The “Vital Statistician” Railtour, Feb 84 remembered
A feast of small power, much rare freight track and mileage for 600 plus of us to enjoy on 13Mk I’s.
Rerouting of this tour into New St because of a landslip blocking the advertised Stourbridge Jn-Dudley-Bescot route meant a very sociable 0915 departure from New St so no rancid Crewe overnight needed.. Service trains viewed here included 31403 on the 0804 Birmingham-Norwich, 45109 on the 0710 Bristol-Leeds plus 47533 on an 0818 Wolverhampton-Weymouth Adex.
37233/37176 arrived a few minutes down to be swapped for boilered rats 25035/25048 which were soon thrashing away Sulzer style with a packed 13 coach consist towards Bescot, Walsall, Brownhills and over the WCML at Lichfield TV. With the track bashers already happy and rumours of small engines aplenty, the 600+ souls all contributing to a superb atmosphere on an otherwise dull, grey day in the Midlands.
From Toton “goyles” 31205/31208 took us North to Pyre Bridge Jn and more fright track through Shirebrook to Worksop yard where the “goyles” ran round. A trip through Sheffield, Barrow Hill and Chesterfield returned us to Toton.
20135/20165 were attached here to thread us through East Nottingham and onto the Linby colliery branch coming to a halt at the level crossing gates just to the North of Linby. We all piled off to phot the bombs and forwarding power in 31425/31305. The EH goyle was not well received, we wanted “nb” power even in February!. The goyles returned us South the highlight being a rare unchecked non-stop run through platform 6 at New St, a first for me anyway. Somebody decided to leap at New St anyway not the wisest move at 20 mph! An hour later after the Sutton Park circuit we were back at New St again. A Stourbridge Jn stop on the return allowed most to get 37233/37176 in. We stayed on down the bank to Cheltenham to rake in the Lickey Banker on S19 (37296). Some were staying on for 46032 on the tour forward from Bristol.
As the “syphons” growled out of Cheltenham near 10 at night it was farewell to a very special tour we had all enjoyed. It’s of no surprise that writing up these notes in 2014 some 30 years later, this tour is remembered by so many as a “top tour” and fitting that it was an F & W Railtour too.
Pre and post Tour moves
094 0530 Euston-Birmingham L.Buzzard - New St
31403 0804 Birmingham-Norwich
31412 0722 Derby-Birmingham
47602 0600 Derby-Poole
45109 0710 Bristol-Leeds
50026 0550 Padd-Manchester
47545 0720 Liverpool-Poole
47533 0818 Wolverhampton-Weymouth Adex
37182} 0400 Plymouth-Linby Railtour (Ply-Br)
37233} 0400 Plymouth-Linby Railtour (Br-NS)
25048} 0400 Plymouth-Linby Railtour New St-Toton
31205} 0400 Plymouth-Linby Railtour Toton-Toton (via Worksop)
20153} 0400 Plymouth-Linby Railtour Toton-Linby Colliery
31305} 1434 Linby-Plymouth Railtour Linby Colliery - New St
47602 1640 Manchester-Padd
37233} 1634 Linby-Plymouth Railtour New St - Cheltenham
45108 2124 Bristol-Edin/Glas Cheltenham - New St
37296 2124 Bristol-Edin/Glas Bromsgrove - Barnt Green (banking)
47437 2124 Bristol-Edin/Glas New St-Crewe (via Cannock)
86316 2350 Euston-Liverpool
47468 2350 Euston-Liverpool
47491 0410 Crewe-Birmingham
40015 0250 Manchester -Crewe
45038} 2355 Glas/Edin-Bristol Crewe - New St (via Cannock)
45124 2355 Glas/Edin-Bristol
31403 0810 Birmingham-York
47440 0800 Wolverhampton-Euston
50035 0910 Birmingham-W.S.Mare
47533 0900 Birmingham-Manchester
47538 0930 Birmingham-Blackpool
45108 0900 Wolverhampton-Euston
47560 1000 Wolverhampton-Euston New St - Nuneaton
87025 was failed by the driver so 86008 was sent from Rugby to work our train
86008 1000 Wolverhampton-Euston Nuneaton - Rugby
082 1236 Rugby-Euston Rugby-L.Buzzard
Vital Statistician phot spot
Any more “Vital Statistician” memories to share?