Railways in Worcestershire

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Worestershire's Railways in 2016


A sign of changes in the air can be seen in this view of a new colour light signal installed at Wadborough. Photograph taken by Steve Widdowson on 29th December 2015.
For most of the week there is little to see on Worcester Depot but there are always some London Midland units on shed at weekends. This short video shot from a Hereford to Paddington HST was taken on Saturday 16th January 2016 and shows a pair of class 170  diesel multiple units (Nos,170510 & 170634) and class 153 railcar No.153356 on shed. No.172341 was at Worcester Shrub Hill awaiting to depart to Dorridge with the 13.17 service (2C42).
By the start of 2016 the Great Western Railway three-car hybrid class 158 diesel multiple units had become somewhat of a rarity in the county with only this train (07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern [2E17] and 10:50 Great Malvern to Brighton [1O98]) and the afternoon pair of  08:59 Brighton to Great Malvern (1V94) and 14:50 Great Malvern to Weymouth (2O94) being rostored for these type of units. The photograph shows No.158961 at Worcester Foregate Street on the return working on Tuesday 16th January. Photograph taken by Andrew Smith.
No.43174 derailed on Monday 1st February 2016 when running into Worcester yard for stabling  overnight in Hereford Sidings. It arrived on 5W75, 23.01 Great Malvern to Worcester "Hereford Sidings", the other power was No.43154, with set LA72. Great Western Railway managed to sort out the issue quickly and the next day No.43154  with LA72 Set had been uncoupled from the derailed power car and sent back to  Bristol St Phillips Marsh. No.43174 was back on the rails by 09.00 and stabled on the middle road in Worcester Shrub Hill Station, from there it was sent solo via Malvern and Hereford as  0Z74 11.50 Worcester Shrub Hill to St Philips Marsh. Photograph by Steve Widdowson.
Ian Martin has kindly provided some valuable and important information about the Worcester Engine Works Co Ltd and fifteen locomotives built for an order in Russia.
On 21st April 2016 Freightliner livery Class 70 diesel locomotive No.70006 ran from Long Marston to Southhampton via Worcester yard where it ran round its 2 wagon flats, then back down the Cotswold line to Oxford and on to Southampton. This was the first time a Freightliner class 70 had run over the Cotswold line as previously only Colas 70ss have worked over this line. Photogrpah taken by Steve Widdowson at Stoulton, near Pershore.
In preparation for a planned resumption of freight train working between Hereford and Worcester, class 67 diesel locomotive No.67014 is seen at Malvern Wells whilst training crews from Bescot. The class 67 worked two trips per day and this is the first, seen at Malvern Wells, on Tuesday 26th April 2016. Photograph taken by Andrew Smith.

26th April 2016
Added: A small selection of photographs taken by John Rumsey at Worcester in 1965.
On Thursday 5th May 2016 the Bridgwater to Crewe nuclear flask train saw its first use of class 68 diesel locomotive when the train (train code 6M63) consisting of two flasks was hauled by No.68011, accompanied by class 57 diesel locomotive No.57003. Photographed at Abbotswood by Steve Widdowson.

Samuel Telford Dutton – Railway Signal Engineer of Worcester
Published by the Signalling Record Society, 2016
ISBN 978 1 873338 26 5
Price £30. www.s-r-s.org.uk
This 256 page full colour A4 (215mm by 273mm) size hardbound book is a masterpiece of research about Samuel Telford Dutton, who was one Worcester’s foremost Victorian entrepreneurs. The book relates how he learnt his trade with the better known signal engineers, McKenzie & Holland, also of Worcester. Dutton’s name first came to the interest of the MIAC when an earlier Signalling Research Society book devoted several pages to him and this new historical account provides a superbly detailed and authoritative insight into how important the railway signalling industry was to the City of Worcester in Victorian times.  It was Dutton who rescued the Worcester Engine Works (known by locals as "Heenans" - a subsequent owner) building on Shrub Hill Road from the inevitable destruction that was all that awaited the building which had been empty for 15 years. Most of the information in the book is new and is the result of meticulous research work by the author and the Signalling Record Society which included access to original photographs held by Dutton's relatives.
Even for railway enthusiasts with no particular interest in Signal Boxes and their apparatus this book is a must with plenty to fascinate and inform anyone with an interest in Worcestershire’s railway scene.
The high quality art paper used is a splendid way to display the superb selection of maps and black and white and full colour images.
There are a limited number of copies of this book and demand is certain to be very high. I cannot praise it highly enough.
The author, Edmund Dorricott will be signing copies of the book in the Attrium of The Hive, Worcester on Saturday 18th June 2016 from 11.00 to 15.00, followed by a guided walk to local sites connected with Dutton.

Highly commended.
These two photographs show some of the changes to the view from the Peachfield Road bridge in Malvern Wells caused by Network Rail's 2016 modernisation scheme.  Above: Class 170 three-car diesel multiple unit No.170633 on the 'up' line with the 10.40 Hereford to Birmingham New Street (train code 1M61) passes class 172 two-car units Nos.172211 and 172218 in the 'down' loop having arrived with the empty stock of the 09.19 Whitlocks End to Great Malvern service (train code 2V14/5S38) on 17th December 2012. Below: Great Western Railways three-car hybrid class 158 diesel multiple unit No.158798 in 'Visit Somerset' livery moves out of the 'down' loop prior to setting back to Great Malvern to form the 14.50 to Weymouth (train code 5094/1O94) on Thursday 16th June 2016. Notice the new lineside equipment boxes. Both photographs were taken by Andrew Smith.
Between Monday 8th August 2016 and Wednesday 10th August the Margam to Round Oak loaded steel train and afternoon returning empties were diverted via Malvern and Hereford - a line which does not normally see any freight trains at all.  The trains was operated by DB Cargo using class 66 diesel locomotives: No.66126 on Monday, No.66058 on Tuesday and No.66082 on Wednesday. No.66082 was photographed by Steve Widdowson (above) and Owen Morris (below). The photograph of No.66058 was taken by Steve Widdowson and No.66082 by Andrew Smith.
The Class 142 'Pacer' two-car diesel multiple units are rarely recorded in the county so the sight of No.142077 returning to its home depot in Cardiff made a welcome change from the usual units.  It was photographed by Steve Widdowson at Pirton Crossing on Thursday 18th August 2016.
The 2016 Rail Head Treatment Train season was handled in the county by a pair of filthy Colas livery class 56s (Nos.56078 and 56301). Not even the late autumn sun could penetrate the dirt as the train passed Malvern Wells on 2nd November 2016. Photograph taken by Robert Pritchard.
The line through Bromsgrove was closed from 25th October 2016 to 6th November 2016 to allow all of the platforms to be brought fully into use.  Trains were diverted via Kidderminster and Worcester or cancelled altogether.

The photograph (left) shows the scene at Bromsgrove on 3rd November 2016. Photograph taken by Steve Widdowson.
The reign of the class 56s on the Rail Head Treatment train No.4 came to an abrupt end on 7th November when class 66 diesel locomotives Nos.56104 and No.56105 failed at Ashchurch.  More reliable motive power arrived from Bescot in this pair of Freightliner livery class 66s.  The photographs, taken by Andrew Smith, show No.66513 (left) and No.66535 (right) at Malvern Wells on Tuesday 15th November 2016.  
Class 37 diesel locomotives Nos.37218 and 37558 " Avro Vulcan XH 558 " (also known as 37424) heading train code No.6M63, the 11.58 Bridgwater to Crewe flasks.  Photograph taken on 6th December 2016 by Steve Widdowson at a foggy Besford in Worcestershire.
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