20th May 1978
|Locos Used||at least 40032, 47465 & 47502|
|47502||Derby - Chesterfield - York - (via ECML) - Edinburgh Waverley - Stirling|
|47502||Stirling - Falkirk Grahamston - Winchburgh Jn - Dalmeny Jn - Inverkeithing - Ladybank - Kirkcaldy - Dundee|
|?????||Dundee - Aberdeen|
|40032||Aberdeen - Dundee - Perth - Stirling - Carmuirs West Jn - Cumbernauld - Whifflet Jn - Mossend - Carstairs - Carlisle|
|47465||Carlisle - Penrith - Preston - Manchester Oxford Road - Chinley - Chesterfield - Derby|
Source: David Hills
(by David Hills)
Most of the day excursions from the East Midlands to Scotland had Edinburgh as their destination. When the announcement came of the running of an 'overnight' excursion to Aberdeen this was obviously some endurance test that was hard to resist, and being run late in the month of May would provide enough daylight for some of the return journey. With tickets duly purchased and an early evening Friday arrival required at Derby Midland it was perhaps a good omen to see ex-works 40129 whistling through the station. Our trusty motive power for the day proved to be some ETH Landore job, clearly wearied of its duties on the South Wales main line. Thus it was that 47502 headed for the 'northern lights' and an adventure of sorts.
From my notes it appears numbers were scarce, the regular route up the ECML being taken. 31116 was noted at Rotherham, York depot was virtually empty, only local junk being observed, 31178, 37057, 37102 & 47411. Darlington was host to 37101 whilst our first 03's went 'in the book' at Newcastle, 03061/078. Crossing the border seemed to assist the numbers brigade with Edinburgh having a truly Scottish feel: 08571/711, 25050, 27104/105/108, 27201/205, 40161 & 47406. Although the route was well known to us it was the element of having the excursion reach parts not normally reached that now got the adrenaline going, especially as it was obvious that this Landore 47 coupled to an Etches Park set was not your normal fare for this Scottish day. On reaching Stirling all was not well with the natives, to the north 47036 (we learned later) chose to try some off-road adventures, closing the line to Perth. As we really had no desire to spend a day at Aberdeen this spanner in the works was of first rate entertainment value. 47502 was run round and headed south for Falkirk, here making the first of two left turns where we soon found ourselves on the Forth Bridge. Passing through Kirkcaldy all eyes went left as 06008 was noted in the yard. The day had turned bright & sunny, any thoughts of that fateful night ninety nine years earlier of the Tay Bridge disaster were lost as we ran across the Tay estuary with the grand panorama of the Highlands clearly visible to the north west.
The fine weather, the clean air and the splendid vistas obviously proved too much for our trusty steed as 47502 ran out of fuel at Dundee! Clearly the excursion was in trouble and the sight of 25247 on a Glasgow bound service was just too enticing. (I did not record what replaced 47502!). So we headed south, elsewhere around Dundee were 06006, 25046, 27020/021 & 40173. Bailing at Perth for a gander round the station and for a sustenance break, which lengthened into a couple of hours. Amongst the expected northern delights were 25066/083, 26013/36/46, 27018/043, 40032/62/63/65, 40168. With the line south now opened it was off to Stirling behind Scottish bucket 40061. More Scottish delights were noted here, the weather remained warm & sunny and hiding away by the Motorail sidings was the errant 47036 awaiting inspection. Other numbers 'in the book' here included 20104, an ex-works 25033, sisters 25013/057/75, 37150 and many Mc40 & 47's. An announcement to stand clear of platform 3 brought much speculation as to what delights might be coming up from the south. All bets were off when 45039 'The Manchester Regiment' in charge of an unidentified football special came into view. The anorak brigade closed ranks and gave a standing salute to this fine machine which was clearly having adventures of its own, albeit totally lost.
With the day drawing to a close it was marvellous to see 40032 arrive with our excursion stock and its cargo of weary excursionists, thoughts of the errant 47502 were quickly laid aside as '32 whistled her way into the evening. Whifflet Jct produced 20007, 20106/119, Mossend 85013/19, though by now light was fading fast. No electric was waiting for us here so the hardier souls grabbed the vestibule end doors to enjoy the cacophony of English Electric's finest doing battle with Beattock on this fine evening. It would also mean an early visit to the hairdressers to remove much clag and defunct insect life from one's by now finely sculptured hairdo's. And into the night we rode revelling in the simple joys of being a rail enthusiast, we had a book full of numbers, a camera full of film, a belly full of apple pie & beer, a day full of great memories and all for under three quid. But it had to end, and all to soon for 40032 came off at Carlisle, now with Crewe based 47465 hooked up to the front. The thoughts of a midnight ride over the Settle & Carlisle were none to appealing so Control obliged by putting us over the WCML, over Shap. Little is remembered of this bit, beer & whistling had taken its toll and as we headed south our dreams were of things further north. The industrial delights of Lancashire unfolded but most were completely lost to the sleeping travellers. A stop at Manchester Oxford Road and the 'ker-chunk, ker-chunk' of an idling 45013 briefly awakened some of us. And so at some now long forgotten hour we headed through Chinley, along the Hope Valley, Totley Tunnel only identified by the noise, on through Chesterfield and into Derby...
'Where to next?' 'Shut up and go to bed.'
Source : David Hills (on the train from/to
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