6th September 2003
The Oban & Lorn Explorer
|Locos Used||37405 & 37406|
|Stock Used||load 10|
|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
(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.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Alex Cunningham)
|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 ~ ??.??|
|Thornhill||07/30||07.24a ~ 07.33d||22/47||23/07|
|Sanquhar||07.??a ~ 07.46d||??.?? ~ 07.54||22.33a ~ ??.??d||22.50 ~ ??.??|
|Auchinleck||??.??a ~ 08.07d||??.?? ~ 08.09||22.11a ~ ??.??d||22.25 ~ ??.??|
|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 ~ ??.??|
|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||?|
|Hyndland East Jn||09/58||09/59||20/38||?|
|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|
|Dalmally||13x08a ~ 13x17d||13.06 ~ 13.30||17t41||17/34|
|Taynuilt||13t37||13/47||17t20||17.14a ~ 17.15d|
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