Electrifying the Midland - Photos from the 1970s

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Old Timer, 2 Nov 2011.

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  1. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Found these slides earlier. They all relate to scenes from the Midland Suburban Electrification scheme.

    Photo 1
    A rail mounted Poclain excavator at work near Hendon. This was used to excavate the hole for the OHL foundation.
    2011-11-02_32.jpg

    Photo 2
    Setting up the "core former" near Mill Hill Broadway. Once the hole was dug a polystyrene "core former" was placed in the hole to create the foundation hole for the OHL mast
    2011-11-02_33.jpg

    Photo 3
    Pouring the concrete from the "Foundation Train". The concrete was taken to site in rail mounted concrete mixers, which were filled with freshly made concrete from a batching plant in Bedford, and then poured into the hole. If the train was delayed or work was cancelled the concrete had to be discharged to the lineside before it set. Note the absence of safety gear.
    2011-11-02_35.jpg

    Photo 4
    The "Grouting Train" at work near Mill Hill Broadway. Once the OHL mast was placed into the hole and the correct "rake" was set, the mast was grouted into position. Once the grout had set, the wooden wedges that set the mast in position were removed and the foundation was "capped" around the base and finished off with a bitumastic paint to seal it.
    2011-11-02_30.jpg

    Photo 5
    The Foundation Train at work on the Up Goods line just south of West Hampstead Midland very early one winter Sunday morning. The class 501 EMU passing over is on the first Richmond to Broad St service.
    2011-11-02_37.jpg

    Photo 6
    Having arrived on site on the Down Goods just south of Cricklewood Jct station, the Driver on the rear portion waits whilst the train is split.

    Each foundation train was worked with a locomotive front and rear so that it could split into two portions and work separately. Sometimes separated by miles. Special authority had to be given in those days to expressly authorise this type working which was only permitted for the Electrification Division trains.
    2011-11-02_38.jpg

    Photo 7
    The batching plant at Bedford Kings Place Depot. Concrete was mixed here and loaded fresh to the foundation trains which then ran to site with the concrete mixer units turning to prevent the concrete going off. All the trains were on site when this photograph was taken. This plant operated overnight so that each set of trains was ready to depart from about 0730 each morning.
    2011-11-02_39.jpg

    Photo 8
    45046 "The Royal Fusileer" sits on the Up Goods (now the Up Fast) at Finchley Road Jct. early one Sunday morning with the foundation train. Note the fully elevated concrete mixer unit at the rear of the train as the last of the concrete is poured.
    2011-11-02_41.jpg

    Photo 9
    The reconstruction of the new North London Line overbridge which crosses the Midland to the south of West Hampstead Midland. During this time, the NLL was operated as a single line whilst the bridge was renewed on each line in turn. In the rear can be seen a Poclain unit excvating foundations for the OHL masts.
    2011-11-02_42.jpg

    Photo 10
    Westoning Bank in September 1979. An unidentified 45 working a sheffield to St Pancras service storms past an OHL wiring train working on the installation of the RC system on the Up Slow line just south of Flitwick.
    2011-11-02_43.jpg
     
    Last edited: 2 Nov 2011
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  3. ajax103

    ajax103 Established Member

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    Wow, thank you for sharing these photos - you wouldn't by any chance have any photos of the ECML electrification being done at all would you (mainly Peterborough southwards) please?
     
  4. a good off

    a good off Member

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    Old Timer, thanks once again for a most informative and interesting post. The photos are great.
     
  5. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    A very interesting post, thanks for sharing it Old Timer.
     
  6. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    Thanks for sharing your photos Old Timer.

    It also shows the lack of Hard Hats & how Health & Safety has moved forward in a big way.
     
  7. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    Very nice photos showing just how the 70s were a different world, however, it would appear that Number 8 is just a duplicate of Number 7 (it has the same attachment ID).
     
  8. a good off

    a good off Member

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    Or H&S overkill depending on which way you look at it. Its amazing anyone survived back then...;)
     
  9. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Thanks, chap, I had not spotted that. Now put right.
     
  10. Hydro

    Hydro Established Member

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    Overkill having to wear them ALL the time (cutting down on your peripheral vision on track), but when you're around machinery and plant, they're a good idea.

    These slides are utterly brilliant. Cheers, OT.
     
  11. Kneedown

    Kneedown Established Member

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    Cracking pic's OT, thanks for sharing them! Especially nice to see 45's doing what they did best, ie everything!
    One has to wonder how long it'll be before we eventually get similar works up our neck of the woods.
     
  12. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    Fantastic pictures OT. Nice to see a load of Peaks about!
     
  13. 25Kv

    25Kv New Member

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    Great Pictures. Like a bit of nostalgia!
     
  14. ole man

    ole man Member

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    Cracking Pictures, Current OLE staff of today could learn a lot from them days.
    Was there a reason they chose Peaks? i heard that years ago only certain loco's had to ability to travel at very slow speeds when wiring?
     
  15. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    A lot of it was related to the number of ballast trains and where they were eventually going to end up stabled on the Sunday afternoon.

    Anything out of Bedford and into Brent stood a fair chance of a 45, as anything Bedford to Bedford was mostly (but not always) a Bedford based 25.

    With regards to slow speed control, as I remember there were three class 47/3s equipped with it for working the Northfleet coal. Memory suggests these were 301/302/303, but these are all TI-based locos, although I know that the SSF were all allocated CW so the numbers must be wrong.
     
  16. bnsf734

    bnsf734 Member

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    Great photos - its like going back to another era .... but then I suppose it was another era then!

    I seem to remember Cricklewood having 47201-203 allocated from my bashing days in the 1970's/1980's. 47301-47303 were eastern locos- much harder to get into the book!!. Happy memories.
     
  17. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Then that may be the answer if they were SSF.

    Thanks chap !

    As for the era, yes it was and to be frank with you I think that we who were born in the 50's actually had the benefit of the last golden days of the Railways.

    I would hate to be a youth these days, as everything pretty much looks the same, there are no real loco workings and despite having literally everything they could wish for, what is missing is the simple cameraderie we had when you travelled about and met up with enthusiasts in other locations.

    We used to go to Scotland, where the understanding in the big connurbations was that the Scots lads would tag along with us and take us to the depots, and we would ask to look around, By virtue of being English and obviously having travelled a long way, the depot staff were more willing to let us look around than the local lads.

    I doubt that you would find anything comparable nowadays - I could be wrong but I dont think that it would be the same. Certainly the old cameraderie amongst the majority of Railwaymen has gone now that the job is so well paid that it is the money that tends to attract people now rather than a genuine interest.
     
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