UK Flashback – 16th June, 2006: A Day of Trainspotting at Doncaster and Barnetby

Note: Some train companies, mentioned in this post, have since ended their franchises, now being run by other companies.

The day began by catching the 04:04 First Transpennine Express service from Manchester Piccadilly to Doncaster – a rather quiet service at that time of morning. The train first called at Sheffield (without stopping at Stockport), before reaching its final destination of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire. I had an almost two hour wait before the connecting train to Barnetby, Lincolnshire.

Doncaster is located on the busy East Coast Mainline (ECML), which runs from London King’s Cross to Glasgow Central. These services are operated by GNER – Great North Eastern Railway. As well as seeing passenger traffic between London and Glasgow, several other lines converge and diverge at Doncaster – which are operated by Northern Rail, Virgin Trains, Central Trains, and Hull Trains. Connections can be made for Manchester, Leeds, Hull, Cleethorpes, and many other destinations. Added to that, there’s also a bit of freight traffic present. As a result, this makes it a rather busy location.

The following photographs were taken at Doncaster, whilst awaiting for my connecting service to Barnetby.

Doncaster: An EWS class 66/0, number 66089, with an empty rake of MTA coal hoppers
An EWS class 66/0, number 66089, with an empty rake of MTA coal hoppers

Doncaster: First Transpennine Express class 158/0, number 158790, setting out on its journey to Manchester Airport
First Transpennine Express class 158/0, number 158790, setting out on its journey to Manchester Airport

Doncaster: EWS class 66/0, number 66073
EWS class 66/0, number 66073

Doncaster: Northern Rail class 158/9, number 158908, with the 0614 to Beverley
Northern Rail class 158/9, number 158908, with the 06:14 to Beverley

Doncaster: GB Railfreight class 66/7, number 66705 'Golden Jubilee', with an intermodal freight
GB Railfreight class 66/7, number 66705 ‘Golden Jubilee‘, with an intermodal freight

Doncaster: EWS class 92, number 92017 'Shakespeare', with a mixed freight
EWS class 92, number 92017 ‘Shakespeare‘, with a mixed freight

Doncaster: Hull Trains class 222/1, number 222101 'Professor George Gray', with its first service for the day from Hull to London King's Cross
Hull Trains class 222/1, number 222101 ‘Professor George Gray‘, with its first service for the day from Hull to London King’s Cross

Doncaster: GB Railfreight class 66/7, number 66701 'Whitemoor'
GB Railfreight class 66/7, number 66701 ‘Whitemoor

I then caught the 07:24 First Transpennine Express service to Barnetby (which was running a few minutes late). After a station stop at Scunthorpe, I arrived at Barnetby at around 0810.

Barnetby has two island platforms, but most traffic passes through the middle two. Passenger services are operated by First Transpennine Express and Central Trains. There’s generally around two passenger services, each way, every hour. Freight, however, is plentiful.

Barnetby is one of the UK’s best ‘hot spots’ for freight traffic. It’s not unusual to see a freight train every ten minutes during the peak periods. During quieter periods, there are usually around two or three every hour. The bulk of the traffic is coal and iron ore, which run to and from the docks at Immingham. However, there’s other freight traffic as well. The majority of the traffic is hauled by EWS – English, Welsh & Scottish Railway. But a number of services are operated by the other major freight operator, Freightliner. The station platforms and footbridge are a couple of the best areas to see some major freight action.

The following photographs were taken at Barnetby station, a location that still has a lot of semaphore signalling.

Barnetby: EWS class 66/0, number 66017, with a coal train
EWS class 66/0, number 66017, with a coal train

Barnetby: EWS class 60, number 60038, with a rake of empty iron ore wagons
EWS class 60, number 60038, with a rake of empty iron ore wagons

Barnetby: EWS class 60, number 60080 'Bispham Drive Junior School, Toton EWS Rail Safety Competition Winners 2004', with a rake of empty iron ore wagons
EWS class 60, number 60080 ‘Bispham Drive Junior School, Toton EWS Rail Safety Competition Winners 2004‘, with a rake of empty iron ore wagons

Barnetby: EWS class 66/0, number 66086, with a loaded coal train
EWS class 66/0, number 66086, with a loaded coal train

Barnetby: EWS class 66/0, number 66051, with an empty coal train
EWS class 66/0, number 66051, with an empty coal train

Barnetby: Central Trains class 153, number 153383, with a passenger service to Grimsby
Central Trains class 153, number 153383, with a passenger service to Grimsby

Barnetby: EWS class 66/0, number 66188, with an empty coal train
EWS class 66/0, number 66188, with an empty coal train

After spending about an hour and a half at the station, I left and walked about 15 minutes east to the top of a small hill. It required passing under the railway line and turning left, following a path which is generally overgrown and muddy in parts. On top of the hill, one has a panoramic view of the railway line below – as long as you’re willing to share the field with a dozen or so horses.

Barnetby: EWS class 66/0, number 66017, with a coal train
EWS class 66/0, number 66017, with a coal train

Barnetby: Central Trains class 153, number 153364, with a passenger service
Central Trains class 153, number 153364, with a passenger service

Barnetby: Freightliner class 66/5, number 66557, with a rake of loaded coal hoppers
Freightliner class 66/5, number 66557, with a rake of loaded coal hoppers

After walking further east, through another field, I jumped the fence (even though private land, it’s publicly accessible) and turned left down the road to come to a bridge which crosses the railway line. This bridge is commonly called Knabbs Bridge. This bridge gives fairly good views, in either direction, along the line. As a result, it’s good for taking photographs from.

Barnetby: First Transpennine Express class 158/0, number 158766, with a passenger service to Cleethorpes
First Transpennine Express class 158/0, number 158766, with a passenger service to Cleethorpes

Barnetby: EWS class 60, number 60048 'Eastern', with a freight
EWS class 60, number 60048 ‘Eastern‘, with a freight

Barnetby: EWS class 66/0, number 66188, with a rake of loaded coal hoppers
EWS class 66/0, number 66188, with a rake of loaded coal hoppers

Barnetby: First Transpennine Express class 158/0, number 158769, with a passenger service to Manchester Airport
First Transpennine Express class 158/0, number 158769, with a passenger service to Manchester Airport

Barnetby: First Transpennine Express class 185, number 185117, on a test run
First Transpennine Express class 185, number 185117, on a test run

Barnetby: EWS class 60, number 60080 'Bispham Drive Junior School, Toton EWS Rail Safety Competition Winners 2004', with a rake of empty iron ore wagons
EWS class 60, number 60080 ‘Bispham Drive Junior School, Toton EWS Rail Safety Competition Winners 2004‘, with a rake of empty iron ore wagons

Barnetby: Central Trains class 153, number 153383, with a passenger service to Grimsby
Central Trains class 153, number 153383, with a passenger service to Grimsby

After an hour or so at the bridge, I decided to head back to Barnetby station – but not before grabbing something to eat and drink at the Flute & Whistle, a pub which is located next to the station. The first decent meal of fish and chips (with lemon!) I’ve had, since moving to the UK almost three and a half years ago.

Barnetby: First Transpennine Express class 185, number 185117, with a test run
First Transpennine Express class 185, number 185117, with a test run

Barnetby: Freightliner class 66/6, number 66615, with an oily
Freightliner class 66/6, number 66615, with an oily

By 15:00, I decided to call it a day and catch the next First Transpennine Express service back to Manchester Piccadilly.

Summary: As mentioned at the beginning of this report, the Barnetby area is a hot spot for freight action. It’s easily reached by train. As well as the pub by the station, there’s a general store and post office, a short walk away, from which you can buy supplies to last you throughout the day. Be mindful that, if you venture away from the village, you have plenty of drinking water during the summer months.

There are other locations, in the Barnetby area, where you can watch and photograph trains. They require a little more walking to get to. But the ones above are the most reachable.

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3 Comments


  1. Mabel Kwong

    15th October, 2015 at 11:18

    Certainly a good day of trainspotting. Lots of trains, and well done on the photos. Very tastefully done since I suppose some of the trains were moving while you took them, and it isn’t easy to capture moving objects at times. It is interesting to note the trains have splashes of bright colour around them.

    Reply

    • Stephen

      15th October, 2015 at 11:43

      Thanks for the comment! Yes, most were moving – with the exception of a few at Doncaster. Trains in the UK, and Europe in general, usually have colour all over. British trains also all have the yellow front (with the exception of steam locomotives). This is mandatory for all British trains as it increases their visibility. It’s a specific yellow too.

      Reply

  2. SueT唐 梦 琇

    15th January, 2016 at 10:57

    Really good photos and lovely countryside behind some of them.

    Reply

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