The Lickey Incline... again

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8 Jun 2005
West Midlands
Another case of the Lickey Incline causing problems for rail operators.

This time the problem involves 43196 and 43070 working the 09.40 Newquay-Newcastle. The story starts at the base of the Lickey Incline just after the train had been held off at a signal just before a level crossing where it was thought that a car had been stuck on the level crossing so after around 15 mins stopped there the driver must have reported a fault with one of the power cars.

Because of this fault the signaller stopped us at the bottom of the Incline so we could have a clear run but in doing this the fault escalated so that no power could be applied to one of the power cars meaning that we could only make it half way up if we tried so a 'fitter' was called for by the driver. Whilst we were waiting around 4 trains passed us on the loop next to us. No doubt that the Voyager Drivers weren't too pleased when they had to slow down to around 20mph to pass us leaving them with a very slow run up the incline.

After around 20 mins the fitter finally arrived on a Voyager coming from Birmingham New Street. Another Voyager was affected by this train as the Voyager with the fitter on had to stop adjacent to the front power car and climb across. Another wait of around 15 mins and then the power car roared into life with the most smoke I've seen pouring out of the front power car and then with full power quickly applied we reached the summit of the Incline with no trouble with those Paxman engines sounding fantastic all the way to the top.

A slow run into Birmingham along with a late departure from Bristol Temple Meads meant that the train arrived at Birmingham around 1hr 10mins late and still had to reach Newcastle before it could return to the depot.

I'm sorry I don't have more details on what went wrong but its another case of the Lickey Incline causing more problems than its worth. I'll forgive these old trains because I love em'.

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