Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Five Deltics at Stalybridge

"People will never feel nostalgic about diesels they way they do about steam locomotives," my elders used to say.

In fact, railway enthusiasm continued to thrive through the 1970s and only became terminally unfashionable - even to be taken as a symptom of learning disability - after that.

I would suggest that the high point of this enthusiasm was the last run of the Deltics on the East Coast main line.

By the time I was a student at York these wonderful throaty diesels had been displaced from the Scottish expresses and were in charge of the stopping trains to London.

They ran for the last time on these services on 31 December 1981, but two days later a special ran to Edinburgh and back. I remember watching it from a rainy cutting-side at Little Bytham in Lincolnshire.

But the Deltics live on in preservation and even in the occasional freight working. The video above, which will annoy my sterner critics, show five of the beasts at Stalybridge in 2011.


Anonymous said...

The class 55 "Deltic" weighs in at 100 tonnes and has a maximum speed of 100mph.

This class of engines were named to honour famous military regiments or racehorses. Engine 55 022, the first engine of the 5 in this video is named in honour of the "Royal Scots Grey". Next comes engine 55 002 named "The King's own Yorkshire Light Infantry". 55 019, "Royal Highland Fusilier", is third in this procession. Next up is D 9009 (formerly 55 009) which has been repainted in the old green British Rail livery and is named after the 1940s racehorse "Alycidon". Bringing up the rear is D 9016, "Gordon Highlander" (formerly 55 016 and plain 9016) which now also sports the green livery having previously been seen in the familiar British rail blue and later in the purple livery of the Porterbrook rolling stock leasing company.

Simon Titley said...

The stigmatising of boys' and men's hobbies and intellectual pursuits (for which 'trainspotting' has acted as a lightning rod) began at the end of the 1970s.

It is a deeply illiberal social trend - see my article 'Get a life' in the February 2009 edition of Liberator: