I work on the landcruise so don't worry, I won't be spending £1000+ there
I don't do as much unit cranking as most people here. My requirements in the south are astronomical. I've never been to half the termini in London (might change on Saturday...) and I've only ever done 2 full day cranking trips to the capital.
I prefer to keep my coin in my pocket for railtours and galas where I enjoy myself significantly more!
Not much to report on this week. All 91s on the trips to work 120/130/122/107/129 so far out of the 5 trips. 107 now bumped up into the 900s. Cranking trip round London on Saturday and a possible trip to Barrow Hill on Sunday to scratch 08925.
Well the 50 winners didn't quite come off in London! The day was a nice mix of spoons bashing, track bashing and some unit leaps. Bargain day out from the north with tickets only coming to £18.10 for the entire day.
Because of my general preference for galas and railtours and such, my book/atlas is rather empty down in the smoke and those such electrically infested lands...
Anyway, such termini like Victoria, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Charing Cross were all required and a plan was made to catch a train from each. In the end we only managed the former but plenty of new track ticked still. Main trip of the day was doing the North London Line and the branch to Richmond. Must other bits were just joining up some routes in the book.
29 required units for the day, plenty of track and 6 wetherspoons. 91126 unwanted on the long trip home and its mileage pushed up to 1406. Getting unnecessarily close to 37409, which holds the highest mileage certificate at the moment.
Nothing of any great interest occurring this week or this weekend. Next week should see an opportunity to scoop 90036 on hire to VTEC as well as a trip to Barrow Hill to score 08925 during the week. Friday is an early morning trip to Stansted (some required track) and a long weekend in Dortmund for a railtour with V200.033 to Wernigerode.
In commute news, the 91 miles continue to rack up. A most successful week as both 91106 and 91128 surpassed 1000 miles. 106 booted over the line with the 232 mile trip to London and 128 only requiring 6 miles to push it over. It's been a 10 week wait to clear 128 after a spell in Wabtec. 91115 was also taken last Tuesday thus clearing the class for the commute. Penultimate one was scored 3 months into the job (early October). Last one comes in mid-January!
Next targets are 115 and 117. Then only 4 to clear the class for 500 miles each.
A very relaxed trip around London then, nothing like an intense red pen trip like I'd have done mind! Visiting Spoons takes time away from the rails, not an option for me!
90036 on the VTEC hire in, nice. I wonder how long the hire-in will last, and do you have the diagram? 90036 is very much required, having foolishly missed it in 2006. Still wish I could have done a tour out of Crewe with both it and 90026 in early 2004...
There isn't a set diagram for 90036 and it's not guaranteed to be out every day. Pretty much stays indoors on a Sunday. It's on hire whilst Wabtec catch up with heavy maintenance on the 91s. 90029 kicked things off in Autumn which swapped for 90034 (duly scored) and now 90036. However I believe only these three (and possibly 90040) can work with the Mk4s due to the DRA requirement.
Yesterday it work 1D03/1A20 and 1D15/1A40 Leeds returns. Occasionally works Newarks and Yorks. York hasn't been done since before xmas though.
The commute rumbles on. A couple of unwanted appearances from +1000 91106 and 91128. Otherwise a nice selection and 91121 making a rare appearance.
There are a few random ones which completely avoid 1E02 and 1N21...
Last night slightly out of the ordinary with a trip to Barrow Hill to score 08925 (which was a sight scratch too!). 03066 and D2853 assisted (both dud).
After that score the other best thing was a new timed record between Darlington and York. I stopwatch every run every time I travel Darlington to York and the previous best in the last 6 months was a 25m27s run. 91110 on 1S30 blitzed that with a 24m48s run for the 44m10c!
Another delay in reports! No news from commuting. Only one +1000 loco appeared since my last update so the others trundle on upwards. Welcome appearances of 91104 and 91116, both of which are below 400 miles and require significant topping up. An upcoming (mainly non-veg) trip to London in a week and a half will hopefully bag me a very low mileage one and punt it up to join the high flyers!
In other news. The long weekend of 27-29 January involved a flying (literally) visit to northern Germany. A required country for me! The principle reason for the trip (+3 mates) was to cover the Westfalendampf railtour from Recklinghausen Hbf to Wernigerode Hbf. The former being a suburb of Dortmund (ish) and the latter being in the Harz Mountains and part of the famous HSB network operated to service timetables by enormous metre gauge steam locos. Significantly enjoyed my trip, definitely want to go back to the Harz and try the kettles again! The network is 140km in total and one line is 35km long and rises at 1:30 or so to nearly 4000ft on the Brocken mountain.
Also not mentioned was the standard gauge railtour was hauled by a V200, the german predecessor of our BR Class 42 'Warship'. And very rateable it was too! Food and digs all very good, all done for about £300 including accom, flights, railtours and food!
Moving on to this weekend just gone; the initial plan was a weekend trip to a friend's house in the Lake District (Keswick) with a reasonably big walk, a day 37 bash/drinking sesh (vice full bash) and other such activities. All large walks were curtailed to an extent when I damaged ankle ligaments playing football the Tuesday beforehand! No matter, the 37 pub bash could continue as planned and Monday would become a lengthier 37 bash with a lazing period on the Sunday. Moves on the Saturday were as follows:
37401 Workington - St Bees
37402 St Bees - Carlisle
37402 Carlisle - Parton
37401 Parton - Maryport
37401 Maryport - Ravenglass
37401 Ravenglass - Workington
Some of those have been revised down/up by a little or a lot after a mass spreadsheet rationalisation and realisation of mistakes and such. Anywho, 401 joined the ranks and 402/425 are next on the list. Then a serious effort on the rest!
Few nice low mileage 91s this week so far! Nothing else to report during the week, just back and forth.
This weekend sees a non-rail trip to London for the Bike Show at the excel. HST down (drat) and 91 back all being well. Should be able to squeeze in a cheeky few winners on the DLR and possibly a run out of Cannon Street instead of LUL.
Christ a whole month without update! Oops! Anyway, big trips first...
The previously mentioned London non-rail trip yielded 100% success on the limited tootles on the DLR with 16 winners plus my first run on a 376 out of Cannon Street. Nothing much else to report there.
25th February was a trip to the North Tyneside Railway. A doorstep preserved line I'd never been to. Two main reasons was scoring 03078 and 08915 plus clearing as much track as possible. That turned out to be every inch of outdoor track at the railway!
(i.e. up to the museum doors on all roads). Not much need to return now haha
11 March was a trip on Pathfinder's Waste Train charter. My first UK based charter of the year believe it or not! Some might remember my trip to Germany for some hydraulic action.
Anywho, plenty of bits and bobs scored track-wise with Knowsley Freight Terminal, Bredbury RTS and Bredbury Tilcon Terminal being the highlights.
Quail level detail included a crossover at Crewe, Golborne Curve, parts of Bamfurlong Goods and the Wigan connecting line, a spin round the back at Ashburys and Heaton Norris UGL.
Believe it or not the exact route taken from entering Crewe Basford Hall Yard to appearing on the main out of the tunnels for the independent lines was entirely dud having been covered behind 37603/604 on the RM/DRS tour to Scarborough last year!
66002 66125 were both winners and my 30th/31st 66s in the book.
A good day all round with the weekend capped with 185114 being cleared for 100miles.
On the 91/commute front, some success has been had. The 1000 mile club now plays host to 91106/115/126/128/132 with many others waiting in the wings over 900 miles.
91121 got a spin to edge closer to 500 miles and only 4 now remain below the 500 mark. I think I might struggle to clear 113 (lowest) before the 91s retire unless the rail gods are kind and let it out on a few long distance runs!
Looking ahead, I've juggled a few charters and had to cape a couple in favour of others due preference! Outlook now as follows with potential winners highlighted:
18 Mar - BLS "Bound for Craigy"
(08441 08472 08596 08670)
19 Mar - GCR Diesel Gala
(08528 08632 08694 08907 33063)
(Italicized are only possible)
31 Mar/1 Apr - Pathfinder Tours "The Everywhere Again Trains" Overnight
(DRS 37s + MoD Shunter)
13/04/17: Pathfinder landcruise D-Day -1. Booked move south for the hotel produced 2 winners on Waterloo - Eastleigh move.
15/04/17: 73 picked up on a spin from Aviemore to Inverness on 1S25. Dud 968 tagging along in multi. That's 5 out of 6 CS 73s red penned now. All done accidentally in numerical order so only 73971 left! The two units picked up on spins around Aberdeen after a run to the Granite City with 37259+37609.
18/04/17: Pathfinder landcruise D-Day+4. Heading home via a day spinning around London. Various picked up as can be seen!
25/04/17: Non-rail holiday winner #1. In Mallaig in the car around 1pm and said unit spotted. Was to form the 16xx to GLQ. Plan made to intercept and bash to some remote shack (Locheilside in the end) with a mate whilst the other two raced us down the road. Train won!
27/04/17: Having walked through the wilderness overnight from Spean Bridge (15.8miles) via a stay in a bothy, double winners were most welcome at Corrour for the run back to Spean Bridge.
29/04/17: Another one spied hanging about. and duly taken on a day out to Mallaig on the train. Most successful week ever up here as it's usually a procession of duds on the moves in and about Fort Bill. Not bad for a non rail holiday.
18/05/17: Winners galore at the SVR with some units chucked in for good measure on the moves from home and to the hotel at Hartlebury.