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Footplate and ‘The Loco’

Here men who worked their way through the grades from engine cleaner to fireman to driver at Grantham describe the way of life at 'the Loco', one of the East Coast Main Line's busiest engine sheds.

There's a quiet pride among former and present-day railway staff at Grantham, a reflection of the vital role the town played for more than a century in the operation of the East Coast Main Line as a high speed steam railway. These pages will help to ensure that this heritage is not overlooked, and we hope they will encourage more people to come forward with their own memories and stories of life on the railway in and around the Grantham area.

Class A3 locomotive No. 60112 St Simon is on standby pilot duty at Grantham shed on 1st August 1963. Photograph by Cedric A. Clayson.
Class A3 locomotive No. 60112 St Simon is on standby pilot duty at Grantham shed on 1st August 1963.
Photograph by Cedric A. Clayson.

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Follow these links to read real-life stories of life on the footplate:

2 thoughts on “Footplate and ‘The Loco’

  1. brian lewis

    At 66 years of age there isn't a day goes by when I'm not back on the platform. Just got off the L1 steam train from Nottingham Victoria and, turning sideways, my eyes lit up when coming to the top of the yard was an A4 WOODCOCK, my first pacific to underline in my abc book beginning with a '6' and, to top that, A4 GOLDEN FLEECE, wonderful sounding whistle, speeding through heading towards Doncaster. I'm still a railway enthusiast - you never loose memories like this. I'd be 12 years old on this journey, travelling from Nuneaton were I was born.
    Many Thanks
    Brian Lewis

    Reply
    1. tracksthroughgrantham

      Hello Brian,
      Thank you for conveying so clearly your impression of arriving at Grantham as a young spotter - back in 1961 it must have been. What a thrill!
      You mention that you lived in Nuneaton. My father took me to Nuneaton Trent Valley station on several occasions during the summer of 1961, before we started going to Grantham. I remember standing alongside one of the magnificent maroon Princess Royal class locos which had drawn to a stand at the Down main line platform on a passenger train. It was No. 46207 Princess Arthur of Connaught. At the age of 7 I told my Dad that I couldn't understand how a princess could have 'a boy's name'! I'm still not sure that I understand.
      John Clayson

      Reply

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