The DRS Class 20 farewell, Saturday 18th January 2020
New St around 0740 with a good crowd of cranks waiting as 57002 and 57003 whirred in with 13 Mk I's in tow. On
joining the toasty Coach E (4927) the smell of dust and heat was "like stepping back into the 80'"to quote my colleague.
The "Ronnies" once clear of Saltley accelerated powerfully this was to happen many times as we headed North.
Passing Kingsbury scrapyards a few doomed pacers were awaiting the inevitable cut.
From Chesterfield we took the "Old Road" avoiding Sheffield, at Booths Rotherham it was shocking to see Mk 4's ready for
the cut. Approaching York vast crowds of photters were out, helped by the unbroken sun which was to last all day. At York the "ronnies"
were replaced by the celebrity pair 20305 and 20302.
After an initially shaky start the 20's soon thrashed towards Poppleton and the Harrogate loop. The pair eased up before the 2 mile
long Bramhope Tunnel before an almighty thrash through the confines of this long tunnel.
The 2 hour break in Leeds offered many options the station, Wetherspoons being quite popular. Sitting outside to avoid the wedge in
the initially warm sun was most enjoyable! The return working emerged from Neville Hill carriage sidings 20 odd down and we all
boarded quickly to be soon enjoying long pulses of 20 thrash as darkness enveloped us in the old class 20 haunt of Derby.
More thrash Uttoxeter way, then a non stop run through Stoke, then Crewe where the 20s were uncoupled only to run light engine
to Gresty Road passing the tour stock with a last final blast of "chopper" thrash. Chiltern regular 68009 was the disappointing forwarding
power and boy did she go with awesome acceleration and serious fast running en route to Bushbury Jn.
A few 60's were on BS, then an ontime arrival at New St a pair of 350's returned us home well happy with our day.