15th September 1979

Merchant Navy L.P.G.
Strongbow Express

Locos Used at least 25143, 25151, 40118, 76007, 76016, 86018 & steam : 35028 'Clan Line'
Stock Used 13 Mk 1's (12 Mk 1's on non steam sections)

Route :

Loco(s) Route
86018 London Euston - Birmingham New Street - Wolverhampton - Stafford - Crewe - Wilmslow - Styal - Manchester
40118 Manchester - Guide Bridge
76016 + 76007 Guide Bridge - Hadfield - Woodhead - Penistone - Sheffield Victoria - Woodburn Jn
????? Woodburn Jn - Sheffield
35028 Sheffield - Dore - Hope -Chinley - New Mills South Jn - Cheadle Jn - Northenden Jn - Altrincham - Knutsford - Northwich - Mouldsworth - Mickle Trafford Jn - Chester - Wrexham - Ruabon - Gobowen - Shrewsbury
25151 + 25143 Shrewsbury - Wellington - Wolverhampton
????? Wolverhampton - London Euston

Notes :
(1) Starting at Euston, it was originally planned to run to Sheffield via Derby, then to be steam hauled Sheffield-Guide Bridge and Chester-Hereford - both legs worked by Clan Line but a fuel crisis meant that diesel mileage had to be restricted thus it was revised as above. Believed to be the first steam working east of Chester since the 1960's.
(2) Brian Basterfield Comments : A tour that was unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. Everything was going along well. A nice run over Woodhead with a pair of class 76 electrics, and no sign of the problems to come. But from the moment that Clan Line pulled out of Sheffield, things went from bad, to worse, then to disastrous. 35028 slipped her way out of Sheffield. And slipped, and slipped, and slipped. By the time we had reached Grindleford, we had already dropped 16 minutes on our 14 minute schedule. And although we reached 67 mph at Bamford, we struggled up through Edale to Cowburn Tunnel at around 25 mph. Thereafter, around the suburbs of south Manchester, it was slow in any case. But by the time we reached our booked stop at Northwich at 3.17pm, we had dropped 27 minutes on schedule. We were booked to take water, but a problem arose. The hose was slow running, and it was 2hrs and 8 minutes later before we had sufficient to proceed. Track restrictions caused more delays to Chester, then adverse signals to Saltney Jn. Then we managed to get going with speeds in the sixties, until a lengthy check awaiting a platform at Shrewsbury, so from Chester another 21 minutes had been lost. Here, a pair of class 25's came on as far as Wolverhampton. Here, I gave up making notes. Possibly an electric came on, but I was too tired to be bothered.

35028 'Clan Line' is seen here passing New Mills (photo: John Green)

Sources : Vic Smith, Brian Basterfield & Mike Hines

Timings (Actual - Steam Leg Only)
(from Brian Basterfield)

Location Actual
Sheffield ??.??a ~ 13.27d
Dore 13/45
Grindleford 13/57
Hope 14/03
Edale 14/12
Chinley 14/23
New Mills South Jn 14/26
Bramhall Moor Lane  14/35
Cheadle Jn 14/42
Northenden Jn 14/46
Skelton Jn 14/54
Altrincham 14/58
Knutsford 15/07
Northwich 15.17a ~ 17.24d 
Mouldsworth 17/50
Mickle Trafford Jn 18/00
Chester 18.08a ~ 19.16d
Rossett Crossing 19/40
Wrexham 19/54
Ruabon 20/01
Gobowen 20/11
Shrewsbury 20L42a ~ ??L??d

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