The "Bedford Bricker" Railtour, October 83 remembered
Pre tour moves 29/10/83 Sa
087 0555 M.Keynes-Euston LB-EU
50030 1A07 2135 Penzance-Padd
47511 1A09 2227 Milford H-Padd
50030 1A20 0808 Padd-Oxford PA-RG
50018 1A59 0820 Oxford-Padd
47418 1O01 0600 Derby-Poole (in)
47551 1O01 0600 Derby-Poole
50028 1A75 0705 Hereford-Padd
47440 1M03 0805 Portsmouth-Manchester
47553 Swansea-Padd addit
37176} 1Z37 Plymouth-Stafford Bedford Bricker Railtour RG-BL (via Ac,Hw,Ayl,Bley)
25048} 1Z37 Plymouth-Stafford Bedford Bricker Railtour BL-BL (via Be,MM,Bu,St)
37186} 1Z37 Stafford-Plymouth ret tour BL-RG (via Ox)
50037 1M17 1945 Padd-Wolves
50034 1A71 2120 Oxford-Padd RG-PA
092 2300 Euston-Northampton EU-LB
"South Wales steamers" 37176 and 37186 arrived with the "Bedford Bricker" tour at Reading an expected 35 down. A good few cambered aboard, coach J for me and the "Buzzard" aka as Ian Smith of Cornish fame. A steady sow line run to Acton Wells then freight lines to Northolt Jn for a noisy slog up to Wycombe and Saunderton banks. A brief photo stop at Aylesbury then onwards for the personal highlight of the trip for both me and the "Buzzard" our first climb over Bletchley flyover!
It was certainly higher and longer than we thought and we then head a very slow loco change on the Fenny flyover section with 25048 and 25245 eventually being coupled up with us 36 late off the flyover, losing all the time regained over the Chilterns. An impressive 228 miles behind each rat took us over, perhaps too many freight lines as we were 50 plus late leaving Stafford for a Trent Valley rat thrash session. Rugby PSB kindly switched us to the fast lines rather than via Northampton making up a few minutes.
Back in the now dark Denbigh Hall end of the flyover 37186/37176 replaced the rats for the run from Bletchley - Oxford on an increasingly cold train as steam heat wasnt flowing nicely.
With late running now running at 70 minutes plus there was a flap amongst some about connections home and the sociable "F & W" stewards soon did their bit to help. My Cornish colleague cared not as 46026 was now allocated to work the tour back to Devon and he was going West!!.
50034 was comfortably made at Reading on an Oxford - Padd, for a roasting 310092 to return me home.
Bedford Bricker Phot links – thanks to Alan Bark