Cromwell's Christmas Programme In Full Swing
70013 Oliver Cromwell is part way through an intensive programme of festive charters for RTC and Steam Dreams.
On Saturday 3rd December the loco worked from Kings Cross to Lincoln and back with RTC's Lindum Fayre, taking a trainload of passengers to sample the wares on offer at the myriad of market stalls in the city. 70013 was substituting for the unavailable 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, although many websites showed 60019 Bittern as the booked locomotive. 5305LA had been asked to supply Cromwell some weeks before the event, so it was somewhat surprising to find this information not being available via the usual outlets. This led to many puzzled faces on the lineside and questions at station stops as to why Bittern wasn't available. The A4 was working Wednesday charters from Poole to Bristol and back, stabling at Eastleigh in between. It would have incurred significant expense to move it to Southall and back again - hence the call to 70013.
The following Thursday saw Cromwell move from Southall to Ely early in the morning in order to work a charter from there to Oxford and back for Steam Dreams.
On Saturday 10th December, Cromwell is called upon to work its third charter in eight days, this time from Cambridge to York and back to Peterborough for RTC. It will lie over at Ely Papworth Sidings following its Thursday trip and be dragged to Cambridge with the stock ready for an early start. On return from York, the charter proceeds from Peterborough diesel hauled and Cromwell moves with its support coach to Southall via the ECML. This is another charter that has been associated with 60019 but has been allocated to 70013 for some weeks.
The final job for Cromwell before Christmas will be as a substitute for 34067 Tangmere on the Sussex Belle for RTC. This takes the 'Brit' to Victoria once again, from where it will work to Hastings and back on the usual route for this train.
Following this quartet of Christmas charters, 70013 will go by road to the Great Central Railway to operate over the festive season. The 'Brit' takes another road journey in the New Year, this time to Carnforth, where it is booked to work two of the four Winter Cumbrian Mountain Expresses on February Saturdays, again for RTC. The other two WCMEs will be in charge of 45305. Actual allocation of the two locos to particular dates has not yet taken place.
By Info | Friday, December 9, 2011 | Tags : 70013