Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Steamage, Mar 4, 2019.
It was certainly Tornado that left Bo'ness this morning.
35 late nr Thornton, 20L into Edinburgh - any one know any details?
That would be me! Just arrived home from Edinburgh, will post details of trip in next couple of days.
Look forward to that. We're on next Thursday's trip(8th).
The Aberdonian 01 August 2019 – 60163 Tornado hauling 10+POB
The A1SLT are running a short series of Aberdonians (Edinburgh to Aberdeen and return), the trains are being operated by WCRC. Living in deepest Lancashire this trip necessitates two nights stay in Edinburgh. When I told Mrs W about the trip she made herself instantly available; Mrs W likes Edinburgh and, just like me, has never been to Aberdeen.
The Super Voyager (how lucky were we!) from Preston on Wednesday lunchtime saw us checking in to our hotel mid-afternoon. The remainder of the day was ours. It was warm and sunny; an ice cream and a walk up Calton Hill, followed by a drink in The Oxford Bar (Rebus), some food and a general mooch then back to the hotel.
The trips were originally advertised as crossing the Forth and Tay Bridges – NR soon put a stop to that. The Tay Bridge, whilst not quite as bad as London Bridge in the nursery rhyme, is now considered unsuitable for all but the lightest of stock. Earlier in the year the route was changed to reach Dundee via Ladybank and Perth – the long way round. So just the Forth Bridge, well ordinarily, but today there was a “banana on the track”; the measurement train had pinched our path. We found ourselves pathed via Stirling before picking up our original route at Perth – the longer way round (and no Forth Bridge). Strangely we were scheduled to depart from the recently commissioned platform 5 (a bay platform) thus having to head east before going round the suburban line to Haymarket W Jn. The return route was via Ladybank and so we would cross the Forth Bridge – Mrs W was pleased(ish).
It was overcast and light rain began to fall as we waited on platform 5 at Waverley station. The SRPS owned stock was due to be diesel hauled from Bo’ness then via the suburban line and in to the bay platform (with Tornado already on the rear). On the day before the trip RTT showed an important change; a LE path for the diesel – it would be a steam only day! A broken down train to the west of Edinburgh rendered the station very quiet and the knock on effects delayed our ECS by around 20 mins. 37.685, Loch Arkaig brought in the ECS and was then detached. Mrs W and I took our seats in the 5th coach. 22¼L we were off, Steve Chipperfield driving and Neil Woods firing.
Once away (to the east) we got only a couple of miles when we were held for 1½ mins before turning onto the suburban line at Portobello Jn. We curved around and headed west and after a little over 10 miles reached Haymarket W Jn (2½ miles by the direct route). Tornado soon began to get the train moving; Edinburgh Park 56, Newbridge Jn 68 and almost 70 at Winchburgh Jn (19¼L) – all on easy gradients (1/960r) but effortlessly done. The gradient changes (1/880f) and we shot through Linlithgow at 75.9 (18¼L). We slowed through Polmont (27 & 20¼L) as we prepared to turn off at Polmont Jn before quickly gathering speed down the 1/100f to Grangemouth Jn (49.2) and through Falkirk Grahamstown (47 & 20L). We slowed again through Camelon before branching off at Carmuirs E Jn and finally joining the Stirling line at Larbert Jn, (I did say it was the longer way round).
We passed through Larbert at 32.7 (17¾L) then dropped down to cross the M9 at 64. Next comes 2 miles of 1/126r towards Plean, topped at 59.4 then down the hill past Bannockburn (74) before slowing for the stunning city of Stirling (26 & 14¾L) finally accelerating across the Forth Viaduct at 40. We had travelled 45 miles from Edinburgh to cross the Forth. We hit the foot of the climb to Kinbuck (6½ miles of mainly at 1/100r and 1/88r) at 59.5, 1¾ miles at 1/100r had reduced this to 55.6 at Bridge of Allan – Tornado was snarling at the bank. Through Kippenross Tunnel at 49.3, the climb tightens to 1/78r and down to 45.6 at Dunblane. 2¾ miles to the summit (much at 1/88r), speed fell away only slowly with a min of 41.2 at the summit. The bank levels then climbs again, more gently, Tornado lifted the train with ease; Greenloaning SB 62.7, increasing to 64.4, falling back to 56.6 at Blackford SB and 58 at the summit before Gleneagles, with 65.2 at Gleneagles – we were now around 13L. Dropping down the hill we reached 73.1 at Auchterarder SB before slowing for Hilton Jn SB (12½L). We slowly approached Perth and were held in the station for 8 mins, leaving 21½L. Away on the single track section and over the Tay, back on the double track section we cruised along in the low 70s as we followed the Tay for mile after mile before slowing for our water stop at Invergowrie (16¾L). Water was taken from a tanker parked adjacent to the station; Tornado had hauled the train 94+ miles from Edinburgh (add another 28 miles of being towed from Bo’ness where water was last available).
The tender was quickly filled and we were away 13L for the short run to Dundee. We passed Dundee Airport where a light aircraft was coming in to land before stopping in Dundee station. A piper played us in and marched up and down the platform for the full length of the train; he was accompanied by a man dressed in a 1950s(?) station master’s uniform. We had a booked stop of 11 mins but ran over by a couple of minutes leaving 15¼L to the strains of “Scotland The Brave”. We plunged into the depths of Dock St Tunnel before accelerating past the harbour. There is a long level section as we headed along the coast; Broughty Ferry 62 (14½L), Balmossie 68, Monifieth 71 then down to 36 at Barry Links and all the way down to 10 before accelerating to 23 at Golf St and finally to our 2 min booked stop at Carnoustie (15¼L). We left Carnoustie 15L had a brief sprint up to 54 before slowing to 20 through Arbroath (18¾L). Leaving Arbroath, we accelerated up the 3 mile (av 1/110r) climb and reached the top at 40.6. We reached 60 in the next dip before passing Inverkeilor SB at 58.4 (19¼L) then 69 in the dip before beginning the curving climb (around 1/95r) that skirts Lunan Bay – topped at 44.2. We dropped down to Montrose (51.4 & 14L) as we climbed away we slowed to 12 around Hillside; then accelerated to reach the summit at 38. Gently downhill to Craigo SB (61.2 & 17¼L) followed by 3½ miles of around 1/110r topped at 42.7, dropping gently past Laurencekirk (60.8 & 16¼L) then past Fordoun at 72 before climbing up to the summit at Drumlithe (36). We dropped down to Stonehaven (67.6 & 14½L) and attacked the 2½ miles (av 1/110r) to reach the summit at 57.5. We picked up speed in the dip towards Muchalls Mill Viaduct (70) and the final part of the climb; Newtonhill SB (39.5 & 13½L), slowing to 25 before Portlethen, through Portlehen at 34.3 and 38.6 at the summit. Just time for a 63.2 as we ran down the hill into Aberdeen. We stopped in platform 6S, 16¼L. Tornado and its POB were detached, drew forward and then reversed through platform 7 for Tornado to use the turntable at Ferryhill. The pair would then return for the ECS and take it to Ferryhill sidings to await the return working.
We left the station, Mrs W had done her internet research and found an ice cream shop; locating it “in real life” proved a little more difficult however, using a combination of google map, dead reckoning and animal cunning we found Mackie’s Ice Cream Parlour. Mrs W had “fruits of the forest” and I had “birthday cake” – every day is somebody’s birthday! Then off to explore, it was grey and cool; after the brief light shower in Edinburgh the day had remained dry. It is not difficult to see why Aberdeen earned its name as “The Granite City”. Exploring done it was time for a pizza and to buy some fruit and water before returning to the station. After a few minutes, under the direction of our guard, @torgormaig, Tornado propelled the stock into platform 6. We re-boarded, now in the 8th coach, and prepared for our return journey. Peter Walker was now driving with Matt Earnshaw the fireman.
We departed ½L and Tornado was soon making some lovely sounds as she began to lift the train up the 7 miles (av 1/150r) to the summit beyond Cove Bay. After 3 miles we were up to 44.8 but then the loco was eased and ¾ mile further and we were down to 5mph, we continued at around 10 mph for another ¾ mile then we were away again. From 10 mph we reached 44.3 at the summit with wonderful sounds from the front. Into the dip and 61.4 at Portlethen, a minimal climb then downhill to Newtonhill SB (66 & 9¾L); the slow section on the climb had cost us some time. (The preceding SR service to Montrose also dropped time on this section). Down the hill again, with 55 across Muchalls Mill Viaduct then coasting up the short climb that follows; 33.2 at the summit. Down yet again across Glenury Viaduct and through Stonehaven (62.8 & 8¾L) next comes another 7 mile climb of various gradients. After 2½ miles there is a short level and we were still travelling at 52 mph, the climb continues with 1½ miles of 1/102r, topped at 42.2, another level and past Carmont SB (50.6 & 7L), a short gentle climb took us to the final summit (54.1) – fun all the way!
A long easy descent followed by a gentle climb saw us pass Laurencekirk SB at 58.5 (6¾L), up to 69.4 dropping down past Marykirk, next Craigo SB (64.5 & 6L), the short climb to the site of Kinnaber Jn reduced this to 63.1. A steep descent to Montrose (45.6 & 6¼L) and on to the single track to Usan Jn (39.2 & 5L) and beyond this the summit, reached 3½ miles at around 1/100r after Montrose, topped at 43.5. Then down the sweeping curve alongside Lunan Bay followed by 54 at Inverkeilor SB (5¾L) then slow through Arbroath. Next comes 12 miles of level track; a 2 min booked stop at Carnoustie was not required (40 & 5¼L), Golf Street (47.6), Barry Links (55.8), Monifieth (70), Balmossie (67) then slowing for Broughty Ferry (55 & 3¼L) and finally stopping in the DTL at Dundee (6½L). An optimistic 14 mins was allowed for a water stop; it was almost twice that before we left (16L).
The 21 miles from Dundee to Perth are by and large level; we ran steadily and up to 40.7 through Invergowrie, Errol SB (57.7 & 22¼L) and up to 71.4 as we passed Glencarse. Speed began to fall away slowly as we approached the short single track section at Barnhill; down to under 10 as we waited for the late running Glasgow to Dundee train to clear the section. We passed Barnhill Jn 25¾L, our scheduled 2 min stop at Perth took 30 seconds – now 23½L. We crawled through Moncrieffe Tunnel and branched left at Hilton Jn SB (26¾L); at this point we diverged from our outward route and were now heading towards Ladybank. The section Hilton Jn to Ladybank Jn is approx 15 miles of single track, we were badly out of path and were held for 12 mins waiting for a northbound service to clear the section. We were now around 39L – oh dear!
We ran the length of this single track with speed in the mid 40s to low 50s, we stopped briefly at Ladybank Jn where the double track resumes. The light was fading fast as we passed through Ladybank (23.4 & 34¼L). Next comes 3½ miles (av 1/100r) to Lochmuir, this was dismissed with 46.8 at the summit then down the hill to Markinch (53.9 & 35¼L) continuing down to Thornton N Jn (64.8). The scheduled 8 min stop in Thornton UPL was not required as we sailed past and now only 24L. Around Kinghorn, across the estuary we could make out the red lights on top of the cranes working on the Leith St redevelopment in Edinburgh. We continued down the hill but then we slowed as we were catching up with the Dundee to Edinburgh stopper; by Inverkeithing we were 31L. Things improved as we accelerated across the Forth Bridge with the brightly illuminated road bridge alongside. 45.7 through Dalmeny was followed by a brief 71 past the airport. A generous allowance saw us stop in Haymarket (20¼L); where many passengers left the train, away again 19¾L. There was a slow run into Waverley and we stopped in platform 8 at 22.20 (22¼L). Just time for a passing greeting to @torgormaig and then back to the hotel. It had been a long but enjoyable day.
So, the best bits; all of it – Tornado showed what a strong loco she is making everything look very easy. I appreciated the late change to the outward route having never previously travelled the Stirling to Perth section. On 13th Sep 1980 Mrs W and I were on the Tyne Tay Express 2, 60009 completed the Edinburgh to Dundee leg (across both bridges) and should have returned via Dunblane but failed at Dundee with a tender hot box. We returned via the bridges behind a couple of class 25s? So after a wait of almost 39 years . . . Job done! Never having visited Aberdeen before, my ice cream at Mackie’s became my most northerly ice cream (yet), surpassing that at Fort William (18 July 2017) by 23 miles. Mrs W was captivated by the wild deer hiding in the fields of golden cereal crops with only their heads visible; that is until they were startled by Tornado when off they galloped; their heads and arching backs coming rhythmically into view like land bound dolphins cutting through the waves.
My thanks to everyone who made this trip run; NR for finding an even better path after they pinched the one that they’d allocated and for letting us leave the diesel behind, WCRC for the train crews (both at the front and at the rear), SRPS for the stock, and A1SLT for promoting the tour and for the use of their magnificent locomotive and finally the people of Montrose who turned out in force in the evening sunshine to wave at the train – they were everywhere.
We left Edinburgh just before 11.00 on Friday (Pendolino), smoke was rising from 10A as we passed. Back in Preston at 13.15 and home for 14.00. After our visit to Scotland we were left with one unanswered question, “Whaur’s Wullie?”
What a great write up, thanks for that!
Shame the trips have booked stops at Carnoustie because that’s a real flyer of a section with a through run.
16 and 20 odd late at ABZ and WAV respectively is pretty good all things considered. I expect the next few runs will run closer to the clock with the crews now having a better appreciation of running unassisted and the gradients. Provided of course other trains don’t get in the way.
Drumlithie at 36 is a case in point.
Also glad to hear the stock movements at Aberdeen are working out well.
Many thanks for your excellent account @Oswald T Wistle
A super write up Oswald..... a couple of points to clarify some of your observations though.
Network Rail had to shut Stonehaven box and that’s what caused the delay after leaving Aberdeen.
With regard to the second water stop, the train arrived six minutes late and was ready to go six late but the signalman decided to hold it for a late running HST that was actually booked to follow the train. Very frustrating!! The support crew and Bells & Two Tones have often managed to water the locomotive in less than ten minutes so a 14 minute allowance was a reasonable one.
Not surprised by this. The Scotrail alliance is under intense political pressure to get its act together on punctuality.
Non timetabled trains will always lose out on priority up here as a result of that.
Thanks for your kind comment and the additional info. I was expecting a full blooded assault out of Aberdeen but that explains it. I know that a quick refill by the boys tends to be the rule but I incorrectly attributed the cause of the delay at Dundee; I would have looked out but the train manager had warned of all manner of retribution short of the death penalty. Signallers sending service trains in front of specials seems to be the norm everywhere.
While the holding of specials for the service trains to be kept to time is the norm, it does often happen the other way round.
Indeed, even on this run, West Coast informed Edinburgh Control Centre that there were several passengers on board the late return run that needed to be in Haymarket to connect with the 2213 1M97 Edinburgh - Manchester Airport. To make the connection now that the tour was late, it would require 2L82 Dundee - Edinburgh stopper to be looped in Inverkeithing Up Loop to allow 'Tornado' a clear run into Haymarket and Waverley. This was duly accepted, with a small delay occurring to the ScotRail service.
An encouraging anecdote, showing working for the greater railway, not just TOC "X" or trying to avoid delay minutes.
Tornado running late but making up time. Witnessed it passing Kirkcaldy with Peter Walker (I think?) driving. Couldn't identify the fireman.
A few photos from the Aberdonians last Thursday and today all taken in Kirkcaldy.
IMG_1016 by Sam 60103 posted Aug 8, 2019 at 9:33 PM
IMG_1015 by Sam 60103 posted Aug 8, 2019 at 9:33 PM
IMG_1013 by Sam 60103 posted Aug 8, 2019 at 9:32 PM
Bit late but thanks for your kind remarks. As you probably gathered I am totally unfamiliar with the route making it difficult to judge what is the norm on certain sections, your comments are much appreciated.
A bit late in the day, but glad that you enjoyed it.
Judging by photos Mick Kelly driving with John Rogers firing.
Tonight's run crossing Montrose Viaduct while heading South to Edinburgh :
Peppercorn A1 No. 60163 'Tornado' - Montrose by Jonathon Gourlay, on Flickr
My first proper attempt at filming mainline steam.
Carmont has a wealth of spots, this wasn’t the best. I’d encourage anyone looking for some serious shots to check it out. You have a week!
Fantastic picture. Tornado seems to suit running on this line just as much as Blue Peter did.
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