Luton Town football specials – Carlisle March 31st 1973
A good crowd were gathered at Luton’s platform 1 around 0715 as we awaited Luton Town FC’s marathon “football special” to Carlisle. During the short wait for the “football special” 6591/6587 arrived on our platform, quickly reversing the heavy Northfleet-Houghton Regis cements from the down fast to the Dunstable branch. 7663 was chattering away small Sulzer style over at Bute St waiting to take the cements forward.
Soon met up with the local lads and we piled into a compo near the front as 135 (later 45149) arrived with 1Z47 0726 Luton – Carlisle. With a child fare of £1.35, sit where you want policy, rarely more than 80% full, a buffet and Mk 1 compo’s it was always a good day out for all aboard.
Back then you had no idea of the route and power changes so a “wee chat” with the normally friendly guard and a glance at his notice saw our hoped for journey passing the packed stabling points/depots at Nuneaton/Crewe/Warrington/Wigan and Preston were alas a no-no as we were going “Midland” all the way. So, as below in the text, there are no long lists of power but there was a fair bit of cheering “up the ‘atters” and waving as we climbed over high Ribblehead and Ais Gill on a grey Pennine day!!.
4139,7663,6591/6587,135 H-1Z47(Luton-Carlisle footex),132,122
5548, High Speed diesel train(41001/2), 1762,4045,6826,6736,6796,3071
3118 (4 cor), 2039,2038,12036,12108
At Carlisle the majority of our train’s consist including 1 of our gang ambled off to the football accompanied by BTP and regulation Alsatians to Brunton Park, all very unnecessary for the vast majority of LTFC fans. Anyway we joined a bus to Kingstown from just outside the station. It was a long walk from the bus stop to Carlisle New Yard, “I reckon we’ve walked to Scotland” chirped up my mate as we really had no idea where we were going. The road overbridge then came into sight and our pace quickened.
There was a lot of power stabled in the small shed area near the bridge but most was not clearly visible. Rather than ask a few adult enthusiasts with binoculars for the gen, with a carefree oh “sod it” we clambered onto the bank and walked 40 yards along the bank before descending to near the running lines. A “400er” stormed past us probably 15 feet away on an up Inter City before we crossed said running lines to note down the stabled power, 5321 was very well received.
Our route to Kingmoor Depot to the South involved walking down what appeared long disused lines to the depot itself. This was a large depot but being relatively new build it lacked the atmosphere of many depots we did. Several “leccies” (electric locos) were here presumably for crew training, as the wires North of Preston weren’t switched on till May 74.
Carlisle New Yard (incl passing traffic)
84002,83013,E3018,7552,E3091,207,E3200,336,3171,213,1904,5233,3534,3565,288,3580,3170, 5297, 3566,208,335,3530,3741
A walk back through the park to Carlisle station, the inevitable chip supper then, after cabbing a few more “400er’s” on stopping services it was back aboard the “football special” again with 135 up front.
Our mate advised “lost 2 nil” but nobody aboard seem that bothered, the buffet was packed with fans enjoying a beer or six by us passing Leeds. A diversion via Melton Mowbray meant we wouldn’t view the lines of power at Leicester and it was too dark to see much Corby industrial action before getting back to Luton around 2200 for the 42 bus home to Dunstable…….
Writing up these notes almost 50 years later, a lot has changed, Luton Town despite the best efforts of the football league still exist and still carry substantial support to away games. As for our football special power that March day, D135/45149 survives in preservation on the Glos-Warks…………….
Footex phot spot
On the Leighton area’s day of the peaks our footex machine in later guise as 45149 takes the 1210 Euston-Sheffield North of Linslade tunnel on 030782. Booked engineering work closed St Pancras on this day and vast numbers of class 45’s visited the Leighton area as a result.
Thanks to John Williams for these New Yard and Kingmoor depot phots, he too doing the long walk from the bus stop on February 22nd 1979
John Williams captures a New Yard line up on February 22nd 1979 of 25192, 40119, 40172, 47408, 47410, 47424 and 47503
Carlisle New Yard often had a Scottish type 2 stabled, John Williams captures 26022 on February 22nd 1979
As the light fades, John williams captures 40008 looking good on Kingmoor depot on February 22nd 1979