20th September 1997
The Slate & Narrow
|Locos Used||37211, 37509 & 47777|
Route : 1Z50 throughout
|47777||Skipton - Shipley - Whitehall Jn - Engine Shed Jn - Methley Jn - Altofts Jn - Wakefield Kirkgate - Horbury Jn - Mirfield - Huddersfield - Diggle Jn - Stalybridge - Ashton - Miles Platting - Manchester Victoria - Eccles - Newton-le-Willows - Earlestown - Winwick Jn - Warrington Bank Quay|
|37211 + 37509||Warrington Bank Quay - Walton Old Jn - Acton Grange Jn - Helsby - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Blaenau Ffestiniog|
|37211 + 37509||Blaenau Ffestiniog - (reverse of outward route) - Acton Grange Jn - (WCML route) - Warrington Bank Quay - (reverse of outward route) - Wakefield Kirkgate|
|37211 + 37509||Wakefield Kirkgate - Wakefield Westgate - Leeds|
|37211 + 37509||Leeds - Whitehall Jn - Shipley - Skipton|
Source : Ian Dobson
(joined/left the train at Shipley)
Timings (booked & some actual)
(provided by Ian Dobson, from the tour brochure)
|Location||Booked (out)||Actual||Booked (rtn)||Actual|
|Keighley||07.04a ~ 07.06d||- ~ -||21.52a ~ 21.54d||- ~ -|
|Shipley||07.16a ~ 07.18d||- ~ -||21.35a ~ 21.41d||- ~ -|
|Leeds||21.05a ~ 21.25d||21.12 ~ 21.32|
|Engine Shed Jn||07/45||-|
|Wakefield Kirkgate||08.13a ~ 08.15d||- ~ -||20.21a ~ 20.43d||20.23 ~ 20.50|
|Mirfield East Jn||08/27||-||20/10||-|
|Heaton Lodge Jn||08/34||-||20/04||-|
|Huddersfield||08.38a ~ 08.40d||- ~ -||19.55a ~ 19.58d||19.50 ~ 19.52|
|Marsden||08.47a ~ 09.01d||- ~ -||19/48||19/38|
|Stalybridge||09/14||-||19.31a ~ 19.33d||19.24 ~ 19.25|
|Ashton Moss North Jn||09/18||-||19/23||19/20|
|Philips Park No.1||09/23||-||19/18||19/16|
|Manchester Victoria||09.30a ~ 09.33d||- ~ -||19.00a ~ 19.12d||19.06 ~19.10|
|Ordsall Lane Jn||09/37||-||18/55||-|
|Newton le Willows||09/53||-||18/37||18/47|
|Warrington Bank Quay||10/05||??.??a ~ 11.25d||18/29||18.37a ~ 18.39d|
|Walton Old Jn||10/07||-|
|Acton Grange Jn||10/08||-||18/25||18/33|
|Chester||10.33a ~ 10.35d||11.47 ~ 11.49||18.04a ~ 18.06d||18/12|
|Chester South Jn||10/37||-||17/59||18/10|
|Llandudno Junction||11.35a ~ 11.55d||21.34 ~ 13.10||16.58a ~ 17.08d||17.06 ~ 17.18|
|North Llanrwst||12.13a ~ 12.23d||13/30||16.33a ~ 16.40d||16.46 ~ 16.47|
A message from Michael Owen of RT Railtours
Many thanks to the 24 Growler Group members who supported our railtour. Two Class 37s cost an extra £1,000 approximately so it is important that Class 37 support groups support Class 37 hauled railtours.
Operationally, the tour was fraught with problems. The booked Class 37/0s failed to materialise. Class 47, 777 'Restored' went like a bat out of hell departing Skipton seven minutes late i.e. 06.59;Keighley five minutes down, Shipley right time! The tour was mistimed because of having to wait for time (25 minutes) at Wakefield Kirkgate. All was well until we attempted to depart Manchester Victoria. Forty eight minutes later we did, thanks to the electricians at Salford Crescent power box!
We had an unscheduled halt at Warrington when our driver Tom with his mate put 47777 to bed in the station bay, just in time to hear Class 35/5 37509 and 37/0 37212 growl into view having just returned from a wild goose chase to Chester and back.
Coupling up/brake tests carried out smartly meant that we were 65 minutes adrift. Prompt action by Train Manager (Riviera Trains) to the Fat Controller at Crewe pleaded our case to go in front of the 29 minutes late running 'Irish Mancunian' 37/4 Saturdays only 37425 'Sir Robert McAlpine'. The E.W.S. control agreed, Railtrack control agreed, and we were given precedence by being routed through the Goods relief road, thereby going round the service train, expresso to Llandudno Junction.
The EWS Traction Inspector insisted that both locos should head the train in order to maximise full power up the 1 in 60 gradient which is encountered north of Betws-y-Coed. Railtrack argued its case (and lost). Blaenau Ffestiniog run-round loop was not long enough to release two locos. May I suggest to Railtrack Director North West Zone that his staff familiarise themselves not only with the rules of the route, but the ACTUAL route; for example, physically walking it as was the practice in L.N.W.R., L.M.S., and British Rail!
No problems encountered on the branch as the local driver gave
both locos a push up the 1 in 60 / 1 in 100 constant gradients all the way to
the two mile Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel.
The load was 400 tonnes of Riviera Trains stock, made up of 3 F.O.s, 1 R.M.B., 1 K.C., 1 B.S.K., 4 Mk 2A T.S.Os.
Michael Owen ~ RT Railtours
Phone 01270 611799/fax 01270 611855/ e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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