10th August 2005

Kingfisher Railtours
The Dalesman

Loco Used steam: 48151
Stock Used 19121+4940+4960+4984+99311+5032+4994+99317+4905+99127+99304+????? (1)


Loco Route
48151 Hellifield - (via S&C) - Carlisle
48151 Carlisle - (vias S&C) - Hellifield

Notes :
(1) unidentified coach is 48151's support coach.

Sources : Ben Couldwell & Brian Barnsley

Tour Review
(from Ben Couldwell)

Advertised as one of many of Kingfisher’s S&C tours this summer, this trip was one of the ‘budget’ midweek trips promising steam both ways for £39 return! The price, as well as a sociable starting time and the promise of an 8F after the recent diet of Pacifics and Ian Riley locos on this route, meant that it was a must do for me. After an uneventful train journey from Doncaster, I arrived at Hellifield a good 90 minutes before the train was due. Despite passing through the station several times, I had not set foot on the station for three years, and in some ways it was far more dilapidated than it was then! The south end of the platform has been rebuilt and surfaced but only enough to take four carriages. The rest of the platform was significantly lower and in poor condition, but Kingfisher have a visitors centre and café open in the main station building and you can walk the length of the old platform if you want to take photos etc.

Around 11.30 48151 arrived from Settle junction tender first with twelve mk1s in tow, running straight through onto the Leeds line. After the Carlisle service train passed through the train was reversed over the crossing and into the up loop, after which the 8F ran around the train, and started pushing it onto the Blackburn line, stopping half way to take water. Freight passed through and all the while the clock ticked on…

12.30 came and went and 48151 was still taking on water, eventually backing out onto the Blackburn line before drawing the train into the platform. Whilst this was going on, the stewards announced that Health and safety required that we all boarded the train from the refurbished section of platform, so several hundred people were now crammed onto the south end of the platform and had to board the train and walk through to get to their allotted carriages!

Setting off 15 minutes late, the train made steady but good progress until the Horton in Ribblesdale area when we ground to a halt for a blow up. This took what felt like an age, but eventually we set off again. The noise from the front end up the long drag was amazing. It was nice to hear a loco on this route that actually sounded like it had to make an effort to get up the incline, the speed of the train (generally mid twenties, often lower) reflecting this, and the delay growing.

We arrived at Appleby for a water stop, using a tanker, as the water tower only serves the south bound line, and after only 15 minutes we set off again with higher speeds, the driver now having to prevent the weight of the train taking us past the 8Fs 50 Mph maximum on the descent!

Arrival at Carlisle was forty one minutes down, the train being pathed straight into platform one, and loco and support coach coming off and running back through the station for servicing almost immediately. We were informed that we were aiming for our booked departure at 16.35, so with only an hour in Carlisle presumably those who had paid a supplement for a guided tour were refunded?

In typical rail tour fashion, departure time came and went, the 8F backing on at 16.45. A prompt coupling meant that we were on our way only 16 minutes overdue. Not bad compared to many tours I’ve done this year! The run to Appleby was fairly sedate, but seemed to be keeping the delay didn’t get too much worse. After a very quick water stop, the train set off again working hard, and never getting above 12Mph on the run to Ais Gill. The loco performed again and gave everyone a demonstration of pure power, as well as the chance to see more of the scenery than is usually seen when travelling faster! The photographers were out in force, and the 8F reached the summit without slipping or stopping.

The run back to Hellifield was again faster, arriving back 45 minutes late.  Passenger this time being allowed to use the whole platform to get off (It is slightly higher on the south bound side).  There was just enough time for a few photos before the train was again shunted to allow the following Leeds train to enter the station ending what had been one of my best runs over the Settle and Carlisle.

Ben Couldwell

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Ben Couldwell & Brian Barnsley)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Hellifield 12.30d 12.45   19.12a 19.55
Settle Jn 12/38 12/52   19/04 19/47
Ribblehead 12/53 13/39   18/44 19/31
Blea Moor SB 12/56 13/43   18/41 19/28
Garsdale 13/12 14/01   18/29 19/14
Kirkby Stephen 13/43 14/15   18/12 18/37
Appleby 13w57a ~ ??w??d 14.28 ~ 14.45   17w32a ~ ??w??d 17.50 ~ 18.03
Kirby Thore 14/06 14/52   17/22 17/38
Culgaith 14/10 14/56   17/18 17/34
Low House SB 14/29 ?   16/53 17/12
Petteril Bridge Jn 14/42 15/25   16/38 16/55
Carlisle 14.46a 15.27   16.35d 16.51

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