Monday 24 August 2020

York, 14th July 1977

A first journey to Yorkshire for a visit to the NRM. DMU from Alnmouth, then Class 47 hauled Inter-City trains from Newcastle to and from York, back again on a dmu to Almouth, where I was behind the driver, who was chatty, but it was all Geordie, and little was comprehensible to me. A couple of these images have been shared before, but a long time ago, and have been re-curated this time around.

08525 and one other with parcels GUVs in the sidings.

08525 was new from BR Darlington as D3687 on 24th February 1959, and was first allocated to 34B Hornsey, but had migrated to York by 1971, when it was dual braked. Seen later by other photographers in 19781979 and 1982. For a period in late 1984 it bore the name Percy the Pilot. Remarkably, it is a survivor, named Duncan Bedford and shunting at Neville Hill, although of late it seems to be stored pending repairs: "awaits a top end overhaul its got 4 liners leaking and most of the cylinder heads are blowing .... we stood here down when the oil sample was reported fuel dilution to save 525 from either throwing a leg out or having the mains picking up ... on the brighter side"

08042 was also noted as the adjacent entry, and likely may be the other shunter shown, it was withdrawn in March 1979, and broken up at Doncaster in May of that year.

I was motivated to scan this because of the other notable features in the picture, not least the BR pattern fluorescent lighting, and also the signalling, which belongs to the York Power Signal Box, ordered before World War 2 by the LNER from Westinghouse, and in operation from 1951 to 1989. I have some interesting current related reading from the North Eastern Railway Association.

The sidings are now car parking. The Queen Street buildings, once an erecting shop and carriage shed, are now a Europcar location; and the York RI gymnasium, still such.

Two pictures of 47164, then of Stratford, which had arrived in platform 15, with what appeared to have been a seasonal extra. The Union Flag was applied, along with one on 47163, for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. This was news to me, in an era when most information came from Railway World, with occasional purchases of Railway Magazine, but information was on a delay of about one to two months - perhaps there was more fun in this.

47164 was new in May 1964, from Brush, Loughborough, as D1758, allocated to Tinsley, but making a round of Eastern Region MPD's over the next 15 years. ETH fitted and became 47571 in November 1979, and worked for London Midland locations. Renumbered 47822 in March 1989, and ran for Cross Country until May 2002. Rebult as 57305, and now under hire to Rail Operations Group, currently under repair at Eastleigh Works.

With electrification and modernisation, the centre road is now gone. Platforms 15 and  16 were 1938 additions to the station, and have subsequently been renumbered.

The NRM had not yet been open for two years at this time, and was fitted with its original roof. York MPD was active in the remainder of the building, and there was a fair selection of    locomotives visible through the fence to the left, as seen here - including 31272 and 40057.

No 512, tank capacity 2047 gallons, built by Darlington Wagon & Engineering Company for the North Central Wagon Company and registered with the North Eastern Railway in 1889. Now on display at LOCOMOTION at Shildon. The GNR somersault signals are still in position outside the museum.

Looking at the car park, a HB Viva, a Commer FC camper van, and a Mk1 Ford Transit camper van are recogisable.

A final view before catching the return train. Looking at this scan in 2020, I was interested in the former good station buildings, on the right, which were then the NRM Peter Allen Building, not open to the the public. Now open as Station Hall.

I appear to be standing on platform 16, as switch 506 was on the Scarborough Goods Lines heading to York Yard South, removed in the 1980s. The view now appears to be blocked by the Unipart Rail Service Centre, which was closed in June 2020 to make way for the York Central redevelopment, which will further block the view seen above.

The cars are again a snapshot in time, I recognise a Triumph Herald, a Mk2 Ford Cortina, Ford Capri, Morris Minor, and a Hillman Avenger. Others are more difficult to reccognise.

While studying the image, I wondered if I could see the outline of a steam locomotive in the middle distance, and which it could be. Eventually, I flipped the photograph, and found that I had noted it as LNWR 790 Hardwicke, which was then main line approved. Now on display at LOCOMOTION at Shildon.

Here is my spotting list from the day, for which highlights are:
  • 40s on secondary workings and freight
  • Workings for Class 55 identified through the Napier Chronicles. including the Flying Scotsman in both directions
  • DMUs mainly Metro-Cammell, but include Trans-Pennine, Cravens and BRCW units
  • NRM display

Essential background for this research: 

I bought this copy of 'Moors Line' No 40 Summer 1977 at the WH Smith bookstall at York Station, for the great sum of 20p. I was utterly impressed by it at the time, as publicity it was well positioned. As mentioned before, the editor Murray Brown had articles of interest which were well prepared, went on to edit national publications, and remains involved at the NYMR and the Deltic Preservation Society.