© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
Some nine years ago - almost to the day - warm spring
weather tempted me to spend some time watching the
modern railway - beside the west coast main line at
Stableford, Staffs. Today I returned to the same spot - on
another warm spring afternoon (real shirt-sleeves weather!)
to see how things had changed.
On that earlier visit, I'd spent some time perched on a stile,
where the public footpath crosses a fence beside the line,
perfectly positioned in relation to the overhead gantries. Sadly,
a signal has been planted immediately to the south of that spot,
rendering it useless... No great problem - but it was a good place
As I sat, I mused on the likely motive power I'd have seen here
50 years ago - lots of ex-LMS and BR Standard steam - lots of
variety - and one or two diesel locos. Today, I would see one or
two diesel locos (four, to be precise - the first being the
inevitable freight that passes just as I'm getting out of the
car...), no electric locos, and dozens of multiple units. Only the
liveries provide variety now. The diesels were all class 66, in the
ownership and livery of four different companies. The multiple
units? - class 221 diesel, class 350 and Pendolino electrics.
Nothing else in around 2½ hours - apart from a solitary white-
liveried ("National Express East Anglia") set - 379 010 and 011.
They were spotless - I'm guessing brand new and on test. It's a
good job it wasn't any warmer - I'd have nodded off.
Link: Lazing on a sunny afternoon - nine years earlier