We must be Barmy

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Bufferstop
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We must be Barmy

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:06 pm

Mrs W and I are always up for a different sort of outing, this one has been over a year in the brewing thanks to Covid. Someone (Pathfinder tours) thought a good way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Class 50s would be to take a pair of them somewhere in the UK that one had never been before. Originally scheduled for last summer Covid restrictions knocked it back repeatedly to this weekend (Sept 11th '21). Stock was stabled overnight in Bescot Yard and at 04:50 on Saturday morning 50007 Hercules, and 50049 Defiance set off via Tame Bridge Parkway, into Birmingham New Street and out via Wolverhampton onto the WCML. The destination was Stranraer Harbour, which was reached, around 13:30. As far as was known the nearest a Class 50 had ever got was Ayr. It stayed on the harbour long enough for photographic proof to be gathered then retreated to one of the platforms at Ayr for an early afternoon break. Thanks to a reversal and change to top and tail mode at Newton-on-Ayr on arrival at Stranraer it could be seen that Hercules was carrying the name and number of scrapped class member 50034 Furious on one side, (prototype following modellers tricks again). Whilst it was at the harbour nothing else could get in or out, hence the need for top and tail mode for the last few miles, and a swift reversal. The return trip saw some fast and furious running from Carlisle down to Stafford, we had a Pendolino on our tail and there was a determination not to get sidelined for it to pass. A planned loco change at Bescot was scrapped in favour of returning via New Street and Finishing at Tame Bridge, with an almost on time arrival in Birmingham and a slightly late finish for those hardy souls who'd set out from Tame Bridge before dawn. I'll put up some photo's once they've been uploaded, and there should be plenty appearing on line and in print in the coming weeks judging by the number of cameras to be seen all along the route.
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Bufferstop
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:45 pm

Here's 50 007 going under an assumed identity,
50007.jpg

We tried to get some shots of the other side when it was at Ayr but ScotRail kept parking EMUs in the way.
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glencairn
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby glencairn » Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:54 pm

:idea:

50007 'Hercules'

IMG_5137.JPG


:lol:

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Bufferstop
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:18 pm

This was my first experience of Class 50 traction, I'm impressed by not only the turn out of the locos in GBRF's colours, but their mechanical condition was a credit to the team at Kidder who maintain them, on the return trip we were in the first coach behind the service van and the engines sounded in fine form. Looking at my wife's point to point times I think those Mk1s were being pulled at their limit for considerable distances.
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Mountain
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Mountain » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:31 pm

I worked trains of Mk2's behind class 50's as a conductor which involved coupling and uncoupling and operating groundframes and crossings etc. They had "Presence".

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Bufferstop
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:49 pm

Definitely "Presence". When one came past the coach when running round there was no disputing that this thing had power in oodles, just waiting to be used. That projecting headcode/marker light box gives them a real aggressive look. I can see why they have such strong fan club.
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Mountain
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Mountain » Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:06 pm

You can imagine having to duck under the buffers to uncouple and couple the things, and first having to ensure that the driver has switched off the ETH as if he hadn't and the conductor goes to uncouple I am told it is instant death. Doing the brake test at the opposite end to the brake van is scary enough. When I was first trained on E&C workings (Was a class 37 and Mk2's) the ones trained just before me had an injury. One of the guys said he knew what he was doing so the trainer said "Ok, show us". He undid the **** without holding onto the pipe and the pipe came up and the heavy metal coupling end wacked nim inbetween his legs and he was unconcious on the floor. (He was taken to hospital). When word got round tous we were petrified! We made sure we held onto that pipe foe dear life! Turns out it was not as bad as we thought, but oe still had to handle them with respect.
We were not allowed to pass out unless we could lift the buckeye unaided by ourselves without using the tool. We were never given the tool but the main depot conductors were given tools... There was a type of two tier system where the main depot had all the perks but all the other subsidary depots had to do without.
I had to lift the buckeye using my own method because I did not have upper body strength, but I had a very strong lower body strength due to cycling. So I found a very simple way to hold the buckeye up so I could put the pin in, and it was to use my body to lean on it. It was messy but they could not deny that I could do it. I actually had both hands free because my lower body strength could push with quite a force so I could hold the buckeye up without using my hands for much longer then anyone else could... Though I did get a big greasy mark on the HV vest.

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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:29 pm

They got slightly closer to Stranraer in BR days

Image

Really annoyed that I missed this one, had it teed up on the original date but forgot all about it.

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Bufferstop
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:13 pm

That must be "the only one that they could find" hence the need for us to go right into Stranrear. You would probably had to fight off another dozen photographers to get that shot this weekend.
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Mountain
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Mountain » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:25 am

The one thing we were told to remember with the class 50's is to never touch the side grills as they had a mechanism that could automatically close or open, and we were told that people had lost their fingers due to these grills.

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Bufferstop
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:49 am

So if the class 20s hadn't beaten them to it they might have been known as "Choppers" rather than "Hoovers" :D
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glencairn
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby glencairn » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:37 am

Class 50s in Galloway. Do we see Bufferstop?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjHS6idYIY0

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Bufferstop
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Re: We must be Barmy

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:53 am

Thanks for the link Clencairn. Mrs W and I watched it on the big screen last night, He got his commentary wrong at one point, the train couldn't have got to Duranggit without one of the locos running round when it reversed, which is what happened, top and tail was the only way it could have run south to Stranraer and back up to Ayr, before changing back to double heading.
No he didn't get me in the film But Mrs W did when we braved the throngs at Stranraer. Skip back to here
My heads not coming detached in that photo, it's just my mask merging with the bodyside colour on the loco.
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