Fair Maid of Perth, Railtour Aug 86
048 0523 M.Keynes-Euston LB-EU
47546 1Z27 0735 Kings X-Perth Railtour Fair Maid of Perth KX-LE
45070 1E82 0903 Liverpool - Scarborough
40122 1Z27 0735 Kings X-Perth Railtour Fair Maid of Perth LE-CA
47478 1E20 1040 Carlisle - Leeds
27042} 1Z27 0735 Kings X-Perth Railtour Fair Maid of Perth CA-SH
37264 1Z27 0735 Kings X-Perth Railtour Fair Maid of Perth SH-GO
27059} 1Z27 0735 Kings X-Perth Railtour Fair Maid of Perth GO-PE
27042} 1Z27 2330 Perth-Kings X Railtour Fair Maid of Perth PE-CA
40122 1Z27 2330 Perth-Kings X Railtour Fair Maid of Perth CA-NC
47463 1Z27 2330 Perth-Kings X Railtour Fair Maid of Perth NC-KX
057 1302 Euston-Rugby EU-LB
By 1986 some railtours were becoming bland, lacking atmosphere and lacking that feeling of being part of a railtour brotherhood, the "Fair Maid of Perth" was one of these tours. This tour was made up of First Class stock with a sizeable dining section. Now whilst a good few were pleased at the likes of 27059 up front, half the train were more concerned about the wine on offer with their meals!
At the Cross we were in good spirits a front coach compo after reversal at Leeds and Inverness beast in 47546 "Aviemore Centre" up front. The early 5am start and boring ECML soon took its toll and we slept to Leeds. Here the "queen of green" was attached right next to our BFK! The assault on the S n C and later Beattock was a bit dull, 40122 was driven very gently, little hell fire 40 thrash today then.
At Carstairs where we staggered in at 1545 (we left Kings X at 0735) only a few of us bailed to watch the loco change. Apparently afternoon tea was in full swing back in the dining section. Well they missed the rather large 27059 and old Inverness machine 27042 attached for some rateable thrash and rare track. The highlight track wise was after Glasgow High St Jn passing the long abandoned site of St Enoch, then crossing the Clyde by the freight only crossing to Shields.
At Shields any hope of a big pair of Scottish 20's or a big nb ML tractor as the forwarding power to Gourock were dashed with ex "Stratford rubbish" 37264 attached! As we neared the Clyde there were vast (and i mean vast) crowds lining the banks of the Clyde. At Gourock we were to find out the Queen and others were heading West on the Royal Yacht Brittania and half of Strathclyde came out on a sunny Saturday afternoon to wave in respect. During the far too short 40 minutes at Gourock, apart from viewing the Royal boat we raked in fodder via a busy chippie.
From Gourock with 27042 and 27059 back at the helm we returned to Shields then passing Polmadie before turning left at Rutherglen East. The Forth Bridge, then a double take of the Thornton loop passing the likes of Dunfermline twice seemed a waste of time as it was 2230 when we arrived at Perth. With nothing open, except pubs we quickly returned to the station to watch a botched stock watering take place! Departure from Perth at 2330 saw us miss out on the scenic Ochil scenery around Greenloaming even in half light so we took full advantage of our compo and stretched out for a solid nights doss!
40122 was reattached at Carstairs for the run to Carlisle and then Newcastle but we remained dossed out. As we crossed the Tyne i quietly sneaked out the compo to hopefully see a "Generator" or Eastern biggie attached for the return run from Newcastle to the Cross. Much abuse at "Crewe rubbish" in 47463 being attached, I didnt bother waking my snoring colleagues and returned to the land of nod virtually back to the Cross.
Apart from the gutsy performance from the "tippies", this tour ( a chingy £34.50 too) had been a disappointment, a sign of changing railtour times perhaps?