. The tour returned via Kidderminster.

Saturday 13th November

1013 'Western Ranger' (now preserved on the Severn Valley Railway) arrived on a Nottingham to Penzance Cornishman railtour and was a late substitute for 1023 'Western Fuslier' (now preserved as part of the National Collection). The tour was promoted by  Severnside Locomotive Association Railtours. Other locomotives used on the tour were 44006 and 45051.

Saturday 27th November

1010 'Western Campaigner' (now preserved on the West Somerset Railway) passed Bromsgrove on a British Rail Day excursion from Plymouth to Oxford.

Observations at Vigo Bridge

The following locomotives were observed between 0715 and 1600 working trains at Vigo Bridge on the Lickey incline on Friday 2nd January 1976. 37291 and 37142 were the banking engines.

25164, 25273, 45004, 45007, 45008, 45009, 45011, 45017, 45023, 45031, 45032, 45037, 45052, 45054, 45058, 45059, 46005, 46009, 46010, 46011, 46034, 46055, 47055, 47063, 47075, 47099, 47137, 47166, 47233, 47289, 47289 & 47510

More Observations at Vigo Bridge

The following locomotives were observed between 0830 and 1230 working trains at Vigo Bridge on the Lickey incline on Friday 2nd April 1976.

31258, 31286, 45008, 45015, 45027, 45033, 45043, 46005, 46007, 46008, 46016, 46022, 46026, 46046, 47006, 47028, 47082, 47182, 47183, 47289, 47476, 47497 & 47534

Work is carried out at Blackwell

On Saturday 30th October, work began on repairing the railway at Blackwell. Part of the old arched bridge in Station was demolished by explosives, and temporary bridge spans place by British Rail engineers. The line remained open speed restriction.