15th November 2003
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Lounge Lizard
|Locos Used||37174, 37372, 47778 & 56099|
1Z56 : Kings Cross to Deepcar
1Z57 : Deepcar to Kings Cross
|47778 (1)||London Kings Cross - (via ECML) - Peterborough - Stamford - Syston East Jn - Syston South Jn - Knighton Jn - Knighton U&DL - Lounge Jn - Birmingham Curve Jn - Burton-on-Trent - Stenson Jn - Derby - Ambergate Jn - Clay Cross South Jn - Chesterfield - Tapton Jn - Beighton Jn - Woodburn Jn - Deepcar|
|37372 + 37174 (2)||Knighton U&DL - Lounge Jn - Birmingham Curve Jn - Burton-on-Trent - Stenson Jn - Derby|
|37372 + 37174 (3)||Derby - Ambergate Jn - Clay Cross South Jn - Chesterfield - Tapton Jn - Beighton Jn - Woodburn Jn - Deepcar|
|56099 (4)||Deepcar - Woodburn Jn - Broughton Lane Jn - Shepcote Lane East Jn - Tinsley East Reception Line|
|37372 + 37174 (3)||Tinsley East Reception Line - Shepcote Lane East Jn - Tinsley South Jn - Rotherham Central - Thrybergh Jn - Mexborough - Bentley Jn - Hatfield & Stainforth|
|56099||Hatfield & Stainforth - Bentley Jn - Doncaster - (5) - (via ECML) - Peterborough - Whittlesea - March - Ely - Cambridge - Royston - Hitchin - (via ECML) - London Kings Cross|
|56099||Doncaster UGL - Loversall Carr Jn - (via ECML) - Peterborough - Whittlesea - March - Ely - Cambridge - Royston - Hitchin - (via ECML) - London Kings Cross|
(1) Was booked for a class 56 but the first rostered loco (56096) was failed at Peterborough then the replacement loco (56058) was failed at Bounds Green with wheelflats.
(2) 47778 on rear.
(3) 56099 on rear.
(4) 37372 + 37174 on rear.
(5) Was booked via Doncaster Up Decoy but was unable to do so owing to a wagon derailment.
56099 replaced 47778 at Derby (photo : Mark Sawyer)
Sources : Alan Sheppard, Mark Sawyer & Terry Jackson
(by Ken Strachan)
Those of my readers who are married or otherwise spoken for will undoubtedly recognize this scenario: having told my wife that we must leave the house no later than 7.30, under pain of death, we left at the crack of 7.45. Hmmm. We made good progress along the A14, put up with the usual impatient blockheads and slow trucks on the A605, and got to Peterborough with minutes to spare. Next strategic decision: station loo or train loo? We had 6 minutes – a bit tight for a female – so I checked the monitor. The tour was expected over an hour later; she decided not to wait. We reached platform 5. I admired 60100 on a Lafarge cement wagon rake, while she shivered. We adjourned to the waiting room.
Somewhat higher levels of drama had been acted out elsewhere. The first allotted 56 had failed first thing. Two more had been inspected in New England, and declared unsatisfactory. So a fourth loco was despatched to London, only to be failed at Willesden on wheelsets. So the grid men had a bad start – the tour set off with 47 haulage. Inspection of the timings shows that useful recovery time was built in just before the train picked us up; we left Ernie Wise’s favourite city 44 down.
Our seating was ideal – forward and backward single seats in first class. We were opposite a deputation of the Kentrail Enthusiasts’ Group, who chatted in an animated fashion all day. They put up with us, too. The run to Leicester passed without incident. We had a short fester at Syston, and an apparently unscheduled brief stop in Leicester station. We passed our 37’s, 174 and 372, which frankly looked rather tired; but gave sterling haulage after hooking up in Knighton loop. The thrash to Burton was certainly superior to that of the shed which took me this way on my last visit in August ’02. We passed Lounge Junction – hence the name of the tour – stopped briefly outside Burton, and had a swift run to Derby. Here, things became tedious. Although someone had disinterred 56099 for us, the succession of plastic, trams, and even freight (red shed on a PW) past the end of platform one meant it took a while to get the 47 off and the 56 on. A good leg stretching halt – I was at least half an inch taller when we left.
The run up to Chesterfield, with the Derwent snaking to and fro beneath us, was pleasant and rapid. I remarked to Sally as we passed the site of St. Mary’s goods station that we were now very near the spot by the river where I proposed to her. As she pondered the wisdom of her acceptance, we passed the crooked spire in Chesterfield, went behind the station passenger platforms, and turned onto the Old Road. Here I went into “spot the Great Central trackbed” mode. My favourite line can be walked or cycled from Duckmanton in the South to the Rother Valley Country Park in the North (caution: beware of local oiks); at least until they build a new road over part of it in Staveley. The station yard in Renishaw still contains the base of the freight crane. At first I thought it was a piece of modern art; but then, I realized it was far too stylish and meaningful. But I digress.
The 37’s veered left through Woodhouse and Woodburn junctions, through the sad remains of Sheffield Victoria, Wadsley Bridge, and Oughty Bridge stations, and through the woods to Deepcar. According to Mr. Kapur’s excellent commentary, the branch may or may not close soon. I was taking no chances; especially as my slides from my first trip got lost in the post. (I also left my lunch and camera on the train while cycling down the Wath incline, but that was, ah, absent mindedness) It was sad to see the flame-cut stumps of DC OLE equipment alongside the line, and insulators dangling from bridges – often near steam guards! This must have been quite a place in the sixties.
The same could be said of Tinsley yard, which was our next port of call. It looked encouragingly busy, being quite full of wagons, and with a 60 and an 08 near our train; and another 08 in the distance, near a steel processing shed. The question, of course, is how long the wagons would be there. The loco depot, of course, has been flattened; good job I caught their Open Day in ’97.
The sun was setting as we left the yard behind the 37’s, a red shed hauling steel South on the Midland main line passing over us. We passed Mexboro’, Conisboro’, and probably a bunny boro’ or two; and eventually, Doncaster. We came to a (booked) halt at Hatfield and Stainforth to reverse. The news came through that our planned visit to the Doncaster Up Goods line was off, as someone had derailed some wagons there; and the mess wouldn’t be cleared up in time. So our 37’s were detached at Hatfield instead, in a distinctly speedy eight minutes. We set off down the ECML behind the 56, and arrived back at Peterborough just 9 down.
This was my wife’s first railtour, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. She said she’d been to lots of places she hadn’t been to before; and let’s face it, not every husband would take his beloved to a disused steelworks tip outside Sheffield on a Saturday afternoon. What have I started?
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from various including Alan Sheppard)
|20.25||Welwyn Garden City||07/53||08/59|
|23.73||Woolmer Green Jn||07/56||09/02|
|27.45||Stevenage||08.00a ~ 08.02d||09.05 ~ 09.08|
|76.29||Peterborough||08.59a ~ 09.02d||09.44 ~ 09.46|
|123.43||Syston East Jn||09/54||10/36|
|123.67||Syston South Jn||10/03||10.37a ~ 10.39d|
|128.58||Knighton Jn||10L17a ~ 10L37d||11.01 ~ 11.22|
|144.68||Coalville Jn||11/15||12.17 ~ 12.18|
|145.60||Mantle Lane Jn||11/19||12/21|
|159.15||Birmingham Curve Jn||11/57||13/02|
|165.58||North Staffordshire Jn||12/11||13/12|
|171.06||Derby||12.18a ~ 12.49d||13.21 ~ 14.05|
|191.07||Clay Cross South Jn||13/12||14/25|
|219.31||Deepcar||14.22a ~ 14.35d||15.13 ~ 15.22|
|232.09||Tinsley East Dep. Line||15.28a ~ 15.43d||15.55 ~ 15.57|
|233.52||Shepcote Lane East Jn||15/53||16.08a ~ 16.09d|
|234.14||Tinsley South Jn||-||16/13|
|?||Rotherham Central Jn||-||16.17a ~ 16.31d|
|242.16||Mexborough||16/19||16c47a ~ 16c50d|
|247.21||Hexthorpe Jn||16/24||17.00a ~ 17.09d|
|252.65||Kirk Sandall Jn||16/33||17/17|
|256.01||Hatfield & Stainforth||16.37a ~ 16.47d||17L25a ~ 17L33d|
|259.17||Kirk Sandall Jn||16/53||17/39|
|262.67||Doncaster||17.01a ~ 17.03d||17.49 ~ 17.51|
|264.44||Doncaster Up Decoy||17L12a ~ 17L32d||DIV|
|266.64||Loversall Carr Jn||17/38||17/55|
|298.56||Newark North Gate||18/07||18/23|
|309.08||Barkston South Jn||18/16||18/31|
|342.35||Peterborough||18.56a ~ 18.58d||19.05 ~ 19.06|
|343.03||Peterborough East Jn||19/00||?|
|371.33||Ely North Jn||19/38||19/39|
|373.26||Ely Dock Jn||19/43||?|
|386.54||Coldham Lane Jn||20/04||?|
|387.53||Cambridge||20.08a ~ 20.12d||19.59a ~ 19.59d|
|390.22||Shepreth Branch Jn||20/19||?|
|418.03||Stevenage||20.51a ~ 20.53d||20.43 ~ 20.46|
|421.55||Woolmer Green Jn||20/57||20/50|
|425.23||Welwyn Garden City||21/00||20/53|
|?||Holloway South Jn||21/16||?|
All distances (in miles & chains)
are taken from the tour booklet, no attempt has been made to verify them.
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