Scottish Rover Memories, June 82
Thanks to a “very young” Trev Rolfe!
The trip was planned with the intention of travelling as much of Scotland as I could to maximize the rover ticket and on the way to hopefully bag some of the fast disappearing locomotives on passenger turns. It all started on the 19th June at London Kings Cross with a brief look around the station at the meagre offerings of 47437, 47528 and 46052 to think 18 months prior I could have departed behind a Deltic! I opted for speed so took HST power cars 43060 & 061 still in the correct formation, north to Edinburgh on what was only my second trip to Scotland, the first being a railtour to Glasgow two months earlier. Peterborough was the usual mix of locos with 40086 stabled near the station for good measure. Onwards and we were soon at Doncaster with brand new 56108 on show in the yard next to the Plant, next was York and the predictable mix of 20s, 31s and 47s, but unusually 25075. Then we were at Newcastle and 03066 doing the station pilot duties this day, and then on to Berwick and 03069 stabled in the usual position near the station in company with 46033. Arrival in Edinburgh just after lunchtime and with nothing of interest in the platforms, my first 47/7 for haulage in the form of 47710 took me the short distance to Haymarket for a visit to the shed. I always loved HA depot for the mix of ECML passenger locomotives mixing with the Fife coal 20s and sure enough 20227 was residing on shed, never even imagining years later I would be part of a team to operate and maintain this loco in preservation!
20227 at HA depot
I booked into my B&B and spent a pleasant few hours sat on an old embankment near the depot watching the comingsand goings of a variety of stock, DMUs, 27018, 26024 pulling a failed DMU and of course 47/7s.
The next morning of the 20th June I headed for Glasgow via 27033 (my first 27 for haulage) on a Dundee service for the short very thrashy mile to Waverley and 47710 again from there into Glasgow QS, where upon arrival I headed over to Central station for a local train out to Polmadie depot. I was delighted to still see 06008 on shed amongst the usual locos and just as I was leaving for the long walk back to the station, 20121 drew alongside and the driver asked if I wanted a lift to Rutherglen as he was off to the nearby Pway Yard; well that was not to be refused, so there started my love of Class 20s with my first cab-ride! 314207 whisked me from Rutherglen to Motherwell and another depot visit at a depot that has survived time and always had a great mix of traction, I was surprised to see three Class 40s, 126, 169 and 192 along with various locos of classes 08/20/25/27/37/40 & 47 all on view. It was then across town for a visit to Eastfield, again a fantastic mix of classic traction with classes 08/20/25/27/37 & 47 on shed, with some old Eastern region favorites too .it seemed really strange seeing SF and MR locos now plying their trade out of Glasgow! It was back to Glasgow Queen Street for the next journey to Perth, with 47534 doing the honours and a friendly driver offering me a cab ride which I was delighted to accept! After a brisk run, passing the crash site at Fortveit, a customary trip behind the wall to check out the stabled 26s and the wrecked shell of 47522 after its accident at Forveit. It was then off to the B&B.
47522 at Perth
The next morning of the 21st started with a trip up to Stirling and back hoping for a 40 or maybe a pair of 26s, both rare now on the Highland mainline, but no, 47449 out and 47534 again, which took me back to Glasgow QS. A trip over to Glasgow Central and a trip to Ayr planned, at Central 25144 was on a Carlisle train via the GSW route, why I didnt take it I do not know, but off I went on a DMU passing 20146 & 149 and 40192 on the way, before arriving at Ayr for a trip around the depot, scoring more Scottish steeds. Then back to Glasgow central, passing Sheilds Road with APT set 370001 and a brace of 81s, just in time to view 25151 that had arrived on a GSW service and 85023 on a southbound IC service. Sadly I was on a tight timetable, so it was now off to Queen Street for a first run on the West Highland Line and I was delighted to see required ex MR loco 37039 at the head of the 1634 to Fort William and even more delighted to realise it was the same driver as the day before who gave me the 47 cab-ride! It would have been very rude to turn down a 37 cab-ride to Fort William, even if I had to stand the whole way, so I accepted!
Horseshoe curve from the cab of 37039
We passed seven 37s (051, 081, 188, 179, 108, 026 & 012) on passenger and freights at the various passing points on route over this stunning line, finally arriving in Fort William to find out 20191 had done the 1605 Mallaig train earlier!! Next stop my B&B for the night.
20191 near Fort William
The 22nd started with a few lineside pics and 20191 was captured running down from Corpach, before I headed off to Inverness via my parents Austin Allegro, nicely timed with their holiday trip to Loch Ness!
Arrival in Inverness was mid afternoon with plenty of time to check out the depot and the resident 26s I had come so far to see, but even here the 37s were starting to make inroads with 37011, 035, 137, 183 settling in next to 25 229 & 231, 26038, 032, 042, 027, 035, 030, 045,046 and 024 with 27107, 027, 021, 024, 038 and 111 holding on! I spent the evening watching the coming and going of freight and passenger trains before getting my head down in a nearby B&B.
After a full Scottish breakfast on the 23rd I started the long trek back south on the 1020 to Glasgow, I sauntered down to view the booked 47 and was surprised to see 26031 & 033 bolted to the front! A fantastic run was had over the highland mainline that I will remember for years to come, bereft of bashers I had the windows to myself all the way to Glasgow, leaping for a quick phot at Perth whilst the crew changed.
26031 & 033 at Perth
At Queen St I leapt aboard 47702 for the high speed run across to Edinburgh, passing Eastfield where I hastily recorded 27205, 27007, 37012 and 08738 as we flew by, bailing at Haymarket for a detour via Dumfermline to visit the Fife depot, even getting a classic run past from 20222 &201 with 221 on the rear of 44 MGRs as they thrashed through Dumfermline Town station!Back to Edinburgh, where 46004 & 039 were readying themselves for the overnight trains and 08755 dashing about the station, I then headed up to Dundee behind 27033 on the 2000 departure, enjoying the steady thrash from the loco.Dundee still had a 06005 & 006 in the old shed at this time, but I dont think they saw much use. Much to my delight, 26021 was on the 2250 Dundee to Perth van train that had one compartment coach and I was the only passenger tonight, so a short trip to Perth was enjoyed with my head out the droplight! 47041 then took me from Perth to Pitlochry to meet the overnight service from Carr Bridge to Glasgow..with 26031 & 033 again! Now in the early hours of the 24th, I took this to Stirling where I spotted 40084 on the opposite platform, a quick bail and a sprint over the bridge, but alas 084 was RA and heading north into the night. I have no idea what the train was but there is a conflict as elsewhere it is reported 40084 was allocated the 2025 Edinburgh-Kings Cross! I was saved from a long fester by 27032 on the 0447 Stirling to Edinburgh, taken all the way to Edinburgh and then 47002 back out of Edinburgh to Perth and 47149 into Queen Street. I filled in the rest of the day with a trip to Carlisle and back on the relatively new 87s, then 47403 out of Queen Street to Perth for an unscheduled overnight stay, but finding all the B&Bs full, I slept in a caravan offered by a kindly lady!
The morning of the 25th started with 47712 to Aberdeen in time to cover 26033 on the 1150 to Inverness, so a great run was had all the way! 47416 was my steed from Inverness back to Edinburgh on the 1630 departure, setting me in place for the 2250 to Kings Cross with 47017 steaming away nicely up front. At Newcastle the 47 gave way to 46027 which took me all the way to the blocks arriving back home in London after an epic trip in the early hours of the 26th.
46027 at Kings Cross
So, in summary a decent week, lots of new line and depots covered which was the main plan, with additional bonus of Cab Rides in a class 20, 37 and 47.the 37 being all the way Glasgow to Fort William! Whilst I did see some 40s on my travels, I didnt get a run behind one as I would have liked, but a pair of 26s from Inverness to Glasgow was a good second best! The extra 26 run Inverness to Aberdeen was great as was the 27 Edinburgh to Dundee.some decent runs behind soon to be withdrawn locos. Why I didnt do the 25 from Glasgow to Carlisle via the GSW is a source of regret, but I guess I was focused on getting to Ayr depot. Nicely finished off with a 46 into the Cross.
Thanks again to Trev for the memories