1705 Stories

Peter Storey memories of 1705

It was suggested to write to your group regarding my exploits with 1705 alias 47117. I joined the railway in 1972 at Stratford, she was one of ours, I called her Christine after the Stephen King story, here’s why.

I worked to Willesden High Level and went to make tea, as I passed there was oil pouring out of the grills and down the body side, straight on the phone to the signalman who told me that I had route set into Wilesden DED,  I got up a bit of speed incase she shut down and rolled into the depot, by the time I had reported to the supervisor we went back out and there was a pool of oil spreading all over their nice clean floor, a few hours later they had patched her up with a temporary repair to get me home, after that I was derailed at Cricklewood  and somewhere else that escapes me at present, I had several flashovers on the Norwich, Kings Lynn and Parkeston Quay services, Fire alarms sounding with out a fire, blown gasket at Harlow Town causing black exhaust every time I powered up, Traction motor contacts welded together so became a total failure at Gidea Park on a down Norwich,.

After my transfer to Penzance and signing the road I worked my first turn to Exeter with an HST up and loco hauled down, what should roll in but Christine, the Paddington man I relieved said she was a good un, all went well until Burngullow just west of St Austell, as I entered what was then single line and she shut down on me, it was dark, raining heavily and blowing a gale, a normal Cornish summer, I had plenty of air so I decided to see how far I could roll, pinching a bit of speed downhill to compensate uphillI ran through Buckshead Tunnell at 35 mph and coasted into Truro on time, The engine overspeed  had tripped, I reset it and continued, calling her several names in the process, this happened again at Baldhu, reset at Redruth and tripped again when easing off at Camborne, a little over the line speed at Gwinear Road came over the top at 30 mph and downhill to Hayle, still plenty of air about10 mph over line speed at Hayle Viaduct and rolled to the St Erth stop, still on time reset again and as I eased off at Rospeath she shut down, rolled into Penzance 4 minutes early due to recovery time. That was the last I ever saw of her. Imagine my utter dismay to learn that she had survived, I had better not visit her because she would remember me and probably blow up. Thought you’d like to hear my escapades with Christine, I’m sure she has a brain.