No juice at Nuneaton, 180985
A fast car to the Keynes, then a long wait for the 310 unit North. Plenty of interest on the up slow followed 25037 was on the ECS from Derby, 312201 Euston bound (rare) and 25279 on ballast. A pair of 310’s screamed North on my usual mileage move to New St, via Northampton. It was not until Coventry that my front power coach got busy.
At New St I hoped to fall on a “roarer” but there weren’t any, so 86417 was taken forward to Wolves. Matters got worse on passing a failed “roarer” at Dudley Port with 86234 assisting from the rear. More “cans” on everything at Crewe so I decided to cut my loses and head South via the Trent, to make the evening Euston-Northampton “cobblers” at the Keynes with better “roarer” potential.
The Holyhead – Euston was flagged at Crewe with a dull 86249 as power, I hoped the Blackpool-Euston 20 minutes behind would at least be a “seven”. Yes the curse continued when 86261 arrived on the Blackpool. A rear coach seat in a busy train was bagged and I enjoyed the run down the Trent until we stopped in the US platform at Nuneaton. Interestingly 86249 was stopped on the UF platform and people were milling around, we have a farce!
It transpired that due to a serious fire on a freight train between Rugby and Nuneaton that the power was off in this section and “likely to be for some time”. After a long wait I noticed a 20 start up in Nuneaton Loco Sidings (the old Cattle dock) and hopes on what had been a poor day haulage wise, raised. Perhaps the 20 was to rescue the freight as it whistled off South. In one of those magic unforgettable bashing moments the 20 stopped and returned to back onto the Holyhead-Euston!!. 20147 then whistled down the Nuneaton-Coventry line (freight only at this time) with the can and train in tow.
At Coventry to looks of total shock from a few local “neds”, the 20 was quickly removed and the “can” sung back into life to work the Holyhead – Euston forward. In a very desperate attempt to get to Nuneaton for another “drag” I joined 87003 on a Wolves for a New St bail. As 3 of us hit the bottom of the stairs at New St the Norwich train we hoped to join was leaving, but being a “ped”, joining it on the move was not that difficult!!!
As we arrived at Nuneaton the platforms were sadly empty, a few 47’s had apparently rescued other trapped up services, so I was put in a taxi back to Coventry. This made 87003’s return working to the Keynes and the day ended on a high.
It was only the next day that the bad news that 81018 had caught fire on the down Parkeston - Glazebrook “Bitumen tanks” filtered through and sadly another “fish” had been gutted by fire.
Sample gen from the day, 18/9/95 Wed
058} 0802 Euston-Birmingham MK-NS
47557 0743 Hull/Leeds-Cardiff
45134 0917 Leeds-Penzance
31424 0735 Norwich-Birmingham
47619 0734 Poole-Glasgow
86251 0734 Poole-Glasgow
86417 1040 Euston-Wolverhampton NS-WO
850xx 1135 Manchester-Birmingham (fail dud pt
86234 rear ast)
86229 0850 Brighton-Manchester WO-ST
86420 1200 Euston-Blackpool ST-CR
47503} 1100 Euston-Holyhead
33011 1345 Manchester-Cardiff
47421 1550 Liverpool-Portsmouth
33004 1200 Cardiff-Crewe
47274 1310 Holyhead-Crewe Addit
86261 1416 Blackpool-Euston CR-NU
20147} 1246 Holyhead-Euston NU-CO
87003 1640 Euston-Wolverhampton CO-NS
31415 1820 Birmingham-Norwich NS-NU
Taxi 1900 Lichfield-Coventry NU-CO
87003 1927 Wolverhampton-Euston CO-MK
057 1921 Birmingham-Euston MK-LB
And finally, gen from MIB 20 years later…
20106} 1255 Liverpool-|Euston (Nuneaton to the blocks at Euston!)