DALESMAN 20 August 2015 – 45699 Galatea hauling 10+POB Mrs W had decided that Carlisle did not warrant a second visit within a week so I was “flying solo”. I joined the train at Skipton and with a diesel each end we arrived in Hellifield loop. After a bit of “tooing and froing” Galatea was attached to the front. I was in coach H and so was just under 3 coach lengths from the loco. David Blair got us away 8E, by Long Preston we were up to 35 this was followed by an increase in the noise coming from the front and at Settle Jn (10½E) we were up to 61, this peaked at 62 before the gradient began to bite. We were still doing 50 when we charged through Settle station accompanied by the full Jubilee roar. By Helwith Bridge we were down to 25, this increased to 31 beyond the short level but then the loco was eased and we began to slow culminating in a stop at Horton at Ribblesdale station, we were 11½E at this point. Almost exactly 3 mins later we re-started; there were a couple of slips as we started and another as speed built (all quickly and expertly controlled). By MP243 we were up to 16, MP243½ 23, more power was applied and by MP244 we were up to 27 this increased to 28 at MP246 and 29 at MP247. At Ribblehead we were still 6E and doing 32. This would have been acceptable even without our unscheduled stop. I was informed (by someone who knew) that a longer than usual layover at Hellifield had not helped the fire and the train was halted because of water and steam concerns. It seems that the short stop worked, presumably the fire had livened by this time, and we passed Blea Moor 8E. 40 mins from Hellifield loop to Blea Moor (as scheduled) - not bad with a 3 min stop and a re-start on the 1 in 100. We topped Ais Gill at 37/38 and headed down to Appleby mainly around 55 to 60, arriving 6E. Water for the loco, tea for the crew and ice cream for me! We left 1L and by Long Marton we were up around 50 but were soon braking for the TSR around MP281¼, down to 4mph. We accelerated hard away and speed was worked up to 62. The TSR had a major impact we were 5L at Culgaith, speed was held around the line limit by virtue of hard work by 45699 when required and was kept in check by brake applications on the downhill sections. We were still 4½L at Howe & Co and doing 57. Just less than 8 mins later we eased into platform 3 at Carlisle RT. The table was covered in cinders (fully open toplight). I returned to the station in time to see the train, driven by Gordon Hodgson, reverse into platform 3. We were away RT, there were now 9 carriages (around 200 yds) between me and the noisy bit at the front. By Howe & Co we were up to 40 and 1E, 2E at Armathwaite and 53, 4E at Kirkby Thore but braking for the TSR, once clear we were up to 44 before braking for Appleby where we arrived 3E; very creditable considering the TSR. We were away again 1E, with the loco working hard and, taking advantage of the downhill stretch, we were up to 54 by Ormside almost 2E, speed fell away on the 1 in 100 but we were still around 44 when we entered Helm Tunnel, this increased to 45 at Crosby Garrett RT. 32 at Kirkby Stephen but this increased to 33 at Mallerstang. We were down to 27 for the final part of the climb which gradually increased to 28 and was up to 34 by the time I passed the summit board (in the 10th carriage), we had dropped a little over a minute from Appleby. We made our way through Garsdale, Dent and by Blea Moor we remained 1L with little chance for recovery across the viaduct the deficit remained unchanged at Ribblehead. We now took full advantage of the downhill section and speed was up to 60 by Horton in Ribblesdale, 60 at Helwith Bridge, Settle 55 and back up to 57 at Settle Jn; we were now almost 3E. On our descent speed was kept below 62 by frequent applications of the brakes. We trundled into Hellifield loop 2E. Even so far from the loco the sound of the exhaust could still be clearly heard on the uphill stretches and there was a smattering of albeit finer cinders on the table. After some running round 45699 and its support coach set off for Carnforth and as they did so driver, fireman and support crew all smiled and waved to the passengers on the train; a nice touch and appreciated by the children and grandparents who seemed to be well represented. Now part of a “diesel sandwich” we left 4E for Skipton. A very enjoyable day out on a well managed train that ran RT as is required on today’s railway; my thanks to all involved. To those, like me, who frequently “watch” the trains on RTT the morning’s hiatus was completely invisible –so you never know what you are missing, if possible get out and enjoy the real thing!