De­part­men­tal re­prieve

Model Rail (UK) - - Masterclass -

Crewe sta­tion was closed for seven weeks dur­ing the sum­mer of 1985 to al­low for re­de­vel­op­ment work. This came at the same time as BR was with­draw­ing the re­main­ing Class 40s. How­ever, due to a lack of mo­tive power for en­gi­neer­ing traf­fic, 40012, 40060, 40118 and 40135 were pulled out of re­tire­ment. They were renum­bered as part of the ‘97/4’ de­part­men­tal fleet: 40060 (97405), 40135 (97406), 40012 (97407), 40118 (97408). Crewe’s new de­part­men­tal ‘40s’ were re­warded with work in the North West. As well as work­ing en­gi­neers’ trains, they hauled pas­sen­ger and parcels traf­fic. De­spite their ob­so­les­cence, the four Crewe ‘40s’ con­tin­ued to be used af­ter the work at Crewe had fin­ished. 97407 and 97408’s ca­reers even­tu­ally ended in early 1986, with 97406 suc­cumb­ing in De­cem­ber. 97405 con­tin­ued work­ing un­til March 1987. This de­part­men­tal work en­sured that three of the quar­tet lasted long enough to be saved for pos­ter­ity.

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