29th December 2006
|Locos Used||37194, 37229, 60030, 66120, 66210, 66551 & 86614|
1Z20 : Swindon to Preston
1Z21 : Preston to Swindon
|66210||Swindon - Chippenham - Bath Spa - Dr Days Jn - Stapleton Road - Bristol Parkway - Standish Jn - Gloucester Yard Jn - Barnwood Jn - Cheltenham Spa - Bromsgrove - Barnt Green - Kings Norton - Camp Hill - St Andrews Jn - Birmingham New Street - Soho South Jn - Soho East Jn - Perry Barr West Jn - Perry Barr North Jn - Bescot Up & Down Goods|
|37194 + 37229||Bescot Up & Down Goods - Portobello Jn - Wolverhampton - Telford - Shrewsbury - Gobowen - Wrexham General - Chester South Jn - Chester North Jn - Hooton Long Siding|
|66551 (1)||Hooton Long Siding - Helsby - Acton Grange Jn - (3) - Warrington Bank Quay - Winwick Jn - Earlestown - Lowton Jn - Golborne Jn - Wigan Wallgate - Rainford - Kirkby|
|37194 + 37229 (2)||Kirkby - Rainford - Wigan Wallgate - Wigan South Jn (4)|
|66551 (1)||Wigan South Jn - Wigan North Western - Preston|
|60030||Preston - Chorley - Bolton - Burndon Jn UPL - Manchester Victoria - Philips Park West Jn - Baguley Fold Jn - Ashton Moss North Jn - Denton Jn - Stockport - Wilmslow - Sandbach - Crewe|
|86614||Crewe - Kidsgrove - Stoke-on-Trent - Stafford - Bushbury Jn - Bescot Stadium - Perry Barr North Jn - Perry Barr South Jn - Aston - Birmingham New Street|
|66120||Birmingham New Street - Selly Oak - Kings Norton - (reverse of outward route) - Swindon|
(1) 37194 + 37229 on rear.
(2) 66551 on rear.
(3) Was booked via Walton Old Jn but went mainline.
(4) NR timings gave reversal as Springs Branch Jn.
Sources : various
(by Stuart Smith)
Another year drawing to a close, and so therefore, it must be time for the annual Pathfinder spin and win tour. Long are the days since the motive power consisted of 8 or 9 locos on such a tour, but this one promised an unusual combination nonetheless.
The week or so before the tour, the ‘now fairly common’ change to motive power was announced. We had lost the DRS 47’s and 66, but gained a pair of 37’s and a 60.
During my Christmas break from driving HST’s, I made the trip to get D2182 in the book at the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway….. Here the gen was reported to be 37194 and 37229 for the tour. Both very dud, but hey, lets hope the gen-rumour-mill was wrong……
Two days later and I drove to back to Cheltenham, this time to the main station, rather than the racecourse. Shortly after my arrival 66210 arrived with coach A right behind it. This would be our home for the day, the rest of the “Adlam party” joining at Barnt Green or New Street. Once all settled in, and a grabbed photo at New Street, we headed off to Bescot where the two dud tractors were waiting. Oh well, I suppose it was 13 years since I last had 37194. (Southern Mariner 12/12/93).
The route now took us via Wolves, Shrewsbury and the Chester Curve to reach Hooton Long Siding. Here 66551 backed on the rear for the runs to Kirkby, Springs Branch Jn and Preston. (The 6655x sheds have appeared quite regularly, so a nice run has appeared in the haulage records).
66551 at Helsby (above) and 37194+37229 at Pulford crossing (below)
(photos: John Cowlishaw)
Preston was the only real chance to get photos, (my biggest pet-hate on tours is loco changes in yards/depots/sidings), but no sooner had we arrived, the shed was detached and ran round to take the tractors away. It was fairly gloomy by now, so the photos on offer were far from prize winners, but hey, it was December. During the hour of the break remaining, we headed to the nearest Weatherspoons for a swift half……. We would have had more, but we encountered the worlds slowest barman. Those who went will recall the speed of his service no doubt.
Back to the station, via the “chippy”, saw 60030 now in charge. A winner for me, as I didn’t do the Spiders Web in Feb 02. This took the meandering route down to Crewe, by way of Bolton, Manchester Victoria and Stockport.
By now, the rumours of the final two loco’s were filtering through. These were to be 86614 and 66120.
At Crewe, the 86 duly appeared and quickly attached. We now had a fairly unusual route via Kidsgrove and Stoke, then down through Stafford and back to New Street. Here 66120 was waiting and headed the final leg back to Cheltenham and then to Swindon.
All in all, a fairly good day out. Plenty of fun and banter on board….. A welcome return to the free Pathfinder chocolates, and some good beer to quaff. However, the variety of motive power now makes these tours far less appealing than when they started back in 1993 (hopefully the proposed tour for 7th April 2007, makes a welcome “albeit a one-off” return to the spin and win tours of the good old days).
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from various including Aled Bowen & Alan Vickers)
|Swindon||05.37d [P4]||?||23.25a [P3]||?|
|Wootton Bassett Jn||05/44||?||23/19||?|
|Chippenham||05.57a ~ 05.59d||?||23.04a ~ 23.06d||?|
|Bath Spa||06.14a ~ 06.16d||?||22.47a ~ 22.49d||?|
|North Somerset Jn||06/26||?||22/36||?|
|Dr. Days Jn||06/28||?||22/27||?|
|Filton Abbey Wood||06/33||?||22/24||?|
|Bristol Parkway||06.36a ~ 06.38d||06.39 ~ 06.40||22.19a ~ 22.21d||22.57 ~ ??.??|
|Gloucester Yard Jn||07/16||07/11||21/50||22/18|
|Cheltenham Spa||07.24a ~ 07.26d||07.23 ~ 07.25||21.40a ~ 21.42d||22.05 ~ 22.08|
|Stoke Works Jn||07/53||07/53||21/09||21/35|
|Barnt Green||08.00a ~ 08.02d||07.59 ~ 08.02||20.59a ~ 21.01d||21.26 ~ 21.29|
|St Andrews Jn||08/33||08/17|
|Proof House Jn||08/38||08/31|
|Birmingham New Street||08.40˝a ~ 08.54d [P9]||08.37 ~ 08.54 [P8]||20L18a ~ 20L38d [P11]||20.48 ~ 21.08 [P10]|
|Soho South Jn||08/58||09/00|
|Soho East Jn||09/01||09/01|
|Perry Barr West Jn||09/06||09/05|
|Proof House Jn||20/15˝||20/44|
|Perry Barr North Jn||09/07||09/06||20/02||20/34|
|Bescot Up & Down Goods||09L15 ~ 09L39||09L16 ~ 09L40|
|Wolverhampton North Jn||09/55||09/56|
|Shrewsbury||10.40 ~ 10.43 [P3]||10/35|
|Gobowen||11/03||10.58 ~ 11.06|
|Chester South Jn||11/31||11/35|
|Chester North Jn||11/33||11/36|
|Hooton||11.43 ~ 12.04||11.43 ~ 12.06|
|Stanlow & Thornton||12/20||12/40|
|Acton Grange Jn||12/45||12/54|
|Walton Old Jn||12/50||DIV|
|Warrington Bank Quay||12/56||12/56|
|Springs Branch Jn||13/12||13/23|
|Wigan South Jn||13/14||13/26|
|Wigan Station Jn||13/15||13/27|
|Rainford||13*32 ~ 14*00||13.42 ~ 13.59|
|Kirkby||14.10a ~ 14.16d||14.10 ~ 14.15|
|Rainford||14.23 ~ 14.25d||14/25|
|Wigan Station Jn||14/41||14/41|
|Wigan South Jn||14/42||14.41 ~ 14.46|
|Springs Branch Jn||14.44 ~ 14.52||DIV|
|Wigan South Jn||14/55||15/02|
|Wigan North Western||14/56||14.49 ~ 14.50|
|Farington Curve Jn||15/09||15/07|
|Preston||15L12a ~ 16L29d [P6]||15.13 ~ 16.30|
|Farington Curve Jn||16/32˝||?|
|Bolton||16/54 [P3]||17/00 [P3]|
|Moses Gate Jn||16*58 ~ 17*10||17.04 ~ 17.11|
|Manchester Victoria||17/33 [P4]||17*30 ~ 17*32|
|Philips Park West Jn||17/38||17/36|
|Baguley Fold Jn||17/39||?|
|Ashton Moss North Jn||17/44||17/48|
|Denton Station Jn||17/50˝||?|
|Ash Bridge Jn||17/57||?|
|Heaton Norris Jn||17/58˝||18/03|
|Stockport||18/00||18*06 ~ 18*08|
|Edgeley Jn No.1||18/01||18/10|
|Adswood Road Jn||18/02||18/11|
|Sydney Bridge Jn||18/34||?|
|Crewe||18L37 ~ 18L57 [P11]||18L59 ~ 19.14 [P6]|
|North Stafford Jn||19/00||?|
Timings continue in first table.
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