22nd January 2000

Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Settle & Carlisle Circular

Locos Used 47739 & 86430

Route :
1Z41 : Kings Cross - Carlisle
1Z42 : Carlisle - Kings Cross

Locos Route
86430 Kings Cross - (ECML) - York
47739 York - Hellifield - Appleby - Carlisle
47739 Carlisle - Newcastle - York
86430 York - (ECML) - Stevenage - Hertford North - Kings Cross

Source : Nick Ross
(on the train throughout)

Tour review and timings (by Nick Ross) :

Not wishing to risk tight connections off Noddy Rail (Silverlink) the 0607 from Leighton Buzzard took me South to arrive in Euston 5 early. A brisk walk saw an 0709 arrival at the X and an hour was filled in by bashing 317's up to Finsbury Park and back like one does. By 8 o'clock 47785 arrived with the 13 coach green Mk 1 rake whilst phots were obtained of weathered 90037 on the 0810 Leeds. Much older 86430 was our power although this too had been out on passenger over Xmas it was good to get one of these threatened sub class members in for the century.

This 664 mile tour had bargain 20 in the back-end non-meal section so perhaps this was a factor in a very high "normal" quota amongst the wedged consist. One normal even quipped it was an "Anorak Special", not the quote you could have safely made on classic Hertfordshire trips of the past. We left a few minutes down awaiting a guard from off some late 91 before 86430 stormed North with pick-ups at Stevanage and Peterborough. The grey skies cleared by Hitch in and a grey grid in 56035 near Biggleswade was a bonus.

At York phots of the 86/4 in the sun were raked in before admiring 47739 as she joined the rear of the consist. We left 15 down, our second coach seats giving us good thrash positions. Various sheds on MGR's were passed, near Leeds some swans all stuck their heads into the water of some canal as 47739 passed...I have no idea why!

We avoided Leeds city but once on the main Skipton route it was time to view old friends in 308 units aplenty. A long check near Settle Jn saw a rasping Sulzer thrash on departure which was sustained for the next 20 minutes as we climbed the long drag. Once in the hills a thin snow cover on the very tops excited the normals, it was January! Small groups of fleece wearing photographers were out in classic winter sun and strong wind to phot us and a few booked diverted Virgin services using the route.

A 40 minute break in Carlisle gave ample time to phot the drag power in 47786 and 47841. More exotic non drag power in 56051 departed in smoky style towards Kingmoor Yard. With 47739 run round and both loco and stock watered, we departed East for a totter to Newcastle and over a dusky Tyne before passing the sadly empty GD depot. A good run up the ECML gave us a 15 early arrival in York. 86430 was reattached here, 66185 ghosted through on HGA's as a few of us braved the cold wind. 86430 whisked us South , a full moon seemed to follow us South but we managed to eclipse it in the Hertford North area. Back at the X we arrived 15 early so as we rushed back for the unit home there was just time to reflect on a cheap and cheerful day out behind power that may not be with us much longer.

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

1Z41 : Kings Cross - Carlisle

Location Booked Actual
Kings Cross 08.33d 08.38
Peterborough 09.48a 09.57
- 09.50d 09.58
York 11.10a 11.26
- 11.26d 11.41
Hellifield 13/06 13/11
Appleby 14/11 14/14
Carlisle 14.54a 14.50

1Z42 : Carlisle - Kings Cross

Location Booked Actual
Carlisle 15.28d 15.29
Newcastle 16/49 16/50
York 18.13a 17.56
- 18.40d 18.42
Peterborough 19.57a 19.54
- 19.58d 19.57
Stevenage 20.35a 20.30
- 20.36d 20.33
Hertford North 20/49 20/52
Kings Cross 21.19a 21.03

a : arrival time
d : departure time
/ : passing time

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