Commuting variety 1986 to 2013 - thanks to Jason Hall

 

Commuting to and from work in London has often involved some haulage. The beauty I felt of living in Bedford was the choice of routes home on offer. WCML for some ‘cobbler’ action and a DMU over the branch, ECML with buses to and from St.Neots, Biggleswade or Huntingdon, and of course the MML.

 

My employ in BR began in 1986 and was initially spread between St.Pancras and Cricklewood. In late 1989 I left the MML and found myself in various roles at both Waterloo and later Kings Cross. Apart from a couple of years in Doncaster, I have always commuted from Bedford to London. I’m still in London but a ruined HST is about as good as it gets. In those early MML days all new starters were given a ‘bearer pass’ to allow them to travel from home station to depot. Bedford must have been popular as by the time my turn came around there were none left. Instead all that was on offer was an all Midland Region pass. Such a shame, and of course I didn’t use that to full advantage?!

 

It wasn’t very long before the commute via other routes was under way, this being shift dependant of course but for the first month or so I was pretty much 9 to 5 whilst there was training and inductions. A visit to the St.Pancras TOPS office was always a must and very soon I knew the guys there so well that they would ring me almost daily with allocations, and a little bit of friendly stick. I admit to having allocated a few locos myself over the period too. As such, I didn’t miss much of interest on the MML over those early years.

 

A few of the memorable and not so memorable commutes........

 

The first commute

07/01/86  45150 1D54 16.35 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Bedford

 

 

Already going further than needs be!

08/01/86  45123 1D55 17.35 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Kettering

DMU/HST? Kettering-Bedford

 

 

A typical four weeks of commute on 1D54, 16.35 St.Pancras-Nottingham to Bedford

19/01/87 45110

20/01/87 45129

21/01/87 45115

22/01/87 47529

23/01/87 45150

26/01/87 45112

27/01/87 45113

28/01/87 45113

29/01/87 45113

30/01/87 45142

02/02/87 45106

03/02/87 47447

04/02/87 45108

05/02/87 47482

06/02/87 47482

09/02/87 45121

10/02/87 45130

11/02/87 45106

12/02/87 47471

13/02/87 47653

 

 

The inevitable Peaks

Up until the end of the peaks the only EH peaks I didn’t have into or out of St.Pancras were 45109, 135 and 147, but all were had at some point on the MML. NB and Steam heat peaks still produced on occasion. Here are some picked up during the daily commute (excluding pairs listed)

 

15/06/86 45058 1P03 00.05 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Bedford

25/06/86 45022 1P03 00.05 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Derby via Nottingham (far too good to get off at Bedford)

14/09/86 45012 1M65 16.05 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Kettering-St.Pancras

 

12/08/86

45058 1P07 06.06 Bedford-Derby / Bedford-Loughborough

45133 1C14 08.00 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Loughborough-St.Pancras

 

09/05/87 45007 1M10 23.55 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras (451xx failed Derby)

 

08/06/87 45037 1P13 17.30 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Mkt Harborough (My last 45/0 on a MML service train, and probably the last ever passenger service train working for one on the MML full stop?)

 

 45037 at Market Harborough with 1P13 1730 St Pancras - Derby on June 8th 1987

 

My last peak passenger service train haulage on the commute was to be with the short lived green 45106, and on reflection, I’m glad I decided to stay on to Derby that day.

01/02/89 45106 1P13 17.50 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Derby

 

 

Pairs

During the period up to the end of the Winter 1986-1987 timetable, a couple of services into St.Pancras were diagrammed pairs. Here are a few picked up on the commute to various shifts

1C02/1C10 07.05 Derby-St.Pancras (M-F) – all boarded at either Wellingborough or Kettering

18/02/86 45117+45102

14/03/86 47417+47539

10/04/86 45114+45130

09/05/86 45034+45129

 

1C06 06.00 Nottingham-St.Pancras (M-F) – all boarded at either Wellingborough or Kettering

10/07/86 47475+45108

08/08/86 45052+45111

26/08/86 45112+45122

28/08/86 31434+45138 (boarded at Loughborough)

08/09/86 45146+45140

14/11/86 45129+45111

 

1C22 12.15 Derby-St.Pancras (SUN) – all boarded at various points between Loughborough and Bedford

25/05/86 45119+45141

22/06/86 45108+45145

06/07/86 45131+45122

10/08/86 45141+45104

17/08/86 45142+45118

07/09/86 45102+45101

14/09/86 45126+45107

21/09/86 45122+45150

05/10/86 45146+45114

12/10/86 45124+45146

26/10/86 45142+45112

02/11/86 45146+45101

16/11/86 45116+45129

21/12/86 45137+45114

04/01/87 47474+47610

18/01/87 45110+45126

25/01/87 45112+45113

22/02/87 45108+47458

01/03/87 45108+45127

15/03/87 47431+45119

22/03/87 47033+31462

29/03/87 45134+45127

05/04/87 45103+47553

12/04/87 47339+31413 (a double stamp was a fine last pair to have on C22)

 

Right through the period pairs out of St.Pancras remained highly elusive and after the diagramming of pairs had ceased, pairs in either direction rare full stop. Those that were had as part of the commute (Railtours obviously excluded!)

 

07/04/89 31455+31454 1P13 17.50 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Kettering

 

21/07/89 20108+20215 1xxx 10.00 St.Pancras-Manchester P / St.Pancras-South Wigston (I had this same pair in August 1985. Have they ever been split?!)

This of course was a diverted WCML service, and one of many that day. I bailed at South Wigston with the guard and returned with

20170+20214 on an 09.00 from Manchester.

Also viewed that day was a single 31430 with another diversion loaded up to 13 coaches. I bet that was good over Sharnbrook!

 

25/01/90 Another diverted WCML service, due to high winds causing large sections of wires to come down on WCML and MMLs

37685+37688 (+86236 DIT) 1xxx 20.15 St.Pancras-Manchester / St.Pancras-Bedford via Silkstream flyover

 

27/03/95 31407+31459 1F62 17.20 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Kettering

28/03/95 31407+31459 1F62 17.20 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Derby

 

And that really is it for down road pairs

 

 

Newspaper and parcels trains

3C01 10.13 Nottingham-St.Pancras

This service was diagrammed a pair of locos until May 1987, one of which would often be a 31, with the second loco usually dead in train. The locos would work back separate news and parcels services from London and was formed of up to 13 vans, which would also be split to form services from St.Pancras that evening. Often the consist would include a MK1 half brake, and as such it was used on a few occasions to get to work for shifts where booked hauled services would have led to very early arrivals at work!

13/03/87 45126

25/03/87 47207

26/03/87 31121

22/04/87 47375

Ironically on all four of these occasions, there was no second loco in the consist

 

1P30 20.15 St.Pancras-Derby

This was a couriered parcels and mail service that had a MK1 courier vehicle in the consist, and was latterly diagrammed for a 31. As such, this was often used as a train home off of a late shift, especially as 1P03 was long finished, and it was far too late for anything out of Euston. There will no doubt be debate as to whether it counted or not! In all cases other than those stated, the train was bailed at Bedford

30/03/87 45134

08/12/87 45141

11/01/88 45106

13/01/88 31124 (Courier not happy with no heat and bailed so had the compo to myself)

17/11/88 31323

20/12/88 47522

03/01/89 31413

04/01/89 31437

05/01/89 47654

22/02/89 31418 (bailed at Kettering)

27/02/89 31442

01/03/89 31429

09/03/89 31425

17/03/89 31428

28/03/89 47534

29/03/89 31429

30/03/89 31429

31/03/89 31407

10/04/89 31410

10/05/89 31439

12/05/89 47575

22/03/90 47557 (31450 dead in train – failed)

23/03/90 31467

19/04/90 47501

26/04/90 31425 (bailed at Derby)

01/05/90 31413 (bailed at Derby)

02/05/90 47523

 

 

One last overnight

The daily passenger overnights of 1P03 and 1M10 finished in May 1987 leading to something of a drought for haulage home off of late finishes. On 15/01/88 though the rake for the following mornings 1E73 was seen in Church Yard with a MK1 half brake in the consist. A rare opportunity for run home with a proper train was not to be missed. After some small negotiation in the TOPS office, 45141 was allocated so I decided that going to Bedford would not do it justice, and stayed on to Derby where sadly, the compos were detached.

16/01/88 45141 1E73 00.05 St.Pancras-Leeds / St.Pancras-Derby via Nottingham

 

 

MML FO and Reliefs

The odd relief offered variety to the daily commute, which soon became a timetabled Fridays only service. Other occasional reliefs were utilised also. These services offered greater variety than the two booked services, and as well as the obvious peaks and 47s, the occasional 31 would be used. For a short time also 37s were diagrammed although these could often be RTC 47s or peaks. Some of those enjoyed or endured, depending on your perspective!

1P23 18.23 St.Pancras-Derby (FO and relief on other weekdays)

19/06/87 45115 St.Pancras-Wellingborough

31/07/87 45107 St.Pancras-Derby

04/09/87 45149 St.Pancras-Derby

22/10/87 45150 St.Pancras-Derby

27/10/87 45113 St.Pancras-Wellingborough

29/10/87 45113 St.Pancras-Wellingborough

06/11/87 45144 St.Pancras-Leicester

05/01/88 31405 St.Pancras-Derby

06/01/88 45141 St.Pancras-Wellingborough

07/01/88 45150 St.Pancras-Derby

08/01/88 45106 St.Pancras-Wellingborough

11/04/88 31419 St.Pancras-Derby

03/05/88 31419 St.Pancras-Wellingborough

09/12/88 37428 St.Pancras-Kettering

 

 All very different now, 37428 with 1P23 1823 St Pancras - Derby, 9th December 1988

 

1C72 15.30 Derby-St.Pancras (FO)

07/10/88 37429 Leicester-St.Pancras

21/10/88 37428 Leicester-St.Pancras

09/12/88 37428 Derby-St.Pancras

 

Other occasional reliefs

16/10/87 47439 1xxx 20.00 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Bedford (additional service due to a day of chaos on the WCML)

07/05/90 47527 1C91 18.10 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Nottingham-St.Pancras

01/01/91 47520 1xxx 14.38 Derby-St.Pancras / Derby-St.Pancras

24/12/91 47477 (+47976 DIT) 1F90 11.45 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Leicester (ECS off a footex being used sensibly! First stop Leicester)

 

 

MML Staff train

The only staff train I know of on the MML and had cause to use during the commute was 2J02, 05.50 St.Pancras-Cricklewood. This was essentially the ECS off of 1M10 running out to Cricklewood and would utilise any loco out of Church Yard. On occasion for an early start at CW I have used it......

02/02/87 31309

15/02/87 45137

08/03/87 31423

06/04/87 08943! (ran as a class 5 but still several staff on board anyway, such as it was in BR days)

 

 

Failures en-route

Failures during the commute have not been common but when they did, it wasn’t always something big that came to the rescue

 

01/06/86 45129 1P20 16.20 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Dock Junction – FAILED

45104 (+45129 DIT) Dock Junction-Bedford

 

21/01/87 31423 1P03 00.05 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Cricklewood – FAILED

25059 Cricklewood-Bedford (how I wish now I’d stayed on!)

 

15/07/87 85035 1B07 17.20 Euston-Bletchley / Euston-approx ¼ mile south of Harrow & Wealdstone – pantograph detached

Train stood for over an hour with no sign of assistance or any other trains at all for that matter. Bailed and walked to station for 81019 which had appeared alongside...........

81019 1B08 17.45 Euston-Northampton / Harrow & Wealdstone-Bletchley. (90L)

85014 reportedly eventually rescued 1B07

 

Not exactly a catalogue of woe!

 

 

Other than Peaks

Up until the end of the peaks, the MML commute was certainly not a 100% 45 hauled operation and other types, usually 31s and 47s added some variety. Some commutes with other power, not already listed in the previous categories, on the booked hauled services up until privatisation………

 

13/12/86 31463 1M10 23.55 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras

27/03/87 47220 1P13 17.35 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Wellingborough

05/04/87 47406 1D16 16.20 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Nottingham

07/04/87 47422 1P03 00.05 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Bedford

26/04/87 47638 1C22 12.15 Derby-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

08/05/87 47119 1M10 23.55 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

19/07/87 31461 1C22 12.15 Derby-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

14/09/87 47642 1P13 17.30 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Kettering

 

With the peaks finished, as expected 47s ruled the remaining MML hauled services, but occasionally it was something else such as a 31 or an interesting 47. From late 1989, the remaining services became almost 100% 47/8 hauled with anything different becoming increasingly notable

16/06/89 31416 1P23 18.04 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Derby

24/10/89 47418 1P23 18.04 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Mkt.Harborough

27/10/89 47973 1P23 18.04 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Leicester

03/11/89 47427 1P23 18.04 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Wellingborough

14/11/89 31455 1P23 18.04 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Derby

21/11/89 47839 1P23 18.04 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Wellingborough (my first ‘twin’ out of St.Pancras)

26/08/91 47974 1F06 17.30 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Wellingborough

30/10/91 31402 1F06 17.30 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Derby (31402s last ever passenger turn)

24/02/95 31466 1F06 17.30 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Derby

 

 

Vice and drags, HSTs & DMUs

Although HST drags were rare, hauled vice HST was not. In fact for large periods of 1990 and 1991, loco hauled vice a HST was a daily occurrence. Once again, once the peaks had finished, these were in the main 47s, and 47/8s at that, but it was not always the case. A small selection from the daily commute....... 

01/05/86 45143 1D52 15.45 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Nottingham

20/06/86 45103 1C10 07.23 Derby-St.Pancras / Loughborough-St.Pancras

01/05/87 45121 1C78 17.05 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Kettering-St.Pancras

22/07/87 47115 1xxx 18.30 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras

28/10/87 45144 1C64 15.10 Leicester-St.Pancras / Kettering-St.Pancras

04/12/87 45128 1C85 20.30 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras

17/03/88 45104 1xxx 19.15 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Wellingborough

 

25/03/88 On this day I was told that the 11.15 St.Pancras-Nottingham was hauled vice HST so decided to set off early and have some of this before heading to work. On arrival at the station I found out that it was late having failed. Eventually 31242 arrived with a dead peak. Then 31159 was added and I set off with a pair of NB 31s. At Leicester the train was caped, the peak dumped and the 31s ran round. Not a bad commute!

31159+31242 (+451xx DIT) 1xxx 11.15 St.Pancras-Nottingham / Bedford-Leicester

31242+31159 1xxx 13.50 Nottingham-St.Pancras (start Leicester) / Leicester-St.Pancras

 

 A busy moment at Bedford with 56058 on a Humberstone Road bound aggregate service, 45110 runs round seacows, 31242 awaits to assist 31159 with the 1115 St Pancras - Nottingham on March 25th 1988

 

29/06/88 31406 1C78 16.55 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Nottingham-St.Pancras

13/12/88 97545 1D52 16.35 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Leicester

07/01/90 47821 1E18 21.05 St.Pancras-Leeds / St.Pancras-Luton (my first down road twin vice HST)

15/01/90 47406 1M02 16.18 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras

05/02/90 47517 1M23 09.27 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

18/02/90 47568 1D25 22.05 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Bedford

03/05/90 47418 1M23 09.27 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras

26/07/90 47971 1D52 16.30 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Leicester

10/12/90 47500 1E15 16.00 St.Pancras-Sheffield / St.Pancras-Luton

18/01/91 47976 1M02 16.23 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras

12/04/91 47555 1M02 16.23 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras

22/05/91 47976 1M02 16.23 Sheffield-St.Pancras / Leicester-St.Pancras

22/09/91 47565 1C22 12.23 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

17/11/95 47501 1D56 16.00 St.Pancras-Nottingham / St.Pancras-Bedford (The last one prior to privatisation)

 

Vice DMU turns across the branch at one time were quite common, but not so much north of Bedford. In fact I had one hauled vice DMU turn north of Bedford, which had me going to work via Bletchley

27/04/88

31293 07.23 Bletchley-Kettering / Bedford-Kettering

31293 09.23 Kettering-Bletchley / Kettering-Bletchley

 

But I did have a few hauled DMUs that when fallen onto or known of, formed part of the journey to work. Some of them…….

15/09/87

31106 2F03 06.00 Bletchley-Kettering / Bedford-Wellingborough (+DMU)

47556 1C06 06.03 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Wellingborough-St.Pancras

 

13/02/88 31187 07.49 Bletchley-Kettering / Bedford-Wellingborough (+DMU)

 

09/07/88

31264 17.26 Bedford-Kettering / Bedford-Kettering (+DMU)

31264 18.00 Kettering-Bedford / Kettering-Bedford (+DMU)

 

HST dragging was very rare on the MML commute and I only had a couple.…….

03/07/86 45139 1P12 17.10 St.Pancras-Derby / St.Pancras-Leicester

15/07/86 25057 5xxx 15.50 Nottingham-St.Pancras. The rat rescued the failed tram at Glendon Junction and arrived at Bedford well over an hour late. Then the train was terminated and all the passengers disembarked. Undeterred my little group had a quick word with the guard and boarded the south bound ECS. Does it count? As far as I’m concerned it did...and I was at work early too. On non-commute trips I also had a couple of 56s on the MML dragging HSTs, including 56110, and 56060 on the ‘Master Cutler’, but nothing else ever worked that I know of.

 

Hauling of HSTs remains highly elusive and nowadays, Stagecoach simply cancel everything at the first sign of any problem at all making no effort to run any form of service.

 The rare sight of 25057 dragging a failed HST with the 1550 Nottingham - St Pancras which was terminated at Bedford, except for railway staff back on July 15th 1986

 

 

Via the branch

For a number of periods DMU availability for the services across the Bedford to Bletchley branch was poor, resulting in hauled DMUs and even a couple of MK1s in use. On occasion even 310s were even utilised as stock. A phone call would usually let me know I needed to set off early to cover them, but there was occasions I would fall on to them too........

13/02/86 25035 (+DMU) 2A80 16.19 Bedford-Bletchley / Bedford-Bletchley

 

17/04/86 was one where it was a pleasure getting to work, taking up most of the day.......

25095 (+DMU) 2Axx 10.01 Bedford-Bletchley / Bedford-Bletchley

25095 (+DMU) 2C76 10.50 Bletchley-Bedford / Bletchley-Bedford

25095 (+DMU) 2Axx 12.10 Bedford-Bletchley / Bedford-Bletchley

25095 (+DMU) 2C80 14.15 Bletchley-Bedford / Bletchley-Bedford

 

 25095 and a 104 DMU in Bedford Carriage Sidings about to work the 1210 Bedford - Bletchley on April 17th 1986

 

13/12/88 I was at the station for the return of 31292 to see the DMU had been fixed and was now forming the Bletchley service. Instead of returning ECS 31292 ran round and formed a nonstop additional to Bletchley with its two MK1s.

31292 19.50 Bedford-Bletchley additional / Bedford-Bletchley

 

20/12/88 It was not uncommon for the 31 to be swapped at Bedford so with this in mind, I did on occasion get out to St.Johns for the inward working, just in case. This was one such day......

31301 (+DMU) 11.45 Bletchley-Bedford / Bedford St.Johns-Bedford

31230 (+DMU) 12.37 Bedford-Bletchley / Bedford-Bletchley

 

12/01/89 Late for work!

31435 (+DMU) 09.45 Bletchley-Bedford / Bletchley-Woburn Sands - FAILED

31317 pushing on rear Woburn Sands-Ridgmont

31317 (31435+DMU DIT) 10.37 Bedford-Bletchley (start Ridgmont) / Ridgmont-Bletchley

At Bedford that afternoon I found 31457 was now out so this was done to Ridgmont for some beers with those present, and the last DMU home

31457 20.52 Bedford-Bletchley / Bedford-Ridgmont

 

Prior to arrival of Fragonset, this turned out to be my last hauled turn over the branch.

 

The DMUs themselves were also of interest and on occasion I was diverted via Bletchley in order to have something different on my way to work. DMU types I have had over the branch are 101, 104, 105, 108, 115, 116, 117, 118, 120,121 and 122. Now these services are formed of 153s and 150s, which hold no interest at all!

 

 

ECML – The ‘parliamentarians’’

On occasion, with gen obtained in the TOPS office, I made my home from Kings Cross via St.Neots or Biggleswade on the Peterborough commuters. Prior to my priv I’d only ever done one and that had been 40001, and as expected nothing ever topped that! These are the ones I did do……

14/04/86 47401 1H97 17.39 King Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-Biggleswade

15/04/86 47636 1H97 17.39 King Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-Biggleswade

21/04/86 31433 1H97 17.39 King Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-St.Neots

22/04/86 31412 1H95 17.13 Kings Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-St.Neots

28/04/86 31427 1H97 17.39 King Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-Peterborough

29/04/86 47412 1H95 17.13 Kings Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-St.Neots

30/04/86 31424 1H95 17.13 Kings Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-St.Neots

20/05/86 47415 1H95 17.13 Kings Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-St.Neots

 

19/06/86 Double stamp day

47455 1H95 17.13 Kings Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-Biggleswade

47337 1H97 17.39 King Cross-Peterborough / Biggleswade-St.Neots

 

11/07/86 31441 1H97 17.39 King Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-Peterborough

08/09/86 31434+31449 1H97 17.39 King Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-St.Neots

 

20/10/86

47410 1H95 17.13 Kings Cross-Peterborough / Kings Cross-Biggleswade

31406 1H97 17.39 King Cross-Peterborough / Biggleswade-St.Neots

 

Sadly they were wound up at timetables end and I never had reason again to by choice, make my home via the ECML.

 

 

WCML – ‘Cobblers’

I have to say that I really was a fan of the ‘cobblers’ in the NSE era, and covered often as a going home commute. It was thank to these great trains that I had most of my roarers, missing only a couple of 81s and 85s at their end. Of course once they had done there was always the option of making my way home via an 86 or 87 to Milton Keynes on an InterCity service, but this wasn’t a patch on a roarer and a string of MK1s, and I only did it on occasion. These are some of my cobbler commutes…. All were met via a DMU to or from Bedford to Bletchley, or on a couple of occasions by staying with relatives in Bletchley.

 

The first ‘cobbler’ commute

16/01/86 85013 1B07 17.18 Euston-Northampton / Euston-Milton Keynes Central

 

Fish! It wasn’t often that I was able to have more than one 81 on a commute home and this was one of the few occasions that it also involved a new one. As it turned out this was to be the only occasion I was to have 81007 so perhaps I should have done it out of London? Hindsight and all that.........

23/01/86

81013 1B08 17.45 Euston-Northampton / Euston-Leighton Buzzard

81007 1B09 18.15 Euston-Northampton / Leighton Buzzard-Bletchley

 

I had no objection to 86s turning up on these trains. It was often just good to have a proper train to get home.

27/02/86 86316 1B09 18.15 Euston-Northampton / Euston-Bletchley

11/04/87 86242 1B10 19.35 Euston-Northampton / Euston-Leighton Buzzard

21/01/88 86226 1B07 17.20 Euston-Bletchley / Euston-Bletchley

 

31/10/89 was the last time I was to do a full move on these services and head into work…..

85011 1N42 06.27 Northampton-Euston / Northampton-Wolverton

85025 1N46 06.58 Northampton-Euston / Wolverton-Milton Keynes Central

85040 1N48 07.17 Northampton-Euston / Milton Keynes Central-Euston

 

My last up and down cobbler commutes……

03/10/89 85030 1N57 18.53 Euston-Northampton / Euston-Bletchley

11/05/90 86233 1xxx 07.46 Bletchley-Euston / Bletchley-Euston

 

 

AC MML commute

A couple of weekends in 1991 and 1992 brought rare opportunity to have AC loco haulage into St.Pancras, as WCML services were diverted via the MML due to engineering works. With the trains booked to stop at Bedford, some truly high speed runs were enjoyed. Some of them....

12/10/91 90001 1A27 10.10 Liverpool-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

13/10/91 87015 1xxx 12.58 Liverpool-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

02/11/91 86240  1A16 08.10 Liverpool-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

02/11/91 87019 1xxx 21.08 St.Pancras-Liverpool / St.Pancras-Bedford

23/05/92 86248 1xxx 18.52 St.Pancras-Liverpool / St.Pancras-Bedford

25/05/92 87006 1xxx 20.50 Euston-Liverpool / St.Pancras-Bedford

 

 

The long way round!

On many occasions a far longer route home was selected that satisfied my need for both Class 31 and 50 mileage...... All were concluded with an HST up the MML to Bedford

02/06/86

50020 1M42 17.27 Paddington-Wolverhampton / Paddington-New Street

31143 1E68 20.30 Birmingham-Cambridge / New Street-Leicester

 

09/07/86

50047 1M42 17.27 Paddington-Wolverhampton / Paddington-New Street

31416 1E68 20.30 Birmingham-Cambridge / New Street-Leicester

 

10/07/86

50028 1M42 17.27 Paddington-Wolverhampton / Paddington-New Street

31229 1E68 20.30 Birmingham-Cambridge / New Street-Leicester

 

This move was done many dozens of times up until the end of the 31s on table 18, and how I miss it.

 

It worked in reverse too for a late shift, and was good for some peak miles as well.......but not so good for any sleep

 

13/06/86

45122 1P07 06.06 Bedford-Derby / Bedford-Long Eaton

DMU Long Eaton-Beeston

45138 1C14 08.00 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Beeston-Leicester

31404 1M66 06.14 Cambridge-Birmingham / Leicester-New Street

50024 1V52 10.10 Birmingham-Paddington / New Street-Paddington

 

10/11/86 An actual lay in!

45125 1D02 07.00 St.Pancras-Nottingham / Bedford-Leicester (vice HST)

31410 1M66 06.14 Cambridge-Birmingham / Leicester-New Street

50023 1V52 10.10 Birmingham-Paddington / New Street-Paddington

 

Oh happy days indeed!

 

 

Life after BR

Once privatisation arrived all of the real commutes had finished with little hope even of a vice HST, but a few did come along and they were grabbed with both hands.

In 2002 Fragonset took on a diagram on the MML that would see Monday to Friday haulage return. A small pool of 47s were to be the power and highly successful I thought they were too, with very few problems that I heard of. They even stopped at Bedford. For much of this time I was working for EWS and living in Conisbrough. Once I escaped there I did the trains whenever opportunity was presented and some blisteringly fast runs were had.

 

28/02/02 47703 1F48 17.30 St.Pancras-Sheffield / St.Pancras-Bedford

13/03/02 47488 1F48 17.30 St.Pancras-Sheffield / St.Pancras-Wellingborough

12/04/02 47703 1B19 09.32 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

03/05/02 47709 1F48 17.30 St.Pancras-Sheffield / St.Pancras-Bedford

24/07/02 47712 1F48 17.30 St.Pancras-Sheffield / St.Pancras-Bedford

25/09/02 47712 1B19 09.28 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

 

12/12/04 brought a loco hauled service to the MML. This was run by MML as a snub to the drivers who were in dispute over an attack on their pensions. Up the workers!

47355 (47832 on rear) 1Z59 14.00 Nottingham-St.Pancras / Bedford-St.Pancras

 

Up until this time this has been my final hauled MML commute, and I see little chance of another

 

The ‘cobblers’ made a comeback for a short time in 2004/2005. Sadly not with MK1s or roarers, or even 86s. 90s and later 87s were the power for this revival and as such, I only did them a couple of times. It just wasn’t the same

08/12/04 90026 1W99 18.21 Euston-Northampton / Euston-Northampton

09/06/05 87012 1W99 18.22 Euston-Northampton / Euston-Milton Keynes Central

 

 

The last commute?

My last hauled commute up until now was on the recently finished FO service from Euston to Crewe. Despite the booked stop at Milton Keynes Central, I had only ever used the train once and that was to get to Birmingham for a tour the following day. With so many friends going for it on this day I decided I’d be there for one last commute home from what was now firmly the 9 to 5.......

07/12/12 90044 1K39 18.43 Euston-Crewe / Euston-Milton Keynes Central

 

 

A summary of my commute haulages, 1986-2013

MML

20108, 20170, 20214, 20215

25057, 059

31105, 31106, 31121, 31124, 31159(2), 31161, 31187, 31234, 31242(2), 31264, 31309, 31323, 31970

31405, 31406(2), 31407(3), 31410, 31413(3), 31416, 31418(2), 31419(2), 31421(4), 31423(2), 31425(2), 31428, 31429(3), 31431, 31438(2), 31439, 31442(2), 31455(2), 31461, 31462, 31463, 31467

37428, 37429, 37685, 37688

45007, 45012, 45020, 45022, 45034, 45037, 45052, 45058(3)

 

EH Peaks:

X1-45120, 131, 135, 136

X2-45123, 145

X3-45105, 116, 140, 143, 148, 149

X4-45117, 119, 133, 139

X5-45102, 124, 125, 130, 134, 146

X6-45103, 112, 114, 115, 118, 126, 127, 132, 137

X7-45107, 142

X8-45122, 128, 141, 144

X9-45108, 111, 121, 150

X10-45113

X11-45129

X12-45104

X13-45106, 110

 

47033, 115, 119, 207, 220, 339, 355(2), 375

47406(2), 409, 417, 418(4)

47421, 422, 423, 427, 431, 432, 434, 436, 439, 441, 442(3), 447(2), 451, 453, 454, 458(2), 459, 461, 471-479, 482, 483(2), 488(10), 500, 501(3), 47508(3), 509, 512, 517, 519(4), 520(3), 522, 523, 527(4), 529, 530, 534, 538-540, 543, 553(2), 555(3), 556-558, 565(2), 568, 571(2), 572, 575, 47586, 594, 598, 610, 615, 616, 624, 626, 629, 635, 638(2), 653, 654

47703(7), 709(7), 712(5), 717

47802(3), 803(3), 804(5), 809, 812(3), 814(2), 816(2), 818(2), 821, 826, 827, 830(2), 832(2), 833, 836(4), 839, 840(2), 841, 843, 844, 845(3), 47850(2), 853(3)

47971(4), 972(2), 973(7), 974, 975(60, 976(3)

97545

86225, 240, 248, 251

87002, 006, 015, 019(2), 026

90001, 022

 

Euston

81002, 003, 007, 011, 013, 014, 019(2), 021

85003(2), 006, 007, 009, 010, 011(3), 013, 014(2), 020, 021, 025(3), 030(2), 035(2), 038, 040

86030

86216, 226, 232, 233, 236, 242, 244, 254, 257, 258, 261

86412, 422, 427, 428

87012

90026, 044

 

Kings Cross

31406, 412, 424, 427, 433, 343, 441, 449

47337

47401, 410, 412, 415

47455, 636

 

Bedford-Bletchley

25035, 095(4)

31106(3), 117, 119, 120, 126, 135, 146, 154, 158(3), 171, 187, 207, 226, 230, 234, 237, 240(3), 248, 261, 280, 283, 288, 292(2), 293(2), 296, 31301, 317(2), 319

31412, 435, 452, 457, 459, 468

31568

31601, 602

 

Thanks again to Jason for the cracking commuting memories and photos….

 

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