Crewe Works Open Day, 10/09/2005

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Techniquest

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I'll open with saying this: WOW! What a day!

I eventually (after little sleep) got up at 0444. My taxi came around 0505, got to the station for around 0513. I find 43127 is heading me out to Cardiff, I join the train in 42268 (I think!).

At Cardiff, I unexpectedly see heart-of-wessex! We saw 3 66s come through, then our 37 came in. H-O for most of the way to Newport, then all the way to Hereford for me. Here we meet Sprinter, I do a spot of H-O then retire to a seat for a while. I'm back by the windows for passing through Craven Arms though! heart-of-wessex and I decide to rest between Shrewsbury and Crewe, both of us rather tired (I believe he was more exhausted than I!).

At Crewe, we see 47848 (I needed this! :shock: ), a few 57s, but give up waiting for the 390 to Holyhead. The queue for the bus was incredibly long, we all decided to walk. Got the directions, FINALLY found a copy of VT2! I have a bit of water from the machine in the ticket office (cheers VT!), then we all head off. 25 minutes or so later, we make it to the works. Ticket queues weren't very long at all!

We met Zoltan in the queues, then yorkie, metrocamell, Harry Potter and Mojo near the 89. We all find Zoltan's route coverage shocking, then he reveals the actual coverage map. Even I'm impressed! Naturally, he's covered tons of the North, whilst I've covered tons of the South. I KNEW I should have taken my maps!

Argumentive discussion breaks out in the group, so Sprinter, h-o-w and I leave to do other stuff, with myself saying 'Why come to Crewe to argue? You can do that on the forum.', something us three found amusing.

Lots of phots of everything nearby was done. We then start looking around some of the stalls. Some of the old stock books we looked at were interesting, fascinating pictures. Sprinter then sees the burnt-out 143613! We head for this straight away, especially Sprinter as he needed to see it. I was flabbergasted at how much damage it had received. One half of 143615 was also by it, again Sprinter needed to see it. The 158 from a crash in 1991 was also there.

All of a sudden we see 47150 haul 66951 (AT LAST! I've now seen it!) and 86604 in from somewhere. We soon see 47150 being moved on the traverser. We start getting phots of the other locos around, such as 40145 (AT LAST!), 45112 (third time now for me), various steam locomotives, including 4472 (which appeared to be in steam for the first time this summer!). Phots or video footage of these for me. By now, I was getting sick of people getting in front of my camcorder every few seconds.

We then moved on to check out the Hornby stand, which was quite interesting. Next we went into 40088, h-o-w and I found out how little you can see from the cab!

Our next move was to look at the 55022 stand. We then found out a 55 is due to go to Liverpool in January! We all got a business card with the website on it, I'm determined to check it out. We proceeded to check out some more stalls, then went into the sheds nearest us. Surprisingly here, 150222 was in, and I needed it! 4 more 150/2s for me to see now! Unfortunately I never got a phot of 27000 though. We see a carriage from 221126, 10306 (unrefurbished GNER MK4) and a carriage from 377104 and from 377304 in an area inaccessible to us. We go outside again, and all of a sudden we see 365526. Huge, loud cheer from Sprinter, quieter ones from heart-of-wessex and I. Now got just 4 more 365s to see!

Out here, we proceed to cab 47826 (I've cabbed a 47 at last!), then 31108 (I try locking h-o-w and Sprinter out, I locked myself in! Thankfully someone else had the ingenious idea of giving it a bit of a kick from outside, which worked! Phew!). We discover the time is 1259 now, so we head to where 47815 was moving 86401, ready for the latter's naming. By 1330, we were getting bored of guessing what it would be. Someone from the AC Loco Group was giving out leaflets, the name for 86401 was on the back. 'Northampton Town'. Hmm, at least it's not AC Loco Group!

All three of us were starving by now, so we found the restaurant. We JUST saw 91116 (the number we got off it when it came round closer to us later) passing us at that point. We queued for around 10 minutes for some food, took it outside and consumed it with a few minutes break (our feet, legs, everything were starting to hurt), then proceeded to look for the ATW stand. We eventually found it, got some pictures, carrier bags and pens. No mints left by now. We then looked at some more stalls, then stopped for a couple of minutes at the charity auction. The most surprising thing we saw was the 'Borough of Kettering' nameplate off a 43 go for £1450! I was shocked! At this point we were running out of time, so we decided to move on. We needed to find the VT stand, as people had gotten bags of stuff from VT. We couldn't find it, not even after asking the steward (who apparently worked for VT!). We gave up looking for that, then decided to queue up for the 66951 cab. We thought we'd seen the cab of 43062 open, but it turned out it wasn't. We met back up with some of the others here, then they went to check out the other shed we didn't do. We even saw Dennis here, then finally saw Jim later too! The cab of the 66 was interesting, different certainly. I can finally say I've cabbed one!

By now we were running short of time, we had found out the Warship was open, so we proceeded to do that next. That was certainly fun, as I'd never seen a Warship before! Final bit of business was to check if 89001 was indeed open now. Unfortunately it wasn't, no more steps could be located. We decide to go to the donuts stand before we went.

Sprinter and I had one last thing to do in the works before we left. The ones in the wheelshop were shut. Never mind though, we did see things like axle shafts for 317s and 321s, as well as BT10 wheelsets, 156 slave wheelsets and a 220 motor wheelset. Saw a LOT of wheels too, for things such as Electrostars and Goodness knows what else! We found what we needed in the other shed we were in earlier, then met back up with heart-of-wessex. We then had to leave, as it was already gone 1630 IIRC. We weren't going to queue up for the bus anyway, and walked back. heart-of-wessex and Sprinter went like the clappers up the road. We had a bit of a race, in that h-o-w was a Desiro, Sprinter had his namesake as his choice, and I was falling behind rapidly, so I elected to be in the failing 33s! I soon change to a Super Sprinter, then back to the 33s for a while. I end up on a 37 with severe wheelslip. After most of the way back, we decide to walk at the same speed.

At Crewe, h-o-w and I rush down to platform 12 to see the railtour leave. It was only 67005. Boo! Nevertheless, whilst it was being coupled up, we had a chance for a discussion about what things will be like in 15 and 45 years time. I film it leave, it departing about 12 or 13 down. We then see our 37 on platform 11, so we go for that, myself getting a couple of 390 numbers (good thing I did, I FINALLY scored 390009! Just 3 more of those to go!), then invested in a Mars and Diet Coke, before joining the train to ensure we had our seats. A final bit of chat to Jim and Dennis before we left confirmed they were going via Wrexham on the way, a gesture was made, another after finding out they went non-stop through New Street on the way up! At that point in time, we're off. The number of people on the platforms was incredible! I retire back to my seat just after we re-join the Misery Line, too wet for H-O to Shrewsbury for me.

We had some discussion on the way back, then h-o-w fell asleep (unsurprising, he was up before me!), so Sprinter and I compared our fleet lists. At Hereford, Sprinter departs, and h-o-w wakes up. We look through our Locomaster Profiles stuff, and we're soon at Newport surprisingly. h-o-w gets a bit more rest, whilst I go to chat to some others from another forum. We all alight at Cardiff, got some video footage of 37425 departing for Canton, then we all went our separate ways. I got the delayed 2047 HST back to Swansea, it being delayed by around 13 minutes or so on departure from Cardiff, which ensured I missed my bus home. Well, technically I should have JUST made it, but typically it went early. I waited for a while, just to ensure it didn't run late, but after that while I walked into town for the bus station and awaited the 2255 111 to Llanelli, which was run by 46521.

I got home at 2311 or so. Absolutely shattered, I put my stuff down and went to bed. By 2330, I was asleep. Not surprising that, I was shattered! 18 hours or so after leaving, I had returned. A LONG day out! But was it worth it? Oh my Goodness, yes. I got a good few new numbers, cabbed a fair few beasts, seen stuff I wouldn't normally ever see...Overall, if you haven't been this weekend, I reckon you'll have missed out.

The Open Day gets 9 out of 10 from me, an awesome day out, never to be done again, and I could be seen saluting the works as we walked away from it. It was far too cool, my only regret being that I couldn't do more of it! Expect the pictures soon.
 
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heart-of-wessex

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My trip actually started on friday at about midnight to ride my bike to Cardiff, which I had no choice but to if I wanted to get the 37s, simply as its the only way to get to Cardiff early than a train from Trowbridge or nywhere else round here.

Since my bike is a 125 (as FGWfan will probably like ;) ) I cannot use the severn bridges, as they are motorways!
So I leave northbound to Chippenham, Kemble and get to Cirencester for a fill up, but I cant find the blasted 24 station i use! after 15-30 mins, i find it.
I then head to gloucester round the A40 then its a thrash down the A48 (misery road!) past Lydney, Chepstow, Caerwent and then to Newport (round the docks) and then to Cardiff, where I get diverted round the lond way via the Brians beer bridge to the station car park, as the direct road is closed.

I get to Cardiff about 0330 and have a walk abouts till 5 to get to the station and buy the tickets with my Y-P which is just valid! (7 days till run-out).
I then go to the platforms and watch some trains, and I see the 0622 HST arrival, which I thought FGWfan should be on, but didnt see him.
Then I see it depart then after, I see FGWfan walk up the stairs!

We see 2 66s pass (one with steel, other steel empties) and another 66 with MGRs. After that, 37425 arrives with a rake of VT MKIIs. I give up on H-O to Newport as the moisture is damp and rather stings! Then we see loads of 66s at newport with un_ID 60 and 60078.
we stop at newport, 3 up, and leave round Maindee and up the Misery line, where we do H-O.

Arriving at Newport 5 up, we have a fag break and see Sprinter where he joins the 37s. We then do H-O as far as Shrewsbury where I give up as its to wet and I join Julian, although Sprinter done H-O all the way to Crewe!!
We talk about stuff and I end up singing my green day version of 'when september ends' (which Im sure FGWfan likes as well!) and we get to Crewe with plenty of people on the platform taking pics!

We then alight and see 90026, a VT 57 in the siding across from Plat. 12 and see another 57 on the end of 12, with loads of spotters on, we assume a 390 is turning up.
After a few mins we give up and head to the works, having to walk as the bus queue goes on for miles!

We eventually get there, and see zoltan arrive on the ancient retrocoach, where he meets us and we get our tickets.
On arrival to the site we see yorkie, metrocammel, Harry Potter and mojo, and after 5 mins theres an argument going on (as FGWfan said, he made a humurous comment after when we walked off!) so we went to see the 73, E3035, 82008, 85101, 89001 (im sure ther was 1 more in the line up) and saw some LNER steamers and jubilee's.

Went round some stalls, saw one with the old fleet lists books which I saw some weird DMUs like 151s and 154s! well the books were 1980s or so!!
Sprinter saw 143613, the burnt out 143 ( :( ) and then saw 47150 arrive on the access line hauling 66951 (stupid as ive seen that!) and 86604.
47150 moves on the traverser and the 66 and 86 must of as they moved as well.
We went to the shed and saw a 20, 47854 (?) a Warship, Western and even an NMTs power 43.
In the shed there was an 85 I believe and a Ginsters 158, see FGWfans post for what was in there.
It was all the same as FGWfan just said, the best was when he tried to shut us out of 31108, but locked himself and others in! I tried to open it, but then I remember how drivers 'kick' their doors open, so I did and right enough it opened!

At the end of the day, we walked out of Crewe Works, sad sight to see it go, and we have a walk-race to Crewe, which me being the Desiro I was the fastest out of Sprinters Sprinter and FGWfans 2 X 33!

I was Knackered when I got to Cardiff, facing a long ride back, (FGWfan thought my bike starts up like a 37!) filled up at Cardiff with BP ultimate (bad idea, bike chewed up loads of the fuel!) but got back to Atworth at 0037.



Cheers,
James.
 
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