8th March 2003
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Wig & Weasel
|Locos Used||37517, 37886, 56111, 92009 & 92016|
|Stock Used||Maroon/Blue Grey Mk1s|
1Z92 : Finsbury Park to Blackburn
1Z93 : Blackburn to Finsbury Park
|92009||Finsbury Park (via ECML) - Loversall Carr Jn - Doncaster RMT|
|37517 + 37886||Doncaster RMT Doncaster - Adwick Jn - South Kirkby Jn - Hare Park Jn - Crofton West Jn - Calder Bridge Jn - Wakefield Kirkgate - Horbury Jn - Mirfield East Jn - Heaton Lodge Jn - Bradley Wood Jcn - Greetland Jcn - Milner Royd Jn - Hebden Bridge - Copy Pit Accrington - Blackburn|
|56111||Blackburn Darwen - Bromley Cross Bolton - Salford Crescent - Deal Street Jn - Manchester Victoria - Miles Platting - Philips Park No.1 Jn - Philips Park No.2 Jn - Ashburys - Guide Bridge - Stalybridge -Greenfidld - Diggle Jn - Marsden Huddersfield - Horbury Jn Wakefield Kirkgate (reverse of outward route) - Doncaster|
|92016 (1)||Doncaster (via ECML) Finsbury Park|
(1) plus 92009 dead-in-tow.
Source : Gareth McMurray (joined/left the
train at Peterborough).
92009 approaching Askam Tunnel (photo: Roger Geach)
The 37's at Wakefield Kirkgate (photo: Helen Pritchard)
56111 at Doncaster (photo: Gareth McMurray)
92016 leads 92009 out of Doncaster (photo : Mark Bridel)
Source : Gareth McMurray (joined/left the
train at Peterborough).
Tour Review 1
(by Gareth McMurray)
This was my first Hertfordshire Spin & Win tour, and it seemed an easy enough day (no early starts or late finishes) so I decided late on the Friday night that I would go for it. Thursday night had 92009, 37517+886 and 56111 quoted, but this had changed to 56056 on Friday 56111 had been failed with an AWS fault. This changed back to 56111 on the day. Either way, I needed all the locos.
I boarded at Peterborough and the 10.04 departure was on time and with 92009 at the head. The run up the ECML was not one of the most lively that I have had, but still we rolled up at the RMT in Doncaster only a few minutes late. The quoted tractors were 37517+886 and sure enough they were in the yard waiting for us. A wait of about 15 minutes until they were attached (517 on the inside) and then off past Doncaster Carr loco depot 56083, 60044, 08665 and 56088 visible through the trees. We were held just outside Doncaster station but other than that there were no delays en route to Blackburn.
A photo stop at Wakefield Kirkgate was booked and we were routed into Plat 3. Those who are familiar with the station will know that there is a wall about 4ft. from the platform edge making very difficult photography. Guess where the front of the train ended up? The weather got worse and worse from there onwards until, on arrival at Blackburn the rain was coming down hard (made worse by the wind). The 37s were detached and 56111 was put onto the front.
A mad rush back onto the train to get out of the rain, and a late departure from Blackburn was had and from there on, the run was uneventful; slow progress through the Manchester area but the speed soon picked up after. The gen was coming through that 92009 had been failed and that another would be on the way from Wembley to haul us back. That was quoted as 92016 great, another scratch! 92009 was to be DIT behind. 37521/684, 56038, 60085 were seen at Healey Mills.
The grid was detatched at Doncaster, and before the 92s backed on, 37517+886 came through. It was later pointed out that from the air, that would have been a good photo opportunity of all 5 tour locos together. 92016 provided a spirited run back to Peterborough.
Tour Review 2
Herts' latest spin & win was well executed but ultimately like so many recent "traction" tours dissapointing. The basic format seemed ok: 92 Finsbury Park - Doncaster for 2 37s Trans-Pennine via the Copy pit route to Blackburn for a 56 back via Diggle for the 92 back to Finsbury Park. But the details didn't seem to gell, only 30 minutes was available at Blackburn, the 92 was the same out and back and 4 locos for £40 looked expensive when compared to the Past Time Spinnin' States...
A lack of NEDs at Finsbury Park confirmed that the 92 would be a dud, and thus 92009 rolled in on time. As usual the gen in the week indicated one of the 37s was good for me and the grid would be dud. One out of four, not a great score. There were plenty of spare seats for those last minute pay on the dayers, and I settled in to one of these as we left Finsbury Park.
92s are renowned for fast starts and consistent running - 87½ mph isn't really fast these days, but they can basically run at constant speed uphill and down dale. Not so 92009, given some slack timings it was clear that something was amiss when we got to Doncaster RMT. Swapping it for 37886+37517 we left a few minutes late and set off for Blackburn. It being March there was plenty of rain on the Pennines. The wet railhead did give the 37s a few interesting restarts, but they basically ran to time. A welcome photo stop at Wakefield was taken between the showers. The photos won't be master pieces but tour photos rarely are.
On to Blackburn where the half hour break proved just enough time for some to form a big queue in the nearest chippy, whilst others took on the Saturday shoppers in Morrisons. Here 56111 took over from the 37s, the whole procedure being conducted in the pouring rain.
Off down the single line to Darwen where we pause to pass a 150 heading North before a quick trip through Poxy Pacer Heaven and up Miles Platting bank. This ultimately brought us to the track highlight of the tour: Stalybridge up goods loop. The rest of the red track was pretty common stuff although as usual there was the odd person able to complete a few triangles or yellow pen a kinky curve or two...
News on the PA indicated 92009 had been supplemented by 92016 (another dud but still it's another 92!) and we would have a pair back to Finsbury Park. The loco change at Doncaster was pretty slick, the 92s already being paired up, with 92009's pan securely down. We were treated to a run by of the 37s bringing all the tour's locos together at once!
The run back to Finsbury Park was pretty dull, the sun having set and 92016 running in constant speed mode. A few pathing problems and a solid run on the up slow brought us back to Finsbury Park. Here we were about 30 late according to Network Rail's timings but only 7-8 by Herts'.
Route 6/10 - not bad for a spinner.
Traction 6/10 - no virgin locos but otherwise as advertised.
Craic 5/10 - not much atmosphere
Route- Distances and Timing's (Booked & Actual)
(by Gareth McMurray/PRAR)
|Welwyn Garden City||08/54||08/58|
|Stevenage||09.01a ~ 09.04d||09.05 ~ 09.07|
|Huntingdon||09/37||09.36a ~ 09.38d|
|Peterborough||10.02a ~ 10.04d||09.59 ~ 10.05|
|Barkston South Jn||10/34||10/35|
|Newark North Gate||10/41||10/43|
|Loversall Carr Jn||11/03||11/10|
|Doncaster RMT||11L07a ~ 11L29d||11.15 ~ 11.32|
|South Kirkby Jn||11/42||11/51|
|Hare Park Jn||11/48||11/58|
|Crofton West Jn||11/52||12/01|
|Calder Bridge Jn||11/56||12/03|
|Wakefield Kirkgate||11.59a ~ 12.17d||12/18|
|Mirfield East Jn||12/31||12/33|
|Heaton Lodge Jn||12/34||12/35|
|Bradley Wood Jn||12/37||12/37|
|Milner Royd Jn||13/03||13/01|
|Hall Royd Jn||13/13||13/14|
|Blackburn||13L54a ~ 14L27d||13.55 ~ 14.30|
|Darwen||14.37a ~ 14.40d||14.41 ~ 14.44|
|Deal St Jn||15/27||15/23|
|Manchester Victoria||15/30||15.24a ~ 15.27d|
|Phillips Park West Jn||15/34||15/32|
|Phillips Park East Jn||15/37||15/33|
|Huddersfield||16c23a ~ 16c24d||16.35a ~ 16.36d|
|Heaton Lodge East Jn||16/28||16/42|
|Wakefield Kirkgate||16c46a ~ 16c48d||16/58|
|Calder Bridge Jn||16/51||17/00|
|Crofton West Jn||16/53||17/03|
|Hare Park Jn||16/56||17/06|
|South Kirkby Jn||17/02||17/13|
|Doncaster||17L16a ~ 17L35d||17.23 ~ 17.42 [P3]|
|Loversall Carr Jn||17/41||17/46|
|Newark North Gate||18/06||18/12|
|Barkston South Jn||18/15||18/21|
|Peterborough||18.49a ~ 18.51d||18.57 ~ 18.59|
|Conington South Jn||19/00||??/??|
|Stevenage||19.33a ~ 19.35d||19.47 ~ 19.52|
|Woolmer Green Jn||19/44||19/56|
|Welwyn Garden City||19/48||19/59|
Back to "The Railtour Files"