15th October 2000

Pathfinder Tours
The Worcester 150 Gala Day Special Trains

Locos Used 47798, 60084 & 66131
Stock Used 5030+5029+5009+21272+3098+3140+3112+1692+3122+3125

Route :
1Z36 : Worcester Shrub Hill to Round Oak & return
1Z37 : Worcester Shrub Hill to Long Marston & return
1Z38 : Worcester Shrub Hill to Crewe

Train Loco(s) Route (1)
One 66131 (1) Worcester Shrub Hill - Tunnel Jn - Droitwich Spa - Kidderminster - Stourbridge Junction - Round Oak
One 60084 (2) Round Oak - (reverse of outward route) - Worcester Shrub Hill
Two 60084 (2) Worcester Shrub Hill - Norton Jn - Evesham - Long Marston
Two 66131 (1) Long Marston - (reverse of outward route) - Worcester Shrub Hill
Three 47798 Worcester Shrub Hill - Droitwich Spa - Bromsgrove - Barnt Green - Kings Norton - Bordesley Jn - Proof House Jn - Birmingham New Street - Soho South Jn - Dudley Port - Wolverhampton - Stafford - Norton Bridge - Crewe

Notes :
(1) 60084 on rear.
(2) 66131 on rear.
(3) Route confirmation required for trains One & Two. Tour name on the rear page of the brochure (timings page) was subtly different from that on the front page 'Worcester 150 Gala Day Shuttle Trains'.

Source : Adrian Knight (on train 3 throughout)

Shuttle Review
(by Adrian Knight)

To celebrate the railways having a presence in Worcester for 150 years, a display was put on at Worcester Shrub Hill. Pathfinder also arranged mini tours to Round Oak and Long Marston, with the Empty Coaching Stock trip on the night being the third train to get the Riviera stock back home. The Shuttles were originally booked to be top and tailed by a 60 and 66 with a 33 and 37 returning the stock to Crewe however an EWS 47 was substituted for the type 3 combination late on.

Originally we booked on Train 2 to Long Marston which departed Worcester at 13:10. This allowed a reasonable Sunday lie before departure from Birmingham Snow Hill, however an 11:00 departure was still required as the next train departure was 12:20 departing Birmingham frustratingly arriving in Worcester at 13:15 - 5 minutes after train 2 was to leave.

Train 1 ran to Round Oak and was passed outside Stourbridge Junction. Having noted 60084 on Saltley Depot for the past week not looking as if it had moved it was no surprise that this was at the back of the train with shed 131 leading.

A small display of locos and units were on display. In the North Bay was a new Thames Trains liveried 166 and in the south bay, a Central Trains turbostar, 170518. On the other side of the station was a selection of locos from the Severn Valley including D431, D821 and D1013. Prince William was stabled in the middle road of the station looked extremely grubby.

Our train eventually rolled in a few minutes down on its 13:10 departure time and we boarded quickly. Departure was brisk with no effort required by the 60 and we soon reached the first token exchange point at Evesham. Here surprisingly, an EWS 37 was passed as an unofficial photo stop developed.

On the Long Marston branch we passed a number of lineside photographers observing our passage. Journeys end was confirmed as the Railtrack boundary. We watched the driver walk back and this was where the fun and games began. The Shed sounded like it was having problems pulling away and the starting effort difference was easily noticeable between a 60 and 66 due to the different gearing. This was my first jaunt behind a shed so I have to ask is this normal as we only had 7 coaches on and the idling 60? We eventually returned to the Honeybourne and stopped very violently with everything on the table flying forward. An announcement was made form the buffet that it was still open and available to serve toasties after our little incident, which was met with chuckles from all around the carriage. (Incidentally the Rail Gourmet toasties received major plugging all day.) After about 3 minutes we moved another few yards before another violent braking manoeuvre. This was repeated again before we finally stopped for about 10 minutes waiting for the section to clear. It was at this point an announcement was made that Pathfinder were unaware as to the running on the Cotswold line and the single man said he would get us on the move as soon as possible. After a Thames 165 had sped towards London, we eventually moved again to exchange the token. Amazed faces greeted us at Honeybourne station as we passed through at about 5mph.

The return times were slack, an additional 20 minutes being allowed for our return, so we eventually arrived at Worcester on time. I think the driver had took lessons off the Freightliner driver who was at the Severn Valley Diesel Gala a couple of weeks back although when he was driving the 60 braking was as smooth as any passenger service. Strange?

As I had haulage from Prince Henry earlier in the year on our college's Domex train, I decided to complete the pair and take a trip up to Crewe behind Prince William. 60084 brought the Empty Stock back in from Worcester Sidings with Prince William at the helm looking a bit cleaner than earlier in the day.

Departure was restrained and Prince William didn't sound in the best of health. At Stoke Works junction we were held to allow a Virgin HST to pass which we were to see later. We got up to speed as we passed through Bromsgrove station although speed dropped off quite considerably and we could hear the Prince working hard from the front carriage. Power was not shut off until Longbridge turn back sidings and we coasted on the trip into Birmingham. At Kings Norton we took a right along the Camp Hill line, this trip being slightly better than my last along this route which was on tatty 150018 during the Proof House diversions. Arrival into Birmingham New Street saw us pass the Virgin HST that had been given priority at Bromsgrove.

At New Street there were a couple of EWS 47s off the Nuneaton drags including 47775, 47780 and Virgin 47841 and 47827. 86243 on hire to Virgin West Coast was also visible.  My Dad who returned back to Birmingham without going to Crewe noted Prince Henry on a Virgin service to Liverpool at about 17:15.  Both Royal 47's passing through New Street within an hour - and on a Sunday!

Just before Galton Junction a 60 and 66 passed us (I think they were the tour locos as they were both on Saltley on Monday night) Performance was brisk and a short stop at Wolverhampton was made which made up a little time. We were held outside Stafford waiting for a couple of Virgin services to leave the station and by this time it was dark outside. Whilst in Stafford a Virgin 87 rolled in and this passed us just after Norton Bridge on the fast lines. Good running had us waiting outside Crewe and 90018 pulled up alongside us with a Virgin service to the North, which was allowed to get to the station before us.

Typically arrival at Crewe was at the exact time the doors shut on a Central 323 which I could have got on back to Birmingham but I had to wait for another 40 minutes to board the 1V98 to Paddington behind 86240 which was 15 minutes late. I was glad of the air conditioned Mark 2 as it had become extremely chilly outside.

Verdict :-
A good day with good power however the sheds performance was erratic to say the least!

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Adrian Knight & John Broderick)

Train 1 (1Z36)

M.C Location Booked (out) Booked (rtn) M.C
0.00 Worcester Shrub Hill 11.00d 13.05a 25.49
0.47 Tunnel Jn 11/03 13/03 25.02
5.59 Driotwich Spa 11/09 12/56 19.70
11.41 Hartlebury 11/15 12/50 14.08
15.15 Kidderminster 11/20 12/45 10.34
21.74 Stourbridge Junction 11.30a ~ 11.33d 12/33 3.55
24.11 Kingswinford Jn 11/43 12/23 1.38
25.49 Round Oak 12.00a 12.05d 0.00

Train 2 (1Z36)

M.C Location Booked (out) Booked (rtn) M.C
0.00 Worcester Shrub Hill 13.10d 15.39d 21.42
3.05 Norton Jn 13/15 15t24 ~ 15t25 18.37
13.35 Evesham S.B. 13t28 ~ 13t29 15t06 ~ 15t08 8.07
13.56 Evesham 13*30 ~ 13*44 15/05 7.66
18.52 Honeybourne 13t52 ~ 13t57 14t32 ~ 14t57 2.70
21.42 Long Marston 14.10a 14.20d 0.00

Train 3 (1Z38)

M.C Location Booked Actual
0.00 Worcester Shrub Hill 17.05d 17.05
0.47 Tunnel Jn 17/08 ?
5.59 Droitwich Spa 17/14 17/14
9.74 Stoke Works Jn 17/20 17/24
12.07 Bromsgrove 1/23 17/28
15.50 Barnt Green 17/29 17/34
18.25 Longbridge 17/32 17/37
20.58 Kings Norton 17/36 17/40
25.73 Bordesley Jn 17/42 17/48
26.19 St Andrews Jn 17/43 17/49
27.16 Proof House Jn 17/46 17/52
27.70 Birmingham New Street 17.50a ~ 18.00d 1752 ~ 18.08
29.71 Soho South Jn 17/56 18/13
31.49 Galton Junction 18/01 18/15
35.14 Dudley Port 18/06 18/18
40.54 Wolverhampton 18*14 ~ 18*22 18.22 ~ 18.27
41.17 Wolverhampton North Jn 18/25 18/28
42.28 Bushbury Jn 18/28 18/30
56.05 Stafford 18.44a ~ 18.53d 18.53 ~ 18.53
61.34 Norton Bridge 18/59 18/59
72.36 Madeley 19/12 ?
78.58 Basford Hall Jn 19/21 ?
80.42 Crewe 19.26a 19.27

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