17th June 1973

Main Line Steam Trust
The Welsh Dragon Rail Tour

Locos Used 1623, 1694, 6888 & steam: 822
Stock Used 11 coaches mark 1 vb90mph

Route : 1Z74 throughout

Loco Route
1694 (1) Loughborough - Loughborough North Jn
1694 Loughborough North Jn - Loughborough (Goods Lines) - Humberstone Road Jn - Leicester - Wigston North Jn - Hinckley - Midland Jn - Abbey Jn - Water Orton - Landor Street Jn - St Andrews Jn - Bordesley Jn - Kings Norton - Barnt Green - Bromsgrove - Stoke Works Jn - Ashchurch - Cheltenham Spa - Gloucester Central - Chepstow - Severn Tunnel Junction - Newport - Cardiff Central - Barry - Bridgend - (2) Neath - Landore Jn - Swansea Loop West Jn - Gowerton - Llandeilo Jn
6888 Llandeilo Jn - (2) Hendy Jn - Llandrindod Wells - Craven Arms - Sutton Bridge Jn - English Bridge Jn - Shrewsbury
1623 Shrewsbury - English Bridge Jn - Sutton Bridge Jn - Westbury - Welshpool
822 Llanfair Caereinion - Sylfaen
1623 Welshpool - Westbury - Sutton Bridge Jn - English Bridge Jn (3) - Shrewsbury
1623 Shrewsbury - (3) Abbey Foregate Jn - Telford - Wolverhampton - Portobello Jn - Darlaston Jn - Pleck Jn - Walsall - Ryecroft Jn - Park Lane Jn - Water Orton - Abbey Jn - Midland Jn - Hinckley - Wigston North Jn - Leicester - Loughborough

Notes :
(1) Propelling Move (from P2 [UF] across the 'ladder' at North Jn to the Up Slow).
(2) The advertised route outward for this train was via the Swansea District Line & Hendy Jn.
(3) The advertised route return for this train was via the Abbey Foregate Curve.
(4) The advertised loco change points for this train were Cardiff General & Craven Arms.
(5) Bus transfer to the WLLR for a single trip between Llanfair Caereinion & Sylfaen.
(6) Gordon Lacy comments: This train was the first railtour to be operated by the Main Line Steam Trust Ltd. It was unfortunately notable for what didn’t happen, rather than what did. It was advertised as a Class 44 to Cardiff, a Class 37 from Cardiff to Craven Arms and an unspecified loco, thereafter. Needless to say, the clientele were NOT amused by the lack of class 44! The official 'excuse' was that there were no class 44s available on Toton – right! The advertised route beyond Port Talbot was via Llangyfelach & Hendy Jn. However, we went via Neath & Cockett, reversing and finally getting our overdue loco change at Llandeilo Jn! Those who had booked seats to be behind the loco(s) virtually throughout, were even less amused! At least the 37 went through to Shrewsbury. The appearance there, of yet another Brush 4 (esp. to Welshpool), did not go down well, either! The final straw for many, was not getting the advertised Shrewsbury Avoider ‘in the book’, as the train ran into Shrewsbury for the loco to run round. All said, a very disappointing trip!


From The John Debens Ticket Collection.

Source : Gordon Lacy (joined/left the train at Loughborough)

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Gordon Lacy)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Loughborough 06.50d 06.51   23.09a 23.27
Leicester 07.28a ~ 07.30d 07.28 ~ 07.31   22.52a ~ 22.54d 23.02 ~ 23.06
Hinckley 07.52a ~ 07.53d 07.48 ~ 07.53   22.31a ~ 22.33d 22.38 ~ 22.41

 

Location Booked Actual
Landor Street Jn ??c?? ~ ??c?? 08.31 ~ 08.33
Gloucester Central ??c?? ~ ??c?? 09.28 ~ 09.35
Cardiff Central ??L?? ~ ??L?? 11c30 ~ 11c34
Barry ? 11/51
Neath ? 12/54
Llandeilo Jn DIV? 13L16 ~ 13L27
Craven Arms ??L?? ~ ??L?? 16c09 ~ 16c09
Shrewsbury 16.39 ~ 16.49 16.44 ~ 17.03
Welshpool 17.22a 17.35
Llanfair Caereinion 18.10d 18.10
Sylfaen 18.50a 18.41
Welshpool 20.00d 20.13
Shrewsbury DIV? 20.51 ~ 21.01
Wolverhampton ??c?? ~ ??c?? 21.34 ~ 21.36
Walsall ? 21/49

Timings continue in first table.

Back to "The Railtour Files - 1973"