Peak power at Luton a year earlier, 45105 arrives at Luton with the 0950 Leicester- St Pancras on January 7th 1977
During the late 70’s some Midland loco hauled services that had historically stopped at Luton also made additional timetabled stops at St Albans. By 1981 the St Albans loco hauled stops had been severely reduced and in the privatised era, just Thameslink units serve St Albans.
Luton – St Albans mileage was short at just 10.35 miles and the journey time was equally brief at 11 minutes but a “peak” thrashing over the scenic Chiltern Green summit was always a pleasure. As with the Midland from the dark ages the diet was eth peak and more eth peak apart from the odd 45’0 or eth 47. 47514 as below produced on both these days which was a welcome bonus. 47514 was Toton’s pet 47 and spent much of her 70’s career on test trains from Derby RTC. By January 1979 the loco was transferred to Haymarket becoming push pull machine 47703.
There were long “festers” between the trains we travelled on, but the Midland in 1978 still saw heavy coal traffic albeit as MGR’s, much oil including the Eastern 47 hauled “Immingham oiler” from Langley to Lindsey, cement with Southern 33’s as added interest and much parcels traffic. Class 25′ were always pottering about on local parcels and freight traffic. Virtually all passenger traffic was “peak” powered to, so any variation was an event. St Albans was also renowned for its many pubs…!.
Tuesday January 3rd 1978
45108 1005 Derby-St.Pancras Luton – St Albans
47514 1212 St. Pancras-Derby St Albans – Luton
45124 1207 Derby-St.Pancras Luton – St Albans
45108 1412 St.Pancras-Derby St Albans – Luton
51619/59619/59612/51637 1515 Luton – St Pancras Luton – St Albans
45120 1519 St.Pancras-Nottingham St Albans – Luton
45143 1407 Derby-St.Pancras Luton – St Albans
51633/59640/59591/51614 1605 St Pancras – Luton St Albans – Luton
Thursday January 5th 1978
45140 1207 Derby-St.Pancras Luton – St Albans
47514 1412 St.Pancras-Derby St Albans – Luton
51646/59614/59631/51592 1515 Luton – St Pancras Luton – St Albans
45119 1519 St.Pancras-Nottingham St Albans – Luton
45146 1407 Derby-St.Pancras Luton – St Albans
45123 1820 St.Pancras-Leicester St Albans – Luton
Sunday August 19th 1979
45112 1612 St.Pancras – Derby St Pancras – St Albans
45142 1717 St Pancras – Nottingham St Albans – Luton
A bog standard St Albans bail for the train an hour behind, eh peak for eh peak!
Monday August 20th 1979
25243 1025 Bedford – St Pancras Luton – St Pancras
45123 2015 St.Pancras-Derby St Pancras- Derby
For around 15 months the local Midland “bash” was enlivened by the “new” loco hauled 0825 St Pancras – Bedford and 1025 return. Using a load 9 commuter rake off the 0727 Luton – St Pancras “commuter” the 0825 St Pancras – Bedford and 1025 return served St Albans, Harpenden, Luton, Leagrave, Harlington, Flitwick and Bedford. It had a classic Cricklewood “kick out” feel for it as not just eh peaks worked it, class 25 ,45’0 and 47 also featured.
Electrification, HST’s and general rancification of the Midland saw few of us do local moves as the 80’s progressed simply using the few surviving hauled trains to get from Bedford or Luton to St Pancras. One late Spring Sunday in 1989 perhaps produced the last local “hurrah!”
Not rare but never common, class 47s sometimes deputised for our trusty Peaks on the Midland, heres 47534 arriving at Luton with the 1234 to Nottingham on January 14th 1977
As we all know you will today wait at the likes of Luton for a loco hauled passenger train in vain, even loco hauled “specials” are now virtually unheard of, and very much eh Peaks no more….
Any more local haulage moves on the Midland to share?