Performance

An example of Train Performance over the line in 1965

This performance table and comments appeared in the April 1965 edition of Modern Railways. The article by Cecil J Allen, a much travelled and keen railway observer of his day, formed part of a regular series called 'Train Running & Traction Performance' and dealt with BR in general. This particular article concerned amongst other things a trip on the London Midland Region (LMR) from London St. Pancras to Nottingham and back behind BR/Sulzer type 4 diesel locomotives. Although the outward trip was via Leicester and Trent Junction the return journey was via Old Dalby and Melton Mowbray to Kettering and hence to St. Pancras. Note the size of the train, unheard of in these modern times. Altogether an interesting insight into the latter years of travel over the line, but I still don't have many photographs of diesel traction on the line in BR days.

Click on the picture for a bigger image - photos are the author's unless otherwise credited

Robin Hood In January 1962 D124 (a BR/Sulzer Type 4) awaits departure from St Pancras with 1D15, the Down 'Robin Hood' to Nottingham via Kettering and the Melton line.

Author's collection

Plumtree Two class 25's head south through Plumtree on 29th June 1966, photographed from the door of the signalbox. Note the trolleybuses in the station yard part of the il-fated Nottingham Transport Museum.

Noel Ingram

Kibworth

BR Sulzer Type 4 No: D73, in green with small yellow warning panel, heads south through Kibworth, between Leicester and Market Harborough on the original Midland route, on June 18th 1967.

J H Cooper Smith

Kettering Another BR/Sulzer Type 4 roars through Kettering on its journey to London in February 1976
 

The article included the following:

'Returning to London by the 16.24 from Nottingham, I was surprised to see no fewer than 13 bogies on the tail of D139, another BR/Sulzer Type 4, and imagined that the diesel, which certainly ran into Nottingham ahead of time, might be hard pressed to work no less than 470 tons to St. Pancras on so fast a timing as this. But I was soon made to think otherwise, for from the start we began steadily to gain time. Up the initial 1 in 200 we accelerated and held 64 m.p.h. and had gained the first 1 min by Melton Junction, increased to 2 by Manton. All speed restrictions were scrupulously observed, though I do not know what the reason could have been for a reduction to 50 m.p.h. at Corby; the final 45 m.p.h. slowing on this stretch was round the curve at Glendon South Junction. Even so we were 2 min early into Kettering, having covered the 51.5 miles from Nottingham in 49 min 53 sec.'

Note: The '1 in 200' would be from Melton Junction, Nottingham through Widmerpool to the summit at Folly Hall. The article goes on to describe the rest of the journey to London.

Upper Broughton Here's the real thing. An Up express approaches Upper Broughton station in 1963. Note the four wheel van behind the loco and at least ten coaches. Imagine 13 coaches behind the drawbar!

J S Gilks

Aylestone Junction

Seven years later a blue Class 45 heads north past Aylestone Junction, south of Leicester with 1E26 St. Pancras to Sheffield express on 3rd May 1972.

Ambergate Junction

Another 12 years has passed when an unidentified Class 45 heads through Longlands Cutting just south of Ambergate Junction on 21st September 1984, probably en route for the South West.

The marker lights replace the route indicator panel but a headlight has not yet been fitted

I reproduce part of the timings table below:

LMR NOTTINGHAM - ST. PANCRAS

Locomotive : Type 4 1Co-Co1 Diesel No: D139 (2,500 HP)

Load: 13 coaches, 449 tons tare, 470 tons gross

Distance

 

Scheduled

Actual

Speeds

miles

 

Min.

m. s.

m.p.h.

0.00

NOTTINGHAM

0

0 00

-

2.85

Edwalton

-

5 29

53

5.40

Plumtree

-

8 07

61

8.25

Widmerpool

12

10 55

61

12.10

Old Dalby

-

14 23

72

14.30

Grimston

-

16 12

69/82

17.65

Melton Junc.

20

19 12

*44

18.25

MELTON MBY.

-

19 59

-

22.00

Saxby

-

23 44

66

26.60

Ashwell

-

27 39

72

29.70

Oakham

32

30 04

77/87

33.35

Manton

35

32 49

*70

38.55

Harringworth

-

36 49

85

40.50

Gretton

-

38 29

*66

44.00

Corby

44

41 49

*50

46.45

Geddington

(1)

44 18

71/*45

51.50

KETTERING

52

49 53

-

Key

Names in italics are passing points or closed stations

Names in CAPITALS are calling points

*speed restrictions recovery time in mins

Class 45

A BR/Sulzer Type 4 locomotive No: 46 passes Derby RTC in the summer of 1972 after the 'D' had been dropped but before the TOPS re-numbering had been adopted.

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