4L89 “Up Scotch” liners remembered

For umpteen years an up liners has passed the Leighton Area around 0750 conveying liner traffic from Coatbridge to Felixstowe. This train has origins in 4M56 1935 Glasgow Guteshfields FLT – Willesden FLT which ceased running in 1991 with closure of both terminals.

One of the very last mainline “roarer” workings is captured at Northampton on July 6th 1991. 85109 (the former 85035) is working a delayed liners from Glasgow to Willesden and all class 85 main line operation ceased the following day. A huge loss to the character of the WCML

With the abandonment of domestic liner flows to deep sea port traffic saw 4L89 link Coatbridge with Felixstowe with a variety of power over the years. The 2133 departure from Coatbridge saw Crewe reached around 0200 with the train often reengined going forward at 0410 to these timings…

Crewe BH 0410, Nuneaton 0514, Rugby 0546a 0649 dep, Northampton 0720, Leighton 0750, Watford 0817, Willesden up relief 0835a 0859d, Camden road Jn 0936a 0948d, Canonbury(NLL) 0957, Stratford 1012, Chelmsford 1042, Ipswich Yard 1133a, 1222d (loco change), Felixstowe 1304a

Single class 81-86 were booked power for 4L89 South of Crewe for much of the 90s and early 2000’s. 86501 as a regeared “super can” could do the work of a pair singly. Here 86501 passes Leighton station with 4L89 on November 29th 2014

70016 is an unusual beast on 4L89 at a frosty Old Linslade on December 31st 2014

A well loaded 4L89 approaches Ledburn on a warm September 28th 2016 with 86628 and 86627 up front

One of the few bonuses of the reduced services due Covid was a retimed, fast line, quadruple hauled 86 4L89 working on a regular basis. Here 86639 and 86632 dragging dead 86637 and 86605 on 4L89 around 0650 on May 5th 2020

Not the brightest of images but its of historical value as 86609 and 86604 pass Grove on 4L89 on December 23rd 2020. This was the last local class 86 hauled 4L89 of thousands, all class 86 were stood down in Feb 2021

A late snowfall creates a picture postcard scene as recently transfered (from GE) 90013 and 90007 are reflected in the canal waters at Chelmscote on 4L89 on April 7th 2021

Springtime at Linslade allotments with 90007 and 90045 on 4L89 on May 18th 2021

Looking smart in recently painted Freightliner Orange 90048 and 90014 at Ledburn with 4L89 on June 23rd 2021

4L89 has spells of “shed” power which are usually thankfully short lived here 66534 passes the Spring blossom at Ledburn on March 10th 2022

Dwarfed by the pylons carrying the Claydon – Sundon National grid line, 90045 and 90014 pass Grove with 4L89 on March 31st 2022

4L89 a top train, long may it continue to brighten up our monings, day in and day out….


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