Box By Box

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Box by Box


This is an ideal companion cab-ride programme to our popular ‘Joint Diversion’ DVD. The featured train is GB Railfreight’s 4L78 Selby to Felixstowe service and the programme covers the journey as far as Peterborough. Filmed in July 2013, there’s a fascinating contrast of routes, traveling over slower-speed rural lines as well as sections of the high-speed East Coast Main Line past and present. It was filmed shortly before the mechanical semaphores, manual crossing gates and signal boxes were replaced on the GN&GE Joint Line on the section of route between Doncaster’s Black Carr Junction and Lincoln. The General Motors Class 66 hauling the train – 66737 - demonstrates why these locomotives have been so successful - as the spirited non-stop run from Newark up to Stoke tunnel proves!

The journey starts at the Potters terminal at Selby. Once we are out onto the Hull to Leeds main line we are then travelling on the former route of the East Coast Main Line. There’s a welcome 10mph speed restriction over the 125-year-old Selby Swing Bridge prior to its refurbishment. After passing through Selby station we continue south to Temple Hirst Junction. We then join the ECML where there’s a good run to Doncaster, via Joan Croft and Shaftholme Junctions. Between Selby and Doncaster there were a number of manually operated crossing gates and crossing boxes still in use – all of which were due to be replaced by modern automatic barriers. The journey was also filmed prior to the construction of the Shaftholme Flyover. South of Doncaster we leave the ECML at Black Carr Junction and take the former GN&GE Joint Line and head through Finningley and Beckingham. There’s even some drama when our train is unexpectedly halted by a ‘bridge strike’ near Misterton! At Gainsborough Trent Junction we pass the fine array of semaphores before continuing south through nearby Lea Road station. More surviving semaphores and crossing gates can then be seen at Stow Park and Saxilby. On the outskirts of Lincoln we take the single-track avoiding spur from Pyewipe Junction to Boultham Junction and continue past Hykeham, Swinderby (with its surviving semaphores) and Collingham before reaching Newark. Here, a standing start at the beginning of the 20-mile climb to Stoke tunnel provides a stiff test for 66737 as the 4L78 has to fit in between 125mph express passenger trains. Fortunately we are given a good run and after breasting the summit, the train finally reaches its 75mph maximum speed on the downhill run through Little Bytham, Tallington and Werrington Junction. Our journey concludes with the trains arrival in Peterborough Yard.

Programme Fact File

Narrator: David Maxey 
First Published: 2014
Route Featured: Selby - Peterborough
Class Featured: 66
Availability: Now

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Other Locomaster Profiles Programmes featuring Class 66 motive power: the Traction Series.

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