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Merseyside, Chester & North Wales Branch

Observations at Stafford 6th December 2016

On a cold and dull 6th December eight members visited Stafford, brought forward from 13th due to a railtour being advertised for the 14th. Unfortunately two Committee members were absentees because of illness. The mince pies, as usual for this pre-Christmas visit, were in full flow and our thanks go to those who supplied such offerings.

The only event of note occurred at 08.40 when 350103 was failed whilst working the 07.34 Lime St.- New St. after it hit a pheasant en route, causing wheel slip sensor problems. This blocked platform 4 until 10.30 when it left for Crewe with other trains having to use platforms 1 or 3, or travel via the ‘up through line’.

Apart from the usual freights and succession of Pendolinos, Voyagers and Cl.350s, there were some notable sightings. The most unusual was the appearance of 387139/138 on a return test run between Wembley & Crewe: these units are destined for GWR operations in the Thames Valley and unlikely to be seen at Stafford in the future.

  
   Destined for GWR operations in the Thames Valley, 387139 plus 387138 stop briefly at Stafford on a test run from Crewe to Wembley.   Peter Hughes

The ‘yellow peril’ NMT (which included our 43014 Railway Observer) headed north en route to Crewe.

  
   43014 (Railway Observer) brings up the rear of the NMT as it passes Stafford en route from Derby to Crewe.   Roger Thomas

Class 323s are also rare here so 323240 running ecs from Soho to Crewe was another unusual sight which, unfortunately, eluded the photographers as it passed relatively early in the day when only a few of the party were present. Another unusual sight was the appearance of a coach advertising the British Transport Police's text message number in a class 350/2 unit.

  
   350235 departs Stafford on a Crewe - Euston service. Note the advertising vinyls on the second coach.   Roger Thomas
  
   Advertising vinyls for the BTP text message number cover one of the coaches in 350235.   Roger Thomas

An RHTT working, normal for this time of year but probably in its last week of operation, laid over in the former Royal Mail platform. One of the locos appeared to have been on this duty for some time as it was pretty filthy but its sister must have been a recent allocation to these trains as it was in quite clean condition. Class 323s are also rare here so 323206 running ecs from Soho to Crewe was another unusual sight which, unfortunately, eluded the photographers.

  
   66007, with 66148 at the rear, stand in the former Royal Mail platform at Stafford while working an RHTT between Bescot & Euston.   Roger Thomas

  
   66007's external condition suggests it has been working RHTT trains for some time as it stands at Stafford while working from Bescot to Euston.   Peter Hughes
  
   Unlike its sister at the other end, 66148 is in relatively clean condition, as the pair top & tail an RHTT from Bescot to Euston seen during a layover at Stafford   Peter Hughes

Perhaps the highlight of the "normal" freight workings was the Mossend - Daventry service that was double-headed by a pair of class 90s, both with raised pantographs. One of them was 90024 which carries the "Malcolm" livery but unfortunately this was the inside loco of the pair.

  
   90029, with 90024 in its Malcolm livery coupled inside, speed through Stafford on a Mossend - Daventry container service.   Peter Hughes

The following list of sightings is presented in good faith based on observations compiled by Alan Turton from observations supplied by members present on the day.

07.32665894O1405.36 Garston - Southampton
07.41660474M8301.26 London Gateway - Trafford Park
08.16665484M9503.48 Southampton - Trafford Park
09.473232405Z2309.10 Soho - Crewe C.S [L.N.W.R]
09.50700164M4502.50 Felixstowe - Ditton
09.55667354M2103.10 Felixstowe – Trafford Park
10.01665064O4909.22 Basford Hall - Southampton
10.1843062/430141Q2608.48 Derby R.T.C - Crewe
10.38661256M1301.06 Dollands Moor - Ditton
10.51700064M3404.32 Coatbridge - Daventry
11.05660604O2109.15 Trafford Park - Southampton
12.35665544O0910.18 Trafford Park - Southampton
12.57/13.1666007/66148 [T/T]3J0110.50 Bescot T.M.D - Euston
12.59387139/3871385K5610.33 Wembley - Crewe
13.05900444L9012.30 Basford Hall - Felixstowe
13.1290029/900244M2506.07 Mossend - Daventry
13.19660596O4211.31 Halewood - Southampton
13.19665124S4412.13 Daventry - Coatbridge
14.00700044M8108.01 Felixstowe - Crewe
14.17/14.21387138/3871395A5514.04 Crewe - Wembley

Also seen

220003-05/08/10/13/21/22/24/28/30/31
221102-08/13-16/18/20/30/33/34/39/40
350101/03/04/08/14/15/17/23/24
350235/38/41/44/54/56/57/63
350372/74/77
390001/05/08/10/13/20/40/42-44/46/47/49/50
390103/04/17/18/21/24/25/27-29/36/38/41/48/51/53/55/57

last updated: 19/12/16