Owned & Created by Wigan FRM members
Simon Fenton & Chris Hewitt
I park up my trusty Peugeot 306 Rallye in a side street near Bewsey Road overbridge and walk up to the bridge to see what I can photograph.
86261 slowly comes to a stop with the mail service at signal WN182 on the Down fast waiting to get into the Dallam Royal Mail terminal, the loco goes quiet as the driver puts her into neutral. On the Up fast a DVT leads a London Euston service and starts to slow down for the booked stop at Warrington Bank Quay, 87004 Britannia on the rear sounds wonderful as the Rhesostatic brake kicks in.
The whirr of the points can be heard then the ‘click’ of the SL85 filament in signal WN182 as it changes to a proceed aspect with the number four route indicator to send the mail train across onto the Up slow.
The unmistakeable noise of the traction control systems fans starting up are heard as the driver slips her into forward, applies a couple of taps on the power controller and the pssst of the locomotives straight air brake being released as the 86 gently moves her load over towards the Up slow and then onward to the Royal Mail terminal.
A 156 heads past on the slow line with a service from Wales to Manchester Piccadilly but thank fully the horrible noise of the Cummins engine is drowned out by the soon to be lamented noise of a Leyland 680 engine as one of Warrington’s last remaining Leyland Atlantean slowly chugs past, followed by a cloud of exhaust, now relegated to daily school bus duties only to see out her last few months of service.
I start to pack up the camera to head up towards Folly Lane to watch the shunting occurring in the yard. In the distance the horn of a class 37 is heard and just have time to dash back to the overbridge to get a shot of 37 tearing south on a infrastructure service for Crewe Basford Hall.
As I walk back to my car, two men are working on a wall that’s been knocked down by a stolen car… “time to get busy, such a lot to do, building and fixing, ‘til it’s as good as new”…. One of the builders shouts over to his mate “Robert do you think we can fix it”
As I drive down Dallam Lane to park up in a side street and pass an M-A-N James Irlam lorry turning into the warehouse. The driver nods to the security man on the gate and drives around to park up after a slow crawl up the M6. He applies the handbrake and continues to sing loudly to himself as he completes his tachograph. … “say my name, Sun shines through the rain, A whole life so lonely, and then come and ease the pain, I don’t want to lose this feeling, Oh”…. ‘Rubbish’ he shouts as he jumps down from the cab ‘the original was much better’.
I make my way up to Folly Lane bridge to watch the yard being shunted and take some more photographs I walk past a young lad shouting down his phone to his girlfriend after his wife had caught him with her “Gonna tell her that I’m sorry, For the pain that I’ve caused, I’ve been listening to your reasons, it makes no sense at all, We should tell her that I’m sorry, for all the pain I’ve caused, you may think that you’re a player, but you’re completely lost, that’s why I sing”… I shake my head and carry on.
In the yard Warrington’s local 08, 08903 is shunting in the yard and I grab a quick shot of the Shunter in action heading in-between the wagons to uncouple the wagons after being tripped up from the Arpley sidings.
Up on the bridge, the road is eerily quiet for a few seconds nothing can be heard except for the little 08 ticking over waiting for the next move.
The silence is quickly broken by the scream of four GEC traction motors, as the driver of 87027 ‘The Wolf’ gets the taps down and holds the power controller over into the ‘run up’ position. He keeps an eye on the ammeters to ensure that they stay in the lower yellow section to avoid overload. The Driver keeps the power up after the station stop and gets her up to 80mph for the enforced speed restriction around the curves at Dallam on the Down Fast.
A man runs past heading towards town, looks down at his watch and curses….”I drank too much last night, got bills to pay, my head just feels the pain, I missed the bus and there’ll be hell today, I’m late for work again…..”
The layout is based on Dallam, ¾ mile north of Warrington Bank Quay station on the West Coast Mainline. Its set in the 2001 which was the Indian Summer for loco hauled trains and HST’s as the following years Voyagers and later Pendolinos started to erode into loco hauled trains on the Virgin West Coast and Virgin Cross Country services.
The layout depicts the area between Folly Lane overbridge at the north, Dallam Yard and under Bewsey Road overbridge and then under the Cheshire Lines (Warrington Central line) to the South.
Numerous different types of traction and trains are covered, with EWS, Freightliner Heavy Haul, Freightliner Intermodal, and DRS serving the freight.
Dallam consists of a four track mainline with Dallam sidings, the scenic section is 14’6” but the overall size is 19’x3’. The layout is an oval with hidden sidings around the rear.
The track is standard N gauge Peco track (code 55). The Overhead line stations are part scratch built and also using N Brass.
The buildings are all scratch built based on actual building in the area.
The baseboards are created in the standard way with plywood tops. The layout is lit with four strips of LED’s.
How many of the song lyrics from 2001 was you able to get and for a bonus point the artist that sang them in 2001! Unfortunately there are no prizes on offer!!!!