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August 2020 - ERS secures a second former EPS Generator Van
ERS is pleased to announce that it has purchased a second Mk3 generator van. These vehicles were converted for Channel Tunnel 'Nightstar' Sleeper trains north of London but never saw passenger service. This vehicle is in excellent condition with both engine and generator sets having very few hours use since installation. The vehicle will be modified to supply standard ETS voltage and then will be available for hire as a mobile ETS generator vehicle. 96374 was transported from Wabtec Doncaster to Vauxhall Carriage Sidings on the 5th August by Allelys Heavy Haulage.
July 2020 - ERS vehicles used to demonstrate COVID-19 controls
ERS was pleased to have its coaches used by Loram and Network Rail at Derby to demonstrate a new COVID-19 decontaminating product. The carriages were featured on BBC East Midlands Today. A promotional video can be seen below.
July 2020 - Mk2 vehicles around the country
July 1st saw several ERS Mk2 vehicles in action with Network Rail test trains. 9801 was in the consist of 3Q90 running around Yorkshire. Picture (below left) taken by Darren JB of the train at the former Royston Junction. 9806 was also in action in a 67-hauled 1Q08 running from Cambridge into home turf at Ipswich and onto reading. Picture taken by Shaun Langdown at Ipswich.
April 2020 - ERS acquires former Greater Anglia Mk3 vehicles
Mk3 coaches have been in service on the Great Eastern Mainline for over 20 years and with the impending withdrawal of the vehicles from the Norwich to London line, ERS took the opportunity to aquire several vehicles to enhance it's fleet. 4 vehicles were obtained including Mk3 TSOs 12021 & 12098, FOD (first open with accessible area) 11078 and TSOB2 10413. The latter is a vehicle that was converted to replace Mk3 RFM kitchen cars on the line, the first batch converted from TSO coaches but the second from the original RFMs, hence retains much of the original equipment. ERS now owns the last reminaing unmodified former GA Mk3 RFM - 10229 and an RFM in their current modified form.
Pictures clockwise - TSOB buffet bar, TSO interior, Norwich low-level, FOD interior
January 2020 - Further delivery of Sleeper vehicles
January continues to be a busy month for ERS with a number of vehicle moves taking place. Tuesday 21st January saw some of the remaining Mk2/Mk3 vehicles moved from Wembley to Crewe for onward movement to Weardale. The move included brake 9804, lounge 6702 and SLED 10699. The train was hauled by GBRf 92018, pictured at Stafford by Taylor Lewis.
January 2020 - Latest delivery of former Sleeper Vehicles
6th and 7th January saw the transfer of some of the remaining Mk2/Mk3 sleeper vehicles from Ferme Park / Wembley to their new home at the Weardale Railway. RFO 1210, lounges 6703, 6704, 6707, brakes 9802, 9805, 9807 sleepers 10501, 10502, 10600 were in the formation hauled by 92010 as far as Doncaster Decoy by GBRf where 66721 took over for the leg to Bishop Auckland.
Photos below courtesy (in clockwise order) Will Courtis, Michael Hart, Joseph Robinson (lower two).
January 2020 - BUOs enter service with Network Rail
Following fitting of various specialist systems to a tight deadline, the former Caledonian Sleepers have now entered service with Network Rail. These photos were taken at Harrowden Junction by Geoff Tibble and show 9801 in the formation of a Derby to Hither Green test train move. The whole train consist was 37612, 99666, 72630, 62384, 9801 and DBSO 9714. Clicking on either picture below will take you to a video of the train.
January 2020 - Network Rail hires former Caledonian Sleeper coaches
ERS is pleased to be working with Network Rail to provide support vehicles for the nationwide UTU (Ultrasonic Test Unit) trains that operate from NR's base in Derby. Five former Caledonian Sleeper seated brake coaches (BUOs) will be on hire initially for a period of a year. ERS has worked with Network Rail and Loram at Derby to fit various specialist systems including blue-star 27-way through wiring to the coaches in an extremely short time period to enable the coaches to enter service at the start of January 2020. The pictures below show the vehicles in Loram's Derby workshop and then the first vehicle in service 9806 on 3Q36 Derby to Carlisle test train (photo courtesy of Darren JB).
December 2019 - ERS obtains Mk3 kitchen cars 10212 and 10229
Mk3 RFM kitchen cars 10212 and 10229 have been obtained by ERS. 10212 was formerly part of the 'Pretendolino' Mk3 set used by Virgin West Coast as peak time additional carriages alongside the new Pendonlino fleet and was repainted in a similar livery. This set of carriages was based at Norwich during 2016 to cover for a shortage of rolling stock. Following a period of storage the vehicle was refurbished for use by Transpennine Express prior to the introduction of their new trains. 10229 was part of the National Express / Greater Anglia fleet operating between Norwich and London, it was the first vehicle painted in the new GA white/grey livery. In 2015/2016 all of the other Mk3 RFMs at Norwich were converted to TSOB mini-buffets except for 10229 which was then sent to work Great Western Railway sleeper trains until 2017 when it moved to Crewe for use by Transpennine alongside 10212. Both of these vehicles are in exceptionally good condition, having run very few miles since major overhaul work was undertaken on them. Click on the pictures below to enlarge
November 2019 - Vehicles return to Weardale
Following the cessation of Mk2 and Mk3 rolling stock on the Caledonian Sleeper services in October, some of the vehicles have returned to the Weardale Railway. The pictures below show 31459 arriving at Wolsingham with the returning vehicles. The rake includes 9800 and 6700 which had been refurbished by ERS during 2018.
October 2019 - ERS purchases Caledonian Sleeper vehicles
ERS has agreed to purchase the entire Caledonian Sleeper Mk2 fleet consisting of the following vehicles:
- Mk2f RFO lounge 1210/1220
- Mk2f RLO lounge 6702/6704/6705/6706/6707/6708
- Mk2e BUO brake 9801/9802/9803/9804/9805/9806/9808/9809/9810
There are plans for a number of the vehicles but they are likely to be moved to the Weardale Railway for the time being. There are also 4 Mk3 sleeper coaches transferring to the ERS fleet in due course.
October 2019 - Final day for Mk2 vehicles on Caledonian Sleepers
The evening of Tuesday 8th October saw the last Caledonian Sleeper departure from London Euston formed of Mk2 and Mk3 vehicles. The 2115 to Edinburgh convey the three portions for Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William. Brake 9810 and lounge 1210 were on the stops with ERS brake 9807 and lounge 6706 in the middle of the train. Mk3 sleeper 10501, also destined to be part of the ERS fleet in due course was also within the formation. ERS Engineering Director Robin Fransham and Serco Fleet Engineer Gareth Earle-Payne were on hand to travel on the train for the last time. A few pictures of the train are shown below - click for larger images.
Mar 2019 - ERS obtains former Nightstar generator coach
ERS is pleased to announce the purchase of former Mk3 Nighstar Generator coach 96371. This was one of 5 high-output generator coaches for use on the proposed cross-channel sleeper trains. The coach contains two engine and gen sets which combined have a train heat index of 140. This is in comparison to a class 47 diesel locomotive which has an index of 66. The intention is to rework the alternators to provide standard ETS voltage to power ERS coaches. The vehicle will remain at UKRL Leicester whilst the work is carried out to modify the power supply.
November 2018 - 3385 repaint completed
One of the final jobs before the winter operating season was completion of bodywork and a respray of Mk2f First Open 3385. This vehicle has been operating in the former FM Rail Blue Pullman livery which whilst smart, did not match the rest of the fleet. It was moved from Wolsingham works on the morning of the 20th November by BR Blue 31106.
November 2018 - Mk1 BG enters service
Recently arrived from Wembley Depot, Mk1 BG 92901 went straight into Wolsingham Depot for some repairs and a repaint. Despite being out of service for over a decade, the brakes and electrics worked fine. This vehicle is one of a few that were specially maintained to 110mph for use on the West Coast Mainline before the Mk3 DVTs were delivered. They were also used on Anglo-Scottish Sleeper services by Intercity - something which ERS vehicles are still doing to this day. This vehicle was also one of a handfull fitted with central door locking (CDL) which will be useful as most of the ERS fleet has fully functioning CDL, a modern day door locking safety feature.
October 2018 - Another Caledonian Sleeper move
The end of October saw BSO 9513 returned to the Weardale Railway for it's Train to Christmas Town season. Royal Scotsman 66743 was provided for the trip from Polmadie to Bishop Auckland where Weardale's 31465 took over. Caledonian Sleeper BUO 9807 returned north with the 66. Photo by Neil Simpson.
July 2018 - More comings and goings
The end of July saw lounge car 6703 and brake 9800 depart for Scotland. The same move brough brake 9807 in and also BSO 9513 back for some repairs.
Two views of the move on 31st July taken by Neil Simpson.
June 2018 - 6700 and 9497 depart for Scotland
31465 trips lounge 6700 and brake 9497 to Bishop Auckland ready for transfer to Scotland.
May 2018 - 9497 gets a repaint in readiness for hire
Following on from the major bodywork and interior repairs, 9497 has been repainted and vinyled ready for a forthcoming hire period with Serco Caledonian Sleepers.
April 2018 - ERS vehicles feature in Weardale Class 31 gala weekend
April 21st/22nd saw the Weardale Railway hold a gala weekend in the 60th year of class 31s. 5 locomotives featured, including RMS owned 31190, 31106, 31285, 31459 and 31465. ERS vehicles were divided into two sets which included 9497 mid-way through overhaul. Photos by Neil Simpson and Alistair Gregory.
April 2018 - BSO 9497 undergoes major refurbishment
Mk2e BSO has been undergoing major work at Wolsingham depot. Most of the work has focussed on the interior and bodywork. The vehicle will be completely repainted and received a brake overhaul during 2017. It is expected that this vehicle will be on commercial hire within the next few months.
March 2018 - BSO 9513 enters service with Caledonian Sleepers
Mk2f BSO 9513 has now entered service with Serco Caledonian Sleepers, operating between Edinburgh and Fort William. The photos below show the vehicle added to the set on it's first day of operation, 22nd March. Photos by Steve Boulton.
February 2018 - BSO 9513 goes on hire to Caledonian Sleepers
Mk2f BSO has been refurbished and has gone on hire to Serco Caledonian Sleepers to work between Edinburh and Fort William. The photo below shows the vehicle being collected by GB Railfreight from Bishop Auckland. The vehicle has been undergoing repairs at the Weardale Railway's facilities at Wolsingham Depot. The vehicle was taken to Polmadie depot for inspection and handover.
November 2017 - ERS vehicles again support Train to Christmas Town operation
As per previous years, the Weardale Railway made extensive use of ERS rolling stock to support their Christmas special trains. In a break from the previous years Polar Express they ran a new concept - The Train to Christmas Town. 8 ERS vehicles were used in all of these trains and once again proved extremely reliable in some varied weather conditions.
November 2017 - Vehicles move to Weardale
50008 and 31452 were used to move 9513 from Washwood Heath and RFO 1254 / FO 3374 from Leicester. The vehicles were moving to the Weardale Railway
Photo - Robin Patrick
November 2017 - 9513 repaint complete
Mk2f BSO 9513 has recently undergone body, brake overhaul and repaint at Boden Rail, Washwood Heath. The coach is seen here just before being moved to the Weardale Railway
May 2017 - 6059 gets a repaint
56303 is seen moving TSO 6059 having recently been repainted at Boden Rail, Washwood Heath.
Photo courtesy North Briton Railways
March 2016 - CDL testing with GB Railfreight
GB Railfreight made use of the Mid-Norfolk Railway and ERS coaches for central door locking training. Introduced by British Rail in the mid 1990s this system prevents the doors being opened by passengers when the train is moving.
June 2016 - ERS Coaches in use at the Mid-Norfolk Railway
The ERS set has seen extensive use at it's home base of the Mid-Norfolk Railway, Dereham. This has included a variety of trains including diesel galas, scheduled loco-hauled services, dining trains and private charter trains. Driver experience courses have also featured the coaches on occasion. 3 ERS coaches are pictured along with Intercity liveried Mk3 kitchen car waiting departure from Dereham.
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