14th November 2009

Vintage Trains
The SLS Special

Locos Used 47773 (as D1755) & steam: 4566, 5764, 9466 & 9600
Stock Used 35470+99361+99349+99353+3125+5191+5198+5177+5157+9101

Route :

Loco(s) Route
47773 Tyseley Warwick Road - Bordesly Jn - St Andrews Jn - Proof House Jn - Birmingham New Street - Soho South Jn - Perry Barr North Jn - Tame Bridge Parkway - Bescot DUGL
9466 + 9600 Bescot DUGL - Portobello Jn - Wolverhampton - Cosford DGL
47773 Cosford DGL - Madeley Jn - Madeley South Jn
47773 (1) Madeley South Jn - Lightmoor Jn - Coalbrookdale (MP 160)
9600 + 9466 (3) Coalbrookdale (MP 160) - Lightmoor Jn - Madeley Jn
9600 + 9466 Madeley Jn - Wolverhampton - Portobello Jn - Bescot DUGL - Perry Barr North Jn - Soho North Jn - Galton Jn - Smethwick Jn - Stourbridge Junction - Kidderminster
5764 + 4566 Kidderminster (SVR) - Bewdley - Highley - Bridgnorth
4566 + 5764 Bridgnorth - Highley - Bewdley
9600 + 9466 Bewdley - Kidderminster - Stourbridge Junction - Smethwick Jn - Birmingham Snow Hill - Birmingham Moor Street - Tyseley Warwick Road

Notes :
(1) 9600 + 9466 on rear.
(2) To point 300yds short of the Albert Edward Bridge.
(3) 47773 on rear.

Sources : Ian Clark (SLS) & Gordon Jakes

Tour Review
(by Gordon Jakes)

There were considerable changes to this train both in terms of the plan and as became necessary on the day of the race. This missive will therefore attempt to describe the sequence of events during the day.

The first leg of the itinerary proceeded to plan with D1755 (47773) hauling our train from Tyseley Warwick Road to Bescot (Down and Up Goods Loop) calling at Birmingham New Street. D1755 was detached at Bescot as planned and then ran light engine to Cosford where it was next seen located at the west end of the Up Goods Loop. 9466 and 9600, meanwhile, were attached and hauled the train forward to Cosford Down goods loop where they took water.

The original plan was for the train hauled by the panniers to then continue to Ironbridge Power Station. However due to E-Ons concerns regarding the activities of green neo-terrorists permission to enter the Power Station had been rescinded and as a consequence the trip on the branch from Madeley Junction was limited to the Network Rail owned section. This in effect meant that the train did not pass beyond MP160 and did not reach the Royal Albert Bridge. A further consideration regarding the weather and the consequent poor rail adhesion conditions on the branch also lead to D1755 being used to haul the train down the branch.

Accordingly the two panniers were detached from our train at Cosford and ran forward to Madeley Junction. D1755 was then attached to the train and hauled same forward to Madeley South Junction (on the Ironbridge branch). The panniers were attached to the rear of the train and then D1755 hauled the combination forward to Coalbrookdale. After a short pause the train, this time with D1755 at the rear, was hauled back to Madeley Junction by the two panniers. A stop was made en route at Lightmoor Junction to take on water from a road tanker supplied by the Station Manager of Ironbridge Power Station. D1755 was thus available to assist with any adhesion problems but I am unsure as to whether this was actually required.

Upon arrival at Madeley Junction, D1755 was detached from the rear of the train. The panniers then departed from the branch within minutes of the original booked time. All went well, with some good speeds achieved, until we reached the outskirts of Wolverhampton. We were brought to a stand across Wolverhampton North Junction and then moved slowly into platform 4 at Wolverhampton station. Despite a clear signal the train was brought to a stand in the platform and there we stood for a couple of minutes under an hour. Eventually we were advised over the address system that one of the panniers had run short of water and that the Fire Brigade had had to be summonsed to save the day!

After over an hours delay we set off again and made our way to Bescot Up and Down Goods loop where we came to a stand immediately south of Bescot Stadium platforms. Here the panniers had to be detached in order to be positioned for watering which took place in the Down Sorting Sidings shunt neck opposite Bescot Stadium station.

Eventually, but having recovered some of the original delay by virtue of the over generous booked time in Bescot we departed for Kidderminster some 40 minutes late (as timed leaving Newton Junction). A further fifteen minutes was recovered by Smethwick West by virtue of clear signals throughout our tortuous route along the Grand Junction Line and then across the Stour Valley Line. Our good fortune came somewhat to an end as we were signal checked on the approach to Rowley Regis and thereafter no further improvement was achieved en route to Kidderminster.

Passengers were required to detrain at Kidderminster and cross to the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) station at Kidderminster Town. Meanwhile the two panniers shunted our coaches onto the SVR via Kidderminster Junction and then into  Kidderminster Town station. The reversing movements thus required were the reason that passengers were not allowed to remain on the train.

Upon arrival in Kidderminster Town station 9466 and 9600 were replaced by the SVRs own locomotives numbers 4566 and 5764. We finally departed Kidderminster Town some seven minutes late, a very creditable result. A SVR service train was passed at Arley but otherwise a clear run was achieved to Bridgnorth where arrival was achieved exactly one hour after leaving Kidderminster.

Following the departure of the last SVR southbound service train of the day 4566 and 5764 ran round our train and we departed Bridgnorth at 17.49 (nineteen minutes later than planned). The original concept had been that the SVR engines would be replaced by 9466 and 9600 at Bewdley. However, with the earlier water problems in mind the locomotive change was moved to Kidderminster (on the SVR side of Kidderminster Junction) thereby minimizing unnecessary water consumption.

The train left the SVR and after a short stop at Kidderminster station to set down SVR crews the two panniers departed on the final leg of the days journey back to Tyseley. 9466 and 9600 maintained the booked timings with alacrity. Old Hill bank was climbed with ease and accompanied with lots of steam, smoke and noise but since it was dark there was no audience other than those of us on the train.

We finally reached Birmingham Moor Street five minutes early. My onward travel dictated that this was my alighting point. Overall it was a good day my big disappointment was that being on the train we saw little of our two locos and thus there were limited photo opportunities.

Gordon Jakes

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Brian Dorson, courtesy of Ian Clark (both: SLS) & Gordon Jakes)

M.C Location Booked Actual
0.00 Tyseley Warwick Road 07.25d 07.30
1.76 Bordesley Jn 07/45 07/38
? St Andrews Jn 07/47 07/43
3.19 Proof House Jn 07/53 ?
Birmingham New Street 07.56a ~ 08.14d 07.57 ~ 08.14 [P11]
1.02 Soho South Jn 08/18 08/21
1.39 Soho East Jn 08/19 08/22
4.38 Perry Barr West Jn 08/23 08/25
4.67 Perry Barr North Jn 08/24 08/26
8.36 Newton Jn 08/29 08/34
Bescot UDGL 08L32 ~ 08L53 08.38 ~ 08.57
1.45 Darlaston Jn 08/58 09/03
4.44 Portobello Jn 09/04 09/09
6.34 Wolverhampton 09/11 09.21 ~ 09.21 [P1]
6.71 Wolverhampton North Jn 09/13 09/28
7.56 Oxley SB 09/15 09/25
15.31 Cosford 09/27 09/35
Cosford DGL 09w31 ~ 10w16 09.37 ~ 10.20
5.16 Madeley Jn SB 10/30 10/31
- Madeley Branch Loop ? 10L33 ~ 10L43
9.05 Lightmoor Jn ? 10/54
MP160 ? 11.01a
Ironbridge P.S. NR Stopboard 10*52 ~ 10*54 CANX
Ironbridge P.S. 10.57 ~ 11.27 CANX
Ironbridge P.S. NR Stopboard 11*30 ~ 11*32 CANX
[0.00] MP160 ? 11.07d
[1.65] Lightmoor Jn ? 11w16 ~ 11w38
Madeley Jn 11/58 12/00
11.31 Cosford 12/08 12/08
19.06 Oxley SB 12/19 12/20
19.71 Wolverhampton North Jn 12/21 12.23 ~ 12.25
20.28 Wolverhampton 12/23 12w30 ~ 13w26 [P4]
22.18 Portobello Jn 12/31 13/31
25.17 Darlaston Jn 12/35 13/35
Bescot UDGL 13w30 ~ 13w40 13.40 ~ 14.27
Newton Jn 13*05 ~ 13*50 14/31
3.49 Perry Barr North Jn 13/59 14/38
3.78 Perry Barr West Jn 14/03 14/39
5.77 Soho East Jn 14/12 14/43
6.19 Soho North Jn 14/17 14/44
7.35 Galton Jn 14/23 14/49
7.64 Smethwick West 14/27 14/51
10.41 Rowley Regis 14/32 14/58
15.68 Stourbridge Junction 14/44 15/10
19.10 Blakedown 14/51 15/15
22.18 Kidderminster (BR) 14.58a 15.24a
0.00 Kidderminster Town (SVR) 16.00d 16.07d
Bridgnorth 17.01a ~ 17.30d 17.06 ~ 17.48
15.10 Kidderminster (BR) 18/59 18.33 ~ 18.51
18.18 Blakedown 19/06 19/03
21.40 Stourbridge Junction 19/12 19/09
26.67 Rowley Regis 19/24 19/20
29.44 Smethwick West 19/30 ?
29.60 Smethwick Galton Bridge 19/31 19/25
31.73 Jewellery Quarter 19/36 19/30
33.45 Birmingham Snow Hill 19/40 19.33 ~ 19.34
Birmingham Moor Street 19.42a ~ 19.44d 19.37 ~ 19.44
1.07 Small Heath South Jn 19/48 ?
2.31 Tyseley Warwick Road 19.55a 20.00

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