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Class 37s on Cumbrian Coast passenger trains in 2015

You might be suprised to know that 50 year old class 37 diesels are hauling regular timetabled passenger services in 2015, but its true. How ths came about is a complex story. In the privatised railway, most of the trains are owned by companies who lease the rolling stock to the various operators such as Northern Rail, Great Western, TransPennine and Chiltern. TransPennine Express (TPE) leased a small number of modern class 170 diesel multiple units. When the lease for the units expired, TPE were only able to ask the leasing company for a short term lease, as their franchise term was getting near its end date. This was clearly unattractive to the leasing company. However, Chiltern Railways was in a position to lease them for a long period, so they got the 170s. This did mean that once the 170s moved south, TPE would not have enough trains to run its services, clearly a major problem. Eventually a complex deal was arranged to overcome the rolling stock shortage in the North of England. This saw services and stock transferred between TPE and Northern, plus two diagrams on the Cumbrian Coast line would be operated by DRS class 37s and coaches.

The trains currently class 37 hauled are,

Mondays to Fridays

0515 Carlisle - Preston
0842 Carlisle - Barrow
1435 Carlisle - Barrow
1737 Carlisle - Barrow
0546 Barrow - Carlisle
1004 Preston - Barrow
1138 Barrow - Carlisle
1437 Barrow - Carlisle
1731 Barrow Carlisle


0515 Carlisle - Barrow
0842 Carlisle - Barrow
1156 Carlisle - Lancaster
1433 Carlisle - Barrow
0546 Barrow - Carlisle
0845 Barrow - Carlisle
1138 Barrow - Carlisle
1731 Lancaster - Barrow
1732 Barrow - Carlisle

The loco hauled sets are not used on Sundays.

Below, at first the trains were top and tailed by 37s

Below, once Driving Trailers were ready, a single class 37 was employed with the loco usually on the north end of the train.

Few people know that the Cumbrian Coast line is one of the most scenic railway journeys in England, well worth a ride, even better behind a class 37.

There is a very useful round robin ticket which enables you to travel between Lancaster and Carlisle via the Cumbrian Coast line, and return over Shap via the West Coast Mail Line. The journey can be made in either direction and starting from any station on the circle.

Rail 2015 Part 2 37s

Colin Kennington

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