Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by RalphW, Jun 24, 2015.
I heard a steward on the train say it was fully booked. Certainly the carriage I was in was full
That'll be his after shave then.................
Tornado on the Border Reivers 27 June 2014
Fresh from a full overhaul, Peppercorn A1 4-6-2 No 60163 Tornado came to Carlisle to haul the last of four steam runs for the new Scotrail franchise. Named the Border Reivers after the pillaging clans who terrorised the bad lands between England and Scotland in days gone by, the train took us over Beattock and down the Clyde valley, then round the southern side of Glasgow and along the Ayrshire coast. Then we headed inland to Mauchline and picked up the beautiful Glasgow and South Western route down the Nith valley and back to Carlisle.
Seven packed coaches on hire from SRPS plus the A1's support coach made a modest load for Tornado, and she stormed smartly away from Carlisle, reaching 40 by Eden Bridge and 74 before the Metal Bridge, then eased slightly to 68 at Gretna Junction. We were slowed to 38 at Kirkpatrick (shades of things to come) then flew towards Lockerbie in the 70s but were back down to 52 at Beattock station. We were no slower than 49 to Longbedholm, but then Tornado was eased back and speed fell to 32 with a double yellow spotted - the freight ahead was slowing us once more. She recovered well and blasted uphill in the mid thirties, hitting 37 twice before being eased back to enter the summit loop, stopping 17 min 50 sec after passing the station.
Down the Clyde Valley, we were looped again at Abington for a second Pendolino, but then rattled up to 77 at Thankerton before the Carstairs water stop. No great excitement round the 'burbs, but we were bathed in sunlight as we passed the beachgoers and golfers down through Troon and Prestwick. Then Tornado provided plenty to listen to as we climbed the hill to Mauchline. The Nith valley was at its summer best as we rattled down, mostly in the sixties, before leaving some of our passengers at Dumfries. Final bursts of speed took us up into the 70s both sides of Gretna, and we stopped well early outside Carlisle waiting for a platform. Hopefully we shall see more innovative and well-priced steam specials from Scotrail in the future.
20 pictures are at http://pjhtransportpix.zenfolio.com/p590395265
Peter, on a murky Manchester Sunday morning
Thanks for the review. It wasn't the best of paths but sadly the timing was on the assumption that Tornado really needed 65 minutes to Beattock when 55 would have been easily attainable with that load (or any other load actually).
But the important point about all four trips, as far as I can make out, is that the trains ran more or less to time throughout and delayed nothing. So hopefully, ScotRail will view this as a good steam experience with DBS and will be inclined to stay with them for other trips. Let's hope so.
60163 Roars through Lanarkshire near Symington
Be careful what you wish for. Don't forget that DB are very limited in the locos they will use, plus their lack of resources in the north staffing wise. Much better to see Scotrail working with WC with it's acceptance of vacuum only locos.
Umm, WCRC was the preferred bidder for this work and nobody else was responsible for what happened subsequently.
I wouldn't be too surprised if more locomotives become available to DBS if the Scotrail trips continue. Lack of resources don't appear to have hampered the last four Scotrail trips and next weekend's last minute substitution of a WCR-operated trip with 60009 for the SRPS for a DBS operated trip with 60163.
You'd have all been moaning if yesterday's trip had been a dodgy 5X being shoved around the southwest of Scotland by a class 47.. ;-)
What, you mean one of the 'dodgy' 5x's(?) that perform so poorly on the Dalesman and the Fellsman......
It depends whether you want a diesel in the mix or not. I think the point here is that whilst I agree that possibly DBS would baulk at running from anywhere to anywhere for reasons already discussed, they have proved to be pretty reliable on principal routes and, of course, have the backup motive power strategically placed should anything go wrong. It was unfortunate that WCRC lost the confidence of ScotRail but it was just as important that the alternative TOC didn't let them down, which they did not. And I'm sorry to add that with the volume of work that DBS does routinely for NR, that must count for something when thinking of who is available to run charters.
That said, WCRC is happily running The Jacobite again, and that is good news.
My opinion is that I'm glad that dbs did these tours. ScotRail made the right choice given the situation at the time.
I agree Mike as Scotrail & DBS did a superb job .Still don't get why the West Coast dislike gang keep having a dig as you must admit your trip behind 46115 a few weeks ago was stunning .
There's nothing wrong with DBS, but would anyone bet on them being around in a years time? there's already been one rumour this year of a sale to Colas, and that was before the recent announcement of the drastic fall in coal traffic and subsequent job losses. When Longannet goes their presence in Scotland will be reduced even further.
It's interesting that they've done the Scotrail job (wonder how much it cost compared to West Coast) but it's a pity they can't put the same effort into winning more freight, especially in Scotland - their fleet of log carriers went for scrap after being stored for years, Colas developed the market even though they had to start from scratch.
I did enjoy the CME but I consider myself lucky. Carnforth has been through many ups and downs with 46115 this boiler period. The rest of story is long and not related to 60163's magnificent performances this past week.
That is the short wcrc tale. I do my best to be practical though.
Right or ONLY choice???!!!
Steve, should we blame WCRC for the midges as Beattock lol
Not sure anyone is really having a pop at WCRC..
However the post below deserved a response,
Sounds more like the DBS dislike gang to me. If my reply appeared a bit bristly then so be it.
The fact is the Scotrail steam trips over the last two weekends have been flawless in operation due to the professionalism of the DBS personnel involved, the hard work and dedication of the A1 Trust's support crews, the SRPS staff and the Scotrail people involved. It shouldn't be forgotten that 60163 hadn't turned a wheel on the mainline a fortnight ago - she hasn't let us down. On the back of this, a charter operator that has only used WCRC in recent years (to my knowledge) has made a short notice change to DBS and Tornado for a trip next weekend due to the unavailability of the booked loco. Doesn't sound like DBS are having resourcing issues in the north..
Specifically, I was thinking of the 5x that staggered up Shap in front of 70000 a few weeks ago and spoilt a good run!
Fair comment and neither should it be the case that anyone sees anything to gain by raising queries over DBS. Both operate steam charters and that's what it's all about, isn't it? The events of recent months led to some 'realignment' of the order of things in Scotland and steam continued to prevail. That was good.
What's needed now, and it seems to be happening, is some wider common sense across steam charters: where they run, how many of them run, who they run with and what they run with. If that leads to stability then it will be a good outcome, in my view.
(Perhaps this thread has reached a natural conclusion now?)
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