The Present 2014
For details and photos of test train running before 2014 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 have lost no time modifying the OHLE and bringing in a Javelin for some testing work.
The Javelin performed several high speed passes through Widmerpool on 27th. Sources tell me that it is expected to stay at the test track for another 4 weeks as the OHLE installation was delayed by 2 weeks.
395011 passing Widmerpool on 27th February
Some photos from 25th
395011 on the curves south of Plumtree
View from the overbridge with A606 in background
395011 under the ovebridge on the curves south of Plumtree
|08956 still wearing
Serco Railtest branding with an SSL set at Asfordby
Some photos from 21st courtesy Neil Booton
|SSL pictured at Widmerpool|
|The Javelin 395011 is seen stabled at Asfordby|
31105 & 31285 top and tailed an additional 3Z10 0834 Derby RTC - Old Dalby & 3Z11 1628 return on 24th. However the outward was two hours late arriving at Melton and didn't go up the branch until 1300.
Series One OHLE testing with the Javelin is apparently
going well, despite the obvious delays. the train has already achieved 100
mile/h south of Old Dalby. There were a few spotters out on Thursday morning 20th
at Asfordby and G62 foot crossing - any photos??
The train actually went as far as Plumtree today, albeit under the cover of darkness. Testing should now commence in earnest with aerodynamic pantograph testing of the 2nd pan using the first pan to collect power (for details of the principles of how it is done look here)
Steve Wallis reported that at Asfordby on the morning of 19th the Javelin unit was moved onto the test track by the class 47. The unit then moved under its own power onto the test track. Not yet likely to go Widmerpool as they are still working there!
Despite horrendous weather on 12th Neil Booton managed to get a few shots of 395011 being shunted around at Asfordby and the ongoing work at Widmerpool. Testing will not begin until at least the back end of next week i.e. 20th -21st.
All photographs courtesy Neil Booton
|An SSL set is being shunted into the shed at Asfordby|
|395011 is hauled out of the sidings by 47714..............|
|The set is stabled on the back road|
|Work on the OHLE outside the Pullman Inn|
The New Measurement Train visited on 5th performing several high speed passes through Widmerpool.
All photographs courtesy Neil Booton
|The NMT crosses onto the test track at Asfordby GF on 5th February 2014........................|
|..................and heads into the tunnel|
|A close up of the BR/BW highspeed pantograph on the NMT|
|The NMT heads north passing a road-railer vehicle at Widmerpool ...............|
|..and heads towards Edwalton on 5th February 2014|
Unusually the 47 made a trip down to the ground frame at Asfordby to give instructions to the NMT crew.
|The 47 stands at the GF as the train crew advise the NMT crew about the operation on 5th February 2014|
|The 47 heads back towards the depot pictured at Asfordby GF on 5th February 2014|
3Z10 ran on 3rd with 31285 hauling the test train, also the 7x09 ran with the usual 20s.
|31285 heads the UTU test train
onto the test track on 3rd February
The Javelin will not be running till at least Monday 10th as the juice has not been switched on yet.
it would appear only a small section of the OHLE is being upgraded as there don't appear to be any alterations north of Stanton Tunnel and nothing has been altered at Upper Broughton
Here are a few shots at Widmerpool with the new OHLE which will be fitted to GWML
All photographs courtesy Neil Booton
|Looking south from the overbridge near Widmerpool shows the new masts and equipment on the main line with the original Mk3 on the left on 3rd February 2014|
|A close up of the new equipment - very different from existing kit|
|The new design of portal frame - looks substantial and expensive|
395011 was stabled outside the main shed at Asfordby where Neil Booton managed to get a picture on Sunday 2nd.
|The Javelin (395011)
pictured at Asfordby on Sunday 2nd February
The Javelin set arrived on Asfordby Depot at 0400 on 29th
January behind 47727 & 47739. Barrier vehicles left behind then 47's ran
light engine to Washwood Heath.
3Z10/11 booked for Monday 3rd with UTU1.
The Windhoff MPV electrification train visited on Tuesday 28th, 6Y53 ex Crewe TMD - Old Dalby arriving onto the test track at 11.30am.
|The Windhoff wiring train
approaches Asfordby tunnel on 28th January 2014
The visit of the Javelin was caped at Kensington Olympia and the train returned to Ashford dept.
47739 was booked for 7X95 (see below) and then to run light engine to Hoo Junction so it looks like the barrier vehicles are staying on site until the class 395 unit goes back.
EWS liveried 67020 & WSMR liveried 67015 worked 1Z16 from Derby with the PLPR set on Wednesday 22nd and then returned on Friday 24th to Derby under the same headcode following two days of calibration.
|20096 and 20118 at Frisby
heading towards Syston with a delivery for West Ruislip. 20311 & 314 were on
the rear on 14th January 2014
| 67015 brings up the
rear as the PLPR train enters Melton Loop prior to reversing on Wednesday
Hitachi Javelin unit 395011 was booked to be hauled by Colas Rail to Old Dalby during the early hours of Tuesday morning 28th January. Running as 7X95 from Ashford Chart Leacon Depot, the movement was booked to arrive into Melton station at 0300 and then onto the test track around 0345. The unit is fitted with a next generation pantograph, the same type which is to be fitted to the new IEP's.
Testing of the unit is to commence as soon as Tuesday
daytime so presumably the OHLE at the Asfordby end is not being upgraded yet.
7X95 will not only bring the first visit of a Javelin to the test track but also
the first visit of a Colas Rail locomotive to the test track.
3Z10/11 was booked to run on Monday 20th with UTU4 but has been cancelled
However, the Plain Line Pattern Recognition set is visiting from Wednesday 22nd until Friday 24th for calibration. Should be top and tail traction, runs as 1Z16 from Derby on Wednesday and return on Friday:
An article concerning Network Rail's plans to increase the frequency of train testing at Old Dalby appeared in the Melton Times on Tuesday 14th January. It also confirms that the new 'Javelin' EMU's (I think they mean IEP's) will be tested at Old Dalby prior to being 'rolled out' on the GWML once it is electrified. I sincerely hope that IEP's are a cut above Javelins and that they sort out the hunting problem with the bogies.
Check the link here or the contents of the article
New catenary masts were observed at Widmerpool this week so the re-vamp of the OHLE between Old Dalby and Plumtree seems to have commenced. No changes at the Asfordby end as yet.
66717 & 66727 worked the 6T77 Whitemoor - Old Dalby - Whitemoor engineering train yesterday (Tuesday 14th) with a rake of ex-Railtrack liveried Autoballasters.
Info and picture below courtesy Ben Wheeler
|20901 & 905 at Frisby with Monday 13th's 7X09 to West Ruislip.|
The first engineering train arrived on Thursday 2nd top'n'tailed with class 66s
All photos courtesy Neil Booton
|66719 heads the engineering train north past the site of Upper Broughton station on 2nd January 2014|
|Workers walk alongside the train at Upper Broughton - hope the juice was switched off!|
|66716 brings up the rear of the train|
|More workers stroll along behind the train|
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