Class 27 (BRCW Sulzer Type 2) in the Birmingham area
Back in the increasingly dim and distant (well for me at least) 1980s, when diesels were blue and trains were still done properly (loco at one end hauling coaches or wagons), the Class 27s were very much a far and distant (from my Midlands perspective) Scottish class, rarely if ever sighted.
However as with many of the early "pilot scheme" classes, they started off life elsewhere, with quite a few being allocated to Cricklewood and Leicester during the 1960s. Though I've always been aware of that, they still seemed utterly unconnected with my main region of interest, the West Midlands, until I came across entirely by coinicidence a photograph of one topping the Lickey Bank at the head of a freight train.
Interest piqued, further research revealed more evidence of the class in the Birmingham area (though an awful lot of hits were false positives triggered by the the "B" in "BRCW", not the location of the photograph or sighting) - Quite a few seem to have made it west and south of the city. Following is a list of online references I've found, in rough chronological order.
- 1961/62? (picture undated): BRCW D5405 (27041) heading from Birmingham New Street on a semi-fast, possibly to Gloucester
- 1964: D5406 near Prestatyn with train excursion train 1T27 from Leicester (section "Past Times with John Hobbs - Diesel Days")
- 1966: D5382 at Worcester Shrub Hill on a parcels train (caption indicates D5389 was seen at Worcester in 1965 and D5396 in 1966)
- 1968: D5403 and D5395 at Saltley Depot
- 1969: unidentified Class 27 heading north through Barnt Green with a goods train (Facebook link, no login required to view)
Also of interest is this thread on RMweb: Leicester class 27's