8th June 2003
Small Shunter Hunting in the Peaks

Kevin Heath describes....

Here are some photos taken on the day.

Following on from the excellent last diesel day at Peak Rail in April, a return trip to Rowsley was duly required when the proposed timetable was published which included the triple-heading of the lines three operational 03’s…..unfortunately as in most cases the timetable was revised mid-week and the monumental sight of three 03’s powering a train together (probably for the first time since Landore lost its’ allocation) was but a fleeting pipe dream. The revised timetable however caused a few dilemmas as the two required 03’s only worked on the Sunday (and one of those was limited to brake van rides).

A day-out was duly suggested to the good-lady wife with the added carrot of “having a browse round DFS on the way home to try and find a new suite”. So with full written permission (in triplicate) and both of the dogs in the back of the car it was next stop Rowsley.

On arrival at Rowsley the brake-van rides were duly sampled, a mere snip at just 50 pence for two round trips down the yard and back. To my total amazement Class 04 D2284 was leading the departure (advertised as not being available on the website) and Class 03 03099 returning the train from the yard. The wife very kindly taking the dogs for a stroll down to the shed and back whilst I got the red pen out! Then back onto the station in time to watch Class 73 E6013 arrive from Matlock Riverside complete with Fragonset headboard, to be replaced by 03084 on the 11.25 departure for Matlock Riverside.

At just after 11.30 some five minutes after booked departure time 03084 burst into life and proceeded on its merry way to the far end of the line (3rd red line of the day), passing the now somewhat sorry looking line of Fragonsets’ stored loco’s at Darley Dale including my old-time nemesis the yellow peril 47803. All too soon the train was at Matlock Riverside and a chance to stretch the legs presented itself, plus the opportunity for a couple of photos, and to raid the buffet car for two teas and a packet of crisps for the dogs.

The return journey was uneventful but a little bit louder being in the coach behind the loco for the return, that was however until arrival at Darley Dale. “Gen” started filtering through that the brake-van ride loco’s had been swapped and that Class 02 D2854 and Class 01 D2953 were now stretching their legs.

There was something of a mass exodus on arrival at Rowsley as four coaches worth of people went to scratch the two new shunters on the single brake-van (somewhat cosy) before the next departure of the day behind Class 44 D8. It was possible to do two round trips down the yard and back, however I just settled for the one trip (two more red lines) then set off to photograph the other shunters strewn around the yard.

All in all an excellent day-out, with full marks to Peak Rail and the Heritage Shunter Trust for providing such a varied selection of small shunter motive power, and at an absolute bargain price of £15-00 in total for two people.

Then it was off to DFS to pay my penance for enjoying myself….

Kevin Heath

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