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Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:20 pm
by 22A
A few months ago, there was discussion on this forum concerning sightings of LNER V2s in Bristol.
This set me wondering about locos visiting from the Scottish Region.
Many years ago there was an article in Steam Railway where the author reminisced about spotting on the Midland line to Bristol. To the amazement of himself and the others there, a Polmadie based Black 5 burst out of Staple Hill tunnel.
Presumably that wasn't an isolated incident; anyone on here record others please?

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:23 pm
by the green mile
72006 Clan Mackenzie reached Swindon in 1963 apparently. Technically not a Scottish loco as she was for most of her life allocated to Carlisle Kingmoor with only a brief spell at Edinburgh Haymarket. Does that count?

Roy

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:13 am
by Ashley Hill
It came down from Carlisle to work a charter from Paddington. It even stabled at OC in the meantime. I suppose as it came down especially for a tour rather than randomly appearing it doesn't count.

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:58 am
by Robin Summerhill
My spotting notes from those days were all thrown out when I left home in 1970 and my parents wanted the bedroom back! However, talking in general terms:

In steam days there was no such thing as traction knowledge, and a driver was expected to drive whatever locomotive he was given. The fireman was expected to fire whatever locomotive he was given too, which could cause problems when certain locomotive preferred specific firing techniques, but that's a bit of a tangent on this thread.

The issue is whether there were any circumstances under which a Scottish locomotive might make it to Bristol, and the answer to that question would be a definite yes. Scottish locomotives worked regularly as far south as Leeds on the Midland route, and Crewe on the West Coast main line. Both of these depots, but especially Leeds, had regular locomotive diagrams that brought their locos to Bristol. I am not aware whether there were any regular loco workings from Crewe through to Bristol via Hereford, but they certainly arrived on special trains, most notably the appearance of a Coronation pacific at St Phillips Marsh in 1963.

Given that loco foremen were often hard pressed to find locomotives to roster to a specific job, in the days before TOPS it was not uncommon for visiting locomotives to be "borrowed." It is therefore well within the realms of possibility that engines from at least Polmadie and Corkerhill could turn up in Bristol having been "temporarily nicked" by Holbeck, or Crewe North or South depots.

Indeed I got into a conversation on Flickr some time ago about a book I'd read by a priest who was a trainspotter in south west Glasgow in the early 60s, who had mentioned seeing one of "our" Jubilees (45682, 85 or 90 - can't remember which one now) and said it was unprecedented. I replied that I was surprised because we saw ScR engines down here all the time. That, unfortunately, has only my memory to go on, and I can't prove it.

Should Patrick O'Brien ever rediscover this site, he may well have some concrete information on what if anything turned up and when over the period 1962 to 1964.

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:47 pm
by 22A
Thanks for your replies everyone.
As for the Clan at Swindon; I'm told that in 1963 a Clan worked not a special, but a service train to Weymouth!
It had worked to Liverpool and then deputised for a failed loco and on arrival at that destination, was borrowed again.
I was dubious when I heard the story, but apparently a photo of the Clan working back North from Weymouth appeared in one of the magazines of the day.

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:04 am
by the green mile
Slightly off topic but the practice of borrowing locos continued well into TOPS days. It was just more transparent. The real issue came following sectorisation which created relatively small pools of locos. I recall a very red faced traction controller who pinched a pair of class 37's (Metals Sector I think) to work a fuel train out of West Wales. They both ended up on their sides following a serious derailment with the repercussions going on for weeks after. The Civil Engineer's sector locos (DCWA) were always fair game due to their limited use except at weekends. It led to the expression 'nick a Duckwa' in Control as a general get out of jail solution when faced with traction shortages. Limiting factors in borrowing locos during the diesel era was driver traction knowledge as Robin has already mentioned plus the ability to provide train heating when required.

Roy

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:53 am
by Robin Summerhill
Whilst thinking about this topic yesterday and wondering whether I do actually have any hard evidence about ScR engines in Bristol, something dawned on me like a ton of bricks, even if it is at a tangent to this thread.

It was a fact, and to me until yesterday a curious one, that any unusual passenger engine that worked down the Midland Main line invariably went back north on the 0840 Sheffield. What struck me was that this was one of only two trains from Bristol that actually terminated at Sheffield (the other was the 0110 but I believe an engine change took place on that at either Gloucester or Brum - perhaps someone else remembers for certain). All the rest went further north to Bradford, York or Newcastle, or had terminated at Derby before they got to Sheffield.

Sending them back on the 0840 therefore meant that they were more likely to get back to the depot (Darnall, Canklow, Staveley, Mexborough or Millhouses) that sent them down this way in the first place.

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:25 pm
by Pines Alan
Bit pressed for time to check too much at moment but there are three items I can readily refer to:

Visit of 45687 "Neptune" to Bath on the Down Pines on Wednesday 29 June 1960 returning on the Up Pines the following day. I am pretty sure that it was allocated Corkerhill but the "Railway Observer" No. 378 for August 1960 quotes Ayr.

A previous visit of a Corkerhill loco to Bath was on 13/08/49. An up train noted at Naas Crossing possibly 12.00 Relief Bournemouth to Birmingham so I assume loco came on at Bath. (4)5560 "Prince Edward Island".

The standout has to be 72005 visiting Bristol on 09/06/60. This is fairly well documented, coming down on an overnight Friday train and returning later that day via Stapleton Road and Yate. Off the top of my head the Richard Woodley book "The day of the holiday express" gives a lot of information and background.

There are others but cannot follow up at present.

Nice to have the forum back. Felt lost without it.

Alan Hireson

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:35 pm
by Pines Alan
Whoops - sorry forgot Carlisle Kingmoor was London Midland (12A) by the time of visit by 72005.Still an exception visit though.
Sackcloth and ashes anyone?

Alan

Re: Scottish Region locos in Bristol

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:17 pm
by Robin Summerhill
Pines Alan wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:25 pm
Visit of 45687 "Neptune" to Bath on the Down Pines on Wednesday 29 June 1960 returning on the Up Pines the following day. I am pretty sure that it was allocated Corkerhill but the "Railway Observer" No. 378 for August 1960 quotes Ayr.
According to my steam allocations database, 45687 was a Corkerhill engine at the time and remained so until withdrawal in December 1962