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Once again it's July and time for our annual Open Day where we open the gates of one of our depots to the public with the proceeds going to Charity. This year it was held at our Crewe Gresty Bridge depot roughly in the centre of England and situated close to the West Coast main line between London and Scotland. The show tends to alternate between our Crewe and Carlisle but Crewe is a railway town through and through so the attendance is always massive. Friday was taken up with shunting the shed and and yard to position all the exhibits, a minor epic as it turned out as some key locos were still en-route to Crewe. '' L-R 57 007 which was to be one of the naming ceremonies on the Saturday stands alongside one of the TPE Class 68s (of which more later) and 37 424 37 403 'Isle of Mull' , which normally operates Loco hauled passenger services on the Cumbrian Coast line is ready for a trip though the washing plant and is seen alongside one of the FNA-D Flatrol wagons, which was being put on display for the first time. The Class 37 is painted in the very retro British Rail 'large Logo' as are many of the other 37/4s we have. This has resulted in these locos, first introduced in 1960, having a bit of a cult following and attracting many railfans to the areas where they operate. 37 407, still missing its Loch Long nameplates, has recently come out of the works More tomorrow Kev
On the Cumbrian Coast line in North West England recent developments have seen Direct Rail Services Class 68 becoming more and more prominent. Reliability issues of the Class 37/4s tasked with hauling some of Northern Rail's passenger services has seen one set converted to 'Top and tailed' Class 68s retaining the DBSO driving car behind the south loco to provide train crew facilities. This set has worked pretty much faultlessly since deployment albeit with a loss of seating capacity. Alongside this the Nuclear traffic is now exclusively hauled by 68s with the occasional appearance by the new Class 88 hybrids. In a new development a 'Nenta' railtour also used T&T 68s on a Norwich-Carlisle and return excursion and recently two 68s were commandeered to haul the heavy Barrow-Drigg stone train after problems with the two Class 66s allocated to it More in a mo Kev