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Nerd's Day Out: Part 3 - Nuneaton

Ian Fowler

IAN FOWLER explores the mix of freight and passenger services that pass through Nuneaton Station.

Iíve chosen to name these features ďNerdís Day OutĒ as that is what my great friend, former colleague and legend of this parish Nick Duxfield christened our regular six monthly outings (in our own time I hasten to add Ė the owners might be reading this..) where weíd basically spend a day out taking photos of trains and watching the world go by. Iím concentrating on the contemporary scene rather than days gone before. Iíve got to also pay tribute to my dear old dad who diligently took me to a variety of locations as a small boy to watch the trains, even though his own interest was minimal at the time. So thanks, Dad.

Iíd love others to be able to fill in the gaps for me, so please do email any of your own information on this location to us at rightlines@gaugemaster.co.uk so we can expand and update this feature in due course, selling the concept to a publisher for millions of dollars and not split it with Stuart!

GETTING THERE (From GM HQ at Ford)

By Rail
From Ford, up to London Victoria with Southern, Victoria line to London Euston on the Underground then Virgin Trains or London Midland to Nuneaton. You can plan your journey at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

By Road
Route planners recommend A27/A24/M25/M1/M6 which takes about 3.5hrs. A27/M27/M3/A34/M40 takes half an hour longer but you donít run the M25 gauntlet. Swings and roundabouts. The final bit of the drive always feels like it takes forever. There is a station car park charging £7.50 peak and £5 off peak for a days parking and a nearby Asda should you require supplies.

LOCATION

National Rail Enquiries information on Nuneaton

Nuneaton is a busy station with a busy east/west route linking Birmingham with Leicester, Peterborough and East Anglia dissecting the West Coast mainline. Relatively recently, a flyover was constructed to reduce the number of conflicting paths at the station, and such east/west trains now traverse the flyover in order to find their way to the new platforms 6 and 7.

Nuneaton is an impressive station featuring old and new architecture, with long platforms and a footbridge. There are a number of interesting older features in and around the station and a traditional station buffet with home made sandwiches is located on Platform 1. In an attempt to be the ultimate location for railway enthusiasts, there even used to be a model shop on one of the platforms Ė sadly long since closed. The station is safe and there are usually a number of like minded people on site.

All lines appear to be bi-directionally signalled so keep your wits about you.

Platform 1 is generally used for the Coventry shuttles via Bedworth and freight services. Platform 2 for London Midland services to Crewe and northbound freight trains. Iím not sure that Iíve ever seen anything stop at Platforms 3 and 4 , with platform 3 used for northbound expresses and platform 4 for the southbound equivalents. Platform 5 is used for southbound London Midland trains to Euston and freight traffic while as described earlier, Platforms 6/7 are the new platforms with 6 being used for westbound freight and passenger services to Birmingham via Coleshill Parkway and 7 for eastbound freight and passenger services to Leicester and Stansted Airport via Peterborough and Cambridge.

REALTIMETRAINS

It could be argued that this addictive website has taken all the surprise out of observing the real railway, but it is an absolute godsend when deciding when you should go home! Itís very mobile friendly too. Recommended!
www.realtimetrains.co.uk

WHAT CAN I SEE AND CAN I BUY THE MODELS?

Being the West Coast Mainline, Virgin Pendolinos and Virgin Voyagers operate the vast majority of north/south services interspersed with London Midland Desiro EMUs. The Royal Mail Class 325s put in regular appearances too. East/West passenger services are generally catered for by CrossCountry Class 170s while a London Midland Class 153 generally has responsibility for the Coventry shuttle.

Freight-wise, you can expect to see intermodal traffic operated by Freightliner, DB Schenker, DRS and GBRf featuring classes 66, 68, 70, 86 (in pairs) and 90. Thereís also coal, stone, cement, steel, cargowaggons, automotive, and infrastructure traffic Ė even nuclear flasks. Such traffic can throw up class 20s, 37s, 56s, 57s, 60s, 67s and 92s in additional to the more usual suspects previously outlined. Itís a busy freight location and you will see plenty of variety.

Iím not sure that you could replicate the station as a model railway. It would require a vast footprint and the lack of convenient scenic breaks would make a difficult task even harder.

WHAT YOU COULD RUN

Hereís a list of Locomotives and Multiple Units currently available from RTR manufacturers that can be seen at Nuneaton. The really interesting bit is trying to find the appropriate coaches, wagons and buildings on our website so Iím going to leave that up to you!

Class 20

No DRS liveried Class 20 is currently available, although a edition was produced by Bachmann as a limited edition for Model Rail magazine.

Class 37

Class 08

Bachmann 32-370 Class 37/4 37405 DRS Compass - OO Scale

Class 56

Class 56

Hornby R3265 Colas Class 56 087 - OO Scale

Dapol 2D-004-009 Colas Rail Freight Class 56 094 - N Scale

Dapol 2D-004-009D Colas Rail Freight Class 56 094 (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Class 57

Class 57

Bachmann B32-763 Class 57/3 57309 Pride of Crewe DRS Compass Blue - OO Scale

Graham Farish GF371-656 Class 57 57312 Network Rail Yellow - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-657 Class 57 57309 Pride of Crewe DRS Compass Livery - N Scale

Class 66

Class 66

Bachmann B32-981 Class 66 66416 Freightliner Powerhaul - OO Scale

Bachmann 32-982 Class 66 66434 DRS Plain Blue Compass - OO Scale

Hornby R3345 Freightliner Class 66 - OO Scale

Dapol DAGM220 DB Schenker Class 66 001 Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-000 Class 66 709 GBRf/MSC Sorrento Ship Livery - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-000D GBRF Class 66 709 MSC/Sorrento Diesel Loco (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-002 Freightliner Class 66 504 Powerhaul Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-002D Freightliner Class 66 504 Powerhaul Livery (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-003 EWS Class 66 200 Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-003D EWS Class 66 200 Diesel Locomotive (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-004 Freightliner Class 66 612 Unbranded Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-004D Freightliner Class 66 612 Unbranded (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-383A Class 66 66101 DB Schenker - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-384 Class 66 66209 EWS (Weathered) - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-385 Class 66 66546 Freightliner - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-396 Class 66 (Low Emission Variant) 66731 InterhubGB GBRf - N Scale

Graham Farish 371-397 Class 66 66434 DRS Plain Blue Compass - N Scale

Class 67

Class 67

Hornby R3272 EWS Class 67 Royal Sovereign Claret - OO Scale

Hornby R3348 EWS Class 67 016 - OO Scale

Hornby R3349 EWS Class 67 024 - OO Scale

Class 68

Not currently available but Dapol have the rights to produce the model in the future. I believe itís been laser scanned.

Class 70

Class 70

Bachmann B31-588 Freightliner Class 70 005 Powerhaul Diesel Weathered - OO Scale

Bachmann B31-590 Class 70 70015 Freightliner (Air Intake Modifications) - OO Scale

Bachmann B31-591 Class 70 70805 Colas (Air Intake Modifications) - OO Scale

Graham Farish 371-635 Class 70 PowerHaul 70006 Freightliner - N Scale

Graham Farish 371-636 Class 70 PowerHaul 70003 Freightliner - N Scale

Class 86

Class 86

Dapol ND-147 Network Rail Class 86 Twin Pack - N Scale

Class 90

Class 90

Hornby R3350 DB Schenker Class 90 029 - OO Scale

Bachmann 32-612 Class 90 90042 Freightliner Powerhaul - OO Scale

Class 92

Class 92

Hornby R3346 DB Schenker Class 92 009 Marco Polo - OO Scale

Hornby R3347 EWS Class 92 EPS Livery 92019 - OO Scale

Class 153

Class 153

Dapol 2D-020-002 London Midland Class 153 371 - N Scale

Class 170

Class 170

Bachmann 32-469 Class 170/5 2 Car DMU 170521 Cross Country Weathered - OO Scale

Class 220

Not currently available Ė Bachmann, Graham Farish and Dapol have produced in the past though.

Class 221

Not currently available Ė Bachmann, Graham Farish and Dapol have produced in the past though.

Class 325

Not Available at all.

Class 350

Class 350

Bachmann 31-031 Class 350/2 Desiro 4 Car EMU 350 238 London Midland - OO Scale

Bachmann 31-032 Class 350/1 Desiro 4 Car EMU 350 102 London Midland - OO Scale

Graham Farish 371-701 Class 350/2 Desiro 4 Car EMU 350 238 London Midland - N Scale

Graham Farish 371-702 Class 350/1 Desiro 4 Car EMU 350 101 London Midland - N Scale

Class 390

Class 390

Hornby R1155 Virgin Pendolino Starter Set

MODEL SHOPS

Nuneaton is totally devoid of model shops with Sansomes in Grendon Atherstone your nearest store and the next nearest being in Burton, Leicester or Coventry. Perhaps an opportunity for someone?

SUMMARY

Nuneaton is a good location, there is always plenty to see and itís always pleasing to see trains using the new flyover to the north of the station. The station feels safe but it is out in the open so can get surprisingly cold at times!

RATING

Iím giving Nuneaton four British Rail Pork Pies out of five.

BR PieBR PieBR PieBR PieBR Pie

Next stop, Newport.

Shropshire, Wales or Isle of Wight? You'll have to wait and see!

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