15th January 2000

Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Wensleydale

Locos Used 66113, 47749 & 86417
Stock Used 5007+5037+5027+4986+5023+4925+17023+1696+3114+3123+3127+1679+3150

Route :

Loco Route
86417 Kings Cross - (via ECML) - York
47749 (1) York - (via ECML) - Castle Hills Jn
66113 (2) Castle Hills Jn - Redmire
47749 (1) Redmire - Castle Hills Jn
66113 (2) Castle Hills Jn - (via ECML) - York
86417 York - (via ECML) - Stevenage - Hertford North - Kings Cross

Source : David Clark
(joined/left train at Peterborough)

Tour review and timings (by David Clark) :

This was my first train trip of the new millennium. We arrived at Peterborough In plenty of time for the tour and to see what was going on in and around the station. During our stay there was a period where we saw two freights in five minutes with 58005 and 60059 "Swinden Dalesman" both heading down the Ely line. Why didn't we have that 60 loco for out last tour we asked ourselves?!? As the last tour I went on was to Swinden Quarry, but this tour again by Hertfordshire Railtours was to the Redmire branch or "Wensleydale".

Gen from Brush 4 quoted locos were 86417 to take us to York and 47749 "Atlantic College" from York. Sure enough just before 10am 86417 turned up with the green Mark 1 RCS set. The 86 was required so that wasn't a bad start to the day.

Departure from Peterborough was spirited, and as we passed the depot 66001, 66049, 58025, 58029 and 58047 were noted. Having seen 58005 earlier in the day I wondered to my self why are they getting rid of these 58s. If the rumours are true they will not survive 2000.

We had a non stop run to Doncaster and as we approached it was clear that there were a number of coal trains in the area. On Doncaster Carr was noted 66047, 66143, 56089, 37714, 37203, 58012 and 58027. In and around the Doncaster areas was 56071 (Light Engine), 56051 on coal and 56114 again on coal.

The 86 flew through Doncaster and as we approached Holgate Bridge in York 66113 was waiting as the second loco along the branch. Arrival at York was at 11.13 (2 early). We left the train to see both the 86 and 66 and to wait for the 47 to arrive. Sure enough it was 47749 "Atlantic College".

As we waited 66062 headed south with coal while 56051, which was previously seen at Doncaster headed North on the avoiding line.

Departure from York was at 11.41 and as we passed the wagon works there were a number of EWS flat wagons which were for their container business and some steel coil wagons in and around the area. The journey up to Northallerton was steady. Again we passed 56051 and we also saw 66038 and 66504. Arrival at Castle Hills Jct was at 12.16 (3 late).

Departure came within 2 and as we headed on to the branch we realised it was going to be one long crawl. The scenery in parts was beautiful, and the stations along the line which were turned in to houses also looked good.

It became clear as we went further down the line that there was plenty of snow on the hills around us. The countryside looked peaceful and it was really amusing seeing the sheep run away from the train. It was clear that many people had come out to photo the train. Bedale and Leyburn seemed to be the biggest towns passed with again big crowds in attendance. Arrival at Redmire was at 13.53 (30 mins early). At Redmire we were able to see from the train the MOD area and the former station. Departure was at 14.09 and on the way back somebody in one of the houses on the line side had put up a barrier declaring that people should stop videoing as it was private property!!!

On the return I noted how big Leeming air base looked from the train. Arrival back at Castle Hills Jct was at 15.41. Negotiations took place between the various parties for a path as we were some 45 minutes early. During the 9 minutes break 66101 was seen on a southbound intermodal. Gen reports suggested it could have been the Mossend - Wembley train diverted as a result of Settle and Carlisle diversions.

We departed Castle Hills Jct and were soon in our stride. Just after Tollerton we were switched to the slow tracks to allow a couple of trams to overtake us. Arrival at York was 43 early. During the break at York we found Collectors Corner and had a look at the items on show. Toton and Stewarts Lane depot plaques were available at 220 while a Frodingham shed 36C was available at 90.

We boarded the train and we departed on time. It was clear that the driver was not going to slow down unless we had to. During the journey south there was very little brake applications and speeds were high all the way back to Peterborough. At Peterborough the locos hadn't changed, although 58005 had returned from East Anglia.

The train arrived at 19.55 and we left feeling again that it had been quite a good tour. One criticism not of the company but the atmosphere is a lot better where there are link minded people. Some of the people were just out for the day out and this was seen when one of the participants was dressed in a suit and bow tie and only seated in second class.

Arrival back at Scunthorpe was around 10pm having got stopped at Collingham Level Crossing to allow 56117 on an engineers train to go towards Lincoln.

Verdict: Nice route, nice heating in the train (it was like a sauna!!) and I am getting to think that sheds are rateable traction!

Route, Distances and Timing's (Booked & Actual)

M C Location Booked Actual : Booked Actual M C
0 00 Kings Cross 08.33d - : 21.22a - 242 88
0 56 Bell Isle 08/35 - : 21/18 - 242 12
2 41 Finsbury Park 08/37 - : 21/14 - 240 27
4 78 Alexandra Palace 08/39 - : 21/10 - 237 70
12 57 Potters Bar (out) / Gordon Hill (rtn) 08/46 - : 21/03 - 232 ??
20 25 Welwyn Garden City / Hertford Nth 08/56 - : 20/55 - 223 20
23 73 Woolmer Green Jn / Langley Jn 08/59 - : 20/47 - 214 72
27 45 Stevenage 09.03a - : 20.45d - --- --
-- -- - 09.05d - : 20.43a - 213 88
31 74 Hitchin 09/09 - : ??.?? - --- --
44 10 Sandy 09/19 - : ??.?? - --- --
58 70 Huntingdon 09/30 - : 20/10 - 182 43
?? ?? Connington South Junction ??.?? - : 20/05 - 173 05
76 29 Peterborough 09.48a - : 19.57d - --- --
-- -- - 09.49d 09.55 : 19.55a 19.55 165 04
84 64 Tallington Junction 09/58 10/04 : 19/47 19/47 156 69
99 61 Stoke Junction 10/09 10/14 : 19/38 19/38 141 72
105 38 Grantham 10/13 10/17 : 19/35 19/35 135 95
109 56 Barkston South Junction 10/15 10/20 : 19/32 19/32 131 77
120 08 Newark North Gate 10/22 10/27 : 19/25 19/25 121 25
138 49 Retford 10/33 10/38 : 19/14 19/13 102 84
152 00 Loversall Carr Junction 10/42 10/47 : 19/06 19/05 89 33
155 77 Doncaster 10/44 10/49 : 19/03 19/03 85 36
160 16 Shaftholme Junction 10/47 10/53 : 19/01 18/59 81 17
169 16 Temple Hirst Junction 10/52 10/58 : 18/53 18/54 72 17
174 75 Hambleton North Junction 10/56 11/02 : 18/50 18/50 66 38
182 79 Colton Junction 11/01 11/07 : 18/45 18/46 58 34
188 40 York 11L15a 11.13 : 18L40d 18.40 -- --
--- -- - 11L41d 11.41 : 17L06a 16.33 52 93
190 11 Skelton Junction 11/43 11/45 : 16/57 16/28 51 22
198 00 Tollerton Junction 11/51 11/53 : 16/50 16/17 43 33
210 56 Thirsk 12/01 12/03 : 16/40 16/06 30 77
218 36 Northallerton 12/08 12/11 : 16/35 15/55 22 97
219 25 Castle Hills Junction 12r13a 12.16 : 16r30d 15.50 -- --
--- -- - 12r18d 12.18 : 16r25a 15.41 22 10
241 35 Redmire Railhead 14r18a 13.53 : 14r25d 14.07 0 00

Key;
a : arrival time
d : departure time
L : loco change
r : reversal of direction
/ : passing time

All distances, in miles and chains (M & C), are taken from the timing sheet given out on the train. No attempt has been made to verify the mileages given.

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