Have class 73s ever been used on the NE to SW cross country route?

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by PaxmanValenta, 26 May 2015.

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  1. PaxmanValenta

    PaxmanValenta Member

    11 Apr 2015
    When I was really young about 1990 I remember going from Newcastle to Plymouth on the XC route and I was sure on one occasion the usual HST service was replaced by a class 73 with MK2 stock. This is back in the days of the grey and red stripe intercity livery.

    I didn't know a lot about trains then only a bit of train spotting, but I'm sure it was a class 73 which is unusual as they were mainly used in the Southern region not XC because they use the third rail which is only found in the Southern region.
    I know the XC route used HSTs and class 47s back then but it definitely wasn't a 47.

    If not what other locomotive could it have been and what locos have been used on the XC route from NE to SW?
    Last edited: 26 May 2015
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  3. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

    28 Sep 2010
    Almost certainly not a 73, as it simply wouldn't have the power on its small Diesel engine to haul even a short XC set without losing a lot of time.

    More likely a 31 which definitely did the odd XC trip when power control were short of locos, or a small possibility it was a 33 way off patch.
  4. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

    8 Apr 2010
    A 73 did once haul an InterCity from Reading to New Street at around that time; it was a case of scraping the barrel after other failures and a shortage of motive power.

    Logic tells me it was a pair, but an alarm bell is ringing that tells me it did in fact manage it unassisted.

    Certainly wasn't on the NE-SW though.
  5. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

    10 Feb 2011
    Walking distance to CLS
    Class 73s (as built) would struggle to cover any significant distance 'on the diesel' without overheating. The rebuilds would most likely have made it, but they are privatisation-era.
  6. didcot

    didcot Member

    1 Dec 2008
    Can remember the pair of 73s making it to New St from Reading
  7. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

    24 May 2008
    A pair of 73's made it to New Street from Basingstoke once & I seem to recall a single one making it (though how it managed it on just 600hp I've no idea).

    As mentioned above, it's probably a 31 that was on the service th OP recalls, though it's fair to say it would have been running late!
  8. DelW

    DelW Member

    15 Jan 2015
    Quite a few years ago I was on a railtour around obscure parts of London and the south east, topped and tailed by a 73 and a mainline diesel (maybe a 33?). Our last manoeuvre was from Acton Wells towards Neasden, round the curve onto the Chiltern line, then reversing to head into Marylebone. The reversal left the 73 leading, without (apparently) a second driver for the rear loco, so the 73 on diesel power had to haul seven or eight mk1s plus a dead loco from a standing start up the bank from Neasden. My recollection is that we barely managed walking speed for the first mile or so, and the driver must have been very relieved to get over the top.
  9. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

    26 Feb 2011
    Anywhere B link goes
    There was also a railtour in 1998 which included 73x2 from London up the WCML to Birmingham then on to Redditch 128 and 131 did the honours. But 73s have definitely reached Brum on service trains before now as others have pointed out
  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Member

    7 Jun 2013
    I wonder if what you rode behind was a 31? They have a similar boxy shape to the 73.

    And some were painted in the InterCity Livery


    And they did end up working on XC services

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