5th - 7th May 2001
The Red Pen & Ruler
(...or...3 new 26's in 3 days!)

A review by Phill Taylor

When I was asked if I was interested in doing 3 Scottish preserved lines in 3 days over May Day weekend What was I supposed to do, the chance of 3 required 26’s in 3 days!!!!!!!

So time was booked off work etc

The move was :
Friday night I was picked up in Dewsbury by the fast car for overnight doss in Northallerton Saturday morning 06:30 fast car Northallerton to Bo’ness (the first batch of dreadful roads) At Bo’ness there was time for a quick feed and then down to the main event First train of the day for us was the 10:40 ex Bo’ness with 25235 (THE ANIMAL) and 27001 And what a performance they produced!!!! (Probably the best run of the weekend) Next out was 26004, which after grinding to halt just out side Bo’ness gave another good run (after attention from the fitter that arrived by transit van) but this turned out to be 004’s only appearance on Saturday Next out time for THE ANIMAL to take centre stage on its own 25235 as always produced plenty of clag and thrash Then 47643 was next out and promptly flagged off (I cant come to terms with eh 47’s being preserved locos) so the time was used to take a few photos and do Tesco for food then it was 26024(first scratch of the weekend) and yet again plenty of thrash Next was 27001 Followed by what was booked to be a pair of 26’s but 004 was not out to play So 024 did the honours on it own It was 20020 next which in a fit of old prejudice was flagged to keep the day solid Sulzer!!! More photos and a nip or 2 from the 16-year-old Malt in my hip flask. And the fun of watching the 2 women from the buffet being given the drive a diesel experience (whether they wanted it or not) 27001 was on fine song and much bellowing was done by all on the platform at the impressive thrash!!!! The last move for us was 26024 with THE ANIMAL for one last storm up the line Then a quick nip to Tesco for food and as we left the view from Tesco’s doorway was Hell!!! 26024 sat at the head of the first beerex!!!

On the whole a good gala with some very good thrash and 2 real ale’s (both £1.50 a pint!!!!)

So next it was the fast car Bo’ness to Aviemore The Sunday was spent at the Strathspey Railway’s enthusiast’s weekend The timetable is for 2 steam and one diesel locos So this gives you a lay over at each end while one steam loco takes it out and the other brings it back The railway staff were brilliant and even gave us a tour of the shed at Aviemore where 27050 is awaiting a move to Bo’ness for restoration So 3 round trips with 26025 (scratch number 2 thank you) And a pub at both ends of the line with Aviemore beers on made this a very civilised and enjoyable day Next fast car to Montrose for B&B on some of what have to be the best roads in the UK So a brief stop for a bellow at the view and general mini riot was done After arriving at the B&B we set out to find a good pint And didn’t find one!!!

So Monday off to the Caledonian railway for their diesel gala Unfortunately 27024 didn’t want to play and even with people trying there best it stayed put at Bridge of Dunn all day so the turns were split between 08046 and 26014 (scratch number 3!!) So they each got 3 round trips in So I did the 08 on just one turn and took a few photos/snoozed a little at Bridge of Dunn while it plodded there and back on the other 2 runs It was also nice to see 25083 brought out side for all to see So I think I will have to visit all 3 railways again A very enjoyable 3 days with 3 new 26’s to boot!!!! MY LORDS!!!!!!!!

And to finish I will just say thanks a lot to Julian & Jane for putting the whole move together.


Phill Taylor

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