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.

07071892023webr.jpg 92023 passes the Keynes on 1M16 Caledonian Sleeper, 070718

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.

07071825035webr.jpg 25035 at Rawtenstall prior to the 1056 departure for Bury and Heywood, 070718

07071840012n37109webr.jpg 40012 and 37109 ease round the South curve into Bury on 070718

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!   

0707189537webr.jpg 9537 looks good in black at Ramsbottom on a local 070718

07071825035n25279webr.jpg 25035 and 25279 at Rawtenstall after a good thrash on the 1455 ex Heywood, 070718

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.

071114121925185n252621130bucktotwebr.jpg Possibly the last time a pair of rats worked in preservation, 25185 and 25262 at Buckfastleigh with

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.

07071847765webr.jpg Looking good in Scotrail livery, 47765 on a local at Ramsbottom, 070718

07071840012webr.jpg Basking in the late afternoon sun, 40012 stabled at Bury on 070718

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!

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