Their prime years.

By Paul Irving.

The Following logs,have all been sent to me by Mr Paul Irving.

They start on the 7 November 1959,right up to 29 March 1979. Some of the logs have been compiled from the driving cab,and the others from aboard the train itself.

Just want to say many thanks to Paul for taking the time and trouble to write and print out the following.

(The logs are as Paul has sent them to me,copied word for word from the origional paperwork)

When the EE Type 4`s arrived on the WCML(at Carlisle) in 1958,we universally hated them,for they displaced our beloved "Duchess","Princess" and "Royal Scots" etc.Like most things you adapt,and then gradually they became part of the "scene".So the old habit of travelling behind steam progressed through the transitional era of steam/diesel,and eventually to diesel/electric. I kept(fairly)meticulous records of the trains on which i travelled and still retain my many logbooks.Therein lie many details of runs behind(and on!) what we all understand to be the class 40`s. Iam no more of a diesel enthuasiast now as i was then,but i think it would be a shame if all my experiances were to end up in a skip - hopefully some years from now! So i offer you brief outlines of my many journeys involving your favourite traction.I hope you enjoy!

The West Coast Mainline ,in the 1950`s

Until 1957,the WCML schedules had attained their best post-war level of speed with more services running at,or near 60mph averages ,and the pre-electrification delays had not yet started.But they did on 15 September 1958,when the first decelerations began.About 15mins deceleration south of Crewe was the norm,which was reduced to 10mins in the summer of 1959 timetable.However,the next timetable produced brutal deceleration of 25mins,which was later increased(unnecessarily?) by a further 10mins.To illustrate the point,this ment the up "Caledonion" arriving at Euston at 3/55pm,instead of its 1957 time of 3.10pm.At its very worst ,the daytime Glasgow services had up to 41 mins recovery time south of Tamworth!

Even in the summer of 1963,sunday trains had about 55 min recovery time south of Crewe giving journey times of over four hours for the 156miles.(39mph!)As a number of my records illustrate,the running was very irratic.It was unknown as i know from personal experience,to arrive at Euston 30mins early one day,and an hour+ the next!

In the following text,the term "TSR" refers to a temporary speed restriction(C.J.Allen and O.S.Nock referred to these in their articles as "PWS"-"Permanent way slack"),usually imposed by the engineer due to track repair/renewal,or just condition of track("COT").The line maximum speed north of Gretna(and all of Scotland until the 1970`s) was 75mph.South of Gretna Jn at the time,it was 90mph with the following permanent speeds:Carlisle 20mph,Wreay 70mph,Penrith 60mph,Eden Valley to Thimby Grange 70mph,Lowgill - Grayrigg 60mph,Lambrigg - Oxenholme 70mph,Lancaster 55mph(up(,60moh(down);Preston 20mph,Wigan 50mph,Golborne jn 55mph,Winwick jn - Warrington 60mph,Crewe 20 mph,Norton Bridge 70 mph,Queensville - Colwich 60mph,Atherstone 70mph,Rugby 45mph and Camden no.1,30 mph.

We can now move onto the records,which i kept at the time relating to the diesels.

7 November 1959.

D225 shedded at Uperby,was on the 12/57pm departure from Carlisle,the 9.0am Perth - Euston(W110).Schedule 28minutes ,actual 22minutes,08seconds.arriving at Penrith(where i detrained)5 minutes early.Maximum speed was 66mph on the level at Plumpton.

3 October 1959

Returning from Penrith by the 1030am Eusto to Carlisle (W251) behind D212.Only four coaches by the time Penrith was reached.The other ten having been detactched at Lancaster and Oxenholme.Running on time ,Carlisle arrival in 20mins.18secs.was just under 1minute early,with a maximum of 83mph at Plumpton.

24 October to 7 November 1959

The monopoly(almost)of D213! She was the first EE Type 4 to be based at Upperby(initially for crew training and acceptance) and generally worked to the existing steam loco diagrams.It seems that D213(the future "Andania") was always on my train from Penrith to Carlisle (17.85 miles), which was the 10.30am from Euston(W251),due from Penrith at 5/31pm.

24 October 1959

17mins.53secs.Max speed 93mph Plumpton

Driver Kit Collins of Upperby.Load 4 coaches,125 tons.

26 October 1959

21mins.0.2secs.Maximum 83mph at Plumpton.Load 6=192 tons.

30 October 1959

17mins.12secs.Maximum 83mph at Southwaite.Load 7=220tons.

7 November 1959

18mins.31secs.Maximum 80mph at Plumpton.Load 5=157tons.

For the next nine months,all my recorded journeys were behind steam traction

1 August 1960

I travelled debind D224(1B) on the 9.50am Euston - Aberdeen(W65) as far as Crewe.The schedule was generous 187mins.for the 165miles.We ran steadily with few checks and arrived 7 mins early.