STROLEY INTERNATIONAL

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Era / Area - "B" - Page 2:-

11 – B 33)                              Another Stroley “full house.”  A Eurostar set has arrived from Aix-en-Provence and terminated in platform 1 and is alongside a Virgin Super Voyager in platform 2.  Platform 3 plays host to a Euston bound service in the hands of a Pendolino.  Departing any second as an XC service for Chester, a concoction of colours in platform 4 as Arriva had to hire in a set of Virgin Mk.3s to run this additional service.  43321 it in charge and will take this excursion on very shortly.  156484 in Northern Rail colours, but with Settle & Carlisle branding, is away from its regular patch as it is diagrammed on the Stroley International to Blackpool service today from platform 5.  90024 is also hired in to a rival TOC as this GNER liveried Class 90 awaits to depart for Carlisle from platform 6 with another Virgin service.

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12 – B 34)                              Heading across the arches section after departing from platform 4, 43321 and the Arriva XC service with Virgin Mk.3s, hurries its passengers to Chester, their excursion destination.

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13 – B 35)                              A less hectic scene now has descended upon the station.  The Virgin Voyager and the Class 156 in platforms 2 & 5 respectively have not departed yet.  The Arriva Trains Wales’ Class 158, 158823 has arrived from Cardiff and will depart for Llandudno Junction imminently, followed by 60081 Isombard Kingdom Brunel, hauling the container service heading for  Grangemouth.

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14 – B 36)                              Arriving from the “cross country” route is a colourful combination of Class 153s.  Leading is the East Midland Trains 153374 which is running with 153367 in the equally attractive Arriva Trains Wales’ livery.  They are on the Chester to Stroley local shuttle for the day due to the non availability of a Northern Rail Class 158.

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15 - B 37)                               Having just left the station and taking the “cross country” route off the arches section, the Alphaline, Wales & West liveried 158745 is heading for Holyhead with this service originating from Birmingham International.

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16 – B 38)                              The arches section to the north of the station is continuously busy with yet another unit coming off the “cross country” route.  This time, the turn of a Central Trains Turbo slows for the station stop before continuing on its long diagram to Norwich from Liverpool Lime Street.  For the record this is 170515.

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17 – B 39)                              A rather interesting arrival into the southern end of the station is causing excitement amongst the hoards of railway enthusiasts gathered at the platform ends.  The excitement is heightened when the rear loco comes into view.  This is “UK Railtours Double Deltic” tour from Bristol Temple Meads to Preston.  Leading the train into platform 6 is 55020 Nimbus whilst the colourful Porterbrook purple and white adorns 9016 Gordon Highlander bringing up the rear of this fully laden train.  The rail tour will have a leg stretching stop at Stroley International for 30 minutes; plenty long enough for photographing the locos by those on board.  58047 in EWS livery and a brace of 37s (Loadhaul’s 37884 Gartcosh and EWS’ 37419) are in the refuelling roads adjacent to the rear loco.

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18 – B 41)                              The Railtour headed by 55020 Nimbus has come to a halt in platform 6 as 156481 in the Northern Spirit “Big N” livery is about to depart for Middlesbrough from the adjacent platform face.  The Dutch liveried 31110 heads a rake of Tilcon covered hoppers northbound through the freight road as Central Trains’ 170515, a two-car version of the class, contemplates its departure for Birmingham International.  The Freightliner Heavy Haul hoppers are held still and the Virgin Voyager waits for its departure time for London Euston.  The Railtour set with the top ‘n’ tailed Deltics allow the participants a total of thirty minutes to “cop the lot.”

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19 – B 43)                              A close up of the Railtour’s “tailed” Deltic.  9016 in the short lived Porterbrook purple livery doesn’t look out of place on today’s colourful railway, but the purists stayed away in droves from this tour because this loco was included on the rear.  Many other Deltic lovers are enjoying this inclusion.  The Metronet Class 66 in the “Renewing the Tube” livery variant is signalled now to take the load 8 Freightliner Heavy Haul hoppers southbound out of the upper through freight road and the “Up Relief” heading for Rugeley Power Station.

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20 – B 44)                              Just a few minutes later and the colourful livery combination has altered again.  The “Double Deltic Railtour” is still on its leg-stretch timetabled stop at Stroley International’s platform 6.  A mixed load of Tilcon covered and RMC open hoppers are being hauled by EWS’ 60026 but signal checked allowing a Virgin Pendolino service to arrive into platform 4.  67004 Post Haste screeches to a halt with a London bound “up” service in platform 3 as 66152 and another intermodal service creeps through and heads for the “Up Relief” and a Felixstowe destination.  The latest international service from Bordeaux via the Channel Tunnel, HS1 and HS2 has arrived into platform 1 and is resting before returning to France in three-quarters-of-an-hour.

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21 – B 49)                              The matching set of loco and containers, in the eye catching blue livery of Stobart Rail, passes non stop through the area behind 66411, heading for Grangemouth from D.I.R.F.T., Northamptonshire.  Crossing the arches in the opposite direction and slowing for the Stroley station stop, is the Glasburgh to Amsterdam international service in the hands of an unidentified Thalys unit.

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22 – B 51)                              Hot on the heels of the Stobart train, one of the many international freight services runs (uncharacteristically) non-stop through the area.  This time the Spanish loco 333.313, hauls a very heavy (and expensive) train full of brand new vehicles that started their mammoth journey to Manchester in Italy, crosses the arches as another Virgin HST arrives into Stroley International.  Due to a Power Car shortage, Virgin has hired in an MML liveried one (43069) to cover this diagram.

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23 – B 53)                              Taking a well earned rest between duties, a trio of units rest in the DMU stabling roads. Class 153s, 153367 and 153374 are paired together, the former in the eye catching ATW colours, the latter in the multi coloured livery of East Midlands Trains.  221135 XC Super Voyager stretches out past the camera.

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24 – B 57)                              The Virgin HST is departing a couple of minutes down behind the MML Power Car 43069 from platform 5, and as it crosses the station throat to access the Up Main, 170105 in the original MML Tangerine & Teal colours, has to be held in the Down Main against the danger signal as it is waiting for the vacating platform.  Also signal checked, in the adjacent road (the Down Relief), an empty Nuclear Flask diagram operated by DRS being top ‘n’ tailed with 20904 and37409 Lord Hinton, out of sight behind the arched bridge, is returning to Sellafield in Cumbria.

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25 – B 59)                              Hauling a heavy load of ballast and track panels off the cross country route and into the station, 66152 in the reasonably new DB Schenker red colour scheme, has “the road” through the station via the upper freight line and clear signals to the Up Relief.  The destination of this load is Hull for the next track replacement possession in that area at the weekend.           

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