Fred Currah talks about how trains have changed since his day

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 19th August 2011 by Liam Physick

Fred Currah talks of how different trains were in his own day from how they are now. When he worked on the footplates, the prevalent form of rail transport was locomotive-hauled trains, where a locomotive pulled the rolling stock; but now everything is in multiple units, consisting of a set of self-propelled coaches without a locomotive: the driver sits in the front coach of the unit, and the front coach itself changes depending on the direction of travel. However, locomotives are still used to pull goods trains. He also mentions Crown Street, and downhill sidings which contained coaches

Interviewee: Fred Currah

Interviewee Gender: Male

Interview Transcript

Fred: Of course you could hear the trains rattling though all day as well . . .

Jodie: Yeah, well, we’re used to that now as well! (laughs)

Fred: . . . yeah, then it was loco hauls, you see, it was electric locos and diesel locos in the 80s, it was still the old type, like that, you see, that’s the steam engine hauling coaching stock, but we had that in the 80s with electric trains and diesel trains, where now it’s all units, now, there’s no coaches any more, with a locomotive on the front like I drove, in the 70s and 80s, I had an electric locomotive with, say, 10 coaches on, but you don’t have that now, they’re all what you call units now, which means that it’s just a unit with either a pantograph on the top for the power, or a diesel unit, there’s no coaching stock . . .

Jodie: Oh, right.

Fred: . . . over here we used to have what we called downhill sidings, and it was full of coaches, and they would bring, we’d bring the coaches down to Lime Street for trains, but that’s all gone now, you see . . .

Jodie: Yeah.

Fred: . . . downhill sidings has gone, this over here used to be what we . . . in the 60s it was a hive of activity, we’d bring a big, big raft of wagons from Edge Hill, in, like,  a horseshoe, and come into here, and then you’d go down to Crown Street, which was the first station ever built . . .

Jodie: Yeah . . .

Fred: . . . as you know yourself . . .

Jodie: . . . yeah.

Fred: . . . it, it become a coal yard. Now, that to me should be a heritage centre, Crown Street should.

Tagged under: steam locomotives, coaches, carriages, diesel locomotives, diesel multiple units, crown street station, sidings, electric locomotives, locomotives, electric multiple units

Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers

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