30th June 2001

A1A Charters/Railtours NorthWest
The Edinburgh & Perth Scotsman
(or "The Waverley Revisited")

Locos Used 31459 & 31601
Stock Used 99121+99125+99371+3143+99680+99311+4994+5032+99318+99722

Route :
1Z51 : Warrington Bank Quay to Perth
1Z52 : Perth to Warrington Bank Quay

Loco(s) Route
31459 + 31601 Warrington Bank Quay - Winwick Jn - Earlestown - Golborne Jn - (via WCML) - Carstairs South Jn - Midcalder Jn - Slateford Jn - Haymarket - Edinburgh Waverley
31459 + 31601 Edinburgh Waverley - Haymarket - Linlithgow - Falkirk Grahamston - Larbert - Stirling - Perth
31459 + 31601 Perth - Hilton Jn - Ladybank - Thornton South Jn - Kirkaldy - Inverkeithing - Dalmeny - Haymarket West Jn - Gorgie Jn - Craiglockart Jn - Niddrie West Jn - Portobello Jn - Edinburgh Waverley - (reverse of outward route) - Warrington Bank Quay

Source : Richard Hughes
(joined/left train at Leyland)

Tour review :
(
by Richard Hughes)

When this excursion was first advertised some time ago, the gen was that Fragonset engines 31190 and 31128 were likely to be the chosen motive power, and as these are still required for haulage by me, this was a good incentive to book on an otherwise unremarkable out-and-back run to Perth, and, at 47.00, or 34.00 to Edinburgh, a fairly expensive one. However, before too long, it became clear that 31128 was not going to be ready in time to work, and next I learnt that 31190 had gone north to Fort William for the summer in connection with the Jacobean steam services. Never mind, it was still a decent mileage behind a pair of my favourite loco class, and I had missed a few 31-hauled excursions in recent weeks for various reasons. So on Saturday morning, I set off from Poulton to Leyland on a 150, and met my friend Nick at the latter location.

During the few minutes' wait at Leyland, 90224 in GNER livery sped northwards on an intermodal, and then the tour train, starting from Warrington, pulled into the station on time, and we boarded halfway along as the second-class section was beyond the platform end. Once aboard, we tried to find coach A, in which our seats were booked, but failed in this apparently simple task because the coach labels had seemingly been affixed by a sufferer from dyslexia. We reached the end coach, labelled E, and sat there instead, and were left undisturbed in our adopted seats. It was quite apparent that the train was going to be far from full, and in fact this coach never got beyond a 50% loading. We set off with a slow run into Preston, where we passed 47849 which had just returned from Blackpool having hauled 1N11 there, 47769 having taken over at Blackpool for the Portsmouth service. There was a better run onwards to Lancaster, but then came a stop at Carnforth, which turned out to be to pick up a pilotman, because we then crossed to the up line, single-line working being in force to Milnthorpe.

After regaining the down line at Milnthorpe, we made decent progress northwards, with only Shap providing much resistance to fast running, the bank bringing speed down to 45 mph at the summit. Carlisle provided the spotters aboard with a few numbers to jot down, firstly 90224 again which was waiting at Upperby for us to pass, then 37520, 37707, 66102, 90017, and kettle Green Arrow. There was a brief unscheduled stop, and time to wave to a couple of friends who had spent the night spotting at Carlisle - rather them than me is all I can say! More engines were seen at the DRS depot and Kingmoor, 20304, 20307, 20312, 20901, 20905, 33023, 37607, 37611, 66203, 60075, 66178, and then we were put into Quintinshill loop to allow 86234 on 1S46 to pass. We were stopped at Quintinshill rather than Beattock as booked because we were still around 10 minutes down. Beattock provided the next obstacle, and this long bank dragged the speed down considerably, with the summit reached at 26 mph, although power was eased off before the top. I thought this might have been for a TSR (Temporary Speed Restriction), but I didn't see any markers.

Continuing merrily along more favourable grades, we soon approached Carstairs, getting checked here to allow two southbound InterCity services to clear the junction, 87011 followed by 86226, and then took the curve onto the Edinburgh line. Looking back down the main line along which we had just come, 90224 could once again be seen, having presumably been following close behind since Quintinshill. A smooth run into Edinburgh followed, and arrival was a couple of minutes early. Many passengers left at this point for a day out in the city, and an hour's break for the rest of us provided opportunity for refreshment or to see what was knocking around the station. 90031, 91012, 91015, 91018 and precious little else was the answer to the latter question, unless you're into gaudily-coloured DMUs.

With a reversal at Edinburgh, Nick and I were now in the front coach for the next leg to Perth, and got to sample a bit of thrash for a while. Timings on this section were slack, and the consequent frequent checks gave us some bursts of noise every time the 31s were opened up when signals cleared. And the sun came out, too, displacing the grey clouds which had been unbroken all the way to Edinburgh. 31s don't venture this way very regularly, and neither do I these days, no prizes for guessing why, something to do with the DMU desert much of Scotland has become. The only train of interest we passed en route to Perth was 66150 on an MGR at Polmont Jn. Arrival at Perth was on time, and there was another break of an hour before the return to Edinburgh, this time via Ladybank and the Forth Bridge. We had lost our prime spot at the front because of reversal at Perth, but the journey was still very enjoyable, still in sunshine, and including a spin on the Suburban Line to approach Edinburgh from the east. A couple of locos were noted at Craigentinny, 08331, 08472, 47736 on a Serco train, and 47790, and more ominously, 220018 was also on view.

A briefer stop at Edinburgh to pick up those passengers who had chosen to forgo the most interesting section of the trip, and we were soon heading homeward, with a fine performance by the 31s. Retracing the outward route, only a short stop in Abington loop to allow a following HST to overtake caused any delay, and from then on the train gained on the schedule. Nearing Carlisle, a few different engines were noted at Kingmoor in the yard or at the DRS depot, 08922, 20308, 20315, 33029, 37608, 66138, and 66171, and 60078 in Carlisle station. Shap caused little difficulty, but checks from Carnforth into Lancaster lost a few of the minutes gained earlier. Preston was reached a couple of minutes up, but a lengthy station stop, probably awaiting a road, resulted in a slightly late arrival at Leyland, where Nick and I detrained.

A very enjoyable day out, with the Edinburgh - Perth - Edinburgh section undoubtedly the highlight for me. A pity no NB machines could be allocated, but I'm sure I'll get them some other time. A pity too about the very poor loading, which I think could be attributed in large measure to the high fare for this type of charter, too much in my view to attract ordinary trippers looking for a day out in Edinburgh. Especially those who are aware that the half-price Virgin Value tickets currently available mean you can get from the North-West to Edinburgh on a service train for a single-figure fare! Food for thought.

Richard Hughes

Route, Distances and Timings (Booked & Actual)
(by Richard Hughes)

M Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual M
0.00 Warrington Bank Quay 06.58d -   22.18a - 219.97
3.34 Winwick Jn 07/04 -   22/13 - 216.63
4.90 Earlestown 07/06 -   22/11 - 216.63
5.80 Newton-le-Willows 07.09a ~ 07.11d - ~ -   22.06a ~ 22.08d - ~ - 215.07
6.95 Golborne Jn 07/15 -   21/58 - 213.02
11.51 Springs Branch Jn 07/22 -   21/54 - 208.46
12.88 Wigan North Western 07.24a ~ 07.26d - ~ -   21.50a ~ 21.52d - ~ - 207.09
20.52 Balshaw Lane 07/36 -   21/42 - 199.45
23.97 Leyland 07.43a ~ 07.54d 07.44 ~ 07.57   21.35a ~ 21.37d 21.30a ~ 21.38d 196.01
28.01 Preston 07.54a ~ 07.57d 07.57 ~ 08.00   21.24a ~ 21.26d 21.19a ~ 21.30d 191.97
48.98 Lancaster 08.22a ~ 08.24d 08.20 ~ 08.24   20.57a ~ 20.59d 20.56 ~ 20.58 170.99
50.88 Morecambe South Jn 08/27 ??/??   20/52 20/51 169.09
55.08 Carnforth North Jn 08/30 ??/??   20/52 20/46 164.89
68.08 Oxenholme 08.42a ~ 08.43d 08.57 ~ 08.58   20.39a ~ 20.39d 20.31 ~ 20.33 151.89
80.69 Tebay 08/59 ??/??   20/27 20/20 138.73
100.23 Penrith 09.20a ~ 09.22d 09.31 ~ 09.32   20.04a ~ 20.06d 19.59 ~ 20.00 119.74
118.09 Carlisle 09/42 09.49a ~ 09.52d   19/41 19.37a ~ 19.39d 101.88
126.81 Gretna Jn 09/53 ??/??   19/32 19/29 93.17
128.26 Quintinshill 09/57 10.07a ~ 10.12d   19/29 19/28 91.72
143.92 Lockerbie 10/08 10/28   19/15 19/17 76.05
157.59 Beattock 10.30a ~ 10.32d ??.??   19/04 19/07 61.84
175.97 Abington 10/56 ??/??   18/45 18.48a ~ 18.50d 52.08
191.26 Carstairs South Jn 11/11 11/15   18/30 18/28 28.72
192.24 Carstairs East Jn 11/13 11/16   18/28 18/27 27.74
208.05 Midcalder Jn 11/30 ??/??   18/09 ??/?? 11.93
217.42 Slateford Jn 11/45 11/39   17/58 18/00 2.94
218.74 Haymarket 11/47 11/42   17/56 17/58 1.24
219.98 Edinburgh Waverley 11.50a 11.46   17.53d 17.53 0.00

 

M Location Booked Actual
0.00 Edinburgh Waverley 12.50d 12.51
1.24 Haymarket 12/54 12/56
2.35 Haymarket West Jn 12/57 12/58
8.53 Newbridge Jn 13.04a ~ 13.28d 13.06 ~ 13.16
12.59 Winchburgh Jn 13/32 13/22
17.56 Linlithgow 13/36 13/27
22.51 Polmont Jn 13/43 13/35
25.15 Grangemouth Jn 13/52 13/39
27.25 Carmuirs East Jn 13/58 13/49
27.70 Larbert Jn 14/05 14/01
36.49 Stirling 14/14 14/13
41.43 Dunblane 14/20 14/20
51.54 Blackford 14/31 ??/??
67.40 Hilton Jn 14/46 14/44
69.50
0.00
Perth 14.50a ~ 15.50d 14.48 ~ 15.51
2.10 Hilton Jn 15/55 15/58
9.80 Newburgh 16/06 16/07
17.73 Ladybank 16/16 16/19
23.58 Markinch 16/22 16/25
26.05 Thornton North Jn 16/24 16/28
26.53 Thornton South Jn 16/25 16/29
30.95 Kirkaldy 16/29 16/33
36.70 Burntisland 16/39 16/40
43.21 Inverkeithing UPL 16.50a ~ 17.03d (16/51)
43.68 Inverkeithing 17/07 (16/52)
47.80 Dalmeny Jn 17/14 16/59
54.48 Haymarket West Jn 17/22 17/15
54.93 Gorgie Jn 17/23 17/16
55.61 Craiglockart Jn 17/24 17/17
60.78 Niddrie West Jn 17/33 17/28
61.78 Portobello Jn 17/41 17/31
65.26 Edinburgh Waverley 17.45a 17.37

Key;
a : arrival time
d : departure time
/ : passing time
A time in brackets is approximate

All distances, in miles, 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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