Techniquest's Trip Report on LM's 150 Farewell, 12th November 2011

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by Techniquest, 23 Nov 2011.

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  1. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    19 Jun 2005
    Nowhere Heath
    Evening all,

    My final trip report for the time being, as this one is the last in the queue to be done for now. Until my 4 day bash starting on Friday that is <D Without further ado:

    12th November 2011 - LM Class 150 Farewell, also Last Day of my Y-P :|

    As I write this towards the end of the day, it's obvious I'm tired as I wrote "350" not "150" in the title for this trip report in my book! :oops: The day starts well, rising as booked at 0630 and we're off by about 0700. Breakfast is formed of a coffee and a bacon roll from Sainsburys Local next to Snow Hill for £2.15, bargain. A queuing system is in place for the tour, and Sprinter (Martin) joins us. An interesting idea with issuing wristbands for those of us on the tour, saves us all getting out tickets all day. Which it turned out would have been a lot of times, I reckon it must have been 10 checks or more during the day. 150001 and 150106 were the motive power for the day, and we leave 3 minutes late on the revised start time of 0757. A required micro-grice comes in straight away as we leave platform 3 and take the crossover to the Down line. Felt very strange going non-stop through Jewellry Quarter and The Hawthorns, never done that before. An enjoyable run to Worcester is had, where a lot of people joined us, and we're all looking forward to the run UP the Lickey Incline. Sadly the loop at Bromsgrove is out, and we are held at Stoke Works Junction for a Voyager to charge on past.

    Our run up the Lickey Incline goes well, and we apparently top the bank at 34mph, not bad at all. We're routed to New Street via the Camp Hill line, something else I hadn't done before on a 150. Departure from the hole is accompanied by lots of horn blasting, the trip being quite loud to Walsall throughout. More required track for the class to Perry Barr West Junction too, and we reach our first photo stop at Walsall on time at 1035. 5 minutes later, we depart with more horns on time. On Bescot, I note 08428, 56115, 56xxx (I've got it in my notebook, but not my trip report), 56091, 66012 and 66055. We're back to New Street via Aston this time, and after a crew change it's more horn blasting. Leaving New Street will never be the same now, until the 170 farewell I suspect :lol:

    We're following a 172 now, so some slow running involved. We get the Down loop at Rowley Regis in the book, and a slow run to Kidderminster continues. Those who wished to have a break could re-join the train at Kidderminster Town later, unsurprisingly most people appeared to stay on for the turnback siding and crossovers onto the SVR. A photo stop is had at Kidderminster Town, and the first leg stretch break for most of us since Walsall. The journey up the SVR, whilst noisy, was a bit dull. Could just be that I was really hungry by now though, having not had enough time in Kidderminster to find food to devour. The buffet being in 150106 (that seemed weird, a buffet of sorts on a DMU, and still seems weird!) meant I couldn't be bothered to get anything off there either. Arrival at Bridgnorth allowed those who wanted to get started on some drinking in the pub could, but again a lot of us wanted the rather rare track beyond the station. I'd done it up to just past the crossover before on a driver experience course, so the bit beyond there was definitely required for me. Must have been quite some time since a passenger train last did that, and on our return to the station an announcement is made to say our train was the all-stations service from Shrewsbury! I was a bit confused about that for a few minutes, then realised that of course if the SVR line still ran to Shrewsbury our train could easily have been such a working.

    Lunchtime finally, and a bacon and sausage sandwich is devoured for £2.90. Not cheap in my book, but mmm! That went down well, considering that I'd only had a ham sandwich at Walsall and that bacon roll for any real food since the light snack meal I'd had from Morrisons the day before! :shock: I'm sure a couple of people on here could confirm that I like my food, so quite shocking really! It's photo and video time before we leave 1 minute late at 1431. The southbound trip is far better in my eyes, probably because I'm not hungry anymore, despite the lengthy stop at Hampton Loade awaiting a steam-hauled service going north. Straight back to the mainline this time, and since we're not following anything our trip is much more like it used to be on normal passenger services on 150, that is fast. We use the goods loop at Stourbridge Junction, another required micro-grice. As we pass Cradley Heath, I almost forget we're going up Old Hill Bank, and shove the camcorder on quick. It's not quite the same going up here without a stop at Cradley Heath, but it did me just fine. Rowley Regis Up loop is also got as planned, yet another micro-grice required! We stop at Snow Hill for a quick crew change before heading onwards with a non-stop run through Moor Street, most unusual and none of my group (James, Martin and I) had ever done that before!

    The Down and Up Goods Line is done through the Small Heath area, a most welcome addition to the Quail, before we traverse the Down Through Siding (not the Up Through Siding as we thought at the time). Unfortunately, that's all we did at Tyseley and we have plenty of time to wait for a path back onto the mainline. Whilst here, 08616 and 172215 were noted and we leave 7 minutes early at 1658 for a fast run to Leamington Spa. Beyond Dorridge, I'd never done a 150 to Leamington so quite pleased about finally doing that. Much noise from the engines to get us out of the way of the frequent LM, Chiltern and XC services gets us to Leamington Spa for 1728 and the first break since Bridgnorth. Must admit it didn't feel as long as the wait from Walsall to Kidderminster Town or Bridgnorth, oddly. I consider a coffee move from the Pumpkin on the Birmingham platform, but pass for some reason. Considering I've only had one coffee all day, I don't know why I did that. We leave again at 1751 for Stratford-upon-Avon, a line that doesn't see 150s too often between Hatton East and Bearley Junction, with exception for that once-a-day trip from Birmingham in the morning that uses Hatton North Curve.

    A noisy and fast trip sees us arrive in the Warwickshire terminus at 1814, 1 minute down. We consider Morrisons, but I seriously doubt this to be a good idea. It can be done in time, but when you run the risk of missing your train it's not a good idea. When it's a normal passenger train, generally you're OK but a special like this, not so! I get a coffee and a fudge flapjack for £3.05, not as much as I had wanted for tea but it'll do for now, as the queue was long and I still needed my photos and video. Martin had gone to the auction for a LM blind, which he won for £40. I'd expected it to go for far more than that! We leave again promptly at 1843 and lots of noise accompanies our departure from here for what will be the last time in a long time for me. Not rushing back here on 172s that's for sure! We rush up the North Warwickshire line and go non-stop through all the stations, although Spring Road was a bit touch and go for a moment! We're then held before Tyseley for a while, then get routed into the station for another hold up. Some 172s and at least one 168 get routed ahead of us, strange since we're on time and I think we had been slightly early. Passing the depot again means we can ID the other 172/2s that were there but not ID'able earlier, those being 172220 and 172221.

    James leaves us for an XC trip back to the Gateway to the South West, whilst Martin has discovered he can stay on the whole way with me and go home via Worcester and not have to leave at Smethwick Galton Bridge as originally planned. James lets us know that he had made the now tight connection and got a winner 220 home, and we left Snow Hill with plenty of horning. Going to be mighty odd up there from here on in doing 172 leaps! We're stuck behind a 172 all the way to Kidderminster, and we lose lots of time, with the biggest delay at one point being 32 minutes late. Still, the racket was enjoyed all the way and we arrived into Shrub Hill 12 hours and 43 minutes after leaving Snow Hill at the start of the tour, arriving at 2043 and 28 minutes late. The ECS is deafening with the horn action, with the engines making an equally loud amount of noise! 150109 is seen on the 2052 to Dorridge, shame neither Martin or I could do it. We get our first 172/2 in the book though for the 50 chain leap to Foregate Street, and on this trip at least there was no Voyager imitations from the 172!

    Martin leaves on the 2111 to London, and I retreat to the nearby Tesco Express for tea, consisting tonight of a chicken, bacon and stuffing sandwich, KitKat and a can of Coke for £2.50. Time soon flies by and 170633 produces to take me home on the 2150 to Hereford. I devour my tea, then get cracking on this trip report. We arrive into Hereford at 2228, 6 minutes up, and Keane's This Is The Last Time is played for the final part of the journey as this was the last time I would travel using a Y-P railcard. Could never have predicted that my last ever ticket would be a single from Ledbury to Hereford for £3.50. A quiet toast to the good times had was made whilst waiting for the bus home, then continue writing this up and join YE52 FHA on the 2317 home, leaving 3 minutes early. It still takes me until Credenhill to get to the final summary, which is: Absolutely stunning day, well worth the £21 fare with the 12 hours and 43 minutes generally flying by! Even the rather hefty delay didn't annoy me, and the mileage is going to be great! The rest of the journey was spent thinking of objectives for 2012, as my battery has expired in my MP3 player. A great trip all in, and the final score for the bash being 9/10. Couldn't get much better, although I'm looking forward to getting to bed now as it's been a long day! Some stats then:

    Total mileage for the day: 282m02c
    Highest mileage on one train: 252.7 miles on 150001+150106
    Lowest mileage on one train: 0m50c on 172217
    Best bit of the trip: The noise up the Lickey
    Worst bit of the trip: The delays at Tyseley
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