Era / Area "B" - Page 3:-

26 – B 60)                              66152 and its heavy load of ballast and track panels continue on its way towards Hull.  As the train is nearing the end of the station speed limit of 40 on that road, the DBS driver will start “winding it up” any second.

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27 – B 64)                              A vast array of colours adorn the stock of today’s TOCs.  Here is an excellent example of that variation.  The now defunct Central Trains’ green covers the Class 170 in platform 2 whilst an Anglia Railway’s (another defunct TOC) turquoise with white also looks classy on 170271 in platform 3.  The brace of 90s wear two out of the three “European” liveries that these locos were repainted for an international exhibition a few years ago.  90128 wears the “Dutch” SNCB colours; 90130 the SNCF livery whilst the missing livery of the three is the DBS red of Germany’s railways that 90029 was repainted.  ATW’s 158823 wears another variation of turquoise with cream this time in platform 5 and the Voyager in platform 6, is in the unmistakable red and silver of Virgin Trains.  The striking black and orange of the freight company Load Haul covers 37884 in the TMD.

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28 – B 67)                              Disappearing into the “black hole” under the motorway bridge, 57315 wearing the newer Arriva Trains Wales’ distinctive colour scheme, hauls a Virgin service as the driver “floors it” along the Up Relief to reach his maximum permitted speed limit whilst heading a service for Cardiff.

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29 – B 72)                              Back again to the southern end of the station just in time to see the arrival on the lower freight road of a pair of 86s hauling another heavy load belonging to the Buxton Lime Industries.  86261 Rail Charter Partnership in EWS colours pilots 86419 Post Haste as they slow for a signal check at the other end of the station.  The tangerine and teal colours of the MML HST in platform 3 look striking against Fastline freight’s 56302 that is in charge of a VSOE Pullman charter returning to London King’s Cross from Chester in platform 5.  158823 stands in platform 6a with another ATW service, this time for Milford Haven.

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30 – B 75)                              The latest international service to arrive at its destination, the terminating platform 2, is a Thalys service from Brussels Midi.  The mish-mash of colours on the MML HST in platform 3 sees the coaching stock in the earlier MML colours of tangerine and teal, whilst the rear power car, 43070 wears the livery that was current when EMT took over the franchise.  This HST is on hire to Arriva XC and is in charge of the Manchester Piccadilly to Penzance additional service.

The brace of 86s, 86261 Rail Charter Partnership and 86419 Post Haste and the Buxton Lime hoppers are signal checked until after the departure of 158783, the Central Trains liveried service for Southport just visible in platform 6.  37884 Gartcosh is still receiving attention from the fitters in the Lindeven TMD whilst the VSOE Pullman is currently part of the way through a leg stretching 25 minute stop-over in platform 5 before hauling its guests back to the Capital.

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31 – B 79                               Some unusual action is in full flight at Stroley International’s lower through road.  The “down” ECS Caledonian Sleeper stock is being hauled by 86401 and has developed a fault which necessitates a loco change.  There was insufficient time / room to effect this swap in the Fitzwilliam yard (off stage to the south) so the swap has been hastily arranged by the Stroley Signalling Centre to happen in the station.  86401 has drawn the sleeper stock up to the mid-platform turnouts and is currently being uncoupled.  The replacement loco (90024 in First ScotRail “Barbie” livery) can be spotted in platform 5a, and once the 86 has drawn forward and out of the way, the replacement will negotiate this set of points, draw back and couple up to the stock.

Looking on from platform 1 is the terminating EMT HST service from London St. Pancras International to where it will return later this hour after the departure back to Brussels Midi of the International Thalys set currently occupying platform 2.

A Central trains’ liveried Turbo 170515 in platform 5b will depart northbound to Liverpool Lime Street shortly as the pair of Class 156s patiently await their final passengers before departing for Cleethorpes.  The pair are in Northern Spirit and Northern Rail liveries, the latter is complete with Settle & Carlisle advertising vinyls.

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32 – B 83                               A busy scene on top of the arches just three or four minutes later than the last photo.  The Central Trains’ liveried Turbo, 170515 departs northbound out of platform 5b and heads towards the cross country route and a destination of Liverpool Lime Street.  Stationary in the centre bi-directional line is the ailing Class 86 that has been removed from the Caledonian stock and awaits the passage of the Pendolino into platform 3 before 86401 can negotiate its way into the yard to receive attention.

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33 – B 85                               With 86401, still not yet managing to reach the relative “safety” of the Yard, is held at the platform 6 southbound starter signal because another very busy session is under way.  The Thalys unit has departed from platform 2 for Brussels along the Up Main closely followed by the EMT HST for London.  Both have now been replaced by a terminating Eurostar service from Disneyland, Paris in platform 1, whilst in the adjacent platform face the postal service, also terminates after arriving from the Bristol Parkway hub with mail from the South West.

The Pendolino service from Glasburgh is about to execute a right-time departure for London Euston as the One (Anglia) service screeches to a halt in platform 4.  This is another TOC that has an “open Access” licence to run, amongst others, direct return Norwich to Holyhead services four times daily.  Also sneaked into the lower freight road virtually un-noticed is the EWS Management Train.

The Northern Rail Class 156 pairing (just the Settle & Carlisle advertised set visible) will depart next heading for Cleethorpes.

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34 – B 89                               The Class 156 pairing, heading across country for Cleethorpes, pick up speed along the Up Relief through the country section with a clear road ahead.  One of the many international freights that head through the area slows for a signal check because the 156s have departed across the station throat in front of the Class 333 Spanish loco.  This heavy load of new vehicles, destined for Manchester, originated from Italy and the Spanish loco has brought them from Dollands Moor.  Both the loco and new vehicles service (at separate times) have come through the Channel Tunnel and have been joined together from the international freight hub in Kent, on their way north via HS1.

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35 – B 94                               “Ugly Betty” 70006, enters the lower through freight road and is signalled to continue its journey to Liverpool with another load of containers that arrived earlier today at the Port of Felixstowe.  A pair of services operated on an “open access” licence by One / Anglia are currently ensconced in platforms three (up) and five (down).  The colourful “One / Anglia” livery can be seen on the Class 90 and matching Mk.3s with the Preston to Norwich service whilst the equally pleasing to the eye (and also matching) livery can be seen on 86218 “NHS 50” that is “pushing” the balancing service to Preston from Norwich.  Between the two, WSMR’s liveried Class 82 DVT 82301, brings up the rear of another Virgin service with 67014 “Thomas Telford” out of sight on the front, heading shortly for Glasburgh.  The Royal Mail train and the Eurostar continue resting before their respective diagrams have them heading out of Stroley International. 

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36 – B 96                               The “ugly Betty” entering the previous photo is shown here uncharacteristically coming into the lower freight road from the “Down Main.”  Virtually no freight trains use the “Down Main” so further back down the WCML, 70006 and this intermodal has been allowed to leap frog another service.

A pair of Virgin thunderbirds sit alongside 60081 in its one-off GWR 175 livery.  DRS’ 20904 makes up the numbers currently being refuelled.

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37 – B 98                               With the Freightliner intermodal service now clear of the area, we return to the other end of the station to find the only service that has changed is the arrival of 170105 into platform 6 sporting the ex-MML colours of tangerine and teal.  This service, originating in Nottingham, has Aberystwyth as its destination.

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38 – B 100                             Virtually all change again in the shot.  The Eurostar hasn’t departed for Paris Nord yet but the Royal Mail service in platform 2 has returned to Willesden and another mail service piloted by 90018 and 47778 “Irresistible” tucked inside and receiving a free ride south, draws to a signal checked halt in the upper through road.

The heavyweight Class 92, 92030 “Ashford” controls the Pullman service heading for Southampton Docks where its occupants will transfer to a cruise liner headed for the Caribbean – lucky sods!!

The EWS Management train halts in platform 5 for a few seconds to accept the loco EWS managers for a meeting and cruise around the region – luck sods (2).  Advenza freight’s 66842 runs slowly past the track works as it heads for the loco washer unit. 

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39 – B 103                             Virgin HSTs, travelling in opposite directions disgorge and accept their relevant passengers before heading north and south.  The XC set, originating from Manchester Piccadilly, will head out of platform 6 behind 43155 for Newquay, Cornwall whilst 43162 brings up the rear of the Birmingham New Street to Blackpool service in platform 4.

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40 – B 106                             An interesting shot taken from the duckboard crossing in front of the Signalling Centre by a member of staff.  Visible from left to right are 60081 in the GWR 175 green livery followed by an unidentified Virgin thunderbird.  The front of the Freightliner / Shanks liveried Class 66, 66522 “East London Express” can be spotted in number 4 refuelling road.  153334 London Midland “City” unit occupies platform 5a whilst the Virgin HST still stands in platform 4.  Just visible in platform 2a is an unidentified Class 158 in Central Trains’ livery.

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