With all the hype surrounding the end of the ‘Pretendolino’ Mk3 set at the time of writing,  I would like to take the opportunity to remind all viewers that the ‘real’ end of the West Coast was on December 22 2006.

This gives an opportunity for a trip down memory lane and relive 1G21/1B05 from June-December 2006.


17/05/06 …. Crew training kicked off in May 2006 with 87006 and a full rake. The full rake was then stood down for work to bring it up to standard which saw a load 4 (TSO+RFM+FO+DVT) scratch set made up and come out to play with 87026.

Being based in Birmingham for uni, it was ideal really and Virgin helped with their YP availability in the morning/evening peaks for trips to London. Trips in the early days were non-existant due to working in Newcastle over the holidays. First chance I got was 19/06/06…


19/06/06 part 1…. the lesser known of the turns booked for an 87 at the time was the 0620 Rugby-Euston. I decided to do it one day to London for a day out and return to Birmingham on 1G21. Oh how wrong I was, turning up at Rugby at 0600, this greeted me. 87026 had been failed by the driver. 😦


19/06/06 part 2…. never mind, off to London and wait for the return in the evening. The gen was that 87006 was being put back on the set so all good to go. On arrival, 87026 had run round and led into Euston and was sat on the blocks.


19/06/06 part 3 …. wandering to the front of the train, it was loaded and looked good to go. Then the guard made an announcement that there would be a delay due to technical issues. A fitter was summoned, scratched his chin and then shook his head. Caped. Set went ECS to Wembley. Jinx.


26/06/06 – there was the inevitable farce with TDM! This saw the set running in reverse formation for a week or so. 87006 leads South from Coventry to Euston with 1B05.


The jinx continues! 17/07/06 saw 87002 kicked out for 1G21. On leaving Euston it became clear that something was wrong as 2 struggled to achieve anything near line speed. Eventually relegated to the slow lines (I think at Hanslope), on passing MKC the guard announced the train would be terminating at Bletchley. The drivers said it hadn’t had any work carried out on it and was no surprise it wouldn’t go.


87006 5B05 Euston 22/09/2006


87002+87006 (dit) 1G21 Euston-Birmingham 10/10/06. 87006 was still DIT reportedly due to a points failure at Wembley so couldn’t be removed from the set. First appearance of 87002 since its failure at Bletchley on 17/07.


87002 5B05 Euston-Wembley ECS 11/11/06


87002 1G21 Birmingham International 16/11/06

Timetable change was 10th December 2006 and was supposed to see the end of the Mk3 set with the diagram going over to plastic filth. The last day on Friday 8th December was caped due to high winds or something like that causing chaos and we thought that would be it, a damp squib.

Famous last words…

Continuing tilting plastic shortages saw it come back out for more (including some daytime runs too!) which saw some extremely spirited running and early arrivals!


87002 Birmingham International 1G13 Euston-New Street


15/12/06 …. This, yet again, was supposed to be it. 87002 waits to leave Euston with the ECS for Wembley.


21/12/06 …. and its still going strong! 87002 stands at International with, yet again, 1G13 to New Street. It worked 1B65 back to Euston before going back to Birmingham on the more normal 1G21 ex Euston.


22/12/06 …. this is the final day! 87002 back at International. A plastic bag on the OHL at Adderley Park was causing chaos that afternoon but was cleared in time for a final run into New Street.

And that, as they say, was that.