Up Scotch, down Scotch, a North West Rover Nov 13th-17th 2003


Thursday 13th November 2003

                                At Leighton with a “bargain” £36-50 saver to Crewe in hand, I had a 40 minute fester at the Keynes for the first “valid” down service. A busy spell followed; the first up produced 87029 piloting 001, then a late up Manchester with 57304, a pair of cans on liners and finally 87002.

                        My luck held with 87021 on the Wolves.  At Wolverhampton a painless “North West Rover” purchase although a £51 ching hurt, then some 170 to a chilly, quiet Stafford.

                        87003 was taken Northbound through the building site from Norton Bridge to Crewe at a steady totter. Many EWS sheds were on ballast jobs for “rebuilding” of the line. 87017 produced on the Preston which was  a screamer. We passed 56059 on chemicals near Weaver Jn whilst 2 up coal trains were checked near Bank Quay. 37890 was on depot here.

                        In full gloom at 1430! we suffered from a major signal failure South of Wigan. 45 minutes and a free coffee later we were on the move, only for the train to be caped at Wigan. Most of the passengers of the caped train struggled onto a following Voyager, large logo 56078 was photted on an engineer’s train then “John” (87013) took me North.

                        A slow run as we were stuck behind said Voyager and on leaving Oxenholme i was on a dead onto the Glasgow-Euston at Penrith. Said Skoda viewed at Leighton in morning was made on a plus 5 so the Lancaster  "Old Station house" B and B was made at the quoted time. I was given a room overlooking the WCML!

                        Back at the station it was 87015 which was 16 late off Lancaster but only 4 at Preston! A Wigan bail  saw a long fester in terrible rain with much late running but much freight including a grimy blue 37308 and 37670 on the water cannon train . Eventually 87011 returned me to Lancaster.  Said syphons passed my bedroom window half an hour later!


321413            0834 Euston - M.Keynes        L.Buzzard-M.Keynes<

87021              0945 Euston - Wolves             M.Keynes-Wolves

170508            1148 Birmingham - L'pool      Wolves-Stafford

87003              1110 Euston - Liverpool         Stafford - Crewe<

87007              1125 Euston - Preston (term Wig) Crewe - Wigan NW

87013              1230 Euston - Glasgow          Wigan NW - Penrith

90001              1535 Glasgow - Euston          Penrith - Lancaster

87015              1649 Glasgow - Euston          Lancaster - Wigan

87011              1630 Euston - Glasgow          Wigan - Lancaster                              


  56078 passes a damp Wigan NW on an engineers train, 131103


Friday 14th November 2003     

                        A disturbed night with a rattling window frame being fixed by a spoon! The morning was bright allowing a phot of 87025 on a Carlisle-Euston out of the bedroom window! Shaving was disturbed by 2 x 20 on a “nucex”!!. A substantial breakfast then as I left for the short, 3 minute walk to the station the first shower of the day set in. A phot of 2 x 86’6 on Southbound liners was missed as they hurtled round the curve, lovely 90008 arrived on my Glasgow-Euston.

In the Garstang area we overtook an Alexander bodied Stagecoach Leopard bus. A Preston leap for a delayed S47. It was real bonus to do this train as this solid 87 turn always screams past me walking for the bus to work. 87024 soon arrived dragging the much lower mileage but dead 87012 and put in a good run. Short bursts of sun illuminated the fells, to add to the wanders of the Lune Gorge and Shap Fell.

A leap at a cold, wet Penrith saw 87011 return me South. The train was busy with happy Glaswegians off “South” for the weekend. Oxenholme was equally chill. Compared with 24, the purple machine (87002) on the next Scotch seriously staggered out of Oxenholme only getting up to 40 mph in the Lune Gorge. The river here was running high as we notched into storm mode. By Carlisle the weather was sunny as I raked in the local chippy. 37408 and 411 were already in with the 1333 Leeds hauled train complete with Arriva liveried Mk II stock. Despite 50 or so passengers hanging around, in true Arriva bus style, the doors were not finally released until 10 minutes before departure. The 10 cranks all headed for the front coach.

Newly delivered 57312 “The Hood” was under examination in the middle road whilst I flagged off 87023 for some  “snout” mileage. 408 was soon taking us into a different world of unwelded track and semaphores of  “Howes and Co” signal box. An explosion of thrash leaving Appleby as we climbed into a wilder  landscape. The cloud base lowered and darkened as the rains set in again. An unexpected “we are now approaching Kirkby Stephen” announcement was a first. Despite the wild weather at least 2 photters were viewed in this wild section.

Near Dent a deceased sheep was trackside and our tail engine could also be heard thrashing away. A 30 slack over a moody Ribblehead viaduct then a slow descent alongside a roaring Ribble river. The Keighley and Worth Valley railway’s siding had  “S.C.Ruffey Contractors, Sodor” painted on a troublesome truck. The best thrash of the day followed as we pulled away from a check at Bingley and 411 continued to contribute with a basher hanging out of the back coach window as well.  More checks saw us 10 down into Leeds despite waiting time at Skipton.

The rebuilt Leeds station with high roof had an impressive continental quality about it but in inaudible announcements re late or very late trains took the gloss away. With a massive crowd waiting for a 3 car 158 on a delayed Manchester I opted for the Preston move. Some 155 was joined which too was severely wedged to Hebden Bridge. With the rain continuing in torrents we steadily lost time on a dark, boring journey. It was a relief to get off at Preston where it was still raining and make 87002 back to Wigan. 56118 was a ballast beast here and my hopes for a quick escape were thwarted by a Skoda on the down Scotch. The long fester was livened by 37218/20307 with a single flask and finally 87019 back to Lancaster, where, incredibly it had stopped raining.


90008              0610 Glasgow - Euston          Lancaster - Preston

87024}              1S47 0620 Euston - Glasgow          Preston - Penrith


87011              0936 Glasgow - Euston          Penrith - Oxenholme

87002              0830 Euston - Glasgow          Oxenholme - Carlisle

37408(top)}    1333 Carlisle - Leeds             Carlisle - Leeds>


155343            1618 Leeds - Blackpool          Leeds - Preston (via BDD, Copy Pit)

87002              1535 Glasgow - Euston          Preston - Wigan


87019              1730 Euston - Glasgow          Wigan - Lancaster


 37408 at Carlisle about to work the 1333 Leeds 141103



Saturday  15th November 2003

A peaceful night with little freight to disturb me. Some 90 was joined on the 0903 to Euston where said train would arrive at 1420! The morning was bright and clear although Preston remained chilly. 47841 was attached for the drag via Manchester and made a claggy, fast departure. After 40 minutes or so 57303 arrived dragging 87029. 0 bashers got off, but 10 got on! The “Earl” was on 950 miles so a clearance was on! An unusual sight was us passing a railway footbridge on the trailer of on a lorry as we ran alongside the M6 near Garstang.

Carnforth had several lines of  “stored” power with what’s left of 37133 of “Glen Douglas” fame standing proud.  A good run over Shap with the hills in patchy sun and the Lune river high and frothy.  Crossing the footbridge at Carlisle, a retimed Glasgow-Euston was just arriving but was then announced as stopping over for 40 minutes!

So there was ample time to phot the power in 87014, plus 56118 then rake in the chippie. 14 also stormed with long spells of 110 mph running on a quiet train to add to the atmosphere. A hill walker high on a hill above us in the Lune Gorge must have got a superb view of our southbound progress.  At Preston 47841 was again the drag loco forward whilst gloom set in with 90013 on the next down Scotch. With little time for a safe fill in move it seemed a long time before 87001 arrived on the down Scotch.

The blue beast screamed North through soft, dusky light. At Carlisle which after dark brought back memories of long festers between S06/M14 overnights on "roarers" and the down platform  waiting room survived as well.

A bonus with the last up “Euston” producing “John” (87013). A few bashers were at the very back, then 5 noisy but “soche”  Mansfield fans joined us for the thrash. They advised that rock bottom Carlisle want to leave the “English” league to become a “big name” in the Scottish league!.  Forwarding power from Preston was a very 071 sounding 57312, plus…just for a change..47841! . 87011 returned me to Lancaster to finish off a good day for “seven” mileage. 



90004              0610 Glasgow - Euston          Lancaster - Preston

87029    1S47 0609 Euston - Glasgow          Preston - Carlisle

87014              1047 Glasgow - Euston          Carlisle - Preston

87001              1130 Euston - Glasgow          Preston - Carlisle

87013              1555 Glasgow - Northampton Carlisle - Preston

87011              1505 Euston - Glasgow          Preston - Lancaster


 56118 and 60044 stabled at Carlisle, 151103



Sunday  16th November 2003

 The first bus was not till 0950 so I had an hour to wander round Lancaster, yawn! A pub here called “John o’Gaunt” took pride of place alongside the castle. Desperate announcements of “you must buy a ticket before boarding the coach” boomed out and said coach was gripped on boarding!  The coach soon wedged up with a high student consist. A totter saw us joining the M6 when the train would have been arriving at Preston. In the leafier parts of Preston we passed a “Crompton Terrace”!. 

            Within the confines of my validity the first hauled train I could do was not until 1511 so a fill in move or six was needed. Some 150 arrived on a Blackpool-Manchester, which considering there was an England soccer fixture at Old Trafford was typical bus industry rostering. The wedge was nasty by Chorley so I leapt and made a minus onto 156426 whose front coach was “nb”. The 156 took me through to Blackpool for an enjoyable wander along the beach with big crashing waves plus warm sun. Not many trams seemed to be on the move.

            The “nb” 156 return run was made for a move back to Preston for another 156 back to Poulton. The station here hasn’t changed since my last visit on 020483 when after taking a DMU from Preston to be sure of making 40028 on a Blackpool-Crewe; the much rarer 25044 arrived at Poulton on the 1500 Euston-Blackpool which I flag to get home. Some tinny sounding 175 returned me to Preston where a watch the voyager farce session was “enjoyed”. The first northbound Voyagers were spilt at Preston causing many passengers having to change sets on an already overloaded cart.

            The following hauled service got later and later then 57311 arrived dragging 87010 about 40 down. After battering an air leak on the “seven” we departed an hour down. Despite much screaming up front the overloaded cart in front of us delayed us enough to enforce a Penrith bail. Would i be bowled by a "Skoda?".  4 minutes later was the highpoint of the day when 87022 rounded the curve. The weekend was now over for most with a mass exodus South. For the 4th time this weekend 47841 was the onward power and a few night exposures were taken.

            The earlier high was blown by 90011 arriving on the Down Scotch, then 87024 on the up Scotch so I didn’t have to leap at Oxenholme. Another 90 followed an hour later but I wanted to get “home” and grey machine 90027 returned me to Lancaster. 


150134            1028 Blackpool - Buxton        Preston-Chorley

156426            0927 Buxton - Blackpool        Chorley-Blackpool >

156426            1228 Blackpool - Buxton        Blackpool - Preston

156427            1127 Buxton - Blackpool        Preston - Poulton<

175116            1402 Blackpool - Manch Apt Poulton - Preston

87010              1150 Northampton - Glasgow            Preston - Penrith

87022              1542 Glasgow - Euston          Penrith - Preston

90027              1530 Euston - Glasgow          Preston - Lancaster


 47841 after a drag from the South at Preston, 161103


Monday 17th November 2003

          My lie in was disturbed by a mini freight block around 7am presumably after the Wigan-Preston possession had been lifted.  90021 was today’s 0625 Carlisle-Euston waiting time for a good 10 minutes.  After checking out of the "Old Station House" it was a surprise to get 87026 on the first up Scotch. With 21 miles needed to clear 26 I opted to flag S47 at Preston and stay on 26 to Wigan to clear “Redgauntlet”.

            As on Friday Wigan was damp and drizzly but I stayed on position to get phots of 47830 dragging 57308 plus 37503 and 37675 on the water cannon. I was disappointed with some Pendo on P01 but jubilation followed when 87001 arrived on S55. This was a screaming blue seven today!.

            At a rainy Carlisle 37411 and 408 were again out whilst I joined a 156 to get half-hour in Scotland, before I returned “home”. I leapt off said 156 when 87019 arrived on the 1150 Glasgow-Euston and I was soon storming South again. The Glaswegian guard announced our train as the “Royal Scot” and it was good to spot the “Shap Summit 916 ft” yellow writing on the rocky cutting.

            In the mist and drizzle I had a farewell bellow on passing the “Old Station House” then at 47328 rotting away amongst other hulks at Wigan. Warrington yard had 37375/37890 and 56078 whilst 2 Northbound Skodas on Virgin meant I was perhaps doing the right move.

            From Crewe some new 87 track mileage for me saw us take, as booked, the newly electrified mainly single Crewe-Kidsgrove section. It was virtually dark by Stoke then some proper fast running down the Trent only to be looped outside Rugby to allow some tram to pass us.

            A change at the Keynes and a cart home to end a “hell-fire” Rover.  


87026              0610 Glasgow - Euston          Lancaster - Wigan

87001              0830 Euston - Glasgow          Wigan - Carlisle

87019              1147 Glasgow - Euston          Carlisle - M.Keynes  (via Kidsgrove) 321434            1636 Birmingham - Euston M.Keynes - L.Buzzard


 As the  rover ends, 87001 at Carlisle with the 0830 Euston - Glasgow on 171103


15 different 87's sampled: 87001/002/003/007/010/011/13/14/15/19/21/22/24/26/29.


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