I've recently acquired a book entitled 'London Midland Region Steam Finale' by Michael S Welch. Inside is a fascinating picture of now preserved SMJ regular 48305 complete with 2E shedplate backing a Northampton - Stratford PARCELS!!!!! train into the up platform at Towcester in 1962. I've never heard of a parcels working on the SMJ but that is what the photo clearly shows and the cation describeshow the train was reversed back into the down platform to make unloading easier.
Ant further info would be appreciated!!
All I can add to this is that examining the Towcester signal box register for the period 1962 I cannot find any reference to a parcel train. Could you be more precise with the date.
16th February 1962. Looks to be composed of GUV vehicles or similar, possibly some 6 wheelers, rather than 4 wheeled vans.
Its not surprising then as register starts 17 April 1962
I'm intrigued by this, but havent yet found a copy of the book to have a look at - any chance of a scan? I agree that an 8F at this date is a bit unusual, but I wonder if it was due to the weight of train - perhaps the extra vans took it over the 4F limit - does the pic show the total consist?
You mention that the caption states that it was specially backed into the down side - I'm not sure how Towcester was signalled then, but could it have run straight into that side from the Blisworth direction? Also presumably it could have been put on that side for easy off-loading, and onto road transport - wonder if it was as special consignment for somewhere in the Towcester area?
Careful scrutiny of the picture has revealed that 48305 is carrying a Class K headlamp code which suggests it is in fact a normal Blisworth - Stratford pickup consisting of (very abnormal for the SMJ) parcels van stock. The headlamp code was something I should have carefully checked earlier! Interesting though. 8F haulage of the pickup was also unusual as early as Feb 1962. Could it be that the parcels vans were about to dropped off for storage at Towcester? Any ideas welcome.
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