29th December 2006

Pathfinder Tours
Yo-Ho-Ho

Locos Used 37194, 37229, 60030, 66120, 66210, 66551 & 86614
Stock Used 5376+4902+5040+4927+5009+5292+1863+5322+3098+3140+3107+21272+6310

Route:
1Z20 : Swindon to Preston
1Z21 : Preston to Swindon

Loco(s) Route
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

Notes :
(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

Tour Review
(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).

Stuart Smith

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from various including Aled Bowen & Alan Vickers)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Swindon 05.37d [P4] ?   23.25a [P3] ?
Wootton Bassett Jn 05/44 ?   23/19 ?
Chippenham 05.57a ~ 05.59d ?   23.04a ~ 23.06d ?
Thingley Jn 06/03 ?   23/01 ?
Bathampton Jn 06/11 ?   22/52 ?
Bath Spa 06.14a ~ 06.16d ?   22.47a ~ 22.49d ?
North Somerset Jn 06/26 ?   22/36 ?
Dr. Days Jn 06/28 ?   22/27 ?
Stapleton Road 06/29 ?   22/26 ?
Filton Abbey Wood 06/33 ?   22/24 ?
Bristol Parkway 06.36a ~ 06.38d 06.39 ~ 06.40   22.19a ~ 22.21d 22.57 ~ ??.??
Westerleigh Jn 06/47 06/48   22/15˝ 22/48
Yate 06/50 06/52   22/12 22/45
Charfield 06/57 ?   22/06 22/40
Standish Jn 07/09 07/08   21/55 22/30
Gloucester Yard Jn 07/16 07/11   21/50 22/18
Barnwood Jn 07/17 07/11   21/49 22/17
Cheltenham Spa 07.24a ~ 07.26d 07.23 ~ 07.25   21.40a ~ 21.42d 22.05 ~ 22.08
Ashchurch 07/34˝ 07/34   21/29 21/55
Abbotswood Jn 07/44 07/44   21/19 21/46
Stoke Works Jn 07/53 07/53   21/09 21/35
Bromsgrove 07/55 07/55   21/07 21/33
Barnt Green 08.00a ~ 08.02d 07.59 ~ 08.02   20.59a ~ 21.01d 21.26 ~ 21.29
Longbridge 08/06 08/07   20/53 21/22
Kings Norton 08/09˝ 08/10   20/50 21/19
Bordesley Jn 08/24˝ 08/17  
St Andrews Jn 08/33 08/17  
Proof House Jn 08/38 08/31  
Selly Oak   20/46 21/17
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
Aston   20/10 20/38
Perry Barr North Jn 09/07 09/06   20/02 20/34
Newton Jn 09/12 09/14   ? ?
Bescot Up & Down Goods 09L15 ~ 09L39 09L16 ~ 09L40  
Bescot Stadium   19/57 20/31
Bescot Jn 09/42 09/43   ? 20/31
Darlaston Jn 09/43 09/44   19/56 20/30
Portobello Jn 09/47 09/48   19/52˝ 20/27

 

Location Booked Actual
Wolverhampton 09/53˝ ?
Wolverhampton North Jn 09/55 09/56
Oxley SB 10/01 09/58
Cosford 10/13 10/06
Madeley Jn 10/19 10/11
Wellington 10/25 10/18
Shrewsbury 10.40 ~ 10.43 [P3] 10/35
Gobowen 11/03 10.58 ~ 11.06
Wrexham General 11/17 11/20
Saltney Jn 11/29 11/31
Chester South Jn 11/31 11/35
Chester North Jn 11/33 11/36
Hooton 11.43 ~ 12.04 11.43 ~ 12.06
Ellesmere Port 12/12 12/37
Stanlow & Thornton 12/20 12/40
Helsby 12/27 12/44
Frodsham Jn 12/34 12/50
Acton Grange Jn 12/45 12/54
Walton Old Jn 12/50 DIV
Warrington Bank Quay 12/56 12/56
Dallam Jn 12/57 12/57
Winwick Jn 13/00 13/00
Earlestown 13/03 13/03
Golborne Jn 13/04 13/12
Bamfurlong Jn 13/09 13/20
Springs Branch Jn 13/12 13/23
Wigan South Jn 13/14 13/26
Wigan Station Jn 13/15 13/27
Wigan Wallgate 13/17 13/30
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 Wallgate 14/39 14/40
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
Balshaw Lane 15/03 15/02
Euxton Jn 15/05˝ 15/03
Farington Curve Jn 15/09 15/07
Preston 15L12a ~ 16L29d [P6] 15.13 ~ 16.30
Farington Curve Jn 16/32˝ ?
Euxton Jn 16/39 16/42
Chorley 16/42 16/46
Lostock Jn 16/50 16/55
Bolton 16/54 [P3] 17/00 [P3]
Burnden Jn 16/55 17/02
Moses Gate Jn 16*58 ~ 17*10 17.04 ~ 17.11
Salford Crescent 17/21 17/25
Deal Street 17/30 ?
Manchester Victoria 17/33 [P4] 17*30 ~ 17*32
Miles Platting 17/37 17/35
Philips Park West Jn 17/38 17/36
Baguley Fold Jn 17/39 ?
Ashton Moss North Jn 17/44 17/48
Denton Jn 17/49 17/53
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
Cheadle Hulme 18/04 18/13
Wilmslow 18/08 18/16
Alderley Edge 18/09˝ 18/18
Sandbach 18/22 18/34
Sydney Bridge Jn 18/34 ?
Crewe 18L37 ~ 18L57 [P11] 18L59 ~ 19.14 [P6]
North Stafford Jn 19/00 ?
Barthomley Jn 19/03 19/22
Alsager 19/06 19/27
Kidsgrove 19/09 19/33
Stoke-on-Trent 19/17 19/43
Stoke Jn 19/18 19/45
Stone 19/26 19/52
Norton Bridge 19/32 19/59
Stafford 19/37 20/05
Stafford No.4 19/38 ?
Bushbury Jn 19/49 20/22

Timings continue in first table.

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