7th August 2010

Pathfinder Tours
York, Moors & Tall Ships Excursion

Loco Used 67029
Stock Used 21245+3141+3146+80041+3144+3098+3107+3147+1863+3121+4902+4998+5276

Route :
1Z24 : Bristol Temple Meads to Hartlepool
1Z25 : Hartlepool to Bristol Temple Meads

Loco Route
67029 Bristol Temple Meads - Bath Spa - Chippenham - Swindon - Foxhall Jn - Didcot North Jn - Oxford - Banbury - Leamington Spa - Dorridge - Bordesley Jn - Landor Street Jn - Water Orton - Coleshill Parkway - Whitacre Jn - Kingsbury Jn - Burton-on-Trent - Stenson Jn - Derby - Ambergate Jn - Clay Cross North Jn - Chesterfield - Tapton Jn - Barrow Hill North Jn - Beighton Jn - Masborough Jn - Aldwarke Jn - Swinton - Moorthorpe - Pontefract Baghill - Church Fenton - York - Northallerton - Eaglescliffe - Stockton - Hartlepool
67029 Hartlepool - Sunderland - Park Lane Jn - King Edward Bridge East Jn - King Edward Bridge South Jn - Darlington - Thirsk - York - (reverse of outward route) - Bristol Temple Meads

Notes :
(1) Route confirmation required north of York.

Source : James Underwood

Tour
Review
(by James Underwood)

I started at Bristol Temple Meads with my other half as we did an overnighter here, just as well it wasn't freezing really!

We visited St Phillips Marsh for a bit and also popped over to North Somerset Junction to see the ECS arrive from Eastleigh. It eventually showed up with 67029, which was OK for my other half as he needed it for haulage, I on the other hand have had it from BTM to Weymouth and back! More engine miles I suppose!

 We walked back to Temple Meads and waited for the station to open, and soon after we were in with 67029 now on the London end of the train. We were in coach A which was right at the back and remained at the back on the out and return legs of the tour. Just before we left there was a personal announcement over the station PA informing us that the 5A06 ECS HST

to Weston-super-Mare was about to roll in, thought I was hearing things at first!

 It was a cracking run along the GWML, and we came to a stop at Foxhall Curve to swap our Bristol driver for an Eastleigh driver. It was then up the rather boring Chilterns route through Oxford and Banbury to Leamington Spa where we went straight towards Dorridge. Later at Tyseley I tried to get as much numbers in Tyseley depot as I could, but there was so many DMUs coupled up together I had to try and read the coach side numbers to tell what they were (just as well they match up with the units TOPS number really!) 

 Not far after Tyseley we diverged off at Bordesley Junction heading to Lawley street. By now there was slow running and junctions everywhere that got me rather lost until Lawley Street FLT came into view. Out came the dictation machine ready to fire off all the Freightliner 66's I was expecting....but no, only 2 were to be seen!

 After Landore Street Junction we headed to the last pick up point at Coleshill and diverged left onto the freight only line to Kingsbury Junction, required track! Kingsbury EMR was also host to 60011 on the reception roads with 56062 and 56100 along with a couple of 08s and a 37 just visible behind a fence and a few trees.

 We then reached Derby for a quick crew change and saw 2 DRS 37s next to the station, 37038 and 37218, rather surprised at that! Once we left Derby it was a fast run to Chesterfield where we turned right at Tapton Junction onto the freight only line to Beighton Junction, where we then went forward onto new track for me on the freight only line to Masborough Junction.

 Just before we got to Masborough, there was quite a lot of dumped tube stock at Rotherham Booths which looked odd I must say! After following a stopper to Moorthorpe we headed straight onto new track for me on the Pontefract Baghill line to Church Fenton, which was followed by a fairly fast trip to York. I got off here, but a few others stayed on for the tours destination, Hartlepool. There was a booked 30 minute stop here, so I didn't hang around to see it off, and went outside the station instead.


67029 at York on the outward leg (photo: James Underwood)

 Back at York for the return trip, 67029 duly returned to take us home, and to be honest, I was dreading the long drag back via Banbury and Oxford! I started noting timings for the return trip, as we had a rather slow run to Church Fenton! In between timings I was trying to pop over to the RMB in between locations for coffees etc (and buying a DVD and a new NREA stock book) then by Rotherham I just gave in and nodded off to sleep until Beighton Junction, then I tried to stay awake to see if we did pass non stop through Derby, which we did at least. I was then dead asleep to Coleshill Parkway (and apparently, somehow slept through a rather rough jolting stop too)!

 I was sort of hoping to sleep through Banbury etc just to fast track down that line, but never happened. The final stretch along the GWML was OK and felt a bit faster, and then we finally reached Bath Spa a good 20-30mins late, not bad at all! Apparently the delay was following a couple of local services, but I think I was asleep through some of it.

 The worst bit now was going home. I booked this initially as the proposed timings gave me a 2 minute connection onto the last train home, and unfortunately the timings NR gave a couple of days before the tour ran now saw the train booked in at 00:29, which turned the plus 2 minute connection to nearly a minus 1 hour connection! So the option was either an 8-9 hour overnight at Bath Spa (no thank you), a 30-40 taxi (too much for 11 miles, no ta) or a walk home (free!). Now I have done a simple 8 mile walk before but this one is a bit more taxing, as there is a lot of uphill walking!

 Anyone thinking of walking along the A36, even at night, forget it! Too much blind spots on curves meaning you have to stop, check the roadside verge is stable and step aside to let a truck past, or a car that's doing 500mph.

We walked to Bradford-on-Avon where we gave up to grab a Taxi for the last 3 miles home, arriving at around 05:20. It was then basically straight to bed for some sleep!

James Underwood

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from James Underwood)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Bristol Temple Meads 05.38d 05.38 [P4]   00.46a ?
North Somerset Jn 05/41 05/40   00/43 ?
Bath Spa 05.51a ~ 05.53d 05.51 ~ 05.54   00.29a ~ 00.32d ?
Bathampton Jn 05/58 05/57   00/26 ?
Thingley East Jn 05/58 05/57   00/18 ?
Chippenham 06.08a ~ 06.11d 06.07 ~ 06.11   00.12a ~ 00.15d ?
Wootton Bassett Jn 06/23 06/20   00/03 ?
Swindon 06.29a ~ 06.32d 06.25 ~ 06.32   23.53 ~ 23.56 ?
Uffington 06/43 06/42   23/44 ?
Wantage Road 06/47 06/46   23/39 ?
Foxhall Jn 06c54 ~ 06c56 06.51 ~ 07.07   23c29 ~ 23c32 ?
Didcot North Jn 06*59 ~ 07*15 07/09   23/27 ?
Kennington Jn 07/22 07/20   23/17 ?
Oxford 07.25a ~ 07.28d 07.25 ~ 07.28   23.10a ~ 23.13d ?
Heyford 07/38 07/38   22/24 ?
Aynho Jn 07/43 07/42   22/50 ?
Banbury 07.49a ~ 07.57d 07.50 ~ 07.58   22.42a ~ 22.45d ?
Fenny Compton 08/05 08/08   22/33 ?
Leamington Spa 08.15a ~ 08.17d 08.18 ~ 08.19   22.18 ~ 22.21 ?
Hatton 08/23 08/26   22/12 ?
Dorridge 08.31a ~ 08.34d 08.35 ~ 08.39   22.03a ~ 22.06d ?
Solihull 08/37 08/43   22/01 ?
Tyseley 08/42 08/47   21/57 ?
Small Heath South Jn 08/46 08/50   21/56 ?
Bordesley Jn 08/51 08/58   21/53 ?
St Andrews Jn ? 09c00 ~ 09c02   ? ?
Landor Street Jn 08c56 ~ 08c58 09/03   21c47 ~ 21c49 ?
Water Orton 09/07 09/10   21/38 ?
Coleshill Parkway 09.10a ~ 09.12d 09.12 ~ 09.17   21.33a ~ 21.35d ?
Whitacre Jn 09/15 09/20   21/30 ?
Kingsbury Jn 09/19 09/25   21/25 ?
Tamworth HL 09/25 09/30   21/20 ?
Wichnor Jn 09/30 09/36   21/14 ?
Burton-on-Trent 09/35 09/40   21/09 ?
Stenson Jn 09/40 09/45   21/04 ?
Derby 09c46 ~ 09c47 09.51 ~ 09.52   20/57 21/18
Ambergate Jn 09/57 10/05   20/47 ?
Chesterfield 10/12 10/17   20/30 20/49
Tapton Jn 10/13 10/18   20/29 20/46
Beighton Jn 10/21 10/26   20/17 ?
Masborough Jn 10/34 10/36   20/11 20/28
Aldwarke Jn 10/38 10/38   20/09 20/25
Swinton 10/40 10/39   20/07 20/23
Moorthorpe 10/55 10/55   19/58 ?
Ferrybridge North Jn 11/05 11/06   19/51 20/00
Milford Jn 11/10 11/13   19/40 ?
Church Fenton 11/16 11/18   19/34 19/45
Colton Jn 11/21 11/23   19/28 19/41
York 11.27a ~ 12.07d 11.34 ~ ??.??   19.19a ~ 19.22d ??.?? ~ 19.34
Skelton Jn 12/09 ?   19/16 ?
Tollerton Jn 12/17 ?   19/09 ?
Thirsk 12/27 ?   19/00 ?
Northallerton 12/34 ?   18/54 ?

 

Location Booked
Eaglescliffe 12/57
Stockton 13.00a ~ 13.03d
Norton South Jn 13/05
Billingham Jn 13/08
Hartlepool 13.20a
Stockton 17.05d
Norton South Jn 17/07
Billingham Jn 17/11
Hartlepool 17.22a ~ 17.29d
Seaham 17/46
Sunderland 17/54
Pelaw Jn 18/08
Park Lane Jn 18/11
King Edward Bridge South Jn 18/14
Birtley Jn 18/19
Durham 18/27
Tursdale Jn 18/33
Darlington 18/44

Timings continue in first table.

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