Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Colourful Colas 37's

37254 on it's first working since being re-painted out of it's preserved 'Intercity Swallow' at Kew East Junction on 21st April 2017 working from Derby to Hither Green with 37025.

37254 is seen again at Basingstoke on 10 May with a 1Q53 test train from Eastleigh.
On the rear of 1Q53 at Basingstoke is split-box 37099. 
The current operator of network rail test trains is Colas Rail who are using a variety of 'heritage' class 37's to power their trains. Class 37's are required on many duties due to their relatively light axle loading and good route availability which is particularly important on some lines which only usually see multiple units in normal service. To source locomotives for test train duties Colas turned to the preservation sector with many previously preserved locomotives now enjoying a second fling on the mainline.

This has been great for the enthusiasts and has seen a return for several great looking locomotives including a couple of much sought-after 'split box' 37's. Initially many of the locomotives ran in their former preserved heritage schemes, however the only two still retaining these are 37025 and 37057 (the former on hire from the SRPS, and due to relinquish test train duties once the full Colas fleet is in traffic). The 37's in their bright yellow black and orange have certainly been adding a splash of colour to the UK rail scene recently. Here are just a few of the class in action on the Southern region so far in 2017.

37254 suffered a fault while working 1Q53 on 10 May and was terminated at Woking. 37099 is seen departing from Woking Yard to return the train to Eastleigh

Some class 37's received a smooth front devoid of headcode boxes as part of either refurbishment or as a result of accident damage. 37116 lost it's during refurbishment by Transrail in the 1990's. It is seen here with a test train on 8th April 2017 heading towards Wandsworth Road having just departed from Victoria.

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