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COTSWOLD RAIL AT GLOUCESTER 2007

 
     
  After bringing us HST power cars and Class 47s in a range of colours during 2006, Cotswold Rail have started 2007 with some more classic British motive power parked either behind Platform 4 of Gloucester station, on "the hole" - the siding just south west of Horton Road level crossing - or on Horton Road depot itself.  
     
 

33 202 "METEOR"

 
     
  Friday 2 February 2007 found Anglia liveried 47 714 and Fragonset Merlin marked 33 202 "Meteor" bathed in low winter afternoon sunshine behind platform 4 of Gloucester Station.  
     
  Friday 2 February 2007 found Anglia liveried 47 714 and Fragonset Merlin marked 33 202 "Meteor" bathed in low winter afternoon sunshine behind platform 4 of Gloucester Station. Click on the picture to find out more about Class 47 locomotives  
     
  The previous day was overcast with more even light falling on the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon built Bo-Bo. Like the Class 45 and Class 47 it is powered by a Sulzer diesel engine - in this case an eight cylinder 8LDA28 producing 1 550 bhp at 750 rpm - and like the Class 45 "Peak" but unlike the Class 47 it has Crompton Parkinson electrical equipment.  
     
  The previous day was overcast with more even light falling on the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon built Bo-Bo. Like the Class 45 and Class 47 it is powered by a Sulzer diesel engine - in this case an eight cylinder 8LDA28 producing 1 550 bhp at 750 rpm - and like the Class 45 "Peak" but unlike the Class 47 it has Crompton Parkinson electrical equipment.  
     
  Among the remaining eleven Class 33s still cleared for runing on Network Rail, only four are named. 33 021 "Eastleigh" is the sole Class 33/0 example while the only "namer" in sub class 33/1 - fitted with buckeye couplings, Southern Region type multiple unit working equipment and flashing light adaptor for use on the Weymouth Quay line - is 33 103 "SWORDFISH". 33 202 "METEOR" continues the aircraft theme - very aptly for its location - into Class 33/2, being one of the "Slim Jim" machines built to the former loading gauge of the Tonbridge-Battle line. The other named sub class mate is 33 207 "Jim Martin", currently easily distinguished from the other Network Rail Class 33 namers by being painted in West Coast Railway Company maroon rather than Fragonset Merlin. The roundel above the name depicts a Gloster Meteor with the clipped wings, long engine nacelles and later style tail unit applied to Brockworth built straight wing twin jet warplanes from the F8 variant onward.  
     
  Among the remaining eleven Class 33s still cleared for runing on Network Rail, only four are named. 33 021 "Eastleigh" is the sole Class 33/0 example while the only "namer" in sub class 33/1 - fitted with buckeye couplings, Southern Region type multiple unit working equipment and flashing light adaptor for use on the Weymouth Quay line - is 33 103 "SWORDFISH". 33 202 "METEOR" continues the aircraft theme - very aptly for its location - into Class 33/2, being one of the "Slim Jim" machines built to the former loading gauge of the Tonbridge-Battle line. The other named sub class mate is 33 207 "Jim Martin", currently easily distinguished from the other Network Rail Class 33 namers by being painted in West Coast Railway Company maroon rather than Fragonset Merlin. The roundel above the name depicts a Gloster Meteor with the clipped wings, long engine nacelles and later style tail unit applied to Brockworth built straight wing twin jet warplanes from the F8 variant onward.  
     
 

31 128 "CHARYBDIS"

 
     
  Parked on the eastern side of 47 714 on Thursday 1 February 2007 was one of its ancestors - 31 128 "CHARYBDIS". Introduced by Brush in 1958, this was the first Modernisation Plan production design built by a private company with cabs at both ends. It is also only one of three designs of non steam traction to feature the A1A-A1A wheel arrangement. The other examples - experimental gas turbine locomotive 18000 and North British D600 series "Warship" diesel hydraulics - have been preserved as static exhibits and completely scrapped respectively. Although fitted with Brush electrical components, its prime mover is - uniquely for a Loughborough built machine - an English Electric 12 SVT of 1470 bhp.  
     
  Parked on the eastern side of 47 714 on Thursday 1 February 2007 was one of its ancestors - 31 128 "CHARYBDIS". Introduced by Brush in 1958, this was the first Modernisation Plan production design built by a private company with cabs at both ends. It is also only one of three designs of non steam traction to feature the A1A-A1A wheel arrangement. The other examples - experimental gas turbine locomotive 18000 and North British D600 series "Warship" diesel hydraulics - have been preserved as static exhibits and completely scrapped respectively. Although fitted with Brush electrical components, its prime mover is - uniquely for a Loughborough built machine - an English Electric 12 SVT of 1470 bhp.  
     
  A total of four Fragonset Merlin liveried Class 31 locomotives have been named after monsters from classical mythology. As pictured on the roundel above the name, Charybdis was a whirlpool in the Straits of Messina that would suck mariners to their doom and was also associated with a sea monster named Scylla. Being stuck between Scylla and Charybdis was thus very awkward indeed!  
     
  A total of four Fragonset Merlin liveried Class 31 locomotives have been named after monsters from classical mythology. As pictured on the roundel above the name, Charybdis was a whirlpool in the Straits of Messina that would suck mariners to their doom and was also associated with a sea monster named Scylla. Being stuck between Scylla and Charybdis was thus very awkward indeed!  
     
 

31 452 "MINOTAUR"

 
     
  The sunshine of Friday 2 February 2007 picked out both the painted over Fragonset roundel on the number 2 end of 31 452 "MINOTAUR", the orange electric train supply socket on the bufferbeam and the Blue Star multiple unit symbols above it. Four Fragonset Class 31/4s offer the refinement of electric train supply over 31 128 "CHARYBDIS" - originally fitted with a steam heating boiler - while 31 602 "CHIMERA" has ETS through wiring and controls.  
     
  The sunshine of Friday 2 February 2007 picked out both the painted over Fragonset roundel on the number 2 end of 31 452 "MINOTAUR", the orange electric train supply socket on the bufferbeam and the Blue Star multiple unit symbols above it. Four Fragonset Class 31/4s offer the refinement of electric train supply over 31 128 "CHARYBDIS" - originally fitted with a steam heating boiler - while 31 602 "CHIMERA" has ETS through wiring and controls.  
     
  The Minotaur depicted on the roundel above the name of 31 452 was the half human- half bull offspring of Pasiphae, wife of Minos, King of Crete. It lived in the fabled Labyrinth of Knossos on the Mediterranean island until slain by Theseus. 31 459 "CERBERUS" meanwhile recalls the multi-headed watchdog of Hades and HYDRA ( as applied to 31 468 ) was another multi-headed beast - finally slain by Jason of Argonaut fame. "CHIMERA" ( 31 602 ) on the other hand had three bodies. The goat/ lion / serpent combination was slain by Bellerophon, Prince of Corinth.  
     
  The Minotaur depicted on the roundel above the name of 31 452 was the half human- half bull offspring of Pasiphae, wife of Minos, King of Crete. It lived in the fabled Labyrinth of Knossos on the Mediterranean island until slain by Theseus. 31 459 "CERBERUS" meanwhile recalls the multi-headed watchdog of Hades and HYDRA ( as applied to 31 468 ) was another multi-headed beast - finally slain by Jason of Argonaut fame. "CHIMERA" ( 31 602 ) on the other hand had three bodies. The goat/ lion / serpent combination was slain by Bellerophon, Prince of Corinth.  
     
 

45 112 "THE ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS"

 
     
  This is a a picture that I thought that I would never be able to take in the Twenty First Century, harking back the the era before express multiple unit trains. From 1977 - with Eastgate Station and the Tuffley Loop closed - trains once again had to make a three point turn at Gloucester station when travelling between north east and south west. The arrival of High Speed Trains in 1982 made the change of cabs for the train driver a simple formality but the alternative for more traditional engine-and-carriage trains was either running the locomotive round the rake or operating a relay as became the practice at Gloucester. This allowed a train to arrive at either Platforms 1 or 2 prior to the locomotive - a Class 45, 47 or 50 perhaps - being uncoupled. A second locomotive would then run from "the hole" - the siding being occupied by 45 112 here - and couple on to the back of the carriages ready to take the train out on the next stage of its journey - either north or south. The locomotive that had brought the train in would then move on to the hole and wait for the next arrival.  
     
  This is a a picture that I thought that I would never be able to take in the Twenty First Century, harking back the the era before express multiple unit trains. From 1977 - with Eastgate Station and the Tuffley Loop closed - trains once again had to make a three point turn at Gloucester station when travelling between north east and south west. The arrival of High Speed Trains in 1982 made the change of cabs for the train driver a simple formality but the alternative for more traditional engine-and-carriage trains was either running the locomotive round the rake or operating a relay as became the practice at Gloucester. This allowed a train to arrive at either Platforms 1 or 2 prior to the locomotive - a Class 45, 47 or 50 perhaps - being uncoupled. A second locomotive would then run from "the hole" - the siding being occupied by 45 112 here - and couple on to the back of the carriages ready to take the train out on the next stage of its journey - either north or south. The locomotive that had brought the train in would then move on to the hole and wait for the next arrival.  
     
  As one of the "Peaks", 45 112 "THE ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS" bears the same relationship to the Class 47 that the Class 31 bears to the Class 33 seen earlier. Both have an extra carrying axle on what would otherwise have been a Co-Co or Bo-Bo bogie to spread what would have otherwise been an excessive load. A fuller account of this development is told in The Class 47 Connection and the Class 45 "Peaks" also form part of the evolutionary jigsaw linking the Class 47s with the three Southern Railway diesel electrics designed by O.V.S. Bulleid in the 1940s.  
     
  As one of the "Peaks", 45 112 "THE ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS" bears the same relationship to the Class 47 that the Class 31 bears to the Class 33 seen earlier. Both have an extra carrying axle on what would otherwise have been a Co-Co or Bo-Bo bogie to spread what would have otherwise been an excessive load. A fuller account of this development is told in The Class 47 Connection and the Class 45 "Peaks" also form part of the evolutionary jigsaw linking the Class 47s with the three Southern Railway diesel electrics designed by O.V.S. Bulleid in the 1940s.  
     
  What is now Metz Way in Gloucester was just a ridge of bare earth in the late 1970s and early 1980s and did not have trees growing on the slopes! However, this shot does emphasise the near 68 feet length of the "Peak" and show off some other Cotswold Rail owned assets on Horton Road Depot.  
     
  What is now Metz Way in Gloucester was just a ridge of bare earth in the late 1970s and early 1980s and did not have trees growing on the slopes! However, this shot does emphasise the near 68 feet length of the "Peak" and show off some other Cotswold Rail owned assets on Horton Road Depot.