East Lancs Summer diesel gala, July 2018
My 0625 off Leighton should make a horrendously tight plus 2 onto the 0634 Bletchley - Bedford on Saturdays.
The 0625 was a few minutes down, would Bletchley hold the 0634 for connecting passengers? It was no
surprise on seeing the 153 pulling out as we arrived at Bley!! At the Keynes a real train passed with 92023 on
M16 "Caledonian Sleeper" right time.
A fairly quiet "Pendo" on the 0727 Manchester Northbound, i was asleep by Roade! A right time arrival in
Piccadilly gave me an hour to get to Bury, always nervy with the sometimes brittle Metrolink tram system.
25035 then arrived at Bury Bolton Street with the 0945 Heywood - Rawtenstall. 40012 was whistling away
atmospherically on the other platform. A good crowd joined the "rat" and she was soon chattering away
small Sulzer style.
On the return run the load over the ski jump was reduced by 95tonnes as 47765 had failed and wasn't tailing!
The ski jump was taken very steadily, 25035 had apparently stalled on the bank the day before. We kept moving
but the thrash wasnt as loud as hoped for ..Back at Bury a good few of us leapt for 40012 on a Heywood bound
service. Load 6 and a dead 37109 on the rear was quite a load, 40012 didn't dissapoint. She was worked hard
and the thrash was excellent. 40012 ran round at Heywood to pair up with 37109 on the return Rawtenstall
service. So we then enjoyed pulses of 37 and 40 thrash, the tunnel thrash near Ramsbottom was manic!
Back at Bury a short wait then 25035 and 25279 arrived with the 1455 Heywood - Rawtenstall. Despite competiton
from England - Swedens world cup game the pair of rats had well filled coaches. Memories of the "Abers" came
flooding back. Discussion ensued when a "pair" of rats last worked in pres, the South Devon railway about 4 years
ago being the claim. 25262 and 25185 did work in a pair at this November 2014 event.
the 1130 to Totnes on the South Devon Railway on 071114.
The "pair" returned me to Bury, it was excellent to hear a pair of "rats" working hard again. Live England score
updates got a few thumbs up but it was the "small Sulzers" that were the real winners! Although i fancied another
ski jump run but didnt want to risk anything tight using Metrolink and advance tickets home. So i bailed at Bury.
A few Metrolink shacks were raked in on the journey South before the delights of the 1935 Manchester - Euston home. An 11 coach
Pendo meant plenty room in Coach U with live updates of Croatia v Russia coming from the table opposite.
A surprise in an ontime 350 got me home around ten, memories of "rat" and forty thrash still fresh in the mind!