The train route was as follows:
Derby, Borodaholm, Amvergate Jn, Mabergate, Matlock, Matlock Peak Rail
Matlock Peak Rail, Darley Dale, Rowsley South (reverse), Darley Dale, Matlock Peak Rail
Matlock Peak Rail, Matlock, Matlock Bath, Cromford, Ambergate, Ambergate Jn, Broadholm, Belber, Duffield, Breadsall, Derby Up Goods Loop, L.N.W Jn Dervy, Melbourne Jn, Sinfin Central (reverse), Melbourne Jn, Derby (reverse), Stenson Jn, North Stafford Jn, Clay Mills Jn, Burton-
Worcester Shrub Hill, Tunnel Jn, Droitwich Spa, Bromsgrove, Barnt Green, Longbridge, Kings Norton, Lifford East Jn, Bordesley Jn, St Andrews West Jn, Landour Street Jn, Saltley PSB, Washwood Heath West Jn, Castle Bromwich Jn, Warter Orton West Jn, Water Orton, Kingsbury Jn, Tamworth, Wichnor Jn, Burton-
Click images for an enlargement
47 848 at the end of the line at Moreton-
The night before the tour, the train was stabled alongside Derby station platforms. Rail Operations Group 37 884 was at the London end of the train.
A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado was alongside on a railtour shortly before this photo was taken at around 21.30 -
37 884 waits to leave Rowsley South towards Matlock and Derby.
This engine was released from English Electric Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns in November 1963 as D6883 and first allocated to Landore. It later gained the TOPS number 37 183. It was transferred to Inverness in 1982 to replace Class 26 & 27s on the far North and Kyle Lines until displaced by Class 156 Super Sprinters and allocated back to Wales, this time at Cardiff, in 1988. It was shortly afterwards renumbered 37 884 when its main generator was replaced with an alternator and a ballast weight added in place of the former steam heat generator to improve haulage capabilities.
47 848 after arrival at Rowsley South next to resident Class 31, 31 270 in Regional Railways colours.
47 848 entered traffic in January 1965 as D1652. It gained the TOPS number 47 068 in March 1974. Electric Train Heat was fitted in December 1985 when the engine was remumbered 47 632. A further renumbering occurred in December 1989 when the locomotive was fitted with long-
The disused platform at Sinfin Central after arrival, looking towards Derby on the left and in the direction of the former line to Ashley de la Zouch on the right.
The station first closed in 1930, before being reopened by British Rail in 1976 for workers in the nearby Rolls Royce factory. Usage was disappointing, however, and there was only one train per day by 1992. Passengers wishing to travel to Sinfin were transferred by ‘railway’ taxi after the final timetabled passenger train ran on 21st May 1993 and the station was formally closed in 1998 -
Staff and stewards from the train pose at Derby where the train revised upon arrival back from Sinfin Central.
Birthday boy, Allan Spencer, next to the locomotive head board.
After we had come to a stand in Washwood Heath yard. Not much here now, but beyond here was the former works of Joesph Wright and Sons, Railway Carriage and Wagon Builders -
There was a short photo stop at Great Malvern station where 37 884 is seen at the front of the train. This well kept station was built by the Worcester & Hereford Railway by the architect Edmund Wallace Elmslie in 1862. Built to serve the spa town of Malvern at the foot of the Malvern Hills which grew dramatically in Victorian times due to the natural mineral water springs with reported medical benefits.
37 884 upon arrival of the Lickey Incliner II for the first time at Hereford, This locomotive had a lucky escape, being withdrawn and sold for scrap to EMR Kingsburyby EWS in 2012. Fortunately it was brought by Europhoenix in 2013 and this locomotive is now painted in combined Europhenix / Rail Operations Group livery. This locomotive is often deployed hauling rolling, stock, especially EMUs, to and from their home depot and works for overhaul as well as being used for the delivery of new stock.
47 848 at the other end of the train at Hereford. This locomotive, whilst currently unnamed, has previously been named as “Newton Abbot Festival of Transport” in 2000 and then “TITAN STAR” in 2006.
D2578 “Cider Queen” at Morton-
03 145 at Morton-
47 848 at Worcester Shrub Hill during a 48 minute reversal and ‘tea break’ between 17.00 and 17.48. Some ten hours after departure from Derby, the tour had ran more or less to time for the whole day. 47 848 led the train from Hereford and is seen facing London / Bristol on Platform 2. Note the Western Region lower quadrant signals.
37 884 at the other end of the train, ready to depart towards Bromsgrove, Lickey Incline and Derby. The station was designed by Edward Wilson in 1865 and was originally jointly owned by Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton and Midland Railways.
Alan’s birthday cake -
Alan seen, just a few years ago, at the controls of a Class 47.
Sunday 8th October 2017
© Text: Stuart Smith. Photos & associated captions: Tom Chaffin unless marked otherwise.
To celebrate his 70th birthday, and over 50 years working on the railway, Alan Spencer decided to run this charter train for family, friends, invited guests and former work colleagues. I was asked to take the role of Train Manager and oversee the stewarding onboard throughout the journey -
The train was formed of eight Mk2 carriages, provided by Riveria Trains at nearby Burton-
Invited guests, along with friends & family were sat in Premier Class to the north end of the train. The rear of the train was made up of Standard Class vehicles, being offered for sale to members of the public, who wished to take advantage of some of the rarer aspects of the routing. The middle of the formation was a kitchen car and brake vehicle.
So, with passengers settled onboard at just before 7:30 am, we headed north from Derby towards Ambergate and Matlock. A brief stop at the later enabled us to pick up a member of Peak Rail train crew for the journey through to Rowsley South. The connection between Network Rail and private infrastructure was re-
After a short break, with the station cafe doing a brisk trade, we retraced our path to Derby before tip-
Invited guests in Premier Class had been served breakfast by this point, with other passengers onboard making good use of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ and his tempting wares!
Another reversal back in Derby saw us head south towards Birmingham, via a quick detour into Washwood Heath Yard (no.5 Siding). The original plan had been to visit the former Met-
After a short stop at Hereford, the train approached Moreton-
This was achieved with grateful thanks to the Neil Aitken of the D2578 group (whose three locos are based there) and Andrew Horner from Moreton Business Park. The train ran right through to the Tarmac loading sidings, which currently sends out trains to locations such as Radlett, Acton and Hayes & Harlington. The ‘backsides on seats’ policy required during our traversal of Moreton Park gave the stewarding team a brief respite from their duties -
Departing Moreton Park, a southbound Freightliner coal train was held for us (it was running early) so we could keep our path back across the single-
A huge birthday cake was unveiled at this point, complete with a picture of Alan in the early days of his driving career, and the entire train was invited to ‘take a slice’ in celebration. With darkness now falling, the train skirted around Birmingham and eventually made its way back to Derby (not before having a brief stop in Chaddesden Yard) to conclude a very interesting and enjoyable day.
All on board had clearly had a great day (many of whom expressed this both on the train and via communications in the following days). Alan has clearly come into contact with many hundreds, if not thousands, of people during his 50 year ‘shift’, and those onboard this special train were there to celebrate their part in the story!
37884 powers south through Chevin with the Rowsley South to Worcester leg
© Robert Treedman