12th October 2002

S.R.P.S. Tours
The Galloway Special

Locos Used 37427 & 37428
Stock Used 10x mark1's

1Z18 : 05:25 Newcastle to Stranraer Harbour
1Z19 : 13:30 Stranraer Harbour to Edinburgh Waverley

Loco(s) Route (1)
37427 (1) Newcastle - (via ECML) - Dunbar - Edinburgh Waverley
37427 + 37427 Edinburgh Waverley - Shotts - Larkfield Jn - Terminus Jn - Paisley Gilmour Street - Ayr (2) - Dunragit loop
37428 (3) Dunragit loop - Stranraer Harbour
37427 (4) Stranraer Harbour - Ayr
37427 + 37428 Ayr - Kilmarnock - Annan - Carlisle - Hexham - Newcastle - Dunbar - Edinburgh Waverley

(1) Steve Jones reports that 37428 didn't work between Newcastle and Edinburgh Waverley.
(2) The train overshot Ayr by 3/4 mile and had to set back into station to set down from just beyond Townhead Carriage Sidings where it stopped.
(3) 37427 on rear.
(4) 37428 on rear.

Sources : Grant Fleming & Steve Jones

Tour Review
(by Grant Fleming)

37427 at Stranraer Harbour (photo: Grant Fleming)

Seeing that the SRPS’s last tour of the season on the 12th of October was going to Stranraer instead of Worcester I fired the booking pretty quickly for two reasons:

1 – No ‘Duff’
2 – Class 37s to Stranraer for the first time in a while

I decided to join the train at Newcastle on the Saturday morning, travelling south on the 20.00 Glasgow Central – Doncaster behind 91129. 47785 was in Platform 1 with the empty sleeper stock. An uneventful run to Newcastle meant an on time arrival and produced 47776 parked in one of the bays as the Thunderbird. After meeting up with a mate, we headed through Newcastle’s nightlife to the Travelodge on the quayside.

 When I left the house at 18:30 there was still no confirmation as to what the ‘Tractors’ for the train were going to be but after a process of elimination 427 and 428 appeared to be the most likely chose (This would mean that the last 4 tours I’ve been on have used 427!). We managed to catch a few hours doss before the alarm went off at 04:15…

 By this time it was pouring in Tyneside which resulted in us being soaked by the time we reached the station at 05:15. No sign of the train which was booked into the station 05:10. It eventually appeared at 05:25 – our departure time - using Platform 4, not 3 which the screens displayed with 37427 leading 37428. Departure was 5 minutes late.

 More time was lost en-route thanks to a wet rail, and that 427 was doing most of the work, as by the time we reached Edinburgh about 25 minutes down, a fitter was out checking over 428 which had been reported with low power. It was that 428 could continue (still on low power so I believe), although now we were stuck behind the 08:22 Edinburgh – Glasgow Central plastic service train, which checked us several times between Midcalder and Uddingston. We then took the Cyldesdale Line to Shields Junction, getting out in front of the 10:00 Ayr train thankfully, and ran via Kilwinning to Newton-On-Ayr, where we stopped for a crew change.

 By this time I had wandered up to the first class end to get in a decent position for the thrash out of Ayr, where we were booked a 10 minute stop. However, we were approaching Ayr at an alarmingly fast speed for stopping, and, you’ve guessed it, we coasted straight through the station! One of the stewards then pulled the chain (not really necessary as it wasn’t an emergency) and we came to a stand just beyond Townhead Carriage Sidings. The Betty’s and Eda’s at the first class end didn’t seem to bothered that they might not get there coach trip to Culzean Castle!! After about 10 minutes permission was granted for us to propel back into Ayr station. The departure from was reasonable, however we were held at Dalrymple Junction to allow a plastic to clear the single line section. We then continued to the next loop at Kilkerran where were held to await yet another plastic. By the time we reached Girvan the rain had stopped for the first time since leaving Newcastle. The departure from here was more rateable than Ayr, once the summit was cleared, I retired to my seat in Coach K for a doss.

 I woke up at Dunragit Loop, where it was decided to drop 427 off and run it round rather than sticking to the original plan. (which was to drop 427 off at Harbour Junction and put it in the Town Sidings, then for 428 to haul the train the last mile to Stranraer Harbour, with 427 running light from the sidings to drop on to the back.) This lost more time which meant that arrival in Stranraer was at 13:35, five minutes after we were suppose to depart!! The departure was retimed to 13:50, which meant there was just long enough to dive for a few photos.

 37427 would never have managed on the gradients out of Stranraer with 10 MK 1’s and a dead 37428, so the ‘Scotsman’ tractor was allowed to assist from the rear, the biggest clue being the large balls of clag from above it’s exhaust outlet!! Coach K provided plenty of racket on the 1 in 57 to Glenwhilly, much to the delight of the 37 posse in it! At Barrhill we had a booked stop from 14:16 to 14:41 – we arrived at 14:35, which resulted in an early departure! Plenty of more racket followed to Ayr, where arrival was 5 minutes early. Here, 428 ran round and hooked on to 427 at the front. We had an hour’s break here, which gave plenty of time for a trip to the chippy.

 Departure from Ayr was 2 minutes, followed by another stop at Newton-on-Ayr to drop the second driver off. A beast departure from here in full sunshine, we ran via Troon and took the Kilmarnock line at Barrassie Junction. We then ran via the G&SW to Carlisle, where, by the stage, the front coach was a total riot! The Tyne Valley line was then taken to Newcastle, with plenty of thrash in between. Departure from Newcastle was on time and the train quietened down as we made our way north.

 Arrival back in Edinburgh, into Platform 21, was a few minutes late, thanks to being stuck behind the North Berwick plastic from Drem. The 37s ran round and removed the stock to Millerhill.

 All in all, beast run, with 37427 doing it’s best to act like a kettle at some points!!

Grant Fleming

Timings : Booked & Actual
(by Solomon Riley)

Location Booked Actual
Newcastle 05.25d 05.31
Cramlington 05.39a ~ 05.41d 05.49 ~ 05.50
Morpeth 05.50a ~ 05.52d 06.01 ~ 06.04
Alnmouth 06.09a ~ 06.11d 06.23 ~ 06.25
Berwick 06.41a ~ 06.43d 06.57 ~ 07.00
Dunbar 07.12a ~ 07.14d 07.33 ~ 07.35
Drem 07.25a ~ 07.27d 07.50 ~ 07.52
Portobello Jn 07/58 ??/??
Edinburgh Waverley 07.25a ~ 07.27d 08.19 ~ 08.41
Haymarket 08/10 08/45
Midcalder Jn 08/24 09/06
Holytown Jn 09/01 09/42
Uddingston 09/06 09/47
Rutherglen East Jn 09/16 09/56
Larkfield Jn 09/21 10/00
Shields Jn 09/36 10/02
Paisley Gilmour Street 09/46 10/11
Kilwinning 10/15 10/30
Barrasie Jn 10/21 ?//??
Newton on Ayr ??/?? 10c44a ~ 10c45d
Ayr 10.32a ~ 10.35d 10/48
Townend EMU Sidings - 10.50a ~ 10.55d
Ayr - 11.00a ~ 11.09d
Kilkerran 10x59a ~ 11x04d 11.26 ~ 11.51
Girvan 11.14a ~ 11.16d 12.04 ~ 12.05
Barrhill 11/41 12x27a ~ 12x28d
Dunragit 12.27a ~ 12.29d 12.52 ~ 13.25
Stranraer Harbour 12.38a ~ 13.30d 13.36 ~ 13.58
Dunragit 13x40a ~ 13x46d 14.08 ~ 14.09
Glenwhilly 14.02a ~ 14.04d 14.24 ~ 14.25
Barrhill 14.16a ~ 14.41d 14/37
Girvan 15.03a ~ 15.05d 15/01
Kilkeran 15.16a ~ 15.18d ??/??
Dalrymple Jn 15/31 ??/??
Ayr 15.35a ~ 16.35d 15.30 ~ 16.36
Newton on Ayr - 16c39a ~ 16c41d
Barrassie Jn 16/45 ??/??
Kilmarnock 16.56a ~ 16.58d 17c05a ~ 17c08d
Auchinleck 17/16 17/23
New Cumnock 17/24 17.34a ~ 17.35d
Kirkconnel 17/31 17/43
Thornhill 17/46 18/00
Dumfries 18/00 18/15
Annan 18.15a ~ 18.26d 18/32
Gretna Jn CES25 18.40a ~ 18.47d ??/??
Gretna Jn 18/48 18/40
Carlisle 18.57a ~ 18.59d 18c51a ~ 18c53d
Haltwhistle 19/29 19/24
Hexham 19/46 19/43
Blaydon 20/04 ??/??
Newcastle 20.17a ~ 20.19d 20.12 ~ 20.19
Cramlington 20.33a ~ 20.35d ??.?? ~ ??.??
Morpeth 20.44a ~ 20.46d ??.?? ~ ??.??
Alnmouth 21.03a ~ 21.06d ??.?? ~ ??.??
Berwick 21.44a ~ 21.46d ??.?? ~ ??.??
Dunbar 22.14a ~ 22.16d ??.?? ~ ??.??
Drem 22.32a ~ 22.34d ??.?? ~ ??.??
Portobello Jn 22/55 ??/??
Edinburgh Waverley 22.59a ??.??

a : arrival time
c : crew change
d : departure time
x : crossing stop on single line
/ : passing time

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