15th - 16th July 2005

Pathfinder Tours
The Celtic Freighter

Locos Used 37029, 37229, 66036, 66045, 66232 & 92027
Stock Used 21272+3146+3121+3148+3140+3112+3107+1863+5009+4927+5040+5365

Route:
1Z66 : Birmingham International to York
1Z67 : York to Glasgow Central
1Z20 : Glasgow Central to Birmingham International

Date Loco(s) Route
15/07 66036 Birmingham International - Stechford - Proof House Jn - Birmingham New Street - Soho South Jn - Soho North Jn - Dudley Port - Wolverhampton - Bushbury Jn - Stafford - Norton bridge - Crewe - Wilmslow - Stockport - Guide Bridge - Stalybridge - Huddersfield - Wakefield Kirkgate - Castleford - Milford Jn - Church Fenton - York
16/07 37229 + 37029 York - (via ECML) - Monktonhall Jn - Millerhill Yard Jn - Niddrie West Jn - Craiglockhart Jn - Slateford Jn - Midcalder Jn - Shotts - Mossend East Jn - Mossend North Jn - Whifflet South Jn - Sunnyside Jn - Easterhouse - High Street Jn - Shields Jn - Cardonald Jn - Deanside Loop
16/07 37029 + 37229 Deanside Loop - Cardonald Jn - Shields Jn - (via Through Siding) - Bridge Street Jn - Glasgow Central
16/07 66045 (1) Glasgow Central - Eglinton Jn - Larkfield Jn - Polmadie Clydesdale Loop
16/07 37029 + 37229 (2) Polmadie Clydesdale Loop - Larkfield Jn - Muirhouse South Jn - Barrhead - Kilmarnock - Riccarton
16/07 66045 (1) Riccarton - Kilmarnock
16/07 37029 + 37229 (2) Kilmarnock - Mauchline Jn - Bank Jn - Knockshinnoch Washery
16/07 66045 (1) Knockshinnoch Washery - Bank Jn (3) - Mauchline Jn
16/07 37029 + 37229 (4) Mauchline Jn - Bank Jn - Dumfries - Carlisle
16/07 92027 Carlisle - (via WCML) - Crewe
16/07 66232 Crewe - Stafford - Bushbury Jn - Wolverhampton - Dudley Port - Birmingham New Street - Stechford - Birmingham International

Notes :
(1) 37029 + 37229 on rear.
(2) 66045 on rear.
(3) Booked reversal point was Bank Jn but for reasons unexplained EWS were unable to reverse there.
(4) 66045 on rear, shut-down.

Source : Gary Thornton (on the train throughout)

Tour Review
(from Gary Thornton)

How many of the passengers on this tour I wonder were heard to say at some stage "I'm getting too old to do overnights"? Quite a few I'll guess...at various stages I was one of them! With past history of railtours such as this which begin life advertising a number of freight branches but turn into something far less interesting by the time of running I, like some others, was a little reluctant to book immediately however the prospect of 24 hours in standard class meant a booking was put in to ensure first class seating was obtained.

Amazingly when the tickets were sent out it was confirmed the tour would run as advertised i.e. all the advertised branches making it through the planning and timetabling process! Only significant change was the loss of EWS 37's in favour of a DRS pair...again, with past history knocking on our door that wasn't a bad thing - we didn't want to end up having the tour messed about by having locos incapable of making it to the end of the journey.

Having been on holiday I planned to make a day of the Friday and travel up by rail and do a Centro Daytripper during the day then drop back to Birmingham International for the evening departure. When I checked for train times home from Birmingham International on Saturday however I realised it was a bus to Rugby so what would probably be a long and frustrating journey which would be the last thing I wanted after 24-36 hours out and about. Plan B: Lift organised with a friend who would be passing by on the M1. Arrival into International was early enough to permit a wander over to the airport and a look in the Ian Allan shop - not much available in the way of railway books but still interesting.

We arrived onto the station just before 66036 rolled in with the train.


66036 waits time at the start of the tour at Birmingham International.

We took our seats in the leading first class coach (second in formation behind the staff/brake coach) and settled in for the journey northwards. Occasionally the 66 could be heard but, as is the norm, they are just a number to underline for haulage rather than an enjoyable thrash. Various travelling companions joined us as we headed to York via Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe and the Pennines. We pulled into York a few minutes early and just before midnight. Four of us went out armed with the gen on food places still open and got "something" (being the appropriate word) to eat at a kebab shop round from the Maltings pub. Have to say it's the first kebab shop I've come upon with a security guard on the door!

Back to the station suitably refuelled and the DRS 37's were noted to still be sat in the Harrogate loop bay platform where we'd seen them on departing the station about half an hour earlier. At least the 66 was off the train. The 37's duly appeared and were hooked on....then unhooked individually and run off the train again. Huh? Turned out the drivers door on 37029 was locked and no-one had a key! Suitably re-marshalled we set off into the night between 15 & 20 minutes down but under no illusions we would soon catch that back with the timings we had!

Not much to say about the night thrash over the north end of the ECML...37's certainly performed well. I awoke at Millerhill to find us almost an hour early, though much festering in the Millerhill area got rid of most of it. I was awake to see my first bit of required track, Whifflet South Jn to Sunnyside Jn, with some extra value as we were held at the latter junction (still running early!). After threading our way through the Glasgow suburbs we arrived at our first freight branch - Deanside. A slow run down and hopes of seeing any of the shunters there were dashed, only one EWS 08 being seen and even then the number was not visible (n.b. from Website sources listing current 08 locations it was probably 08698). At the end of the line down the 37's ran round and we set off back along the branch, with more pausing to stop us gaining time on the slack schedule.

At Shields Junction we were routed along the very rare "through siding" to Bridge Street Jn on the approach to Glasgow Central High Level. A rather rapid stop on the approach to the line however (at what was reported to be a green signal) caused much discussion. Those nearer the front commented there was a ground signal which was at first in our favour then subsequently not. Driver not passed for route...change of mind...? I was later told the low morning sun had made it almost impossible to verify the signal aspect, making it appear "off" as we approached whereas this was not actually the case. Whatever, the situation was soon resolved and we duly set off over the "through siding" route into Glasgow Central.


37029 & 37229 at Glasgow Central next to the worlds most pointless platform grip!

Quite a few of us headed over to Glasgow Queen Street to do some Turbostar spotting, the station staff there being kind enough to allow us all onto the platform (though a couple of suited bods did come along and queried some of our number as to what was going on). After scoring a few new ones it was back over to Central to find 66045 duly bolted to the front of our train and ready to get us re-started.


66045 at Glasgow Central, assisting engine for our next two branches.

66045's first run was only as far as Polmadie where we reversed to then thread our way through the maze of junctions south of Central and gain the line to Kilmarnock. Shortly after passing through Kilmarnock we took the freight line to Riccarton, making it to the gates of the oil terminal at the end. Re-tracing our steps to Kilmarnock station we then reversed and headed for our last freight branch of the day, Knockshinnoch Washery. This was also duly done, making it to a level crossing just short of the Washery. Much interest was shown on the way down as there is a brand-new branch going off this one - the tour brochure confirming that went to the Greenbank Open Cast loading site....apparently not cleared for passenger trains :-(


Our train on the Knockshinnoch Washery branch (photo: Rab Jacobs).

Re-tracing our steps we arrived at Bank Junction to reverse....but carried straight past. Apparently, though timed to reverse at the junction this was not possible so we headed about 10 miles back to Mauchline Jn to reverse. This manoeuvre put us about 15 late but once again it was not a concern looking at the timetabling homewards.

A canny run to Carlisle where the 37's were dropped in favour of a rather loud 92027 - another winner, my third of the day with just the 37's being had for haulage in the past.


92027 is hooked on at Carlisle.

The 92 made very light work of our train and we arrived into Crewe about 15 early where we swapped to 66232, yet another winner. The shed kept up the pace and arrival home at Birmingham International was a whopping 34 early - quite a rare event for an enthusiasts railtour!

Verdict : Superb tour, well done to all involved for making it happen "as advertised", the exchange of 37's from EWS to DRS not spoiling it (in fact, many scored 37229 so it added to their day I'm sure)! Thanks to Steve also for being my chauffeur between Northampton & Birmingham!

Gary Thornton.

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Gary Thornton, Alan Sheppard, Martyn Brailsford, Rob Fraser & Alan Vickers)

M.C Location Booked (retimed) Actual
0.00 Birmingham International 20.03d 20.04 [P1]
4.33 Stechford 20/08 (20/07) 20/09
7.44 Proof House Jn 20/16 20/15
8.18 Birmingham New Street 20.19a ~ 20.27d 20.18 ~ 20.29 [P8]
10.19 Soho South Jn 20/32 20/35
11.77 Galton Jn 20/34 20/37
15.42 Dudley Port 20/38 (20/37) 20/40
21.02 Wolverhampton 20.46a ~ 20.54d 20.47 ~ 20.54 [P2]
21.45 Wolverhampton North Jn 20/56 (20/55) 20/57
36.33 Stafford 21.08a ~ 21.10d 21.11 ~ 21.13 [P5]
41.62 Norton Bridge 21/16 21/19
52.64 Madeley 21/25 21/28
59.06 Basford Hall Jn 21/30 21/34
60.70 Crewe 21.33a ~ 21.35d 21.39 ~ 21.42 [P5]
61.66 Sydney Bridge Jn 21/38 21/43
65.40 Sandbach 21/43 21/47
78.11 Alderley Edge 21/57 21/58
79.55 Wilmslow 21/59 21/59
83.50 Cheadle Hulme 22/03 22/04
84.45 Adswood Road Jn 22/04 22/06
85.35 Edgeley Jn No.1 22/06 (22/05) 22/07
86.00 Stockport 22c07a ~ 22c09d 22.09 ~ 22.11
86.55 Heaton Norris North Jn 22/11 22/13
87.37 Ash Bridge Jn 22/12 22/14
90.68 Denton Jn 22/24 22/20
91.55 Guide Bridge 22/28 22/29
93.78 Stalybridge 22/33 22/32
98.72 Greenfield 22/39 22/37
101.05 Diggle Jn 22/42 22/39
105.00 Marsden 22/46 22/43
112.06 Huddersfield 22/54 22/50
116.20 Heaton Lodge East Jn 22/59 22/54
117.79 Mirfield East Jn 23/01 22/57
118.45 Thornhill LNW Jn 23/02 22/58
124.08 Horbury Jn 23/09 23/04
126.32 Wakefield Kirkgate 23/11 23/09
130.25 Altofts Jn 23/16 23/12
133.03 Castleford 23/19 23/17
138.75 Milford Jn 23/26 23/26
143.24 Church Fenton 23/31 23/32
148.41 Colton Jn 23/41 23/34
154.02
0.00
York 23L50a ~ 00L50d 23.42 ~ 01.07 [P10]
1.51 Skelton Jn 00/56 01/1
9.40 Tollerton Jn 01/05 01/17
22.16 Thirsk 01/16 01/27
28.71 Longlands Jn 01/30 01/32
29.76 Northallerton 01/32 01/33
44.10 Darlington 01/46 01/44
56.17 Ferryhill South Jn 01/58 01/53
58.73 Tursdale Jn 02/01 01/55
66.13 Durham 02/08 02/00
75.29 Birtley Jn 02/25 02/06
79.42 King Edward Bridge South Jn 02/28 02/13
80.16 Newcastle 02/31 02/16
82.10 Heaton South Jn 02/36 02/20
96.66 Morpeth 02/50 02/32
115.05 Alnmouth 03/06 02/47
131.61 Belford LC 03/21 02/59
147.16 Berwick-upon-Tweed 03/35 03/12
150.03 Reston sig EG403 03/39 03/15
157.38 Reston 03/46 03/22
163.38 Grantshouse 03/51 03/26
175.47 Dunbar 04/01 03/35
186.72 Drem 04/09 03/44
198.37 Monktonhall Jn 04/43 03/56
200.23 Millerhill Yard Jn ? 04.01a ~ 04.22d
200.44 Millerhill S.S. 04c51a ~ 04c53d 04.28 ~ 04.31
201.40 Niddrie South Jn 04/57 04/36
202.15 Niddrie West Jn 04/59 04/38
207.28 Craiglockhart Jn 05/12 04/47
207.76 Slateford Jn 05/14 04/49
217.25 Midcalder Jn 05/26 05/01
229.26 Benhar Jn 05/40 05/16
232.07 Shotts 05/48 05/20
239.02 Holytown Jn 06/02 05/30
239.79 Mossend East Jn 06/03 05/32
240.34 Mossend North Jn 06/04 05/32
242.58 Whifflet South Jn 06/09 05/46
244.00 Sunnyside Jn 06/13 05.52a ~ 06.01d
249.23 Shettleston 06/19 06/12
251.73 Bellgrove 06/23 06/16
252.11 High Street Jn 06/25 06/17
254.51 Shields Jn 06/43 06.27a ~ 06.39
256.79 Cardonald Jn 06/47 06/45
257.35 Cardonald North Jn 06.52a ~ 07.12d 06.47 ~ 06.49
258.55
0.00
Deanside Loop 07.27a ~ 07.47d 07.03 ~ 07.30
1.20 Cardonald North Jn 08/02 07/44
1.56 Cardonald Jn 08/04 07.46a ~ 07.53d
4.04 Shields Jn 08/07 08.00a ~ 08.29d
5.55
0.00
Glasgow Central 08.19a ~ 10.18d [P11] 08.36a ~ 10.21 [P11]
0.68 Eglinton Street Jn 10/21 10/25
1.26 Larkfield Jn 10/23 10/27
2.23
0.00
Polmadie Clydesdale Loop 10.25a ~ 10.36d 10.32 ~ 10.35
0.77 Larkfield Jn 10/38 10/40
1.51 Muirhouse South Jn 10/40 10/41
3.50 Busby Jn 10/43 10/44
7.29 Barrhead 10/47 10/48
14.03 Lugton 10*55a ~ 11*10d 11.00 ~ 11.08
24.11 Kilmarnock 11/20 11/23
26.24
0.00
Riccarton 11.35a ~ 11.50d 11.39 ~ 11.42
2.13
0.00
Kilmarnock 12.05a ~ 12.10d
(12.04a ~ 12.09d)
12.05 ~ 12.15 [P4]
9.23 Mauchline 12/22 (12/21) 12/30
13.61 Auchinleck 12/26 12/33
20.27 Bank Jn 12/35 12/42
21.66
0.00
Knockshinnoch Washery 12.48a ~ 12.56d 12.46 ~ 12.52
1.39 Bank Jn 13.11a ~ 13.19d 12/56
DIV Auchinleck DIV (13/08) 13/03
DIV Mauchline Jn DIV (13.13a ~ 13.19d) 13.11a ~ 13.15d
DIV Auchinleck DIV (13/26) 13/22
0.00 Bank Jn DIV 13/34
0.69 New Cumnock 13/21 (13/33) 13.35a ~ 13.35d
? New Cumnock Adv. Starter ? 13.37a ~ 13.41d
8.25 Kirkonnel 13/33 (13/41) 13/48
23.52 Thornhill 13/48 14/04
34.25 Holywood 13/59 14/16
37.57 Dumfries 14/04 (14/10) 14/19
53.06 Annan 14/19 17.37a ~ 14.42d
62.07 Gretna Jn 14/28 (14/34) 14/54
70.64
0.00
Carlisle 14L41a ~ 15L30d
(14L47 ~ 15L30d)
15.05 ~ 15.41 [P1]
17.69 Penrith 15/47 15/57
36.68 Tebay 16/06 16/10
50.01 Oxenholme 16/19 16/23
63.01 Carnforth North Jn 16/32 16/34
67.17 Morecambe South Jn 16/36 16/38
69.09 Lancaster 16/38 16/40
90.07 Preston 16.59a ~ 17.02d 16.57a ~ 17.00d [P6]
95.43 Euxton Jn 17/08 17/06
97.46 Balshaw Lane Jn 17/10 17/07
105.17 Wigan North Western 17/18 17/15
105.53 Wigan South Jn 17/19 17/16
106.36 Springs Branch Jn 17/20 17/17
113.31 Winwick Jn 17/26 17/21
115.58 Dallam Jn 17/29 17/24
116.67 Warrington Bank Quay 17/30 17/26
118.54 Acton Grange Jn 17/32 17/29
124.37 Weaver Jn SB 17/39 17/32
126.40 Acton Bridge 17/42 17/34
128.23 Hartford Jn 17/49 17/36
132.12 Winsford SB 17/53 17/39
140.20 Crewe Coal Yard SB 18/01 17/46
140.78
0.00
Crewe 18L03a ~ 18L23d 17.49 ~ 18.15 [P12]
1.64 Basford Hall Jn 18/26 18/19
8.06 Madeley 18/33 18/25
19.08 Norton Bridge 18/46 18/34
24.37 Stafford 18.55a ~ 19.05d 18.39 ~ 18.41 [P4]
39.25 Wolverhampton North Jn 19/25 ?
39.68 Wolverhampton 19.27a ~ 19.38d 18.57 ~ 19.01 [P4]
45.28 Dudley Port 19/46 19/09
48.73 Galton Jn 19/49 19/14
50.51 Soho South Jn 19/51 19/16
52.52 Birmingham New Street 19.56a ~ 20.04d
(19.56 ~ 20.07)
19.22 ~ 19.31 [P7]
53.26 Proof House Jn 20/06 (20/09) 19/34
56.37 Stechford 20/11 (20/14) 19/38
60.70 Birmingham International 20.17a (20.20a) 19/44 [P5]


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