Thursday, 23 June 2011

Traffic Movements at Dudley Port, 1962

There's an introduction to Dudley Port (with a signalling diagram) here.

Dudley Port Saturday 17th February 1962

A short visit, mid-morning.

(1) A parcels train from Sedgeley Jn. runs into the Bay and asks for the ‘Bay Bolt’ to run into the South Sidings.
(2) The down Stockport Parcels, hauled by a ‘Black 5’, arrives and draws down to the Down Branch Starter before backing his train into the bay. The Dudley Parcels engine shunts around at the rear of the Stockport Parcels. After the Down Local, the Stockport runs ‘Onto the Bridge’
[The Sedgeley Jn. branch crosses the Birmingham Canal Navigation here], sets back onto the Down Main and departs.
(3) T342, running late, rushes through at about 50 m.p.h. with about ten on.
(4) The up diesel (taken on at 10.51 a.m.) was slowed at Watery Lane by the preceding express and we can only loose him into the platform whilst waiting for Albion to ‘knock out’
[give Train out of Section] for the express.
(5) The Down football special (1Z60) was a diesel multiple unit (6-coach, I think), with a bright yellow panel on the front end below waist level.
(6) The diesel locomotive on 1S61 also had a yellow patch
[This is presumably the period when British Railways were experimenting with various liveries for improving the visibility of trains to staff on the track].
(7) On the down, T153 arrives and goes into the Down Sidings to shunt. Billy Cook is guard. By the time he’s completed his shunting and the train is entering the station on the Down Main, we’ve received the ‘Shunt’ from Albion
[‘Shunt Train for Following Train to Pass’ 1-5-5], so we pull off to loose him into the Down Loop. However, he stops to take water! Once he’s in the loop, he stops to attach wagons which were left in the short Down Through Siding by T300.

Dudley Port in the Dark: Friday 24th August 1962

(1) On arrival at the box, 3G02, a 'Crab' 2-6-0 with a few parcels vehicles is backed onto the branch, just clear of points 39.
(2) When the express which brought me from Wolverhampton departs, we try to 'Block Back' to Watery Lane, so that we can get the parcels into the Up platform, but Mr. Parker already has an engine approaching - the 'Type 4' off the earlier Down London. The engine, displaying '0Z00' roars towards us, early (it might be a different story if there were passengers behind). As the 'Type 4' occupies the berth track circuit approaching the Up Home, the annunciator sounds and we let him towards the Starter. But, just as he's passing the box, Albion 'knocks out' for 1G37 so we're able to clear the starter and keep the engine moving towards Monument Lane.
(3) At last, the parcels can come out, handsignalled into the up platform.
(4) An engine is already offered on the Down, for a rather exciting move. The Up Parcels departs, three minutes early, and 'Section' is received for the engine. The road is already set off the Down Main into No. 2 Carriage Siding. The buzzer sounds
[as berth track 9173 is occupied] and the engine is loosed down to the Number 2 Home, to be handsignalled into the siding. It is too dark to see the engine clearly but the driver's acknowledgment to the handsignal on a chime whistle gives a clue and elicits 'I rather like that!' from the occupants of the box. And, sure enough, it is a 'Brittania' 70033, travelling tender first, picking up the stock for the Fridays Only to Holyhead (which travels 'round the back' from Birmingham to Wolverhampton. The engine couples up and the lamps are changed round to show 'E.C.S.' code on the front. The guard checks his train, puts on the carriage lighting and attaches a tail lamp. At 9.13 p.m., the engine 'whistles up' to come out. A 'Block Back' is put on to Albion and, with Facing Point Locks 25 and 28 back in the frame [leaving the points unbolted because this move is in a trailing direction], the train is called out onto the Down Main. The engine has just hit the Home berth track circuit before the last coach is clear of junction points 26. Signal 3 now beckons the train towards the Down Starter and the engine backs the train clear of crossover 36/37, whistling when clear. Having sent a '2-2-1' to Albion, '3D81' leaves Dudleyport for Holyhead.
(5) The Down Local is taken on and a '1-4' freight on the Up is 'T80', hurrying past with a handful of wagons. Control reports the Up Liverpool 'Ten late at Stafford'.
(6) The Down Local arrives, pauses for a while and then departs.
(7) The Fridays Only to Glasgow (1S78) is signalled shortly afterwards and it roars through, all the distants for Watery Lane and Tipton showing 'green', a 'Jubilee' hauling a motley collection of coaching stock.
(8) The late-running Up Liverpool (1G41) arrives behind a Sulzer 'Type 2' and leaves only a few minutes late.
(9) At 10.20 p.m., the Crewe (1K45) roars past with clear distants, three T.P.Os
[Travelling Post Office coaches] banging along at the front.
(10) Shortly afterwards, '3L06' follows, the engine laying a smoke-screen and the four-wheeled stock clattering over the junctions.
(11) One more local on the Up.
(12) '1S19' is 'taken on' on the Down and I 'book off' to travel back to Wolverhampton on this train.