27th October 2001

Pathfinder Tours
The Tone Bone

Locos Used 56063, 58030, 59203, 60062, 66156 & 67026
Stock Used 4902+5029+4963+5040+4927+5009+1863+21272+3098+3140+3112+3122+6310

Route :
1Z46 : Crewe to Taunton
1Z27 : Taunton to Crewe

Loco(s) Route
56063 Crewe - Stafford - Wolverhampton - Galton Jn - Birmingham New Street -  Camp Hill - Barnt Green - Cheltenham Spa - Standish Jn - Stroud - Swindon - Swindon Cocklebury
66156 Swindon Cocklebury - Swindon - Chippenham - Trowbridge - Westbury Down Reception
58030 Westbury Down Reception - (via "link-line") - Fairwood Jn - (via Frome avoider) - Castle Cary - Yeovil Pen Mill - Yeovil Junction - Honiton - Exeter Central - Exeter St Davids - Taunton
67026 + 59203 Taunton - Bridgwater - (via Weston-super-Mare avoider) - Bristol Temple Meads - Filton Jn - Pilning - Severn Tunnel Junction - (via down relief line) - Newport
60062 Newport - (via up relief line & Bishton flyover) - Severn Tunnel Junction - Chepstow - Gloucester
56063 Gloucester - Cheltenham Spa - Barnt Green - Selly Oak - Birmingham New Street - Aston - Bescot - Bushbury Jn - Stafford - Crewe

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

Tour Review


56063 pulls into a misty Barnt Green station on the run south.

Go here for some more photos of the tour.

Hard to believe but my last railtour was back on 1st September - almost two whole months ago!

This tour offered me quite a few different locos and also the required track between the two stations at Yeovil. Not too impressed however to arrive at Barnt Green to discover the free car park was now 2! Quite amusing watching other people turning up to discover the same though

56063 rolled up bang on time - winner no.1 for the day. Settled back in to coach A, disappointed that it was at the back, so a mostly thrashless day in prospect :-(

 The grid took us to Swindon via Stroud. Two choices here - stay on for an hours fester in Cocklebury Yard, else bale for an hours fester in Swindon. What a decision... For someone the decision appeared too much and they decided to bale after we started moving, resulting in a full brake application and a couple of minutes delay before we set off again. Think they got a severe ranting at too - and quite right!

As we pulled into the yard (I chose to stay on board, time for a visit to the bar and catch up with some others who had also stayed on) we passed 66156, our next loco. 56063 dropped off and the shed was stuck onto our end. After the booked fester we headed back to Swindon station to pick up those who had baled. 66156 continued to Westbury where we passed through the station to stop in the "down reception" line. Time to lose the shed in favour of bone 030 - my first "dud" haulage of the day. For the track bashers there was the rarity of traversing the "link line" away from the down reception line to Fairwood Junction.

The track treat for me for the day however was the required line from Yeovil Pen Mill to Yeovil Junction, which was travelled over as booked. 58030 continued via Exeter (long booked festering on the approaches, but still we were running early!) then on to Taunton.

An hour or so break here - time enough to watch 58030 come off the train and hand over to the unusual combination of 67026 (dud for me!) and 59203 "Vale of Pickering". Some discussions about the ability for these two different classes to "multi" but the required cable was soon produced and hooked up between the two.

Just before leaving Taunton 47815 appeared on a fGW service to Paddington. We departed Taunton bang on time. Any doubts about whether both locos were working were soon dispelled as the acceleration on load 13 was rather fast.

By Bristol we were again early, the non-stop run through Temple Meads being quite fast and accompanied by some front coach bellowing at the rather bemused looking passengers on the station.

At Severn Tunnel Junction we were turned on to the relief lines for a slow stagger to Newport - despite that we still arrived some 20 minutes early. 45 minutes then to lose the GM pairing and get 60062 on the other end, a job achieved with oodles of time to spare.

Our route out of Newport was again on the relief line, including the Bishton flyover. At Severn Tunnel Junction we took the line to Chepstow and Gloucester. At the latter it was time for our last booked loco change of the day, 60062 giving up the train back to our first loco, 56063.

The timekeeping remained on-spec as far as Stoke Works Junction where we were halted for a red - destroying the drivers chance for a fast run at the Lickey - not that those of us on board were so bothered. Like quite a few others I'd moved up to the front of the train after the Cheltenham stop so as to enjoy the thrash from Bromsgrove. After the driver phoned the signalman we got a green and then proceeded to stagger along - as we approached Bromsgrove station the reason became clear, the local police helicopter was out and there were police on the track searching for someone.

Once we passed them it was thrash all the ay to the summit - on load 13 the grid did very well considering we hit the bottom at about 30mph and we were only just a fraction slower by the summit three miles later. Well impressive in fact.

Baled at Barnt Green after a good day out, the sound of 56063 departing being heard for quite a distance.

Gary Thornton.

Timings (Booked & Actual)

M.C Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual M.C
0.00 Crewe 07.01d ?   23.22a ? 106.38
8.06 Madeley 07/17 ?   23/11 ? 98.32
19.08 Norton Bridge 07/27 ?   22/58 ? 87.30
24.37 Stafford 07.35a ~ 07.45d ?   22.49a ~ 22.52d ? 82.01
38.14 Bushbury Jn 07/59 ?   22/33 ? 68.24

 

M.C Location Booked Actual
39.68 Wolverhampton 08/04 ?
45.28 Dudley Port 08/14 ?
48.73 Galton Jn 08/18 ?
50.51 Soho South Jn 08/20 ?
52.52 Birmingham New Street 08.25a ~ 08.33d ?
54.23 St Andrews Jn 08/38 ?
59.64 King's Norton 08/53 ?
63.25 Barnt Green 09.01a ~ 09.03d 09.02 ~ 09.04
66.68 Bromsgrove 09/08 09/08
69.01 Stoke Works Jn 09/11 09/10
81.69 Abbotswood Jn 09/20 09/17
92.56 Ashchurch 09/29 09/26
99.67 Cheltenham Spa 9.38a ~ 09.42d 09.33 ~ 09.42
106.17 Gloucester Yard Jn 09/52 09/51
112.27 Standish Jn 10/09 09/58
117.08 Stroud 10/15 10/13
128.22 Kemble 10/30 10/31
141.77 Swindon 10.45a ~ 10.47d 10.45 ~ 10.51
142.17
0.00
Swindon Cocklebury 10L51a ~ 11L49d 10.57 ~ 11.54
0.20 Swindon 11.53a ~ 11.55d 11.57 ~ 12.00
6.04 Wotton Bassett Jn 12/02 12/08
16.73 Chippenham 12/12 12/17
19.07 Thingley Jn 12/18 12/30
27.37 Bradford Jn 12/31 12/47
32.61
0.00
Westbury (down reception) 12L40a ~ 13L16d 12.56 ~ 13.17
1.34 Fairwood Jn 13/20 13/22
4.56 Clink Road Jn 13/24 13/26
6.58 Blatchbridge Jn 13/26 13/28
19.47 Castle Cary 13/37 13/39
31.23 Yeovil Pen Mill 13t52a ~ 13t54d 13.52 ~ 13.53
33.02 Yeovil Junction 13/59 13/59
49.66 Chard Jn S.B. 14.15a ~ 14.19d 14.18 ~ 14.19
65.14 Honiton 14/38 14/39
80.55 Exmouth Jn 14*56a ~ 15*18d 14.54 ~ 15.01
81.64 Exeter Central 15/28 15/17
82.46 Exeter St Davids 15c31a ~ 15c33d 15.20 ~ 15.22
99.12 Tiverton Parkway 15/49 15/38
113.26
0.00
Taunton 16L04a ~ 17L10d 15.50 ~ 17.10
5.03 Cogload Jn 17/16 17/15
11.45 Bridgwater 17/21 17/21
25.08 Uphill Jn 17/33 17/32
28.01 Worle Jn 17/35 17/34
44.66 Bristol Temple Meads 17/56 17/53
49.29 Filton Jn 18/03 18/01
50.63 Patchway 18/05 18/03
54.29 Pilning 18/08 18/08
61.25 Severn Tunnel Junction 18/22 18/15
63.66 Magor 18/24 18/20
71.14
0.00
Newport 18L53a ~ 19L15d 18.33 ~ 19.15
9.69 Severn Tunnel Junction 19/33 19/34
17.17 Chepstow 19/42 19/42
25.13 Lydney 19/52 19/51
44.46
0.00
Gloucester 20.17a ~ 20.42d 20.14 ~ 20.40
0.77 Barnwood Jn 20/45 20/43
6.40 Cheltenham Spa 2.53a ~ 20.55d 20.51 ~ 20.54
13.51 Ashchurch 21/04 21/01
24.38 Abbotswood Jn 21/13 21/08
35.55 Stoke Works Jn 21/22 (21.22a) ~ 21.25d
37.68 Bromsgrove 21/25 21/31
41.31 Barnt Green 21.30a ~ 21.32d 21.38 ~ 21.41
46.39 King's Norton 21/41 ?
48.53 Selly Oak 21/48 ?
52.04 Birmingham New Street 21.55a ~ 21.58d ?
54.60 Aston 22/04 ?
57.02 Perry Barr North Jn 22/16 ?
61.39 Bescot Stadium 22/21 ?
65.56 Portobello Jn 22/28 ?

   Timings continue in first table.

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