Chasing “roarers”, August 1990

Chasing “roarers”,  Aug 1990

By the Summer of 1990 chasing “roarers”, as i had done a fair bit since 1982, was getting pretty desperate. The “fish” (class 81) had finished on passenger, the “Cobblers” ( a good local source of mileage) had also finished leaving very few turns with just Summer Saturdays the potentially best day.

Friday August 24th 1990

On the second day of all line Rover i headed North in the hope of a roarer on something out of Crewe, i wasn’t confident at all. At Crewe i met up with “Desperate Dave” who as usual had the gen and the Glasgow Relief was allocated 85011!

Not long afterwards that distinctive “roar” filled Crewe station as 85011 arrived with 5 Mk I’s and a mk II to form the 0918 Crewe – Glasgow Relief. So a few of us gleefully boarded the front coach to enjoy the whine, screams and roars that came from 85011 albeit on a light load.

We passed en route 85034 stabled at Warington BQ,  31125 on a Barrow – Man Vic service and 85030 on stone at Shap. During the hour or so at Glasgow Central Desperate Dave got a TOPS print out for the world. The “nb” listed were just 3, 2 x 20 and the 31 viewed. How times had changed i thought.

Still the quoted 85037 soon backed onto the 1345 Glasgow – Euston relief using the same “pathetic” load 6 rake. The run back to Euston saw a rare (for me) daylight run through the Southern Uplands and Shap. Bashers on various Regional Rovers joined and left us en route, an additional unadvertised stop at Stafford helped a few more.

Desperate Dave and a few others left us at the Keynes so as we triumphally roared into Euston i had no idea what to do next, probably a unit back to Leighton. Being a Bank Holiday weekend the overnight trains from Euston had a blanket seat reservations only restriction and all trains were fully booked with the exception of the 2200 Euston – Holyhead. So hanging around the country end of platform 5/6 at Euston to say i was somewhat pleased was an understatement when 85037 then backed onto the 2200 Holyhead!        

321402            0534 Euston – Northampton                           L.Buzz – M.Keynes

86231              0625 Euston – Liverpool                                 M.Keynes – Crewe

85011              0918 Crewe – Glasgow Relief                                    Crewe – Glasgow C

85034  Warrington BQ

85030  Shap

85037              1345 Glasgow – Euston Relief                        Glasgow C – Euston

85037              2200 Euston – Holyhead                                 Euston – Crewe

Saturday August 25th 1990 

After a good run North behind 85037 to Crewe there was a short wait. Winning very new into service 90043 was joined on the 2203 Euston – Aberdeen. Surprisingly i managed to find a seat on a ridiculously short formed non sleeper portion. “Dentist chair” seating under bright lights pretty wedged up was a poor advert for the once glorious overnight services.

From Preston the hoped for 85011 roared in under the overall roof in the otherwise silent early hours at Preston, memories are made of this! At New St i retired to a empty waiting room cabin and fell asleep. Unfortunately i over dossed and missed 85011 going back on the 0450 Birmingham – Liverpool..

Plan B was rateable enough though with a 304/310 pairing (i think this was booked)  to Stafford and Stoke before rejoining 85011 on the Liverpool – Penzance at Crewe. A Wolves bail saw 47357 on the 0949 Wolves – Padd,  85037 on a Manchester – Weymouth with me joining 85003 on a Brum – Liverpool.

87007 and 86437 returned me South to New St for a final spin to Manchester and back behind 85011 back to New St with a quality rake of 11 Mk I’s,  my last “roarer”trip after a memorable 2 days chasing “roarers!….         

90043              2203 (24/8) Euston – Aberdeen                      Crewe – Preston

85011              2220 (24/8) Glasgow – Paignton                     Preston – New St

304030}          0555 Birmingham – Stafford                          New St – Stafford


304030}          0640 Stafford – Manchester                            Stafford – Stoke                     


310103            0710 Stoke – Walsall                                       Stoke – Stafford

87003              0657 Coventry – Edinburgh                            Stafford – Crewe

85011              0838 Liverpool – Penzance                             Crewe – Wolves

85037              0818 Manchester – Weymouth

85003              1005 Birmingham – Liverpool             Wolves – Lime St

87007              1210 Liverpool – Euston                                 Lime St – Stafford

86437              1218 Manchester – Birmingham Int’l              Stafford – New St

85011              1000 Weymouth – Manchester Picc                New St – Man Picc

304028            1631 Manchester Picc – Alderley Edge          Man Picc – Wilmslow

304014            1727 Alderley Edge – Altrincham                  Wilmslow – Stockport

85011              1800 Manchester – Birmingham                      Stockport – New St

87006              1010 Inverness – Euston                                 New St – M.Keynes

321448}          1936 Birmingham – Euston                             M.Keynes – L.Buzzard


Sample phots

Let the noise begin, 85011 at Crewe prior to departure with the 0918 relief to Glasgow on August 24th 1990

Let even more noise begin, an oil streaked 85037 at Glasgow Central prior to working the 1345 Relef to Euston on August 24th 1990.

By August 1990 it was unusual to see an 81 and 85 side by side at Euston. On the left is ECS only restricted 81012 and 85037 which has just arrived with the 1345 Relief from Glasgow on August 24th 1990. Although i didnt know this at the time, 85037 waa to be my last ever “roarer” into Euston with the whole class banned from passenger workings about 4 weeks later…


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