My purpose fulfilled...


Teignmouth, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

By the turn of the 1980’s, the plucky and stylish Class 124 units were really starting to look their age as they saw out their final years on Trans-Pennine workings, as this set shows at York during a lovely winter’s evening.

Built by Swindon Works, 16 sets were constructed in 1960 to replace the Farnley Junction based LMS Jubilees on the Liverpool and Manchester to Leeds, Bradford, Hull and York services over the Pennines. Equipped with a 230hp Leyland Albion engine, these units could whisk their way across the steep gradients at a steady 70mph. Their main party piece however was the large wrap-around cab windows which allowed almost 180 degree uninterrupted views for the driver, as well as allowing passengers seated behind to enjoy panoramic views of the Yorkshire and Lancashire countryside.

Starting with 6 car sets painted in BR Corporate Green, the units were later reduced to 4 cars during the 1970’s, before being merged in 1977 with their mechanically similar cousins the Class 123 Intercity units. By 1982, it was apparent that these units were in need of replacement, and in 1984 they worked their final Trans-Pennine diagrams before being replaced by ETH fitted Class 31’s and loco hauled stock. These were in turn replaced by Class 47’s, later Class 158 Regional Express units, and now Class 185 Desiro units. One wonders where next the cycle will go for the Trans-Pennine route?

As for the Class 124, they have long since departed us. Although there were plans to preserve one of the Driving Trailers for its panoramic windows, the expense of removing asbestos from the frame proved too costly, and now these units, much like their Class 123 cousins, have been consigned to the scrapyard in the sky…

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