22nd February 2003
The Spinning Sparkey
|Locos Used||66231, 73131, 73136, 86604, 90038, 90039 & 92031|
1Z68 : Crewe to Harwich Town
1Z69 : Harwich Town to Crewe
|90039||Crewe - Norton Bridge - Stafford - Wolverhampton - Portobello Jn - Bescot Stadium - Aston - Stechford - Birmingham International - Coventry - Rugby - (WCML via Weedon) - Wembley Europort|
|73136 + 73131||Wembley Europort - Acton Canal Wharf Jn - Acton Wells Jn - Kew East Jn - New Kew Jn - Barnes - Clapham Junction - Kensington Olympia - Mitre Bridge Jn - Willesden WL Jn - Wembley Europort|
|92031||Wembley Europort - Harlesden Jn - Primrose Hill - Camden Road - Dalaston Jn - Channelsea North Jn - Stratford - (via GE) - Manningtree - Mistley - (4) - Harwich International|
|92031 (1)||Harwich International - Harwich Town|
|86604 (2)||Harwich Town - Harwich International - (4) - signal P21|
|92031 (1)||signal P21 - Harwich International|
|66231 (3)||Harwich International - Manningtree East Jn - Manningtree North Jn - Ipswich - Haughley Jn - Bury St Edmunds - Dullingham - Cambridge T.C.|
|86604||Cambridge T.C. - Elsenham - Bishops Stortford - Cheshunt - Bury St Jn - Seven Sisters - South Tottenham - Copper Mill Jn - Temple Mills East Jn - High Meads Jn - Lea Jn - Dalston Jn - Camden Road - Gospel Oak - Kensal Green Jn - Harlesden Jn - Wembley Europort|
|90038||Wembley Europort - (reverse of outward route) - Crewe|
(1) 86604 on rear.
(2) 92031 on rear.
(3) plus 86604 dead-in-tow.
(4) Booked route was via carriage sidings (with engine changes there) but the train did not do this, the engine changes being made in the platform at Harwich International.
Sources : Gary Thornton (joined/left the train at Coventry)
& Kevin Driscoll
Here are some photos from the day.
Weather: Very foggy within the hours of darkness, but then a bright, sunny and correspondingly cold winter's day.
Loco's Used: 90039 73131+136 92031 86604 66231 90038. I believe 66231 was a winner for everyone on board. Unfortunately, the much hoped for 92005 did not arrive at Wembley in time to work our railtour, having being delayed in the Midlands on its in-bound freight working.
Track: All the track was covered as booked except for the Parkeston Carriage Sdgs. This was clearly not Pathfinder's fault as they seemed to be as much in dark as most people on the train. I had seen a revision to the timings late on Friday and saw that a shunt manoeuvre had been inserted into the timings to enable the tour to move from Plat.2 to Plat.1 at Harwich International. Thus I speculated that this was a sign that the Carriage Sdgs would be omitted, which was a shame as I needed the track! I guess it must have been for safety reasons as operationally it would have been far simpler to do the loco changes in the yard, and there certainly was capacity in the yard for us and the necessary loco changes. Anyway, despite that omission, credit is due for covering the rest of the route as booked as a number of spurs and curves were covered as we crossed London. This is no easy task with the lines being so busy.
Time keeping: The tour ran broadly to time throughout, however a protracted engine change from 86604 to 90038 in Wembley Europort in the evening saw us arrive approximately 20 late into Watford Junction where I left the train.
Verdict: Another good tour from Pathfinder. Well done to those down Woodchester way.
The only thing I will mention is that with the spin and win market now saturated and having largely succeeded in its aim to produce as many winning traditional freight locos as possible, railtour operators are going to have to put some effort in to try and get required 66's, because if they don't a large number of people will cease to score any engines on spinner tours. Yesterday's tour was a case in point. Spin and Win tours have always been most attractive to the scratch merchants, however most of them have now had all the 73's 86's and 90's. And with only three winning class 92's currently available most were banking on scoring the 66 on yesterday's tour. However no one new what the 66 was going to be until it backed on the train and I would wage that it was just the first one 'off the line'. This of course is of concern because it could have quite easily been dud! I hope that PF continue to run Spin and Win tours as many people enjoy thrashing around the network behind locos of different classes, and indeed not everyone has had the same amount of engines. That said I think that effort does now need to be put in to producing required 66's or many of the people that have supported the spinners over the years since their conception will start to turn their back on them.
Anyway, back to yesterday's tour. Well done Pathfinder it was an enjoyable day out!
PS. Other things of note: As the Royal Train passed us in Wembley yard Her Majesty was seen ranting at one of the Royal Train stewards about her train getting 47798 and 47799 again whilst we just about to gain a pair of 73's!!
Timings (Booked & actual)
(from Gary Thornton & John Clifford)
|24.37||Stafford||06.17a ~ 06.19d||?||22.23a ~ 22.25d||?||133.08|
|39.68||Wolverhampton||06.36a ~ 06.38d||?||22.05a ~ 22.08d||?||117.57|
|50.26||Perry Barr North Jn||06/51||?||21/48||?||107.19|
|59.74||Birmingham International||07.08a ~ 07.29d||?||21.26a ~ 21.29d||?||97.51|
|70.50||Coventry||07.39a ~ 07.41d||07.59 ~ 08.01||21.14a ~ 21.17d||21.42 ~ 21.44||86.75|
|82.09||Rugby||07.51a ~ 07.58d||08.13 ~ 08.15||21.02a ~ 21.04d||21.30 ~ 21.31||75.36|
|114.64||Milton Keynes Central||08/23||08/36||20/37||21/03||42.61|
|147.20||Watford Junction||08.49a ~ 08.51d||09.09 ~ 09.11||19.53a ~ 19.56d||20.16 ~ 20.18||10.31|
|153.25||Harrow & Wealdstone||09/01||09/18||19/46||20/10||4.26|
|156.45||Wembley Central||09/06||09.23 ~ 09.25||19/44||20/04||1.00|
|Wembley Europort||09Laa1 ~ 09L31d||09.28 ~ 09.54||19L19a ~ 19L39d||19.25 ~ 20.00||66.69
|0.79||Willesden No.7||09/46||09.59 ~ 10.02|
|1.34||Acton Canal Wharf Jn||09/49||10/06|
|1.74||Acton Wells Jn||09/51||10/10|
|3.60||South Acton Jn||09/59||10/15|
|4.40||Kew East Jn||10/02||10/18|
|4.79||New Kew Jn||10/05||10/20|
|10.39||Clapham Junction||10/15||10.30 ~ 10.32|
|16.01||Mitre Bridge Jn||10/30||10/42|
|16.42||Willesden WL Jn||10/31||10/46|
|Wembley Europort||10L40a ~ 11L05d||(10.53) ~ 11.16|
|1.67||Willesden WL Jn||11/22||11/23|
|6.26||Camden Road Jn||11/31||11/32|
|12.54||Stratford||11/54||11.52 ~ 11.59|
|14.34||Forest Gate Jn||11/56||12/02|
|47.43||Witham DPL||12*32a ~ 12*37d||12.36 ~ (12.39)|
|60.08||Colchester Goods Line||12/54||12/53|
|77.14||Parkeston Quay C.S.||13.22a ~ 13.32d||DIV|
|77.44||Harwich International||13/36||13L27 ~ 13L43|
|Harwich Town||13L42a ~ 13L47d||13.49 ~ 13.55|
|Parkeston Quay CS||13*58a ~ 14*23d||DIV|
|(?.??/0.00)||signal P21||DIV||14.02 ~ 14.06|
|(?.??/0.00)||Harwich International||DIV||14L08 ~ 14L29|
|8.66||Manningtree East Jn||14/42||14/44|
|9.10||Manningtree North Jn||14/45||14/46|
|44.28||Bury St Edmunds||15/31||15.27 ~ 15.30|
|72.49||Coldham Lane Jn||16/14||16.07 ~ 16.13|
|Cambridge T.C.||16L19a ~ 16L41d||16.19 ~ 16.38|
|2.49||Shepreth Branch Jn||16/45||16/43|
|46.12||Bury St Jn||17/57||17/58|
|50.53||Tottenham South Jn||18/16||18.09 ~ 18.15|
|51.20||Copper Mill Jn||18/19||18/17|
|53.08||Temple Mills East Jn||18/24||18/24|
|59.38||Camden Road Jn||18/48||18/49|
|64.56||Kensal Green Jn||19/09||19/01|
|65.56||Harlesden Jn||19/14||19.06 ~ 19.07|
Timings continue in first table.
Distances do not allow for the run through Harwich
International to signal P21 and reversal back (undertaken to access platform 1).
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