Last “rat” leap to Welshpool, Sep 84

Last “rat” leap at Welshpool,  Saturday Sep 8th 1984

With my rancid sister (unaware of historic last rat workings on the Cambrian) deciding to get married in deepest Bedfordshire on Sat September 15th 1984, the 8th September would be my last ever “rat” service train move to Welshpool, something we had done most Summer Saturdays since 1982.

September 8th dawned with a standard Northbound early unit (310060) off Leighton with the Bedford and Northampton bashing crews joining en route. Quotes for various trains were reeled off en route, but being late in the season there was nothing to tempt us from the Welshpool move.

The first decent power of the day was 85029 from New St to Wolves on the Brum – Blackpool where at Wolves a “good pair” in 25269 and 25288 were waiting to go forward on the 0735 Abbo. Said pair soon had us on the move and in time honoured fashion we bought Salop -Welshpool pieces during the loco run round at Shrewsbury. During this manic panic there was no time to reflect that this would probably be the last time I’d be flapping in the Shrewsbury ticket queue as our “rats” ran round….

Still found time to phot 25269 and 25288 running round at Shrewsbury

25288 and 25269 have stopped very short at Welshpool with the 0735 Euston – Aberystwyth

25037 and 25230 thrash out of Welshpool, next stop Newtown on the 0735 Euston – Aberystwyth  on August 25th 1984  

Rejoining the train we were soon thrashing over the single track section from Sutton Bridge Jn. At Welshpool our “rats” unusually stopped well short of the platform end.. This put the locos in a good place for a phot but meant most of the 11 coach consist was off the platform.

The pair eventually drew forward and we headed into Welshpool town for fodder. The “rats” crossed the up Aber at Newtown as booked, and we were soon aboard the return 1010 Aberystwyth – Euston with a “quality pair” with 25278 and 25287 as power. 25278 was a popular “rat” locally because of her BY depot stickers.

Outside Shrewsbury we crossed the 1010 ex Euston which from today was terminating at Shrewsbury (vice Aberystwyth) . Despite being formed of “coffins” this train today got 25032 and 25059 rather than a 47’4. A last thrash up the bank and on arrival at Wolves our “rats” were quickly removed and headed for BS, whilst lovely 86255 took us forward to New St. A late afternoon bash on the Wolves – Cov axis followed with perhaps Canton xo-ssc beast 47230 the best.

Complete with Bletchley depot sticker, 25278 at Wolves

25278 and 25287 leave Wolves after arriving with the 1010 Aberystwyth – Euston

At New St the rumours were rife that brand new 58007was going to work. It was claimed that the 58 was fixed to wind up some big men who were out of position in Scotland on big tractors!

Stratford machine looking very smart, 47573 at Coventry

Rare working, 58007 at Leicester having worked the 1340 Poole – Sheffield from New St

And so 58007 took over from 47501 on the Poole – Sheffield from New St and vast numbers of bashers boarded for a rare burst of non drag class 58 power. At Leicester the platform staff were amazed that a 58 was on the front as “having only just been cleared for the route”. 47367 on the Yarmouth returned many of us towards Brum, we leapt at Nuneaton for 87029 South to end a good day of varied power but huge sadness at the prospect of no more Welshpool moves with “rats”…………………           

Showing the power of the road lobby in 1992 Welshpool station was relocated 100 yards away and this lovely tarmac replaced the tracks where we had so many happy memories, taken June 2014

The days moves and other known gen

060         0600 Euston-Birmingham                                                              LB-CO

86007    0350 Euston-Bletchley

47607    0550 Padd-Liverpool                                                                      CO-NS

86242    0550 Padd-Liverpool

85029    0910 Birmingham-Blackpool                                                      NS-WO

25269}   0735 Euston-Aberystwyth                                                            WO-WE


33035    1003 Crewe-Cardiff

25278}   1010 Aberyswyth-Euston                                                             WE-WO


25032}   1010 Euston-Shrewsbury (ETH stock)


86255    1010 Aberystwyth-Euston                                                            WO-NS

47573    0950 Glasgow-Poole

87023    1418 Birmingham-Euston                                                              NS-CO

47540    1040 Poole-Newcastle

87029    0950 Glasgow-Poole

47573    0950 Glasgow-Poole

86241    1251 Blackpool-Euston

86215}   1550 Birmingham I-Euston Relief


47107    1356 Liverpool-Portsmouth

47230    1254 Brighton-Manchester                                                     CO-BI

47325    1140 Poole-Manchester                                                                           BI-NS

31410    1400 Leeds-Paignton

85002    1140 Poole-Manchester                                                                          NS-WO

86218    1637 Shrewsbury-Euston                                                       WO-NS

47606    1125 Penzance-Manchester

47598    1413 Portsmouth-York

31410    1413 Portsmouth-York

47431    1525 W.S.Mare-Glasgow

81022    1320 Glasgow-Swansea

31415}   1815 Birmingham-Norwich                                          


47501    1340 Poole-Sheffield

58007    1340 Poole-Sheffield                                                                 NS-LS

47367    1559 Yarmouth-Birmingham                                                  LS-NU

45113    1504 Paignton-Nottingham                                         

87029    1915 Manchester-Euston                                                      NU-RU

077         2021 Birmingham-Euston                                                       RU-LB

%d bloggers like this: