The Present 2013
For details and photos of test train running before 2013 see the index here. This page will be archived soon
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.
On Tuesday 17th the OHLE MPV arrived from Crewe TMD and stayed until Friday 20th, when it travelled to Romford Engineering Sidings. Timings can be seen here
Here are a few pictures of the train at Widmerpool on 19th September
Photos courtesy Neil Booton
|Network Rail's Overhead Line Renewal train formed of Windhoff MPV's DR98009, DR98003 & DR98004 at Widmerpool on 19th September|
|Close up of the cab of Windhoff MPV DR89009|
|DR89004 is part of this train|
On Monday 16th Network Rail were reported to have set up a compound in the old goods yard at Widmerpool where two OHLE vehicles were observed (My thanks to Steven Wallis for this information).
3Z10 / 3Z11 on Monday 9th was worked by 97303 with DBSO 9703 on the rear but the consist did not include SGT2
Planned further visits included UTU1 on September 2nd with SGT2 and UTU3 on the 9th.
A picture of an SSL unit between Upper Broughton
and the Fosse Way (A46) on 4th September
3Z10 visited with 31105 & UTU2 on August 12th but the visit of the new SGT2 on 15th was postponed. However 3Z10 ran again on 19th with two class 31s and UTU4.
3Z10 unusually top and tailed by 31285 & 31105 on 19th August despite a DBSO being in the consist, shown here near Melton Junction.
3Z10/11 ran once again on 15th of the month with 37667 in charge taking UTU4 for calibration.
Meanwhile life goes on with a bit of variety in the class 20 pool. The 20's are 142 & 189, the latter formerly in BR green and owned by Michael Owen / 20227 Locomotives Ltd. They are in use with the orange HN pair 311/314 on Derby - Old Dalby movements whilst 096/107/901/905 are handling the West Ruislip portions from either Derby or Old Dalby.
All photos by author
|20901 and 20905 looking very attractive in their GBRf livery|
|20189 plus 20142|
|20311 in HN livery - somebody must like it|
|Painted in fictitious livery for the LUL150 celebrations here is a close up of 20189|
47714 was seen arriving at Asfordby test centre on Wednesday 19th from the the Old Dalby direction, this was around 1515 and it was with the two translator wagons. Presumably it had just taken an SSL unit to Old Dalby for testing or maybe to Widmerpool for storage. A further four units were stabled adjacent to the depot at Asfordby in the sidings on the eastern side.
UTU1 and UTU3 visited on Monday 17th, together with the new SGT coach (which has an extended coupler to accommodate Ďdusty biní). 'Dusty Bin' is the black, dustbin-like piece of kit which is mounted on the end of a Mk2 coach to replace the Structure Gauging vehicle DC460000. The system is called Laserflex and can only be accommodated with an extended coupler to the next vehicle. In future, SGT2 (as itís known) will tend to run in tandem with a UTU set in order to maximise the use of night-time paths.
|3Z10 on Monday 17th consisted
of 8 vehicles and is seen here entering the test track south of Asfordby
tunnel. 97304 headed the test train with 37425 on the rear
|Meanwhile SSL stock is being
stored at Widmerpool with a caravan and
security guards to keep it company,
June 24th and July 1st are also likely to see calibration runs to Old Dalby with UTU2 and UTU4. Both trips are booked for a single class 31 or 37 with DBSO at the other end.
20901, 20905, 20311 & 20314 appear most frequently on the SSL movements between Derby, Old Dalby and West Ruislip. 20096 & 20107 appear now and again too.
Deliveries of SSL trains to Amersham are now sporadic. Delivery of units to West Ruislip depot will now become the norm. New deliveries will now mostly be for the Hammersmith & City Line, but Hammersmith depot itself is at full capacity and they have to receive a train of S-stock, commission it and then remove an old train of C-stock from service. Neasden depot is now at full capacity, so can no longer carry out this commissioning work, so West Ruislip is now taking on these duties instead. Metropolitan Line S8 units that have come back to Derby for modification may well be moved back to Neasden, but all new deliveries should now go to West Ruislip. are still arriving from Litchurch Lane and departing for London on an irregular basis.
Photos on the test track are quite difficult to get
now as the foot crossing at Asfordby Hill has been removed and fenced off, also
the yard at Widmerpool has a locked gate and a no access sign and general
overgrowth of vegetation has made shots few and far between,
The newly re-opened Pullman Inn looked overgrown and closed down recently
Thanks to Andrew Royle, Ben Wheeler, Neil Booton for news and photos
Sorry but there is a gap in the reporting between January and June 2013
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