29th August 1998

Pathfinder Tours
The Totoniser

Locos Used 47200, 47363, 58029 & 58032
Stock Used 3115+3107+3148+2833+4998+5005+4949+4939+4956+4959+4938+4999

Route : 1Z27 throughout

Loco(s) Route
58029 Exeter St Davids - Taunton - Weston-Super-Mare - Bristol Temple Meads - Bristol Parkway - Cheltenham Spa - Worcester - Bromsgrove - Bordesley Jn - St Andrews Jn - Landor Street Jn - Water Orton - Nuneaton - Hinckley - Leicester - Loughborough - Trent - Toton Jn - Toton Centre
58032 Toton Centre - Toton Jn - Trent - Sheet Stores Jn - Stenson Jn - Burton-on-Trent - Wichnor Jn - Tamworth - Kingsbury Jn - Water Orton - (2)
47200 + 47363 (2) - Landor Street Jn - St Andrews Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Worle Jn - Uphill Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Exeter St Davids

Notes :
(1) One of several railtours run as a way to get to EWS Toton open weekend.
(2) Booked loco change point from 58032 to the class 47s was
Washwood Heath Yard but in the event it took place in the DGL by Saltley depot.

Sources : Gary Thornton (joined/left train at Cheltenham Spa)
& Mark Sutton (on the train throughout)

Tour Review
(by Gary Thornton)

For the Toton open Weekend I decided the only way to get there was on a railtour (saves all that mucking about with busses or trying to find somewhere to park in Derby). having already booked on Herefordshire Railtours' trip on the Sunday, a friend mentioned that the Pathfinder trip on the Saturday was booked to traverse the curve from Park Lane Jn to Water Orton West Jn. Now as this is the only through bit of track I need in the Brum area (pages 47 & 48 of Bakers Rail Atlas) it was a quick decision to part with 32.50 to get it. At least several other friends were also booked on the trip, so there would be some good company too.

Well, the tickets arrived...with news that the tour would not be covering the curve I wanted. Oh well, win some, lose some (or words to that effect).

Saturday dawned....sometime after I got up! It might not look too far on a map, but the route from Northampton to Cheltenham is not exactly built for rapid motoring. After a close shave with a milk float (miles from anywhere, I rounded a corner and it was just "there"!!) and a horse box (don't ask!) I arrived at Cheltenham station. Unusually for a (Pathfinder) railtour the train arrived a few minutes early. It was very nice to see the front and rear coaches were both newly painted in blue & grey. When the whole rake is repainted it will be a superb site (just ready for a blue Western perhaps...).


58029 on arrival into Cheltenham Spa (photo: Gary Thornton)

Our route was via Worcester (where the Yorkshire contingent got on) then to Bromsgrove and the attack on Lickey incline. At one stage I thought the bone was going to give up as we were getting slower and slower. Get the Lickey Bankers on! We made it to the summit then trundled through Birmingham (and past that required curve), Nuneaton and Leicester. Arrival at Toton was at 12.16, 9 minutes down.

We had just over 4 hours to explore the delights of the Toton Open Weekend. Quite easy really, as the queue to cab one of the 66's killed over half an hour!

As we waited for our stock to pull into the platform for the return leg we spotted that the Hertfordshire trip had yet to be sorted - and it had 58047 at the head (original plan was to swap HRT and PT's locos, obviously the plan had changed). Our stock was also visible with 58032 in charge.


58032 pulling into Toton's temporary platform (photo: Gary Thornton)

By the time the HRT trip was away, ours departed 17 down and headed for Castle Donnington, Burton on Trent and Water Orton where we rejoined our outward route (and saw that curve again). At Saltley we had a loco swap, giving up our bone in favour of spoons 200 & 363. A fast run back ensured we made Cheltenham 9 minutes ahead of plan. Just the slog back to Northampton left, but at least I had company part way - three of my colleagues wanted 47051 which was on a northbound Virgin XC working and I was passing through Banbury a few minutes before it was due.


The class 47s on arrival back at Cheltenham Spa (photo: Gary Thornton)

Verdict : A decent trip - shame about missing my required curve though...

Timings (Booked and Actual)
(from Gary Thornton)

 

M.C Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual M.C
0.00 Exeter St Davids 06.20d ?   22.34a ? 169.17
1.20 Cowley Bridge Jn 06/23 ?   22/31 ? 167.77
16.46 Tiverton Parkway 06/35 ?   21/48 ? 152.51
30.60 Taunton 06.47a ~ 06.49d ?   21.33a ~ 21.35d ? 138.77
35.63 Cogload Jn 06/54 ?   21/28 ? 133.34
42.25 Bridgwater 07.01a ~ 07.03d ?   21.18a ~ 21.20d ? 126.72
48.47 Highbridge 07.11a ~ ??.??d ?   ??.??a ~ 21.10d ? ?
55.68 Uphill Jn 07/22 ?   21/12 ? 113.29
57.40 Weston-Super-Mare 07.26a ~ 07.28d ?    
59.62 Worle Jn 07/32 ?   21/00 ? 110.36
64.45 Yatton 07/36 ?   20/54 ? 105.53
68.40 Nailsea & Backwell 07.40a ~ 07.42d ?   20.47a ~ 20.49d ? 101.58
76.47 Bristol Temple Meads 07.55a ~ 07.58d ?   20.33a ~ 20.35d ? 93.51
77.13 Dr Days Jn 08/00 ?   20/29 ? 93.05
81.10 Filton Jn 08/05 ?   20/22 ? 89.08
82.29 Bristol Parkway 08.09a ~ 08.15d ?   20.14a ~ 20.17d ? 87.69
86.79 Westerleigh Jn 08/21 ?   20/08 ? 83.19
88.51 Yate 08/24 ?   20/02 ? 81.47
95.12 Charfield 08/30 ?   19/55 ? 75.06
108.37 Standish Jn 08/41 ?   19/46 ? 61.61
114.47 Gloucester Yard Jn 08/50 ?   19/36 ? 55.51
115.34 Barnwood Jn 08/51 ?   19/35 ? 54.64
120.77 Cheltenham Spa 08.57a ~ 09.02d 08.53   19.27a ~ 19.30d 19.21 49.21
128.08 Ashchurch 09/10 09/10   19/18 19/11 42.10
138.75 Abbotswood Jn 09/20 09/19   19/07 19/02 31.23
139.57 Norton Junction 09/29 09/21   19/05 19/00 30.41
142.62 Worcester Shrub Hill 09.34a ~ 09.41d 0926 ~ 09.40   18.56a ~ 19.00d 18.52 ~ 18.55 27.36
148.41 Droitwich Spa 09/49 09.49 ~ 10.12   18/50 18/44 21.57
152.56 Stoke Works Jn 09/56 10/30   18/39 18/36 17.42
154.69 Bromsgrove 10/03 10/34   18/37 18/33 15.29
158.32 Barnt Green 10/07 10/38   18/32 18/30 11.66
163.40 Kings Norton 10/14 10/46   18/24 18/24 6.58
168.55 Bordesley Jn 10/22 10/53   18/14 18/18 1.43
169.01 St. Andrews Jn 10/23 10/54   18/12 18/17 1.17
169.39 Landor Street Jn 10.25 ~ 10.30 10.56 ~ 10.58   18/10 18/15 0.59
- Washwood Heath Yard   17L46a ~ 18L06d 17.58 ~ ??.?? [DGL] 0.00
48.03
175.46 Water Orton 10/35 11/10   17/33 17/44 43.56

 

M.C

Location

Booked Actual
178.30 Whitacre Jn

10/40

11/14

188.74 Nuneaton

10/54

11/27

193.13 Hinkley

11/05

11/33

204.44 Wigston North Jn

11/21

11/44

207.60 Leicester

11/25

11/48

212.51 Syston South Jn

11/33

11/53

215.52 Sileby Jn

11/42

11/56

220.19 Loughborough

11/45

11/59

227.69 Trent

11/51

12/06

229.79 Toton Jn

12/00

12/11

230.37
0.00
Toton Centre 12L05a ~ 16L30d 12.16 ~ 16.47
0.38 Toton Jn

16/31

16/50

1.75 Trent

16/42

16/52

2.38 Sheet Stores Jn

16/44

16/54

14.72 Stenson Jn

17/06

17/19

15.36 North Stafford Jn

17/09

17/20

21.09 Burton-on-Trent

17/12

17/25

26.52 Wichnor Jn

17/18

17/30

34.00 Tamworth

17/24

17/36

39.61 Kingsbury Jn

17/30

17/40

Timings continue in first table.

Back to "The Railtour Files"