News 2020 - Railways in Worcestershire

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News 2020


Whilst the three week lockdown is in force there is very little to report with most passenger trains cancelled.  However many movements of stick continue.

The dire shortage of daytime freight traffic that had been such a feature in 2019 continued into 2020.  This combined with the end of HST125s on the London trains and their replacment by featureless class 800 IETs has left very little to photograph in the county.

Class 170 three-car diesel multiple unit No.170217 was photographed at Abbotswood Junction on 18th February 2020 whilst working from Tyseley to Cardiff. Photograph taken by Steve Widdowson.

The one bright spot in the county has been the resurgence of traffic to and from Long Marston which has emerged as a major site for storage of surplus items as well as for refurbishment and conversion.  This has brought some interesting old diesels into the county such as this class 56 in the colours of DC Rail which brought a rake of wagons from Chaddesden to be given a final coat of blue paint. Steve Widdowson photographed the train at Worcester (left) and Robert Pritchard at Martin Hussingtree (below). The date is 18th February 2020.

On Friday 21st February Robert Pritchard photographed one of the few reliable daytime freight workings in the county - the Daventry to Wentloog Tesco container train (train code No.4V44) with class 66 diesel locomotive No.66425 in charge of the train.

This dramatic image taken from the low level platforms at Worcestershire Parkway on Sunday 23rd February 2020 shows a pair of Cross Country Trains class 125 (HST) locomotives working the 09:52 from York to Plymouth (Sundays only).  The power cars are No.43366 & 43285. The photograph was taken by Jack Summerfield.

With fewer and fewer locomotive workings in the county in 2020  not many places remain where interesting traction can be found.  One brighter spot being the Network Rail compound at Spetchley, on the site of the closed 1845 station.  This large yard is frequently home to  one of more items of on-track plant. Monday 23rd March 2020 was no exception as shown in this photograph taken by Andrew Smith. The main item of interest is a TMX Plant livery road/railer No.6898.  It was accompanied by two flat wagons plated RT 352 (nearest the camera) and RT358.
These three videos taken for his back garden are contibuted by Steve Smith.
1. GBRF class 66 locomotive Nos.66773 and 66775 photographed on 9th April 2020 with a train of redundant carriages from Neville Hill to Sims, Newport for scrap.
2. A Colas livery class 66 locomotive No.66849 has made light work climbing the Lickey Incline with its single tank wagon.
3. A rare visitor to the county occurred on 9th April 2020 when class 56 locomotive No.56103 took a train of wagons to Long Marston.
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