14th November 2009
The SLS Special
|Locos Used||47773 (as D1755) & steam: 4566, 5764, 9466 & 9600|
|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 160½)|
|9600 + 9466 (3)||Coalbrookdale (MP 160½) - 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|
(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
(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due to E-On’s concerns regarding the activities of green neo-terrorists permission to enter the Power Station had been rescinded and as a consequence the trip on the branch from Madeley Junction was limited to the Network Rail owned section.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 MP160½ 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 SVR’s 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 day’s 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.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Brian Dorson, courtesy of Ian Clark (both: SLS) & Gordon Jakes)
|0.00||Tyseley Warwick Road||07.25d||07.30|
|?||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||08/25½|
|4.67||Perry Barr North Jn||08/24||08/26½|
|Bescot UDGL||08L32 ~ 08L53||08.38 ~ 08.57|
|6.34||Wolverhampton||09/11||09.21 ~ 09.21½ [P1]|
|6.71||Wolverhampton North Jn||09/13||09/28½|
|Cosford DGL||09w31 ~ 10w16||09.37 ~ 10.20|
|5.16||Madeley Jn SB||10/30||10/31|
|-||Madeley Branch Loop||?||10L33 ~ 10L43½|
|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|
|[1.65]||Lightmoor Jn||?||11w16 ~ 11w38|
|19.71||Wolverhampton North Jn||12/21||12.23½ ~ 12.25½|
|20.28||Wolverhampton||12/23||12w30 ~ 13w26 [P4]|
|Bescot UDGL||13w30 ~ 13w40||13.40½ ~ 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||14/43½|
|6.19||Soho North Jn||14/17||14/44½|
|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|
|29.60||Smethwick Galton Bridge||19/31||19/25|
|33.45||Birmingham Snow Hill||19/40||19.33½ ~ 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|
Back to "The Railtour Files"