The “Electric Scot” Railtour, Wed January 26th 2022
Euston concourse not long after 6am and it was surprise to see the 0710 Glasgow special train up on the board and “boarding”. Heading down the ramp to platform 16 was DVT 82139 and a rake of 9 immaculate Mk III FO’s. To our right was an unusual Euston visitor, with Network Rail yellow 73951 stabled at the blocks of the siding road.
A good few cranks milled, around many familiar faces all admiring an immaculate 87002 “Royal Sovereign” at the business end. We joined the stock which was also immaculate inside, the heating was working too! Unfortunately our coach J, M11070 was at the DVT end of the train so no thrash today then!
We departed right time , the coach already half full, passing Willesden Jn I glanced up at the High Level platform and laughed on seeing the commuting crowds lined up there for a Westbound train, much like i did for many years on my Kingston commute. Leighton was passed with a flail at 0740.25, just 29m 18s after leaving Euston. Despite the half light there were 2 photters at Old Linslade, many more at the Keynes. Departure from the Keynes was like a rocket, seriously fast acceleration, G-force stuff!
Passing Rugely was depressing on seeing the power station levelled, cooling towers no more. Leaving Crewe the Ex Bury tram at the Heritage Centre attracted a lot more interest than LSL’s 90001 and 90002 stabled near the station.
We stopped at milepost 171.25 with the eth immediately going off. Perhaps we’d “bursted” ( a famous quote from the late “Jed”) and then came the announcement that a fitter was in action on the “seven”. During the initial 36 minute wait just South of Acton Grange there was on the positive side quite a bit of freight and light loco action but the negatives of a “Skoda rescue, would we make Scotland” had us all very worried. Then we moved forward for a short distance then waited another 7 minutes before getting the road. The fitter who fixed a “tap changer relay” certainly saved the day, a top man!
We continued North at good space but perhaps she was driven a bit more gently from station stops after the failure….We climbed Shap in style, the only January snow to be seen were drifts on the mighty Helvellyn. A Carlisle crew change than a storm through the moody Southern Uplands and Beattock was topped at good pace too.
We turned right at Law Jn to take the less familiar Wishaw and Bellshill route to Glasgow Central where we arrived 50 down. We all had 2 and a half hours to do our own thing. As I headed towards the Low level platforms all i could hear was 87002 “singing” away, an emotive almost forgotten sound.
After a haggis supper i escaped the rain back at Central and we all admired 87002 arriving on platform 2 with the tour stock. We departed at 1600 and proceeded in darkness to storm South. A rare track (for a 87) booked diversion took us via Euxton Balshaw Lane before rejoining the main line at Wigan NW.
The tones from the DVT hooting again brought back memories as we departed our booked stops. The train was much quieter after Crewe and Tamworth Low level couldnt have seen many loco hauled trains of late perhaps.
At Rugby a “Pendo” drew in on a parallel up platform, we’ll be held for that we all mused, but no 87002 was allowed out in front of the rubbish and we stormed South through Weedon and Hanslope.
We bailed at the Keynes content with our lot, 2 rancid 350s returned us home for 2200, a superb day..thank you 87002 (and LSL)
More Phots from the day.
The Lune gorge from the tour, sadly nae snow!!
Detailed timings of tour in a few days….