Q17.02 – Troop Train Route Cardington to Bridgenorth

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What route would an RAF Troop Train have taken in March 1958 from Cardington to Bridgenorth? (Ian Armstrong: 21695)


A very young train spotter was on the last Northampton-Bedford service of the day on a Saturday night. It was possibly also in March 1958 and the train was held at Olney for a troop train to come off the single line .It was worked by two Midland 3F 0-6-0s (the heaviest locos permitted to Cardington) so it could well have been Bedford Men to Northampton returning light (there would be no service to get them home).
Another member travelled on an RAF special Cardington-Wimslow at the end of March 1958 en route from inauguration to recruit training. The train, headed by a Midland 3F, travelled Cardington to Bedford where a 2-6-2T took over for the run to Northampton. From there a Class 5 took the train via the West Coast main line to Wimslow where all detrained. A service to Bridgnorth would have followed the same route to Rugby. Then most probably via New Street, Smethwick Jct, to Kidderminster and on to Bridgnorth. (Bob Barby: 5843, Alan Ledwick: 17300)

A member whose national service was spent in the RAF travelled on this troop train on 22nd October 1957. The route was Cardington – Bedford – Olney – Northampton – Kilsby & Crick – Rugby – Coventry – Bedford – Stetchford – Aston – Bescot – Dudley Port – Dudley – Kidderminster – Bewdley – Bridgnorth. The train consisted of 9 coaches worked by3F 0-6-0 43665 and 4F 43967. At Northampton Castle these were replaced by Class 5 45128 which in turn was replaced by 44862 at Rugby. A final change took place at Dudley from where Great Western Mogul 6332 took the train on to Bridgnorth. Another RAF member travelling in the last years of National Service on 26th August 1960 went to Bridgnorth with the same start route but then going more northerly from Stafford, via Shrewsbury. (Roy Grimston: 7020, Barry Butler: 7459)