Unplugged - Extra

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Unplugged - Extra

The 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 Mirrlees Pioneer!

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!


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.


Programme Fact File

Narrator: David Maxey 
First Published: 1998 as VHS
DVD Remaster: 2006
Route Featured: British Steel Llanwern - British Steel Ebbw Vale + Mid Hants Railway
Class Featured: 37/9
Availability: Now

Click here for ordering details

Other Locomaster Profiles Programmes featuring Class 37  motive power: London Orbital, Silver Bullet Syphons, Class 37s Past & Present, Heavy MetalDouble O, Power Hour, The Long Short Drag and the Traction Series.

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