10th February 2004
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The East Lancs Pioneer
|Locos Used||66131, 66189 & 90028|
1Z52 : Kings Cross to Rawtenstall
1Z53 : Rawtenstall to Kings Cross
|90028||London Kings Cross - (via ECML) - Loversall Carr Jn - Doncaster RMT|
|66131 (1)||Doncaster RMT - Doncaster - Adwick - Hare Park Jn - Calder Bridge Jn - Wakefield Kirkgate - Horbury Jn - Mirfield East Jn - Huddersfield - Marsden - Stalybridge - Ashton Moss North Jn - Baguley Fold Jn - Brewery Jn - (via Down Goods) - Thorpes Bridge Jn - Vitriol SB - Castleton East Jn|
|66189 (2)||Castleton East Jn - Heywood - Bury Bolton Street - Ramsbottom - Rawtenstall|
|66131 (1)||Rawtenstall - (reverse of outward route) - Castleton East Jn - Littleborough - Hebden Bridge - Sowerby Bridge - Mirfield East Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Doncaster RMT|
|90028||Doncaster RMT - (reverse of outward route) - London Kings Cross|
(1) 66189 on rear.
(2) 66131 on rear.
Sources : Alan Sheppard, Matt Gaskarth & Gary Sherman
(by Stuart Chapman)
An unusual tour for a couple of reasons: The first tour to originate on the national network to visit the East Lancashire Railway (well, since 7th November 1987 at any rate, as pointed out by Si Carter who was a passenger on SEG's "East Lancs Executive") and also an enthusiast tour run mid week. Being busy most weekends the mid-week dare was actually one of the things that attracted me to the tour (mid week tours normally being restricted to repeat itinerary steam charters, VSOE, and merry makers) and judging by the loadings this didn't seem to put many others off.
An early start at Peterborough gave plenty of time to watch the endless procession of 91's interspersed with the odd 66 and a 60 before the tours arrival just before 9:00. Unfortunately despite having my camera I totally ignored 47733 stabled at the depot, not realising this would effectively be the locos last day in service along with most of the other EWS 47's.
The tour arrived pretty much on time behind 90028 and I soon found my seat in the second coach. A quick run up the East Coast Main Line and we took the freight lines into Doncaster RMT. A rather extended break to undertake the loco change gave plenty of opportunity to watch various trains coming in and out of the yard. Best of all was 56133 running round it's steel train with lots of chances for photographs. Seems like Doncaster is still one of the best places to see the class with a few others also seen while around the yard and depot.
With the 90 uncoupled and the 66's top and tailing we made our way off through the station and then curved north west towards Wakefield on the mainline. At Hare Park Junction we took the freight line through to Wakefield Kirkgate and then on past Healey Mills. Our route took us across the Pennines via Standedge and onto Brewery junction where we took the freight line around the curve and up towards Castleton. Having made good progress all the way though we were soon brought to a stand near Moston. Unfortunately a rail train was still in Castleton yard and therefore blocking our entry onto the East Lancs. After about 20 minutes we were on our way again. The south curve onto the ELR from Castleton wasn't available and we therefore ran through to the station and reversed. Having read about the time taken to get the 40 tour on and off the East Lancs last month I was pleasantly surprised that we made reasonable progress onto the preserved line. This seemed to be most peoples first run on the new extension and lots of information was given out describing the route. After the briefest of stops at Bury it was straight onto Rawtenstall. A much reduced stop at Rawtenstall still gave enough time for photographs before a return to Bury and a much longer stop. Most seemed to head into town for refreshment and the station shop also seemed to do extremely good business.
Back on the train and with darkness falling we returned via the Calder Valley and made extremely good speed the 66's working hard. A much shorter loco change than the morning and we arrived outside Peterborough almost half an hour early. Unfortunately we then sat outside the station to almost our booked arrival time.
All in all though an excellent tour and a good day out.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from various including Alan Sheppard)
|12.57||Potters Bar||07/50||07/51||21.46a ~ 21.51d||21.47 ~ 21.54||449.09|
|20.25||Welwyn Garden City||07/55||07/55||21/39||21/40||441.41|
|27.45||Stevenage||08.01a ~ 08.03d||08.01 ~ 08.05||21.29a ~ 21.31d||21.30 ~ 21.32||434.21|
|-||Conington South Jn||21/03||?||?|
|76.29||Peterborough||08.57a ~ 08.59d||08.58 ~ 09.07||20.54a ~ 20.56d||20.52 ~ 20.56||385.37|
|109.56||Barkston South Jn||09/27||09/31||20/14||20/06||352.10|
|120.08||Newark North Gate||09/36||09/37||20/06||20/00||341.58|
|138.49||Retford||09/49||09/49||19*41a ~ 19*53d||19.41 ~ 19.47||323.17|
|?||Loversall Carr Jn||10/02||09/58||19/31||19/30||309.66|
|?||Decoy South Jn||10/09||10/03||19/28||19/26||?|
|153.70||Doncaster RMT||10L16a ~ 11L16d||10.06 ~ 11.15||18L59a ~ 19L26d||18.56 ~ 19.25||304.76|
|?||Decoy North Jn||11/22||11/17||18/57||18/55||?|
|155.77||Doncaster||11/29||11/23||18/52||18.46a ~ 18.49d||305.69|
|165.74||South Kirkby Jn||11/43||11/34||18/41||18/32||295.72|
|171.73||Hare Park Jn||11/50||11/43||18/32||18.22a ~ 18.25d||289.73|
|173.22||Crofton West Jn||11/53||11/46||18/26||18/19||288.44|
|174.34||Calder Bridge Jn||11/55||11/51||18/21||18/15||287.32|
|-||Thornhill LNW Jn||18/01||18/00||278.79|
|183.42||Mirfield East Jn||12/11||12/07||18/00||17/59||?|
|185.44||Heaton Lodge Jn||12/14||12/14|
|209.46||Ashton Moss North Jn||12/44||12/50|
|212.48||Baguley Fold Jn||12/48||12/53|
|213.31||Philips Park West Jn||12/51||12/56|
|214.23||Thorpes Bridge Jn||12/59||13.00a ~ 13.22d|
|220.55||Castleton East Jn||13.09a ~ 13.14d||13.37 ~ 13.43|
|221.12||Castleton North Jn||13/18||13.50a ~ 13.50d|
|221.67||Hopwood GF||13.23a ~ 13.33d||13.56 ~ 14.01|
|222.01||Heywood||13t38a ~ 13t42d||14.04 ~ 14.17|
|226.16||Bury Bolton Street||13/55||14.34a ~ 14.35d|
|230.13||Ramsbottom||14t09a ~ 14t10d||14/49|
|234.16||Rawtenstall||14.35a ~ 14.50d||15.05 ~ 15.20|
|238.19||Ramsbottom||15t04a ~ 15t05d||15/33|
|242.16||Bury Bolton Street||15.25a ~ 16.30d||15.48 ~ 16.31|
|246.31||Heywood||16t43a ~ 16t45d||16.43 ~ 16.55|
|246.45||Hopwood GF||16.55a ~ 17.06d||16.58 ~ 17.08|
|247.20||Castleton North Jn||17/11||17/12|
|247.57||Castleton East Jn||17t16a ~ 17t17d||17.15 ~ 17.16|
|258.65||Hall Royd Jn||17/37||17/33|
|268.26||Milner Royd Jn||17/48||17/47|
|274.63||Bradley Wood Jn||17/56||17/53|
|?||Heaton Lodge East Jn||17/58||17/55|
Timings continue in first table.
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