56097 about to depart Bury for Rawtenstall.

As a birthday treat to myself, I had a brief jolly to the East Lancs Diesel Gala today, getting there for the first service off Bury at 9am, top-and-tailed by 37109 and 40145. I was the only one in the rear coach, sat next to the window to hear the ‘40’ whistling away as 37109 did all the hard work at the other end.

I also managed my first ride behind a Class 20, swapping at Ramsbottom for 20083 to Rawtenstall and back to Bury. There’s something ever-so civilised about sitting in a Mk1 compartment (ex-First Class, no less!) whilst writing an article for Model Rail on my laptop!

A ‘20’, ‘40’ and ‘56’ lined up at Bury – a real taste of 1980s nostalgia!

Other highlights included ‘Peak’ 45060 (D100) Sherwood Forrester. I built a model of this for Model Rail issue 100, but this was the first time I’d seen the real thing in person. Class 56, 56097 looked superb in Trainload Coal colours, as did a pair of 50s although smokey D444 was not going to meet any EU emission targets.
‘Peak’ 45060 looks splendid at Ramsbottom with the 12:50 Bury to Rawtenstall.

The main reason behind the trip was to bag some images of 37901’s roof layout. Despite looking through lots of sources (including a Masterclass in Model Rail from a few years ago), I just couldn’t find a view of the full exhaust panel layout. So, what better thing to do than go and see the real thing. I knew that being on the footbridge at Ramsbottom would do the trick and I duly got some cracking shots that will help with my upcoming 4mm scale conversion project.

The reason for my visit: a view of 37901’s roof. I could just discern where the original twin exhaust ports have been plated over.

I also managed to get some other specific detail images to help me in a few upcoming projects, such as Class 37 footsteps and speedometer cables, plus various semaphore signals and assorted bits of infrastructure. Not bad for a morning’s work.

37109 looked in far better shape than last time I saw her, wearing faded EWS colours a couple of summers ago.

Although running well, 47765 looked like it had been pulled straight from the scrap yard. I forsook a ride behind the Peak for this ‘Duff’ on the Bury-Ramsbottom shuttle.

The Inter City stickers were an amusing addition in place of the Ressaldar nameplates on the RES 47.


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