By the end of 1958, Tony Kohn was called up for National Service reducing the group to a quintet for a while.Eventually Chas disbanded the skiffle group bringing in Les Bennetts and Red Reece, both from Les Hobeaux skiffle group; Les on guitar and Red on drums. Shirley Douglas was now playing electric bass-guitar. Shirley got this job as she was the only one capable of picking the bass notes and singing at the same time.When Les left to join Lonnie Donegan, Roy Powell came in on piano. The Freight Train Boys, as the backing was now called had metamorphosed into a skiffle/rock band; their last record for Oriole being 'Teenage Letter', a song recorded by Big Joe Turner to be covered later by Jerry Lee Lewis. This was an out and out rock number and featured a tearaway trombone solo.
When the group finally disbanded, Chas and Shirley continued as a duo in concert and cabaret, eventually splitting up in 1975.
In the 1980's Chas was re-united with Marc Sharratt and John Paul. With Nick Lawrence on guitar, they toured on the Continent and appeared in Rock Festivals throughout the U.K.Returning from one such engagement in Holland: Marc Sharratt was killed in a head on collision; it was his 58th birthday, 16 May 1991. A bitter blow to his many friends who held him in esteem not only as a washboard wizard but as a great raconteur and truly eccentric character. His technique was unique, both beating and scrubbing the board. At the height of the craze he had a standing order with Timothy White's the hardware store for the metal ridged inserts to the washboard, he'd beat one flat in a week.As a publicity stunt he had his fingers insured with Lloyds for ｣5,000. Had they realised the potential danger and seen how his knuckles were pitted with zinc chips, often covered in blood, they never would have taken the risk. John Paul, no less a personality played on with Chas for a while but on 8 December 1994 he unfortunately succumbed to cancer.
The Chas McDevitt group still survives. Chas fronts various combinations; sometimes with his daughter Kerry on vocals and washboard. On other occasions, Martyn Oram plays fiddle, Mike Martin, guitar and banjo and Ronald Regan on bass with Captain Cabbage on washboard. The Lonnigans Skiffle Group has backed Chas and indeed they are featured on Chas’s recent CD on Rollercoaster which has some tracks with accompaniment by the West London Rhythm Kings, a New Orleans Jazz Band.
So the Chas McDevitt 'Freight Train' still rolls on, fired by the re-issue on Rollercoaster and Bear Family records of all the early material and new recordings by Chas with various combos..