Friday, 5 June 2015

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

UK Railway News




The 86-year-old from Hawick was recognised yesterday in the naming ceremony Class 66528 diesel locomotive at Waverley Station in Edinburgh after nearly 50 years of tireless campaigning.


Madge led the campaign against the closure of the Edinburgh-Hawick-Carlisle Waverley line in 1969 and was a founding member of the Campaign for Borders Rail.

She was piped into Waverley Station yesterday alongside family and friends and was greeted by the cabinet secretary for infrastructure Keith Brown, Network Rail project director Hugh Wark, and Freightliner Heavy Haul managing director Paul Smart, before unveiling the name plate.

The ceremony was arranged in advance of the new route opening for driver training next week.

It also marked the countdown to the start of rail services, with just 95 days until the September 6 launch.

A giant artwork was unveiled in the station near the platforms to be used for many of the departures to the Scottish Borders. Madge’s elder son, Kim Elliot said: “For as long as I can remember, the railway has been a passion for my parents, but for my mother in particular, and it’s become a life-long interest for us all.

“We are delighted that, just days before trains start running on the railway once again, the project team has taken the opportunity to honour the role my mother played in re-establishing this link.

“It’s a fitting tribute to her that the engine carrying her name has been used to build this railway and hopefully many more.”

Keith Brown said: “We are now just a heartbeat away from seeing this historic railway come back to life, and that is undoubtedly in huge part thanks to the tireless campaigning work of Madge Elliot.

“Days from now, the first ScotRail trains in almost half a century will travel down the line as the drivers begin to learn the route.”

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the rail industry, and for the communities up and down the new railway, and I am delighted that we have been able to share this with Madge and honour the work she has done over the years.”

Network Rail’s Hugh Wark said: “None of us would be here to celebrate the impending completion of this railway without the passion and dedication of Madge Elliot and the grassroots campaigners that got this project off the ground. It’s appropriate that we mark this historic moment by acknowledging her.

“We are now in the final phase of construction works. The railway will be available for driver training next week as planned and stations will be complete within the next two weeks. There are still some landscaping, planting and finishing works required, but nothing critical to the operation of the railway. Remaining works will be completed well in advance of September.”

Freightliner Heavy Haul’s managing director, Paul Smart, said: “We are privileged to be able to pay tribute to Madge’s dedication by naming our Freightliner loco, number 66528 in Freightliner livery, in her honour. We hope this will serve as a continual reminder of her passion and commitment to the railway. Freightliner is pleased to have played an important role in the completion of the Borders Railway project and we look forward to seeing the final touches being completed.”

Born in Hawick on Wednesday 20 June 1928, Madge Elliot is well known for many reasons.
She is most renowned for her fight to save the Edinburgh-Hawick-Carlisle railway line known as the Waverley Route. When it was announced the line was to close, Madge believed it should be retained and so started a petition, gathering names of ordinary people from the Scottish Borders.

On December 18, 1968, Madge with her 11-year-old son, Kim, marched up to 10 Downing Street accompanied by David Steel MP, the Earl of Dalkeith and bagpiper Harry Brown playing ‘Blue Bonnets over the Border’ to deliver the petition to the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. The petition had 11,768 signatures.

When final closure was scheduled for Monday 6 January 1969, Madge and her campaign group continued their protest by having a simulated coffin placed aboard the last train to leave Hawick station travelling to London St Pancras. The coffin was emblazoned with the words ‘Waverley Line – Born 1848, Killed 1969 – aged 120 years’ and was addressed to the then Minister of Transport, Richard Marsh.

Madge is also a member of the Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR), through which she actively continued her fight to re-open the Waverley Line.

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






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

























Chiltern Railways Wave Goodbye To Its Last Class 67 Locomotive

UK Railway News


A Class 68 (left) and a Class 67 seen passing each other at Banbury railway station


The Old Making Way For The New

Up until last week, Chiltern Railways still operated one Class 67 locomotive: 67014. On May 27 2015, the loco operated its last two trains before being taken of its set of passenger coaches at Wembley Depot:



- 1H53 1255 Birmingham Moor St to London Marylebone
- 1R55 1647 London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street

Class 67013 at Banbury Station

The loco has been handed back to DB Schenker and has been seen operating freight trains again. All of Chiltern's loco-hauled trains are now operated by Class 68s on hire from DRS.


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






Class 67s 'Royal Sovereign' and 'Diamond Jubilee' Locos Northampton

During the reconstruction of Northampton's railway station in 2014, I decided to take a trip there on the 24th June to see how thing...