B.R.(ER) 1970s diesel days

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Mickey
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B.R.(ER) 1970s diesel days

Post by Mickey »

The 'Double Cambridge' job at the cross was a killer!. ha ha ha...

I was a secondman on it with my driver several times during the summer of 1975 and I believe we had a class 46 'Peak' on the front on several occasions rather than the more usual Brush type 2/class 31.

The 'Double Cambridge' timings-

Kings Cross depart 11:30
Cambridge arrive 13:00
Cambridge depart 13:30
Kings Cross arrive 15:00

Kings Cross depart 15:30
Cambridge arrive 17:00
Cambridge depart 17:30
Kings Cross arrive 19:00

The journey to and from Cambridge was fairly long and tiring especially during warm to hot weather and from memory going Down road stops were made at Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth, Royston & Cambridge with the identical same stops on the return journey back up to Kings Cross plus for the secondman he had to uncouple & couple up at Cambridge x4 times in all because apparently from the days of steam on the GE the locos fireman always did it unlike on the GN were the shunter did the coupling & uncoupling.

The one trip 'Cambridge jobs' were pretty good but the double-Cambridge was a bit heavy going plus you basically did a full 8hrs when most other diagrams may have only taken 4 or 5 hours before disappearing away home.
Last edited by Mickey on Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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rockinjohn
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Re: 1B66 'Double Cambridge' job

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Mickey intresting 46 @ Cambridge where would that have come from to be Ex"the X"didn't think the "Park" had any 46's?a fillin between a North Eastern roster?.jj
Mickey
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KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by Mickey »

rockinjohn wrote: Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:06 am Hi Mickey intresting 46 @ Cambridge where would that have come from to be Ex"the X"didn't think the "Park" had any 46's?a fillin between a North Eastern roster?.jj
Hiya rockinjohn, yeah Finsbury Park had several class 46 'Peaks' during the early to mid 1970s and they could occasionally be seen on Passenger loco at Kings Cross from time to time plus several pictures exist on the web of 'Peaks' at Kings Cross during that time period. As a diesel loco they were powerful and a solid kind of loco and I remember several of the class 46 locos working that double-Cambridge turn around 1974-75 out of Kings Cross and back again although if I had a choice I still preferred the Brush type 2s/class 31s which were also employed on the Cambridge workings as they were a good all round loco and fairly comfortable to ride on and easy to drive.
Last edited by Mickey on Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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sandwhich
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Re: 1B66 'Double Cambridge' job

Post by sandwhich »

There was also at one time two double Cambridge turns on a Saturday. Usually the weekday turn did have larger locomotives on the front which if not for a running in turn after maintenance was for Driver training purposes.
Mickey
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KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by Mickey »

During the late 1960s and early/mid 1970s the Cambridge jobs at both Kings Cross and Hitchin were usually in the hands of blue livered Brush type 2s/class 31 with the headcode boxes in the roof which were more preferable to ride on over the class 46 'Peaks' which were alright but not as comfortable as the Brush type 2s plus the class 46 'Peaks' along with the class 40s, class 47s and Deltics usually had a 'oily smell' in there cabs but the class 31s didn't.
Last edited by Mickey on Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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rockinjohn
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Re: The Cambridge jobs

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Mickey seem to remember the later 46's with different traction motors(brush?) were faster & preferred by the N.E. crews(they had exp. with earlier examples also) talked to a couple of crews @ the "X" & as good as the sulzer 15XX that followed maybe the same traction equipment? not many failures or late arrivals the Newcastle men like the MIdland crews knew how to make them "sing" irrespective of traction supplier.
Mickey
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KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by Mickey »

Towards the final months of my time as a secondman at Kings Cross during the summer of 1975 I was in no.2 gang the Leeds & York link and one week in particular that I remember was being with a driver on a return Leeds working when we may have had a class 46 'Peak' on the Down working BUT I am not 100% sure about that?. I think we had a class 47 Brush on one or two occasions that week. The return working back up to Kings Cross on about three days that week was DELTIC hauled that is definite. I think we departed Leeds around 5:00pm and arrived back in 'the cross' around 7:00pm and finish and then it was straight around to the BRSA club.

Those were the days...
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rockinjohn
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Re: KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Mickey I know you like a bit of 50's steam history, seem to remember the CBE quite an intensive service& a prestige working, with as I mentioned before hauled by B1/B17/B12(rarely)/L1(regularly)& the odd "claud"(v.rare) the latter may not have been a CBE or a "railway club special"but a 31A or 31B engine on an up/down express & also the Standard 5MT but one duty stands out, 61671 the Royal Engine, there was a spare # & name escapes me but immaculate like the former, think it was up to the "Street"AM& the"X" PM or vice versa, having seen the engine @ both main line termini on the same day on Cambridge up expresses when spotting.jj
Mickey
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Re: KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by Mickey »

rockinjohn wrote: Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:40 am Hi Mickey I know you like a bit of 50's steam history, seem to remember the CBE quite an intensive service& a prestige working, with as I mentioned before hauled by B1/B17/B12(rarely)/L1(regularly)& the odd "claud"(v.rare) the latter may not have been a CBE or a "railway club special"but a 31A or 31B engine on an up/down express & also the Standard 5MT but one duty stands out, 61671 the Royal Engine, there was a spare # & name escapes me but immaculate like the former, think it was up to the "Street"AM& the"X" PM or vice versa, having seen the engine @ both main line termini on the same day on Cambridge up expresses when spotting.jj
Never much of a fan of the GE for some reason jj I never strayed to far from the GN :wink:
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strang steel
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Re: KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by strang steel »

Going way off topic, but sticking with the Kings Cross to Cambridge route; this Colin Major photo shows that in the immediate post war era Kings Cross seemed to use Cambridge trains for fill-ins with all manner of main line power.

Here is the "un-named streak" 60700 at Cambridge in May 1949.

60700 cambridge 13ː5ː49.JPG
John. My spotting log website is now at https://spottinglogs.co.uk/spotting-rec ... s-70s-80s/
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Re: KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Strang 60700 the "unamed"streak always seemed to be the unloved,not of the real batch, that had far more prestiges duties, dont think it went much past Peterborough, so Cambridge whenever not a surprise,when I saw it I groaned (which I now regret) time running out, it was on up goods workings or Grantham up expresses reasons unknown, also turned up @Hitchin MPD a few times out of steam,maybe how it got to Cambridge?.
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Re: KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by Mickey »

No.60700 had nice lines from the above photograph.

Oh well the Kings Cross Cambridge diagrams meant 'going between' and either uncoupling or coupling up at Cambridge station and I reckon 45+ years later I could still do it and not get to dirty. You was issued with a long dust coat (navy blue) but not many secondmen (firemen) bothered to wear them especially the 'old hands' wouldn't wear them.

On the 'Cambridge jobs' the trains were still vacuum braked in 1974-75 in conjunction with the B.R.Mk.1 coaching stock so coupling up or uncoupling only involved the loco coupling and vacuum brake pipe except during the winter months when the steam heating pipes were also coupled together or uncoupled and the secondman took care of the locos steam heating which on a Brush type 2 (class 31) which was the usual locos used on the Cambridge diagrams was via a Spanner boiler.
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Mickey
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Re: KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by Mickey »

A couple of nice driver & secondmen diagrams at the cross circa 1974-75 was a couple of late afternoon loco hauled Cambridge diagrams. It is a bit hard to recall the exact details 45+ years later but one or both of the diagrams had about 2hrs 'rest time' at Cambridge after working Down from Kings Cross and after unhooking the loco(s) (always a Brush type 2/class 31) the loco(s) was stabled conveniently right outside the back door of the Cambridge BRSA club.

One of the diagrams came back up from Cambridge with the 9:30pm and the second diagram came back up from Cambridge with the 10:30pm which I think that was the last Up road back to Kings Cross.

Below 1B66 hauled by a blue livered Brush type 2 (class 31) arriving at Cambridge from Kings Cross and passing Cambridge South box on a unknown date but I would presume around 1972-73?. The semaphore stop signal in the picture was electrically operated as were all the signals & points at both Cambridge South & Cambridge North boxes. http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/feat ... ge11-8.jpg
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manna
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Re: KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by manna »

G'Day Gents

Always a bummer, when you got a loco with a nice new Vacuum pipe, hard as bullets.

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Re: KX 1970s loco hauled jobs

Post by silverfox »

I went to school at Wood Green from 58-62 and spent pre school lunch times and after school at Wood Green Station Luckily i travelled on the 233 ( Rf/RTL/RT) to Tottenham High Road and changed to a Trolley to get back home to Edmonton/ ;sp spent a lot of the school Holidays there as well, BUT, and here is the weird thing NEVER saw a Brit or a B17 on the GN. To me They were GE based!!
Perhaps i was cursed. Like the time i didnt bother and missed Sir Visto
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