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Does anyone know what service was nicknamed 'The Silver Bullets'? I believe it was hauled by 37s in the north west of England (around Liverpool). I do not know where it went or what it hauled so any help would be appriciated.
Yes indeed, the 'Silver Bullets' are the trains that run between Burngullow in Cornwall, & Irvine in Scotland, near Troon. They're not as popular today as they were in the past. Back then, they were always kept clean, hence the silver look (they were unpainted aluminium I think). I can remember back in the late '90s, when you had pairs of 37's hauling them, a wonderful sight seeing them storming up Hemerdon Bank between Plymouth & Ivybridge, those were the days! Then they went over to 60 haulage for a while, before the 66's came along. These days, the trains are not as long, & clean for that matter, & some of the time they're combined with one of the Enterprise services from Cornwall to the North, mainly with Cargowaggons & other vehicles carrying various china clay materials. With the recent cut-backs in the china clay industry down here with Imerys, who own the china clay industry, due to demand & cheaper imports, there's a big question mark on how much longer these trains are going to run, & it does look very likely they will be withdrawn in the near future. The end of an era I'm afraid.
They 'aint as long as they used to be. And like I said, these days, demand is lower than it used to be. And it varies with whether they run alone, or combined with the Enterprise service. Some of the Enterprises I've seen running past me recently have been reletavely long, meaning EWS are combining some services to save time & traffic, & some of them have been seen with 'Silver Bullets' (or not so silver I guess I should say ).
Keep meaning to find out when Freightliner runs the cement to Moorswater. Only got a chance to see it once recently going past, & that was early evening. Also, have seen the scrap combined on a few of the Enterprises recently.
I'm assuming they're one's brought by FGW, & are awaiting dispatch up north for refurbishment. For some unknown reason, when FGW buy these coaches, they bring them down here & dump them in a safe place in the yard, until a Cotswold Rail loco comes to take them back up to Bombardier Derby. Bit silly if you ask me, bringing them all the way down here, just to go back up again when ready. The other explanation is they might be for the Virgin weekend workings to & from Newquay, & are a full HST set with some spare cars just in case. I know they do keep a MML set here during the week, & it gets swapped over for another during it's travel north, if that makes sense. It's also used as a standby set, just in case any probs occur with the Voyagers when they come down here. The train is usually kept in the main sidings opp. Embankment Road, the main roud out of Plymouth that runs alongside the depot. Where I am, I can see Lipson Junc., so to see above the depot itself, I just talk a short walk across, & have a clear view of the line from there. It gets a bit busy at night, as it's used to bring various stock, Voyagers, Adelante's, & HSTs, into Laira depot for the night.:grin:
Btw, the same situation goes for the power cars as well.
Yeh, every night, from about early evening onwards, late afternoon at weekends. Sometimes it's just a single unit, sometimes a double. FGW is contracted by Virgin for light maintenance & servicing of the units at Laira, plus the usual cleaning & retention toilet emptying every night, hence why they come into Laira.