29th December 2001
Past Time Rail
The Cannon of Kent
|Locos Used||34027 "Taw Valley", 47787, 73101 & 73131|
Finsbury Park - Freight Terminal Jn - (1) - Camden Road - Hampstead - Willesden Junc. - Kensington Olympia - Longhedge Jn - Factory Jn (via Atlantic Lines) - Catford - Shortlands - Bickley - Orpington
|73101 + 73131 (2)||
Orpington - Grove Park - Parks Bridge Jn - London Bridge - London Cannon Street
|34027||Cannon Street - London Bridge - Parks Bridge Jn - Catford Bridge - Beckenham Junction - Bickley - Orpington - Sevenoaks - Tonbridge - Headcorn - Ashford - Folkestone Central - Dover Priory - Deal - Ramsgate - Margate|
|34027||Margate - Faversham - Chatham - Sole Street - Swanley - Chislehurst - Lewisham - Nunhead - Factory Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Finsbury Park|
(1) 34027 stalled on the North London incline & was assisted in rear by 47787.
(2) 34027 on rear.
Source : John Clifford
(by John Clifford)
This was a tour advertised for a run round Kent with Steam covering a few parts over which I had not been steam hauled and a lot which I had not done with steam for 40 years so it was a "must". It was first advertised as having 34067 "Tangmere", this then became 35005 "Canadian Pacific" and finally 34027 "Taw Valley". The start was at 0810 from Finsbury Park and back there at 1920.
When the tickets came the departure & arrival times had been brought forward by 90 minutes so the departure became 0638; not my idea of fun on a December morning.
I got the 0553 from Hatfield as had a number of others so it was quite busy at Hatfield at that time of the morning. Anyway, on arrival at Finsbury Park I met Terry, a friend of long standing, so at least there was someone to talk to that I knew.
0638 came and went but there was no sign of our train nor were there any announcements. After a while I made two particular comments to Terry as I was getting rather cold "I think I'm getting too old for this" to which he said "Well, John, one day you might not be able to go on these trips and then you can think 'I'm glad this is all finished so I don't have to get up early any more' ". My other comment before we knew what was happening was "This has all the makings of a cock-up".
Read on and see how right I was.
Just before 0700 one of the organisers told us that the train would arrive shortly. The delay has been with the taxi bringing the crew from Hither Green. We set off 25 mins. late and were stopped on the North London incline having covered just over 2 miles. I was by a speed restriction sign which kept appearing and disappearing as we tried to get under way again. Eventually we were told that 34027 could not get going and assistance would have to be provided in the shape of the Kings Cross Thunderbird. This was 47787 named "Victim Support"! We got underway 93 mins. late having seen the sunrise over Kings Cross cement terminal.
After stopping to pick up the Kensington passengers who were probably frozen by this time, we set off for our first water stop at Orpington via Catford. We made up a little time and got there 76 mins late. Here "ED's" 73131 & 73101 were attached and took us up to Cannon Street with 34027 on the rear. We lost those at Cannon Street and set off less than an hour late behind 34027 again for Ramsgate via the Mid Kent line, Tonbridge & Dover. Good progress was made and we passed Paddock Wood only 47 mins. adrift. However there were stops outside Headcorn where we were due to take water to allow service trains to pass and we got away from there 65 mins late (back to RST). A good climb of Guston bank was made but delays in the Ramsgate area made us 85 mins. late into Margate.
There was an announcement that we would leave Margate 1 hour late to allow time for the engine to be serviced. By this time it was raining steadily but I went into the town for food. I settled for the "Wimpy bar". On getting back to the station we learned that the coal lorry had got stuck in traffic so we would now leave 2 hours late!
It was a few minutes more than this when we got away and so we stayed. Water was taken at Newington, left 128 mins. late. We ran via Sole Street, St. Mary Cray, Chislehurst, Lewisham, Nunhead and on to Kensington which we left 130 mins. late.
An easy timing over the North London line got us back to Finsbury Park at 1938: only 108 mins late and a bit later than the originally advertised time of 1920.
An interesting tour and quite enjoyable except for the very early start.
Timings : Booked & Actual
(by John Clifford)
|x.xx||Holloway South Jn||06/40||07/08|
|1.57||Freight Terminal Jn||06/42||07/09|
|2.11||Camden Road East Jn||06/55||07.11a ~ 08.28d|
|2.36||Camden Road Jn||06/56||08/31|
|7.54||Kensal Green Jn||07/13||08/44|
|7.76||Willesden Junction High Level||07/16||08/45|
|8.48||Mitre Bridge Jn||07/22||08/47|
|9.05||North Pole Jn||07/23||08.49a/d|
|10.73||Kensington Olympia||07.28a ~ 07.32d||08.55 ~ 08.56|
|15.25||Voltaire Road Jn||07/43||09/07|
|17.71||Crofton Road Jn||07/49||09/13|
|27.44||Petts Wood Jn||08/16||09/30|
|29.04||Orpington||08.19a ~ 08.50d||09.35 ~ 09.59|
|30.44||Petts Wood Jn||08/53||10/03|
|36.55||Parks Bridge Jn||09/03||10/11|
|38.44||New Kent East Jn||09/11||10/14|
|39.78||Spa Road Jn||09/13||10/17|
|40.79||London Bridge||09/17||10.20a ~ 10.21d|
|41.18||Borough Market Jn||09/18||10/23|
|Cannon Street||09.21a ~ 09.43d||10.27 ~ 10.39|
|0.38||Borough Market Jn||09/46||10/43|
|1.58||Spa Road Jn||09/50||10/47|
|3.12||North Kent East Jn||09/52||10/49|
|5.01||Parks Bridge Jn||09/56||10.53a ~ 10.54d|
|8.19||New Beckenham||10/04||11.02a ~ 11.03d|
|13.49||Petts Wood Jn||10/18||11/16|
|15.09||Orpington||10.21a ~ 10.29d||11.19a/d|
|46.45||Headcorn||11.08a ~ 11.25d||12.10 ~ 12.30|
|96.57||Minster East Jn||12/36||13/49|
|100.27||Ramsgate||12/42||13.59a ~ 14.03d|
|Margate||12.50a ~ 14.25d||14.15 ~ 16.29|
|32.25||Newington||15.05a ~ 15.20d||17.11 ~ 17.28|
|40.68||Rochester Bridge Jn||15/41||17/43|
|60.52||St Mary Cray Jn||16/07||18.11a ~ 18.13d|
|66.48||Parks Bridge Jn||16/16||18/30|
|69.63||Crofton Road Jn||16/32||18/40|
|72.45||Voltaire Road Jn||16/39||18/46|
|76.76||Kensington Olympia||16.51a ~ 16.54d||18.59 ~ 19.04|
|78.64||North Pole Jn||16/59||19/09|
|79.21||Mitre Bridge Jn||17/00||19/10|
|79.73||Willesden Junction High Level||17/06||19/12|
|80.24||Kensal Green Jn||17/08||19/13|
|85.47||Camden Road Jn||17/26||19/28|
|85.72||Camden Road East Jn||17/28||19/30|
|86.26||Freight Terminal Jn||17/44||19/32|
|xx.xx||Holloway South Jn||17/47||19/35|
a : arrival time
d : departure time
/ : passing time
All distances, in miles and chains (M & C), 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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