Today the Branch Line Society organised a train from Carnforth to the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester. If you follow this blog you'll know that Network Rail's proposed Ordsall Chord rail line will cut off the museum's connection to the national rail system. The last train to come into the museum was the Royal Train, with Prince Charles and Camilla, back in 2010. Since then Britannia pacific locomotive 'Oliver Cromwell' was stabled at the museum for a week, and West Coast Railways class 47, 47500, which caught fire after a derailment on the line adjacent to the museum, spent some time stored on our tracks until recovered by road to Carnforth.
As ever, please click on any picture for a bigger image.
MoSI Resident steam loco 'Agecroft No.1' and its train wait on line LR2 at the Museum for the arrival of the special
The gate out of the museum to the main line is open, and the class 37 locomotive leading the special noses its way into MoSI. Colin Cooper, MoSI volunteer, Network Rail employee, and rostered operations officer for the day has boarded the loco as pilot.
Colin looks out from 37 706's centre windscreen
On the back of the train is a class 47 loco. Limited clearance indeed between the loco and the Water Street bridge.
47 760 comes to a stand while the 37 is detached from the front of the train and stabled in the curatorial yard
The 47 propels the train very slowly back into the MoSI platform, past the stabled 37
Stewart Mulliner, MoSI volunteer and joint operations officer today, keeps a careful lookout from the 47 as it draws the train forward again having allowed the passengers to alight at the platform
The 4-coach train is split, 2 coaches to be stabled next to the 37 in the curatorial yard, the other 2 with the 47 will be stabled on line LR1
With the 2 locos and 4 coaches clear of the running lines, 'Agecroft No.1' commences passenger rides
It had been touch and go for a while whether the train would route into MoSI or go to Victoria, as Network Rail withdrew permission for the move on Friday afternoon, saying that the track into MoSI was not up to the required standard. Thanks must go to a MoSI Railway volunteer who is also a NR employee for his heroic efforts in getting to the bottom of this misunderstanding. These efforts paid off, and on Saturday lunchtime NR agreed that there was indeed no problem with our track, so on Sunday around 250 happy passengers alighted at Liverpool Road East and spent 2 hours in the museum before departing on the same train back to Carnforth.