30th December 2010
The Orton Towers
|Locos Used||66403 & 66728 'Institution of Railway Operators'|
1Z92 : Woking to Middleton Towers
1Z93 : Middleton Towers to Orton Mere
1Z94 : Orton Mere to Woking
|66728||Woking - Byfleet Jn - Addlestone Jn - Virginia Water - Staines - Feltham Jn - Hounslow - Old Kew Jn - Kew East Jn - South Acton Jn - Acton Wells Jn - Dudding Hill Jn - Cricklewood Curve Jn - West Hampstead Thameslink - Carlton Road Jn - Junction Road Jn - Harringay Park Jn - Harringay Jn - Down Slow No.2 - Wood Green South Jn - Alexandra Palace - (via ECML) - Hitchin - Royston - Cambridge - Ely - Kings Lynn Yard|
|66403 (1)||Kings Lynn Yard - Middleton Towers|
|66728 (2)||Middleton Towers - Kings Lynn Yard|
|66403 (1)||Kings Lynn Yard - Ely West Curve - March - Peterborough|
|66728 (2)||Peterborough - Fletton Jn - Orton Mere - Wansford - Yarwell Mill|
|66403 (1)||Yarwell Mill - Wansford - Orton Mere - Peterborough Nene Valley|
|66728 (2)||Peterborough Nene Valley - Orton Mere (3)|
|66403 (1)||Orton Mere - Fletton Jn - Peterborough - (4) (via South Down Arrival & North Down Departure) - New England North Jn - [Up Slow Reversible Line: between Signal P484/489]|
|66728 (2)||[Up Slow Reversible Line: between Signal P484/489] - New England North - (via North Up Arrival & South Up Departure) - (4) Peterborough - (via ECML) - London Kings Cross (5)|
London Kings Cross - Finsbury Park - Hornsey (Down Slow No 2/Signals K443 Down / K440 Up) (6)
|66728||Hornsey (Down Slow No 2, Signals K443 Down / K440 Up) - Harringay Park Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Woking|
(1) 66728 on rear.
(2) 66403 on rear.
(3) Ran through platform 2 to west end of station and reversed by the signalbox then ran back via platform 1 (i.e. did NOT use the crossover at the east end of the station).
(4) The tour was booked to Peterborough Virtual GBRf but diverted through South/North Arrival/Departure loop both direction to beyond New England North Jn where the tour was stopped between signals P484 (southbound) and P489 (northbound).
(5) The tour was booked to reverse at Platform 1 at London Kings Cross due to the length of the train but was signalled into Platform 5. This resulted in the train overhanging P5 (66403 was beyond signal / exit of the station / platform). Thus in turn delaying departure from London Kings Cross.
(6) The tour was booked to reverse at Ferme Park Down Slow No. 2 but traversed as far as Hornsey Signal K443, the reversed at Signal K440.
Source : Matthew Cole (on the train throughout) & Martyn
Brailsford (joined Alexandra Palace/left Kings Cross)
(by Nick Hair)
0630 at Woking, and the crowds of people are all over the platform at Woking Station. It is still dark, but at 0636, blinding LEDs pierce the morning fog, and 66728 arrives at the station. As soon as it arrives, an HST passes Woking, and we follow it all the way to Staines, where we pick up yet more people. A major factor in booking this trip was the somewhat unorthodox method of crossing London that was available, by way of the entirety of the Dudding Hill sector from Acton Wells to Dudding Hill, and thence taking the little used curve towards St Pancras, and the line to Junction Road at Upper Holloway.
The trip is running more or less to plan, but it seems TSRs and some slow driving is causing us to lose time. Nevertheless, generous pathing to Alexandra Palace means we are "right time" upon departure. Very little aside of a new "East Coast" liveried 225 set and some units keep us occupied and entertained right the way to Hitchin, and thence towards Shepreth Branch Junction. Running through Cambridge around two minutes early, and with "normals" enthrawled by the train put before them, we arrive at Coldham Lane for a booked pause a wee bit early, and leave on time. Further regulation and detention at Ely Dock means we are now a bit late, but a special surprise in the form of "Freightliner Heavy Haul" 66953 passing from the Bury direction certainly puts an unexpected line in many spotter's companions, and is certainly a "Brucie Bonus" for many at Ely and further along the line.
66728 is still droning hard by the time we reach Kings Lynn Yard (TC), where a very special loco in the form of ex-DRS 66403 is waiting. It attaches, but the poor timings mean an absolute certainty of late running. Running down the line to Middleton Towers, many put their heads out to see the rare track they are taking, but worse is to come. The gates may have closed at Middleton Towers, but the train does not run fully in, and the train straddling the crossing means a split second decision in the form of leaving straight away (with some not having their coaches made it into the little sand terminal). This disappointment is compounded by late running, and as such, we cannot leave Kings Lynn for our run to Peterborough for a while. Single line constraints and more mean we end up departing 35 minutes late, following a "365". The line, with a 75mph running speed for the majority, allows the "66" the notch up and speed towards Ely North, and thence our trip around the avoiding curve. We do so, and emerge from said curve only 18 minutes late, but still with work to do.
That 18 minutes sticks with us, potentially a cock up from NR or a lack of recovery time giving us no hope of clawing any back. Arrival at Peterborough gives another bonus in a somewhat yellow colour - 31233 stabled with a test rake. Cameras fly out of windows, but late running gets worse as we need to pull forward from Peterborough towards Helpston in order to go south (John Farrow's 12th coach addition will play its hand more tonight). With a speedy run hoped for to gain time, the Nene Valley was not the place to get it, with TSRs and poor track giving an exceptionally low speed to Yarwell. Arrival at Wansford was about 30 late, meaning our hour to stretch legs, and tuck into the Nene Valley's very well provided hot pasties and rolls is axed into two. Going to Peterborough NVR may have been a bad choice - time was lost as a so called 5 minute turn around rapidly degraded into more, and departure from Orton Mere back to Peterborough (NR) was later still.
Our trip to the "Virtual Quarry" and lengthened turn around (with the potential for a "right time" departure looming) is gone again, as we go "bi directional" past New England North towards Werrington on the up slow. Locomotives seen, numbers taken, and 66728 leading again, we are straight out towards Peterborough, with an unadvertised call. Many alight, obviously not wanting the hasty run to Kings Cross.
Leaving Peterborough only a small amount late, we are thrown across to the up slow at Huntingdon (a decision we still do not understand considering not a single "East Coast" passed us between Peterborough and Kings Cross!). Arrival at Potters Bar is "near enough", and the up fast line looms upon departure from the Bar, a UKR favourite for passengers pick ups, as 66728 goes for another determined effort. Kings Cross (Pl 5) is our destination, an odd choice, but carriage 12 snookers the tour again, with 66403 "hanging" off the edge, and past the signal. Luckily, no inbound or outbound train needs the line before us, so we get straight underway, to Ferme Park, passing it before having 66403 detached on the Down Goods, somewhere near Hornsey. 66403 is cut, and 66728 leads out, a touch late, heading back to Woking. Harringay Park is encompassed again, and the heads come out in force for the remainder of the tour, UKR now having become far more relaxed, and in the sort of mode most prefer them in. A total retrace is had, and the down fast is given straight away upon hitting the Midland Main, before splitting back to Dudding Hill.
Passing the friendly signalmen and women of Dudding Hill, Neasden, Canal Wharf, Acton Wells and Kew East, we crawl past Brentford, encountering a 20mph speed limit. By now the tour is 15 minutes late, a number which stays as we follow a South West Trains local service. Calling penultimately at Staines, 66728 roars into life, with me watching from the bridge, prior to a speedy run back to Waterloo on a "458". The rest of the tour, and subsequent ECS movement, went without incident.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Matthew Cole, Martyn Brailsford & Solomon Riley)
|0.00||Woking||06.43d [P1]||06.43 [P1] [US]||21.35a||21.51 [P5] [DS]||333.70|
|4.04||Byfleet Jn||06/56||06/50 [US]||21/23||21/45 [DS]||329.66|
|13.79||Staines||07.17a ~ 07.21d [P1]||07.14 ~ 07.20½||21.02a ~ 21.04d [P2]||21.19 ~ 21.22½||319.71|
|24.03||Old Kew Jn||07/42||07/44½||20/41||20/54||309.67|
|24.45||Kew East Jn||07/44||07/46||20/38||20/52½||309.25|
|25.25||South Acton Jn||07/46||07/49||20/36||20/50½||308.45|
|27.11||Acton Wells Jn||07/51||07/59||20/33||20/46||306.59|
|27.51||Acton Canal Jn||07/58||08/01||20/31||20/44½||306.19|
|30.08||Dudding Hill Jn||08/09||08/10||20/23||20/36||303.62|
|30.72||Cricklewood Curve Jn||08/17||08/14½ [UH]||20/19||20/31½ [DH]||
|31.77||West Hampstead North Jn||08/22||08.18 ~ 08.21 [UH-UF]||20/17||20/28½ [DH]||
|32.11||West Hampstead Thameslink||08/24||08/23 [P3] [UF-US]||20/15||20/26½ [P4] [FL-DH]||301.59|
|32.31||West Hampstead South Jn||08/25||08/26 [US]||20/14||20/23 [DF]||301.39|
|33.78||Carlton Road Jn||08/27||08/31 [US]||20/12||20/20 [DF]||299.72|
|34.55||Junction Road Jn||08/30||08/34½||20/09||20/14||299.15|
|36.28||Harringay Park Jn||08/37||08/39||20/04||20/08½||297.42|
|36.50||Harringay West Jn||08/40||08/40 [DS no.2]||20/02||20/07½||297.20|
|-||Hornsey||DIV||19L56½ ~ 20L04
[DS No.2 sigs K443/440]
|-||Ferme Park||19L46 ~ 20L00||19/50½ [DS No.2]||296.55|
|-||Finsbury Park||19/39||19/49½ [P4/5]||295.22|
|-||Belle Isle||19/39||19/42½ [DF]||293.36|
|-||London Kings Cross||19.24a ~ 19.34d||19.26 ~ 19.41 [P5] [UF/DF]||292.61|
|-||Belle Isle||19/21||19/24 [UF]||292.06|
|-||Finsbury Park||19/15||19/20 [UF]||290.20|
|38.19||Alexandra Palace||08.47a ~ 08.49d||08.49 ~ 08.52 [P3] [DS]||19/13||19/18 [P2] [UF]||287.63|
|45.78||Potters Bar||08.58a ~ 09.03d||09.03½ ~09.06 [P4] [DS]||19.05a ~ 19.07d||19.08 ~ 19.10 [P1] [US-UF]||280.04|
|53.46||Welwyn Garden City||09/14||09/14½ [P3] [DS]||18/56||18/56½ [P2] [US]||272.36|
|54.29||Digswell Jn||09/18||09/17||18/55||18/55 [US]||271.25|
|57.14||Woolmer Green Jn||09/20||09/20 [DS]||18/53||18/52||268.68|
|60.66||Stevenage||09/27||09/35 [P4] [DS]||18/48||18/48 [US]||265.16|
|65.15||Hitchin||09/40||09/40 [DS]||18/41||18/43½ [US]||260.67|
|67.71||Letchworth Garden City||09/44||09/44|
|88.47||Shepreth Branch Jn||10/06||10/05|
|92.15||Coldham Lane Jn||10*22a ~ 10*40d||10*19 ~ 10*38 [DGL]|
|105.43||Ely Dock Jn||11/00||11/02|
|-||Sandy||18/25||18/32 [P1] [US]||248.51|
|-||Huntingdon||18/07||18/18 [P2] [US]||233.71|
|-||Connington South Jn||17/58||18/10 [UF]||224.33|
|-||Peterborough||17.44a ~ 17.49d||17.55 ~ 17.57 [P2] [US]||216.32|
|-||New England North Jn||DIV||17.42 ~ 17.44||?|
|-||Peterborough Virtual GBRf||17.26a ~ 17.40d||DIV||215.52|
|-||Fletton Jn||17/15||17.18 ~17.20 [SRVL]||213.45|
|-||Orton Mere||16.40a ~ 16.50d||[P2] 16.56 ~ 17.03 [P1]||211.65|
|-||Peterborough Nene Valley||16.30a ~ 16.35d||16.38 ~ 16.43 [Loop]||210.40|
|-||Wansford||15.05a ~ 16.05d||15.28 ~ 16.07 [P2]||204.33|
|-||Yarwell Mill||14.45a ~ 15.00d||15.18 ~ 15.23||203.17|
|-||Wansford||14/40||15.12 ~ 15.13 [P2]||202.01|
|-||Orton Mere||14/25||14/49 [P1]||197.19|
|-||Fletton Jn||14/10||14.30 ~ 14.34||195.39|
|-||Peterborough||13.56a ~ 14.05d||14.15 ~ 14.24 [P5] [SRVL]||194.12|
|-||Ely West Jn||13/21||13/41||165.61|
|107.36||Ely North Jn||11/04||11/07||13/17||13/35||164.56|
|111.46||Littleport||11x09a ~ 11x19d||11.22 ~ 11.23||12/53||13/29||160.46|
|132.39||King Lynn Yard||11L43a ~ 11L53d||11.50 ~ 12.03 [Arr Line]||12.20a ~ 12.25d||12.45 ~ 13.00 [Arr Line]||139.53|
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