SRPS Railtours in 2005
Charter from Newcastle to Oban on 2 May 2005
The first trip for the SRPS Railtours train in 2005 was a charter to North East Railtours. This eleven coach train ran from Newcastle to Oban and was double-headed by Royal Scotsman liveried 37 416 and EWS 37 417 Richard Trevithick. The May Day Holiday weather was rather dull and cloudy on the outward journey, but it brightened up before the train reached Oban, and the return through the highlands was in evening sunshine. The outward journey was delayed by problems with the locomotives working in multiple and they were turned round at Edinburgh. This problem recurred on the return journey and as a result of a problem with the cab radio 66 026 was attached at Edinburgh for the remainder of the journey back to Newcastle. There were further delays around Morpeth due to a signal failure. Despite these problems many passengers thanked the SRPS volunteers for a very enjoyable excursion.
Glenrothes to Mallaig on 7 May 2005
This fully-booked nine coach train was double-headed from Glenrothes-with-Thornton to Fort William by EWS 37 401 Royal Scotsman and 37 416, both in Royal Scotsman livery. The weather was sunshine and showers with many clear views of lochs and snow-capped mountains. At Fort William 37 401 was replaced by 37 417 Richard Trevithick and the train was top-and-tailed between Fort William and Mallaig. For the return from Fort William the train was double-headed by 37 416 and 37 401, running non-stop through Glasgow Queen Street. The train ran close to time throughout the day and was a few minutes early back in Fife.
Dunbar to Kyle of Lochalsh on 28 May 2005
This fully-booked ten coach train was double-headed throughout by Royal Scotsman liveried 37 416 and EWS 37 417 Richard Trevithick. Despite the poor weather, the journey afforded numerous dramatic views of the mountains and lochs. The weather at Plockton was fine. Many herds of deer were viewed during the return journey. The only problem was a partial failure of the carriage watering facilities at Kyle of Lochalsh, and consequently the train was put into Inverness station to top-up the water tanks. This resulted in a delay of about twenty minutes at Edinburgh. Due to engineering works the train could not return to East Lothian and instead terminated at Brunstane where passengers transferred very easily to coaches.
Kilmarnock to Mallaig on 11 June 2005
This fully-booked nine coach train was double-headed from Kilmarnock to Fort William by EWS 37 401 Royal Scotsman and 37 416, both in Royal Scotsman livery. The train ran via Barrhead, the Hamilton Circle and non-stop through Glasgow Central. The train was 37 minutes late leaving Kilmarnock, but this time was recovered by Fort William. The weather throughout the day was excellent, and the train arrived back at Kilmarnock on time.
Kirkcaldy to Manchester on 18 June 2005
A large group of members of Diageo Retirement (Guinness/Distillers pensioners) boarded the train at Kirkcaldy for their annual rail excursion. The nine-coach train was hauled by EWS 67 008 from Kirkcaldy to Manchester Victoria. There was a half-hour delay shortly after leaving Kirkcaldy due to a signalling failure in the Burntisland area, but the time was recovered on the journey south. The weather was hot and sunny throughout the day. The train arrived back about ten minutes early.
Dundee to Mallaig on 6 August 2005
This nine coach train was top-and-tailed for the whole tour by West Coast Railways maroon liveried 47 854 and Inter-City liveried 47 826 Springburn. This was the first time that class 47 locomotives had worked a passenger train to Fort William and Mallaig and it was appropriate that both the locomotives were originally Scottish-based having been assigned to Haymarket when new. The occasion attracted large numbers of lineside photographers. For most of the journey the weather was excellent, particularly the evening colours on the return journey. This was the first occasion on which SRPS Railways had booked haulage through West Coast Railways. Timekeeping on the West Highland Line was marred by problems with the RETB signalling and some late running ScotRail services. On the return journey the locomotives performed excellently with the train being 25 minutes late leaving the West Highland Line and 20 minutes early arriving back at Dundee.
Charter from Aberdeen to Aviemore on 22 August 2005
A seven coach train was chartered by BP to convey conference delegates from Aberdeen & Dyce to Aviemore. The train was hauled by Inter-City liveried 47 826 Springburn. The interior of the train was decorated in an Indian theme for this journey, as illustrated in the photograph.
Grampian Railtours Charter on 28 August 2005
The eleven coach train was chartered for Grampian Railtours' excursion from Aberdeen to Kyle of Lochalsh. The train was double-headed by EWS 37 417 Richard Trevithick and Royal Scotsman liveried 37 401 The Royal Scotsman. The weather was poor for much of the day, but there were some bright spells, particularly on the return journey. Heavy rain meant that there were many spectacular waterfalls down the hillsides in Glen Carron and above Loch Carron.
Charter from Morpeth to Wemyss Bay on 17 September 2005
Nine SRPS Railtours coaches were chartered by North East Railtours. The train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways Royal Scotsman liveried 37 261 Loch Arkaig and 37 197 Loch Laidon, and ran via the Tyne Valley line, Carlisle and Beattock Summit. Most passengers took the option of a ferry trip to visit Rothesay on the Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde.
Edinburgh to Mallaig on 24 September 2005
This eight coach train, which ran via Shotts and Hamilton, was top-and-tailed for the whole tour by West Coast Railways maroon liveried 47 854 and Inter-City liveried 47 826 Springburn. Three carriages of the train were booked by a film company making a programme for German television. As well as filming on the train a helicopter filmed the train in the Glenfinnan area. The weather was cloudy but dry with clear views. Despite a delayed start from Edinburgh, time was recovered and on the return journey the train arrived back at Edinburgh over 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
Carlisle to Oban on 8 October 2005
This eight coach train, which ran via Dumfries, Kilmarnock and Glasgow Central Low Level, was double-headed by West Coast Railways Royal Scotsman liveried 37 261 Loch Arkaig and 37 197 Loch Laidon. The weather started wet, but brightened with sunny periods and showers, very good conditions to view the highlands from the comfort of a train, but perhaps not so convenient in showery Oban. On the outward journey the train was signalled through the wrong track at Kilmarnock meaning that the passengers boarding there had to catch a ScotRail service into Glasgow and join the train at Central Low Level. On the return journey there was a delay at Crianlarich due to signalling problems and consequently the train arrived back at Carlisle nearly forty minutes late.
Linlithgow to Lincoln on 2 December 2005
Once again the final railtour of the year was a Christmas Special to Lincoln. This was organised jointly with North East Railtours. The ten-coach train was hauled by EWS 67 004 Post Haste throughout. The weather was variable but, after an initial heavy shower, it remained dry for the rest of the visit to Lincoln. Passengers were able to visit the shops and attractions of the historic city and its famous Christmas Market. During the return journey Christmas Dinner was served to 200 of the passengers.