8th March 2003

Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Wig & Weasel

Locos Used 37517, 37886, 56111, 92009 & 92016
Stock Used Maroon/Blue Grey Mk1s

Route :
1Z92 : Finsbury Park to Blackburn
1Z93 : Blackburn to Finsbury Park

Loco(s) Route
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

Notes :
(1) plus 92009 dead-in-tow.

Source : Gareth McMurray (joined/left the train at Peterborough).

Photo Review

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
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.

Gareth McMurray

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)

Location Booked Actual
Finsbury Park 08.30d 08.30
Alexandra Palace 08/33 08/35
Potters Bar 08/45 08/46
Welwyn Garden City 08/54 08/58
Stevenage 09.01a ~ 09.04d 09.05 ~ 09.07
Hitchin 09/11 09/11
Sandy 09/23 09/22
Huntingdon 09/37 09.36a ~ 09.38d
Holme Jn 09/44 09/50
Peterborough 10.02a ~ 10.04d 09.59 ~ 10.05
Tallington Jn 10/12 10/14
Stoke Jn 10/26 10/27
Grantham 10/32 10/31
Barkston South Jn 10/34 10/35
Newark North Gate 10/41 10/43
Retford 10/53 10/58
Loversall Carr Jn 11/03 11/10
Doncaster RMT 11L07a ~ 11L29d 11.15 ~ 11.32
Doncaster 11/33 11/43
Adwick Jn 11/38 11/47
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
Horbury Jn 12/22 12/22
Mirfield East Jn 12/31 12/33
Heaton Lodge Jn 12/34 12/35
Bradley Wood Jn 12/37 12/37
Greetland Jn 12/44 12/43
Milner Royd Jn 13/03 13/01
Hebden Bridge 13/09 13/08
Hall Royd Jn 13/13 13/14
Copy Pit 13/22 13/22
Gannow Jn 13/31 13/31
Accrington 13/38 13/44
Daisyfield Jn 13/51 13/52
Blackburn 13L54a ~ 14L27d 13.55 ~ 14.30
Darwen 14.37a ~ 14.40d 14.41 ~ 14.44
Bromley Cross 14/54 14/54
Bolton 15/06 15/05
Salford Crescent 15/22 15/18
Deal St Jn 15/27 15/23
Manchester Victoria 15/30 15.24a ~ 15.27d
Miles Platting 15/34 15/31
Phillips Park West Jn 15/34 15/32
Phillips Park East Jn 15/37 15/33
Ashburys 15/53 15/53
Guide Bridge 15/58 15/59
Stalybridge 16/03 16/12
Greenfield 16/10 16/21
Diggle Jn 16/13 ??/??
Marsden 16/17 16/27
Huddersfield 16c23a ~ 16c24d 16.35a ~ 16.36d
Heaton Lodge East Jn 16/28 16/42
Horbury Jn 16/42 16/52
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
Adwick Jn 17/08 17/16
Doncaster 17L16a ~ 17L35d 17.23 ~ 17.42 [P3]
Loversall Carr Jn 17/41 17/46
Retford 17/53 17/57
Newark North Gate 18/06 18/12
Barkston South Jn 18/15 18/21
Grantham 18/20 18/24
Stoke Jn 18/26 18/28
Tallington Jn 18/38 18/42
Peterborough 18.49a ~ 18.51d 18.57 ~ 18.59
Conington South Jn 19/00 ??/??
Huntingdon 19/07 19/15
Sandy 19/19 19/28
Hitchin 19/30 19/39
Stevenage 19.33a ~ 19.35d 19.47 ~ 19.52
Woolmer Green Jn 19/44 19/56
Digswell Jn 19/46 ??/??
Welwyn Garden City 19/48 19/59
Potters Bar 19/56 20/06
Alexandra Palace 20/06 20/13
Finsbury Park 20.11a 20.17

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