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Diesel Convoy Arrives at Alton

At 17.30 on Thursday 4th September, a West Coast Rail Class 57 arrived in platform two at Alton with a convoy of three diesel’s for the MHR Gala the following day. MHR signalmen Wicks and Russell were on hand to liaise with Woking Area Signalling Centre to see them across the boundary between Network Rail and the Mid-Hants. Immediately behind the Class 57 were a Class 31 and Class 37 "growler" that had been hauled from the East Lancs Railway at Bury, initially to Butterley at the Midland Railway Centre where a further Class 31 was added to the rear. They then travelled across country via Loughborough to join the East Coast Main Line at Peterborough continuing down to Finsbury Park where they joined the North London Line round to the west of London and finally to Hampshire. The resident MHR green Class 37 brought down a set of ‘empties’ in readiness for the next day as can be seen in the first photograph. The convoy was deposited in the Meon Loop after which the Class 57 ran round ready to depart at 19.15 back the WCR depot at Southall. The resident green ’37 then hauled the three visiting diesels back to Ropley ready for their big day the following morning.

Rod Wicks
MHR Signalman’s Foreman

Photo gallery


  • The Class 57 arrives at Alton with the convoy of 2 x Class 31’s plus a Class 37 “growler".

  • Coming across the boundary onto the MHR - yes, the infamous gate has now gone since partial commissioning of the ‘fringe signalling.

  • Passing the GF operated by yours truly.

  • Passing the GF into the Meon Loop to detach the Class 57 in readiness for running round.

  • Run round complete with our resident green Class 37 on the country end with AT52 cleared ready to haul the convoy to Ropley.

  • Class 57 ready to depart for the WCR depot at Southall.