Leighton Deltics, 1955-2023

Leighton Deltics 1955-2023

Regular Deltic operation through Leighton began with the Prototype Deltic working the 1010 Liverpool – Euston “Merseyside Express” throughout on December 13th 1955. The Protoype Deltic became a regular visitor until  December 1958. Northampton Mick  comments that Deltic was so common during his and many other mass spotting sessions  at Roade on the WCML was often booed!, such was it’s commoness!

The production examples, apart perhaps on delivery runs when new, were as yet unknown locally in BR days. Preserved examples were occasional visitors, D9000/55022 had a regular Summer Saturday turn in 1998 and 1999 bringing Napier music weekly on 1O99 the 0658 Birmingham – Ramsgate Virgin service train.

Railtours or positioning moves have brought at least 55002, 55009, 55015, 55016 and the more common 55022.

55016’s visit on June 14th 2003 was on a Colchester – Holyhead kettlex. Unfortunately the then Porterbrook liveried 55016 failed prior to departure from Colchester and 66156 hauled the Purple Deltic and tour instead.

A few photos below including the memorable early morning scene at Old Linslade on October 9th 2017 when a trio of Deltics headed North light engine. A unique and unforgettable local working.

Not an everyday sight at Euston, 55022 prior to departure with the “Cross Country Deltic” tour on April 13th 1997. I payed £5 to do the beast Euston – Watford Jn, happy days.

A regular Summer Saturday turn for 55022 in 1998 and 1999, howling South through Leighton with 1O99 0658 Birmingham NS – Ramsgate on August 28th 1999

In fading light (at 2022) 55019 blasts along the down fast at Old Linslade with a return Salisbury – Preston Railtour on July 2nd 2005

55022 now in blue approaches Linslade tunnel with the Spitfire Euston – Preston return positioning tour on March 6th 2011

55009 “Alycidon” is a rare visitor to the WCML at Ledburn on July 6th 2015. She was returning 0Z33 to Willesden from Toton after railtour work on July 4th. Adding to the scene are 92016 with 90018 dit on 6B41 Wembley – Daventry water bottles freight.

The Napier drone of 55002 could be heard on the Southerly breeze long before this mighty impressive convoy passed Old Linslade on October 9th 2017. 55002 is dragging 55019 and 55009 from East Grinstead to the NRM York via 2 drop off points. The Deltics had been at the Bluebelles deltic event the weekend before. We believe this was the first visit of 55002 to the Southern WCML and first ever local “triple Deltic” too

55022 on the Mk III Scotrail liveried push pull set passes the rippled waters of the Grand Union canal north of Old Linslade with a Crewe – Kings Cross Hoskinsex emcars on April 21st 2023

55022 absolutely flying through Ledburn with 1Z70 0730 Euston – Carlisle Hoskinsex on May 12th 2023. Leighton was passed in 30 mins, Nuneaton 65mins, Crewe 1h 46m and arrival at Carlisle 3h 45m 30 early on 95 mph timings…


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