Oh how we steam enthusiasts used to like it when diesels let down the railway by failing. And back in the 1960s they did, far too often. British Railways seemed to have no sense of direction with the diesels and ordered twenty or so from various manufacturers. Some of them were, frankly, very poor in terms of reliability.

But then things got sorted out and by the 21st century most diesels were very reliable. But it was still possible to grin when things went wrong. And here was a case in point.

This was a dire day back in November 2006. Roads and railways had been hit with floods and problems. One of my work colleagues had managed to get to a station some ten miles from work and I went to pick him up. On crossing the railway  near Pewsey I could see a problem and stopped and took a couple of photos.


There’s no blame to the loco, but its leading bogie had left the rails. Nobody was hurt but on a difficult day it added to the chaos for it meant the main line between London and Exeter was blocked.

The loco is a class 67, bought in principally to operate mail trains, a job they lost when mails forsook the railway to add more clutter to the roads. I think, but am not certain, that this train was spreading some kind of rail adhesion substance.

Another loco of the same type was on the other end of the train and back down the line we can see a tree fallen on the tracks. It had been this with an accompanying heap of earth that derailed that leading bogie.

image004The loco was rerailed later the same day and removed. The track was checked and repaired as needed and reopened the next day.


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