25th April 1998
The Barrow Buoy
|Locos Used||56029 & 56114|
1Z27 : Bristol - Barrow & return
1T77 : Barrow - Ramsden Dock & return (shuttle no. 1)
1T78 : Barrow - Ramsden Dock & return (shuttle no. 2)
|56114||Bristol Temple Meads - Filton Jn - Bristol Parkway - Cheltenham Spa - (direct route) - Barnt Green - Selly Oak - Birmingham New Street - Soho South Jn - Soho East Jn - Perry Bar North Jn - Portobello Jn - Wolverhampton - Stafford - Norton Bridge - Crewe - Acton Grange Jn - Walton Old Jn - Warrington Bank Quay - Winwick Jn - Earlestown - Golbourne Jn - Bamfurlong Jn (via Down Goods) - Springs Branch Jn - Wigan North Western - (via WCML) - Carnforth South Jn - Carnforth Up & Down Goods - Arnside - Barrow-in-Furness|
Train was reduced to about half size and two runs down to Barrow Ramsden Dock were made, half the tours passengers on each. Details for each run the same :
|56029 (1)||Barrow-in-Furness - Salthouse Jn|
|56114 (2)||Salthouse Jn - Ramsden Dock|
|56029 (1)||Ramsden Dock - Salthouse Jn|
|56114 (2)||Salthouse Jn - Barrow-in-Furness|
Train was then reformed for the journey home :
|56029||Barrow-in-Furness - Arnside - Carnforth - (via WCML) - Stafford - Bushbury Jn - Portobello Jn - Bescot Stadium - Perry Bar North Jn - Proof House Jn - Birmingham New Street - Selly Oak - (reverse of outward route) - Bristol Temple Meads|
(1) 56114 on rear.
(2) 56029 on rear.
Tour originally planned for 15th November 1997, then 21st February 1998. Tour originally planned to travel via Preston Down Goods Line.
Sources : Gary Thornton
(joined/left train at Crewe) & Alan Sheppard
(by David Russell)
When I got out of bed on the morning of this tour, I hadn't even decided if I was going to do it or not. The tour was too expensive for just the track at Barrow Docks, but if there was a required Class 56 or two involved then it would be worth doing. My move therefore was to go to Crewe and either go on the tour or buy a West Midlands Day Rover ticket which covered me down to Birmingham behind a 37.
When I arrived at Crewe, the 'gen' was that 56114 was on the tour and 56029 would be used to Top and Tail the train at Barrow. Although 56114 has in the past worked several tours, including one to Rylstone just a few weeks earlier (which I had been out photting), I still needed it, so I decided to do the tour. I had already had 56029 some years ago on the first leg of an A1A tour to Weymouth.
Half of coach A was for 'pay on the day' passengers, so I grabbed a seat in there, along with a couple of friends who I had bumped into on the platform. We headed north along the WCML to our final pick up point of Wigan, but with a few divergences - the marshalling yard before Warrington, the line through Earlestown and the down goods at Bamfurlong Junction outside Wigan. As we rejoined the WCML here, we were running about 10 minutes late, and it was surprising to see that a Virgin Trains' Euston to Preston service was held to let us go ahead of it.
North of Preston, we had some fast running and by Lancaster the train was back on time. On the approach to Carnforth, we stopped at an amber signal, and I looked out to find that we had been routed towards Carlisle! After a couple of minutes delay we continued, traversing the Furness goods lines at the back of Carnforth station.
Upon arrival at Barrow, the stock was taken into the sidings to be re-marshalled into a seven coach formation to work the two shuttle trains down the branch. As expected, 56029 was already there to provide assistance on the branch. All passengers were able to go down the docks line on one of the two trains, and I was booked on the second one which meant there was an opportunity to photograph the other.
My first move in Barrow was to find somewhere to buy some new batteries for my camera which had expired on the previous week's tour to Trawsfynnyd. I quickly found a shop and purchased some batteries, put them in my camera, and it should have been ready for action - only the trouble was, it wasn't! The camera had burst. Maybe it can be repaired quickly I thought, realising there was nearly an hour until the train went down the branch on its first trip. I found a camera shop, and they took it into their darkroom, but came back and said they couldn't find the problem and I would be best to send it away locally for repair.
This was not what I wanted to hear - it is difficult nowadays to get decent phots of railtours as well as travel on them, and here was one occasion but I had no camera. Not wishing to miss the chance for some phots, I went into Boots and bought one of those "throw away snappy" things and then walked down to the docks where I took some pictures with this high quality camera. Throughout the rest of the day, it provided a good source of amusement to many of my travelling companions! [Webmasters Note: Well you looked so posh brandishing the thing!]
As the train went down the branch, it was noticeable that the front coach was much lower down than the rest, owing to the high number of BLS members trying to stand in the front vestibule. I walked back to the station, arriving just as the train was pulling into the platform, and boarded for the second trip down the branch.
The line down to the docks itself is just over a mile long, and we travelled as far along the line as possible, to a set of gates just round the second of two extremely sharp train set type curves. Within an hour we were back at the station where, after everyone had alighted, the stock was taken to the carriage sidings to be formed into a full set once again.
56114 scurried off south, leaving the Romanian machine to take the tour back to Bristol. The return leg was more straightforward than the outward, running direct down the WCML, setting down at Wigan and then Crewe (after a 10 minute stop outside the station awaiting time) where I alighted for the journey home by car.
Timings (Booked and Actual)
(by Gary Thornton & Alan Sheppard)
|0.00||Bristol Temple Meads||05.18d||?||21.47a||?||251.32|
|0.46||Dr. Days Jn||05/21||?||21/45||?||250.66|
|5.62||Bristol Parkway||05.28a ~ 05.31d||?||21.32a ~ 21.35d||?||245.50|
|38.00||Gloucester Yard Jn||06/04||?||21/01||?||213.32|
|39.01||Gloucester||06.07a ~ 06.27d||?||20.45a ~ 20.58d||?||212.31|
|45.41||Cheltenham||06.37a ~ 06.40d||?||20.33a ~ 20.36d||?||205.71|
|74.56||Stoke Works Jn||07/04||?||20/08||?||176.56|
|91.78||Proof House Jn||07/36||?|
|92.52||Birmingham New Street||07.39a ~ 07.48d||?||19.40a ~ 19.43d||?||160.27|
|94.53||Soho South Jn||07/52||?|
|95.06||Soho East Jn||07/57||?|
|97.05||Perry Barr West Jn||08/00||?|
|-||Proof House Jn||19/38||?||159.51|
|97.44||Perry Barr North Jn||08/02||?||19/30||?||155.29|
|123.31||Stafford||08.38a ~ 08.47d||?||18.59a ~ 19.01d||?||130.30|
|146.06||Basford Hall Jn||09/11||?||18/39||?||107.57|
|147.70||Crewe||09.15a ~ 09.17d||09.16 ~ 09.19||18.30a ~ 18.32d||18.30 ~ 18.32||105.73|
|165.10||Weaver Junction Signal Box||09/34||09/35||18/12||18/00||89.51|
|170.14||Acton Grange Jn||09/39||09/41||18/01||17/55||83.49|
|171.18||Walton Old Jn||09/41||09/44|
|172.06||Warrington Bank Quay||09/42||09/46||17/58||17/54||81.62|
|182.72||Bamfurlong Jn (via down goods)||09/57||10/08||?||?||?|
|183.47||Springs Branch Jn||10/00||10/11||17/47||17/44||71.31|
|184.76||Wigan North Western||10.02a ~ 10.04d||10.15 ~ 10.17||17.43a ~ 17.45d||17.40 ~ 17.42||70.02|
|192.47||Balshaw Lane Jn||10/14||10/25||17/35||17/30||62.31|
|200.06||Preston||10/24||10/33||17/18||17.14a ~ 17.17d||54.72|
|222.76||Morecambe South Jn||10/53||10/52||16/54||16/54||32.02|
|226.60||Carnforth South Jn||10/57||11/00||?||?||?|
|227.31||Carnforth Up & Down Goods||10.59a ~ 11.01d||11.01 ~ 11.02|
|-||Carnforth North Jn||16/47||16/49||27.66|
|-||Carnforth Station||16.44a ~ 16.46d||16.46 ~ 16.48||27.54|
|227.60||Carnforth Furness Jn||11/04||11/05||?||16/45||?|
"Shuttle No.1 (travel ticket no.s 0001 - 0275)"
|Salthouse Jn||13.05a ~ 13.13d||13.03 ~ 13.06|
|Barrow Ramsden Dock||13.23a ~ 13.33d||13.18 ~ 13.23|
|Salthouse Jn||13.43a ~ 13.51d||13.36 ~ 13.38|
"Shuttle No.2 (travel ticket no.s 0276 - 0550)"
|Salthouse Jn||14.13a ~ 14.21d||14.10 ~ 14.19|
|Barrow Ramsden Dock||14.31a ~ 14.44d||14.30 ~ 14.34|
|Salthouse Jn||14.54a ~ 15.02d||14.42 ~ 14.55|
All distances, in miles and chains (M & C), are taken from
the tour booklet.
No attempt has been made to verify the mileages given.
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