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