86604 & 86613 head through Ansty with 4M87 1113 Felixstowe - Trafford Park on 12th May 2016.
 
86501 - Church Brampton  

86501 passes Church Brampton with 4M88 08:49 Felixtowe - Crewe Basford Hall on 09/09/09.

 
  86628 & 86607 speed through Cathiron, Rugby working 4L92 14 03 Ditton - Felixstowe Intermodal. 30/09/09.
 
86501 heads 4M81 Felixstowe - Ditton through Barby Nortoft on 21st January 2011. The building work in the background is for the new extension to Daventry International Railfreight Terminal (DIRFT).
         
         
         

86501 passes Church Brampton with 4M88 08:49 Felixtowe - Crewe Basford Hall on 19/07/10.

         
         

86638 & 86605 head 4M54 Tilbury-Crewe through Barby Nortoft on 21st January 2011. The building work in the background is for the extension to Daventry International Railfreight Terminal (DIRFT).

         
         

All of my railway slides went missing during a house move about 9 years ago - however looking through some old family photos recently I came across a bunch of 35mm print slides of mine taken during a spotting trip to Stafford in 1996 - Very poor quality I know... and no sun either! - I did take better photos than this in the 90's but you will have to take my word on it as this is all I have from the period.... 86419 heads into Stafford with a southbound RES parcel service April 1996. 419 was scrapped at Crewe in 2003

         
          86xxx heads into Stafford with a Northbound Intercity service April 1996
         
         

86605 & 86613 head 4M54 10:28 Tilbury - Crewe Basford Hall through Lichfield on 25th October 2010.

         
         

86501 passes Church Brampton with 4M88 08:49 Felixtowe - Crewe Basford Hall 0n 23/03/11.

         
         

86609 & 86614 head 4M54 Tilbury-Crewe through Lichfield on 03/06/11.

         
         

Freightliner 86637 and 86627 head an almost empty 4M54 10:09 Tilbury - Crewe Basford Hall though Church Brampton on 23/03/11.

         
       

 

 

 

86501 heads 4M81 Felixstowe - Ditton through Rugby on 07th Nov 2012.

 

 

         
         

 

86612 & 86610 head 4M54 10:28 Tilbury - Crewe Basford Hall through Lichfield on 5th September 2012.

         
         

 

86628 & 86627 head through Althorp with 4L75 09:58 Crewe - Felixstowe on 30/11/11.

         
             

Crewe was probably my most visited location on the WCML, being from the North West but living in Worcestershire detours from the M6 to have lunch at Crewe station where a regular occurrence during my frequent journeys back to Rochdale in the 80's & 90's. Shortly after rekindling my interest in the UK rail scene the visits to Crewe once again commenced but instead of my father for company I'd usually drag along my long suffering partner & kids! Unfortunately the action available in 2004 wasn't quite the same as my last visits in the mid nineties and the Penolino revolution was starting to take hold with only a few class 90's left on class one passenger turns and the once ignored class 87's where by now worth a photograph.

        87001 at Crewe  
         
         

On one such visit on 2nd May 2004 I was fortunate enough to capture celebrity BR Blue 87001 'Stephenson' which is pictured here heading a northbound service.

(35mm Scan)

         
        87026 at Crewe  

Later on during the same day 87026 'Sir Richard Arkwright' departs Crewe with another Northbound service 2nd May 2004. I'm not sure that the locomotive would have attracted so much attention just a few years earlier.

(35mm Scan)

         
          2005 saw the complete run down of the 'Electric Scots' by Virgin West Coast and by early summer only two diagrams regularly produced class 87 traction. Generally the two last locomotives to receive F exams with VWC where in charge in the form of celebrity repaints 87012 'The Olympian' in Network South East and 87019 in lined black. This photo was taken on 14th May 2005 with 87012 tailing a northbound service. In hindsight I wish i'd have made more an effort to capture these loco's in their last months with VWC - as they say 'when their gone their gone' and with the photographed loco and the one below expected to be the first two to leave the UK for Eastern Europe then they certainty will be gone.
         
        87002 - Birmingham International  

87's had one last reprieve with Virgin in 2006 with the Pendolino fleet undergoing modification one diagram which had ominously remained timed at 110MPH went over to Class 87 haulage. With the real possibility that a large proportion of the 87 fleet will soon be off to pastures new I took a trip to Birmingham International on 13th December 2006 to catch 87002 on the 1G21 16:51 Euston - Birmingham New Street. The service is seen here at 18:22 some ten minutes or so later than booked due to some problems further down the line.

         
        87002 at Barby Nortoft   87002 1M21 Shieldmuir – Willesden mail at Barby Nortoft. 23/12/09.
         
        87026 - Cathiron   Another reprieve for the class 87's on the WCML came about when GBRF gained a rolling contract with the Royal Mail. The service made use of the fairly new but redundant RM owned class 325's but again as a result of being out of service for a long period the units needed works attention with motor vehicles being taken out of service for overhaul. As a result GBRF took a number of 87's on lease from Porterbrook to drag the units minus their motor coaches. In this image 87026 is pictured again nearly two years to the day after earlier shot (further up the page) taken at Crewe, now minus its nameplates and looking in need of some cosmetic attention it is pictured passing Cathiron on 28th April 2006 with the 1S96 Willesden Railnet - Shieldmuir mail. This was to have been the Class 87's last few weeks of regular operation on these services as the motor vehicles where added to the 325 sets.
         
        87022 - Greenholme   With the class now more of a sporadic performer on the GBRF mail contract 87022 heads the Shieldmuir - Warrington mail turn through Greenholme on 1st June 2006 with 87028 at the rear. The leading loco had seen use with DRS and by this time carried a hybrid GBRF livery with the addition of Willesden's by now trademark gold buffers.
         
        90020 - Cathiron   Class 90 No. 90020 passes South through Cathiron with the 1A41 Holyhead - London Euston service. The service was running 15 minutes late at this stage allowing the cloud to pass and a few rays of sunlight appear. 03/07/05
         
        90021 - Gayton   DBS 90021 speeds through the Northamptonshire countryside at Gayton with 1G27 14:43 London Euston - Birmingham New Street. 23/04/10.
         
          90018 ‘The Pride of Bellshill’ & 90036 ‘Driver Jack Mills’ pass through Atherstone on 7th March 2016 with 4M25 06:06 Mossend - Daventry.
         
          90028 1G30 15:43 Euston - Birmingham New Street pendo substitution. Bugbrooke. 02/06/09.
         
90029_Blisworth 90029 1G30 15:43 Euston - Birmingham New Street pendo substitution. Blisworth. 01/07/09.
 
  90036 1G30 15:43 London Euston - Birmingham New Street. Gayton. 20/04/09.
   
    90041 passes Slindon with the 4M81 Felixtowe - Trafford Park on 9th June 2006. This was once a great photographic location now spoiled by Network Rails fencing policy.
   
    90041 4M88 08:49 Felixtowe - Crewe Basford Hall. Church Brampton. 15/06/09.
   
    90041 4M87 Felixtowe - Trafford Park. Lichfield 03/06/11.
   
    90042 heads 4L75 Crewe-Felixstowe liner on the approach to Northampton on 01/07/09.
   
  90042 - Church Brampton   90042 4M87 1143 Felixstowe - Traffford Park. Church Brampton. 19/07/10.
   
    90043 heads 4M54 Tilbury - Crewe Freightliner through Lichfield TV. 28/09/11.
   
    90043 heads 4L75 Crewe-Felixstowe liner through Cathiron 19th October 2007.
   
    90044 hauls the a well loaded 4L75 Crewe-Felixstowe liner through Barby Nortoft on 14 March 2009.
   
  90045_Tile Hill   90045 heads 1G15 10:43 Euston - Birmingham NS tbrough Tile Hill on 24/02/11.
   
    90045 passes Hademore with 4M88 Felixstowe - Crewe on 28/09/11.
   
    90046 heads 4M81 Felixstowe - Ditton through Barby Nortoft on 03/02/10. The background for this shot has changed recently with the construction under way for the extension to DIRFT as illustrated here.
   
    90037 'Ford: Spirit of Dagenham" & 90024 pass through Cathiron on 14th March 2016 with 4M25 06:06 Mossend - Daventry.
   
    90047 heads through Churcj Brampton with 4M81 Felixstowe - Ditton through on 23/03/11.
   
    90049 heads through Ansty with 4L90 1018 Trafford Park - Felixstowe on 12th May 2016.
   
    90041 4M88 Ipswich - Crewe. Ansty. 12th May 2016.
   
    91119 pauses at York with a Glasgow bound service. 5/02/05
   
    4O51 Trafford Park - Grain EWS intermodal, hauled by 92012. 31st August 2005. Cathiron
   
92015 - Greenholme 92015 heads 4S62 Deventry - Mossend intermodal through Greenholme on 1st June 2006.
 
92016 passes through Heamies Farm with the 4M41 Mossend - Daventry Intermodal on 9th June 2006. I was walking further down the line when this working appeared hence the tight framing.
   
  92031 at Carlisle   Having just had a crew change 92031 awaits a green light at Carlisle on 31st May 2006 with the 6M67 Mossend - Wembley 'Enterprise' working.
   
    92031 'The Institute of Logistics and Transport ' passes Cathiron on the Trent Valley section of the West Coast Mainline with the 4A07 Trafford Park - Wembley intermodal on 16th July 2005.
   
    92034 passes Long Buckby (Northants) 4O10 12:18 Trafford Park - Southampton intermodal on 02/06/09.
   
    92041 'Vaughan Williams' heads through Tame Bridge Parkway having just started the 6A42 Bescot - Wembley 'Enterprise' on 18th July 2007. The loco was moving at walking pace, having just joined the mainline. The consist, most of which is out of sight in Bescot sidings included Cargo Wagons, Hooded Steel Carriers, Steel Flats, STVA car Carriers and two grey Mark II test coaches and was possibly one of the longest trains I've seen in the UK.