Tuesday 27 May 2014

First 319 Delayed

The transfer north of 319361, which was scheduled for 1 May, was cancelled and the set remained in service.  Modern Railways reports that the lease was transferred to Northern as intended, but the unit has been leased back to First Capital Connect for "around a month".

I look forward to receiving reports of a 319 at Allerton any day now...

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Progress In Pictures

A number of correspondents regularly send me photographs of the project and it seems a bit of a waste if I just email my thanks and then file them away, so with thanks to David Hull and Paul Gaskell (and there's a couple of my own as well), here's some pictures of the current state of affairs:

Looking west from Roby we can see the third track is near-complete, and on the right in the mid-distance, the new retaining wall for the wider embankment.

At Roby itself, all the woodwork of the platform canopy has been removed, along with the props supporting it.  The brackets remain.

Meanwhile, down below, excavation of the lift shafts is progressing well.  Flooding has always been an issue at Roby, so I'm not surprised to see the sump full of water - I assume a drainage system will be provided.

Also at Roby, one or more new signals have been installed, bagged at this stage.

One stop further east, at Huyton, the lift buildings seem structurally complete.  I hope they've cured the knotweed problem!

Small buildings have appeared on platform 2/3 and on platform 4, these are to be lift motor rooms according to the plans.

An example of the new Liverpool - Newcastle service whizzes through Huyton.  A quick scan of the running data for the first day of this service showed many of the trains reaching their destination fifteen or more minutes late.
Further east, at Earlestown, the trackwork has been completed.  Under the new arrangements trains using the west curve (At the left on this picture.) must use the former goods loop, connecting with the main line at the far end, at what is now called Sankey Junction.

Here's a shot taken at Bryn station on the 9th of May of the very first wires to be put up.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Phase Two Wires Up!

Newsflash:  Correspondents inform me that half a mile of overhead wiring has been installed on the up line east of Bryn, the first on phase two.  So far it's just return wire, no catenary or contact wires yet.
Update 09 May:  Return wires extend through Bryn and Garwsood stations.
Update 19 May:  Catenary now also in position.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Brand New

Whilst we are "looking forward" to receiving second hand cast-offs for our electric services, the freight sector is splashing out on brand new diesels, most of which are delivered via Liverpool docks, allowing local trainspotters an early chance to see them.

On 17 April veteran 37609 hauled three brand new Class 68 locos through Huyton on their way from the docks.  It is comforting to think that DRS sent a loco almost as old as I am to fetch their new babies.

The Class 68 locos are built in Spain by Vossloh.

Class 70 locos are allowed to run under their own power as soon as they arrive from General Electric's factory at Erie, Pennsylvania, and here we see brand new 70806 and 70807 on their very first journey, passing the soon to be demolished signal box at Huyton.

Just behind the locos you can see the plain line replacing the crossover which was removed last weekend.