3rd January 2007

V.S.O.E. (Northern Belle)
(Edinburgh and the Royal Yacht Britannia)

Locos Used 67001 & 67020
Stock Used Alnwick + Belvoir + Chatsworth + Glamis + Harlech + Warwick + Car 1566 & servants quarters

1Z32 : Crewe to Wester Hailes
1Z33 : Wester Hailes to Crewe

Loco(s) Route
67020 (1) Crewe - (via WCML) - Winwick Jn - Earlestown - Astley - Manchester Victoria
67001 (2) Manchester Victoria - Salford Crescent - Farnworth - Bolton - Lostock Jn - Chorley - Euxton Jn - (via WCML) - Carstairs South Jn - Carstairs East Jn - Midcalder Jn - Wester Hailes
67020 (1) Wester Hailes - (reverse of outward route) - Manchester Victoria
67001 (2) Manchester Victoria - (reverse of outward route) - Crewe

(1) 67001 on rear.
(2) 67020 on rear.

Source : Steve Perryman

Tour Review
(by Steve Perryman)

First mileage of the New Year and lets do it in style. As a combined Christmas and birthday present for my wife Elizabeth on the occasion of her 50th  birthday I thought we should give the Belle a try. The chance to claw back a Class 67 or two on Mr Russell also appealed but this is a hell of an expensive way to do it especially as on the day both were dud!

Normally tours to Lothian region run to Edinburgh Waverley but this station is in the process of being rebuilt and I know that some promoters have declared it out of bounds as a destination this year. I have to commend the organisers of this trip for taking a broader view and consulting with Network Rail to identify an alternative. Thus we made what must be Railtour history in being routed to the station for one of the biggest “schemes” in Edinburgh. According to our coach tour guide Wester Hailes features in “Trainspotting”, Irvine Welsh’s bestseller about the drugs scene in Edinburgh. Despite the title I haven’t read it.

Anyway it has flat access and loads of room for the coaches and seemed a reasonable alternative in the circumstances. The tour of the Britannia was fascinating and the food and service on the train were brilliant. Ideal as a treat, even better if we could have had a required 67. C’est La Vie.

Steve Perryman

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