Saturday, 23 July 2011

'Dusty' on the sleepers

There are few locations today where it is possible to see scheduled locomotive hauled passenger trains. Even where these trains do exist they mostly run in push-pull formation with a locomotive and one end and a driving trailer vehicle at the other. The two main exceptions are the remaining sleeper trains from London to Cornwall and Scotland. These trains still run in a conventional loco-hauled manner bringing the practise of shunt releasing stock into London termini. While the Caledonian sleeper to Scotland usually uses electric traction for these duties at Euston (Class 90's are booked), the Night Riviera Sleeper to Cornwall uses First Great Western's fleet of four class 57's. Occasionally other traction can substitute, particularly on the run from Old Oak Common depot to Paddington. While in the past class 47's were commonly hired in for this duty it is now more common to find shunter 08483 'DUSTY Driver David Miller' on the blocks at Paddington during times of poor class 57 availability. This was the case on 17th July presenting a very unusual scene at Paddington- there are not many places in the country, let alone in central London where you can see a class 08 on the mainline!

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