Up Scotland, June 2018
Sunday June 3rd
Around 1930 on Sunday at the far end of platform 1 i was hossed by a keen sleeper steward telling me to return to the concourse "immeadiately". He seemed taken aback by my repost of "when the loco backs on, mate" repost. A few minutes later GBRf liveried 92043 backed on and i returned to await "check in" at the buffer stops.
The consist for those interested was 10706, 10522, 10677, 10675, 10598, 10718, 6701, 9800, 10502, 10562, 10513, 10523, 10666, 6704, 9803.
The very rear Mk II 9803 was my bed for the night, half full and i was lucky to rake in a double seat. The early 2029 departure was to include a diversion via Northampton, Carlisle, Mossend Yard, Cumbernauld, Carmuirs East and Falkirk Grahamston en route to Edinburgh Waverly. Some rarish track for a 92.
Monday June 4th
I was pleased at viewing the expected Royal 67005 backing on to my portion with ED rubbish on the other portions. Fitful sleep followed but once on the Highland line proper North of Blair Athol i woke up to enjoy the hills shrouded in mist. We stormed over Drumochter disturbing a few deer. A 10 minute fester at Kingussie meant a photo stop before we thrashed North.
Right time into Inverness, the Kings X tram was still in departing an hour down due rear power car issues. 08523 soon gronked in to release the stock. From Inverness for me it was a bus across the Black Isle for the "Renfrew Rose" ferry from Cromarty to Nigg Ferry. This tiny ferry had just me as its passenger, great fun chugging across the Firth
A world apart. the tiny "Renfrew Rose" chugs into Nigg Ferry with the half hourly service from Cromarty. A trip on the Nigg Ferry is highly recommended, as is the trip to Cromarty across the legendary Black Isle
Tuesday June 5th
At Tain the Royal Scotsman emcars arrived behind the booked "shed". My power was perhaps more real in 158723 on the 0802 Wick - Inverness. Whilst walking out Fearn way i photted 158711 on a Northbound service with the snow patches on Ben Wyvis forming the backdrop. From Arabella a local bus back to Tain with Stagecoach Optare had 47566 as power!
Wednesday June 6th
A repeat chug across a very warm Cromarty firth on the "Renfrew Rose" was an enjoyable start to the afternoon. A bus back to an equally warm Inverness where the
sleepers was viewed with dull 67030 up front. Also in was a ex GW HST on crew training duties. Drivers are none to impressed with the old kit replacing their 170 kit.
Scotland continues to get cast offs from South of the border, something that goes back to early BR days.
67030 had plenty of power in hand with an M16 consist of 10516, 10605, 10613, 10723, 10531, 10699, 1210 and 9807. We waited time at most shacks it was still pretty light at 2250 when i finally dossed out in a quiet seated sleeper carriage
Thursday June 7th
The Edinburgh portion shunt woke many of us, from the blowers it was obvious a 92 was our forwarding power (92010). A right time arrival at Euston where it was much cooler than Inverness the night before. A long fester before joining 68009 on the 1110 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor St. The thrash on departure in Lords Tunnel was immense. 350372 returned me to Leighton from lovely New St with a diversion via Bletchley goods loop the final bonus on an entertaining trip.