ELR Spring Diesel Gala, 3rd March 2012

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Techniquest

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Hi all,

Without further ado, the trip report from my first ever visit to the East Lancashire Railway:

3rd March 2012 - ELR Diesel Gala

Despite best efforts, sleep was difficult to come by today. I suspect about 3.5 hours of sleep is all I managed before my stomach forced me to get up at 0542. A good breakfast of beans and sausages, two slices of bacon, mini waffles and toast was washed down with coffee, then there was still enough time to watch a bit of American Dad! before going on the forum, Facebook and e-mail on my phone before leaving for the 0720 to Hereford. YJ05 WCW is out vice VA51 SAR today, and the loadings justified not taking the decker out. Arrival is at 0815 and I head to the ticket office to get my return to Manchester. £46.40 lighter, I head to the platform and note the 0827 to Holyhead is an option for me as far as Shrewsbury. Hmm...Something told me not to do 175110 on it and get a coffee instead. The fester is a killer, and I get the move ready to send to RailMiles and look up some fares for possible future bashes in the meantime. As the saying goes "Good things come to those who wait", and my patience was rewarded with 150217 on the 0853 to Manchester Piccadilly. Surprised to see this turn up for sure! A check later on confirms it's dud and that it's a lowie, so well worth getting this in after all! If it had been one of my last three ATW 150s I need (227, 235, 253) I'd have been well chuffed. For someone who rates 150s, to have less than 5,000 on the class is appalling, so this move will be boosting that up somewhat! We left on time and I wonder where this will be ripped off.

Lots of people join our train at Shrewsbury, so definitely not a change of motive power here. I see 153364 is attached to 170517 on the 0947 to Birmingham New Street, always on a move I'm not able to do that 153, and it being my last LM one to get means it's even more annoying! Passing Yorton, I see a pub virtually right next door. That'll be handy for when I'm shack scratching up this way! I consider getting either Whitchurch or Nantwich in off this train, as we stop at both of them, but I see at Whitchurch the next one is 45 minutes behind us. Definitely not a good idea today! The football veg on here are getting on my nerves though, can't wait for them to get off. I think I'd rather be surrounded by Duff bashers, at least we'd have a common interest of railways! I discover that Nantwich station must be reasonably close to a Morrisons, as two passengers join with cups of coffee from there. Another little useful titbit...Nothing I could ID was needed on the DRS depot at Crewe, and I see in the distance a 70 and a pair of 86s on Basford Hall. Bet I needed them...

The football veg bail at Crewe thankfully and we're back underway at 1030. Another chance on a long non-stop run for this 150 to really roar along, and sure enough that's what it's doing. Another 150, 150230, is seen on the 1030 Manchester Piccadilly to Swansea (not beyond due to engineering works). Really must be struggling for 175s today, probably not helped by having some of them stuck the other side of the blockade. We're now nearly at Stockport, so it's time to get ready to alight. Arrival into Manchester Piccadilly's platform 9 (required microgrice! :D) is at 1109, 6 early. A leg stretch is required before I get my return to Bury at £3.90, and shortly after I join 1006 on an Altrincham service. I'd forgot how busy Piccadilly Gardens is for buses, absolutely manic even on a Saturday morning! Eventually 2001 rolls in on a Bury service and it's wedged. Surely making 3-car trams wouldn't have been a bad idea for this lot! Saw lots of trams both en-route and on depot, although could barely note any of them on the depot as we passed. Arrival at Bury after a fairly alright ride was at 1158, fortunately the way to the ELR is signposted as I couldn't get any signal on my phone to get a map going on. A few minutes later I was finally at the ELR for my first ever visit.

£25 lighter, I had my rover for the day. The 1224 shuttle to Ramsbottom is cancelled due to the failure of D9531. I see D7076 roll in on a Heywood service, that'll do me just fine. My first ever Hymek and I was impressed. After the run up the skijump, I was definitely a fan! There's over 20 minutes pathing time before heading onwards, so I take advantage of a coffee move. I also bump into Josh Graves unexpectedly, and we both get the Hymek up to Ramsbottom for the 37 back. 37901 is waiting for us with 40135 on the back there, but despite this the connection was quite easy to make and definitely not a mad rush over the footbridge SVR style! Heywood it is, I'm keen on getting the 40 in and definitely would like it over the skijump! We both wonder what happened at Bury, as it seemed it had been ripped off. Sure enough at Heywood, we discover it had been. The double rainbow sighted was quite different, although how it came out in the photos is unknown yet. 37901 runs around the train and we leave a few minutes late as a result. On board, an ELR volunteer tells us 40135 was out of use following traction motor issues. Great...We're held just before the skijump over the Metrolink line, quite an impressive beast! In the lengthy fester at Bury, I again go for a coffee move but scoop in the nearby Wetherspoon, The Robert Peel. As I had a completed collectors card, it was free too!

Back at Bury, I find 37901 is now on the rear and 37109 has taken the front of the train. Dud like 901 was, but this was of no consequence to me. I forget what it sounded like on the MNR in 2010, but in 2012 on the ELR it sounded brilliant! Just how a 37 should sound, and it put in performances similar to those I've had off 37215 on the Glos-Warks and 37240 on the Llangollen. Definitely a contender for loco of the day! Bloody good driver, who from what I've heard likes to thrash it! Rawtenstall it is, as I've still not made it that far yet. After a quick photo stop 37109 is run around to form a double header with 37901, and on the approach to Ramsbottom Heywood is out of the window as the 14 had been battered back into life and worked the shuttle up from Bury. A winner there, so Josh, his pal and I all alight as well as a lot of other people at Ramsbottom for it. A rush to the front is deemed necessary, and we leave on time. D9520 on the SVR was more hellfire from what I recall though, and we arrive 4 up on a non-stop run to Bury. Josh and his pal didn't want the Deltic, so I left them to it for now and I get it to Summerseat for the required shack and 47402 back. Leaving from platform 4 at Bury, I was reminded somewhat of bashing in and out of the same platform at Belfast Central somehow, must have been the way the track curved around the footbridge building and the tunnel just north of the station. Quite difficult to explain to be honest! Just obviously not on an NIR 450! I'd forgot how beast the Deltics can be, fairly enjoyable! A short wait and a chat with a photter at Summerseat was had before getting my first Duff in quite some time (2010 or before, not sure when it was) in the form of 47402 back to Bury. The shame, the shame! I needed to boost my winners though and a short leap would do it for me on this one. 13 or 14 47s in the book now, still too many...

On the approach to Bury, I see 50015 has been brought back into use atop of the 1800 from Bury to Rawtenstall. A winner there, I'll have that then! After the 37s were ripped off the back, 20087 backed onto the rear as planned. Good, that'll be my last winner today then. We leave on time to some rather beasty amount of noise off 50015, which got better once we were clear of the station. Phwoar! We slowed down before Ramsbottom Tunnel, much in the same way as it goes on the Glos-Warks at Greet Tunnel, and the noise through there was excellent, getting some good reviews from most of us in the front coach! Josh and his pal (sorry, never did get his name) re-join me at Ramsbottom as they had done the shuttle with the 14 again. We arrive after some good bits of noise on time, the journey almost entirely reminding me of the epic performance off 50049 and 50031 on The Airean Raider on 16th December 2006 when we left Birmingham New Street. If you were there in the front coach, you'll know what I mean! :D <D And so for a quick sprint up the platform to get to the front for the 20 back to Bury...

We manage to secure seats in the front coach quite happily, and finally leave 2 down at 1838. Clearly this driver had never heard of entertaining the crowds, it took forever to get away from the platform, about a minute for just our end! The run to Ramsbottom Tunnel was pretty dull, and why we lost an extra 6 minutes at Ramsbottom I don't know. Finally we get some noise in Ramsbottom Tunnel, but to be honest this run to Bury was by far the dullest of the day, I had more noise off the Hymek from the back of the train earlier on than this! We finally arrive 6 down at 1912 into Bury, and after taking care of business I leave Josh and his pal so as to get back to the Metrolink for a tram to Manchester. Eventually one shows up and I board 1021. Several minutes later we finally get going at 1936, and the run's rather boring to be honest so on goes my MP3 player for the first time since the short burst of it on the northbound tram this morning, which had been some time since I shut it off before getting the 150 off Hereford. After changing of the driver at Queens Road depot's staff halt, the only real highlight of the trip back to Manchester as I couldn't ID bugger all of the loads on depot, we arrive into Piccadilly at 2009.

Burger King's queues are massive, so I end up getting a 6" turkey breast, ham, cheese and BBQ sauce sub and a medium Coke for £3 from Subway. Could have done with much more to eat, since I've only had a small ham roll from the Rawtenstall buffet since breakfast, but merr. Off I go to platform 9 to see what's on the 2030 to Cardiff Central, and it's a 150. The same one as this morning, 150217. Wasn't expecting that! We leave on time and the books, maps, atlases and whatnot get updated. It's a good run, with being just a few minutes late off Crewe, until Whitchurch. A disruptive passenger caused some amount of delays here, couldn't tell for sure what happened from where I was, but after the guard returned from the other carriage the doors were secured and he was on the phone a lot for a lot of the onward journey. I predict we're 7 down now. A crank on board starts chatting to me for most of the remainder of the way to Shrewsbury where he was alighting, some surprise but welcome company! I see we were due off here at 2155, we leave at 2211 so 16 down! That's cut right into my connection time to the 2315 bus home! By Ludlow the books and so forth are all updated, and even a minute and a bit here seems excessive when we're so late! Motoring on like no tomorrow is seriously required, but I see no signs of this by the time we leave Leominster at 2300. Shelwick Junction is finally passed at 2310, and the short distance to the station feels like forever today, indeed those 3 minutes felt more like 3 hours! At 2313 then, we finally arrive 22 minutes late. How we lost an extra 6 minutes from Shrewsbury I don't know, but I sprinted out of the station like no tomorrow! Thankfully, the bus was a few minutes late coming in so several deep breaths and sighs of relief were mandatory! Y876 PWT takes me home and I get back at 0017, arriving back at the door a few minutes later. Flipping long day, considering I left around 0705! Time for a quick snack-ish meal of beans on toast and a hot chocolate now as I was still super hungry, collapsing into a seriously deep sleep by 0130. A very long day indeed! So, the day's review:

Fantastic! Well worth the fairly high amount of ching today, just wish I'd had more money on me so I could have bought various things from the sales stands and more substantial eatage throughout the day. Lots of enjoyable haulage and 7 winners including the two on Metrolink. Finally done the Metrolink line from Victoria to Bury, that's been waiting to be done for a long time! Only winner I didn't get was the 40, but I can come back for that as I still need 37418 too and Irwell Vale. Enjoyed the good company of Josh and his pal, made for a more interesting day and all in all, my first visit to the ELR was well worth the very long day involved! Score for the day was 9/10 and time then for a few stats as usual:

Total mileage: 312 miles and 5 chains
Highest mileage on one train: 114 miles and 53 chains, twice, on 150217
Lowest mileage on one train: 0 miles and 23 chains on 1006 (Metrolink)
Best bit: Tough call, but EE wise 37109 and 50015 tied and the Hymek was also tied for the best bit.
Worst bit: Tied between the dull as dishwater ride on 20087 and the incredibly frustrating amount of delay on the way home
Bargain of the day: The ham roll from Rawtenstall buffet, only 85p!
Rip off of the day: Didn't particularly encounter such a thing today!
 
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Galvanize

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Was great to bump into you yesterday, and cheers for the company. The guy I was with for most of the afternoon is Pete.

37109 was definatly one of the best runs, the thrash merchant driver really knew how to put on a show! Shame about 20087 being rather tame, admittedly it was on the downhill sections when we had it, but could of been a bit better!

The Beerex wasn't too bad, it was the Hymek and the 14 double heading, quite an interesting sound combination there, but the 14 was doing most of the work. On the way back, with the Hymek hauling the train, the driver really gave it some, almost reminisant of how I drive a 7 1/4 gauge Hymek on the SNBR! :D
 

Techniquest

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Was great to bump into you yesterday, and cheers for the company. The guy I was with for most of the afternoon is Pete.

37109 was definatly one of the best runs, the thrash merchant driver really knew how to put on a show! Shame about 20087 being rather tame, admittedly it was on the downhill sections when we had it, but could of been a bit better!

The Beerex wasn't too bad, it was the Hymek and the 14 double heading, quite an interesting sound combination there, but the 14 was doing most of the work. On the way back, with the Hymek hauling the train, the driver really gave it some, almost reminisant of how I drive a 7 1/4 gauge Hymek on the SNBR! :D
Thanks for your company too, most appreciated :)

Still sounds like a good BeerEx, although it didn't look like it was going to get all that full when I left. Unless they were all still in the pub! Hope your trip home went well!
 

Galvanize

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I think most of the guys in the pub were normals, but a few more people joined the train for the beerex. Also, when we got to Heywood, much to everyone's surprise (and other people's dismay), they split the Hymek off, and ran it round to face Bury!!

Yeah the journey back wasn't too bad, it was quite an early start this morning, leaving Bury at 08:30, decided to make a morning of it on the trams (holding a £5 Metrolink weekend saver, good VFM!). Down to Piccadilly Gardens, where I noticed a rather anonymous looking Dart in all over white, which only last year was LDP159, plying my local route in London. So I had to get a photo! Got the Altrincham, MediaCityUK and Eccles routes in the can now, turns out it was the St Wersburgh Road branch that was shut this weekend, not Altrincham.
The Eccles line I quite enjoyed, the elavated section, and running alongside the quays reminded me of the DLR in London, plus the street running in Eccles itself. I also scored the Wetherspoons in Eccles too, since it was opposite the tram stop, it would of been VERY rude not to eh?!

Then I left Manchester on the 11:55 back south to Euston, via Wilmslow and Crooooooo (as the annoying Pendo auto announcer thats seldom used, kept saying!!) as per the outward.
 

Techniquest

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I think most of the guys in the pub were normals, but a few more people joined the train for the beerex. Also, when we got to Heywood, much to everyone's surprise (and other people's dismay), they split the Hymek off, and ran it round to face Bury!!

Yeah the journey back wasn't too bad, it was quite an early start this morning, leaving Bury at 08:30, decided to make a morning of it on the trams (holding a £5 Metrolink weekend saver, good VFM!). Down to Piccadilly Gardens, where I noticed a rather anonymous looking Dart in all over white, which only last year was LDP159, plying my local route in London. So I had to get a photo! Got the Altrincham, MediaCityUK and Eccles routes in the can now, turns out it was the St Wersburgh Road branch that was shut this weekend, not Altrincham.
The Eccles line I quite enjoyed, the elavated section, and running alongside the quays reminded me of the DLR in London, plus the street running in Eccles itself. I also scored the Wetherspoons in Eccles too, since it was opposite the tram stop, it would of been VERY rude not to eh?!

Then I left Manchester on the 11:55 back south to Euston, via Wilmslow and Crooooooo (as the annoying Pendo auto announcer thats seldom used, kept saying!!) as per the outward.
Surprised they did that with the BeerEx, I'd have thought putting the 14 on that end would have been better for entertainment purposes, but then it may not have made it up that bank. Only 650hp if I recall correctly.

That ticket is good value definitely, since you can use it for two and a bit days (valid from 6pm on Fridays til end of service on Sundays), and when a day return to Bury is £3.90 that makes it even better. Must remember that ticket exists!

Good call on scooping the Eccles Wetherspoon, might as well since it's so close! Got another one in myself today, when I had a doubled-up burger, chips and a coffee (still on meds so not allowing myself booze yet) for £4.99 for my tea. Since I had a 40 minute fester in Worcester tonight, I thought I might as well get the second one in Worcester done, one step closer to clearing the Wetherspoons in one of my neighbouring counties now. Cleared Herefordshire's ones years ago!
 
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