Saturday, 19 November 2011

London Midland’s Farewell to 150

On Saturday last the 12th November I with many others spent the day saying farewell aboard a Class 150 train travelling many areas of the Midlands including the Severn Valley Railway. The head code we carried was 1Z50. The trains have almost finished running on the Snow Hill Lines now having been replaced by the excellent up to date 172 series.


It was an excellent day out with London Midland Staff donating there wages for the day and London midland its diesel for the train , Network Rail donated their services and its thanks to Simon from London Midland who co-ordinated it all. The charity that has benefited from the overall amount achieved of £10,000 is Railway Children. More details can be found on this worthy organisation at



We travelled to Worcester, Walsall, Kidderminster and Severn Valley Railway, Leamington and Stratford along some lines that see very little or no passenger use. We even went to the absolute end of the railway at Bridgnorth and the Station Announcer even said that the train was from Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury of course would have been where the Kidderminster line would have ran to at one time.

See below the picture of the 150 and Steam engine of a bygone era


Pictured below are the Operations Directors of London Midland (Wallace Weatherill) and Severn Valley Railway (Phil Brown)


An excellent day was had by all and everything almost ran to time on what was a complex arrangement across the network in-between the normal schedule of trains in and out of the various stations.

Below are some more pictures I took on the day, hope you enjoy.




And the very nice gentleman Alan who I believe managed to sort the schedule out and agree it with network Rail.


All pictures © Dave Cresswell

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Turn back Time - Why?

Well its November, the clocks have gone back to Greenwich Mean Time or Railway Time which some people still refer to it as.

The arguments as usual abound about more energy used, more accidents, dark when leaving for work and leaving work for home. There are as many for as many against and personally I think we should just stick to GMT throughout the whole year. After all its one of the few British things left that we can say is our own.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for saving energy, reducing accidents etc but isn’t some of it psychological. After all if the clocks remained on GMT or for those who argue against stayed on British Summer Time all year round then there wouldn’t be any sudden change in the day/night light hours as it would all be gradual.

Although many clocks are now self-changing aligned with pulses from an atomic time clock here in the UK or maybe Germany or elsewhere in Europe there are many that have to be manually changed. Think of all the person hours this takes to reset them as well as the wear and tear of the mechanism advancing them through 23 hours to get them back to GMT. Yes I am aware clocks can be turned backwards but have been told by experts you should never do this as they were not designed to reverse.

In this day and age of digital clocks whether analogue or digital faces it’s still good to see and admire the good old fashioned style of clocks in public places. And of course there’s nowhere better to see some of them but in the great railway stations. Many a courting couple have arranged to meet under or near railway station clocks in the UK and around the world. On my recent travels on a London Midland Great Escape ticket I went to Liverpool and there was a wonderful looking one there.


Just look around wherever you go and try and spot some really nice public time pieces as there are many out there. And at this time of year since the clocks have gone back and it’s a bit darker many of them are illuminated.

Just take your time to see the time