A day in the life of Kings Langley goods loop
The "Up Kings Langley loop" as Network Rail now call it, is not the busiest section of the WCML locally. Diverging off the up slow
just South of Kings Langley station close to the M25 motorway overbridge, this lengthy loop of unwelded track served by 15mph restricted turn outs
normally sees just 1 or 2 trains daily these days. Still it has survived and looks to have a secure future unlike many other similar short, little
used WCML track sections which have gone since the 70's.
The loop is signalled in the up direction only and trains using it are stopped by signal WT4100 (formerly WJ73). The most regular visitor to
the goods loop is 4L89 "Up Scotch" liners from Coatbridge to Felixstowe normally hauled by a pair of cans. 4L89 is booked to call at Kings
Langley loop from 0811 to 0835 to let several up rush hour units to pass. Other regulars include the newly delivered 387's on test from Bletchley
to Lovers Walk/Crewe via Wembley which sees the units booked in the loop from 0908 to 1008. The return cargowagons off the Daventry - Wembley
sometimes get recessed in the loop when running in a late afternoon slot and on occasions a Crewe - Felixstowe afternoon liner also recesses in the loop.
On Feb 2nd 1972 a derailment occured just South of Kings Langley with 25316 hauling 6Z44 Round Oak - Bow Creek steel flats. 12 wagons were derailed
blocking the up and down slow plus the goods loop for some hours.
In the 80/90's 1M11 2340 Glasgow/Edinburgh - Euston was, like today, a regular early runner. Today 1M11 is allowed to run up to 50 early as it isnt delaying
any faster trains, as it is ahead of the Pendolino pack. 20 years back however, Watford Jn Power Box a stickler for regulations, often used to loop 1M11 when running
early. So many an 87 basher awoke due lack of movement around 5am only to find their 1M11 looped in Kings Langkey goods loop!
Today the goods loop is very rare for passenger usage but at least 2 fairly recent tours have dropped in there to satisfy the needs of some of the more desperate track
bashers. UK Rail's return "Limestone Cowboy" hauled by 92016 dropped into the loop as requested late on August 20th 2011. After stopping for 30 seconds we
were on the move again, no traffic having passed.
68023 on the Branch Line society's Achilles Heel mini tour on June 23rd 2016 was also booked to use the loop. The driver had to stop at Kings langley station to get
the road set for the loop though! Again a brief stop in the loop, no traffic passed and the first ever 68 hauled passenger train to use Kings Langley loop left for Wembley.
So as you wiz past Kings Langley on your 350 or Pendo look out for Kings Langley goods loop, it will be probably be empty as usual. Kings Langley goods loop a true
survivor. Any more Kings Langley goods loop memories/phots out there readers?
Kings Langley goods loop phot spot
passenger train to call in Kings Langley loop, such is history...