27th January 2001
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Midland & Great Central
|Stock Used||13x green mark 1's +6311|
1Z36 : Euston to Loughborough
1Z37 : Loughborough to Euston
|66059||08.01d London Euston - (via WCML) - Bletchley - Millbrook - Bedford Midland - Kettering - Coalville - Burton-upon-Trent - North Stafford Jn - (via Castle Donnington line) - Sheet Stores Jn - Loughborough|
|66059||18.09d Loughborough - Syston North Jn - Oakham - Corby - Ketteing - (reverse of outward route) - London Euston|
Sources : Nick Ross
(joined and left train at Watford Junction) & Mike Tetlow
(by Nick Ross)
At Watford Jn 86261 was the first EWS liveried loco viewed on a Euston-Wolves! 66059 arrived 5 down and in the rush to get to the right end of the stock several passengers fell on seriously icy platforms - Wot, no salt?
The first slack was hit at Hemel where 58009/021 were the ballast bones, whilst by Berko we had classic blue skies and full snow cover. At Bletchley good crowds joined, making the most of a railtour actually operating from the South WCML. The Lidlington summit slack on the Bletchley-Bedford amble remains, it was imposed in pre Fragonset goyle days. NSE liveried 317's were a cart variation in Bedford yard. Our 13 coach was now fully booked as we departed Bedford for a whizz up Sharnbrook.
The Coalville freight route was a 20 mph stagger with many unexplained checks. Coalville yard was a sad sight with a single HEA standing where we had all festered for hours awaiting the Coal Scuttler return tour surrounded by an exotic power display. My last Westbound jaunt along this route was the famous Anglo Scottish Freighter tour in 84 and memories of disturbing a police soccer match near Drakelow PS with a mass bellow of "support the miners" came back on what is now, yet more wasteland.
After Burton and Trent Jns an impressive 6 bus Confidence of Oadby convoy awaited most of the tour participants. Their RM quickly filled, we scratched an Atlantean for the loudest thrash of the day. Flagging the steam gala we viewed D123, 1705, 4101 and 5830 in the depot area before a tram bash to Leicester.
Around 1730 back at Loughboro BR the crowds were building, station staff safety announcements seemed a bit OTT compared with the Watford ice rink earlier. The return journey took in a leaking Corby tunnel and the Wymington loop. At Bedford we awaited some Noddy Rail cart before a good run along the branch. Some 321 was held for us as we impressively snaked out from Bletchley's platform 6 to the UF before thrashing up to the Tring summit snow fields. Back at Watford as we bailed off 66059 ticking over loudly was much like the sounds of Dublin Heuston.
Route and Timing's (Booked & Actual)
(by Nick Ross)
|Watford Junction||08.23a ~ 08325d||08.27 ~ 08.30|
|Bletchley||08.58a ~ 09.00d||09.18 ~ 09.20|
|Bedford Midland||09.44a ~ 09.46d||10.00 ~ 10.04|
|Kettering||10.22a ~ 10.24d||10.27 ~ 10.28|
|North Stafford Jn||12/37||12/47|
|Sheet Stores Jn||13/10||13/09|
|Loughboough||13.29a ~ 18.09d||13.20 ~ 18.14|
|Syston North Jn||18/20||18/26|
|Kettering||19.18a ~ 19.21d||19.25 ~ 19.25|
|Bedford Midland||19.58a ~ 20.00d||19.59 ~ 20.06|
|Bletchley||20.41a ~ 20.45d||20.47 ~20.52|
|Watford Junction||21.18a ~ 21.20d||21.24 ~ ??.??|
a : arrival time
d : departure time
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