Railway tunnel montage

Fig.1: Double header steam passenger train at the side of the Acre (Kingsway Park) at Kirkby-in-Ashfield in the early days of British Railways in the late 1940’s / early 1950’s.  Photo Credit: Kirkby Heritage Centre.

Change, what change?

In the run up to Christmas 1957, the late G. J. Allen was asked to write a Railway Alphabet. Twenty-five lines and letters were very quickly forgotten, but one has been remember by many:

‘M is for Midland, with engines galore, they put two on every train and still haggle for more!’

Fig 1. shows two ex Midland locos at Kirkby-in-Ashfield in the late 1940’s, the front one being a Class 2P 4-4-0 and behind it running tender first, a 4-4-2T Tilbury Tankie. The latter formerly worked on the London, Tilbury and Southend line and Kirkby enginemen nicknamed them ‘Crooners’, as the only way they reckoned they could get them to work was by singing to them! 

Fast forward three decades and what had changed. The Midland had coal trains with pairs of Class 20’s and High Speed Trains (HST’s) with a power car at each end. So much for change, where could we find it?

Ian G. Handley

Fig.2: A pair of English Electric Class 20’s at Kirkby Hardwick in the 1970’s. These classes dominated local coal traffic from the late 1960’s through to the mid 1990’s.  Photo Credit: Ian G. Handley.

Fig. 3: Midland Main Line HST at Nottingham Station in the late 1990’s. Photo Credit: Ian G. Handley.