Railways in Worcestershire

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The first interesting working in the county in 2017 was a yellow Network Rail test train which was top and tailed by a pair of class 37 diesel locomotives.  Steve Widdowson was at Bredicot on 3rd January 2017 to photograph Nos.37254 & 97303, working as train code 1Z16, 10:14 from Derby to Cardiff.

In 2016, following collision damage to First Great Western's class 150/2 two-car unit No.150219 its undamaged car No.57219 was added to class 150/2 two-car corridor unit No.150238 to make three-car class 150/9 hybrid unit  No.150938.  Andrew Smith photographed this unique combination (three x 150/2) at Great Malvern Station on Thursday 5th January 2017 after its arrival with train code 1V94, 08:59 Brighton to Great Malvern.  Despite a fifteen minute late departure from Brighton, and the time being timetabled to use the faster class 158 diesel multiple units, the class 150 had no trouble in gaining right time by Bristol.
The start of 2017 saw a most unusual working through the county when a pair of rebuilt former Southern Region electro-diesels No.73951 and 73952 worked the 10:03 from Derby RTC to Plymouth (train code No.0V84).  Steve Widdowson photographed the pair at Bredicot on February 7th 2017.
There is nothing unusual about Great Western Railways class 166 three-car diesel multiple unit No.166221 being in charge of the 12:09 from Hereford to Paddington (train code 1P51) when photographed by Steve Widdowson at Norton Junction on 6th February 2017.  Of more interest is that the signal post on the right-hand side had recently lost its semaphores.
Recent changes to signals operated from the Norton Junction box have been the relocation of signals Nos.8 and 9 as seen by Steve Widdowson in the photographs above which were taken from a passing train on 11th March 2017.
Great Western Railway operated several extra class 43 "Inter-City" High Speed Trains from Paddington to Cheltenham during the Gold Cup meeting in March 2017.  One of the HST's was obtained by operating a three-car "Turbo" train on the 11.20 Paddington to Great Malvern and 14.25 return.  Three-car class 165/1 diesel multiple unit No.165104 in GWR was photographed by Andrew Smith at Great Malvern.
On 13th May 2016 a stolen road digger was crashed into the railway bridge at Abbotswood.  After a lengthy period of closure the road was reopened as a single track with traffic lights.  Viewed through the empty space of the unrepaired portion of the bridge, Andrew Smith photographed class 66 diesel locomotive No.66087 on 18th March 2017 with the 09.30 Saturdays only Margam to Tees Yard.
Worcester Shrub Hill lost two semaphore signals over the weekend of 18th and 19th March 2017.  SH2 was removed and replaced by one single LED with a calling on indicator whilst TJ6 was left as a post in the ground. Photographs taken by Steve Widdowson.

This photograph of class 66 diesel locomotive No.66107 on the Corby to Margam steel empties is important in showing the growing impact of the impending electrication to Bromsgrove. Photograph taken by Steve Widdowson on 25th March 2017.
On Wednesday 29th June 2017 there was a rare outing through the county for class 50 diesel locomotive No.50008 which took the Rail Grinder unit from Chaddesden, near Derby to Oakhampton in Devon (train code 4Z01).   The weather was inclement but both Robert Pritchard (above left) and Steve Widdowson (above right) braved the elements to photograph this unusual working.
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