18th October 2003
The Metallic Maiden
|Locos Used||37375, 37707, 47200, 47316, 56083 & 60005|
1Z37 : Newport to Peterborough
1Z60 : Peterborough to Newport
|37375 + 37707||Newport - Severn Tunnel Junction - Patchway - Bristol Parkway - Charfield - Cheltenham Spa - Abbotswood Jn - (1) Spetchley (1) - Stoke Works Jn - Bromsgrove - Selly Oak - Birmingham New Street - Landor Street Jn - Water Orton - Whitacre Jn - Kingsbury Jn - Burton-on-Trent - Stenson Jn - Sheet Stores Jn - Toton Centre|
|56083||Toton Centre - Meadow Lane Jn - Attenborough Jn - Nottingham - Newark Castle - Boultham Jn - Gainsborough Lea Road - Doncaster RMT|
|47316 + 47200||Doncaster RMT - Loversall Carr Jn - (via ECML) - Tallington Jn - Peterborough West Yard|
|60005||Peterborough West Yard - Grantham - Nottingham - Attenborough Jn - Toton Centre|
|37707 + 37375||Toton Centre - (reverse of outward route) - Kingsbury Jn - Water Orton - (reverse of outward route) - Newport|
(1) Booked route on outward leg was via Worcester Shrub Hill but diverted due to running late.
Sources : various including Martyn Brailsford & Alan
Sheppard (both joined/left at Burton-on-Trent) & Duncan Jennings
The 37's arrive into Chelternham Spa (photo: Duncan Jennings)
56083 being readied to leave Toton Centre (photo: Craig Adamson)
David Burton captured the 47's passing Newark.
Billed as "An easy day 'Spin & Win' to the grandeurs of Grantham" the Metallic Maiden did pretty much what it said on the label. 6 locos, 2 pairs and but no sheds allowed many to claw back a few locos against the top NEDs.
The story starts with 37375 and 37707 leaving Newport. At this point I was a Mitre Bridge junction wondering if South Central had sent out a 319 with no pan on the roof. Not a position of strength! As it turned out we did have a pan, but despite the driver pressing buttons and fiddling in the cupboard nothing he could do would get it up (fnarr, fnarr). Back to Kenny to await a working 319...
Well, fortunately a quirk of the timetable produced the next 319 pretty much as soon as the tail-lights of the previous one had vanished. This one had a working pan and things were now back on track. I even managed to keep my pendolinity intact as 87028 worked my EBW train through to New Street.
Gen came through that the tour was twenty late leaving Cheltenham. Running up the Lickey rather then Worcester clawed this back and it rolled into New Street reasonably to time. 37375 was leading '707. Despite '707 last working the Grampian Gyrator back in the summer, '375 was a winner.
Not having booked, I found a seat close to the beer and settled down to see events unfold. As originally advertised the tour was to change locos in the goods lines at Derby. This was later changed to a loco swap at Toton. As a compensation we took the long way at Whitacre. Another change was to the beer: a brewery timing error lead to us supping "North Countryman" all day: presumably the 40 tour will feature the "Metallic Maiden" brew!
At Toton the original plan was for 56038 to take over. Somebody clearly misread the allocations as 56083 actually came on the rear of the tour, with 56038 attached to a ballast train instead! Scratch number two! The grid took us back south and through Nottingham to Newark. On across the ECML at the famous crossing and towards Lincoln. We were denied the opportunity of screwing up Lincoln's traffic by taking the curve towards Doncaster.
Entering Doncaster RMT for what must be my tenth time the question seemed to be would we ever get to stand on the platform? Anyway waiting for us were our Silver 47s '316 and '200. '316 seemed to be a scratch for many people, '200 memorably worked a few years ago: It was Toton open day in 1998. Pathfinder's Toton Recall was swapping 60068 for 58041 at Birmingham International when '200 came in on the adjacent platform with a VXC service. A large contingent from the tour took the opportunity to get '200 in: International to Leamington Spa, and then get back onto the tour.
The Brush took us south down the ECML, taking the slow lines to keep out of the way of GNER. We slipped into Grantham and disgorged the day trippers for their break. Those mileage merchants who remained were treated to a visit to Peterborough West Yard. Here 60005 was waiting to join the train, as it reversed yet again.
Departing about 15 early with a 60mph loco must have been a signallers oversight. As usual the 60 was scarcely challenged by our 11 coaches. Back down the ECML we were still running 15 early by the time we got to the outside of Grantham. The plan had presumably been to put us into the loop platform but a late running Central unit put paid to that and we were held on the mainline just outside the station. At this point GNER's timetable went SNAFU.
Well, eventually the platform became clear and we quickly slipped in and out of Grantham. Turning left we headed back towards Nottingham and Toton. No platforms available at Nottingham meant we were denied a photo opportunity despite a further ten minutes pathing stop on the centre roads. As usual there were very few opportunities to photograph the train with all the loco changes taking place in freight yards.
Stopping for our final loco change at Toton, 56038 could be seen attached to it's ballast train. There had been a suggestion that the 37s would be swapped for the return to Newport, but this was quashed when '707 and '375 backed on. As is normal these days attention moved to how early we would be back, and whether apparent minus connections could be made. In fact we were pretty much bang on time back into New Street.
All in all it was another tour which did what it should. 4 scratches for me so can't complain.
Timings (Booked Only)
(booked courtesy of Pathfinder Tours, actuals from various including Alan Sheppard)
|M.C||Location||Booked (out)||Actual||Booked (rtn)||Actual||M.C|
|9.69||Severn Tunnel Junction||07/30||07/47||22/26||22/40||147.23|
|21.53||Bristol Parkway||07.47a ~ 07.50d||08.00 ~ 08.04||22.05a ~ 22.08d||22.26 ~ 22.29||135.39|
|53.71||Gloucester Yard Jn||08/22||?||21*17a ~ 21*32d||?||103.21|
|60.21||Cheltenham Spa||08.31a ~ 08.33d||08.54 ~ 08.57||21.04a ~ 21.07d||21.04 ~ 21.08||96.71|
|82.06||Worcester Shrub Hill||09/08||DIV|
|92.00||Stoke Works Jn||09/24||09/19||20/36||20/30||67.56|
|108.29||Birmingham New Street||09.54a ~ 10.06d||09.56 ~ 10.07||19.52a ~ 20.04d||19.50 ~ 20.04||51.27|
|109.74||Landor Street Jn||10/10||10/15||19/47||19/46||49.62|
|126.76||Tamworth High Level||10.35a ~ 10.37d||10.45 ~ 10.48||19.27a ~ 19.29d||19.23 ~ 19.26||34.00|
|139.67||Burton-on-Trent||10.51a ~ 10.53d||10.59 ~ 11.02||19.10a ~ 19.12d||19.07 ~ 19.08||21.09|
|146.04||Stenson Jn||11/01||11/09||19/02||18.57a ~ 18.59d||14.72|
|158.38||Sheet Stores Jn||11/22||11.23a ~ 11.29d||18/35||18/36||2.38|
|Toton Centre||11L31a ~ 11L55d||11.36 ~ 11.57||18L02a ~ 18L27d||18.07 ~ 18.27||0.00
|1.19||Meadow Lane Jn||12/02||12/04||17/57||17/57||57.43|
|7.46||Nottingham||12/17||12.17a ~ 12.19d
|17*33a ~ 17*43d
|17.25 ~ 17.42||51.16|
|25.56||Newark Crossing East Jn||12/47||12/43|
|55.03||Gainsborough Lea Road||13/24||13/17|
|Doncaster RMT||13L50a ~ 14L20d||13.45 ~ 14.07|
|1.79||Loversall Carr Jn||14/25||14/11|
|33.71||Newark North Gate||14/52||14/40|
|48.41||Grantham (P1)||15.06a ~ 15.10d||14.53 ~ 14.54|
|Peterborough West Yard||15L45a ~ 16L16d||15.27 ~ 16.00|
|28.39||Grantham (P4)||16.50a ~ 16.52d||16.51 ~ 16.54|
|36.79||Bottesford West Jn||17/07||?|
Timings continue in first table.
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