WORCESTERSHIRE'S RAILWAYS FROM 1980 TO 1984
All photographs on this page were taken by and are the copyright of Andrew Smith unless otherwise credited.
This photograph was taken by Robert Cooke on 5th April 1980 and shows class 47 diesel locomotive No.47157 at the head of a rake of Mark 1 carriages at Abbotswood with a train for Cheltenham and the south-west. Note that there is no lineside vegetation to obstruct the view into the cutting.
The major event in 1981 was the reopening of Honeybourne Station on 22nd May.
The near domination of North-East to South-West passenger services by class 45, 46 and 47 ended from 5th October 1981 when some services began to be operated by class 43 'HST' InterCity 125 power cars and carriages. Examples of such services being the 07:00 from Bristol to Leeds and the 08:20 from Plymouth to Leeds.
A typical inter-regional express train of the early 1980s is seen behind an unidentified class 47 diesel electric locomotive at Bredicot in May 1981.
Following the end of rail use by Garringtons of Bromsgrove the last locomotive (John Fowler 4100013 of 1948) left the site.
On the BR network the prototype four-car class 210 diesel multiple units (Nos.210001 and 210002) entered service. In the autumn they was based, for a short period, at Tyseley in the West Midlands being sometimes used on Cross City line services to Longbridge and Redditch.
The last remaining steam heated carriages used on North-East to South-Wales services were taken of use on 15th May 1982.
Additional InterCity 125 'HST' services from South Wales to North-East England commenced on 17th May 1982, including the 06:52 Swansea to Newcastle. For a short period from this date services on the North-East to South-West line were marketed under the meaningless “HEART-LINE” banner. This designation appearing above the driver's window on some class 43 power cars.
From Monday 17th May 1982 only two trains on Hereford to London services continued to be locomotive hauled. These were the 06:00 and 07:05 from Hereford and the 17:00 and 18:00 from Paddington. On the last Saturday before the change (15th May 1982) class 50 diesel locomotive No.50033 'Glorious' marked this downgrade by sporting a 'Cathedrals Express' headboard whilst working the last locomotive hauled 15:00 Paddington to Hereford.
On 8th May 1982 class 40 diesel locomotives Nos.40057 and 40084 worked a Severn Valley Railway railtour from York to Paddington via Worcester and Oxford returning via Swindon and Stroud. Robert Cooke was at Evesham to take this superb photograph of the class 40s on the journey to London Paddington.
Class 122 single car unit No.55012 was photographed, in June 1982, shortly after leaving Stourbridge Town Station on the short trip to Stourbridge Junction Station at a time when the 1978 rebuilding had left intending passengers with the minimalist bus shelter platform. Photograph by Andrew Smith.
Also in June 1982 Andrew Smith took this photograph of a three-car class 101 diesel multiple unit. The train is on the elevated section between the stations at Rowley Regis and Langley Green.
This northbound Merry Go Round loaded coal train headed by a unnamed 'Peak' class diesel locomotive has just passed the Signal Box controlling the level crossing at Dunhampstead on the former Birmingham and Gloucester Railway line. Photograph taken by Andrew Smith in June 1982.
Class 45 locomotive No.45074 is at Rowley Regis on a permanent way train during July 1983. The football ground in the foreground was that of Oldbury United at York Road.
This is class 117 set No.B438 with Nos. 51339, 59492 and 51382 arriving at Stourbridge Junction Station in August 1983. Note the first class compartments in the middle carriage.
Starting on 14th May 1984 the first HST's started to appear on services from Worcester to London Paddington.
A pair of class 37 locomotives led by No.37129 run north towards Bromsgrove where they will bank a freight train up the Lickey Incline. At this time in January 1984 the regular banking engines were provided from Gloucester depot. This photograph was probably taken on a Friday afternoon when the class 37s would run from Bromsgrove to Gloucester in order to return with the weekly pay packets.