29th November 2003

Pathfinder Tours
The North Countryman

Loco Used 40145
Stock Used 5309+4902+4963+5040+5009+1863+21272+3107+3140+1692+3122+6310

Route:
1Z65 : Crewe to Edinburgh Waverley
1Z18 : Edinburgh Waverley to Crewe

Loco Route
40145 Crewe - (via WCML) - Carlisle
40145 Carlisle - Hexham - Newcastle - (via ECML, including Crag Mill Loop & Grantshouse UPL) - Edinburgh Waverley
40145 Edinburgh Waverley - Haymarket - Slateford Jn - Midcalder Jn - Carstairs East Jn - Carstairs South Jn - (via WCML) - Crewe


A gleaming 40145 running round the train at Carlisle.

Source & photo : Gary Thornton (on the train throughout)

Tour Review
(by Gary Thornton)

A week on from my very wet day  out on last weeks Hertfordshire Rail Tours outing to Dereham and Norwich I was hoping for a much drier day out this time round! A year on from D345's successful return to mainline running it was nice to finish off the year with another run behind this superb locomotive. The plan was simple, 40145 on its own all day, Crewe to Edinburgh and back, a total of 570 miles. The advertised route was out WCML as far as Carlisle, turn right, Newcastle, ECML to Edinburgh then home via the Carstairs avoider and finally WCML back to Crewe. In the event it was decided that if was too risky sending a 40 round the Upperby curve at Carlisle so the train would reverse at Carlisle Station instead, thereby at least giving both ends of the train time at the noisy end.

An 02. 30 alarm call was order of the day to get myself and a colleague to Crewe for the 05.38 departure time but at least the M1 and M6 were reasonably quiet so we were parked up and on the station with time enough to grab a Coffee - or at least we would have got one except that the station buffet didn't Open until 6am, 22 minutes after we were booked to depart!

40145 soon rolled in with 12 coaches in tow and I was well pleased to see Coach A (in which I was booked) was at the front. This would mean we were only at the back from Carlisle to Edinburgh as the stock would be reversed at Edinburgh during the 3 hour  layover. The big blue machine made light work of the train as we headed northwards, stopping at Warrington, Wigan and Preston to pick up more passengers. Although still dark, the ascent of Shap was something to be remembered for a very long time. In damp drizzly conditions we reached the summit at 32mph,  then quickly hit 90mph as we sped downhill to Carlisle. Arrival was half an hour early providing an hour to do the run- round. This presented maybe the only really good chance in the day to get photographs, though at 1/4 to 1/6 sec exposures it was not exactly what could be described as "day photography"!

Now at the rear of the formation it was a quiet journey onwards to Newcastle and Edinburgh. Having been looped at Crag Mill to allow two trains to pass only a Virgin "shop" sped past then we were on our way again, however we were again looped at Grantshouse (unusually in the UP passenger loop) to allow another train past. Oh, somewhere near Berwick it started to rain and, guess what, it never stopped until Carlisle on our way home....

What to do in three hours in a wet Edinburgh? After covering a class 91 departure to Glasgow (I still need one for haulage!) a quick trip to Newcraighall, the recently opened station in the Edinburgh suburbs, took about an hour and covered required track for me - that from Portobello Junction to Niddrie South Junction. Waiting for the unit to return at Newgraighall (it shunts out of the platform then back in again) we observed the tour ECS a few hundred metres down the line still en-route to Millerhill (for servicing) after its trip round the Edinburgh Suburban line. Back At Waverley I killed the last hour watching trains - covering another class 91 departure as well as an Aberdeen bound HST (I need one GNER power car for haulage so might have been in luck...alas not). 170426 was the only thing I scored for sight during the cold wet observation period.

In typical railtour style departure time came and went with no sign of our train - but word soon came through it was still at Millerhill waiting to get the 40 on the right end of the train. Eventually it arrived but a further delay meant we didn't actually get away until 17.13, 61 minutes late. A stagger through the first tunnel towards Haymarket was a disappointment but the thrash through the second one more than compensated. Beattock was no obstacle to 40145 and our late running meant the booked pathing stops at Abington and Kingmoor were abandoned thus it brought us into Carlisle just 15 minutes late. 40145's performance away from Carlisle was definitely another of the highlights in this enjoyable day out as were the other station departures en-route to Crewe (Preston for example - now there's another to remember for a long time!). Arrival back into Crewe was just before 10pm but I don't think anyone was too bothered about the slight late running after what had been a simply superb day out.

As usual, my thanks go out to all the individuals and organisations involved in the running of this magnificent tour - your efforts are truly appreciated...may there be many more similar outings in the future!!

Gary Thornton.

P.S. : To the individual who, sometime between arriving at Edinburgh and departing again, decided to help himself to the CFPS 2004 calendar I'd bought and left under my bag on the overhead luggage rack - what did you really gain from taking it, other than depriving the CFPS of another 8 to help keep their locos running for all of us to enjoy?

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(booked courtesy of Pathfinder Tours, actual from Gary Thornton)

M.C Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual M.C
0.00 Crewe 05.38d 05.38   21.39a 21.57 570.16
0.58 Crewe Coal Yard SB 05/42 05/41   21/37 21/54 569.38
8.66 Winsford SB 05/48 05/51   21/25 21/45 561.32
17.20 Weaver Jn SB 05/56 05/58   21/19 21/37 553.76
22.24 Acton Grange Jn 06/02 06/02   21/12 21/30 547.72
24.11 Warrington Bank Quay 06.04a ~ 06.06d 06.04 ~ 06.09   21.06a ~ 21.08d 21.23 ~ 21.26 546.05
25.22 Dallam Jn 06/09 ?   21/04 21/21 544.76
27.47 Winwick Jn 06/11 06/14   21/02 21/19 542.49
34.42 Springs Branch Jn 06/16 06/21   20/56 21/12 535.54
35.57 Wigan South Jn 06/17 06/22   20/55 21/11 534.39
35.71 Wigan North Western 06.18a ~ 06.21d 06.23 ~ 06.25   20.51a ~ 20.53d 21.08 ~ 21.10 534.25
43.42 Balshaw Lane 06/36 06/34   20/43 20/59 526.54
45.44 Euxton Jn 06/38 06/37   20/38 20/57 524.51
51.01 Preston 06.45a ~ 06.47d 06.42 ~ 06.47   20.22a ~ 20.30d 20.46 ~ 20.50 519.15
71.79 Lancaster 07.08a ~ 07.10d 07.07 ~ 07.10   19.56a ~ 19.58d 20.20 ~ 20.22 498.17
73.71 Morecambe South Jn 07/13 07/13   19/54 20/16 496.25
78.07 Carnforth North Jn 07/18 07/18   19/51 20/13 492.09
91.07 Oxenholme Lake District 07/27 07/32   19/42 20/06 479.09
98.20 Grayrigg 07*34a ~ 07*44d 07/41  
103.56 Tebay 07/52 07/47   19/32 19/56 465.76
123.19 Penrith North Lakes 08/13 08/13   19/14 19/35 446.77
141.08 Carlisle 08.52a ~ 09.17d 08.20 ~ 09.19   18c51a ~ 18c52d 19.06 ~ 19.11 429.08

 

M.C Location Booked Actual
141.61 London Road Jn 09/19 09/22
142.00 Petteril Bridge Jn 09/22 09/23
152.05 Brampton 09/37 09/38
164.13 Haltwhistle 09/50 09/53
172.71 Haydon Bridge 10/00 10.04a ~ 10.06d
180.38 Hexham 10/09 10/17
197.23 Blaydon 10/29 (10/34)
197.73 Metro Centre 10/36 10/38
200.11 Norwood Jn 10/39 10/41
202.08 King Edward Bridge South Jn 10/41 10/44
202.62 Newcastle 10.44a ~ 10.46d 10.47 ~ 10.49
204.56 Heaton South Jn 10/51 10/53
219.32 Morpeth 11/05 11/07
273.51 Alnmouth 11/19 11/22
254.27 Belford LC 11/32 11/37
255.30 Crag Mill Loop 11*35a ~ 11*55d 11.39 ~ 11.47
269.62 Berwick-upon-Tweed 12c05a ~ 12c10d 12/02
270.63 Signal EG403 12/13 12/05
280.05 Reston 12/20 12/11
286.05 Grantshouse 12/26 12.21a ~ 12.25d
298.14 Dunbar 12/35 12/37
309.38 Drem 12/44 12/49
321.20 Monktonhall Jn 12/54 13/58
323.68 Portobello Jn 13/02 13/00
327.18 Edinburgh Waverley 13.07a ~ 16.12d 13.10 ~ 17.13
328.37 Haymarket 16/16 17/18
329.63 Slateford Jn 16/18 17/21
339.12 Midcalder Jn 16/39 17/36
354.77 Carstairs East Jn 16/59 17/59
355.75 Carstairs South Jn 17/01 18/01
371.18 Abington 17*20a ~ 17*28d 18/18
379.24 Beattock Summit 17/40 18/27
389.48 Beattock 17/47 18/36
403.22 Lockerbie 17/59 18/45
416.58 Kirkpatrick 18/11 ?
420.31 Gretna Jn 18/14 18/57
427.48 Kingmoor Up Loop 18*22a ~ 18*48d 19/02

Timings continue in first table. A time in brackets is approximate.

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