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29 Grantham 92141

On 16th August 1962 a northbound express freight train of perhaps 50 wagons approaches the station down the gradient from Stoke Tunnel under clear signals. It is hauled by class 9F locomotive No.92141 of New England (34E) motive power depot in Peterborough.
The first 20 or so wagons carry containers that are small by today’s standards. They were designed to fit the standard British Railways road delivery trailer of the time, still designed around the haulage capacity of a horse.
The group of three figures in the distance, near the signal post, are permanent way men engaged in lifting and packing the crossing. On a train such as this one there were 200 or more wheels carrying, first, a heavy locomotive and its tender, then wagons with basic springing and suspension. Each wheel hammered every rail joint, leading to cracked rails, loose track fastenings and pulverised ballast. Since those days improvements in permanent way technology and vehicle dynamics have radically improved the way trains interact with the track.
Photograph by Cedric A. Clayson, © John Clayson

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