Every loco tells a story, 86424, 86324,  E3111…

 

Memorable for perhaps all the wrong reasons!…Remember back in 1996 86424’s star role on the  Kings X-Edinburgh leg of the “Deltic Deliverance” return to the main line tour, or the “Pennine Summits” tour in 1984 seeing 86324 rather than the advertised “roarer” working this memorable tour from Euston-Nuneaton.

Or perhaps back in the mid 80’s you were festering for an up service at Wolves and on seeing a big yellow front of a blue liveried loco complete with double arrow emblem bodyside, and  cheering because it was a “roarer” or 86’0,  only for the dull “rancid can” in 86324 arriving on your train.

Yet with the “roarers” long gone, cheering in the new millennium on seeing a “red can” like 86424 on your train rather than some “Skoda”. 86424 has to date escaped the scrapyard and as a Network Rail “ spares sector” loco there is just the very slim chance that 86424 might one day return to service and actually get some deserved accolade. Odds of survival lengthened as in August 2013 this fine machine was exported to Hungary for spares for existing Floyd 86'2's, the end is nigh for E3111/86324/424. …

 

E3111 emerged from Doncaster works for WCML acceptance trials in October 65 being renumbered as 86024 in 73. She was one of the class partially modified to improve track wear by having resilient wheels fitted in 1980 becoming the legendary 86324.

 

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Footex power, 86324 at Leighton with a Manchester-Wembley footex back on 260383

 

29098486324r.jpg Apologies for neg quality, Ambush time! 86324 with the "Pennine Summits" tour at Nuneaton at a time when a yard pilot was still in operation

 

 

86324 was to remain very “roarer” like in keeping her blue livery, double arrow emblem and lack of multiple working wires on the front. Without multiple working cables 86324 had a habit of ambushing “roarer” passenger and freight turns much to the annoyance of “roarer fans” the length of the WCML. My first ambush, albeit red pen move, saw her joined on the 1716 Euston-Northampton Cobbler on 010782. The “Pennine Summits” railtour in September 84 saw her work the Euston-Nuneaton leg of the tour complete with 2 Manchester Pullman vehicles at the very front to “top up the load”. 324 was famously spirited away for the tour’s return electric leg from Rugby to Euston with 31257 deputising in some style.

 

86324 was long term loaned as a crew trainer to the Great Eastern in October 84 so her ambush potential dropped and she featured with 86007/316 on the Great Eastern Pullman tour in Feb 85.  She was off “branch line” use by mid 85 and returned to WCML turns becoming 86424 in April 89 as a Crewe Electric based parcels loco. This saw her as a red res liveried work many parcels turns, some passenger and much railtour activity. This included a lot of ECML action such as the Kings X-Edinburgh leg of the fated “Deltic Deliverance” tour some 14 years ago now.

01039086424r.jpg Now in Inter City livery on a sectorised WCML, 86424 passes under Soulbury Rd bridge North of Leighton station, 010390

 

 

424 was stored in Nov 99, but reinstated in July 00 to see a celebrated swansong as one of a EWS hire fleet for Virgin duties. Suddenly there were mileage moves off the Keynes behind this former celebrity and like the now long gone “roarers”, the “red cans” like 86424 gained a small cult following. She returned to store in March 01 but was reinstated in Sep 01 for her very final swan song. She became one of the few cans I actually cleared by making an effort! and stayed out on WCML turns for another 15 months.

 

 

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86424’s parcels red livery looks bleached after earlier storage, here she rounds Old Linslade’s curves with 1S96 vans on 241001

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86424’s propels a broken 90015 on a Manchester through the original 70's installed Ledburn Jn on 270602

 

86424’s last passenger working under power is reported as the 1528 M.Keynes-Manchester on 301102 and the legend was finally put to store in Dec 02. However the expected cut never happened despite ending up at Allely’s Studley yard some miles from the wires. She has returned to the WCML in 2006 with storage at  Crewe LNWR for her Network Rail owners. Officially a spares loco for the 2 “operative” class 86 (86901,86902) but as we’ve seen before “spares/Christmas tree” locos have returned from the dead before………….

 

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86424 sporting Network rail yellow at Crewe LNWR on 220210, a “PB” phot

 

 

Sample class 1 turns 1972-2002

 

240872 as E3111wkg 1G26 Euston-Birmingham

010977 as 86024 on passenger at Carlisle

040982 as 86324 on 0930 Llandudno-Euston (Via Brum)

230887 as 86424 on 1935 Euston-Northampton

170892 as 86424 on 0907 Liverpool-Edinburgh (ex Preston)

100299 as 86424 on 1230 Liverpool St-Norwich

221101 as 86424 on 5Z86 Wolverton-Wembley drag DVT 82112

191002 as 86424 on 0805 M.Keynes-Liverpool

301102 as 86424 on 1528 M.Keynes-Manchester – Last Working.. 

 

86424, yet another WCML celebrity!

 

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