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Many thanks to David Thompson for sending us this account of 70013's exploits at the weekend.

The Headboard said The White Rose but the trip was advertised as The Yorkshireman.

A 0330 am start for some of the support crews to ensure a 05.00am departure from Southall with the train for the run down the West coast main line to Watford Junction for the first passengers.

A right on time departure and a very fast run down the west coast line to Bletchley with an early arrival. Leaving again on time we turned right on to the line to Bedford St Johns a new route for many of the support crew, before we joined the Midland mainline at Bedford our next stop, again n running early, which was to be a feature of the run to York.

Kettering was our next stop where we also took water thanks to Bells and Two Tones, then over Harringworth viaduct where we were filmed from above by a light aircraft that I understand had permission to fly low. Visibility was not too good as the weather had closed in and rain started. Melton our next stop before the last one back home at Loughbourgh, where some off duty support crew joined us.

A signal stop at Trent put an end to early running and made us about ten minutes late, for the start of the run up the Erewash Valley.

This was the fastest run up the Erewash Valley that I have done, and my first was almost fifty years ago, while at Toton.

Water at Barrow Hill, assisted by one of our friends from Loughborough who lives near there, he had the fire hose ready and so we were able to gain time watering.

A quick look around a splash of oil, coal brought forwards and 70013 was rearing to go.

Reaching York early only to be brought to a stand by a signal south of York, causing a coupe of minute’s late arrival into the platform.

Onto the triangle at York the engine was coaled, watered and the fire cleaned for the return journey.

The engine and support coach which had also been serviced stood waiting outside the station for an early reunion with its train.

70013 stood and stood as a track circuit failure brought York station to a standstill.

Eventually we left about 30 mins late, starting away with a very spirited run towards London. This was necessary as we had been warned that a late arrival of only two minutes back would prevent our return to Southall, as a track possession would stop us.

A further track circuit failure ended our fast run and added to our late running, which soon turned into about one hour late, things were not looking good.

Again swift watering, etc by the support crew had 70013 on the way gaining back some time, and by the time we reached Loughborough we were only 20 mins down. Here we were joined by the late shift support crew and the others enjoyed the efforts of Blue Haze catering.

Fast acceleration and running continued to such an extent that we finally arrived at Watford Junction to set down the last passengers 50 mins early, ensuring our also early arrival back at Southall.

The late to early arrival says all about the performance of both Engine and the teamwork of footplate crews and support crews.

Thanks also go the signalmen and controllers who allowed us to run early when able, so as to be able to get onto Southall.

A fabulous days running, with a superb Engine, and a special thanks to all who made it possible.

We have also received this email message from one of the passengers on the train:

Just a quick message to say how much we enjoyed "The Yorkeshireman" railtour yesterday. 70013 is a stunning locomotive and a real credit to the team at the Association. Thanks to everyone there and we hope to travel behind 70013 again soon!


By Info | Monday, July 13, 2009 | Tags : 70013

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