QUINTET OF TYPE 5s
"You wait ages for a 'Deltic', then five turn up at once..."
Standing in typical Northern drizzle, just a handful of eager enthusiasts waited on the platform of Bury Bolton Street for a very special train. Just after midday yesterday, a procession of five 'Deltics' arrived onto the East Lancashire Railway, having run on the main line from the NRM at Shildon.
Hauled by D9000, the convoy reversed at Castleton to access the ELR via Heywood, this time with green D9016 in charge. With the unmistakable sound of a throaty Napier approaching, the convoy soon hove into view, rewarding those who'd waited patiently for their arrival.
Leading the convoy, the former Porterbrook purple Gordon Highlander looks like her old self again. The modern WIPAC light clusters have been removed and a more appropriate livery applied.
The reason for the visit of all five operational 'Deltics' (Tulyar, the sixth survivor, is under restoration at Barrow Hill), is a spectacular Deltic Gathering at the East Lancs this coming weekend (15-16 Oct). Along with the usual highlights of regular ELR diesel galas, the five Class 55s will be powering an intensive service, including evening trains on the Saturday.
I hadn't seen 55002 'KOYLI' since I was a young teenager, when it was based at the North York Moors Railway.
The full line up is: D9016 Gordon Highlander, D9009 Alycidon, 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier, 55002 Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, D9000/55022 Royal Scots Grey
A full timetable and other information can be found on the ELR website
The bulk of the Class 55s is usually pretty obvious but, when a bunch of them are coupled together, you realise just how long they are.