Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images

Class 31 Railtours 2011

January 29th – Pathfinder Tours “Rother Don Rambler”

31190/601 put in an excellent performance and with ‘190 “noisy end” next to the stock (as arranged prior to the tour) it was a good day all round.

31190/601 worked the following:

1Z27 0617 Bristol TM – Deepcar (from Birmingham International to Westhorpe RR Sidings) via Bescot, Stafford, Crewe Independents, Middlewich, Altrincham, Hazel Grove HL, Hope Valley, Sheffield

1Z28 1545 Deepcar – Bristol TM from Deepcar to Tinsley South Jct, Tinsley Yard to South Jct & Chaddesden Sidings to Washwood Heath Down Siding

66070, 66127 worked up and back from Bristol respectively & 60099 T&T’s the train in the Sheffield area.

March 22nd – Rail Blue Charters “Fenland Circular”

31601/454 throughout:

5Z56 0305 Barrow Hill – Lincoln (via Beighton, Roundwood, Kilnhurst, Doncaster Avoider, Barnetby (RR))

1Z56 0640 Lincoln – Carlisle (via Newark, Notts, Erewash, Sheffield, Barnsley, Wakefield Kirkgate, S&C)

1Z58 1611 Carlisle – Lincoln (via WCML, Copy Pitt, Wakefield Kirgate, Barnsley, Sheffield, Notts, Newark)

5Z58 2306 Lincoln – Barrow Hill (via Barnetby (RR), Doncaster Avoider, Kilnhurst, Roundwood, Beighton)

An early start and one that required my attention to help get one of the MA’s going on one of the coaches prior to departure from Barrow Hill. The bonus with the ecs was the fact that it ran via both Kilnhurst, for old times sake, and Doncaster Avoider (Hexthorpe to Bentley Jcts) en-route via Barnetby to Lincoln.

We were at the back of the train going out, with first class being at the front, but i went down at Sheffield to have some thrash up the hill to Tankersley Tunnel. The only thing we were treated to though was some crap driving and the fact that 3 coaches of the train struck the roof of a tunnel on the approach to Wombwell. The result of which was loco-hauled trains being banned over the route until the problem was rectified.

Other than the obvious memorable part of the tour, it wasn’t much to write home about, however the bonus of the day came on the ecs back that night, which was even more of a bonus as it was running over an hour late. Two of us managed to get off at Conisbrough, where the train had to stop to pick up a route conductor (with it being routed via Donny Avoider). The taxi driver was quite shocked when two people actually got off a train at Conisbrough, at 0230 in the morning. I was home before the route conductor had turned up at Conisbrough……..

June 25th – Pathfinder Tours “Mazey Daze Cornishman”

Memorable for all the wrong reasons!

31190/601 throughout:

1Z20 0522 Tame Bridge Parkway – Penzance (via Soho, Perry Parr, Stourbridge, Worcester, Bristol)

1Z21 1713 Penzance – Tame Bridge Parkway (via Bristol, Worcester, Stourbridge, Perry Barr, Soho)

We were at the back for the run down, but all went well on the outward. It was at Penzance where it all started to go wrong. The stock was involved in a near de-railment at Long Rock which resulted in an immediate investigation, the result of which was 1Z21 departing Penzance almost an hour late.

En-route there were various discussions about what would happen with the train and at one point it was going to terminate at Bristol for buses forward. However sense prevailed but……..

To prevent further time loss 67001, which had been added to the train to pilot the 31s from Plymouth to Bristol as the load 13 was too heavy for a pair of 31’s over the Devon Banks, was left on the train and piloted us all the way back to Tame Bridge Parkway.

My enjoyment in Cornwall was marred by pollen, which put pay to much bellowing, and the fact that neither engine were living up to their recent form.

There were other Class 31 mainline tours during 2011 but i was out of the country for them all……..

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