18th September 2004
The Industrial Invader
|Locos Used||37047, 37109, 37410, 37418 & MRL "120"|
1Z37 : Crewe to Whatley Quarry
1Z38 : Whatley Quarry to Crewe
Locos Route 37047 + 37109 Crewe - Norton Bridge - Stafford - Bushbury Jn - Portobello Jn - Bescot Stadium - Perry Barr North Jn - Soho South Jn - Birmingham New Street [P3] - Bordesley Jn - Kings Norton [P4] - Barnt Green - Worcester Shrub Hill - Ashchurch - Cheltenham Spa - Gloucester U&DGL 37047 + 37109 (1) Gloucester U&DGL - Standish Jn - Berkeley Road Jn - Sharpness NR Limit 37410 + 37418 (2) Sharpness NR Limit - Berkeley Road Jn - Standish Jn - Gloucester U&DGL 37047 + 37109 (1) Gloucester U&DGL - Standish Jn - Kemble - Swindon (3) - Highworth NR Limit 37410 + 37418 (2) Highworth NR Limit - Swindon - Chippenham - Westbury (Down Reception Line) - Clink Road Jn - Whatley Reception Sidings 120 (4) + 37410 + 37418 Whatley Reception Sidings - Whatley EOL 37047 + 37109 (1) Whatley EOL - Whatley Reception Sidings - Clink Road Jn - Westbury Down Reception Line (5) 37047 + 37109 Westbury Down Reception Line - Bradford Jn - Bath Spa - North Somerset Jn - Dr Days Jn - Clifton Down - Avonmouth - Filton West Jn - Bristol Parkway (Up Goods Loop) (6) - Westerleigh Jn - Yate - Cheltenham Spa - Ashcurch - Abbotswood Jn - Stoke Works Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Soho South Jn - Dudley Port - Wolverhampton - Bushbury Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Crewe
(1) 37410 + 37418 on rear.
(2) 37047 + 37109 on rear.
(3) Train delayed at Swindon owing to "paperwork issue" regarding traversal of the Highworth branch.
(4) MRL no. 120 is an ex-US switcher (shunting) loco (type SW1001, EMD serial No. 37903, originally sold to Boke Trading, Guinea with running no. 204 in 1972). 37047 & 37109 on rear. Switcher only powering, 37's on tick-over.
(5) Was booked to traverse the Up Reception Line but this was occupied.
(6) Train delayed awaiting driver.
Sources : Gary Thornton (joined/left the train at Barnt
Green) & Alan Sheppard
(from David Clark)
This tour was due to run earlier on in the year but to MOD Caerwent. However, due to the state of the track / and a weak bridge this was cancelled, and no passenger trains were to run over the branch until the bridge had been fixed. This meant two charter trains had to be cancelled (one from pathfinder and one from Hertfordshire).
tour was to feature:
Sharpness (Network Rail limit) (Required track)
Highworth (Swindon Austin Rover Group / NR Limit)
Whatley Quarry (end of the line) (required track)
Plus on the return going via the Severn Beach line as far as Hallen Marsh Jn, a little treat as very few loco hauled trains traverse this line.
So a few days before the tour 37047 / 37057 (both required) were quoted for the tour. On the Thursday the timings had appeared for the tour and all looked well.
By Friday things were all set, 047 / 057 were the main train pair, 410 / 418 (418 required) the assisting pair. They had been sent all the way from Scotland to do the tour.
I travelled from Cardiff Central to Scunthorpe via Manchester Piccadilly (158834), Manchester Picc to Sheffield (170104) and Sheffield to Doncaster (43048 / 43157) before taking 158774 to Scunthorpe. On the journey from Manchester to Sheffield, gen came through that the EWS 37 would be now 109 (dud – Salt’n’Vinegar Sept 2002) vice 057. This came with great joy from a certain individual who kept moaning to me about the loco never working a tour.
Saturday morning saw my dad and I drive (well sorry my dad did the driving) to Barnt Green (the alternative drive to Crewe was explored but cancelled due to too early departure!). We got to Barnt Green in plenty of time and chatted to a number of enthusiasts. However, while on the M1 we saw 170630 fly over with the 0636 Nottingham to Liverpool Service.
At 0830 two Class 37’s were seen approaching Barnt Green. By 0835 we departed right time down Lickey and At Stoke Works Jn turned right through to Droitwich Spa and Worcester Shrub Hill.
We rejoined the main line at Abbotswood Jn (0913 right time) and were held outside Cheltenham Spa (Alstone LC) to allow 0933 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington with 180102 to depart. We duly arrived at 0937 and departed at 0943. Next stop for us was Gloucester yard for the two assisting locos to be attached i.e. 37410 / 37418. This was done and we were on our way at 1012.
Berkeley Road Jn was past at 1030 and the branch to Sharpness was not exactly inspiring. But most of them aren’t are they? For most of us, its just a case of filling in the Atlas!!! The Nuclear Power station discharge was facility was past, and we stopped at the Run Round loop. This is where DRS do their shunting for the Berkeley Nuclear Power station moves (in fact should this paragraph be in for the sake of national security?).
Back at Gloucester Yard, we reversed and set off for Swindon at 1153 (14 early) but was held at Standish Jn for the train we were following to clear the section. Passing through the tunnel’s to Swindon the 37s roared. And a few strange noises were heard too from them!!!
We arrived Swindon at 1251 (4 early) and dropped off people who didn’t fancy going to Swindon Rover Group yard. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? The weather was appalling. However, lots of HST’s came and went, Adelante’s came and Went, but we didn’t leave Swindon till 1345 (some 50” late). This was due to EWS failing to provide Staff for the branch who actually knew the branch. So discussions were held between EWS, Network Rail and Charles Paget as to what to occur.
37410 & 37418 at Swindon (photo: Badmonkey)
Well we got in to Swindon yard. The Quail did not match the actual yard layout which brought much annoyance from our BLS man. Speaking of BLS, just as we departed Swindon yard, the BLS top man walked through our coach.
37410/418 bring up the rear into Highworth (photo: Melvin Teale)
Back at Swindon station it was clear a possession was being taken on the Down Main and the former down goods (the new down platform for FGW). This meant capacity through the station was constrained.
Once we departed Swindon the rear two 37’s (047 / 109) powered up and powered all the way To Whatley Quarry. At Swindon works City of Truro was seen giving rides to all the kids (and the grown ups too).
At Wootton Bassett Jn, Mr loveday shouted a big hello to his boy and his wife who had come to view the tour, before we took the line to Melksham and Trowbridge. By this point we were over an hour late.
We past through Westbury at 1536 on the down reception with 60054 / 66049 all noted. Plus a few units too. We came off the main line at Clink Road jn and took the line down to Whatley Quarry. At the reception sidings, the resident American shunter attached to our train, and guided us right down through the complex until the buffer stops were reached. In the complex was: 59005 / 59103 / 08757 / MRL No4.
MRL 120 leads the 37's in Whatley Quarry (photo: Rob Fraser)
The buffer’s were reached at 1622.
Well it was now time to go home. We departed the Whatley Quarry at 1637, past through the reception at 1648, and came back on the Main Line in to Westbury.
60068 / 60064 / 60054 / 66143 / 60007 / 59203 / 66049.
However, we were booked to go on the up reception (this was due to drop off the two 37/4s), however due to a freight train being there, we took the down reception. This caused a bit of a huff from quite a few people, and rightly so!!
We departed Westbury at 1724 (now 34 late), and dropped off the Whatley Quarry manager at Trowbridge (1732 / 1733) Cheers mate!! And made our way to Bath Spa (36 late), Dr Days JN (30 late), Stapleton Road (30 late), Clifton Down, Avonmouth with plenty of coal wagons on view. This line was regularly used in June when Filton Jn was being remodelled causing lots of trains between Bristol and Cardiff / Birmingham to be diverted this way.
We arrived Bristol Parkway at 1847 just 17 late, and sat there………………… Voyager’s departed, Wessex trains departed, 37410 / 37418 departed. But not us!! We were held because the driver taking on our train was having a cup of tea because he was informed the train was running late!!!
At 1913 (now 32 late) we departed bristol Parkway for our final journey to Cheltenham spa (1954 / 1957) where most of our party got off, but the noise in coach A increased considerably due to certain individuals getting on. You know who you are !!!!!!!
The bottom of Lickey was taken at 2022 and hit the top of Lickey at a respectable 34mph. We arrived at Barnt Green at 2027 (31 late).
We viewed them departing and then drove back to Scunthorpe. Arrival at Scunthorpe was at 23.00. Marvellous. Time for bed!!
Verdict: A quite brilliant tour, most of the track was done that was advertised, motive power was advertised. And the timekeeping in general was OK. A big thanks to everyone concerned i.e. Network Rail, Pathfinder, EWS, Riviera Trains and a very special thank you to the manager of Whatley Quarry for allowing our train to go down in to the heart of the complex. Any chance of Merehead please?
Sunday saw me return to Cardiff from Scunthorpe via Manchester Piccadilly (158737), Manchester to Stafford (221115), Stafford to Birmingham New St (220021) via Soho North To East Jn’s (Required track!) Birmingham New St to Gloucester (170510), Gloucester to Cheltenham Spa (158957), Cheltenham Spa to Newport (158862) and 150267 on the final leg from Newport to Dinas Rhondda.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(booked courtesy of Pathfinder Tours, actuals from various
including Gary Thornton, Alan Sheppard, David Clark & Simon Cross)
|24.37||Stafford||07.02a ~ 07.05d||06.56 ~ 07.05|
|49.75||Perry Barr West Jn||07/45||?|
|52.27||Soho South Jn||07/51||?|
|54.28||Birmingham New Street||07.56a ~ 07.59d||07.52 ~ 07.59|
|66.48||Barnt Green||08.33a ~ 08.35d||08.31 ~ 08.35|
|72.24||Stoke Works Jn||08/43||08.43a ~ 08.45d|
|82.18||Worcester Shrub Hill||09/02||09/03|
|86.05||Abbotswood Jn||09/13||09.11a ~ 09.14d|
|103.46||Alstone SB||09*30a ~ 09*38d||09.31 ~ 09.35|
|104.03||Cheltenham Spa||09.41a ~ 09.43d||09.37 ~ 09.43|
|109.79||Gloucester U&DGL||09L53a ~ 10L13d||09.53 ~ 10.12|
|110.33||Gloucester Yard Jn||10/15||10/15|
|124.45||Berkeley Road Jn||10/30||10/33|
|Sharpness NR Limit||10.47a ~ 11.02d||10.52 ~ 10.56|
|3.70||Berkeley Road Jn||11/27||11.17a ~ 11.26d|
|18.02||Gloucester Yard Jn||11/54||11/43|
|Gloucester U&DGL||11.57a ~ 12.07d||11.44 ~ 11.54|
|0.34||Gloucester Yard Jn||12/09||11/56|
|6.44||Standish Jn||12/16||12.05a ~ 12.12d|
|14.54||St Marys LC||12/25||12/25|
|36.15||Swindon||12.55a ~ 12.57d||12.51 ~ 13.45|
|36.31||Cocklebury Yard||13*00a ~ 13*02d||13.50 ~ 13.56|
|Highworth NR Limit||13.07a ~ 13.17d||14.05 ~ 14.13|
|0.53||Cocklebury Yard||13*22a ~ 13*29d||14.22 ~ 14.40|
|0.69||Swindon||13.27a ~ 13.29d||14.44 ~ 14.51|
|6.53||Wotton Bassett Jn||13/36||15/00|
|33.30||Westbury (Down Reception Line)||14/08||15/36|
|38.06||Clink Road Jn||14/17||15/47|
|Whatley Reception Sidings||14L36a ~ 15L21d||16.02 ~ 16.11|
|Whatley EOL||15L06a ~ 15L21d||16.22 ~ 16.37|
|5.37||Clink Road Jn||15/55||17/02|
|10.13||Westbury Up Reception Line||16L04a ~ 16L50d||17.14 ~ 17.24 (DRL)|
|37.54||North Somerset Jn||17/33||18/04|
|37.77||Dr Days Jn||17/35||18/05|
|46.26||Avonmouth||18*02a ~ 18*06d||18/30|
|48.18||Hallen Marsh Jn||18/15||18/36|
|53.62||Filton West Jn||18/26||18/43|
|54.78||Bristol Parkway (UGL)||18*30a ~ 18*41d||18.47 ~ 19.13|
|87.16||Gloucester Yard Jn||19/14||19/44|
|93.46||Cheltenham Spa||19.22a ~ 19.24d||19.54 ~ 19.57|
|122.61||Stoke Works Jn||19/49||20/20|
|128.37||Barnt Green||19.56a ~ 19.58d||20.28 ~ 20.30|
|140.57||Birmingham New Street||20.23a ~ 20.30d||20.54 ~ 21.00|
|142.58||Soho South Jn||20/35||21/04|
|168.72||Stafford||21.10a ~ 21.18d||21.34 ~ 21.36|
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