Birmingham New Street..1988


Thirty eight years after my first trainspotting trip to New Street, I was still at it, and fortunately, recording full details of what I saw. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, I would usually have at least a couple of Saturdays at New Street each summer, recording the train workings. in 1988, there was still a lot of variety. The 45/46's had finished, and there were fewer 31's, but there was still much of interest. Now, 16 years on, the place is best avoided. 
10.10/10.22: 47297 called on additional service to Edinburgh (10)
10.13/10.21: 86433 called on the 7.40am Euston-Pwlhelli (11)..63 late
10.16/10.23: 47543 called on the 7.41am Leeds-Tenby (8)..8 late 
10.20: 47606 arrived on 7.02am Paddington-Manchester (6)..38 late (loco change)
10.33: 86235 departed on 7.02am Paddington-Manchester (6)
10.37/10.41: 87028 called on the 8.35am Euston-Inverness (13)..26 late
10.39/10.46: 86225 called on a National Holidays Euston-Carlisle Charter (8P)..11 late
10.41/10.48: HST called on 7.18am Newcastle-Paignton (7)..6 late
10.48/10.58: 47508 called on the 6.34am Poole-Manchester (10)..8 late
10.50/11.01: 86102 called on the 9.10am Euston-Blackpool (11)..7 late
11.04: 50026 departed on the 8.35am Liverpool-Penzance (6)..34 late
11.18/11:22: 86435 called on the 9.40am Euston-Aberystwyth (10)..2 early
11.35: 47432 arrived on the 8.47am Leeds-Poole (10)..17 late (loco change)
11.47/11.56: HST called on the 7.55am Newcastle-Penzance (7)..26 late
11.54: 47478 departed on the 8.40am Liverpool-Paignton (11)..67 late
11.55: 47633 arrived on the 9.17am Paddington-York (9)..5 late (loco change)
12.02: 31464 & 31422 departed on the 10.10am Manchester-Paignton (10)..4 late
12.06: 81005 departed on the 7.07am Plymouth-Glasgow/Aberdeen (11)..24 late
12.03/12.10: 86220 called on the 11.40am International-Manchester (8)..15 late
12.10: 47638 arrived on the 8.05am Newcastle-Weymouth (10)..13 late (loco change)
12.25: 87016 departed on the 7.48am Plymouth-Liverpool (9)..8 late
12.42: 86206 departed on the 8.35am Paignton-Glasgow/Edinburgh (10)..1 early
12.42/12.48: 87013 called on the 10.40am Euston-Wolverhampton (11)..24 late
12.52: 85005 departed on the 8.50am Paignton-Manchester (10)..2 late
12.53/1.01: 86254 called on the 11.10am Euston-Shrewsbury (10)..5 late
1.10: 47654 arrived on the 9.00am Poole-Glasgow/Edinburgh (11)..1 early
1.22: 86431 arrived on the 11.40am Euston-Birmingham (11)..R time
1.36: 50004 departed on the 7.50am Glasgow/Dundee-Penzance (13)..38 late
1.38/2.02: 47552 called on the 9.55am Poole-Newcastle (9)..31 late (dep via Lifford curve)
1.47/1.50: 87006 called on the 9.55am Eastbourne-Manchester (9)..21 late
2.20: 50027 departed on the 8.50am Glasgow/Edinburgh-Paignton (11)..21 late
2.27/2.31: 87027 called on the 12.40pm Euston-Wolverhampton (13)..6 late
2.31/2.35: 31419 called on the 11.18am York-Cardiff (6)..20 late
2.47: 87002 departed on the 8.17am Penzance-Glasgow/Dundee (13)..5 late 
2.50/2.59: HST called on the 9.50am Newquay-Manchester (7)..9 late (arr via Camp Hill)
2.54: 47628 arrived on the 10.00am Weymouth-Liverpool (10)..12 late (loco change)
3.05: 87024 departed on the 10.00am Weymouth-Liverpool (10)..7 late
3.20: 47446 departed on the 1.20pm Manchester-Plymouth (10)..5 late
3.23/3.27: 86101 called on the 1.40pm Euston-Wolverhampton (11)..R time

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10.20: 47526 departed on the 8.08am Manchester-Poole (12)..2 late
10.43/10.48: 85005 called on the 7.47am Liverpool-Weymouth (9)..67 late
10:56 87016 arrived on the 8.35am Liverpool-Penzance (6)..38 late (loco change)
11.09/11.12: 47441 called on the 9.19am Bristol-York (9)..12 late
11.11/11.18: 86406 called on the 7.14am Aberystwyth-Euston (12)..30 late
11.14/11.21: 86220 called on the 9.18am Manchester-International (8)..15 late
11.33: 50027 arrived on the 7.07am Plymouth-Glasgow (11)..4 late (loco change)  
11.40: 81005 arrived on the 8.40am Liverpool-Paignton (11)..65 late (loco change)
11.49: 47606 departed on the 8.47am Leeds-Poole (10)..19 late
11.53/11.57: 86224 called on the 11.24am Wolverhampton-Euston (11)..9 late
11.59: 87030 arrived on the 10.10am Manchester-Paignton (10)..11 late (loco change)
12.02: 31458 departed on the 9.17am Paddington-York (9)..R time
12.21: 47432 arrived on the 8.05am Newcastle-Weymouth (10)..6 late
12.18: 50004 arrived on the 7.48am Plymouth-Liverpool (9)..8 late (loco change)
12.30: 47446 arrived on the 8.33am Paignton-Glasgow/Edinburgh (10)..2 late (loco change)
12.43/12.48: 86411 called on the 9.32am Llandudno-Euston (9)..R time
12.44: 47441 arrived on the 8.50am Paignton-Manchester (10)..4 late (loco change)
12.58/1.03: 47619 called on the 8.24am Tenby-York (9)..3 late
1.14/1.18: 86435 called on the 8.30am Pwllheli-Euston (11)..R time
1.23: 87002 arrived on the 7.50am Glasgow/Dundee-Penzance (13)..38 late (loco change)
1.51/1.55: 86244 called on the 11.18am Manchester-International (6)..44 late
1.52/1.58: HST called on the 10.08am Paignton-Newcastle (7)..13 late
1.55/1.59: 86433 called on the 10.10am Aberystwyth-Euston (10)..11 late
2.06: 37062 passed on Stock working (2x2 car DMU)
2.09: 87026 arrived on the 8.50am Glasgow/Edinburgh-Paignton (11)..21 late (loco change)
2.11/2.14: 87031 called on the 12.18pm Manchester-Paddington (6)..8 late
2.19: 86431 departed on the 2.18pm Birmingham-Euston (11)..1 late
2.35: 50029 arrived on the 8.17am Penzance-Glasgow/Dundee (13)..6 late (loco change)
2.41/2.48: 87013 called on the 2.24pm Wolverhampton-Euston (11)..R time
2.50: 87003 arrived on the 9.50am Glasgow/Aberdeen-Poole (11)..2 late (loco change)
3.04/3.09: HST called on the 11.19am Paignton-York (8)..10 late
3.11: 47654 departed on the 9.50am Glasgow/Aberdeen-Poole (11)..5 late
3.12: 85037 arrived on the 1.20pm Manchester-Plymouth (10)..7 late (loco change)

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One of the most fascinating aspects of the passenger workings through New Street was the alternative route possibilities.The 9.55am Poole-Newcastle, for instance, arrived from the Leamington line via Bordesley curve and Proof House junction, but, to avoid running round at New Street, continued through Selly Oak, turned left around the Lifford curve, and continued via Camp Hill to Landor Street Junction where it joined the Derby line. It thus traversed the Bordesley Junction to St Andrews Junction section twice. Trains to and from the West of England also used the Camp Hill line, particularly if they were proceeding to/from the Wolverhampton line without a loco change. The use of the Bescot and Aston route into New Street, as an alternative to the Stour Valley line, was also widespread.

Locomotive changes added to the interest considerably, and most of these took place at the west end of the station.

The highlights of this particular Saturday were the four class 50 workings, which produced 50004 St Vincent, 50026 Indomitable, 50027 Lion, and 50029 Renown. Class 31 workings produced 31419, 31458, and 31464 plus 31422 double heading. Electric workings included class 81 no 81005, and class 85's numbers 85005 and 85037. And the class 37, no 37062, dragging a dmu (possibly a failed DMU) was a bonus. 

  I have also found my notes of a visit a year earlier, in the summer of 1987. But they are undated. The workings were similar, and the highlights of that day were the class 50's, 50012 Benbow, 50018 Resolution, and 50036 Victorious. Class 31's seen were 31409, 31429, 31442, and 31454. One class 45 was seen, 45110 on the 9.19am Bristol to York, made up of NSE stock. But the best of the day was class 58 no 58026, which worked a 10.50am Birmingham to Bristol extra, which stood until 11.47 "awaiting guard". Strangely I saw no class 85 workings that day.
What a contrast now (March 2004). Just a few class 87's and 90's on those Euston services that have not yet gone over to Pendolino operation. Otherwise Voyagers, Pendolinos, and diesel and electric units on all the other services. But there are still the "drag" days to look forward to. These are the days, usually Saturdays and Sundays, when the Coventry line is closed for Engineering works, and the Euston services are diesel hauled to Nuneaton. Once the preserve of class 58's, these workings are now in the hands of the new (well rebuilds) class 57/3, or the remaining class 47's still on Virgin's books.