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An Ex-Bin With A View

What can I say, I finally got my  car from TrustFord and was quite cheerful, planning trips to the WCML, Derby Exhibition, the seaside etc. etc. when a Polish lorry driver changed my plans. He travelled slowly through Coleshill Estate collecting traffic as he went. He indicated right and turned right into a large yard. He then threw it into reverse and reversed into the following traffic, collected by travelling slowly through Coleshill Estate. My new car was a victim! So I am back on shank’s pony and stuck in the house unless friends and family take pity. I missed the Derby Exhibition  due to lack of transport, but there’s “a very nice man” who has put the show on U-Tube, so although I don’t get show atmosphere, I can at least enjoy what was there and on show.


I am keeping busy chasing the insurers re a courtesy car which has never appeared, TrustFord Erdington, who never seem to have any parts and are constantly “waiting for something to turn up”, I presume they are run by a distant relative of Wilkins Micawber, who has also added a new phrase to the one accredited to him by Charles Dickens: “It’ll be ready early next week”.


The saga of the river bank continues, we now have a very nice man who has agreed to do the job and said he would start “Wednesday next week” (9th May 2018) and there definitely sounds of pile-driving, diggers in operation, men tramping about and pick-up trucks driving back and forth etc. etc; The trouble is they are on the opposite bank and belong to the Severn Trent Water Company! While on this side of the river I have ear defenders and a frightened moggy.


It Must Finally Be Spring;  the stone terns have arrived back in the area in force. They are presumably looking for mates and nesting material on, in and around track-beds for there is constant cacophony of diesel horns as the passing trains attempt to clear them from the tracks. This year they seem to away from the station area and further east and west although the ladder junction toward Birmingham appears to remain a firm favourite for much activity.  I must walk in that direction sooner rather than later and find out precisely what is occurring (It does you got you know or so my physician tells me. Of course the back pain caused is somewhat of a deterrent).

On a brighter note I have seen this lady trundling through Water Orton, please meet “Annette”. I have not seen her before so I had the great joy in ticking another one off. I know everyone else in the entire world has seen it except me, but this in normal, in my formative years I and my friends were hell-bent on seeing the early Derby “Peaks”, so I regularly used to travel to St. Pancras to see them on the expresses up the Midland line, but the only one I never saw was “Skiddaw” D3, which of course everybody else saw whenever they went near St. Pancras, however D1 “Scafell Pike” was a firm friend, you can guess which they all needed, it just goes show, something or other.


I always had a set time to go  to St.Pancras because if I timed it right, there was always a brace of D57xx on the far track, gasping for breath and leaning against the wall for support, having just arrived on an express from the northern hinterlands. Now hands up how many of you thought they were confined to the “Condor” services or freight in general, well it is incorrect at that time they also hauled expresses, although even then they did it in pairs. I used to shuttle between Kings Cross and St.Pancras, but mainly spent my time in Kings Cross because of the sheer variety of motive power to be seen on show. A4, A3 A2, V2, assorted tank engines all rubbing shoulders with diesels classes which were to replace them. Many of the early diesels seem to have been trialed from the new Finsbury Park depot and a real mix of traction could be found; D2xx, D50xx, D53xx, D55xx, D59xx, D61xx although some were rarer than others, although the rarer ones were not necessarily the ones you would expect. The D50xx (Rats) and D55xx often appeared on “underground” connection to The City, the common ones were D53xx, D61xx, which were eventually banished to Scotland and the D59xx which were just banished. Local services would produce also any form of traction from steam early on to any of the above type 2s and a growing smattering of units, Cravens units come to mind as being much in evidence. It was a good time to be a spotter. While I think of it, I used to start at Euston and then catch a Circle Line to Liverpool St. in an attempt to see the latest locos from the manufacturers; Euston was good for the latest “Liners” (D2xx), which were replacing the Coronations on expresses, while Liverpool St would produce the early D2xx and any number of Brush Type 2 (D55xx), as an added bonus if you had a reasonable set of binoculars Broad St. was the setting for assorted type 1s from Devons Road, Bow. Please note that all the early Type 4s were all on front line express duty and would not begin to be relegated to freight turns until the 2nd generation diesels began to be delivered. (I had a “discussion” with some club members regarding “freight haulers”).


I have in the past written about  track and the tendency to have uniform colour when ballasting, when hanging over “The Dog” wall I noticed this; precisely what I have indicated. The ground under the track does not drain well and we have had a lot of rain. The sleepers in some areas are a different colour, this is caused by the up-welling of mud beneath the track and areas have been re-ballasted as the track sagged. There are three spots here the 3rd being behind me.

To the left is a 66xxx in full bright red DB livery (clean), These two were upon as I arrived and with the camera still in its case hence the “lateness” of both pictures. The wagons are some of the new (KFAs I think) track wagons. Points etc. are factory formed and then carted to the site as units and then just put down for connection.


Right:     I don’t see many Stobarts through here so I nearly missed this one, but in best pantomime tradition “It’s behind you!”. This is 66301 doing a “grand job”.