The Tyne Valley Express, March 87
A Friday evening at Euston with most of the Fridays Only "roaring" and an All line Rover and SRPS ticket for a 27 tour the next day....Heaven!
85020 on 1F09 1820 Euston - Liverpool was my choice North to Crewe for 86420 back to Rugby where the narrow marklights on approach meant S06 was roaring as hoped. Slight concern on seeing it was 85036 as power, this was a "rogue roarer".
As 85036 roared out of Rugby any concerns evaporated and doss set in. I was woken abruptly at Preston by Dave J "she's failed" , get off! So half asleep i saw 85036 roaring off, burst yet again, and 47455 backing on. With hindsight we should have stayed on, as a 47 over Shap on a sleeper would have been loud!
Still S19 "always roared" we mused as we festered at Preston and to howls of disgust when 86245 arrived...The "big" portion engine from Carstairs was 47707 to Waverly!.
At Waverly the usual mince pie and coffee routine before joining 47703 was joined on the 0610 "shove set" with 47703 to the unusual (to us) railtour start point of Falkirk Grahamston, a required shack.
The Tyne Valley Express Raitour. Saturday March 14th 1987
A big crowd of mainly Yorkshire based bashers hung about confirming the tour's "tip tops" were to be 27046 and 27049. Slightly late (after a farce shunting the stock) the 27's gurgled in with 10 Mk I's making up the SRPS preserved rake, limited to 75mph apprently. The rake included a superb griddle/bar coach where i was to spend much of the tour as some of my pay on the day colleagues had been allocated (by outlining a pair of feet!) standing room in this quality vehicle.
Once away from Edinburgh our 27s thrashed along the ECML nicely probably exceeding 70 mph or so as we enjoyed the coastal and hilly scenery of this quality section of the ECML. At Berwick we were looped for a tram to overtake us before a bellow over the Border bridge. Unfortunately near Cramlington (milepost 11) we came to an abrupt stop at a green peg!
The train crew were trying to restart 27046 as the rumours of a class 37 or even worse a rescue by the tour's kettle (which was waiting at Newcastle) swirled. Fortunately 27049 was able to work forward with a failed 27046 and 10 Mk i's in tow.
On bailing at Newcastle the crowd scenes were appalling hordes of kettle loving twats wouldnt get out of the way to let us phot our 27's, not impressed. The 27s were removed and headed back to Edinburgh light engine expected to work the tour forward from Edinburgh back to Falkirk that evening.
The Tyne Valley with 5305 chuffing along at a sedate 50 mph or so saw me return to my booked seat for doss! From Carlisle the tour was booked to be piloted to Annan by 40122 (requested by the SRPS) due kettle potentially damaging the wires. This weekend was to be the last weekend of class 25 operation and 25059 was stabled on Carlisle.
Many hoped for the 25 to be pilot, but it was the requested "Queen of green" that added some EE thrash back over the border.
Once past Dumfries we climbed into thick snow covered hills with clear blue skies and much clag from the kettle. Wonderful scenery as the beer flowed in the bar car. At some overbridge in the snowy hill zone nr Kirkconnel the kettle was rewatered from a milk tanker! The kettles clag appeared a fluffy white after this! Now in darkness we stopped at Barrhead where the expected 47109 which was steaming nicely once on the move was attached as a pilot and we returned North via Rutherglen and Coatbridge to the Eastfield area.
Here the kettle was removed and 47209 (her boiler fuses reinstated) steamed us back to Edinburgh. Here rumours of the type 2's would work back to Falkirk as 47s are banned from the yard here, were withered by the 47 running round! An enjoyable tour was over.
We returned to Haymarket for a classic Edinburgh chip supper then the bar at Waverly before joining V29 South.
Tour phot spot
27046 and 27049 arrive at Falkirk Grahamston with the SRPS "Tyne Valley Express" tour on March 14th 1987
Generator 47418 looking good at Newcastle Central on March 14th 1987
Crowds at Newcastle not for the "tippies" though as 27049 and 27046 get ready to return North on March 14th 1987
The return run, Sunday March 15th
The classic overnight from Edinburgh to Bristol was joined early but the train wasn't that busy and we dossed most of the way. Being a Saturday night the juice was off and 47547 worked through to New St.
At Stafford the West Midlands hordes pied on as 56094 was to pilot our train via Cannock to New St. We were too tired to show much interest! The 0756 Wolves - Euston had an equally tasty 56086 dragging 86425 to Nuneaton, but it was all a bit plastic compared with our class 27 action 24 hours earlier.......
Moves and Gen
85021 1B09 1815 Euston-Northampton
85020 1F09 1820 Euston-Liverpool EU-CR
81011 1H14 1845 Euston-Manchester
86420 1A80 2000 Manchester-Euston CR-RU
85036 1S06 2110 Euston-Stranraer (fail Preston) RU-PR
47455 1S06 2110 Euston-Stranraer
86245 1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin PR-CA
47707 1S19 2124 Bristol-Edinburgh CA-WA
47703 2O91 0610 Edinburgh-Glasgow WA-FG
27046} 1Z30 0747 Falkirk-Carlisle Railtour FG-NC
5305(Kettle) 0747 Falkirk-Carlisle Railtour NC-CA
40122} 1447 Carlisle-Falkirk Railtour CA-AN
5305 1447 Carlisle-Falkirk Railtour AN-BA
47209} 1447 Carlisle-Falkirk Railtour (steaming) BA-ED
47209 1447 Carlisle-Falkirk Railtour ED-WA
47705 1O62 2130 Queen St-Waverly HA-WA
47707 1V29 2305 Edinburgh-Bristol WA-CA
47547 1V29 2310 Glas/Edin-Bristol (via Cannock) CA-NS
56094 1V29 2310 Glas/Edin-Bristol (via Cannock) ST-NS
56086 1A05 0756 Wolverhampton-Euston NS-NU
86425 1A05 0756 Wolverhampton-Euston (via Nor) NU-MK
057 1020 Rugby-Euston MK-LB