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SRPS Railtours 2012 Reports


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SRPS Railtours in 2012

Hire of train to Steam Dreams from 29 March to 19 April 2012 and 3 May 2012
The SRPS Railtours train was hired by Steam Dreams for a series of steam specials in southern England. Several SRPS Railtours volunteers accompanied the stock. (more)


Forth Circle Steam Specials on 28 April 2012
SRPS Railtours 2012 programme opened with Forth Circle Steam Specials. The eleven-coach train hauled by Royal Scot Class 46115 Scots Guardsman comprised the locomotive, two support coach and nine SRPS Railtours coaches. As in previous years there were two excursions round the Forth Circle, but this time, due to engineering works, the trains ran on a Saturday rather than Sunday. The morning train was from Linlithgow and the afternoon train from Inverkeithing. The weather was sunny with a few clouds and very clear giving excellent views of the coast and countryside. 46115 performed excellently with the trains running close to time throughout the day.

Charter from Newcastle to Oban on 7 May 2012
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 37 516 and 37 676 Loch Rannoch. The weather was showery but much better than forecast and there were good views of the lochs and mountains along the West Highland Railway. The train ran close to time throughout the day.

North Berwick to Mallaig on 12 May 2012
The nine-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways 47 804 and 47 826 and ran close to schedule throughout the day. The weather was bright with sunny periods giving excellent conditions for enjoying the spectacular views of the snow capped mountains, lochs and coast along the West Highland Railway. At Tulloch, on the return journey, the train passed K1 class steam locomotive 62005 which was heading to Fort William with the carriages for the Jacobite.
Hire of train to Steam Dreams from SE England to Scotland on 18-25 May 2012
The SRPS Railtours train was hired by Steam Dreams for the Cathedrals Explorer, eight days of steam specials covering lines from South East England to Kyle of Lochalsh. Several SRPS Railtours volunteers accompanied the stock. (more)

Friday 18 May : From Staines via Woking and Guildford to Redhill and from Tonbridge to London Victoria steam-hauled by BR Standard 70000 Britannia. The train was diesel hauled by 67026 (top-and-tail with 70000) between Redhill and Tonbridge. The train was then hauled by A1 Class 60163 Tornado from London Victoria via Kensington Olympia, the North London Line and the East Coast Main Line to Durham.

Saturday 19 May : Hauled by A4 Class 4464 Bittern from Durham north along the East Coast Main Line, then via the Edinburgh South Suburban line, over the Forth Bridge and along the Fife Coast to Perth. After a change of locomotive at Perth 60163 Tornado took over for the spectacular climb over Drumochter Summit on the Highland Line to Inverness.

Sunday 20 May : A return excursion from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh hauled by K4 Class 61994 The Great Marquess.

Tuesday 22 May : From Inverness to Aberdeen hauled by 60163 Tornado. After a break in Aberdeen 60163 hauled the train south along the East Coast over the Tay and Forth Forth Bridges and directly into Edinburgh Waverley through Princes Street Gardens. This was the first passenger train hauled by Tornado over the bridges and also the first steam train to run through Princes Street Gardens in recent years.

Wednesday 23 May : A late afternoon/evening excursion from Edinburgh Waverley hauled by A4 Class 4464 Bittern, over the Forth Bridge, round the Fife Circle, then through Culross and Alloa to Stirling, returning to Edinburgh through Falkirk and Linlithgow. The outward journey from Edinburgh was round the South Suburban line and the return was directly through Princes Street Gardens.

Thursday 24 May : Hauled by A4 Class 4464 Bittern from Edinburgh Waverley round the South Suburban line to Slateford, then south to Carlisle and over the Settle and Carlisle Line to Long Preston.

Friday 25 May : Hauled Princess Coronation Class 6201 Princess Elizabeth from Hellifield, avoiding Leeds, then via Normanton, Moorthorpe, Barrow Hill, Chesterfield, Trent, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Corby, Kettering and the Midland Main Line south to Brent, then around London through Barnes and Clapham Junction to London Victoria.


North Berwick to Kyle of Lochalsh on 2 June 2012
The nine-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways 47 826 and 47 804. Although the day started cloudy the weather improved throughout the journey and the spectacular scenery of the Kyle Line was seen at its best in almost unbroken sunshine. The return departure from Kyle of Lochalsh was delayed due to a radio signalling problem, but by the later stages of the journey the train was back on time.

Glenrothes with Thornton to Chester & Llandudno on 16 June 2012
SRPS Railtours once again welcomed a large party from Diageo Retirement aboard the train. This fully booked eleven-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways blue-liveried 47 270 Swift and maroon-liveried 47 854 Diamond Jubilee, except for the short section between Llandudno Junction and Llandudno where 47 854 hauled the front nine coaches. Although the weather was poor with rain for much of the day, it was dry while passengers were visiting Chester and Llandudno. A locomotive fault delayed the arrival at Chester by a few minutes, but this was soon fixed. The return journey was delayed at Llandudno Junction but almost all the lost time was recovered by the time the train returned to Fife. The poor weather and operational difficulties did not affect the passengers' enjoyment of the excursion and their visits to Chester and Llandudno.

Charter from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Tyseley & Stratford-upon-Avon on 23 June 2012
The eight-coach North East Railways charter was top-and-tailed by West Coast Railways blue-liveried 47 270 Swift and maroon-liveried 47 854 Diamond Jubilee. The southbound empty stock working from Bo'ness junction was delayed due to the previous day's flooding on the East Coast Main Line, but after a late start the train was back on time by Newcastle. The route was via York, Moorthorpe, Barrow Hill and Derby. At Tyseley passengers had the option of visiting the Locomotive Works Open Day. The outward route to Stratford was via the Hatton North Curve and the train returned though Wootton Wawen and Henley-in-Arden. The weather was showery but remained dry with sunny periods at the destinations.

Steam Special from Glenrothes with Thornton to Inverness on 30 June 2012 hauled by 46115 Scots Guardsman
The train comprising nine SRPS Railtours coaches and the locomotive support coach was hauled by Royal Scot Class 46115 Scots Guardsman from Glenrothes with Thornton to Dundee with West Coast Railways 37 676 Loch Rannoch on the rear. The train reversed and was hauled by 37 676 to Perth where it detached. From Perth the ten-coach train headed north over the Highland Line through Pitlochry and Blair Atholl then over Drumochter Summit to Aviemore. The journey then continued over Slocht Summit to Inverness. The weather was good and the locomotive and crew performed excellently for the climbs to both summits running close to time over these taxing sections. Passengers were able to enjoy 3½ hours in the Highland Capital. The journey south was equally impressive with the climb out of Inverness being particularly notable. From Perth the train was diesel-hauled by 37 676 back to Glenrothes.

Inverurie to Wemyss Bay (for Rothesay) on 8 September 2012
A bright sunny morning gave excellent views along the East Coast and over the Tay and Forth Bridges and although the weather in the West of Scotland was not as good it remained mostly dry. The nine-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways 47 786 Roy Castle, OBE and 47 826. Most passengers chose to take the ferry across the Firth of Clyde to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute.

Ayr to Scarborough on 12 September 2012
This midweek excursion ran via the Nith Valley, Dumfries and Carlisle then over the Settle & Carlisle Line. The eight-coach train was top-and-tailed throughout by West Coast Railways 47 826 and 47 786 Roy Castle, OBE. Passengers had the choice of visiting Leeds, York or Scarborough. The weather was showery and a prolonged heavy shower occured during the five hours at Scarborough.

Linlithgow to Skipton, Keighley & Saltaire on 6 October 2012
This railtour, organised jointly with North East Railtours, headed south along the East Coast Main Line to Newcasle then over the Tyne Valley and Settle & Carlisle Lines. The ten-coach train was top-and-tailed by West Coast Railways 47 804 and 47 786 and ran close to time thoughout the day. The excellent weather afforded good views of the rivers, dales and fells along the route which included the famous Ribblehead Viaduct. Much evidence of recent heavy rain was to be seen with extensive flooding in the Aire Valley and around York on the return journey. Passengers chose to visit the Yorkshire Dales town of Skipton, travel on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (which delayed one of its services to give our passengers a quick connection), or visit the World Heritage Site of Saltaire, a new destination for us which proved extremely popular. The return journey, via Leeds and Durham, unusually was routed over the York avoiding line.

The Hunterston Tracker charter to the Branch Line Society on 13 October 2012
West Coast Railways 37 516 Loch Arkaig & 37 685 top-and-tailed this seven coach train throughout the trip with 47 804. The railtour started from Bo'ness and was hauled on the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway by 26 024 & 26 038. It was routed via the Edinburgh Suburban Circle to Waverley and through Bathgate, Queen Street Low Level and Westerton to Craigendoran. The train then ran via Clydebank, over the curve to Anniesland and back to Craigendoran. It continued through Central Low Level, Rutherglen West Curve then through Paisley, Saltcoats and Ardrossan to Hunterston where the lines to both the low and high level terminals were traversed. The curve from Dubbs Junction to Byrehill Junction was taken and after reversal at Barassie the route was via Shields Junction and the Cathcart Circle to Glasgow Central High Level. The return journey ran via Shields Junction, Bellgrove, Sunnyside Junction, Mossend, Shotts, the Edinburgh Sub and Waverley. After reversal at Polmont, the train was hauled from Manuel back to Bo'ness by 37 175 W S Sellar.

Polmont to Fort William Steam Special on 27 October 2012 featuring 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier & 44871
This steam special was arranged to coincide with the movement of steam locomotives south from Fort William. The nine-coach train was diesel-hauled from Polmont to Fort William by West Coast Railways 47 804 in clear sunny weather which provided outstanding views of the autumn colours along the West Highland Line. The eleven-coach southbound train, comprising the SRPS Railtours carriages and the two locos' support carriages, was double-headed from Fort William to Polmont by Black Fives 44871 & 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier. Although it clouded over, the rain held off until the final stages of the journey and the locomotives performed excellently throughout the journey.

Linlithgow to Lincoln on 7 December 2012 hauled by Deltic 55 022 Royal Scots Grey
The Christmas Cracker to Lincoln was an eleven-coach train hauled by preserved Deltic diesel 55 022 Royal Scots Grey with 47 851 on the rear of the train throughout. The tour was, as in previous years, organised jointly with North East Railtours. The train ran close to time until Gainsborough where a medical emergency on a train in front resulted in a delay of about half an hour. The bright and sunny weather was ideal for passengers who had three hours to visit the historic city and its famous Christmas Market. Christmas Dinner was served to passengers soon after leaving Lincoln. There were some delays on the return journey, but time was made up and the train arrived back at Linlithgow close to time. This popular train completed another very successful year for SRPS Railtours.

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