WCML traction, saturday?

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ash39

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I'm thinking of going to Crewe or Preston on Saturday, probably for the afternoon. Preston is slightly easier, but I'm expecting Crewe to be slightly busier in terms of trains per hour?

Anyway, I'm particularly interested in stuff you don't see often on the east coast. 90's and 92's in particular. Where would be best to go, or it is much the same?

Any particular workings/timings to look out for would be fantastic as well.

I could switch to Sunday as well but assuming Saturday will be much busier.
 
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YorkshireBear

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Whenever i have been to crewe freight has been diverted underneath and i have seen very little in the station. Unless your in the car and going near crewe rather than to the station i think preston, but i am not very knowledgeable on WCML that is just my few experiences.
 

Phil6219

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Well if you get there in the morning you will catch not one but two steam railtours with both the Duchess of Sutherland & The Earl of Mount Edgecumbe heading up to Scotland.

The Duchess Timings

The Earl Timings

As it's steam I really recommend avoiding large stations, most steam cranks are insane and have no consideration for themselves (by doing stupid things) nor have they consideration for anyone else all in the name of getting their perfect shot. I nearly had a fight at York after dragging 3 people out of my already crowded shot, not to mention standing for 2 hours in the same spot for someone to get right infront.

As for the freight, Crewe is a bad location as has been pointed out most of the freight travels under the station on the avoiding lines. WBQ would be a better location but will be crowded for the steam, Wigan NW is where I'm heading to (as usual) as it does offer a fair amount of freight over the course of the day as well as the odd light engine move (or convoy). It will be busy because of the steam but is nowhere near as bad as Crewe, WBQ or Preston when it comes to the nutters.

As for the steam, the Duchess is going north and south on Saturday the Earl is heading back on the Sunday.

If it's 92s you want then one is booked to run on a Saturday, its the 4S43 Tesco Express and runs later on a Saturday so you could get it north of crewe (uses the avoiding line), due through WNW around 09:40. Other than that freight wise it's 66s and 70s though if the flasks runs you could be looking at a mix of 20s, 37s, 47s or 57s working in pairs although sometimes they stick sheds on it.

Worth pointing out that this stuff is all in the morning too & avoid Sunday as freight is almost none-existent.

Hope this helps.

Phil 8-)
 

ash39

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It's a shame the steam trains are running, as I have no interest and the thought of idiots puts me off. However, I've now got a game of 5-a-side in the afternoon in Leeds, so I'm going to go early morning and come back in the afternoon. My train gets there for 9:32, so should be plenty of time for the Tesco train. Thanks for the tip off by the way!

Anyone any idea which platform is best to shoot it from?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Have you thought of Lancaster?
Nicer to idle around at, better views (the overall roof gets in the way at Preston), quieter.
Last time I looked there were messy platform extension works at WBQ and WNW.
 

ash39

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It's a good shout, I used to go there with my mum as a kid. Could start at Preston and move on to Lancaster, I don't think I could get to Lancaster in time for the Tesco train.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Definitely going to go to Lancaster, only adds a couple of quid onto the ticket and can ride a Pendolino for the first time. Plus the views are nicer as you say, and the station will bring back great memories of Morecambe trips as a kid! There was no direct Leeds-Morecambe train back in the late 90's, or it took ages, can't remember, so we used to change at Preston and Lancaster.

Only thing that'd top off the day is a class 90, no freightliner booked 90's on a Saturday then? Do they even make it that far north? What do DBS do with theirs apart from the sleepers, I imagine they can only really use them on the great eastern/WCML lines, so where do they get to?
 

Johnuk123

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It's a shame the steam trains are running, as I have no interest and the thought of idiots puts me off.

Having no interest in steam is up to you, labelling all steam enthusiasts as idiots is wrong.

I think that you will find just as many so called idiots are diesel/electric
fans.
 

Phil6219

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The "idiots" thing is me, I said it first however my actual words were that a number of them were inconsiderate both to themselves and others by doing insane things to get their perfect shot. Recently at York some prat was sat with his legs hanging off the edge of the platform where only a few minutes earlier we had all got caught out by an approaching 225 set... On the contrary a fair number are considerate and ensure that they are not in anyone's shot and are a nice bunch. That said there probably are some bad eggs when it comes to non-steam traction but so far I have not met any. I do know that when there are railtours with the likes of a Deltic, Western or Hoover a few idiots turn up in the crowd, just there seems to be a higher proportion with Steam.

For the record I love steam and will be out on Saturday to shoot the two tours.

Back to freight...

Freightliner don't have any booked workings for 90s along the northern section of the WCML, they do operate north of Crewe but only to Ditton and that area south of Warrington. They do however operate 86s in pairs along the northern Section of the line, though there are none booked to run on a Saturday. The 86s run on weekday evenings, quite a few turns too.

DBS 90's also stay south of WBQ as they run as far as Garston, sometimes a 92 will sub in on this working. The Scotrail sleeper is the only booked 90 turn, of which there are a couple per night (I think it's one each way).

90's are a rare thing on the northern section of the WCML, you will see plenty south of Crewe. If Freightliner have a problem on one of their standard FL services then they could sub a 90 in place.

Don't forget light engine moves, these are typically random so are not listed on freight timetables. On a Saturday there is usually an EWS movement northbound though Wigan (I don't know how far north it goes) and DRS have a movement south to Crewe. With DRS they would normally stick the extra locos on the flasks (hence why there are sometimes 4+ locos on the flasks) but should they not run DRS will just send the light engines.

I would recommend taking a day off and heading either north of Crewe (like Acton Bridge) or south of Crewe (no stations till Stafford though) as you will get plenty of traction. I should point out that on a Wednesday the China Clay train heads north behind a 92 and a 92 heads through Manchester on a Wednesday (as well as Monday & Friday), well I say that it normally does as it's a 66 today :(

Once again though the idiot thing was my fault, my apologies.

Phil 8-)
 

Johnuk123

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The "idiots" thing is me, I said it first however my actual words were that a number of them were inconsiderate both to themselves and others by doing insane things to get their perfect shot. Recently at York some prat was sat with his legs hanging off the edge of the platform where only a few minutes earlier we had all got caught out by an approaching 225 set... On the contrary a fair number are considerate and ensure that they are not in anyone's shot and are a nice bunch. That said there probably are some bad eggs when it comes to non-steam traction but so far I have not met any. I do know that when there are railtours with the likes of a Deltic, Western or Hoover a few idiots turn up in the crowd, just there seems to be a higher proportion with Steam.

For the record I love steam and will be out on Saturday to shoot the two tours.

Back to freight...

Freightliner don't have any booked workings for 90s along the northern section of the WCML, they do operate north of Crewe but only to Ditton and that area south of Warrington. They do however operate 86s in pairs along the northern Section of the line, though there are none booked to run on a Saturday. The 86s run on weekday evenings, quite a few turns too.

DBS 90's also stay south of WBQ as they run as far as Garston, sometimes a 92 will sub in on this working. The Scotrail sleeper is the only booked 90 turn, of which there are a couple per night (I think it's one each way).

90's are a rare thing on the northern section of the WCML, you will see plenty south of Crewe. If Freightliner have a problem on one of their standard FL services then they could sub a 90 in place.

Don't forget light engine moves, these are typically random so are not listed on freight timetables. On a Saturday there is usually an EWS movement northbound though Wigan (I don't know how far north it goes) and DRS have a movement south to Crewe. With DRS they would normally stick the extra locos on the flasks (hence why there are sometimes 4+ locos on the flasks) but should they not run DRS will just send the light engines.

I would recommend taking a day off and heading either north of Crewe (like Acton Bridge) or south of Crewe (no stations till Stafford though) as you will get plenty of traction. I should point out that on a Wednesday the China Clay train heads north behind a 92 and a 92 heads through Manchester on a Wednesday (as well as Monday & Friday), well I say that it normally does as it's a 66 today :(

Once again though the idiot thing was my fault, my apologies.

Phil 8-)

You have no need to apologise, I have been an enthusiast since school days in the late 1960's and have seen some real stupidness.

My point is simple, in my opinion all types of traction fans have a small number who are at the very least irresponsible.
 

ash39

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Met four steam enthusiasts at various points throughout the morning at both Preston and Lancaster, all of them came and spoke to me and asked if I was there for the steam. Very friendly bunch and didn't see any people misbehaving at all although when I left Preston for Lancaster after the 92 came through there was a large crowd gathering on the end of the platform.

Had a great day out, left my house in York by car at 7:15, got the York-Blackpool train from New Pudsey (explain why in a minute) at 8:00. Saw 92036 pass through Preston on the Tesco train at bang on 10am. Then jumped on 390051 to Lancaster and spent a couple of hours there, before heading back via the same route to Pudsey where I had a game of five a side at 4pm. Then headed home, changed and went out for dinner with my fiance to the Sidings hotel so got some WCML and ECML action in one day! Not to mention a great pizza.

I'll stick some photos up in a bit, weather was great but possibly a bit too sunny (can it be??) for photos.
 
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