26th September 2007
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
Cumbrian Coast Circular Tour
|Locos Used||67012 & 90031|
1Z86 : London Euston to Carlisle
1Z87 : Carlisle to London Euston
|90031 (1)||London Euston - Watford Junction - Milton Keynes Central - Northampton - Rugby - Nuneaton - Lichfield - Tamworth - Stafford - Crewe - Warrington Bank Quay - Wigan North Western - Preston - Carnforth North Jn - Tebay - Carlisle|
|67012||Carlisle - Currock Jn - Maryport - Workington - Whitehaven - Sellafield - Millom - Park South Jn - (via Barrow Avoiding Curve) - Dalton Jn - Grange-over-Sands - Carnforth - Carnforth North Jn - Preston|
|90031 (1)||Preston - (reverse of outward route) -London Euston|
(1) 67012 on rear.
Sources : Nigel Benning (joined/left the train at
(from Nigel Benning)
I had been looking forward to the ‘Deltic Autumn Weekender’ for a few months. This was a package that took in the Deltic hauled legs of RTC’s ‘Autumn Highlander’ and the SRPS tour to Oban. However, one month before departure the plug was pulled as 55022 had still not recovered from its engine failure a year earlier. So with some spare cash to hand, I looked around for something else to treat myself on and opted for this “Pullman” tour round the Cumbrian coast.
I travelled up from Bournemouth to the Northampton area the day before, staying with my sister-in-law. I arrived at Northampton station with plenty of time to spare to ensure I did not get stuck in rush hour traffic and also to find a parking space in the station car park (which can get very busy). So I had plenty of time to watch a few freight services pass through, which included one hauled by unique 86501.
I was expecting top ’n’ tail 47’s for the tour, but it arrived with 90031 doing the honours, with 67012 being towed dead on the rear. Unfortunately both locos were ‘dud’ for haulage for me. Departure was on time and it wasn’t long before breakfast, our first meal of the day, was served. As porridge, followed by a full English breakfast was eaten, I also found time to spot a couple of DRS locos at DIRFT – 66404 and 66424. Joining the WCML at Rugby we sped north, noting the ongoing work being undertaken to 4-track the line. There was the usual variety of stock to be seen around Crewe and on arrival at Preston, we had the opportunity to stretch our legs during a short stop.
On departing Preston, we then had a spot of lunch before arrival at Carlisle, where we had a break of just over an hour. Some people headed off into town, but I spent my time watching the assorted freight workings that passed through the station. This included a Virgin 57 on a timber working. Here we lost our electric and handed over to the 67 for the next part of the tour. Departure was on time as we started on the highlight of the tour, the journey round the Cumbrian coast. It was my first trip between Carlisle and Workington since my student days, way back in 1981, and my first ever loco hauled. We were advised that on no account were we to put our heads out of any windows on the stretch to Maryport due to limited clearances, but most people were happy to sit down and admire the view. It was pleasing to have good weather and on the coastal stretch we had great views across to Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Passing Sellafield, a couple more DRS 66’s were noted (66415 and 66422) plus 37510 and 37515. At Barrow we used the avoiding line and when we next hugged the coastline we had great views across Morecambe Bay, with Blackpool Tower being briefly viewed in the distance.
Rejoining the WCML at Carnforth we headed back down to Preston where we had another short break whilst the locos were changed. The 67 ran round to the back of the train, whilst our 90 came back on the front (it having travelled light engine down from Carlisle). Leaving Preston it was time for dinner, which was well received and expertly served by the waiters. The schedule was such that we started to run ahead of time as we neared Rugby and I was wondering if we would have enough time to finish our coffee and pay our bar bills. But early running came to a halt as we were held outside Rugby and again in the station, so we joined the Northampton loop on time, although we still managed a 5 minute early arrival into Northampton.
It’s not often I treat myself to dining on a tour, especially at the prices some operators charge, but I thoroughly enjoyed my day out.
Postscript – A week after the Deltic weekender was cancelled, 55022 was brought back to full health and subsequently worked the tours without problem. Unfortunately, no longer having a ticket I had to miss out. To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Nigel Benning)
|West London Jn||07/33||?||21/51||?|
|Harrow & Wealdstone||07/42||?||21/47||?|
|Watford Junction||07.48a ~ 07.50d||?||21.34a ~ 21.36d||?|
|Bourne End Jn||07/58||?||21/27||?|
|Milton Keynes Central||08.22a ~ 08.24d||?||21.02a ~ 21.04d||?|
|Northampton||08.40a ~ 08.42d||??.?? ~ 08.42||20.41a ~ 20.43d||20.36 ~ ??.??|
|Rugby||09/13||09/12||20/14||20.02 ~ 20.15|
|Rugby Trent Valley Jn||09/15||09/13||20/12||19.48 ~ 19.57|
|Tamworth Low Level||09/35||09/33||19/46||19/22|
|Lichfield Trent Valley||09/39||09/38||19/41||19/17|
|Basford Hall Jn||10/14||10/07||19/04||18/51|
|Crewe||10.17a ~ 10.19d||10.13 ~ 10.17||18.57a ~ 18.59d||18.46 ~ 18.48|
|Crewe Coal Yard||10/22||10/20||18/56||18/44|
|Acton Grange Jn||10/36||10/35||18/29||18/29|
|Warrington Bank Quay||10/39||10/36||18/27||18/26|
|Springs Branch Jn||10/47||10/44||18/18||18/18|
|Wigan North Western||10/48||10/45||18/17||18/17|
|Balshaw Lane Jn||10/54||10/51||18/08||18/08|
|Preston||11.05a ~ 11.22d||10.58 ~ 11.23||17L20a ~ 17L55d||17.19 ~ 17.58|
|Morecambe South Jn||11/41||11/43||16/58||?|
|Carnforth North Jn||11/44||11/45||16/53||16/53|
|Oxenholme: Lake District||11/52||11/53|
|Carlisle||12L34a ~ 13L39d||12.32 ~ 13.39|
|Maryport||14*28 ~ 14*31||14.22 ~ 14.32|
|Workington||14.41 ~ 14.43||14/42|
|Whitehaven||15/07||14.59 ~ 15.11|
|Park South Jn||16/11||16/15|
Timings continue in first table.
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