STEAM GOSSIP

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					                                STEAM GOSSIP
                                  November 2010

Having spent the first week of September in Scotland with the Jacobite, it was off to
Llangollen on Sunday 12 September for their Autumn Steam Gala. This was to be
the Langollen Railway’s 35th Anniversary of the re-opening of the line from Llangollen
and also the 175th Anniversary of the Great Western Railway, so a double-event.
Although the weather forecast was reasonable in advance, on the actual day it turned
out to be a mixed bag, with showers and sunshine. Between the showers it was
possible to grab some good shots here and there.




 City of Truro and 4953 Pitchford Hall arraive at Glyndfrdwy on 12 September
                                     2010

Ex GWR No. 3717 City of Truro was one of the prestige visiting locos and fitted in
with the GWR theme throughout the weekend. It worked the 09:00 train out of
Llangollen to Carrog where I saw it arrive on time. Also visiting was GWR ‘Hall’ 4953
Pitchford Hall which worked on both days, including a double-headed run with City of
Truro. Included in the line up was the push-pull ‘Auto Sandwich’ worked by Pannier
Tank 6430, with auto trailers W167 & W163. This was running as far as
Glyndyfrdwy, although some workings ran over the full length of the line and was
useful to hop on and off between stations. One of the attractions of the Llangollen
line is that it is quite short and the end-to-end run is around half an hour, unlike some
of the other railways where the running time is an hour and a half. This enables you
to pack in several different haulages throughout the day, and you can change your
plans frequently as you so wish.
Llangollen resident GWR 2-8-0 No. 3802 was also working passenger and freight
services, although this is fitted with the larger ‘Hall’ type tender which does look a bit
odd. Also visiting from the Dean Forest Railway was D9521 (Class 14) ‘Teddy Bear’,
built in Swindon in 1964, and this was working both passenger and freight. During
the afternoon, it was possible to take a ride behind this small, but spirited loco, which
ran without fault all weekend, representing BR of the 1960s.




5643 and Class 14 D9521 passing non-stop through Berwyn with a freight train

GWR 0-6-2Tank No. 5643 was on freight trains but did join up with a passenger
working during the afternoon. 5643 was paired up with 3802 in the afternoon with a
passenger working. Other double-headers were with 3717 and 4953 on passenger
workings which was popular with visitors. Although the day was busy trainwise, it
was particularily quite on the people front, which did have the advantage of being
very comfortable room-wise on the trains without overcrowding. So, another Gala in
the bag.

Another gala weekend was held between Friday 24 to Sunday 26 September at the
Severn Valley Railway. This was to be a full three-day event with night running on
Friday and Saturday evenings. It was therefore a day off work on Friday to visit the
event on Day 1 which I hoped would be a bit quieter than the weekend. The Gala
was marketed at the 40th Anniversary Autumn Steam Gala, representing the
milestone of SVR operation from 1970 to 2010. I have been a member and
shareholder of the line for quite a few of these years and well remember frequent
weekends out to Highley which was just over an hour from Stafford. Mainline steam
commitments these days mean that visits are less frequent and I do try and visit as
much as possible, particularly to support Gala weekends. The line up of visiting
locomotives was quite impressive, including an ex-pat GWR 0-6-0 Collett No. 3205, a
former resident of the line. 3205 also holds the distinction of working the first public
train on the line in May 1970 from Bridgnorth to Hampton Loade. It moved from the
SVR in the mid-1980’s to the West Somerset Railway, with appearances at the South
Devon Railway, where it received its recent major overhaul.




   LMS Jubilee 4-6-0 No. 5690 Leander awaits to cross another train at Arley

Another guest locomotive was ex-LMS 4-6-0 5XP Jubilee Class No. 5690 Leander,
formerly a resident of the Severn Valley Railway until 1989. Today, Leander is an
active main liner and was due to work back to Carnforth from the SVR on Saturday 2
October 2010. This was a run from Bridgnorth to Blackpool and featured banking up
Old Hill with GWR Pannier 9600. Leander was certainly a very popular locomotive
for people to travel behind over the weekend and all of the train on the Friday were
very busy indeed.

Hot from the Llangollen Railway Gala was Churchward ‘City’ 4-4-0 No. 3717 City of
Truro, itself having past connections with the SVR. City of Truro was restored in
Bridgnorth in 1984 where it worked on the line and the main line as part of the GWR
150 celebrations. Truro is also reputed to have achieved over 100mph running with
the Ocean Mail train from Plymouth in 1908. No such dizzy heights being reached
this weekend I am afraid, just a sedate 25 mph.

In complete contrast to the former residents of the SVR, Southern Railway Bulleid
‘Battle of Britain’ 4-6-2 Pacific No. 34070 Manston raised a few eyebrows with its
appearance at the Gala. To have an unmodified full blown Spam Can was a bit of a
scoop for the SVR and is only the second time that a Spam Can has been on the
Valley, the first being an appearance of 34072 ‘257 Squadron’ when it made an
appearance in 1992. Manston was visiting from its home base of the Swanage
Railway, its first venture away from the line.




      ‘Spam Can’ 34070 Manston at Hampton Loade – 24 September 2010

A smaller example of GWR motive power was the guest appearance of Churchward
4500 Class ‘Small Prairie’ 2-6-2 No. 5542 from the West Somerset Railway. This
was working local services on the line and represented the typical branch line
services operated in the GWR era.

The Gala timetable issued with tickets was a three-day booklet which had the
advantage of keeping all information in one place. This was the public version, which
just held the timetable and some other stuff about the weekend’s attractions. If you
wanted to know what was working what, you could buy a working timetable which
was the size of a magazine. I did buy a rover ticket for the day and was given a
timetable booklet, but there are no rosters in this which is a bit of a guessing game as
to what was on each service. I am all for charging lineside photographers who do not
travel for the information, but it is a bit silly withholding this from passengers who
actually travel. If you are only visiting for one day, it is not really worth getting a
Working Timetable as it would be a waste of paper. It did not take much to work this
out once the first train had been taken, in this case, the 09:15 from Bridgnorth,
worked by 5542 as far as Highley. It was a case of working south by different trains
through to Kidderminster in time for lunch in the museum. Prior to this it was a
change of plan with a reversal of direction at Arley when Manston was picked up for a
run to Hampton Loade. From here it was on to Kidderminster behind 5690 Leander.
Arriving at 12:20. Freshly cut sandwiches are available in the museum café and are
very good quality at a reasonable price. Apart from a number of sales stands, the
usual outlets were open, including the pub and bookshop.




  Collet 0-6-0 3205 stands in Highley loop with a local train to Kidderminster

So, after lunch, it was back to Arley behind 3205 where a pleasant half hour was
spent at this very attractive station. Once again, the local train arrived behind Prarie
4566 and disappeared into the station yard sidings to allow through trains to pass. A
break of journey at Highley took advantage of a visit to the Engine House museum
where the balcony was used to take a few pictures of passing trains. There was not
much movement inside the Engine House exhibit-wise, which is a good dry storage
area for those exhibits that are out of traffic waiting their turn in the workshops. The
new footbridge was in use, enabling passengers to catch trains, rather than miss
them! The station café was sampled which included a chunk of Highley Slice.

Heading back to Bridgnorth, a break was made at Hampton Loade to view train
movements, plus seeing what was happening on the radio controlled live steam
Paddock Railway. A good crowd was at Hampton Loade, which hosts refreshments
and a railway relics emporium. The Stafford sign at £120 is still for sale here! (not a
totem but a black and white modern sign). During the stay, 3717 City of Truro arrived
and departed for Bridgnorth, with steam bellowing out from the front end. Despite the
hissing, it did not lack any power in getting its train away swiftly.

The last train of the day for myself was a double-headed Pannier affair on two
coaches, headed by 5764. This superpower certainly went well up Eardington Bank
and gave 4566 a run for its money. Although ridiculous on two coaches, this is what
Gala’s is all about, the unusual and bizarre going alongside the traditional. Back at
Bridgnorth, a quick look round the shed and it was time to leave having seen enough
and travelled on everything. More Galas in the bag.




 A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado arraives at Bristol with the Torbay Express – 26 Sept 2010

On Sunday 26th September it was off to Bristol to work on the Torbay Express.
Locomotive for the day was A1 60163 Tornado and this was to be the last Torbay
Express of 2010 at the end of the season. The stock was a little late arriving as a
result of shunting movements but we were soon underway with Tornado warming up
slowly as we increased speed through the suburbs. A diversion off the main line was
made to pick up at Weston super Mare and we were soon back up to speed as we
traversed the Somerset Levels through to Highbridge and Bridgwater. Water was
taken from a fire engine at Taunton which allowed passengers an opportunity to take
a picture or two. A couple of service trains came past us here.

A high speed run followed to Exeter where a 2-minute stop was made. Next we were
off towards Dawlish and the run along the sea wall. Quite a few onlookers were out
with cameras as we ran past Langstone Rock and on to the famous sea wall. It was
a bright and sunny day and Tornado must have looked superb as we ran towards
Teignmouth, whistling furiously through the station. A very brief stop was made at
Newton Abbot back platform before we were signalled on to the Torquay branch. It
was not too long before we arrived at Paignton where we changed crews for the
Paignton & Dartmouth Railway run to Kingswear. The long and steep climb up to
Churston was taken confidently with no slipping today. The warm weather greeted
us as we arrived in Kingswear and passengers detrained to catch the foot ferry to
Dartmouth. Did you know that there is a station in Dartmouth, dating from 1864, but
never had any trains? Although built as a station, the nearest railhead is across the
water in Kingswear! The building is currently a restaurant. There were a few hours
available here to explore the town across the Dart. Once the train had been shunted
and Tornado released to return to Churston and visit the turntable for turning, there
was time for some Sunday lunch from the Ship Inn. Taking the ferry over the water,
a visit was made to the ice cream emporium for the mandatory ice cream!




       Tornado climbs to Greenway Tunnel on the return Torbay Express

It was then back on the ferry to join the train again. We then had to dish out the pre-
ordered cream teas prior to departure. With everybody back (we think!) we left
Kingswear and commenced the climb up to the tunnel at Greenway. This is quite
difficult with a 12-coach load and something that the local P&D services do not
normally have to contend with. On this particular day, the trains were due to cross at
5pm at Kingswear, but on this occasion was diesel hauled by Class 25 No. D7535 as
the regular Prairie had failed earlier that day. This left before us and we did not have
to push it over the hill either. We made our way to Paignton, where we stopped to
pick up further passengers. Prior to our arrival, there was a young couple that had
joined the wrong train at Kingswear and they were intending alighting at Goodrington.
However we did not stop there and so they had to go through to Paignton to alight.
The girlfriend was not too happy though and the bloke had to walk back to
Goodrington to get the car! The general public are wonderful at times!
The run back to Bristol was dogged by a poor path out of Newton Abbot, being
booked behind a stopper. It was inevitable that we would catch this up and this
occurred at Dawlish. We did however manage a thrash at line speed through
Teignmouth before the brakes came on, eventually coming to a stop at Dawlish
Warren. We crawled along to Starcross and then we were able to pick up speed a bit
prior to Exeter. A short stop was made here and we were off again with great gusto.
The section up to Whiteball Tunnel was very quick as Tornado tore in to the gradient,
passing the tunnel summit in 19min 38 seconds at 65 mph. This was 40 seconds
slower than 71000 Duke of Gloucester the week before but ‘Tornado’ was hauling an
extra coach of 37 tons. This was, I was reliably informed, one of the fastest runs up
the hill for some time and may have even been a record for the 12-coach load. It was
certainly pulling well with a good head of steam.




Tornado arries back in Bristol with the final Torbay Express of 2010 – 26 September 2010

There was a booked stop at Taunton for water and again the fire engine was on duty
with its pumps. The evening sunshine was also about to disappear, but not before a
long shadow and evening glow was cast over the station. The departure from
Taunton was sharp and brisk resulting in an early arrival at Weston super Mare. Due
to the single line section, we had to wait here for booked-time as we would conflict
elsewhere with other traffic. The remainder of the run back to Bristol was equally
exhilarating with a maximum of 76 mph near Flax Bourton. So, the last Torbay
Express of 2010 arrived back in Bristol Temple Meads and everybody went home
happy with the day’s performance. The first Torbay Express of 2011 will be on 5
June and motive power so far announced will include 71000 and 6024. It is still
uncertain as to what will happen with 6024 as there are a number of issues for the
loco owning society to resolve, and the loco may even be sold to cover debts.

                                            Moving down the calendar a bit more, we
                                            now find ourselves in October and
                                            Saturday 2 October was a special day as
                                            Duchess of Sutherland was to work north
                                            of the border to Stirling. This tour was
                                            appropriately named ‘The Royal Scot’ and
                                            originated at Stafford (at an unearthly
                                            05:50 hours). Joining at Crewe at 06:16
                                            was not much better though, but
                                            considering the distance, this was
                                            inevitable in this day and age of track
                                            capacity and lack of steam friendly
                                            infrastructure.   The train was diesel
                                            hauled to Carlisle and the West Coast
                                            Class 57 was used which promptly lost
                                            time on the climb to Shap. The Duchess
                                            was attached at Carlisle for the run north
                                            over Beattock. We ran quickly along the
                                            lower parts of the former Caledonian
                                            Railway through Lockerbie and hit the
                                            foot of the bank at Beattock station at 67
                                            mph. Pace was retarded slowly as the 1
in 75 gradient kicked in and we passed the mid way point at around 43 mph. The cry
from the Duchess being worked hard was quite superb and the last few miles to the
summit heard the loco exhaust beat echoing nicely off the rock cutting. We passed
the summit at 36½ mph. The weather was not that pleasant either with wet
conditions all the way up the climb, but 6233 managed to keep its feet together
without slipping. Being a passenger on this train, I was kindly invited into the first
coach by the Princess Royal lads and was able to use the sound recorder for the
climb to the summit which was near perfect recording conditions. Playing this back
certainly revives just what a superb performance this was.

We made a scheduled stop in
Abington Loop for water supplied
by the following West Coast road
tanker (which follows the trains all
over the place!). We did leave
here a little late but were sent on
our way via Mossend and
Cumbernauld to read Stirling in
the wet.      In fact the weather
deteriorated considerably by the
time we were ready to leave
southbound. The break in Stirling
allowed for lunch in a nearby pub
and a pint or two (not working
today remember!). There were
also a few buses to watch as well.

Back at the station, there were a few shunting moves to make before we could
depart, but passengers did have the opportunity to take some pictures (in the driving
rain). We made another noisy departure and returned via the same route back to
Carlisle. The climb to Beattock was a bit dogged by signal checks and we had to
spend some time in the loop at Carstairs, plus half an hour in Lockerbie loop.




6233 awaits the signal to collect the stock from the sidings at Stirling – 2 October 2010

From Carlisle it was a different story indeed. The departure was firm and with vigour
as 6233 was set about the task of lifting the 12-coach load away from the Citadel. By
Upperby we were working hard against the rising gradient to Penrith. Speed ran up
to 46 mph on the climb though Wreay and Southwaite, peaking at 68 mph
approaching Penrith. We tore through Penrith at 71½ mph and speed rose to 72½
mph as we ran over Clifton & Lowther station site where the gradient eases. Hitting
the start of the 1 in 125 speed was at 70 mph and this fell back to 59½ mph by the
time we reached Shap station site. The last bit of the climb to the summit at Shap
was topped at 62½ mph and according to the timers on the train, this performance
broke the record set by 60532 Blue Peter in 1997. Something special had happened
that day causing a new record to be achieved in the preservation era. Now that does
not happen everyday! I am also pleased that this fine Stanier product has rightfully
regained the title over its LNER counterparts on what is classic LMS territory.

The remainder of the run back to Carnforth saw some fast running down the
gradients of Shap and Grayrigg via Oxenholme before we took the goods loop at
Carnforth to affect the locomotive changeover back to diesel traction.
This was the Duchess’s last trip over Shap and was to be withdrawn in November for
a full 10-year overhaul. The society reckons this will be a two-year exercise and
hopes to get the Duchess back in service within this time period. Work will be
undertaken at Butterley with some components going outside for specialist work to be
completed. The livery is also expected to be revised as well and can we hope for
green perhaps?




  46115 Scots Guardsman at Carlisle with thje Hadrian tour – 9 October 2010

Saturday 9th October meant getting to Leicester for an 05:51 departure with The
Hadrian train to Carlisle. Fortunately, there was a hotel involved which cushioned the
early start (and finish!). This was to be steam hauled from Hellifield to Carlisle, then
on through Hexham towards Newcastle and south to York, a bit of a grand circular
tour. With a Class 47 on the front and a Class 37 at the rear, we left Leicester
exactly on time and picked up at Loughborough, Nottingham and Grantham. We had
to reverse at Grantham, hence the top and tail mode. Leaving a bit late due to a late
running East Midlands 153 unit, the 37 roared down the ECML and we weaved our
way via Doncaster and the back end of Wakefield to reach Leeds.. It was then a short
hop to Hellifield where our locomotive for the day was waiting in the form of 46115
Scots Guardsman.

Forty five minutes were allowed here to change over from diesel to steam, leaving
the Class 47 on the rear for heating (and for insurance should the dreaded ‘leaf on
the rails’ problem occur on the slopes). On time at 10:55 we drew out of the loop and
made our way to Settle Junction where we joined the Settle-Carlisle line proper,
commencing the 15-mile 1 in 100 climb to Blea Moor. Progress on the lower parts
through Settle was actually quite fast which was surprising for a 12 coach load and a
Class 47 on the back. Whether there was any diesel assistance at all I cannot be
sure, but I would suspect that if there was any activity from the Class 47 then it would
be to keep its own weight moving. Otherwise it was a superb climb all the way to the
viaduct at Ribblehead. Once through Bale Moor tunnel, we ran across to the summit
at Ais Gill and on to Appleby where a brief stop was made for water. This was the
first point that the passengers could leave the train since Leicester – quite a sit down
until now!




46115 Scots Guardsman at the south end of Carlisle station awaiting the stock for the
             return ‘Hadrian’ tour back to Leicester – 9 October 2010

With water provided from the bespoke West Coast road tanker, we left for Carlisle,
running at line speed with the Scot in good form. There was three hours in Carlisle
and after doing the chores on the train, time was available to visit the town for a
change of scenery.

We left Carlisle on time and took the Newcastle line. It is a pleasant line all the way
through Haltwhistle and Hexham, flowing Hadrian’s wall for most of the way (hence
the train’s name!). I was surprised at how fast this route is as we rolled along at
60mph in places, hardly a backwater railway. We avoided Newcastle and took the
Low Fell curve to Low Fell Yard where water was taken. There was some problem
encountered here in watering and the subsequent run to York saw a bit more that
expected diesel assistance to get us back. If water was low then this was the only
option. The Scot once again ran at 75mph for most of the way, arriving early in to
York
Here, Scots Guardsman was removed and sent off to the NRM for the night. It was
due to go back to Carnforth the following day. All we had to do now was return to
Leicester, although not via Grantham as the line was closed that evening due to
engineering work. The dreaded bus replacement was in place and some had to
endure this from Doncaster. We returned via Sheffield and the Erewash Valley line,
but went into Nottingham where we reversed. The Scot ran very well and regained
some of its tarnished reputation from previous trips. Hopefully this is now all in the
past.




        4953 Pitchford Hall arrives at Rothley – Sunday 10 October 2010

Staying overnight in Leicester, it was a leisurely breakfast Sunday morning and it just
happened to be the Great Central Gala weekend, so being just up the road, I was
able to visit this railway on the Sunday. As it turned out it was a glorious day with
blue sky all day. Parking at Quorn, the first person I bumped into was Mick Mills! We
had a ride to Loughborough on 71000 Duke of Gloucester. Quorn was also host to a
number of traction engines and displays, including a Class 47 and a Crompton.

This year's Autumn Gala had an Eastern Region feel with the K4 61994 The Great
Marquess, Class D49 246 Morayshire and the Standard 2 were in service. The BR
Standard 2 No. 78019 was running as a long scrapped Scottish classmate 78054.
Also out and about was the sole surviving GCR freight engine 04 class No. 63601.
The return of 71000 Duke of Gloucester saw the loco’s returns after 23 years since it
departed the line. Newly restored Black 5 No. 5305 was in service and this has since
done a couple of main line excursions, including destinations such as Buxton and
London Euston!
The resident N2 number 1744 was rostered for service but blew a gasket early on
Sunday morning resulting in its withdrawal from service that day. It was to be seen
languishing in the shed yard at Loughborough. I last had a ride behind this loco on
the Severn Valley and the Llangollen Railways when it performed very well. The sole
surviving J72 No. 69023 Joem also ran on a few local trains. So that was the line up
for the gala weekend.




  Great Central 04 No. 63601 departs from Loughborough with a freight train

As it was such a nice day, photography was excellent, even if it was a bit crowded on
the platforms. One advantage of the double track running is that trains can run very
frequently and you are not more than 10 minutes or so from a departure. Having
been used to single line railways where trains cross, it was a bit of a culture shock to
think that you have time to change trains at a station only to find your intended train
pulling out as you arrive! They don’t have to wait for trains coming the other way!

Whilst at Loughborough, it is always worth walking down to the shed yard to see what
is going on. With so many locos running, there was always an arrival on shed for
servicing. Whilst the workshops were closed off to casual browsers, I did get shown
round by a fitter and was able to look at the projects under restoration inside the
shops. Some are long term projects that will be a few more years yet before they turn
a wheel. Out at the back was Oliver Cromwell, still receiving attention following its
withdrawal from main line duties. Loughborough station was busy all day and the
various trade stalls were doing well.

At the other end of the line at Leicester North, locos have to run round and this is a
popular spot to get a picture or two. There is now a station building here with mod
cons since my last visit (which was several years ago now). Rothley is also a
convenient place to break the journey and there is a café in the goods yard, although
on this occasion, it was a bit busy. There is another (quieter) café under the road
bridge at Rothley which was good value, set in 1940s war time décor (before my time
I hasten to add!).




  71000 Duke of Gloucester runs round at Leicester North station – 10 October 2010

Catching the Black 5 – 5305 – from Rothley to Quorn, this was working the dining car
                                 train and this had very little non-dining
                                 accommodation (the brake van to be exact)! It also
                                 stopped for 10 minutes on the causeway at the
                                 reservoir for the diners to have a nice view of the
                                 waters. So, glad to get off this at Quorn. During
                                 the day, I managed to have a ride behind
                                 everything in steam that day (except for the N2
                                 which had failed). There were very many people
                                 out and about on the trains, no doubt helped by the
                                 very good shirt-sleeves weather. The platforms
                                 were also very busy and it was near impossible to
                                 get pictures of trains arriving unless you planned
                                 your position.       There were many lineside
                                 photographers (adding considerably to the dreaded
                                 hi-viz problem), although many of these were down
                                 the line, but quite a few congregated around
                                 stations. Expect it is additional income for the
                                 CGR.

                                 After all this excitement of double track running and
good weather, it was back home after two days of excellent steam haulage. I wonder
if Mick ever saw that exhibition he was supposed to be attending!




   Bagnall No. 2 leaves Foxfield Colliery yard with a freight train – 23 October 2010

Towards the end of October on Saturday 23, it was off to Foxfield for another visit this
year to sample their Autumn Steam Gala. Running over the weekend was to the
same timetable each day and I visited the line on the Saturday which, weatherise,
was the worst day of the weekend. I had another booking on the Sunday so it had to
be the Saturday or not at all. It was a wet start for the drive over to Blythe Bridge and
arrival was at 09:00. I did not fancy seeing the goods departure at 07:00 worked by
Florence, so it was a more sedate start to the day. After obtaining a day-rover, going
round the shed and seeing the 09:30 train leave, it was on the shuttle-bus to Foxfield
Colliery to observe some of the freight workings. Although it was wet and drizzly, the
early morning part of the day was to be the best weatherise and I was able to obtain
some superb back-lit shots of trains departing from the colliery yard. This was not to
last as the weather gradually deteriorated as the day drew on, requiring umbrella for
most of the afternoon, and a bit of a déjà vu from 2009. Locomotives in steam on the
Saturday included Bagnall No. 2, work number 2842, Bellerophon, Wimblebury,
Whiston and Florence. The Dubs Crane should have been working but it had failed
with some technical issue regarding the boiler. It did come out later in the day
though but was confined to the shed yard and station area where it gave
demonstrations on lifting. It was certainly novel to watch the whole crane jib swing
round 180 degrees.
In addition to the passenger workings to and from Caverswall Road and Dilhorne
Park, freight trains ran up and down Foxfield bank. As on previous occasions this is a
good place tot be to observe the locos working hard against the 1 in 19 gradient,
some with banking engines and others double headed. The timetable held together
very well throughout the day and the rain did not seem to hamper progress, although
there was some slipping on wet rail leaving the colliery.




 Whiston climbs Foxfield Bank when a rare bit of sunshine made a timely appearance

To pacify the brave souls who ventured out on this wet and soggy day, the tea hut
was in full swing, complete with coal burner fire. This was serving hot tea all day,
along with a selection of home backing, all very welcome between trains. By later
afternoon, it started to get cold so it was time to call it a day and head back home.
Walking back up the path adjacent to the line as far as Dilhorne Park, the 16:26 train
was taken back to Caverswall Road,
worked by Florence. It was good to
have the steam heat working as well to
aid the drying out factor. There were a
reasonable number on the train but I
would suspect that the weather had
put people off today and that the
Sunday would be a lot better (as was
indeed the case!). A last look round
the shed and a demonstration of lifting
by the Dubs ended the day at Foxfield.
It was back to the car and, with heater
on full blast, off back home.
Thant about concludes the ramblings for this month and things will start to clam down
a bit now on the main line. I have a Christmas train on 12 December from Liverpool
to York, pulled by 6201 Princess Elizabeth. More on this next time.

The steam programme for 2011 is starting to filter through now, although there are
still some details to come through. Steam Dreams have launched a packed
programme of trips for the whole year, featuring main line locos like 60163 Tornado,
plus a session around the south with the 8F 48151!

The Great Britain tour – The GBIV – will operate in 2011 over the period Saturday
16th April to Sunday 24 April 2011. This is a nine-day extravaganza from Paddington
to Wick and Penzance with varied motive power, being the annual Railway Touring
Company marathon. If this is not enough there is a second mega trip run by Steam
Dreams over the period Friday 6 May to Friday 13 May 2011. This 8-day tour will be
known as the Cathedrals Explorer and will run from Kent to run to Scotland and
return via the Central Wales line, again with varied motive power. If you were
thinking of going on either or both of these tours, then the GBIV is £195 First & £2155
Premier class, with eth cathedrals Explorer being £1350 for Standard, £1650 First,
£1995 Premier and £2495 for Pullman class! Better get saving now for these!

David Hughes
Steam Correspondent

				
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