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7th February 2015

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Published by membersonly, 2018-05-05 01:56:26


7th February 2015

Supplement to e-BLN 1226 7 February 2015

BLN Pictorial

This special issue features a photographic review of the Society’s 750V DC Tracker railtour which
ran, despite the best efforts of the weather to prevent it, on Sunday 18 January 2015. Our thanks
are due in particular to all the Merseyrail staff who went far beyond the proverbial ‘extra mile’ to
make sure that the tour was able to make its way through a complicated itinerary on a day when
they were struggling even to get their booked passenger service into life. After starting 151 minutes
late in the morning it even arrived back in Hooton half a minute early! In the event another highly
successful Tracker tour not only ‘did what it said on the tin’ but raised no less than £20,000 for
Merseyrail’s selected charity, The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

Presentation of the ceremonial cheque from the farebox before the railtour. A report on this very
enjoyable and interesting tour is in BLN Fixtures Reports (1226.222 ). Mike Roe, Merseyrail
Engineering Director, Andrew Cannell, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity and Paul
Holloway of The Railway Mission receive the cheque from Kev Adlam, Branch Line Society Fixtures
Secretary. © Jim Sellens

'Wot no trains?' Some tour participants wait patiently at the south end of Hooton P1/2 for a train.
The stock on the left (two units) stable in bay P1 overnight SO being the 23.45 arrival from Chester
(the bay's only booked passenger service all week) and the 23.57 ECS arrival from Ellesmere Port
(via Hooton P3 as there is no permissive working in passenger service on P1). They should have
formed ECS for the first Chester and Ellesmere Port workings into Liverpool, but after a couple of
hours eventually were joined to form a 'conductor rail cleaning special' to Ellesmere Port and back
then the first passenger working to Liverpool. The steam is from a local waste incinerator! © Kev

Participants waiting for the tour were entertained, if not astonished, by a special 'ice busting' 18-car
Merseyrail train which ran non-stop _ they didn't dare in case it couldn't get going again _ past them
(with appropriate sound and spark effects!) to Chester. A video clip courtesy of Martin Banks: The ensemble returned, our passengers were able to board and the tour
departed after the front 12 cars had gone. This is apparently the longest train Merseyrail have ever
run out on the system. © Kev Stroud

With the refurbished, repainted re-polished and resplendent headboards attached front and back
and 280 passengers on board, the tour is ready to leave. News of the charter made the Liverpool
Echo see: © Jim Sellens

The tour approaching its booked stop at Liverpool James Street station P2 to pick up the rest of the
participants - a rarely used platform; before heading into the even rarer 'Stabling Siding' which had
not been used for many years other than by a test train for our tour a couple of weeks earlier! ©
Robert Pritchard

The morning comfort break at West Kirby P1 after just completing Siding 1 (on the left) to the buffer
stops. Very welcome refreshments were also taken on board during this stop. © Jim Sellens

The same location, with the other end of the train viewed from the buffer stops. © Kev Stroud

The end of the line (1): Birkenhead North Depot Road 7, the line to Bidston is behind the train,
Birkenhead North station (and Liverpool) are to the left. © Kev Adlam

The end of the line (2): Kirkdale Depot Road 25 - the one furthest away from the running lines and
specially cleared for the tour. © Kev Stroud

Industrial locomotive enthusiasts were treated to a rare sight at Kirkdale Depot of Niteq 4wBE B226
(2006), a small 'Tug' used primarily for shunting the wheel lathe, kindly specially positioned for
photography, right of centre in background, (taken from the tour train). © Kev Stroud

The usual on-train activities, plus some very generous donations, raised a further £3000 on the day.

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