Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Tube deliveries drawing to a close

Running in its usual path as 7X09 heritages liveried 20107 and 20132 lead a new S7 train for the District line past East Goscote (between Melton Mowbray and Leicester). The locos are owned by Harry Needle Railway Company who lease them to GBRf who are operating the S-Stock transfers.
Since late 2009 the delivery runs of new S-Stock trains for London Underground have become a regular feature between Derby, Old Dalby and Neasden depot in London. The S8 and S7 trains which have been built at Bombardiers works in Derby are each moved to the Old Dalby test track for shake down running and mileage accumulation before then continuing their delivery run to Neasden for acceptance by London Underground. The trips have been popular with photographers as due to a weak bridge in the London area the axle weight of the trains has had to be limited- meaning traction has come in the form of veteran class 20's which top and tail the new tube sets along with some former tank wagons converted to barrier vehicles.
20314 and 20096 lead 7X09 after a reversal south of Leicester. The ensemble
are seen here at Castle Gresley on the Freight only Coalville line on 13/04/2016.
The delivery runs are now on their final push with the final sets of tubes for the District Line and those ordered additionally for the Croxley Link now being dispatched from Derby. It is entirely possible that by late spring the last of these interesting trains will have taken it's slow and circuitous route from Derby to London to join its sisters in front line LUL service. The days of the remaining D-Stock on the district line are now very much numbered.
I traveled to the Midlands on 13th April 2016 to catch up with some of the last of the stock movements (something I had been meaning to do since they started running more than half a decade ago!). Due to the slow nature of the train, and the routing to keep it out of the way of faster services, it is possible to reach more than one location on the trains route south. Fortunately after a long drive both the train and weather rewarded me!


  1. Great shots James, it will be a shame when these services end, we were lucky to catch them in such fine weather, good to meet up with you. This was my shot at Castle Gresley

    1. Thanks Vince, Good to meet you also- we certainly had the weather Gods on our side that day! I can't decide if I prefer your shot or mine- I guess it's nice to have something different.

  2. I saw two pairs of class 20's, two blue, one with what appeared to be HNR on it and another one which I could not make out the livery of together with a pair of barrier tank wagons today (Sunday 9th October 2016) whilst passing Neasden depot. With curiosity I found this page via Google. Presumably what I saw was the 20's and barrier wagons waiting to return to Derby. Questions, why so many locos for what must be a light load for a single 20 and why the barrier wagons?

  3. Hello- We're certainly still here and you can check for new posts most weeks by clicking the logo at the top. Regarding these moves, the barrier wagons are used to provide brake force for the train (the tube stock being un-braked for the move. The train runs top and tail to help with the several reversals on its route from Derby.

  4. Thanks, as the tube stock was not braked and they were probably not through piped so the two barrier tank wagons were only 'braked' by the locomotives coupled immediately to them, which I suppose was another advantage of having a loco at each end, Jim