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Many thanks to Dave Thompson for sending us this firsthand account of Saturday's trip.

The support crew of Kevin Tilbury, John Rule, Nick Broderick, Geoff Morris and Martin Fake from the Broadsman tour were joined by Tom Tighe, Andy Carter and Me (Dave Thompson), to prepare the National Railway Museum’s ‘Britannia’ No. 70013 “Oliver Cromwell” for The Lincolnshire Coast Express

On time departure at 0600 from Southall with 70013 at the rear of the train to London Liverpool Street Station via the Olympic building site at Stratford.

Leaving Liverpool Street 70013 set about the steep climb to Bethnall Green before signals slowed our progress, then we had an easy schedule picking up passengers on route towards Bishops Stortford where 70013 was asked for more effort up the climb to Elsenham then fast easy running to Cambridge and Ely, where water was taken.

Delay was caused when a Cross Country train was allowed in front of us, then a Norwich bound train caused a further delay to our departure, and despite hard running to Peterborough we were unable to recover the time.

Climbing from Peterborough on the slow line 70013 was soon into her stride to Essendine before attacking the climb to Stoke, unfortunately because we were out of path we were slowed by signals at Stoke before the downhill stretch to Grantham our second water stop.

Losing our path was adding to our delay as we set off to Newark and turning off the East Coast Main line to Lincoln and on to Cleethorpes.

Despite the efforts of engine and crew we were held at Grimsby to allow a train from Cleethorpes to pass, so a late arrival into the buffer stops at Cleethorpes.

Here the coal lorry waited to top up our almost depleted tender, but was prevented from doing so by various rules.

A quick decision was made to go inside at Barnetby so as to coal and water the engine. Leaving almost on time but without filling the tender with water.

Thanks to the Coal lorry driver and help from Alan Cooke a 5305 member who lives nearby. The coal was waiting as 70013 came off the train and went inside at Barnetby, to be quickly coaled and watered, thanks to the efforts of all concerned.

We were now about an hour behind schedule as we set out for Worksop where 70013 came off.

Here we were to be watered before our engine and coach move to Crewe, unfortunately the hydrant in the yard at Worksop was out of action, leaving us in a delicate position. Also there were problems with our route from Kirkby in Ashfield to Pye Bridge. Due we understand to theft of signalling cable. A very slow and tedious journey to the Erewash Valley line, where we were able to reach our running speed, but unfortunately we were now desperate for water.

Thanks to Tom’s network of Knowledge and friends, we stopped at Castle Donnington for a swift top up, aided by on the ground 5305 people. (Mick & Tom Allen). All of which resulted in a very early morning arrival at Crewe, where the very tired crew finally put 70013 to bed and swiftly followed themselves.

I must thank Andy Carter for producing excellent meals on both Friday and Saturday nights not forgetting his other duties and his cooked breakfasts.


By Info | Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | Tags : 70013

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