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A Day Out At 7: Tamworth

Ian Fowler

IAN FOWLER visits this two-level station in Staffordshire.

You may recall I did originally choose to name these features Nerds Day Out 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 the owners might be reading this..) where wed basically spend a day out taking photos of trains and watching the world go by.

Im concentrating on the contemporary scene rather than days gone before. Ive 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.

Id love others to be able to fill in the gaps for me, so please do email any of your own information on this location 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 London Midland to Tamworth.

By Road
Route planners recommend A284/A29/A283/A3/M25/M42/A5 which takes about 3hrs 15mins. A27/M27/M3/A34/M40/M42/A5 takes half an hour longer but you dont run the M25 gauntlet and you can stop off at Southampton, Eastleigh or Didcot for strategic comfort breaks.

LOCATION

National Rail Enquiries information on Tamworth.

Tamworth is a modern, functional station split over two levels. The 4 track electrified West Coast Main Line is on the low levels, where Platforms 1 and 2 are situated while a double track high level cross country route passes over the WCML on the high level with stairs and lifts linking the two parts of the station. The best place to observe the trains is at the top of the stairwell on either high level platform, although this does make the numbertaking of passing Pendolinos and Voyagers nigh-on impossible. The more interesting stuff tends to pass on the high levels anyway. Beware even on the sunniest of days, Tamworth is exposed and cold, especially on the top deck!

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! Its very mobile friendly too. Recommended!
www.realtimetrains.co.uk

WHAT CAN I SEE?

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.

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. Theres also coal, oil, stone, cement, steel, cargowaggons, automotive, and infrastructure traffic 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. Its a busy freight location and you will see plenty of variety.

MODELLING POTENTIAL

Not impossible but not easy. Would make a great tail chaser layout with split level action. There is certainly a similarity between the main station building and our Kestrel Modern Station kit.

WHAT YOU COULD RUN

Heres a list of Locomotives and Multiple Units currently available from RTR manufacturers that can be seen at Tamworth. The really interesting bit is trying to find the appropriate coaches, wagons and buildings on our website so Im 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 37

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

Class 56

Class 56

Hornby R3265 Colas Class 56 087 - OO Scale

Dapol DA2D-004-001 BR Class 56 019 Railfreight Red Stripe Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-004-009D Colas Rail Freight Class 56 094 (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Class 57

Class 57

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 B32-982 Class 66 66434 DRS Plain Blue Compass - OO Scale

Hornby R3345 Freightliner Class 66 - OO 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

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 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 DAND-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 170

Class 170

Bachmann B32-469 Class 170/5 2 Car DMU 170521 Cross Country Weathered - OO Scale

Class 220

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

Class 221

Not currently available 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

MODEL SHOPS

Aside from Sansomes in Grendon, this is a barren area for model shops with the next nearest being the new incarnation of Hobby Rail in Sutton Coldfield.

SUMMARY

Tamworth is a great location with lots of action. Youll see a wide variety of colourful trains but the only thing against it, is that it is slightly awkward in terms of getting a good view of everything.

RATING

Im giving Tamworth 4 British Rail Pork Pies out of 5.

BR PieBR PieBR PieBR PieBR Pie
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