Hello all, Here is my next trip report for the Compass 47 tour to Edinburgh, complete with positioning moves. Day 1 - Hereford via Timbuktu I started off at 2200 and there was no time to take the Austin Metro out, instead I was motoring down the pavement in my Mitisbusi Evo Rally Base car edition, to make sure I could go via the ATM for £20 and make the 2216 in time. I make it to the station at 2213 to see the 2216 on time...makes a change but then the usual Westbury Time Blocker saw it jump up to 6 minutes late, then 8 late. Great a usual +0 onto the 2243 at this rate, seems to be the case to have a tight plus onto an xx43 HST recently but then I remembered of course it's past 2200 and stuff are generally off pattern...the HST is 2247 from Bath. 158957 leaves at 2223, and as I am writing the morning notes and filling in the first part of the moves book after Bradford-on-Avon, I notice we are at Bathampton Junction...that was damn quick! We also clawed (with long nails and strong claws too) back time to gain a 3 mins late arrival into Bath! Under the subway to the other platform I see that the 2247 itself is now late anyway, due in at 2253 (or depart, I can never tell if the "Expected" part is arrival or departure). 43041 and 031 turn up for the job and I look at the times to see if I can go further that Swindon, as I see I have over an hour there for the Cardiff HST but in theory I could buy a return on the train as I have a Trowbridge to Swindon single, but I haven't got a Didcot or Reading return portion as I don't know if it's do-able. I see it's a good +10 at Reading for the Cardiff but we are late so we will have to see how we do for time. The annoucement comes on to say the usual gibber then said the next station is Chippenham in around 20 minutes time...TWENTY!?! What the hell are we doing! We slowed up near Bathampton Junction and thought maybe, for some reason, we are off to Bradford Jn for a reverse up via Melksham but even then 20 mins is tight... It becomes evident at the junction itself that we cross over to do Bi-Directional running to Thingley so a required crossover done and first time I've done wrong line on here too! I should of expected that, the last Paddington is generally a BLS train! We run slowly after crossing over to pass an engineers train on the Up Main doing the work, showing some evidence that there is a reason for wrong lining. We leave Chip'n'Ham 10 late, now turning Reading into a +0...do they hold HSTs for night crank bashers? A grip is done and I explain I need a ticket but quite frankly I don't know where to yet, he is baffled to my plan and sort of explain why but really I could be there hours trying explain that I'm racking up HST miles for the night! I am advised to get off at Didcot but if I want the risk at Reading I can but just get a ticket at the other end. We are 10 late at Didcot so with no time made up I bail here instead. I note the RES 08 entertaining the couple of passengers waiting for the 0006 Oxford by doing a Shunt Show (beefy 08 too I must admit) and the Didcot curve turns into a peak hour freight only line!! Out for a ciggie I see the Permit to Travel NSE machine is there but now no longer in use...R.I.P Back up the platforms, the 0025 cardiff is now due at 0032. I wait on P3 for it and also see the Hereford - Padd come and go..eventually as the peg was set a minute after it was due out. Our HST now has a platform alteration and it is now due into P1...why it wasn't booked into P1 in the first place I dunno :? I charge over to P1 as it's announced only a minute before it's due in. I get to P1 in time to see 43176 roll in on the top end. I stand in the vestibule by the TM and arranged the return and explained why I was getting a return before he decided to PF me trying to get on avoiding the TVM or something. He understood at least and got the ticket and then stayed by the droplight for a bit since I'll be shifting coaches at Swindon. A pair of 66's passed near Challow and made me jump out of my skin as they both hissed right past the window!! On arrival at Swindon I made my way to Coach H for the FC trip to Cardiff since I had a 1st Advance for £9.90 for this leg! I was happy with that but some of the City Worker veg didn't seem to be...don't think they expect a 24 year old with a black coat, jeans and worn off (not much) trainers in FC...well tough there's no dress code! I ain't wearing shoes and a suit just for this part of the journey. At Bristol all the First Class lot tipped off and I had Coch H to myself. Time for a bit of front window leaning out of Bristol then. I also note that the rear (now the front) is 43018, nearly forgot to note it since I have only got the front noted! Bit of a beast leaving Bristol probably as I have never heard the MTU before from the very front window so makes a vast difference compared to being in the rear of coach A which doesn't suffice for sounds! Too cold to listen to it after Lawrence Hill but couldn't hear it in the coach as I expected, however when we charged up the hill through the hole in the channel, I could hear 018 motoring away. Croeso i Gymru! At Newport I do some leaning behind the power car through to the tunnel to hear it powering away in the tunnel...and ***ing hell, my jaw was on the floor! One minute it was a quiet rumble on idle, then full power was slammed on and the rumble wound up rapidly and the turbo kicked in scream mode in no time! Must do coach H from Newport more often At Cardiff, 02:28am, the short overnighter started. Not much to blag about, just saw 66004 and 005 on Light Engine moves, 66011 on some covered boxes heading towards Margam direction, 66084 on HTAs, 66155 on engineers and 66035/079 on the RHTT starting out on the Mountain Ash leg of 3S59. At 0330, I went out to Maccy Ds for food but there was no breakfast menu up yet, so a 1/4 pounder, chips and a coffee was ordered, shame it was take-away only the place was nice and warm! The waiting room at Cardiff was ok though, better than outside! I return to the waiting room again and wait for the hour to pass. 175113 later rolls into P1, shame, it is required, but having my last 175 for sight would have been better! That announcer comes on and I hoped it won't be switched on this morning, but maybe not then! I fell asleep for most of it, waking up somewhere after Abergavenny and making sure I'm awake for Hereford...what a worst part to have to stay awake for on the loooooong drag to the city!! We arrive 3 late and I head out for a ciggie move and a Morrisons move...or that was the plan but I see Morrisons don't open until 8am...damn! I give up with the idea of trying to find a stock up place, so I wait at the station and see a lot of old people (no disrespect at all when I say that) turn up for the tour..understandable when it is a Christmas jolly and it is a weekday, there was a couple of cranks there though too. I see the Holyhead arrive 6 early, weather it is booked for a layover or is early I don't know. I liked the long amount of stations it stops at with the auto announcer trying to say the places. The tour is soon announced and was hillarous to hear it say '..Whitchurch and Edinburgh' as if it's some 1980s uber express commuter turn! Day 2 - The Lowland Invader Our tour rolls in with a nice WCRC matching rake (makes a change from pick n' mix sets!) and our 47s today is ex-RES 47/7 number 47786 'Roy Castle OBE' to lead us to Edinburgh, with twin tank converted 47/4 number 47851 dead up rear. I was booked in Coach A which is at the front of the tour so I get to be behind 47786 all the way to Edinburgh. Coach A was the only non-coffin coach (bar the rear staff coach MK1) as it's a Mk2 A, first time I've done a non A/C MK2! The toilets are in a screwed up angle too, with the toilet door being at some 45 degree angle next to the horizontal angle sliding door to the saloon...seemed rather strange that! I film 47786 leave Hereford at 0700 from my quater light window, and already I'm well impressed with how loud 47760 is!! It was full thrash all the way to Leominster where I head to the front window to film the thrash from there. This is my first 47 charter too, only ever done 47s on Sleepers/RugEx/FootEx/Holyhead Drags/Great Yarmouth Drags/Galas/Driver for a fiver stuff. I did the same proceedure of filming the thrash from the pick up points at Ludlow and Craven Arms until Shrewsbury (or Shrowsbury..depending how you are taught on how to say it!) where I retire to my seat. I was sat across from some normals who joined at Ludlow and started off with a good chat...trying to explain my overnight moves to them was a bit difficult though! I filmed the bit of canopy thrash from Shrewsbury out the quater light window then made my way to the buffet for a coffee and bacon roll move. I saw a trolley was making it's way up in coach D, shocking to see a trolley service in standard class on a tour! I saw some gems en-route too, our MK2A having a Valley Lines emergency proceedure sticker, Coach B carrying 'XC CrossCountry' logos on the vesitbule doors with a XC map on the wall, 2 other coaches with Anglia on the vestibule doors and one was an ex-FC coach as it had the Anglia 1st class notices in each window! Was nice though to keep those on as I could imagine which livery each one would have been in. The only gripe I had really was the fact the power doors (bar one in coach E) were shut and switched off, so you had to open and close them yourself which was rather difficult trying to fight against the air that was left in the doors! The bacon bap was £3 and the coffee was a reasonable £1.50. Back to Coach A, fighting with the doors, I colided with the trolley at the rear of coach B..and had to wait until it reached the other end before I could pass it...EVERYONE at each bay seat wanted a hot drink so it took FOREVER to reach the other end!! We did a pick up at Whitchurch then headed off to Crewe. I got my notepad ready for the DRS depot and noted 47810 and some 37s coveniently parked behind the shed so I couldn't note them! Just as I thought I might see some more at the north end, 66605 trundled round on a HOBC set acting as a blocker.... I looked to the left to see the stored Fertis 56s in the siding, forgot about those! Noted 56103/049/104 and the others I had no idea on. I also see those EWS tanks are still there, whether they are stored out of use I don't know but they are always there! We came into the far side on P12 at Crewe for our last pickup then we headed up the WCML to Preston. Not much to see here, there was the odd freight passing us but wasn't looking out for them, I kept forgetting that it was a Wednesday and not a Saturday! Arpley Siding had some un-ID 08 in there with what looked like ex-France 56118 or 113 but couldn't be sure what it was. We had a short stop at Preston for what I thought was a pathing stop but the peg was set with the letter 'T' on the box (?) and we were soon on our way. It was a bit of a drag to Carlisle, though I noticed at one point we were slowing down to a low speed, then I realised that we must be battling with Shap...how the hell did I forget about Shap!! 786 made it up to the top with the load 13 and unassisting 47/4 on the rear and we shot over to Carlisle. We passed Hardendale Quarry site and saw 66011 on covered boxes...hang on a minute....I saw you at Cardiff heading West this morning...how the hell did you get up here before us!!!! A breif stop at Carlisle was done and I saw 66423 roll in on containers heading south, then we left and I got ready for Kingmoor. I recorded the numbers through my phone voice recorder as it would be easier than pen and paper. I was surprised at the 37/4 gala going on at the south end of the yard, like 406/410/411 being there along with 2 other un-ID 37s, but there was 7 of them plus 57009 and a shed. At the other end was an un-ID'd 66 with two other 66's noted and a 20. We were soon near Quintshill passing loop and we popped into the down loop to allow 185135 to pass on a service to the scottish Pennines...well it must be if TPX run there I was quite glad to be going over the border in a MK2 rather than a 185! We thrashed our way out the loop then headed for beattock, no looping required here so we had a run up for the long slog up the hill...and it had not long been raining either so with a wet rail and 14 dead weight's behind, we averaged around 25-30mph up the bank which I thought was pretty damn good! I does make me laugh though how VT won't have the 90 in service to Scotland due to the 100mph restriction, yet charters at 30mph and various low speed freight get a chance :? There clearly is paths for an 90 to run there, if we managed to run slow up the bank and still not have to be looped at the bottom or the top, then there is some epic gap there! Still it was a flippin hellfire thrash run up that bank!! I did notice (before the bank I think) an EPS speedboard with 100 over 125, I didn't know there was a dual EPS speed sign, what would that be for? There was a normal white speed sign too but the 100 over 125 made me think of the standard freight over passenger speed limit...then I pictured some EPS freight with a Mozart loco (Cl 92) up front with tilting FFAs/FTA containers on the rear !!! We got to the top where I fell asleep, boring part starts here..well it does for tours but if I'm on something that wins the battle with Beattock every time (Pendo, Voyager etc) then the sleeping part starts at Kingmoor! I woke up near Slateford so that was good timing! Got my pad out ready for Haymarket, then I noticed a lot of curves that we were going around, slowly at that too. It went on and on then I noticed a single line with OHLE come in on the right...where the hell are we!! Out with the atlas I noticed that we came off at Slateford Jn on a required freight line to the Edinburgh Sub! Other bonus track for me was the bit from Niddrie Jn to Craigentinny, and I was chuffed with that as, for the baker, I have now cleared all the freight lines around the Edinburgh Sub line and it's connecting chords for the Baker, just need the line going the same way in the opposite direction now. I suspect we avoided Haymarket as we were early, plus it's probably hard to fit in on an intense section, but then I remembered, I'm not fussed about trying to pass Haymarket as I have done that on an unplanned route on the Alloa tour from Edinburgh round to Millerhill. We come into P2 and I get a photo of the 47/7 then film 851 taking the empty stock out. In the meantime I see my pet 67026 in the bay with 90036 there too. McDesiro 380101 comes out on the Berwick, my first 380 for sight! Memories flood back of doing 90024 on the North Berwick turn and seeing 322s on them. Back in 2011, I get a return ticket to Falkirk at £5 something and then head over to P11...or try to! I forgot how stupid the layout is around here!! I find P11 over the road through the station, but I can't see how to get to it. The arrow suggests I go left where there is a lift but no stairs, then I see the stairs on the other side of the road...so back and forth I go and I finally make the 1515 in close time. The McFlymo on the Glasgow Semi-fast is 170401 bound to be required anyway and a check in my NREA..WHAT!? One of only 2 I have only done before...argh!! out of all the ones it could be it's dud! Unamused we continue down the sort-of-good-but-partially-boring Falkirk line calling at Linlithgow and Polmont after Haymarket. We arrive on time at Falkirk High and I cross over platforms. I came here primarily for the station scratch and it has a descent plus too. 8 minutes later, McFlymo 170430 in the smart FSR livery takes me back to Edinburgh and this time we are non-stop to Haymarket. I imagine doing this route in the heyday with 47/7 and MK2 push pull stock on the route! We arrive into P13 via Line X and then slam onto 170405, a required unit but hang on...is this going anywhere? Sure enough it is doing the 1630 Edinburgh - Glasgow, with a pair of 170s but being the time it is you can see why (I forget it's a weekday and not a Saturday!) so 170405 is bagged in for a short leap to Haymarket via Line W. I bail on P4 then head over to the bridge to P3 for something to take me back to Edin. The next one due into P3 is a Berwick, running late otherwise if it was on time it would have been a +1 connection. McDesiro 380106 rolls in and I jump on for my first 380. Didn't sit in the motor car so I don't know if it sounds like a 450, but I noticed the front slope looks flamin huge, and the inside is very plastic and being in a TSO it was extrememly quiet...I can't wait to finish these in the book by just doing Haymarket to Edinburgh on them shame the days of real EMUs are soon to pass I bail off the McDessie..McPlastic...Mc**** (whatever you wish to call it!) and then get another return ticket to Haymarket (it ain't cheap at £1.60 for a leap!) and head over to P2 for the 1708 Fife Circle LHCS set, which is already waiting and boarding. Hopefully 67011 will be out to play and I might finally finish them, as long as it ain't 67007 though as it's the only McSkip I've had up here on a Fort Bill. And the loco is.... ....67007...WHAT!??! ARGHH!! Well I have bought a return now so I may as well use it. I stand by the front window and await departure. Later on 1708 comes and we are off. We leave via Line Z then crossover to the Down North. We come into Haymarket Tunnel and stop at the signal before the station...it appears that there's a 158 in the platform. It wasn't long and someone at the other window on the left said he could see people tipping out the 158. This wasn't a short wait either and a few minutes later I saw the Yellow peg return to Red. This, eventually, changed to a 'S' with the shunt signal illuminated. It appears to be heading to Haymarket TMD then. We FINALLY got rolling into the station and arrived a whopping 19 minutes late!!! That is my largest record for that section so far...Edinburgh to Haymarket in 22 minutes...and average speed of 3.4mph!!! I see 67004 on platform 4...so there is two of them then!? Shame it wasn't 011 but I could do 004 but no idea on connections back. I get 158735 back since that is required, and take it for the leap to Edinburgh. We come into P2 via P19 and then I wonder where we are going to stop. We pass the middle concourse...pass the VT4/5 car stop and then park somewhere near the old bay platforms at the east end!!! Was there really any need to stop allllll the way down here!! It was only a 2 car 158...not a 47 plus load 78million! I walk all the way back to the concourse then head up the road ramp to street level. I manage to call Travelodge to say I'll be doing a late check in, then I went past the big market that was on, the idea of the tour running here for but was shut, probably finished for the day but a bit early. I try to find a fast food chain down the main road but fail to see any...but it was very odd walking down a traffic-less road with the tram lines in the middle! I was tempted to walk on the road to mark off the tram lines but couldn't be bothered with that...some other people had done that idea though I see the Royal Scots Grey memorial, take a mourn at those of the RSG then head back to a expensive food van I saw, which does Crepés (or Crépes?) with people ordering them with marshmallows and Nuttela Choc Spread in it. I on the other hand had chunky chips with red cheese for a whopping £3.5 million!...sorry £3.50 I mean. Back at the station I see there is a queue in order for the tour. Someone stumbles over in the queue as two EC road trolleys thunder past us like a bat out of hell! Our tour is due out of P2 and we get let on with a ticket check in force beforehand. 47851 is now leading as we leave 2 minutes late at 1853 and head to Slateford via the Edinburgh Sub, which means I've now completed that area in the quail!! Bonus!!! I walk through to Coach N (support coach) at the very front (via First Class..that was awkward) and met Kevin...the guy behind Compass Tours. Had a good chat about 47s and how he has a lot planned for next year, and I notice 851 is Chirping away...oh dear! At speed this turns into a fast series of chirping, which can mean that the turbo is about to go bust. Chirping isn't a serious matter, not one that would see us failing to get home, just the turbo would ideally need a clean out of Carbon Minoxide soon (I think it's Minoxide or Dioxide :?) I leave Kevin later on and walk all the way back to Coach A...what a mission! There was nothing to see in the dark so I nodded off all the way to Carlisle. Not much to see here, then it was down to Preston and Crewe where there was nothing of interest to note...bar a pair of 86s passing on a liner and various other freight...but being dark I could not ID anything at all! I spent most the time talking to the people around my table and the table opposite, and had gen that the market that was supposed to be on was shut all day as they were still preparing it...and was supposed to open the next day! Just as well I didn't go for it then! At Crewe I noticed a 2 car 175 in the north bay...hmmm will this be the annoying peppermint 175010...or my last 175? We were stopped by the 175, but I would be able to see the front as we left....or maybe not then since Mr Bransons inclinación máquina rolls in with the nose lined up near the front of the 175..so the angle from my coach would make it impossible to see the number! A brainwave clicked though...getting the side number would be an idea! I see 79709 on the side....hmmm..a look in the book of magic reveals with delight that 175009 is the number!!!! FINALLY my last 175 for sight done!!! Long are the days of hanging around at Cardiff for it each time, then I simply see it on a tour! As we leave I am in for another surprise...378152 parked at the south end of the station!!! Apparently it was on one of those mileage run-ins...there's me thinking the Watford DC services have been extended to Crewe! I dive over to the left for Gestry Bridge...nothing bar the 2 47s in Northern Belle livery that are dud anyway. I retire to my seat for another chatter session down the Marches in the dark and by Ludlow, my group and the others leave the train and I'm left with a coach of my own from here to Hereford. We arrive on time at 0108 and I watch the ECS leave the station heading south. I get the Coach A number, which was 99680, a number not in my book :? The tour would reverse south of the station then head back all the way to Carnfroth, due there at around 0430!! I didn't watch the set come back through, and headed for the 25-30 minute walk to the Travelodge instead where I checked into Room 212 then headed straight for sleep. Day 3 - Home James I woke up at around 0945, put the TV on for a bit and had a coffee. I left the Travelodge at around 1015 for the 1040. I had to charge to the station as I was cutting it for time really...I had to pick my tickets up yet!! Near the station I saw the 1035 175 leave south, so I kicked down a gear and when racing into the ticket office on a fast walk, then tried to quickly put in the collection code on the TVM, using that stupid keypad layout! Time was tight as proven by the collection reciept...printed at 1038! Just as well the 1040 is due out of P3 really, as I managed to fly through the barriers and leap on the middle of 170634...a required unit! I didn't know LM run 3 car 170s this way...is it often? It was a fairly good ride over to Worcester, it's been ages since I last went down the Colwall line. At Worcester, some big bloke got on and sat on the table across from me, and started playing some puzzle game on loud volume...it wasn't a problem, it was just the jingle tune to it was bloody hillarous!!! See Random Quote 2 for details...it had to be a quote as it was just too good! It was also EXTREMELY hard to keep a straight face and not burst out laughing too...as it was played several times all the way to New Street, I had a very hard time not laughing!!! We had a slow chug up the Lickey from the standing start at Bromsgrove, then I realised at Barnt Green that I should have been in Coach A for the Fan thrash!! Oh well too late now! We arrived into the Hereford Terminator platform 9B at The Hole, then I saw I could still make a +3 onto the 1212 Plymouth Voyager...but I had no food or drink with me and I could do with it, so I headed up to the concourse. I heard the announcement say that the Four Oaks service was 25 late...ouch, only 5 minutes behind that would be another Four Oaks anyway! I guessed it would be semi-fast or terminated short somewhere along the lines for it to be that late... I went up to the Bullring in search of a shop (of course..would I be looking for a Car Dealership up here??) but didn't want to venture far in the maze as I may end up at the Moor Street exit! There was a Tesco Express by the stairs so I went there for supplies and a magazine, then headed for the platform 3A where the 1242 Bristol Voyager was due out of. It rolled in soon enough and I got a seat in the legroom seats at the back. We left right time heading north as we went via Camp Hill, though we had to wait for a Pendo to pass at Bordesely Jn before heading over to Camp Hill via a slow TSR. Then we were onto the X-City south and the Cheltenham main line. I started to fall asleep here..probably as I have done this section soooo many times on Voyagers and countless railtours, it really is a drag to Cheltenham!! An uneventful trip saw us arrive into Brunels TrainShed 3 early at 1405. At the end of the station was a load of photters...what's going on here??? At 1410 Tangemere arrived from Haywards Heath on one of those annual Bath Market froth tours and on the back was WCRC ex-RES machine 47760. Not interested in Southern MTU steamers, I waited on P11 for the 1423 Pompey which arrived on time with real 3 car 158798 on the job. We left on time and arrived into Trowbridge 30 minutes later as booked, and walked home to end a cracking day out!!! Stats: Mileage altogether - 1118 miles Highest Mileage on one train - 333m 50ch on 47786 and 47851 Lowest Mileage on one train - 1m 19ch on 67007/158735/170405/380106 Best part of trip - Being right behind 47786 all the way, and Beattock bank part was good Worst part of trip - Standing up in the coach in Haymarket Tunnel for 19 minutes, time has never gone so bloody slow! Random Quote no.1 - "Wrong Town, Wrong Name, Wrong City, Wrong Person" Random Quote no.2 - *Jingle* "Oompa-Loompa doopadie-doo I've-got-another-puzzle-for-you"