The Southern
Suburban

Pathfinder Tours
Saturday 24th February 2001

(incorporating "The Urban Suburban")

Locos Used 31459, 31602, 73110 & 73136
Stock Used 5029+4963+5040+4927+5009+1863+21272+3098+3140+3112+3122

Route :

Loco Route
31459 + 31602 Sheffield - Dore Station Jn - Chesterfield - Ambergate Jn - Derby - Burton-upon-Trent - Tamworth - Water Orton - Landor Street Jn - Lifford East Jn - Selly Oak - Birmingham New Street - Landor Street Jn - Water Orton - Nuneaton - Hinckley Jn - Wigston South Jn - Kettering - Wellingborough - (via up & down slow) - Bedford North Jn - (via up fast) - Luton - (1) (via Hendon Chord & up Hendon) - Brent Curve Jn - Dudding Hill Jn - Acton Wells Jn - South Acton Jn - Kew East Jn - New Kew Jn - Barnes - Clapham Junction - Longhedge Jn - Stewarts Lane Jn - London Victoria
73110 + 73136 London Victoria - Stewarts Lane Jn - Longhedge Jn - Pouparts Jn - Clapham Junction - Balham - Streatham North Jn - (via fast reversible line) - Streatham South Jn - Wimbledon - New Malden - Kingston - Twicknham - Richmond - Barnes - Clapham Junction - Longhedge Jn - Factory Jn - Nunhead - Lewisham - Blackheath - Charlton - Slade Green - Barnehurst - Eltham - Blackheath - Lewisham - Nunhead - Factory Jn - Longhedge Jn - Pouparts Jn - Clapham Jn - Balham - Stratham Hill - Tulse Hill - Herne Hill - Brixton - Stewarts Lane Jn - London Victoria
31459 + 31602 London Victoria - Stewarts Lane Jn - Longhedge Jn - Latchmere Jn - Kensington Olympia - Mitre Bridge Jn - West London Jn - Acton Wells Jn - Acton main Line - West Ealing - Drayton Green - Greenford West Jn - South Ruislip -High Wycombe - Princes Risborough - Aynho Jn - Banbury - Leamington Spa - Kenilworth - Coventry - Stechford - Aston - Perry Bar - Soho South Jn - Birmingham New Street - Landor Street Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Sheffield 

Notes :
The circular tour with the 73's was available as a separate tour ("The Urban Suburban") for passengers wishing to join in London.

(1) Train was advertised to cover "the link from Silkstream Jn to Brent Curve Jn" but did not do it on the day, traversing the Hendon Chord instead.

Source : Gary Thornton
(joined the train at Nuneaton, left at Coventry)

Tour Review
(by David Clark, photographs by Gary Thornton)

Its always good to have a railtour that starts near to home, so this tour was to run from Sheffield to Victoria and return with a pair of Fragonset 31's.  However, from Victoria to Victoria there was a mini tour with a pair of diminishing EWS Class 73's.

 So, the day before the tour, 31459 "Cerberus", 31602 "Chimaera", 73110 and 73136 "Kent Youth Music" were all allocated as the locos for the tour.

The day of the tour came and a very early departure saw us get to Sheffield for 05.20.  The tour stock was sat in platform 8 with 31459 and 31602 sat on the stock humming away (humming? Isn't that what Deltics do....not 31's....Gary).  We departed at 0556 and picked up at Chesterfield, and were ready on time at Derby, but due to the catering car water tank needing to be filled with water we departed 10 late.

The route in to Birmingham was the normal route vice the fact at Landor Street Jct we headed down the Camp Hill Route before taking the Lifford Curve in to Birmingham.  Gronks 08765 and 08884 was sat in the Birmingham area. We arrived in Birmingham New Street and picked up many passengers, and departed New Street 2 late and again passed Washwood Heath Yard on our way to Nuneaton, and Leicester, but at Glen Parva Jct headed down to Wigston Sth Jct and this scoring my first bit of track.

Now I remember 31's from their days on Cleethorpes to Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street but never had any haulage records to speak of.  But I do remember their nippy performances on the 1545 Liverpool Lime Street to Cleethorpes.  They opened up once on the Midland Main Line before having an operational stop at Kettering.  People stretched their legs and took photos, and a Midland Main Line HST set passed the station.  Now, I love to hear locos making noise, and the 31s from now on, provided plenty of it!!!


31602 "Chimaera" and 31459 "Cerberus" during a pause at Kettering.

New track was scored at Sharnbrook Jct by taking the slow lines down to Bedford.  HSTís passed on the Fast Lines as numerous bellowing was to be had by the Cranks in Coach A.  Once at Bedford the locos were opened up and the 30 miles to St Albans were covered in 25 minutes.  At Silkstream Jct, the flyover was supposed to have been traversed, but we used the chord off the fast lines to the freight line to Brent Curve Jct at Hendon.  Some people required the flyover and not the flat chord (tell me about it - I lost out on the only piece of track I was due to score on the day and, no, I didn't need the Hendon Chord! - Gary).  But in the end it was down to Railtrack who set out the route.  New track was had on this route all the way down to Acton Wells Jct.  It was the slowest we had been for a while.  Iíll have to mention at this point the atmosphere in our coach which was very good.  Quite a few of us had been on the Southampton Docker, and were talking about 73109 ďBattle of BritainĒ quite a bit.

At New Kew Jct we were held for a 8-car 455 unit.  We passed through Clapham Junction (for the first in 5 times today) and headed underneath to Longhedge Jct, Battersea Reversible and were sat outside Victoria for our slot in to Victoria.  We finally arrived at Victoria at 1217 and did a lunch time move.  Platform 2 graced us, which was surprisingly the last platform I had in Victoria two weeks ago.  Now what was that loco again????  Now where is that taxi to Cockfosters???

The two 73s were attached to the train (110 and 136).  136 was required by me, and a big 73 crank had not had 136 for over 12 years.  We had 73110 on the Urban Suburban tour of 1999.


73110 & 73136 "Kent Youth Music" take over at London Victoria.

We departed Victoria at 1301, before coming to an abrupt halt!!!  We restarted again at 1303 and headed out via Stewarts Lane, Longhedge Jct and approached Clapham Jct  via Pouparts Jct and headed out to Balham and at Streatham we traversed the Streatham Reversible, and headed out to Wimbledon.

Now for those who was on the Southampton Docker will remember Wimbledon (well the name anyway) as the Power Box that decided to hold a barbecue.  Anyway we had 73109 and 73108 on diesel power / electric power that day!!!  So, we passed through Wimbledon, New Malden round to Twickenham, and back to Clapham Jct where we were held (and a number of people alighted).  Again we departed up and under and out to Factory Jct, Denmark Hill and at Crofton Road Jct we crossed from the Altantics to the Catford Lines.  There were lighting problems in our coach and after Nunhead and Lewisham we took the line to Charlton passing through Blackheath Tunnel in total darkness.  This was the 2nd circle, and we headed out to Slade Green, and returning via Eltham and Blackheath.   After Lewisham, we headed out to Nunhead and Crofton Road Jct, but the EDís were on diesel power!!!!! HELLFIRE!!!  It brought back memories of the previous ED tour we had along the Great Western Main Line.  At Factory Jct we headed out to CJ, Balham, Streatham Hill and round the Leigham Curve, which is rare passenger track, but I didnít require it after doing the 1550 Streatham Hill to London Bridge train.   We got stopped in Brixton, and departed unscathed!!!  The return to Victoria was via Voltaire Road and in to Victoria at 1621.  However, 73101 was sat at Stewarts Lane after working the VSOE the previous day.

The PEDs were sat near Stewarts Lane, and they followed us in to Victoria.

The departure from Victoria came at 1640 and the return journey was no less interesting than the inward journey.

The 31s stormed up the bank out of Victoria and again we went up and under out to Latchmere Jct, the West London Line, the Chelsea area, passing 73118/73130 at North Pole and touching the West Coast Main Line before heading past Willesden SW Sidings down to Acton Wells Jct.  Again this was track covered in the return leg of the Southampton Docker with those two EDís.

We awaited a path on to the Great Western Main Line and took the slow lines past Acton Yard where quite a few 66s were seen behind all the wagons from the Foster Yeoman service.  We were to return via the Chiltern lines up to Birmingham.

We came off the Main Line at West Ealing and headed up to Greenford, before taking a bit of track away from the station on to the line from Paddington to West Ruislip.  The run up to Princess Risborough was good with the Acton driver thrashing the PEDS to their limit.  We were 40 minutes up by Aynho Jct and at Banbury a Saltley Man replaced the Acton man.  The centre road was had at Leamington Spa, before a stagecoach bus depot was seen (causing ecstatic behaviour from the resident Coach B bus crank!!!!  He was put down shortly after)


31602 & 31459 wait to depart Coventry on the return leg.
(at this point the train was running some 25 minutes EARLY).

The drop off at Coventry still mean we had a +26 and headed in to Birmingham via Stechford and Perry Barr.  At Soho Sth Jct it was clear that there were blizzard conditions outside, and we all thought that the further north the worse it would get.

We arrived at Birmingham New Street and having expected the wonderful Midland Zone, but we departed Birmingham New Street at 2029 (+16) and headed into the blizzards all the way to Tamworth and Derby.  But at Chesterfield the snow had halted, and by the time we had arrived at Sheffield (2214) (+17) only a little sign of snow was visible.

Anyway, we departed Sheffield and got home before midnight.  Overall, the tour was thoroughly enjoyable with a varied route to / from Sheffield and in London.  The locos (31's and 73's) performed impeccably, and the organisation of the tour was really good.  The timings were good too.  So a big credit need to go to all parties involved in the tour.  And this time at Wimbledon, there was no need for BOB to fix it!

David Clark (2001)

Route, Distances and Timing's (Booked & Actual)
(by Gary Thornton/David Clark)

Train Reporting Codes :
1Z42 : Sheffield - London Victoria
1Z83 London Victoria - London Victoria
1Z84 : London Victoria - Sheffield

M C Location Booked Actual
0 00 Sheffield 05.55d 05.56
3 70 Dore Station Jn 06/02 06/03
12 20 Chesterfield 06.12a ~ 06.14d 06.13 ~ 06.14
16 30 Clay Cross South Jn 06/19 06/19
26 36 Ambergate Jn  06/28 06/27
36 31 Derby 06.40a ~ 06.52d 06.39 ~ 07.02
41 15 Stenson Jn 06/58 07/10
47 32 Burton-on-Trent 07.06a ~ 07.08d 07.16 ~ 07.18
52 75 Wichnor Jn 07/14 07/24
60 23 Tamworth 07.22a ~ 07.24d 07.31 ~ 07.33
66 04 Kingsbury Jn 07/33 07/39
69 79 Water Orton 07/39 07/42
76 05 Landor Street Jn 07/48 07/52
76 43 St. Andrews Jn 07/50 07/54
76 69 Bordesley Jn 07/52 07/55
82 36 Lifford East Jn 07/57 08/03
82 61 Lifford West Jn 07/59 08/05
84 31 Selly Oak 08/02 08/09
87 62 Birmingham New Street 08.10a ~ 08.18d 08.17 ~ 08.20
89 27 Landor Street Jn 08/22 08/25
95 33 Water Orton 08/28 08/32
98 18 Whitacre Jn 08/33 08/38
108 62 Nuneaton 08.48a ~ 08.50d 08.53 ~ 08.56
113 01 Hinckley 08/56 09/02
123 58 Glen Parva Jn 09/06 09/14
124 28 Wigston South Jn 09/09 09/17
126 25 Kilby Brige Jn 09/14 09/22
135 61 Market Harborough 09/26 09/32
146 54 Kettering 09*41a ~ 09*56d 09.46 ~ 09.57
153 44 Wellingborough 10/03 10/10
162 10 Sharnbrook Jn 10/11 10/22
168 70 Bedford 10/18 10/33
178 31 Flitwick 10/29 10/42
188 36 Luton 10/41 10/51
198 64 St. Albans 10/53 10/58
210 63 Silkstream Jn 11/05 -
211 56 Hendon 11/09 11/12
212 51 Brent Curve Jn 11/11 11/15
213 55 Dudding Hill Jn 11/13 11/19
216 12 Acton Canal Wharf Jn 11/19 11/28
216 52 Acton Wells Jn 11/27 11/30
218 38 South Acton Jn 11/33 11/35
219 22 Kew East Jn 11/35 11/36
219 71 New Kew Jn 11/42 11/38
222 18 Barnes 11/53 11/47
225 31 Clapham Junction 11/58 11/52
226 39 Longhedge Jn 12/01 11/56
226 69 Stewarts Lane Jn 21/13 11/58
228 25 London Victoria 12L20a 12.16

 

M C Location Booked Actual
0 00 London Victoria 13L00d 13.03
1 36 Stewarts Lane Jn 13/06 13/09
1 66 Longhedge Jn 13/09 13/12
2 20 Pouparts Jn 13/16 13/14
2 73 Clapham Junction 13/18 13/15
4 68 Balham 13/21 13/18
6 30 Streatham North Jn 13/23 13/21
6 59 Streatham South Jn 13/25 13/22
9 64 Wimbledon 13/33 13/27
12 27 New Malden 13/43 13.33a ~ 13.34d
14 54 Kingston 13/47 13/39
16 19 Teddington 13/51 13/42
18 30 Twickenham 13/58 13/47
19 75 Richmond 14/03 13/53
22 45 Barnes 14/10 14/01
25 58 Clapham Junction 14/15 14.07a ~ 14.10d
26 65 Longhedge Jn 14/18 14/14
27 24 Factory Jn 14/20 14.16a ~ 14.19d
29 59 Denmark Hill 14/25 14.26a ~ 14.27d
31 34 Nunhead 14/29 14/31
33 20 Lewisham 14/38 14/40
34 11 Blackheath 14/40 14/42
36 06 Charlton 14/46 14/46
37 74 Woolwich Arsenal 14/50 14/50
41 72 Slade Green 15/01 15/03
43 38 Barneshurst 15/04 15/06
48 18 Eltham 15/13 15/13
50 34 Blackheath 15/19 15/18
51 25 Lewisham 15/22 15/22
53 11 Nunhead 15/34 15/31
54 66 Denmark Hill 15/37 15/35
57 21 Factory Junction 15/42 15/44
57 60 Longhedge Jn 15/44 15/45
58 14 Pouparts Jn 15/46 15/46
58 67 Clapham Junction 15/48 15/51
60 62 Balham 15/53 15/55
61 67 Streatham Hill 15/56 15/58
62 74 Tulse Hill 15/59 16/02
64 00 Herne Hill 16/06 16/05
64 62 Brixton 16/07 16/06
67 76 London Victoria 16L14a 16.21

 

M C Location Booked Actual
0 00 London Victoria 16L33d 16.40
1 36 Stewarts Lane Jn 16/42 16/45
2 06 Longhedge Jn 16/45 16/47
2 71 Latchmere Jn 16/47 16/49
5 54 Kensington Olympia 16/53 16/53
7 79 Mitre Bridge Jn 16/57 16/57
8 28 West London Jn 17/01 16/59
9 64 Acton Wells Jn 17/05 17/04
10 36 Acton Main Line 17/15 17.14a ~ 17.16d
12 66 West Ealing 17/30 17/20
15 26 Greenford West Jn 17/39 17/28
17 78 South Ruislip 18/02 17/34
19 59 West Ruislip 18/04 17/36
25 09 Gerrards Cross 18/10 17/43
34 20 High Wycombe 18/24 17/53
42 41 Princes Risborough 18/37 18/02
48 26 Haddenham & Thame Parkway 18/45 18/11
61 17 Bicester North 18/59 18/24
70 19 Aynho Jn 19/13 18/35
75 23 Banbury 19/22 18.46a ~ 18.47d
84 03 Fenny Compton 19/29 18/59
95 32 Leamington Spa 19/39 19.09a ~ 19.12d
100 60 Kenilworth 19/49 19/26
104 66 Coventry 19.58a ~ 20.00d 19.33 ~ 19.35
115 42 Birmingham International 20/12 19/47
119 75 Stechford 20/19 19/53
122 68 Aston 20/26 20/03
124 33 Perry Barr 20/29 20/07
127 25 Soho South Jn 20/38 20/19
129 26 Birmingham New Street 20.43a ~ 20.45d 20.24 ~ 20.29
130 71 Landor Street Jn 20/50 20/37
136 77 Water Orton 20/57 20/43
140 72 Kingsbury Jn 21/00 20/45
159 44 Burton-on-Trent 21.02a ~ 21.22d 20.54 ~ 20.56
165 61 Stenson Jn 21/31 21/18
170 45 Derby 21.37a ~ 21.45d 21.26 ~ 21.29
180 38 Abergate Jn 21/56 21/41
190 46 Clay Cross South Jn 22/05 21/50
194 56 Cheterfield 22.09a ~ 22.12d 21.54 ~21.57
203 06 Dore Station Jn 22/23 22/08
206 76 Sheffield 22.31a 22.14

Key;
a : arrival time
d : departure time
L : loco change
/ : passing time
* : operational stop

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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