5th May 1986

F & W Railtours
The Valley Explorer

Locos Used 25057, 25109, 37237 & 47242
Stock Used 4899+35309+4866+4960+4944+4952+4822+1709+4932+4824+4924

Route :

Loco(s) Route
25057 + 25109 Crewe - Kidsgrove - Stoke-on-Trent - Wolverhampton - Bescot - Perry Barr North Jn - Soho South Jn - Birmingham New Street - Proof House Jn - Aston - Perry Barr South Jn - Soho North Jn - Galton Jn - Stourbridge Junction - Droitwich Spa - Worcester Shrub Hill - Cheltenham - Bristol Parkway - Cardiff Central - Barry - Barry Island North (1)
47242 Barry Island North - Barry - Cardiff Central
25057 + 25109 Cardiff Central - Penarth Curve -North Jn - Leckwith Jn - Bridgend - Margam Yard
37237 Margam Yard - Port Talbot - Court Sart Jn - Swansea Burrow Sidings
37237 Swansea Burrow sidings - Neath & Brecon Jn - Bleanant - Onllwyn
37237 Onllwyn - Blaenant - Swansea Burrow Sidings
37237 Swansea Burrow Sidings - Court Sart Jn - Port Talbot - Margam
25057 + 25109 Margam - Bridgend - Aberthaw - Barry - Cardiff Central - Newport - Lydney - Gloucester - Cheltenham Spa - Worcester Shrub Hill - Hartlebury - Stourbridge Junction - Birmingham New Street - Proof House Jn - Aston - Bescot Stadium - Wolverhampton - Stafford - Stoke-on-Trent - Kidsgrove - Crewe

Notes :
(1) Failed to get to Barry Island owing to a points failure.

Sources : Nick Ross & Jeremy Hartill

Brief Reviews

From Nick Ross;
A reasonable start to the day for me saw 86030 on the 0350 Euston-Bletchley 'Milk Empties' staff train from Leighton to Bletchley for 310092 forward to New St. As the tour arrived here, most of my colleagues were observed getting off having scratched the rare 25109. Rumours of the last 20's to Skegness being a bigger attraction. This was a bonus as the tour was far from full and I had the luxury of a second coach bay of 4 to myself.

The rats were soon chattering away up front Sulzer style building up the mileage. What may well have been the last ever rats to Barry Island was thwarted by a points failure on the start of the causeway to the North of the Island. After a delay of half an hour 47242 was borrowed from Barry depot to haul us back to Cardiff. As 242 was coupled a number of anti 47 men were seen doing desperate ballast leaps , this was to cost them a very enjoyable chunk of the tour.

With 242 quickly detached at Cardiff, the rats headed West to Margam yard where beast 37237 took over to take us onwards to Burrow Sidings to run round before 45 minutes of awesome thrash on the ascent to Onllwyn. Under sunny skies locals in the pubs waved, traffic stopped etc to watch us pass.

We retracrd our steps back down the Vale of Neath, to Burrows and then Margam before the rats replaced our South Wales syphon. A good run back to Brum followed with much Sulzer sound over Hartlebury and a virtual right time arrival back at New St.

From Jeremy Hartill;
I travelled on this from Birmingham, a very enjoyable day. 410 tons full load is a heavy train for a pair of 25's or 1 class 37. Leaving Gloucester Yard Jn the the 25's worked up to 64mph on the climb to Standish Jn, and went on to reach 87mph at Berkley Road, this meant they were able to climb up to Yate at a minimum of 74mph and covered the 32 miles from Gloucester Yard to Parkway in just under 30min. After the drag back to Cardiff they ran via Ninian Park to Margam and got over Llanharan at 70 and managed 89 before Bridgend. The return saw them climbing to the well named Stormy Siding up the 1/93 at 44mph and good running continued. Seven Tunnel to Gloucester 35min, another 89mph at Eckington and the final step climb from Stourbridge to Old Hill at a minimum of 31mph.


25057 & 25109 at Winterbourne (photo: Carl Nattress)


From Bob Mitchell's ticket collection.


Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Janet Cottrell)

Location Booked (out) Booked (rtn)
Crewe 06.50d 23.45a
Kidsgrove 07/05 23/29
Longport 07/12 23/16
Stoke-on-Trent 07.15a ~ 07.16d 23.12a ~ 23.14d
Stone Jn 07/26 23/00
Norton Bridge 07/33 22/50
Stafford 07.40a ~ 07.42d 22.42a ~ 22.44d
Bushbury Jn 07/59 22/27
Wolverhampton 08.01a ~ 08.03d 22.23a ~ 22.24d
Portobello Jn 08/09 22/18
Bescot 08/13 22/13
Perry Barr North Jn 08/18 22/09
Soho South Jn 08/23 -
Aston - 22/05
Proof House Jn - 22/00
Birmingham New Street 08.28a ~ 08.31d 21.52a ~ 21.58d

 

Location Booked Actual
Proof House Jn 08/33 ?
Aston 08/39 ?
Perry Barr South Jn 08/44 ?
Soho North Jn 08/48 ?
Galton Jn 08/51 ?
Stourbridge Junction 09.04a ~ 09.06d ??.?? ~ 09.06
Kidderminster 09/16 09/16
Hartlebury 09/20 09/20
Droitwich Spa 09/25 09/25
Worcester Shrub Hill 09.33a ~ 09.35d 09.33 ~ 09.35
Abbotswood Jn 09*42a ~ 09*45d 09.41 ~ 09.44
Ashchurch 09/54 09/58
Cheltenham Spa 10.00a ~ 10.02d 10.06 ~ 10.08
Gloucester Yard Jn 10.12a ~ 10.17d 10.15 ~ 10.18
Standish Jn 10/24 10/26
Charfield 10/34 10/32
Westerleigh Jn 10/42 10/42
Bristol Parkway 10.48a ~ 10.50d 10.48 ~ 10.50
Patchway 10/52 10/52
Pilning 10/55 10/56
Severn Tunnel Junction 11.02a ~ 11.04d 11.02 ~ 11.04
Newport 11/21 11/22
Cardiff Central 11.46a ~ 12.00d 11.47 ~ 12.01
Cogan Jn 12/06 12/08
Barry 12/17 12/22
Barry Island 12.20a ~ 12.45d ??.?? ~ 13.00d
(Barry Island North)
Barry 12/48 13/03
Cogan Jn 12/59 13/14
Cardiff Central 13.06a ~ 13.20d 13.20 ~ 13.31
Penarth Curve North Jn 13/24 13/35
Leckwith Jn 13/27 13/37
Bridgend 13/47 13/53
Margam Abbey East 13.59a ~ 14.14d 14.02 ~ 14.16
Port Talbot 14/27 14/25
Court Sart Jn 14/32 14/30
Dynevor Jn 14/35 14/33
Jersey Marine South Jn 14/38 14/37
Burrows Sidings 14.47a ~ 15.02d 14.46 ~ 15.01
Jersey Marine South Jn 15/11 15/09
Neath & Brecon Jn 15.19a ~ 15.20d 15/16
Bleanant 15.30a ~ 15.31d 15/27
Onllwyn 15.52a ~ 16.08d 15.49 ~ 16.14
Bleanant 16.29a ~ 16.30d 16/32
Neath & Brecon Jn 16.40a ~ 16.41d 16/43
Jersey Marine South Jn 16/49 16/50
Burrows Sidings 16.58a ~ 17.13d 16.57 ~ 17.09
Jersey Marine South Jn 17/22 17/19
Dynevor Jn 17/25 17/23
Court Sart UFL 17/28 17/26
Port Talbot 17/33 17/33
Margam Moors 17.46a ~ 18.01d 17.41 ~ 17.56
Bridgend 18/12 18/10
Aberthaw 18/32 18/29
Barry 18/39 18/39
Cogan Jn 18/51 18/51
Cardiff Central 18.59a ~ 19.01d 18.58 ~ 19.01
Newport 19.14a ~ 19.17d 19.14 ~ 19.17
Severn Tunnel Junction 19.45a ~ 19.47d 19.45 ~ 19.52
Lydney Jn 20/08 20/08
Gloucester 20.25a ~ 20.27d 20.26 ~ 20.29
Cheltenham Spa 20.35a ~ 20.37d 20.38 ~ 20.41
Ashchurch 20/45 20/48
Abbotswood Jn 20/53 20/59
Worcester Shrub Hill 21.00a ~ 21.02d 21.11 ~ 21.13
Droitwich Spa 21/10 21/20
Hartlebury 21/18 21/26
Kidderminster 21/22 21/29
Stourbridge Junction 21.30a ~ 21.31d 21.36 ~ ??.??
Galton Jn 21/45 ?
Soho South Jn 21/47 ?

Timings continue in first table.

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