PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

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Peter Hall
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:51 am

Re: PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

Post by Peter Hall » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:34 pm

The winter of 1976- 1977 was at the end of what I would call the dark decade. Generally from the mid 1960s until the mid 1970s interest in the then current railway was at a low ebb following the end of steam and the emergence of the generation who couldn't remember it. Difficult to find many who were making notes of what actually worked what as opposed to just noting the numbers. Many of the emerging generation and their elders being ardent shed bashers at the time rather than static spotters making detailed logs. Those that did tend not to inhabit forums and similar and often like Albert have chucked stuff out. This exemplifies itself with the projects I am involved with few coming forward with information, sightings of withdrawn shunters in during the early 1970s being a particularly good example.

Bevan Price
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:59 pm

Re: PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

Post by Bevan Price » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:06 pm

MisterC wrote: One other train at Manchester Piccadilly in 1976/77 that could have produced class 45s was the North Country Boat Train from/to Harwich which changed locomotives at Sheffield. The Boat Train reporting numbers were 1M72 and 1E87.
At that time, the Harwich - Manchester and return were booked throughout for a Stratford loco =- probably a Class 47, although maybe a 37 in earlier years. Loco changes at Sheffield only became necessary after the train ceased to run via Lincoln.

The (now defunct) Timewarp website had lots of info. about loco-hauled passenger workings. A few pages were archived and can be accessed by the "Internet Wayback Machine", but it is pot luck as to whether or not your required dates have been archived. Try here:

http://web.archive.org/web/201209220115 ... diary.html

Peter Hall
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:51 am

Harwich - Manchester in the 1970s

Post by Peter Hall » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:27 am

What I refer to as the 'Harwich Boat Train', others refer to it differently, last ran via Lincoln on 5th May 1973. From 7th May 1973 it was diverted via Nottingham.

With regard to locomotive workings starting at the beginning of 1970. Then, the train called Sheffield Victoria, not Sheffield Midland, and was routed via Woodhead. Stand to be corrected on this, but with a through diesel from at least Grassmoor if not Harwich. Many pictures of this train headed by Stratford or March 37's on the Woodhead route have been published. Various references give it as the only regular diesel working through Woodhead tunnel at the time but I would suggest 1E66 01:17 Manchester - Cleethorpes (see Woodhead 1/70 - 5/73 thread viewtopic.php?f=2&t=330 ) also fell into this category.

From 03/01/70 the train was routed via Sheffield Midland and the Hope Valley to Manchester with usually a Stratford based Class 37 working through. Class 47's did make odd appearances, more so, by 1973.

The practise of locomotive changes at Sheffield came about commencing 7th May 1973 when the re-routed train reversed at Sheffield Midland. The usual practise was for the locomotive that arrived at Sheffield on the Leeds portion for the Newcastle-upon-Tyne - Poole to work the 'Harwich Boat Train' forward from Sheffield and the return to Sheffield. It then worked forward on the Newcastle-upon-Tyne portion off the Poole - Leeds. This was usually a 45/0 or 46 and on odd occasions a 40 or 47. I have a vague recollection of the locomotive running round at Sheffield in the early years of this arrangement do not have precise enough notes. There was a period when Tinsley 47s were used on the Harwich leg so perhaps associated with that and then perhaps only in one direction. I am sure an elder mentioned that the shorter period at Manchester after the train was routed via Nottingham gave insufficient time for re-fuelling at presumably Longsight. Observations of the train at Manchester between May 1973 and c1977 may help clarify this. I am sure though the practice of locomotive change at Sheffield in both directions was well established by the winter of 1976/77.

al20a
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:21 am

Re: PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

Post by al20a » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:30 pm

Thank You Bevan and Peter,
I always love what interesting Historical memories and facts threads like mine and others on the various forums throw up, even though I am drawing a blank on my movements request. Its been a really interesting read so far. Bevan as for the link, I have tried this sight before in the past and unfortunately for the 1970s years there is no information just this information below on each year I click on. I think it has said this for well over a year now or more. The 1980s years are fine, but they are not what I am interested in.

" With the site constantly growing, we have long felt that the whole thing needed a drastic and total redesign.
Rather than continue with the weekly updates that we have been adding almost since the very start, we've
decided to concentrate on that rebuild. As a result of this action, this page has regrettably been taken down,
for now at least, but never fear, it will return shortly, even bigger and better than ever before! Watch this space! "

I am sure I tried to contact them a while back but I presume they didn't have the information I was looking for as I am still looking. I will try them again, maybe they have had some updated information since then.

Ian Prince
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:42 pm

Re: PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

Post by Ian Prince » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:41 pm

Albert,

I often try to fill in bits for Peter on here, and thought I might have been able to do the same for the Manchester Piccadilly Peak observations. regrettably my visits to Manchester do not generally coincide with the dates you are after, although I do have odd Peak sightings at Manchester Picc from that era, but without any detail of the workings themselves. Peaks at Mann Picc, were not what I was after at that stage, and I was primarily there to record the electric traction, as Peaks were very common on the MML trains at Sheffield.

I do find the aim of this site very useful and regard the sharing of information to be exceptionally useful for historical research and modellers. Anything I can do to help in the future....please regard as a given, if I can.

Its almost as if every member should scan their notebooks before they get binned or lost forever as they pass to that great engine shed in the sky.

al20a
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:21 am

Re: PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

Post by al20a » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:03 pm

Thanks Ian,
I did originally think this was a big ask. Especially with the passing of time. I thought maybe the Peaks would generate the same sort movements information as the Class 40 website http://cfps.co.uk with their movements page http://www.class40motherlist.com/index.html and Class 55 Deltics movements site http://www.napier-chronicles.co.uk/years.htm.
I was hoping there would be a similar site for Peaks, but alas there isn't. Well I haven't found one yet. Hopefully someone is working on one and can emulate the ones above. Its sad to see all these records of movements from enthusiasts will not be recorded for prosperity.
I am also an aircraft enthusiast and every aircraft movement at Manchester Airport has been documented from the 1960s to the present by Mark Williams who runs the website at http://www.ringwaypublications.com. Which is a fantastic historical site recording Manchester Airports past. Its a pity again there isn't the same movements site for Piccadiily and Victoria Stations in Manchester.
So regret binning my old logs and books.

Peter Hall
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:51 am

Re: PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

Post by Peter Hall » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:54 am

Whilst not being an aviation enthusiast I do suspect the reason why such detailed logs of commercial air movements exists is because of a legislative need for such to be recorded rather than enthusiasts being located at airports 24/7/365 recording movements. The official information then being publicly made available and manipulated into an enthusiast friendly format by committed enthusiasts. Any similar official information for locomotive movements is very ad hoc, such as signal box registers and control office logs with no co-ordinated collation of the data. Thus compilation and dissemination of information about which locomotive worked what train is solely in the hands of enthusiasts.

Until the computer age it would appear few enthusiasts attempted to compile such data which is why that from the 1970s in particular is so thin on the ground as mentioned in an earlier post. Obviously the late Society member and Sheffield Branch Chairman Ed Lund was doing this from the early 1970s focused on Summer Saturdays and I have course have been involved with this project for nearly forty years now. What we know I hope will appear on the new RCTS website but that might be some way in the future.

A combination of the 'cult' following of some diesel classes combined with the web has as you say seen several very good resources develop but in many cases they are only scratching the surface when it comes to a complete listing of a locomotives activity. I can add the following to the Class 40 and 55 resources you mention.

Class 25 - http://www.class25.info/index.htm

Class 47 - http://class47archives.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... chive.html

In addition a couple that concentrate on service groups:-

Table 29 - http://table29.co.uk/

Brighton - Midlands/North - http://www.1s76.com/

In addition some preserved locomotive owners have attempted to compile logs for their locomotives e.g. 37215 - http://thegrowlergroup.org.uk/?page_id=100

I am sure one of the 'Peak' owning groups is compiling something for all 193 locomotives but not sure if it is live online yet.

MisterC
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:51 pm

Re: PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

Post by MisterC » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:45 am

This is evolving into an interesting general discussion about databases of loco and train movements. I have had an interest in this for a long time because I have a lot of data on paper that needs to be preserved, and my career in statistics means that I know a fair bit about the issues that need to be considered in order to produce something that will work with large amounts of data. But I have been unable to do very much because of other priorities, and also because I have no aptitude for the clever IT stuff.

About 5 years ago I persuaded North Hertfordshire College to allow a student to produce something for me as a workplace learning project, and the result is here:

http://www.angliaranger.com/index.php

It was never properly finished, because I had a catastrophic health failure, so bits of it don't work as well as I would like. And again, because of other priorities, I have spent no time recently typing data into spreadsheets for upload into the database. But it is an example of what can be done using technology available 5 years ago, and the "Area Manager's Office" part of the site gives some details of the issues involved.

The most technologically advanced example that I know of is here, where movements data is only a small part of a much more ambitious project:

http://brdatabase.info/index.php

Unfortunately, rather like my attempt, nothing has been added for over 3 years.

My own catastrophic health failure, and the recent deaths of fellow enthusiasts of my age, have demonstrated that there is a huge risk that large amounts of valuable data can easily be lost forever. As a community of enthusiasts and researchers we need a way of capturing and storing the data. It also requires a huge amount of data entry because, in order to be searchable, the storage must be digital.

Ian Prince
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:42 pm

Re: PEAKS at Manchester Piccadilly Sept 1976- Mar 1977

Post by Ian Prince » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:23 pm

Mister C,

The data entry part is definitely what holds this idea back at present in my view.

Firstly, accurately copy typing from records that are perhaps 20-30 years old may incur difficulties, unless carried out by the individual who originally recorded the data.
Secondly, from looking at some of the data uploaded onto internet databases, the veracity and accuracy of the information has to be questioned. Clearly some data recorders in this area appear to be what in the old days were called 'cribbers' or other negative connotations.

It is the main reason I briefly tried and abandoned using such databases as the other information contained, was in some cases clearly deliberately incorrect, and I did not want my accurate data 'contaminated' by such sources. All data needs to be traceable to avoid such issues.

I absolutely agree that there is an urgent need to address the archiving of data though. This is especially true as members pass away and relatives fail to recognise the value to the railway community of the tatty old notebooks etc. There is almost a need for a 'National Archive' of such material to which information, note books and digital files can be sent and processed. Naturally there is a cost, but with willing volunteers some of whom may be retired, such information could be collated to provide a valuable resource for the future.

As it is at present, online data such as 'End of the Line,' 'Freightmaster' and such message forums will be seen in the future as the definitive record of the age (unfortunately probably more so, or at least as definitive as the R.O.). Members need to address such issues through the RCTS forum, sooner rather than later, or come up with a means of collaborating with the better online sources such as Freightmaster, so that rather than poor quality archiving and recording, there is at least a means of keeping such records. (The pointless discussions on some other web forums can of course be forgotten and taken as the 'chaff' rather than the 'wheat' of the enthusiast data). At least the RCTS has a good selection of former and current railway personnel amongst the membership who can verify factual data.

A collaboration of established archival organisations such as the NRM, HMRS, SLS etc and online organisations should be explored, to ensure that a complete record of this aspect of railways and their operation is not lost forever.

Peter Hall
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:51 am

Databases of Locomotive & Train Movements

Post by Peter Hall » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:08 pm

Very interesting posting from MisteC whom of course I am in contact with regarding many related topics. I was not aware of his website but in the not too distant future I will compare it with our Summer Saturday records and swap a few notes.

As you may or may not know the late Ed Lund was a pioneer of this and of course published his 'SO' books for 1977, 1978 and 1980 which covered principally Summer Saturday locomotive workings in those years. Ed had of course been compiling this sort of data since the early 1970s as well as data on local notable passenger turns in the Sheffield area as well as elsewhere. This inspired me to compile 'Through Dore' records in a similar way from the late 1970's. I became more involved with the Summer Saturday projects from that time and have continued the two strands ever since. However, in reality though the end of locomotive hauled West Country Summer Saturday trains and locomotive hauled passenger trains through Dore in 2002 is where it comes to an end.

Compilation of this data pre-dates home computing and the records are basically hand written ledgers and typed summary sheets very much in the style of the 'SO' books for the Summer Saturday data. Some, particularly that from the 1990's onwards and some of the Dore Class & Train listings have though be transferred to FoxPro database or word document. Whilst focusing on your local patch you can do fairly well at compiling the data provided you do not go too far. By that I mean focusing on specific days, trains and unusual workings rather than trying to record everything 24/7/365.

The coming of the internet has meant various websites have appeared doing what we had been doing since the 1970s. I do keep an eye on these and tap into them and have been able to fill a few gaps in our records whilst responding to specific requests for help with particular topics but do not mass provide our data. I do though feel that in many cases these have been over ambitious in scope especially as those behind them have not personally compiled data until thinking it was a good idea to do so because they are creating a website. Every working of a class of locomotives or every passenger train nationally in a year are just far too ambitious an objective. You might get a small percentage over many years. Being more focused as we have been with Summer Saturdays (we don't compile data on every train just dated and resort trains and a few others on those routes) is more achievable but even then not fully. Other problems are that these websites are often 'one man bands' and for whatever reason if that one man loses interest or no longer has the time the project comes to an end, also getting people to come out of the woodwork with information is not easy. Many that do contribute are 'bashers' who whilst good at recording trains they travelled on are not so good at recording those they didn't, whilst the 'SS' (static spotters) are good at recording what they see but not good at recording what it was doing. There are of course exceptions whose records are invaluable to the likes of us. `

When it comes to putting this information online my view is that you are better using a platform where you can get help if needed, particularly technologically and is part of something bigger so someone else can pick up the ball and run with it. This is why I am more than happy to put information on the RCTS website rather than a personal website. We have achieved a great amount with Carriage Conundrums, Preserved Coaching Stock and Diesel Dilemmas. What I have put on can be taken forward by someone else or in the case of the various data listings become a resource for the future.

The acting Webmaster is as keen as I am to add what would be pdf versions of our Summer Saturday and other workings records. If new information / corrections becomes available then you just replace the pdf with a new one, this has happened with Internal User Coaching Stock already. This actually avoids creating new errors when adding the data into a new format. However, we have held back pending the Web4 project going live. Obviously all this material is though historic but we have tried something which is both future, present and past. This is the ECML drags feature were we give details in advance of the trains to be dragged, add in numbers and pictures if the information is received when it happens and let it build into a historical resource for those who want information about past dragging. It has though been disappointing how few contributions we get to this and of course the ECML Class 90 feature which is based on similar principles.

I know many don't agree but my view is the website is key to the RCTS having a future. It is the biggest piece of bait we have to entice membership. I joined in the 1970s because the RO was a very big piece of bait the for us number crunching enthusiasts. Not only did it have stock changes not available elsewhere it went much further and even the local reports contained valuable information about locomotive workings. These days we can never compete for the latest number crunching information but we can when it comes to be being a reliable reference.

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