CrossCountry loco hauled

During 2005-2006, the Voyager fleet was struggling with availability (due to defects with overhauled engines) so Bombardier was contracted to supply replacement trains. This was in the form of Class 90s and DVT’s supplied by EWS with Mk2 coaches supplied by Riviera. At the peak of the troubles there were 2 sets out working daily between Birmingham and Manchester with additionals formed of a full length West Coast Mk3 sets and 57s.




02 November 2005: (top) 90022 stands at New Street with the first set, (middle) 90020 at New Street with the second set waiting departure with 1Hand (bottom) 57305 stands at Derby with a full West Coast set having worked from New Street on 1D94.


10 November 2005: 90040 at Stafford 1H04 1748 Birmingham-Manchester.


17 November 2005: The DVTs weren’t exactly overly reliable and there was commonly TDM faults which resulted in the set being either top and tailed or having to run round at Manchester and being sent via Aston to turn the set. 90037 stands at New Street waiting to take the ECS back to Crewe LNWR via Aston.


25 November 2005: 90037 was back on the opposite end of the set, seen at Stafford with the 1248 Birmingham-Manchester. 90022 was on the second set.



10 January 2006: Still going strong but with 90039 in charge.


09 February 2006: Down to just the one set, and 90027 departs from Stafford for Manchester.


01 March 2006: 90031 at Wolverhampton for Manchester.


05 May 2006: 90028 at Stafford.


31 October 2006: TDM problems again saw 57301 called into action to bring the last trip of the day back to New Street. Seen here at Stafford on the 1954 Manchester-New Street.


13 Dec 2006: 90039 waits to leave New Street with the 1248 to Manchester.


26 Jan 2007: Voyager availability was particularly on its knees on this day as a Class 57 and Mk2 stock was summoned to work a Birmingham-Newcastle and return service. 57307 seen here departing Derby for Newcastle.


12 March 07: Following another TDM failure earlier in the day, 90019 was drafted in at short notice to complete the diagram that day, with 90027 on the other end of the set. Seen here at Stafford.


13 March 07: 90019 remained on the set for a second day running, again with 90027 on the other end. Quite what management thought of this, seeing as both Virgin and First were bidding for the CrossCountry franchise at the time…


14 March 07: …and the day after we found out! 90019 was removed from the set allegedly due to its livery and replaced with a Class 57. 57316 is started up at New Street prior to departure with the 1648 New Street-Manchester.


What no 68?

Diesel Railtour Services held their annual open day at Crewe on Saturday 19th July billed as the launch of the 68 and one was booked to haul a railtour from Eastleigh to Crewe (for the open day).

Not having had much luck with them (thus far) since the first one arrived on UK soil due to eletronic interference problems, predictable one wasn’t available for its first booked job nigh on six months after delivery. Even the 70s didn’t take that long! 57009 and 57008 deputised – reportedly the formers first passenger working – seen here leaving Crewe heading to Chester.



New (or old?)

…depends if you listen to the DfT or not I guess. After promising they would be fully refurbished and fitted with air-con, it seems the good people of the North will have to live with them as they are for now.

57306 brought the first of the Class 319s to their new home of Allerton direct from Bedford on the night of the 19/20th June. Unusually, there were no translator vehicles involved, with the loco coupling directly to the unit courtesy of the tightlock coupler in place of the dellner which was removed when the loco came off lease from Virgin.


Close up 0f the coupling arrangement showing the retractable tightlock coupler and the temporary electrical control box.



Not your conventional night shoot

Crewe Heritage Centre held a night photography session in late April coinciding with 57307 and 90034 being on site for an event weekend they were running.

As I was there anyway, it seemed a good idea to take some pictures and have a bit of a play around.

Instead of using conventional lights with bulbs, they used LED lights which allowed the colours to be changed and played around with for a few unconventional effects.




57307 and 87035. The LED spotlights gave a much more precise area of lighting and allowed effects like this to be created.


90034 stands over the pit with a conventional floodlight placed in the pit itself highlighting not only the front of the loco but also certain raised elements of the trackwork.


Another one of 90034 with the floodlight placed almost underneath it, highlighting just the front end and the underneath.

As per the title, not your conventional night shoot, but aren’t conventionally lit 3/4 views so boring these days…?



Arriva Trains Wales were suffering from unit shortages in 2006 and to counter this hired in a 57 from Virgin with a rake of Riviera Mk2 coaches which operated a diagram from Holyhead-Manchester-Holyhead-Manchester-Holyhead.

The rake was made up of 6 coaches for brake force requirements, but only 4 were in passenger use leading to some severe overcrowding on occasions – and the constant refusal of the guard to open the other 2 to passengers.

From memory, the diagram lasted for about a year before it was stopped.


57315 at Manchester Oxford Road on 1D81 1741 Manchester Piccadilly-Holyhead. 10/06/06