The Coastway Crusader remembered, Sun July 27th 1986.
Pre tour moves:
A 6am tour start from Wolverhampton meant a Saturday night overnight. This allowed
the rare 87 off Bletchley, 1G49 move just after midnight on Sunday July 27th. 87015 obliged with a drag from Nuneaton getting a disappointing (to us), former Liverpool St regular 47135.
From New St 87009 took us forward via Bescot which helped reduce the fester at Wolverhampton to just a few hours. As usual Wolverhampton station staff were hospitable with the waiting rooms busy with that odd assortment of bashers, drunks, lost travellers and drop outs, that the railway once accommodated most evenings.
068 2255 Euston-Northampton LB-BY
87015 1G49 2325 Euston-Wolverhampton BY-NU
47135 1G49 2325 Euston-Wolverhampton NU-NS
87009 1G49 2325 Euston-Wolverhampton (via BS) NS-WO
The "Coastway Crusader" Tour:
50050 arrived early with the tour stock and my colleagues the Buzzard (aka Smudger Smith)
and Wolverton Steve were dossed before departure! A BS diversion then Sulzer power in
45128 took us South from New St.
I was woken at Temple Meads by the rumpus as 2 x 25s drew alongside us. Some
25181/25191 phots under the station roof in nice sun as we departed towards Bath and Salisbury.
At Andover the rats ran round and being right time my Buzzard colleague commentated how the reasonable plus, back at Andover onto the 1110 Waterloo - Exeter looked "safe". He had to get back to Cornwall for some family event off this.
Sadly at Ludgershall things went badly wrong. We heard 25181 shut down due to a bogie fault that would never see her work again......
A protracted run round as a result saw us 50 late and we were then checked outside Andover station for some time. This was despite a tour assist engine in 33011 already on hand. 25191's ploughs were considered unsafe for the SR third rail so a further delay followed. The "Buzzard's" connection obviously came and went so he stayed aboard to make a tram out off Reading via the "Bas" stop later...!
So with 33011 and 25191 up front a thrash along the "mule" to Clapham followed but as we were now 2hours late the flap over last trains home started. Exotic haunts for 25s like Tulsse Hill chord, Dorking and Bognor Regis followed.
A dull (to all) 73114 took us across to Littlehampton before a "Coastway line" thrash Westwards. Late running was coming down steadily but return trains home from New St late on a Sunday night looked dodgy.
At Salisbury a good few of us bailed for the Exeter - Waterloo "mule" homewards. We had to view and flag off the exotic combination of 37046/37117 and 25191 working the tour forward from Salisbury to Temple Meads! 37117 was very required at the time, our Mule power in 50042 obviously not!
50050 1Z36 0612 Wolverhampton-Littlehampton Railtour (via BS)WO-NS
45128 0612 Wolverhampton-Littlehampton Railtour NS-TM
25181} 0612 Wolverhampton-Littlehampton Railtour (via Lugg) TM-AN
25191} 0612 Wolverhampton-Littlehampton Railtour AN-BR
73114 0612 Wolverhampton-Littlehampton Railtour (on diesel) BR-LI
25191} 1650 Littlehampton-Wolverhampton Railtour LI-SA
33210 1O96 1705 Cardiff-Brighton
33065 1O47 1750 Cardiff-Portsmouth
50042 1O25 1819 Exeter-Waterloo SA-WA
37046} 1650 Littlehampton-Wolverhampton Railtour (80L)
072 2202 Euston-Rugby EU-LB
A 310 unit home from Euston and another "rat farewell" tour was over. Despite the issues, it had been great fun, but it wasn't so nice struggling out of bed for work the next morning!