1S81 the 2050 Carlisle – Perth remembered

The trains we did, 1S81 remembered.

1S81 was a classic late evening passenger and mail service from Carlisle to Perth. The formation was normally 2 MK Is including a BSK with a TPO and various sundry vans behind. (just 2 Mk I’s on Sats in the 80’s as no mail) Electric hauled to Mossend it was famous for its g-force acceleration where an AC electric, light load and Scotrail driver keen to get home, sometimes had u thrown back hard against your compo seat as the 86 was whacked out of Carlisle and Lockerbie.

From Mossend normally a type 2 would work S81 forward with steam heat now ouzing into your compo. More shacks like Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Larbert and Stirling before a midnight arrival at Perth. A train we all took for granted perhaps, a train we all wish we did more , but when we did it always a pleasure to do. Sadly with sectorisation/privitisation/rancidification of our railway ,S81 was soon on the accountants hit list. Low passenger volumes (mainly cranks!) and needing the resources of various sectors it ceased running in May 85.

The last run on 110585 featured 86315 with an arranged 20125 and 20209 taking it forward, just to Larbert (due an engineers block) that late Spring night.

S81 in May 82 ran as follows..

Carlisle 2050, Lockerbie 2113, Carstairs 2154, Motherwell 2216, Coatbridge C 2243, Cumbernauld 2255, Larbert 2309, Stirling 2321, Perth 0001

S81 until Jan 72 also called at Beattock station which closed on January 3rd 1972

S81 phot spot

Phots of S81 because of its late hour working are, as yet a struggle to find. Creating the S81 scene is perhaps is this view of “tippie” 27054 on vans in Perths bays around midnight on a freezing 290185.

David Chamberlain’s excellent record shot of 81021 in one of the North bay’s at Carlisle with 1S81 2050 Carlisle – Perth on April 9th 1983

More 1S81 memories

It seems we all did S81, some fascinating contributions from more local bashers.

My first view of S81 was a bit of a wither, we were at Gleneagles on 010682. We had quite a fester here for the 2240 Perth-Euston overnight. It was one of those classic Scottish Summer evenings where it never seemed to get dark, even gone 10. We watched a procession of “popexs” heading North, then a little late 27206 on S81. S81 didnt stop at Gleneagles, so I was not in a position of strength as my last 272 for haulage thrashing through non stop!.My colleague commentated, “itll be out all week” 27206 was, on freight diagrams for the next few days!

“S81 to the rescue, 110881”. We were heading home on 87010 on the 1645 Euston-Glasgow before 87010 failed near milepost 69 South of Carstairs. Rescue came from 85040 on the following S81 which propelled us and our train, plus S81 to Carstairs. A 474 took us forward from Carstairs.

A “rat” on S81. Whilst S81 saw a fair few 25s over the years, once the surviving Eastfield/Haymarket based 25s had been transferred South of the border (by late 82) they became rarer, especially North of Stirling. 230784 saw S81 feature in 25224s most famous overnight ever. Motherwell kicked out 25224 on 230784 which the loco worked through to Perth, then an unlikely 3 prong steam heat diagram followed on the famous “round the coast overnight”. 25224 went forward from Perth on 2407s 1A03 0105 Perth-Aberdeen, something S81s power quite often did. Then the “non advertised” but basher friendly 1N06 0447 Aberdeen Elgin service, before a triumphant arrival in Inverness on lN08 0719 Elgin-Inverness!

Nearly always bailed off S81 at Larbert, a shortish fester for the Glasgow-Inverness “Internal overnight” portion engine forward. At Perth the Edinburgh portion was attached and the loco off this portion normally took us forward.

Jeff Hawken comments that whilst waiting at Cumbernaud for 26023 and 26032 on a return Liverpool – Perth Adex on 300385, he viewed what must have been a chilly , no heat 1S81 with nb 26025 at the helm!

Ady Bullock comments “Did some very short leaps to Coatbridge. This was so we could get back to Glasgow by EMU from Coatbridge Sunnyside for a southbound sleeper to Carlisle to pick up the Stranraer sleeper (1S06) and take it to cover the pilot loco that came on the front at Newton on Ayr or Ayr. If it was rateable take it to Stranraer. If it was dud, bail at Ayr and wait for the first DMU or one of the early morning loco hauled commuter trains into Glasgow to start the next days moves.”

Steve Kemp comments 25011 on S81 on July 5th 1979 was memorable!”.

Nearly always bailed off S81 at Stirling for M16 South, usually same electric on M16.

Bailed off S81 at “Central” late one night, and did the walk move to Coatbridge “Sunnyside” for the last 303 back to Glasgow, bit desperate that one.

“best move was to remain dosed in the stock of S81 at Perth till 0100 then bail off and leg it over for the 0105 Aberdeen!”

Plus some cracking gen and S81 memories from “TC” below

A few more S81 memories:

25.07.84 86244/27053
27.07.84 86329/27001

These were had during my first freedom of Scotland rover. My first time in Scotland on anything other than a railtour.

I clearly remember seeing 25224 north of Perth on 24.07.84, the loco having done 1S81 on 23.07.84. (detailed above)

On 27.07.84 I had gone to Motherwell, with the intention of doing the depot before getting on 1S81. The friendly foreman was interested on what I was doing at that time of night, and volunteered the information that 27003 was the engine for 1S81. 27003 was dud, but required 27001 was parked on the depot. I suggested that 27001 would be better for me, and he said he would see what he could do. I was most impressed when I bailed at Stirling to see 27001 on the front!

I used to bail at Stirling for 1M16 19.30 Inverness – Euston back to Carlisle.

13.10.84 85025/26037
15.10.84 81007/47012
16.10.84 86234/27033

Another freedom of Scotland.

13.10.84 was a Saturday, and with no mails, 1S81 rolled into Motherwell on just load 2! The booked leap at Stirling for 1M16 back gave a longer run off the roarer (off S81) back to Carlisle.

On 15.10.84 required 27004 did the 17.30 Glasgow – Carlisle, so 1S81 was done from Motherwell. Rapid progress with an 81 on load 4, although the 47 was not appreciated! The loco change took longer that night and I leapt off a late running 1S81 at Larbert for 1M16 back.

More 1S81 memories

Thanks to Ady Bullock for his cracking gen and memories

I read your article on 1S81 Carlisle Perth. I caught this train a few times, although only managed to score 4 new locos on it (log extract below). A good variety of classes 26/27/37/47/81/85/86. Most disappointing was ETH duff 47467 on 20th Aug 84. Most rateable was 26003 the very next day!

Thu-19-Apr-842702127021CumbernauldPerth56.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Mon-20-Aug-848631186011MotherwellMossend Yard2.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Mon-20-Aug-844746747467Mossend YardCoatbridge2.751S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Tue-21-Aug-848610186101MotherwellMossend Yard2.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Tue-21-Aug-842600326003Mossend YardCoatbridge2.751S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Wed-22-Aug-848624886248MotherwellMossend Yard2.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Wed-22-Aug-842710827108Mossend YardCoatbridge2.751S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Thu-23-Aug-848500685006MotherwellMossend Yard2.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Thu-23-Aug-842710827108Mossend YardCoatbridge2.751S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Thu-27-Sep-848610386103MotherwellMossend Yard2.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Thu-27-Sep-844718947189Mossend YardPerth59.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Sat-29-Sep-848625086250CarlisleMossend Yard91.751S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Sat-29-Sep-842700827008Mossend YardCoatbridge2.751S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Thu-06-Dec-844721447214LarbertPerth41.501S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Sat-08-Dec-848101481014MotherwellMossend Yard2.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Sat-08-Dec-842602626026Mossend YardCoatbridge2.751S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Fri-01-Mar-858620786207CarlisleMossend Yard92.001S812050 Carlisle-Perth
Fri-01-Mar-853710937109Mossend YardPerth59.251S812050 Carlisle-Perth

You may note some very short leaps to Coatbridge. This was so we could get back to Glasgow by EMU from Coatbridge Sunnyside for a southbound sleeper to Carlisle to pick up the Stranraer sleeper (1S06) and take it to cover the pilot  loco that came on the front at Newton on Ayr or Ayr. If it was rateable take it to Stranraer. If it was dud, bail at Ayr and wait for the first DMU or one of the early morning loco hauled commuter trains into Glasgow to start the next days moves.

More 1S81 2050 Carlisle – Perth memories

Thanks to Jeff Hawken for the gen

Moves between Specified Dates
Thu 26/07/1984205086101CarlisleMossend2050CarlislePerth492
Thu 26/07/198422xx27005MossendLarbert2050CarlislePerth418.25
Thu 30/08/1984221681006MotherwellMossend2050CarlislePerth42.5
Thu 30/08/1984223226006MossendStirling2050CarlislePerth426.25
Mon 10/09/1984211086220LockerbieMossend2050CarlislePerth466.25
Mon 10/09/1984223237125MossendStirling2050CarlislePerth426.25
Sat 27/10/1984211381019LockerbieMossend2050CarlislePerth266.25
Sat 27/10/198423xx26040MossendPerth2050CarlislePerth259.25
Wed 13/03/1985221686233MotherwellMossend2050CarlislePerth42.5
Wed 13/03/198522xx40122MossendPerth2050CarlislePerth459.25
Sat 11/05/1985221686315MotherwellMossend2050CarlisleLarbert22.5
Sat 11/05/1985223220209MossendLarbert2050CarlisleLarbert218.25
Sat 11/05/1985223220125MossendLarbert2050CarlisleLarbert218.25

S81 postscript-Up to the May 71-April 72 timetable the train had additional stops ..Carlisle 2033, Lockerbie 2100/5, Beattock 2120, Carstairs 2207, Motherwell 2246, Coatbridge C 2308, Larbert 2329, Stirling 2341, Perth 0024. Sadly Beattock station closed 030172.

Sample stock list for 1S81.
1S81 on 120281 made up of 35121(BSK), 15631(CK), 80321 (POS),80966(BG) 1S81 on 130281 made up of 35189(BSK), 15992(CK), 80332(POS). 81577 (BG) 1S81 on Saturday April 2nd 1983 was load 2 namely M16172 and M35296

Also on 30/03/85 I did 26023+26032 from Cumbernauld to Perth on a return ADEX from Liverpool. Whilst waiting at Cumbernauld I noted 1S81 was worked by No Heat 26025 – a bit chilly!

S81 Class variety down the years thanks to the usual gen men and the Timewarp website

20125, 20209


25011, 25035, 25043, 25049, 25065, 25072, 25079, 25195, 25224, 25246

26003, 26006, 26012, 26014, 26018, 26024, 26025, 26026, 26029, 26031, 26032, 26033, 26034, 26037, 26040

27001, 27005, 27007, 27008, 27014, 27020, 27021, 27022, 27023, 27032, 27033, 27049, 27051, 27053, 27056, 27105, 27108, 27206

37026, 37027, 37043, 37043, 37052, 37090, 37109, 37125, 37146, 37150, 37152, 37183

40047, 40050, 40064, 40084, 40101, 40122, 40150, 40192

47010, 47012, 47124, 47163, 47189, 47214, 47224, 47227, 47270, 47461, 47467, 47524, 47578, 47707

81001, 81003, 81005, 81006, 81007, 81013, 81014, 81015, 81017, 81019, 81020, 81021

82003, 82004, 82008

83005, 83009, 83012


85006, 85008, 85011, 85012, 85013, 85019, 85024, 85025, 85026, 85027, 85033, 85035, 85036, 85037, 85039, 85040

86003, 86006, 86101, 86103, 86207, 86209, 86210, 86212, 86220, 86224, 86225, 86233, 86234, 86239, 86244, 86247, 86248, 86250, 86252, 86259

86311, 86313, 86315, 86324, 86320, 86324, 86328, 86329

Steam..44825, 45135, 70009, 70010, 70012, 70032, 70051

1S81 the gen by date, just the 150 plus locos feature!

Up to 1973 (pre electrification, includes some steam too)

1974-1982 the classic S81 combinations, “roarer” onto “tip top” aplenty

1983- May 1985 the final years of S81


%d bloggers like this: