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Pathfinder 2018

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Paul42, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    From an email received this morning : -

    Settle & Carlisle Golden Express I
    Saturday 11 August 2018
    Joining stations: Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Cam & Dursley, Cheltenham Spa, Bromsgrove, Birmingham New St., Stafford, Crewe

    It will be 50 years since the end of steam on British Rail and what a way to celebrate! From Preston our excursion will be hauled by steam locomotive Tornado 60163 which is celebrating its 10th birthday. The tour will head northwards to Lancaster, past Morecambe Bay and climbing through Oxenholme to Grayrigg Summit. And easing through the Lune Gorge is followed by an assault on the famed climb to Shap, then descent through Penrith to Carlisle, where we avoid the station and make for the Settle & Carlisle line, following the verdant Eden Valley to market town Appleby for around a two hour break.

    On the restart our magnificent locomotive will hasten into speed for the climb ahead, through Kirkby Stephen and into the mountains that close in as the line runs on the flanks of Wild Boar Fell, with Mallerstang Common towering across the infant River Eden. A final fling sees our loco breast the summit at lonely Ais Gill to run then across the 'roof of England', high above Dentdale to Blea Moor Tunnel and to the magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct, looked down on by the Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Penyghent. Down Ribblesdale we race to Settle then Hellifield, where we take the cross country line to Clitheroe and the hardest climb of the day, to Wilpshire Tunnel.

    The steam hauled part of the journey will end at Crewe


    Settle & Carlisle Golden Express II
    Wednesday 15 August 2018
    Joining Stations: Didcot Parkway, Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa, Coventry, Birmingham International, Tame Bridge Parkway, Stafford, Crewe

    A second chance to celebrate the end of steam on British Rail 50 years ago. From Crewe, our excursion will be hauled by steam locomotive Tornado 60163.

    Tornado will run across the Cheshire Plain and over the Mersey into Lancashire. Just south of Preston we turn right, climbing towards Blackburn then on the cross-country line through Clitheroe to Hellifield. Soon we reach Settle Junction, where our loco will be opened out to full power for the 'Long Drag', the unbroken eighteen mile climb through Settle, past Penyghent and through Upper Ribblesdale to the great viaduct at Ribblehead, with mountains on all sides. From Blea Moor Tunnel we emerge in Dentdale, with superb views to the valley floor as the line sweeps round the hillside to Dent, over viaducts and through tunnels to Garsdale and on to Ais Gill summit. Downhill then, following the infant River Eden as it flows beneath Mallerstang Edge to Kirkby Stephen, and to Appleby for around two hours afternoon break.

    Restarting we can enjoy the green delights of the Eden Valley, but with the Pennine Chain close by until the approach to Carlisle, where we avoid the station and head directly onto the West Coast Main Line. Once again Tornado will be put to it, working hard to gain speed before sweeping through Penrith and onto the seven miles of tough grades that lead to Shap Summit. Descent into the delightful Lune Gorge leads to Grayrigg, and on down to Oxenholme and finally to sea level as we run along the edge of Morecambe Bay.

    The hard work may be over, but speed will now be important, to keep us out of the way of the frequent service trains on this busy main line, through Lancaster, Preston, Wigan and Warrington, to eventual arrival at Crewe where a diesel locomotive will take over.
     
  2. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    You got there just before me! Points worth flagging up are that one of these is going anticlockwise and that both are spending time in Appleby and taking the Upperby curve to avoid Carlisle.
     
  3. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Bit early for this perhaps, but as I mentioned them on the Bard of Avon Thread, to celebrate 50 years since the 'End of Steam' Special, Pathfinder are running two commemorative trains over the S&C with 60163 Tornado:
    The first, on Saturday 11th August, GEI, is a Bristol TM start; Steam hauled: Preston-Shap-Upperby Jn-Appleby layover-Hellifield-Blackburn-Crewe.
    The second, on Wednesday 15th August, GEII, is a Didcot start; Steam hauled: Crewe-Blackburn-Hellifield-Appleby layover-Upperby Jn-Shap-Preston-Crewe.
    Seems an odd choice of engine unless the other Brit, 70000, won't be available to at least represent one of the Classes involved. Still, with steam haulage over Shap and the S&C in both directions, probably 13 on, they are sure to be entertaining days out.
    Full Details:

    http://www.pathfindertours.co.uk/in.../events/settle-carlisle-golden-express-i.html

    http://www.pathfindertours.co.uk/in...ts/settle-carlisle-golden-express-ii.506.html
     
  4. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Pathfinder I suspect are a largely DBS operation so that limits the pool of available engines
     
  5. Steamage

    Steamage Part of the furniture

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    Choice of loco is probably down to range and load-hauling abilities. 70000 would probably need an extra water stop and take 1 (or 2) coach fewer than Tornado.
     
  6. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Appleby always strikes me as a slightly peculiar layover stop as there is very little there for c.400 people, Carlisle is not necessarily better but at least a larger selection of facilities for enthusiast and their often long suffering companions.
     
  7. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    For me, it's a welcome change from Carlisle. Most S & C trips have the layover at Carlisle and I inevitably end up having several afternoons there each year. Appleby I've never actually visited so it will be nice to skip Carlisle and see somewhere else for a change.
     
  8. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    It depends what you're interested in but if anyone going on this tour is interested in history, Appleby Castle is well worth a visit. Everything from Norman period to Lady Anne Clifford if I recall. It would be worth ringing Appleby tourist office and getting them to contact the owner but they did open at the time of the Plandampf last February. It is maybe 20 mins walk from the station, 10 from the centre of town past the famous almshouses.
     
  9. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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  10. TheLairdofNetherMoor

    TheLairdofNetherMoor New Member

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    I think it's fine. Either you go all out for something as close as possible to a recreation of 1T57 (as has been attempted a few times), or you just make it a celebration of steam still being on the mainline 50 years after it "ended". Running the train with a new-build steam locomotive, something that would have been unthinkable on that August day in '68, should just make it even more special / memorable.

    As Britannia's and Black 5's have been turned out on several of the 1T57 commemorations, if that's not possible this time, my vote would go for it being the first occasion that Carnforth turn out a pair of BR Green Jubilees...
     
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  11. Mick45305

    Mick45305 New Member

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  12. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    Wonder if there really will be a pick up at Bodmin Parkway on the return? From a performance point of view I hope not.
    The other point of interest is will 35028 'do a Tornado' and take 10, or just the normal load 9?.
     
  13. LMarsh1987

    LMarsh1987 Part of the furniture

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    I think this tour deserves it's own thread !
     
  14. alastair

    alastair Well-Known Member

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    If I lived anywhere near Bristol I would be very tempted. However have to say Pathfinder appear greedy with the pricing - around £30pp more in each class compared with similiar UKR trips also using DBC?

    Will be interesting to see how this one loads.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  15. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    RTC's Duchys are £119 this year with steam only from and to Taunton. So not such poor value for money. Extra £16 for 90 miles of steam.
     
  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    It will load to 9 including POB.
     
  17. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Without knowing the detail I suggest that the price reflects the cost of staging this trip that, don't forget, includes the hire of Riviera stock plus the associated loco servicing etc. It is also a special occasion that arguably should attract a premium price.
     
  18. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    At around 326 miles, it works out at about 41 pence per mile per person in standard. By my calculations, it is approximately 50 miles less than the distance covered by last year's ACE, which works out as around 31 pence per person per mile in standard, athough I have no idea whether overall profitability was affected by the revised route. Still, tempting, and one where the mind needs to be made up sooner rather than later.
     
  19. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Part of the furniture Friend

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    The cost is cheaper per mile than the WSM version of the TBE, which this year costs almost 50p per mile and is only a little dearer than the Westbury Version of the TBE which is almost 40p per mile. So the Cornishman Express is not expensive especially when you consider the restricted load as the TBEs usually load to 11+POB.
     
  20. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Well-Known Member

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    Have pathfinder always done steam tours before I’ve only ever noticed diesel Railtours
     

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