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New Diesel Locomotive Acceptance Trials – Doncaster to Grantham

by Mick Grummitt

Mick remembers that new diesel locomotives would arrive from Doncaster in the late 1950s hauling a set of coaches on loaded acceptance trials.

The trains that arrived at Grantham from Doncaster when I was there were diesel hauled with about eight or nine coaches on.  These would run Up Main to South Box, stop, set back and be crossed over on to the goods line or, if that was busy, they would go over into the carriage sidings.  Sometimes, if the main lines were busy, South Box would ask Yard Box to turn them inside up the Goods Line to South Box to await a path to get them across.

A brand new Birmingham RC&W Sulzer Type 2 (class 26) is photographed from South Box, arriving with Empty Coaching Stock on the Up Main line.
Photograph by Mick Grummitt

When it got over, the engine would run round the train, either by the goods line or the carriage sidings depending which line it was on.  After coupling up for the return it would be inspected by fitters and people travelling with it from the builders.  Nobody seemed bothered about looking at the coaches, so I guess they were just made up from any stock to hand to make a train for the journey.  I don't remember any trial trains just running coaches up to Grantham.

Having run round its train of empty coaching stock, brand new NBL Type 2 diesel electric (class 21) No. D6122 is standing on the Up and Down Goods line, viewed from the Yard Box. The locomotive is on a trial run from Doncaster to Grantham and back.
D6122 went into service at Ipswich on 15th September 1959, soon after this trial trip. They were not the most reliable machines. All 38 initially sent south (to Hornsey, Stratford and Ipswich) returned to Scotland during 1960 to see out their relatively short service lives.
Photograph by Mick Grummitt.

Some of the larger diesels would run Doncaster to Peterborough or to Finsbury Park and return, with about eleven to thirteen coaches on.

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