13th November 2010

Railway Touring Company
The White Rose

Loco Used steam: 60019 'Bittern'
Stock Used ????+????+99127+99316+3093+99125+99128+99122+1861+99326+5222+21268

Route :
1Z28 : Kings Cross to York
1Z31 : York to Kings Cross

Loco Route
60019 London Kings Cross - (via ECML) - York
60019 York - (via ECML) - Stevenage (2)

Notes :
(1) Originally planned to have run on September 25th but had been postponed to this date due to the failure of 60019.
(2) Train terminated at Stevenage owing to late running caused by loss of power (due in part to an injector leak but also 'poor quality coal'). Passengers used service trains to return to their joining stations. 47500 was noted arriving at Stevenage so it is confirmed that this loco was used to 'rescue' the stock.

Sources : Nick Bartlett, Paul Braybrook, Nick Blyth, Roger Geach & Robert Frise

Tour Review
(by Nick Blyth)

This tour was advertised as one that would have substantially reduced journey times due to our A4 having two tenders, thus cutting out the need for water stops. Having done the same tour with 60009 'Union of South Africa' back in 2005, that had suffered long delays en-route due to water stop issues, I was, as a life-long Deltic fan, keen to sample the steam locos the Deltics replaced on the ECML, without water stops spoiling the fun.

 This tour was postponed from September 15th due to a failure of it's booked A4 Pacific, I was hoping that 'Bittern' could do better than 'Union of South Africa' back in 2005, but sadly it was not to be...

 The train came to a halt in gasworks tunnel on the way out of the Cross - I thought this was a bad omen. At Stevenage we were told that the locomotive was leaking steam from the left side injector, and the crew spend about 30mins trying to sort it out before we were able to proceed. A good spell of 75mph running both sides of Peterborough saw us make up some time, and at the NRM, the A4 was given water, coal and a lot of attention from the support crew and members of the public, who had not expected to see a loco in steam when they visited the museum.

60019 is seen passing Colton Jn, about 20mins late (photo: Paul Braybrook)

 On the return run more loss of power due to another injector leak, compounded by what we were told on the train was 'poor quality coal' - saw the A4 limping along at 28mph and eventually stalling north of Biggleswade. As we eventually crawled past Biggleswade (running about 1hr 50mins late) passengers were 'strongly advised' to disembark at Stevenage and catch an FCC train to Potters Bar or King's Cross. The train completely emptied at Stevenage. We decided to stay an board and see what happened, but after speaking to RTC staff on the platform we were told that Network Rail were not happy for the train to continue, and that it should be terminated at Stevenage, with ECS loco 47500 being sent up to collect the stock and take it to Ferme Park.

60019 at Stevenage after the train was terminated (photo: Robert Frise)

We then caught a late running East Coast HST to King's Cross. I needed one of the power cars so that was some small consolation for not seeing an A4 Pacific on the blocks at 'The Cross'. I am hoping to go on RTC's tour up the ECML with 'Sir Nigel Gresley' - on December 18th. Perhaps it will be a case of third time (and a third A4) lucky in my attempts to get some fast A4 Pacific running on the ECML!

Nick Blyth

Timings (Booked Only)
(from Nick Bartlett, Paul Braybrook & Nick Blyth)

Location Booked (out) Booked (rtn)
Kings Cross 08.01d [P6] 21.10a [P1]
Belle Isle 08/03 [SL1] 21/06 [FL2]
Holloway South Jn ? 21/00
Finsbury Park 08/08 [P6] [SL2] 20/59 [P2] [FL]
Alexandra Palace 08/18 [P3] [SL] 20/56 [P2] [FL]
Potters Bar 08.30a ~ 08.32 [P4] 20.46a ~ 20.48d [P1]
Welwyn Garden City 08/44 [P3] 20/31 [P2] [SL]
Digswell Jn 08/47 20/25
Woolmer Green Jn 08/50 20/24
Stevenage 08.55a ~ 08.57d [P3] [FL] 20.16a ~ 20.18d [P1] [SL]
Hitchin 09/02 [FL] 20/10 [P1] [SL]
Sandy 09/14 19/54 [P1] [SL]
Huntingdon 09/29 [P3] 19/38 [P2] [SL]
Connington South Jn - 19/31
Holme Jn 09/42 [FL] -
Peterborough 09.51a ~ 10.01d [P3] 19.19a ~ 19.21d [P2]
Tallington Jn 10/12 [FL] 19/02
Stoke Jn 10/25 18/41
Highdyke Jn ? 18.16 ~ 18.35
Grantham 10/30 [P2] 18/11 [P1]
Claypole 10/39 18/02
Newark Northgate 10/43 [P1] 17/57 [P2]
Newark Flat Crossing 10/43 17/57
Carlton-on-Trent 10.49 ~ 11.01 [Loop] ?
Retford 11/17 [P2] 17/41
Babworth 11.19 ~ 11.25 [Loop] ?
Loversall Carr Jn 11/41 17/30
Doncaster 11/46 [DF] 17/25 [UF]
Shaftholme Jn 11/51 17/19
Temple Hirst Jn 12/01 17/09
Hambleton North Jn 12/08 17/03
Colton Jn 12/17 16/52
York 12.25a [P10] 16.43d [P10]

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