87101 the biggest "seven" of them all ...

Delivered new in March 75, 87101 was soon under Derby RTC control and was a solid test train loco using at times her then unique thyristor power  control system being tested thoroughly. By Aug 76 she was a true WCML traffic loco working passenger by day and freight by night or vv. Long spells of test train operation would keep her away from passenger turns throughout the late 70's and 80's increasing her rarity value on passenger turns. She was stored in Oct 85 before a 3 year spell as a crew training loco at Hornsey for the expanding East Coast electrification.

She returned to Crewe in April 89 with spells of passenger usage as listed below. By 1991,  87101 unlike her "Inter City" sector classmates she became a railfreight distribution loco and was repainted in railfreight grey and became very rare on passenger turns once more.

By 1994 she was repainted back into BR Blue with traditional brass "Stephenson" nameplates for display at Crewe open day in Oct 94. Once again she became an occasional passenger loco being popular with Railtours and Merrymakers especially on the ECML. However freight duties were her core work and train crews enjoyed driving her,  nicknaming her "the rocket"! Inter City hire in turns for 87101 were at a high in early 1996 as listed in part below.

From 1997 with Virgin "running" the WCML, 87101 became confined to Railtour work between her freight duties. Like so many other one - off locos her non standard features and declining workload saw here sidelined after a failure whilst working 4S90 0250 Willesden - Mossend with her removed at Crewe early onn 18th January 1999 and her withdrawl came on April 28th 1999.

She was dispatched to Barrow Hill, but alas not for preservation, but for cutting up for spares which was complete by Feb 2002 thus ending her reputation as being the rarest "seven" of all....  

Sample Passenger turns

1350 Euston - Liverpool 030377

Failure -87101 1736 Euston-Liverpool, fail Hanslope,86'2 rear end assist to Rugby, 86240 forward - 091177


0720 Northampton - Euston  190382

1710 Glasgow - Euston         270582

0805 Euston - Holyhead        260883

1010 Holyhead - Euston        260883 

0835 Euston - Blackpool       300883

1001 Manchester - Euston   020684

0638 Milton Keynes - Penzance 230788

2050 (26/7) Inverness - Euston 270788

1050 Euston - Liverpool       270788

1220 Euston - Liverpool       140789

1025 Inverness - Euston       240190

1618 Holyhead - Euston       270390

1700 Glasgow - Euston      030196


0715 Euston - Birmingham   270296

0915 Birmingham - Euston   270296

1145 Euston - Wolves          270296

1419 Wolves - Euston          270296

1725 Euston - Glasgow        270296

0610 Glasgow - Euston        280296

1400 Euston - Manchester   280296

2000 Manchester - Euston   280296

0950 Glasgow - Euston        290296


0758 Euston - Chester Railtour 030597

1803 Chester - Euston Railtour 030597

Edinburgh - Kings X Rtn "Deltic Scotsman" RT 060997

Euston - Bir Int'l and back on "Pilgrim Hoover" RT 011197


1A40 0906 Holyhead - Euston (ex Crewe)

061198 (last pass working)


Sample Freight and test train turns


Up test train (Tring) 130476

Mossend - WN Speedlink 150391


Drag 92022 Crewe - Wembley 151098

4S90 0250 Willesden - Mossend (to Crewe) 180199  (last working)


Sample Open days


Bounds Green 040587

Gloucester 040891

Old Oak Common 190394

Crewe Electric 151094

Toton 290998


Thanks to "TC" for his help with the gen


87101 Phot spot



87101 passes Ledburn Jn with a down "Inter City" service on 160483.




87101 is checked during a farce at Leighton Buzzard on 230485. Railman "Hungarian Jo" is chatting with 101's driver to while away the time!




A workstained 87101 during an intensive passenger spell. "Stephenson" is at Carlisle with the 0735 Euston - Inverness with motorail vans up front on 250190




By now a railfreight distribution sector machine 87101 has few amps needed to haul the Mossend - Willesden speedlink through Old Linslade on a grey 150391





A nice summers evening at Ledburn sees a now Railfreight grey liveried 87101 heading North with CO2 tankers from WN to  Cameron Bridge on 240693




Thanks to "TC" for this rare service train view on February 29th 1996. Now back in BR blue 87101 is arriving at Euston with the 0950 ex Glasgow. As detailed in the text this was during an intense Inter City hire for this fine machine




87101 was popular with Railtours and Hertfordshire Railways Merrymakers in 1997. She is seen arriving at Watford with a Euston - Chester "Merrymaker" on  030597.


Any more 87101 memories/phots to share?


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