Kent Rail

London & Greenwich Railway 150th Anniversary

23rd & 24th August 1986


One notable event of the 1980s was the celebration of the London & Greenwich Railway's 150th Anniversary, organised by British Rail's Southern Region in conjunction with the newly-formed Network SouthEast sector and the BR freight sectors. Over the weekend of 23rd and 24th August 1986, Cannon Street Station played host to a variety of interesting BR traction, ranging from electric multiple units - preserved and contemporary types - main line freight diesel locomotives, diesel shunters and even a steam locomotive! In addition to the varied and interesting motive power within the station walls was 153 different exhibits, all of which were positioned either on the main concourse or the platforms, adding yet more interest. Although the home of the London and Greenwich Railway was actually London Bridge Station (having been established by the company in 1836 to replace their earlier terminus at Spa Road), the ex-SER's Cannon Street was used due to its status as a peak-only station. However, BR used their imagination and operated a shuttle service between the two stations, employing a preserved 4-SUB and 2-BIL electric multiple unit, making the occasion all the more special. The event was introduced by the then Southern Region General Manager, Gordon Pettitt, via the souvenir programme issued over the weekend. The celebration came at a time when the London & SouthEast sector had been re-branded as Network SouthEast (only two months previously) and this provided the opportunity to see the well-liked ''Jaffa Cake'' livery alongside its successor, the blue, white and red of Network South East - also a pleasing scheme. Events like these were ideal for getting up close to locomotives and rolling stock, in terms of having access to the drivers' cabs and being able to walk around the engine rooms of the various diesels on show. Most items of stock which were present over the celebratory weekend are featured on these pages, but if not, can usually be found on the pages of the other Southern Region events which they attended.



London & Greenwich Railway 150th Anniversary

Star of the show was N15 Class No. 777 ''Sir Lamiel'', seen here coupled to InterCity sector

BR Mk 1 stock on the Saturday. At such events, British Rail would chain an old sleeper to

the rails in front of visiting steam locomotives, to prevent for certain them moving off.

Mike Glasspool



London & Greenwich Railway 150th Anniversary

Despite the restriction imposed on steam traction, British Rail did at least allow some movement

of preserved stock, as can be seen here. 2-BIL unit No. 2090 undertook the task of shuttle train

between Cannon Street and London Bridge Stations in conjunction with 4-SUB unit No. 4732,

which was coupled to the rear. Both EMUs were restored to the Southern Region green scheme

of British Rail, albeit with the mandatory full yellow warning panel. The 2-BIL was preserved by

the National Railway Museum, but after storage at St Leonards Depot it was savaged by vandals,

but thankfully has since been restored. Mike Glasspool



London & Greenwich Railway 150th Anniversary

Another interesting visitor to the show was Class 08 No. 97800 ''Ivor'', wearing the colourful

blue, red and white of the Network SouthEast livery. Ivor had not travelled far for the event,

being the allocated shunter for Slade Green Depot at the time, a task it carried out there

between 1979 and 1990. Of course, it received this livery in 1986. After finishing at Slade

Green in 1990 (being replaced by a Motor Luggage Van) the locomotive received its original

number, No. 08600, and was transferred to Eastleigh Depot, whilst still retaining Network

SouthEast livery in the process. In 1997 it was sold on to a private company. Mike Glasspool



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