Blackpool Illuminations Railtour – Saturday 27th November 2021
90024 Euston – Blackpool N (via Northampton, Rugby, Colwich, Stoke, Crewe, Preston)
90036 Blackpool N – Euston (via Preston, Crewe, Stafford, Bushbury Jn, BS, Stetchford, Rugby, Northampton)
17105, 3304, 3397, 1691, 3340, 3278, 1212, 6158, 6051H)
The rubbish waiting area on the DS platform at Watford Jn soon filled with the grannies that make up the consist of many UK Railtours these days. As Storm Arwen delivered much rain down Watford way a wet photograph of 90024 arriving right time, 90036 was dead on the rear. A rear coach M6051 was joined with a reasonable load aboard. A farce at M.Keynes where Network Rail beaurecrats delayed the train by 30 minutes due paperwork issues, pathetic considering the tour had left Euston 45 minutes earlier untroubled. At Northampton a good few more joined, and finally Rugby, where my colleague joined and we moved to the empty bay of 4 opposite. Storm Arwen had delivered a thin snow cover from Daventry and we were to enjoy a wintry run as far as Stoke.
A power failure in the Stafford area saw a diversion via Stoke which delayed us a bit more especially waiting for the single line section West of Alsager. Springs Branch depot contained a few GUVs and RHTT sets but no locos, a sign of the times. We arrived at a sunny but wind blasted Blackpool around 1310, about 45 down not that anybody seemed bothered.
90036 “Driver Jack Mills” was the power for our return home, the stock was well filled 20 mins before departure as passengers escaped the cold. A good run South with us routed via the West Midlands with screaming fast runs through both Birmingham Int’l and Coventry. Once past Northampton we were stuck behind 2 LNWR up units so progress slowed but the plus 6 onto my 2356 unit back to Leighton was safely made.
90024 arrives at a wet, dark dismal Watford jn with the tour
One of a few 08s seen on the tour, heres 3948 (08780) at the LSL depot at Crewe
90024 at the blocks, 90036 at the country end of Blackpool North with the tour
150103 and 150114 with a Blackpool South – Preston service at a chill Kirkham & Wesham
90036 awaits her booked 1930 departure time from Blackpool North back to Euston