BLOG: 30 minutes at Crewe

Photo: Pendolino 390049 departs Crewe for Manchester on August 15 2018.


I’ve been making an effort to stop by the line side on my regular photography trips for the magazine lately. On August 15 I headed across country to Crewe for a photo shoot with the team from 45C (HM125) to showcase their latest extensions and modifications. You will be able to see the results of that in a future issue of the magazine.

The location for the photo shoot was Crewe Heritage Centre. I hadn’t been there since the late 1990s (before I started out as a railway journalist in fact), but it was a pleasure to view the site and its impressive restoration of the APT-P and Class 87 87035 Robert Burns. I also had chance to view the latest progress on its repaint of Class 47 D1842 and take a walk around the site including Crewe North Signalbox.

The preserved APT-P has is immaculately presented at the Railway Age in Crewe.

87035 Robert Burns was being maintained by the Wednesday Gang at the Railway Age in Crewe on August 18 2018.

The Railway Age is full of railwayana – plus the former Crewe North signal box is open for viewing.

Crewe North signalbox has been preserved inside at the Railway Age in Crewe.

This preserved signalbox sits at the centre of the junctions at the north end of Crewe station. To one side there is the West Coast Main Line and the lines to Manchester while on the other is the double track route to Chester. Having completed photography of 45C I took advantage of the location and used the viewing area on top of the signalbox to capture a few of the movements around the station for half an hour.

Crewe’s operation is interest, even though most freight traffic uses the avoiding lines and there are no locomotive hauled workings on a regular basis. Still, I was able to see as Class 325 mail unit heading to Crewe Electric depot, a pair of Class 90s on a Freightliner working as well as one of the recently repainted Class 319s which have moved to north to work for Northern.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking for the rest of this blog, but if you are in the area I recommend a visit to Crewe Heritage Centre to see its collection and take advantage of a brilliant location to watch the trains go by.

Class 325 parcels unit 325009 heads for Crewe Electric Depot from Stafford at Crewe on August 18 2018.

Most freight traffic uses the avoiding lines at Crewe, but Freightliner’s 90041 and 90014 stopped in platform 12 for a crew change. Here they pass the former Crewe North signalbox heading for Coatbridge on August 18 2018.

After a brief stop in Platform 3, 390137 departs Crewe for Manchester while 390049 waits on the through line for a path.

The Railway Age at Crewe includes this brilliant vantage point to watch trains passing through the station.

One associated with the Midland Main Line and Thameslink operations, the Class 319 EMUs are now operated by Northern. On August 18 2018 319371 departs Crewe for Manchester.

London Midland operated Class 350 Desiros have a wide sphere of operation along the West Coast Main Line corridor. Here 350119 overtakes Pendolino 390039 on the approach to Crewe on August 18 2018.

I hope you enjoyed this latest post and if you have anything you would like to comment on, drop us a line to

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