27th September 2003

P.M.R. Tours
The Coronation Scot

Locos Used 47854 & steam : 6233 'Duchess of Sutherland'

1Z62 : 05.02 Manchester Victoria to Glasgow Central
1Z63 : 16.15 Glasgow Central to Manchester Victoria

Loco Route
47854 Manchester Victoria - Bolton - Chorley - Preston - Carnforth UDGL
6233 Carnforth UDGL - (via WCML) - Glasgow Central
6233 Glasgow Central - Uddingston Jn - Mossend West Jn - Mossend East Jn Holytown Jn - Law Jn - (via WCML) - Carnforth UDGL
47854 Carnforth UDGL - (reverse of outward route) - Manchester Victoria

Sources : various

Tour Review
(by Mark Honey)

Done a fair few miles behind 'Duchess of Sutherland' (or 6233 if you want the shortened version) this year and the Coronation Scot from Manchester Vic to Glasgow and back over Shap and Beattock both ways didn't take much persuading. The kick off time was as 06.45 from Manc Vic so it was an anticipated early start to get there.

About two weeks before the tour was due to run, Notwork Rail changed the start time to 05.02 which threw it all out the window.

Dilemma - cancel or suffer a 24-hour-a-thon without sleep.  A mate suggested making a weekend out of it and the tour was back on.  Two points here - this revision of start time did not have any effect on arrival time at Glasgow and the numerous pathing stops inserted ultimately had no operational significance.  It drove away potential passengers who used PMR's offer of cancelling because of the revised timings.  Network Rail and 'farce' do have the same meaning after all...

Anyway, this meant an excuse to stay at the Marton Arms Hotel in Thornton in Lonsdale, outside Ingleton.  I unashamedly make no excuses for advertising this excellent hostelry as it serves 15 different real ales, does superb food and has around 120 single malts behind the bar. If you have to join a tour in the Preston/Lancaster area, stay here!

Right, advertising over, the effort in getting an early night for the early 04.45 wake up call went up in smoke as we worked our way across the bar and crawled into bed in the early hours.  The painful get-out-of bed was indeed painful and we drove to Lancaster for the 06.10 pick up.  Lancaster was quiet as the grave with the usual after effects of the Friday night before littering the town centre.

A scruffy half-Virgin liveried duff 47854 turned up on time and at Carnforth came off to be replaced by 6233.  By this time I was demolishing a decent breakfast and a very large coffee to get rid of a mini-hangover so didn't see anything. Plus it was dark....

6233 got off to the usual energetic start and raced through Oxenholme and the Lune Valley an bit into the climb to Shap summit.  A flying start and anticipation of a good effort was then quashed with large amounts of steam release and a sharp brake application to a stand on the climb. Didn't find out why fully, but a faulty injector or a TPWS fault were blamed.  Seemed like the latter as after a few minutes, we got going again and no further trouble was encountered.  We watered at Carlisle, having arrived 30 minutes early on very slack times and a seeming determination to make up for the Shap climb.  Away at 09.00 we missed out the Quintinshill 15 minute pathing stop and took care to the climb to Beattock without further trouble. We were booked a watering stop at Carstairs at 10.55, but arrived about 50 minutes early, simultaneously with the road tanker!  The rest of the journey took us past Shieldmuir Junction, through Motherwell and into Glasgow Central an hour early at 12.00

After a quick photo or three, we went over to Queen Street and caught the shuttle to Edinburgh.  Wasn't the same without a 'shove-duff' - and not as quick! The purpose was to collect some rare whisky for the collection and having completed this, we went back to Glasgow to await the arrival of the stock.  47854, having run light from Carnforth, headed the stock into the station.

We set off at 16.15 and headed back via a different route out of Glasgow.  A very slow crawl via Bellshill and Wishaw (via a bit of red track as well) saw us pass some of the most run down housing I have ever seen.  You could also furnish a house - literally - from all the stuff that had been slung on to the trackside. Back on the main line, we pulled up (on time - so we must have been booked that way) at Carstairs for a water stop. We were away a few minutes late at about 18.10.  Nearly 2 hours from Glasgow to Carstairs!  We pressed on and it was good to see 6233 steaming into a watery sunset, working hard, climbing to Beattock summit. A booked pathing stop at Abington Loop was omitted and we were put into the loop instead at Beattock Summit to let a Voyager past.

To avoid a water stop at Carlisle, we watered at Lockerbie, which took longer than it should, but at least a few of us scored the up loop (how sad is that).  We were due away at 19.08, but got away at 19.30.  By this time it was dark and most of us were nodding off.  Over 20 late leaving Carlisle and we headed south again. The next problem was being stopped on Shap (again) as we had a hot box on the rear coach.  After inspection, we were able to run on to Carnforth, where we lost the 'Duchess' (not sure about the rear coach) and gained 47854.  A short run to Lancaster saw us arrive at 23.00 - 55 late.  A 30 minute drive back to the pub and a pint or two later, plus a shower to de-rance and hitting the sack was unreal!!

Verdict - Mmmm....Always good to do big steam over a testing route, but with all the hype and build up, it seemed a little bit of an anti-climax.  I have the dubious distinction of commuting from Rugby to London and was suffering from a bad week of failures and late running with Virgin.  Maybe that took the shine off it. Maybe it was the extremely long day - we were lucky - others had a 2 hour drive either side of a 17 hour day! I must admit I got more irate the more minutes we dropped.  Will have to think long and hard about what comes next.

Mark Honey

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from various including Pete Drury)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Manchester Victoria 05.05d 05.02   23.23a 00.04
Deal Street Jn 05/04 ?   23/21 ?
Ordsall Lane Jn 05/08 05/06   23/17 23/59
Salford Crescent 05/09 05/08   23/14 23/58
Bolton 05.21a ~ 05.23d 05.20 ~ 05.22   22.59a ~ 23.01d 23.46 ~ 23.48
Lostock Jn 05/28 05/27   22/52 23/42
Chorley 05/36 05/34   22/44 23/34
Euxton Jn   05/38   22/40 23/30
Preston 05.47a ~ 05.49d 05.46 ~ 05.50   22.31a ~ 22.33d 23.22 ~ 23.23
Lancaster 06.00a ~ 06.12d 06.12 ~ 06.14   22.05a ~ 22.07d 22.58 ~ 23.01
Morcambe South Jn 06/15 06/16   22/03 22/51
Carnforth UDGL 06L21a ~ 06L49d 06.21 ~ 06.45   21L36a ~ 21L56d 22.20 ~ 22.47
Carnforth North Jn 06/52 06/48   21/34 ?22/46?
Oxenholme 07/06 07/08   21/20 22/04
Tebay 07/24 07/25   21/06 21/53
Penrith 07/47 07/50   20/44 20/58
Carlisle 08.29a ~ 08.58d 08.21 ~ 08.58   20.16a ~ 20.18d 20.26 ~ 20.31
Gretna Jn 09/10 09/10   19/59 20/15
Quintinshill DPL 09*14 ~ 09*29 09/11   - -
Quintinshill 09/34 ?   19/55 20/14
Lockerbie // UL 09/49 09/27   19*08 ~ 19*38 19.19 ~ 19.58
Beattock 10/02 09/40   18/55 19/02
Beattock Summit 10/28 09/55   18/46 18/51
Abington // UPL 10/36 10/04   18*22 ~ 18*34 18/31
Carstairs South Jn 10/53 10/20   18/05 18/15
Carstairs - -   18/03 18/14
Carstairs DPL // UPL 10*55 ~ 12*12 10.22 ~ 11.24   17*31 ~ 18*01 17.35 ~ 18.12
Lanark Jn 12/16 11/30   17/27 17/29
Law Jn 12/29 11/39   17/12 17/18
Holytown Jn - -   16/53 16/50
Mossend East Jn - -   16/51 16/47
Mossend West Jn - -   16/49 16/46
Shieldmuir Jn 12/34 11/44   - -
Motherwell 12/39 11/48   - -
Uddingston Jn 12/45 11/52   16/39 16/37
Newton 12/49 11/55   16/36 16/32
Rutherglen East Jn 12/53 11/58   16/31 16/26
Eglinton Jn 12/58 12/05   16/20 16/19
Glasgow Central 13.01a 12.09   16.15d 16.14

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