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


Bromsgrove 1980

In particular theme through this  yeawas  the use of newly refurbished Class 50  locomotives from Doncaster Works on the 0950 Edinburgh to Plymouth train. This was to facilitate the return of these engines to the Western Region. Those workings recorded were:



Friday 29th February

50017 'Royal Oak' 

Friday 7th March

50002 'Superb'

Thursday 13th March  

50027 'Lion'  

Wednesday 19th March

50011 'Centurion' 

Thursday 3rd April   

50019 'Ramilles'   

Thursday 17th April

50046 'Ajax'

Tuesday 27th May    

50047 'Swiftsure' 

Wednesday 3rd September 

50023 'Howe' 

Friday 26th September 

50003 'Temeraire'

Thursday 6th November

50004 'St Vincent'

Monday 10th November

50006 'Neptune'

Unusual motive power

On the subject of specific trains, three other services provided interesting motive power through the year. The first was the 1507 Plymouth to Manchester which provided:

Friday 13th June

20140 and 20192

Friday 19th September

20069 and 20077 (unbanked)

Thursday 23rd October 

20022 and 20214 (unbanked - down to 10 mph at Blackwell)

Tuesday 4th November


The second was the summer Saturday service 0824 York to Tenby:

Saturday 5th July

37019 (TE

Saturday 12th July

37221 (IM Immingham depot)

Saturday 16th August 

47305  (TI Tinsley depot) 

Saturday 30th August 

37242 (IM Immingham depot)

Saturday 6th September

37242 (IM Immingham depot)  

Saturday 13th September

37080 (IM Immingham depot)

The third such train was the 0626 Plymouth to Liverpool via Birmingham New Street and the 1023 Manchester to Penzance via Birmingham. Both trains north of Birmingham used electric traction. This was the only regular Class 50 duty through the summer, providing in August:

Saturday 2nd August

50001 'Dreadnought'

Saturday 9th August

50025 'Invincible' 

Saturday 23rd August 

50025 'Invincible' 

Saturday 30th August 

50013 'Agincourt'

First Deltic hauled train at Bromsgrove did not quiet happen!

Proceeding now with events as they happened, the year began with an event that didn't happen: On Sunday 24th February a specially chartered York to Swindon trip was expected to be hauled by a Class 55 Deltic, causing considerable crowds to turn out to witness what would be the first visit by an engine of this class. However, some snag cropped up at the last moment and Peak 46034 was used, causing considerable disappointment. Saturday 22nd March turned out to be an interesting day.  

More unusual motive power

The 0655 Gloucester to Leeds 'stopper' was hauled by 40069 (YK), a special charter train 'The Tyne Tees' from Cardiff to Newcastle arrived at Birmingham behind 37180 (IL), whilst sister engine 37251 disgraced itself by over running the catch points in the loop at Blackwell,  being derailed on the front bogie at 0735. It was working a southbound oil train at the time. In the afternoon 31136 arrived with a breakdown train from Bristol. All down trains had to be diverted via Stourbridge Junction until about 1600 hours. Class 31 locomotives were still appearing from time to time on passenger workings. On Saturday 3rd May 31155 (IM) hauled the 0830 Manchester to Swansea from Birmingham in place of a failed rostered locomotive. Then on Saturday 17th May 31326 (MR) headed the 0655 Gloucester to Leeds stopper,  departing Bromsgrove 0753. Also on Saturday 17th May the bankers at Bromsgrove 37224 and 37241 pulled a failed 45062 into New Street with the 1052 Paignton to Leeds, whilst 40154 (HM) passed through Bromsgrove on Saturday 24th May with the 0928 Cardiff to Wolverhampton relief.

More trains to Redditch

New all-day services to Redditch (an extension of the  Longbridge cross-city services)  commenced  from Monday 12th May, roughly on a hourly  basis. This followed the agreement by Hereford and Worcester County Council to underwrite the costs of operation of the additional train services 

More unusual locomotive workings

June signified the first recorded visit of a Class 56 to the incline, when 56056 (TO) was noted on a northbound hopper train on 6th June, ascending the incline at 2010, banked by 37178 and 37241. Other interesting visitors during June and July were:

Saturday 7th June

37143 (IM) northbound passenger

Saturday 14th June

40056 on 1245 Weymouth to Derby from Bristol

Saturday 28th June 

40007 passing Gloucester on a train to South Wales

Friday 4th July 

47256 acting as temporary banker

Friday 12th July

37184 (LE) 1020 Birmingham to Swansea and 37195    (GD) 1140 Newcastle to Paignton  

Friday 19th July

37071 (GD) 0728  Derby to Paignton

Freight class 47's on Summer trains

As the summer services got really underway Class 47/3's (without any train heating) began to appear. Some examples that were noted being:  

Saturday 2nd August

47319 TI) 1040  Manchester to Paignton and 47321    0935  Liverpool to Paignton

Saturday 13th September

47304 (TI) 1040  Manchester to Paignton

Scottish Region class 37 on the incline

Then on Saturday 30th August Eastfield (Glasgow) allocated 37153 appeared on  the 1015  Scarborough to Birmingham service, extended  through to Swansea as a relief to  the 1008 Newcastle to Swansea. This was probably the rarest visitor of the year. On the same day 45061 in charge of the 0934 Leicester to Paignton halted on the incline with dragging brakes, and eventually pulled into Bromsgrove station for the bankers, 37207 and 37233, to take over. Down services were disrupted for about an hour.

Trains in trouble on the incline

Late in the year, as winter arrived, there were a number of trains in trouble climbing the incline. It  is  usual  every  winter  for  one  of  the  bankers  to  be fitted  with  snow  ploughs  and 37208 duly  appeared thus equipped on Friday 14th November. The only regular double headed trains are the Stoke Gifford to Redditch stone train, hauled by two Class 25's, and a Port Clarence to Bromsgrove block oil train hauled by two Class 31's, but on Wednesday 22nd October the 1519 York to Swansea was hauled by 31224 and 31322 while the 1638 Leeds to Bristol had 31410. Next day the 1608 Bristol to Newcastle and 1735 Leeds to Bristol mail were  hauled by 50025  'Invincible'; Class 50's  have  been  more  in  evidence, especially on the Plymouth to Liverpool services since the start of the winter  service. In the week beginning Monday 27th October the annual  leaf  problem  reached  its  eight,  keeping  the bankers  at  full  stretch. Every day the 0716 Bromsgrove to Four Oaks DMU stalled  halfway  up  and  in  the following  fortnight  the  driver requested  a  banker  each day. On Wednesday 29th October while the bankers were attending to this  train,  the Stoke Gifford to Redditch stone train was waiting on the main line and the 0655  Gloucester to Birmingham had to be routed through on the  up relief line. On Thursday 30th October the 0655 stalled a hundred yards from the summit behind 37180 and the Redditch stone train behind 25264 and 25327 and banked by 37158 and 37204 assisted it over the summit. On Sunday 2nd November the 2130 Bristol to Glasgow sleeper behind 47510 and banked by 37208 and 37231 took 22 minutes to clear the summit, and with all three locomotives slipping so badly the summit was cleared at 1 mph. Class 20's appear to be immune to the problem however; on Monday 27th October 20135 and 20136 in charge of 45071 dead and  an 800-ton mixed freight went up the incline without slipping and with little assistance from the bankers. On Friday 31st October 20113 and 20134 on a Severn Tunnel Junction to Toton mixed freight took banker assistance but proceeded to take the  train  away while the bankers slipped to a standstill. Unusual power on the 0655 Gloucester to Birmingham was 37260 (SF) on Friday 14th November, 45131 on the 18th, and 25035 (HA) on the 19th November.

7812 'Erlestoke Manor' on the incline

Not for  the  first  time December turned  out  to be  the  most  notable month of the year. On Wednesday 17th December two Class 20 locomotives towed steam engine 7812 'Erlestoke Manor' (not in steam)  from Tyseley to the Severn Valley  Railway. 7812 had beento Swindon  for attention to springs and then to Tyseley for wheel turning.

Freight train accident at Barnt Green 

Friday evening 19th December saw an accident at Barnt Green when three empty  petroleum wagons (of a train of 17) in a Margam to Whitemoor freight derailed at 2100  hours, one  tanker  rolling down the  embankment, landing in Fiery Hill Road. Chaos hit  local train services for  three  days following a  derailment at Barnt Green when a  runaway freight wagon demolished part of the track  and a workman's  hut. A special  bus  shuttle  service  from  Bromsgrove and Redditch to  the  Longbridge  station  was  run  by  British  Rail, which has  launched  an  investigation  into  the  incident  on Friday evening. Three of 17 empty petroleum  tankers  broke  free  from  the Wales  to East  Anglia  freight  train. One wagon rolled  down  an  embankment  flattening  a workman's  hut, one  overturned onto  the  railway  track, and the  other overturned into Fiery Hill  Road. Firemen removed the train's only  cargo, eight 100 pound propane cylinders, to safety. Trains were  diverted for 10 hours through  Worcester, Kidderminster and Stourbridge until another train derailment at Rowley Regis station blocked the escape route. Workmen battled over the weekend to clear the wreckage strewn  across  the  track in  time for Monday morning commuters. Express services were resumed at 1130 on Monday 22nd December but local  services  did  not get  back to normal until Tuesday 23rd December. During the  early  evening  ambulance control had received  a call  to  a  road  traffic  accident  involving  a  lorry which had  overturned in Fiery  Hill  Road,  Barnt  Green. On arrival in Barnt Green  station the ambulance crew arrived to see a vehicle lying across the road. It looked  like a road tanker, but on closer inspection it was found to have flanged wheels. It was soon established  it was a railway tanker which had dropped 20 feet or so off the track.  A quick inspection up the bank confirmed more tankers at odd angles plus considerable damage to the tracks, Hurried messages were passed via ambulance control to British Rail and fire control to warn of the dangers.

Scrap locomotives pass through Bromsgrove 

The  last  record  for  the  year was  indicative  of  the  state  of business  on  the  railways. Locomotives  were  being  taken  out  of service  or  put  to  store,  particularly  at  Swindon  Works which had  the  space  to  accommodate  unwanted  locomotives. On Wednesday 31 December 31290 (TE) towed dead 25232 (ED) through Bromsgrove just after mid-day en-route to the Swindon 'dump'. Many more locomotives would follow in subsequent months as the railway system was run down, reflecting the gradual recession in the United Kingdom.