Just the 5 40's out, April 2018
Friday April 13th 2018
I always dread longish daytime journeys on the WCML these days. 377210/215 took me from Leighton to the Keynes. Here a proper train in GBRf liveried 92043 headed South with a right time 1M16 sleepers. The 0727 Manchester was an 11 car formation and i was surprised to join a virtually empty coach U with a table of 4 available. Some tram to Bury then after a short wait 40013 paired up with 50015 was my first move.40013 was driven very gently on the outward run, but once warmed up and with 40135 on the back of the 6 Mk I consist the climb up to Heywood was an almighty thrash. More of the same came from 40135, 40145 and 40012 during the very enjoyable day. A good few familiar faces were seen, good to join 2 of Bedford's finest also enjoying the thrash.
Saturday April 14th 2018
Arriving at Bury off the tram we again bumped into Ian Saunders who kindly showed us an excellent breakfast cafe in the Market, where we were joined by another Bedford basher! More whistling and growling thrash followed including a steaming 40106 on a day which quickly turned sunny and warm. 40013 made a minus connection at Bury onto the 1414 local with its excellent consist of vans and 2 TSO's much like classic overnight trains of the past.
A Burrs Country Park bail saw a shack scratch and an enjoyable fester in warm sun at this busy location. A few phots then more 40106 and 40013 mileage followed.
Sunday April 15th 2018
The day started with 55009 for a brief "in for the year" move to Rammy. From here the mighty impressive pairing of 40012 and 40013 arrive with a Rawtenstall service. 40145 and 40135 soon followed and when 40106 was raked in again on the 1414 Bury-Rammy local it was my first 5 40's in a day since Saturday August 21st 1982 when 40008, 40029, 40077, 40124, 40181 and 40198 were caned in North Wales Summer Saturday services.
During stopovers at Bury there were often 2 40's at each end of the station whistling away on trains with others moving around, the sound and memories of the likes of August 21st 1982 came flooding back for most enthusiasts there, absolutely brilliant. A last almighty thrash behind 40012 and with several lingering look backs i reluctantly left the whistling beasts behind.
The Pendo home even in coach U was a vile wedge with many London based Man Utd fans returning home after their defeat to the Baggies. Getting off the connecting 350 at Leighton I was sure i could hear a faint whistle in the darkness, funny old thing nostalgia...
A huge thanks to the Drivers and staff at the East Lancs and also the stars..40012, 40013, 40106, 40135 and 40145 plus the silent but still memory stirring 40122. An unforgettable 3 days, wonderful stuff.
August 82 nostalgia link here, the last time i had 5 40's for haulage (well 6 actually) in a day, some 36 years ago!!!!