31st August 2002
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Three Spires
|Locos Used||66025 & 66189|
1Z66 : Finsbury Park to Derby
1Z68 : Derby (16.42d) to Finsbury Park
|66025||Finsbury Park - Freight Terminal Jn - Camden Road East Jn - Camden Road - (1) - Primrose Hill - West London Jn - Willesden Yard (low level goods lines)|
|66025||Willesden Yard (low level goods lines) - Mitre Bridge Jn - Kensington Olympia - Clapham Junction - Barnes - Kew East Jn - Acton Central - Dudding Hill Jn - Brent Curve Jn - (via Silkstream flyover) - Luton - Bedford - (via slow lines at Sharnbrook) - Kettering - (2) - Knighton South Jn|
|66025 (3)||Knighton South Jn - Coalville - Birmingham Curve Jn - (4) - Leicester Jn - Burton-on-Trent UGL|
|66189 (5)||Burton-on-Trent UGL - Leicester Jn - (4) Branston Jn - Wichnor Jn - Lichfield City - Brownhills|
|66025 (3)||Brownhills - Lichfield City - Wichnor Jn - Branston Jn - (6) - Birmingham Curve Jn - Drakelow East Curve Jn|
|66189 (5)||Drakelow East Curve Jn - Birmingham Curve Jn - (6) Leicester Jn - Burton-on-Trent - North Stafford Jn - Derby|
|66025 (3)||Derby - Sinfin (headshunt)|
|66189 (5)||Sinfin (headshunt) - Derby|
|66025||Derby - Long Eaton - Trent South Jn - Loughborough - Syston North Jn - (7) - Leicester - (via MML) - Brent Curve Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Mitre Bridge Jn - (8) - Camden Road - Freight Terminal Jn - Finsbury Park|
(1) was booked via Gospel Oak to Willesden but diverted because of "track problems" on the day.
(2) was booked to run via Corby and Leicester but diverted to catch-back on late running.
(3) 66189 on rear.
(4) Was booked to traverse the curve from Birmingham Curve Jn to Branston Jn but didn't, reportedly because Railtrack had failed to inspect the curve prior to the tour. Train reversed using the Burton-on-Trent up goods loop instead.
(5) 66025 on rear.
(6) train re-routed to cover the booked curve missed out earlier! - see note (4)
(7) was re-scheduled to run via Corby (as it had been missed in the morning) but couldn't as there wasn't a fast to slow lines crossover at Syston South Jn (the train should have crossed over from the fast to slow lines at Sileby Jn but hadn't). A reversal at Leicester was also refused thus the train simply carried on along the MML instead, missing out the Corby line.
(8) presumably "booked route" via Willesden Junction HL & Gospel Oak?
Sources : various, including PRAR, Ken Strachan & Mike
I set the alarm early because getting to Finsbury Park for 0700 by way of Thameslink and breakfast does take a while. Strolling out of the house I was left to ponder why buses only run on time when you are late. Bizarrely a Connex bus came to the rescue and I was soon at East Croydon for the 0514 northbound Thameslink. The overnight Thameslinks are not booked to stop at London Bridge so this one went via Selhurst and Herne Hill direct to Blackfriars and on to Kings Cross. A nice early WAGN brought me to Finsbury Park, where shops (and the Station Cafe) had opened for breakfast.
After watching my last two 317/6s head into Kings Cross, 66025 came into view heading the familiar green mark ones. There seems to be a rule that the first 66 on a train is a dud one, 66025 having worked on The Red Dragon (19/6/1999). Having boarded the train an announcement came that there were track problems at Willesden and some means of bypassing them was being worked out. As the former Southfields correspondent would say "mmm".
Twenty minutes late we set off. The original route via Willesden Junction High Level was abandoned and at Camden Road we headed left to via the overgrown Primrose Hill station. Passing WN (or 1A in old money) we cut left and stopped on the Low Level Goods lines adjacent to the Freightliner terminal for 66025 to run round.
Heading back south we rejoined the intended route at Mitre Bridge Junction and stopped at Kensington Olympia at 0812 (33 late). From here the swing-o-meter took a dive towards oblivion as we were first held at Latchmere (presumably to allow the train crew to arrive at Clapham Junction) and then basically staggering round the North London freight lines to Dudding Hill Junction. Here we stayed on the freight lines bypassing Hendon and took the Silkstream flyover.
With RST approaching West Hampstead box put us on the slows and we struggled to avoid dropping more time. Arriving at the final pickup at Bedford the stewards were out with the sticky back plastic to repair a broken window. Presumably some vandal had thrown a stone through it. To regain time the routing via Corby was postponed to the return trip and at Kettering we stayed on the main line to Knighton South Junction.
66189 joined the rear of the train at Knighton and before long we were veering off left onto the Coalville line. With a passenger line speed of 20mph it was a good time to make up for the early start and have some zzz. At the end of the Coalville line we turned right instead of left. Railtrack had neglected to inspect the Birmingham Curve and the signaller (quite rightly) had to route us into Burton-on-Trent up goods loop to reverse. There were quite a few groans at this.
66189 burst into life and we trundled out of the loop heading towards Lichfield. At Wichnor Junction we turned onto the freight line and paused briefly at Lichfield City before heading down to Brownhills. The Brownhills branch had been especially deforested for the passage of the tour, refinery traffic having ceased in 2001. The new bridge over the North Birmingham Link Road was traversed - a double track bridge with only the left hand track laid and we ran to the end of the line adjacent to the closed terminal.
After reversal we ran back to Lichfield where we had to wait for a reversing 323 to let us out. Back on the main line to Derby we crossed over at Branston Junction and headed off back towards Coalville. HRT had been on the phone and Railtrack had sent a man to perform the necessary inspection. Reversing at Drakelow East Curve Junction we also scored a very rare crossover. By the time we had made it back out and up to Derby we were running 86 late.
Those who wanted a break in Derby had to forego the Sinfin branch and they missed out on traversing the whole line right into the headshunt. This added to the overall delay and our eventual return to Derby was 100 minutes late! A few minutes for photos, reversing and topping up the kitchen water tanks and we clawed back to only 36 late departing.
Passing the usual collection of oddly coloured stock at Derby we were then brought to a halt at Spondon. The train in front was inspecting the line after reports of debris. More delays! Beyond Trent the driver gave 66025 it's head and we had a refreshing burst of speed. With the Corby route still to traverse we all expected to turn left at Syston. But once again Railtrack intervened and we discovered there was no fast to slow crossover to allow us to access the spur. Having done this the signallers refused to allow us to reverse in Leicester so we headed back out onto the mainline. It seems that some chain of communication had fallen down and Railtrack hadn't been informed of the changed routing.
The rest of the run back passed without incident, all be it at RST. Flagging the extra miles back round to Finsbury Park I took the lazy option and bailed at Clapham. Fast VEP and tram saw me walking in the front door before 10pm. It was a shame for those people who needed Corby (and all the photographers at Harrington Viaduct) but HRT managed to get right to the end of both branches and cover the harder bits of track. Those who need Corby look out for it appearing on a tour in 2003 (or a MML HST in the Winter).
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(by Daniel Bound)
|Holloway South Jn||07/00||07/26||20/59||?|
|Freight Terminal Jn||07/02||07/28||20/56||?|
|Camden Road East Jn||07/09||07/29||2/53||?|
|Kensal Green Jn||07/28||DIV||20/38||?|
|Willesden Junction HL||07/32||DIV||20/34||?|
|Mitre Bridge Jn||07/35||?||20/30||?|
|North Pole Jn||07/36||?||20/29||?|
|Kensington Olympia||07.39a ~ 07.40d||?||20.23a ~ 20.25d||?|
|Clapham Junction||07.48a ~ 07.50d||08.12 ~ 08.17||20.12a ~ 20.14d||21.09 ~ 21.11|
|New Kew Jn||08/03||08/45||19/52||20/57|
|Kew East Jn||08/06||08/54||19/49||20/54|
|Acton Wells Jn||08/13||09/10||19/39||20/47|
|Acton Canal Wharf Jn||08/15||09/13||19/37||20/45|
|Dudding Hill Jn||08/23||09/20||19/31||20/38|
|Brent Curve East Jn||08/26||09/26||19/25||20/34|
|St Albans||08.45a ~ 08.47d||09.49 ~ 09.51||19.05a ~ 19.07d||20.10 ~ 20.12|
|Luton||08.59a ~ 09.02d||10.03 ~ 10.05||18.51a ~ 18.53d||19.56 ~ 19.58|
|Bedford South Jn||09/24||10/26||18/31||19/35|
|Bedford||09.27a ~ 09.30d||10.28 ~ 10.35||18.26a ~ 18.28d||19.30 ~ 19.32|
|Bedford North Jn||09/31||10/36||18/25||19/29|
|Kettering South Jn||10/06||11/03||-||-|
|Kettering North Jn||10/10||11/06|
|Corby North Jn||10/16||DIV|
|Syston East Jn||11/06||DIV|
|Syston South Jn||11/07||DIV|
|Wigston South Jn||DIV||11/30|
|Knighton Jn||11L22 ~ 11L44||11.41 ~ 12.04|
|Mantle Lane SB||12/33||12/50|
|Birmingham Curve Jn||13/17||13/23|
|Burton-on-Trent||DIV||13.26 ~ 13.37|
|Lichfield TV HL||13/31||13/56|
|Lichfield City||13/34||14.01 ~ 14.08|
|Brownhills||13.49 ~ 14.10||14.31 ~ 14.46|
|Lichfield TV HL||14/28||15/24|
|Birmingham Curve Jn||DIV||15/47|
|Drakelow East Curve||DIV||15.53 ~ 15.58|
|Birmingham Curve Jn||DIV||16/03|
|North Stafford Jn||14/47||16/12|
|Derby||14.54a ~ 14.59d||16.20 ~ 16.35|
|(headshunt)||-||16.46 ~ 16.55|
|Derby||15L31a ~ 17L00d||17.13 ~ 17.34|
|Sheet Stores Jn||17/11||17/52|
|Trent South Jn||17/12||17/53|
|Syston South Jn||17/27||18/17|
|Leicester||17.33a ~ 17.35d||18.29 ~ 18.31|
|Wigston North Jn||17/41||18/36|
Timings continue in first table.
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