85035, the number of the “beast”
This fine machine emerged from Doncaster Works as E3090 in October 63 being accepted into traffic a month later. This loco was to remain a 100 mph machine loco throughout virtually all her 28 year BR career as an AL5/85’0, “mixed” traffic loco. As E3090 this loco was one of the first “roarers” to work out of Euston on a test train shortly after full electrification to the blocks in early November 1965. In her final guise of 85109 (freight sector, no eth, 75 mph max) in July 91 she worked the last 85 hauled passenger train ever, followed by the last 85 hauled liner turn South to Willesden the next day as detailed below.
85035 through the years, sample gen
E3090 1205 Euston
– Manchester Test Train 161165
E3090 1105 Euston – Barrow 090566
E3090 0630 Plymouth – Manchester 290966
E3090 0827 Manchester – Euston 090967
E3090 1A38 1150 Wolves- Euston 011169
E3090 1630 Euston – Manchester 020670
E3090 on Euston’s plat 2 line of stabled electrics 080873
85035 1745 Glasgow – Birmingham 170974
85035 1548 Bir Int’l-Liverpool 040380
One celebrity turn where it was nice to see several miles of film taken of her at Wigan NW was her role as unspecified power on the Euston-Wigan and return legs of the “Silver Hammer” Railtour on 3/8/85. Her performance was superb on this run, as was her ex work’s paintwork, she was to keep this good paintwork to the end. One other particularly memorable combination of turns was on 30/12/88 where we enjoyed a fast run to Milton Keynes behind her on the 1745 Euston-Northampton “Cobbler”. This was nothing particularly unusual, nor was 85036 back to Euston on a 1425 Glasgow-Euston relief. On 85036 however we reversed a mile or so from North of Bletchley back to Denbigh Hall Jn, to be routed around the failed 1420 Glasgow-Euston with some dead can at Bletchley Station. We leapt off 85036 at Watford to cover the failure, We were a little surprised when 85035 arrived with the failure, having being borrowed from it’s Cobbler ECS turn.
85035 1318 Birmingham-Euston 280783
85035 1S23 2140(24/08) Bristol-Glasgow 250884
85035 1B08 1745 Euston-Northampton 070185
81017 } 1B08 1745 Euston-Northampton 200385
85035 d }
85035 0015 Liverpool-Euston 250585
85035 1420 Glasgow/Edin-Cardiff 060986
1935 Euston-Northampton 060287
85035 1S06 2110 Euston-Stranraer 280487
85035 0930 Manchester-Euston 260887
85035 1210 Glasgow-Euston 020188
85035 1140 Liverpool-Euston 300988
85035 1720 Liverpool-Birmingham 011088
85035 1410 Euston-Birmingham 130189
85035 0655 Northampton-Euston 140489
It was 85035’s good internal condition that saw her chosen for an extended career as a no heat, 75 mph dedicated Freight sector machine being renumbered 85109 for these duties on 29/6/89. She became a regular sight on Liners, Speedlink and a variety of other freight turns. With strict Sectorisation finally imposed on the WCML and with no ETH she became “massive” on passenger duties. Very occasional turns saw her appearance on 19/8/89 on the 0920 Glasgow-Euston Relief when power was just a tad short!
A last celebrity run saw 85109 top and tailing the first run of 90049 on a passenger train on Network North West Day shuttles from Altricinham to Oxford Rd on 20/10/90. With most enthusiasts understandably enticed by exotic diesel power further North, there were just a few of us to enjoy the last mileage move of the day behind 85109 from Altricinham to Crewe via Oxford Rd.
With the abolition of the Speedlink network confirmed for 7/91 the inevitable end for the 85’1s was announced. A misty Saturday morning at Northampton awaiting a real unit (310) to Birmingham on Saturday 6th July saw the centre road peg off and that unmistakable big yellow front approaching as 85109 worked the 4M83 0150 Glasgow-Willesden liners South for the last time in her hard working career. True to form, she had stolen the limelight the previous day as a replacement for a failed Skoda on the 0559 Padd-Glasgow forward from Carlisle. The liner turn was the last main line freight and the Skoda replacement was the last passenger turn for the Roarer’s, as the farewell tour had taken place the weekend before.
Renumbered 85109 290689
85109 1Z13 0920 Glasgow-Euston Relief 190989
1640 Bir Int’l-Edin (to Crewe) 110690
85109 1000 Altricinham-Man Oxford Rd (NNW special) 201090
85109 0559 Padd-Glasgow (Ex Carlisle) 050791
85109 4M83 0150 Glasgow FLT - Willesden 060791….the end!.
85109 was withdrawn 8/7/91 and spent a few months at the Crewe ED Graveyard before the final cut at MC Metals in 10/92. Screaming traction motor’s and roaring blowers can still occasionally be heard from 92’s in action locally. In misty weather when you can just hear the blowers, before the 92 actually appears, it does really seem that the ghost of 85035 is with us once again, brings a shiver to your spine!! 85035 gone but not forgotten
85035 -Phot spot
Farewell 35 you served us so well
Any more 85035 memories to enjoy?