3rd March 2007

Railway Touring Company
The Great Central

Locos Used 47245, 47854 & steam: 60800 'Green Arrow'
Stock Used ???

1Z47 : London Kings Cross to Market Rasen
1Z48 : Market Rasen to Deepcar
1Z49 : Deepcar to London Kings Cross

Loco(s) Route
47245 (1) London Kings Cross – Potters Bar - Welwyn Garden City - Stevenage - Peterborough West Yard
60800 Peterborough West Yard – Grantham – Newark North Gate – Lincoln - Holmes (Up Goods Loop) – Market Rasen – Barnetby – Habrough – Grimsby Marsh Jn – Pyewipe Road SB – Immingham East Jn – Ulceby – Barnetby – Brigg – Gaisnborough Central – Doncaster RMT (2)
47245 Doncaster RMT - Flyover East Jn - Loversall Carr Jn - (2) Retford – Newark North Gate – Grantham – Peterborough
47245 (1) Peterborough – (reverse of outward route) - London Kings Cross

Notes :
(1) 47854 on rear.
(2) Onward journey cancelled due to very late running. Booked route & traction was:
(60800 with 47245 on rear) : Doncaster RMT – Mexborough – Rotherham Central – Tinsley South Jn – Woodburn Jn – Stocksbridge Works, (Deepcar) (reverse).
(47245 with 60800 on rear) : Stocksbridge Works, (Deepcar) – Woodburn Jn – Woodhouse Jn – Worksop - Retford.

Neil Edwards comments ... The train was delayed at Stoke Jn due to trespassing and therefore wrong line working on the ECML. The train then lost its path to Lincoln where the water stop over ran due to low water pressure, At Great Coates No.1 Jn, the ground signal had been vandalised, and as Green Arrow had gone 1/2 a trains length beyond, further investigation was required by Network Rail, to make sure that it was safe for the train to continue. Due to now being nearly 2½ hours down, the steam section was terminated at Doncaster RMT.

Source : Mike Harries (joined/left the train at Grantham) & Neil Edwards (joined/left the train at Stevenage)

Tour Review
(by Mike Harries)

When I first saw the proposal for this tour, I thought that it was too good to be true. It was then to be hauled by 61264, the “B1”, and was to happen in October 2006. But first the B1 was replaced by the V2, and then the tour was postponed. However, the route remained unchanged (apart from some confusion as to which way the loop at Immingham was to be traversed).

I arrived on the platform at Grantham rather closer to time than I had hoped, having had difficulty in finding my way into the car park and being delayed by extensive road works; and I then found that the train was (already) late. It seems that there were two GNER service trains running late, and, in addition, all trains were being stopped at Tallington box to warn of trespassers on the line. Many of us guessed that these might be irresponsible photographers on the wrong side of the fence. We eventually left Grantham over half an hour late, and proceeded to lose more time before we reached Newark. It was no surprise to find that the water stop at Lincoln was extended – had it not been, we should have been only just ahead of the train which was due to overtake us at Barnetby, after we had had a stop at Market Rasen. So we were now over an hour late. The organisers were already worried about getting to Stocksbridge in the dark, so it was decided to make only a short stop at Market Rasen. The platform there is also short, so most passengers had a long walk through the train before they could get out; probably not many bothered (I was near the back!) We left Market Rasen less than an hour late, and had a good run through Wrawby Junction and Barnetby – we no longer needed the pathing stops – and ran through Habrough only about 40 minutes late. I reckoned we were 39 minutes late when we took the branch at Marsh Junction and what is clearly very seldom used track, but only a few minutes later we came to a stop. And there we stood.

There were various references to technical SPADs – and that in the case the driver must be relieved. This would have caused a major problem. West Coast were operating the train, and this was apparently their only driver who signed for the route; had he been relieved of duty, someone else must rescue us. But this train was vacuum braked – so EWS did not want to know.

The explanation received later was that there was a vandalised ground signal, and the driver stopped to report it at Great Coates No 1 Signal Box – which was just beyond the destroyed signal, although hidden from it by a road bridge abutment. Given that the signal was barely recognisable, if one had not known what it was supposed to be, I cannot give a signal number! Network Rail’s Response Unit came out – it was clearly felt that they had better check the little used line ahead of us (for the next mile or so, until we reached busier track) in case the vandals had done more serious damage. After an hour and three quarters, we were allowed to proceed, but this added to the earlier delay meant that we were now running about two and a half hours late. Those of us around where I was sitting were already assuming that we would go to Doncaster – by one route or another – and then straight back towards London, missing the line up to Stocksbridge. This, while a bitter disappointment to some, would mean that we had a chance of not being too late home.

Of course, water had been boiling off while we had been standing; and the planned water stop at Gainsborough Central was about 70 miles after the previous one at Lincoln. So it was decided that we needed an emergency water stop at Barnetby. There was no hydrant close to the railway there, so watering was slow, but at the cost of yet more delay we took enough water to see us safely to Gainsborough, where we had a slightly shorter stop than planned. It had been announced before Gainsborough that we would indeed be heading back towards London from Doncaster.

It was getting dark by this time, and we reached Doncaster RMT well over three hours late. Here, instead of merely attaching the Class 47 to the rear, the V2 was detached from the front. In due course, we set out over the flyover, made a brief stop at Retford (to set down passengers), and got away less than an hour late. We had been scheduled to stop, for some reason, at Newark, but the guard blew his whistle as soon as we had stopped, and we were away again smartly, so we reached Grantham about 40 minutes late.

I enjoyed my day; it would have been nice to get Stocksbridge as well, but I saw a lot of new track, the weather was kind, and the company was good. If another tour to Stocksbridge is offered, with that part early on, I might well try again! In spite of my initial thought that “it was too good to be true”, it would probably have worked had it not been for that vandalised signal.

Mike Harries

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Mike Harries
& Neil Edwards & Richard Rooker)

Note: As 1Z48 Market Rasen to Deepcar was terminated at Doncaster RMT, a revised 1Z49 Doncaster RMT to London Kings Cross was shown in TRUST to replace the 1Z49 Deepcar to London Kings Cross. These revised "booked" times are shown, although they gave very little time between departing Retford to arriving at Newark.

Location Booked Actual   Booked
London Kings Cross 07.13d 07.13   21.34a 20.45 22.47
Belle Isle 07/15 07/15   21/32 20/41 22/46
Finsbury Park 07/18 07/18   21/28 20/37 22/43
Alexandra Palace 07/21 07/21   21/26 20/33 22/41
Potters Bar 07.29a ~ 07.34d 07.32 ~ 07.35   21.16a ~ 21.18d 20.27a ~ 20.29d 22.32 ~ 22.32½
Welwyn Garden City 07/44 07/43   21/08 20/22 22/26
Digswell Jn 07/45 ?   21/05 20/20 ?
Welwyn North ? ?   ? 20/19 ?
Woolmer Green Jn 07/48 07/46   21/03 20/17 22/22
Stevenage 07.53a ~ 07.55d 07.50 ~ 07.56   20.57a ~ 20.59d 20.09a ~ 20.11d 22.16 ~ 22.17
Hitchin 08/01 08/01   20/52 20/04 22/11
Sandy 08/12 08/11   20/42 19/43 21/58
Huntingdon 08.25a ~ 08.27d 08.24 ~ 08.26   20.25a ~ 20.27d 19.25a ~ 19.27d 21.32 ~ 21.34
Connington South Jn ? ?   20/18 19/18 ?
Holme Jn 08/39 08/37  
Peterborough 08.46a ~ 08.48d 08.44 ~ 08.50   20.06a ~ 20.08d 19.01a ~ 19.11d 20L59 ~ 21L13
Peterborough West Yard 08L52 ~ 09L15 08.53 ~ 09.17  
New England North Jn 09/19 09/23   ? 18/51 ?
Helpston Jn 09/26 09/32  
Tallington Jn 09/32 09.38 ~ 09.43   19/58 18/40 20/47
Stoke Jn 09/48 10.07 ~ 10.12   19/47 18/30 20/33
Grantham 09.51a ~ 09.53d 10.25 ~ 10.28   19.43a ~ ?d 18.11a ~ 18.11½ 20.25 ~ 20.26
Barkston South Jn (site of) 09/57 10/36½   19/40 18/05 20/19
Newark North Gate 10/07 10/47   19*11 ~ 19*29 17.55a ~ 17.57d 20.09 ~ 20.09½
Retford   18.36a ~ 18.54d 17.53a ~ 17.55d 19.48 ~ 19.52
Loversall Carr Jn   DIV 17/41 19/30
Doncaster Decoy South Jn   DIV 17/36 ?
Doncaster Royal Mail Terminal   DIV 17.30d 19.25


Location Booked Actual
Newark Crossing South Jn ? 10/49
Newark Crossing East Jn 10/09 10/51
Collingham ? 10/56
Swinderby ? 11/00
Hykeham ? 11/05
Boultham Jn 10/32 11/10
West Holmes Jn 10/33 11/11
East Holmes SB 10w36 ~ 10w57 11.13 ~ 12.02½
Lincoln Central 10/59 12/05
Pelham St Jn 11/00 12/07½
Langworth SB 11/09 12/17
Wickenby SB 11/15 12/22
Lissingley Crossing ? 12.26 ~ 12.29
Market Rasen 11w20a ~ 12w00d 12.38½ ~ 12.53
Holton le Moor SB 12/07 13/03
Wrawby Jn 12/18 13/11
Barnetby 12*26 ~ 12*36 13/13
Brocklesby Jn 12/45 13.21 ~ 13.22½
Habrough 12/47 13/26
Stallingbrough ? 13/31
Healing ? 13/32
Great Coates ? 13/34
Marsh West Jn 12/58 13/37
Great Coates No 1 Jn 13/06 13.40 ~ 15.23
Pyewipe Road 13/11 15.30 ~ 15.31
Immingham East Jn 13/27 15.51 ~ 15.53
Humber Road Jn 13/32 16/01
Ulceby North Jn ? 16/10
Ulceby 13/40 16/11½
Brocklesby Jn 13/42 16.15 ~ 16.30
Barnetby 13/48 16w45 ~ 17w22
Wrawby Jn 13*53 ~ 14*05 17/27
Brigg 14/15 17/33
Kirton Lime Sidings 14/26 17/43
Kirton Lindsey 14/28 17/45
Northorpe SB 14/32 17/49½
Gainsborough Central 14w42 ~ 15w10 18.01 ~ 18.22
Gainsborough Trent Jns 15/12 18/28
Bessacar Jn 15/33 18/50
Decoy South Jn 15/36 ?
Doncaster RMT 15L38 ~ 16L00 18.56 ~ 19.25
Decoy N Jn 16/02 DIV
Bridge Jn 16/05 DIV
Hexthorpe Jn 16/10 DIV
Mexborough 16/16 DIV
Thrybergh Jn 16/21 DIV
Aldwarke Jn 16/22 DIV
Rotherham Central 16/30 DIV
Tinsley South Jn 16/34 DIV
Broughton Lane Jn 16/35 DIV
Woodburn Jn 16/38 DIV
Stocksbridge Works 17.10 ~ 17.25 DIV
Woodburn Jn 17/59 DIV
Woodhouse Jn 18/06 DIV
Kiveton Park 18/13 DIV
Branchcliffe East Jn 18/16 DIV
Shireoaks East Jn 18/18 DIV
Worksop 18/20 DIV
Thrumpton West Jn 18/31 DIV
Retford 18L36a ~ 18L54d 19.50 ~ 19.51½

Timings continue in first table.

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