Direct Rail Services 20th Anniversary open day

kevsmith Aug 1, 2015

  1. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    As many of you are aware I work for a railroad company in the U.K as well as being a keen Z gauge modeller and general rail enthusiast. The company I work for, Direct Rail Services, is a fiercely independent specialist freight haulier based in the North West of England and while we are primarily known for our handling of specialised dangerous goods we have recently been more and more involved in running loco hauled passenger trains to support the passenger sector franchise companies.


    This year we celebrate our 20th anniversary and as it happened it was our Kingmoor depot at Carlisle’s turn to host the annual charity open day. We knew in advance that the spotters would be out in force as the introduction of the class 68 diesels into mixed traffic use and our deployment of classic class 37/4s back into loco hauled passenger traffic was going to generate a lot of interest.

    Prep for the show started on Friday. It was windy and putting the marquees up was a bit hazardous
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    Inside the shed were 57 009, 37 602, 37 603, 57 312 ‘Solway Princess’ in Northern Belle colours and 68 003 ‘Astute’


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    At the north end of the shed 57 307 ‘Lady Penelope’ was being wrapped in new vigils celebrating the 20th anniversary. One of the ‘Thunderbird’ class 57s allocated to rescue duties on the West Coast main Line it was part of a small pool of locos named after characters from the TV Puppet series. Obviously the pink background to the nameplate refers directly back to FAB1 the Rolls Royce featured in the series

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    More in a mo

    Kev
     
  2. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Out in the yard both DBSO driving coaches shortly to be deployed on the Cumbrian Coast sets were in evidence.

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    The following morning we all started early as the traders started to arrive and some more shunting got everything lined up


    We had a good turn out of staff volunteers and after a safety briefing I went up to the gate to see how the queue was doing
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    back soon
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I rather enjoy the idea of naming engines. It only rarely happens in the States these days.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    WOW!!! If only Americans were so interested in railroading!
     
  5. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    The celebrity guest opening the show was lifelong rail enthusiast and pop svengali Pete Waterman.

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    Seen outside the shed was recently deployed Class 37 37 401 ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ freshly turned out in the classic British Rail ‘Big Arrow’ livery.This has become an instant celebrity loco with railfans chasing it up and down the Coast line in the couple of weeks following the show

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    Also in a retro livery visiting Class 47 47 712 has been refinished in ‘Scotrail’ colours


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    There was a period when the shed was getting a bit too full but eventually it thinned out as visitors took the chance to get into a Class 68 for the first time

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  6. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Visiting from the south west were some model engineers with their 5” gauge models of DRS locos giving rides to the public. They were battery powered and fitted with sound chips

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    And to stress rail safety to the kids ‘Sammy the Safety Bear’ was in attendance during the day. Paul, the guy in the suit, was probably the only person who was warm earlier in the day!

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    End result was more than 3,000 people though and over £13,000 raised for charity and we were all knackered!

    Video is at



    cheers

    Kev
     
  7. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    It has always been a big tradition in the U.K and some diesels have had multiple names over the years. it is also big businesss, world record price for a nameplate 'Golden Fleece' off a Gresley A4 was £60,000 and some of the West Country class 4-6-2s are regularly pulling over £40K at auction.

    At DRS we do have a small policy of naming our locos after people who have passed away. 20 301 was named after our company founder Max Joule who died in an accident . Other former colleagues honoured include Stephen Middlemore and Ted Cassady who had class 37s named after them

    Kev
     
  8. mr magnolia

    mr magnolia TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Kevin

    I'm at waverley station Edinburgh just now.
    Regularly see DRS 68007 go by with the loco hauled Fife services across the Forth Rail bridge.
    Nice looking machines!

    Donald

    Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
     

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