You Can't Beat a Good Crank....
(Saturday 27th January 2001)

A Day out with "Selby" (Ian Loveday).

The main aim of Saturday’s adventure was to travel on Pathfinder’s tour to [hopefully] whip in a couple of rare bits of track and a class 60 (I had known for sometime that the 56 was going to be dud).  Although I live in Wiltshire, I would be starting out from Selby and as the tour wasn’t due off Stockport until around midday and back 5 hours later I decided that I was going to make the most of the day, thus some additional criteria was added:

1)     Meet up with my old bashing partner Wilms for a beer or two.
2)     Buy a GM rail-ranger ticket (£2.45 Bargain!) to do some 47’s between Manchester and Stockport, I don’t need any ETH 47’s but the nostalgia of doing Stockport leaps was too hard to resist.
3)     Go to Eccles on a tram because, a) I hadn’t been on a tram in Manchester before and, b) I lived in Eccles for a year 10 years ago and I wondered if it was still the dump that I remember.

On Friday night the gen was:

 PT – 56111 60050
HRT - ?

 So after hearing the usual ‘You must be mad’ statements from the wife I set my alarm clock for 0450.

 The alarm worked and at 0515 on Saturday morning I was on my way across the Pennines.

The gen I had on Sat morning was:

47701-1M76  709-O09  722-S48  741-V39  747-V35  810-M02  817-O04  822-M87  828-O12  829-S76  839-S54  831-M01  841-V93  844-O30  845-M56  847-S(?forgot)  849-M99  851-M20

 PT – 56111 60050
 HRT - ?

 I chose to drive to Milnrow station as it is next to Junc. 21 on the M62 and in the GM rail-ranger region.  On arriving I thought that I had made a mistake, but I brushed the broken glass aside and parked the car.

The station lights came on automatically about 10mins before the first train was due.  It rolled in on time and was formed by 2x153 units.  The guard came up and mugged me: He was a right big ugly git and never said please or thank you, he just said ‘Where to!?’ and then took my money and ripped the ticket off the Portis machine and threw it onto the seat next to me!

The centre of Manchester was still dark as I crossed it by tram at 0700.

 Now for the first 47 of the day.  47844 was sat on the stock for 1O30 (the 0717).  Departure time came and went, but we didn’t.  86253 departed on the 0730 to Euston.  We left 23min late due to the Train Manager requiring 12hrs rest since his last shift!  Anyway it was down to Stockport for a 158 back.  I decided to wait and see what was on the 0817, if a 47 produced I would do it, if it was an electric I would do a tram to Eccles and try and get back for the 0917.  Well they kept me guessing; 0817 passed and there still wasn’t any sign of an engine!  I got the impression that the staff didn’t really care because everyone expects the trains to be late these days!  Anyway 47812 backed on at 0820 and we were away just over 5mins down, so that was Eccles deleted from the day’s itinerary.  43121/093 were on the 0830 to Euston.   At Stockport  I visited McDonalds for some breakfast before taking another 158 back to Pic for 47841 on the 0917.  As we passed Longsight, 86254(RES) was coming off the shed with the stock for the [late] 0930 to Euston.  Up to this point most of the expresses out of Pic had been using the Up Slow because the Up Fast was restricted to 20mph in places, however now that things were starting to get a bit busier trains were sticking to the more normal routes.  On arrival at Stockport a gen call was made to confirm the 60 on the tour was still 050, and to find out what the 66 was on the HRT to the GCR.  It was 059, a dud one, good.  47849 on 1H25 was done back to Pic.  All the northbound VXC workings were approx. 25min late, so at Pic I caught a 323 EMU back to Stockport for a –13 onto 1M02, which I made easily.  47810 on 1M02 got me back to Pic.  For the record the 1017 ex-Pic was 86256 and the 1030 ex-Pic to Euston was 87004.  Still buoyant after making a –13 I decided to take an EMU back to Stockport to try a ‘man of steel’ move off 1S54 (47839) onto the specially charted 1st generation DMU’s.  When I arrived at Stockport I found out that although I had made 1S54 it was now running so late that it would miss the DMU’s and thus I would miss the main tour.  So I chickened out and went into Stockport for some lunch.

The railtour arrived on time and I did this to Man Vic scoring the Bredbury Stone Terminal and Weaste branches, and 60050 along the way.  Gary has done a review of the tour, therefore I will move on.

At Victoria Wilms met me off the train, so we now had 45mins to have a beer and get to Pic for the 1759 (1G56) departure.  We caught a tram across town, had a beer in a good pub near Oxford Road station and then had a fast walk back to Pic just in time for 1G56.

We knew that the engine should have been 47845, but we didn’t have time to check before we had to get on board.  On having a bit of a bellow I noticed that there was a pair of 47’s at the head.  47845 was indeed the train engine, and 47848 was dead in tow.

On arrival at Stockport we were greeted by 56111 rumbling by on the Up Slow non-stop, and then Wilms met his girlfriend as they were going to see the NME tour at Manchester Uni.  So after some company, both on the tour and from Wilms, I was on my own again.

90001 was taken on the Euston – Pic back to Pic for 47851 back to Stockport on 1V99, or that is what should have happened!  On arrival at Pic, 47851 was still sat against the blocks where we had left it when 1G56 had departed.  So what was going to do 1V99?  158748 was! (Well as far as Brum N St anyway, where the passengers were to change.)  Is this why 47848 was on 1G56, was that going to take 1V99 from Brum I wondered.

Anyway that was enough for me, so I caught a tram back to Victoria and retraced my steps back to Selby arriving at 2130.

I had a really good day, the tour was good, the weather was good and it was ace to do the Pic – Stockport leaps again that bagged me so many engines in the late ‘80’s!

 Ian Loveday (Selby)

Back to "Bashing"