1st - 3rd June 1979

Midland Railfans
Mid Kylesman

Locos Used 20039, 20149, 26022, 26024, 40012, 47475, 85020 & 86011

Route :

Date(s) Loco(s) Route
01/06 40012 Wolverhampton - Portobello Jn - Bescot - Perry Barr North Jn - Aston - Proof House Jn - Birmingham New Street - Selly Oak - Lifford West Jn - Lifford East Jn - St Andrews Jn - Landor Street Jn - Water Orton - Nuneaton - Hinckley - Leicester - (via MML) - Trent - Spondon - Derby - Ambergate Jn - Clay Cross South Jn - Chesterfield - Dore Station Jn - Sheffield - Rotherham - Leeds - Skipton - Settle Jn - (via S&C) - Petteril Bridge Jn - Carlisle
02/06 85020 Carlisle (via WCML) - Motherwell - Mossend Yard
02/06 20039 + 20149 Mossend Yard - Cumbernauld - Larbert - Stirling - Perth - Blair Atholl - Aviemore - Invernes
02/06 26022 + 26024 Inverness - Dingwall - Kyle of Localsh
02/06 26022 + 26024 Kyle of Localsh Dingwall - Inverness
02/06-03/06 26022 + 26024 Inverness - Elgin - Aberdeen - Montrose - Dundee (02/06-03/06) - Perth - Stirling - Mossend Yard
03/06 86011 Mossend Yard - Motherwell - (via WCML) - Carlisle
03/06 47475 Carlisle - Petteril Bridge Jn - Haltwhistle - Hexham - Newcastle - Durham - Stockton - Northallerton (via ECML) - Church Fenton - Cross Gates - Leeds - (reverse of outward route) - Landor Street Jn - Proof House Jn - Birmingham New Street
03/06 47475 Birmingham New Street - (reverse of outward route) - Wolverhampton

Notes :
(1) Railtour returned via Mossend and Carlisle to Newcastle due to collapse of Penmanshiel Tunnel.

Sources : Paul Bettany (joined/left train at Wolverhampton),
David Hills (joined/left train at Derby) & Peter Finan (joined/left train at Bescot)

Tour Review
 (by David Hills)

Having been a card carrying member of the Midland Railfans group for a number of years it seemed the right thing to do to support the group on their first venture into chartering a train. And with it being an overnighter to points north there was certainly no lack of enthusiasm for getting the check in the mail for three tickets for this fine trip to the Scottish Isles (well almost, if it's not raining you can see Skye from Kyle of Lochalsh). The memory is hazy but I think Derby was one of the last pick-up points, so after beating a hasty retreat from work, grabbing all the necessary food/drink and photographic equipment it was down to Derby Midland to await our next adventure. Derby was a hive of activity this Friday evening with 25209, 25305, 31153, 31268, 31311, 46012/47 noted amongst many others. From the London direction came a distinct and familiar whistling revealed in the shape of 40012 in charge of our tour train. Safely ensconced in our allotted seats it was northwards into the gathering gloom in anticipation of a great day ahead. Sheffield and Rotherham came and went, only the regular Tinsley shunters going 'in the book' although withdrawn DMU 50990 was noted at Rotherham awaiting entry into a local scrapyard.

Easing for the curves at Holbeck a good selection of locomotives were noted on the depot including 31253, 31323, 40002/033, 46055 & 47158. With another midnight ride over the Settle & Carlisle the chance was taken for a bit of shut-eye, although peering into the gloom at Skipton revealed 25286 & 40036. The majestic features of Whernside and Ingleborough merged with the dark night sky as the sandman paid us a visit, disturbed from our slumbers only by the extra noise from passing through the many tunnels. Clanking and banging at Carlisle brought us back to reality, to find our trusty Type 4 was being replaced by an electric, this time 85020 for the run to Mossend. Briefly glimpsed at Carlisle and passing Kingmoor were 37054, 40023/28/52/79, 47141, 47404 & 85020. Still dark we roared across the border, easily dealing with Beattock before we dropped down into the lowlands that led up to the encroaching civilisation that was Glasgow. However at Motherwell we swung right, taking the route that led to Mossend for our next engine change. As the first light of morning was starting to break we bade farewell to 85020, now greeted by more whistling, soon revealed to be 20039 & 20149, which were scheduled for the run all the way to Inverness. As we drew away from Mossend a line of electrics lay to our right, as did 20026 and my second cop of the day, 08735. The lightening sky called for a food break as we passed such delights as 20207, 25049, 25239 & 27104 at Stirling and 20106, 25083/96 40085, 27020/26, 40142/148 at Perth.

With the new day well & truly upon us, a fine Scottish morning lay ahead, not a cloud in the sky and with the promise of no interruption to this in the forecast. For our group of three this was the first Class 20 haulage over the Highland mainline, our chosen machines performed faultlessly. With the panorama of the Highlands unfolding majestically before us it was time to breathe in some of that fine morning air and obtain that 'railtour' hairdo, every hairdressers nightmare. With Drumochter and Slochd summits dealt with it was over Culloden viaduct before dropping down into the Highland capital of Inverness. A true gathering of McDiesels greeted us, with our offering of Class 20's warmly accepted. In addition to the many Class 26's present were 25033/066, 37026/052, 40063, 40157, 47185 & 47469. A locomotive change here brought 26022/024 to the front of our train for the round trip to Kyle of Lochalsh. Once clear of Inverness it was time to sit back and watch the fine scenery flash by. 26025 rolled by at Muir of Ord whilst 26029 crossed our path at Strathcarron. Arrival at Kyle found 26035/040 in the station, here it was time to stretch one's legs, visit the local store for more sustenance, I seem to remember there being a big demand for ice cream products, due to the most excellent weather staying with us. All too soon we were back on the train for our long trek south. At Inverness our Class 26's gave way to the Class 20's that had brought us north, however we were returning through the night via Aberdeen. Little was recorded until Mossend, 40160 & 47427 were at Aberdeen, 06005, 25068, 26028 at Dundee, the next thing I remember was the Type 1's coming off and 86011 going on the front. A slow roll by at Motherwell revealed 25108, 26026/034, 37154, 40063 & 47197.

Nothing was noted until Carlisle (perhaps we were asleep), however more banging at the front end revealed our new locomotive was 47475 and we were to follow Hadrian's Wall across the Pennines to Newcastle, I now forget what the railtour ticket cost but we were certainly getting a good run for our money here. Newcastle was typically itself, 03061/066, 31277, 40003/004, 46046, 47414, 55018 went 'in the book'. A fast run down the ECML was broken only by slowing at York, we were routed via Leeds where 08875 was copped at Neville Hill, before the Midland route was selected for familiar territory back through Normanton, Rotherham, Sheffield and Derby. Here we bade farewell to the Oxley set of Mk 1's that had been our weekend home, and that yet still had many miles to run in dropping off its tired cargo of passengers.

David Hills

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