SCOTLAND ON A WHIM!

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metrocammel

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“Scotland on a Whim” - 5th / 6th / 7th September 2005

As you can tell by the name of this meet, it was pretty much unplanned. We just went the way the decent traction took us! For me anyway, my day (of proper trains anyway) started with the 10:24 Man Picc- B.N.S which produced RfD grey 90027 & the mk2 set. This got me down to Birmingham in plenty of time for the 14:00 to Euston, which was booked 90037 vice a pendo. Other than being in reverse formation the journey to London was rather uneventful, though joy54 boarded at the Watford. After a 45 minute or so turnaround in Euston we re-boarded the somewhat neglected mk3’s and departed bound for New Street, where after another high-speed journey up the WCML we arrived a few minutes early. It was here the only slight mess-up occurred, as we had hoped to get the 17:48 mk2 set back to Manchester, but it had been put on the 16:48 instead.

We now decided to kill a bit of time in Birmingham, I never realised how much of a “concrete jungle” it is, but one gem is Moor St. Station, this is a lovely station, that retains much of it’s old charm, though the majority of the platforms are severed from the mainline. Here we tried to get a “shipping link ticket” for the Mallaig to Armadale ferry, but surprise, surprise the woman there hadn’t the first idea. After we shuttled down to Snow Hill and back to get the instructions we eventually managed to buy the ticket.

We then wandered back over to the dreary New Street station, and to our surprise another UID mk3 lhcs was in the platform 3 we rushed over to find 90026, also in reverse (loco on London end) on the 19:00 B.N.S to Euston. We considered going all the way to Euston again, to pick the “mc beds” up from there, but in the end we just took it to Cov, where we caught a pendo up to Brum Intl. Here we tried the novel (and free!) “BMI Baby” cable-train to the airport and back. Once back at Intl, we got a 323 to B.N.S, where thankfully a delayed Voyager to Piccadilly was in the platform. This got into Piccadilly at about 22:10. We then went to the Sorrento Café, where I had an “All Night Breakfast!” and joy54 had a sausage buttie. After this I was really surprised to bump into a girl who lived on my street. She asked where we were going, so err…. “Oh, were going to an all night rave in Preston”. I thought it was quite a good and believable excuse, although I could have always said we were visiting a throbbing Scottish beast! (That being the FW tractor of course!!!)
We then hopped on a WYPTE coloured 158 on the 23:12 Blackpool North service and arrived in Preston (where we got a death threat (!) from an irate Man City supporter for supposedly “dissin” his team! (lol)
Before long the hum of a 90 became louder and we realised the sleeper was arriving, around 15 minutes early, with EWS liveried 90018 on the front. We soon got settled into our berth, and did some “late-night”
“H-O” it was quite spectacular, as due to it being foggy every time the panto’ sparked it lit the whole area with an electric blue flash.

We were soon flying up the WCML, and as it was pitch black we decided to retire to our cabin, and I think for the first time ever, I didn’t wake up for the Edinburgh ‘action’, in fact I didn’t wake up until past Rannoch. The thrash from 37406 was immense, thanks to the enthusiastic driver, John. He even slowed up at Monessie Gorge, so all the normals could see the attractive view, and so that the bashers could experience the almighty clag and thrash when opened the beast’ up again. We arrived at FW on time, and then caught the “The Jacobite” “kettle-ex” up to Mallaig. H-O was a bit painful, as the poor quality coal kept throwing our pieces of coal dust, which got into our eyes! At this point the trip was “planned”, but this is where things got interesting! We had the shipping links, so after some fish & chips we embarked on the “Coir Uisg” which took us over to Amarillo.

On arrival we got a Rapson’s bus to Kyle of Lochalsh. From here, we were going to get a 158 to Inverness and get the beds from there, but on a whim we decided to fork out £7.80 for a Kyle – Spean Bridge coach. From here we were going to have a hike to Roybridge, though opted against that for a coach to FW. We then got on the 19:55 beds and settled into our cabin, which we booked as a backup. We spent all the remaining daylight hours doing H-O and then relaxed in the lounge car. At around 11:30 we retired to the cabin……. When, Yorkie texted me saying “37427 on 1A25 0440 Ed- Aber. tonight” If this was to stick it would be an absolutely ‘dreadful’ working, so we alighted the London sleeper at Waverley. This was about 01:30 and then a member of staff told us that the station was now shut. Oh dear! What on earth are we going to do for around three hours in a deserted, other than those of no-fixed abode until the northbound sleeper arrived! In the end we found a quiet street with a bench, where we took refuge, and “festered” until we saw a couple of twats attempt to pinch a bike, so we thought we’d better find somewhere else. We walked down the deserted Royal Mile, and found a back entrance to the locked up station.

It was then around ten to four, so we went into the station. We were pleased when we saw the 37 where the Aberdeen “skip” usually sits, though on closer inspection, it wasn’t 37427, it was 417 – “Richard Trevithick”. A class 90 then brought the three portions in, and they were swiftly split. The Inverness, with a 67 was away very quickly. Our portion, the Aberdeen with 37417 on the front then left next, after waiting a while for a guard, the load 6 train left for the Granite City. Although being knackered at this point I still managed to film the tractor as it growled over the Forth Bridge. I then next filmed the departure from Montrose, where it became lighter and then most of the way to Aberdeen. This 37 was truly an unexpected treat. And was truly “Hellfire!” Although before our time, this seemed like something from the 80’s. A couple of days of truly decent traction, and is extremely unlikely ever to happen again, and even the train home was a HST, not a Voyager or crap like that. Really this meet was made so good by sheer luck rather than good judgement, and also big thanks should go to Yorkie for the crucial tractor gen, albeit the wrong loco!

The phots will be on my fotopic very soon:
http://jamespalmer.fotopic.net/[/b]
 
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yorkie

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I read some of the memories of trips on websites from 'bashers' in the 70s (e.g. on dreadful.org.uk), and this is possibly the closest anyone's got to recreating those trips in 2005?!
 

jd

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BTW, Moor St hasn't "retained" its old charm, it's currently undergoing refurbishment back to its old (1930s) charm! :?
 

Techniquest

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Bonnie Prince Charlie said:
FGWFan said:
Bloody good trip that! Bet your mileages are through the roof now!
I bet i done more mileage than any of you have done in last six month
Behind just 37s? Possible. Total mileage? Not bloody likely. In six months I've covered tens of thousands of mileage in different units and locos. It'll take me six months to calculate it all!
 
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FGWFan said:
Bonnie Prince Charlie said:
FGWFan said:
Bloody good trip that! Bet your mileages are through the roof now!
I bet i done more mileage than any of you have done in last six month
Behind just 37s? Possible. Total mileage? Not bloody likely. In six months I've covered tens of thousands of mileage in different units and locos. It'll take me six months to calculate it all!
Well would you like me to start julian? this week I have done about 2750 miles by rail while next week i will do probably 1600 miles and its been like that for last 5 months so your looking at 45000 miles plus, best thing about it, i got paid for doing it!
 

Techniquest

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Joined
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17,879
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Nowhere Heath
Bonnie Prince Charlie said:
FGWFan said:
Bonnie Prince Charlie said:
FGWFan said:
Bloody good trip that! Bet your mileages are through the roof now!
I bet i done more mileage than any of you have done in last six month
Behind just 37s? Possible. Total mileage? Not bloody likely. In six months I've covered tens of thousands of mileage in different units and locos. It'll take me six months to calculate it all!
Well would you like me to start julian? this week I have done about 2750 miles by rail while next week i will do probably 1600 miles and its been like that for last 5 months so your looking at 45000 miles plus, best thing about it, i got paid for doing it!
So I found out yesterday from yorkie. I still feel sorry for you, working with GNER...I was confusing you with metrocamell for some reason.

45000+? Lucky little ********, ******, *******...(I'll leave you lot to guess what the stars are there for)

Still, I've done between 15 and 20k so far this year already, and I don't do it for a living. That's certainly a respective amount by any standards. Going to make it MUCH more than that by the end of the year, especially as I'm down to do over 1k in two days.

Expect a PM from me nonetheless.
 
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