In the early '80s the West Yorkshire PTE adopted a policy of reducing sets to two-cars wherever possible to meet public transport spending limitations imposed by Parliament. Services required only nine 3-car sets for peak workings, and so eighteen trailers were withdrawn in 1983, leaving ten 3-car sets. The trailers were scrapped, despite some having been recently refurbished, which attracted a lot of criticism, although asbestos insulation meant they had a limited life anyway. The first three withdrawn on 9/1/83 (unrefurbished 59695/702/808) were immediately replaced by Met-Camm trailers 59570-2. The remaining fifteen, all refurbished, were withdrawn in Oct. 83, at the same time the Met-Camm trailers were transferred to the LMR. Many of the trailers were stored at Hammerton St. for several months before scrapping.
The majority of the 2-car turns began on 3 October 1983 and these could also be found on diagrams that should have been a 3-car set, resulting in serious overcrowding, and it was not unknown for passengers to use the drivers cab as the only way out! In the Summer of '84 the problem got so bad that 2x2 car sets had to be used on Saturdays when a 3-car set was not available. The remaining trailers were there to stay, and began receiving body overhauls with 59710 being the first outshopped from Doncaster on 30th January 1985.
Before the trailers were withdrawn there were 19 diagrams for 28 units. By 1985 this had fallen to 7 diagrams for the 3-car sets. The other 18 2-car sets were included in a pool of Met-Camm and Derby 600hp and Met-Camm 720hp units, with no distinction between different types for diagramming purposes, so they shared the same duties. In addition to the Calder Valley route, these included Leeds to Manchester via Diggle, Leeds - Hull / Ilkley / Harrogate / Morecambe, Sheffield - York / Huddersfield - Doncaster, and Leeds to Preston, with a fill- turn between Preston and Colne.
Pictured is one of the 2-car sets at Ilkley on 10/10/85, formed of E51841 and E52075. Malcolm Clements.
Seventeen weekday Calder Valley trains were included in the seven 3-car diagrams, which was about 50% of the service. Eighteen trains on Saturday and six on Sundays were covered. Some examples of 1985 diagrams included:-
|Neville Hill No. 50 diagram||05:25 Depart Depot|
|(430 miles)||06:50 Leeds - Manchester|
|08:58 Manchester - York|
|11:34 York - Manchester|
|14:58 Manchester - York|
|17:32 York - Manchester|
|20:18 Manchester - Leeds|
|22:00 Leeds - Bradford|
|22:44 Bradford - Leeds then depot for refuelling.|
|Neville Hill No. 52 diagram||05:29 Depart Depot|
|05:50 Leeds - Selby|
|06:38 Selby - York|
|07:35 ecs Leeds - Gascoigne Wood|
|07:58 ecs Gascoigne Wood - Garnforth|
|08:20 Garnforth - Leeds|
|08:37 Leeds - Morecambe|
|12:08 Morecambe - Leeds then refuelling (220 miles)|
|16:50 Depart Depot|
|17:20 Leeds - Hull|
|21:23 Hull - Doncaster|
In December 1984 a disastrous fire in Summit Tunnel disrupted Calder Valley services and required Class 110 diagrams to be extensively ammended. Generally, the sets worked between York and Todmorden, with Newton Heath sets of various types used on the Lancashire side of the blockage, although there was the occasional Class 110.
It wasn't until May 84 till the sets had drastic changes to their operating pattern. All services were extended to York, except a few peak hour and evening trains, and the Blackpool workings were withdrawn. Two new stations, Mills Hill and Smithy Bridge saw timings extended by 3 mins (up) and 6 mins (down). This month also saw the close of Bradford Hammerton St. depot. Many had been allocated there since new, and all had been moved there by 1980. The sets were transferred to Leeds Neville Hill, along with most of the staff.
There was a lot of pressure from the WYPTE to downgrade the power cars to one engine only, as had been trialed on a Class 104 and implemented on the Class 111s. They believed that the effect on timings would have been marginal, but this was resisted as in reality it could have added 20 mins to a Manchester - York journey due to the nature of the line through the Calder Valley. The mid '80s also saw Class 110s, amongst others, taken off their diagrams, often at short notice, to deputise for Class 141s which were experiencing prolonged teething problems.
The class made rare visits to Scarborough. In the '88/'89 period some trailers worked on the ScR & WR. 59694/709/812 had a spell at CF before two moved to NH. The other, 59709, was burnt out after being temporarily stored with other units near Abercynn, South Wales. 59696/7/701/810/7 were allocated to ED & HA, and worked with 101 or 101/108 power cars.