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SRPS Railtours 2010 Reports


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SRPS Railtours in 2010

Forth Circle steam specials on 18 April 2010
The eleven-coach train hauled by BR Britannia Class 70013 Oliver Cromwell comprised the locomotive, support coach and ten SRPS Railtours coaches. As last year there were two excursions round the Forth Circle. The morning train was from Linlithgow and the afternoon train from Dalmeny and Inverkeithing. Both trains were fully booked. The weather was cold and wet for the morning trip but cleared up and was mostly sunny for the afternoon train. 70013 performed excellently and the trains ran close to time throughout the day.

Charter from Newcastle to Oban on 3 May 2010
This 11-coach North East Railtours charter consisted of ten SRPS carriages and a West Coast Railways generator car to provide train heating. It was double headed by West Coast Railways 37 676 Loch Rannoch and 37 516. The weather was clear and mostly sunny throughout providing excellent views of the lochs and mountains along the West Highland Railway. The northbound journey was delayed by a late-running freight train but West Coast Railways and Network Rail were able to arrange for a later departure so that the time in Oban was not curtailed.

North Berwick to Mallaig on 8 May 2010
The fully-booked nine-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways 47 760 and 47 804 and ran close to schedule throughout the day. The weather was clear and sunny throughout giving excellent conditions for enjoying the spectacular views of the mountains, lochs and coast along the West Highland Railway. The first SRPS scenic excursion in 1970 ran from Falkirk to Mallaig so it was appropriate that a special headboard to mark this 40th anniversary was first carried on a train which called at Falkirk on its way to Mallaig.

North Berwick to Kyle of Lochalsh on 29 May 2010
This ten-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways 47 760 and 47 826. The weather was good for the outward journey with fine views of the mountains and herds of deer along the Highland Railway, although at Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh the weather was wet. The train ran close to schedule throughout the day.

Glenrothes with Thornton to Liverpool on 12 June 2010
SRPS Railtours were once again pleased to welcome aboard nearly 200 members of Diageo Retirement together with over 200 of our regular passengers. The ten-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by DB-Schenker (EWS liveried) 67 025 Western Star and 67 030. The weather was excellent both on the journey and during the afternoon in Liverpool where passengers took the opportunity to enjoy the many attractions of this famous city. Many headed for a trip on the ferry across the Mersey or visited the Beatles Experience and Cavern Club.

Charter from Almouth to Gourock on 19 June 2010
This nine-coach North East Railtours charter was top-and-tailed by West Coast Railways 47 760 and 47 826. The train ran via Newcastle, the Tyne Valley and Beattock and the weather was very hot and sunny. At Gourock most passengers took the ferry to Dunoon and the clear views of the Firth of Clyde and mountains were stunning.

 
Charter from Almouth to Weardale on 20 June 2010

The train was stabled overnight close to Alnmouth and on another hot sunny day ran via the East Coast Main Line to Darlington where it reversed to take the branch to Bishop Auckland. There it ran onto the Weardale Railway and after stopping briefly at the newly built platform ran along this attractive preserved line to Stanhope. There was about two hours to explore this small town by the River Wear in the Durham Dales before rejoining the train for the return journey.

Polmont to Broomhill Steam Special on 26 June 2010 hauled by 61994 The Great Marquess
The seven-coach train was hauled by West Coast Railways maroon 47 760 between Polmont and Perth. At Perth 61994 The Great Marquess took over and performed excellently as the train headed north over the Highland Line through Pitlochry and Blair Atholl then over Drumochter Summit to Aviemore. The weather was warm and dry with some sunshine and passengers were able to view the locomotive at several stations along the line. At Aviemore 61994 was turned on the turntable, then the train ran along the Strathspey Railway through Boat of Garten to the end of the line at Broomhill (Glenbogle in the BBC TV series Monarch of the Glen). Passengers were also able to travel on the Strathspey Railway service which was hauled by newly restored Caledonian Railway 0-6-0 locomotive No. 828. After returning to Aviemore with 61994 the SRPS Railtours train continued steam-hauled south to Perth and was then diesel-hauled by 47 760 to Polmont.

Inverurie to Oban on 14 August 2010
The fully-booked eleven-coach train was double-headed throughout by West Coast Railways maroon 37 516 and 37 676 Loch Rannoch. The weather was warm and bright throughout giving excellent conditions for the journey down the east coast to Dundee, along the Tay to Perth and through Stathearn and Stathallan. From the West Highland Line passengers were able to enjoy the views of mountains and lochs then spend a pleasant few hours visiting Oban. The train ran close to schedule for most of the day, but was delayed for a few minutes around Dundee on the return journey.

Forth Circle steam specials on 22 August 2010
Another two popular Forth Circle excursions were hauled by 61994 The Great Marquess . The ten-coach train comprised the locomotive, support coach and nine SRPS Railtours coaches. The morning train was from Linlithgow and the afternoon train from Dalmeny and Inverkeithing. The weather was warm with sunny periods and showers giving good views of the Firth of Forth and hills along the route. 61994 performed excellently and both trains completed the circle a few minutes ahead of time.

Dundee to York & Weardale on 4 September 2010
After some early morning mist the sun broke through and the weather was warm and sunny as this eight-coach train headed for York and Stanhope. It was top-and-tailed throughout throughout by West Coast Railways 47 786 Roy Castle OBE and 47 804. Passengers had the option to spend the afternoon visiting York or stay on the train which headed back to Darlington for a trip along the recently re-opened Weardale Railway from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope, and about half chose each option. On the Weardale Railway the train also carried local passengers and called at a temporary station, Crook Lane, serving the Wolsingham Agricultural Show alongside the railway. This must be the shortest platform that an SRPS Railtours excursion has used. The train ran close to schedule for most of the day.

Ayr to Mallaig on 18 September 2010
This nine-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways 47 760 and 47 804 and ran close to schedule throughout the day, arriving at Fort William about ten minutes early both on the outward and return journeys. The weather was mixed but clear enough to view the mountains, lochs and coast along the West Highland Railway.

Linlithgow to Ravenglass & Grange-over-Sands on 9 October 2010
This tour was organised jointly with North-East Railtours. The nine-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways green-liveried 47 851 Traction Magazine and maroon 57 601 and ran close to schedule throughout the day. The weather started poor as the train made its way down the east coast to Newcastle and along the Tyne Valley Line, in total contrast to the west coast where the weather was clear and sunny giving excellent views of the sea and Lakeland Fells as the train made its way along the Cumbrian Coast Line. Passengers were able to enjoy a trip on the narrow gauge railway from Ravenglass to Eskdale or travel by coach from Grange-over-Sands to Lake Windermere for a cruise on England's largest lake. The return journey was via Carnforth then over Shap Summit to rejoin the Tyne Valley Line using the direct Upperby Curve at Carlisle.

Linlithgow to Lincoln on 3 December 2010 - Cancelled due to heavy snow
Due to heavy snow the 2010 Lincoln Christmas Market was cancelled and therefore it was decided to cancel this annual excursion. Given the exceptional weather conditions in eastern Scotland and England, most passengers were relieved that they didn't have to travel to join the train.

This was a somewhat disappointing end to SRPS Railtours' 40th Anniversary year, but overall 2010 was another very succesful year for SRPS Railtours.

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