8th October 2002
The Summit Conference
|Locos Used||61264 (running as 61243) & 62005 (running as 62012)|
|61264 + 62005||Fort William - Crianlarich - Dumbarton Central - Dalmuir - Westerton - Maryhill - Cowlairs West Jn - Springburn - Stepps - Gartcosh Jn - Gartsherrie South Jn - Coatbridge Central - Whifflet - Mossend yard - Motherwell - (via WCML) - Oxenholme|
Sources : Alex Cunningham & Bob Mills
(both on the train throughout)
(by Alex Cunningham)
Ann & I set off from Oxenholme on Monday 7th October at 09:40 to join the following day's Summit Conference steam run from Fort William to Oxenholme. The 221 Super Voyager crept in to Oxenholme over half an hour late due to a signal fault around Warrington, but recovered all but a few minutes of the late running by Glasgow Central, completing the journey in under two hours despite fairly lengthy station stops at Penrith, Carlisle and Lockerbie. It was already obvious that many of our fellow passengers appeared to be on the same itinerary and this was confirmed at Glasgow Queen Street where we got sat next to Steam Railway correspondent Mike Notley on the 156 SuperSprinter to Fort William.
So Tuesday morning dawned and our train of nine steam-heated vacuum-braked mark I's was drawn in to Fort William shortly before 9am by K1 62005, masquerading as 62012, with the B1 61264, masquerading as 61243 "Sir Harold Mitchell" on the rear. Although both locos mimicked fondly remembered engines from my childhood I have to say that I feel uneasy with the artificiality of renumbering engines temporarily as their long-scrapped classmates. The K1 ran round to lead the B1 out of Fort William and at Spean Bridge we crossed the down sleeper headed by 37.411 "Scottish Railway Preservation Society". At Rannoch we were held for 35 minutes to cross with a down class 156, before proceeding to Crianlarich where there was an hour long fester for the first water stop of the day.
Then we were on our way again, crossing another down 156 at Arrochar & Tarbet before climbing the four miles of 1 in 55 that makes up Glen Douglas bank. The locomotive performance was somewhat academic; with two engines to share a nine coach load there was ample adhesion and a good power/weight ratio. Much of the run was over lines with relatively low speed limits and even on the fast stretches the locos. would be limited to 60mph (it was suggested that Railtrack had actually restricted the K1 to 50mph).
Leaving the West Highland Line at Craigendoran, we were looped for our second water stop for an hour or so while some 320 class EMU's came and went. Then it was a crawl behind an all-stations 320 to Dalmuir where some passengers and the buffet car staff left the train, having forewarned us to stock up on sandwiches for later in the day. At Cowlairs we took the normally freight only curve passing Springburn, then the former St.Rollox (65B) shed site which I used to bunk round on a Sunday afternoon as a schoolboy forty years ago. Now there are no J36's, A4's and Jubilees there, just sheltered housing on the site of the former shed and the only landmark is the Red Road flats, all thirty odd floors of them, which were under construction in those far off days and are now home to many of Glasgow's Afghan refugees. Even the main line has been re-aligned slightly to the south, crossing the new M80 motorway on a new bridge.
Shock horror to realise that Gartcosh Steelworks has now been flattened as we took the freight only chord at Gartcosh Junction towards Coatbridge. At Coatbridge Central we run through the loop for some unexplained reason before rejoining the main line through Whifflet and Mossend, only to come to a lengthy pathing stop outside Motherwell MPD.
Finally joining the West Coast Main Line we stopped at Motherwell to set down some more passengers, then headed upgrade over Craigenhill Summit to Carstairs where we were looped for an hour for another water stop, just north of the station. Not much of interest here; just up and down Voyagers and a 334 on an early evening commuter run from Glasgow which terminated at Carstairs.
Darkness was following as we set off again, to our next stop in Abington up loop where we were overtaken by a postal train. Then it was non stop over Beattock Summit to Lockerbie, where we went into the loop behind the station and paused for an hour, for our fourth and final water stop. We followed on behind a Voyager, non-stop to Kingmoor up loop, where we went inside and were held while being overtaken by a container train headed by a class 92. Following on behind this, we stopped again just north of Carlisle station, while a Virgin train, then a Railtrack ballast train headed by a Freightliner class 66 came north, before we crossed over into platform 3 to draw in alongside the container train which was by now parked in platform 4. Some passengers left the train here, while others, mistakenly thinking that our locos. would need coaled and watered here, made a bid for freedom and the local chip shop only to be called back by a steward who announced that we would be away again as quickly as possible.
After a pause of around ten minutes we headed out past Upperby, only to get looped at Wreay, where we were overtaken by the 92-headed container train which had passed us earlier, and by two more freights. Then it was a non-stop run over Shap and a tame run down the other side with frequent brake applications to keep the speed down below 50mph, before we finally arrived at Oxenholme at quarter past eleven after 14 hours and over 200 miles behind steam.
Timings (Some Actual only)
(by Bob Mills)
|Spean Bridge||09.26a ~ 09.32d|
|Roy Bridge||09.35a ~ 09.38d|
|Tulloch||09.53a ~ 09.55d|
|Corrour||10.23a ~ 10.02d|
|Rannoch||10.30a ~ 11.04d|
|Bridge of Orchy||11.29a ~ 11.32d|
|Upper Tyndrum||11.48a ~ 11.52d|
|Crainlarich||12.03a ~ 13.14d|
|Arrochar||13.48a ~ 13.56d|
|Garelochhead||14.18a ~ 14.22d|
|Helensburgh Upper||14.34a ~ 14.36d|
|Craigendoran Lower||14.43a ~ 15.31d|
|Dalmuir||15.56a ~ 15.57d|
a : arrival time
d : departure time
/ : passing time
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