Climbing the Lickey, 1972 - 2006
Locally we had the climbs to Sharnbrook, Saunderton and Tring but whilst rateable they
weren't a touch on the legendary Lickey. Situated South of Birmingham on the Brum - Bristol
main line this had a gradient of 1 in 37 for a continuous distance of over 2 miles. The Lickey's
steepness meant most freight and some passenger trains needed banking the 2.17 miles up the
bank from Bromsgrove to the summit at Blackwell.
Below are my runs up the Lickey with a few extras (in italics) from the Railway Observer
and elsewhere. No phots i'm afraid but enjoy the memories
6978 1615 Bristol - Edinburgh GL-NS
7055} 1615 Bristol - Edinburgh BR-BG
37 replaced a failed peak at Gloucester Eastgate, Hymeks were booked bankers in 1972
45012 1M07 0725 Bristol-Manchester GL-NS
my first Lickey climb, the peak stormed up on load 10 no problem
45065 1E61 0110 Bristol TM-Sheffield (fail Worcester) TM-WO
37247} 1E61 0110 Bristol TM-Sheffield WO-NS
37184} 1E61 0110 Bristol TM-Sheffield (banking) BR-BL
I was woken at Worcester when the heating in the compo rattled as it was turned off. Peering out into
the gloom i realised our peak had failed as a 37 was atop the peak. My compo also contained my normal
mate who remain dossed as 37247 erupted in style out of Worcester at 3am. We then slowed after Stoke
Works Jn where after a few minutes 37184 and 37186 backed on as bankers.
On moving forward we had 3 37s and a groaning peak on load 12 up the bank. I woke my mate for
the show, he was well impressed with the "raw power" for the 6 minutes of banking. My only disappointment
was that the 3 37s were boilered , regular steamers in South Wales, but the "raw power" memories remain
45016 1E61 0110 Bristol TM-Sheffield TM-NS
47168 xxxx Swansea-York Adex SW-YK
47262 1M71 1430 Swansea-Manchester GL-NS
40044 1S19 2130 Bristol - Glasgow/Edinburgh TM!-NS
37232} 1S19 2130 Bristol - Glasgow/Edinburgh (banking) BR-BL
Wish i was there, 40044 went through on V56 early that morning. Load 16 must have been loud!
40192 1507 Plymouth-Manchester GL-NS
37203} 1507 Plymouth-Manchester (banking) BR-BL
very steady climb, 40 thrashed deeply, no fireworks from 37s
47510 2130 Bristol - Glas/Edin TM-NS
37208} 2130 Bristol - Glas/Edin BR-BL
Reportedly very slippery rails, took 22 minutes to clear summit, all 3 locos slipping badly!, summit cleared at 1mph!
50005} 2124 Bristol - Glas/Edin BR-NS
Booked a pair to avoid using a sat night banker, a one off rare Lickey climb
50039 1S19 2124 Bristol-Edin/Glas CH-NS
37305} 1S19 2124 Bristol-Edin/Glas (banking) BR-BG
My first Lickey climb on 1S19 sleeper. Rear coach seats for the almighty thrash for 5
minutes climbing the bank in the otherwise silent, dark Worcestershire countryside
45130 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin BP-NS
37203} 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin (banking) BR-BG
40028 1Z36 Christmas Cracker tour CF-NS
(via Didcot W, Oxford, Worcester)
45146 1Z36 (banking) BR-BG
A train load of 40 fans were hoping for an unassisted Lickey climb or if banked some EE Type
3 power not some "mouldy eh peak"!
45108 1S19 2124 Bristol-Edin/Glas CH-NS
37296 1S19 2124 Bristol-Edin/Glas (banking) BR-BG
As expected on a Saturday night a solitary 37 banking but this was a winner although the peak
did most of the hard work on the climb
45108 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin TM-NS
37208} (banking) BR-BG
Leaning out enjoying the thrash from up front and rear the carriage lights lit the adjacent fields
on the Lickey. The light picked up a field of sheep, which despite it being 11o'clock on a February
night were all still eating the grass, this got a bellow too!
45106 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin TM-NS
37306} (banking) BR-BG
45116 1M63 1747 Cardiff-Derby GL-NS
45120 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin TM-NS
37291} 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin (banking) BR-BG
37176} 1Z38 0505 Bristol-Plymouth (via Brum) Railtour TM-NS
45105 1S23 2140 Bristol-Glas/Edin TM-NS
2 climbs of the Lickey in one day and neither got banked!
47901 1Z27 0500 Cardiff-Cleethorpes Railtour TM-NS
37177 1E50 1709 Bristol-York Relief CH-NS
pathetic load 5, no banker needed
47563 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin CH-NS
37219} 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin (banking) BR-BG
45144 1709 Bristol-Derby relief CH-NS
12/9/85 Th (thanks to GK)
45103 1S19 2124 Bristol - Glas/Edin TM-NS
37232} 1S19 2124 Bristol - Glas/Edin BR-BL
S19 stock 84445, 9423, 5539, 5353, 10612, 10718, 10539, 92236, 84419,
9476, 5854, 5940, 10614, 10717 and 10617
To quote Guy Kendrick " at 2240 37232 and 37303 banked us up the Lickey,
cue hanging out the window to savour the thrash from all, load 15 up the bank.
Epic stuff and worth the price of entry all day long!"
47522 1S19 2125 Bristol - Glas/Edin TM-NS
37071} 1S19 2125 Bristol - Glas/Edin BR-BG
Thanks to Rail Gen Archive, the last booked service train banking, ever...
47822 0455 Swindon - Dundee Railtour SW-NS
55032 1301 Worcester FS - Barnt Green (via Lickey!) WFS-BG
Booked a bubble and a gentle climb up the Lickey
20138} 1758 Worcester SH - Birmingham NS Rtn "Severn Slaps" Railtour WO-NS
Stock was 2 x 4 Car DMU's that may have had a brake issue. My slowest ever climb of the Lickey
taking around 15 mins with photographers on the bank offering to give us a push. Still we made the top
for a storm back to New St from Barnt Green
47726 2155 Swindon - Dundee "Spinnin Haggis" Railtour SW-NS
66115 (banking) on bank
The 47's fan was roaring like a "peak" as we quickly lost speed half way up the bank. We then stalled, the driver
cursing the loco after 2 failed restarts as a "fuckin heap of shit"!. Several anti shed men then ballast bailed off the
train as 66115 and its short freight assisted us to the summit.
47854 1535 Bristol - Edinburgh CH-NS
47714} Rtn Cardiff - Crewe "Welsh Whistler" Railtour DR-NS
40145 had failed with a brake fault in the Droitwich area. Rescue loco 47714 and 40145 both powered up the Lickey that evening
Other Lickey bits
coming off the Worcester line was the "30 mph restriction at Stoke Works Jn means giving it the beans as soon as the rear wagon is clear of the points usually
hitting the foot of the bank beyond Bromsgrove at 60 mph on full bore and often by the time id got to Blackwell i'd be down to
around 20mph passing the cottages at the top! ta to Rugd1022
Climb times passenger off the Glos line about 2mins 10secs,, 6-8 mins S19 banking, 14 mins freight!
Climbing the Lickey
1S19 1838 Paignton - Glas/Edin. On Friday 250388 was load 15. Haulage was by 447629.Arr Stoke Works Banking stop 2240.31 dep 42.44 Bromsgrove pass 43.44, Blackwell 49.20 Barnt Green 51.20 banked by 37303
S19 was composed of 92371, 10609, 10718, 10610, 5367, 17138, 5540, 84280 (Glasgow), 84211, 6523, 17115, 5745, 10579, 10719, 10578 (Edin)
last booked S19 banker on Sun May 15th 1988, 47522 on 2125 Bristol - Glas/Edin banked by 37071/37133
sadly all history now.