The Deltic Delight Railtour, Sat September 24th 2022
After walking up from the Premier Inn situated amongst the surviving buildings and platforms of the long closed Wolverhampton Low Level , it was fester time in the sun for the tour to arrive.
47805 soon arrived with the tour Emcars which apparently had been routed from Crewe via Shrewsbury and a dead but immaculate green 55022 on the back. After a tense wait the Deltic was started up, as expected on one engine only, but she sounded good if not a bit tinny on departure.
47805 carrying D1935 numbers looks good arriving at Wolves with the Tour emcars
Looking good in green, D9000 55022 “Royal Scots Grey” prior to starting up and leaving Wolves with the tour for Newcastle via Carlisle
A laboured, jerky departure from Stafford but after that 55022 performed superbly with our three coaches back seats being able to listen to that hard working Napier sound and distinctive mournfull hoot.
Despite the doom merchants claims, we kept time most of the day
Passing Preston we opened up to partially fill the station with Napier music and smoke. We threaded the Lune Gorge in full sun and the hills looked superb. Probably getting assistance from 47805, we topped Shap at 56mph and then stormed down the grades through Penrith before swinging right at Upperby Bridge Jn. Much screeching round the tight curves to Pettrill Bridge Jn where we joined the Tyne Valley line.
LNER diversions were on too and after an initial stagger behind a unit we passed through the likes of Hexham and Blaydon at a steady pace. We took the High level bridge into Newcastle Central with superb Tyne views. After a short photting session 47805 took the stock and Deltic to Heaton for a 3 hour break.
Newcastle’s roofspace is about to get some Napier sounds as 55022 approaches with the return leg of the tour back to Wolves via York and Manchester
We departed South, right time at 1602 swinging left over the King Edward Bridge slowly building up to a 90ish cruising speed. At the South end of the Darlington – York “racetrack” we suffered the embarrassment of being overtaken by a 185 unit. 1023 Western Fusilier was on show outside the NRM at York complete with “Western Requiem” headboard…memories from Feb 20th 1977!. Brief crew change stops at York and Leeds. South of York we crossed 91110 on the 1508 Kings X – Leeds.
After Leeds we passed a packed Midland Road depot with Freightliner 59, 66 and 70 lined up. A photo stop at Wakefield Kirkgate was well received, before we crossed the Southern Pennines in dusk via Hebden Bridge and Rochdale. That Deltic sound echoing under the roof at Manchester Victoria during a pathing stop was excellent.
55022 during the booked and welcome photo stop at Wakefield Kirkgate
We rejoined the WCML at Earlstown continuing our howl South back to Wolverhampton, tour over. At Wolverhampton the train crew changed the headcode blind to 5Z56 and Deltic 22 was away back to Crewe ECS.
Tour over, 55022 takes a breather back at Wolves before droning off back to Crewe with the emcars