torsdag 19. august 2010

Freedom of Scotland July 1984

02.07.1984-15/7/1984 ==== Freedom of Scotland =====

Dreadful!!!! The most, desperate moves ever on a "freedom" fortnight's ticket. Hardly anything sensible in terms of using my £36.99 or what ever an under 16' "freedom" cost then!

No up and down to Oban and out to Thurso. No catching a 37 maybe over the Inverness Perth route for the line and mileage. No doing the complete move round the NE on the mail train to Elgin. No taking an NB all the way to Ft Bill.

Nope. Crazy covering with NO getting hold of TOPS reports unless someone had one already. That was the game: no TOPS, you "viewed" trains.

Not only was 1984 the scene for the last English Civil War, but it was a scorcher of a summer with daily temperatures around 25 and places like Carstairs being open ovens!

Gateshead, motherwell, eastfield and thornaby class 37s were totally wildly itinerant and started producing on the drop of a hat courtesay of Iain McGregor and Arthur Scargill. I scrub my eyes to believe what produced and often where! Glasgow -Edinburgh 37s????? 47/7s must have been having a bad week, because 37s were out on mark 1s and IIs on the route. Duffs became rare on stranrærs!!!!

07:38:00 Glasgow C Paisley 311
07:57:00 Paisley Glasgow Central 47010

( this was to cover the aforeblogget 0700 ayr- glasgow which could produce. It went ECS the night before to avoid vandalism in glasgow and to pick up some cheese in SCR management who lived in Ayrshire)

09:00:00 Glasgow QS Haymarket 47703
09:XX Haymarket Carstairs 47702

Carlise 86235
12:05:00 Carlisle Carstairs South 81015

Glasgow Central 47378
15:30:00 Glasgow QS Edinburgh Waverley 47705
16:30:00 Edinburgh Waverley Glasgow QS 47705
18:20:00 Glasgow QS Arrochar 37043
19:45:00 Arrochar Glasgow QS 37175
21:28:00 Glasgow C Low Level Motherwell 303
22:11:00 Motherwell Mossend 86234

Perth 37026
00:49:00 Perth Inverness 47460

The very large duff three was nothing to us, and it probably was the one we turned down on the portions we went out to cover.

37026 : the first time IIRc I struck a v12 on the famoius 1S81 (which I think I did for the first time in 82 , in an older jotter that is lost!) 37026 was thrashed like blazed all the way giving a very satisfying 80-90mph run where poss and maybe the ton. With track running above 55mph syphons could put in some impressive runs.


06:xx Inverness lairg 37035
08:xx Lairg Inverness 37183
10:35:00 Inverness Aberdeen 47210
1300 Aberdeen Dundee IC 125
14:28:00 Dundee Edinburgh Waverley 47011
16:10:00 Edinburgh Waverley Carstairs 37154
18:15:00 Carstairs Glasgow Central 86xxx

A fairly desperate group of moves on probably my third freedom-of-scotland. I think this was maybe the day 37183 was running with the flat container wagon to Wick and Thurso, another syphon oddity I have piccies of.

37154 was ML IIRC, and had dropped on something else we had missed, so had to be done. We either got the gen, or just went the quickest way back to cover the portions. An english duff basher showed me his blade he carried for protection on terra caledonia, whcih I was somewhat shocked about. THen again he was a duff basher....


11:20:00 Glasgow C Carstairs 87022
13:06:00 Carstairs Glasgow Central 85022
13:56:00 Glasgow C Low Level Helensburgh Central 303-314
15:20:00 Helensburgh Upper Glasgow QS 37188

Decisions, decisions. Another day where you cover everything and nothing produces. A run to Oban on 188 would have been preferable. The only train not covered was the Stranraær from Kilmarnock, which produced 40s and 37s this summer.

I covered the "portions" with a view to the 12xx and the 1303 and any later locos hanging around. Then the 13:45 carlisle maybe, certainly the incoming 14:39, then sod it, a trip out for chips and a walk up that hill, Sinclair Street in Helensburgh to get to the WHL station there from the central "blue commuter" line.


09:50:00 Glasgow C Carlise 86259

Carlisle Beattock 85020

(failure) Glasgow Central 86008

Glasgow C Milngavie 303

Milngavie Qs LL 303

I believe we got on, erm, the wrong train, meaning to cover something at carstairs but ending whizzing past both a motorail with a 40 on it plus the station itself.

The second of several "roarer" failures we experienced in 84-85, showing why they really had to come to an end in the next couple of years. The 86 was took orff a frieght , and IIRC the preceeding freight had been a pair of, no doubt enourmous, 37s. We would have gotten the 86 regardless probably!


09:50:00 Glasgow QS Dumbarton Central 37111
10:33:00 Dumbarton Glasgow QS 37033
11:35:00 Glasgow C Paisley 47123
11:48:00 Paisley Glasgow Central 303/311
12:20:00 Glasgow QS Dumbarton Central 37188
14:04:00 Dumbarton Glasgow C Low Level 303-314
14:56:00 Glasgow C Low Level Milngavie 303
15:20:00 Milngavie Glasgow QS Low Level 303
15:59:00 Glasgow QS low level Helensburgh Central 303-314
20:50:00 Helensburgh Upper Glasgow QS 37014

I think I fell asleep and ended up in Milngavie or did a slumber move on the local, comfy old 303s. Must have been tired and somewhat disappointed that nothing produced.

10:20:00 Helensburgh Upper Glasgow QS 37191
10:44:00 Glasgow C Kilmarnock DMU
13:33:00 Kilmarnock Ayr 37209
15:05:00 Ayr (ex stran) Glasgow Central 47515
17:30:00 Glasgow C Kilmarnock 37209
18:37:00 Kilmarnock Glasgow Central 37156
20:00:00 Glasgow QS Falkirk High 47708
20:27:00 Falkirk (high?) Glasgow QS 37184

A fairly enourmous day out : 156 and 209 in the bag and both pretty huge. Also, what the heck was happening on the edinburgh line? 37184 today. On a very vague recollection, I seem to remember being in a mark I compo on an ordinary edinbra train which should have been a "shove duff"


15:05:00 Glasgow C Stranraer 37209
18:35:00 Stranraer Glasgow Central 37209

209, thornaby or the like, out on the route, must have come north light loco or replacing a failed sulzer heap: Decided I was on a freedom and would do some miles and routes: Told the driver it was a good loco, and he put the handle up all the way up the banks and over to Girvan. Excellent thrash.

Probably missed some stuff, but byu now 47/3s were two a penny and being put on portions and failures: two roarers down in the heat of that summer already!


10:33:00 Helensburgh Upper Arrochar 37022

11:15:00 Arrochar Glasgow QS 37188
13:45:00 Glasgow C Kilmarnock 47123
14:30:00 Kilmarnock Glasgow Central 37073
15:30:00 Glasgow QS Haymarket 47701
16:45 app Haymarket Edinburgh Waverley 47528
16:55:00 Edinburgh Waverley Haymarket 47488
17:03:00 Haymarket Glasgow QS 47704
18:20:00 Glasgow QS Helensburgh Upper 37051
19:24:00 Helensbugh Central Glasgow C Low Level 303-314
20:15:00 Glasgow C Paisley 37056

A quick bail at Helensburgh upper to return by courtesay of 303s and 314s to Central to get 37056 on the late stranrær. Another syphon in the book thank you!

This train may have needed to have steaming locos, must check if 056 was bloiered at this point.


11:35:00 Glasgow C Paisley 37125
12xx Paisley Glasgow Central DMU
13:45:00 Glasgow C Kilmarnock 47338
14:30:00 Kilmarnock Glasgow Central 27024
16:30:00 Glasgow QS Haymarket 47712
17XX Haymarket Edinburgh Waverley DMU
18:00:00 Edinburgh Waverley Glasgow QS 47708
19:35:00 Glasgow C Johnstone DMU
20:XX Johnstone Paisley DMU
20:39:00 Paisley Glasgow Central 37125

Another 37/1 NB large monster on the Strannie, top and tailing an otherwise pish day.

Should have taken it too, but what the heck it is ten miles or so to Paisley and there were plenty other syphons lurking. No others to play with today though on the portions or I presume the Carlisles.


11:20:00 Glasgow C Carstairs 87002
13:03:00 Carstairs Edinburgh Waverley 37020
14:00:00 Edinburgh Waverley Glasgow QS 47705
14:59:00 Glasgow QS low level Helensburgh Central 303
15:54:00 Helensbugh Central Glasgow QS Low Level 303
17:00:00 Glasgow QS Edinburgh Waverley 47705
18:00:00 Edinburgh Waverley Glasgow QS 47705

Messing about, I just deleted a unit move to H'boro for chips or Ice cream and some doss.

Anyhows, 37 020, probably gateshead, underlined to make a nice tight cluster of lines in my book from a simple "viewing" of the usual 1303 portion, after a comfortable breakfast.


10:20:00 Helensburgh Upper Glasgow QS 37184
11:00:00 Glasgow QS Edinburgh Waverley 37059
12:30:00 Edinburgh Waverley Glasgow QS 47707
13:45:00 Glasgow C Kilmarnock 47274
14:30:00 Kilmarnock Glasgow Central 47006
16:50:00 Glasgow QS Dumbarton Central 37027
17:33:00 Dumbarton Glasgow QS 37188
18:35:00 Glasgow C Ayr DMU
20:03:00 Ayr Glasgow Central 37139

What was this 11:00 edinburgh with 37059 all about???? The shove duffs must have been struggling in the heat because this was the second substitution. I have no recollection of any Glasgow to Edinburgh runs behind a 37 other than 296, but do recall sitting on mark I compos and a mark II on what should have been a "shove duff" ( 47/7)

13.07.1984 to 14.07.1984

10:20:00 Helensburgh Upper Glasgow QS 37037
11:20:00 Glasgow C Carstairs 87016
13:03:00 Carstairs Edinburgh Waverley 37079
14:30:00 Edinburgh Waverley Glasgow QS 47706
15:45:00 Glasgow C Barrhead 47009
16.xx Barrhead Glasgow Central DMU
17:00:00 Glasgow QS Falkirk High 37124
17:28:00 Falkirk High Glasgow QS 477xx
18:00:00 Glasgow C Irvine 37138
20:08:00 irvine Glasgow Central DMU
21:28:00 Glasgow C Low Level Motherwell 303
22:12:00 Motherwell Mossend 86248

Perth 37079
01:11:00 Perth Pitlochry 47552
02:xx Pitlochry Glasgow QS 47467
07:05:00 Glasgow QS Edinburgh Waverley 37045
08:30:00 Edinburgh Waverley Falkirk High 47703
09:23:00 Falrkirk High Glasgow QS 477xx
11:20:00 Glasgow C Carstairs 86243
13:03:00 Carstairs Glasgow Central 85029
15:45:00 Glasgow C Auchinleck 27029
17:23:00 Auchinleck Kilmarnock 37101
18:47:00 Kilmarnock Glasgow Central 47206

The over night move: you more or less had to stay awake but I got some doss on the way up north of perth and probably on the famous 1S81 which produced the same syphon we had had on a portion earlier. I guess it ran light loco Carstairs to mossend or maybe rescued something ending up at mossend.

The 0705 was probably a glasgow Scarborough or Skeggie summer addex, and I could not usually get in early enough to cover it : it did have a return at night, as per 37172 etc last year but this was a big bag and I just don't remember a bloody thing.

Also, once again a 37 /|1 out on the bloody edinburgh service, this time a nice 124 run! I think we bailed off at Falkirk High to cover 124s appearance only to see another 47/7 appear out of the tunnel. Remember the bail!

And scrub your eyes and look twice, 138 now producing on the strannie, not 139. Hells bells! Fantasy underlining

37101 adding to a good score card from
36 hours solid bashing.

15.07.1984 Blow Up day for Freedom

15:05:00 Glasgow C Irvine 37074
16:03:00 irvine Glasgow Central DMU
17:22:00 Glasgow QS Helensburgh Upper 37184

A fairly no nonsense day: slept in til all ours, unit into central to cover the various carlisles and hey presto, another required 37/0 this time on the stranae.

Fairy god mother would be out at midnight bowling me out for more moves: "Blow up day" for my freedom of Scotland.

========== ================ =============== =========================

A strange, desperate move collection, but like I said before, this was how bashing was back in 1984: getting lines in the book and covering everything that could produce.

I regret not covering more possible 40 drops in 1983 and 84: the Euston stranrær was still non coffin and the portions at both Carstairs and Mossend. Also 40s dropped out of Newcastle occoaisonally to Edinbra. Interesting to compare notes but......

I will have to get onto that 1984 internet bashing simulator!

June 1984

June was no doubt the time when for one I had exams: O'grades, although I seem to remember then happening in one straight week in May, at the end of which i expired and didn't sit part II of the art exam. My resulting score card was laughable;: 7 As and one E.

Also I started hanging around with a new gang of more academicie swotty types having selected my science subjects and finding them a better laugh than the basher and heavy metal gangs I had hund out with before my "O" grades.

Therefore my bashing was displaced somewhat in a month which was probably very, very large for 40s, 20s and itinerant NB class 37s on the SCr, dooable on a SPTE transcard for £ 4.99! 20 days in fact without bashing and then only some few "top man" emulating days at the end and into July.

20.06.1984 Trannie

1906 Home Arrochar 37175
19:45: Arrochar Home 37149

Like 37013, we would have received the "gen" from someone or seen 149 on the line, making for a nice little evening "result" or line for the book. I think i got 147, 148, 149 and 150 within a couple of months, all having been associated to scottish metals for much of their lives but resolutely freight!

Funnily enough it looks as though I scored ALL the locos which went on to become 37/9s, probably because they were long in the tooth. I wonder where the original power units ended up?

17:35:00 Glasgow QS Larbert 26046
18:15:00 Larbert Edinburgh Waverley DMU
19:00:00 Edinburgh Waverley Glasgow QS 47705

This would have been a "covering" day as I progressed back up to ned status from having fallen into insect with my duff day in the east.

Given I travelled into Glesga from home at midday or so, I no doubt rejected some rancidity on the 13:50 and 15:50 Carlisle via Dumfries and covered the weekdays only 17:15 having viewed both the "infamous" 1650 Ft Bill and the incoming Oban which would most often go out at 18:20

So a rather pedestrian run up to larbert, and I remember it enough to say it was bloody slow behind a poorly type 2. Even a good example of a 27 would struggle, and it has to be said that it a syphon got signalled often it would clank in and out of the awkward 40-50 miles per hour field diversion, which rendered them a bit pants on various mid speed routes.

26046 was fairly large and this was either a perth, dundee or actually an Inverness, the Aberdeens having gone shove-duff by this time IIRC.


10:20:00 Glasgow C Carstairs 86225
13:03:00 Carstairs Glasgow Central 81020
1345 Glasgow C Kilmarnock 26040
15:45:00 Kilmarnock Barrhead 25230
17:55:00 Barrhead Kilmarnock 47194
18:45:00 Kilmarnock Glasgow Central 37147
19:29:00 Glasgow QS low level Helensburgh Central 303

This was an interesting variant on the Kilmarnock moves: now it was possible to bail at kilmarnock due to a new timetable, while the trains still stopped at barrhead ( I think this ceased in the winter or 1985 timetable).

Anyhows, having viewed the Carstairs portions, to our chagrin, we did a nice "ROAR" on an 81 back up to the big station and a fairly decent result for rat bashers followed by a MASSIVE 37147.

It was a very hot day and I remember that 37 147 came in with the contents of a cows stomach and some skin left after a collision with one said beast south of Kilmarnock. Perth Man and various neds were out because I believe it had been another Class 25 booked. Instead a very nice line in the book and good track bed for an NB Class 37/1.


14:49:00 Home Glasgow QS 37171
17:20:00 Glasgow QS Home 37011

Another lovely little score. ED NB thirty sevens in the 120-200 range were effing hard to bag despite the tantalising ETHEL making their use more possible and the wide range of mark I and II trains running out of QS.

However, even in the summer on some colder dusks and dawns, the Oban and Mallaig lines would steam. And also they probably wanted to keep the NBs for frieghts where they were coaxed rather than recieving the usual thrashing to keep the WHL timetables for passengers. ED had enough boilered syphons but they did seem to stick them to the WHL, maybe just to piss us off!

Bashing May 1984 Continued....

Looks like I was on a freedom-of-scotland but it was during exam time so I only went oot on saturdays.

The following day just demonstrates some mental failings I have! Or rather I think I was distracted more by the wares of Spud-u-like, The Pancake place and the hanging fruit of young edinbra' ladies than actual bashing.

Probably did it all as a crowd with Reidy, dobie, Carlisle and so on, or maybe just a dumb day on my own.

10:30:00 Glasgow QS Edinburgh Waverley DMU
Edinburgh Waverley Haymarket DMU
Haymarket Edinburgh Waverley DMU
11:51:00 Edinburgh Waverley Haymarket 27042
Haymarket Edinburgh Waverley 47124
Edinburgh Waverley Haymarket 47117
Haymarket Edinburgh Waverley 47423
Edinburgh Waverley Haymarket 47148
Haymarket Edinburgh Waverley 47708
Edinburgh Waverley Haymarket 47707
Haymarket Edinburgh Waverley DMU
14:51:00 Edinburgh Waverley Haymarket 27046
15:18:00 Edinburgh Waverley Leuchars 47206
19:35:00 Leuchars Dundee 27042
20:25:00 Dundee Glasgow QS 47527

Why I did such a ned like sulzer only day I will never know, but I guess I was covering the carstair portions and waiting for a 27 to blow up on the circuit. Definetly drifted back into insectr status. Most bashers wouldn't underline distances of under 5 miles as hauled: but I just drew the line or rather, hatched the line at bankers to be punny.


18:00:00 Glasgow C Ayr DMU
20:03:00 Ayr (ex stran) Glasgow Central 37013

Now this was more like it: a "vo" or maybe then vb syphon from outside scotland producing on a route more used to the LDA power units. The train was late and 37013 put in a respectable thrash once the driver got used to givining it some welly to get moving. Good condition and newly painted - surprise for a loco long overdue works conversion to dual brakes.

The trouble with the Ayr line then was in fact the bloody 101 units blowing up all the time;: or rather some of their engines woudl fail and they would limp into Glasgow, hoilding everything up! Rancid units that took well over an hour to get the 48 miles or so: which is actually longer than Glas-Edin. Being held up that day, I remember being signalled every five minutes!

Syphons were moderately rare in Glasgow central prior to 1984 when they produced almost every day in the summer due to their availability and failures of 27s, 47s and DMUs.

On being Carstairs

Carstairs was an odd place. A village with no other raison d'etre than The Railway.

Even the famous secure mental insitution is a little outside the town at some hill or other. Like Windscale, it had probably changed it's name to some grassy knowle or other.

Carstairs had been a place I had spotted from, the trouble being the impressive speeds acheived by non stopping services. One claim to fame was the point set at the south end of platform 1, which was by reports, the most maintained point on the whole of SCr because it was on a cant that took trains at what seemed like at least 90mph.

There was a definiative Carstairs atmosphere: the stillness, the festering. Despite the signal box and the strategic importance of the junction, the station supported no populace but was just a passing through kind of place. Most people were probably glad of the rest from sitting in mark Is being hurtled down beattock northwards.

Me and Rupert took ourselves up to the local pub once, where I had probably my first ever half pint. I was 16 and almost 6 foot so could pass off. On the way there we could feel that the whole village was a sleepy backwater, which the 20th century had bipassed all but for the electrified railway.

There were some dreadful festers there: usually caused by delays or by covering two portions for neither of them to produce: that was the game, yin and yang: no pleasure without pain. You could get on most any train going north from Mossend, and it was a good place to pick up a few more "roarer" miles or get the gen on what was dropping on at Mossend in order to plan a bail later.

Before the neds would just go up to mossend office with their orange vests onand get a tops print out, we used to have to go down to Carstairs to cover these "portions" on summer ADDEXs and timetabled services. In 1985 I don't think we bothered.

The other thing that happened there was some degree of marshalling because of the abundance of track bed! There was a loop through to edinburgh along the marshalling point, 4 or 5 tracks in general, northern ballast marshalling point and the triangle towards the loony bin, which I once saw a train reversed on for some unknown reason. Think it was the royal scot and the 87 had failed.

The biggest drop at the junction did in fact not even stop at the platform every time! The northwards motorail would have a loco change here which was done up on the far right hand side track north of the station. in 82 to 84, this regularily produced 40s and pairs of 20s for some reason. 40s had been reallocated following their displacement from inverness/aberdeens in the late 70s and 1980. However they refused to die in Scotland, turning up on ancillary services like Mails, portions, motorails and track maintainance. Also many retaining boilers, they could cover winter Dundees etc and the mrk I duel heats on the Stranrær route.

16 wheels were however, resolutely banned from Glasgow central: I seem to remember seeing a class 40 there in 1979ish but too many derailments on the torturous points put an end to peak and whistler arrivals, probably in the 70s but by policy maybe 1980.

I was surprised in later years that the Carstairs route was chosen for the extension of ECML services to Glasgow. Fine with the electrification: no tunnels or NIMBYs to speak of ! But it was a drag to get there.

There were actually a couple of 303 services which originated there, and perhaps there was a lockerbie/Moffat stopper which also ran, I fail to remember but will maybe come upon a 303 move out of the place following a 47/4 "Producing" on an otherwise hottly anticipated "portion".

Thank you Mr. Scargill.......

Into May came along full BNB season 25.05.1984 Freedom of Scotland Forged ? Cheap tickets? I don't know what the score was here because I seemed to be doing freedom moves but going home at night and not getting very carried away.

Perhaps the excitement of pairs of 20s and 40s out on the Carstairs- Edinburgh "portions" blinded me to the delights of the type 2 move Mossend-Elgin ( 1S81 and the 4Exx trains further on) or the glorious far north route.

09:06:00 Home Arrochar 37039
09:45:00 Arrochar Glasgow QS 37175
11:20:00 Glasgow C Carstairs 86246
(turned down 47 348 on a portion)
The 47/3s suddenly appearing on SCr was the real symptom of what was going on with the coal industry. Some of these locos had probably never worked a passenger other than maybe a couple of "drags" or failures.

There were two portions to cover though!:

13:06:00 Carstairs Edinburgh Waverley 40047

14:17:00 Edinburgh Wav Haymarket 47203
1500 Haymarket Edinburgh 27042
15:10:00 Edinburgh Wav Carstairs 47423
16:03:00 Carstairs Glasgow Central 86311
16:50:00 Glasgow QS Home 37108

40047 if I remember correctly, had produced on the Ft WIlliam sleeper! The portion forward through low level to mossend or whereever. Unbelievable to see a 40 at Dumbarton! Anyway it could have been the redoubtabvly 074 that night, but I seem to remmeber being pleased to bag 047 on this run becuase I had turned down a late night risk to take the sleeper forward in 82/83 some time.

I guess I was happy enough with bagging 40047 because I went hame fur ma tea.

07:24:00 Home Glasgow LL QS 303
09:50:00 Glasgow QS Dumbarton C 37022
10:33:00 Dumbarton Glasgow QS 37039
11:20:00 Glasgow C Carstairs 86324

11:20:00 Carstairs Edinburgh Wave 20009 + 20175
14:17:00 Edinburgh Wav Haymarket 47707
1500 Haymarket Glasgow QS 47707
1556 Glasgow QS LL Home 303

The 11:30 stranrær, usually a 27 or 47/0 was a HUGE 47336, prompptly turned down because of the much finer music of a pair of twenties awaiting us at Carstairs, relieved from Longannet coal duties no doubt. 47 348 was there again, think it was an fugly flashing lamp version. It's batteries died so the duff bashers, especially that annoying fat ginner Ulster guy were "bowled out" and "withered" much to our amusement.

The twenties were hell!

So much so I turned down most likely 37108 again and took a 303 home for my dinner ! Bashing then was not all about a limited number of locomotives to get max mileage out of as it became so in the 1990s. It was more about lines in the book and big NBs with some "top men" only turning out to cover big producers.

onsdag 18. august 2010

Getting Warm April -May1984: 37 296 "Ginormous" on the 17:15 Edinbuirgh


09:06:00 Home Arrochar 37014
09:45:00 Arrochar Glasgow QS 37033
11:35:00 Glasgow C Kilwinning 47049
12:57:00 Kilwinning Glasgow Central DMU
13:50:00 Glasgow Central Stewarton 26037
14:38:00 Stewarton Glasgow Central DMU
16:50:00 Glasgow QS Dumbarton C 37039
17:56:00 Dumbarton Home 314

A fairly thankless day, a DMU out on the carlise-dumfries-glas, and with the lines in the book being 033 and the duff. Went home in disgust at fairly rancid WHL action. Already though, 014 is becoming my mileage beast.


12:24:00 Hime Dumbarton Central 314216
12:51:00 Dumbarton Crianlarich 37037
14:10:00 Crianlarich Glasgow QS 37014
16:50:00 Glasgow QS Dumbarton C 37043
17:56:00 Dumbarton Helensburgh C 314
19:06:00 Helensburgh U Ardlui 37014
20:01:00 Ardui Home 37012 ETHEL2

Another day at the office: more miles on 014. 012 was a regyular outer on the Ft Bill with Ethel: think ED took some pride at keeping it going or maybe they just detuned it to keep it running longer : not as bad as 025 it was just a bit dull.


09:06:00 Home Arrochar 37108
09:45:00 Arrochar Helensburgh U 37026
10:33:00 Helensburgh U Arrochar 37043
11:15:00 Arrochar Helensburgh 37191
12:24:00 Helensbugh Central Dumbarton Central 303
12:51:00 Dumbarton Crianlarich 37051
14:10:00 Crianlarich Glasgow QS 37108
16:50:00 Glasgow QS Dumbarton Cen 37191
17:33:00 Dumbarton Glasgow QS 27005 paired to 27020
18:20:00 Glasgow QS Ardlui 37108
19:59:00 Ardui Home 37014

Guess ethel was on the 14.

Still a stupid timetable with waits at the now abandoned helensburgh upper. Deadly dull, and I think the sweety shop may have shut at that time. The bail there was probably a chip move or just to stretch the legs rather than plodding down to dumbarton on the syphon. Sacrilidge if you think about it!

051 was a good mover but 108 was still sick with it's class 40 turbo on one bank of pistons.


15:20:00 Home Glasgow QS 37192
17:15:00 Glasgow QS Edinburgh Wav 37296
18:30:00 Edinburgh Wav Glasgow QS 47706
19:22:00 Glasgow QS LL Home 303-314

HAH ! This one we all wagged our little tails over. 37 296, llangore or Cardiff allocated in 1970s BR blue with matching time wharp black glass head code blank. It was very lively on the 17:15, which was I think Inverness stock rotated over to run from Edinburgh and giving an extra express for commuyters. 296 was a beast up the tunnels and a whole pile of line striking sulzer bashers were on board. And they called us neds, they were Traitors on a Tractor!

It struggled past the bings at croy but gave a good thrash out of Falkirk, where I was gripped. Paid an excess with a pretend slept over croy or the last transcard stop.

This huge welsh NB was the first symptom of a certain Mr Arthur Scargill as it had nowt to do in the way of coal trains by then. Unfortunetly for us, it's route to ED was by no means random: it had already been reallocated or penciled for it, due to it being earmarked for "37/4"ing. At least it was big on that train in that number and livery, as Perth Man put it, "so big they had to jack up the ceiling of the tunnel at Queen Street"

With nothing worth doing apart from a bus move to Garelochhead or maybe Tarbert (old road though on L.Lomond.) retired that night early, was a shcool night anyway. I was tired enough to get on the wrong units for a farcical backwards and forwards missing trains rather than waiting!

God knows how I managed seven As in o grades

Anyhows, 37 296 earmarked or errant, this was a taste of things to come in the summer of the english civil war and the basher's heaven

Grey Spring in 1984: 40s and Mr C Gibb

Looking back in fact I did a lot less bashing in early 84 than I expected, but bagged one quite big NB 40 and a rare trip to dundee in 84 with a 40.

I must have an earlier bashing/spotting book because I met a certain Mr. Christopher Gibb behind 37014 / ETHEL on a night when Peter Walker made up time and I rode this one of my beasts to Dumbarton for a late night home.

Here was the rest of march after bagging , neigh, blagging 40 155

09:06:00 Home Arrochar 37011
09:45:00 Arrochar Helensburgh Upper 37178
10:33:00 Helensburgh Upper Arrochar 37083
11:15:00 Arrochar Helensburgh Upper 37184
12:24:00 Helensbugh Central Dumbarton Central 314212
12:51:00 Dumbarton Crianlarich 37037
14:10:00 Crianlarich Helensburgh Upper 37011
16:45:00 Helensbugh Central Dumbarton Central 303
17:33:00 Dumbarton Glasgow QS 37175
18:20:00 Glasgow QS Arrochar 37011
19:45:00 Arrochar Home 37037 paired to 37012

Not such an uneventful day out as it seems: 178 was fairly rare on passengers for some reason, it was boilered, and 184 was really an IS loco.

175 was spitting flames by that time and performed clagg and burn on that run. 37012 was probably failing but both locos were in working order blue starred up. Worth missing ETHEL for the pair doubel mileage.

17.03.1984 Mystex

07:24:00 Helensbugh Central Glasgow C Low Level 303-314
09:00:00 Glasgow C Crewe 86220
12:30:00 Crewe Shrewsbury 47412
12:53:00 Shrewsbury Crewe 33060
16:06:00 Crewe Shrewsbury 33060
18:10:00 Shrewsbury Crewe 47412
19:10:00 Crewe Glasgow Central 85034
22:59:00 Glasgow QS low level Helensburgh Central 303

First haulage by those lovely little shreddies: well, what else is there to say up until 12:53 that day: a gennie duff, noooo big deal in 84. I was well impressed with the speed the shreddies could do south of crew and smooth acceleration. Another fine type 3: which SCR were sadly deprived of!

Good chippy by the river in Shrewsbury: most flooded chippy in the UK thereafter I beleive. Best chips I have EVER had!

Roarer for a long, long train back: roaring was good though on the WCML as their days were numbered. IIRC there was a detonator over beatock and we went to Charlie Browns on Queen Street for samosa and chips. Brilliant waste of time.

31.03.1984 Green Ticket with Chris Gibb

09:06:00 Home Arrochar 37192
09:45:00 Arrochar Glasgow QS 37022
11:30:00 Glasgow QS Edinburgh Waverley 47703
12:26:00 Edinburgh Wav Haymarket 47476
12:44:00 Haymarket Edinburgh Waverley 47274
13:17:00 Edinburgh Wav Dundee 40024
15:21:00 Dundee Edinburgh Waverley 40024
17:00:00 Edinburgh Waverley Glasgow QS 47710
18:20:00 Glasgow QS Home 37192

On a rather usual transcard day, "Cocoa the clown" as the poor bloke was called, a nice bloke who didn't hate insects, declared "sixteen wheels on edinburgh" and also with some frikkin crystal ball that the next type five freighter would be two stroke!

Chris Gibb is out for the day and "withered" at the thought of a 40. A scottish region "green" cheapy family ticket is on for the day, so we acquire one and head off for the "dundee circuit". Right enough, 40 024 had done one tour and back and was awaiting us, steaming.

Good thrash out the tunnel but after the bridge junction it really was fairly pedestrian with the 40 ambling along both ways for some reason.

Back home on the erstwhile 37 192.

14.04.1984 Mystex 1Z10

07:24:00 Helensbugh Central Glasgow C Low Level 303-314
09:00:00 Glasgow C Warrington 86322
12:30:00 Warrington Llandudno 45132
14:52:00 Llandudno Llandudno Jnct DMU
16:26:00 Llandudno Jnct Llandudno DMU
17:20:00 Llandudno Warrington 45132
19:04:00 Warrington Glasgow Central 86322

Mr Gibb and baglet in tow: this time he was withered to see a nose and three windows at Warrington curves only for it to reveal itself as an ETH Wagon. I think he probably had tried to fix it, but no roarer and a dumn sister in laws sister baglet made for a wry tour.

mandag 16. august 2010

Bashing: bad for the Health?

Now I bashed as a teenager and not an adult.

In fact I think this is really the best for your sanity, although I often do regret spending the ned time I did on bashing. Why? Well I could have had a much better spring start into my later hobbies of cycling and sailing in terms of fitness, experience and not in the least, social standing!

Bashing is physically bad: a lot of sitting on your rear end, diesel fumes, take away food.

Bashing was psychologically bad: how can you live with your favourite locos being (inveitably) taken off passenger routes in favour of plastic and then cut up?

On the pluss sides though:

You learn about geography and logistics of travel. You learn about the railway.

It is a very egalitarian sport which makes social contact across social classes: well apart from scousers and maccelsfield types who had too many drunks, vandals and dicks in their ranks imho...

As a teenager you get a great feeling of freedom within some safe environment of the railway staff and the commonality of other bashers.

You learn a lot about mechanical things, about HSE and about planning of projects.

You get to relax a lot.

It was, and probably is, fun.

1984 ...The Moves part I


1520 Home to Glasgow 37 191
1650 Glas to Crianlarich 37 085
2000 Crian to Home 37 014

All three of these machines would become top mileage syphons for me, with some special time put into 014 and some long runs, like dundee and back on 191. 085 and 191 were not super great performers, which is probably why they were out so often: they were not thrashable and hence the valve gear and timing chains probably held out longer. 014 had been a heap for a while, but by the summer of 84 it was a really good runner, and of course went on to be one of the eldest mainline locos of the class in 37/0 status.


1520 Home to Glasgow 37 022
1650 Glas to Helensb' Upper 37 081
2020 Hel U to Glasgow 37 011
22:00 Glas C to Paisley 37 092 xb or vb ? GD

Diverse units home after a fairly large drop on the late stranae or Ayr feeder for the 0700 Ayr glasgow. THis formed the "royal scot" and probably went to Ayr due to some BR ScR top brass living there and wanting a fast, comfy train in. However the lack of requirement for 47/4s ( the only diesel with ETH operable from central in 1983) in the area meant that the train would drop fairly enormous NBs at any time as there was no ETH anyway.

37 022 was one of the latter stratford reallocations to ED and not a bad runner


1520 Home to Glasgow 37 110 ex Oban,
1650 Glas to Home 37 081 ft Bill

110 was also a latter drifter from stratford IIRC with 114 also coming our way.

This was obviously my "insect" move after bunking off school or swimming on saturdays. Probably on a cut and shut transcard.


0906 Home to Arrochar 37 188
0945 Arrocahre to Hel U 37 011
1033 Hel U to Arrochar 37 108
1115 Arrochar to Home 37 022
1720 Home to glasgow 37 039
1820 Glas to Ardlui 37 188
2001 Ardlu- Hel 37 014

The latter , presumably with an ETHEL I neglected to bother my arse to write in the wee blue book.


All these moves seem to have based themselves around ned cards and dark evenings of rumbling up and down the WHL talking crap and eating chips. The times of wandering down the road were most likely to cafes, the bus home or a lift backwards and forwards from my long suffering mother!


1/3 / 84

1733 Home to Crianlarich 37 190
1907 Crian to Home 37 090

A nice little line with 090 probably a boilered on loan from GD or the likes. THink it may have been vb. 190 was not a patch on 188.


MYSTEX or Shoppex.


0724 Home one change to Glas C units
0900 Glas to Warrington 86 241
1130 warrington to chester 47 194
1317 Chester to crewe DMU

Apart from some ned spotting in Crewe, this, like many other mystexs could have been a real POS day. But look at the timing! 2 hours thirty to warrington! Hard to find a service which does it so fast today and that was load 8 mark ones back then!

Now what happened next was that we were just waiting about for the return when a very horrid 45/1 crawls in having sprayed a rake of mrk iis on somethign like a bangor to york service with oil or diesel. Waiting in the wings, an immaculate 40 155 whistles like a ghost round the back of the station and DROPS on the service! We jump on it as it stops at warrington and the 40 gives an excellent thrash as he tries to pick up time at the stops and signals on the way.

1645 Chester to Warrington 40 155
. 1E16

Why 40s in this condition were ever cut up I do not know as they were far more reliable than 45s or 47s. A rationalisation of the class to later bodies / bogies or better examples of the baldies and splitters could have given Scotland or the west with some good extra passenger locos through to 1986 and track works locos thereafter, as a few did at crewe in 1986.

Upon some excurtiating googling I found that this was 1E16, Bangor to Scarborough, as x-country as it gets ! The loco was taken off at Manchester.

The way home also produced some other healthy metal from the un just death row, 85039 awated us at the little platform end loco marshalling point. 1830 home in failing light with a damn good thrash.