Locomotive Performance

Class 50's on the Western


Here are a selection of runs made between 1984 and 1993, covering the Paddington to Oxford, the Lickey route south from Birmingham, the Paddington to West of England line, and the grand class 50 finale in 1993, when Pathfonder ran two spectacular tours that between them, covered most of Cornwall. In the late 1980's my Saturdays seem to alternate between 50's on the Oxford line, and 50's on the Waterloo to Exeter line.
  Cross Country services via Birmingham   
1984: 50045 Achilles: Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads on 9.20am Liverpool to Penzance on 18th February 1984. A punctual run with an 8 coach load with a driver who kept strictly to the 90 mph linespeed  [view log of 50045]
1984: 50048 Dauntless: Birmingham New Street to Cardiff on the Glasgow to Cardiff service on 6th December 1984. Darkness, combined with a bitterly cold evening and some snow, made train timing difficult. The running with a 12 coach load was vigorous throughout, with 100 mph plus at Eckington  [view log of 50048]
1985: 50022 Anson: Leamington Spa to Reading on the 9.00am Manchester to Poole on 29th May 1985. An everyday sort of run with a 11 coach load and a top speed of 90 mph at Pangbourne  [view log of 50022]
  Paddington to Oxford services  
1989: 50040 Centurian  on the 3.15pm Paddington to Oxford on 14th January 1989 and 50030 Repulse on the 2.07pm Paddington to Oxford (2.15pm retimed) on 25th February 1989 [view logs of 50040 & 50030]
1989: 50024 Vanguard on the 12.15pm Paddington to Oxford on 20th March 1989 and 50025 Invincible on 2.15pm Paddington to Oxford on 23rd May 1989  [view logs of 50024 & 50025]
1989: 50026 Indomitable on the 10.00am Oxford to Paddington and 50039 Implacable on the 2.00pm Oxford to Paddington both on 14th January 1989 [view logs of 50026 & 50039]
1989: 50024 Vanguard on the 2.00pm Oxford to Paddington on 20th March 1989 and 50031 Hood on the 11.00am from Oxford on 21st November 1989 [view logs of 50024 & 50031]
   West of England Railtours  

1985: 50007 took over a failed "Great Western 150" Steam charter at Totnes, returning to Paddington via Exeter, Bristol, Trowbridge, and Westbury east curve. The loco ran superbly and got us back into Paddington at 12.26am. The steam charter was from Bristol to Plymouth and came to an abrupt end when Castle 5051 and Hall 4930, double heading, were not able to make Dainton summit. 50007 was taken off a following train to assist, and the West of England main line was left in chaos [view log of 50007]
31st May 1993: Pathfinder Tours CORNISHMAN Railtour:
Locomotives used were 50007 Sir Edward Elgar. 50033 Glorious. 50050 Fearless.
(1) 50050 & 50033 Exeter St Davids to Plymouth & Penzance [view log of 50050 & 50033]
(2) 50007 Penzance to Plymouth [view log of 50007][view log of 50007]
(3) 50003, 50050, & 50007 Plymouth to Bristol [view log of 50003 50050 50007]
19th March 1994: Pathfinder Tours CORNISH CAPER Railtour:
Locomotives used were 50007 Sir Edward Elgar. 50033 Glorious. 50050 Fearless. 
(1) 50050 & 50007 Bristol to Plymouth.
(2) 50007 (with 50003 on rear) Plymouth to Par and Newquay.
(3) 50033 (with 50007 on rear) Newquay to Par.
(4) 50050 & 50007 Par to Penzance.
(5) 50033 (with 50050 & 50007 on rear) Penzance to St Ives.
(6) 50050 & 50007 (with 50033 on rear) St Ives to Penzance. 
(7) 50033 & 50050 Penzance to Bristol and Birmingham.
Cornish Caper Railtour  [view combined log]
The two Pathfinder  tours above represented the Class 50 grand finale, and featured three locomotives in various combinations. Special mention should be made of the proceedings at Plymouth, when the signalmen and station staff staged a series of locomotive movements and "run pasts" for the benefits of the railtour passengers.
Both of the pictures above are copyright Steve Jones and are reproduced with his consent.