Postyes 2016 big bash

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postye

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I haven't really had time for any major bashing this year, only an East Midlands rover in January and the pines express in April, other than that it's just a few evenings out after work, so a big bash and a trip report are long overdue, so here goes.

Day 1 - Saturday 18th June

The original plan for my 2016 big bash was a 1 week all line rover stating on Saturday 4th June, however due to issues at work I needed to push my leave back by 2 weeks, but this meant I couldn't start until the Monday as I'd entered to run the City of London Mile on the Sunday.

However when it came to this weekend I suddenly found myself with an almost free Saturday, so I figured I might as well start off a bit early.
The original plan for the week was broadly to do plenty of loco hauled trains, the Queen Street diverts, the West Highland line, get as many 314's before they go, and a number of PSUL bits of track as well as plenty of mileage. Over the last couple of weeks there were a number of re-plans due to strikes and things, but I've now got a plan with contingencies built in if things go awry.

Part of the replanning meant that I would have to miss out on the Anglia 37's, as they're just too isolated from everywhere else, so with a free Saturday morning magically appearing, guess where I suddenly found myself heading. The alarm went off at 4.50, no time for a cup of tea - that will need to wait till Liverpool Street, and I made my way into London, crossing by foot between Cannon Street and Liverpool Street.
I had planned to get the 0700 off Liverpool Street, but as I'd arrived in plenty of time and already sourced a bacon roll and tea I still had time to get the 06.30 formed of DVT 82132 leading dud 90001. I got off at Ipswich to have a look at what was in the loco sidings, 66503, 66505, 66533, 66545 and 70011 were all present but nothing needed for sight there.
82143 pulled in leading winner 90014 for the remainder of the trip to Norwich, arriving right time to the dulcet tones of a pair of tractors ticking over.
Just enough time to grab a tea before jumping aboard the 0906 to Great Yarmouth behind 37422 which sounded mighty fine pulling away and roaring through the broads.
A quick PNB at Yarmouth and I board the second coach ( the BSO is locked out for some reason) although I'm a long way back so not so much engine noise from 37419 on the return.
90015 was atop the 1030 back to London which I take as far as Colchester. 66590 & 66596 are noted at Ipswich as we pass, both winners for sight, not a bad morning so far.
At Colchester I change onto winner 360112 as far as Stratford before crossing for winner 357205 on the 1250 Liverpool Street - Shoeburyness. All C2C are diverted via Woodgrange Park today ticking off the track from Forest Gate - Barking flyover, and the chord from platforms 7&8 onto the Upminster lines.
Winner 357025 takes me back on the 1325 into Liverpool Street and I stroll across to Cannon Street and onto 465239 for my next PSUL, the direct train from London onto the Bromley North Branch.

With a quick trip into town to meet the Mrs, that gives me a total of 334 miles, 6 winners for haulage, 2 winners for sight and a couple of fiddly bits of track ticked off.

That's the lot for today, tomorrow is race day then onto the northbound highland Caley Sleeper. :D
 
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noddy1878

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A good first day there. I remember last year when did my ALR last year, the Anglian 37s had to be pushed off my ALR (just couldn't fit them in). They weren't running back then on a Saturday (if they were I totally didn't realise), so was good you got them.
 

fishquinn

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Sounds like a great first day there! Well done on getting the tractors as well.
 

postye

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A good first day there. I remember last year when did my ALR last year, the Anglian 37s had to be pushed off my ALR (just couldn't fit them in). They weren't running back then on a Saturday (if they were I totally didn't realise), so was good you got them.

I had a similar issue not being able to fit them in so it was a real bonus having the free Saturday morning as a pre-rover day out.
I was glad to finally get the 37's, I'd been three times previously and they weren't running those days.

Sitting in the Doric Arch at Euston waiting for the sleeper for the main event, hopefully another update tomorrow from bonnie Scotland
 

Techniquest

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An excellent day there on the Saturday, no doubt a welcome start to your big adventure. Been way too many years since I had 422 from Rhymney to Cardiff, still a long time since 419 was had from Cardiff to Fishguard and back mind!

Looking forward to the rest of the trip report, no doubt it'll be another excellent read!
 

AJM580

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You did well getting 37422 in the book - it was replaced by 37405 today. The BSO is locked out for safety reasons and has been for a while now. Hope the rover goes well.
 

postye

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You did well getting 37422 in the book - it was replaced by 37405 today. The BSO is locked out for safety reasons and has been for a while now. Hope the rover goes well.

About time my luck changed, normally I go to norwich and it doesn't run. Safety seems an odd reason for locking our half a carriage, although to be fair on both trips there were more than adequate seats available.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Day 2/3 - Sunday 19th/Monday 20th June

A relaxed start to the day then headed to the city for my run, completed in a not too shabby 9.56 min, then back home to make sure eVerything is packed for tonight's off.

465169 take some me into Charing X where I transfer to the northern line onto 52547 for the ride through to Euston.
As I'd arrived well early at Euston there was time for a quick pint in the Doric arch before boarding. There's a block on the WCML somewhere, so were diverted up the ECML, with a reversal required at Wembley so more new track there.
What should have been a winner, 86101, was on top of the train to haul us out to Wembley, but shortly before departure it was declared a failure and 87002 was pinched from the lowland to assist us to Wembley.unfortunately 87002 is a dud having had it in April on the pines express. 87002 eventually hauls us back out to Wembley with a 40 min late start, and at Wembley we detach the 86/87 and another winner in 90046 takes over for the run up the ECML. As we hit the ECML I head off to my cabin, and find that fortunately I don't have to share, so I can get my head down for the night.

I awake at around 0500 to find us a few minutes down approaching Kirkaldy. A quick look at RTT suggests there was some issue at Edinburgh and that although we'd arrived early, allow three portions of the train managed to leave late.
Alighting at Leuchars I note that 67012 was hauling us from Edinburgh, one of the old Chiltern silver loco's and a winner at that, nice way to start the day.
I have almost a 30 minute wait here but that couldn't be avoided as there wasn't time to go up to Dundee no back. A couple of voyagers rumble through on ECS moves before winner 158711 with 158867 pull in of the 0618 to Edinburgh.
Alighting at Markinch, scoring the shack, I wait 6 minutes for the Perth-Aberdeen train for,ed of dud 170425 and winner 158782. This train uses the slightly rare Thornton North Junction curve, another bit of track scratched there. I alight at Cardenden (winner ) and have a 35 minute wait for the next Edinburgh bound train, although Winner 68007 pulls in nearly half an hour early so I jump on to keep warm as its trying to rain out there. I take 68007 as far as Rosyth to score the shack and await my next move, the following loco hauled service lead by 68022. Both the Cats are winners, having previously only had 68008 on a Chiltern service last year. I quite like the 68's, they sound like a proper loco and once they get going have great acceleration.
I alight at Haymarket and am starving, I recall from my last central Scotland rover there is a Greggs almost opposite so I head over for a breakfast deal Sausage Baguette - that feels so much better!
I just finish eating as dud 170434 pull in on the 0908 dunblane service as far as Larbert where I change onto 158706 & 158723 For my first trip out to Alloa, new shack and track scored and 2 more winners to boot.
I have a short stroll in the 20 mins I have at Alloa but make it make onto the 1036 back to Queen Street LL via Springburn. At Queen street I cross platforms for 170433 on the 1201 to Edinburgh via Springburn to get the track both ways. At Croy I again change direction picking up 170410 back to queen street on an ex Edinburgh service to get the chord towards Anniesland.
Next I need the branch to Milngavie, but as there is no direct train advertised at queen street, I take 318257 as far as Westerton to chang, noting 66739 on the Alcan freight before boarding double winners 334012&334020 to Milngavie and back to Anniesland. At Aniesland I pick up winner 170461 to Camelon to change trine to get to Stirling. After a bit of sweating on the connection as we were over 5 minutes late, Dud 170393 does the honours rolling in a few minutes late as well. Finally at Stirling I have time to grab some food, some of the connections have been a bit tight and where I've o dump my bahad time there's been nothing open, before getting winner 170426 into Central, which during the works are going via Coatbridge where I note 86605/86612 in the frieghtliner terminal, 86605 is a bonus winner for sight. Passing Polmadie I note 08754 and 08541, another 2 winners for sight.
On arrival at Central I take the opportunity to dump my bag at the hotel before getting 170471/170415 from Central back to Stirling. We arrive with 2 minutes to spare to sprint up the stairs and over to platform 9 to get 158729 back to Queen Street.

Finally off to the hotel to watch the England match, which is so exiting I end up typing this report out.

In summary Sunday/Monday has produced
788 miles
3 loco winners for sight
11 winners for haulage
Thornton North curve plus all of the Queen Street diversions and the Milngavie branch
 
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Blindtraveler

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Its nice to read another report of the QST diverts having done them myself with Techniquest last month. As youl have noticed doing the lot in a fday is hard work but very rewarding, you also had the good fortune of staying in Glasgow where as we came back through east after which when you factor in having to position to Stirling erlier in the day made it a mission but one worth accomplishing.

I'll bet staff at Stirling are getting a certain amount of entertainment from all these bashers with various rangers and rovers charging around the station making tight connections.

Well done on thornton north, the other main train to use it is the evening voyager from Aberdeen so you did good.
 

Kite159

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Its nice to read another report of the QST diverts having done them myself with Techniquest last month. As youl have noticed doing the lot in a fday is hard work but very rewarding, you also had the good fortune of staying in Glasgow where as we came back through east after which when you factor in having to position to Stirling erlier in the day made it a mission but one worth accomplishing.

I'll bet staff at Stirling are getting a certain amount of entertainment from all these bashers with various rangers and rovers charging around the station making tight connections.

Well done on thornton north, the other main train to use it is the evening voyager from Aberdeen so you did good.

I think on a Saturday one of the last Edinburgh -Perth uses it going northbound (one key movement for next month for me)

Sounded like a good day in Scotland so far :)
 

postye

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Hellfire!


Didn't know the bettys got that high ;)

Sounds like a good first day/days there and I'll look forward to the rest!

Well spotted! Should've been 170434.
Today, well this morning, didn't go quite as planned but still a good day.
Report up later hopefully
 

47403

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Cracking read so far postye, certainly getting the requirements in of all shapes and forms. The Anglia 37s is an itch I'd dearly love to scratch. In fact Anglia's, 1 of those areas, I desperately need to scratch full stop.

Shame about 86101, that certainly would've been a top way to start. Still dud or not 87002s not a shabby way to start. Gutted to hear 90046 was on the sleeper, it past my house, however I was kicking out zzz's when you past. Damn thing is my last 90, I need, it got renumbered to 90146, then renumbered back to 90046, always eludes me.

Good luck for the rest of the Rover, looking forward to reading the rest. Happy hunting.
 
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postye

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Its nice to read another report of the QST diverts having done them myself with Techniquest last month. As youl have noticed doing the lot in a fday is hard work but very rewarding, you also had the good fortune of staying in Glasgow where as we came back through east after which when you factor in having to position to Stirling erlier in the day made it a mission but one worth accomplishing.

I'll bet staff at Stirling are getting a certain amount of entertainment from all these bashers with various rangers and rovers charging around the station making tight connections.

Well done on thornton north, the other main train to use it is the evening voyager from Aberdeen so you did good.

The queen street diverts were quite intense, especially coming off the sleeper that morning, but I was pleased it all went to plan an I got them done.

When I was looking at the PSUL for Thornton North it does look a sparse service so i was glad to see I could make a connection off the sleeper, do the chord and the Fife locos.

One of the staff at Stirling seemed a bit bamboozled by an all line rover and had to seek advice, I assumed he must be new.
 

postye

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Day 4 - Tuesday 21st June

Today was supposed to be the West Highlands, but with the scotrail strike I had to re-plan. The West Highlands could wait until tomorrow and I'd see how much of the original plan for Wednesday could be brought forward. Clearly the Tweedbank line was out of the question as there was a limited service, and hunting down my last 2 scotrail units for sight (156457 & 158705) wasn't going to be practical, but I should still be able to hunt down the Strathclyde PEP's, as well as still getting down to Carlisle for the Cumbrian tractors.

I'd spent a few hours last week researching diagrams for the 314's and I had a plan that should net me something like 12/13 in about 4 hours using the tail of the morning peak and also covering all of the Cathcart/Neilston/Newton lines, so after getting myself ready and having a wake up cup of tea I go to get the plan from my bag, and - @/@?!

This really is not the start to the day I need. I've either left it at home or lost it en-route.
Well I tried to remember the plan but either I went very wrong somewhere or maybe they'd changed some of the diagrams due to the strike.
Either way, 4 and a half hours later I'd managed to get 7 new 314's for haulage and cover the lines, I'd even managed to visit almost all the shacks on the Catthcart circle except Langston and Shawfield, but the same units just kept coming around again. At least I'm now 50% through the 314's.

Oh well, I tried. back at Glasgow Central I board dud 390141 on the 1240 to Carlisle, and it's time to just stop moving after the hectic morning.

As I arrive at Carlisle I realise the reason I'm probably tired and feeling sick is that I haven't eaten all day, so luckily I have time to nip out of the station and grab something from the Chippy for lunch.

Arriving back on the station I see 66230 go through with a freight from Carlisle Yard before making my way over to platform 1 to await the 1435 to Barrow.
Carlisle station is currently full of scaffolding, they're going to remove the old iron roof and replace it with a more modern roof. Seems a shame really, the old iron roof was a real centrepiece of the old Citadel station when it used to be a bustling hub of activity, it seems such a shame.
Soon enough though the distinctive growl is heard on the wind and a couple of minutes later winner for sight 37425 pulls in. I board as and get the rearmost seat to get thrash from 37425, but once we get going it is a little underwhelming, maybe we have a driver being a little conservative with the power. After Workington there appeared to be a crew change and the engine seemed a little louder.
I alighted at Whitehaven and had a stroll around. I've never been to Whitehaven before, but it struck me as one of those places that has seen better days.

25 minutes later after the fly past from a couple of military jets, the distinctive growl could be heard long before it could be seen. Disappointment that it was dud 37402 was soon tempered by the growling all the way back to Carlisle.
Upon arrival at Carlisle I was just in time to see 325001/325016/325015 pass through on a Shieldmuir-Warrington Mail train, 015 was required for sight, before winner 390151 pulled in a few minutes late to get me back to base in Glasgow.
As we raced up Beattock I remembered days gone by of being behind 50's and cross country 47's really struggling up there, but the pending these days just seem to take it with ease, you only really know you've climbed because your ears pop!

Arrival back into Glasgow was a couple of mins early, so I had a quick look around to see if there were any 314's to score, but all I could see was units that I'd already had this morning, so back to base and find some food.

Another long day tomorrow, up the West Highlands and then Cally down to Crewe.

Today's summary
338 miles
9 winners for haulage
2 winners for sight
12 new shacks
 

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Techniquest

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Wow you had a good couple of days there! Well jealous on the scoring of 68022 as I need it for everything. I'm sure a couple of those 158s are needed here too.

37402 knows how to growl, it's a friggin' animal that one and I love it! 409's good but she's no 402...<D

Taking me a while to read these as my data signal is disgraceful in Devon!
 

postye

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Taking me a while to read these as my data signal is disgraceful in Devon!

I know what you mean about data signal, struggled myself for last 2 days
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
wednesday 22nd June

So today is the day I've been looking forward to, my first trip up the West Highland line.
After a showering and having a cup of tea to wake me up its time to pack up and check out of the hotel and make my way to Queen Street. I'll not make the same mistake as yesterday missing breakfast, so I call into Greggs and grab a baguette to eat at the station.

Whilst I'm eating I make some observations as I'm about 25 minutes early, then around 10 minutes before the train is due a huge number of people appear on the platform - it's going to be a busy train I think, then I hear the words I don't want to hear from one of the customer service people "this train will be formed of only 4 coaches today"
Fortunately when it pulls in it is formed of the correct 6 coaches, 156477/156474/156446. 477 and 446 are winners so I take a seat in the rear unit, 446 as far as Crainlarich when I'll stroll to the front for 477 on the Oban portion.

The weather is a bit grey as we head out through Dumbarton and Helensburgh along the Banks of the Clyde, and by the time we reach Ardlui it's poring down and all the mountains are Shrouded in cloud. 156465 is noted at Ardlui on a Mallaig to Glasgow train before we head along the banks of Loch Lomond towards Crainlarich.
It seems as though each hill has its own weather system along here, it goes from cloudy/misty to brilliant sunshine to Pouring rain within minutes.
Arrival at Crainlarich is around 5 minutes late and the Mallaig/Oban- Queen Street train is already coupled and ready to go as soon as we've cleared the single line.
156450 on the front, 156457 on the middle - yes! My last 156 for sight and leaves only 158705 needed from the scotrail fleet and only 8 multiple units, except for the new build 700's for sight. I've seen a few of them but I'm waiting till they're in service before I'll count them. I was so pleased to score 457 that I forgot to note the rear unit.

I move quickly through the pouring rain into the Oban portion and it's much quieter now, a lot of people seem to have got off, so I get a decent window seat. It's still very wet as we make our way along the banks of Loch Awe, with crazy amounts of bicycles taking ages in some cases getting on and off. Arrival into Oban is about 8 minutes down, but the sun is out so I get 40 minutes for a stroll around the town. On first impression I think I quite like Oban, it a quaint fishing town feel to it. After watching the ferry from the Isles dock it was back to 156477 for the run back inland. We are held for 10 minutes at Dalmally awaiting the late running 156476 to pass, and as the sun is out I decide to alight at the next stop to explore the village of Tyndrum.
Getting off at Tyndrum Lower I stroll down to the main road. It must be a popular place for exploring the highlands, because all of the B&B's are full, but there seems plenty of options from Camping to Hostel - B&B's - hotels.
There's what looks like a good cafe serving home made food, but my eye was caught by the Tyndrum Inn. Quite a big pub and was busy with food, but does a really nice pint of ale too. Also they do accommodation which is something to bear in mind for future visits.

I head back out along the busy main road towards Upper Tyndrum - I can see why they call it upper! Anyone intending to do this - note - it's a good 10 minute walk up a very steep hill from the road. I make it to the top just as it starts to spit with rain, and it's not long before I hear the revving engine and around the corner it comes - and it's 156457 on the front, the one I needed for sight this morning!
I hop on to head towards Malliag, although I find out that I need to be in the rear unit after Fort William, but I'll stay in 156457 for now.
Arriving at Bridge of Orchy I see a red shed in the platform loop, 66110 on a Fort William-Mossend, needed that for sight - nice one, not turning out to be a bad day really.

The scenery as we make our way through the highlands is breathtaking even though it's not the nicest of days, I really wish now I'd been able to have done this loco hauled 25 years ago.

On arrival at Fort William I had change units, so took the opportunity to grab a cup of tea as the trolley had run out of hot water, before boarding 156447, the unit I forgot to note earlier, for the trip out to Mallaig.
Now I thought I'd seen it all, but once you are out of the outskirts of Fort William and along the banks of Loch Eli, then you have the spectacular Glenfinnan viaduct as you climb higher and the stunning loch Eilt before the inlets of the NW scots coast to Mallaig.

Arrival On time into Mallaig so I went and got fish and chips whilst having a stroll around. You need to keep your wits about you eating out in Mallaig - 1 woman lost her ice cream and another guy nearly lost his fish to evil-eyed stealth seagulls! Although they're not a patch on the seagulls near Aberdeen that have been caught on CCTV walking into a shop and running out with bags of crisps!

Back to the station and onto 447 for the trip back to Fort William where my bed for the night was awaiting. I had hoped I'd get a cabin to myself, I wasn't reckoning on getting an entire carriage to myself, oh well I can snore away to my hearts content.
67007 is at the head of the sleeper and leaves RT southbound towards Edinburgh. I sample some of the fine cheese and wine as we wind our way back through the picture postcard scenery until around rannoch when I retire for the night.

Thursday 23rd June

I didn't have the greatest nights sleep, the bed wasn't that comfortable and for some reason kept moving. I was glad to eventually get off at Crewe.

After strolling still half awake to the front to check the haulage from Edinburgh (dud 90046) I went to see what was on my next planned move, the 0555 Crewe-Carmarthen, dud 175106, so I decide to grab a coffee from Upper crust to wake me up whilst I wait for my alternative, the 0640 to Shrewsbury which will be winner 158828 with 158835. My plan is to take Gerald down from Shrewsbury to Newport, and as I still have plenty of time and Gerald is late I walk into Shrewsbury in search of food.
Not a lot open at this time of day, but I find a small deli and grab a sausage and egg bap to eat whilst waiting and the fresh air wakes me up a bit.
Gerald arrives around 10 minutes down in the shape of 67002, I've always had the same loco on this one, for the trip down through the Marches to Newport.
60020 is noted on a fuel train heading east through Newport station before my next move, winner 170111 pulls in on the cross country to Nottingham. I alight at Gloucester and with about 40 minutes until the next train to Cheltenham, and after noting 66432 on a freight, I go for a stroll into town in search of a decent caffeine hit.

I'm surprised by Gloucester, it seems quite run down with loads of empty shops, not at all what you expect. I locate Costa, obtain caffeine then head back just in time for winner 158829 for the short run to Cheltenham. Only a brief wait here before winner 158766 arrives to take me onwards to Great Malvern, and the free gWr WiFi is really appreciated to catch up on writing this report, updating railmiles, cross referencing observations and checking email, all stuff that was very difficult with limited signal up in the west highlands yesterday.

I've never been to Great Malvern before, and the station is like stepping back in time to the GWR of old. A short wait later and dud 170513 takes me the remainder of the way along the line to Hereford.
With just over 30 minutes I take a brief stroll into Hereford, doesn't look too bad a place, lots of pubs doing cheap booze, competing with wetherspoons maybe. A bit too early for me for booze as I didn't get a lot of sleep, but I grab some chips to walk back to the station with, and in that time 513 has shunted to platform 3 ready for the return trip and a freight has appeared in the middle road. Can't find it on RTT, but 66016 is on top taking it somewhere northbound.

I alight at Foregate street, getting winner 170630 back to Malvern link to scratch the shack, then changing platforms for winner 158952 to Ashchurch to scratch another shack.
There's absolutely nothing around Ashchurch except for a busy road and an industrial estate, where even the snack bar is closed, so I wait on the station observing winner for sight 66066 heading south with a Round Oak-Margam freight before late running winner 150202 takes me back to Worcester.
Because of the late running it meant my next move would not work so I hastily replanned. I wanted to try and get all the track in the Worcester/Droitwich triangle. RTT tells me I can change at Shrub Hill for a train to Droitwich Spa, winner 172213 doing the honours, crossing over for a return on dud 170634 to Foregate Street via Shrub Hill, then cross platforms for 172337 direct to Droitwich. The plan was to go back again to get the track down track, but I'm so tired at the moment that I decide to stay on all the way to Jewelllery Quarter, where I take my first tram journey in the midlands the short hop to St Pauls and into my Hotel.

My wife had already checked in so chance for a quiet sit down before heading into town for a meal.

The final moves for the day were to get the PSUL between Crane St-portobello-Darlaston curves. 9G43 Euston-Wolverhampton, 2128 off new street is booked that way with a return on the ATW at 2255. The 2128 is running a few minutes late due to wire problems somewhere near Milton Keynes and eventually departs at 2144. Unfortunate for me, as a result of late running we were diverted via Sandwell & Dudley to make up time - curses!!!!
An hours wait at Wolverhampton so I nip out of the station and find the wetherspoons for a quick pint before returning and boarding 158833 for the run via Bescot back to Birmingham.

A reasonable haul from the 2 days

1069 miles
3 winners for sight
13 Winners for haulage

West Highland lines cleared, portabello/darlaston diversion cleared one way, London midland network cleared SW of Birmingham (except Droitwich-Foregate street)

16 winner shacks
 

47403

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Cracking read postye, certainly getting some winners in both for sight and haulage.
No wonder 156457 eludes me, it's my last ScotRail 156, nice to hear it's hiding in the Highlands:(, congrats on finishing the 156's though.
Shame about the PSUL move going pearshaped but I'm sure there'll be another chance.
 

postye

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Cracking read postye, certainly getting some winners in both for sight and haulage.
No wonder 156457 eludes me, it's my last ScotRail 156, nice to hear it's hiding in the Highlands:(, congrats on finishing the 156's though.
Shame about the PSUL move going pearshaped but I'm sure there'll be another chance.

Yeah the PSUL move could've gone better, but at least it's the Northbound that went wrong, as that's just about doable on a day trip from London.
The other way is really early morning or very late at night
 

fishquinn

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Sounds like a great time there! Do you know which WHL services are booked as a 6 coach out of Queen Street?

Shame about the PSUL move going wrong but it seems like a great time was had!
 

postye

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Friday 24th June

Another reasonably early start sees me leave my hotel for the 10 minute walk to Snow Hill, where I arrive with just a few minutes to spare for my first move of the day.

The plan for the day is to get the Cats on Chiltern as well as covering some new track in the Birmingham area.

Winner for sight and haulage 68011 rolls into Snow Hill Station with the 0650 To Marylebone. I take a seat as far back as I can, and despite all the double glazing you can't ignore the roar as it pushes set AL02 And DVT 82303 southwards.
Alighting at Warwick Parkway I have around 20 min for a PNB before I see DVT 82301 approach with 68009, another winner for everything on the back. Again the cat roars away from Warwick Parkway and Leamimgton Spa stations before arriving at Banbury.

A quick leap across the platforms and 66113 thunders through at speed on a Southampton-Garston car train before boarding winner 220018 on the 0830 into Birmingham. This one goes via Bordesley Junction, new track in this direction, had it in the other direction on the Pines Express back in April.

A tight connection at Birmingham between platforms 7 & 11 but I make winner 170398 on the Cross country service to Nuneaton. 66594, 66304, 66186, 66130 and 08588 are all noted in the Washwood Heath area as we make our way past Water Orton to Nuneaton, another stretch of new track for me.

At Nuneaton 66543 & 66420 flash through with a Crewe-Southampton frieghtliner along with a couple of pendolinos, whilst 153356 sat patiently in platform 1 to form the 1014 to Coventry. Another winner, 170117, pulls into platform 6 to take me back to New Street.

I take the short walk back over to Moor Street where winner 68012 was waiting to take me down to Warwick. However it seems there that some sort of a signal failure earlier, and my next planned move was running some 30 minutes late, so rather than getting stranded at Warwick I decided to stay on until Leamimgton where there would be better options. This turned out to be a god move, as the fourth loco set I was planning to get was now over 45 minutes late and wouldn't get me to Birmingham in time for my plan. Fortunately, I knew as I'd seen it go the other way earlier that it was dud 68008, and 220034 on a Southampton-Newcastle train would get me back, so I jumped on.

Birmingham was reached nearly 10 minutes late, but still with 15 minutes to my next move, the 1242 to Cheltenham. This was another that goes over new track for me, the section between St Andrews Junction-Linford Junction . Dud 220003 did the honours.
A hop over the platform at Cheltenham and onto winner 220012 for the trip back along the same route to get it both ways.

On arrival back in Brum my plan was to ride a few cross country 170's as my numbers were very low for these, but the first few I went to get on we're so rammed, I didn't bother. In the end I went back to Moor Street and took a ride out to Stratford Upon Avon and back on 172211 to finish the day off.

A fairly productive day again, stats
236 miles
8 haulage winners,
2 winners for sight
Track covered
Water Orton-Nuneaton
proof House-st Andrews-Bordesley/Linford junctions cleared
 

55013

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Great stuff.
I particularly enjoyed reading about the West Highland line, one of my favourite journeys and one that I haven't done for far too long.
 

fishquinn

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Sounds like a great time in my neck of the woods! Way too many UHTs for my liking (that'd be 0) but it's good to see you got some decent cat action! I would personally have taken the 06:50 to Marylebone for a +10 onto another cat back to Moor Street (012).
 

postye

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Sounds like a great time in my neck of the woods! Way too many UHTs for my liking (that'd be 0) but it's good to see you got some decent cat action! I would personally have taken the 06:50 to Marylebone for a +10 onto another cat back to Moor Street (012).

UHT's?
I was thinking of doing a longer stint on the Cats, but just so much I wanted to cover there wasn't time to do it this time.
 
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