Saturday, 18 December 2010

Steam train to York.

A short while ago we booked tickets for the York Yuletide Express. With Dot having to return to NZ suddenly it meant that their was a spare ticket going begging as the tickets were non refundable. Mentioning this to Gary, the model railway club secretary, it transpired that he was on holiday and Thursday was his birthday so what better present than a steam train trip to York.

Thursday duly arrived but that couldn’t be said for the tickets. Even phone calls to the tour company only revealed at the last minute, that tickets had been sent out 1st class mail, but if they didn’t arrive they did supply me with seat numbers. On boarding the train, the crew must have known something because nobody asked for tickets, the latter arrived a day too late. Another change was the timetable which was changed by Network Rail to an hour later than scheduled.

Gary picked me up by car and arriving at the station a good 45 minutes premature we were surprised to find the train had already arrived and was in the goods yard taking on water supplied by the local fire brigade. Another surprise that the engine was not the scheduled class 7 Brittania, 70013 “Oliver Cromwell” but LNER A4 Pacific 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, Fantastic. It became evident that Oliver Cromwell was out of service under going repairs.

When the train finally arrived at the platform only half of it was on the platform so we had to board where ever we could and walk through the train to our designated carriage. There was only one more designated pick up at Peterborough and a water stop at Doncaster. It was here we were delayed by half an hour due to class 66 diesel stopped at exactly the same place we were to take on water from a conveniently parked tanker. The 66 was taking on fuel also supplied from a road tanker. What happened to loco service depot’s?

We eventually arrived in York at 13.40hrs which gave us 3 hours to do whatever we chose. Naturally Gary and I headed off to the National Railway Museum just across the yard from the station. The last time we had been here was 30 years ago for Gary and quite a few for me. I will dedicate the next blog to this hallowed turf of railway men.

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