4th August 2001
The Worth-While / Yorkshire Dales
|Loco Used||D172 'Ixion'|
1Z84 : Cardiff Central to Keighley
1Z85 : Keighley to Cardiff Central
|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|
(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)
(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.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Melvin Teale)
|11.06||Newport||05.55a ~ 05.57d||?||22.38a ~ 22.40d||?||285.13|
|21.49||Severn Tunnel Junction||06/07||?||22/25||?||275.24|
|33.33||Bristol Parkway||06.24a ~ 06.26d||?||2.10a ~ 22.13d||?||263.40|
|65.51||Gloucester Yard Jn||07/02||?||21/38||?||231.22|
|72.01||Cheltenham Spa||07.10a ~ 07.12d||07.12a ~ 07.16d||21.27a ~ 21.29d||?||224.72|
|101.16||Stoke Works Jn||07/38||07/41||21/01||?||195.57|
|106.72||Barnt Green||07.46a ~ 07.49d||07.50a ~ 07.51d||20.52a ~ 20.54d||?||190.01|
|St Andrews Jn||20/36||?||179.32|
|117.45||Birmingham New Street||08.10a ~ 08.15d||08.08 ~ 08.15||20.13a ~ 20.30d||?||117.61|
|122.43||Perry Barr North Jn||08/30||08/27|
|Soho South Jn||20/05||?||175.60|
|147.42||Stafford||09.18a ~ 09.20d||09.04 ~ 09.25||19.23a ~ 19.26d||19.12 ~ ??.??||149.56|
|171.79||Crewe||09.48a ~ 10.07d||09.50 ~ 10.09||18.50a ~ 18.54d||18.38 ~ 18.43||125.19|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|288.03||Skipton||12.20a ~ 12.22d||12.33 ~ 12.35||15.59a ~ 16.05d||16.03 ~ 16.06||9.15|
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