12th July 2003
The Pennine Fellsman
|Locos Used||37065, 37684, D345, 56107 & 56102|
1Z40 : Birmingham International to Carlisle
1Z41 : Carlisle to Birmingham International
|56102||Birmingham International - Stechford - Aston - Bescot Stadium - Bushbury Jn - Stafford (1)|
|37065 (2)||Stafford - Norton Bridge - Crewe|
|37684||Crewe - Weaver Jn - Runcorn - Liverpool Lime Street|
|D345||Liverpool Lime Street - Huyton - St Helens Central - Springs Branch Jn - (via WCML) - Carlisle|
|D345||Carlisle - (via S&C) - Settle Jn - Hellifield - Clitheroe - Blackburn - Lostock Hall Jn - Farington Jn - (via WCML) - Crewe|
|56107||Crewe - (reverse of outward route) - Birmingham International|
(1) 56102 failed at Stafford with dragging brakes.
(2) plus 56102 dead-in-tow.
(3) Ran in association with the Class Forty Preservation Society.
Source : Gary Thornton (on the train throughout)
D345 passes Spencer Road north of Wigan North Western
(Photo : Phil Pearson)
Here are some more photos from the day.
Another day and another of D345's mainline outings. Although I was a fairly late booker on this tour I was still lucky enough to find myself in the leading standard class coach so some decent thrash was in prospect.
Starting at Birmingham International this tour was to use an EWS class 56 as far as Liverpool Lime Street where D345 would take over for a run to Carlisle and back as far as Crewe where, in theory, the same 56 would take over for the trip home.
Theory and practice when applied to railtours are, of course, two very different things...
The good men of Pathfinder were doubtless very happy to see the stock arrive at Birmingham International behind 56102 as this was one of the very few serviceable "grids" never to have hauled a Pathfinder-organised railtour. Me, I'd had it on a Hertfordshire Rail Tours outing about ten years ago so was a tad disappointed not to score it, but then again I was on the trip for the 40 anyway!
Stories of the grids ill-health were about from the start and a long wait at Stafford confirmed the worst, the driver had failed 102 on account of dragging brakes. A long wait ensued whilst alternative plans were made and enacted. During this time we witnessed the passing of two other railtours, a posh-nosh with a royal spoon and a Past Time Rail kettlex with a less salubrious 47 in charge.
Plan 3a was the one that took place at the end of the long wait - 37065 (required!) rolled in from Crewe to tow us northwards, 56102 being dead-in-tow...much to the annoyance of all those Stafford joiners who required it!
The failure of the grid meant we were running almost 90 minutes late but a further loco change was required at Crewe where 37065 & 56102 were removed in favour of 37684 "Peak National Park". I was coming in for some stick at this point as I also required this tractor for haulage!
37684 took us to Liverpool then it was time for the days star to perform - D345.
The run northwards via St Helens and the WCML was memorable for the right...as well as wrong...reasons. Right reason - as we were leading coach the whistler performed very well, the sounds of which were even relayed to Hertfordshire Rail Tours when I took a call from one of their stewards just as we were powering away from Lime Street! Wrong reason - one passenger was removed from the train at Wigan after he managed to come into contact with a line-side structure somewhere between Liverpool and Wigan. Despite warnings in the tour brochure and over the PA it seems some people are determined to put themselves at risk, and potentially spoil the future enjoyment of many hundred people by their stupid actions. Enough said.
Shap was the highlight of the day for me - 40mph or so over the top then a blistering run down the other side making full use of the 90mph limit now re-applied to D345 after the fitting of TPWS equipment. A re-timed departure from Carlisle (we were still well-late) gave an hour to stretch our legs, get some food, a drink or whatever grabbed us. I made do with a hot-dog and watch D345 running round. As she rolled into the station silently there was a moment or two when some looked worried, but not the CFPS personnel on board (at least, if they were then it didn't show!). D345 was soon re-started and hooked on to the other end of the train.
The run southwards was via the S&C. Missing out a booked leg-stretch break looked like having us back to schedule but as we approached Hellifield silence descended once again and there was a delay before the familiar whistling sounds re-commenced up front. An announcement was made to say we would be stopping for a few minutes at Hellifield to allow D345 to be watered as there were some problems with the coolant level.
Cue Network Rail - as a result of the pause we were about 20 minutes late. We arrived at Clitheroe to see the signaller putting the service train out in front of us. Rumours soon circulated were were to sit here for a couple of hours waiting a suitable gap but thankfully someone managed to get this decision reversed, however it cost us almost an hour!
At least the late-running meant an entertaining run back to Crewe. The now apparent traditional cheer and round of applause went up as D345 ran off the tour stock...well deserved as it had been an excellent performance
Our loco home was pleasing for me - 56107, my third required loco of the day (and I'd only really come to enjoy the 40!). A good run plus slack timings had us less than 15 minutes late back to Birmingham International at the end of what had been a very good day out.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Gary Thornton)
|9.48||Perry Barr North Jn||07/35||07/29||20/54||21/15||49.36|
|13.06||Thame Bridge Parkway||07.39a ~ 07.42d||07.35 ~ 07.41||20.48a ~ 20.50d||21.09 ~ 21.10||45.78|
|34.47||Stafford||08.14a ~ 08.17d||08.07 ~ 09.45||20.18a ~ 20.20d||20.43 ~ 20.45||34.37|
|57.20||Basford Hall Jn||08/43||10/13||19/56||20/20||1.64|
|59.04||Crewe||08.47a ~ 08.55d||10.24 ~ 10.44||19L10a ~ 19L50d||19.46a ~ 20.17d||0.00
|59.62||Crewe Coal Yard||08/58||10/47||19/05||19/43||158.55|
|93.25||Edge Hill SB||09/31||11/25|
|Liverpool Lime Street||09L37a ~ 10L10d||11.31 ~ 11.45|
|1.31||Edge Hill SB||10/14||11/50|
|1.78||Bootle Branch Jn||10/17||11/51|
|11.36||St Helens Central||10/42||12/08|
|18.66||Springs Branch Jn||10/57||12/25|
|20.09||Wigan North Western||11/03||12.30a ~ 12.38d|
|35.19||Preston||11/21||12.58a ~ 13.00d|
|58.09||Morecambe South Jn||11/45||13/30|
|62.25||Carnforth North Jn||11/49||13/33|
|75.25||Oxenholme Lake District||12/01||13/46|
|Carlisle||12.55a ~ 14.49d||14.28 ~ 15.34|
|0.53||London Road Jn||14/51||15/36|
|0.72||Petteril Bridge Jn||14/52||15/38|
|8.29||Low House Crossing||15/02||15/48|
|30.62||Kirby Thore SB||15/22||16/08|
|76.69||Hellifield||16.31a ~ 17.10d||17.19 ~ 17.30|
|89.77||Horrocksford Jn||17/32||17.50a ~ 18.10d|
|101.15||Blackburn||17c55a ~ 17c57d||18.47 ~ 18.48|
|110.15||Lostock Hall Jn||18/10||19/00|
|123.42||Wigan North Western||18/26||19/17|
|124.71||Springs Branch Jn||18/29||19/17|
|135.22||Warrington Bank Quay||18/39||19/26|
|137.09||Acton Grange Jn||18/41||19/27|
Timings continue in first table.
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