Cab Ride: Derby to Mossend via Wichnor Jct, Lichfield and the WCML, then via both Holytown and Motherwell to Mossend Yard plus Nuneaton and Hams Hall.
In the winter and spring of 2021 there were a significant number of locomotives used countrywide for route learning or route refreshers. This had come about due to the Covid pandemic and a back-log of training; also to cover routes where freight trains had not operated for some time, for proposed new flows and just a general refresher of the railway, following many months of lockdown, furlough and disruption.
One such journey took place in late-February which saw ROG 47812 undertake a massive route learner over two days from Derby to Mossend via the WCML and in and out via both Holytown and Motherwell - then all the way back - plus Nuneaton to Hams Hall. The entire 12-hour journey was filmed!
It turned out to be a challenging two days with wind and rain battering much of England and Scotland! To say it was monsoon-like, climbing Shap and Beattock, would not be far wrong! Cab filming in the rain is not ideal but there's no escape from the extreme weather now experienced in the UK and this was a true insight as to what it's like from a train driver's point of view, battling storm-force winds, driving rain and flooding.
For a cab ride, 12 hours is too long and the WCML has been filmed over a dozen times in the last decade. So… for a change the programme here is a version of what the driver actually gets to use as part of route refreshing or route learning. Narration is minimal and on-screen captions show the line speed, line names, neutral sections and a lot more than what would normally be featured on an enthusiast's DVD.
You will see highlights of the WCML in both directions starting at Stenson Junction and the freight-only line from Wichnor to Lichfield, then key places such as Stafford, Crewe, Preston and Carlisle as well as Carstairs and Law Junction into Mossend via the alternative Motherwell route. The weather was decent for most of the journey, but the very worst of it is also shown!
This was probably the last cab ride filmed with ROG on board a Class 47 before the locos were sold; and a thrash cam in the back cab records the loco at work and ambient sounds.
Produced by - Train Crazy
Duration - 220 minutes
Format - 16:9 widescreen
Blu-ray (1 disc) and DVD (2 discs)
Released - May 2021