Locomotive Performance

LNER Mixed Traffic Engines

  I have to admit that I neglected the Eastern Region. In the 1950's and early 1960's, my family's holidays were in the South and South West, Wales, and occasionally, Lancashire. And I was too busy on the Western, Southern, and London Midland regions. But from 1956 onwards, when returning home from London to the Midlands, either from holidays or London business trips, I was able to add a little variety to my routes. Hence Marylebone to Rugby (followed by a walk across Rugby to Midland station, to return to Birmingham), Kings Cross to Peterborough (then Leicester and Birmingham), Kings Cross to Grantham (then Derby Friargate, Derby Midland and Birmingham). The Scarborough and Filey journeys arose from a "Lads Holiday" at Butlins Holiday Camp, Filey.

13th July 1956: Returning from a holiday in Hampshire, I came up to Waterloo, tubed across London, and caught the "Master Cutler" from Marylebone to Rugby Midland. This train took the "joint" route through Princes Risborough. V2 class 2-6-2 no 60820 was the loco, with load 9. The running was respectable and we exactly kept the 103 minute schedule, with one p.w slowing. Max speed was 69 mph at Haddenham. [view log of 60820]
6th September 1957: Another return from holiday, this time from South Devon, and after crossing over from Paddington, I caught the 3.20pm Marylebone to Manchester, again as far as Rugby. This train ran via Aylesbury. With a 300 ton gross load, B1 class 4-6-0 no 61088 ran magnificently with a 43mph sustained up the 1 in 100 to Amersham, and a noisy 64 mph minimum at the top of the 1 in 164 beyond Finmere. A superb effort. Max speed was 72 mph at Stoke Mandeville. This was my only main line run on a B1, and certainly it was one to remember. [view log of 61088]
8th March 1958: A day out that included Birmingham to Leicester on 42186, then up to St Pancras on 45598, then Kings Cross down to Grantham with 60050. What made the day so interesting was the snow which started falling shortly after I left home, which had turned into a blizzard on the run up to St Pancras. But in the afternoon the snow stopped and the sun came out. At Grantham I was surprised to find J39 no 64716 on the Nottingham and Derby service. The maximum speed I recorded was 54 mph. But I found the journey to Derby Friargate most interesting, and I suspect that very view logs exist of journies over this line. After a ride on a Trolley bus across Derby, this excellent day out concluded with a run on 44805 back to Birmingham. [view log of 64716]
11th July 1959: Off to Butlins, and with my friend Alan, it was the Kings Norton to Scarborough service with 44688 as far as Milford Junction. Here, V2 class 2-6-2 no 60918 came on. The running was unexciting but adequate, although we were checked on the approach to Scarborough, and were 12 late in. Another memory of the journey was that whilst waiting for a service for Filey, my friend Alan (who was a pipe smoker) took me into a tobacconist's shop near to Scarborough station, and purchased for me a pipe and a packet of "Three Nuns". It was the start of a habit that lasted until 1985, although I smoked "Gold Block" for most of that time. [view log of 60918]
  18th July 1959: By the end of our week at Butlins, I was a confirmed "pipe smoker". Alan, you have a lot to answer for. Mind you, I reckon I was making more smoke than V2 no 60975 which took us from Filey Camp station to Gascoigne Wood, where it gave way to Midland 4F 0-6-0 no 44206. The V2 ran steadily and punctually, with max speed of 61 mph before Bridlington, and again at Holme Moor. An  interesting route along much of which it is no longer possible to travel. [view log of 60975]
  8th August 1959: Returning home from London after a return trip from Waterloo to Southampton and back on the "Lymingtons" behind my favourite locomotives, the "Schools", I returned north again from Marylebone. By 1959, the Manchester services had ceased but there was still a 6.15pm to Sheffield, though it no longer carried the "Master Cutler" name.  The Saturday schedule was a generous113 minutes. 60831 had a 9 coach load, and was handled very differently to 60820 on my 1956 run. 60831 was taken gently on the uphill sections, but was allowed to run freely downhill, and so there was an 81 mph max speed at Haddenham. But with 2 p.w slowings and 2 signal checks, we just kept the 113 min schedule to Rugby. [view log of 60831]
  6th June 1964: This was the LCGB "North West" railtour which had started at St Pancras with Jubilee 45721. V2 2-6-2 no 60923 took over at Leeds for a run over the "Settle and Carlisle", round the curve at Carlisle, then back over Shap, before returning to Leeds via the Ingleton line and Skipton. 60051 then completed a superb day with a fast run up to Kings Cross. 60923 ran steadily over the S & C, 33mph minimum up to Blea Moor, 78 mph max down to Carlisle. Similar work followed up to Shap, 32 mph at the summit. and a 74 mph max down to Tebay. One of the most enjoyable railtours that I ever travelled on, though leaving home at 3am, and not getting back until 2am the next day nearly took it's toll, for I "fell asleep at the wheel" on the drive home from London, but got away with it. I have not driven on the M1 to or from London since. [view log of 60923]
27th June 1964: In June 1964, I had a week in June on a Western Region Railrover. On the Saturday, I did two return trips between Worcester Shrub Hill and Bristol. My final run of the day was from Gloucester Eastgate to Worcester Shrub Hill. Surprisingly B1 class 4-6-0 no 61394 turned up. The service only called at Cheltenham, Ashchurch and Eckington, and we reached a max of 60 mph at Cleeve. [view log of 61394]. (Note: This log was previously included in Edition 1, in "The Lickey Route" feature.)

  19th September 1965: On this date K4 class 2-6-0 no 3442 "The Geat Marquess" worked the Stephenson Loco Society "Preserved Locomotives Cavalcade" Railtour from Birmingham Snow Hill to Worcester Shrub Hill, returning in the evening. Being a Sunday, there were many p.w. slowings to contend with. It also appeared that the loco was restricted to 45 mph, since there was no fast running. The max speed, in fact, was 46 mph on the outward journey at Cutnall Green. A modest 18 mph was the minimum up Old Hill bank on the return journey. But nevertheless the log is a reminder of a very pleasant day out, in which 0-4-2T no 1420, and 2-6-2T no 4555, also featured. [view log of 3442]
  One final V2 run on11th December 1965 needs a mention. On that date I travelled on the Warwickshire Railway Society "Waverley" railtour from Birmingham to Edinburgh, which had suffered heavy delays earlier in the day, and by the time 60034 "Lord Farrington" handed over to 60886 at York, for the final run back to Saltley, we were 88 minutes late. The journey from York to Saltley was beset with delays, so I have not included a log. Signal checks leaving York, a crossover slowing at Church Fenton, heavy delays in the Ferrybridge area caused by a derailment, then the usual pitfall slacks onwards to Rotherham. Here we stopped for 14 minutes. Then more slacks on to Tapton Junction, another p.w slowing at Hasland, and a signal check approaching Derby, where we were 115 mins down. Onwards to Saltley, we did much better, 67 mph before Burton, but then a signal failure stop beyond Wichnor. Then we were clear through to Saltley, where we arrived 112 minutes late.