11th February 1984

F+W Railtours
The Vital Statistician

Locos Used 20153, 20165, 25035, 25048, 31205, 31208, 31305,
31425, 37176, 37182, 37185, 37233 & 46032

Route : 1Z26 throughout

Loco(s) Route
37185 + 37182 Plymouth - Exeter St Davids - Bristol Temple Meads
37233 + 37176 Bristol Temple Meads - Birmingham New Street
25035 + 25048 Birmingham New Street - Bescot - Walsall - Brownhills - Lichfield - Burton-upon-Trent - Toton
31205 + 31208 Toton - Pye Bridge - Shirebrook - Worksop - Attercliffe Jn - Treeton South Jn - Beighton - Chesterfield - Pye Bridge - Toton
20165 + 20153 Toton - Attenborough Jn - Lenton South Jn - Linby Colliery
31305 + 31425 Linby Colliery -Trent South Jn - Leicester - Nuneaton Flyover - Camp Hill - Lifford East Jn - Lifford West Jn - Birmingham New St - Sutton Park - Walsall - Aston - New St
37176 + 37233 Birmingham New Street - Stourbridge Junction - Worcester - Cheltenham - Bristol Temple Meads
46032 Bristol Temple Meads - Bath Spa Westbury Castle Cary Yeovil Pen Mill Yeovil  Junction Honiton Exeter St. Davids

Tour Review :
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. 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 25038/25048 which were soon thrashing away Sulzer style with a packed 13 coach consist towards Bescot, Walsall, Brownhills and over the WCML at Litchfield TV. With the track bashers al ready 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 lovely Linby. We all piled off to phot the bombs and forwarding power in 31425/31305. The EH goyle was not well received, "heap of junk" more like. The goyles returned us South the highlight being a rare unchecked non-stop run through platform 6 here, 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).

As the syphons growled out of Cheltenham near 10 at night it was farewell to a very special tour we had all enjoyed.

Source : Nick Ross
(with additional information provided by Ian Monkton & Dick Holland)

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