MARCH 2004

March 1

 A bad day for the coast as the final daylight 47 hauled Crewe-Holyhead service leaves Chester. 47750 (formerly "Atlas"), complete with headboard, was taking the 15.27 ex-Crewe, Westbound for Holyhead . We saw several false sunsets with the 37's, will we see more loco haulage on the ATW services? Click the PICTURE for more 30/3/2004

 OK, so we have been out and about today and a picture report is being compiled. In the meantime, a brain teaser for you - where have we been? 25/3/2004

 It's so easy but just in case....here is a clue.... 25/3/2004

 South Devon Railway's GWR 0-4-2 tank engine 1450 has been overhauled at his LNWR workshops at Crewe and has now been transferred to the Churnet Valley Railway for running in and to appear at the Steam Gala on 3rd and 4th April. 22/3/2004

 1450 was positioned by the works shunter and then winched onto the low loader for transfer. 6115 "Scots Guardsman" and 71000 "Britannia" await their turn in the sheds. 22/3/2004

 The snow and hail storms abated by the time the locomotive was securely on the trailer which then set off for Froghall and the CVR. 22/3/2004

 Also at the LNWR workshops is 4F number 44422 which is well into its general overhaul. The chassis and boiler sit on a well wagon while the motion and bearings receive attention inside. This locomotive should be back in steam later this year. 22/3/2004

66119 approaching Crewe with 71000 "Duke of Gloucester" in tow - well actually I think the shed was getting a gentle shove from behind. 18/3/2004

 The pair were held just North of Crewe station while 47732 "Restormel", recently returned from the dead, took empty stock out towards Chester. I assume the working was to provide for the evening Manchester-Holyhead service but could be wrong because it was far too early. 18/3/2004

 Eventually this unique pacific, complete with brake tender, entered the station looking very shabby. The Duke is on its way to Crewe Works, its birthplace, for a repaint so this was an opportunity to see it looking as it did back in the early years when I used to see it hurtle through Hartford (Cheshire) with The Mid-Day Scot - a sight I will never forget. I later saw it at Barry Island where it was in appalling condition and "fit only for scrap". The restoration is one of the miracles of preservation and the people who achieved this incredible feat have my eternal admiration. I am sad that it will not now venture onto the Coast. 18/3/2004

 Straight into the Sun - yuk! 18/3/2004

Sheer beauty........

 I understood that the brake tender would run round before leaving for the works but it was not to be and so, in sauntering across from platform 6, I reached the bottom of the stairs to hear the distinctive chime whistle as 71000 cleared its cylinders. Thus only a telephoto to show as it set off on the Chester line with its 3 cylinder arrangement clearly to be heard. It now looks the same colour as "Britannia"! 18/3/2004

 Crewe Diesel depot is now effectively closed and the long lines of scrap and withdrawn locomotives have largely been cleared to one destination or another. Those remaining comprise 5x37, 2x47, 1x56 and 1x58. How long can the "Hosteller" survive? 16/3/2004

There are occasional visitors to the fuelling point as 67011(L), 47732 "Restormel" and 37689 repose. "Restormel" has just returned from store to provide power for the North Wales Coast services - but not for long! 16/3/2004

 The morning Bangor-Manchester working's empty stock is brought to Crewe via Altrincham and Chester because the Crewe-Manchester line is closed for upgrading. Today, the stock was brought in by 47750 still in semi-Virgin livery. 16/3/2004

 AC electrics are still in service on the West Coast Main Line although 87004 "Britannia" looked distinctly unwell as it was pushed South, dead, by 90001. 16/3/2004

 47732 "Restormel" was started up and left the depot to run South, presumably to the LNWR carriage sidings to collect stock for the evening Manchester-Holyhead service. 16/3/2004

Holyhead-London HST services will not be seen for much longer as Voyagers loom. Today 43121 led 43084 as the train left for the Capital. 16/3/2004

 Of the five (I think) EWS class 47's remaining in active service, three were at Crewe today. The third was 47792 "Robin Hood", on standby, and in excellent external condition with little visible corrosion. Alongside is Super Voyager 221111 "Roald Amundsen" awaiting its next turn of duty. 16/3/2004


Link to March 1