Thursday, 30 July 2015

Four Chiltern Railways Class 67 Locomotive Nameplates Sold at Auction

UK Railway News



What's In A Name?



Four Class 67 nameplates, once used on diesel locomotives running on the Chiltern Railways line before being replaced by Class 68's, were sold at auction recently for a total of £15,000.



 
The nameplates, 'Thomas Telford', 'David J Lloyd', 'A Shropshire Lad' and 'Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte' were, according to Chiltern Railways' managing director, Rob Brighouse, "very desirable amongst collectors".

The prices realised are as follows:
A Shropshire Lad - £7,100
Thomas Telford - £3,600
Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte - £2,900
David J Lloyd - £1,400

Two charities will benefit from the nameplate sale, St. Basil's and The Brain Tumour Charity which were voted for by Chiltern Railways employees.



A selection of railway videos from 'Along These Tracks'
UK Railways - Banbury Trains 16 June 2014 Video 
UK Railways - Trains at Gravesend March 2014 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 and 319 EMUs at Northampton 1999
UK Railways - Freight Through Northampton May 1999 Video
UK Railways - Class 58018 Heading a Ballast Train at Finedon
UK Railways - Banbury Trains at Night Video
UK Railways - Trains at Basingstoke Station 12 August 2013
UK Railways - 375 and 395 EMU's at Martin Mill and Ashford International
UK Railways - Freight Trains Through Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolinos Through Bletchley May 2013
UK Railways - Class 350 Desiro EMU Trains at Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Class 390 Virgin Pendolinos Through Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 350 'London Midland' EMU's at Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Chiltern Railways, First Great Western, XCountry DMU's at Banbury 2013
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains DMU's at Wellingborough Apr 2013
UK Railways - Class 43 IC125 Trains at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains, DMU's, at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 EMU Snakes into Bletchley Sidings 1990's
UK Railways - Class 321 & 350 EMU's at Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Network South East leaves Bletchley Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Silverlink Trains EMU leaves Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 325 Royal Mail EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 350 127 EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 321 418 Silverlink EMU at Wolverton
UK Railways - Class 60 015 Diesel Locomotive approaches Wolverton
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolino Class 390 041 EMU at Rugby Video



Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Photo of Reckless Teenager Risking His Life On Railway Bridge

UK Railway News


Photo: Charles Moorhen

In the wake of recent reports relating to instances of children playing on railway lines, I was horrified to witness at first hand, on Tuesday 28th July 2015 while I was collecting material for my railway blog, a reckless young lad putting his life in extreme danger as he walked along the parapet of a bridge 50 feet above a busy high-speed railway line near to Wellingborough railway station, Northamptonshire.


 
Three teenage boys were crossing Mill Lane road bridge when one of them climbed up onto the parapet and proceeded to walk the remaining distance to the end.

The road bridge spans the Midland Mainline where along with relatively slow-moving freight trains, passenger trains operated by East Midlands Trains pass under the bridge at speeds of up to 80mph.

Thankfully the teenager jumped safely down onto the road, before I could alert Wellingborough station staff, and the three youngsters disappeared.


A selection of railway videos from 'Along These Tracks'
UK Railways - Banbury Trains 16 June 2014 Video 
UK Railways - Trains at Gravesend March 2014 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 and 319 EMUs at Northampton 1999
UK Railways - Freight Through Northampton May 1999 Video
UK Railways - Class 58018 Heading a Ballast Train at Finedon
UK Railways - Banbury Trains at Night Video
UK Railways - Trains at Basingstoke Station 12 August 2013
UK Railways - 375 and 395 EMU's at Martin Mill and Ashford International
UK Railways - Freight Trains Through Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolinos Through Bletchley May 2013
UK Railways - Class 350 Desiro EMU Trains at Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Class 390 Virgin Pendolinos Through Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 350 'London Midland' EMU's at Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Chiltern Railways, First Great Western, XCountry DMU's at Banbury 2013
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains DMU's at Wellingborough Apr 2013
UK Railways - Class 43 IC125 Trains at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains, DMU's, at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 EMU Snakes into Bletchley Sidings 1990's
UK Railways - Class 321 & 350 EMU's at Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Network South East leaves Bletchley Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Silverlink Trains EMU leaves Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 325 Royal Mail EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 350 127 EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 321 418 Silverlink EMU at Wolverton
UK Railways - Class 60 015 Diesel Locomotive approaches Wolverton
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolino Class 390 041 EMU at Rugby Video



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Victorian Railways - The First Victorian Murder On Britain's Railways

Thomas Briggs (top left)

Famous For Being Murdered!



As in the case of the former Board of Trade Minister, William Husskison, who died as a result of his injuries after being struck by a locomotive at the grand opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1830, fatalities on the railway were confined to straightforward accidents, or work-related incidents.



However, in the summer of 1864 this would cease to be the case. Britain was about to experience a hitherto unknown breed of crime - murder on the railways!

Late in the evening of the 9th July 1864, a train approaching London made a sudden and unscheduled stop between the suburban railway stations of Bow and Hackney. The driver and fireman of the locomotive had spotted something strange on the line ahead. 

Climbing from the cab they approached what looked to be in the darkness, a discarded bundle of clothing. Recoiling in horror as they began to examine the item, they realised immediately that the bundle was in fact the body of an elderly man; his clothes soaked in blood.

The police were quickly summoned to the scene. 

The man, who was barely alive, was taken to a nearby public house and placed in a private room. A doctor arrived and after a brief examination, revealed that the man had suffered an extremely violent assault, resulting in a number of serious head wounds, one of which was a skull fracture.

The badly beaten man died the following evening from the injuries that he had sustained.

Without delay an investigation into the horrific murder began, headed by Chief Inspector Richard Tanner, an experienced police officer from Scotland Yard. The identity of the victim was soon established as Thomas Briggs, chief clerk of a firm of bankers in Lombard Street, London.

It later transpired that he had boarded an evening train at Fenchurch Street station that was bound for Hackney. He never reached his destination.

Tanner was in no doubt that the motive for the murder was one of robbery, after receiving credible information from those who knew Thomas Briggs that he was in the habit of wearing a black top hat, gold spectacles and a gold watch and chain in his waistcoat.

A subsequent search of the railway carriage revealed three personal items - a walking stick, a black beaver hat and a leather bag, all of which were lying in sticky pools of congealed blood.

The spectacles and the watch and chain were missing.

Due to the nature of the missing items, the police investigation naturally concentrated on London's jewellery trade, and it was some time before they came up with their first promising lead.

In an area known as Cheapside, their investigations led them to a jewellery shop owned by a Mr. John Death.

Death informed Inspector Tanner that a few days previously he had purchased a gold watch chain from a customer in his shop. Giving Tanner a full description of the customer, he added that he was certain he was a foreigner with what he believed to be a German accent. Also, something that struck the jeweller as odd was that the man was wearing an unusual style of black hat.

On the 18th July, the police had their biggest breakthrough to date in the case of the murdered Thomas Briggs.

Information had been received from a cabman by the name of Matthews which would shed further light on the crime. While interviewing Matthews, Inspector Tanner learned that the man's eldest daughter had in fact been engaged to a young man known as Franz Muller. Muller it seems had given the lady in question a gift in a small box; the box was given to Matthew's youngest daughter to play with. 

Franz Muller
 
Proud of her little box, the girl had shown it to her father who, purely by chance, noticed the name "John Death" printed inside; although he was not aware of its significance at the time.
In a further stroke of luck for the police Inspector, Matthews was also able to supply a photograph of Muller that John Death confirmed was the customer with the watch chain.

On the 19th July a warrant was issued for the arrest of the suspected murderer.

Until now the case had progressed smoothly. However, Tanner was about to suffer a setback. News had reached him at his Scotland Yard office that the imminent arrest of Muller had been thwarted. Muller was at that very moment on board a ship bound for America.

Not to be outdone in his search for the miscreant, Tanner, along with Sergeant George Clarke, wasted no time in travelling to Liverpool where they boarded the steamship "City of Manchester" bound for America.

'City of Manchester'

Muller would no doubt have congratulated himself as he stepped ashore from the sailing ship "Victoria", onto the safety of American soil; after all, had he not outwitted the entire London police force and literally got away with murder? Now he could start a new life in a new country on the proceeds from the sale of the gold watch, stowed safely in his luggage. All his troubles were over!

Before Muller had taken more than a few steps along the quayside, the words he thought that he would never hear uttered reached his ears. “Franz Muller, I arrest you for the murder of Thomas Briggs…” Standing in front of Muller was Inspector Tanner and Sergeant Clarke.

What the fleeing Muller did not know was that although he had left England well ahead of the two policemen, the ship they had boarded was faster and more powerful than the sailing ship in which he had travelled, and that they had arrived in New York three weeks ahead of him. Muller's luggage was duly searched and the gold watch was discovered along with a strange black hat. Muller, being a tailor, had cut down the height of the top hat to alter its appearance.

After being brought back to England, Muller stood trial for murder at the Old Bailey on the 27th October 1864. Although much of the evidence against him was circumstantial, and also that an alibi had been provided by a known London prostitute, the jury took a mere fifteen minutes to return a verdict of guilty as charged.

On the 14th November Franz Muller was released from his shackles and led from the condemned cell in Newgate Prison to the scaffold where, it is claimed, he confessed to his crime to the German minister, (some believe it was a priest), who was in attendance.

Muller was hanged, publicly, in front of an estimated crowd of 50,000 people who had turned out especially to witness the spectacle, many making a one-day holiday out of the whole affair.

However, this was not the last time that the name of Franz Muller would be on the lips of the British public.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill

 Unwittingly, by cutting down the height of Thomas Briggs' top hat, he had created a fashion for shorter top hats, known as the "Muller Cut-Down". The style survived for many years to come. And one of its most ardent admirers was none other than the famous British Prime Minister - Winston Churchill!



A selection of railway videos from 'Along These Tracks'
UK Railways - Banbury Trains 16 June 2014 Video 
UK Railways - Trains at Gravesend March 2014 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 and 319 EMUs at Northampton 1999
UK Railways - Freight Through Northampton May 1999 Video
UK Railways - Class 58018 Heading a Ballast Train at Finedon
UK Railways - Banbury Trains at Night Video
UK Railways - Trains at Basingstoke Station 12 August 2013
UK Railways - 375 and 395 EMU's at Martin Mill and Ashford International
UK Railways - Freight Trains Through Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolinos Through Bletchley May 2013
UK Railways - Class 350 Desiro EMU Trains at Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Class 390 Virgin Pendolinos Through Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 350 'London Midland' EMU's at Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Chiltern Railways, First Great Western, XCountry DMU's at Banbury 2013
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains DMU's at Wellingborough Apr 2013
UK Railways - Class 43 IC125 Trains at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains, DMU's, at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 EMU Snakes into Bletchley Sidings 1990's
UK Railways - Class 321 & 350 EMU's at Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Network South East leaves Bletchley Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Silverlink Trains EMU leaves Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 325 Royal Mail EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 350 127 EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 321 418 Silverlink EMU at Wolverton
UK Railways - Class 60 015 Diesel Locomotive approaches Wolverton
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolino Class 390 041 EMU at Rugby Video



Monday, 20 July 2015

Class 66761 Locomotive Named In Ceremony at Wensleydale Railway

UK Railway News




At Leeming Bar railway station on Friday the 17th of July 2015, a GBRf Class 66 diesel locomotive, 66761 in GB Railfreight livery, was named 'Wensleydale Railway Association 25 Years 1990 - 2015', celebrating 25 years of heritage railway operation in North Yorkshire at a ceremony with the Richmond MP Rishi Sunak doing the honours.






The Wensleydale Railway Association, which runs trains over 22 miles of track between Northallerton and Redmire, was formed in 1990 following take-over of the line when the military no longer had a need for it.

The line which has its origins as far back as 1848 and the Great North of England Railway and its successors, lost its passenger services in 1954 and was completely closed in 1990.

Nigel Park, Wensleydale Association general manager said: "We are delighted that GBRf have decided to name this loco in honour of the Wensleydale Railway Association's 25th Anniversary and it is fitting that this should take place during our Diesel Gala weekend."

Other Class 66 locomotive blog posts you may wish to see:
Class 66013 and 66502 Pause at Night at Rugby Railway Station

Class 66136 Through Northampton To Form Silk Road Train

EWS Class 66005 Locomotive at Wellingborough

Freightliner Diesel Locomotive 66528 Named After 86 Year-Old Veteran Railway Campaigner Madge Elliot MBE





A selection of railway videos from 'Along These Tracks'
UK Railways - Banbury Trains 16 June 2014 Video 
UK Railways - Trains at Gravesend March 2014 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 and 319 EMUs at Northampton 1999
UK Railways - Freight Through Northampton May 1999 Video
UK Railways - Class 58018 Heading a Ballast Train at Finedon
UK Railways - Banbury Trains at Night Video
UK Railways - Trains at Basingstoke Station 12 August 2013
UK Railways - 375 and 395 EMU's at Martin Mill and Ashford International
UK Railways - Freight Trains Through Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolinos Through Bletchley May 2013
UK Railways - Class 350 Desiro EMU Trains at Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Class 390 Virgin Pendolinos Through Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 350 'London Midland' EMU's at Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Chiltern Railways, First Great Western, XCountry DMU's at Banbury 2013
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains DMU's at Wellingborough Apr 2013
UK Railways - Class 43 IC125 Trains at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains, DMU's, at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 EMU Snakes into Bletchley Sidings 1990's
UK Railways - Class 321 & 350 EMU's at Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Network South East leaves Bletchley Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Silverlink Trains EMU leaves Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 325 Royal Mail EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 350 127 EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 321 418 Silverlink EMU at Wolverton
UK Railways - Class 60 015 Diesel Locomotive approaches Wolverton
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolino Class 390 041 EMU at Rugby Video



Thursday, 9 July 2015

Toby's Virgin Pendolino Train Trip Is The Cats Whiskers

Virgin Trains News




On the 11th June 2015 'Along These Tracks' published a post about Sir Toby Toblerone, a quadriplegic cat owned by Julie and Stephen Wilding, becoming the official mascot for Lancaster train station.


To celebrate the honour, Virgin Trains had offered Toby, who has a fascination for Pendolino trains, and his owners a free 1st. Class trip aboard one of their fleet of Pendolinos.

'ATT' is pleased to announce an update to this story.

Selecting Penrith as their destination, Toby, Julie and Stephen Wilding took their trip this week aboard Virgin Pendolino, 'Virgin Knight'.

Julie said:  "Toby had a great time and spent most of the time looking out of the window watching the world go by.

"He was very relaxed the whole time and even started to fall asleep on the approach back into Lancaster."

Toby had a bad start in life.  He was found at the age of six months dumped in a garden and unable to walk.

Julie added: "We would like to thank Keith and the team at Lancaster station for doing this as they have been very kind for arranging this and making such a fuss of him, even going so far as to getting him his own badge, which he wore on the train".

Sir Toby Toblerone has his own Facebook page at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sir-Toby-Toblerone/443057599192070?fref=ts




Pendolino Trains Speeding Through Wolverton Video




A selection of railway videos from 'Along These Tracks'
UK Railways - Banbury Trains 16 June 2014 Video 
UK Railways - Trains at Gravesend March 2014 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 and 319 EMUs at Northampton 1999
UK Railways - Freight Through Northampton May 1999 Video
UK Railways - Class 58018 Heading a Ballast Train at Finedon
UK Railways - Banbury Trains at Night Video
UK Railways - Trains at Basingstoke Station 12 August 2013
UK Railways - 375 and 395 EMU's at Martin Mill and Ashford International
UK Railways - Freight Trains Through Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolinos Through Bletchley May 2013
UK Railways - Class 350 Desiro EMU Trains at Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Class 390 Virgin Pendolinos Through Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 350 'London Midland' EMU's at Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Chiltern Railways, First Great Western, XCountry DMU's at Banbury 2013
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains DMU's at Wellingborough Apr 2013
UK Railways - Class 43 IC125 Trains at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains, DMU's, at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 EMU Snakes into Bletchley Sidings 1990's
UK Railways - Class 321 & 350 EMU's at Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Network South East leaves Bletchley Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Silverlink Trains EMU leaves Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 325 Royal Mail EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 350 127 EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 321 418 Silverlink EMU at Wolverton
UK Railways - Class 60 015 Diesel Locomotive approaches Wolverton
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolino Class 390 041 EMU at Rugby Video



Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Amazing Things People Leave On A Train

UK Railway News


Hundreds of items of lost property are left on UK trains every day, including umbrellas, spectacles, pets and even an inflatable dinosaur


Excuse Me Sir.  Is This Your Dinosaur?



Question: What have 600 umbrellas, 62 dummies, 120 bags of glasses, one hamster, one cat and a lizard got in common?






Answer: They have all been found on a 'TransPennine Express' train at some time or other.

Will Munton, First TransPennine Express' West Yorkshire railway station manager, said: "As we cover such a large regional spread, helping travellers reach anywhere from Edinburgh to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, we expect to find some strange items when clearing out the unclaimed lost and found, however this year has really opened our eyes to the unusual."

Strangely enough, despite mobile phones being the most common item to be handed in, it was umbrellas that were mostly missed. 200 calls regarding lost umbrellas were received by the network operator, compared to only 100 enquiries about missing mobiles. There were also 30 phone calls regarding packed lunches left on trains.

Bizarrely 'TransPennine' also received a query regarding a 'lost wife!'.

The train operator stated that they try, wherever possible, to locate the owners of lost property, but if no owner can be found, the items in question are, depending on value, donated to charity shops or submitted into an internal auction with the proceeds going to charity.

Last year the company raised around £1500 for charity through their lost and found items.

Here is a list of items recovered by TransPennine Express:
2,000 mobile phones - 1,300 wallets and purses - 529 keys - 600 umbrellas - 237 lanyards - 120 bags of shopping - 73 soft toys - 70 pairs of glasses - 70 lunchboxes - 62 dummies - 30 laptops - 21 bottles of perfume or aftershave - 13 prams - 8 hen sashes - 8 sets of false teeth - 7 child seats - 6 guitars - 3 mountain bikes - 1 bag of haggis - 1 six-foot inflatable dinosaur - 1 hamster (live) - 1 cat (live) - 1 lizard (live) - 1 framed photo of Mary Berry - 1 Barry Manilow CD - 1 bottle of Champagne, and 1 wooden funereal casket.


A selection of railway videos from 'Along These Tracks'
UK Railways - Banbury Trains 16 June 2014 Video 
UK Railways - Trains at Gravesend March 2014 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 and 319 EMUs at Northampton 1999
UK Railways - Freight Through Northampton May 1999 Video
UK Railways - Class 58018 Heading a Ballast Train at Finedon
UK Railways - Banbury Trains at Night Video
UK Railways - Trains at Basingstoke Station 12 August 2013
UK Railways - 375 and 395 EMU's at Martin Mill and Ashford International
UK Railways - Freight Trains Through Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolinos Through Bletchley May 2013
UK Railways - Class 350 Desiro EMU Trains at Northampton May 2013
UK Railways - Class 390 Virgin Pendolinos Through Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 350 'London Midland' EMU's at Wolverton 2013 Video
UK Railways - Chiltern Railways, First Great Western, XCountry DMU's at Banbury 2013
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains DMU's at Wellingborough Apr 2013
UK Railways - Class 43 IC125 Trains at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 222 Trains, DMU's, at Wellingborough Apr 2013 Video
UK Railways - Class 321 EMU Snakes into Bletchley Sidings 1990's
UK Railways - Class 321 & 350 EMU's at Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Network South East leaves Bletchley Video
UK Railways - Class 321 Silverlink Trains EMU leaves Wolverton Video
UK Railways - Class 325 Royal Mail EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 350 127 EMU Passes through Rugby Video
UK Railways - Class 321 418 Silverlink EMU at Wolverton
UK Railways - Class 60 015 Diesel Locomotive approaches Wolverton
UK Railways - Virgin Pendolino Class 390 041 EMU at Rugby Video




Photo of Class 67017 Arrow Diesel Locomotive at Leamington Spa

Class67017 , seen here in EWS livery, hauling a Chiltern Railways train, was photographed at Leamington Spa station . A number ...