Network's Easter Parade 1991

30th & 31st March 1991

 

Another very interesting event to take place under the ''Network SouthEast'' banner was that at London Bridge (terminus) station over the weekend of 30th and 31st March 1991. This followed in the footsteps of another highly successful gathering at the terminus back in August 1988, and would certainly not disappoint. Primarily, the exhibition marked the end of the traditional British Rail Regions - Eastern, Midland, Southern and Western (where Network SouthEast operated services) - and the beginning of total rail operation by the Business Sectors. Fundamentally, this would see all railway responsibility - i.e. maintaining and renewing infrastructure - come under the control of the sectors from 1st April 1991. Before this date, the railway regions of 1948 still existed to fulfill the role of maintaining the railway, undertaking most tasks except the running of the train services, the latter having been the responsibility of the Business Sectors since 1st January 1982. Of course, the exhibition was by no means restricted to Network SouthEast exhibits, and no less than nine different classes of diesel locomotive were anticipated to attend, taken from the TrainLoad freight sector pools and the private operators of Foster Yeoman and ARC. Although being private business entities, the latter two still utilised British Rail drivers for their American-built traction. There was no shortage of electric multiple units - both old and new - and even diesel multiple units made it onto the scene. The icing on the cake was the presence of not just one, but two steam locomotives, both of Southern Region relevance: West Country Class No. 34027 ''Taw Valley'' and Merchant Navy Class No. 35028 ''Clan Line'', engines well-versed with special events.

 


 

Network's Easter Parade 1991

The event provided the chance for the Network SouthEast sector to show off its characterful

''Snow Train''. The snow blower vehicle is at the far end of the formation, whilst prominent

in the centre is the tool van, named ''Polar Bear''. The end of the staff & dormitory coach is just

visible on the right, at the time named ''Ptarmigan''. Before this departmental formation came into

use, a Scottish Region-based snow machine was deployed in the south during a number of heavy

snowfalls throughout the 1980s, 1987 in particular. Network SouthEast's new toy was more

conveniently sited, becoming permanent resident of Stewarts Lane. It is seen here on the second

day of the station exhibition underneath the terminus roof, 31st March 1991. Mike Glasspool

 


 

Network's Easter Parade 1991

No. 58046 was part of the display at the London Bridge Station exhibition on 31st March

1991 and is seen wearing two-tone TrainLoad Coal livery. This locomotive was initially

delivered to BR in the Railfreight grey livery with full yellow cab ends, black window surrounds

and a red solebar. A number of the locomotive's side panels were drawn back during the event

to provide a fine view of the power plant. Mike Glasspool

 


 

Network's Easter Parade 1991

A pleasing sight was Merchant Navy Class No. 35028 ''Clan Line'', adorned with ''Golden

Arrow'' regalia and in the company of a Blood and Custard BR Mk 1. However, this spectacle

was not the only one of a Bulleid Pacific, as one will soon discover.......Mike Glasspool

 


 

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