Rats and Roarers, Tues May 27th 1986
An early morning market day shop to keep the Mrs happy but by 0945 I was down the station, with a "Mid" in my back pocket. Railman Cliff advised B01 would be on the fast but there was initially a minor flap when a "can" approached on the slow, this was 86007 on a freight though. A big yellow front and howls from the approaching steed meant B01 was roaring with 85032 "Patch" up front.
An empty front coach and we were soon screaming through Linslade tunnel. the acceleration of a "roarer" on a load 6 half rake of Mk I's like B01 was breathtaking. South of Bletchley we overtook 86007 and was duly photted.
A quick run round at Northampton and 85032 was rejoined on 1A22 the 1109 Northampton - Euston, the front coach being quite busy. A Leighton bail and the plus 5 onto B02 was easily made. Now if B01 roared, B02 was normally a "can" so it was no surprise when lovely 86101 whined in on 1B02 the 1110 Euston - Northampton.
I bailed at a now sunny Keynes and was rewarded by 25176 rattling through on vans probably from Northampton, our trusty "rats" were uncommon by 1986 and by Feb 87 they were all gone, our railway was changing and not for the better.
One of the interesting changes in the May 86 new timetables were a whole host of Inter regional trains from the likes of Brighton, Dover and Newhaven to the North West that were routed via Kensington and then electric traction from Mitre Bridge! They were always good bets for "roarers" but you could never guarantee one, the unpredictability of the WCML AC power situation always kept you guessing, all part of the fun.
Escape from the Keynes came from the rare 85005 producing on 1M50 1015 Brighton - Manchester (via Brum) and this was enjoyed from a virtually empty front coach all the way, these Inter regionals via London never loaded well.
I opted to bail at Stafford as the following 1M02 1045 Dover - Liverpool (via the Trent Valley) was booked a "roarer" and today got 85014. Just outside Basford Hall, howls of despair as 81019 roared past us Heading South! Interestingly 85014 was removed at Crewe for 47539 forward due wires down at Weaver Jn. An ex works Scotrail 47710 passed light engine as did 85034 on a down ECS.
Because of the Weaver Jn wires issues 1O46 1510 Liverpool - Portsmouth started at Crewe with 45129 as unusual power. 1O46's consist was 84239, 13448, 6509, 5329, 5408, 5389, 5189, 5293, 5268. Crewe depot and yards were packed with power including
97407 (40012) withdrawn, 25198, 25269, 25311 plus 20093 on ballast. Stafford's pilot was 08907, Wolverhampton's 08841. At Wolverhampton our front coach peace was disturbed by a noisy group of Brum neds who were claiming "get that 16 wheel abortion off", nice eh!, so a rateable 45129 was swapped for 47600, how exciting eh!
81019 was then spotted on ECS from Oxley so she must be doing the Scotch i mused. At New St 81019 arrived with the stock of 1S87 1800 Birmingham - Glasgow and a move to Crewe was on! A clunk from up front was disturbing and on bailing, the 81 was coming off at 1755! Apparently a wires down North of Carlisle meant diesel haulage was needed and a lovely 47534 was provided. Cursing i joined 86426 on the 1818 Euston to get home, but outside New St tunnels we crossed a "roarer" on the 1640 Euston - Wolves! 25059 was on vans at Curzon St would have been good power for the S87 drag i thought.
An Int'l bail made 47649 on the Poole - Manchester but it got me back to Wolves for 1A81 1927 Wolves - Euston.
Dud 47053 on V94 ex New St was flagged off for some proper power in 85022 back to the Keynes. AM10 unit 086 finished off a varied but interesting day with another 200 plus roarer miles in the book!
Moves and gen from the day
85032 1B01 0925 Euston-Northampton L.Buzzard - Northampton
86007 6F86 speedlink 0910 wn -warr
85032 1A22 1109 Northampton-Euston Northampton - L.Buzzard
86101 1B02 1110 Euston-Northampton L.Buzzard - M.Keynes
25176 up vans
85005 1M50 1015 Brighton-Manchester M.Keynes-Stafford (via New St)
85014 1M02 1045 Dover-Liverpool Stafford -Crewe
47539 1M02 1045 Dover-Liverpool
45129 1O46 1556 Crewe-Portsmouth H Crewe - Wolves
47600 1O46 1556 Crewe-Portsmouth H (ex Wolves) Wolves - New St
81019 1S87 1800 Birmingham-Glasgow (taken off)
47534 1S87 1800 Birmingham-Glasgow
86426 1A71 1818 Birmingham-Euston New St - Bir Int'l
47649 1M23 1438 Poole-Manchester Bir Int'l - Wolves
85022 1A81 1927 Wolverhampton-Euston Wolves - M.Keynes
47053 1V94 1740 Liverpool-Padd (ex NS)
86405 1B08 1745 Euston-Northampton
086 1921 Birmingham-Euston M.Keynes - L.Buzzard