"The Anglo Scottish Freighter" from May 84 remembered
DAA Tours-1Z11 Friday May 4th-Sunday May 6th 1984
25316} Marylebone-Toton (via P.Risboro, Aylesbury, Bletchley,Bedford
47555 Toton-Edinburgh (via Shirebrook,Worksop, Rotherham,
York, Ferryhill, Newcastle)
26004} Edinburgh-Stirling (via Suburban lines, Thornton, Inverkeithing,
26005} Polmont )
37152} Stirling-Moss End (via Grangemouth W)
20211} Moss End-Ayr (via Whifleet, Gunnie,Moss End, Shiels, Kilwinning,
20110} Ayr-Glasgow C ( via Kilmarnock, Shields)
47555 Glasgow C-Crewe (via Kilmarnock, Carlisle)
85036 Crewe-New St (via Duddeston)
86215 New St-Euston
The tour began with 2 mysteries 1/ how to find the unfamiliar haunt of Maylebone from nearby Baker St and 2/ was 25316 required as it was not in our books having been a recent reinstatement. The consist of 13 Luxury early Mk II's of the FK variety made the prospect of 2 overnights aboard more bearable. An on-time 1015 departure soon saw us thrashing through the Chilterns to Aylesbury where the ever keen barrier gripper here was most concerned as hundreds of tour participants passed through, apparently ticketless, to phot the rats from the main footbridge North of the station.
Railtour crowds at Aylesbury. 25316 and 25321 are making their booked photo stop with the tour, also 31134 is in the dock on May 4th 1984. The station view here remains largely unchanged but the semaphores, footbridge and dock are long gone.
Our compo consist contained a keen track basher and the gentle rolling stagger from Claydon Jn-Bletchley Flyover soon had him well asleep after his early start from Brum. On him waking in the Woburn Sands area he was absolutely withered that we had failed to wake him, as he could not count the Claydon-Bletchley track as scored due his slumberous state. This was dispite our assurances that we had done the route and it was as dull as ever, a loud Sulzer attack on Sharnbrook ended further debate.
Onto the Leicester-Coalville-Burton freight artery one of the few amusing things we were all to see as a result of the miner's dispute was to see the tour pass alongside a police football match near Drakelow power station?? on a break between shifts. Much bellowing of "support the Miners" raised laughter on both sides as our rats plodded North
A last pick up at Burton saw large logo liveried months old 56129 pass South on tanks. At Toton the big disappointment of the tour in 47555 was attached for the heavy mileage section to Edinburgh. The requested 40 for the overnight sections had been refused because of a 40's apparent inabilty to heat the train. This was very ironic as some stock/loco fault meant no EH therms were available anyway.
A 2 hour break at York allowed us to wander off to the stabling point, chip shop and pubs. Even on a busy Friday night the tour participants tended to stand out, the hand held Adidas bags being a give away! The requested Blyth section was refused because of the Miner's dispute but some dive under South of Newcastle compensated the track bashers.
An early morning hour's break at Edinburgh saw 200 people doing a move to Haymarket on 27018 on the 0630 Edinburgh-Dundee. Thick fog engulfed Haymarket station approaches as the arrival time for the return train, the 2350 Inverness-Edinburgh portion came. Some wag shouts "it's on the other platform", a few paniced until 47508 drew up at the normal platform. The fun continued with a right time departure with xos power in 26004 and 26005 with a tour of the Thornton loop before reaching Polmont and Stirling.
Here a "big pair" in 37152/37149 were waiting to back on for the run to Grangemouth. We (at the back of the train) saw little of the branch as the only operational run round was a bit short of the branch end. "Waste of time, that was" claimed the guard. Back on the main-line the syphons opened up for the run to Moss End. More big pairs emerged from Motherwell Depot with 20211/20212 taking us South in brilliant sun to Ayr via Hunterston Ore terminal and other big track. 20110/20146 were equally well received for the return run back to Glasgow Central for an early evening arrival.
A third long break here saw us all going in different directions a fair few doing our move of various 303's to Dumbarton then 37081and Ethel 97251 to Queen St on the 1740 from Fort Bill. Saturday night revelry was in full swing walking down Argyll street to Glasgow Central for a 2300 departure behind the ever icy 47555. Our track bashing compo compatriot helped us to fall asleep as he advised how he done a unit to Gourock and got off for a few seconds at every station before rejoining the same service!
"It's a roarer" came the gen as 85036 backed on to replace 47555 at Crewe for a run into New St via BS and Duddeston. Engineering work enforced this devious routing and unfortunately the roarer managed to lose itself at New St rather than run round. 86215 was the last loco to do a now quiet tour back to Euston for a half eight Sunday morning arrival. 83015 backed on as ECS engine but by now we were all homeward bound. A "great tour" which with hindsight expanding these notes in December 2015 a truly classic top railtour was over.