2nd October 2004
The Settle & Carlisle Railway
|Locos Used||37047 & 37109|
1Z37 : Bristol Temple Meads to Carlisle
1Z38 : Carlisle to Bristol Temple Meads
Loco(s) Route 37047 + 37109 Bristol Temple Meads - Stapleton Road - Filton Jn - Patchway - Severn Tunnel Junction - Maindee North Jn - Hereford - Craven Arms - Shrewsbury - Prees - Nantwich - Gresty Lane Jn - Salop Goods Jn - Crewe Coal Yard Jn - (via WCML) - Carlisle 37047 + 37109 Carlisle - (via S&C) - Hellifield - Clitheroe - Blackburn - Farington Jn - (via WCML) - Warrington Bank Quay (1) 37109 Warrington Bank Quay - (2) - Acton Grange Jn - Frodsham - Helsby - Chester - Wrexham General - Shrewsbury - (reverse of outward route) - Bristol Temple Meads
(1) 37047 removed at Warrington Bank Quay due to suffering low oil-pressure causing repeated shut-downs (although acting-up from Oxenholme it started shutting-down from Kirby Thore on the return leg).
(2) Was booked via Walton Old Jn but believed went mainline instead.
Sources : various including Steve Cassidy
(by Ken Strachan)
After a dreadful week at work, we badly needed a relaxed day out oop North. The new Ludlow station was a good start: it wasn’t there last time I called. It may only be a one room building, but with a ticket office and a selection of railway books for sale, I have seen worse. The train wasn’t shown on the monitors, so I asked another passenger if he knew whether the train was late. “Looks like it”, he replied, confidently. As if by magic, two 37’s immediately popped out of the end of the tunnel. I cast doubts upon my new friend’s insight into railtour running characteristics, and went to find our seats. We sat opposite a local Methodist couple, who had two highly endearing features. One, they sank enough booze to flatten an elephant; two, they put up with a barrage of dreadful puns from yours truly. Stout folk.
The misty countryside was strikingly beautiful as we travelled up through the Marches. Passage through the freight line tunnels at Crewe was an unexpected bonus; the view wasn’t quite as good. At Preston, we pulled up across a platform from a Steamy Affairs tour; there were some long faces, as Duke of Gloucester had suffered a smokebox failure; and 67012 had come to a halt bridging two track circuits, which had caused no end of confusion. Otherwise, the West Coast Main Line was all business, with 08689 required for sight at one of the Shap quarry sidings; until we ground to a halt outside Oxenholme. A signalling problem held us up for half an hour; this was where the puns started. We arrived in Carlisle, our Ultima Thule (very nice roof rack) 27 down; but our departure was rescheduled from 14.51 to 15.15. Having stocked up on nibbles at Kwik Save, and observed two minutes’ silence for a Wetherspoon’s closed for refurbishment, we rejoined the train; pausing only to advise three rather young girls that this was not the 15.05 to Preston (or whatever).
Due to a misunderstanding about which way the tour would run, we were now going backwards down the S&C. Try anything once, eh. Our nadir of timing was –40 at Garsdale; we caught up 24 minutes by flagging a leg stretch at Hellifield. My wife was disappointed, she’s been trying to crack five foot two for years. Blackburn (-9) was shockingly modern – no more tall Victorian warehouse, heavens no – more like the Northern answer to James Bond’s Dome (or was it Tony Blair’s? – I lose track). Apparently 37047 had failed at Kirby Thore, but no-one particularly noticed until they took it off the front at Warrington Bank Quay – in a six minute stop. Well done chaps, speedy work. 109 didn’t seem bothered, it took the 12 coaches by the scruff of the neck, and lost just two minutes by Craven Arms, 70-odd miles later. We bailed at Ludlow; my car had the decency to leave its engine failure until the next day. A grand day out, Gromit.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(booked timings courtesy of Pathfinder Tours)
|0.00||Bristol Temple Meads||06.22d||06/21||23.18a||23.19||315.24|
|1.43||Stapleton Road||06.27a ~ 06.28d||06.25 ~ 06.26||23.11a ~ 23.13d||23.13 ~ 23.15||313.61|
|5.70||Patchway||06.37a ~ 06.38d||06.34 ~ 06.38||23.01a ~ 23.03d||23.04 ~ 23.07||309.34|
|16.32||Severn Tunnel Junction||06/49||06/46||22/50||22/51||298.72|
|25.45||Maindee East Jn||06/59||?||22/40||?||289.59|
|25.77||Maindee North Jn||07/05||?||22/32||?||289.27|
|36.58||Little Mill Jn||07/20||07/12||22/21||22/26||278.46|
|44.35||Abergavenny||07.28a ~ 07.30d||07.22 ~ 07.28||22.10a ~ 22.12d||22.15 ~ 22.17||270.69|
|68.46||Hereford||08.05a ~ 08.07d||08.05 ~ 08.08||21.40a ~ 21.45d||21.38 ~ 21.46||246.58|
|92.07||Ludlow||08.30a ~ 08.32d||?||20.59a ~ 21.01d||?||223.17|
|99.52||Craven Arms||08.42a ~ 08.44d||08.42 ~ 08.44||20.48a ~ 20.50d||20.58 ~ 21.00||215.52|
|104.20||Marsh Brook LC||08/50||?||20/43||?||211.04|
|118.61||Sutton Bridge Jn||09/06||?||20/26||?||196.43|
|119.45||Shrewsbury||09.10a ~ 09.18d||09.05 ~ 09.18||20.21a ~ 20.23d||20.23~ 20.29||195.59|
|151.49||Gresty Lane Jn||10/06||?|
|152.06||Salop Goods Jn||10/10||?|
|152.71||Crewe Coal Yard Jn||10/16||?|
|174.37||Acton Grange Jn||10/42||10/33|
|176.24||Warrington Bank Quay||10/44||10/35|
|186.55||Springs Branch Jn||10/54||10/43|
|188.04||Wigan North Western||10/56||10/45|
|195.55||Balshaw Lane Jn||11/04||10/52|
|203.14||Preston||11.13a ~ 11.43d||11.13 ~ 11.46|
|226.04||Morecambe South Jn||12/07||12/09|
|230.20||Carnforth North Jn||12/11||12/13|
|243.20||Oxenholme||12.23a ~ 12.26d||12.55 ~ 12.58|
|Carlisle||13.18a ~ 14.51d||13.46 ~ 15.19|
|0.53||London Road Jn||14/53||?|
|0.72||Petterill Bridge Jn||14/54||15/22|
|8.29||Low House SB||15/04||?|
|26.02||Kirby Thore SB||15/23||?|
|60.64||Ribblehead||16.14a ~ 16.17d||?|
|76.69||Hellifield||16.38a ~ 17.03d||17.15 ~ 17.16|
|101.15||Blackburn||17c58a ~ 18c00d||18.06 ~ 18.09|
|110.15||Lostock Hall Jn||18/14||18/20|
|123.42||Wigan North Western||18/34||18/41|
|124.71||Springs Branch Jn||18/36||18/43|
|135.22||Warrington Bank Quay||18c57a ~ 18c59d||18.59 ~ 19.07|
|136.07||Walton Old Jn||19/02||DIV|
|137.09||Acton Grange Jn||19/04||19/10|
Timings continue in first table.
Back to "The Railtour Files"