12th December 1981

Branch Line Society
(NCB Littleton Colliery Railtour)

Loco Used 63.000.442 'Western Pioneer' (GECT 6wDE W/No. 5422/1977)
Stock Used brake vans

Route :

Loco Route
63.000.442 Littleton Colliery (alongside one of the pit shafts) Fulls Sidings (the northernmost limit of the colliery lines)
63.000.442 Fulls Sidings (the northernmost limit of the colliery lines) Fulls Outwood line Rapid Loading Bunker (newly installed at the time) the site of the junction for the Empties Inward line (1) Branch incline (single track with a gradient average of 1 in 48 which includes a section of 1 in 35) Reception Sidings NCB/BR boundary (short of the sidings at Penkridge) (2)
63.000.442 NCB/BR boundary - Cripple Sidings (by the M6 - stub of canal basin line)
63.000.442 Cripple Sidings (by the M6 - stub of canal basin line) NCB/BR boundary (3)
63.000.442 NCB/BR boundary passing loop at the foot of the incline (4) Branch incline Littleton Colliery (5) Screens -  South End Headshunt (6)

Notes :
(1) Line closed with change of operation to rapid loading and cutting filled in.
(2) Train did not venture to the sidings next the BR Stour lines as an empty mgr train from CEGB Ironbridge was due. MGR empties from the south reversed off the main line into the Exchange Sidings where the NCB loco was attached and the BR loco (rostered a class 47/3 at the time of the 1981 visits) detached. Loaded MGRs heading south were brought into the Exchange sidings where the NCB loco was detached at one end whilst the BR loco was attached at the other. The train was then propelled into the BR sidings next to the main line before reversing and being hauled onto the main line).
(3) Train returned to Br boundary to pick up some NCB p.w. staff.
(4) Stopped in the loop to allow the empties a run at the incline.
(5) Passengers detrained for a visit to the loading bunker control room for getting back onto the brake vans to continue to the southern end of the site.
(6) The tour terminated at the south end headshunt (retained to give access to the loco shed when the rest of the track in the area was removed on completion of the rapid loading facilities. The loco was detached from the brake vans and parked in the loco shed.

Source : Andy Pullar (on the train throughout)

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