24th May 1980

(Rocket 150 Excursion - Train 4)

Locos Used 81008 & ?86216?

Route :

Loco Route
81008 London Euston - Watford Junction - Liverpool Lime Street
?86216? (2) Liverpool Lime Street - Watford Junction - London Euston

Notes :
(1) Route confirmation required. Passengers used shuttle services to get to/from Rainhill. Alan Osborn confirms he was aware of no less than eight departures from Euston that morning (5 for BR, one of which terminated at Allerton and 3 for private operators, two of which terminated at Runcorn). Details of the other trains is required.
(2) The return train caught by Alan Osborn, which was hauled by 86216, may not have been "train 4" - confirmation required.

Alan Osborn also comments: Other excursions ran from other parts of the country such as Southampton and Plymouth (recorded)  these terminated at Manchester Victoria although due to late running one ran through to RAINHILL (this seems to be your recorded train from Plymouth). I had originally booked on the Southampton train picking up at Clapham Junction - but as this train was fully booked by participants further down the line. The Clapham Junction Pick Up was cancelled and hence were booked onto a Euston departure. The scheduled train service between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool Lime Street via Rainhill was suspended or diverted for the duration and a frequent DMU shuttle ran between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool Lime Street calling only at RAINHILL to convey participants from the specials.

The cavalcade on this day finished at 1700 and the shuttle DMU's to Liverpool and Manchester resumed at 1720 despite a frequency of about 5 minutes I didn't leave Rainhill until 18.35 (arriving Liverpool 19.02).  Special back to Euston scheduled at 19.54 actual 20.03 calling at Rugby actual 22.00~01 and Watford Junction  22.51~52 with arrival at Euston scheduled 2238 actual 2316 hauled by Class 86216 but due to the congestion on getting trains back to Liverpool it is unknown whether it was actually Train 4 I travelled home on, a case of being directed onto available trains by railway staff.

The locomotives for the Cavalcade were assembled at Bold Colliery sidings and was supposed to be preceded by a re-enactment of the 1829 Rainhill Trails. Unfortunately the star of the show ROCKET derailed here 3 times so never made it to the cavalcade itself.  NOVELTY failed to raise sufficient steam and was conveyed on a low loader wagon. SANS PAREIL was towed on the westbound journey by a Class 08 but able to return eastbound unassisted. So the wrong engine won the re-enactment of the 1829 Trials!! BR Chairman Sir Peter Parker and Mr. Fowler (minister for transport) should have been conveyed by ROCKET in an L&M Replica coach but instead arrived in a train of 3 ex-LNWR Royal coaches hauled by Hardwicke. The cavalcade event was to be repeated on 25th and 26th May not sure how the trails re-enactment went. A problem the organisers had was that since the event was staged on the then main-line route between Liverpool and Manchester a test run could not be run prior to the event.

Source : Alan Osborn

Timings (Booked & Actual)
Alan Osborn)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Euston 08.00d ?   22.38a 23.16
Watford Junction ??.??a ~ ??.??d ?   ? 22.51 ~ 22.52
Rugby ? ?   ? 22.00 ~ 22.01
Liverpool Lime Street ? 10.55a   19.54d 20.03

Back to "The Railtour Files"