Suffolk Liner

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Suffolk Liner


Class 90s have been regular performers on Freightliner services since 1991 when 26 of the 50-strong fleet were allocated to British Railís freight sector.

In the summer of 2015, Freightliner had ten of these locomotives, one of which - 90044 - is the subject of this cab ride. The train is the 4M87 Felixstowe to Trafford Park service which this programme covers between Ipswich and Wembley. The 76-mile journey takes in two major routes - the Great Eastern Main Line between Ipswich and Stratford, and the North London Line as far as Camden Road.

The starting point of the journey is Ipswich Yard. After passing through the station and Ipswich tunnel 90044 opens up for the 3-mile climb up Belstead bank. With 5,000 horsepower on tap the AC electric makes light work of the 1,200 tonne trailing load and gradually eases the train up to its maximum permitted speed of 75mph. The line descends to Manningtree where the Harwich branch joins the East Anglian Main Line. More branches appear as the 4M87 heads south - the routes to Clacton and Walton-on-Naze appear at Colchester, the Sudbury branch appears at Marks Tey and the single track to Braintree joins at Witham. Eighteen miles further on, Shenfield is the junction for the routes to Wickford, Southminster and Southend Victoria. Then itís into the outer London suburbs through Romford, Chadwell Heath and Ilford to Stratford. From there the 4M87 leaves the Great Eastern Main Line and heads for Lea Junction and the busy North London Line.

Although our London Orbital programme (filmed in 1995) covers this section of route, the next six miles to Camden Road through Hackney Wick, Dalston Kingsland and Highbury & Islington are almost unrecognisable following extensive modernisation. At Camden Road the 4M87 takes the short freight only chord past the redundant platforms of the former Primrose Hill station before joining the West Coast Main Line at Camden Junction. The final five miles of the journey are past Queens Park station and Willesden TMD before accessing the High Level Goods Line and coming to a stand alongside Willesden Royal Mail Terminal.

Programme Fact File

Narration: David Maxey
First Published: 2020 DVD
Route Featured: Ipswich - Stratford - Camden - Wembley.
Class Featured: 90
Availability: Now

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Other Locomaster Profiles Programmes featuring Class 90  motive power: Currently none. Sorry!

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