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Going off the rails at Dudley during the final days of steam

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: February 07, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • A derailed train at Blowers Green Junction, 3rd July, 1965

  • The recovery train arrives to right the derailed locomotive

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THIS pair of photographs take us back almost 50 years, to the dying days of steam on Britain's railways, when Lawrence Brownhill of Dudley was on hand to take these snaps of a minor accident.

The date was 3rd July, 1965, and a freight train was running along the South Staffordshire line towards Dudley. The train was pulled by BR 6129, an ex-Great Western 6100 class 2-6-2 locomotive from Stourbridge Junction. The train stopped by the New Road bridge near Blowers Green Junction, where the Bumble Hole line branched off to Old Hill. In the background you can see the Hall Brothers works.

The train began to roll back and the tank engine could not hold it. The catch-points on the track did their job and derailed the train before it could career down the line.

Lawrence's second picture is taken from the opposite side of the line and shows the recovery operation. An ex-LMS 2-8-0, number unknown, has arrived with a crane to lift the stricken locomotive back on to the rails. The distinctive spire of Dudley Top Church can been seen in the background.

6129 was built at the GWR's Swindon works and entered service in November 1931. Designed by Charles Collett for commuter services, the 6100 Class were known as "Tanner-Oners" by enthusiasts. Under British Rail 6129 was assigned to the Reading, Oxford and Banbury depots before coming to Stourbridge Junction in January 1965.

Sadly, the locomotive was not in the Black Country for long. It had its accident in July 1965, was withdrawn from service in September and was scrapped in April 1966.

Share your railway pictures and memories with Bugle readers. Contact dshaw@blackcountrybugle .co.uk or send them to Bugle House, 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL

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