5th - 7th August 1994
The Grampian Highlander
|Locos Used||31119, 31134, 31203, 31224, 37240, 37275, 56101, 56104, 90132, 90135 & 90150|
1Z18 : Bristol Temple Meads to Wick
1Z19 : Wick to Aberdeen
1Z18 : Aberdeen to Bristol Temple Meads
|31224 + 31203||Bristol Temple Meads - Cheltenham - Worcester Shrub Hill - Kidderminster - Birmingham New Street - Aston - Bescot - Bushbury Jn - Stafford - Crewe|
|90150 + 90132||Crewe - Preston - Carlisle - Mossend|
|56104||Mossend - Stirling - Perth - Aviemore - Welsh's Bridge Jn - (avoiding line)|
|37275 + 37240||(avoiding line) - Rose Street Jn - Lairg - Georgemas Junction|
|37275 (1)||Georgemas Junction - Thurso|
|37240 (2)||Thurso - Georgemas Junction - Wick|
|37240 + 37275||Wick - Lairg - Welsh's Bridge Jn (rev) - (propel to) Inverness (rev) - Elgin - Aberdeen (overnight stop)|
|37240 (2)||Aberdeen - Kittybrewster Jn|
|37275 (1)||Kittybrewster Jn - Waterloo Goods|
|37240 (2)||Waterloo Goods - Kittybrewster Jn|
|37275 (1)||Kittybrewster Jn - Aberdeen|
|56101||Aberdeen - Dundee - Leuchars - Kirkcaldy - Edinburgh|
|90135||Edinburgh - Carstairs East Jn - Carstairs South Jn - Carlisle - Preston - Crewe|
|31119 + 31134||Crewe - Stafford - Bushbury Jn - Bescot - Aston - Birmingham New Street - Bromsgrove - Worcester Shrub Hill - Cheltenham - Bristol Temple Meads (3)|
(1) 37240 at rear.
(2) 37275 at rear.
(3) Stafford - Bristol return route taken from timing sheet - actual route and haulage require confirming.
Source : John Armitstead (joined train at Bristol, left at
(by Nigel Benning)
A tour that gave me the opportunity to clear the far north lines to Wick and Thurso, as well as enjoying plenty of traction. Given the fact the tour ran over two nights, the level of sleep/comfort that you could expect depended on how much you were prepared to pay for the tour. The cheapest option was to share a compartment of six, with the most expensive being where just two people shared a compartment. For the second night you could either sleep on the train at Aberdeen or spend the night in the Skean Du hotel at Aberdeen airport. I opted for the 4 per compartment option with a hotel room (which I expected to share although ended up on my own).
The tour started at Bristol TM on the Friday evening, but I joined at Birmingham NS having travelled up from Northampton. The first problem experienced was that the 31's had not been able to refuel as expected in Bristol. It was thought that they were low on fuel and would not be able to make it as far as Crewe so were uncoupled ready for a loco change. However, the powers that be changed their minds, the locos were reattached to the train and we departed just 11 minutes late.
The 31's were swapped for a pair of 90/1's at Crewe before we headed further north. At Mossend North Yard we stopped to swap the 90's for a 56. Initially we were delayed as no shunter was available, and then further whilst the driver waited for the consist details. Departure was finally made 46 minutes late. Our delay forced a 20 minutes pathing stop at Dalwinnie, which enabled some early morning photographs to be taken.
At Inverness, the plan had been to reverse into the station for the loco change and for the tour participants to have a short break. Instead, the loco change was made on the avoiding line in order to reduce the delay. As a result, our 55 minutes late arrival was reduced to around 25 minutes on departure as a pair of 37's dragged us further north.
At Georgemas Junction the loco's ran round to take us first to Thurso. On leaving GJ, we travelled around 100 yards before stopping for a further 15 minutes (possible loco problems?). Thurso was eventually reached 45 minutes late. Here you had the option of staying on the train as it travelled on to Wick, or take a coach tour to John O'Groats before rejoining the train at Wick. I opted for the latter as I felt I might as well see John O'Groats whilst I was in the area (it's nothing special - just a few bits and pieces to satisfy the tourists).
We departed Wick only a few minutes down and remained virtually on time all the way to Aberdeen. For those of us staying in the hotel, we detrained at Dyce for coach transfer to the nearby hotel. The remaining passengers stayed on the train for an overnight stay on board in Aberdeen. Next morning after breakfast, we were ferried by coach into Aberdeen to rejoin the train (thus missing out on the Dyce - Aberdeen section of route). The day started with a trip down the Waterloo Goods branch with 37240 and 37275 top and tailing the train. Back at Aberdeen we swapped these for 56101 which took us down to Edinburgh. Arrival here was early, but departure was delayed whilst a fault was fixed on our next loco (90135) before it was despatched from the depot.
Our 37 minutes lateness from Edinburgh was down to a 22 minutes lateness at Crewe. A quick loco change here to a second pair of 31's saw departure just 13 minutes down which was down to 10 minutes on arrival at Birmingham NS where I detrained.
overall verdict, well it had been a long tour, but with 11 locos and plenty of
mileage it was well worth it.
Route, Distances and Timings (Booked & Actual)
(provided by Nigel Benning & Alan Sheppard)
|0.00||Bristol Temple Meads||20.03d||?||21.35a||?||146.72|
|0.46||Dr Days Jn||20/06||?||21/32||?||146.26|
|5.62||Bristol Parkway||20.16a ~ 20.18d||?||21.22a ~ 21.24d||?||141.10|
|38.00||Gloucester Yard Jn||20/57||?||20/46||?||108.72|
|38.67||Barnwood Jn||21*03a ~ 21*16d||?||20/45||?||108.05|
|44.30||Cheltenham Spa||21.22a ~ 21.24d||?||20.37a ~ 20.39d||?||102.42|
|66.15||Worcester Shrub Hill||21.54a ~ 21.56d||?||20.11a ~ 20.13d||?||80.57|
|98.11||Soho South Jn||22/51||?|
|-||Stoke Works Jn||19/58||?||70.63|
|100.12||Birmingham New Street||22.56a ~23.04d||??.?? ~ 23.15||19.27a ~ 19.36d||19.37 ~ ??.??||54.34|
|100.68||Proof House Jn||23/06||?||19/24||?||53.58|
|105.10||Perry Barr North Jn||23/19||?||19/05||?||49.36|
|130.09||Stafford||23.45a ~ 23.47d||00.03 ~ 00.05||18.35a ~ 18.37d||18.49 ~ 18.51||24.37|
|Crewe||00.14a ~ 00.34d||00.34 ~ 00.51||17.46a ~ 18.10d||18.08 ~ 18.23||
|24.11||Warrington Bank Quay||00/54||?||17/19||17/47||218.67|
|35.71||Wigan North Western||01/03||01/22||17/07||17/37||207.07|
|51.01||Preston||01.16a ~ 01.18d||01.39 ~ 01.41||16.46a ~ 16.54d||17.23 ~ 17.25||191.77|
|78.07||Carnforth North Jn||01/42||?||16/22||17/01||164.71|
|91.07||Oxenholme Lake District||01/50||?||16/11||?||151.71|
|141.08||Carlisle||02c29a ~ 02c44d||02.57 ~ 03.04||15c30a ~ 15c32d||16.10 ~ 16.12||101.70|
|223.66||Mossend North Jn||04/06||04/25|
|Mossend North Yard||04.08a ~ 04.18d||04.28 ~ 05.04|
|05.10||Garnqueen North Jn||04/30||05/12|
|14.60||Greenhill Lower Jn||04/40||?|
|26.29||Stirling||04/53||05.39a ~ 05.40d|
|59.30||Perth||05c28a ~ 05c30d||06.11 ~ 06.14|
|118.08||Dalwhinnie||06/42||07.30a p 07.49d|
|143.04||Aviemore||07*05a ~ 07*18d||08/13|
|177.33||Rose Street||08.02a ~ 08.04d||08.57 ~ 09.09|
|Inverness||08.07a ~ 08.45d||DIV|
|13.04||Muir of Ord||09*03a ~ 09*04d||09.33 ~ 09.45|
|18.58||Dingwall||09*13a ~ 09*31d||09.55 ~ 09.56|
|31.37||Invergordon||09*46a ~ 09*47d||10/13|
|44.23||Tain||10*03a ~ 10*04d||10/38|
|57.70||Ardgay||10*21a ~ 10*52d||10/52|
|66.78||Lairg||10*39a ~ 10*40d||11.07 ~ 11.10|
|77.01||Rogart||10*55a ~ 10*56d||11/26|
|90.48||Brora||11*15a ~ 11*16d||11/45|
|101.40||Helmsdale||11*31a ~ 11*37d||12.00 ~ 12.07|
|125.69||Forsinard||12*14a ~ 12*17d||12.43 ~ 12.46|
|Georgemas Junction||12*47a ~ 13*02d||13.15 ~ 13.48|
|Thurso||13.15a ~ 13.25d||14.00 ~ 14.10|
|6.50||Georgemas Junction||13*38a ~ 13*39d||14.25 ~ 14.31|
|Wick||13.57a ~ 16.15d||14.52 ~ 16.23|
|14.16||Georgemas Junction||16*36a ~ 16*37d||16.41 ~ 16.43|
|35.47||Forsinard||17*02a ~ 17*03d||17.11 ~ 17.18|
|59.76||Helmsdale||17*36a ~ 17*37d||17.51 ~ 17.54|
|70.68||Brora||17*51a ~ 17*57d||18.10 ~ 18.13|
|84.35||Rogart||18*15a ~ 18*16d||18.34 ~ 18.36|
|94.38||Lairg||18*33a ~ 18*34d||18.53 ~ 18.55|
|103.46||Ardgay||18*48a ~ 18*49d||19/10|
|117.13||Tain||19*06a ~ 19*08d||19.26 ~ 19.27|
|129.79||Invergordon||19*23a ~ 19*24d||19.43 ~ 19.44|
|142.58||Dingwall||19*38a ~ 19*39d||19.59 ~ 20.0|
|148.32||Muir of Ord||19*48a ~ 19*49d||20.09 ~ 20.11|
|161.38||Welsh's Bridge Jn||20.13a ~ 20.15d||20.31 ~ 20.33|
|161.77||Inverness||20.18a ~ 21.13d||20.35 ~ 21.17|
|177.02||Nairn||21*29a ~ 21*30d||21/34|
|186.48||Forres Loop||21*42a ~ 21*44d||21.45 ~ 21.48|
|198.66||Elgin||21*58a ~ 21*59d||22/04|
|229.32||Huntly||22*32a ~ 22*35d||22/37|
|263.79||Dyce||23.10a ~ 23.12d||23.14 ~ 23.17|
|Aberdeen||23.21a ~ 09.30d||23.27 ~ 09.30|
|Kittybrewster Jn||09.35a ~ 09.40d||09.37 ~ 09.47|
|Waterloo Goods||09.55a ~ 10.00d||09.59 ~ 10.03|
|Kittybrewster Jn||10.15a ~ 10.20d||10.25 ~ 10.27|
|Aberdeen||10.25a ~ 10.45d||10.33 ~ 10.48|
|40.48||Montrose||11*25a ~ 11*30d||11/28|
|71.19||Dundee||12c03a ~ 12c05d||12.00 ~ 12.00|
|73.78||Tay Bridge South||12/11||12/06|
|100.10||Thornton South Jn||12/38||12/31|
|116.65||Inverkeithing East up loop||13*00a ~ 13*07d||12/51|
|128.06||Haymarket West Jn||13/25||13/08|
|Edinburgh Waverley||13.33a ~ 13.57d||13.16 ~ 14.34|
|27.59||Carstairs East Jn||14/23||15/08|
|28.57||Carstairs South Jn||14/26||15/09|
Timings continue in first table.
Distances shown do not allow for the "on the day"
deviation at Inverness.
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