The freedom of the world, an All line Rover 1984
Sunday April 8th 1984
Euston station late on a Sunday evening with an “All line” in your back pocket, time to head North! The departure board was virtually filled with the many calling points for the 2210 Sleeper to Fort William and Inverness. I’m soon aboard my roomy, declassified FO so popular on overnights and a wide single seat bagged. 87023 “Highland Chieftain” is my screaming power up front.
87023 1S05 2210 Euston-Inverness/F.William Euston-Mossend
Monday April 9th 1984
A good night’s doss then in the murk of Mossend yard the unusual combined sound of a “syphon” plus single beat whirring “Ethel” replaced 87023. From Cowlairs a classic Eastfield “kick out” would drag us down the incline to Glasgow Queen St. Claims of 26/27 or nb 37 were commonplace but today’s power was a very disappointing boilered 37039. The sleeper then went forward as the 0550 to Fort William and most of the bashers aboard moved up to the empty front “day” coaches before dossing out again!
The Tyndrum Upper leap followed which involved descending down the steep pine trail “road” several hundred yards to the main road. In Tyndrum village here was a garage and a small cafe. The laid back Highland service at the cafe sometimes made it a tight leap for those risking a full breakfast and “bowled at Tyndrum was a nightmare for a few. From the cafe it was back along the main road before another trail to “Tyndrum Lower” passing the noisy guard geese at the Royal Hotel.
From Tyndrum Lower it was an old South Wales “steamer” acquaintance in 37175 on the Oban – Glasgow. So we all sat back to enjoy the scenery, thrash and fell asleep again! Moves then included 37081 from Helensburgh back to Arrochar for the cross platform leap onto 37026 for the twisting descent through the trees and along the Clyde back to Glasgow.
A “shove duff” to Edinburgh then a classic “Circuit train” of 5 elderly steaming Mk II’s and vb 27010 as power, Our 27 put in a good “tip top” performance along the coast. 27021 was to later produce at Perth on a lightweight 1710 Arbroath with a class 26 unexpectedly following us into Dundee on the 1638 from Glasgow. Once shunt released 26008 put in a solid “tea cup” performance on the return 1918 Dundee – Glasgow as shown by the timings extract below:
26008 2T51 1918 Dundee – Glasgow, load 7vb – 090484
Station/MP Sched arr dep Actual arr dep Pass variance av speed
Gleneagles 1959 2002.03 +3 17
135 2003.48 46
134 2005.05 58
133 2006.07 65
132 2007.02 73
130 2008.40 76
129 2009.27 76
128 2010.14 78
127 2011 76
126 2011.47 73
125 2012.36 40
124 2014.04 40
Dunblane 2011 2016.05 +5 …
I bailed at Stirling off 26008 to cover a very late down Aberdeen which was eh so after food it was back to Queen St for 27014 on the 2238 Glasgow-Dundee.
37033} 1S05 2210 Euston-Fort William Mossend-Cowlairs
37039 1S05 2210 Euston-Fort William Cowlairs-Queen St
37033} 1B07 0550 Glasgow-Mallaig Queen St-Tyndrum U
37175 1T16 0800 Oban-Glasgow Tyndrum L-Helensburgh U
37081 1B10 0950 Glasgow-Fort William Helensburgh U-Arrochar
37026 1T24 0840 Fort William-Glasgow Arrochar – Queen St
47708 1O29 1300 Glasgow-Edinburgh Queen St-Haymarket
47002 2G541221 Dundee-Edinburgh Haymarket – Waverly
27010 2L44 1417 Edinburgh-Dundee Waverly-Dundee
47593 1T42 1455 Aberdeen-Glasgow Dundee-Perth
27021 2L50 1710 Perth-Arbroath Perth-Dundee
26008 2T51 1918 Dundee-Glasgow Dundee-Stirling
47701 1T58 1855 Aberdeen-Glasgow Stirling-Queen St
27014 2L66 2238 Glasgow-Dundee Queen St-Perth
Tuesday April 10th 1984
26036 followed us into Perth on 1S81 and went forward on the 0105 Aberdeen “coast overnight”. I opted for the “internal overnight” with dull 47595 as power. Once woken on arrival in Inverness around 5am a good few of us semi sleep walked round the deserted station concourse and continued our doss in a the nice warm “compo” of the 0640 to Wick/Thurso.
The standard move followed with me bailing off 37262 at Dingwall for 26041 forward. The Achnasheen leap “always made” as it was another unhurried train crossing point. As two of us hit the bottom steps of this lonely outpost’s footbridge the Inverness train we wanted to join, started to move! Our panic was short lived, 26038 was merely drawing forward and a more sedate departure with the two of us in the front bays followed 5 minutes later.
The Dingwall leap off 26038 produced yet more “old Stratford rubbish” in 37260. A “real” Scottish loco in 47467 was the power on a Highland line afternoon move. The Highland line seems different on every run and this time it was snow, deer, plus the ritualistic flail at the “German soldier’s helmet” rock formation at Scholdt. More 47 mileage along the coast with “genny” 408 then over in Glasgow there was a choice between 47517 on the Northbound sleeper portion or 26008 on the Dundee. I opted for the “tea cup” then 47481 forward to Mossend on the up Inverness sleeper.
47595 1P04 2310 Edinburgh-Inverness Perth-Inverness
37262 2K03 0640 Inverness-Wick/Thurso Inverness-Dingwall
26041 2K02 0655 Inverness-Kyle Dingwall-Achnasheen
26038 2N12 0710 Kyle-Inverness Achnasheen-Dingwall
37260 2N14 0600 Wick/Thurso-Inverness Dingwall-Inverness
47467 1M42 1030 Inverness-Euston Inveness-Perth
47517 1A36 1325 Glasgow-Aberdeen Perth-Dundee
47408 1G80 1350 Aberdeen-Edinburgh Dundee-Waverly
DMU 1650 Edinburgh-Cowdenbeath Waverly-Inverkeithing
27037 2G84 1621 Dundee-Edinburgh Inverkeithing-Waverly
47703 1O54 1800 Edinburgh-Glasgow Waverly-Haymarket
47002 2O49 1715 Glasgow-Edinburgh Haymarket-Waverly
47705 1O56 1830 Edinburgh-Glasgow Waverly-Queen St
47593 1L59 1925 Glasgow-Dundee Queen St-Stirling
27014 2T51 1918 Dundee-Glasgow Stirling-Queen St
26008 2L66 2238 Glasgow-Dundee Queen St – Stirling
47481 1M16 1930 Inverness-Euston Stirling-Mossend
47467 at Perth after a good run on the Highland Main line with 1M42 1030 Inverness-Euston “Clansman”, 100484
Wednesday April 11th 1984
Things worsened at Mossend when 86216 rather than 85016 worked forward. The prime reason for doing this train was for the “gronk” portion shunt at Carlisle. As booked 08844 hauled our train out of the North bays at Carlisle to join up with the main train.
I next awoke at Nuneaton and scrambled off just as the tip was being given. To add to that awfull early morning feeling i had no chance of confirming my train’s power as it was leaving. It may have been 86216 shunt released, be nice to find out for sure one day…Respectable “peak” mileage Leicester to Leeds in a warm Mk I improved spirits as did 47356 arriving from Neville Hill with the “coffins” forming the Leeds- Sheffield portion of the Newcastle – Poole. A “not having this” from the guard saw a short delay with the “fridge” detached for 45133.
With the “gronk” raked in at Sheffield I returned North to York. Ex works 50003 was ritualistically flagged for another “genny” in 47411 back to Leeds. A surviving solitary steam heat 31 diagram followed with 31114 on the 1635 Leeds – Sheffield, one of many different 31’s to work this train. From Sheffield a quality “Trans Pennine” DMU through the Hope Valley to Manchester. The expected “roarer” did not produce on the 1915 Brum so a Crewe bail followed. A bonus in 81010 on the Glasgow – Euston for my homeward power.
86216 1M16 1930 Inverness-Euston Mossend-Carlisle/Nuneaton??
08844 1M16 1930 Inverness-Euston Carlisle shunt
DMU 0650 Nuneaton-Leicester Nuneaton-Leicester
45129 1E05 0748 Leicester-Leeds Leicester-Nottingam
45101 1E05 0748 Leicester-Leeds Nottingham-Leeds
45133 1J67 1106 Leeds-Poole Leeds-Sheffield
08749 1J67 1106 Leeds-Poole Sheffield shunt
45124 1E30 0653 Plymouth-York Sheffield-York
47411 1M75 1322 Newcastle-Liverpool York-Leeds
31114 1J02 1635 Leeds – Sheffield Leeds-Sheffield
59772} 1630 Hull-Manchester Sheffield-Man Picc
87030 1G13 1945 Manchester-Birmingham Man Picc-Crewe
81010 1M52 1710 Glasgow-Euston Crewe-Watford Jn
051 2200 Euston-Rugby Watford Jn-L.Buzzard
Ex works 50003 at York with 1V92 1428 York-Plymouth, 110484
Thursday April 12th 1984
A much needed proper doss and wash back home then with trusty brown Adidas bag restocked it was the 0840 310 unit to the Keynes. 87016 was the forwarding power to New st for 47456 on the Manchester – Cardiff. This took the “coast road” from Gloucester through Lydney and along the Severn estuary.
A Newport bail for 33050 to Bristol on one of many afternoon Crompton haulages. A 2 car DMU was a brief interuption on a Bristol – Trowbridge special working. From here it was a slow rail replacement bus forward to Westbury, complete with desperate TTI. The bus was due to the new Westbury resignalling scheme. More “mule” Crompton leaps then 50018 returned me to Waterloo.
Over at Euston was the welcome sight of “big fish” 81017 up front on the Stranraer boat train. There is a great feeling of exhilaration as you leave a London terminal on a lightly loaded overnight, with decent stock and power. After a bellow at the King’s Langley “Ovaltine” factory temperature gauge flagging up just 1 degree, i was soon asleep.
049 0718 Euston-Northampton L.Buzzard-M.Keynes
87016 1D27 0805 Euston-Holyhead M.Keynes-New St
47456 1V72 0825 Manchester-Cardiff New St-Newport
33050 1O79 1205 Cardiff-Bristol Newport-T.Meads
C613 1349 Bristol-Trowbridge T.Meads-Trowbridge
BUS 1435 Trowbridge-Westbury Trowbridge-Westbury
33027 1O83 1550 Westbury-Portsmouth Westbury-Salisbury
33062 2L40 1635 Salisbury – Basingstoke (4TC 407) Salisbury-Andover
33119 1V16 1638 Waterloo-Exeter Andover-Salisbury
33013 1L12 1730 Salisbury-Waterloo Salisbury-Whitchurch
33110 2L33 1700 Waterloo-Salisbury Whitchurch-Andover
50008 1O20 1618 Exeter-Waterloo Andover-Waterloo
81017 1S06 2100 Euston-Stranraer Euston-Carlisle
Bath Road depot was still relatively busy on April 6th 1984, very different scene today…
Friday April 13th 1984
Heavy brake application around 2am meant it was time to bail at a chilly Carlisle. The onward power 47546 was flagged despite a “good pilot” from Ayr in 27059 being allocated. A busier Fort William portion got the unique central arrow fitted 86324 with 37112 kicked out for the run from Cowlairs to Glasgow Queen St.
A dawn walk through a deserted Buchanan St got me to Central. Here i joined the 060 Glasgow – Ayr with a long rake of “coffins”. The train was “too big for the Ayr line” according to the guard who ushered passengers into the leading coaches behind 47525. The stock would later return as an Ayr-Euston via Glasgow.
A Prestwick leap saw an average 47209 on the Ayr-Glasgow. These trains always seemed to be reported with exotic power, not today but it was a chilly morning. A “Circuit” and Stirling – Perth 27/47 bash then i was back at Queen St for large logo beast 37264 on the 1640 Fort Bill. The front coach was well filled with bashers and there was understandable interest from the local “syphon” men when a muffled bang was heard, as 264’s boiler was fired up. Some very loud Southern English accent (not me!) then piped up importantly “oh, but theres plenty of steam heat round here”. Some pained expressions from many and a long pause before a withering “this loco nae steamed for years” repost. Said Southern “ned” remained silent!
I leapt at Dumbarton for 37022 back to Queen St for required 37011 for a mileage move to Arrochar. The front coach of this train had a small consist of “Munro bashers” who were relishing the prospect of snow down to two thousand feet on Ben Lomond. At Arrochar it was a quick leap onto37081 plus Ethel where as you do in bashing, i bumped into a local Northampton basher!
Approaching Dumbarton our leading coach was bricked which was “booked” in this area. Heading down Buchanan St at kicking out time the atmosphere was a good deal livelier than my dawn walk!
86324 1S05 2210 Euston-Fort William/Inverness Carlisle-Mossend
37081} 1S05 2210 Euston-Fort William Mossend-Cowlairs
37112 1S05 2210 Euston-Fort William Cowlairs-Queen St
47525 2A05 0600 Glasgow-Ayr Central-Prestwick
47209 2A08 0700 Ayr-Glasgow Prestwick-Central
47709 1O11 0900 Glasgow-Edinburgh Queen St-Waverly
27012 2L34 1017 Edinburgh-Dundee Waverly-Kirkcaldy
27101 2G42 1021 Dundee-Edinburgh Kirkcaldy-Waverly
101308 1240 Edinburgh-Dunblane Waverly-Stirling
47526 1A36 1325 Glasgow-Aberdeen Stirling-Perth
47517 1T34 1255 Aberdeen-Glasgow Perth-Stirling
47412 1T34 1230 Inverness-Glasgow Stirling-Queen St
37264 1B14 1650 Glasgow-Fort William (boiler fired-no action) Queen St-Dumbarton
47467 1A54 1725 Glasgow-Aberdeen
37022 1T45 1225 Fort William-Glasgow Dumbarton-Queen St
37011 1B15 1820 Glasgow-Oban Queen St-Arrochar
37081} 1T56 1740 Fort William-Euston Arrochar-Queen St
Classic “Circuit” scene, 27101 at Waverly after working 2G42 1021 Dundee – Edinburgh on 130484
37011 steaming away at Arrochar with the 1820 Glasgow-Oban on 130484
Saturday April 14th 1984
At Central I was totally withered. I had to do the Birmingham/Bristol overnight to make the “Capital City Transfer” tour. V62 normally a good bet for a “roarer” was 86252 and 85025 was on the “Sleepers Only” to Euston. So 250 can miles ended my “freedom of the world!”
86252 1V61 2355 Glas/Edin-Bristol Central-New St
47473 1O01 0600 Derby-Poole New St-Coventry
50009 1M10 0550 Padd-Manchester Coventry-Bir Int’l
47606 1O52 0738 Wolverhampton-Brighton Bir Int’l-Coventry
then the tour..