1001’s motor-coaches accompany 73 107 on test runs

September & October 2007

This article was written and closed on Friday 2 November 2007

[PHOTO: Train on curve at station: 70kB]

Our two available motor-coaches are seen leading 73 107 down the hill into West St. Leonards. station near the end of the last test-run. Photo by Neil Bays, who has several other photos of this working on his fotopic site.

When St. Leonards Railway Engineering had completed a heavy overhaul on electro-diesel class 73 locomotive 73 107 Spitfire, following static checks it was necessary to take it on a test run to ensure that all its systems were operating correctly.

Our two available motor-coaches were coupled to it, both to provide some hauled load for the loco, and to act as back-up should the loco on test require assistance.

As matters turned out, three test runs were carried out on separate days. Andy Armitage took photos on all three occasions, and the results are on this page.

First test-run, Thursday 20 September 2007

The test train, 5Z73, was formed 60118+60116+73107. The loco led the first part of the run, operating on its diesel-electric power unit for the journey via Rye to Ashford International, and using its 3rd-rail electric capability from there to Tonbridge. Upon reversal there, our motor coaches were leading and provided the motive power for the journey via Battle to Hastings.

As well as providing this dual-mode test for the Electro-Diesel loco, it “turned” our motor-coaches.

[PHOTO: Train approaching in cutting: 63kB]

Above: The test train approaching Doleham halt.

[PHOTO: Train passing station: 39kB]

Above & Below: The return leg of the working is seen passing through Crowhurst.

[PHOTO: Test train receding through station: 44kB]

Second test-run, Wednesday 26 September 2007

Last week’s test run was repeated today, but of course the DEMU motor coaches led the train from St. Leonards to Tonbridge via Ashford before the Class 73 took over. This route caused our motor coaches to become “turned” again, with Mountfield now facing Rye.

[PHOTO: Train at station: 37kB]

Above: Reversing at Tonbridge.

[PHOTO: Loco-hauled train at station: 44kB]

Above: A fine study of the Electro-Diesel loco leading the second run. Below: A few minutes later, the working reversed in Hastings platform 3 as a class 375 Electrostar looks on.

[PHOTO: Trains at station: 27kB]

Third test run, Thursday 18 October 2007

Actually this was a fourth test-run, as during the previous week 73 107 went to Hoo Junction in a GBRf convoy, returning light engine to St. Leonards depot. Once more the same train operated over the same route.

[PHOTO: Loco-hauled train at station: 40kB]

Above & Below: The test train at West St. Leonards, with motor coach Tunbridge Wells leading. See also the title picture of this article.

[PHOTO: Loco-hauled train at station: 46kB]

[PHOTO: Loco-hauled test-train in cutting: 67kB]

Above: This photo by Neil Bays shows the final working emerging from Bo-Peep tunnel for the short run past the carriage-washer to St. Leonards Depot.