For details and photos of test train running before 2015 see the index here.
The line is leased by LUL in order to test and commission the next generation of London Underground trains, known as Sub Surface Lines (SSL) trains. Serco Assurance were awarded the contract to manage the whole of the test track of behalf of LUL which will give them the opportunity to attract other interested parties to the line.
In October 2013 the BRB Residuary was abolished and the line passed to NR ownership who lost no time modifying the OHLE and bringing in a Javelin for some testing work.
Activity in the old goods yard at Widmerpool on 20th, seemed to be in connection with the new radio masts that are being installed for ERTMS.
An IEP set moved to North Pole depot on the night of Friday 18th- timings here
3Z10/11 ran on Monday 30th with Colas liveried 37421 plus UTU4 & DBSO, running in the normal paths although 3Z10 was around an hour early arriving into Melton at 0850.
Finally a Colas liveried 37 put in an appearance! 37175 became the first such one to visit the line on Monday 23rd working 3Z10 Derby RTC - Old Dalby & 3Z11 return. The original 3Z11 path was cancelled upon arrival back at Derby and then continued to Slateford in a new schedule, under the same headcode but following a loco change to 37667.
7X09 1147 Old Dalby - West Ruislip passing through Asfordby on Thursday 26th with the colourful combo of 20107 & 20314 leading with 20132 & 20118 on the back
3Z10 is booked to run on Monday 23rd with a class 37, UTU1 & DBSO. Unusually 3Z11 is scheduled to run to Slateford but via Derby RTC, possibly for a loco change. Timings he
7X09 ran on Monday 16th from Old Dalby to Amersham as did last week's delivery to London, rather than West Ruislip as with most of the more recent moves.
A couple of photos courtesy Paul Hadfield
2 x IEP sets outside the depot at Asfordby on 16th November 2015
Former Anglia class 47 No:47714 outside the shed with a class 321 in tow, and an SSL set on commissioning trials in the background on 16th November 2015
37057 visited on 13th November along with Network Rail's 97301 with one of the radio survey trains. It returned to Derby the same evening as 3Z11
BR green (but Colas-owned) 37057 near Upper Broughton on 13th November
3Z10 passing Frisby with 37116 pushing what appears to be two UTU sets.
3Z10 ran on Monday 16th with a class 37 and UTU3 with DBSO - timings here
An extra 3Z10 0834 Derby RTC - Old Dalby ran this morning 13th . Booked Spondon 0853, Loughborough 0917, Syston East Jn 0935, Melton Up Loop 0957-1019. Colas green 37057 again with load four and 97301 bringing up the rear. Return times here
Finally a Colas 37 makes it to the test track! BR green liveried 37057 worked 3Z10/11 on Monday 2nd with UTU3 & DBSO 9708. Sadly no pictures on this occasion but it is believed to be not only the first Colas 37 to visit the line but also the first BR green 37 to visit since the 1960's. Two more UTU visits are scheduled for this month, more details nearer the time.
Bit of a surprise but Colas hired DB Schenker liveried
67015 & EWS liveried 67022 to haul 975091 MENTOR for yet another ad hoc spin up
the test track, running out and back ton 27th in the usual 3Z10 & 3Z11 paths.
3Z10/11 is down to run again on Monday 02/11, traction will be a class 37 with
UTU3 & DBSO, timings below.
66751 worked 5X08 on 23rd as planned, hauling just IEP set 800002. This leaves units 001 & 101 at Asfordby
5X08 to North Pole is booked to run on Friday night 23rd Timings here
Track Recording Unit 950001 is down to visit this coming Friday 23rd. Timings here
5X08 to North Pole was cancelled on Friday night and I
have no date as yet for an attempted re-run. The outward ballast working
from Whitemoor to Melton did run but no info on which loco/locos worked it.
The return working didn't run though curiously so a bit of a perplexion
there! Will try to do some more digging on that.
The S-Stock moves to West Ruislip are starting up again w/c Monday 19th , 7X09 1142 Old Dalby - West Ruislip is booked for Mon & Weds and 7X23 0933 Derby Litchurch Lane - Old Dalby is in for Friday.
Timings for the outward ballast working Friday 16th which terminates at Melton before running up to the test track are here.
LUL battery loco 'L29' was on test at Old Dalby on Thursday 15th having arrived during the last few days. In other news, 37601 & 610 have completed a whole week of testing with MENTOR at Old Dalby and are booked to return to Derby Thursday evening 15th in the usual 1628 path off Old Dalby (3Z11).
LUL battery loco 'L29' on the
test track on Thursday 15th
37610 leading MENTOR through Upper Broughton
on Thursday 15th
GBRf are moving one, possibly two of the IEP's from Asfordby to North Pole Depot, London on Friday night 16th (Timings here). There is also a GBRf operated ballast train booked to depart shortly afterwards to Whitemoor (Timing here too). Not clear what the traction is for this or what sort of wagons it will be conveying. The movement to North Pole should be 66751.
7X23 is down to run on Friday 16th in the normal
path via Coalville (0933 ex Litchurch Lane). Most likely to be the same
class 20 pairings as last week. 7X09 to West Ruislip is once again a
non-runner this week due to insufficient space on the LUL to accommodate any
further units at present.
37601 & 37610 have arrived on the test track having worked 3Z10 0830 Derby RTC - Old Dalby on Thursday morning (8th October) with 975091 'MENTOR'.
It transpires that further tests with MENTOR are required on the line next week so after stabling over the weekend the train will be back out tomorrow and during the early part of next week. At present there is no schedule for it to return to Derby. I'll let you know as soon as one appears though.
7X23 ran for the first time this month on Friday morning (9th) but was routed via Spondon, Loughborough & Leicester Humberstone Road (reversal) instead of Burton & Coalville due to engineering work on the Coalville branch. With 20901 & 905 currently outbased at Tonbridge for RHTT work with GBRf, the train was handled by 20118 & 20132 top and tailed with the unusual pairing of 20107 & 20314.
Some recent photos from Ben Wheeler
|37601 & 37610 with MENTOR working 3Z10 0828 Derby RTC - Old Dalby passing Rotherby on Thursday 8th October 2015.|
|20118 & 132 tailing 7X23 0908 Derby Litchurch Lane - Old Dalby (via Spondon, Loughborough & Leicester) at East Goscote on Friday 9th October 2015. 20107 & 314 were at the front.|
|Balfour Beatty track machine No. DR 73939 'Pat Best' being moved by road out of Asfordby Depot (destination unknown). Picture taken just after the entrance to Holwell Works / Asfordby Depot on the back road around Asfordby Hill. 25th September 2015.|
On Monday 5th October 3Z10 will run with a Class 37, UTU2 & a DBSO.- timings here
800002 is in the process of arriving by road at Asfordby, the two power cars and first two coaches having arrived on 8th September from the brand new factory at Newton Aycliffe (County Durham) which was officially opened for business by David Cameron and Nick Clegg late last week. One power car is in the standard plain livery but the other sports red vinyls and various logos including Network Rail, Virgin Trains, Hitachi and PTM Design (who I assume provided the red vinyls).
A link to one of the news articles regarding the factory opening, including an image of the stylised power car:
|97303 with UTU4 & DBSO 9703
worked 3Z10 & 3Z11 on 7th Sept and is pictured passing Rotherby on
the approach to Melton running 103 minutes late
3Z10 & 3Z11 ran on Monday 7th Sept and
although it was
*officially* the first ever test train to be operated by Colas Rail who took
over the infrastructure monitoring contract from DB Schenker the chosen loco
was not one of their own liveried 37s but the ERTMS-fitted 97303. Doh!.
Colas Rail will now supply both traction and drivers, some of whom have been transferred
from DB Schenker. Once again Colas avoid Old Dalby but it's got to happen
sooner or later
The use of 67's is expected to cease under Colas and therefore the previous visit of 67003 & 016 to the test track the other week (photos on this site courtesy Neil Booton!) could well have been the last for the foreseeable future. However the advent of Colas will undoubtedly bring many other unusual locomotives to the line.
Activities at the test track on 3rd - photos courtesy Neil Booton
97303 & 97304 visited the test track with 3Z10 on a slightly earlier path. Unfortunately Colas liveried 37219 should have provided the first Colas liveried 37 to visit the test track was substituted by 97304
|97303 heads 3Z10 into Melton station on 3rd September|
|97303 at the rear of 3Z10 passing Asfordby GF on 3rd September|
On 19th August 67016 and 67003 visited the line and IEP 800 001 was running
|67016 heads a short consist with Mentor in tow and 67003 at the rear - pictured at Asfordby GF|
|67003 at the rear passing Asfordby GF|
|800001 passes Widmerpool|
Some pictures of the iEP returning to Old Dalby are here
The visit of the NMT on 7th August - photos courtesy Neil Booton
Two new photos from Ben Wheeler
leading top'n'tailed 3Z10
through Rotherby on the approach to Melton on 4th August
alongside 800101 & 800001 at Asfordby on 4th August the latter
having just arrived behind 66751 following overnight ECML
testing which saw both units operated in multiple for the first
time on the mainline.
3Z10 is booked on Tuesday 4th August with 2 x class 67 top and tail conveying PLPR1or two days calibration and then return to Derby on Thursday evening. Look here for timings
The NMT will visit the test track on Thursday 6th August returning on Friday 7th - timings here
A pair of class 37's were booked to visit on Tuesday 21st with TIC2, PLPR4 & MENTOR for two days calibration and returned to Derby on Wednesday evening 5th
Yesterday afternoon 19th a visit to Widmerpool revealed that Trackwork
were there tiding up, the Up line through the station is back in place re
ballasted and clipped
The MPV was back in the siding , the security men had gone and 2 Underground trains (SSL) were parked just over the A46 bridge . The OHLE is now restored between Plumtree and Stanton Tunnel
At Widmerpool on 11th 'Trackwork' were busy on the Up line where the track and sleepers have been removed through the station area. The MPV was back in the siding after working at Plumtree. The overhead wires have been removed from Plumtee to Stanton Tunnel .
66544 returned the HOBC set from Old Dalby to Toton as 6M37 on Thursday evening.9th It had been observed in operation on Asfordby West Curve earlier in the day being hauled by 47714
At the Plumtree end next to Bridge 29 there were a large number of vans and cars and it appear that engineers are working on the overhead wires .Also in the cutting towards Plumtree Station BGS has put in some equipment to check any movement in the cutting sides as there were issues with slipping in the 1970s. Presumably all this activity is in connection with further testing of the IEP and the EMUs which appear to become a major work stream for the line in future
.66602 worked the 6M37 0900 Toton North Yard - Old Dalby on its own on Monday 6th. The train was conveying a short High Output Ballast Cleaning set (HOBC). The 66 ran-round in Melton Loop due to the lack of rear locomotive. The set is due to return to Toton tomorrow evening as 6M37 once again, timings for this are here
|6M37 near Rotherby
(between Syston and Melton)
en route to Old Dalby on 6th July 2015
Rail Operations Group successfully delivered unit 321448 to the line on Friday evening (3rd July) with Riveria Trains liveried 47815 'Great Western' providing the horses. The 47 returned to Derby with the barrier coaches at 1915, having arrived at Asfordby some 160 minutes ahead of schedule from Ilford. The unit is visiting following re-motoring at Ilford and is the first of a handful of EMU's that will be hauled to the line for similar tests. Understand that a 317 is on the cards at some point and then more 321's next year.
The photos below show the now incredibly busy scene at Asfordby as depicted on Friday, showing the new arrival in the midst of several other units and locos and also another pic of 5Z21 passing Ashwell nearing journey's end.
20311 & 314 are in the background having arrived with another S-Stock from Derby yesterday, along with 20132 & 118 which are out of sight on the rear. These should depart on Monday at 1142 with the next S-Stock delivery to West Ruislip.
This coming Monday 6th sees another visit by a ballast train, this time under Freightliner and most likely using top and tail 66's.
|The scene at Asfordby on Friday 3rd
|5Z21 pictured near Ashwell
|47815 plus translator vehicles at Derby on
Plus a link to some further information and a few pics
of the new overhead conductor system now installed inside Stanton Tunnel:
Some reports of activity at Widmerpool on 2nd July-
the viewing platform was being knocked down and there was a large pile of
ballast in the goods yard and a Network Rail Windhoff MPV train in the
siding . Also at Plumtree two Portacabins have been placed in the old
goods yard there .
5Z21 on 3rd July ,hauling a black liveried 321448 being moved following re-motoring at Ilford EMU Depot and not a 379. Barrier coaches are Arlington Fleet Services green liveried ADB975974 & ADB975978.
Riviera Trains blue liveried 47815 is now going on hire to Rail Operations Group, allocated 0Z47 1115 Barrow Hill - Eastleigh Arlington on 2nd July and will then work Eastleigh Arlington - Ilford EMU Depot with the translator coaches. Then on Friday 3rd will work the class 379 unit move from Ilford to Old Dalby, vice Colas 47727 which is required for other traffic. Did not run the early this week due to problems with the translator coaches at Eastleigh. Timings here http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O08241/2015/07/03/advanced
It is the first of several moves to Old Dalby with these units but the rest aren't expected until some time in 2016.
3Z10/11 ran on Monday 29th and yet again produced
37604 hauling UTU2 & DBSO 9702.
On Tuesday 30th there will be another visit by a Colas class 47. 47727 is going on hire to new operator Rail Operations Group for the 5Z21 Ilford EMU Depot - Old Dalby, hauling the next class 379 unit for testing. Two translator coaches will be used as 47's cannot couple directly unlike the usual 57/3's. No timings yet but will advise as soon as I have them.
NMT visit was cancelled on Tuesday 23rd but 67029 & 67023 with MENTOR on 3Z10 arrived on time.
In addition to the NMT (Timings here) on 23rd June MENTOR is also visiting top'n'tailed with class 67s (timings here)
The move on 22nd was hauled by 37604 as it was on 15th
I can reveal thanks to Rail Technology Magazine that the work in Stanton Tunnel during March was to do with the installation of Furrer & Frey's Rigid Overhead Conductor Rail System (ROCS). See here for details. Also featured in the Railway Gazette here
Activity on the line approaching a bit of a record high at the moment!
The following trains are booked to run
Monday 22nd June : Class 31 or 37 with UTU4 & DBSO
Tuesday 23rd June : New Measurement Train HST
A new photo taken on 28th May
|The class 47 does a
spot of shunting with one of the IEP sets at Asfordby on 28th
On Monday 18th 31233 with UTU1 & DBSO 9708 was booked on the 3Z10 Derby RTC - Old Dalby & 3Z11 Old Dalby - Mossend return. but it worked back as 3Z11 1500 Old Dalby - Derby instead of Mossend and 7X09 was cancelled on 18th but ran on 19th via Coalville & Burton, 20118/132 & 20905/901. The other 20's have gone back to Barrow Hill again!
This week also sees the Derby - West Ruislip/Amersham
and West Ruislip/Amersham - Derby moves starting up again as S-Stock units
return to Litchurch Lane for yet more modification work. There is also a
7X09 1147 Old Dalby - Derby running today with a set returning directly to
Bombardier having just completed initial testing at Old Dalby. 20096 & 107
are now paired with orange duo 20311 & 314 for these moves, the latter
making their first appearance of 2015 on S-stock moves.
Meanwhile here are a few more pics of set 800001
800101 car of the 5-car IEP set at Asfordby on 12th
Close up of the cab of 800101
After numerous hiccups the first main line IEP drag and subsequent testing on the 5-car set on ECML is finally scheduled to take place overnight 11th/ early Tuesday morning 12th. The train will be tested on Stoke Bank between Grantham and Peterborough, where amongst other things a Class 91 and a Mk4 set achieved 162 mile/h in September 1989
Timings as follows...
Mon 11/05 5E98 Old Dalby - Tallington:
Tues 12/05 5M98 Tallington - Old Dalby:
Also, 66751 was named 'Hitachi Rail -
Inspiration Delivered' on 27th April at Asfordby and will, as mentioned
previously, undertake all of the class 800 movements utilising it's
specially geared 'Scharfenburg' coupler. An article regarding the naming
can be found on the GBRf news page here:
5-car IEP set at Asfordby on 28th April
Close up of the cab
On the subject of Network Rail test trains, there has been no recent activity and there are none planned for the coming week as far as I'm aware. However, 20905 & 20901 are now back on the S-Stock movements following attention at Barrow Hill, joining 20118 & 20132 on such duties and were parked up at Derby on 9th. Their reintroduction onto these trains has seen 20096 & 20107 return to Barrow Hill for routine maintenance. 20311 & 20314 remain out of traffic at Barrow Hill but there are indications that GBRf may be looking to take on even more of the type so would expect these to re-emerge at some point.
Another cancellation I'm afraid, none of the planned
overnight IEP testing took place last week. 66751 has remained on site at
Asfordby for the duration though and has been observed sporting some
additional coupling gear for attaching to the IEP without use of barrier
vehicles. However it went to Doncaster light engine on 25th
A pair of LUL Clayton battery locos have turned up at Asfordby for testing. These were converted from old Schoma diesel locomotives and are numbered L8 & L4 respectively. They are sporting a yellow and red colour scheme with LUL logos. 3Z10/11 is booked for Monday again with a UTU set and 31/37, if it actually runs!
IEP testing on the ECML should have begun on Wednesday night 22nd April but see above. As expected 66751 will be dragging the unit from Old Dalby to a possession site between Grantham and Peterborough and back each night. It is expected that these moves will be taking place for several months. Timings below for the overnight outward moves (down to run Weds, Thurs & Fri this week), no timings available for the return moves yet but will advise once they are. 66751 is already on site having arrived light engine from Peterborough yesterday morning.
The NMT worked 3Z10 0834 Derby RTC - Old Dalby yesterday
morning 16th. It spent two days on the line for calibration and returned to
Derby on Friday 17th as 3Z11 departing 13.00.
3Z10/11 was again booked for this coming Monday (20th) - UTU3 in the consist with a 31 or 37 & DBSO but was caped yet again on Friday
20905 & 901 are now back in the fray for S-stock movements having returned from their escapades on the Southern Region. Thought they might partner 20311 & 314 on Friday's 7X23 0933 Derby Litchurch Lane - Old Dalby but turned out 20107/096/118/132 ran instead.
Above info courtesy Ben Wheeler
Serco's modified 08956 on site at Asfordby on 17th April shunting
S-Stock without the aid of any barrier wagons.
3Z10 on Monday 30th March produced 37688 & 37603 with
eight vehicles however it only got as far as Melton Up Loop before reversing and
going straight back to Derby. 67012 & 67027 were then pencilled in for the PLPR2
visit on Wednesday 1st April but this similarly was cancelled at Derby prior to
Some class 800 news, it is anticipated that 800001 will be leaving by rail very soon. I also understand that GBRf's 66751, which visited the line the other week to perform tests with the unit, has in fact been modified to haul the class 800 trains and should be the dedicated loco for moving them to/from Old Dalby (for now at least).
Also of interest is that DRS are looking at testing their brand new class 88 Electro-Diesel locomotives at Old Dalby. The first is due in October this year with the rest being delivered every few months there after. The locos, although electric initially by means of pantograph/OHLE, will all come equipped with a 'last mile' diesel engine for running into non-electrified yards and terminals.
Three S-stock moves scheduled this week, two to West Ruislip on Monday and Wednesday and a third from Derby to Asfordby on Friday.
7X09 1147 Old Dalby - West Ruislip down to run Monday 30th
as is 3Z10/3Z11 (WTT path - 1015 onto test track, 1628 back to Derby) with UTU2
and a 37 with DBSO. 3Z10 again booked on Wednesday 1st with the Plain Line
Pattern Recognition 2 (PLPR2) set, this should be top and tail 67's but not 100%
definite on that. 1015 onto the branch, spends a day or so undergoing
calibration runs on the full length of the line then back to Derby at 1628 on
No Freightliner moves planned for this coming week.
Last week was looking absolutely bananas with
movements from Freightliner, GBRf and Network Rail all scheduled to run, some on
the same days. The 20's will now arrive with the barrier wagons Monday morning
before working 7X09 to Amersham/West Ruislip. The 387 movement will now take
place on Tuesday 24th, however there is also a 387 being moved from Old Dalby
back to Derby for rectification work on Monday too.
I have included the full timings (via Real Time Trains) below, with headcodes/details above each link, for all presently known workings this week.
The return 3Z11 on Friday is now running as 1Q11, still 3Z10 outward though. It transpires it is booked for top and tail 37's with the Plain Line Pattern Recognition 2 (PLPR2) set, comprising five coaches.
Above info courtesy Ben Wheeler
Freightliner were booked to move a class 387 unit from Old Dalby to Bletchley on Friday morning 20th but it didn't take place. The barrier wagons failed to arrive from Crewe so the job was caped.
The 20's were also expected to arrive with barriers from Derby in the morning in readiness for Monday 23rd's 7X09 but they failed to turn up.
March 2nd saw 31233 & 97301 top and tail 3Z10 Derby - Old
Dalby & 3Z11 return hauling UTU1, UTU3 & SGT2, a mammoth consist comprising
eight vehicles. The following day saw 950001 visit late morning with a hastily
arranged calibration run following attention at the RTC, arriving around 1100
and departing late afternoon back to Derby.
Friday 12th saw the first of the new class 800 IEP's arrive at Asfordby Depot, by road instead of rail as the unit is not yet passed to be hauled over mainline metals. GBRf's 66751 ran light engine from Peterborough the same morning to shunt the unit and to allow staff training prior to class 800 transfers to/from Old Dalby commencing properly by rail. It is believed that all of them are to be tested here.
Also, some brilliant pictures have emerged on the web of 47714 shunting the new IEP train (now numbered 800001) at Asfordby on Friday 20th. These can be found on Flickr through the following link: https://www.flickr.com/search/?sort=relevance&text=800001 Old Dalby
A photo of the yard at Asfordby on 13th March 2015 with the IEP behind the class 47
3Z10/11 ran again on Monday 16th, worked by 37402 & DBSO. It is scheduled once
again for March 30th in the now regular earlier path (0800 arrival at Melton
from Derby, 1628 return from Old Dalby).
Finally Harbury Cutting, which closed for over a month due to a landslide, is expected to reopen at the end of this week and with it should see the resumption of regular SSL movements between Old Dalby, West Ruislip and Derby. 7X09 to West Ruislip is scheduled for Monday and Wednesday next week and 7X23 from Derby to Old Dalby on the Friday. Freightliner continue to operate bi-regularly 'Electrostar' movements between Derby, Old Dalby and Bletchley using 66's, a few of which have run in daylight just recently.
The test track has now acquired its own independent power supply courtesy of UK Power Reserve
A visit to Widmerpool on Thursday morning 5th Feb found a lot going on in the old goods yard - machines and plenty of people in orange working but not clear what they were all doing!
Network Rail TRU / class 150 No. 950001 due to visit this
week, arrives early on Thursday 29th morning and will remain on the line for
equipment calibration until Friday afternoon. Outward path is 2Z08 of which the
timings can be found below, the return is the normal 3Z11 path departing at 1628
back to Derby.
Only S-stock move this week is Friday 30th's 7X23 0933 Litchurch Lane - Old Dalby. Currently 20107, 096 & 118, 132 are in use. 901/905 are at present based in the south for GBRf de-icing trains. 311 & 314 are both out of traffic at Barrow Hill.
3Z10 ran on Tuesday 20th with 37402 & 37425 top and tail, returning to Derby in the evening.
2015 began with these future events to look forward to:
Because the Hartford Loop test track is only available to NR for a limited period, ERTMS testing will continue at other locations, such as Old Dalby where first-in-class testing of onboard equipment will be carried out. The track is currently being equipped with GSM-R in preparation for the start of ERTMS testing. A key advantage of Old Dalby is that trains can be tested at up to 180km/h.
Testing of an ERTMS equipped HST set is rumoured.
Also the first IEP set is due to arrive by boat at Southampton in March. It will then be hauled to the test track by GBRf. In April the train should begin live running tests, once the necessary measuring equipment has been installed.
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