Class 73/9 Enters Passenger Service
all photographs and the report by our Scotland correspondent Gregory Beecroft
(above) 73966 & 73967 on the 14:30 working from Bo'ness on Sunday 3rd January, with the Firth of Forth in the background.
Class 73/9s with large fuel tanks finally entered passenger service in the early days of the new year, but not on the Caledonian Sleeper, which is the reason for their conversion, but during the Winter Diesel gala on the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway on 2nd and 3rd January 2016.
The locomotives worked as follows, departures from Bo'ness:
(below) In a unique combination, 73966 leads 26038 into Birkhill on the 11:30 Bo’ness to Manuel on 2nd January. This was the first ever passenger working by a rebuilt 73 of any type; there have been none reported on the Southern Region or indeed elsewhere.
|(above and below) Proof positive that the Scottish 73/9s are still electro-diesels (contrary to what has appeared in some publications); pick-up shoes on the bogies and buttons on the control desk for selecting diesel or electric mode.|
|(above and below) While we are at it, further pictures of the new driver's control desk of the cab of the number 1 end of 73966. The driver’s control handle is claimed to be the only original fitting. The timber window frame (see below) gives a hint that the locomotive really is 55 years’ old, though much rebuilt. Although the headcode panel has been plated over externally, the box remains internally (see above). RETB, for the West Highland Line, has not been fitted yet. The mounting for this can be seen above, to the driver’s left (grey rectangle containing a smaller dark grey rectangle). Note that the brake gauges now take the form of a LCD display, whereas the speedometer and ammeter remain conventional dials.|
(above) 73966 and 73967 wait at Bo’ness to work the 13:30 to Manuel on Saturday 2nd January.