2nd September 2000
The SRPS Sulzer Gala, Bo'ness

Nick Ross provides a review of the Saturday.

A plastic combination of 91007 from Central to Waverley for 170410 to Linlithgow saw us arrive half an hour before the free bus from the quoted "Platform 3" at Linlithgow. This was a required station for me so was a bit confused as could only find the 2 platforms. Platform 3 was the pub at the bottom of the road.

Spotting some bashers waiting for a service bus we did likewise and some Leopard was soon taking us on the slow road to Bo'ness. Leaping off the bus with the crowd, 27001 appeared in view gleaming in the sun. Relieved of 15 for a day rover there was time to view 20020,25235,26004 and 47643 in the extensive yard. Some wag had deposited a kid's tractor on the nose of recently arrived 37025, "a pair of tractors" being the claim. Some 50 was also there.

27005 with IS stag emblem and 65A plates soon arrived with the return working of the 6 coach first train. The gen sheet claimed 47643 would be the next to work. The gen was of "Ned news" quality as a rateable 27001 performed instead. The 6km journey twists along the Forth past Kinniel halt before the line heads inland, under a road bridge and up a steep tree lined awesome climb to Birkhill. 27001, as everything else, was loud on this section helping to bring back the memories of Raven's rock or wherever.

Snowplough fitted 25235 clagged away on the next run, the free bus men apparently having their first trip due to a late running RM 910! Back at Bo'ness salmon emblemed 08443 shunted 50021 and then 47643 before the 27's paired up for the next run. Railfreight coal liveried beast 26004 was our next power but the rains had set in to spoil the fun a little. At Bo'ness a mini procession of locos with 27005, 25235 and 47643 all moving forward then to a shout of "my lords, get off it's a spoon" 47643 backed on. She performed well enough on a quiet train.

The front coach crowds were back for the next run with the combination of 20020 and 25235. The Sulzer thrash beating English Electric this time. A pint of "Independence Ale" was enjoyed before 47643 unexpectedly worked the next train. A mass bale, some even leaving Bo'ness but enjoyable enough for us. Returning to a wet, grey Bo'ness the rat moved forward instead of the quoted 27005. A deep rumbling clag then echoed off the station roof, to a second "my lords", 26024/26004 passed by and backed on. A mass bale again but this time to phot the teacups and to see if the recently restored 024 was working.

A quiet-ish run to the foot of the bank then 26024 thrashed alone up trough the rain sodden trees with many wet heads enjoying the special moment of a first proper run. 26004 joined in the decibel fun to speed our consist over the very top. Smiling train crew and happy bashers, a massive restoration job was virtually complete. 26004 worked the last trip but we opted for an RM back to Linlithgow. A superb day for those that attended, nice to have Scottish power on home territory as well.

Nick Ross

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