23rd June 2007
Green Express Railtours /
The Brighton Belle
|Locos Used||47245 & 47826|
1Z35 : Barnetby to Brighton
1Z36 : Brighton to Barnetby
|47826||Barnetby - Wrawby Jn - Scunthorpe - Thorne South - Hatfield & Stainforth - Bentley Jn - Doncaster - (via ECML) - Finsbury Park - Holloway South Jn - Copenhagen Jn - Camden Road East Jn - Camden Road - Gospel Oak - Willesden Junction HL - Mitre Bridge Jn - Kensington Olympia - Latchmere Jn - Clapham Junction - Balham - Streatham Common - Selhurst - East Croydon - Purley - Stoats Nest Jn - Redhill - Earlswood - Gatwick Airport - Three Bridges - Haywards Heath - Keymer Jn - Preston Park - Brighton|
|47245||Brighton - (reverse of outward route) - Barnetby|
(1) 47245 on rear.
(2) 47826 on rear.
Sources : various including David Clark (joined/left
the train at Scunthorpe)
(by David Clark)
This was advertised as being a nice day out from Scunthorpe and intermediate stations down to Brighton allowing 3 – 4 hours before returning. Unfortunately some of the family were “away” in Poland enjoying their holiday, so I thought it would be a nice tour to do for myself and a friend. Thursday saw me make my way from South Wales up to North Lincs, and Friday saw me score Dore Curve and the Allington Chord and enjoying an hour in Sleaford before the heavens opened for not the last time that weekend.
Saturday Morning saw me get to Scunthorpe Station slightly early. A fellow enthusiast was also supposed to join me, but due to a change of circumstances on the day he was unable to make it. But due to the change of plans not being told to me until a week before the tour, no refund could be given. And various options were considered, but unfortunately people were not interested.
Around 6.15 66556 appeared around the back of Scunthorpe Station with a coal train bound for Eggborough P.S. And was held at the signal under Howden Hill Bridge. A few minutes later 47826 appeared with the stock for the tour. My coach was H, and was 3rd coach from the front. We departed Scunthorpe at 0627 (6 late). We picked up at Thorne South, and then Doncaster, Retford, Newark North Gate. But this also saw us being overtaken (not for the last time either!) by a GNER Service. This first train being the 0600 Newcastle to Kings Cross. At Tuxford between Retford and Newark there was plenty of lying water around. Heavy Rain had caused a few problems, and so all trains were subject to stopping near for clearance by NR employees. From Newark we moved on to Claypole Loop where we sat from 0807 / 0817 allowing the 07.00 Leeds to Kings Cross, and 0650 Hull to Kings Cross to pass us. Other stops were also made at Grantham (10 late), taking the down the Fast Lines to Tallington, and passing the FirstGBRf depot with 66721 / 705 / 718 / 716 / 722 / 703 / 712 / 720 / 724 present. On the EWS Depot was 66180 / 66014 / 66147. 66613 was also seen stabled on the Shunt Spur adjacent to the Down Slow / Down Stamford. We called at Peterborough and set off south again with numerous 365s seen in the Peterborough Nene C.S
We set off on the Fast Lines to Fletton, and at Connington we had a 30 minute break to allow even more services to pass! These being the 06.42 Skipton to Kings Cross, 07.00 Newcastle to Kings Cross, 09.12 Peterborough to Kings Cross and the 07.36 Bradford Forster Square to Kings Cross. Connington Loop was departed at 09.44 and .we were taken off the Slow Line (after various other services passed us en-route to Kings Cross) on to the FL and arrived at Welwyn Garden City on platform 2 at 10.31 and not Platform 1 as booked. This was due to allowing even more services to pass, and a capacity issue later on at Finsbury Park. At 10.55 we were merrily on our way again after what seemed like the entire fleet of GNER / First Capital Connect passing us! Signallers put us back on the Fasts after Potters Bar, and we took a Crew change at Finsbury Park, and took the North London Incline noticing the remodelled St Pancras International before enduring another stagger along the North London Line and then the West London Line through Kensington Olympia (the platform and not the through line), West Brompton and Latchmere Jn, Clapham Junction and took the Slow Lines through to East Croydon, Purley, Redhill, Earlswood and were slightly regulated on the approaches to Gatwick Airport to allow a Gatwick Express service to arrive. The the seaside resort of Brighton was finally arrived at 13.38 only one late, but some 7 hours 15 minutes after we left Scunthorpe. Checking National Rail Enquiries website, you could leave Scunthorpe at 09.10, and get to Brighton 10 minutes earlier changing at Doncaster and Kings Cross!
I had three options at Brighton, and moved against wandering through the centre, so decided on a trip to East Croydon to have a further ride. I caught the 13.49 Fast Brighton to Victoria calling at East Croydon only which consisted of 377313 / 377303 / 377304. At East Croydon I then did the 14.17 Victoria to Southampton with 377424 / 377445 down to Gatwick Airport. At Gatwick, the sky got Dark, and thunder / lightening flared up lighting up the sky. 319384 / 319374 were then done to Brighton where I wandered around the resort.
By 16.30 all the passengers for the tour had got on to the Train, and we were ready to rock and roll back to Scunthorpe with 47245 at the helm. This was Required for haulage J. Brighton was left at 1631 and again we were put on the slows from Balcomble Tunnel Jn. Just outside Three Bridges we were held for 15.44 Littlehampton to Victoria which was running slightly late due to incidents in the area. I'm sure I spotted a Virgin plane taking off from Gatwick Airport, but one couldn’t be too sure!
We ran on the Slow Lines through to Clapham Junction, along the West London Line, along the North London Line and got to Finsbury Park bang on time. We kept on the Slow Lines until Potters Bar, and were then switched to the fast lines all the way up to Peterborough. We arrived Peterborough at 20.02 and departed 8mins early at 20.04. On Peterborough EWS was 66014 and 66112 whilst on GBRF was 66709 / 66719 / 66727 / 66724. At Tallington (8 early) we switched to the slow Lines all the way to Stoke Tunnel where we were due to be passed by a GNER service. However, this didn’t materialise, so we continued departing Grantham (17 early), Newark North Gate (18 early), Retford (15 early) but instead of going on to the Fast Lines, we kept on the Slow Line and we awaited the 19.30 Kings Cross to Newcastle which was running late, and also the 19.41 Kings Cross to Hull. Whilst sat there we watched our own version of Watership Down with rabbits running all around the place due to a ginger cat in the area. In the yards south of Doncaster on various trains were 66219 / 66213 / 66121 / 66119 / 66211.
We arrived Doncaster on Platform 8 at 21.45 and after they let a ballast train head up the ECML the route was given for a 21.49 departure to Barnetby. Departure From Thorne South was at 22.03 (2 early) and arrival at Scunthorpe was at 22.22 (3 early) some 16 hours after departure in the morning.
Sunday Morning saw me take a leisurely journey by train to South Wales. On Reflection it was a good day out. OK, the weather was poor at times, but the locos behaved well, the coaches were comfy and the company was good. However, Credit must go to the operator / promoter for providing information, but also lending out Quails if you wanted! How many tour promoters allow this? Unfortunately Class 47s are not the fastest traction on the ECML Nowadays. And as we saw when D9009 came back on the main line, even Class 365s can run slightly quicker than the old Class 47s / 55s. So, with all the numerous passenger services on the ECML and generally all around the UK Nowadays, pathing charters is a very tricky business! This was shown with the various pathing stops en route to Brighton and on the return. As a result of our planned timings being implemented we were no later than 10 minutes later most of the day, and most of that was due to flooding at Tuxford. So well done Network Rail.
So, as one final point I’d like to say a big thank you to Network Rail, Green Express, Railtourer, West Coast Railways and any other party that I’ve not mentioned for a well planned, organised and implemented plan on the day.
David Clark (2007)
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from various including David Clark)
|Scunthorpe||06.19a ~ 06.21d||??.?? ~ 06.27||22.25a ~ 22.29d||22.22 ~ ??.??|
|Thorne South||06.40a ~ 06.43d||?||22.00a ~ 22.05d||??.?? ~ 22.03|
|Hatfield & Stainforth||06/48||?||21/56||?|
|Doncaster||07.01a ~ 07.03d||07.02 ~ 07.04||21.46a ~ 21.48d||21.45 ~ ??.?? [P8]|
|Loversall Carr Jn||07/09||?||21/41||21/36|
|Retford||07.21a ~ 07.24d||07.22 ~ 07.25||21.26a ~ 21.28d||??.?? ~ 21.13 [SL]|
|Newark North Gate||07.40a ~ 07.47d||07.51 ~ 07.57 [P3]||21.07a ~ 21.10d||??.?? ~ 20.52|
|Claypole||07*56 ~ 08*08||08.07 ~ 08.17||21/03||?|
|Grantham||08.19a ~ 08.22d||08.30 ~ 08.32||20.51a ~ 20.53d||??.?? ~ 20.36|
|Tallington Jn||08/41||08/50||20/22||20/14 [SL]|
|Peterborough||08.49a ~ 08.58d||08.59 ~ 09.01 [FL]||20.09a ~ 20.12d||20.02 ~ 20.04 [FL]|
|Connington South Jn||09/11||?|
|Connington Loop||09*14 ~ 09*46||??.?? ~ 09.44 [SL]|
|Woolmer Green Jn||10/32||?||19/23||?|
|Welwyn Garden City||10.38a ~ 10.53d [P1]||10.31 ~ 10.55 [P2]||19/20||?|
|Potters Bar||11/04||? [FL]||19/13||? [FL]|
|Finsbury Park||11c13 ~ 11c17||11.17 ~ 11.19||18c50 ~ 18c52||18.50 ~ 18.52 [SL]|
|Holloway South Jn||11/21||?||18/52||?|
|Camden Road East Jn||11/32||?||18/39||?|
|Kensal Green Jn LL||11/54||?||18/20||?|
|Willesden Junction HL||11/57||?||18/18||?|
|Mitre Bridge Jn||12/00||?||18/12||?|
|North Pole Jn||12/01||?||18/11||?|
|Kensington Olympia||12/05||? [P3]||18/07||?|
|Clapham Junction||12/17||12/15 [SL]||17/58||?|
|Windmill Bridge Jn||12/36||?||17/40||?|
|Stoats Nest Jn||12/45||?||17/29||?|
|Balcombe Tunnel Jn||13/12||?||17/00||? [SL]|
|Haywards Heath||13/19||?||16.44 ~ 16.51||?|
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