A Week in the Life of Class 31’s (Nene Valley, Peak Rail, North Norfolk, East Lancs & Great Central Nottingham!)
Between Sunday 7th June and Sunday 14th June 2015 there was a considerable amount of class 31 action all over the country so rather than split all of the trips out to their separate railways I’ve included them in one post to show just what was on offer that week!
Nene Valley Railway – 31271 Sunday 7th June 2015
On a rather nice, you could even say summer’s day, 31271 was pressed into action to cover the whole on the Nene Valley Railway’s timetabled service due to the non-availability of a steam loco. As the NVR has cut down on the amount of rostered diesel turns this seemed to be noted by many as the number of people attending was considerably higher than usual when 31271 is out. A faultless day, with lots of good company and great weather started the week of very well indeed and it was a pleasure to listen to 31271; as always.
Peak Rail – 31270 Wednesday 10th June 2015
What can I say, 31270 soldiers on at Peak Rail as it works a rather mundane midweek service; still there were no issues to report but I have to admit that I took no photos on this day so have substituted a few from another visit instead……
North Norfolk Railway Diesel Gala – 31207 12th June 2015
A long drive from Doncaster and I have to say partially driven by the fact 37032/37059 would be out as well, I reluctantly set off just after 0500 but was very pleased that I had done so when I got there. The trains were relatively empty and very comfortable indeed, there were no “idiots” about and it turned out to be a very sociable day out indeed with everything behaving itself and doing what it should have done. To say the 31 was probably the runt of the line-up in most people’s eyes is an understatement but regardless 31207 has always been a good performer. I was glad I’d spoke to the driver of the 1148 Sheringham – Holt before departure though as essentially it seemed that 31207 was on the train as nothing more than a translator for the air only 37059; it did power though, unlike the following day though so I’m told!
It was another good day weather wise and the start of the show would have undoubtedly been the ELR’s D7076, the full gala line-up was as follows:
12131, 25057, 26043, 27056, 31207, 37032, 37059 & D7076
East Lancs Railway – 31466 13th June 2015
As if there wasn’t enough choice over this particular weekend 31466 was also rostered out at the East Lancs to work the regular diesel turn and to be fair to it this had been the first loco rostered to do any work on this weekend, way back in March. Unlike the previous day in Norfolk the good northern climes only offered dull weather and a bit of a damp start as well; this damp start seeing to it that 31466 slipped to a stand on the dirty, wet railheads as it attempted to get over the “ski ramp” on the first train from Bury to Heywood; nothing that some broken ballast didn’t eventually cure, in lieu of working sanders!
Unfortunately from the thrash stakes the set had a saloon coach marshalled with it all day at the Rawtenstall end and each of the three round trips had a different driver, all of whom were being assessed. So it was a pretty mundane day by ELR standards unfortunately.
Great Central Railway Nottingham – 31162 14th June 2015
The GCR(N) were holding an English Electric running day and with only two working EE engines to chose from 31162 & 73110 T&T’d the four round trips that operated during the day. 31162 has always been my favorite of the A1A Locomotives fleet and it didn’t let the side down on this occasion; doing a bit more than it needed to help the ED up the hills…… 31162 was one of two A1A Locomotives 31’s out on this particular day and worth a mention is the fact that 31108 had also been out over the weekend at the Midland Railway Butterley Gala, which had almost seen 31233 attend but due to it requiring wheel-turning and 31465 needing a wheelset change neither actually made it unfortunately. Still it was good to have a day with 31162 and it finished the week off on a high note and left me looking forward to its visit to the Wensleydale Railway gala in July.