17th June 1978
|Stock Used||"load 10"|
|47547||London Kings Cross - (via ECML) - York|
|47547||York - (via ECML) - London Kings Cross|
Source : Chris Morley
(by Chris Morley)
This was a very cheap excursion run by the Eastern region primarily for the open weekend at Doncaster works (Railex 125), the admission being included in the adex ticket price. Alternatively passengers could enjoy a day out in York. I remember the black & white posters advertising the adex had been posted at King's Cross for weeks before. The train was formed of open Mk1s, but I can't remember anything else unusual about the journey. Motive power had not been specified, but we had secretly hoped for a Deltic, a 40 or a pair of 31s at least. No such luck, and 47547 was the least exotic option possible (not even an original ECML generator) but it performed well on the day.
80% of the passengers were enthusiasts getting off at Doncaster and we were allowed to enter the works via the footbridge. We had some five hours plus to explore the works and I noted examples of classes 03, 08, 31, 37, 50, 55 and 56 as well as several kettles. 24066 was seen and looked in good nick, despite it's imminent demise. The class 56 production line was in full swing and there were many examples from 047 to about 055 in various stages of assembly plus parts for more. This prompted a discussion between my friends and other enthusiasts as to which engines could be counted as spotted, depending on how complete they were. 56047 was complete in green primer and I remember walking through the spotless engine room. Helpfully the locos and many free standing large components had the engine numbers chalked on!
55004 Queen's Own Highlander was parked in the sun at the front of the works. Also present in the works area were St. Paddy & Nimbus - at the time everyone expected that both would return to service in the Autumn. In fact it was the last time I would ever see them. Both still looked in good condition and there was the expectation that the Deltics would soon take over Midland Main Line services as the Inter-City 125s took over many ECML workings. What a great pity BR vetoed that idea on cost grounds. I believe 55002/008 were also present as well as at least 8 class 50s.
The return trip got back to Kings Cross at a very civilised time (about 20.30?)after a fast run and I actually got home before the sun set. A decade later I enjoyed more mileage off 47547 in it's NSE role and the sight of it rotting away on the Crewe scrap line always brings back the memory of this day. I for one would be very happy if this engine could be given a second life in preservation''.
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