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Once again it's July and time for our annual Open Day where we open the gates of one of our depots to the public with the proceeds going to Charity. This year it was held at our Crewe Gresty Bridge depot roughly in the centre of England and situated close to the West Coast main line between London and Scotland. The show tends to alternate between our Crewe and Carlisle but Crewe is a railway town through and through so the attendance is always massive.


Friday was taken up with shunting the shed and and yard to position all the exhibits, a minor epic as it turned out as some key locos were still en-route to Crewe.






57 007 which was to be one of the naming ceremonies on the Saturday stands alongside one of the TPE Class 68s (of which more later) and 37 424


37 403 'Isle of Mull' , which normally operates Loco hauled passenger services on the Cumbrian Coast line is ready for a trip though the washing plant and is seen alongside one of the FNA-D Flatrol wagons, which was being put on display for the first time.




The Class 37 is painted in the very retro British Rail 'large Logo' as are many of the other 37/4s we have. This has resulted in these locos, first introduced in 1960, having a bit of a cult following and attracting many railfans to the areas where they operate.


37 407, still missing its Loch Long nameplates, has recently come out of the works




More tomorrow



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Contrasting with the venerable 37s was 88 002 'Prometheus' one of our cutting edge 25KC AC/Diesel hybrids. Pumping out 5360HP when under the wires and a more modest 950 HP on the CAT C27 diesel these are settling down to be very useful engines since their introduction in 2016. Currently we have had 10 delivered




Now these Stadler built engines share the same bodyshell and running gear as our Class 68 diesels. These were built by Vossloh who were absorbed into Stadler recently

We use these for our own traffic but also lease them out to main line passenger companies


68 014 is in the rather plain 'Chiltern' livery and currently works out of London Marylebone station on their services to Birmingham




68 017 'Hornet' is a regular performer on Northern rails 'Cumbrian Coast service.




Just in time the two locomotives we have had at the Velim Czech republic test track arrived back on the depot. These were part of the testing program with the new Mk V coaches being built by CAF ready for the launch of TPEs new revamped Trans Pennine services


68 021 'Tireless' is a bit weathered having not long come off the boat.



68 019 'Brutus'  is also in the new TPE livery





Personally I can't get used to the lack of yellow ends. Group standards now deem these as not mandatory due to the use of high intensity LED headlights but I'd still rather see a big yellow blob approaching when I'm on or near the line.





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Thanks for sharing, the hybrids are a very neat idea.  Do you have any pictures of the insides?  I'm interested in seeing how such a locomotive would look under the hood, as it were.

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There were two naming cermonies. 57 007 is one of our Class 57s. These were originally Sulzer engined Class 47s but were repowered with EMD motors to create the 57 class.




The naming ceremonies have become very popular over the last few years and I was constantly asked what it was going to be. The answer was 'John Scott' a memorial to one of my colleagues in Engineering who passed away in 2012




The other loco to be named was one of our EMD built Class 66s. These are the dominant freight design in the U.k with over 400 examples having been delivered to various companies.


66 424 and 425 are seen near the fuel road at the depot




Sister engine 66 421 was revealed as 'Gresty Bridge TMD' its home depot in a service conducted by DRS M.D Debbie Francis and local M.P for Crewe and Nantwich Laura Smith






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I can certainly sort some interior pics out, when I left work today I had about 4 class 88s in the yard so wait until next week and I'll get some done.


So. After the mega shunt on Friday we went out for a meal and a few sherberts before regouping on saturday morning to do the rest of the prep as the traders, caterers and the rest of the volunteers arrived.


First order of the day. Safety brief



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Safety brief




Once that was done it was time to go and have a look at the queue!


You'll get a better idea when I put the link to the video in but for anybody that knows Crewe this was bordering on the insane! starting at the depot gates its stretched down the drive, under the Gresty Bridge, past the Mornflakes Oats factory complex (we had to put marshalls on to stop the queuing fans blocking the delivery truck entrance and seemingly all the way to Crewe Alexandra's football ground



And they just kept coming!




From the lessons we learnt two year ago we dispensed with the cab visits in the shed as the gantries really blocked things up




More tomorrow



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Another way to raise money for charity was to auction off some redundant nameplates and framed publicity pictures. I bid for a couple but I suspect the big dealers were in as I didn't win any




Network rail kindly loaned us 'Caroline' the midlands inspection saloon which we provide the motive power for.




Link to youtube video


in it you see the Friday shunt, well some of it anyway, followed by the scenes on Saturday including the infamous queue






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Thanks for sharing the great photographs and video. I came to this event and it was excellent!

The Class 68's in TPE livery looked great.

A big thank you to you guys at DRS for making all of this possible.


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Looks like a good day. Looking at the length of the queue did you have to close the gates? I like the 68s too as they make a fine noise when working hard.

Well done on the amount raised - 37800 (That's a Europhoenix loco isn't it?) :-)

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