The Lochalsh Highlander tour, April 2014

The Lochalsh Highlander tour and more, April 2014

Thursday April 24th 2014

Leighton Buzzard High St around 0640 was the unlikely starting point for me and Tony Ewer before joining the bus to Aylesbury. A busy green bubble 55034 was then joined for a rattle and roll across the Chiltern foothills. A short wait on a now bright morning then the trusty, ultra reliable “Banbury commuter” regular 67023 worked hard leaving Risboro on the too brief climb to Saunderton bank.

A long fester at Wycombe before 67013 was joined for a good thrash  in comfy former Wrexham and Shropshire” luxury mk IIIs North to Snow Hill with Jed joining us at Dorridge. A “Daytripper” was purchased  and  the usual crop of units, the required shacks of Lye and Langley Green were raked in plus 67010, 67012 and 67018.  Jed keeping us company on the 67’s. 350112 powered us North to Crewe where we ventured out to sample the 24 hour MacDonald’s  here, a unique experience! .

67023 powers out of Wycombe with the 0744 Banbury – Marylebone “commuter” a turn this loco did day in day out, what a machine!

67013 at Birmingham Snow Hill with the 1045 ex Marylebone

Friday April 25th 2014

Crewe from  2330 to 0130 was surprisingly busy with some freight including 60007 on a coal train, 90020 on 1S25 Sleeper and a “ronnie” on a booked Pendo drag. The tour arrived around  0115 and we joined our allotted coach B in a rake of 11 coffins but a generator coach right behind 37259 and 37423 reduced the thrash. On departure at 0135 i found an empty bay and dossed out completely missing the  Carlisle photo stop. Not long after 6am the lowland locals began to join the tour at the likes of Wishaw and Larbert so i returned to my booked seat for more doss.

A Perth photo stop was a busy one, but on leaving Blair Athol my attempts to get a door vestibule were thwarted by many tractor men enjoying the noise. A good bit of snow survived on the Dalwhinnie hills, the mighty Cairngorms lost in mist. It was good to be on a proper train North of Inverness the Beauly Firth and Ben Wyvis as magical as ever. We arrived in a grey but dry (rare!) Kyle and 1430 with just 90 minutes to enjoy the fresh air.

Phots of the power, than me and Tony marched the Skye Bridge but the tight timings meant we could only climb up to the mid way summit, impressive enough mind. On our return we were rewarded with sea otters nedding around on the shore near Isle Ornsay. Food was raked in and around 1610 we returned East. More doss followed as unfortunately the Highland line was in darkness. After Wishaw the last of the lowlanders had left so we could stretch out and enjoy the 4 cans of Stella they had left behind.

The Lochalsh Highlander,  Friday April 25th 2014

A straightforward Crewe-Kyle out and back run via the Highland line with almost 26 hours of action behind 37259/37423.Stock was 11 Mk IId/e “coffins”. Good atmosphere throughout,  helped by fine weather West of Dingwall. With our Scottish contingent bailing by Wishaw there was “plenty room” to stretch out for the return overnight run. A bargain at £99

1Z51- Compass Tours Itinerary

Crewe 0140, Preston, 0238, Carlisle 0355/0450, Wishaw 0622, Holytown, Mossend E, Mossend Yd, Coatbridge C 0643, Cumbernauld 0654, Larbert 0709, Stirling 0721, Dunblane 0730, Perth (last stop) 0810/0830, Aviemore 1024/1029, Inverness Rose St 1121/26, Dingwall 1210, Achnasheen 1311/18, Kyle 1433

Kyle 1618, Achnasheen 1729,Dingwall 1828, Inverness Rose St 1853/1855, Kingussie 2000/2016, Perth 2140/2152, Mossend Yd, Motherwell, Wishaw 2338, Carlisle 0049/56, Preston 0213/19, Crewe 0304

 Tour noses at Perth, during a booked pathing stop

 37259 and 37423 rest at Perth after an overnight slog from Crewe

 Fair bit of snow on the rolling Eastern Drumochter hills nr Dalwhinnie

 Over the years a fair few will have waved/flailed or gawped at the “German Soldiers Helmet” (on the left) rock formation nr Schold

 The summit is passed!

 At the blocks at Kyle

 The traditional view of Kyle with MV Hebridean Express at the quay

The late Tony Ewer on the Skye bridge

 37423 and 37159 waiting the return South

 All over after 1200 miles of action, its just after 3am with 37423 and 259 about to erupt out of Crewe with the emcars

Saturday April 26th 2014

A Crewe terminating time of  0315 was a bit rancid but after another MacDonald’s sortee we returned to the station to see and hear 90029 absolutely scream through non stop at high speed with 1M11 sleepers. As daylight set in we photted the recently arrived 60s on shed and a 20/57 combo on a down flask.

20302 and 57301 at Crewe with a down flask working

47790 looking good at Crewe

Tony was moaning about me picking a 0850 departure ex Crewe advance but how was i to know we wouldnt be hours late…. The rest of the day saw more 67’s and units before a bus from Haddenham to Aylesbury and another from there to Leighton ended a tiring but enjoyable Kyle day trip.

67010 powers out of Bicester with the 1355 Birmingham SH – Marylebone

Sadly writing up these expanded notes in 2022 it is depressing that the 2 familiar bashers that are mentioned in the text are no longer with us, RIP both Tony and Jed….

Moves and gen 2404-260414

                                                                24/4/14 Th

3387       150-0645 L.Buzzard – Aylesbury                     LB-AY

55034    0744 Aylesbury – P.Risboro                              AY-PR

67023    0744 Banbury – Marylebone                          PR-HW

67018    0609 Kidderminster – Marylebone

67010    0638 Stourbridge Jn – Marylebone

67010    1015 Marylebone – Birmingham MS

67013    1045 Marylebone – Birmingham SH              HW-BSH

67013    1312 Birmingham SH – Marylebone             BSH-DO

172333  1346 Dorridge – Worcester               DO-SO

172332   1327 Stourbridge Jn – Stratford                     SO-DO

172338  1403 Stratford – Stourbridge Jn                      DO-SO

67012    1315 Marylebone – Birmingham MS             SO-MS

172219} 1440 Whitlocks End – Kidderminster            MS-ST JN                            


172336  1525 Kidderminster – Whitlocks End            ST JN-CH

172337   1426 Stratford – Stourbridge Jn        Lye       CH-LY

172337   1557 Stourbridge Jn – Stratford  Langley G  LY-LG

172342   1526 Stratford – Stourbridge Jn                     LG-SJ

139001   1655 Stourbridge Jn – Stourbridge                SJ-ST

139001  1700 Stourbridge – Stourbridge Jn                  ST-SJ

172334  1653 Stourbridge Jn – Leamington                 SJ-DO

67010    1647 Marylebone – Birmingham MS             DO-MS

67013    1715 Marylebone – Kidderminster                 MS-RR

172333}  1837 Worcester – Birmingham SH               RR-BSH


172331  1917 Witlocks E – Stourbridge Jn                  BSH-JQ

07 (tram) xxxx Wolverhampton – S.Hill                     JQ-BSH

67012    1815 Marylebone – Kidderminster                BSH-GB

158818  1607 Aberystwyth – Bir Int’l                           GB-NS

90035     1903 Euston – Birmingham – caped

67018    1847 Marylebone – Kidderminster                MS-BSH

172339  1946 Worcester – Dorridge             BSH-MS

350112  2136 Birmingham – Liverpool                      NS-CR

                                                                25/4/14 Fr

90020    2115 (24/4) Euston – Inverness

60007    coal – Crewe

37259}   1Z50 0140 Crewe – Kyle “Lochalsh Highlander” CR-KY  (596.26m)


5955 – via Preston, Carlisle, Wishaw, Mossend E, Mossend, Perth, Rose St

08742 – Mossend


37423}  1Z51 1608 Kyle – Crewe Rtn Railtour        KY-CR    (596.26m)           


via Rose St, Aviemore, Perth, Mossend, ML,Wishaw, Carlisle, Preston

67022    1M16 2046 Inverness – Euston

                                                                26/4/14 Sa

90029   1M11 storm non stop thru Crewe!

350240  0822 Liverpool – Birmingham                    CR-NS

67018    0910 Kidderminster – Marylebone             MS-SO

172103}  1012 Birmingham MS – Marylebone       SO-DO                                   


165021  1032 Leamington – Marylebone               DO-MS

172215  1055 Kidderminster – Dorridge                 MS-DO

168217  1036 Marylebone – Birmingham SH        DO-SO

67010    1106 Marylebone – Birmingham MS       SO-MS

172337  1258 Birmingham MS – Kidderminster   MS-SH

168217  1312 Birmingham SH – Marylebone       SH-MS

67010     1355 Birmingham MS – Marylebone      MS-BI

168002   1412 Birmingham SH – Marylebone       BI-HA

5436       280 – 1440 Oxford – Aylesbury                 HA-AY

3263       150 – 1640 Aylesbury – M.Keynes           AY-LB


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