2nd February 2008

Railway Touring Company
The Tynesider

Locos Used 66048 & steam: 71000 'Duke of Gloucester'
Stock Used 17041+17105+3066+3069+1671+3119+3149+1863+5341+5366

1Z70 : Manchester Victoria to Newcastle
1Z71 : Newcastle to Manchester Victoria

Loco(s) Route
71000 Manchester Victoria Miles Platting Stalybridge Greenfield - Huddersfield Wakefield Kirkgate Castleford Church Fenton York Darlington Durham Low Fell Jn (1)
66048 (2) Low Fell Jn King Edward Bridge South Jn King Edward Bridge East Jn - Greensfield Jn High Level Bridge Newcastle East Jn Newcastle
71000 Newcastle King Edward Bridge North Jn King Edward Bridge South Jn Low Fell Junction - (reverse of outward route) - Manchester Victoria

Notes :
(1) Train passed signal at Danger. Driver was relieved and 66048 summonsed to haul the train into Newcastle.
(2) Towing 71000 & train.
Return mileage is 147M 75Ch i.e. 34ch less than the outward journey due to the use of King Edward Bridge rather than the High Level Bridge in Newcastle.

Source : Gordon Jakes (on the train throughout)

Tour Review
(by Gordon Jakes)

71000 at Manchester Victoria in the early hours before dawn (photo: Gordon Jakes)

71000 was in sparkling form both externally and in terms of its performance. The train departed Manchester Victoria on time and maintained the booked timings or better until Huddersfield where a signal check on the station approach caused a few minutes delay. By the first water stop which was made in Healey Mills Yard (line P adjacent to the Down Stabling Sidings) the train was running five minutes late. Although not advised at the time the watering operations were only partially successful due to low pressure on the water supply at Healey Mills and a further watering had to be made at Milford Junction. The train left the watering point in Healey Mills Yard the same five minutes late although negotiation of the exit from the yard caused a further small delay such that the first pick-up point of Wakefield Kirkgate was reached eight minutes behind schedule. Further signal checks approaching Castleford and Milford Junction caused further delay and Milford Junction was reached some thirteen minutes late. At this point a further stop was made to take on water with the engine inside the Down Passenger Loop and the end of the train still foul of the main line (Down Normanton).

The train finally left Milford Junction over thirty five minutes behind schedule and this delay figure was maintained until York where further water was taken from a road tanker. The train departed from York some thirty-two minutes late and 71000 was then able to show her paces and despite being routed onto the slow line between Tollerton and Thirsk North time was recovered such that Darlington was reached only twenty-one minutes down. An operational stop had been planned to pass scheduled services and fortuitously this provided recovery time such that the train was only five minutes late on leaving Darlington. Thereafter and despite a signal check approaching Durham booked timings were achieved and maintained until the approach to Birtley Junction. At Birtley Junction the train was routed onto the Up and Down Slow line and we proceeded at slow speed towards Low Fell Junction.

The train was brought to a stand on the Up and Down Slow Line south of Low Fell Junction but unfortunately the front of the locomotive passed the signal controlling the junction. This instigated the standard reaction from Network Rail for a signal passed at danger (SPAD) and the driver of 71000 was relieved of driving the train. Network Rail further insisted that 71000 and its train should be hauled into Newcastle (less than three miles distant) by a diesel locomotive. 66048 eventually obliged and the train finally arrived in Newcastle almost one hour late from having been ahead of time at Low Fell Junction.

66048 & 71000 on arrival into Newcastle (photo: Gordon Jakes)

Whilst not wishing to comment on the detail of the SPAD which Network Rail obviously treated in accordance with the laid down procedures, I have sympathy for the driver who had been responsible for some excellent running particularly in catching up time following the watering problems. In mitigation it should be noted that the signal in question was located on a straight post on the right hand side of the Up and Down Passenger Loop (in the wideway between the Down Main and the Loop) and as such making visibility of the signal non existent from the normal driving position of 71000 when moving close to the signal (i.e. the boiler of 71000 would obscure the signal). The loss of one hour in Newcastle did not cause any hardship just meant we had to drink more quickly!

The entry into Newcastle (behind 66048) using the High Level Bridge enabled 71000 and its train to be turned ready for the return journey. It is assumed that during the layover in Newcastle the train was stabled in Tyne Yard. 66048 was run round 71000 and its train and hauled the empty stock back into Newcastle. There was concern that 71000 would not be allowed to haul the train back to Manchester but when the train finally arrived in platform 2 hauled by 66048 we were all relieved to see 71000 ready for action at the south end.

71000 at Newcastle, being readied for the return leg (photo: Gordon Jakes)

Once 66048 was detached from the train, our departure from Newcastle some sixteen minutes behind schedule. This was due to the late arrival of the empty stock which in turn was due congestion in the Newcastle Station area. A matter of a couple minutes before our booked departure time platform 2 was occupied by a northbound freight train undertaking a crew change.

The return journey was largely without incident. The late start from Newcastle was all-but recovered by York and this despite a series of signal stands to the north of York station. The timings on the outward journey did not allow for a pick-up of passengers at Huddersfield (these passengers had to catch the 07:32 service train from Huddersfield to Wakefield Kirkgate and join the train with the Wakefield passengers). On the return journey a stop was included at Huddersfield to set down passengers. Unfortunately the booked timings as provided did not appear to include the necessary time for such a stop quoting only a passing time. As a consequence the train ran forward from Huddersfield some minutes late. This, coupled with an unexplained stop east of Marsden and slow running approaching Stalybridge meant that arrival in Victoria was some twelve minutes down.

A long day - but a good day out with some excellent performances by all concerned not least 71000.

Gordon Jakes

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Gordon Jakes)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Manchester Victoria 06.37d 06.37 [P3]   20.58a 21.09 [P3]
Miles Platting 06/43 06/42   20/53 21/05
Philips Park No.1 SB 06/45 06/43   20/51 ?
Baguley Fold Jn 06/46 06/44   20/48 21/03
Ashton Moss North Jn 06/50 06/47   20/44 20/59
Ashton-under-Lyne ? 06/49   ? 20/57
Stalybridge 06/54 06/52   20/40 20/54
Greenfield 07/01 07/03   20/34 20/44
Diggle Jn SB 07/04 07/05   20/31 20/41
Marsden 07/10 07/10   20/26 20/33
Huddersfield 07/18 07/19   20/17 20.14a ~ 20.16d
Bradley Jn ? 07/23   ? 20/08
Heaton Lodge Jn   20/11 20/07
Heaton Lodge East Jn 07/24 07/25  
Mirfield East Jn 07/26 07/28   20/09 20/04
Thornhill LNW Jn 07/27 07/29   ? 20/03
Healey Mills Yard Line 'P' 07w32 ~ 08w04 07.37 ~ 08.09  
Healey Mills UGL   19w26 ~ 20w00 19.32 ~ 19.55
Horbury Jn 08/10 08/17   ? ?
Wakefield Kirkgate 08.15a ~ 08.17d 08.22 ~ 08.25   19.17a ~ 19.19d 19.15 ~ 19.18
Normanton ? 08/31   ? 19/07
Altofts Jn 08/23 08/31   19/09 ?
Castleford 08/27 08/37   19/03 18/59
Milford Jn 08/38 08/51   18/48 ?
Milford DPL ??/?? 08w53 ~ 09w10  
Sherburn-in-Elmet ? 09/17   ? 18/43
Church Fenton 08/43 09/19 [DNL]   18/37 18/40
Colton South Jn ? ?   18/32 18/34 [UNL]
Colton Jn 08/49 09/25 [DML]   18/31 18/33
York 08w57a ~ 09w29d 09.32 ~ 10.01 [P11]   17w52a ~ 18w22d 17.53 ~ 18.23 [P11] [ULL]
Skelton Jn 09/33 10/05   17/47 17/48
Skelton Bridge Jn ? ? [DFL]   17/42 17/39 [UFL]
Tollerton Jn 09/43 10/12 [DSL]   17/25 17/26
Thirsk 09/56 10/25 [DFL]   17/10 17/14
Longlands Jn 10/10 10/32   17/00 17/06 [USL]
Northallerton 10/11 10/33   16/59 17/05
Darlington 10*27 ~ 10*45 10.48 ~ 10.50 [DML]   16*32 ~ 16*42 16.49 ~ 16.51 [P1]
Aycliffe Crossovers ? 10/58   ? 16/34
Ferryhill South Jn 11/00 11/03   16/18 16/29
Tursdale Jn 11/03 ?   16/15 16/26
Durham 11/12 11/12   16/06 16/19
Birtley Jn 11/21 11/21 [UDS]   15/54 16/10
Low Fell Jn 11/39 11L27 ~ 12L31   ? 16/07
King Edward Bridge South Jn 11/44 12/38   15/48 16/04
High Level Bridge Jn ? ?  
Newcastle 11.50a 12.44 [P2]   15.45d 16.01 [P2]

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