4th August 2001

Pathfinder Tours
The Worth-While / Yorkshire Dales

Loco Used D172 'Ixion'

Route :
1Z84 : Cardiff Central to Keighley
1Z85 : Keighley to Cardiff Central

Loco Route
D172 Cardiff Central - Newport - Severn Tunnel Junction - Pilning - Bristol Parkway - Westerleigh Jn - Gloucester Yard Jn - Barnwood Jn - Cheltenham Spa - Abotswood Jn - Spetchley - Stoke Works Jn - Bromsgrove -Kings Norton - Selly Oak - Birmingham New Street - Aston - Perry Barr North Jn - Bescot Stadium - Portobello Jn - Bushbury Jn - Stafford - (via WCML) - Carnforth -  Settle Jn - Hellifield - Keighley (2)
D172 Keighley - (reverse of outward route) - Bushbury Jn - Wolverhampton - Dudley Port - Soho South Jn - Birmingham New Street - Camp Hill - Kings Norton - (reverse of outward route) - Cardiff Central

Notes :
(1) Originally advertised for haulage by a class 66 between Cardiff and Birmingham New Street and by 2x class 33's for the remainder of the journey. Also advertised to be routed on the return journey as follows; Keighley - Skipton - Whitehall Jn - Engine Shed Jn - Methley Jn - Wakefield Kirkgate - Mirfield - Huddersfield - Stalybridge - Guide Bridge - Denton Jn - Stockport - Wilmslow - Crewe.
(2)
for visit to K&WVR diesel gala.

Source : Melvin Teale (joined at Cheltenham Spa/left at Stafford)

Tour Review
(by Melvin Teale)

Excitement was high as I travelled to Cheltenham for my first Peak haulage in some 15 years, as Ixion was to be the motive power for Pathfinder's "Worth While" tour to Skipton and Keighley. A relatively late change (surprise!, surprise!) meant that the tour was not going to return via the Aire valley & Huddersfield but by the outward route - Carnforth & Wennington. This may be partly the reason for "seats in all classes" being still available on the day, even though a Pathfinder Steward had told me that the tour was "booking heavily" some 10 weeks ago! However, the route was OK for me as I like the Carnforth - Settle Jct line as it was old stamping ground for me in the mid to late 70s, when peaks were extremely rare in the area.

First surprise (of not very many!) of the day was on arrival of the train at Cheltenham seeing the front vestibule windows occupied ready for the assault of the Lickey. Surprising, as the front of the train was Premier Class, a usual "no go" area for bashers. It's probably good business sense these days, but many tours are now like 3 tours in one with "normals" in Premier, "mostly normals" in First, and a sprinkling of enthusiasts in standard; who theoretically are not allowed to venture out of their coaches. Call me old fashioned, but tours don't seem to have the same atmosphere as they had in the mid to late 80's (just as well I hear you say!).

Minor moan over, Ixion made a excellent ascent of the Lickey, even though we appeared to be checked at Bromsgrove for some reason (for the thrash?). In fact she performed faultlessly on the day (while I was on the train anyway). Standard approach to Brum New St and then out via Bescot (viewing the sad rows of withdrawn locos) to join the main line at Bushbury Jct. A good thrash resulted in a 14 early arrival at Stafford which allowed a unscheduled photo stop. An inexplicable 5 late departure had all but being made up on arrival at Crewe, (viewing the sad rows of withdrawn locos on the approach) where most of the train descended upon the papershop being manned by one girl! A 2 late away from Crewe was soon made up and we passed Springs Branch more or less right time (where we could view more sad rows of withdrawn locos!) We were then held for a few minutes outside Preston which resulted in us being about 10 late as we stormed passed Hest Bank at 11.33. Turn left at Carnforth for a quick crew change (and a view of the station in the process of restoration) and then wheel flange screech sharp right onto the Leeds line and over the WCML. This route to Settle Jct is very scenic, but is a shadow compared its close neighbour, the S&C. All too soon we're at Settle Jct to join the aforementioned route and then through Hellifield for a 13 late arrival at Skipton where those for the Dales Coach Tour detrained. Premier & First Classes were much depleted now as we left for the short run
to Keighley and the KWVR Gala.

The return was the same route as outward, Ixion continued to perform so well we were 17 minutes early at Warrington after a 3 late departure from Carnforth. OK, some slack timings but a good run nevertheless. We were held for a while outside Crewe, but we still arrived early at Stafford where I left the train.

Verdict- A good well organised straightforward tour which brought back many memories of haulage behind the Peaks in the 70's & 80's.

Melvin Teale

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Melvin Teale)

M.C Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual M.C
0.00 Cardiff Central 05.40d ?   22.57a ? 296.73
11.06 Newport 05.55a ~ 05.57d ?   22.38a ~ 22.40d ? 285.13
21.49 Severn Tunnel Junction 06/07 ?   22/25 ? 275.24
28.45 Pilning 06/15 ?   22/19 ? 268.28
32.11 Patchway 06/21 ?   22/16 ? 264.62
33.33 Bristol Parkway 06.24a ~ 06.26d ?   2.10a ~ 22.13d ? 263.40
38.03 Westerleigh Jn 06/32 ?   22/03 ? 258.70
46.16 Charfield 06/45 ?   21/54 ? 250.57
59.41 Standish Jn 06/56 ?   21/43 ? 237.32
65.51 Gloucester Yard Jn 07/02 ?   21/38 ? 231.22
66.38 Barnwood Jn 07/03 ?   21/37 ? 230.35
72.01 Cheltenham Spa 07.10a ~ 07.12d 07.12a ~ 07.16d   21.27a ~ 21.29d ? 224.72
79.12 Ashchurch 07/21 07/25   21/19 ? 217.61
89.79 Abbotswood Jn 07/29 07/33   21/10 ? 206.74
101.16 Stoke Works Jn 07/38 07/41   21/01 ? 195.57
103.29 Bromsgrove 07/40 07/43   20/59 ? 193.44
106.72 Barnt Green 07.46a ~ 07.49d 07.50a ~ 07.51d   20.52a ~ 20.54d ? 190.01
112.00 Kings Norton 07/55 07/57   20/45 ? 184.73
  Bordesley Jn   20/37 ? 179.58
  St Andrews Jn   20/36 ? 179.32
114.14 Selly Oak 08/00 08/00    
117.45 Birmingham New Street 08.10a ~ 08.15d 08.08 ~ 08.15   20.13a ~ 20.30d ? 117.61
120.21 Aston 08/26 08/24  
122.43 Perry Barr North Jn 08/30 08/27  
127.00 Bescot Stadium 08/37 08/33  
128.18 Darlaston Jn 08/43 08/35  
131.17 Portobello Jn 08/52 08/39  
  Soho South Jn   20/05 ? 175.60
  Galton Jn   19/57 ? 174.02
  Dudley Port   19/54 ? 170.37
  Wolverhampton   19/44 ? 164.77
133.65 Bushbury Jn 09/03 08/43   19/39 ? 163.23
147.42 Stafford 09.18a ~ 09.20d 09.04 ~ 09.25   19.23a ~ 19.26d 19.12 ~ ??.?? 149.56
152.71 Norton Bridge 09/27 09/30   19/16 19/05 144.27
163.73 Madeley 09/36 09/38   19/05 18/57 133.25
171.79 Crewe 09.48a ~ 10.07d 09.50 ~ 10.09   18.50a ~ 18.54d 18.38 ~ 18.43 125.19
180.65 Winsford S.B. 10/21 10/21   18/32 18/20 116.33
189.19 Weaver Jn 10/27 10/27   18/26 18/12 108.77
194.23 Acton Grange Jn 10/31 10/31   18/20 18/04 102.75
196.10 Warrington Bank Quay 10/33 10/32   18/18 18/01 101.08
199.46 Winwick Jn 10/36 10/35   18/14 17/58 97.52
206.41 Springs Branch Jn 10/41 10/42   18/02 17/53 90.57
207.70 Wigan North Western 10/42 10/44   18/01 17/52 89.28
215.41 Balshaw Jn 10/50 10/52   17/52 17/54 81.57
217.44 Euxton Jn 10/52 10/55   17/50 17/42 79.54
223.00 Preston 11/01 11/09   17/38 17/34 74.18
243.78 Lancaster 11/21 11/29   17/11 17/13 53.20
245.70 Morecambe South Jn 11/22 11/32   17/08 17/09 51.28
250.06 Carnforth North Jn 11/25 11/36   17/01 17/04 47.12
250.18 Carnforth 11.26a ~ 11.28d 11.37 ~ 11.38   16.58a ~ 17.00d 16.58 ~ 17.03 47.00
259.62 Wennington 11/43 11/53   16/45 16/44 37.36
274.64 Settle Jn 12/04 12/15   16/24 16/24 22.34
278.09 Hellifield 12/08 12/22   16/20 16/18 19.09
288.03 Skipton 12.20a ~ 12.22d 12.33 ~ 12.35   15.59a ~ 16.05d 16.03 ~ 16.06 9.15
297.18 Keighley 12/.34a 12.45   15.47d 15.53 0.00


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