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Bromsgrove 1962

The year continued, like 1961, to  provide an exceptional mixture on the  traffic front, with representatives from all regions being  seen at Bromsgrove. However, the start  of withdrawals of the Royal Scot and Patriot locomotives, and the transfer of many Royal Scots to Carlisle for the summer season meant that  these engines were seen much less frequently again as the year progressed. In early June 46103/22/23/32/37/57/60/62 were all in store at Saltley prior to their move back to the Western Lines Division.


Peak diesels on crew training

At the beginning of the year Peak Type 4 D149 (from Gateshead Shed) moved to  Bristol to continue crew training, and was noted passing Bromsgrove on Saturday 6th January. This particular day was interesting for other reasons with Stanier 2-6-0 42962 (5B), Black '5' 44717 (9E Trafford Park), and Britannia Class 70044 'Earl Haig' (55A Leeds) all passing  Bromsgrove, the latter engine on the westbound 'Devonian'. It returned north the next day on the 1645 Bristol to Bradford.


Cheap fares from Bromsgrove

Saturday 6th January also saw a cheap trip offer to Bristol from Bromsgrove, cost 14/6d.


Trains in trouble  

Former GWR  Hall Class Locomotives were in evidence on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th January, 6943 'Farnley Hall' (85B  Gloucester) and 5935  'Norton Hall' (88A  Cardiff) passing Bromsgrove respectively, the latter on a northbound freight.  On  Wednesday 10th January an empty petrol tanker train became  derailed at Cutnall Green ripping up some track which took 24  hours to clear; a bus shuttle service operated between Droitwich and Hartlebury, and some trains  had to be diverted, perhaps the reason for the appearance of  5935 'Norton Hall' .  On the 17th, the northbound 'Devonian' got into ifficulties near Ashchurch,  headed by Peak D38, and the climb up the Lickey and the run into Birmingham New Street was  achieved with  the  assistance  of 9F 2-10-0 92248 plus Pannier 9493, a very impressive  formation.


Brush prototype D0280 Falcon on test 

February was notable because of the tests of Brush prototype D0280 ‘Falcon’ on the Lickey Incline.  On the 6th it attempted the climb with 18 coaches and the Western Region dynamometer car (totalling 628 tons), successfully accelerating from a dead stand on the incline. This test was repeated several times, including some freight stock the ext day totalling 618  tons. A steam banker was run  behind the test train as the usual safety precaution in the event of stalling or a  breakaway.


Unusual Locomotives 

Carlisle  Upperby (12B) Jubilee 45680  'Camperdown'  arrived at Bristol on Friday 9th February with  the 1252 York to Bristol in  place of  the rostered diesel. Towards the end of the month  former WD 2-8-0 90317 (8F Springs Branch, Wigan)  was seen passing  Bromsgrove on Friday 23rd February,  while on Tuesday 27th February 73043 and 45410 respectively hauled the 0742 Bradford to Bristol and  the northbound 'Pines Express', both in place of rostered diesels.


Need for trains to be banked changed

From Monday 12th March that banking was no longer compulsory in all cases. This followed the trials carried out in September of the previous year, and new permitted weights were laid down below which bankers were not necessary. The  first service train to operate unbanked was the  Bristol to Newcastle, leaving  Bromsgrove Station at 1214, with nine coaches hauled by a Peak diesel.


Variety of trains

The beginning of April brought another Britannia to the line, this time 70054   'Dorinoch Firth' on Monday 2nd April. Former LNER B1's were also again  in evidence, 61372 (41A Sheffield Darnell) being noted at Bromsgrove on the 19th, and 61281 (40E Colwick) on the 1910 relief Bristol to Newcastle on the 23rd. The  highlight  of the  month,  however, was  undoubtedly the visit of 66A  Polmadie based Royal Scot 46121 'Highland Light Infantry' which  on Tuesday 24th April arrived at Bristol on the 1248 York to Bristol, thus again proving that this  particular train could be relied upon to produce the most interesting and varied  motive power. At this time the Ivatt 2-6-0's at Saltley were still to be seen on  local passenger work. On Wednesday 16th  May, for example, 43033 worked the  1710 Birmingham to Ashchurch via Redditch, while the 1715 Bristol to Birmingham was operated by 43036.


Another prototype Lion on test 

In the early part of the summer in May and June the trial of the prototype  diesel  'Lion'  provided the main interest. During the first week of May it was tested  on climbs of the Lickey incline, with dead  starts on the bank hauling 16 coaches (over 500  tons) being achieved successfully. A similar test was later satisfactorily completed with 20 coaches. The evaluation of this locomotive  continued later in the year with dynamometer car  tests over the South  Devon banks.  


Class 33 diesels appear at Bromsgrove  

On the general traffic front the Southern Region type 3 diesels on the Fawley oil  trains were appearing (D6527 passed on Thursday 10th May). 


Interesting Locomotives

On Thursday June 14th former Somerset and Dorset 2-8-0  freight locomotive 53808 (now of course preserved) was seen at Bromsgrove. These engines only  normally left the Somerset and Dorset vicinity on one of their periodic visits  to  Derby Works,  presumably the reason for this observation.  Other visitors to the line passing  in  June were B1 61227 (from 40E  Colwick) on Saturday 9th June, and Black '5' 45143 (from 84G  Shrewsbury) on Friday 23rd June. July provided quite  a  number  of  former GWR and LNER  locomotives

Tuesday 3rd July

2859 (86G Pontypool  Road)

Thursday 5th  July

5901 'Hazel Hall' (81D  Reading)

Thursday 12th July  

2834 (81E Didcot)

Saturday 14th July

61094 (41A Sheffield  Darnell)

Thursday 19th July    

6944 'Fledborough Hall' (88A  Cardiff Canton) and 61003 'Gazelle' (36A  Doncaster)

Friday 27th July

4952 'Peplow Hall' (88A  Cardiff  Canton)  and 61020  'Gemsbok' (50A  York) 

Saturday 28th July    

61360 (36A  Doncaster)

This mixture continued through the rest of the year,  some of the observations  being:

Saturday 4th August

61033  'Dibatag' (41A  Sheffield  Darnell)

Saturday 11th August

61150 (41A  Sheffield  Darnell)

Wednesday 5th September  

2842 (81E  Didcot)

Saturday 13th October

6875  Hindford Grange'  (83G  Penzance)

Tuesday 18th December    

6808 'Beenham Grange' (88L  Cardiff  East Dock)

Friday 21st December

61026 'Ourebl'  (40A  Lincoln)

Thursday 27th December    

6938 'Corndeean Hall'   (81D  Reading)

Over the same period other interesting visitors, aside from the normal diet of  Peak diesels, Black 5s, Stanier 8F, etc, were:

Tuesday 24th July

48531 (1A Willesden)

Sunday 26th August

46151 at Gloucester after working in with a Newcastle to Cardiff train

Wednesday 15th August

 Rebuilt Crosti 9F 92024 headed a Bournemouth West to Nottingham relief with a rake of Southern Region green coaches and banked by 8405 and 9430

Friday 7th September

48454 (55A Leeds Holbeck)

Saturday 29th September  

Crosti  92025 (15A Wellingborough)

Saturday 20th October

Crosti  92029 (21A  Saltley -  just  transferred from 15A)

Saturday 1st December    

45370 (8C Speke Junction) on 0830 Birmingham New Street to Worcester

Tuesday 4th December

46130 on the 1308 Leeds to Cardiff, returning the next day on a northbound parcels

Tuesday 12th December    

46133 'The Green Howards' (26A Newton Heath) on the 0300 Leeds to Bristol


Staff Reductions at Bromsgrove 

Aside from the traffic front, mid-August saw an announcement by British  Railways that four wheel tappers employed at Bromsgrove (who examined the wheels of all trains that descended the Incline and pulled up below Bromsgrove  station) were to be made redundant as part of railway economies. Towards the  end of the same month the British Transport Commission announced that there would be 19,000 redundancies in railway workshops over the next five years, half by the end of 1963. Concern was expressed about how this would affect the 200 approx. Men employed at Bromsgrove works. Clarification was soon forthcoming  because mid September brought a  further announcement that Bromsgrove  works would close by the third quarter of 1964. All these announcements included an  estimate by the BTC that steam would last until 1972 (they were only four years  out in their estimate:).


Trespassers on the Railway 

At Bromsgrove Magistrates  Court on Friday 28th September, four men were fined 10  shillings each for trespassing on the embankment at Vigo at the end of July.


End of the Pines Express and and transfer of the Cornishman to the Lickey 

September also  saw the  transfer of 'Cornishman'  express to the Birmingham  New Street to Bromsgrove route,  as from the start of the winter timetable on Sunday 9th September. This train had for many year run from Wolverhampton to Penzance via Birmingham Snow Hill. Unfortunately at the same time the 'Pines Express' was re-routed via Oxford, Reading and Basingstoke, after using the  Midland route via Bromsgrove since 1910 (although the train only carried the  'Pines Express' name since 1927). Saturday 8th September  signified the end of through traffic from the Midlands to Bournemouth via the Somerset & Dorset  line (and of course the Somerset & Dorset line was subsequently only to survive  until closure on Sunday 7th March 1966).