7th December 2008

Steam Dreams
The Cathedrals Express

Loco Used steam: 34067 'Tangmere'
Stock Used 35518+5236+5237+1961+5249+99371+9392+13440+5222+1840+5200

1Z43 : London Kings Cross to Ely
1Z44 : Ely to London Kings Cross

Loco Route
34067 London Kings Cross - (via ECML) - Hitchin - Letchworth - Royston - Shepreth Branch Jn - Cambridge - Coldham Lane Jn - Ely Dock Jn - Ely
34067 Ely - (reverse of outward route) - London Kings Cross

34067 pauses to take water in Coldham Lane DGL (photo: Stewart Levett)

Source : John Clifford

Brief Review
(by John Clifford)

This tour didn't get off to a good start. Before leaving home I had seen on Teletext that the North London line service had been suspended because of a track problem at Willesden Junction. Since the loco & stock are berthed at Southall they had to come via Willesden Junction to get to Kings Cross. On arrival at Kings Cross I found out that the problem had been caused by a freight train running through points. However, our train was moving & would get to Kings Cross for the tour. The stock arrived at 1151 & we got away at 1200.

There was some good running & at Digswell we passed the 1206 Kings Cross - Cambridge (all stations from Welwyn Garden City) so the operating was in our favour. There was some slow running between Stevenage & Hitchin as there was engineering work which had shut the fast lines there. More good running ensued along the 'branch' & we got to Ely 31 late.

The train was due away again at 1815 but the diners had been asked to get back by 1745 so service could start. The ECS had gone to March for servicing & to turn the engine. The station announcer kept us informed on the progress of the ECS. He then told us that it would arrive in a few minutes. What should appear but a class 158! This was followed by a further announcement saying 'I hope you spotted my deliberate mistake!' Our stock did arrive at about 1755 but we were then informed that we would not be moving yet as there had been a fatality at Stevenage. It transpired that it was not a fatality but a track worker had been seriously injured and all trains had been stopped while the emergency services treated him before removal to hospital.

We left 89mins late & proceeded slowly as everything was in some disarray by this time. We were held for 12mins ouside Royston before we could get into the station for water. Other trains passed us via the reversible down line. After leaving Royston there was some swift running as far as Letchworth but then we had 3 signal stops between there & Hitchin. Slow running the followed past the engineering work & there was a further stop before getting into Stevenage. The rest of the run was fine with an eventual arrival at Kings Cross 171mins. late.

John Clifford

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from John Clifford)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Kings Cross 11.25d 12.00   20.20a 23.11
Belle Isle 11/27 12/02   21/18 23/08
Holloway South Jn   21/14 23.02 ~ 23.03
Finsbury Park 11/30 12/06   20/11 23/00
Wood Green 11/35 12/10   20/07 22/57
Potters Bar 11.44a ~ 11.48d 12.20 ~ 12.22   19.55a ~ 19.59d 22.45 ~ 22.47
Welwyn Garden City 11/56 12/31   19/41 22/32
Digswell Jn 11/57 12/32   19/38 22/31
Woolmer Green Jn 12/00 12/34   19/36 22/26
Stevenage 12.04a ~ 12.06d 12.41 ~ 12.44   19.26a ~ 19.28d 22.16 ~ 22.18
Hitchin 12/13 12/53   19/21 21/54
Letchworth 12/17 12/57   19/17 21/30
Royston 12/35 13/07   18w54 ~ 19w06 20.57 ~ 21.15
Shepreth Branch Jn 12/46 13/18   18/42 20/20
Cambridge 12/51 13/24   18/26 20/15
Coldham Lane Jn 12w53 ~ 13w23 13.28 ~ 13.50   18/34 20/08
Ely Dock Jn 13/36 14/07   18/17 19/47
Ely 13.38a 14.09   18.15 19.44

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