Direct Rail Services 2018 Open day Crewe Gresty Bridge

kevsmith Jul 23, 2018

  1. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Well, it's that time of year again when we throw open the doors of one of our depots to the U.K railfans for the aid of our chosen charities. This year it was our Crewe Gresty bridge depot's turn and we had assembled a wide selection of our motive power to put on show.

    Friday afternoon was spent doing the shunt to position locomotives with further shunts overnight as locos returned to base.

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    Class 37/4 37 407 is now in the British rail Large loco livery common to the locomotives we deploy on loco hauled passenger services although no longer carrying its 'Loch Long' nameplates

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    Looking more careworn 37 403 'Isle of Mull' is ready for a trip through the washing plant. Seen alongside is one of the FNA-D wagons displayed publicly for the first time.
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    57 307 was one of two locomotives to have a naming ceremony and was named after John Scott, a colleague of mine in Engineering who passed away in 2012

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    More soon
     
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  2. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    One treat for the fans of the new Class 68s was the appearance of two of the locos soon to be deployed on TPE's Trans Pennine services. These had literally arrived back on the depot late on Friday afternoon after intensive testing in the Czech republic on the Velim test track with CAF's new Mk V coaches. many commented on how strange they look without the characteristic yellow end common to all U.K locos but recent changes in group standards means that the use of high intensity LED headlamps negates the need for the yellow. Personally , when I'm trackside I'd still rather see a big yellow blob approaching, especially when it's doing 100 mph!

    68 021 Tireless

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    68 019 'Brutus'

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    The similarities between the Class 68 and its derivative Class 88 25kvAC-Diesel hybrid is obvious here

    88 002 'Prometheus' was the first to arrive in the U.K and did a lot of the driver training in the early days

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    Chiltern liveried class 68 68 014 in the rather plain livery is another example of a loco hired out by us for passenger traffic
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    More soon

    Kev
     
  3. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    But it's the people that make the show really.

    prior to opening the queue started to stretch further and further back toward Crewe Railway station

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    You'll get a better idea when you see it on the youtube video (link to follow later)

    Before the opening, and whilst the queue was still growing,we had our customary safety brief

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    Mascots! 'Sammy the Safety Bear' has been joined by 'Sparky the cat'

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    The hordes assembled for the Class 37 'Thrash'

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  4. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Crowds
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    More crowds
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    The other naming ceremony was a class 66 named after the depot with DRS Managing Director Debbie Francis and local Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith doing the honours

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  5. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    More crowds

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    Once again we held an auction of redundant locomotive nameplates and official company framed photos, I bid for an Artemis (47 712 ) and its matching shield but suspect I was nowhere near as the big dealers bid for everything!

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    A visiting exhibit was Network rail's inspection saloon 'Caroline' loaned by the National Infrastructure operating division

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    Link to the youtube video.



    I'll give you an update on how much we made for charity when we get the final figures but it will be a lot!

    As an event it is really hard work but immensely enjoyable, we had a few 'Sherberts' in the evening and I suspect all the other volunteers like me were completely knackered yesterday but we'll gear ourselves to organise next years event and build on the success of this one!

    cheers


    Kev
     
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  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Kev, your presentations, such as this one, are so enjoyable. I really look forward to them. Thanks so much.

    Were the Class 37 diesels originally designed for the submarine service? Their sound is very distinctive and unique.
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    If only the US public had so much interest in railroads..... And our railroads actually put forth such efforts at PR.....
     
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  8. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    The engines were always designed for railtraction. they are English Electric 12CSVT pumping out 1750HP at 850 RPM. The Class 37/4s have alternators which replaced the original main generator.

    Funnily enough I can identify a couple of them from the sound of them approaching. 37 403 'Isle of Mull' always sounds like its timing is very slightly out and 37 425 named 'Sir Robert McAlpine' on one side and 'Concrete Bob' on the other seems to sound a bit throatier.

    There was talk at one stage of repowering some of them with CAT engines but nothing came of it.

    Kev
     
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  9. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Well sadly, not all British railfreight companies encourage railfans either. Some of our rivals actively discourage access to their sites and have a very demeaning attitude towards the public.. I admit that some of the fans who come to the open day are to put it mildly 'A Bit Odd!' but my word, they are keen.

    We raised £37,000 for charity on that one day alone. which is amazing and made the hard work all the more worthwhile

    Kev
     
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