York to see Flying Scotsman and visit the NRM 10.5.16

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ryan125hst

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Afternoon all!

I'm going to York tomorrow to see Flying Scotsman take over The Cathedrals Express between York and Newcastle. Also of interest is The Atlantic Star hauled by a Class 86 or 87 and the unveiling of 66779 in a special livery as it is the last Class 66 to be built. This will be on display in the Great Hall at the National Railway Museum throughout the afternoon, and I intend to spend the time that I am not looking round the station in there as there are bound to be a few changes since I last went back in September owing to Flying Scotsman's return to the mainline.

For the first time, I intend to give live updates on my Twitter account @ryan125hst. I have chosen the hashtag #scotsmanreturns for the trip. I was tempted to try doing a video diary type thing that seems to be popular on YouTube at the minute, but as I will be going with a mate from uni who isn't a rail enthusiast but is interested in coming along, I've decided not to do this tomorrow. I might do it one day however.

I will be taking my camcorder along so I hope to upload a few videos of the trip and I'll try and get a trip report uploaded shortly afterwards.

The weather isn't looking as good as it has been over the last few days but hopefully it will be reasonable. It'll be a busy day and I hope all goes to plan.
 
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ryan125hst

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I've got around to editing and uploading my videos from the day. The main video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kHRBwvB7ck

For those of you who only want to watch my videos of Flying Scotsman, you can also find these shorter videos on my channel.

I haven't gotten around to writing my trip report yet as I've been busy spending time with or helping my family. Hopefully I'll get chance to write and post it within the next few days.
 

Kristofferson

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Oh excellent, will be sure to check it out and follow you on Twitter :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Techniquest

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I believe I follow you on Twitter (@Techniquest2003 is my handle), but didn't know you were doing a hashtag. I must rectify this and have a nosy!
 

ryan125hst

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Oh excellent, will be sure to check it out and follow you on Twitter :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you! I don't know when I'll be doing a trip again with a hashtag. I am considering going to see Flying Scotsman at the Shildon Shed Bash but it isn't as easy to get to by train so I don't know for sure yet.

Techniquest said:
I believe I follow you on Twitter (@Techniquest2003 is my handle), but didn't know you were doing a hashtag. I must rectify this and have a nosy!

You do indeed (and I follow you as well :D). I'll let you know when I do another one :)
 

ryan125hst

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Apologies for the delay to my trip report- I still haven't got it done yet :oops: I have started it and have got around half way through it. I really should just crack on with it and get it finished shouldn't I!

In the meantime, here are some videos that I recorded of Flying Scotsman that you might be interested to watch (I've already linked to my channel, but I'll post the links to the actual videos now to make it easier for you to find them quickly):

Flying Scotsman arriving into York before departure for Newcastle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8jDqRLSMJw

Flying Scotsman departing York for Newcastle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1-OfkNbpQU

Flying Scotsman returns to York from Newcastle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIaGWaIANfI

Flying Scotsman departs for Holgate sidings:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxYd5cJfNUo

Also, here is Flying Scotsman at Retford heading to Southall depot on Thursday 20th May having failed the previous day with an injector problem. The tour ended up being diesel hauled in both directions, but luckily Flying Scotsman was repaired in time for her to head south in the same path the following day in readiness for hauling a railtour out of London Paddington on the Saturday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncz-qfQtQvI
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It’s taken me a while to get round to getting this written so sorry for the delay, but here is my trip report from the day I went up to York to see Flying Scotsman, the first time I had seen her in steam for over a decade.

It was an early start as I had set my alarm for 6:30am. My Mum dropped me off near the station while on the way to drop my sister off at school. I had my camcorder with me and a rucksack with my phone charger and a couple of power banks as I knew my phone wouldn’t last the day otherwise (does anyone else who has an iPhone have similar issues?). I had spent quite a bit of time planning for the day as it would involve coming back on the penultimate train of the day and I was meeting up with Joe, someone who is on my course and who I am living with next year. He’s not a rail enthusiast, but he seemed interested when I was talking to him about railway signalling a few months back so I thought I’d invite him along, which he agreed. I didn’t even know the times of the railtour Flying Scotsman was hauling at this point such was the secrecy of it all as a result of the trespassing issues on the inaugural run back in February.

I arrived at the station in plenty of time, purchased my ticket for £27.40 (thank goodness I have a railcard as it would have been £41.50 otherwise- the price has definitely increased a lot in the last eight years!) and headed through the subway to platform 2. This was to be the first time I had used Virgin Trains East Coast as I hadn’t been on the ECML since I went to York with a relative in December 2014! Network Rail’s new Track Maintenance Train was sat in the down sidings with its generator running and staff about. A fence has been built next to the track for platform 2 and a gate has been added at the mainline access end (if that makes sense?) presumably to keep the Network Rail staff away from the running lines while working on the machine. They also seem to have removed the sidings that were furthest away from the platform, leaving only the electrified siding remaining. I’m not exactly sure what this machine does (I know it maintains the track, but how?) and what the guys were up to at half 8 in the morning. Maybe someone more in the know can fill me in?

It got to 8:46 and my train to York arrived from London, with 91101 “Flying Scotsman” quite appropriately providing the motive power for the journey. It wasn’t too busy so I found a seat straight away. I recorded out the window as we set off for York as I haven’t done before and with the 225’s being replaced by IEP’s within the next few years, time is running out to do this really. I looked over towards Retford Oaks Academy as we passed as it was the school which I attended and my sister was there at that time, what with it being a week day, working hard to prepare for her GCSE’s (20 exams she’s got, bless her! I only had about 13 five years ago so she’s got it tougher than me!).

We were soon accelerating towards Doncaster and I stopped filming for a bit to enjoy the journey before recording again shortly before we started to slow down for the station stop. Shortly after I started recording, the train seemed to hit a rough bit of track as it was repeatedly making a strange noise and shaking slightly (it’s difficult to describe to it’ll probably be clearer if you watch my video). I think the carriage I was in did have a minor wheel flat, but it was quiet and didn’t affect the ride at all, whereas this section of track (just before and after Rossington level crossing I think) seemed very rough but then after around 40 seconds this ended. We then arrived into Doncaster, with a Network Rail test train visible, and set off for York shortly afterwards. I saw a Class 08 shunter at Wabtec along with some other carriages, although I don’t recall seeing anything unusual about that isn’t normally there. The train always seems to leave Doncaster quite slowly but once it has gone through the neutral section and over the level crossing, it picks up speed until it gets to 125 mph. Nothing of note at this point really until I spotted Colton Junction and decided to film the arrival into York.

Having arrived into platform 6 at York, I got off the train and walked to the front to take a few photos (including a selfie!) of the locomotive given its name and the purpose of the day. Looking over to platform 10, I noticed a CrossCountry Voyager in the platform and so realised that Joe had probably arrived and so walked to the footbridge and headed over to the platform. Before I got there I noticed him turning off the stairs and towards the NRM and he had someone else with him- it was Ben, another of our course mates who also happens to be living with me next year. I had considered inviting him but as he has said on a few occasions that he isn’t fond of public transport and prefers to drive as he has a car, I didn’t think he would be interested. Despite this, I had been feeling guilty for not inviting him over the weekend so I got a pleasant surprise when I saw that he had come along as well. It turns out that Joe had mentioned it to him and he had decided to come along. Unfortunately for both of them, their CrossCountry train (the 08:22 from Sheffield via Leeds, a service from Birmingham New Street to Edinburgh) was packed as usual and they had to sit on the floor outside the toilet- that’s hardly going to convince Ben to use the train more is it! I took them back to platform 6 to see 91101 which allowed Joe to take a better photo of me next to the loco than I managed to get on my phone. We then headed over the footbridge to the NRM to wait for it to open.

I had picked up the times that Flying Scotsman was due in York from Realtime Trains on the journey there so I decided to show them the Station Hall first before heading to the station to watch her depart. We looked at the goods trains, at the Class 87, went in the Mark 2 carriage and the mail carriage and looked at the Royal coaches, with both of them asking me many questions to test my knowledge which I’m pleased to say I managed to answer the majority of them! Flying Scotsman was due to get into York just before 12pm having been attached to the train at Holgate sidings, replacing two Class 47’s that hauled the train to York from London. At around half past 11, I suggested we head back over to the station which we did, giving time for us to grab a quick snack as I was getting a bit peckish. I tried to get a chocolate bar out of one of the vending machines, but three unaccepted coins later and I decided to go to Pumpkin café- a good decision as I saved 12p doing this! We then headed over to platform 11 as Realtime Trains was showing that it was the booked platform. This was confirmed by the presence of a TV camera and of the BTP.

She arrived a few minutes late and the platform was packed, which made getting a good video a bit more tricky. We walked down the platform for a closer look at Flying Scotsman. I managed to take a few quick photos and a bit of video of her as I kept one eye on the signal. All too soon, and before I had really been able to take in the fact that it was the first time I had seen that loco in steam in over a decade, the signal cleared and she set off for Newcastle, slipping slightly on the damp rails.

Knowing that there was a railtour due from London hauled by a Class 87, a loco that I’d only ever seen working in videos online, within the next half an hour, we waited on the platform for it to arrive. I recorded its arrival into York with its long rake of Riviera trains Mark 1’s and headed to the front to take a few photos of it. I noticed that a few people were being allowed into the cab for a photo and my mates encouraged me to go and see if I could as well. As I bent down to put my camcorder away in my rucksack, an elderly gentleman told me that I had had my time to take photos and to let other people get there photos. I wouldn’t have minded if he had asked politely, but he said it in a rude manor and I was only seconds away from moving anyway. One of my mates replied to him that “it was only a bloody photograph!” which I don’t think went down too well! I was grateful of him for sticking up for me though (I didn’t say anything and just moved out the way). It seems that some enthusiasts think they own the platform and moan if someone is in the way of their shot. A polite “do you mind if I squeeze past for a quick photo” or something along those lines would have been far better. Having been made to feel unwelcome by him and now realising that those getting into the cab were well dressed and so had probably come off the train, I decided we should head off. I took a few photos of the train from the steps up to the bridge and from platform 9. We then bought some lunch from the Pumpkin Café before heading back to the Station Hall at the NRM to find somewhere to eat it.

After eating lunch, we continued to look around the Royal Trains in the Station Hall that we had looked at quickly before rushing to see Flying Scotsman. We then headed out to the South Yard where I noticed that although York theatre have moved and the associated structure had been removed, those old learning coaches (I think that’s what they were called?) still weren’t back in position. We looked at what we could see and looked through the windows of the signal box there. We then noticed that someone was going into The Depot despite another of the doors being barriered off. Having spoken to this older guy who was looking in, we came to the conclusion that the door was unlocked and the wasn’t a sign on the door saying we weren’t allowed in, so we went in for a look as it’s normally open. A few more people followed us in, but it became clear once we got to the other side that we probably weren’t meant to be in there as there were things left on the floor that normally would have been moved out the way! (I can’t remember what was left on the floor now as I’ve been so slow in getting on with writing this up. It was probably paint and stuff for refurbishing trains, or maybe something for catering. I can’t remember now if I’m honest, and I didn’t take any photos in there so I’ve got no way of checking). Now feeling a bit uncomfortable, we left and headed for the miniature railway, noticing a confused member of staff heading for the open door shortly after we left. If anyone on here reading this works at the NRM, I apologise for going in there if I wasn’t supposed to. However, I’d advise you to keep the door locked and put a sign on the door to make it clear as I certainly wouldn’t have gone in if that was the case.

Joe had wanted to go on the miniature railway since early that morning after a member of NRM staff had mentioned it to him, and after I went to the toilet I found he had bought us all a ticket! It’s not something I normally go on as it’s aimed at kids really, but it’s been extended in recent years and gave a good view of an old steam crane, a ballast wagon and a couple of Class 47’s as well as a Class 08 shunter. They have definitely done a good job of this new layout, even if I can’t recall ever going on the old one!

Next, we headed to the gallery which was home of Starring Scotsman, telling the story of the famous locomotive and included a few items on loan such as the cow catcher, bell and headlight used when she went to America and the headboard from when she visited Australia. I really enjoyed what was on display in the gallery so it’s a shame that it’s only a temporary exhibition. We then headed over to the Great Hall where I suggested heading to The Works first.

We went to the works where Sir Nigel Gresley was on display, or rather part of her was, as it was really just the frames, wheels and cab, with the streamlining frames elsewhere in the depot, as was the tender. Presumably the boiler has gone elsewhere for refurbishment. There was also a Class 20 undergoing overhaul. My mates were particularly interested in the equipment used in the works as they are both involved in formula student, where a team designs, builds and tests a racing car which is raced against cars from other universities. As you can imagine, the equipment in The Works was a bit bigger than what they are used to and they spotted one or two clever design features of the equipment there as well. We then moved along to the area which shows how signalling works, and I tried my best to explain to them how mechanical signalling works with the bell codes, and also spoke to them about four aspect signalling. I also took them to the live signalling feed to show them the modern way of railway signalling. Signalling is an area that I’m particularly interested in and it links to Electrical and Electronic Engineering as well, so I thought I should explain how it all works as well as I could in the limited time we could spend there as there was so much to cram into the day!

I knew they wouldn’t be too fussed about watching trains from the balcony so I then took them to The Warehouse where we were particularly impressed by a design of train from over a hundred years ago that used only two wheels and gyroscopes! We also had a laugh at Flying Dutchmen, the name of a locomotive that we happened to spot by chance. It just so happened that the day I suggested to Joe that we should go and see Flying Scotsman, he later mistakenly called it Flying Dutchman. Seeing a model of Flying Dutchman made his day! The found The Warehouse fascinating, but they left me behind in there after I got talking to a guy who happens to know Tuxford where my Grandparents live and knows someone who lives in Darlton just down the road from there. We started by talking about Deltics but I ended up finding out he spent his life working as a truck driver and still has a HGV licence even though he’s in his 80’s! Apparently, trucks were limited to 20mph until the 60’s- I never knew that! I turned around at one point to speak to my mates and they’d wandered off! I was text to tell me they had headed off to see the bullet train.

I headed to the Great Hall to meet them, going via 66779 to get a few photos of the loco as it had just been named Evening Star and was positioned next to the steam loco of the same name. I walked through the bullet train only to find that they’d not been in yet- they’d not left long before me but had had a quick look at the impressive locomotive that had been built for China- it’s huge! We then looked at the variety of locos in the Great Hall, and I made sure to get a photo of the Stirling Single and the Ivaat locomotive. I didn’t take many photos on the day as I only had my phone, but as those locos operated on the East Coast Main Line, I thought that I should. We then had a look on the footplate of Mallard where I challenged Ben and Joe to name the controls which they didn’t quite get right but they’re getting there! I was also shocked to find that the NRM has been suffering from thefts recently, including a case where copper had been stolen from Coppernob, one of the steam locos in the Great Hall. The staff were walking round when they heard a sawing sound and found someone trying to steal the copper directly off the loco! They’ve suffered other thefts as well apparently. I’m appalled that some people walked in to a free museum and treat historic locomotives in this way!

We then had time to take a few selfies of us all from the footbridge and for Joe to buy a few things from the gift shop (he loves gift shops apparently) before heading out of the NRM, the time now being around half five. We decided we should get something to eat, but my Mum was cooking me something for when I got home plus my train choices were limited owning to the small number of trains that stop at Retford on the ECML. We decided to head into York for some chips to keep us going (and very nice they were too!). The weather was awful by this point as it was chucking it down with rain. We headed back to the station just in time for the famous locomotive to reappear.

It was around twenty past six when Flying Scotsman arrived from Newcastle. We quickly headed to the front where I managed to grab a few photos. It was very tricky to get a photo of myself with the loco as there were loads of people about as you can imagine. However, Joe managed to get a fantastic photo of me next to her name plate. And just in time because before long, she uncoupled from the rest of the train, with the cylinder cocks open and making a lot of noise, and she headed off to Holgate sidings a few minutes later. I noticed that Realtime Trains was saying she was due to run through platform 9 with her support coach, so we headed over there to wait. I said to my mates that she’s bound to end up going through 11 as I’ve seen videos of steam trains going through there before on the way to the NRM. Sure enough, after a CrossCountry Voyager had departed, I heard a noise that sounded a bit like a steam engine. Looking through the windows of the railtour coaches confirmed it was Flying Scotsman! I raced down to the north end of the platform (my mates decided not to bother as they were getting a bit “trained out” by this point!) so I could grab a quick video of her returning to the NRM.

With the day almost over, we decided to get a quick drink before we headed home as my train wasn’t until half past 7, and there train minutes afterwards. We walked to Starbucks for a drink, a sit down and a chat before we parted ways and headed home. I noticed here that my phone was refusing to connect to the internet despite having a decent connection of three or four bars, yet I could ring Joe no problem (we are both on Three and I think he was also having internet issues). I wanted to use the internet to check on the trains and send a few tweets. The weird thing was that if I walked outside of Starbucks using the back door and headed towards the station entrance, I could get online once I got to the area where the station narrows between two retail units (hopefully this makes sense if you’ve ever been to the main entrance of York station). I lost connection again once I sat back down with them in Starbucks. As someone who is studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering and who is interested in communications, this has definitely puzzled me. Can anyone give any answers to this strange phenomenon?

With 19:31 approaching, we headed onto the platform to check the departure boards. My train was to depart from platform 5, and theirs was to depart from platform 3. I waited with them on platform 3 until the delayed northbound Virgin Trains HST for Edinburgh departed before I headed over to the footbridge. My train soon arrived which I boarded (the 19:31 to London which I’d be taking as far as Doncaster) and I noticed the CrossCountry Voyager arrive into platform 3 that would be taking my mates back to Sheffield (the 19:36 to Birmingham) as my train started to depart. My train was running slightly late which made me worry a bit as the connection onto the Hull Train service I would be taking back to Retford wasn’t the most generous, but I needn’t have worried as I found out from Realtime Trains that it was running late as well.

Having arrived into platform 3 at Doncaster, I walked over to platform 1 from where the Hull Trains service was due to depart. A freight train trundled though with what appeared to be a rubbish train (I know they exist but didn’t realise they go through Doncaster). The CrossCountry service that my mates were on then arrived so I could have got to Doncaster on the same train as them after all, but it wasn’t an official connection and if everything was on time I would have had only a couple of minutes to change and I didn’t fancy waiting until gone 9pm for the last train of the night back to Retford (my train was due into Doncaster at 19:53, the CrossCountry train at 19:58 and the Hull Trains service was due to depart at 20:03).

The Hull Trains service arrived about 7 minutes late which I boarded, the service departing in the rain and darkening skies. We sped past the freight train just outside Doncaster station and I noticed two Class 47’s returning the railtour that Flying Scotsman was on waiting for us to pass at Loversall Carr Junction. I arrived back into Retford at 20:22 and was picked up by my Dad which saved me walking home, to where I was welcomed by pie and veg for dinner.

It was a great but tiring day (I felt tired all the following day) and my mates Ben and Joe seemed to enjoy it despite them not being rail enthusiasts, although as I said, they were a bit “trained out” by the end of the day! They even said that they would consider joining me again on a similar day once they’d had time to recover- they’re brave aren’t they!

I hope you enjoyed reading this trip report. Apologies for it taking so long for me to get round to doing it- my family have been keeping me busy at home!

I welcome all comments on it, good or bad, and feel free to ask questions also.

Ryan
 

Techniquest

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Better late than never! A long read but it sure kept me busy and entertained, most detailed as well :)

I've not watched the videos yet, but will try to do so soon. Maybe once I get home!

Know the feeling about always being busy!
 

fishquinn

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Sounds like a really fun day! The 87 was by far the best thing you saw by the way ;)!
 

ryan125hst

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was it one of these that you saw:

Darlington by DarloRich2009, on Flickr

It was indeed, yes, and thanks for the description on your photo. Is it a one off or have several been built? EDIT: I've just found a news article by the railway gazette saying that eight have been built.

fishquinn said:
Sounds like a really fun day! The 87 was by far the best thing you saw by the way !

It certainly was! It was tiring as well though and it's a shame the weather wasn't a bit better!

It was great to see the 87 given that it was the first time I had ever seen one working. They certainly are great locos!
 
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