Network North West Day April 25th 1992
Sat 25th moves
This was an unusual event in that exotic power was diagrammed for service trains plus
more exotic power was booked for "Chingfinder" sponsored Lancastrian mini excursions in the North West too.
We had fears of rubbish power being provided for the service trains with the big stuff on Chingfinder high fare shuttles. How wrong we were!
After staying at relations near Littleborough the early morning silence here was broken here big time by 56102 storming East with MGR empties for Healy Mills. My elder son (then aged 5) was quite excited as 158901 arrived to take us to Manchester, i wasn't! A good and sociable bunch of mainly Northern cranks piled onto the monstrous pairing of 26001 and 26040 on the 0852 Man Vic - Barrow. After a few minutes of enjoyable 26 thrash it was obvious that all was not well as we were crawling along despite the thrash from up front. Nearly an hour down we arrived at Bolton where the apparently broken 26001 was dumped for 26040, now going well, to take us forward very late. From memory i think the train was caped at Preston, anyway we bailed for the loud and rare
37706 on the following Barrow forward. The mood amongst the mainly crank consist was good, the sun was still shining too.
The tram back from Lancaster was around 15 down and the nagging element of doubt crept into the huge numbers of cranks aboard. Arrival in Preston meant there was just 1 minute to get from the middle platforms to the far ones where 31134 was waiting with the Manchester train. We all piled off and legged it, leaping over luggage, barrows and push chairs in what was a riotous scene to make 31134 which appeared to be held for us anyway!
A Chorley bail for the unlikely sight of 20059 and 20168 on the 1248 Man Vic - Barrow on approach, and once again we all piled aboard. What a day we were having! A Grange over Sands bail where i leapt for a plus 2 hours so my young son could ned about in the sea and beach here. Well a paddle was out of the question, the tide was out and the nearest open sea was probably in Dublin!, so we settled down to sandcastles, chips and ice cream a winning combination!
60095 was yet more quality power on the 1448 Man Vic - Barrow which we did to little Cark where, once again a sizeable bunch of happy cranks bailed. A few local passengers commentated how busy the platforms were! 37418 soon arrived for some lively EE thrash back to Preston.
Next came a scenario we have all been through. From Preston to be home in time for tea in Littleborough as agreed, we really needed to return to Manchester. When the huge pairing of 37891 and 37298 arrived in Preston on the 1714 Man Vic - Blackpool, we were flagging "tea"! My sons "tea" concerns were soon extinguished by loud blasts of EE power and a Kirkham bail saw the 1805 Blackpool - Euston made. The first 47 of the day in 47520 returned us to Preston, where we made 60095 back to Manchester. As it was now 2000 "tea" was out of the question but did we care, some 158 back to Littleborough for the inevitable silent treatment form the mrs on driving us back to the relations. My son was sound asleep from leaving Man Vic, quite an epic day!
158901.... 0626 Leeds - Man Vic.......... Littleborough - Man Vic
26001}.... 0852 Man Vic - Barrow (26001 fail, removed at Bolton)............ Man Vic - Bolton
26040.... 0852 Man Vic - Barrow............ Bolton - Preston
37706..... 1048 Man Vic - Barrow............Preston - Lancaster
43068}..... 0944 Glasgow - Penzance............ Lancaster - Preston
31134.... 1250 Preston - Man Vic.......... Preston - Chorley
20059}.... 1248 Man Vic - Barrow ......... Chorley - Grange-o-Sands
60095.... 1448 Man Vic - Barrow.......... Grange-o-Sands - Cark
37418.... 1632 Barrow - Preston............Cark - Preston
37891} 1714 Man Vic - Blackpool..........Preston - Kirkham
47520.....1805 Blackpool - Euston..........Kirkham - Preston
60095.... 1734 Barrow - Man Vic...........Preston - Man Vic
158800.....2021 Man Vic - Leeds............Man Vic - Littleborough
Sun April 26th 1992
My memories of this Sunday morning are foggy and i have no notes or phots and my son insists we "didnt go to Longsight open Day". I think we did though and the undoubted star of the show here was an immaculate 40012 the pride of the Class 40 appeal.
Back at Piccadilly an 87 in 87029 on the 1330 Manchester - Euston was obviously taken for a mileage move. South of Stockport speeds began to slow and by Kidsgrove we were crawling. Several long stops followed and on me leaning out of the rear coach saw the driver of 87029 (this was pushing the rake, he should have been in the DVT up front) leaning out. Before i could even ask, he said "2 traction motors out" they should have a rescue engine waiting". Things were looking interesting , Stoke rarely had EH power by now just 20s and 56s for sand and coal traffic.
The stop in Stoke was protracted and we moved forward with the mystery rescue engine and then stopped again, and on leaning out i could now see it was a "grid" up front. There was a confused enthusiast on the opposite platform and on me saying "theres a 56 on this and it stops at Stafford" saw him run off in a manner very similar to Preston the morning before!
As we approached Stafford 86424 running up light confirmed our fears of not getting a grid to Euston, the grid, by now confirmed as 56016, was quickly removed and we had 86424 forward to the Keynes. 321420 finished off 2 superb days and perhaps proved that even as late as 1992 our railway still had an awful lot to offer....Sadly 56016 was stored on June 10th 1992 never to work again...
158901 .....0824 Leeds - Man Vic.......... Littleborough - Man Vic
87029...... 1330 Manchester P - Euston...........Man Pic - Stoke
fail Stoke, 2 traction motors dead....
56016..... 1330 Manchester - Euston..........Stoke - Stafford
86424..... 1330 Manchester - Euston..........Stafford - M.Keynes (via Bir)
321420..... 1624 Rugby - Euston ............ M.Keynes - L.Buzzard
Longsight Open Day Sun Apr 26th 1992
120, 212, 1842, 5054, 7523, 08624, 08673, 20227, 25309, 26041 (Third 26 in Manchester area, that weekend!), 31165, 31407, 33008, 37070, 37684, 45133, 47053, 47340, 47341, 47353, 47831, 50017, 55015, 60085 . 86222, 86252, 86417, 87013, 87101, 90015, 90019, 90132
Kettles - 1054, 5305, 6201, 21654, 45596, 71000, 76079, 95936
Phots from the day, 250492
A huge thanks to all the Regional North West staff that made this unforgettable Gala happen, top men!