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Sir Nigel Gresley at Work - Around the Regions

by John Wickham

Part Five ~ North Eastern Region





I was always disappointed to see main line railtours running on a Sunday, when delays could be encountered due to engineering work. On the plus side however, Sundays gave increased availability of rolling-stock, train crews and crucially they were easier to path. On Sundays 20th and 27th August, 1967, Nº4498 worked tours in the NE. The first was from Doncaster to Edinburgh and back via the East Coast Main line. In both directions it suffered South of Thirsk, either by running "wrong road" or on the slow line. The 27th August train started from Leeds City, and travelled via the Settle and Carlisle line and Hexham to Newcastle. It arrived there a shade over 9 minutes late, was booked to stop for 14 minutes, and departed 5½ minutes late.


60007 at Stirling
60007 on the 7.45am Leeds-Kings Cross climbs to Potters Bar, 60007 - 23 March 1963.
(Photo: John Wickham)


I was wondering what lay ahead, bearing in mind the previous week's crawl near Thirsk. After a slow start via Gateshead West, with a moderate load, we achieved a maximum of 68mph in the dip after Low Fell and, travelling uphill, Sir Nigel achieved a maximum of 66mph before the brakes were applied for the Durham restriction. We had regained 2 minutes by Durham, but a temporary restriction at Ferryhill meant we passed Darlington just over 2½ minutes late. Ahead lay the famous racing stretch to York and we were allowed 40 minutes for the 44 miles. As can be seen from the log, despite some fast running and suffering 2 minor delays, we ran into York 2¾ minutes in arrears. I have calculated a net time of 79½ minutes for the 80.70 miles from Newcastle, and 38 minutes for the 44.10 miles from Darlington (pass). So the engineering work wasn't too painful after all, and we did have a rather excellent loco..........


Next time will be my favourite with Nº7 still in BR ownership, AND working from "Top Shed".


Saturday 27th August, 1967
Locomotive: 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley
Load: 8/266/280
Train: 13.58 Carlisle (Kingmoor) - Leeds City , 'A4 Loco Soc' Special
Dist   Scheduled
mins ¶
Actual
m  s
MPH
0.00 NEWCASTLE Ctrl 0 00.00 -
0.50 Gateshead West   02.17 *
1.10 King Edward Bridge Jn.   03.37 *
1.75 Bensham   04.36 44
4.35 Lamesley   06.52 68
6.00 Birtley   08.40 67/64
8.80 Chester-le-Street   11.18 64/67
10.70 Plawsworth   12.23 66
14.55 Durham 20 17.46 br47½/*28
15.55 Relly Mill Jn.   19.40 42
18.75 Croxdale   22.58 61½
21.60 Tursdale Jn   25.40 65/57
23.70 Ferryhill 31 29.32 c21
26.45 Bradbury   34.07 65
31.15 Aycliffe   38.20 70/59/65
35.90 Parkgate   43.15 67/*38
36.60 Darlington 47 44.13 49
39.15 Croft Spa   46.43 73
41.75 Eryholme Jn.   48.50 74½/73
43.50 Cowton   50.14 79
46.95 Danby Wiske   52.47 82/77½
50.75 Northallerton 59 55.43 76
54.20 Otterington   58.28 81
58.50 Thirsk 65 62.23 Sigs 42
62.70 Sessay   66.45 59½/c56/69
64.60 Pilmoor   68.25 73
67.35 Raskelf   70.33 79
69.50 Alne   72.09 82½
70.95 Tollerton   73.14 83/80
75.15 Benningbrough   76.17 82½/78
79.10 Skelton Jn.   80.12 54
80.70 Y O R K 87 84.15 -
* = Permanent speed restriction.
c = Temporary speed restriction.
br =Brakes applied.

Researched and written by John Wickham.
First published in Chime 145, Summer 2007
Continue to Part six
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