Locomotive Performance

Diesel Miscellany 2

This page continues the theme that was started in Edition 2 of Locomotive Performance, when I produced a page titled "Diesel Miscellany". It covered unusual workings and classes of diesel locomotives that did not fit into any particular category. The page generated considerable interest, and still does. So a sequel is called for.

So here we have more unusual workings, many of which resulted from Modern Traction railtours, or the Diesel sections of Steam Railtours. I have to own up to the fact that my Deltic runs total only two (excluding Heritage Railways). And they are both here. As are combinations of Fragonset class 31's, DRS class 20's, Slim-Jim  class 33's, a pair of 26's, and a few class 24's and 25's. 

My journeys are dealt with in date order.

July 1962: CLASS 24 no D5012: Crewe to Birmingham. Returning home after a business trip to Manchester, it was usually steam from Crewe. But a class 24 turned up on a couple of occasions. This was the first (I failed to note the exact date)  [view log of D5012]
14th September 1980: CLASS 25's 25303 and 25278 took over from Steam Haulage at Dorridge and worked the "John Mynors Memorial Train" to and from Kidderminster, out via Birmingham New Street, Bromsgrove and Worcester (reverse), and back via Stourbridge Junction and New Street [view logs of 25303 & 25278]
11th March 1981: B.R ran a Charter from Liverpool to York and return to celebrate "150 years of Troops by Train". Outwards the motive power was steam in the form of 850 Lord Nelson, and the return, which ran via Doncaster and Sheffield, was with DELTIC no 55002 Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. I travelled as far as Manchester, and we reached 84 mph near Moss, and  there was also an 80 mph in the Hope Valley, and a fast climb to Cowburn tunnel. A good way to end the day  [view log of 55002]
5th November 1983: An SLOA "Cumbrian Mountain Express" with steam haulage over the Settle & Carlisle southbound. The morning trip up to Carlisle also went (unusually) over the S & C, and we had the uncommon combination of CLASS  25 no 25035 and CLASS 31 no 31102. I only managed to time the Leeds to Appleby section before I was called away to attend to some urgent SLOA business [view log of 25035 & 31102]
30th March 1985: SLOA ran the "Fair Maid" railtour which had steam haulage in Scotland from Edinburgh to Perth and back. On the journey north, the electric loco came off at Carstairs, and a pair of CLASS 26's, nos 26023 and 26032, backed down for the run to Edinburgh. This short run was my only class 26 haulage  [view log of 26023 & 26032]

June and August 1992: By 1992, Saturday loco hauled services on the Cambrian were in decline, and the 37's had gone, as had the 10 and 11 coach trains. But CLASS 31's were a fair substitute, and handled the shorter 6 coach trains with ease. The Double heading that was usual was not necessary.  On 27th June, I had a round trip from Fairbourne to Pwllheli and back on a single 31, no 31147. There were some good noises from up front, and the top speed was 62 mph westbound near Afonwen [view log of 31147]  Then on 8th August, by chance I happened to be close to Porthmadog station when 31146 and 31166 came in, also with a six coach load. So I jumped on for the short trip to Pwllheli and back. It was easy work, and top speed was 66 mph near Black Rock [view log of 31146 & 31166]
23rd April 1994: The "Wessex Railtour" featured a trip down the Weymouth Quayside, and the Swanage Steam Railway (by coach). The tour ran from Kidderminster to Bristol with a 47, then a pair of "Slim" CLASS 33's, 33202 and 33204,  came on  for the trip via Westbury, to Weymouth. And the Quay. The return was via Bournemouth, to Reading, where another 47 took over for the run via Swindon and Cheltenham back to Kidderminster. The 33's were 60 mph machines, so the fireworks were limited to the very noisy ascents up to Evershot, then up to Bincombe tunnel, and from Poole up to Branksome. I believe that the tour was organized by the Severn Valley Railway Association. [view logs of 33202 & 33204]
20th April 1996: The Pathfinder "Southern Coasterman" tour featured a pair of CLASS 33 CROMPTONS, nos 33026 Seafire and 33057 Seagull, working through from Bristol to Birmingham and on to Basingstoke, where class 71 Electric no E5001 was  booked to run on to Brighton, then Eastbourne. The 33's then continued up the Brighton line, the West London line, and the West Coast Main line, to Birmingham, then back to Bristol. I joined the train at Coventry, and we made an unshceduled stop at Kenilworth, to enable a late running HST to get by. But we then missed out the scheduled centre road stop at Leamington. Despite both locos been 60 mph restricted, we ran at speeds of up to 78 mph. We were delayed heavily on the Reading to Basingstoke section, so the log starts at passing Leamington and ends at Oxford Road Junction  [view log of 33026 & 33057] The return from Eastbourne in the evening was beset with signal delays on both the Brighton line and the West Coast main line, so a log would be pointless.  
1st June 1996: Trips up the Cumbrian Coast line are always enjoyable. So when Pathfinder organized the "Cumbrian Coaster", with DRS CLASS 37 and CLASS 20 haulage, it was a must. From Crewe we had a triple header, 20301, 20303, and 20302. Presumably they were 60 mph restricted. The coast line is far from straightforward. It abounds with sharp curvature and speed restricted viaducts, and climbs to Lindal summit both ways  [view log of 20301, 20303, 20302].  On the return from Ravenglass, we had 2 locos only, 20301 & 20302 [view log of 20301 & 20302] 
30th October 1999: The "Tees-Tyne Venturer" railtour, again a Pathfinder tour, featured DELTIC haulage, in the form of D9000 Royal Scots Grey,  from Wolverhampton to York and return, and steam haulage with 60800 Green Arrow from York to Newcastle and return. Northbound, with a 12 coach, 450/480 ton load, D9000 was 16 late from Tamworth (awaiting train crew at Wolverhampton), and 8 late at York. The best running was on the Tamworth to Burton, and Doncaster to York, sections. We reached 100 mph near Hambleton. The return from York was delayed by the effects a storm in the Durham area, which knocked out the signalling  (with 60800 we were the last train to get through from Newcastle). So we were 51 late leaving York, and 57 late by Tamworth [view log of D9000]
13th July 2002: The "Cumbrian Coast Explorer", organized by Eagle Railtours. A pair of Fragonset CLASS 33's, 31128 and 31459 made a fine sight at the head of a 7 coach load. A feature of this charter was a late Railtrack alteration to the timings, which meant a longer journey, with less time at destination. The journey from Dorridge, where I joined, to Ravenglass took almost 6 hours, and included 30 minutes delays approaching Preston, then 40 minutes further standing in the station [view log of 31128 & 31459]. The return was similar. The "pathing" additions in the schedule were not needed, but this time we were allowed to run,  and we turned a 25 minute late departure from Ravenglass into a 26 minute early arrival at Dorridge. Apart from Railtrack's timing shambles, the tour was excellent. The weather was good, the 31's ran well, at up to 90 mph, and the Ratty, as always, was splendid. Sadly Eagle Railtours decided that enough was enough, and that any further Railtrack timing nonsense was not for them  [view log of 31128 & 31459]
The opportunities for travelling behind non-standard diesel locomotives on the main line are getting less as each month goes by. I still have many gaps, which will not now be filled. But fortunately we have the Heritage Railways. And they seem to have most of the classes well covered. 

Click for Link to Pathfinder Tours website