Back to the future


I AM grateful to the Heavy Tractor Group for its invitation behind the scenes to witness the transformation of ‘Heavyweight’ Type 3 No. 37714 from DRS blue livery into a retro look of Trainload triple grey, as pictured on our cover this month.

The work has been done at Loram in Derby, and we covered its arrival there in the last issue. Four weeks on from then and it is fair to say the result is nothing short of stunning – with the loco looking practically brand-new. Loram, which has a reputation for quality paint work, has gone out of its way to get the livery as authentic as possible – and, not only that, but the way the paint has been applied means it is guaranteed to last in mint condition for years.

The loco is due to make its first public appearance in its new guise at the Great Central Railway’s diesel gala on March 18/19, just after this magazine hits the shops. But it will also be in operation there on various dates throughout the rest of the year, and I would urge you to make a visit to see just what an excellent job has been made of it.

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It is also great to see the 1980s’ Sectorisation period brought to life again in this way, as it was a key stage in the evolution of British Rail. The switch from geographic management to one focused on different business sectors was a significant change in approach, one that arguably paved the way for eventual privatisation in the following decade.

Our main feature covers the early years of Sectorisation from 1982 – a fascinating period of change in railway culture where, for the first time, freight trains no longer had to play second fiddle to passenger services.

Paul Bickerdyke, Editor

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