Unplugged - Extra
second in our re-mastered series of re-releases on DVD features a cab
ride aboard one of the Mirrlees-powered Class 37/9s on a journey through
the most easterly valley of South Wales. The 18-mile branch line
from Park Junction to Ebbw Vale (which has since closed) is one of
the most scenic routes in the region and boasts a series of taxing
gradients. What better way to enjoy this challenging route than on a
loaded steel train from Llanwern with traction provided by 37901
The four Mirrlees-engined Class 37/9s are renowned for their
‘sewing machine’ quietness - no noise, no thrash. But this is a 37/9
as you’ve never heard it before - running on full bore with its
exhaust silencer removed! Give it a heavy load and a challenging route,
and this machine becomes the perfect candidate for a "Wired for
Sound" extravaganza! The results are spectacular as the
heavy-weight 37 struggles to haul its 913-tonne load up the valley on a
glorious summer morning in September 1997.
37901 sets off from Llanwern with the 6B09 to Ebbw Vale on a 22-mile
journey which takes a staggering 95 minutes! After easing out of British
Steel’s Llanwern complex and passing through Newport, the train
diverges from the South Wales main line at Gaer Junction. From there,
the route is seriously uphill all the way. Lime Kiln Junction marks the
start of the 8-mile section to Aberbeeg which has now been
singled. The last five miles from Aberbeeg boasts a gradient of 1
in 80, on which the train travels no faster than 12 mph - despite a wide
- open power handle! The journey ends at the Stop Board at Ebbw Vale,
where the loco has to re-start on a gradient of 1 in 75.
Climb aboard the footplate of Mirrlees Pioneer for an audio
experience that has to be heard to be believed!
FEATURE - RUSTON
A previously unreleased ‘Wired for Sound’ cab ride on board
Ruston-engined 37 906 when it visited the Mid Hants Railway diesel gala
in March 2000. This exceptionally LOUD locomotive is featured on the
uphill climbs from Alresford to Ropley and Four Marks and also from
Alton up to Four Marks. Like its companion loco in the programme, 37 906
is also minus its exhaust silencer. You have been warned!
This DVD – which is NOT neighbour friendly - is now available.