19th - 20th July 2002

Pathfinder Tours
The Ayr Receeder

Locos Used 20313, 20314, 37667, 37682, 56069, 58024 & 92002
Stock Used 3066+3068+3122+3112+3140+398+21272+1863+4927+5040+4963+4902+5029

Route:
1Z27 : Newport to Glasgow Central
1Z28 : Glasgow Central to Newport

Date Loco(s) Route
19/07-20/07 58024 Newport - Severn Tunnel Junction - Patchway - Bristol Temple Meads - Standish Jn - Cheltenham Spa - Abbotswood Jn - Stoke Works Jn - Barnt Green - (1) via Camp Hill line  - St Andrews Jn - Proof House Jn - Birmingham New Street - Soho South Jn - Perry Barr North Jn (1) - Bescot Stadium - Bushbury Jn - Stafford - Norton Bridge - Crewe
20/07 92002 (2) Crewe - (via WCML) - Carstairs - Law Jn - Wishaw - Holytown Jn - Mossend East Jn - Mossend North Jn - Mossend Yard
20/07 56069 (3) Mossend Yard - Coatbridge Central - Garnqueen North Jn - Cumbernauld - Greenhill Lower Jn - Falkirk Grahamston - Grangemouth Jn - Fouldubs Jn (4)
20/07 37667 + 37682 (5) Fouldubs Jn - Grangemouth Jn - Falkirk Grahamston - Greenhill Lower Jn - Greenhill Upper Jn - Lenzie - Cowlairs West Jn - Springburn - Stepps - Gartcosh Jn - Coatbridge Central - Langloan Jn - Carmyle - Rutherglen West Jn - Larkfield Jn - Terminal Jn - Shields Jn - Paisley Gilmour Street (6)
20/07 56069 (3) Paisley Gilmour Street - Shields Jn - Terminal Jn - Muirhouse Central Jn - Maxwell Park - Cathcart West Jn - Crosshill - Muirhouse North Jn - Eglington St Jn - Glasgow Central
20/07 37667 + 37682 (5) Glasgow Central - Eglington St Jn - Muirhouse North Jn - Crosshill - Cathcart East Jn - Kirkhill - Newton - Uddingston - Mossend West Jn - Mossend South Jn - Motherwell - Shieldmuir - Shieldmuir RMT - Garriongill Jn (7) - Law Jn Down Passenger Loop
20/07 56069 (3) Law Jn Down Passenger Loop - Shieldmuir - Motherwell - Braidhurst Down Loop
20/07 56069 Braidhurst Down Loop - Mossend South Jn - Mossend East Jn - Holytown Jn - Wishaw Central Jn - Wishaw - Law Jn - Carstairs - (via WCML) - Carlisle
20/07 20313 + 20314 Carlisle - (via WCML) - Crewe
20/07 58024 Crewe - Norton Bridge - Stafford - Rugeley North Jn - Hednesford - Walsall - Bushbury Jn - Bescot Stadium - Perry Barr North Jn - Aston - Proof House Jn - Birmingham New Street - Selly Oak - Barnt Green - (reverse of outward route) - Newport

Notes:
(1) Train was booked via Selly Oak, Birmingham New Street and Aston but was re-routed for reason(s) unknown.
(2) plus 56069 dead-in-tow.
(3) 37667 & 37682 on rear.
(4) the train finished with the rear at Fouldubs Jn, the train having been routed beyond the junction on to the line to the oil terminal.
(5) 56069 on rear.
(6) Train was booked to reverse in Paisley Up Goods Loop but carried on to Paisley Gilmour Street (Ayr line down platform).
(7) Train was booked to traverse the Watsonhead branch to the Railtrack Limit but a signal failure prevented this. Someone from Railtrack was attempting to resolve the problem (lack of "detection") but was called away owing to a nearby bridge bashing incident. The train therefore continued to Law Jn and simply reversed.

Sources : Gary Thornton, David Clark & Alan Vickers

Tour Review
(by "Selby")

Some photos of the tour.

What can you say about a tour that didn't go down any of the branches that it was originally advertised to do, and then didn't hardly do any of the replacement branches on the day either?!!!

I won't bore you about the switch from Ayrshire, but the Ayr Receeder was booked to visit Grangemouth, Deanside and Watsonhead, however on the day this is what happened:

Grangemouth: Train went about halfway down and reversed about one and a half train lengths beyond Fouldubs Jct due to the paperwork not being in order to travel any further.

Deanside: Refused in the days running up to the tour due to the state of track.  This is the second PF tour that I have booked on to do this branch, and the second time I haven't done it!!  The brochure stated that some people might be pleased that the train was now going to reverse in the Paisley Goods Loop, well they might of being if we had done, but due to a points failure on the day we didn't.

Watson head: We could not traverse the branch due to signal failure.  It is doubtful we would have got much beyond half way again anyway due to the paperwork not being in order again!  This is the second PF tour that I have booked on that has meant to do this branch, the last time it was to Coltness and that time the train reversed after about a train length down the branch!

So out of three branches we did about half of one!!  Track-wise it was a complete waste of time and money.  The last time there was a tour that did this badly we received a full refund, but I don't think that will happen in this case.  I must say that obviously most of the above was not PF's fault, and on the day they were as frustrated as the rest of us.  And I do support PF because they seem to be the only company that has the guts to run traditional freight branch tours nowadays.  But it is so disappointing when the above happens, yes there might be a re-run, but we will probably have to pay out another 70 to do what we should have done on this tour, and there are no guarantees that it will go right that time, as mentioned above I have now been booked on two tours to do two of the branches and have failed in traversing both branches both times....

It was not all gloom and doom though, there were a couple highlights:

1) The tour did run as advertised over the Shields Jct - Terminus Jct - Muirhouse C Jct section.

2) The run on the Grid over Beattock and the 20's over Shap.  Then best of all was the 20's departure from Preston, so loud and so fast, those at Preston won't forget that in a hurry!!!

As a general note that indicates the current environment:  PF are planning to run a tour to Aintree in October this year, and although loads of people that I know want to do it, no one has booked on it because no one believes it will get to Aintree.  What a situation to be in!!  This is bad for PF, but the confidence in freight line tours actually doing what they are advertised to do is so low at the moment it is hardly surprising.

I saddens me to say that this tour, regardless of who was to blame, was a big disappointment for the travelling public.

"Selby"

Timings (Booked and Actual)
(from Gary Thornton, David Clark & Alan Vickers)

M.C Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual M.C
0.00 Newport 19.45d 19.45   22.51a 22.49 165.74
9.69 Severn Tunnel Junction 20/00 20/06   22/39 22/37 156.05
16.65 Pilning 20/07 ?   22/32 ? 149.09
20.31 Patchway 20/13 ?   22/29 ? 22/29
21.53 Bristol Parkway 20.15a ~ 20.21d 20.19 ~ 20.23   22.24a ~ 22.26d 22.22 ~ 22.25 144.21
26.23 Westerleigh Jn 20/27 20/29   22/17 22/12 139.51
34.36 Charfield 20/36 ?   22/08 ? 131.38
47.61 Standish Jn 20/50 20/49   21/57 21/51 118.13
53.71 Gloucester Yard Jn 20/58 ?   21/51 21/45 112.03
54.58 Barnwood Jn 21*01a ~ 21*16d 20.59 ~ 21.16   21/45 21/43 111.16
60.21 Cheltenham Spa 21.31a ~ 21.34d 21.29 ~ 21.34   21.35a ~ 21.38d 21.33 ~ 21.36 105.53
67.32 Ashchurch 21/42 ?   21/27 ? 98.42
78.19 Abbotswood Jn 21/51 ?   21/18 ? 87.55
89.36 Stoke Works Jn 22/00 22/02   21/09 21/08 76.38
91.49 Bromsgrove 22/02 22/04   21/07 ? 74.25
95.12 Barnt Green 22.07a ~ 22.10d ?22.10 ~ 22.12   20.59a ~ 21.02d 20.59 ~ 21.02 70.62
10.20 King's Norton 22/18 22/23   20/52 20/47 65.54
102.34 Selly Oak 22/21 DIV   20/47 20/43 63.40
105.65 Birmingham New Street 22.29a ~ 22.42d 22.40 ~ 22.44   20.30a ~ 20.37d 20.22 ~ 20.34 60.09
108.41 Aston 22/51 DIV   20/22 ? 57.33
110.63 Perry Barr North Jn 22/57 ?   20/15 ? 55.11
115.20 Bescot Stadium 23/03 23/05   20/08 20/03 50.54
119.37 Portobello Jn 23/09 23/10  
122.05 Bushbury Jn 23/15 23/16  
  Walsall   20/04 19/58 49.00
  Ryecroft Jn   20/02 19/56 48.30
  Hednesford   19/46 19/42 39.18
  Rugeley North Jn   19/34 19/29 33.41
  Colwich   19/28 19/19 30.72
135.62 Stafford 23.32a ~ 23.35d 23.33 ~ 23.35   19.11a ~ 19.14d 19.09 ~ 19.10 24.37
141.11 Norton Bridge 23/44 23/43   18/59 19/03 19.08
152.13 Madeley 23/55 23/51   18/45 18/51 8.06
160.19
0.00
Crewe 00L08a ~ 00L38d 00.05 ~ 00.41   18L11a ~ 18L34d 18.20 ~ 18.38 141.08
0.00
8.66 Winsford SB 00/47 00/42   17/43 ? 132.22
17.20 Weaver Jn 00/54 00/48   17/34 17/57 124.66
22.24 Acton Grange Jn 00/59 01/00   17/27 17/50 118.64
24.11 Warrington Bank Quay 01/01 01/03   17/25 17.45a ~ 17.46d 116.77
27.47 Winwick Jn 01/06 01/06   17/21 17/41 113.41
35.71 Wigan North Western 01/13 01/13   17/13 17/35 105.17
43.42 Balshaw Lane 01/20 ?   17/06 17/27 97.46
45.44 Euxton Jn 01/22 ?   17/04 17/25 95.43
51.01 Preston 01.40a ~ 01.43d 01.28 ~ 01.42   16.50a ~ 16.55d 17.14 ~ 17.17 90.07
71.79 Lancaster 02/03 02/01   16/30 16/52 69.09
73.71 Morecambe South Jn 02/04 (02/03)   16/28 16/49 67.17
78.07 Carnforth North Jn 02/06 02/06   16/24 16/45 63.01
91.07 Oxenholme Lake District 02/20 02/17   16/14 16/34 50.01
103.56 Tebay 02/33 ??.??a ~ ??.??d (1)   16/03 16/24 36.68
123.19 Penrith 02/51 03/21   15/43 15/57 17.69
141.08 Carlisle 03.10a ~ 03.50d 03.40 ~ 04.01   14L40a ~ 15L20d 14.24 ~ 15.20 99.59
0.00

(1) Train stopped for a considerable time at Tebay....owing to a failed Alligator on the line ahead (yes, honestly ... that's what we were told!)

M.C Location Booked Actual
8.57 Gretna Jn 04/01 04/12
25.66 Lockerbie 04/16 ?
40.03 Beattock 04/27 ?
49.64 Beattock Summit 04/40 ?
57.70 Abington 04/47 ?
73.53 Carstairs 05/06 05/09
76.08 Lanark Jn 05/08 05/12
84.09 Law Jn 05/19 05/19
86.31 Wishaw 05/22 05/22
89.48 Holytown Jn 05/26 05/26
90.45 Mossend East Jn 05/27 05/28
91.00 Mossend North Jn 05/28 05/29
91.33 Mossend Yard 05L30a ~ 05L45d 05.34 ~ 05.54
94.20 Coatbridge Central 05/51 06/00
96.43 Garnqueen North Jn 06/00 06/03
106.13 Greenhill Lower Jn 06/13 06/14
108.34 Carmuirs West Jn 06/16 06/17
108.74 Carmuirs East Jn 06/18 06/19
111.02 Grangemouth Jn 06/25 06.23a ~ 06.25d
(113.22)
0.00
Grangemouth OT line 06.30a ~ 07.08d 06.38 ~ 07.07
2.20 Grangemouth Jn 07/13 07/13
4.28 Carmuirs East Jn 07/18 07/19
4.68 Carmuirs West Jn 07/19 07/20
7.09 Greenhill Lower Jn 07/23 07/24
7.57 Greenhill Upper Jn 07/24 07/25
18.76 Lenzie 07/35 07/35
23.29 Cowlairs West Jn 07/43 07/43
23.74 Springburn 07/45 07/45
31.70 Gartsherrie South Jn 08/00 08/02
33.05 Coatbridge Jn 08/02 08/05
33.54 Langloan Jn 08/04 08/06
38.33 Carmyle 08/11 08/13
40.12 Rutherglen East Jn 08/15 08/17
42.40 Larkfield Jn 08/20 08/21
43.36 Terminus Jn 08/22 08/22
43.77 Shields Jn 08/25 08/23
(48.73) Paisley UGL 08.32a ?
??.?? Paisley Gilmour Street DIV 08.45a ~ 08.50d
0.00 Paisley UGL 08.34d ?
4.76 Shields Jn 08/51 09/00
5.37 Terminus Jn 08/54 09/05
5.78 Muirhouse Central Jn 08/59 09/09
8.30 Langside 09/04 09/14
8.76 Cathcart West Jn 09/06 09/16
11.21 Muirhouse North Jn 09/12 09/23
12.47
0.00
Glasgow Central 09.16a ~ 11.00d 09.27 ~ 11.00
1.26 Muirhouse North Jn 11/04 11/04
5.31 Kings Park 11/09 11/09
9.56 Newton 11/17 11/16
11.58 Uddingston Jn 11/22 11/22
14.67 Mossend West Jn 11/26 11/27
15.28 Mossend South Jn 11/27 11/28
16.78 Motherwell 11/32 11/34
18.57 Shieldmuir 11/38 11/39
19.10 Shieldmuir RMT 11*41a ~ 11*49d 11.40 ~ 11.49
21.57 Garriongill Jn 11/53 11.55a ~ 12.08d
22.71
0.00
Watsonhead RT Limit 12.04a ~ 12.09d DIV
??.?? Law Jn DPL DIV 12.13a ~ 12.21d
1.14 Garriongill Jn 12/24 21/24
4.14 Shieldmuir 12/30 12/28
6.73 Motherwell 12/33 12/33
7.52 Braidhurst Down Loop 12L37a ~ 12L57d 12.36 ~ 12.53
8.63 Mossend South Jn 13/02 12/58
9.14 Mossend East Jn 13/03 13/03
10.11 Holytown Jn 13/05 13/02
13.28 Wishaw 13/11 13/07
15.50 Law Jn 13/15 13/10
23.51 Lanark Jn 13/25 (13/18)
26.06 Carstairs 13/32 13/21
41.69 Abington 13/45 13/32
49.75 Beattock Summit 13/53 13/38
59.56 Beattock 14/01 13/47
73.73 Lockerbie 14/13 13/57
91.02 Gretna Jn 14/31 14/11

Timings continue in first table.

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 and an adjustment is required for the overdistance at Paisley and the missing-out of the Watsonhead branch.

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