45305 on the Mersey Moorlander 1st August 2011
'Black Five' 45305 stood in for a Class 7 locomotive on the inaugural Mersey Moorlander last Monday, the 1st August. Called up at short notice, the engine gave a very good account of itself. As far as we know this was Liverpool-based Compass Tours first foray into steam hauled excursions, their previous experience being with diesels. The train appeared to be fully booked, or nearly so and, including the support coach, was a heavy eleven vehicle affair of Mark I stock including a Pullman and a kitchen car. The gross load was about 425 tons.
After making the journey from Crewe Heritage Centre to Preston early in the morning, the 'Five' attached to the train, which was diesel hauled ex-Crewe via Liverpool, at Preston. The route was Preston-Settle-Carlisle-Shap-Preston on a schedule that had been designed for a 75 mph Class 7 loco. Consequently 45305, with a maximum allowed speed of 60 mph, was faced with a tough task. Inevitably a few minutes were dropped on occasions but no service trains were inconvenienced. The climbs of Hoghton Bank, the Long Drag to Ais Gill and the even longer haul from Carlisle to Shap were undertaken in splendid fashion. It was a signalling problem south of Lancaster on the return that caused a slightly late arrival back in Preston but the passengers we spoke to seemed most satisfied with their day out.
45305 is delighting its old friends and gaining new ones with its quality main line performances. It will probably get a few more outings from Crewe in the next few weeks. Indeed it will be working the RTC Liverpool-Carlisle this coming Saturday and the next Mersey Moorlander on Monday the 8th August.
By Info | Wednesday, August 3, 2011 | Tags : 45305