The "Spinnin Haggis"railtour remembered,
Fri/Sat 30/31 July 1999
A fast car saw us arrive at Swindon with plenty time for the booked 2155 tour departure with 47726 atop 13 nicely quiet Mk I's. We were all leaning out to enjoy the climb of the Lickey and the 47's fan was roaring "peak style" as our speed steadily decreased to a stall half way up the Lickey! The driver got out and called our 47 a "Fuckin heap of shit!" after 2 failed restarts.
On realising 66115 was going to bank us with its short freight also in tow, some anti "shed" men bailed, in the dark Lickey wilds. 66115 pushed our 47 up the remainder of the bank from where 47726 went forward to New St unassisted. 47738 replaced 726 at New St as far as Crewe and the train was now wedged, the atmosphere pretty lively despite the early hour. From Crewe 92008 with 47575 dead in tow was the spectacular forwarding power! Boy could this 92 go, we were all impressed whether pulling away or storming up Shap!
A 5am photo stop at Carlisle then we continued to Glasgow Central but many were dossed out now including me. From Central the tour became the "Glasgow Excursion" to Dundee with 37801/37674 working to Stirling, a boring plodding 60028 to Dundee for 56059 to thrash through the Kingdom in style.
The weather was hot, the stock a bit sticky and many fought against doss most of the day! After a short break back at Glasgow Central brand new 66135 worked the tour to Motherwell depot for 92013 and 47575 to do a repeat storm down the WCML in the afternoon heat across the Southern Uplands. Always a pleasure to do the likes of Beattock/Shap loco hauled in daylight as the sleepers obviously do this section in the dark.
At Wigan Springs Branch there was the sad sight of many condemned locos that we had all chased for spotting and haulage, 56126's body on a flat truck was particularly depressing, a "monster" no more!
The return journey after Crewe with 47741 up front saw much doss, many missing out on 47741 regaining 40 minutes lost time for an arrival back in Swindon not long after midnight, an epic excursion over.
(click on the thumbnail to enlarge)
Phots from the day