2nd April 1988
The Tubular Belle
|Locos Used||40122, 47287, 85006 & 85011|
Route : 1T07 throughout
|85011||London Euston - (WCML via Weedon)- Crewe|
|40122||Crewe - Rhyl - Llandudno Junction - Llandudno|
|40122||Llandudno - Bleanau Ffestiniog|
|40122||Bleanau Ffestiniog - Llandudno Junction - Bangor - Holyhead|
|40122||Holyhead - Llandudno Junction - Rhyl - Chester - Crewe|
|85006||Crewe - (WCML via Weedon) - London Euston|
Sources : Nick Ross, Kevin Gaylard & Harry Harper
(by Nick Ross)
After the fiasco of a sick 40122 on the "Pennine Forty" tour a few weeks before, rumours before this tour even started, were that she was still suffering from field divert problems so what would happen at Crewe. Would some 47/4 deputise? 85011 on a 10 coach NSE liveried Mk 1 cobbler rake put in a lively run to Crewe with a few bouts of 100mph plus running.
The queen of green looked superb in her new museum standard green and our front coach seats soon gave ample evidence she was mechanically sound, as she opened up across the Beeston castle area. Llandudno was reached all to quickly where to escape the rain, a few of us were allowed to stay on for the shunt. Bus stop mileage behind 47287 to the carriage sidings and back was claimed by a few of us more desperate souls.
Being now at the back of the train we wandered up to the brake for the ascent to Blaenau with impressive scenery and loco sounds to match, "hell" to summarise. Many phots at Blaenau for the run round in the standard grey light there then onwards to Holyhead. The atmosphere throughout the tour was superb everybody happy 40122 was well again and much reminiscing of trips behind long gone machines like 40029, 40104 and 40177 was heard.
A 20 minute run round at Holyhead restricted planned trips to beer/chip houses but once back on the move we were all in for a hell-fire session, thrash, speed, whistling and the odd bellow all gave a fitting farewell to a class on a route that had given us so much fun (and some pain) over the years. The green machine was detached at Crewe with her very last, high ching, yuppy farewell trip a few weeks later before NRM preservation.
A second 100 mph authorised roarer in 85006 provided our power South with an on-time, but unspectacular run. A railtour first in that on leaving Crewe the guard emerged from his rear coach cage and began gripping! On realising it was a charter he stopped and a good route knowledge talk with him followed. Motoring home on a more mundane 310 unit, there was time to reflect on an awesome display by 40122 and her crew for the day, what a beast!
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