21st April 2001

Pathfinder Tours
The Nene Navigator

Locos Used D9516, D9523, 56055, 60015, 58050, 66006, 92036 & 92040
Stock Used 5029+4963+5040+4927+5009+5292+5341+1863+21272+3098+3140+3112

Route :

Loco(s) Route
92036 (1) Preston - (via WCML) - Crewe - Stafford - Tamworth - Nuneaton
66006 Nuneaton - Hinckley - Wigston South Jn - Kettering
58050 Kettering - Corby - Manton Jn - Melton Mowbray - Syston North Jn - Loughborough - Trent Jn - Meadow Lane Jn - Toton Jn - Toton Centre
60015 Toton Centre - Toton Jn - Meadow Lane Jn - Attenboough Jn - Nottingham - Bingham - Sleaford - Spalding - Werrington Jn - (via New England Yard - north up arrival, south up departure) - Peterborough - Fletton Jn - Orton Mere (NVR)
D9516 Orton Mere - Wansford
D9516 (2) Wansford - Yarwell Mill
D9523 (3) Yarwell Mill - Wansford
D9523 Wansford - Orton Mere Signal Box
56055 Orton Mere Signal Box - Orton Mere - Fletton Jn - Peterborough - Helpston Jn - Stamford - Manton Jn - Melton Mowbray - Syston South Jn - Leicester (via up & down goods line) - Wigston North Jn - Hinckley - Nuneaton
92040 (4) Nuneaton - Tamworth - Stafford - Crewe
56055 Crewe - (via WCML) - Preston

Notes :
(1) 66006 dead in tow.
(2) D9523 on rear.
(3) D9516 on rear.
(4) 56055 dead in tow.

Source : Gary Thornton (joined/left the train at Tamworth)

Tour Review
(by Gary Thornton)

Here are some photos taken on the day.

Another crazy "Thornton-style" weekend dawns! With a business trip to Sweden meaning a 5am start on the Sunday morning I was a little miffed to realise I'd also have a 5am start on the Saturday if I wanted to have all the available locos for haulage on the railtour!

Things got off to an even worse start when I had just got off to sleep on Friday night, to then be rudely awoken by the Northamptonshire Fire Brigade at about 11pm - some local "youths" having decided to set fire to the contents of an empty garage round the back of where I live. Then, just a couple of hours later, I assume it was the same people who thoughtfully set light to a neighbours Ford Transit which was parked right outside my front door! I ended up having to ring for the Fire Brigade who turned up some twenty minutes later when the fire had almost gone out. I was however stunned when one of the firemen asked why I hadn't tried throwing a couple of buckets of water over the flames!! My response was a frosty "can I go to bed now please?" as it was by now about 1.30am! Needless to say the chances of getting any quality sleep for the rest of the night were out the window!

5am....the alarm got thrown across the room and I actually debated simply turning over and going back to sleep...but then again I'm made of sterner stuff than that and by 7am I was at Tamworth where quite a few of the tours passengers were joining.

Gen on which locos were being used as quite scarce which is relatively unusual these days (I often have an accurate list by the Wednesday or Thursday prior to the tour). The train soon turned up with 92036 piloting 66006 - both winners so the early start as worth it. There were already rumours we would have a different 92 back from Nuneaton too :-)

A short run to Nuneaton where we lost the 92 and 66006 took over for the run via Hinckley to Kettering.

Being in coach A at the back of the train on arrival we were miles off the end of the platform so I couldn't be bothered to get off to watch the loco change. We were due a class 60 (015 being quoted) but a while later and 58050 turned up and was put onto our end of the train. Oh well, at least it was another winner. This took us via Corby, Oakham and Loughborough to Toton where we were due to reverse direction gain and get a class 58. We got 60015 instead! OK, winner number four for me....this was turning into a good day out.

We now ran via Nottingham, Sleaford and Spalding to Peterborough. On the approach to the station we traversed my only required track of the day - going through the yard to the north of the station. Brand new GBRf sheds 66705 & 66706 were seen as we passed through the yard. We carried on south from the station to Fletton Junction where we turned off and took the short link line to the Nene Valley Railway.

At Orton Mere we swapped the brick for a teddy bear - D9516 - which made a lot of noise hauling load 12 over the length of the line to Wansford (we could hear it from our vantage point in the rear coach!). An hours break at Wansford though some people baled for a run behind the lines class 40, D306, on a service train. We'd been told this was available on payment of 3 but a PA announcement said 6 - so quite a few dived off again! In the event I understand the TTI on board conceded and let people ride the service train for the quoted 3. Not sure where the communications broke down on that!

I settled for a walk round the site at Wansford and a chance to photograph D9523 being put on to our end of the train. We left on time for the short run to Yarwell Mill then D9523 took over for the trip back to Orton Mere. Much thrash being enjoyed along this stretch. I didn't need either of the class 14's but the journey was enjoyable anyway.

At Orton Mere we got back to EWS traction with 56055 - damn, a dud one! At least it was on our end of the train so we could hear it without any difficulty. Our run home was via Stamford and the Leicester up & down goods line. All too soon we were back at Nuneaton where 92040 was already in waiting for us. Another winner - and a rare one at that as it is one of the EPS 92's which were going into store the very next day, pending sale (to whoever....)!!

Good news for the grid bashers was that the 92 was only due to stay on to Crewe where 56055 would take over again - a crewing problem being blamed for this change to the plan.

I abandoned the tour at Tamworth and headed home ready for my early morning start the following day.

Gary Thornton.

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Gary Thornton)

M.C Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual M.C
0.00 Preston 05.35d ?   21.26a ? 111.71
5.36 Euxton Jn 05/41 ?   21/17 ? 106.35
7.39 Balshaw Lane 05/43 ?   21/16 ? 104.32
15.10 Wigan North Western 05.49a ~ 05.51d ?   21.00a ~ 21.08d ? 96.61
15.35 Wigan South Jn 05/53 ?   20/59 ? 96.47
16.39 Springs Branch Jn 05/54 ?   20/58 ? 95.32
23.34 Winwick Jn 06/02 ?   20/52 ? 88.37
25.61 Dallam Jn 06/03 ?   20/50 ? 86.10
26.70 Warrington Bank Quay 06.05a ~ 06.07d ?   20.46a ~ 20.48d ? 85.01
28.57 Acton Grange Jn 06/10 ?   20/44 ? 83.14
33.61 Weaver Jn 06/15 ?   20/39 ? 77.12
42.15 Winsford S.B. 06/20 ?   20/33 ? 69.56
43.40 Winsford 06/21 ?   ? ? ?
51.01 Crewe 06.32a ~ 06.35d ?   20.22a ~ 20.25d ? 60.70
52.65 Basford Hall Jn 06/38 ?   20/17 ? 59.06
59.07 Madeley 06/44 ?   20/09 ? 52.64
70.09 Norton Bridge 06/50 ?   20/02 ? 41.62
75.38 Stafford 06.56a ~ 06.59d ?   19.51a ~ 19.55d ? 36.33
81.71 Colwich 07/06 ?   19/44 ? 30.00
87.46 Armitage 07/09 ?   19/39 ? 24.25
92.58 Lichfield TV 07/12 ?   19/36 ? 19.13
98.69 Tamworth 07.18a ~ 07.21 07.24 ~ 07.27   19.26a ~ 19.30d 19.20 ~ ??.?? 13.02
111.71
0.00
Nuneaton 07L35a ~ 08L02d 07.41 ~ 08.03   18L45a ~ 19L10d 18.51 ~ 19.04 0.00
61.55
4.19 Hinckley 08/10 08/12   18/38 18/39 57.36
14.76 Glen Parva Jn 08/21 08/24   ? ? ?

 

M.C Location Booked Actual
15.46 Wigston South Jn 08/25 08/26
17.17 Kilby Bridge Jn 08/30 08/30
28.13 Market Harborough 08/40 08/40
36.07 Kettering North Jn 08/49 08/50
38.06
0.00
Kettering 08L52a ~ 09L17d 08.54 ~ 09.41
1.79 Kettering North Jn 09/20 09/45
7.44 Corby 09/35 (09/52)
18.24 Manton Jn 10/00 10/12
21.60 Oakham 10/05 10/16
33.21 Melton Mowbray 10/15 10/26
43.04 Syston East Jn 10/25 10/38
43.21 Syston North Jn 10/29 10/40
45.76 Sileby Jn 10/38 10/44
50.43 Loughborough 10/46 10/50
57.30 Ratcliffe Jn 10/57 10/59
58.13 Trent Jn 11/01 11/02
59.47 Meadow Lane Jn 11/08 11/04
60.32 Toton Jn 11/12 11/06
60.60
0.00
Toton Centre 11L15a ~ 11L35d 11.10 ~ 11.25
0.28 Toton Jn 11/38 11/29
1.13 Meadow Lane Jn 11/40 11/32
1.75 Attenborough Jn 11/46 11/35
6.57 Mansfield Jn 11/50 11/40
7.40 Nottingham 11/53 11/43
10.11 Netherfield Jn 11/58 11/49
16.16 Bingham 12/07 12/02
21.57 Bottesford West Jn 12/15 12/10
26.65 Allington Jn 12/21 12/17
30.72 Barkston East Jn 12/29 12/25
41.35 Sleaford 12/43 12/40
42.46 Sleaford South Jn 12/46 12/43
60.33 Spalding 13/07 13/05
73.76 Werrington Jn 13/22 13/22
75.61 New England North Jn 13/27 13/27
77.01 Peterborough 13/42 13.33a ~ 13.35d [P4]
78.28 Fletton Jn 13/50 13.40a ~ 13.41d
80.31
0.00
Orton Mere 14L10 ~ 14L25 13.53 ~ 14.22
4.60 Wansford 14L45 ~ 15L50 14.48 ~ 15.50
5.61
0.00
Yarwell Mill 15.55 ~ 16.00 15.55 ~ 15.58
1.01 Wansford 16L05 ~ 16L06 16.02 ~ 16.05
5.51 Orton Mere SB 16L25 ~ 16L35 16.17 ~ 16.32
0.10 Orton Mere 16*40a ~ 17*00d 16.34 ~ 16.58
2.13 Fletton Jn 17.20 17/09
3.40 Peterborough 17*23a ~ 17.25d 17.18a ~ 17.19d [P5]
9.02 Helpston Jn 17/31 17/26
15.62 Stamford 17/43 17/35
15.73 Manton Jn 17/50 17/43
19.31 Oakham 17/54 17/47
30.72 Melton Mowbray 18/03 17/58
40.78 Syston South Jn 18/12 18/09
43.69 Leicester (up & down goods) 18/19 18/18
44.40 Leicester South Jn 18/21 18/21
46.05 Wigston North Jn 18/25 18/24

Timings continue in first table.

An obvious error exists between Stamford and Manton Jn on the return leg!

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