Specials around Stafford
From Spike Windows:
Loco Services Limited are a relatively new Train operating company based in the old diesel depot area at Crewe. They run a heritage fleet of steam, diesel and electric trains that can be seen regularly passing through Stafford now that charter trains have recommenced running and also to and from their base empty in connection with an away day out. They growing company currently operate four different charter businesses, Midland Pullman, Statesman, Saphos and Inter City. Below are a selection of my photos taken recently of some of their trains locally.
Photo 1 – Loco Services most distinctive train is the all 1st class seating High Speed Train painted in a retro Midland Blue Pullman livery of the 1960s. Power car No.43055 leading and No.43046 on the rear have just passed Rugeley North Junction on the 30th May 2021 while working 5Z64, 12.54 Eastleigh Arlington to Crewe ECS move after the previous days charter from Eastleigh to Penzance.
Photo 2 – Blue Pullman HST No.43055 and 43046 working an ECS from the previous days Settle &Carlisle charter passes Sytch Lane, Mill Meece on the 5Z17, 1400 Bristol Parkway to Crewe on the 13th June 2021.
Photo 3 – Another 1st Class/Dining train operated by the group is the Statesman, who’s air conditioned MK2 coaches carry a more tradition Pullman livery and are usually hauled around the country by the company’s small heritage fleet of class 47s. Here No.47593 and 47614 top and tail a Statesman Rail, Settle & Carlisle Circular charter 1Z40, 08.15 Worcester Shrub Hill to Appleby while they pause for the pickup at Stafford on 19th June 2021.
Photo 4 – A third brand within the group called Saphos is the one use for predominately steam hauled charters. This rake of stock is made up of mainly mk1 coaches painted in the blood and custard livery bolstered by a small number of MK2 coaches. Class 40 No.D213(40013) accelerates as it approaches Stafford while working 1Z40, 07.40 Bangor to Bristol Temple Meads, ‘The Bristol Forty’ charter on the 1st July 2021. The return leg back to Crewe used ex LMS steam locos No.46100+45231.
Photo 5 – A rake of ex Virgin/Anglia Mk3 coaches makes up the fourth set of coaches and runs under the Inter City brand name and carries the appropriate 1980s livery. Here two of the company’s heritage class 37, No.37667 and 37521 accelerate away from a pathing stop at Rugeley Trent Valley on the 10th June 2021 working 1Z12, 17.13 Hereford to Crewe while on hire to the Branch Line society for their 3 Peaks from a seat charter.
Photo 6 – Rebuilt West Country No.34046 ‘Braunton’ passes Sytch Lane, Mill Meece working 5P55 12.42 Coton Hill to Crewe driver training/ loco test run unusually running with the Inter City Mk3 rake of coaches and 47593 out of sight on the rear on 25/05/2021.
Photo 7 – A fifth rake of coaches assembled makes up what is colloquially named the chairman’s train and has been seen touring around the country with the hierarchy of the company in attendance and is made of mk1, mk2, a traditional Pullman coach and Mk3 sleeper coach. Black 5 No.45231 and Class 20 No.20107 climb passed Bayston Hill south of Shrewsbury while working a 10.15 Crewe to Carmarthan Sidings Private Charter on the 2nd of April 2021.
Photo 8 – Included in the train are some heavily modified ex Caledonian Sleeper MK2 day coaches, one of which is No.6705 “Ardnamurchan” which is now a master bedroom coach and includes opening glass doors where the gangway was to form a viewing balcony.
Photo 9 – Class 37 No.37688 at Rugeley North Junction on the 28th of April 2021 with the 5Z37, 13.18 Eastleigh to Crewe stock move with two Mk2 coaches, Saphos No.5366 and Statesman No.17056 in tow that had received some refurbishment at the works.