“Clansman” moves, January 1976
A short wait at Bletchley then the 0650 Euston - Manchester was joined to give me my first blast of the then newish MkIII stock..
my notes read…”Mk III’s with automatic doors, comfortable ride and new carpets!”. Passing Wolverton 37291 and 37296 were
unloading stone at the ARC terminal. Power stabled at Nuneaton included 20197, 24038 and 47200. Approaching Crewe were
long lines, most withdrawn, of more class 24 “skinheads” with 24034, 24040 and 24044 all “copped” for sight. A Crewe bail then a 3
hour fester with 40119 on vans and 24080 on ballast the most interesting. The Down “Clansman” was joined with a welcome
87009 “City of Birmingham” up front and said “seven” was soon screaming North through the Shap snowfields and passing long,
silent lines of dumped “skinheads” on Carlisle New Yard. In the gloom of Mossend yard it was a real Scottish 47 (rather than a BS/CD
machine often borrowed by the Scottish Region) in 47467 forward.
Bellowing out in total darkness for the thrash over Drumochter I got a spray of flying snow as speeds increased once “over the top”. At
Dalwhinnie a “big pair” in 24065 and 26040 were on the late afternoon departure from Inverness, the “skinheads” were very few in number
North of the border by ‘76 even on their old Highland line stronghold. The 47 was spectacularly “let go” once over Scholdt as we kicked up more
snow in deep drifts at Tomatin and Daviot before descending into Inverness right time
86010 1H01 0650 Euston - Manchester Bletchley - Crewe
87009 1S59 0940 Euston - Inverness “Clansman” Crewe - Mossend
47467 1S59 0940 Euston - Inverness “Clansman” Mossend - Inverness
24065} 1T52 1635 Inverness - Glasgow QS
With a late morning departure from Inverness there was time to visit Lochgorm depot, the depot staff here was always hospitable..
40063, 26022, 26038, 26019, 25091, 27035, 26030, 26027, 26025, 26012, 26023, 26016, 26036, 26024, 26018, 47442, 26039, 08620 and 20083
After watching the action it was onto a virtually empty 3 coach 1037 Inverness-Kyle with 26038 up front. At most stations en route parcels and mail
were off loaded, very much a “life line” at the time despite closure threats. The thrash crackled on the climb to Ravens Rock helped by a dry rail on a
clear winter’s day. We crossed the up train at Achnasheen with 26028 as power whilst 26008 was at Kyle off a freight. I literally then headed for the hills
(Glenelg via Mam Ratagan), truly wild in Winter!.
26038 2K08 1037 Inverness - Kyle Inverness - Kyle
47269 1S07 2150 (30/1) Euston - Inverness “Royal Highlander”
47442 1M42 1030 Inverness - Euston “Clansman” - Crewe 47!
26009 2N14 0704 Kyle - Inverness
26027 2N13 0528 Wick/Thurso - Inverness
26022 2K09 1050 Inverness - Wick/Thurso
24069 Perth - Inverness mails
26028 2N21 1107 Kyle - Inverness
020276 - Monday
To make the “late morning train” I hitched a lift from a Glenelg local. The laid back “West Coasters” may have a relaxed life style but not once on the road!
On being told I had a train to catch we went into warp factor 6 round the Dornie curves to make the train at Kyle in “plenty time”. On joining the train
in the front TSO like you do, I was told by the train crew to get in a compartment as we had “no heat”. With frost still thick on the ground near the turntable
pit, 26014 soon had us on the move. At Strome 25109 was stabled outside the new cement terminal here having worked a cement in from the South.
The cement for oil rig construction at nearby Kishorn had apparently helped secure the lines future and a good few jobs too. Only “25” I ever saw West of
Dingwall too, shame it was “no heat” as it could have assisted us!
As the snow level dropped to the adjoining moorland at Luib nr Achnasheen, we were soon at Achnasheen itself. Here 26045 was waiting for us to cross whilst an
additional “tea cup” was waiting by the box, light engine. 26009 was quickly coupled to 26014 and steam was soon rattling through the pipes and half of Loch Luichart!
Our pair made a lively descent from Ravens Rock and the fast progress continued once on the “main line” round the Firth. A real Highland stalwart in 24123 was
hovering at Inverness station but soon scuttled off to Millburn yard for a freight.
26014 2N21 1107 Kyle - Inverness Kyle - Achnasheen
26009} 2N21 1107 Kyle - Inverness Achnasheen - Inverness
26045 2K08 1037 Inverness - Kyle
040276 - Wednesday
More “Clansman” mileage beckoned with sun and deep snow over Drumochter it was a memorable return run. A Northbound freight was crossed at Pitlochry
with the rateable combination of 40063 and 24107 up front. A “seven” backed on at Mossend which as per my Northbound run was the screaming 87009. As
booked the “Clansman” continued South via Carlisle, Crewe and the West Midlands. The train also called at the new “Birmingham Int’l” station which had
only opened a few weeks earlier. A Coventy bail then a 310 unit back home via Leighton.
47467 1M42 1030 Inverness - Euston “Clansman” Inverness - Mossend
87009 1M42 1030 Inverness - Euston “Clansman” Mossend - Coventry
310065 1921 Birmingham - Euston Coventry - Leighton
The Clansman Times (May 76-77) Down 1S59 (Mk IIed/e stock)
Euston 0940, Coventry 1043/1044, Bir Intl 1053/1054, New St 1110/1112, Wolves 1129, Crewe 1210, Preston 1250, Carlisle 1401/1406,
Motherwell 1518, Coatbridge C 1539, Stirling 1613, Gleneagles 1638, Perth 1657/1700, Pitlochry 1736, Newtonmore 1834,
Kingussie 1840, Aviemore 1855, Inverness 1945
The Clansman Times (May 76-77) Up 1M42 (Mk IIed/e stock)
Inverness 1030, Aviemore 1120/1125, Kingussie 1140, Newtonmore 1146, Pitlochry 1248, Perth 1322/1328, Gleneagles 1347, Stirling 1404/1405
Coatbridge C 1436, Motherwell 1458, Carlisle 1605/1620, Preston 1732, Crewe 1815/1819, Wolverhampton 1852/1854, New St 1916/1918,
Bir Int’l 1927/1928, Coventry 1938/1939, Euston 2052
220576 - An 83 on the "Clansman"
87028 on the up “Clansman” failed at Roade, 83005 rear end assist to Bletchley where run round to haul the train South somewhat late
The “Clansman” - a top train….!