6th September 2003

S.R.P.S. Railtours
The Oban & Lorn Explorer

Locos Used 37405 & 37406
Stock Used load 10

Route:

Locos Route
37405 + 37406 Carlisle - Annan - Dumfries - Mauchline - Kilmarnock - Barrhead - Muirhouse South Jn - Larkfield Jn - Polmadie - Rutherglen West Jn - Rutherglen East Jn - Glasgow Central Low Level - Partick - Hyndland - Westerton - Dalmuir - Dumbarton Central - (via WHL) - Oban
37405 + 37406 Oban - (reverse of outward route) - Carlisle

Source : Alex Cunningham (joined/left the train at Gretna Green)

Tour Review
(from Alex Cunningham)

A 5:20am start on Saturday to drive to Gretna Green - a pair of 37/4's from our nearest railhead direct to Oban not to be missed.

We arrived at Gretna Green just in time to see 156.510 call on a Carlisle to Glasgow service and our railtour would follow one section behind all the way to Glasgow.  Right on cue the excursion's headlights appeared round the curve from the WCML a couple of minutes before the booked departure time and 37.405 + 37.406 "The Saltire Society" were a welcome sight at the head of the SRPS ten-coach rake of maroon MkI's; three firsts, three seconds, a buffet, a restaurant car (RBR), and a brake second at each end.  New regulations mean that passengers are not allowed to ride on the brake ends of MkI rakes, nor in the seating accommodation of the RBR, where the wooden chairs are of the old fashioned dining room style and not anchored to the floor, and these three vehicles provided accommodation for the army of volunteer stewards who made us feel very welcome and gave sterling service throughout the day.

At Annan we cleared the single line section from Gretna Green and met Arriva Northern Sprinter 156.470 heading towards Carlisle. Despite a nine minute wait at Thornhill signal box as we were catching up with the northbound Scotrail Sprinter, timekeeping was good up the G & SW and after Sanquhar breakfast was served (Orange & Grapefruit segments or Cereal; Scrambled egg, sausage, bacon, black pudding, tomato & hash brown; Roll, butter and preserve; Tea or Coffee).  Approaching Glasgow we bore right at Muirhouse South Junction, taking 0.9 miles of relatively rare track thence to join the WCML at Larkfield Junction and judging from the vegetation striking the sides of the coaches not many trains use this route.  Only on the WCML for 1.6 miles, for a crew change and wait time for twenty minutes at Polmadie where BR blue 47.840 was noted as was Pendolino 390.013.  Some local passenger trains passed as did a pair of light 66's.  Bore left for our second bit of freight only line - 0.3 miles from Rutherglen West to North Jcts. then via Glasgow Central Low Level to Craigendoran Jct. where we were looped for a 40-minute pathing stop.

After half an hour a Scotrail 156 overtook and we followed one section behind this up the West Highland to Crianlarich, where there was another crew change stop.   After Tyndrum lunch was served (Fresh orange juice; Cold meat salad; Dairy cream trifle; Tea or Coffee).  Having kept time all the way, we were held at Dalmally to cross a late running Scotrail 156 coming from Oban, with resultant arrival in Oban 8 minutes late.  Ann and I had a short stroll and found a seat on the seafront and had some ice cream before a shower drove us back to the station in good time for our 16:45 departure, now with 37.406 leading 37.405.   After a crew change stop at Crianlarich dinner was served (Tomato soup, roll and butter; Roast beef & Yorkshire pudding, duchesse potatoes, peas and carrots; Apple pie & dairy cream; Tea or Coffee and Mint).

We had a short pathing stop at Glen Douglas to await the northbound Oban and Fort William combined 156's, which then also had to stop at Glen Douglas as our lengthy train was still foul of the points at the north end of the loop and therefore still in the Arrochar-Glen Douglas section. Another short wait at Craigendoran Jct. as we were slightly ahead of time.  Darkness fell as we headed around Glasgow.  Towards the end of the tour some minutes were lost due to over time at stations but all in all a very good day out, and at 64 each including the full meals package nicely cooked and served, an excellent value day out.

Alex Cunningham

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Alex Cunningham)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Carlisle 06.20d ?   23.45a ?
Gretna Green 06.??a ~ 06.38d ??.?? ~ 06.38   23.29a ~ ??.??d 23.52 ~ ??.??
Annan 06.??a ~ 06.50d ??.?? ~ 06.51   23.18a ~ ??.??d 23.40 ~ ??.??
Dumfries ??.??a ~ 07.06d ??.?? ~ 07.09   23.01a ~ ??.??d 23.21 ~ ??.??
Holywood 07/10 ?   22/57 23/16
Thornhill 07/30 07.24a ~ 07.33d   22/47 23/07
Sanquhar 07.??a ~ 07.46d ??.?? ~ 07.54   22.33a ~ ??.??d 22.50 ~ ??.??
Kirkonnel 07/50 07/54   22/38 ?
New Cumnock 07/57 08/01   22/21 22/38
Auchinleck ??.??a ~ 08.07d ??.?? ~ 08.09   22.11a ~ ??.??d 22.25 ~ ??.??
Mauchline 08/14 ?   22/06 ?
Kilmarnock 08.??a ~ 08.29d ??.?? ~ 08.31   21.52a ~ ??.??d 21.56 ~ 21.02
Lugton 08x43a ~ 08x50d 08.47 ~ 08.50   21/41 21.42a ~ 21.45d
Barrhead ??.??a ~ 09.01d ??.?? ~ 09.01   21.21a ~ ??.??d 21.28 ~ ??.??
Busby Jn 09/09 ?   21/16 ?
Crossmyloof 09c17 09/09   - -
Muirhouse Jn 09/19 ?   21/12 21/12
Larkfield Jn 09/23 09/15   21/08 21/08
Polmadie 09/30 09c17a ~ 09c38d   21/05 ?
Rutherglen West Jn 09*33a ~ 09*38d 09/41   21/03 21/03
Rutherglen North Jn 09/40 09/42   21/01 21/01
Glasgow Central LL 09.??a ~ 09.50d ??.?? ~ 09.52   20.51a ~ ??.??d 20.51 ~ ??.??
Finnieston East/West Jn 09/54 ?   20/42 ?
Partick 09/55 ?   20/40 20/41
Hyndland 09/57 ?   20/39 20/40
Hyndland East Jn 09/58 09/59   20/38 ?
Anniesland 10/00 10/00   20/36 20/38
Westerton 10/02 10/02   20/34 ?
Dalmuir 10/08 10/09   20/24 20/26
Dumbarton Central 10/20 10/21   20/13 20/13
Dalreoch 10/22 10/22   20/12 ?
Craigendoran Jn 10x31a ~ 11x10d 10.31 ~ 11.11   20/01 19.51a ~ 20.01d
Helensburgh Upper 11t20 11.17a ~ 11.21d   19t48 19/46
Garelochhead 11t34 11.33a ~ 13.34d   19t34 19.31a ~ 19.32d
Glen Douglas 11t47 11.46a ~ 11.47d   19x07a ~ 19x20d 19.03 ~ 19.18
Arrochar & Tarbet 11t56 11/56   18t56 18.51a ~ 18.53d
Ardlui 12t14 12.11a ~ 12.12d   18t39 ?
Crianlarich 12c38 12.30a ~ 12.36d   18c14a ~ 18c18d 18.06 ~ 18.16
Tyndrum Lower 12t49 12/46   18t05 17/58
Dalmally 13x08a ~ 13x17d 13.06 ~ 13.30   17t41 17/34
Taynuilt 13t37 13/47   17t20 17.14a ~ 17.15d
Connel Ferry 13t51 13/57   17t06 17/01
Oban 14.05a 14.13   16.45d 16.46


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