25th ( - 26th) April 1981

Branch Line Society
The Palatine

Locos Used 25033, 25076, 25129, 25130, 25302, 40025 & 83007
Stock Used 35466+16238+25745+25794+25722+1500+25750+4938+16183+21236

Route : 1L18 throughout

Loco(s) Route
83007 London Euston - (via Down Empty Carriage Line) - (via WCML) - Bletchley - Rugby - Coventry
25033 + 25076 Coventry - Stechford - Aston - Bescot Down Goods
25130 + 25129 Bescot  Down Goods - Walsall - Sutton Park - Water Orton - Whitacre Jn - Tamworth - Burton-on-Trent - Derby
25129 + 25130 Derby - Burton-on-Trent - Wichnor Jn - Lichfield TV - Colwich - Milford Jn - (via Down Slow) - Stafford - Norton Bridge - Madeley - Crewe (through line)
40025 Crewe (through line) - Weaver Jn - Warrington Bank Quay - Golborne Jn - Bamfurlong Jn - Ince Moss - St Helens Shaw Street - Clock Face - Ditton
40025 Ditton - Arpley - Skelton Jn - Northenden Jn - Cheadle Jn - New Mills - Chinley North Jn - Peak Forest - Buxton Sidings
40025 Buxton Sidings - Peak Forest - Chinley South Jn - Chinley East Jn - Edale
40025 Edale - Chinley - New Mills South Jn - Romiley - Guide Bridge - Denton Jn - Stockport - Wilmslow - Sandbach - Crewe
25130 + 25129 Crewe - Madeley - Norton Bridge - Stafford - Bushbury Jn - Pleck Jn - Walsall
83007 Walsall - Bescot - Aston - Stechford - Coventry - Rugby - Northampton - Bletchley - Lamb's Sidings
25302 (2) Lamb's Sidings - Bletchley
25302 (3) Bletchley - Watford Junction - London Euston

Notes :
(1) Above is actual route - changes being forced by the very late running (booked route is given in the timings below).
(2) with 83007 dead on rear.
(3) with 83007 dead-in-tow.

Sources : Trevor Cockram, Alan Baylis, Greg Beecroft, Kevin Driscoll, Ian Umpleby & LASERman

Tour Review

By Trevor Cockram and Stew Robertson - on the train Euston to Crewe.
Report after Crewe by Dave Wilkinson.

The signal box setting the wrong route via the fast lines should have been an omen as to what was to happen on this tour. Luckily the driver knew we were booked via the down empty carriage line and arranged for the correct route to be set, and we departed only a minute late, but by the time we got the Coventry we were 12 minutes late due to a signal failure at Kilsby tunnel. After attaching the boilered 25's we departed, but very slowly, all was not well with the loco's. At Bescot we were put onto the goods line to change to a pair of 25's that would work in multiple, but without heat. By the time of the Derby reversal we were 76 minutes late, but a quick run-round clawed a few minutes back by the time we got to the WCML. Signal checks behind the 11:50 Euston-Liverpool got us to Basford Hall 96 minutes late. The booked route via the independent lines was lost as the signal box had closed so the loco change to the 40 took place on the through roads at Crewe station loosing another 9 minutes.

The highlight of the trip was the run of the Clock Face branch, which I had lost on two previous trips and was due to close for motorway works. Problems with reversing at Ditton Junction made us 113 minutes late by the line we took the line past Widnes No 1 and under the WCML at Arpley. A fast run across the Cheshire Plain clawed back a few minutes only to be lost waiting for 25276 to come off the Peak Forest line at Chinley North Junction. The weather which had been dull and cold distinctly got worse as we climb to Buxton, which according to the BBC had been cut off by blizzards. The snow was deep as the Area Manager demonstrated as he disappeared up to his waist in the snow going up the signal box in the reversing loop by the old MPD. The points had been dug out where we ran-round and returned to Chinley North Junction only 101 minutes late. The train crew took the chance to do their own photostop before we took the East curve to Edale. The tour instructions was passengers to detrain during the run-round were rescinded as the snow was now quite heavy. No time was lost to return via Guide Bridge and Stockport, by which time the weather had changed again to clear skies.

Arrangements were made for passengers to use the 17:30 Glasgow-Euston from Crewe as it would be after midnight before the tour got back to Euston. Stew and I bottled out of the tour at this point and just made it home that evening.

The snow had rapidly being heading south and by the time the tour got to Bletchley, 141 minutes late it had resulted in the overhead power lines loosing their juice. 25302 was sent out to rescue the tour and it eventually got back to Euston at 03:32, 309 minutes late.


Unidentified Flying Object? No, according to LASERman: This is a shot of of
 the arcing and flames from the pantograph of 83007 attempting to start away at
 Lamb’s Sidings whilst working the Palatine on 25th April 1981 (actually about
 0010  on 26th at this time). Having been at a stand for about 5 minutes in heavy
 wet snow it just proved to be impossible to get started.
I would think there was very little carbon left on the contact strip after this.


Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Greg Beecroft, Kevin Driscoll, Ian Umpleby & LSAERman)

M.C Location Booked Actual
0.00 Euston 08.00d 08.01 [P8]
5.56 Willesden Junction 08/08 08/10˝
17.11 Watford Junction 08.18a ~ 08.19d 08.20 ~ 08.20˝
31.40 Tring 08/30 08/33˝
46.33 Bletchley 08/40˝ 08/43˝
? Hanslope Jn ? ?
? Weedon ? ?
82.06 Rugby 09/07˝ 09/17
93.44 Coventry 09L17a ~ 09L27d 09.29 ~ 09.43˝
108.69 Stechford 09/40 10/18˝
111.65 Aston 09/49 10/31
?? Bescot Down Goods DIV 10L47 ~ 11L01˝
118.44 Bescot 09/59 ?
120.16 Walsall 10.03a ~ 10.04d 11.15˝ ~ 11.16
133.27 Park Lane Jn 10/26 11/36
133.57 Water Orton 10/31 11/40
136.23 Whitacre Jn 10/35˝ 11/45˝
138.71 Kingsbury Jn 10/39˝ 11/50
144.52 Tamworth 10/46 11/55˝
152.00 Wichnor Jn 10/51 12/01
157.44 Burton-on-Trent 10/55 12/05˝
168.44 Derby 11.08a ~ 11.23d 12.24 ~ 12.37 [P6]
179.44 Burton-on-Trent 11/36 12/48˝
185.09 Wichnor Jn 11/42 12/56˝
190.17 Lichfield TV Jn 11/48 13/08
190.33 Lichfield TV 11/50 13/09˝
201.16 Colwich 11/59 13/22
207.50 Stafford 12/09 13.33˝ ~ 13.34˝
213.03 Norton Bridge 12/14 13/47
230.52 Basford Hall Jn 12/30 ?
- Sorting Sidings North 12.33a ~ 12.43d DIV
232.15 Crewe (Station Through Line) DIV 14L10˝ ~ 14L29˝
232.73 Crewe Coal Yard 12/49 14/31
248.25 Weaver Jn 13/10 14/55˝
? Acton Grange Jn 13/14˝ 15/05˝
255.22 Walton Old Jn ? 15/09
256.16 Warrington Bank Quay 13/20˝ 15/11˝
259.23 Winwick Jn 13/23˝ 15/16
261.79 Golborne Jn 13/26˝ 15/19˝
265.52 Bamfurlong Jn 13/31˝ 15/25˝
266.43 Ince Moss Jn 13/38 15/28˝
273.26 St Helens Shaw Street 13/52 15/41
274.76 Sutton Oak Jn 13t57 15/45˝
279.79 Widnes No.1 14/09 15/55
280.55 Widnes No.7 14/12 15/57˝
282.42 Ditton Jn 14.18a ~ 14.28d 16.02˝ ~ 16.23
284.28 Widnes No.7 14/34 16/28˝
285.15 Carterhouse Jn 14/36 16/29˝
290.61 Arpley 14/47 16.39˝ ~ 16.42
301.77 Skelton Jn 15/08 17/04˝
305.73 Northenden Jn 15/14 17/10˝
307.51 Cheadle Jn 15/18 17/14
317.27 New Mills South Jn 15/44 17/31
320.06 Chinley 15/52 17/36
321.07 Chinley North Jn 15/56 17.40˝ ~ 17.41
328.44 Peak Forest 16/15 17/51˝
? Great Rocks Jn 16/18 17/53˝
332.28 Buxton No.1 16.26a ~ 16.41d 18.08 ~ 18.23˝
? Great Rocks Jn 16/49 18/38
336.12 Peak Forest 16/53 18/40˝
? Chinley South Jn 17/12 18/47˝
343.40 Chinley East Jn 17/14 18/50˝
347.73 Edale 17.24a ~ 17.48d 18.58 ~ 19.30
353.53 Chinley 18/00 19/41
356.32 New Mills South Jn 18/04 19/45
362.45 Romiley 18/16 19/55˝
366.38 Hyde Jn 18/22 ?
367.59 Guide Bridge 18.27a ~ 18.33d 20.08 ~ 20.10
368.37 Denton Jn 18/35 20/12
372.43 Heaton Norris Jn 18/41 20/18
373.24 Stockport 18/43 20.23 ~ 20.24
379.40 Wilmslow 18/51 20/33
393.43 Sandbach 19/03 20/44˝
398.11 Crewe 19L13a ~ 19L23d 20.54˝ ~ 21.14
417.23 Norton Bridge 19/43 ?
422.56 Stafford 19/47 21/39˝
436.38 Bushbury Jn 20/01 ?
441.71 Darlaston Jn 20/12 22/02
443.75 Walsall 20L16a ~ 20L26d 22.09 ~ 22.20
445.47 Bescot 20/30 22/24˝
452.26 Aston 20/37 22/37
455.08 Stechford 20/42 222/42
470.20 Coventry 20.58a ~ 21.00d 23.05 ~ 23.07˝
481.61 Rugby 21/12 23/18˝
N/A Weedon ? DIV
500.65 Northampton DIV 23/41
519.78 Bletchley 21/41 00/02
520.78 Lamb's Sidings DIV ??L?? ~ ??L??
521.78 Bletchley 21/41 01.31 ~ 02.09
536.77 Tring 21/51˝ ?
540.53 Berkhamstead ??/?? 02.47˝ ~ 02.48˝
551.16 Watford Junction 22.03a ~ 22.04d 03.01 ~ 03.03˝
562.74 Willesden Junction 22/16 08/30
568.50 Euston 22.23a 03.32


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