The Newcastle Adex and more, 1984


Thanks to Guy Kendrick


Post “A” levels, pre-Sheffield Polytechnic. If there was ever somewhere in time you could go and find me if we had the ability to bugger off backwards, 1984 would be it…….for many different reasons.


No exams, great mates, awesome girlfriend, many beers, great parties. And some quality haulage.


Not quite in the quantity of 1983, that’s for sure, but our focuses change as we get older.


Traditionally I would go to the South-West by overnight to join my girlfriend and her family. What better excuse? In possession of Loco Hauled Travel, that fine Platform 5 publication, always made things easier, although never guaranteed…..


Sunday 5th August 1984


47128 xo BR 1M41 19.31 (Sun) Gatwick - Derby.


22.22 off Coventry, for New Street. The only way to get to Brum in time for the 21.20 York-Plymouth. Two BG’s behind the loco meant coach three for me. Empty. Until the only other passenger in the coach sat opposite and insisted on telling me about his modelling career. Yep, you guessed it. Camp as a row of tents, and wearing make-up. An interesting short blast. The guard looked bemused when he checked my ticket. “We’re not together” was never gonna cut it……


Three hour fester at New Street produced an absolutely filthy;


45065 xb TO 1V44 21.20 York-Plymouth.


Three GUV’s were marshalled between the engine and a dirty rake of MK1’s. I plonked myself in a declassified (read paper stickers on the door windows) FK (W13311 for anyone vaguely interested). The train was full of servicemen returning to Plymouth from points North. Bonus was sharing a first class compo with one other occupant, a demolition diver back from leave. Interesting conversations! A set of bench seats each meant it was very comfy, but there was no heat. August my arse, it wasn’t warm!


Now I don’t know whether a reverse was scheduled at Gloucester, but that’s where we were at 02.10 hours, where HM’s 37040 was on shed with 50007 in original guise. The peak was put on the other end and the boiler fired up. Heat and steam! I reckon the steam pipes on the vans were faulty. A toasty but somewhat tardy run saw us into Bristol at 03.26, 35 minutes down. I don’t know if it was a booked change, but 45065 was changed for;


45026 xb TI. However, they didn’t fire the boiler and it went cold again in the coaches. But, we were treated to the driver absolutely hammering this peak all the way down into the South-West. Exeter was reached at 04.32, twenty minutes down.


It’s fair to say no mercy was given on the South Devon banks either, with our compo rattling and rolling at a speed I doubt it had seen for a while. Result - Plymouth at 05.25am……two minutes down. Now that was how to make up a deficit! All in all my favourite ever peak haulage to this day (46037 being a close second)


Only one train would do to Truro……


50042 xe LA……good old Triumph 1C02 00.05 Padd-Penzance “Night Riviera”


First coach, proper toasty warm coffin, cue drool on the window and an on-off nodding dog scenario all the way to Truro where my girlfriend’s dad was waiting to pick me up in his yellow, 1976 Vauxhall Viva 1.3. Original hardcore!



Friday 10th August 1984


An unadventurous move, but good thrash, Truro - New Street after a great few days in a permanently sunny Cornwall…….brilliant short holiday!


50027 xe LA 1S71 07.30 Penzance-Aberdeen 275 ¼ of your English miles!


What is it with “Lion”? It was this machine I had the following year……different story…..


87017 for a fast run back home BNS - Cov 1A48 14.18 BNS-Euston.




Saturday 1st December 1984 Coventry-Newcastle ADEX


Some more great, unexpected and bloody freezing NB Peak mileage and a very unexpected route taking in some very rare freight-only track.


As was our wont, myself and the then current Mrs. K enjoyed some days out on the great Merrymaker and BR advertised excursions, usually to the seaside with some Bescot 47/3, or Bath with a steaming duff in the winter for a couple of examples. The day trip to Newcastle from Coventry (1Z25 07.30) I thought would more than likely have us up from Brum-Derby-Sheffield-York with an ETH Sulzer of some description, the plan being to go to Durham cathedral and be cultural. So we rocked up at a very wet and cold Coventry courtesy of the yellow Viva again at around 7am.


86212 was the power from the citadel. Nine MK1’s (I won’t bore you with the numbers). I thought we’d sit in the rearmost compo anticipating a reverse at BNS. Not so! The train was full, our compo being filled by some very pleasant off duty firemen, all enthusiasts and off for a visit to Gateshead shed. Fair enough.


So, where did we end up? A fast run up to Stockport of all places, via Stoke-On-Trent, landing at 09.40am. It was freezing cold and pissing down. Power forward?……


45044 xi TO Royal Inniskilling Fusilier.


Marvellous! Some great NB mileage. Hang on. It’s got an isolated boiler. Arse. No heat. Cue some seriously pee’d off normals………..


The route was great! Stockport - Denton Junction - the long-gone Ashton Moss South Junction to OA&GB junction spur (10.08am) where we joined the Pennine route across through Huddersfield - Leeds - York, landing at 11.23am. I did have a series of Kodak shots of this trip but like a lot of things they seem to have disappeared over the years, with a nice one of the peak from the rear of the train on the Ashton Moss South spur waiting for 45116 to blast past on the 1E06 09.05 Liverpool-Scarborough.


The Peak was swapped out at York for a far more mundane, but much much warmer 47561 xe CD which took us through to Durham. The return was an exact re-run of the outward trip, leaving Durham at 17.00 hours behind 47561 again, all the way to Stockport using the same freight spurs, where 86212 took over for the run back to Coventry via Wilmslow, Sandbach and Crewe, landing home around 10pm.


I couldn’t be bothered to work the mileages out, but all were a decent stretch, around 190 behind the 86. Doesn’t seem much, but you’d kill for it now!


We had the compo to ourselves from Wolverhampton. Like I said. Happy and simpler times ;


Thanks again to Guy Kendrick for the memorable nostalgia……


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