25th October 2003
The Railway Touring
The Lincolnshire Poacher
|Locos Used||90038 & steam 61264|
1Z63 : Kings Cross to Immingham Reception
1Z64 : Immingham Reception to Kings Cross
|90038||(1) Finsbury Park - (via ECML) - Grantham|
|61264||Grantham - Allington Jn - Bingham - Nottingham - Attenborough Jn - Meadow Lane Jn - Toton Jn - Toton Centre - Clay Cross South Jn - Chesterfield - Dore Station Jn - Sheffield - Woodburn Jn - Worksop - Retford (low level) - Gainsborough Central - Kirton Lindsey - Barnetby - Ulceby - Immingham Reception|
|61264||Immingham Reception - Pyewipe Road - Marsh West Jn - Habrough - Barnetby - Markwt Rasen - Lincoln Central - Boultham Jn - Newark North Gate (2)|
|90038||Newark North Gate - (via ECML) - London Kings Cross|
(1) Was booked from Kings Cross but started at Finsbury park owing to late start.
(2) Loco change on the return was planned to be at Grantham but was made at Newark instead.
61264 passes Bottesford West Jn (photo : David Burton)
61264 at Newark in the evening (photo : David Burton)
Sources : various
(by Terry Jackson)
Thanks once again to the current Network Rail practice of now carrying out engineering works on Saturdays as well as Sundays, my local South West Trains services were absolutely useless for an early start from London and I had to drive to Potters Bar for the 07.38 start. An easy journey round the M25 was a good start but WAGN and EWS soon put paid to thoughts that things were going well. Potters Bar station is not a very pleasant place to wait for a train when the temperature is near freezing and the waiting rooms on the station were shut due to vandalism. A notice on the door advised asking the station staff to open them but, when I did, this was greeted with "Haven't got a key mate". Customer care WAGN style!
This was followed by the news that the tour was running late with an anticipated departure time of 09.26. We later found out that this was yet again another classic EWS cock-up with no driver available to bring the empty stock from Old Oak. One wonders how many more times we are going to hear this excuse from EWS and it really does make you ask if there is some hidden agenda to drive away charter business.
We were told that the stock eventually left Old Oak about 180 late and, in an attempt to reduce the arrears, the tour started from Finsbury Park instead of Kings Cross. Departure from Potters Bar was about 100 late with 90-038 providing the motive power to Grantham where 61264 was waiting. A quick changeover (for these days) saw us heading round to Allington Junc. and Nottingham where we stopped whilst no fewer than four service trains passed before we were allowed to proceed. Our route took us to Toton via Meadow Lane Junc. and then to Alfreton for a booked water stop. Progress was not very inspiring until we has cleared Chesterfield and then suddenly the engine came to life on the climb up to Dronfield before we dropped down to Sheffield where we changed engine crews.
A number of people were looking forward to some good running with the new crew who certainly lived up to their reputation with some lively starts but our progress to Retford and Gainsborough Central was subject to various restrictions and checks, all very frustrating. Having taken water again, we again had to wait for a service train to clear before we could leave on our way to Barnetby. Our lateness had at one point been reduced to 86 late but the constant checks meant that we were running between 90-100 late.
Also the weather had now turned very gloomy and our arrival at Barnetby was preceded by a very heavy burst of rain which soon settled into a steady drizzle. Thus conditions were not very pleasant for the highlight of the day which was the traversing of the Immingham loop with steam. Also by the time we let yet another service train depart, the light was fading fast and it was only just possible to see where we were going until we reached Immingham reception sidings where we again took water. This seemed to take ages and by the time we left our lateness was about 100-110 minutes. The rest of the loop was completed in darkness and we headed back to Barnetby and then Lincoln. Any problems that might have been anticipated in passing through railway-hating Lincoln didn't materialise as by then everyone had gone home and we only stopped for short while before setting off to Newark.
We had been booked to stop at Newark for an hour to take water followed by a further 30 minutes at Grantham to changes engines, but it was decided to change engines at Newark to save time. This change saw us leave Grantham 60 late with 90-038 again in charge and we eventually arrived back at Potters Bar around 65 late.
RTC have to be thanked for organising a great tour which gave all steam track bashers a very good day out. It seemed that everyone wanted Immingham plus several other bits and the B1 performed well when it had the opportunity to do so. The problems that the late start presented both for the organisers and passengers could so easily have been avoided and EWS really does need to get its act together. They will no doubt point to the number of charters that they run which are problem free but late starts cannot normally be recovered because of the requirement not to delay scheduled services and many good tours have been ruined by drivers not being available or taxi drivers getting lost.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
|Potters Bar||07.26a ~ 07.28d||09.07 ~ 09.10||22.08a ~ 22.10d||23.17 ~ 23.20|
|Welwyn Garden City||07/36||09/17||22/02||23/11|
|Stevenage||07.42a ~ 07.44d||09.30 ~ 09.33||21.54a ~ 21.56d||23.01 ~ 23.03|
|Peterborough||08.18a ~ 08.20d||10.08 ~ 10.11||21.09a ~ 21.11d||22.16 ~ 22.20|
|Grantham||08L46a ~ 09L16d||10.32 ~ 10.56||20L13a ~ 20L46d||21.44 ~ 21.47|
|Nottingham Branch Jn||09/18||?||20/10||?|
|Bottesford West Jn||09/30||?|
|Nottingham||09.55a ~ 10.03d||11.34 ~ 11.35|
|Meadow Lane Jn||10/42||12/09|
|Toton Centre||10.51a ~ 10.53d||12.14 ~ 12.19|
|Stapleford & Sadiacre||10/59||12/21|
|Pye Bridge Jn||11/15||12/52|
|Alfreton & Mansfield Parkway||11.18a ~ 11.53d||12.58 ~ 13.21|
|Clay Cross South Jn||12/01||13/32|
|Dore South Jn||12/15||?|
|Dore Station Jn||12/24||13/47|
|Nunnery Main Line Jn||12/35||?|
|Brancliffe East Jn||12/55||?|
|Gainsborough Central||13.35a ~ 14.13d||15.15 ~ 15.55|
|Kirton Lime Sidings||14/37||?|
|Barnetby||15.01a ~ 15.31d||?|
|Humber Road Jn||15/46||?|
|Immingham Reception||15.48a ~ 16.15d||17.25 ~ 18.00|
|Immingham East Jn||16/25||?|
|Pyewipe Road LC||16/40||?|
|Barnetby||17.12a ~ 17.14d||19.14 ~ 19.18|
|Lincoln Central||18.20a ~ 18.22d||20.16 ~ 20.24|
|West Holmes Jn||18/25||?|
|Newark Crossing East Jn||18/48||20/54|
|Newark North Gate||18.50a ~ 19.48d||20.58 ~ 21.29|
|Barkston South Jn||20/00||21.39|
Timings continue in first table.
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